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Archive | March, 2012

Police searching for teen in lake

Police are searching for a 16-year-old Tri County High School student after a boat he was fishing in capsized.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Office, they received the call about 12:30 a.m. Friday morning. Three teenage boys were fishing in their 14-foot aluminum boat on Little Whitefish Lake in Pierson, when it began to take on water and capsized. The teens attempted to swim back to the boat launch, but the victim became separated from the other two. They found their friend was missing when they arrived on shore.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office dive and rescue teams responded to the scene and continue to search for the victim. Deputies set up their mobile command center at the public access and are continuing to search the lake with patrol boats and sheriff divers. Deputies were assisted during the night by an AeroMed helicopter that used their high power search light to  comb the lake. Deputies will remain on the scene until the victim is recovered.

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City chooses new Fire Chief

Deputy Fire Chief Marty Frasier has been chosen as the new Fire Chief for the Cedar Springs Fire Department. Photo by Sarah MacKinnon, www.smackphoto.net.

By Judy Reed


The City of Cedar Springs announced Wednesday that they have selected Deputy Fire Chief Marty Frasier to be the new Fire Chief for the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

“We are very excited about this decision and are confident the community will be very pleased with the direction of the Cedar Springs Fire Department,” said a statement from the city.

Police Chief Roger Parent has been serving as interim Fire Chief for the last year, with Frasier serving as Deputy Chief. Frasier is a 35-year veteran of the department and has served in various roles. He has been a first responder since 1990.

The city held public interviews for the position on Monday. Other applicants included Rockford firefighter John Vandermey, who is also a firefighter instructor and certified fire investigator; and Courtland Twp. firefighter Jerry Wineland, who also has been a wild land firefighter for the DNR and is a reserve police officer for the city of Cedar Springs.

Frasier will be sworn in as the new Chief at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting on April 12. The public is invited to attend. He will begin his duties as Fire Chief the following day.


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Dogs must wear hunter orange

New guidelines issued by the state last week specified that while dogs can now legally carry a firearm during their own special hunting season, they must wear hunter orange—just like their human counterparts.

“What’s the use in that?” asked one angry dog owner. “Dogs aren’t going to see the orange anyway. Don’t they only see in black and white?”

The state authorized dogs to hunt small game last fall, after several packs of canines picketed the state capitol, carrying signs that said, “Dogs have the right to bear arms” and “Dogs are people, too.” The one that convinced authorities, however, said “Friends don’t let friends hunt duck (without a license).”

“We just thought it was time to give dogs a chance,” said one state senator, who asked not be named. “We all know they like to go hunting with their owners, and now they have their own special season. Besides, by the time you add up the money we can make on them buying a hunting license, a barking permit, a firearm permit, and us getting a cut of the hunter orange sales, the state could be raking in some serious puppy chow.”

A group of cats lobbied against giving dogs the right to hunt. “Anyone who chases his own tail is a serious threat to society,” said a spokesman for the felines. “Give them a gun and soon it will be open season on cats. Nine lives go pretty fast.”

If you have a dog that wants to take advantage of this special hunting season, get him ready now because the new hunting season for dogs starts April 1—April Fools Day!

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Gas prices top $4.00

Gas prices shot up from $3.87 per gallon to over $4.00 this week for the first time since August 2008.

Prices in the Cedar Springs area averaged $4.15, before dropping down to $4.08 or $4.09 Tuesday. In 2008, they hit $4.25.

According to Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan, of Gas Buddy.com, such spikes are usually seen in April. “We’re 31 cents per gallon

ahead of our year ago pace (as of Monday), and I’m seriously contemplating revising my January forecasts upward having seen things race higher, faster than expected. If there’s any ounce of good news for motorists, its that such high prices so quickly may mean prices will peak in April rather than May,” DeHaan said.

Some experts have suggested we might see $5 per gallon. Is the high price of gas causing you to cut down on your driving? What are you doing to save gas? Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com or comment on this story on our website at cedarspringspost.com.

