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Archive | March, 2017

Secrets smart investors use year-round to save on their taxes

TAX-Secrets-smart-investors

(BPT) – Come tax time, many people work to locate tax breaks. While this is always a smart financial move, a little-known way to help build your net worth is to keep taxes top of mind throughout the entire year.

Reducing taxes means you keep more of what you earn, according to Nick Holeman, a financial planning expert at Betterment.com.

“You can’t control the stock market, but you can control some of your taxes,” Holeman said. “Knowing how your investments affect your tax bill can help you save money not just on April 15th, but for years to come.”

Check to see whether your long-term investment strategy is running efficiently with these tips from Holeman.

Invest your tax refund: One smart place to invest your tax refund is in an IRA. Normally, investors might divert a portion of the refund into this account as part of a well-rounded investment strategy and claim the deductions for next year’s tax time. Invest your refund, and you may get a portion of that back in tax savings. Stay in the habit of investing that refund if you can and watch those small returns add up over time.

Think several moves ahead: Investing is complex and from time to time you will have to sell some of your investments; everybody does. It might be to rebalance your portfolio or maybe your goals have changed and your investments no longer match their intended purpose.

Still, smart investors need to think ahead before blindly selling parts of their portfolio. This is because selling could potentially lead to taxes. By carefully choosing which investments to sell, you can help minimize that hefty tax consequence.

One way to do this is to partner with an investment company that has the tools to make this information easy to access and understand. Betterment.com, for example, offers Tax Impact Preview, which lets investors see estimated potential tax on a sale before making the trade. If you don’t think the pros outweigh the cons, don’t do it.

Reorganize your investments: Another way to potentially leverage even small tax advantages into long-term growth is to build your portfolio like an energy-efficient engine, built to run for more miles with less need to refuel. You can help accomplish this by reorganizing your portfolio. Move inefficient investments like international stocks and other assets that are taxed more often into a tax-deferred account, such as an IRA or a Roth IRA. That way, you can enjoy the high growth for less tax. Then, move less-taxed assets, such as municipal bonds, into taxable accounts.

Benefit from losses: Help keep your portfolio in balance by selling off the laggards and replacing them with a similar investment. You can receive a tax deduction from your losses that can help cancel out the taxes you owe on assets that have gains. This is done automatically for investors at many automated services through a strategy called tax loss harvesting. Smart investors should always remember that investments involve risk and may result in loss.

Give to a worthy cause: While it’s important to secure your future, many investors see community support as an important goal. Consider donating a to a nonprofit organization in your community. Not only are you helping to improve the quality of life in your locale, you can potentially claim a deduction from your income tax. It can pay to do the right thing.

Posted in Tax TimeComments (0)

The Separation of Church and State

Rockford-Springs-Church-webRev. David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church

5815 14-Mile Rd. • 696-3656

 

At Rockford Springs Community Church we have an adult Sunday school class that meets after our morning worship.  What I have grown to really appreciate as their pastor and leader of the class is everyone’s willingness to struggle with real life questions.  We try to take on topics that are relevant to our lives even though sometimes they are difficult issues.  Our goal is not to just share our own opinions but to determine what God’s Word, found in the Old and New Testament, says about a given topic.

Please join us as we seek to share with the Cedar Springs community our humble study on the topic: “The Separation of the Church and the State.”

We have concluded that the scriptures teach the following…

God is the author of three institutions: the government, the church, and the family; and uses them, among many other things, to maintain safety for individuals and communities so they can thrive, to promote good order, and provide justice.  God delights to bring us good laws so that we will be blessed.

We found that these three institutions bring blessing to each other, and to the society they were intended for, when there is collaboration and not alienation.

God, in His good providence, communicates His way for His creation to function through His Word.  His Word, when obeyed, brings order, joy, and liberty to a society.  But when ignored a society heads towards chaos.  We have seen in history where societies moved away from the teaching of God’s Word and stepped into this kind of chaos.  To restore order societies have turned to human authorities to decide what was right and wrong but in so doing ended up only limiting or even forfeiting freedom.  We thought of Hitler, or even the current leadership in North Korea as examples.  Think of other dictatorships, socialist control, or communistic dominance. So, the primary function of the church, in its relationship to government and society, is to communicate God’s Word so that God’s created world knows good law and is blessed, and liberty is promoted.  Other governments that have sought to remove the voice of God have less liberty, not more.

