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Archive | February, 2014

Carl A. Kranich

C-OBIT-kranich-webCarl A. “Sarge” Kranich, 86 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Stonebridge Manor, Walker with his family by his side. Carl was born March 27, 1927 in Big Rapids, MI the son of Carl and Hazel (Porter) Kranich. He retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service and from the U.S. Post Office as a letter carrier. He loved Model T antique autos, auction sales, dancing and his grandchildren. Surviving are his children, Jacquiline (Steve) Lipski, Kim (Nancy) Kranich, Debora (Dave) Griep, Mark Kranich, Carla (Mike) Kelly; 15 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; sister, Etta Breggs; many nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends from noon to 1:00 p.m. on  Wednesday, March 5 and the service will be at 1:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Private interment Blythefield Memory Gardens. Military honors by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice, 630 Kenmoor SE, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Preserving history—museum restores 1911 sculpture

Marie Patin after her work was complete on the 1911 bas relief donated to Hilltop School by the class of 1929. Post photo by J. Reed.

Marie Patin after her work was complete on the 1911 bas relief donated to Hilltop School by the class of 1929. Post photo by J. Reed.


This 1952 yearbook photo shows the sculpture hanging on the wall in the stairwell at Hilltop, with students lined up on the steps.

This 1952 yearbook photo shows the sculpture hanging on the wall in the stairwell at Hilltop, with students lined up on the steps.

By Judy Reed


For years a 1911 bas relief of the signing of the Mayflower Compact hung on the wall of the old Cedar Springs High School—at Hilltop. It was bought and donated to the school by the class of 1929, and hung on the walls at least into the 1950s. Cracked and dilapidated after years of being neglected, it was eventually donated to the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, where it has now been given a new birth by volunteer Marie Patin.

The plaster relief, with a copyright of 1911, was sculpted by Pietro P. Caproni and Bro., Boston. They were manufacturers of plaster reproductions of classical and contemporary statues. These cast reproductions were, in an era before commercial photography, an integral educational tool in teaching people the history of art and antiquities.

Patin said they moved it out of storage when they did the haunted house at Halloween, and someone suggested that they try to clean it up, although it was in bad shape. There was a crack running all across the top, with a triangular hole in the top middle, more cracks throughout, peeling paint, and even some key pieces missing.  But Patin felt up to the challenge. “I paint ceramics at home, and have experience filling holes, and fixing things. I’m a crafty person.” Patin had her work cut out for her. In addition to the holes, cracks and missing shoes, fingers, etc., the work had been painted over several times—and not by an artist.

Marie Patin working on the project.

Marie Patin working on the project.

Historical Society President Fred Gunnell worked part time as a student worker doing janitorial work in the summer when the picture was hanging at Hilltop. “We used to take it down to paint the walls, then one year the janitor, Bert Hawkins, said to just paint over it, so we did,” he recalled.

A picture in the 1952 yearbook shows the sculpture hanging in the hallway at the top of the stairs, where several students are lined up. Gunnell recalled that there was also a duplicate—or at least another similar relief, that also hung at the school, along with some busts in the library. But this particular bas relief is the only one that the museum has.

DM White made a special frame for the artwork. “The back is hollow and there is no support for the body parts,” he noted. “So we shimmed it up from behind.”

Patin used powdered plaster of paris and worked on the relief tediously one day a week at the museum—for 2-1/2 months. “I’m tickled. I like the way it turned out,” she said. “It was kind of fun because I like to see things come to life—it’s rewarding. It was an achievement, history preserved,” she explained.

The Caproni brothers—Pietro and Emilio—supplied major universities and museums with quality reproductions. The firm operated under their ownership between 1892 and 1927, the year the company was sold and a year before Pietro’s death.

The museum, located at Morley Park, on Cedar Street in Cedar Springs, plans to display the relief behind the counter, and it will be ready for patrons to see next Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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A Royal Salute—Celebrating 75 years of volunteers

N-Red-flannel-75-webThe 75th diamond anniversary Red Flannel Festival presents new 2014 events

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors recently revealed a slate of new and exciting events to celebrate the 75th Red Flannel Festival, taking place October 4, 2014.

The theme this year is “A Royal Salute! Celebrating 75 Years of Volunteers!” “We’re so grateful to have this beautiful logo designed by local artist, Doris Vinton, winner of last year’s RFF Art Review,” said Brynadette Powell, Festival Trustee.

