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Warm weather allows for fishing, lawn work

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- There are those in West Michigan who might wish for snow instead of rain.

The weather pattern has many doing things they didn't expect this late in December.

With a temperature close to 60 degrees, Wednesday was a good day to do some yard work. The grass at Heritage Landing got a fresh cut.

"In this kind of warm weather the grass grows," said Ken Meyer with Complete Lawn Care and Snowplow. His lawn care company also does snowplowing, but lately the plows have not been needed. "Not a single time. We have plows ready; without snow you can't do much with them."

Muskegon Co. leaders want data center on wastewater site

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Legislation recently approved by the state House and Senate to attract the proposed $5 billion Switch data center to Kent County is already being used to market another location in West Michigan.

Economic development leaders in Muskegon County want a data center there, too.

The Muskegon County Wastewater Management site is 11,000 acres large. The county would like to lease or sell up to 650 acres to be used as a data center development site, said Muskegon County Economic Development Coordinator Jonathan Wilson, adding they've been working on it for a year.

Driver, 14, pleads not guilty in fatal Ravenna crash

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The 14-year-old boy accused of crashing an SUV he was driving and causing the death of his 10-year-old passenger made his first court appearance Tuesday in Muskegon County Juvenile Court.

Jeffrey Jennings died Dec. 3 after the SUV he was in crashed in Ravenna Township.

The teen driver is charged with three counts; including reckless driving, operating without a license and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

In court, the boys lawyer entered a not guilty plea and also waived a preliminary hearing on the charges. Because the boy is a minor, we are not using his name.

Vacant house fire near Holton deemed suspicious

HOLTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Multiple fire departments battled a house fire in the 10500 block of Maple Island Road near Holton.

The first calls about the fire came in at about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Muskegon County Dispatch says the Holton Fire Department is the primary agency fighting the fire but, scanner traffic indicates other fire departments including Fremont and Hesperia have been called in to assist.

ID=77742678Maple Island Road was closed at Brunswick Road while crews worked to put the fire out.

MCC staff, first responders train for active shooter

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZN) - Muskegon Community College and police held a training exercise on campus Friday.

The active shooter drill on the main campus included members of the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department and several area police agencies.

The simulation helps the college and first responders prepare for a number of possible real life emergencies including a shooter on campus.

Much of the campus was reserved for the police training. Signs were posted to inform visitors and those passing by the event.

Students at MCC are on Christmas break.

In November, a bomb threat lead to the college closing for one day.

Michigan woman creates $8K Christmas tree by 'extreme couponing'

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's extreme couponing with a holiday twist.

Cynthia Elder's Christmas tree has been a year in the making — it's composed of 11 laundry baskets filled with various household and hygiene items. In total, the tree is worth roughly $8,000, she said.

But she didn't spend much on the products themselves. The tree is "99 percent" free, thanks to coupons and Meijer mPerks rewards. 

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Lakeshore inmates helping train service dogs

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thirty inmates at the prison in Muskegon were given an early Christmas gift: new, four-legged cellmates.

A unique program is expanding inside state prisons and giving inmates the opportunity to give back to society while serving time behind bars.

Sounds of gates closing remind inmates at the Muskegon Correctional Facility they're serving hard time. A delivery Thursday afternoon, though, brought a new sound -- the sound of man's best friend.

It's something these men haven't heard for years, prison counselor Robert Howard said. "They have not seen a dog in a decade."

That changed when Paws with a Cause brought dogs in training. The 30 Muskegon inmates getting involved in this program join about 100 others in the state who've earned the privilege to train the dogs.