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Archive | November, 2013

Santa Claus is coming to town

N-Red-Flannel-hometown-ChristmasSanta parade, sales, tree lighting and more next Saturday, December 7 


Are you ready to have yourself an old-fashioned red flannel town Christmas? Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 7, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber presents “A Red Flannel Town Christmas, Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will start at 9 a.m. when Creative Technologies Academy will have an arts and crafts fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Businesses will be open and running specials beginning at 10 a.m.; and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will do Christmas crafts from noon to 3 p.m.

New this year is the Red Flannel Town Christmas Parade, with registration at 4:30 p.m., and parade at 5 p.m. Following the parade will be a live nativity scene, tree lighting, caroling, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the corner of Main Street and Ash. Bring the whole family out for a fun, old-fashioned, red flannel town Christmas celebration! See ad on page 8.


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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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Post to collect toys for needy



-N-Toys-for-Tots-posterWould you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for needy children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys.

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always needed.

The program runs now through the first two weeks of December. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!


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Woman dies in rollover accident

Bridget Brinkmeier, 24 of Courtland Township

Bridget Brinkmeier, 24 of Courtland Township

A Cedar Springs woman died Saturday evening, when the truck that she and her fiancee’ were riding in left the roadway and rolled in Algoma Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Bridget Brinkmeier, 24 of Courtland Township, was a passenger in a 2013 Chevy Silverado driven by Nicholas McIntyre, 24, also of Courtland Township. The car was traveling northbound on Northland Drive, just north of Russell Road, about 11:43 p.m. Saturday, November 24, when the driver lost control and the car ran off the west side of the roadway and rolled over.

Nicholas was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital with minor injuries. Bridget was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a family member, they both graduated from Rockford High School in 2004. They started dating in their sophomore year, and were planning to be married in March. She said they had been to the Food, Beer, and Wine Festival in Grand Rapids, and were less than a mile from home when the accident occurred. The family member said Bridget was sleeping in the back seat, and that Nicholas also fell asleep. She noted that his blood alcohol was below the legal limit.

Nicholas was originally booked into the Kent County Jail on a charge of OWI Causing death, but that charge was dismissed.

Police said the accident is still under investigation, and will be forwarded to the Kent County Prosecutor’s office for review.

The Algoma Fire Department, Rockford Police, and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Bridget is the daughter of Bill and Jennifer Brinkmeier of Rockford. Funeral services are today, Wednesday, November 27, at 11 a.m., at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, in Belmont.

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The Post goes to Ireland


N-Post-goes-to-Ireland2Rachel (Reed) Hunt and her husband Josh recently traveled across the Republic of Ireland and took the Post with them on their adventure in the Emerald Isle.  The couple flew into Dublin, and traveled cross country to visit many historic sites, including the ruins of medieval castles, the Cliffs of Moher, and they even kissed the Blarney Stone! (Which is no small feat since you have to do it upside down.) Rachel said driving on their narrow roads without shoulders was one of the hardest things to get used to. And it was especially tricky driving through the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow winding mountain pass, with only room enough for one vehicle on the road. But the two had a great time, and we thank you for taking us with you to Ireland!

N-Post-goes-to-Ireland3If readers are going on vacation, take a copy of the Post with you, snap a photo, and send it to us with some brief information to news@cedarspringspost.com. 



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Hometown Hero


Zachary D Boorsma graduated from Navy boot camp July 19, 2013, at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. He remained in Great Lakes to continue his training and just graduated from A school on November 13, 2013.  MMFR Boorsma will be stationed in Norfolk, VA and has been assigned to the USS Harry S Truman.

MMFR Boorsma, 19, is a 2012 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and the son of Dave and Kristal Boorsma, of Cedar Springs.


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The Immigrant Dog Experience


My name is Spencer DeGroot and I just moved in with my new family, who lives in Cedar Springs. I was rescued off the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, as a puppy, by Animals Lebanon.

After I was healthy enough to fly, I began my journey by flying to Paris, France for my six-hour layover. From there I hopped a plane to London, England, and then it was on to my next stop in Detroit, Michigan, where I waited through the customs of my new homeland. A nice lady from Hearts of Hope Rescue picked me up and I was given to a foster family until I could visit a vet and become healthy enough to be adopted.