One thing the board plans to do is have additional events throughout the year.

“The board has added many events in the last few years and boasts over 4,500 fans on our Facebook page,” said President Michele Tracy-Andres. “This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever! Our goal is to have Red Flannel Town events monthly leading up to Red Flannel Day, Oct. 4, 2014. We’re proud of all of the volunteers over the past 75 years who have made this a nationally recognized, quality event.”

The Festival continues to expand its advertising portfolio with the addition of billboards to advertise this year’s events. Again this year, the Festival has partnered with WLAV, 96.9 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials; and an expanded number of television commercials will begin on FOX 17 in September. The beautiful, 32-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” will be distributed in August, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

New this year, the Festival will debut the Scottville Clown Band in the Grand Parade, with a concert after the Parade in the Grand Lodge. “This is a fantastic, entertaining group we’ve been trying for years to have come to the Festival,” said Andres. A large volunteer picnic, to celebrate all Festival volunteers past and present will be held in August.

The Festival is excited and proud to have partnered with Rob Bliss, from Rob Bliss Creative in Grand Rapids, to film a “Red Flannel Town Lip Dub” during the 2014 Grand Parade. “Rob is nationally known for his creativity and we’re thrilled he’s part of the 75th Anniversary celebration,” said Andres.

Bliss did the Grand Rapids Lip Dub a few years ago, which got over five million views on youtube and brought a lot of positive attention to Grand Rapids. He most recently did the homeless veteran time lapse for a non-profit organization, and that received over 16 million views, and raised $60,000 for his client.

A Red Flannel Town House Decorating Contest with cash prizes, is also new for 2014, as well as a Spaghetti dinner. A Princess for a Day event will be held as a fundraiser for the Queen Scholarship Fund.

Back by popular demand are The Lumberjacks! After a 2 year hiatus, The American Lumberjack Show will again make an appearance for an interactive show for the 75th Anniversary!

Due to last years’ success, The Red Flannel Wine and Microbrew Tasting event, Art Review, Firefighter Parade, and Trolley to provide transportation to Festival-goers will also return.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Rotary Chicken BBQ, Lion’s Lumberjack Supper, Queen Scholarship Pageant, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions.” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

The Festival was granted 501c3 non-profit status and all donations are tax deductible. The Festival is an independent, all volunteer organization with volunteer openings for individuals, families and groups to be involved. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or get involved with the Red Flannel Festival, call 616-696-2662 or visit www.redflannelfestival.org.



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Court reverses decision on recall

by Judy ReedCedar-Springs-new-logo

A Grand Rapids judge has overturned a January decision by the Kent County Elections Commission approving recall petitions for two Cedar Springs city council members.

The Commission voted last month that the petitions submitted by Cedar Springs resident Mark Laws against Ashley Bremmer and Patricia Troost were of sufficient clarity for voters to know what they were voting on and why. Circuit court judge Mark Trusock reversed that decision Friday, February 21.

Laws filed new petition language at the end of the hearing, and a clarity hearing will be held on March 7, at 8 a.m., in the Training Room located on the 2nd floor of the Kent County Administration Building, 300 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

According to Cedar Springs City Clerk Linda Branyan, the new language reads:

1) On July 11, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patrica Troost voted to go into a closed session, to hear complaints against council member Truesdale.  The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.268, 8a allows for a closed session if it is requested by the person to be disciplined or reprimanded.  Council member Truesdale made no such request.

2.  On November 14, 2013 Ashley Bremmer voted to change the city logo and tagline.  For many years it has been procedure of the council to not take action on an item not previously on agenda for public input and comment.  This change in the logo and tagline was not presented to the public for input or comment before the change was made.

This will be the third time Laws has filed the petitions. The first time, the Kent County Elections Commission ruled against the language.

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The Post visits The Baths National Parks

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands


The Virgin Gorda Baths is a collection of massive granite boulders that lie in piles on the beach and is among the most spectacular natural wonders in the British Virgin Islands.

Michele and Doug Loper visited Virgin Gorda, BVI in February and hiked a trail, leading to Devil’s Bay beach, through the huge rocks, caves, and pools which required some ducking down and maneuvering through crevasses, ladders and bridges. Michele said it was very scenic and remarkable! Thanks for taking the Post with you on your adventure!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!






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Owl pays a visit


This barred owl was seen in Solon Township.