Another truth we discovered is that the voice of the church must not be separated from government since all creation is damaged by sin and hence needs the authoritative voice of God to bring about morality.  Who will decide morality if not God?  The only other answer is Humanity.  But Humanity is not able to since it is morally broken in the core of its nature.  We need God’s true standard like a carpenter needs a true ruler.

The United States of America has a history where the voice and work of the Christian church has brought blessing.  But we saw in our study that at times this was not true.  Where this was not the case we admit that the problem was not God and His Word, but rather the failure and sin of Christians to faithfully communicate and live out God’s Word.  For this we are sorry.

And finally we believe that everyone must be subject to the government, pay taxes, hold its representatives in honor and respect, obey them in all things that are not in conflict with God’s Word, and pray for them that the Lord may be willing to lead them in all their governing.  Hence instead of separation there must be support for the government from the church.

Therefore, we believe that the government would be blessed to hear and obey God’s Word to bring the greatest blessing and liberty to her people.  And we believe that the voice of God through His church should influence the conscience of our government.

We hope that our attempt at dealing with this question is of some help to our community as we wrestle with such an important issue.

May the Lord bless our Cedar Springs government, and the United States of America.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

MARILYN ANN STONER

C--obit-Stoner

Marilyn Ann Stoner, age 79, a longtime resident of Cedar Springs, Michigan, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2017, in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her family. Marilyn was born on September 6, 1937, in Cedar Springs, Michigan, to the late Edwin and Treva Mae (Stout) Hoven. She was the fourth of five children born on her family farm. Marilyn was a graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools and she trained as an x-ray technician, which led to her position at Dr. Branyan’s office in Cedar Springs where she met her husband Gordon. They were married on October 6, 1961. Marilyn enjoyed many things in life, she utilized her green thumb in the garden and belonged to the local garden club. Marilyn loved to plan parties for family birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, because she loved proving for her family, and her love for them was immeasurable. Marilyn was also a woman of deep faith, seeing the Lord in everything she did, and walked with him daily. Marilyn is survived by her loving children Debra Stoner, Kathy (Bruce) Proctor, Susan (Joseph) Blood, Lisa DeRuyscher, Sam (Stephanee) Stoner, and Amanda (Chad) Hoke; grandchildren, Debra (Scott) Ploeg, John (Kerry Halloran) Proctor, Katrina (Timothy) Chaffee, Jared Proctor, Lauren (Austin) Jackson, Jayce Kraus, Nicholas DeRuyscher, Maxwell Stoner, Anderson Stoner, Madalyn Hoke, Katelyn Hoke, and Nathan Hoke; great-granddaughter Aurora Proctor; brothers Max (Lee) Hoven; sister Margene Swanson; brother Hugh (Connie) Hoven; and numerous, nieces, nephews, cousins, dear friends, and other beloved members of the Stoner and Hoven families. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Gordon D. Stoner; and sister Shirley (Charles) Dean. There was a time of visitation from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service was celebrated by Rev. Dan Hoven at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017, at Pederson Funeral Home. There was also a one hour visitation prior to the service. Marilyn will be laid to rest in Blythefield Memory Gardens, Belmont, Michigan. The family would like to thank the individuals at the Lacks Cancer Center and Faith Hospice for their exceptional care and support over these last four months. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Saint Mary’s Foundation for the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center, 200 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; or to Faith Hospice – Development Office, 2100 Raybrook Street SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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LUELLA O. JENSEN

 

Luella O. Jensen, 96 of Morley, passed peacefully into heaven on Thursday, the 23rd of March, 2017 with family at her side. She was truly loved by all her family and dear friends. She was born Luella Ora Gill, April 8, 1920 to the late Wm. and Mary (Wilson) Gill near Altona, Michigan. She was the ninth of ten living children. Luella married Walter “Mike” Jensen on March 4, 1940 in Big Rapids. They celebrated 65 years together making their home in the Mecosta County area and in 1963 made their home in Cedar Springs. She is survived by her three children, Walter & (Pat) Jensen of Cedar Springs, Carol & (Nelson) McGahan of Morley, Bonnie & (Duane) Cranney of Big Rapids; 12 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren, a brother-in-law Bob & (Betty) Jensen of Stanwood, a sister-in-law Alice Bigelow of Morley, and many nieces and nephews. Luella was preceded in death by her husband, Walter “Mike” in 2005; a son Lewis Jensen; a grandson, Ross Cranney; 5 brothers, 4 sisters and their spouses. Funeral services were held on Monday, March 27, 2017 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with burial at Stanwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Luella’s name can be made to Hospice of Michigan. Share a memory online at www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home, Big Rapids

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Flat River Community Players presents “Sex please we’re sixty”

Bud “the Stud” Davis and his Ladies. From L to R front: Rocky Hutchinson, Greg VanderMark, Sandy Cote. Back: Pat Cradit and Kathy Craig during a recent rehearsal.