Finally, my day arrived on October12—the day I met my new family in Cedar Springs! I also learned that I am quite the celebrity in Kent County, since my picture also appeared in the October issue of “Cats and Dogs” magazine. On Halloween, I even dressed up in my army coat and hit the town (trick or treating of course)!

Nowadays I can be seen playing with my new friends Kai and Cocoa at the local dog park in Rockford on weekends!

See you around town!


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Mayor calls special meeting


Cedar Springs Mayor Mark Fankauser has called a special meeting to hear complaints against a public officer.

The decision was made on Friday, November 22, sometime after 5 p.m. to hold the meeting on Monday, November 25. A notice was posted, on the bulletin board inside of City Hall, but there was a question as to whether people could actually see the notice through the doors, and so the meeting for November 25 was cancelled. Under the Michigan open meetings act, a public notice must be given within 18 hours of the special meeting, and it must be accessible.

The meeting has since been rescheduled for Monday, December 2 at 7 p.m.

The Post was unable to contact Mayor Fankhauser or Mayor Pro-Tem Patricia Troost about the reason for the meeting or the scope of the complaints. However, it is believed to be about Councilmember and former mayor Bob Truesdale. Truesdale said that Fankhauser called him Friday, and set up a meeting to discuss some issues with him, but arrived with Mayor Pro-Tem Patty Troost, so Truesdale refused to meet with him. “I only agreed to meet with him one on one,” said Truesdale.

The complaints may be in regard to a personal letter that Truesdale wrote to Troost, in which he expressed his disappointment in some of her recent actions during a city council meeting, which he interpreted as being too friendly with certain members of the city staff. “There is too much friendly banter—too much ‘palsy walsy’ going on. We have serious issues at hand. I felt she would be one of four of us to stand up for change,” he explained.

Troost also voted for Fankhauser to be Mayor, which was disappointing to Truesdale. While he knew he might not be mayor this year and that was ok, he said he was disappointed in the way the vote for Mayor was handled. He took issue with the fact that Fankhauser was nominated with no discussion—as if it had already been discussed and decided on among several of the members. “I felt they kept me in the dark about that,” he said.

Truesdale said that if he had it to do over again, he would have handled things differently. “I would not have written the letter,” he said. “I would’ve contacted her personally. I am sorry I didn’t do that. I overreacted, but have concerns about city business that need to be addressed.”

Truesdale says he has been frustrated over the treatment of elderly members of the community by certain city staff, which is one of the areas he wants changed. He said many of the people who come to him with complaints are afraid to take them to City Hall for fear of retaliation. “I may have been overly aggressive but people need an advocate. My heart goes out to those who have been verbally abused by city employees. I’ll stop pushing when that goes away.”

In the meantime, Truesdale said he will reach out to both Troost and Fankhauser, and try to talk to them one on one before Monday’s meeting.

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Cedar Springs now home of an Ironman


By: Sue Wolfe 

You can probably recall a handful of moments when you are in complete awe of something you witnessed or a person who held you in wonder and amazement. My husband Tim and I were recently privileged to such an occasion.

Sunday, November 17 was the date and Tempe, Arizona the location. It all began at 6:30 a.m. as the Cedar Springs resident, Chris Mabie, prepared to enter the 65-degree water of Tempe Town Lake as the first leg of the grueling Ironman competition. This 140.6 mile (a comparable distance from Cedar Springs to Northern Detroit) triathlon is considered the ultimate challenge of body, mind, and spirit.

The past 12 months have required Mabie, a wife, mother, and grandmother, to spend 4–5 hours a day 6 days a week in extensive training. At first glance, this attractive 5-foot 3-inch, 112-pound lady may not appear capable of such an extreme feat. However, the passing of her father, Jim Swanlund, in 2012 inspired Chris to bring awareness to Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). Jim was a warrior during his two-year battle with LBD. The disease is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, causing a progressive decline in mental abilities and ultimately death. To date, over $3,000 has been raised through Chris’s race. You can learn more about the LBD by visiting www.FirstGiving.com/fundraiser/ChristinaMabie/IronmanArizona or you can send a check directly to Chris Mabie and she will forward it to the fund.

