Rick Mecklenburg, former Chief Meteorologist at WSBT in South Bend, is lending a hand to the weather department at WXMI in Grand Rapids. He is filling in for WXMI Chief Meteorologist Peter Chan, who is recovering from surgery on a torn Achilles tendon. Chan is expected to be out of commission for at least four weeks.
Mecklenburg was Chief Meteorologist at WSBT from 1998 until his abrupt departure from the station in July. In November 2010, he was arrested and charged with two counts of false informing after saying police hit his car and fired shots at him. The St. Joseph County Prosecutor diverted all charges against Mecklenburg as long as he agreed to pay court costs, complete an approved counseling assessment and not commit any criminal offenses for the next year.
According to Mecklenburg, the arrest was caused by a difficult battle with alcohol. “As my friends and family know, I never did drink until I was in my late 30s. At that time, I went through a divorce and turned to alcohol to help ease the pain of not having my children around. It slowly got out of control to the point of my being arrested.”