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Archive | February, 2012

Crane collapses at jail

A construction crane collapsed at the Kent County Correctional Facility last Friday, causing damage to water and electrical lines, and prompting the transfer of over 150 inmates to other facilities.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident happened about 9 a.m. Friday, February 10. The facility has been undergoing a $27 million jail addition, and the crane fell into the new construction and the Sheriff’s fleet services garage next to the Sheriff’s Administration Building, while attempting to pick up a load. The 250-foot crane is used to move concrete over the main building for such tasks as pouring floors, brick laying, and moving large windows and frames.  At the time of the collapse, the crane was not loaded.

One construction worker was taken to the hospital for treatment for a minor injury and two inmate trustees were also taken to the hospital after suffering minor injuries when they ran from the building. They were hit with glass and other debris.

The old portion of the jail suffered damage to water and electrical lines, causing it to lose heat. This prompted the transfer inmates to other jails in the West Michigan area for staff and inmate safety and crowding purposes.

The damaged water and electrical lines cannot be repaired and heat restored until the crane is removed. The crane was still there at press time Wednesday, pending insurance inspections.

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Thermometer creeps up as library fund grows

All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner tonight

Who knew that raising money to build a new library could be so much fun? There have recently been numerous activities to support a $50,000 matching grant towards a new library, and the next couple of weeks are no exception.

SPAGHETTI DINNER Tonight, Thursday, February 16, Big Boy of Cedar Springs is hosting another all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner from 5-8 p.m. It’s $9 for adults, and $6 for those under 18. Get tickets at Big Boy.

HOCKEY AND BROOMBALL Come out and enjoy some fun at the Old Time Family Hockey and Broomball tournament on February 25, which will also benefit the Cedar Springs Public Library’s construction fund. It’s one more event to get the library closer to a $50,000 match grant challenge.

The event will be held at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex, 4758 Cornfield Drive, just off Northland Drive. The fun starts at noon, when the Cedar Springs Police take on Kent County Law Enforcement. At 2 p.m. see the Squirts (Dewey Decimals vs the Book Ends). At 3:30 p.m. it’s time for broomball with the Bureaucrats vs. the Guns and Hoses, and more broomball at 5 p.m. with the Cedar Springs High School Co-ed game. At 6 p.m. is open skate.

There will be door prizes, a shoot-out competition, and chuck-a-puck competition

You can either buy a shirt to support your team for $18 and get in free, or pay $5 at the door.  Some shirts will be available the day of the event at the door. You can see them online at the City of Cedar Springs Facebook page, or call Cedar Springs City Hall (696-1330) for more information.

POUND OF GROUND If you drink coffee, you might try out the “Pound of Ground”fundraiser. Get your ground coffee at Alpha Omega Coffee and Games in Cedar Springs, and Kelly and Jarvis will donate $1 per every pound you buy. Offer ends Feb. 28!

JARS You can also find colorful fundraising jars in area businesses where you can make a donation. Note that the jar that was originally at Tractor Supply has been moved to the Amish Warehouse.

Watch the thermometer rise at the corner of Main and Ash Streets, as the money comes in to support the library. We only need to raise $32,243 more to get the matching grant!


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Bank robber arrested

Authorities have arrested a suspect in the Huntington Bank robbery in Greenville. The bank was robbed in November at gunpoint and an undisclosed amount of money was taken.

In mid January the Greenville Department of Public Safety formed a joint Task Force with the Montcalm County Sheriff Department and the FBI to investigate a series of crimes within the city including the bank robbery, the Family Dollar armed robbery and Huch’s Fine Jewelry store retail fraud.

According to the Greenville Department of Public Safety, it was the hard and persistent work of the officers on the task force that led to the arrest of Reuben Olson III, 22, of Greenville. The subject is currently in federal custody and the bank robbery is still an active investigation.

The Family Dollar armed robbery and the retail fraud at Huch’s Fine Jewelry store investigations are still on going and anyone with information is requested to contact the Greenville Department of Public Safety at 754-9161or Silent Observer.


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Walter Hoffmann

In Loving Memory of Our

Papa, Dad, Opa, Grandpa

Walter Hoffmann

February 7, 2000


You are our hero, Dad

You’re our secure foundation.

