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Archive | November 10th, 2011

Helicopter landing to honor veterans

2nd Lt. Jack Price, center, gets his wings.

By Judy Reed

A special landing of a Chinook helicopter on Friday, November 11, Veterans Day, at Morley Park will be part of activities to honor all veterans. But it came about because a resident wanted to honor his younger brother—2nd Lt. Jack Price—a Cedar Springs man killed 42 years ago, at the age of 28, while taking a Chinook helicopter on a test flight in South Vietnam.
Wayne Price and his younger brother Jack grew up on Cedar Springs Avenue. They were the sons of Frank and Beatrice Price. Wayne enlisted in the Air Force and served from 1955-1959. Jack, who was seven years younger, left school before graduation and enlisted in the Army before Wayne came home.

2nd Lt. Jack Price with wife, Darlene, and children, Dawn, Jack Jr. and Jeff.

Jack made a career out of the Army and became a family man. He married his high school sweetheart Darlene, and had three children—Dawn, Jack Jr., and Jeff. Jack did two tours in Viet Nam, and had been in 10 years when tragedy struck.
He had what would have been considered a safe desk job. Jack was a maintenance officer in charge of 120 men and 16 Chinook helicopters on his base. But he also took them for routine test flights. On July 16, 1969, Jack took one of the helicopters on a test flight with six other crewmembers. According to a letter written by his commanding officer, Major Harold Zumbro, the helicopter was on its final approach (not too low) about 300 feet in the air, when it first nosed up, then immediately nosed down, heading straight for the ground. The nose of the aircraft hit first and then fell on its back and exploded. All seven men were killed.
The news was devastating to his family.
Jack’s wife and children still live in the area. Jack Jr. and Jeff both followed in their father’s footsteps and served in the Army.
Wayne has spent many hours researching what happened to his brother, and met several soldiers who served with him. One of those contacts led him to a Chinook instructor pilot, Timothy Miller, based at the Selfridge Army National Guard Base in Michigan. Through both the pilot’s efforts and Burn’s request to the Pentagon, the Chinook helicopter will land at 11:00 a.m. at the field located adjacent to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs. It will be on display for the general public following the landing.
“I want this event to pay honor to all those who gave their lives for our country, to those who have served and to all those now serving to keep our country free,” said Wayne Price. “I understandably also want this event to pay special honor to my brother Jack. It’s been 42 years since his death and I miss what could have been.”
Price and his wife June, along with Jack’s widow, Darlene and members from the American Legion Post 287, the Cedar Springs High School Band, the Cedar Springs’ Ministerial Association, the Cedar Springs Historical Society and Dan Brown, uncle of fallen Cedar Springs soldier Timothy Brown, formed the Cedar Springs Veteran’s Memorial Remembrance Committee. They have coordinated events to take place November 11.
Events to take place following the landing of the helicopter at 11:00 a.m. feature a special military display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as a memorial remembrance service at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m., including a prelude by the Cedar Springs High School Band; an invocation, an Armistice Day History, guest speaker Tom Noreen, U.S. Army Colonel, a firing squad and benediction.

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Cross Country teams among best in state

It was a banner year for the Cedar Springs Cross Country teams, with both boys and girls winning regionals, and then carrying on that excellence to the state finals last weekend, where the girls finished second behind East Grand Rapids, and the boys took fourth. Three Red Hawks earned all state honors: Katie Weiler (left) took 6th, Connor Mora (Center) took 3rd, and Kenzie Weiler (right) took 2nd. Congratulations, Red Hawks! Read the complete story here.

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Tragedy results in faith, hope, and love

This beautiful re-circulating waterfall feature plays a soothing role within the newly dedicated Rockford Reformed Church Memorial Prayer Garden.

By Cliff and Nancy Hill

Early this spring a single redbud tree, with heart-shaped leaves, was planted on a hillside overlooking the City of Rockford. Planted in the grassy acreage fronting the West side of Rockford Reformed Church (RRC), located on the southeast corner of Wolverine Blvd. and Eleven Mile Road, the tree was meant to commemorate and memorialize the life of Audra Brownell.
Cedar Springs Post readers will recall the tragic death of the 17-year old Algoma Township teen in June of 2010 while on a backpacking adventure in Colorado with the Senior-High Youth group of RRC. While in a parking area at the base of a cliff, Audra was struck by a large falling rock that had been recklessly dislodged from above.
At the time, Cedar Springs High School Principal Ron Behrenwald remarked, “Audra was a fabulous young lady who was in the top 10 of her class and very academically-oriented. Recently she had just been inducted into the National Honor Society and was looking forward to her 2011 graduation from Cedar Springs High School and attending Michigan State University.”

Flanked by hard-packed stone pathways is the heart-shaped brick patio centerpiece of Phase I: “Love.”

