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Archive | November 10th, 2011

Hit and run driver injures officer

Mitchell Byrne

A 24-year-old Greenville man was arrested this week after he rammed the back of a police cruiser and then fled.
Greenville police responded to the scene of a domestic assault call in the 700 block of South Lafayette in Greenville about 2 a.m. Sunday. Officer Sean Parsons responded as a back up. He arrived on scene and activated his emergency warning lights and was preparing to exit his patrol car when his car was struck behind by a 2004 Toyota Four Runner. The force of the impact sent the police cruiser and Parsons up and over the curb and over a phone box. The badly damaged Toyota then fled. Parsons briefly lost consciousness and was transported to Spectrum United Hospital by Montcalm County Emergency Services.
Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputies and Greenville Public Safety Officers responded to the scene to try to locate the suspect. They found the abandoned vehicle, which was missing a right front tire, near the corner of M91 and Baker Road in Eureka Township. The suspect was not with the vehicle.
Mitchell Byrne, 24, turned himself into police on Monday. He was arraigned Tuesday in Montcalm County’s 64B District Court. He is charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

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Thieves break into autos, garages in city

A resident’s call led Cedar Springs Police to investigate numerous thefts from unlocked vehicles and garages this week.
According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, police received a call early Monday morning, at 3:08 a.m., from a person who reported that he saw people trying to gain entry into a neighbor’s garage. Officer Paul Feutz arrived in the area along with a back-up patrol unit from the City of Rockford.  Officers saw some of the suspects fleeing and eventually detained some of those who were involved.
All involved suspects were young adults.  One suspect, who had some of the stolen property in the truck of his car, was from Coral, Michigan. The others had local Cedar Springs addresses.
Parent said these young men covered a good portion of the city looking for vehicles that were not locked and/or attempted to enter into garages that were open. Items recovered consisted of Ipods, a camera, GPS units, a spotting scope, sunglasses, and lap-top computer.  Some of the victims were identified that same morning and others have come into the police department to report items being stolen from their vehicles.  “If you feel you were a victim with property stolen from your vehicle, we encourage you to call or come into the police department,” said Parent.
He said that additional work needs to be done before the investigation will be presented to the prosecutor for charges.
“We remind residents not to leave valuables in an unlocked vehicle,” cautioned Parent. “Because we have a safe community, we often become far too comfortable leaving items inside of a vehicle or leaving entry doors to a garage unlocked. In this case, one night of roaming thieves has caused a considerable amount of work for the police and affected many residents.”

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Madeline I. Sheldon

Madeline I. Sheldon, 78 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, November 4, 2011 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Madeline was born March 21, 1933 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Fred and Ella (VanCleve) Wert. Surviving are three sons, Terry (Beverly) Sheldon, Frank (Debbie) Sheldon, Mark (Debbie) Sheldon all of Cedar Springs; two grandchildren, Chris and Mark; many great grandchildren; brother, David (Marilyn) Wert of Grand Rapids; sisters, Virginia Robinson of Cedar Springs, Beulah (Gary) Chase of Sparta, Patricia (Harry) Silverthorn of Greenville, Darlene (Jerry) Elder of Newaygo; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank and a grandson, Troy. The family received friends Tuesday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services were held on Wednesday 11:00 am. Elder Dennis Welch officiating. Interment Pierson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness and their Worldwide Preaching Work.
Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Raymond J. Weidenfeller

Raymond J. Weidenfeller, 77 of Cedar Springs died Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Ray was born April 9, 1934, the son of Clarence and Edna (Selvic) Weidenfeller. Surviving are his wife, Myrna (Hanna); sons, Bernie, Greg (Charlene), Todd, Raymond Jr. “Joe” (Cristina); stepchildren, Ronda (Tom) Shinabargar, Randy (Merri) Bennett, Renee (David) Johnson, Robin (David) Overweg; 24 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 brothers, Marvin and Lyle. The family received friends Monday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services were held on Tuesday at 11:00 am. Pastors Ron DeJong and Tom Logsdon officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the family to help with funeral expenses.
Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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A garment of Praise

