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Volunteers help honor veterans in Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Memorial Day weekend is a time to pay respect to those who died fighting to defend our country. Sunday, dozens of volunteers help decorate the graves of veterans with an American flag at the Sunrise Memorial Gardens in Muskegon.

"Every year around five or six hundred more," said Roger Knopf with the Muskegon Council V.F.W.

The Muskegon council of VFW wants to make sure every single one gets their due respect on Monday.

"There was a need and people were willing to go in and face the ultimate sacrifice to serve the needs of our country."

Knopf estimates volunteers now place around 10,000 flags on veterans' graves in the Muskegon County area. He says it take more volunteers each year. This weekend, the Harley Davidson Owners Group stepped up.

Of Michigan's estimated 680,000 veterans still alive, more than 131,000 served in the Gulf War, 253,000 in Vietnam, and 45,000 and World War II.

Volunteers decorate veterans' graves in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- It takes several day and dozens of volunteers, but each year the gravesites of veterans in Muskegon County are decorated with an American flag.

The tradition continued Friday at Sunrise Memorial Gardens in Muskegon. Members of the Harley Davidson Owners Group spent several hours locating all the veteran's burial sites and placing the small flags.

The Muskegon Council of V.F.Ws organizes the effort. Members say, each year the list of veterans who have passed away grows by several hundred.

"Every year around five or six hundred more. We are now at around 10,000 that we put out each year," said Roger Knopf, Muskegon Council of V.F.Ws.

Council members say if your loved one passes away, make sure the cemetery and local V.F.W. post is notified of the serviceman or woman's name -- so their gravesite isn't missed in the yearly event.

Norton Shores Police get 20 tips a day about Heeringa

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (AP) - Police looking for a 25-year-old woman who disappeared from her job at a West Michigan gas station last month are getting 20 tips a day.

Norton Shores police Chief Dan Shaw said Friday that while the tips "have slowed down somewhat," some of them are high-priority tips that are worth checking out.

Jessica Heeringa disappeared April 26 before she was set to close the station in Norton Shores, near Muskegon. Police say there's no indication of a robbery. A task force is investigating.

Police have released a description of a silver minivan and a man seen in the area.

Meijer recalls ground beef sold in North Muskegon

NORTH MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Meijer is recalling ground beef sold earlier this week at its store on Holton Road in North Muskegon.

The store is withdrawing approximately 200 pounds of angus beef ground chuck because it may contain small plastic fragments. The plastic may have entered the meat during a processing malfunction.

The meat was sold at the self-service counter on Wednesday, May 22 with sell by date May 23, 2013.

The following labels are affected:

  • Certified Angus Beef Ground Chuck FP, UPC 22165900000
  • Certified Angus Beef From Chuck, UPC 29024100000
  • Certified Angus Beef Ground Chuck FP, UPC 202165900000
  • Certified Angus Beef Ground Chuck, UPC 209024100000

This recall only affects meat sold on Wednesday, May 22 at the Meijer store in North Muskegon, from the self-service counter. No other Meijer stores are affected by this recall.

Marine patrol begins this weekend on area lakes

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Muskegon County Sheriff's Department's seasonal boat patrols are underway.

The part-time officers will be out on Muskegon Lake and other bodies of water five day a week during the summer months.

The officers say now is the time to make sure your boat has the correct number of life vests, emergency equipment, and that state registration is current.

"A lot of time we get boat registrations that are expired. People forget to get that done. They get excited to get on the water and they forget it or leave it at home," explains Muskegon County Marine Patrol officer, Lance Gilbert.

In two weeks, Muskegon County will receive a new emergency response boat paid for with funds from a Homeland Security grant.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard is ready to watch the water from the sky. The Muskegon Air Station opened Friday. The seasonal station is staffed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Memorial weekend to kickoff record breaking tourism

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The number of people in Michigan traveling this Memorial Day is expected to be close to the same as last year, but the people behind the "Pure Michigan" campaign say this big weekend for the travel industry is going to be kicking off a record breaking year for tourism.

"It doesn't matter what the weather sends our way. There is always something to do in Michigan." According to Pure Michigan Spokesperson Dave Lorenz, this could be the biggest year yet for tourism in Michigan.

"Our industry is growing."

Lorenz says 2012 brought in about $18 billion in economic activity. He's predicting 2013 to be about 3-4% higher than last year.

"Great news, because much of that will come from Michigan residents, but most of it will probably come from people from outside of Michigan."

What's happening: Memorial Day weekend

(WZZM)- This weekend, honor our fallen soldiers and have tons of fun while you're at it.

There are parades galore this Memorial Day. 

Downtown Grand Rapids will hold its procession at 10 a.m. Monday. The parade will move down Division Avenue, ending at Veterans Memorial Park.

In downtown Muskegon, the annual Memorial Day Parade will not disappoint. This year, the focus is on our World War II veterans, two of whom will be parade grand marshals. Visitors can expect more than 60 marching units, seven local high school bands, as well as hand-made floats all in honor of American soldiers. The parade starts at 9 a.m. at the County Building and ends at Hackley Park.

In Walker, the WZZM 13 crew will join the tribute to soldiers. Marching units will proceed down Lake Michigan Drive, starting at noon.