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Archive | November, 2012

Letters to Santa Claus

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post has set up a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Turning tragedy into lifesaving gifts

Sean Thompson with an award given to him by teammates at his football awards banquet. Courtesy photo.

#13 Honorary Blood Drive to be held Saturday, November 24

Three months and a day after a tragic fatal accident tore through the hearts of three North Kent County families, the community is coming together to turn this tragedy into lifesaving gifts.

On August 23, 2012, Wyatt Phillips, 16, and Johnny Klaasen, 16, both of Cedar Springs, and Sean Thompson, 16, of Sparta Township, were involved in a single car crash on White Creek Avenue NE. Phillips died at the scene, when the car he was driving struck a tree. Back seat passenger Sean Thompson was pinned in the vehicle and it took rescuers an hour to free him. He was taken by AeroMed helicopter to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. In the process of his rescue, Sean lost a great deal of blood and he required multiple transfusions.

On Saturday, November 24, 2012, Sean’s family and friends will host the #13 Honorary Blood Drive from 9 am—3 pm at 4011 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs. The Michigan Blood bus will be parked outside Tractor Supply Company. The drive is named for Sean’s number in football. Sean is currently undergoing rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed and learning to walk again.

Members of the community are invited to participate in the #13 drive in Sean’s honor. To donate, you must be 17 years old (16 with parental or guardian consent), in good health, and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. Appointments are not required, but available through www.miblood.org or by calling 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663). As a way of thanking the community for taking time out of their busy holiday weekend, Michigan Blood will offer every person who attempts to donate a $10 Meijer gift card.

Tami Elliston, Sean’s mom, is most grateful for the support of her family, friends, Sean’s school, and the community, and says the family is hosting this blood drive to help pay it forward. “Sean needed total of ten transfusions, and thankfully generous volunteer donors had stepped up to donate. We want to do the same for others. One out of seven people entering the hospital require blood – not just for accidents but for cancer treatment, chronic disease management, burns and surgery. We found out that the holiday season can lead to blood shortages because families are busy, but the need for blood never takes a vacation. Every two seconds someone needs blood. We’re hosting our drive over the Thanksgiving weekend to say thank you to all those who have helped Sean, and who are willing to help others.”

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Young lady to compete in state pre-teen pageant

Autumn Johnson, 7, daughter of Camilla Bixler, of Cedar Springs, was recently selected to participate in the 2013 Jr. Miss Pre-teen pageant competition that will take place on December 2, 2012.

Two Cedar Springs area teens competed in the Miss Jr. Teen Grand Rapids Pageant last weekend, and have been selected to move on to the state competition.

She will be competing for her share of thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts that will be distributed to contestants. She will compete in the Miss Jr. Pre-teen division, one of four divisions that will have young ladies ages 7-19 competing in modeling routines, which include casual wear and formal wear. Most important, they will display their personality and interviewing skills, while interviewing with this year’s judging panel. Personality is the number one aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition.
The winner will represent the surrounding communities at the National Competition that will take place in Orlando, Florida. Over $30,000.00 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition, while each winner enjoys this expense paid trip of five nights and six days in Orlando, Florida.
Community businesses, organizations, and private individuals can assist Anna and Laura to participate in this year’s competition by becoming an official sponsor for them. Through sponsorship, each contestant receives all the necessary training, rehearsals, and financial support that will allow them to become a very confident and well-prepared contestant in this year’s Pageant.

Any business, organization, or private individual who may be interested in becoming a sponsor to Autumn may contact the Miss Jr. Pre-teen Pageant Coordinator at 1-877-403-6678.

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Man sentenced in mobile home fire

Brent Koelsch

A man charged with setting fire to a Cedar Springs mobile home in 2010 was sentenced last week to three months in jail, three years probation and $25,000 in restitution.

Brent Koelsch, 41, of Cannon Township, pled guilty in 17th Circuit Court to “preparation to burn personal property over $1,000,” which is a five-year felony. He was originally charged with one count of arson of a dwelling and one count of home invasion.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the fire broke out about midnight June 26, 2010, at 368 Allan Street. Witnesses said a man arrived at the mobile home just before midnight, reportedly yelling and kicking in the door. Soon after, the man exited the mobile home and fled. Witnesses saw flames shortly after and called the fire department.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

The 14 X 70 1992 Patriot mobile home was a total loss. State Police Fire Investigator Gregory J. Stormzand assisted Cedar Springs PD with the fire investigation, and confirmed it was arson.

Upon investigation, police found that the owner, a 38-year-old Cedar Springs man, had a brief encounter with a person earlier in the night, who he felt had broken into his home and started the fire. After reviewing evidence, the prosecutor issued a two-count warrant for Koelsch, but authorities were told he left the state. Koelsch was finally picked up on August 30, 2011, in Ottawa County, on a traffic stop.


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American Legion donates to needy

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs presented a $200 check to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association Tuesday to help them fund needy families during the holidays, and a $100 check to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church food pantry to help them buy food for families.

“We love to do this because we know it stays in the community,” said Legion Commander Bill Gregones.

