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Archive | January, 2015

The Blizzard of ‘78

This photo, taken by Ed Bremer, shows the snow on Main Street in Cedar Springs after the 1978 blizzard.

This photo, taken by Ed Bremer, shows the snow on Main Street in Cedar Springs after the 1978 blizzard.

Do you remember THE BLIZZARD? When people who remember it talk about it, it’s usually with a kind of awe. And with good reason—meteorologist Bill Steffen said on his blog that  “The Blizzard of 1978 ranks as the #1 snowstorm ever for Grand Rapids and much of Lower Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.” This past Monday, January 26, marked the 37th anniversary of that memorable snowstorm, when Grand Rapids received 15 inches of snow in 15 hours, with 19.2 inches total. Muskegon received 52 inches over four days, and Traverse City 28 inches. Over 100,000 vehicles were abandoned on highways in Michigan, and more than 20 people died, many of exposure. Schools were canceled for several days, but the snow lingered well into March, with some drifts 15 feet high.

What do you remember about the blizzard of 1978? Do you know how much snow fell here? Did you abandon your car? Tell us on our Facebook page, comment on our story on our website, or email us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Kapolka receives coaching award



Cedar Springs Varsity Football Coach August (Gus) Kapolka was recently named Coach of the Year in Region 6 by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

Coach August (Gus) Kapolka with his Coach of the year award.

Coach August (Gus) Kapolka with his Coach of the year award.

He received the award in Lansing on January 16.

“It is my privilege to announce that your Head Football Coach, August (Gus) Kapolka, was named 2014 Regional Coach of the year (Region 6) by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA),” wrote Kelly Luplow, president of the MHSFCA, in a news release. “The efforts of your coach, his staff, and team have brought a great amount of pride to your school and community. We know that to reach this level of excellence requires numerous hours of work throughout the year.”

Region 6 covers all the teams in the Ottawa-Kent Conference.

This is the first time Coach Kapolka has been named Regional Coach of the year, and he was humbled by the honor. “I’m very appreciative to the members of my coaching staff and our players for allowing me to receive this recognition. It’s always gratifying to receive recognition individually, but the award is due to the hard work of everyone involved in our program. Hopefully we can continue the success we had on the field this year, and bring more accolades to Red Hawk Football.”

IN 2014, Kapolka led the Red Hawks to their first conference championship since 1978, when they shared it with Sparta. This year the Red Hawks went 9-2, winning their first playoff game at Red Hawk Stadium, and finally losing to the Muskegon Big Reds, who went on to the state final championship. Kapolka was named Coach of the Week early in the season by the Detroit Lions.

Kapolka came to Cedar Springs in 2013, after being head Varsity coach in Manistee from 2004 to 2012. In his first season there, he coached the Chippewas to a 4-5 record, breaking their 32-game losing streak, and was also named 2004 Class B Associated Press Special Mention Coach of the Year. In 2007 he coached the Chippewas to their second MHSAA state play-off appearance in school history with a 6-4 record. He continued to make school history in 2011 & 2012 when the Chippewas qualified for the MHSAA playoffs in back-to-back seasons. He also spent four years as an assistant at Boyne City and four years as an assistant at Warren Lincoln. 

Congratulations Coach Kapolka!





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Man sentenced on bomb threat charge


By Judy Reed


Jeffrey Klein

Jeffrey Klein

A former Cedar Springs man, who claimed health problems related to his weight prevented him from appearing in court on a bomb threat charge, has been sentenced to 18 months to four years in prison.

Jeffrey Klein, 44, was charged with making the bomb threat against Cedar Springs Mobile Estates in August of 2012. He reportedly had a number of violations/issues with management there, and admitted to police that he made the bomb threat because he was upset with them.

A felony warrant was issued by the Prosecutor’s Office, and because Klein had a number of medical problems, he was allowed to appear at court. He did arrive at court on the scheduled date, but, while still outside in the parking lot, he presented court staff with a medical condition and was transported to the hospital. The following week he arrived and was arraigned on his charge in 63rd District Court. When he heard they would be remanding him to jail, he presented court staff with another medical condition that required him to be transported to the hospital. A warrant for failure to appear was then issued.

