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My Town Greenville: Highway renamed for fallen local soldier

My Town Greenville: Highway renamed for fallen local soldier

GREENVILLE, Mich.—The family of a fallen soldier from Greenville now need only drive down M-57 to remember him.

Earlier this week, Governor Snyder signed a bill renaming a portion of the thoroughfare the Joseph Prentler Memorial Highway.  Prentler was killed Oct. 4, 2010 when insurgents bombed his military vehicle in Afghanistan.  The Carson City-Crystal High School graduate was 20 years old.

Prentler’s mother, sister and brother-in-law stood by as Snyder signed the bill honoring their loved one Tuesday in Lansing.  State Rep. Rick Outman also attended the ceremony.

“Naming a portion of a local highway for this brave young man, who gave everything for his country, is just one way we can honor him,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes. “By doing so we can keep alive the memory of Specialist Prentler and the ultimate sacrifice he made.”

My Town: Michigan State Police celebrate milestones in Montcalm and Ionia counties

My Town: Michigan State Police celebrate milestones in Montcalm and Ionia counties

LAKEVIEW, Mich. (Michigan State Police)--- As the New Year begins, the Michigan State Police Lakeview post would like to share some of its accomplishments and successes from 2014.  The Lakeview post serves the counties of Montcalm, Gratiot and Ionia.

In 2014, the post welcomed eight troopers, one new sergeant, one motor carrier officer, one motor carrier sergeant and one motor carrier lieutenant.

Additionally, troopers from the post handled 9,245 calls for service; of these reports, 590 were alcohol or drug related.  The post has 1,342 registered sex offenders living in the post area with a 96 percent compliance rate.  There are approximately 11,000 inmates residing in the prisons located in St. Louis, Carson City, and Ionia.  MSP handles all criminal investigations associated with these prisons.

My Town: Gas prices plunge even closer to $2 per gallon

My Town: Gas prices plunge even closer to $2 per gallon

GREENVILLE, Mich.— Gas prices are closing in on the $2 mark in parts of Michigan, according to gasbuddy.com.

Drivers reporting on the website say regular gas at several stations in the Greenville area have dropped to $2.08 a gallon.  Lowell has the second lowest gas prices, at $2.10 a gallon at five stations.

According to the Associated Press, oil has now fallen 47 percent since reaching a peak of $107 a barrel in June this year. The prices are good news for consumers but there are also worries the recent plunge is a sign of a sickly global economy.

My Town: Gus Macker Tournament takes over Greenville

My Town: Gus Macker Tournament takes over Greenville

GREENVILLE, Mich.—More than 160 teams are expected to fill downtown Greenville this weekend for the Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.

The tournament runs through July 13.  Montcalm County dispatchers are encouraging drivers not attending the event to use Franklin and Clay streets to get around the hoops action.

This is the 13th year for the Greenville Gus Macker Tournament.  M-91 is transformed into a series of basketball courts for event.  Greenville is a popular site for Gus Macker partially because of its close proximity to Lowell and Belding, where the tournament gets its roots.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Hundreds of riders begin six-day journey across Michigan

My Town: Hundreds of riders begin six-day journey across Michigan

GREENVILLE, Mich.—Hundreds of bicyclists are expected to fill Michigan’s roads and schools starting this weekend as part of the Pedal Across Lower Michigan bicycle tour.

The six-day journey starts Saturday, June 21 and  takes riders down scenic backgrounds and through small cities, towns and villages.  Each participant will travel 35 to 65 miles per day and then spend the night at a school. The tour will take riders from Holland to Lexington.  On June 23, more than 700 riders will be riding through Greenville and staying at Greenville High School. 

For a link to more information, visit PALM’s website here.

My Town Belding: Health Department urges drivers to put away the phones

My Town Belding: Health Department urges drivers to put away the phones

BELDING, Mich.—The ice and snow are gone, but there are still many risks for drivers.

Memorial Day marked the beginning of the 100 deadliest days on the road for teenagers. An average of 261 teens die in crashes during each of the summer months.  That’s a 26 percent increase over the rest of the year.

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation institute, someone who is texting or checking their phone while driving is 23 times more likely to create an accident.

The Ionia County Health Department is asking all drivers to resist the urge to text or check their phone while driving. Drivers should pull off the highway if the message is urgent.  The Health Department also encourages passengers in a vehicle with a driver who is texting insist the driver stop for everyone’s safety.

Texting while driving is now banned in 43 states, including Michigan.  The fine in our state is $100 for the first offense.