Pastor Mike Shiery
Pilgrim Bible Church

As Thanksgiving Day looms in our near future, it is a fitting time to stop and examine the depth of our gratitude. In spite of the many challenges that we face as a nation and even in our individual lives, we are a people blessed beyond measure. In spite of the terrorist threats, the economic decline, the corruption of many government officials, the protests in our streets, and the general uncertainty of the future, a large percentage of the world’s population would quickly trade places with us if given the opportunity.
However, despite our liberties, opportunities, material blessings, and technological advancements, we are long on our demands, vociferous in our complaints, and deficient in our thanksgiving and gratitude.
It was a common practice in Old Testament times, for people who were distraught over bad news to publicly display their dismay by tearing their clothes and dumping ashes on their head. They would put on close of mourning. It was referred to as “sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” These unfortunate souls would weep and wail and complain about their lot in life. They were not pleasant to be around during those moments.
The antidote for that is recorded in Isaiah 61:3 where we read that God gives His people the “garment of praise” (NKJV). The Apostle Paul exemplified this verse. Wherever Paul went, he appeared in “the garment of praise.” Some people, if they ever wear thankfulness at all, wear it only when everything is going right in their life. As long as they have their health, there is excess money in the bank account, they get a raise at work, they have a new car, and they can go on vacation, they will deign to offer a few morsels of gratitude. When adversity strikes their life, gratitude becomes a forgotten virtue.
Paul refused to live on such a low level. Flowing continually through his writings are exhortations to thanksgiving and gratitude. Time and space do not permit us to list them all here, but let me share just a few.
“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:3 NKJV
“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:12 NKJV
“…abounding in the faith with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7 NKJV
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 NKJV
“Continue earnestly in prayer; being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 NKJV
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 NKJV
That last verse is amazing given the challenges Paul faced in his life. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 give a vivid description of unpleasant moments in Paul’s ministry. He was beaten with whips and rods, stoned, shipwrecked, almost drowned, faced robbers, hunted by religious and secular leaders, betrayed by supposed friends, endured severe cold, lack of food, and battled exhaustion and insomnia. Yet, his writings are filled with praise and thanksgiving and not personal gripes and complaints.
Let‘s endeavor to be people of gratitude, not just at this Thanksgiving season, but every day of our lives. As the poet once said so eloquently: “O Lord, forgive me when I whine, I’m blessed indeed and the world is mine.”

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More than having it all

By Ronnie McBrayer

A century ago Leo Tolstoy wrote about a greedy farmer in his tale, “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” This farmer never had enough and moved from town to town looking for greener pastures. On his journeys he heard rumors of a distant tribe that possessed more land than anyone could walk over in a year; and it was there for the taking. He went to investigate and found the rumors to be true. The farmer met the tribal chief who informed him that he could in fact have all the land he wanted.
“Pay a thousand rubles and begin walking in a circle,” the chief instructed. Everything within that circle, so long as the circle was completed by sundown, would be his. So early the next morning, the farmer began his acquisition of land. He began running, trying to make as large a circle as possible.
Late in the day the farmer began the desperate return trip. He ran with all his waning strength back to the beginning of his circle. Just as the sun was setting he arrived at where he had begun. The people cheered. Never had anyone acquired so much land in a single day!
In joy they bent down to rouse the farmer from his exhaustion, but he did not stir. He was dead. Tolstoy concludes: “The farmer’s servant picked up a spade, dug a grave, and buried him. Six feet from head to heels was all he needed.”
How much land – you can insert words like “square footage” or “cars in the garage” or “clothes in the closet” or “ gold certificates” here—how much of this do you need? Probably not as much as you think.
It is a lie to believe that having enough money in the bank, obtaining the most property, making the highest return, shaping the most clever fiscal policy, or acquiring the best performing stock will lead to economic safety, security, or peace of mind. Such thinking is a death-spawning run in a circle.
I readily concede that our hearts need something to pursue. To chase after the higher and better, to possess that for which we long and love is a part of our nature. The challenge before us is to seek what is right and best, to seek what will actually fulfill that search and quench the thirst. To do otherwise may cost us more than dollars.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author. His books include “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus” and “The Jesus Tribe.” Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

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Come listen to country and gospel music

Come and enjoy some country and gospel music from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday  at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, 8540 Shaner Ave., Rockford.
Music by the Rogue River Band.  It’s a time for people to get together and listen to music and then it is open mic from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Admission is free. Enjoy coffee, tea & snacks at no cost. For more information, call Keith at 616- 866-2459.

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Virtual travel adventure of Yellowstone