Pastor Mary Ivanov was grateful for both gifts. She explained that the Cossin Fund is for city residents only, so this donation  will help them fund some families outside of the city limits.

The $100 will be used by food pantry workers to stock up on items.

Gregones said they also donate to the Salvation Army.

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Four new troopers assigned to the Lakeview Post

Andrew Young

Evan Mize

Benjamin Stadler

Mark Fisher

Four new troopers have been assigned to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, which covers Gratiot, Ionia and Montcalm counties.

Andrew Young, Evan Mize, Benjamin Stadler and Mark Fisher began working at the Lakeview Post after graduating from the 123rd Trooper Recruit School on October 19.

The troopers are among 78 who completed the 19-week-long training. The graduates were assigned to posts throughout the state.

The troopers will go through a field-training program, in which they will learn from experienced troopers assigned to the post. The training program is scheduled for 17 weeks but can be longer depending on how quickly the troopers learn the job.

With the four new troopers, the Lakeview Post will have a staff of 32 troopers, eight motor carrier officers, six sergeants, four detective sergeants, an assistant commander, a post commander and three administrative assistants.

The 124th Trooper Recruit School began Oct. 28 with 114 recruits.

Those interested in becoming a state police trooper should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information

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Never Alone

Pastor Robert Eckert


United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford


“My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (Common English Bible)

Is there anyone out there who still remembers the hymn “We Gather Together”? In my years of growing up it was a Thanksgiving staple. Given the proximity to the holiday, when a piano player from my church and I led a short, informal time of worship at Bishop Hills last week, we chose that as a closing song. But, immediately after singing the first phrase of the song, jamais vu! All of a sudden the familiar felt totally unfamiliar.

“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing,” yup, that’s how Thanksgiving dinner begins. “He chastens and hastens his will to make known,” hmm, now that I know what “chastens” means, I’m feeling a bit less thankful. “The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,” what’s going on? When do we start singing about bountiful harvests? Maybe that comes up in the next verse. “From the beginning the fight we were winning,” nope, how about the last verse? “We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,” “let thy congregation escape tribulation.” This song has nothing to do with plentiful prosperity and isn’t that what Thanksgiving Day is all about?

Without even realizing it, I fear I’ve been seduced into a mindset of which a colleague spoke, as he led a district meeting a couple days after my visit to Bishop Hills. Thanksgiving, he said, has become a celebration of abundance rather than of God’s presence. Oh yeah, God’s presence, I’d forgotten all about that. Perhaps years of hearing voices dispute whether or not the traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is true has succeeded in clouding its truth.

As the story goes, in 1620 a band of religious dissenters from Europe founded Plymouth Colony in modern-day Massachusetts. They battled harsh conditions and struggled to survive their first year on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks, in no small part, to the generosity of local natives, the darkness turned to dawning for the intrepid settlers. They gave God the credit for their ultimate good fortune, invited the indigenous Patuxet people to their table as guests, and celebrated the promise of a bright future with a great feast.

Did it happen exactly like that? Probably not. Does that undermine the truth in the story? Absolutely not. We don’t always have the luxury of fully stocked cupboards and sumptious banquets, but we do always have hope in the presence of God’s grace. God is always with us and that means that God is always at work transforming our worries and fears and aches and pains, restoring confidence and imparting healing. “Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly,” as the Alcholics Anonymous “Big Book” says, God’s promises are being fulfilled among us.

“Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining. Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine.” Happy holidays!


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In memory of Frederick Taylor.

It’s so hard to believe it’s already been 16 years since you left us. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think of you. Dad, we love you so much and wish you were still here with us. You are forever missed.

Love always,

Melissa, Angela, Joanna, Yvonne and your grandkids.

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Thank You

We would like to thank all those who came in and brought food, called, came to visit and other acts of kindness that was shown. We all deeply appreciated the cards, flowers and prayers. A special thank you to Pastor Tom Holloway, Pastor Mark Robb, the men and women of Solon Center Wesleyan Church and Pederson Funeral Home.  Thanks for whatever you have done. It meant so much to us.

The family of George Arnold.

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 Mrs. Charlene Pierce, age 78, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, November 17, 2012. For 15 years she worked for Coopers Dry Cleaning in Cedar Springs, and she also worked for 15 years as a crossing guard for Cedar Springs Public Schools. Charlene especially liked working with children, and she also enjoyed playing bingo and working with it at the American Legion Glen Hill Post #287. At Glen Hill Post she was a past-president, chaplain, 1st and 2nd vice-president, and served on the Executive Board of the Ladies Auxiliary. She attended Pioneer Christian Reformed Church in Cedar Springs. Charlene is survived by her children, Lonny (Connie) Pierce, Marjorie (Rick) Knapp, Susan (Ron) Knapp, Tammy (Jay) Baker, and Tommy (Mindy) Pierce; 14 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Charlene was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas. The service for Mrs. Pierce was Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Jim Alblas officiating. Interment in Elmwood Cemetery. Relatives and friends met at the funeral home on Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m.Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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