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Archive | March, 2011

Youth wrestlers qualify for state

youth wrestlers

The entire western region met up at MYWAY Wrestling Regionals held March 12 and 13 at Muskegon Orchardview High School as hundreds of youth wrestlers competed for their ticket to MYWAY State Finals.  The Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling program reserved 13 of those top spots; five of which were regional champions! Landon Demorest, who went undefeated this season, took first in the 5/6 year 37lb class.  Ryan Ringler took first in the 9/10 year 85lb class. Allexis Gonzales, the only girl to take western region champion, took first in the 9/10 year 90lb class. Jordan Ringler, who also went undefeated this season, took first  in the 11/12 year 70lb class.  Chuckie Scheidel took first in the 13-15 year 145lb class. The eight remaining spots were taken by kids who placed from fourth up to second.

Of the wrestlers who placed second to qualify for State, three of them were first year (Novice)  5/6 year old wrestlers Cody Averill, Tacho Gonzales and Ronnie Brown; Cody at 37lbs, Tacho at 49lbs and Ronnie at 58lbs. Trenton Snoeyink also had a second place finish in the 7/8 year 64lb class. Trevor Marsman, who is also a first year wrestler, took third in the 7/8 year 55lb class. Maston Wood finished third in th 5/6 year 58lb class. Aaron Smith qualified with a fourth place finish in the 9/10 year 71lb class. Missing State Finals by only one loss in their classes were Logan Hull, Reese Gonzales and Tylor Carter, who all finished in fifth. Aiden Bouwens, Austin Emmorey and Cedar Springs High Schooler, Levi Whipple, finished sixth in their classes.

All of the 13 State qualifiers will be facing some tough competition as there may be up to 32 wrestlers in each age group/weight class. Finals are being held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 25-27, 2011 at the Kellog Arena in Battle Creek. Check out the schedule at MYWAYWrestling.com and come out to support your local wrestlers.

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Eight tips for deducting charitable contributions

Charitable contributions made to qualified organizations may help lower your tax bill. The IRS has put together the following eight tips to help ensure your contributions pay off on your tax return.

If your goal is a legitimate tax deduction, then you must be giving to a qualified organization. Also, you cannot deduct contributions made to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for rules on what constitutes a qualified organization.

To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.

If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, tickets to a ball game or other goods and services, then you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received.

Donations of stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. Clothing and household items must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.

Fair market value is generally the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.

Regardless of the amount, to deduct a contribution of cash, check, or other monetary gift, you must maintain a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written communication from the organization containing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount given.

To claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must have a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization showing the amount of the cash and a description of any property contributed, and whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. One document may satisfy both the written communication requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement requirement for all contributions of $250 or more. If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is over $500, you must complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your return.

Taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.

For more information on charitable contributions, refer to Form 8283 and its instructions, as well as Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. For information on determining value, refer to Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. These forms and publications are available at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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Easter Coloring Contest 2011

Click image below to download pdf page of our 2011 Easter Coloring Contest

easter bunny

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Earthquake and tsunami hits Japan

Debris washed out into the ocean after Japanese earthquake and tsunami last Friday.

