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Archive | August, 2011

Power loss causes boil water advisory


Businesses in the 17 Mile/White Creek area were under a boil-water advisory for several days earlier this week.

By Judy Reed

According to Cedar Springs DPW Director Roger Belknap, the area lost power about 1:15 p.m. Saturday when a thunderstorm rolled through. This power outage affected the controls to the water distribution wells, and for a period of 7 minutes, water was not being pumped into the City’s water distribution network.  This caused a brief drop in pressure until a generator restored power to the well controls.

Belknap said a power outage would not normally affect the water system, but the water tank that normally supplies pressure is offline for maintenance. And although their generator performed perfectly in field tests, when the power went out, a low coolant light came on, causing the generator not to function until they could get coolant into the generator.

DPW staff confirmed that the area affected by the temporary change in pressure was along 17 Mile Rd from Cedar Creek to White Creek Avenue, and a few water services on White Creek Avenue.

DPW staff advised the water customers in the area to boil their water before drinking it, or to drink bottled water during this advisory.  This was done as a precaution to make sure bacteria did not get into the system. The first system sample, taken on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., came back with no contamination. The second sample, taken 24 hours later, also came back negative for bacteria Tuesday morning, and the boil water advisory was lifted.

Belknap said anyone affected by the advisory had a notice hand-delivered to them by the DPW on Saturday. He said discolored water simply means that there is iron in the system that has been disturbed due to recent fluctuations in water pressure, and does not indicate it’s contaminated.  If you notice discoloration, let your water run for a few minutes and the discoloration should clear up.  Washing white clothes is not recommended when you notice discolored water.

“Our water quality is currently as good as it  possibly can be,” said Belknap. “It’s not sitting in a water tower. It’s less than a few hours old, and is coming straight from the well and into the water distribution system,” he said.

The water tower is undergoing cleaning and maintenance, inside and out.  It should be back online sometime in September, weather permitting.

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Man pleads guilty

Drunk driving causing death

Todd Urbanski

A Nelson Township man pled guilty last week to drunk driving causing death in the crash that killed a Howard City grandmother in March.
Todd Matthew Urbanski, 40, was southbound on Pine Lake Avenue, just north of 21 Mile, about 6:17 p.m. March 22, when he lost control of his 1996 Oldsmobile Aurora and crossed into the path of a 1996 GMC Safari van traveling north on Pine Lake. The driver of the van, Lorraine Jean Bradford, 74, of Howard City, was pinned in the van and pronounced dead at the scene. Urbanski was found lying in the roadway with minor cuts and abrasions, and transported to Butterworth Hospital. Although roads were icy, police suspected alcohol was a factor. It turned out that Urbanski had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent, well above the point a person is considered legally drunk in Michigan (0.08).
Urbanksi is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

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Police seek info on business break-in

Police are looking for information in the break-in at Take Two Video, 18 S. Main, in Cedar Springs, last week.
According to police, Take Two owner Shawn Kiphart called them Monday morning, August 15, to report that his business had been broken into during the night. Officer Chad Potts responded to the scene.
According to Kiphart, the back door was busted in. “I don’t use that door and had it deadbolted,” he said. He also noted that he had boxes stacked in front of it.
Chief Roger Parent said that it appeared that someone may have used the bathroom in the rear of the business and then unlocked the door. That person then may have returned during the night to remove items from inside the store.
Stolen items consisted of video game operating systems, video games, DVDs, PSPs and other electronics. “We suspect more than one person was involved,” said Parent.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cedar Springs Police Department at 696-1311 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Who knew?

AP photo

An AP photo that appeared in area newspapers at the end of July has at least one Red Flannel fan laughing. Keith Carpenter, of Muskegon, sent the photo to the Post, which featured House Speaker John Boehner leaving the House Chamber on Capitol Hill after the debt legislation was passed. But that’s not what caught Keith’s eye. It was the curtains in the background.
He wrote: “The local young matrons who are embarrassed by, and would try to cover up and deny the proud heritage of Cedar Springs will be aghast when they become aware of what is proudly hanging in the august House Chamber in our national Capitol! Finally, it can be let out—giant Red Flannel underwear trimmed in gold piping, truly befitting our legislators, who are only intent on covering their behinds!”
He’s right—they do look like Red Flannel long johns trimmed in gold! Write us and tell us what you think at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Sand Lake policeman promoted

Sgt. Steve Brandow

Sand Lake police officer Steve Brandow was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on Monday, August 22.
According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, the Sergeant position was created to facilitate continuous leadership within the police department in the absence of the Chief of Police, and at large scale events such as the Fourth of July Celebration.
“Officer Brandow was the clear choice for this promotion based on his merit, longevity and proven leadership ability,” said Williams.
Congratulations Sgt. Brandow!

