Posted on 30 December 2010.
When you think of what happened in 2010, what do you think of? Many people get a picture in their mind of some event—and that’s the way we’ve decided to review 2010. A lot of things happened—both good and bad—and we won’t be able to cover it all. These are just a few of the stories and photos that stood out to us.
If we discovered one thing this year, it’s that Cedar Springs is more than just a small town—we connect with people globally. Our readers are now worldwide, and we changed the design in our banner to reflect that.
The downtown shows the damage after an earthquake measuring 7 plus on the Richter scale rocked Port au Prince Haiti just before 5 pm, January 12, 2010. (UN Photo/Logan Abassi UNDP Globa). Rob Baker and his family, who are former Cedar Springs residents and currently a missionaries with Baptist Haiti Mission, worked hard to help those injured. Hundreds of thousands people were killed and the National Palace collapsed.
Fires burns historical home
Fires took their toll on homeowners in the area this year. One of the earliest was also one of the biggest. The fire on the southwest corner of E. Maple and First Street (40 E. Maple), and right next door to the Post, broke out at 2:54 a.m. Monday, February 8. Six fire departments fought the blaze for several hours. While history of the home is sketchy, it was once owned by Sally (Vivian) Wall, former owner of the Red Flannel Factory. She bought the home in about 1954, and sewed Red Flannels there until she converted the barn at 36 E. Maple (now the home of the Post) to become her shop and showroom. At the time the building burned, it had been converted into apartments.
Sand Lake sues Nelson Township
A petition filed with Nelson Township asking for the disincorporation of the Village of Sand Lake had emotions running high this past year. It even caused the Village of Sand Lake to sue Nelson Township—someone they share a municipal building with and built a library with—in an effort to get the petition thrown out. A judge let the petition stand, and in the end, voters let the petitioners know they had no interest in disincorporating the village.
Hit and run death
Police are still searching for the driver who hit and killed Erica Sevigny, of Sparta, on April 4. Erica was standing alongside the road on 14 Mile at Pennington during the evening hours after her car hit a tree. She was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when she was hit and killed, possibly by a red truck or SUV. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.
Polar bear force
We honored the Polar Bears, a group of Michigan men who soldiered on after the end of World War I, in the subfreezing temperatures of northern Russia, and wondered when they would be called home; they wondered, as days turned into months, if they had been forgotten. There were at least two Cedar Springs men among those who fought—Pvt. Sidney DeGraw, and Pvt. Edgar G. Hauge, both of Company A.
City Councilman gets day in court
The case of the people of Michigan vs. Cedar Springs City Councilman Raymond Huckleberry was a hot topic this year. Huckleberry was charged with larceny of more than $200 but less than $1000 in 2009, and he finally got his day in court last summer. He admits he sold some items that were left in the building he used for Stein Brothers pizza. His lawyer argued in court that the property was Huckleberry’s because Stein had not claimed it within 30 days per the contract. Judge Servaas said he believed that Huckleberry gave Stein a verbal extension, and found Huckleberry guilty. The case is still under appeal, and his lawyer had until Wednesday, December 29, to file his brief.
Teen killed by a falling rock
Cedar Springs mourned last summer when high school senior Audra Brownell was killed by a falling rock while on a youth backpacking trip in Colorado in June. While everyone thought it was a freak accident, Colorado authorities have now charged a male juvenile from another state with manslaughter in the incident. Audra is the daughter of Scott and Diane Brownell, of Algoma Township.
Maranda rocked the park
Over 4,500 kids and families filled the Cedar Springs Public School campus Thursday, June 24, for a free afternoon of food, fun, games and prizes. It was the kick off event for Maranda’s line up of summer park parties. WOOD TV8 and WOTV4 sponsored the event, and worked with Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation to make it happen.
Two men charged in Admiral robbery
A man reportedly walked in and pulled a knife on the female clerk at Admiral at about 9:59 p.m. May 13 and demanded all her money. The suspect then fled on foot to a waiting vehicle. Christopher Jay Ridgeway, 35, of Sand Lake, and Zachariah Raymor, 19, of Lowell were both charged with one count of armed robbery, and Ridgeway was also charged as a habitual offender.
Dawson conviction upheld
In July, The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Timothy Allen Dawson in the murder of his wife Julia, in December 2004.