Klein then moved to Grand Rapids. He missed several court dates, claiming his weight prevented him from appearing. He was arrested earlier this month when caught driving a vehicle and remanded to jail on the bomb threat charge.

According to The Grand Rapids Press, Klein promised the judge he would abide by all probationary terms if set free, but Judge Dennis Lieber cited Klein’s 14 felonies, 13 misdemeanors, and a pattern of non-compliance, before issuing the prison sentence.




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Person sought in home invasion 


Sparta Police are searching for a suspect that reportedly invaded a home in Sparta last Friday.

According to Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski, police responded to a home invasion complaint on Alma Street in the Village of Sparta on Friday, January 23, about 8:55 a.m.

A female occupant of the home was present and detained during the incident. She managed to break free and fled to a neighboring home. She was not injured during the incident.

Milanowski said they do not have any suspect or vehicle information.

The Kent County Sheriff Department Major Case Team was requested to assist in the case, and they are currently investigating along with the Sparta Police Department.


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The Post travels to Runaway Bay, Jamaica

N-Post-travels-to-Jamaica-ButlerJill Allen daughter of Kevin and Tammy Allen of Jackson and Cassidy Butler, son of Jeff and Connie Butler of Sand Lake were married in a sunset wedding ceremony on the beach of Runaway Bay, Jamaica on Monday, December 15, 2014. Surrounded by friends and family, Cass and Jill exchanged vows in a ceremony complete with liquid sunshine—a blessing and sign of good fortune, according to the locals. And of course, they took along a Post for the celebration!

Congratulations, Jill and Cassidy, and thanks for taking us with you!

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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New service officer at American Legion

William Yuncker

William Yuncker

William Yuncker has been appointed as the new Service Officer for the American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs. He is available to help veterans with filing Veterans Administration claims or any other service related problems.

The VA clinic has moved from its downtown Grand Rapids location to its new site near M-6 and Byron Center Avenue, adjacent to Metro Hospital, in Wyoming, Michigan. The new phone number is 616-249-5300.

Bill is looking forward to serving you. He will be available at the Legion Post hall (80 S. Main Street) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Please call him at (616) 264-7124.

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Police still searching for Joseph Butler


The Post received several inquiries about police activity surrounding the storage units located on White Creek near 16 Mile, on Friday, January 23.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, a deputy saw a suspicious vehicle in or near the storage facility. Contact was made with the driver and information was gathered indicating Joseph Clayton Butler, 34, who is wanted for an alleged copper wire theft, was recently in the vehicle and was believed to still be in the area. Several cruisers were called in to assist in locating Butler but they were unsuccessful.

Sgt. Kelley said there was also information of a possible meth cook in a storage unit. KANET (Kent Area Narcotics Team) responded and checked the storage unit, and advised there was not an active meth cook. The incident still remains under investigation.

The Post reported last week that Butler reportedly stole valuable copper wire from an area business then sold it in Grand Rapids. He is wanted on a charge of buying/selling stolen scrap metal, a five-year felony. If you have any information on where he is, please contact Detective Rob Porter at (616) 632-6017, Detective Mike Hopkins at (616) 632-6015, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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New requirement for unvaccinated children


Parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children will need to comply with new state waiver requirements.

The Kent County Health Department has implemented the new state waiver requirements for unvaccinated children, which includes an educational meeting with health department staff. Starting January 1, 2015, parents who do not vaccinate their children must now obtain a certified non-medical waiver from a local health department in order for their children to attend school. All schools and childcare providers will be receiving information on the new rules from the state and here from the Kent County Health Department.

While parents can object to vaccines for religious or medical reasons, Michigan is one of the few states in the country that allows waivers based on philosophical reasons. Michigan has the fourth highest waiver rate in the U.S. “The new requirement assures parents receive credible, scientific information about immunizations in order for their children to attend schools in Michigan,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “Previously, it was too easy for parents to opt-out with little knowledge of the importance of vaccines. The Internet is a great tool for education, but it also allows for myths and misinformation to be spread.”

Fortunately, Kent County schools have one of the best in rates in the state for childhood vaccinations, with only a 3 percent waiver rate in 2014. In one Michigan county that recently dealt with pertussis and measles outbreaks, the waiver rate was 11 percent.