Kathy Dempsey, of Solon Township, has had two visits from this owl in the past week.

She thought maybe it was a snowy owl, but we’ve had a few people identify it as a barred owl. After looking at photos of both types, it does look more like a barred owl. One way you can tell is that snowy owls have yellow eyes and a black beak. Barred owls have brown eyes and a yellow beak – which this one does.

Barred owls are common to this area, and have a distinctive call. Robert Stegmeier, with the conservation group the Izaak Walton League in Belmont, said, “The Barred is an easy bird to call in in the spring, with the ‘who who who cooks for you’ call. Anyone can do it. You can tell their call.”

Snowy owls normally stay further north, although there has been an influx of them into West Michigan since December. Wildlife biologists theorized there may have been a disruption in their food supply.

Barred owl

This is a barred owl.

See photos to compare:

Female Snowy Owl. The male is more white.

Female Snowy Owl. The male is more white.


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Pilot program could save court time, reduce jail overcrowding


The Kent County Board of Commissioners accepted $33,730 from the State of Michigan last week to fund a pilot program to determine if earlier involvement by court-appointed attorneys will help speed cases through the system, and enhance their services.

Funded by the Michigan Supreme Court State Court Administrative Office (SCAO), the grant funding will be used by the 63rd District Court to increase the use of court appointed attorneys for “indigent” (low income) misdemeanor defendants at their first court appearance or bond hearing. The Court hopes the program will reduce the number of court appearances necessary in misdemeanor cases.

“Currently, the Court provides court appointed counsel to indigent misdemeanor defendants only after the first pre-trial conference,” said Kevin McKay, 63rd District Court Administrator. “The opportunity to meet with a Public Defender before arraignments or bond hearings could help eliminate additional hearings, which would save staff time and taxpayer money.”

Currently, the Court is working with the Kent County Office of the Defender, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and the Kent County Office of the Sheriff, with a goal of starting the program by March 1, 2014. Some of the grant funds will be used to have an attorney available for an additional one-half day per week for weekly misdemeanor arraignments at the Court, as well as providing counsel for eligible indigent defendants being arraigned by video on any day of the week.

The pilot funding expires on September 30, 2014, at which time the Court will evaluate the program.

Evaluation will include tracking the time these misdemeanor cases take to move through the system before and after the pilot, and the number of pleas that are completed at first arraignment, as well as the point when defendants first meet with court-appointed counsel.

“We’re appreciative that the SCAO selected 63rd District Court to pilot this program,” McKay added.

“As one of the busiest two-judge district courts in the state, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient.”

If the pilot is successful, the Court will evaluate if the program can be continued within its operating budget and/or identify and apply for additional grant funding.

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Reward offered in Rite Aid robbery


A $5,000 reward is being offered for information about the robbery that occurred at the Cedar Springs Rite Aid on September 13, 2013.

A man with a handgun and wearing what appeared to be a wig and fake dark rimmed glasses robbed the Rite Aid store on 17 Mile of an undisclosed amount of cash. Employees were threatened with harm if they did not comply. The suspect fled west on foot with a customer following and then ran south behind Subway and into the wooded area behind the stores in the strip mall. Police arrived quickly and a Michigan State Police K-9 unit was on scene within minutes tracking the suspect through the heavily wooded area. Eventually the dog lost the track after crossing back and forth over a creek.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, police speculate that the suspect may have had an accomplice waiting with a vehicle on White Creek Ave.

“A number of tips called into the police department and other tips provided through Silent Observer have been looked into,” said Parent. “Unfortunately, we are once again asking for any additional information that someone may have that will help bring this investigation to a close.”

The Rite Aid Pharmacy Corporation is offering up to a $5,000 reward based on information provided that leads to an arrest for those responsible.

“We continue to ask the public to call in your tips to Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or directly to the Cedar Springs Police Department at (616) 696-1330,” urged Parent. “Over time suspects will talk or brag about what they have done and we feel there might be someone willing to provide us with information knowing there is still a hefty reward being offered. Our goal is to keep this investigation active.”



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Man arrested again on drug charges

N-McFadden-Mark-Justin-arrest-webA man wanted by Cedar Springs Police for gathering items to make methamphetamine has been arrested by the Michigan State Police Central Enforcement Team, along with four others on meth related charges.