Dawson had reported her missing from their Sparta home, on December 11, 2004. Her strangled and bludgeoned body was found three weeks later, on January 3, 2005, on an embankment near Pierson Road and US131 in Montcalm County. Julia was 23 years old.
Dawson was convicted of premeditated first-degree murder in her death and sentenced to life in prison in December 2008.
The court said that the record shows the prosecutor was arguing from the evidence that Dawson had a motive and intent to kill Julia based on marital discord and his attempts to control her.
Foster mom charged in death of Cedar Springs girl
According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Joy Ann Heaven, 30, of Gaines Township, called 911 on Thursday, July 15 and reported that her 5-year-old foster child, Emily Meno, of Cedar Springs, was unresponsive. Emily was transported to Spectrum Butterworth and put on life support. She died two days later of a sub-dural hematoma. Heaven admitted that she was frustrated with Emily for wetting her pants and pushed her so had that she flew through the air. The coroner felt she would have to have been pushed much harder to inflict the injury she suffered. Heaven rejected a plea deal and was then ordered to stand trial.
Veterans Park and Brown monument dedicated
Cedar Springs now has a park dedicated to area veterans, and a monument there is dedicated to Spc. Timothy Brown, who was killed in action in Iraq on November 4, 2005. He is the son of Tim and Cindy Brown.
The land for the park, at the corner of Main and Oak Streets, was donated by the city, and Dan Brown, uncle of Timmy Brown, spearheaded getting cash and in-kind donations to create the rest of the park. The monument was a separate private venture, and was paid for through donations and fundraising events such as the annual golf outing. A dedication was held for the park July 4, and a dedication for the monument was held in late August. Shortly after, the dog tags on the monument were stolen, and later returned. On Veterans Day, the American Legion dedicated a flagpole and flag they purchased for the park.
The Cedar Springs Police Department has been hot on the heels of drug dealers and users this year, with the help of the Metro Enforcement Team. One such drug raid happened September 1, with the arrest of Sedric Anderson, 43, and Brenda Sue Anderson, 50. Brenda Anderson was charged with delivery and manufacturing of cocaine, and maintaining a drug house. Sedric Anderson was charged with maintaining a drug house.
POST goes to Prague
At the end of September we featured a photo of the Post with Rachel Reed, 25, a 2003 Cedar Springs graduate and 2008 graduate of Cornerstone University, who traveled to Prague in the Czech Republic as part of a class for her master’s degree in business at Cornerstone. She and others in her group visited various business centers, attended seminars, and learned about business there and in Brno. The photo shows a beautiful historic backgroud, and another way in which Cedar Springs connects with the world.
Red Flannel court chosen
A new Red Flannel Queen and court were chosen for this year’s festival. Pictured are Kayla Ovokaitys (Court), Queen Tinsley Nulph and Samantha McGahan (Court).
Fatal accidents in Montcalm County
Monday, October 4, was a bad day for accidents in Montcalm County with three separate accidents, and five fatalities. The first accident occurred at about 10:55 a.m. when a driver ran a stop sign at M-28 and W. County Line Road in Howard City, killing two people and injuring another.
The second accident occurred shortly after, at 11:13 a.m., when a rescue unit on its way to the first accident ran a stop sign at 104th and Newcosta in Pierson and broadsided another car, killing the two passengers. The drivers who caused the accidents are facing charges.
The third accident occurred at about 2:45 p.m. when a pregnant Howard City woman ran a stop sign at M-46 and Youngman Road and was hit by another vehicle. Her two children, ages 3 and 4, were flown to DeVos Children’s Hospital.
We had some of the most beautiful fall colors ever and one of the warmest autumns on record.
Community activist dies
Niels Andersen, 88, a longtime community activist in Cedar Springs, died in October at the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans. Friends remember him for the active role he took in shaping the community. He was publisher of the Cedar Springs Clipper, the Rockford Register, Sparta Sentinel, and the Cedar Springs Bugle.
He was also President of the Chamber of Commerce, founding member of the Cedar Springs Historical Society, Creative Technologies Academy, and president of Rotary.
Staging area and gazebo
Most of the work on the White Pine Trail staging area and gazebo were completed earlier this month. The gazebo was taken on as an Eagle Scout project by Charley Nelson, 16. It will be dedicated to Clara Gust, 90, in the spring. Bathrooms will also be installed in the spring.