Understandably, the Brownell family and the entire church family at RRC were devastated by the seemingly senseless loss of life to “a fabulous Christian young lady,” said Lead Pastor Rick Tigchon at the time. He noted that she and her family were very involved in the ministry at the church, and that Audra was especially involved in kid’s ministry.
The grieving, the reconciliation, and acceptance of the passing of a loved one is a many stepped process that knows no defined time frame. For the Brownell family, simply planting a single tree was part of the process.
Shortly thereafter the tree germinated an idea that blossomed in the minds of Audra’s parents, Scott and Diane Brownell, along with best friends and church members Scott and Julie Kruizenga and the entire RRC family. Why not create a prayer memorial garden? RRC had an expansive sloping lawn fronting the west side of the church, a site it seemed the good Lord had waiting for just such an undertaking.

Three terraced levels on the hillside of the Memorial Prayer Garden.

And so it began. The design of the garden would be based on the bible verse found in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that tells us, “There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.”
Angie Rummler, of Cedar Springs’ River Ridge Landscaping, embraced the message in the bible verse and designed a breath-taking memorial garden to be completed in three separate and distinctly unique phases. Phase I would be designated “Love”; Phase II designated “Faith”; and Phase III “Hope.”
Phase I of the Memorial Prayer Garden was undertaken this past summer and dedicated in a ceremony attended by RRC members on Sunday morning, October 9. The prayer garden is composed of hard packed stone pathways, floral plantings, shrubs, hardwood trees, evergreens, and boulder-edged terraces surrounding a heart-shaped brick-paver patio, a waterfall, and a soon-to-be installed gazebo on the highest point of the site overlooking the City of Rockford.
Church members will have an opportunity to have the names of loved ones engraved in individual bricks within the heart-shaped patio. Other than that, the entire Memorial Prayer Garden is open to everyone.
Meant for prayer, meditation, and reflection, the Garden is designed to be a place away from the cares of life—a refuge dedicated to the glory of God. It is a place to sit quietly to pray and reflect on a lost loved one, or just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the surroundings.
This undertaking would not have been possible without the selfless dedication of everyone involved. Throughout the summer, in a labor of love, volunteers and contractors (many supplying their services and materials strictly at cost) created this remarkable hillside sanctuary.
Scott Kruizenga, organizer of the memorial landscape project, tells us, “With the Lord’s blessing, thus far we have only spent 1/6 of what would otherwise be the actual cost for this phase of the Garden’s construction. There was never a lack for volunteer support and labor. On many occasions so many people showed up to lend a hand, that they oftentimes got in each others way.”
Keep a watchful eye out for the placement of the gazebo and, in the future, the construction of the final two terraced phases, Faith and Hope. Faith will be comprised of raised planting beds of flowering annuals in the shape of the cross.  Hope will be an extensive open gathering space to be use as a possible outside worship area along with picnic grounds complete with tables.
Out of tragedy comes Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.

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We’re Here and We’re Open

Link Wireless, Cedar Springs

Karen Cook and Amy Swindell, co-owners and best friends, are the fresh new faces of Link Wireless, located at 25 S. Main in downtown Cedar Springs. Link Wireless wants to be your local one stop shop! They are your branded select retailer for Boost and Virgin phones with a variety of no contract plans to fit every mobile need and budget. You can count on them to have the newest and latest in cellular devices. They carry accessories for any phone, car chargers, cases, skins, Bluetooth accessories, and a huge selection of charms and more. “Our competitive prices are what sets us apart,” says Karen.
Link Wireless accepts bill payments with a 3-5 day or even next day service.  You can top up many prepaid devices and pay your contract mobile service (Verizon, ATT, T-mobile). They offer international calling cards for military members and Mexico pin cards. You can also pay all your utilities, including car insurance, mortgage, cable, home and phone bill. Fax service is also available.
Don’t spend all day wasting your valuable time, gas, and money, Link Wireless can do it all.  They are dependable and here to serve you. If they don’t have it, they can get it! Most of all they are looking forward to meeting and serving the community and becoming your home town cellular store. For more info, call (616) 432-9628. Open late on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday till 7 p.m. and 10 – 3 on Saturdays.
“Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/linkwireless
This is a paid advertisement

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Hometown Heroes

Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) Shirley Mitchell (Bratcher) and Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Brian Sherman are brother and sister currently serving in the U.S. Air Force at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Battle Creek, MI.
SMSgt Mitchell enlisted in Nov 1991 and is assigned to the 217th Air Operations Group, Air Component Operations Squadron, Surgeon General’s Office as the Health Services Management Superintendent.  She now has 20 years of service in.
SSgt Sherman enlisted in April 2005.  SSgt Brian Sherman is assigned to the 110th Civil Engineering Squadron, Fire Operations, as a Fire Fighter. Both are graduates of Cedar Springs High School.