Do you love the national parks, nature, or wildlife? You can experience all of that through a Virtual Travel Adventure to Yellowstone National Park on Monday, November 14. The multimedia presentation takes place at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium and begins at 6:30 p.m. This low cost presentation is for people of all ages and is only $10 per person and includes snacks provided by Family Fare Store of Cedar Springs. The presentation is provided by Sandy Mortimer, a Michigan native that is a former reporter with CBS as well as a writer and producer of travel films. She will take you on a journey that will make you feel like you have made the trip.
Other travels this season will take us over the Atlantic on March 12, as we visit Egypt and tour the Nile River. We will finish our travels by heading north to the lands of Scotland and France to see the glorious stone buidlings of churches, castles, monuments and more on April 9. You can travel to all four of these destinations for the little price of $25, or just one locale for $10. Students can come with a paid adult for only $5. These are great educational events for persons of all ages and great for families to come and enjoy together.
The event is held at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium with the doors opening at 6 p.m. and the adventure beginning at 6:30 pm (please note the new time for this year).
The Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation department is an organziation of Algoma, Courtland, Nelson and Solon Townships, the Cedar Springs Public Schools and the City of Cedar Springs. These organizations work together to put on these events for the community.  Information on this and other programs are online at www.csaparksandrec.com or you can follow us on Facebook for up to date information. Please feel free to call the department as well Monday-Wednesday at 616-696-7320 or email anytime at director@csaparksandrec.com.

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Last words

A Lieutenant, a Colonel, and a Sergeant Major were all killed in a common disaster, and arrived in Heaven together, where they were met by St. Peter.
St. Peter asked them, “What would you like the people on Earth to say about you?”
The Lieutenant said, “I would like them to say I was a great family man and an inspiration to my children.”
The Colonel said, “I would like them to say I was a great military leader.”
The Sergeant Major said, “I would like them to say, ‘Look! He’s moving!”

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Remember Our Real National Debt on Veterans Day

By Fang A. Wong, Commander
The American Legion

Google the term “National Debt” and you will quickly receive the search results for millions of websites.
Most deal with the very serious issues of government overspending and the accumulation of more than two centuries of federal deficits. Yet very few bring up the biggest national debt of them all—that which America owes to her veterans.  November 11, Veterans Day, marks the perfect opportunity for us to take an historical audit on just how much this nation owes her heroes.
Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer is one who America owes an enormous debt. Humble by nature, but heroic by deed, Meyer drove a humvee into an Afghan valley that he knew was heavily populated with well-armed enemy insurgents. Outgunned and outnumbered, Meyer and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez made multiple trips to the hot zone, killing insurgents as Meyer manned the turret.
Disregarding serious shrapnel wounds that he received, Meyer left his vehicle several times searching for pinned down comrades and coalition forces. He found his comrades shot to death, but with the assistance of Army Capt. Will Swenson, Meyer carried their bodies and gear away from the village. As he received his well-deserved Medal of Honor from President Obama, Meyer requested that his fallen colleagues be remembered.
Our debt to these heroes can never be re-paid but our gratitude and respect must last forever.
For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separations from their families, miss the births of their children, freeze in sub-zero temperatures, bake in wild jungles, lose limbs, and, far too often, lose their lives.
Military spouses have had to endure career interruptions, frequent changes of address, and a disproportionate share of parental responsibilities.
The children often had to endure changes in schools, separation from friends and, hardest of all, the uncertainty of whether or not Mom or Dad will live through their next combat mission.
As the leader of our nation’s largest veterans service organization, The American Legion, I recently had the opportunity to testify before a joint Congressional committee on Veterans Affairs. I reminded our lawmakers that it is not in the nature of America’s warriors to complain. Warriors endure. Warriors make do with less. Warriors finish the job, no matter how hard, no matter what is asked.
Warriors need advocates and that is why The American Legion exists. We are here to serve veterans, their families and our communities. Veterans need each other, but, more importantly, our country needs our veterans.
You cannot fight a war without warriors and while the utopian idea of a society without war is appealing, let us not forget that wars have liberated slaves, stopped genocide and toppled terrorists.
The American Legion shows its support for America’s heroes through its Family Support Network, Legacy Scholarship Fund, Operation Comfort Warriors, Temporary Financial Assistance and the National Emergency Fund, just to name a few of our programs. But you can show your support simply by saying “Thank you” to the next veteran you meet.
You can show your support by hiring a veteran in your workplace, visiting a VA hospital or donating to a veterans program. Companies should understand that it’s smart business to hire veterans, and when members of the Guard and Reserves deploy, it is America’s business to ensure that their civilian careers do not suffer.
Homelessness is another issue that affects veterans disproportionately. Too often today’s tattered citizen of the street was yesterday’s toast-of-the-town in a crisp uniform with rows of shining medals. This is hardly the “thanks of a grateful nation.”
We can do better. We must do better.
Fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the title “veteran.” And while the great military phrase  “uncommon valor was a common virtue,” has been so often repeated that it risks becoming a cliché, it is no less true.
In 1789 George Washington said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.”
We must ask ourselves as a nation, are we serving veterans even half as well as they have served us?
Fang A. Wong, a Vietnam War veteran of New Brunswick, N.J., is national commander of the 2.4-million member American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans service organization.  For more information, go to www.legion.org.

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