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Over the edge

WHITE RIVER TWP. – Tish Gancer’s White River home sits at the bottom of the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan it was built upon.

The home, which was purchased by her grandfather in the 1930s, was once surrounded by trees, said the owner. However, due to high water and erosion little by little those trees began to disappear. The end result was her home falling over the edge on this past New Years Eve.

Back in October, Gancer contracted with White Lake Dock & Dredge, Inc. to pull permits, and build a rock revetment that might have prevented the inevitable disaster. However, according to president and co-owner Bob Gezon, by the time the permits and financing went through it was too late to begin the work requested by her.

Gancer, in a separate conversation, added that the construction of the revetment was delayed due to a storm that took place on Dec. 23. She said she felt confident that a revetment would have worked, and thanks Gezon and crew for all that they’ve done and are doing.

Now instead of trying to preserve her home, the White Lake Dock & Dredge, Inc. is responsible for tearing it down.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8 workers from White Lake Dock & Dredge, Inc. moved equipment out to the site, but they could not begin demolition because of the weather. The home was removed the next day, Thursday, Jan. 9.

According to Gezon, it is Gancer’s wish to protect the land around her home. So, White Lake Dock & Dredge, Inc. will also be building a revetment, but first they need the water to freeze.

When the water freezes, and forms icebergs, workers can begin working on the revetment. They can use these icebergs as cover for their equipment to work behind.

This past December, water levels for Lake Michigan-Huron were at above average levels. However, according to Deanna Apps, a physical scientist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Detroit, the lake(s) have yet to reach their record high.

Montague Police

January 6

• At 1:13 a.m., a 25-year-old Laketon Township woman was arrested for an assault and attempted larceny at a business in the 8700 block of Ferry Street. According to police the woman was asked to leave Jimmy’s Pub and assaulted an employee by swinging her arms while being led out of the business. She was also charged with attempted larceny of a crock pot. Her probation officer was contracted about a possible violation of probation by the woman.

• At 7:31 p.m., in the 8900 block of Water Street, a 44-year-old Montague man was cited for driving while license suspended. Police said a vehicle driven by the man was pulled over for cutting through the Wesco parking lot at an unsafe speed in an attempt to catch up with a friend. Police were at the business and witnessed the incident. After the man was stopped it was discovered he did not have a valid drivers license.

Whitehall Police

January 8

• A resident of the 200 block of E. Muskegon Avenue reported that she was the victim of phone harassment. The victim had separated from her husband but was keeping in contact with his children through Facebook. The man was then calling and leaving several messages telling her to stop. Officers have attempted to contact the man without success and this 6:45 p.m. call was the second such report made to Whitehall Police.

• At 6:16 p.m. police were dispatched to a call of possible armed subjects in the 800 block of S. Mears Avenue. When officers arrived they located two 13-year-old boys and learned that they had “Airsoft” pistols and were playing and shooting at each other. No further action was taken.

• Whitehall Police responded to a trouble with subject call at a business in the 700 block of Colby Street. The subject arrived at the business and was asked to leave because an employee there had reported the man had attempted to expose himself to her. The man became upset and initially refused to leave but did when the business called 911. Officers spoke with the subject and warned him not to return to the business.

• A resident of the 200 block of W. Main Street reported that someone had attempted to steal yard ornaments from their yard. The 9:20 a.m. caller said the items that were usually near the front porch were found lying down near the roadway. The victim believes the suspect was scared off during the attempt and left the item.

January 6

• An officer investigation into a suspicious vehicle led to two Montague teens being cited for possession of marijuana. At 8:38 p.m. the officer was patrolling in the 700 block of Hanson Street and saw the vehicle parked at the end of the street with not lights on. While speaking with the man and woman the officer noted a small butane torch and a bong in the car and when questioned the man admitted to having marijuana in the car and surrendered it to the officer. The officer also confiscated a small crate that held several different marijuana pipes. The 18 year old suspects were released after being cited.

• Officers were dispatched to a family dispute at 7:06 p.m. When officers arrived in the 900 block of Livingston Street they learned that it was only a verbal argument between a son and his mother about her watching his children. Officers mediated the dispute and the mother left shortly after to go home.