At least one parent refusing vaccine(s) for the child will be required to meet with health department staff for an educational session. Staff will share information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. Parents refusing to vaccinate children can only sign the current state waiver form, and it may not be altered in any way.

The waiver must be certified by the local health department. The waiver says the parent understands:

The purpose of the recommended vaccination;

The risks and benefits of the recommended vaccination;

The possible consequences of not allowing the child to receive the recommended vaccination, which may include contracting the illness the vaccine is intended to prevent and transmitting the disease to others.

“These educational sessions are meant to educate, not harass, a parent refusing vaccination for their children,” London said. “These sessions will take a small amount of time; a tiny investment that could have life-saving effects on some families.”

Information on the new policy can be found at www.accesskent.com/immunizations under the School/Childcare Resources.


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Board approves funding for new Veterans Affairs Facility 


Last week the Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved renovations for new offices for the Kent County Department of Veterans Affairs (KCDVA). Starting this spring, services will be provided at 836 Fuller NE, located just north of I-196 in Grand Rapids. Funding for the project comes from the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) fund—not from the recently passed Veterans Dedicated Millage.

The Veterans Affairs Office, currently located at 82 Ionia, is in need of a facility that is more accommodating to its Veteran clientele. “This location will help our veterans and their family members access much-needed services,” said Carrie Roy, Director of Kent County Department of Veterans Affairs. “The site on Fuller NE offers on-site parking, including handicap spaces steps from the main entry, and a more visible location, with more square footage.”

The building at 836 Fuller NE previously housed the Area Community Service Employment and Training Council (ASCET). The cost to retrofit the facility for the KCDVA is $90,000.

Kent County voters approved a millage in November to fund expanding services for veterans. The millage generates slightly over $1 million for increased outreach and emergency services, and allows the KCDVA to more than double the hours that staff work on federal claims assistance. “Our Board remains dedicated to making sure we take care of the men and women who sacrificed for our freedom. We’re proud to say that no millage funds will be used for these renovations,” says Dan Koorndyk, Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “This site is a win-win for our veterans, situated along a bus line, and in a location that will be easy for our veterans to find.” The new site also provides an entry without security screening, which has proven to be challenging for Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The KCDVA helps County veterans and their dependents find veteran-related benefits. This includes claims for Federal benefits, State benefits, (administering the Michigan Veterans’ Trust Fund), and County benefits (Soldier’s & Sailor’s Relief Fund and burials). The KCDVA also provides referrals to local non-profit agencies. The KCDVA has recognized a “Return on Investment” of approximately $974,000 in federal benefits annually per service officer; dollars which are reinvested in the community in the form of groceries, gas, clothes, and miscellaneous services. This is a 2,310 percent return on investment of the County general funds.

Since the Department’s creation, it has helped secure over $15.5 million for local disabled veterans.

County official expect to hold an open house at the new site at the end of March.


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Cure cravings with satisfying snacks

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

(Family Features) When a snack attack hits you, your mood may influence the flavor you crave. Taking a more mindful approach will let you savor what you eat and give you a more satisfying snack experience.

Mindful eating is all about being more aware of what foods you choose – such as the connection to your senses and emotions.

Being more conscious of snacking habits can help you make smarter, well-balanced choices and be more intentional with your snacks to be sure you’re truly answering your craving.

Hone in on your senses of taste and touch with these ideas so you can sit down and savor your next snacking session:


•Enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit with a parfait by layering your favorite fruits with plain or vanilla yogurt and topping with a handful of granola.

•Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.


•Slice a potato in paper-thin pieces and bake in a single layer at 400°F for about 15 minutes, flipping half-way. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt before serving either alone or with dip.

•Jazz up plain popcorn with an assortment of lightly salted nuts and dried fruit.

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza


•Dip pretzel sticks in a light coating of melted chocolate (roll in crushed nuts while chocolate is still wet for extra crunch).

•For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza.


•Treat your taste buds with a richly flavored cheese spread, such as those available from The Laughing Cow, smeared over a thinly sliced baguette or multi-grain muffin.

•Mash an avocado with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic; add a squeeze of lime juice and some diced tomatoes for an instant guacamole dip to enjoy with corn chips or tortilla wedges.

For more satisfying snack suggestions, visit www.thelaughingcow.com.


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