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Underground West Michigan: Beneath the Musical Fountain


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is once again drawing big crowds, after a recent upgrade. You may have wondered how the operators make the music, water, and light work in perfect harmony.

WZZM 13 goes underground to explore the secrets of the musical fountain.

It's one of the world's largest musical fountains, and the oldest one in existence in the United States.

Building the musical fountain took about a quarter of million dollars, and a lot of volunteer hours, and a lot of donations. It was originally designed by a man named William A. Booth. It has more than 1,000 nozzles. It's 240 feet long. An average show lasts about 20 minutes. And it takes 300 hours to program the average show.

Under the musical fountain lies the equipment that shoots out water and light in a show coordinated with sound. Watch the video above to take a tour.

Grand Haven collecting donations to save pier catwalk


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- The city of Grand Haven is trying to raise money to save the catwalk on the pier.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to fix and improve the south pier this fall, but the catwalk is in the way.

The city must raise around $100,000 to pay to lift it temporarily and fix portions of the structure.

City leaders now have a collection container on the pier, just in time for the Coast Guard Festival, says Mayor Geri McCaleb.

"We thought, 'Let's get this out here, 'cause thousands of people walk our boardwalk every year and walk our pier. Let's put it out here and see if it catches people's attention,' and I've been here for about 15 minutes and I've seen people stop and read and look -- so I think it's going to draw a lot of people's attention, so we're excited about that," McCaleb said.

U.S. Coast Guard ships parade in for festival


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- A parade of ships took center stage along Grand Haven's waterfront Monday. A crowd watched four U.S. Coast Guard ships arrived for the Coast Guard Festival.

The ships have different purposes, ranging from ice breaking, to law enforcement, and search and rescue.

We found some spectators who've seen the parade for years and others who were first-timers.

"Everybody likes a parade," said Jeff Bradbury, chairman of Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. "This is a different parade, this a parade of Coast Guard ships -- our United States Coast Guard coming into Coast Guard City USA. What else could be better?"

Tours of the Coast Guard ships began Monday night and last through the end of the Coast Guard Festival.

Organizers say more than 260,000 people toured the ships last year.

Coast Guard Festival's carnival manager outlines inspections


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Crews assembled the carnival rides at the Coast Guard Festival on Monday. The midway opens on Tuesday.

WZZM 13 wanted know who inspects the equipment to make sure it's safe before families start lining up for rides.

Festival organizers say the rides range from mild to wild. They say the hands-on inspections are handled by the carnival company itself.

WZZM 13 spoke to the operation manager, who says the equipment is safe enough that he lets his own family go on the rides.

After all, risk-taking is a personal choice. Not everyone would climb to the top of the 50-foot Ring of Fire ride, like one worker WZZM 13 found. However, even thrill-seekers think about safety.

"We're just hoping all the screws are in place and everything's good to go," one visitor told WZZM 13.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is investigating a string of peeping tom-type incidents along the lakeshore.


GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is investigating a string of peeping tom-type incidents along the lakeshore.

Deputies and detectives were able to locate a 16-year-old male subject on Saturday around 4 p.m. His name is not being released at this time.

Deputies say the teenager used his cell phone camera to take photos of unsuspecting patrons over the bathroom partitions at Meijer stores in Grand Haven and Holland.

The 16-year-old has been turned over to his parents and is said to be cooperating with this ongoing investigation.

If you have any information, please contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.


Chickens may soon be allowed in Grand Haven


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Chickens may soon be allowed in the city of Grand Haven.

Our partner, the Grand Haven Tribune, reports the city council will discuss the issue at Monday's meeting.

The recommended chicken ordinance includes the following rules:

  • Only allowed for single-family homes
  • Must be kept in the backyard at all times, in an enclosure made of permanent materials
  • No roosters are allowed
  • Maximum of four hens per home

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.


Autopsy performed in 4-year-old's accidental death


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Autopsy results show a little girl who passed away Tuesday died of a lack of oxygen after becoming entangled in clothing hanging on the back of a door.

The 4-year-old girl was hurt around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at a home in the River Haven Village Mobile Home Park. She died of her injuries Tuesday.

Ottawa County Sheriff's investigators say the child was playing alone in her room at the time and was standing on a toy to reach something up high, when she became entangled in the strap of a bathrobe hanging on a hook.

The girl's mother and stepfather found her unresponsive in her bedroom and immediately called 911. She was taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in critical condition.