Bud “the Stud” Davis and his Ladies. From L to R front: Rocky Hutchinson, Greg VanderMark, Sandy Cote. Back: Pat Cradit and Kathy Craig during a recent rehearsal.

GREENVILLE—The Flat River Community Players open their 43rd season of community theatre with the comedy, Sex Please We’re Sixty. This hilariously frisky farce is by playwrights Michael and Susan Parker.

The story involves the Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast establishment, a charming and cozy getaway whose guests—nearly all women—tend to return from one year to the next.  To the chagrin of the B&B’s proprietress, Mrs. Stancliffe (Pat Cradit), her next-door neighbor Bud “the Stud” Davis (Greg VanderMark) believes these vacationing ladies really come to have romantic liaisons with him. Despite her own prim and proper behavior, Mrs. S. knows that Bud is good for business!

Meanwhile Henry Mitchell (Leonard Cradit), her other neighbor and “gentleman caller,” has developed an as yet untested “little blue pill” for menopausal ladies. Three ladies, guests at the B&B, complete the picture: Victoria Ambrose (Roxanne Hutchinson), Hillary Hudson (Sandy Cote), and Charmaine Beauregard (Kathy Craig). When Bud attempts to entertain all three gals and they mix up Bud’s Viagra pills with Henry’s experimental drug, they soon learn what happens to each gender when they take the wrong pill! All those hot flashes, mood swings, weeping, and irritability make for plenty of mayhem and belly laughs!

Deb Dieckman directs Sex Please We’re Sixty. Working with her on the show are Roxanne Hutchinson as producer, Brittany Bassett as tech director/stage manager, Jessica Gilbertson as costumer, and Skip Schuster and Brad Wagbo as set designers/builders. Mark Dombroske is preparing scene music for the production.

Performances are at the Greenville Area Community Center on April 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 7:30 p.m., and there is a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 23. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students 18 and under, and $11 for seniors 60 and over. They are available at the Greenville Area Community Center during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Tickets may also be reserved online with MasterCard or VISA at ShowClix.com.  Call the Players at (616) 754-8207 if you have questions or concerns.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, FeaturedComments (0)

Algoma Twp. Historical Society meeting

 

The Annual Meeting of the Algoma Township Historical Society will be held at the Township Hall, 10531 Algoma Ave., on April 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. There will be a short meeting, including the Election of Officers. If you are interested in being on the Board of Directors, please call Julie at 866-1583 to have your named placed on the ballot.

Our special speaker is Marie LaPres, author of Inspirational Historical Fiction. Erica Marie LaPres Emelander is a middle school social studies/religion teacher and lives in Grand Rapids, Mich. Erica has always enjoyed reading and writing. With her love of history and God, she has incorporated all four loves into this book. Erica has begun writing the second novel in this series of the Turner Daughters. When not working on and researching her books, Erica can be found coaching middle and high school sports, being a youth minister, and spending time with her friends and family, especially her beloved nieces and nephew.

Please come out and join us and enjoy this wonderful author and her writings.  Refreshments will be served.

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Sunday driver

 

One Sunday, sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 mph.

He thinks to himself, “This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!”

So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies—two in the front seat and three in the back—wide-eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! I always go exactly the speed limit. What seems to be the problem?”

“Ma’am,” the officer replies, “you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”

“Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly! Twenty-two miles an hour!” the old woman says a bit proudly.

The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that “22” was the route number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask . . . Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single word this whole time,” the officer asks with concern.

“Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer,” said the woman. “We just got off Route 119.”

