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North Muskegon Fire Department blocks access to Muskegon Lake due to unsafe ice

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- We have a reminder to anyone planning on ice fishing this weekend, check the ice to make sure it's safe!

The North Muskegon Fire Department is closing access to Muskegon Lake at North Muskegon Waterfront Sports Park (2nd Street) because the ice is too thin and considered unsafe.

Despite the frigid temperatures we saw earlier this week, the snow insulated the ice and it never developed any thickness.

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Muskegon Winter Sports Complex holds annual bash

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Since winter got off to a slow start this year many have been champing at the bit to get in some outdoor fun. They will have plenty of opportunity Saturday at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex.

The complex is holding its annual Party in your Parka event which features an impressive schedule of events. 

The event is promoted as a celebration for Michigan's 179th birthday.

There will be activities for folks of all ages.  

Here's what you need to know:

West Mich. Ironmen arena football team introduces itself

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- We know more now about the new professional arena football team that will call the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon home.

Owners of the West Michigan Ironmen, their coaches, and some players introduced themselves to the community Thursday morning at the arena.

The team's first home game as part of the American Indoor Football League is March 6 against a team from Atlanta.

The founder of the AIFL expansion team is TJ Williams, an Oakridge High School graduate. Many of the players introduced Thursday played high school or college football in West Michigan, including Ronald Johnson, who was a part of two state championship teams with Muskegon.

Muskegon students connect with manufacturers

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Muskegon Area Tech Center hosted a modern manufacturing day to bring together employers and teens getting ready to enter the workforce.

Two hundred students enrolled in engineering, manufacturing, and industrial technology classes were able to meet face to face with prospective employers. Students shared resumes and portfolios with companies looking to fill a skilled labor shortage in Muskegon, Kent, and Ottawa counties.

Employers say the students they hire from the Tech Center have a good understanding of what is needed when they start.

"We want to keep our students, our youth in the community," said Sasamon Parker, Placement Specialist, Muskegon Area Career Tech Center. "That is why it is important we host this event and all of us come together and let all of the community know that there are jobs in their backyard and they do not even have to leave town to look for jobs."

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Huizenga sees Muskegon Heights schools' tech improvements

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Recent technology improvements in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System led to a visit from Michigan Congressman Bill Huizenga.

The school system is in his district.

The schools are using four new labs that help students become problem solvers. The labs were bought with grant money from the Michigan Department of Education.

Huizenga and Superintendent Alana Zachery-Ross said they believe technology is becoming more and more crucial as students prepare for careers in the 21st century.

U.S. Coast Guard warns of ice dangers

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A wintertime sport that's getting a later than usual start is ice fishing.

Just this week, anglers have started going out onto some small lakes in Muskegon County, but there's a warning from the U.S. Coast Guard about the condition of much of the ice on the county's biggest lake.

Muskegon Lake is large, and is usually the last lake in the county to ice over.

"Usually you are fishing in the middle of the lake right now, so it is a late start," said Chad Workman of North Muskegon. He found four inches of sloppy ice at a shallow marina. "The snow blankets the ice, then you get some warm ups and the temperature changes -- you get some slush."

This is Workman's ice report: "A lot of unsafe ice."

Norton Shores couple celebrating 73rd wedding anniversary

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- This month, a Norton Shores couple will achieve something few couples ever get the chance to experience.

Harold and Theresa Shafer will soon celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary.

Harold says he first noticed Theresa walking by a cherry orchard near Hart in Oceana County way back in 1942. He asked her three times if he could give her a ride into town; she eventually said yes.