By Judy Reed

The U.S. Geological Service and Japanese has determined that the magnitude of the earthquake that hit the east coast of Honshu, Japan at 12:46 a.m. (EST) on March 11, 2011 was a 9.0, making it the fourth largest in the world since 1900, and the largest in Japan since modern instrumental recordings began 130 years ago.
The quake generated a tsunami, which hit Japan within 25 minutes of the quake with waves up to 33 feet high. The waves quickly swept inland for several miles, carrying along mud, boats and debris, including burning homes. The tsunami generated warnings for 20 countries, including the western coast of the United States and Hawaii, but did not create widespread damage for other countries. Deaths and injuries are in the thousands in Japan, and they now have radiation leaking from four nuclear reactors.
Honshu, Japan is still receiving aftershocks, including one of 6.0 Wednesday.
Cedar Springs resident Yuko Roberts, who works at the Cedar Springs Library, came here from Japan in 1986. Here parents live here now, but she has relatives back in Japan.
“They all live a little south of Tokyo. Although they felt the initial earthquake (o/a M5) there, and had power outages for a couple of days, they had no damage to their houses,” she said. “But people in Miyagi prefecture and other places where the M8.9 (now 9.0) earthquake hit are still suffering from more than 100 aftershocks (includes at least 3 new earthquakes). And the damages from the tsunami is way worse than the quake itself, not to mention nuclear power plant’s explosions,” she explained.
Yuko said that while she personally does not know anyone injured, her daughter’s friend, who is a Japanese exchange student, has a friend who lost his friend. So her kids have started a fundraising project at their schools, Yuko set up a jar at the library. She is calling it Project Senbazuru (Thousand Cranes). “For every one dollar you donate, I will fold one paper crane, and when it reaches 1,000, I will send them to Japan with messages and prayers along with $1,000,” explained Yuko.
She said she is looking into which charity might be the best organization to give the money to.
For a list of agencies supporting relief efforts in Japan, go to www.interaction.org/crisis-list/interaction-members-support-japan-earthquake-response.
Before donating, read an article from the Better Business Bureau on our business page about donating to charities (page 12).

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Cedar Springs city counselor resigns

Raymond Huckleberry

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs City Councilor Raymond Huckleberry bid the council and public a tearful farewell last Thursday evening when he announced during council comments that it would be his last city council meeting. His term does not expire until November.
“This was one of the most painful and agonizing decisions I’ve ever made. I am doing so for family and financial reasons,” said Huckleberry.
He noted that when he was elected four years ago, he was seemingly a successful businessperson with a wife, kids, a house and a dog. He said he’s now weathered the failing of his business (Stein Bros pizza), criminal charges, a bankruptcy and divorce. As part of the bankruptcy, his home is being foreclosed on and he is moving out next week. His wife is moving also, and he said that in order to successfully continue to co-parent his children, he would be moving to Greenville.
He stated that the charge of larceny he stood trial for and was convicted of by Judge Servaas last year did not factor into his decision. “For anyone that has any idea that this has anything to do with the criminal charges that were also brought upon me, (that I still believe I’m innocent of and am still currently appealing), they do not…NOTHING.  This is strictly for the continued successful co-parenting of my children and our long term financial security,” he remarked.
Huckleberry was convicted last year for selling goods that were left in the upstairs of the building that Huckleberry leased from Doug Stein. Huckleberry’s defense was that their agreement stated that Stein had to remove the goods within 30 days, but Judge Servaas said he believed that he had a verbal agreement with Doug Stein that he could leave the items there as long as he needed to. Huckleberry is currently appealing that decision.
Huckleberry thanked the community for their tremendous support for some of the darkest times in his life. “The pats on the back, the cards in the mail from citizens, the words of support in the grocery stores, etc. was really much of what got me through it all. You have no idea what they meant to me…. More than you will ever know,” he said.
He noted that regardless of his mailing address, Cedar Springs would always be  his hometown.
Huckleberry was humbled by the response to his resignation. “I was deeply moved by all the comments the councilors and manager made after my resignation, and the hugs that followed the meeting,” he noted. “I was touched that everyone said they understood and respected my decision knowing I was thinking about me and my boys.”
The Cedar Springs City Council now needs to find a replacement for Huckleberry, and is accepting letters of interest and resumes until March 25. All resumes will be distributed at their special meeting on March 28. “They hope to do interviews prior to the April meeting so they can have someone appointed on April 14,” explained City Manager Christine Burns. The person will fulfill the remainder of the term, which expires in November. For details, see the legal ad on page 16.
For Huckleberry’s complete letter as read to the city council, see below:

