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4 departments respond to Rockford-area house fire


CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fire crews responded to a house fire near Rockford Friday afternoon.

Heavy flames and smoke were reported around 3:15 p.m. at a home on Rainbow Lane NE in Cannon Township, off Sunfish Lake.

According to scanner traffic, flames were shooting through the roof.

A fire chief on the scene told WZZM 13 no one was home when the fire started. A neighbor called 911.

Firefighters from Cannon, Plainfield, Grattan, and Ada townships responded to the scene. The Cannon Twp. Fire Department will handle the investigation into the cause, which is unknown at this point.

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry Passes 150 Mark in Donated Items To Community

GRAND HAVEN, Mich., MAY 14, 2015--Since 2007, an informal group of women from St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish has been knitting and crocheting hand made shawls, lap robes, afghans, hats, mittens, scarves and similar items to give veterans, infants, middle schoolers, hospitalized persons, those in nursing homes, parish members and community friends comfort.  Now in its eighth year, the group--known as the Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry--has passed a major milestone of donating 150 items to persons in the lakeshore community and as far away as Haiti.

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish to Host Summer Celebration May 29

GRAND HAVEN, Mich., May 14, 2015--When St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish opens its doors to the general public for a special "Summer Celebration" on Friday, May 29, from 6 p.m. to midnight, those in attendance will be welcomed to find their place by the bandshell being brought in for a toe-tapping party in the parking lot, food, drinks, dancing and entertainment.

The event will be held on the parish grounds at 920 Fulton Street in Grand Haven.  Cost of admission is $5 per person.  Hot dogs, brat's, Jet's pizza, pop and water will be available for a minimal fee.  A full cash bar also will be available, serving keg and canned beer, wine and a variety of mixed drinks.

Live music will be provided by performers with the Scottville Clown Band from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by Soul'd Out Band, featuring lead singer and parishioner Bubba LeClair, from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Rockford shop class honors local officers


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- West Michigan woodshop students used their skills to honor members of local law enforcement Wednesday night.

The Rockford Middle School students presented hand-made plaques to members of the Rockford Police Department and the Michigan State Police.

The plaques are in the form of challenge coins unique with the officer's name and start date with the force.

"My dad is also an officer, and coming home and seeing his end of it, and how sometimes people treat him bad, I feel like it's more of a responsibility to us to treat him nice so he gets a good day out instead of a bad day," said eighth-grader Kyle Hintz.

"The kids are friendly with the police, the police are friendly with the kids, and we're working together to build a better community, and I'm proud of that," said Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones.

The woodshop class honored about 70 officers.

It's a boy! Rockford couple welcomes 13th son


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The streak continues. A Rockford couple with 12 sons welcomed baby No. 13 Wednesday morning and it's a boy.

Kateri Schwandt gave birth at 9:06 a.m. to an 8 pound 15 ounce boy who measured 22 inches long. Her husband Jay posted on Facebook:

Ok, so the boys know now! Good Morning America will air the "exclusive" reveal tomorrow morning so we had to be careful with some of it, but..... It's a BOY! Now we need to choose a name! BLESSED beyond belief!

Baby #13 was due Saturday, but arrived four days late. The Schwandts struck to their tradition of not finding out in advance whether they were having a boy or girl.

Kateri Schwandt, 40, says she has a lot of experience with large families, as one of 14 children herself.

Rockford parents await 13th boy, or 1st girl


ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP/WZZM) - A Rockford couple with 12 sons is waiting to find out whether baby No. 13 keeps the streak going.

Jay and Kateri Schwandt's baby is due Saturday, the day before Mother's Day, and they're sticking to their tradition of not finding out in advance whether they're having a boy or girl.

They've said they'd be shocked if the baby is a girl. Kateri Schwandt tells the Grand Rapids Press this week "odds are not in our favor" but they'll be happy either way. She grew up in a family of 14 kids and says "Every day is Mother's Day."

The Schwandts live Rockford, north of Grand Rapids. Jay Schwandt says it's probably a boy, but "if I could put my order in, I would root for a girl."

They were on Good Morning America Friday morning.

Courtland Twp. board rejects proposed sand pit


COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West Michigan community has been fighting a sand mine that was going to be built in their neighborhood.

Wednesday night, the Courtland Township board rejected the project proposed by Sable Development. The planning commission had already recommended the plans be denied.

Sable Development originally wanted to mine sand on Shaner Avenue near 11 Mile for 7 to 10 years. The plan took shape after the company built two out of four promised homes in the area. The proposed mine caused a large opposition movement called "Prevent the Pit."

When the plan went before the Courtland Township planning commission the company had revised the plan to only mine sand for 120 days and promised to construct the remaining two promised homes. The commission decided to recommend a rejection of the proposal.