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Bald cardinal visits Algoma home

Katie Miller and her family have a lot of birds show up in their backyard, but none is as unique as the one they lovingly named “Butchy boy.”
“He’s bald,” Miller said of the cardinal that frequents their feeder.
Miller said that the feather-challenged bird has been coming to their home in the spring and summer for the last two years. “I always know it’s him because of a little peep he makes,” said Miller.
She said he’s no different than other birds except for being bald. “He eats fine and doesn’t fight with the other birds,” she explained. He also appears to have a female friend.
Miller noted that she also saw a blue-jay that was bald, but it wasn’t as bad.
That would bear out what we found: the main birds that are reported to bird experts as being bald each year are cardinals and blue jays. But even the experts don’t agree on why it happens, because it hasn’t been studied in depth.
“My thought is parasites,” said local expert Ranger Steve Mueller.
Birds can get feather mites or bird lice that eat the feathers. Usually a bird can get rid of them by preening, but they can’t reach their head.
Another idea suggested by experts is an aberration in molting, when they lose all their feathers on their head at once, instead of gradually.
And another idea is a traumatic injury.
Regardless of the cause, the feathers supposedly grow back in four to six weeks.
Whether that’s true in Butchy Boy’s case, might remain a mystery.

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Man pleads guilty to sexual assault

A Sand Lake man pled guilty and has been sentenced in a sexual assault case involving a child under 13.
Eric Allen Scott, 32, pled guilty to two counts of attempted assault with intent to penetrate. The crime took place in mid-June 2006, in Greendale Township, Midland County.
Scott was sentenced in 42nd Circuit Court, in Midland County, last Thursday, August 18. Judge Beale sentenced Scott to a year in the Midland County jail, and 60 months of probation. He will be on the sex offender registry for life.

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Sixty years of God’s faithfulness

Members of the Pierson Bible Church are grateful to God for the 60 years their church has existed. Stories of those who shared in the development of the church go back to the early 1950’s.
Currently a little over 100 people thrive in a fellowship of family-oriented gatherings. This is very consistent with the humble beginnings of this fellowship.
Drawing from the memories of Ray and Millie Boerema, the story began when a few families commuting to church cities in Howard City began bringing children to Sunday School from Pierson. A man in the church arranged to have a bus pick up the children as interest grew in the winter of 1950. When they saw the number of children riding the bus they realized it was time to have Sunday School in the village of Pierson.
When they found the town hall was available, plans for a new Sunday School took shape. The first Sunday School was held there on August 19, 1951. A few weeks later, Rev. Ray Knoll and his wife Donna joined the men and Pierson Bible Church was born. He led services the first winter as the first pastor of the church. Every Sunday morning, Mr. Schuitema would arrive at the town hall early enough to build a fire in the old potbelly stove to keep everyone warm. By spring of 1952, it was time to find a permanent home for the new church and Sunday School.
An unfinished structure was for sale on the corner of Grand and Second Street, just down the block from Petrie’s Hardware. It was just a basement but it offered the potential of supporting a fine church building, if the people were willing to work. The purchase was completed and renovations began with a great deal of excitement. The fall of 1952 found the congregation meeting in that basement. However, Rev. Knoll’s health was failing, and he moved to Muskegon, leaving the congregation to find a new pastor to lead their new church.
This began a long series of guest speakers. During this time, the men worked diligently to acquaint the village with their new undenominational church. By the time they were able to call their next  pastor, the church was filling the basement meeting space. This was all Rev. Ed Rozell needed. Through his leadership, beginning in March of 1953, the church grew and prepared to build.
By fall of 1954, Walter and Floyd Bradley had bee hired to construct the church sanctuary. Jim VanderMolen joined them to lay the brickcrete. It was a labor againt time, working well into the cold weather to have the building ready to host the Christmas program that year. For nearly nine years, the church flourished and served the village under Rev. Rozell.
Pierson Bible Church looks back on this simple beginning and enjoys a much larger building today that was completed in the 1970s. In 2001, a gym with a large kitchen and Sunday School classrooms was completed just south of the present building. As in the days when the church began, the congregation chooses to be debt-free. An active ministry to the community continues under Rev. Thomas Sluys.
The church celebrated 60 years of God’s faithfulness last Sunday, August 21, when former pastors and old friends returned. Mrs. Marg Kronberg played the original Hammond Organ for the service. She has been organist since it was purchased in 1954.

