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Archive | August, 2015



35C-obit-RectorJames A. Rector, 85, of Baldwin and Florida, was called back to his Savior, Jesus Christ on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Faith Hospice-Trillium Woods. Mr. Rector was born January 26, 1930 in Pierson, Michigan, the son of Edward A. and Gladys S. (Bird) Rector. He was an Army Veteran and had been employed by General Motors for 37 years before retiring January 1, 1990. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and looking for lost golf balls. Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Donna L. (Rounds); two daughters, Terri (Peter) Loda of Byron Center, Gail (Joe) Parks of Grandville; six grandchildren, Michele (Justin) Poorman, Andrea (Evan) Bevolden, Aaron Loda, Shelby Loda, Conner Loda and Joshua (Heather) Lunger; three great grandchildren; brother, Alvin “Pete” (Edith) Rector; sister, Norma (Fred) Shira; several nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Marian and Ed Rathbun. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 6-8 pm, at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs and one hour before the funeral service on Wednesday, September 2nd at the First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastors James Howard and Bob Sponable officiating. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice-Trillium Woods, Byron Center or Lake Community Bible Church, 8033 Central Park Blvd., Baldwin, MI 49304.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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It’s time for football!

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

Saturday, August 29, marks the first game of the 2015 season for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, and you don’t want to miss it! They will host the Comstock Park Panthers at Grand Valley State University Lubbers Stadium, in the brand new GRidiron classic, at 4 p.m.

The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) partnered with Grand Valley State University and the OK Conference to promote the newly created high school football showcase, which will feature three games:

1:00 p.m. Hamtramck vs. NorthPointe Christian (host)

4:00 p.m. Comstock Park vs. Cedar Springs (host)

7:00 p.m. Oak Park vs. Zeeland West (host)

“West Michigan prides itself in our high school football and this event will highlight the start of the season with some great matchups at a superb facility,” stated Mike Guswiler, President of the WMSC, in a press release last spring.

Each purchased ticket entitles the bearer to attend all three scheduled games. Tickets are available online at a cost of $8 Adults / $6 Students. Tickets purchased on the day of the event at the door will be sold for $10 Adults / $8 Students.

Last year, the Red Hawks took on Comstock Park in their opening game on the Panther’s home turf, and ran away with the game, 50-13. They went on to become OK-Bronze Champions, and ended their season after losing to Muskegon in the second game of the playoffs.

Come on out and cheer on your Cedar Springs Red Hawks!

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Teen hurt in rollover crash

This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Plainfield Township teen was sent to the hospital Wednesday evening with life-threatening injuries after a collision in Courtland Township.

The accident happened about 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 26, at 13 Mile and Myers Lake Roads.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Matthew Gorkowski, 17, of Sparta, was traveling westbound on 13 Mile Road and did not stop at the the stop sign at Myers Lake Road. His vehicle was struck on the passenger side by 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was southbound on Myers Lake. The collision sent both vehicles off the road into the southwest corner of the intersection, with the Trailblazer rolling over.

Neither Gorkowski, nor the driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Rotunno, 18, of Cedar Springs, were injured. However, a 15-year-old female passenger in the Trailblazer suffered life-threatening injuries. She was transported by Rockford Ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth and then to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Everyone involved was wearing seatbelts and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Courtland Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.


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Churches UNITE to send audio bibles to refugees


Post photo by J. Reed


by Judy Reed

The churches in the Cedar Springs area are pretty good at making history.

In 2009, eight area churches joined together in Morley Park to worship together, something rare in most communities. Last Saturday, August 23, the churches met together in Morley Park for their seventh UNITED service, and did something no other community ministerial association in the country has done—together they raised $5,000 to send audio Bibles to refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq, through World Mission.

The audio Bible, called the Treasure, is about the size of an MP3 player. World Mission uses the Treasure as a tool to deliver the Word of God to those who have never heard, targeting especially unreached people. It is a solar-powered audio Bible given to oral learners in their own language.

post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

According to Craig Carter, Pastor of North Kent Community Church and part time representative for World Mission, he had previously worked with World Mission on the project, and when he presented the project to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association pastors, they liked the idea. Area churches presented it to their congregations, then began to collect change in banks through Vacation Bible School offerings and throughout their churches.

“We are absolutely the first ministerial association to do this,” said Carter. He said that World Mission CEO Greg Kelley was excited about it and made a video at the UNITED service. “He thinks it will inspire other communities,” he explained.

Overall, the $5,000 will purchase about 225 units. Fifty went to Kenya on a mission trip with Pastor Kristi Rhodes and Hillcrest Community Church, and the rest will go to Kurdistan. Carter said that they chose Kurdistan because of the problems with ISIS and the persecutions taking place. He estimates that the audio Bibles will reach a minimum of 25,000 people in one year.

“Audio learners—people who cannot read—are very social. They gather with others, and the audio Bibles will be shared in listening groups. We estimate they will be shared at least 10 times in a year,” he explained. He said they will stay in the field for a minimum of three years, so could reach as many as 75,000 people.

