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Sarah Dean of Hudsonville wins "America the Beautiful" essay contest

Sarah Dean of Hudsonville wins "America the Beautiful" essay contest

Under the spires of the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va.,  Rand McNally Friday awarded two Grand Prize winners from among 12,000 essays submitted in the "America the Beautiful" short essay contest. Caitlin Shelby of North Forsyth Middle School, Cumming, Ga. was selected from the 7th - 9th grade division, and Sarah Dean, of Hudsonville High School,Hudsonville, Mich. won for the 10th – 12th grade group.

The two Grand Prize winners, announced from ten Finalist winners at the event, each receive a $10,000 college 529 savings plan in addition to a NOOK Tablet™ by Barnes & Noble, and a three-day WorldStrides DiscoverNow! trip to Washington, D.C. Barnes & Noble and WorldStrides are primary sponsors of the program.

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Fmr. Sen. William Van Regenmorter dies at 73

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Former Michigan state senator and representative William Van Regenmorter of Hudsonville has died.

Van Regenmorter was a Calvin College graduate who began serving in the state senate in 1990, before moving to the house in 2002. He decided not to run for re-election in 2006.

Van Regenmorter was the key author of Michigan's crime victim's rights amendment.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga issued a statement Monday night:

"Today the state of Michigan lost one of its most respected statesmen. Senator Van Regenmorter was a staple in the community, who led by example and was not only a valued mentor to me but a trusted friend as well. His advice and counsel to me for over 25 years has proven to be invaluable in both my personal and professional life. One of my greatest honors was to have served alongside him for four years in the state legislature.

Sixty Seconds for a Chance To Win

Sixty Seconds for a Chance To Win

Back by popular demand, the Minute To Win It program will offer you the chance to test your ability to perform timed, nonsensical tasks individually or as a team. Everyone will win! For teens grades 6-12.

Wednesday, June 20, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, June 21, 2:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Saturday, June 23, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Thursday, June 28, 2:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, June 28, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch

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If you live or conduct business in any of our My Town communities, and you have a nose for news, you can become a Community Content Provider today. Email mytown@wzzm13.com or call (616)559-1446. Our community website producer will get back to you with a username and password along with instructions for uploading your copy, photos and videos.

Hudsonville captures first baseball state title

BATTLE CREEK (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Hudsonville managed to find a way to score nine runs on only six hits.

Warren De La Salle helped a bit.

Hudsonville combined some clutch hitting with timely pitching to capture the Division 1 state championship Saturday with a 9-6 victory over De La Salle.

Half of Hudsonville's hits came in the third inning, which was capped by Tyler Baar's three-run home run.

"It was the biggest one of my life," said Baar. "It is indescribable. There was mad adrenalin flowing through me. I was looking for a fastball and that's what I got."

Baar's blast gave Hudsonville (33-5) a 4-2 lead, but De La Salle (20-23-1) and it's never-say-die attitude quickly tied the game and forced Baar from the mound.

"It was very frustrating," Baar said, "but that's what you want in a state championship -- the best game."

Hudsonville softball also wins state championship

BATTLE CREEK (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - After battling to a stalemate through 9 1/2 innings, Hudsonville scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th to win Division 1 title, 2-1 over defending champ Mattawan.

With two runners on and no one out, Bri Elliott laid down a bunt in front of the plate, but the throw to first caromed off her hand, enabling Danielle Freeman to score the game-winner.

"That was the best thing I ever felt in my life," Elliott said. "I didn't really believe it and then I just saw (the ball) roll in the sand. I turned around and Danielle Freeman was at home, and it was an incredible feeling."

The outcome of the play caught Elliott by surprise.

"I wasn't thinking game-winner at all," she said. "I was just thinking get it down, get them to advance."