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Post Easter egg hunt April 7!

We’re counting down, and the Post annual community Easter egg hunt is only ONE WEEK away! Plan now to attend the event, to be held Saturday, April 7, at 1:00 p.m. at Red Hawk Elementary, on the Cedar Springs Public Schools campus. It will begin promptly at 1 p.m. so don’t be late! It will feature hunts for four different age groups (up to age 10), real colored eggs, candy, coins and great prizes. The Cedar Springs Fire Department, Red Flannel Queen and Court, Keystone Kops, Post staff, and of course, the Easter Bunny, will all be on hand to help with the festivities! Call us at 696-3655 with questions.


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Teens on a mission

The mission team in front of the Basilica Cathedral of Lima. Front (l to r): Shila, Aiyana, Beth, Kelsey & Sally, Back: Jeff, Josh & Joe

In the summer of 2011, a mission trip was just a dream for five students and three adults from The Springs Free Methodist Church in Cedar Springs, Michigan. But they believed that where there’s a will there’s a way.

After months of planning and fundraising, the team was able to spend 10 days in Peru this past February. The team included five teens—Beth Bullen, Kelsey Kiander, Jeff Plank and  Aiyana Plank, all students at Cedar Springs High School, and Josh Tol, a student at Algoma Christian. Adult leaders were Joe Sturgeon, the youth pastor at The Springs, Shila Kiander and Sally Nulph. With the church’s financial support, as well as the support of their family, friends and community, they raised a total of $14,000 to cover their expenses and mission projects.

The team and children at the home of Espirita & Ernesto after the Bible School event.

The main project for the trip was to sponsor and participate in a weekend youth conference. Their mission was to build relationships with the Peruvians, to teach each other about their different cultures and learn more about Christ in the process.

This was The Springs’ second mission trip to Peru. In December of 2010, a team of four sponsored “Brighten Their Christmas 2010” in Tarma, Peru. During that trip, missionaries Garry and Pat Cruce (former CS residents and former pastor at the Springs) mentioned that there was an annual youth conference every year and it is often sponsored and attended by youth groups from Free Methodist churches in the United States. One of the team members, Kelsey Kiander, shared that with her youth group when she returned, and a dream was born.

The team decided to sponsor the youth conference. The sponsorship included paying for the rental of the campground and providing event t-shirts. They also wanted to build and maintain relationships. The team went to Peru with the understanding that they were part of a bigger picture. They would rekindle relationships that The Springs church had already made, and make new friendships for future teams to build on.

Here are some of the relationships the team was able to make while in Peru:

They participated in a community outreach project for Lima Central FMC.  Partnering with members from the church, they handed out invitations for the church service at their new location. The students also handed out bouncy balls to the children on the streets.

The team attended an evening youth service at the Comas FMC, where they enjoyed the music and some of the teens gave their testimonies. They also worshipped with the Lima Central FMC on their first Sunday morning at their new location.

The team was able to visit a church in Pisco, Peru, that became a soup kitchen during the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in August of 2007. The I.E.P. Iglesia Evagelica Peruana (the Evangelical Church of Peru), has now become a Compassion International child development center, serving many children and families in their community. The adult leaders were impressed with the students, because they took up an offering using their personal spending money as a gift to the church.  At the end of the meeting, they experienced a community prayer, where they all stood in a circle holding hands and offered prayers out loud to God in their native languages, which included English, Spanish and Queshua. This was a beautiful time of prayer and thanksgiving.

One of the team’s favorite mission experiences was helping with a Bible school for under resourced children in San Juan de Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Every Sunday afternoon, a couple from the Lima Central FMC open their home to children in their neighborhood for Sunday School.

