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Fire badly damages Ottawa County home

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fire crews in northern Ottawa County say a wood burning stove may have caused a house fire.

It broke out around 8:20 Monday night on 144th Avenue just south of Lincoln Street. That's southeast of Grand Haven. Robinson Township firefighters say the homeowner heard popping noises in an attached garage before noticing flames shooting from the back of the building.

The fire eventually spread to the home causing heavy damage. Firefighters estimate a 70% loss. The only person at home at the time did make it out safely.

Grand Haven man invents custom tree-lighting tech

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- The name Brad Boyink might not yet ring a bell, but lakeshore residents likely remember a synchronized light show he created. The Holiday Road light show ran from 2006 to 2012. The display was retired in part because it attracted too many gawkers.

The shows' end, though, led to the invention of a product you may want on your tree this holiday season.

After retiring the light show, Boyink has been working on a product, using skills learned from programming the elaborate light show. "How do I take that experience of what people had outside and bring it into the family living room?" he asked himself.

So far, he's created a company called GeekMyTree and begun selling a product he calls Animated GlowBalls. Boyink says he's bringing tree lighting into the 21st century. "You can go from box to tree and plug it in, and have a show in ten minutes or less," he said.

Grand Haven considers adjusting winter parking rules

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- With snow on the way, Grand Haven city leaders are considering changes to the parking rules.

Those changes could include odd/even restrictions on overnight parking in neighborhoods on the north side of the city.

Our partner the Grand Haven Tribune reports the area being considered for the new rules is north of the Pennoyer-Howard line and west of US-31.

Neighborhoods in that area have limited off-street parking.

For now, the public safety department has been asked not to approve any more overnight parking exceptions.

Storm caused less beach erosion than expected

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Last week's powerful storm did not do as much damage to some lakeshore beaches as expected.

On Monday, Ottawa County park officials told us there is minimal beach erosion at places like Kirk Park in Grand Haven Township. There were concerns high waves would damage the sand dunes in the area. Park officials say there is no significant damage to the dunes, but the storm did leave behind more beach debris.

"We may have lost three to four feet off of the fore dune, but as you can see behind me, the debris line that we talked about is much more substantial than it was from the previous storm so it just added to it," said Ottawa County Parks Department operations manager Bob Reichel.

Kiteboarder challeges Lake Michigan waves and wind

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Gale force winds and 13-foot waves are making it dangerous along the lakeshore in Grand Haven.

And that's just how kite boarder Steve Novak says he likes it.

"Absolutely," he says. "I'm like a kid on Christmas morning."

Novak says there are only a few days during the year when the wind is blowing and the waves are pounding. He says he likes to get his kiteboard and take advantage of the opportunity.

"You need wind and waves for kiteboarding," he explains. "The higher the winds the better."

Photographer David Keller says he is often with Novak when he is out challenging nature with his kiteboard. Keller records video to post on YouTube.

Shopping in Grand Haven area to benefit schools

GRAND HAVEN (WZZM) -- This weekend is an opportunity for people in the Tri-Cities area to give back to their schools.

During the third annual "Shop 4 Schools" event more than 40 retailers and restaurants in and around Grand Haven will be helping educate local students. They will donate 15 percent of their sales to schools on Saturday, November 14. Last year shoppers raised more than $9,300 dollars for seven local schools.

The event is going on from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for stores, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for restaurants.

Click here to find out more about the event, including which businesses will be participating.

Grand Haven piers closed during windy storms

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- The north and south piers in Grand Haven are closed to the public, with the windy storm's arrival.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety closed the south pier at 10 p.m. Wednesday. The north pier was closed Thursday morning. Barricades are up, and public safety personnel are monitoring the piers and weather conditions.

Additionally, DPS has closed the fisherman parking lot to try discouraging people from approaching the pier.