January 4

• A man had beer poured over his head and was kicked by a roommate. The suspect tried to run from police while in a room. A woman tried to block police from leaving with the suspect. The woman was arrested and then kicked and hit the officer arresting her. This all happened in the 100 block of N. Livingston Street. Police were called at 5:40 p.m. and were met by the victim who said the three of them were drinking when his 61-year-old roommate became upset and assaulted him. A second officer was speaking to the suspect, and when the suspect became loud the first officer attempted to go inside to ensure there was no trouble, but was blocked by a 60-year-old woman who lives at the house. After entering and consulting with the second officer they told the man that he was being arrested. He then ran into the kitchen area and around a small wall that led directly back to where the officers were standing. After struggling briefly to gain control of his hands the 61-year-old was handcuffed toward the door. The woman then stood in the doorway of the home and told the officers, “He’s not under arrest!” The woman refused to move and resisted being moved. She was then arrested, and while the first officer attempted to gain control of her hands and handcuff her she kicked backward hitting the officer in the leg and then swung her arm back hitting him in the side. Both were eventually taken into custody and lodged at the Muskegon County jail. The man was charged with domestic assault and resisting arrest. The woman was charged with obstructing officers and assaulting a police officer.

January 3

• A 3:53 a.m. traffic stop led to the arrest of the driver on an outstanding warrant. An officer on patrol observed the violation at the intersection of Mears Avenue and Main Street and stopped the car in the 1300 block of Lake Street. When checking the 23-year-old in the computer it was discovered that she was wanted for a probation violation. The Whitehall woman was taken into custody and later to the Muskegon County jail. The vehicle was released to a passenger.

January 2

• A routine check of a license plate led to the arrest of the driver on a warrant and new charges of possession of methamphetamine. Whitehall officers had been assisting Muskegon County deputies on the west side of Montague and were returning when they checked the vehicle ahead of them and saw the registered owner was wanted on the warrant. After receiving permission to make the stop from Montague police, a stop was made in the 8000 block of Water St. The 23-year-old driver was identified and taken into custody and was going to be turned over to Oceana County deputies. While waiting for the deputies, officer found methamphetamine in a vile on the key ring belonging to the Shelby woman. The suspect surrendered an additional rock of methamphetamine when questioned. The suspect was then taken to the Muskegon County jail and lodged for drug possession.

• A 17-year-old Montague man was arrested for operating while intoxicated during a 7:32 p.m. traffic stop. On officer on patrol observed a vehicle with a defective headlight and began to follow and noticed that in the 500 block of S. Mears Avenue it nearly struck a traffic cone on the edge of the road. During the stop the officer noted the strong odor of marijuana from the vehicle and questioned the driver who admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day. The officer then had the suspect perform sobriety tests and arrested him after failing the tests. He was taken to the Muskegon County jail where a blood sample was taken to be sent to the MSP crime lab. He was lodged at the jail.

Muskegon Twp.

Police Dept.

January 6

• At 1:56 p.m., a larceny was reported in the 2100 block of E. Creekwood Drive.

• At 2:04 a.m., a theft from a motor vehicle was reported in the 1400 block of New Street.

January 4

• At 9:05 p.m., a non-aggravated assault was reported in the 1000 block of Holton Road.

January 2

• At 1:18 p.m., a traffic crash occurred on N. Getty Street at Holton Road.

• At 10:42 a.m., a larceny was reported in the 400 block of E. Giles Road.

• At 3:03 a.m., a non-aggravated assault was reported in the 2400 block of Marcoux Avenue.

January 1

• At 11:53 p.m., a car-deer crash occurred on W. Giles Road at Whitehall Road.

Muskegon Co.

Sheriff’s Office

January 4

• At 4:52 p.m., Mental Illness-insanity was reported in the 2700 block of W. Crystal Lake Road.

• At 3:02 p.m., a traffic crash occurred on Russell Road at Church Street, Lakewood Club.

• At 11:44 a.m., a weapons offense and accident were reported in the 8500 block of Holton-Duck Lake Road at Marvin Road, Holton Township.

• At 3:21 a.m., a hit and run motor vehicle accident occurred in the 6400 block of E. River Road, Cedar Creek Township.

• At 12:08 a.m., driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs was reported at Dalson Road at E. Riley Thompson Road, Cedar Creek Township.

• At 11:55 a.m., a larceny was reported in the 2200 block of Holton Road, Dalton Township. The larceny occurred on January 1 at 6:00 a.m.

January 3

• At 10:20 p.m., neighbor troubles was report in the 8000 block of Whitehall Road, Whitehall Township.

• At 8:49 p.m., animal cruelty was reported in the 2400 block of W. McMillan Road, Fruitland Township.

• At 4:18 p.m., a traffic crash occurred on W. Michillinda Road at Orshal Road, Fruitland Township.

• At 4:10 a.m., disorderly conduct was reported in the 1600 block of Oak Avenue, Muskegon Charter Township.