Raymond Huckleberry resignation letter March 10, 2011
“It is with the most sincere sadness and regret that I must announce my resignation from this council effective at the end of this meeting. This was one of the most painful and agonizing decisions I’ve ever made. I am doing so for family and financial reasons.
The last few years, while I have served on the council, has been a torrent of life altering occurrences and they have now combined not to force but definitely push my hand into this. When I was elected, I was seemingly a successful business person with a wife, kids, a house and a dog. I’ve now weathered the failing of my business, criminal charges, a bankruptcy and divorce. Due to multiple factors, I included my home in the bankruptcy and my move out date from the foreclosure is in the next week or so. My ex-wife is needing to move at some point, making our full joint custody and successful coparenting together with her very difficult if I stay here. So looking at the picture as a whole I am moving to Greenville.
For anyone that has any idea that this has anything to do with the criminal charges that were also brought upon me, that I still believe I’m innocent of and am still currently appealing, they do not….NOTHING. This is strictly for the continued successful coparenting of my children and our long term financial security.
I must take this time to thank this body and community for the tremendous support it has given me through some of the darkest chapters of my life. The pats on the back, the cards in the mail from citizens, the words of support in the grocery stores, etc. was really much of what got me through it all. You have no idea what they meant to me…. More than you will ever know.
I could not be more proud to have served with such a wonderful group of dedicated public servants and employees. “A great place to live, work, and play” is more than a slogan it is a simple truth about this community.
I apologize with every ounce of my being to the public that elected me that I am unable to completely fulfill my term. This was not a decision that came easily or I took lightly, I am sorry.
I will miss serving you, the public, and working towards a continual improvement of this great community. I have seen so many wonderful things come to fruition in my term it pains me that I wont be able to be a part of what is to come…
Again I am so sorry that I must leave you, I could not imagine being part of a better more dedicated team. This city is so fortunate to be served by each and every one of you here (at the meeting) the elected officials, department heads and staff.
With that I leave you, and I wish you all and this community the very best. Regardless of my mailing address Cedar Springs will always proudly and unwaiveringly be my home town.
Thank you all for everything, I’m sorry.

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Old postcard shows Main Street

By Judy Reed

When cleaning out his great-grandmother’s house after her death, Keith Coalter, of Nelson Township, said they came up with an interesting find—a postcard sent to her with an old-time picture of Cedar Springs on the front.

His great-grandmother, Mrs. Herman (Pauline) W. Grey, was from this area, but living in Grand Rapids at the time the postcard was mailed to her from someone named “Wanda.” It was postmarked Greenville, with a date of October 28, 1950, and carried a one-cent George Washington stamp. “Wanda” was thanking Mrs. Grey for telling her about the death of a mutual friend.

The postcard photo appears to be a picture of Main Street in the early 1900s. Off to the left there is a couple with the woman wearing a long dress, and one of the early cars is parked on the left side of the street.

Craig Cole brought in the same postcard as part of a collection. His postcard was not hand-colored, however, but a sepia-toned card. The message was signed by someone named “Sam,” and addressed to his parents, J.H. Echelberger, in Tustin, Michigan, announcing that they had a new boy, born at 5 a.m. May 23. It was postmarked Cedar Springs, and the year looks to be about 1915. The last number is illegible.

If you have an old photo you’d like to send us, email it to news@cedarspringspost.com, or drop it off in our office at 36 E. Maple St.

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Signs of spring!

It was still pretty cold out Monday, March 13, when two different readers sent the Post pictures of crocuses popping up in their yards.

Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township, sent us the photo of the beautiful purple crocuses pushing out of the ground, and Judy Gage, of Courtland Township, sent us the photo of the yellow wild crocus peeking out.

Gage said she’s lived there for 23 years, and she never knows where they will pop up. “Sometimes it’s only a handful, sometimes they’re everywhere. This year they popped up by the wellhouse,” she said.

Are you seeing any signs of spring? Send a photo and a short summary to news@cedarspringspost.com, and we may print it if space is available.

