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Muskegon to be busy with Independence Day events

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Campgrounds on the lakeshore are pretty much full, as people from all over West Michigan settle in for the Fourth of July and a busy weekend of activities.

From the Here's to the Heroes celebration, to the Lakeshore Art Festival, there's lots to do in Muskegon. There will be music from 4-9 p.m. Friday at Heritage Landing, plus fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

A city worker there is welcoming visitors in his own special way. "I am going to put a flag on the mower today," explained Randy Schneider of the City of Muskegon Department of Public Works. He says he's reminding drivers arriving on the lakeshore of the meaning of Independence Day.

To him, that meaning is "just the freedom of living in this great country."

US-31 crash caused by wrong-way driver

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) - One person was seriously hurt in a one-way crash on US-31 Thursday morning.

The crash happened in the southbound lanes of US-31 near the Pontaluna exit in Norton Shores. Police say a 73-year-old woman from Twin Lake was heading northbound in the southbound lanes. Police are not sure where the woman entered the highway, but they say that several motorists called 911 before the crash to report her.

A car driven by a 30-year-old man was not able to avoid her. The collision sent his car rolling onto the shoulder of the road. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

The woman was not hurt, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

No word yet on citations for the crash.

Budweiser Clydesdales on parade in Muskegon


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - The city of Muskegon is honoring veterans and other community heroes this weekend, and the most famous horse team in the world helped to kick off the event.

The Budweiser Clydesdales arrived in Muskegon earlier this week.

Wednesday night, they walked down Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon for the start of the Here's to the Heroes event.

There will be a free Salute to Muskegon Night at Heritage Landing Thursday, beginning at 5pm, with live music.

The music continues Friday and Saturday, too, with fireworks each night.

Oil leak polluting Muskegon River

BRIDGETON, Mich. (WZZM) - Oil is polluting a picturesque area of the Muskegon river that is known as a prime spot for fishing, swimming and tubing.
The oil is leaking from an old industrial pipeline between Big Rapids and Muskegon that sits on the river bottom near the Bridgeton Bridge.

The pipeline is not in use anymore, but there is still oil in it, and its oozing into the water.

"It slowly seeps out," says resident John Pomeroy, pointing to an oily sheen on the surface of the river. "Smell it? There could be a lot of oil left in there."

Residents say the pipeline used to carry oil to the Cambell, Wyant and Cannon Foundry in Muskegon. Several years ago it was capped to stop leaks, but recently oil started bubbling out of a broken valve.

Funeral held for killed biker

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan State Police are investigating the death of 26-year-old Jake Rameau last week. Family members say he died trying to catch the man who stole his brother's car.

The accused car thief is 25-year-old Dashawn Boylan. He's now charged with vehicle theft.

Rameau crashed his motorcycle in the chase and had been shot, too.

The Muskegon County prosecutor says at this point he's not aware of murder charges against Boylan.

Rameau's funeral was held Wednesday. His mother says he was a rock star who loved attention but would also do anything for his family. She says last week he proved that, and it cost him his life.

Rameau balanced being the lead singer of a local band and a loving father to his 4-year-old daughter, Ella.

His girlfriend, Kristen Wells, said he loved music and family.

Kayaker found dead after being reported missing on Muskegon Lake

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Crews from the US Coast Guard, the City of Muskegon, Norton Shores, and Muskegon County have found the body of a kayaker reported missing.

Muskegon Police say that Vincent Jones, 53, was reported missing about 9:15pm, after leaving on a kayaking trip at about noon on Tuesday. Jones' vehicle was found parked at the Grand Trunk Launch Ramp on Muskegon Lake.

Jones' kayak was found empty near Lakeshore Yacht Harbor at 1200 Lakeshore Drive. Jones was found deceased in the lake, north of the channel to Great Lakes Marina at 1920 Lakeshore Drive at about 11:15pm.

An autopsy is planned by the Medical Examiner.

Anyone with information is asked to call Muskegon Police at 231-724-6750.

Motorcyclist possibly died of gunshot wound; benefit planned

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Muskegon man killed in a motorcycle crash may have died from being shot while chasing a car thief.

Jake Rameau was found dead last Thursday after a crash in Muskegon Heights.

A family friend says that, before the crash, Rameau was chasing someone accused of stealing his brother's car.

The 26-year-old Rameau was shot during that chase, but investigators don't know if he died from that or the crash.

Rameau's funeral is Wednesday, but a benefit next week Friday, July 11, will raise money for his family. The benefit starts at 5pm at the playground at Stony Lake in New Era.

Donors can also support the benefit by contributing at this link.