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Man killed in motorcycle crash

A Grant man was killed last Thursday, August 18, when he crashed his motorcycle in Tyrone Township, near Kent City.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Nicholas J. Marker, 32, was riding on his motorcycle alone, while traveling with another motorcycle, about 3:24 p.m. August 18. The pair was northbound on Peach Ridge when Marker attempted to pass another vehicle, lost control and went off the roadway. Once off the road, the motorcycle and victim slid through the ditch, where the victim struck a concrete culvert and was killed.
Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the accident, but alcohol was not.
Kent City Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.
Marker was an employee at Moiron in Sparta. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. August 27 at Koeze-Wolffis Funeral Home in Fremont.

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Police arrest two in airport break-in

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department has arrested two people in connection to a break-in at the Greenville Airport in May.
According to police, last Friday, detectives located a quad hidden at a residence on West Sidney Road, in Sidney Township, that was stolen during the break-in, and arrested an 18-year-old Sidney man for receiving and concealing stolen property. He was transported to the Montcalm County jail.
Monday afternoon, August 22, police arrested an 18-year-old Greenville woman, and charged her with receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with the theft of an ATV and other property. She was also lodged in the Montcalm County jail. More arrests are expected in the case.
If anyone has any info about this crime or other break-ins, please call the Sheriff’s tip line at 989-831-7593.

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Knowing the condition of the flock

Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

One of the great things about living in a smaller town, such as Cedar Springs, is being familiar with the people of the town. Running into the same people over and over again creates a sense of familiarity and appreciation. When I go to the grocery store, I look forward to having my groceries scanned by people whose names I’ve learned and whose hard work I’ve come to appreciate. Or when I go to the bank I enjoy making transactions with tellers who recognize me and ask how my family is doing. My personal favorite is when Shirley, one of the friendly door greeters at Meijer, spots the redbox dvd in my hand, and even though I’m alone, knows its for the kids and mentions how she hopes they will enjoy it. However, despite getting to know some of the people in town, the relationship only goes so far. Simply put, there’s only so much dialogue we can have in our brief encounters.
Sadly, I think sometimes that’s how it is in the church. While we know each other and appreciate the people whom we attend services with, often times our relationships with fellow believers are of the surface variety. Sometimes we keep to ourselves and don’t strive to develop our friendships with one another. But this is not how God wants us to live. In Proverbs 27:13 we find an interesting verse that applies to this concern. It says Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Since the original audience was people who frequently dealt with sheep, goats and other farm animals, the teaching was there to remind them that if they knew their flock well and took care of them, they would experience great blessings. The flock would provide for them good things such as milk, clothing and food. Though not as many of us interact with these types of animals in our day-to-day lives, the passage still very much relates to us. As believers in Christ, together we make up a flock and it is our call to know the condition of the members of it. In other words, we should be investing in the lives of those we share that common faith with.
One of the reasons that we need to know what’s going on in each others lives is because our condition changes from week to week. People are not like the books on my shelf that stay the same; sometimes people are doing well and other times they experiencing difficulty. Checking in with people and getting to know them helps us to better care for one another and it deepens our relationships. Jesus once asked His disciple, Peter, if he loved Him. When Peter answered yes, Jesus told him to then love and take care of His sheep. While some take that to mean that it’s the job of the leaders in the church such as the pastor, elder or governing board, its actually the responsibility of all the believers. Galatians 6:2 says Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Similarly, Colossians 3:16 says Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. We are each other’s sheep and when we strive to put aside surface relationships and dig deeper, just like the original audience, we will find wonderful blessings. When I think about the nourishing food and drink that the goats provided, I think about how today our caring words strengthen each other and help us to keep going strong. And when I think about how the sheep provided clothing, I think about how we clothe one another with words of comfort and care.
And while this is something that we should work on, especially with the people that we see regularly in our home churches, its not limited to just them. On behalf of The Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, I’d like to invite you to a service of unity this Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at Morley Park. Many different congregations in town will be joining together for a special service of praise, worship and messages from God’s Word. Not only will this be a great time of Christian worship, but it’s an excellent opportunity afterwards during lunch to take the time to get to know the condition of a member of the flock you haven’t met before. Perhaps for some it will be the start of a regular practice. If you’re relationships with other believers is somewhat distant, strive to get closer and experience the joy that comes from walking with one another closely.

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Julie Ream of Cedar Springs, and Jake White, of Cedar Springs, are happy to announce they will be joined in marriage on September 24, 2011 on the bride’s family farm. Julie is a 2003 Cedar Springs High School  graduate and a 2007 Baker College graduate and is the daughter of Dennis and Janie Ream of Cedar Springs. Jake is a 2004 Cedar Springs High School  graduate and is the son of Robert and Beth Pawloski of Cedar Springs and Jerry White of Pierson. A reception will follow the wedding at the bride’s parents’ home.

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