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Cedar Springs High School presents “Camelot”

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 17-19

Students in the picture from left to right are Jared Kelley (Lancelot), Jeff Meinke (King Pellinore), Jenna Johnson (Guinevere), Miles Johnson (Mordred), and Justin Balczak (King Arthur).

Camelot is a timeless epic and classic love story told best by the actors at Cedar Springs High School. Join the Knights of the Round Table, whose honor knows no bounds; watch King Arthur (Justin Balczak) in his rise from an adolescent king who knew nothing without his faithful court wizard Merlyn (Steven Reed), to a king who held no equal amongst all the greatest leaders in history, and ultimately make the hardest decision that would crumble others: Loyalty or Love.  See the secret passion brew between the arrogant and mighty Sir Lancelot (Jared Kelley), and the beautiful and misconstrued Queen Guinevere (Jenna Johnson), and delight in the deviousness of the maleficent Mordred (Miles Johnson) as he plots the fall of Camelot.

The talented cast of Camelot has been working tirelessly to provide a show that not only entertains, but entrances with its wondrous storytelling and acting abilities.  The set was completely student built with the tutelage and guidance of Mr. Justin Harnden; the music and show was grandly directed by Mrs. Linda Martino, with help from senior Kassy Brott; and the whimsical costumes that set the stage with true medieval flair were designed and created by Mrs. Melanie Kirchhoff.

Camelot will be shown this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 17, 18, and 19.  Tickets will be sold at the door, or by the cast for $7 each, and seating is at 6:30 p.m. and curtain is at 7:00 p.m.  Come watch and enjoy this fantastic musical legend!

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Looking back: Sparta Township

History of Sparta Township told through photographs

These children are taking part in a watermelon-eating contest at one of the parks in Sparta Township, in the early 1950s or 1960s.

Sparta author Kathryn Paasch teamed up with the Sparta Township Historical Commission to create the new book Images of America: Sparta Township. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by.

Known for its small-town charm and a beautiful countryside, the area known as Sparta Township was first settled in 1844, and over the next two years it would become home to those pursuing dreams in the logging industry. Rich in a variety of forests, and with the Rogue River and Nash Creek running through it, Sparta first developed saw and flour mills.

In the late 1800s, the “Ridge” developed along the western edge of town, where the land was prime for growing a variety of fruits. When the Pere Marquette Railroad passed through town, it brought opportunity for thriving industry, including the Welch Folding Bed Company, Carnation Creamery, and Sparta Foundry.

Sparta enjoyed community picnics, apple smorgasbords, and the Lady of the Lake cruise ship that famously sank to the bottom of Camp Lake. A sense of close-knit community still thrives in the area today.

The book, published by Arcadia Publishing was released Monday, March 14. It is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.

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Police seek impersonators

female suspect

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department along with the Grand Rapids Police Department, Wyoming Police Department and the Grandville Police Departments are investigating a series of police impersonation complaints that occurred starting last week. Since March 7, area police agencies have taken five separate complaints of a female police impersonator approaching people in both parking lots and at an apartment complex identifying herself as a detective, showing them a gold badge of some sort and requesting to speak to them about their involvement in various crimes.

male suspect

The female has been working in coordination with an unknown male subject who she contacts via cellular telephone, who also identifies himself as a law enforcement official and questions the victim.  Both subjects then request permission to search the victim’s home and at least two victims have allowed the female suspect to do so.

There is limited information on the suspects, but the female is described as a black female, approximately 5-feet 4-inches to 5-feet 6-inches, 120-125 pounds, slim build, long dark shoulder length hair, wearing professional style clothing. An unknown white vehicle was also seen in the area of female on at least two separate occasions.

KCSD and GRPD were able to obtain composites of the female suspect and photos of a male person of interest who was seen contacting the female in the 3400 block of Plainfield Ave.

KCSD is requesting anyone with any additional information reference these complaints contact your local police agency to file a report or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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