Montague FFA teacher receives award

MONTAGUE – High school teacher Carson Letot received an all expenses paid trip to Anaheim, Calif. courtesy of RAM Trucks.

Letot was the recipient of the Teacher Turn the Key award for region four. The Teacher Turn the Key award is given to teachers who are in their first three to five years of teaching continuing education.

In Letot’s case he works as a science teacher and is one of the advisors for Montague High School’s FFA program.

He was recognized for the award during the National Association of Agricultural Educator’s national convention on Dec. 3. As the region four recipient, his flight, hotel room and ticket to the convention were all paid for.

He also received $100 as a prize for the award. He said the money went towards buying donuts for his first hour students.

“I tend to see a little bit more energy out of my first hour students with some sugar in them,” said Letot.

Letot is in his third year of teaching at Montague, and his fourth year teaching overall. Prior to teaching at Montague he student taught for Lowell Area Schools, and at Cornell University in New York as a graduate student.

Letot said to be considered for the award he had to apply for it himself, and had to ask for letters of recommendations from people he knows.

“It is a fairly lengthy application process, and it hinges off of two major things. The first thing is, ‘What have you done that is innovative in the classroom,’” said Letot.

“So I think it typically relies heavily on curriculum development. So if you’ve done some sort of curriculum development, or some sort of policy program initiative in the school that helps.”

He continued, “Then the other part of it is, ‘What have you done as an FFA advisor with programming initiatives?’ So I think what helped me a lot is I developed a curriculum in grad school that I implemented here.

“I was pretty successful with the natural resources class a couple years ago. Then outside of that, (the appllication included) a couple of the programs I have done to acquire grants to build the edible landscape and work with Pekadill’s downtown. I think that played into why I was successful in getting that award.”

Originally, Letot applied for the Teacher Turn the Key award to help bring new awareness to the school’s FFA program. He said that Montague’s program is considered to be one of the more elite ones in Michigan.

However, one of the unintended benefits of getting the award was the networking he did with teachers from across the country.

“It is one thing to get a plaque. It’s a pretty cool plaque. But it’s another thing to get the opportunity to network with people, and be collaborative like that,” said Letot.

“It is way more meaningful than any award that I have received,” he added.

Through his networking Letot met an FFA teacher from Hawaii. The two educators agreed to exchange produce with one another.

For more information about Teacher Turn the Key visit: https://www.naae.org/resources/awards/2006awards/TTTK.cfm.

Teddy Bear Toss

MONTAGUE – The Montague FFA will be having their Teddy Bear Toss on Tuesday, Jan. 21 during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game versus Shelby.

The basketball game will begin at 7 p.m., and teddy bears will be available for $5 during first half. At halftime the people who have purchased bears will have a chance to throw the bears at a target set up on the court.

The person who throws their teddy bear closest to the target will win a gift card.

The bears from the Teddy Bear Toss are donated to the Billy Bear Hug program of The William B. Wondergem Foundation for Children. The foundation provides care packages to children being treated for life threatening illnesses at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids and other West Michigan facilities.

Great Lakes water levels higher than last year at this time

DETROIT- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces that water levels on each of the Great Lakes started 2020 higher than they started 2019, a year where many record high water levels were set across the lakes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges those impacted by the high water levels of 2019 to prepare for similar levels again in 2020. The most recent six-month forecast of Great Lakes water levels shows water levels continuing to be well above average over this period. Unlike last year, lakes Michigan and Huron are forecasted to reach record high levels this year.

“It is likely that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron will set new monthly mean record high levels over the next couple of months,” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, Detroit District. “This sets the stage for coastal impacts and damages in 2020 similar to, or worse than, what was experienced last year.”

The Detroit District monitors and forecasts Great Lakes’ water levels and provides the data and analysis on their Website www.lre.usace.army.mil.

Several natural factors contribute to the record lake levels. Persistent wet conditions across the Great Lakes basin continue to drive high water levels. Many cities across the basin set records in 2019 for the wettest period on record. The warmer than average temperatures in December led to greater runoff due to snow pack melting, especially on lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, leading to more water supply. The warm air also caused less evaporation off the lakes’ surface, which leads to more water in the system.

The water levels of each lake peaked during this past summer or fall and since then have been in a seasonal decline, however, significant erosion continues in many locations as water levels remain extremely high. Strong storm systems and resulting large waves have led to substantial erosion along much of the Great Lakes coastline.

To find more information about Great Lakes high water visit this link: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/About/Great-Lakes-High-Water/ which includes information about how to protect property and investments along the coast and related Corps programs and authorities.