The team sponsored the youth conference for the Free Methodist Church of Peru.  The Congreso de Jovenes, is an annual event held in a different location each year.  This year it was held at a camp near Puete Piedra, Peru (North of Lima). There were over 70 participants, representing congregations from the jungle area (Amazon Rainforest), the mountains (Andes or Sierra), and the coastal desert (Lima).

Part of their mission work was to bring back SEED products to the US. SEED is a livelihood ministry that supports microenterprises in Free Methodist churches around the world. The ministry works as a wholesaler, buying products from artisans and paying them twice the living wage for the time and materials they use. Products can be purchased at www.seedlivelihood.org.

The team was fortunate to be able experience some cultural activities during their mission trip, too. The Basilica Cathedral of Lima was built in 1535. The Cathedral contains the tomb of the Spanish conquistador of Peru, Francisco Pizarro who founded the City of Lima.

They toured the Parque de la Reserva or the Magic Circuit of the Water, which is currently the world record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world, consisting of 13 distinct fountains, many of which are interactive.

The team had the opportunity to explore the sand dunes of the desert in La Huacachina, near Ica, Peru. La Huacachina is a beautiful oasis surrounded by high sandbanks. They went on a dune buggy ride and sand boarding excursion. The biggest dunes there measure more than 755 feet.

They toured the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve. They are spectacular islands eroded into many caves and arches that provide shelter for thousands of seabirds and is home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world. While on the tour they saw the Paracus Candelabra, which is a giant ground drawing etched into a sloping hill measuring 595 feet long.

Overall their trip was great blend of mission experiences and cultural opportunities. This wasn’t just a trip; it was one destination in their life long journey of serving God. The teens have decided that even though they won’t be able to physically attend the youth conference next year, they can still raise money to help financially sponsor the event. “Our goal is to make changes in our lives because of the life changing experience of our mission trip to Peru,” said Shila Kiander, one of the group leaders.

If you want to read more about their trip, check out the team’s blog at www.peru2012.wordpress.com.


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View our e-newspaper to find the fake ad!

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Odyssey of Mind team takes second at regionals

Cedar View Elementary Odyssey of the Mind Team is made up of 4th graders Henry Matthew and Blayke Darling and 5th graders Katia Corwin, Ryllie Rivard, Taylor Warner, Sarah Martin and Rebecca Yaklin. Coaches are Jennifer Rivard, Kathy Corwin, Jill Matthew and Angel Martin.

An Odyssey of the Mind team made up of students from Cedar View Elementary competed in Regional competition at Greenville High School Saturday, March 24, and placed 2nd in their division.

The team has been working on practicing spontaneous problems, as well as their long-term problem, Ooh-Motional Vehicle, since November. For their long-term problem, the students had to come up with a vehicle that had 2 propulsion systems and 4 emotions.  They decided on a Cedar Springs Red Flannel Parade theme, making their vehicle into a red hawk and making cardboard replicas of the Kent Theater, Crown Trophy, Library and Post Office.

Their second place finish at Regionals advances them to State competition at Davenport University in Caledonia on Saturday, April 21.

Odyssey of the Mind is an educational program that fosters creative thinking and problem solving skills, involving students from kindergarten through college. Students learn to work with others as a team, evaluate ideas, make decisions, and create solutions while developing self-confidence from their experiences. Odyssey of the Mind was created by a New Jersey professor in 1978 and now expands beyond the US to 30 countries.


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City vies for placement in Guinness Book 2012

By Lois Allen


The City of Cedar Springs is vying to set a world record in an effort to put the city “on the map” once again by making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for 2012. On the first of April, all groups, including non-profits, organizations and local businesses, as well as the city of Cedar Springs, the Cedar Springs Library, local police department, and yes, even The Post will collectively begin eating Girl Scout Cookies.

The City is aiming for the title of “The most girl scout cookies consumed by one town in one day,” category. To even qualify, a total of 50,000 cookies must be eaten within 24 hours, according to Guinness officials.