When we think of you, we’re filled with love

And fond appreciation.

You make us feel protected

We’re sheltered by your care.

You’re always our true friend, and Dad

When we need you you’re always there.


Love always,

Your Children and Grandchildren

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Far more than a medication

By Ronnie McBrayer

I am sometimes suspicious of how we employ our faith. Don’t get me wrong, faith is important to me, and I have given my life to it. But sometimes I treat my faith like it is a medicine cabinet or a pharmaceutical, going to it only when something is wrong, or if I am looking for a quick remedy.

“My head hurts,” so I go to the cabinet looking for a pain reliever. “I have a stomach ache,” so I reach in for a spiritual antacid. “I feel so uncertain,” so I explore my therapeutic options. “I’m feeling a bit anxious,” so I look for something that will serve as divine Prozac.

The faith that is peddled by many pulpits today is little more than a sedative. It helps people to forget their pain and suffering, helps them sleep at night, and keeps them hanging on for next week’s dose of tranquility; but it does very little to move people to a place of growing, spiritual health. Thus, we can easily succeed in converting our faith into a first-aid kit, only turning to it when something hurts, and leaving it in the cabinet otherwise. Yes, when life hurts I want relief. Yet, the real power of faith is not its ability to magically stop our pain or to provide a fix to get us through a rough spot. Faith simply doesn’t remove our troubles and worries, offering bubble-gummed-flavored baby aspirin and cartooned-band-aids.

Rather, faith offers us a new way to live, an opportunity to change our lifestyle. It does more than medicate our boo-boos or make us happy when we have been made sad. On the contrary, faith has the power to transforms us, to shape and fit us for life, making us whole and well. It would do us well to hear some of the earliest words of Christian faith, written by the Apostle James. He said, “My friends, faith that does not lead to change is a faith that is dead.”

It is possible to find great inspiration in our faith; to be comforted and reassured that or faith rests in the right place. Yet, if such beliefs do not have transformative power in our lives, then we do not have faith at all. Instead, we are addicted to a spiritual tranquilizer that blinds us to the reality of our world and the renewal God seeks to produce.


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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Better Together

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Road, Rockford


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).


With this week being valentines day, and marriage and love is on everyone’s mind, I thought I’d take the time to share some thoughts on Marriage.  No matter how long you’ve been married, we can all use little reminders at times.  Marriage is one of those things that God has called very good, and God has even designed marriage to provide for one of our greatest needs—intimacy. But marriage is also one of those things that if things aren’t going well, it can become one of life’s greatest pains and an incredible source of frustration. How does that happen?  How can something that God designed to bring so much happiness and satisfaction end up bringing so much pain and frustration?

It’s really quite simple; we forget that God has told us we are better together than we are apart. It wasn’t good for the man to be alone, so God made a helper, a counterpart just for him. And only after man and wife were together as one did God call everything that he had made “very good.” God is the one that established that apart we aren’t as good as we are together.

In a marriage, we face countless circumstances that cause conflict and (if we let them) strife. We go through a process of frustration leading to irritation and, ultimately, we make choices that land us in a very bad place in a marriage—isolation. We become angry, we sin against each other, and we end up holding things against each other. With all this conflict comes Satan’s lie, “You’d be better off without him/her,” or “he/she is just holding you back from being everything you cold be.” Over time many people begin to believe these lies and they start making negative choices that eventually result in an affair, a crappy marriage, or even a divorce.

The key to maintaining closeness in marriage is to never forget that you are better together. God has created your spouse just for you. He/she is designed to fulfill your needs in a way that no one else could do. You aren’t better without them, the truth is you need them, and they need you. When was the last time you told your spouse how much “better” they make you? When was the last time you thanked God for his gift to you in your spouse? When was the last time you chose to focus on the “good” about your spouse and not so much on the “bad”? Each day you make the choice to believe what God has said, “you are better together,” instead of the lies that Satan is hoping you’ll fall for.  Make the right choice!


Take the time to think of the ways your spouse “makes you better”.  Plan a time to sit down with them and share your list with them.

Right now, take a moment to thank God for your spouse.  Don’t ask him to change them, praise Him for them!