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent was notified by CMET last week that they had arrested Mark Justin McFadden, 25, of Cedar Springs. The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office approved a felony warrant last year for McFadden as a result of an investigation back in September, 2013.  Officer Chad Tucker investigated a citizen’s complaint of suspicious activity along the White Pine Trail near Maple Street in Cedar Springs. Items were left in the wooded area along the trail that appeared to be used for making Meth. Officer Tucker received additional information about the suspect and his case led to the felony warrant being approved.

The State Police drug team was actively working a new investigation on February 12, in Newaygo County, that resulted in the arrest of four individuals.  New drug charges were issued for Mark Justin McFadden, 25, his brother Steve Michael McFadden, 24, Carloss William Caruthers 27, Lisa Ann Sedine-Kuhn, 27 and Sara Jean Cross, 26.

Mark McFadden was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine and Operating/Maintaining Lab for Methamphetamine.  Bond was set at $50,000.00 10 percent cash/surety.  Steve McFadden received a $15,000.00 10 percent cash/surety bond. Caruthers was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Fleeing and Eluding 4th Degree and (DLWS) Driving While License Suspended.  His bond was set at $7,500.00 10 percent cash/surety.  Sedine-Kuhn received a $7,500.00 10 percent cash/surety bond while Cross posted bond and was given a Preliminary Exam date of February 20.

Cedar Springs Police had previously arrested Mark McFadden in November 2010, on a controlled substance charge—manufacture and delivery of marijuana, maintaining a drug house, and supplemental charge of second offense. He pled guilty to delivery and manufacture of marijuana, and received two years probation, which ended in April 2013.


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Three hurt in rollover accident


An early morning rollover accident last Sunday sent three men to the hospital, one by AeroMed.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a 2004 Acura, driven by Connor Steven Thomsen, 21, of Greenville, was traveling westbound on 14 Mile, west of Lincoln Lake Avenue, in Oakfield Township about 12:53 a.m., Sunday February 23, when it left the roadway, causing it to roll over numerous times.

Thomsen was transported to Spectrum United Hospital, in Greenville, by ambulance, with minor injuries. His front seat passenger, Trevor James Vandenberg, 21, was transported to the hospital by AeroMed with serious injuries. The rear seat passenger, Chase Lee Wright, 24, also of Greenville, also suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Oakfield Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash. It is still under investigation with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

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Shoppers’ credit card data stolen at grocery store


If you’ve shopped at the Carson Village Market recently, you might want to pay special attention to your credit card bill.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and the Carson City Police Department reported Monday that they have received a large number of calls from shoppers who have found that their credit card information was fraudulently used to make purchases at retailers in southeast Michigan and the Detroit area. All of the victims reported making credit card purchases within the past few weeks at the Carson Village Market, 10715 E. Carson City Road, Bloomer Township.

The store, located west of Carson City, confirmed that their local server was compromised by hackers and that their IT service has stopped the unauthorized access. A store representative said that proper security measures have been put in place and customers are no longer at risk.

Deputies are working with the Carson City Police Department and the Michigan State Police to assist the victims and attempt to locate the unknown offenders. At this time, over a dozen victims have been identified, with at least eight reports being made to the Carson City Police Department, nine to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, and others to other area agencies. Any additional victims should report it to their financial institution, and the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office at 989-831-3500 or local police.

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C-obit-LovelessRalph D. Loveless, 92 of Rockford, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Monday, February 24, 2014 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Ralph was born February 2, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Richard and Irene (Axford) Loveless. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corp serving during World War II. Known as “Ralph the Entrepreneur”, he has successfully started six businesses. He was a Real Estate investor and developer, licensed builder, auto body – paint sprayer, advertising and sign painter, and an artist specializing in oil and sketching. He was rated #1 salesman in every position. Ralph competed in the Senior Olympics for five years winning numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Surviving are his wife, Marjorie (Olgetree) whom he married on May 22, 1945; children; Evelyn Bearss of Grand Rapids, Dave (Elaine) Loveless of Rockford; grandchildren, Mark (Jennifer) Loveless, Dawn (Wes) Thrasher, Ginger Schafer, Eric (Angela) Bearss; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Milton (Joann) Loveless of Florida. He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Thomas Bearss; brother, Neil Loveless. The family will greet friends Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 12 noon at Rockford Baptist Church, 221 Courtland Dr., Rockford. Pastor Garry Koon officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery in the spring. Military honors by the U.S. Army. Memorial contributions may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries, 225 Commerce Ave. SW. Grand Rapids, MI 49503.


Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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