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Prisoner pleads to murder of Muskegon cellmate

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- A man has pleaded no contest to premeditated first-degree murder in the beating and stabbing death of his cellmate at a prison in West Michigan.

50-year-old Robert Allen Hall entered the plea Friday in Muskegon County Circuit Court. He will be sentenced April 7 to life without the possibility of parole.

Hall was sharing a cell in October with 50-year-old Donald Winnie at Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon when Winnie was beaten with a chunk of asphalt and stabbed with a piece of metal.

Authorities have said the two men had a history of fights. Hall currently is serving a life sentence for a 2007 murder. Winnie also was serving a life sentence for a 1987 murder when he was killed.

Power outage hits thousands around Fruitport

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thousands of homes and businesses in Muskegon County were without power this morning, but that has been fixed.

Consumers Energy reported nearly 2,600 customers lost power in the Fruitport area around 3:45 a.m. Friday. The line that came down due to the cold temperatures was repaired about 6:45 a.m.

Large fish kill expected in inland lakes because of harsh winter

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The DNR says there will be fewer fish to catch this summer on lakes and rivers around the state. The reason isn't disease, it's ice and something that happens every winter. But the winter kill this year is expected to be more noticeable.

Right now under the thick ice on Muskegon Lake, fish are dying and many others may be close to death. "Winter kills are widespread and they occur intermittently in different lakes," explains Richard O'Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist. But the winter kill is normal. "Deeper lake usually have the least problems, shallow or weedy lake have the most problems."

This thick ice and deep snow cover on lakes block daylight and starve aquatic plants that produce oxygen the fish need to survive. O'Neal says the extreme cold should kill more fish than in recent years. "Usually when we see a fish kill because of low oxygen it involves multiple species."

Cindy, Lindy, Wendy, and Finley this week's adopt-a-pets

Cindy, Lindy, Wendy, and Finley this week's adopt-a-pets

MUSKEGON,Mich. (WZZM) - This is Cindy, Lindy, Wendy, and Finley. They are four to five month old Aussie Setter mix pups. They are sweet, playful, and very affectionate.

Cindy in the pink collar likes to snuggle, Lindy in green is the social butterfly of the group, Wendy in yellow is great with people, but a little timid when meeting new dogs, and Finley the boy of the group in blue is the leader of the pack, who loves to play and snuggle, but is the boss of his sisters.

For information about these four or any other animals up for adoption call Pound Buddies of Muskegon at (231) 724-6500.

Musk. Hgts. working to thaw residents' frozen water pipes

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- City Manager Natasha Henderson is responding to complaints that the Muskegon Heights Water Department isn't doing enough to thaw frozen water service to homes. Since January, WZZM 13 On Your Side has reported on several residents who have gone without water for days.

Henderson says crews have been working with a large adapted truck to thaw frozen water lines. "Over eight hours a day that truck is out and we have staff that has to be there when it is out."

RELATED: Family posts sign pleading for help after two weeks without water

My Town Muskegon: Safety and technology millage narrowly approved

My Town Muskegon: Safety and technology millage narrowly approved

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich.—Technology and safety upgrades are coming to the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District.

Voters narrowly approved a millage funding the upgrades during a special election Feb. 25.  The unofficial results from the election show 6,285 voters supported the measure while 6,099 voted against it.

The 10-year millage is expected to cost the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000 approximately $50 each year.  Superintendent Dave Sipka says the millage will generate approximately $161 per pupil which will be invested based on the list of priorities each of the 11 MAISD school districts created.

Superintendents of all 11 districts have agreed to compile an accountability report, to show where the millage funds are going.  The first report will be released by Feb. 25, 2015.

Mixed results for West Michigan school ballot measures

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Muskegon County voters narrowly approved a ballot measure to pay for improvements for the county's school technology and security.

The Muskegon County Intermediate School District's millage increase passed in Tuesday's election, with 6,285 yes votes to 6,099 no votes -- a 186 vote margin.

A similar measure for Ionia County schools failed by a 37 vote margin -- 1,903 no votes to 1,866 yes votes.

Mason County voters Tuesday approved two ballot measures to renew and raise the millage for their central school district.