Posted in Joke of the WeekComments (0)

Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Dinner at the Legion

Apr. 3: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday,   April 3rd from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be pork chops, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #13p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Apr. 4,11,18,25: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #13

Fish Fry at Courtland Oakfield UMC

Apr. 7: Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake, Rockford, will be hosting a Fish Fry on Friday, April 7th from 4:30 to 7:30. Batter fried fish, baked potato or french fries, cole slaw, coffee, punch and dessert. 1, 2 and 3 piece dinners available at $5, $7 and $9. #13

Anatomy – The Human Body @ KDL

Apr. 8: Learn how the human body works through STEAM based activities. Create models to learn how your circulatory system, skeleton and lungs function. Discover what the inside of your body looks like using a human torso model and make your own brain hat to take home. For ages 6 and older. Saturday, April 8th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Honeybees: Pollinators, Stinging Insects and Honey Makers

Apr. 10: Come learn about honeybees and their amazing abilities with Donald Rewa, seasoned beekeeper of 20 years. Followed by Q&A. For adults. Monday, April 10th at 6:30 pm, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Michigan Reads: Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Apr. 11: Celebrate the 2017 Michigan Reads book, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, with crafts and activities. For ages 6 and younger. Tuesday, April 11th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Kent District Library Sixth Annual Writers Conference 

The sixth annual event features Michigan authors and publishing insiders sharing their experiences with new and aspiring authors on topics such as the current book market, dealing with publishers and rejection, social media and more. Snacks and a light lunch will be provided. All genres and skill levels are welcome. For adults. Pre-registration is required. Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm – Cascade Township KDL Branch. Visit www.kdl.org for more information. 616-784-2007. #13

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Howard City to interview manager finalists

 

Former CS Mayor Charlie Watson a finalist

N-HowardCityBy Judy Reed

N-HowardCity-logoThe Village of Howard City has selected four finalists to be interviewed for the job as Village Manager. Their current Manager, Randy Heckman, has been doing double duty as Village President and Village Manager. He recently notified the Village he was resigning as Manager and a search got underway.

One of the four finalists is familiar to residents in Cedar Springs. Charlie Watson, who served on the Cedar Springs City Council for eight years, including some of that time as Mayor, will be one of those interviewed.

Interviews will take place on Monday, March 27, and Monday April 3, in the Village of Howard City Council Room, 125 E Shaw St, Howard City.

The schedule for March 27 will be Wally Delamater at 7 p.m.; Charles Watson at 7:30 p.m.; and Thomas Raymond at 8:00 p.m. On April 3, Michael Falcon will interview at 6 p.m.

Wally Delameter grew up and worked most of his life in Montcalm County. He is currently the Village Manager in Suttons Bay, and has worked for them since 2008. He has also served as their Zoning Administrator and DDA Director. Prior to that, he worked from 1994-2008 for the Village of Lakeview as Village Manager, Zoning administrator, DPW Director, and in other areas.

Charles Watson was a full time aircraft rescue firefighter at the Kent County Airport from 1994-2015, when he retired. He also served on the Cedar Springs Fire Department, was a reserve police officer in Cedar Springs, worked for the CS DPW, and worked as an ambulance attendant. Watson served on the Cedar Springs City Council for eight years, both as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. He most recently got his Bachelor’s Degree in Public and Non-Profit Administration, with a Business Minor from Grand Valley State University. He interned at Spring Lake Township, the City of Ferrysburg, and the Village of Spring Lake.

Thomas Raymond was Manager for the Village of Lexington, Michigan, from March 2013 to March 2015, and Supervisor in Cottrellville Township, Michigan, from 2007 to 2012. He served as Chairman of the St. Clair County Chapter of Township Supervisors from 2010-2012, and as a City Commissioner from 1994-1998 in Marine City, Michigan. He received certification as a public manager through Saginaw University.

Michael Falcon received his Master of Public Administration degree in 2004 from Northern Michigan University. He has worked at Northern Michigan University since January 1999, in various areas of Continuing Education, including Workforce Development. Prior to that he was a security specialist and law enforcement officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Two die in murder-suicide

Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a home in Courtland Township Monday and found a woman dead and her son injured.

Police were dispatched to the 9200 block of 14 Mile Road, on Monday, March 20, about 2:24 p.m., after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a third party asking them to do a welfare check. When they arrived, they went inside and found Gloria Launiere, 59, deceased. Soon after they found her son, David Applegate, 34 seriously injured. Both had been stabbed.

Applegate was transported to Butterworth Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Police believe that Applegate killed his mother, then stabbed himself.

No other information is being released at this time.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

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