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Marching Red Hawks 7th at state finals

The Cedar Springs High School Marching Band has had a great fall season, and topped it off with a finish of 7th in the MCBA state finals last Saturday.
This year’s show, “The Fall of the Wall,” was a tribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It included the following songs:  Carmina Burana, Part III; Moscow 1941; Another Brick in the Wall; The Escape (from the Sound of Music); and Ode to Joy.
The band performed at every home football game and at several competitions. The first competition was the Rockford Invitational in mid-September, where the band placed third and received a caption award for best marching. Cedar Springs hosted two marching band competitions: one on Red Flannel Day and a Michigan Competing Band Association competition two weeks later. Although the band performed at both competitions, their performances were judged in exhibition only.  Cedar Springs competed at the West Shore Invitational MCBA competition on October 29 and finished in 4th place with a score of 75.56.
The Marching Band earned the chance to compete at the MCBA State Finals last Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.  Going in at 9th place in the state in Flight III, they finished in 7th place with a score of 76.86 and represented Cedar Springs well.  When they returned to Cedar Springs late last Saturday evening, the band was thrilled to have the city’s fire trucks escort them back into town.
This year’s band has 107 members, 23 of which are seniors. Concert season has now begun and their Holiday Concert is just around the corner. Please make plans to attend it on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The high school jazz band, symphony band and wind ensemble will all be performing that evening.

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Courtland man hit by truck while helping injured animal

A Courtland Township man suffered life-threatening injuries Saturday evening when he was hit by a pickup truck while helping an injured animal off the road.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, James Franklin Wood, 54, stopped his vehicle on 10 Mile near Pine Island Ave. about 9:25 p.m. Saturday evening, November 6. He got out of his vehicle to get an injured animal off the roadway, and was struck by an eastbound Ford Pickup F150 driven by Mari-Beth Ingalls Bouma, 41, of Rockford.
Wood suffered life-threatening head and leg injuries, and was taken to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital by Rockford EMS. Bouma and her passenger were not injured. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the accident.

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Extortion attempt over cell phone fails

Police seeking one of the suspects, Zachary Kenny


Jennifer Biesiada

Two suspects that attempted to extort money over a stolen cell phone are now facing charges.
According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, an employee from the Sprint Store, 4116 17 Mile Rd NE, contacted the Cedar Springs Police Department on August 9 to report a cell phone theft. “The unusual part of this investigation was that those who had possession of the cell phone were demanding this person meet them and pay money to get the phone back,” explained Parent.
The stolen cell phone was a display model that was an active phone used to demonstrate the operation of the phone to interested customers. Upon calling the phone number, the store employee was told by the suspects that they would return the phone for cash. The store employee immediately called police.  A number of calls followed between the employee and suspects until they set up a meeting place.
The store employee met the suspects on Lake Street in Sand Lake, near the White Pine Trail. The Cedar Springs Police moved in and investigated those involved. The stolen cell phone was recovered and the suspects, a 20-year-old female from Rockford, and 20-year-old man from Sparta, were questioned.  Others needed to be questioned and the police wanted to see if the store had surveillance video that might support their investigation.
The police investigation was presented to the Prosecutor’s Office with charges being issued for Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property over $200.00 and less than $1,000.00.  This criminal violation is a one-year misdemeanor.
Warrants were issued for Jennifer Ann Biesiada and Zachary Jacob Kenny. Jennifer Biesiada was recently located during another police investigation in Rockford and was arrested at that time. Police have not been able to locate Zachary Kenny. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Zachary Kenny can call the Cedar Springs Police Department at 616 696-1311.

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Cub scouts donate birdhouses to city

Bluebirds in the city have some new digs to move into thanks to a local Cub scout troop.  Webelos II Pack 3222 made 10 bluebird houses and donated the houses to the city to be put in local parks in Cedar Springs.
Pictured in the back row (from left to right) is den leader Scott Swinehart, Mayor Charlie Watson and den leader John Kerr. In the front row is their troop.

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Bremmer wins uncontested election

Ashley Bremmer

Ashley Bremmer will serve a full four-year term as a Cedar Springs City Councilor after winning in an uncontested election Tuesday.
She was the only person on the ballot, and there were no write-in candidates. The city has 2,171 registered voters, and 100 of them turned out to vote for Bremmer, who was appointed to fill out the remainder of Raymond Huckleberry’s term after he resigned earlier this year.
This was the first election where the city used the electronic poll book, instead of a big binder to check voter registrations. “It went pretty smoothly,” said City Clerk Linda Branyan. “There were a few quirks, but overall it worked out pretty good.”

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