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Main Street

Our choice: democracy

We are pretty used to our form of government. The current storm of political rhetoric might make us roll our eyes, but, don’t forget, we still get to choose the people in charge. It’s not that way everywhere: Syria, for example.

We may not be entirely happy with our government, but it sure beats some of the others.

Along with our freedom to choose, comes the responsibility to know fact from fiction in that political rhetoric. As Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.”

More on choice

Otis passed away. His will provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last guests departed the affair, his wife turned to her oldest friend. “Well, I’m sure Otie would be pleased,” she said.

“I’m sure you’re right,” replied the lady. She lowered her voice and leaned in close. “How much did this really cost?”

“All of it,” said the widow. “$30,000.”

“No!” said the friend. “I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?”

“Well,” said the widow, “The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to the church in Otie’s name. The wake, food, and drinks were another $500. The rest went for the memorial stone.”

The friend computed quickly. “$22,500 for a memorial stone? Good heavens! How big is it?”

“Two and a half carats.”

Fairly good joke

A young man goes to a girl’s house for the first time. She shows him into the living room then excuses herself to go to the kitchen to make drinks. As he’s standing there alone, he notices a cute little vase on the mantel. He picks it up, and as he’s looking at it she walks back in. He says, “What’s this?”

“Oh, my father’s ashes are in there.”

“Jeez… oooh… I…,” he stammers, embarrassed.

She says, “Yeah, he’s too lazy to go to the kitchen to get an ashtray.”

Another one

A grocer put up a sign that read, “Eggplants, 25¢ each—3 for a dollar.” All day long customers came in saying, “Shouldn’t I get four for a dollar?”

Meekly the grocer would capitulate and package four eggplants. The tailor next door had been watching this and finally asked the grocer, “Aren’t you going to fix the mistake on your sign?”

“What mistake?” the grocer asked. “Before I put up that sign no one ever bought more than one eggplant.”

And another

A mother explained to her young daughter how children are created. She used the expression “carrying a child” alternately with the term “pregnant.”  The little girl seemed satisfied.

Sometime later, a big fire broke out down the street and the girl watched through the window. Here is how she described the scene to her parents: “There was this big fire, and a fireman ran into the house, and when he came out he was pregnant!”



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Belding native holds book signings in Greenville

Tie (Tieheena) Harris, born and raised in Belding, will be holding book signings in the area during her book tour this month. Tie has recently published her second book, Where there’s a will, the ride of a lifetime, and is working on her third adult fiction novel. She is a freelance writer who is passionate about life’s pressing issues and love of life and family. Meet Tie on Wednesday February 22  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Robbins Book List on Main Street in Greenville or 3-5 p.m. at Leppinks in Belding. Both this book and her first title, Kaisha my dog, my hero, my friend, will be available to purchase at the signings. Tie will also have an appearance at the Cedar Springs Middle School at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22.

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And then there was one

Comedy murder mystery in Greenville March 2, 3


Ten people are brought together at the Reef Mansion on a tiny island. Each has received a mysterious invitation to a weekend party. The host is missing, but he has left an ominous tape that bodes evil for the guests. One by one, they die in humorous ways, each suspecting the others. Finally, only one remains, having shot who she believes is the killer. But there is a twist to the ending that will leave you wondering. A lively comedy for all ages to enjoy.

This comedy murder mystery, directed by Mrs. Ruth Hansen, will be at the Greenville Area Community Center, 900 E. Kent Rd, in Greenville, on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for dinner and a show, and $15 for the show only. Pick up tickets at the Greenville Area Community Center or call (616) 754-9163.

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Coverup Catch

This guy had an awful day ice fishing on the lake, sitting in the freezing cold all day, without catching a single one. On his way home, he stopped at the supermarket and ordered four catfish.

He told the guy behind the meat case, “Hey Joe, pick out four large catfish and throw them at me, will you?”

“Why do you want me to throw them at you?” he asked.

“Because I want to tell my wife that I caught them.”

“Okay,” said Joe, “but I suggest that you “catch” the orange roughy.”

“Why?” asked the guy, with a puzzled look on his face.

“Because your wife came in earlier today and said that if you came by, I should tell you to “catch” orange roughy. She prefers that for supper tonight.”

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