The purpose of the event is to not only help the Girl Scouts, a wonderful organization for young girls, but also to give Cedar Springs a new identity. The city could be dubbed the Girl Scout Cookie Town. It’s fun to say—try it! “It just rolls off your tongue like a thin mint!” said Belinda at The Post.

If you need to get your cookies, sorry, the girl scouts have been deployed. However, the Post has about six boxes left. First come first serve!

If you already have your boxes, get ready and get your cookie face on!

April Fool.

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Man arrested on CSC charges

Jason Hoover

A Sparta Township man was arrested last week on criminal sexual conduct charges after Cedar Springs Police reopened a nearly two-year-old investigation into the case.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Sgt. Edward Good reopened a criminal sexual conduct investigation, filed back in 2010, after he was contacted by the Kent County Sheriff Department with new information. Sgt Good’s follow-up and interviews resulted in a 2-count felony warrant being issued for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 1st degree (during a felony) against Jason Hoover, 32.

“Due to the criminal charges pending and the age of the victim, little else can be disclosed about the case,” explained Parent. “We are very pleased knowing that this two year old case is once again open, with felony charges authorized by the prosecutor.”

Hoover is no stranger to either Cedar Springs Police or the Kent County Sheriff Department. He has served time in prison for domestic violence, possession of a firearm by a felon, and marijuana and cocaine charges. Those latter charges were due to a traffic stop by Cedar Springs Police in 2010. He got out of prison in April 2011.

He is currently in the Kent County jail on a multitude of charges. He was arrested in early March on more drug charges, and then new charges were brought on March 19 of fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving, and operating on a suspended or revoked license. The CSC charges were added March 22, with a $100,000 cash or surety bond.


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Russell Road staging area parking requires permit

People using state-owned staging areas are now required to have a Michigan recreation passport on their vehicle.

In our area, that would affect the staging area at Russell Road, just south of Cedar Springs, for the White Pine Trail. (Cedar Springs and Sand Lake staging areas are not state-owned.)

The change came about because Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes signed a land use order, effective immediately, that classifies state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways as state recreation areas. It requires campers using state forest campgrounds and persons using the state’s non-motorized trails and pathways to have a valid Michigan Recreation Passport on their vehicle.

Since the Recreation Passport was adopted in 2010, it has only been required to enter a state park, recreation area or state-administered boat launch fee site. By requiring the Recreation Passport at state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas, the DNR hopes to increase sales of the Recreation Passport and provide more funding for state forest-based recreation programs.

“We intend to keep all state forest campgrounds open and available for campers,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “The days of closing state forest campgrounds are over. During this transition, we will raise awareness of the Recreation Passport requirement for state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas, and put those funds back into maintenance and operations of state forest recreation programs.”

Enforcement of the Recreation Passport at state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas will focus on notification of the change.  Visitors who do not have the Recreation Passport will be given the opportunity, without penalty, to secure one for the first year.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.  To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport, or call 517-241-7275.


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Man arrested for storage break-in

Mark McGinnis

A 33-year-old man was arrested this week for breaking into storage units at a nearby business.

The Kent County Sheriff Department received a tip Monday, March 26, that a break-in was going to take place at Storage Pros, 12505 Northland Drive, a business that has had numerous theft complaints in the last month and a half. According to the tip, the suspect would arrive in a U-haul truck and steal a large amount of property.

Deputies set up surveillance, and saw the suspect arrive at the complex about 4:20 a.m., March 27. The suspect broke into two storage units and stole property. When the suspect left the facility, officers conducted a traffic stop and recovered the property.

During an interview, the suspect admitted to breaking into numerous storage units, and said the property was taken to an address north of Greenville. Deputies conducted a search at the address (with consent) and found enough property to fill a pick-up truck, property van, and a car. The property was taken back to the department so it could be given back to its rightful owners.

Police are seeking charges against the suspect, Mark Jay McGinnis, of breaking and entering a building with intent, and possession of a firearm by a felon.


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