“It’s exciting,” said Carter. “If we have the ability to reach that many people (25,000) in one event, we should also be able to reach our own community, which is about that size.”

Another thing they did this year is took the $1,000 they would normally spend on a hot dog lunch after the service, and decided to donate it to feed refugees in Kurdistan. “It should feed about 3,500 people,” he said.

The Treasures are expected to go to Kurdistan in October, when a medical team is going and the food distribution will take place.

To find out more about the Treasure, you can visit www.worldmission.cc, or contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398.

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Post travels to top of Mackinac Bridge

N-Post-travels1-top-Mackinac-Bridge-WallDean and Kristie Wall, owners of Dean’s Excavating in Sand Lake, attended a fundraiser at Frederik Meijer Gardens this past spring. At the auction there, they purchased a certificate allowing them the chance to go to the very top of the Mackinac Bridge. They said it’s an opportunity that only 100 people per year get to experience. They took a very small elevator most of the way up, then had to climb about 40 feet through a narrow tunnel, and came up through a hatch on the top of the bridge structure.

N-Post-travels2-top-of-Mackinac-Bridge-Wall“The view from the top was breathtaking!” said Kristie.

Thanks so much, Dean and Kristie, 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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Drive sober or get pulled over


N-Sober-DrivingStepped up drunk driving patrols through Labor Day

No back-to-college checklist is complete without books, smart phones and backpacks. Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are encouraging everyone to also add a safe, sober ride home after a party.

Stepped up drunk driving patrols began last weekend and last through Sept. 7. This period includes student move-in at many Michigan colleges and universities, as well as the Labor Day holiday weekend.

For some college students, the dangers associated with underage drinking include academic issues, health risks and criminal charges, as well as serious injury or death from traffic crashes. Michigan has a zero tolerance alcohol law for a driver under 21 years old. Strong awareness and enforcement efforts help reduce underage drinking by limiting opportunities and access to alcohol and decreasing impaired driving.

“Wrapping up the summer and starting the school year should be full of possibilities, not tragedy from preventable drunk driving crashes,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Be on notice: Michigan law enforcement officers will have extra patrols looking for drunk drivers and unbuckled motorists to help keep you and your family safe.”

During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, five of the six fatal traffic crashes involved alcohol. In 2014, 319 people died in Michigan as a result of alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes, a 9 percent decrease from 2013.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will also include stepped up seat belt enforcement. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45 percent.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level, if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger, in any seating position, to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP. Grant-funded impaired driving and seat belt enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

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British woman injured in go cart accident


A 40-year-old woman from Great Britain was hospitalized Tuesday after a freak accident at AJ’s Fun Park.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Plainfield Fire Department, and Life Ambulance all responded to AJ’s Fun Park on Ball Park Dr. in Plainfield Township, on Tuesday, August 25 at approximately 3:30 p.m., on the report of a subject having trouble breathing.

It was determined that Rachel Gibbs, a 40-year-old female, who lives with her family in Great Britain, but was in West Michigan visiting family, was riding a go cart at AJ’s Fun Park, when the scarf she was wearing became entangled in the tire of the go cart. The scarf injured her neck and she was unable to breath.

The woman was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth with life threatening injuries. Her condition was unknown at press time.

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Suspect arrested for damage to cemetery

Patrick Wayne Oliver

Patrick Wayne Oliver

A Howard City man was arrested for causing $13,000 in damage, with his car, at the Pierson Township Cemetery.

According to the Montcalm Sheriff’s Office, a witness reported seeing a vehicle leave the road and enter into the cemetery on July 19, at approximately 3:40 p.m. The witness also saw that the driver did not stop but left the scene. The witness was able to tell the deputy where the vehicle went after the crash, as well as what the vehicle registration was.

The suspect, Patrick Wayne Oliver, 28, of Howard City, was eventually located and interviewed. The report was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, which led to the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Oliver was charged with operating a motor vehicle without insurance, driving while having a suspended license, reckless driving, and failure to report an accident. He was arrested on August 19 and is currently out on a $1,500.00 bond.

The cemetery sustained over $13,000.00 in damages, which included damage to several headstones and monuments.

Oliver is scheduled for a district court arraignment on August 28 in connection with these charges.

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A boyfriend and family charged with harboring runaway


Three people have been charged with harboring a teenaged runaway from Cannon Township.

On August 14, the Kent County Sheriff Department asked for the public’s assistance to find 16-year-old Joanna Henry, of Cannon Township. She had left her residence on August 7, and it was reported she suffered from bi-polar/depression and could be without her medication.

On August 17, police reported that she was found safe.

On August 20, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charged Joanna’s boyfriend, the boyfriend’s mother, and the boyfriend’s mother’s sister with Harboring a Runaway in connection with this case. The names are currently being withheld pending arrest. Harboring a runaway is a misdemeanor charge with a penalty of one year and/or $500 fine (MCL 722.151).