Competitors must meet the individual event cut-off times and ultimately complete the race within 17 hours from the official start. Only 3,000 entrees were allowed at the Arizona Ironman with all slots being filled within 40 seconds after it opened online, one year prior to the race date. Other entry requirements include work experience at an Ironman event. This year’s Arizona race included athletes from 36 countries and every state in our nation. One lady completed her 51st Ironman event while another man in his 80’s joined the race.

The race day gun fired at 6:50 a.m. for the approximate 30 professional level triathletes and the remaining 2,707 started at 7 a.m. after entering the water in preparation for the 2.4-mile swim. This is always the most dangerous scene as swimmers spar for space and air. The black wetsuits with arms completing circular movements in the water reminded me of a massive school of flying fish. Chris described the swim as “brutal.” She finished this first leg in 1 hour, 22 minutes, and 17 seconds landing her in 24th position within her rank (females 50-54).

Upon exiting the water, she quickly entered a tent to remove the wet suit and jump into appropriate clothing for the next leg.

With the clock ticking, athletes must find their bike, helmet, fluids, and food for next several hours. Chris knew she must consume about 300 calories an hour along with adequate water to keep her body expelling the level of energy required.

As her husband Tim, mom, mother-in-law, sisters and their families, along with Tim and I, stood waiting at the bike shoot to shout a few encouraging words, Chris found us and started shouting “Hi!” with a big smile on her face, waved, and then picked up her speed. I felt exhausted just from watching her swim! Chris on the other hand looked alive and excited for her upcoming 112-mile bike adventure through the Sonoran Desert. Mabie Fans positioned themselves at various spots for a quick glimpse of Chris along the limited viewing areas of the bike trail. She finished this leg in 6 hours, 6 minutes,, and 13 seconds at an average speed of 18.35/miles per hour which moved her up to finishing that leg in 19th within her rank.

The third and final leg mandates a full marathon or 26.2 miles on foot! Yes, a full marathon! Just try to imagine this after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles! The same transition site was used for the swim to bike also allows for the bike to be parked, shoes changed, and a starting point for the run.

Chris was given encouragement from short spurts of communication with her hubby and family along with posters made by friends from back home held up for Chris to see. The race was broadcast live online allowing friends and family to follow Chris every step of the way and to include a full visual view at the finish line.

Wearing #1219, Chris continued to look strong and confident when we were gifted with her smile during the run. Her husband, Tim, ran alongside her for a few minutes to hear her say, “Doing great and will be ready for dinner at 8!” The almost perfect weather conditions, of 79 degrees, sun, and a slight wind factor, were definitely in the competitor’s favor. (If there is such a thing as “favor” in something like this?)

Temperatures did drop as the sun went down and the excitement of another “Chris sighting” held us captive. We all knew she was doing better than her estimated times. And then, out of the darkness and around the last bend, we saw our “Cedar Springs Wonder Woman” rounding the 25-mile marker. She had been averaging a running speed of 9.47 minute miles. She finished the footrace in 4 hours, 16 minutes, and 33 seconds. She had finished this Ironman under 12 hours or to be exact … 11 hours 59 minutes, and 18 seconds. She finished 11th in her rank of 89, 162 of the 745 women in the race, and 862 of the 2,707 total women and men triathletes.

Impressive to say the least! With her father’s legacy in her heart and surrounded by her family, Chris finished the race standing strong and beaming with joy. I stood there looking at her in total amazement wondering, “How in the world did she do this?” She gave out hugs to all her supporters and then asked, “Want to go get a burger and drink?” I am thinking to myself, shouldn’t she go back to her room, lay down for few minutes, and just rest? But no, we gladly followed her and heard some funny stories of her day.

Ironman Chris Mabie, you are an inspiration and an example of what can be done through hard work, dedication, and believing. Thank you for providing me with what I consider a miraculous occurrence. Your courage is encouraging! You are one of those “Life-Enhancer” as described by Walt Disney. You dared to explore your potential and not be controlled by doubt or fear. You implemented and executed a well-defined plan and succeeded. You allowed yourself to be all that you were intended to be. Yet, through it all you remain humble. Chris Mabie, you are amazing! Congratulations on your new title of Ironman! Does this give Cedar Springs our one and only Ironman?

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Baby’s 1st Christmas


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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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