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Man injured in motorcycle crash


A Coral man was injured last Saturday when he tried to avoid hitting a deer with his motorcyle.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a crash involving a motorcycle and a deer, about 9 p.m., Saturday, August 22, southwest of Howard City. The crash occurred on Kendaville Road near Arbogast Road, in Maple Valley Township.

According to police, the investigation showed that David Riley, age 59, from Coral, was headed east on Kendaville Road on his 200 Yamaha motorcycle, when a deer entered the roadway. Riley attempted to avoid the deer and slid into a shallow ditch. A passerby found Riley lying in the ditch and called 911. Riley was complaining of chest pain and received lacerations to his head. Riley was transported to Spectrum in Grand Rapids by Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services.

Riley was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

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Attempted robbers of jewelry store sentenced 

Left to Right: Darnell Brown, Charles Fortune, Zack Cender.

Left to Right: Darnell Brown, Charles Fortune, Zack Cender.

Three men from East Lansing were sentenced this week for their roles in the attempted robbery of a jewelry store in Plainfield Township in January.

According to U. S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced both Darnell Kenneth-Maurice Brown, 23, and Charles Milton Fortune, 22, to 30 months in prison, and Zackary Ian Cender, 19, to 12 months and one day in prison.

On the morning of January 23, Brown, Cender, and Fortune, along with four other men, left Lansing for Grand Rapids, in two cars, for the purpose of robbing a jewelry store in Grand Rapids.

They drove by the jewelry store, at 4518 Plainfield NE, north of 5 Mile Rd, before parking at a nearby apartment complex. They then stole a pickup truck, and Brown, Cender, and three others travelled to the jewelry store in the stolen truck. Fortune and another stayed with the cars at the apartment complex. Once at the store, the driver waited in the truck while four robbers, including Brown and Cender, entered. Brown acted as a lookout, while Cender and two others went to jewelry cases containing Rolex watches and began smashing the glass cases with short-handled sledgehammers. Employees and customers fled the showroom. The robbery was disrupted when one of the employees returned to the showroom and fired a weapon in the direction of the robbers.

The suspects fled the scene, then abandoned the stolen vehicle and were seen getting into two different vehicles: a black Chevy Impala, and a new silver Dodge Durango. Kent County Sheriff Sgt. Bryan Muir was responding to the call when he witnessed the black Impala traveling eastbound on I-96. He waited for backup to arrive before conducting a felony stop on I-96 near M-6. Brown, Cender, and Fortune were then taken into custody. The other four conspirators escaped and have yet to be charged.

“This was a carefully planned attempted robbery,” U.S. Attorney Miles said. “The coordination and circumstances of this robbery indicate that these defendants had help. We are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the other perpetrators of this criminal act and in bringing them to justice.”

The U.S. Attorney noted that the public can contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) at (313) 965-2323 with any information about this case.

“The audacity with which this robbery was committed posed a substantial threat to the business place and public-at-large, and will not be tolerated,” stated Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners on both sides of the state, is committed to seeing that all of the co-conspirators involved in this case are arrested and brought to justice, and will not stop pursuing them until this is accomplished.”

The FBI and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department are investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin M. Presant and Daniel Y. Mekaru are prosecuting it.

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The wisdom to wait

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

Two monks lived together in a monastery for decades. In time they both died and the first monk awoke to discover that he was in heaven. But he realized that his friend wasn’t with him, so off to the lower realms of eternity he traveled, and that’s where he found his friend, now a worm, digging in a pile of manure.

He said, “I’m going to rescue my friend and bring him back to heaven.” With that, the monk commenced to digging. Before long the worm wiggled out and barked, “Get lost! I’m happy here!” But the heavenly monk grabbed hold of the worm and started tugging and pulling, but the harder he worked at it, the harder that worm clung to his pile of manure.

This story is an adaptation of a Zen tale meant to communicate an important point: If someone isn’t ready to change, if they are truly committed to the manure pile, there’s little you can do about it. And, the more you dig in to help, the more tenacious their grip on the compost will become. Simply, you can’t make someone change. It’s not within your power to do so.

In the teachings of Jesus, we have a similar story known as “The Prodigal Son.” A young man took his fortune, and ran away to a far country and promptly exhausted his enormous wealth. He ended up working on a hog farm, living in a pigpen. Meanwhile, his loving father remained at home waiting, and never chased the boy down, though he must have known the disaster that had overcome his son.

The father was wise enough to know that his son had to come to the end of himself, and attempting to intervene before the young man was finished with the pigpen, would have only resulted in frustrating failure for all parties.

I suspect we all have people in our lives that we want to help—addicts, codependents, emotional junkies. Friends or family who go running over Fool’s Hill every chance they get. We can’t change them, rescue them, or make them see the error of their ways.

We can only wait, hope, and pray that they, like the prodigal, will reach the end of their rope and turn their will and life over to a Power greater than themselves. And, when this happens, then, we can be there to help dig them out.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

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