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Archive | May, 2017

Donald W. Reed

Obit Reed DonaldDonald W. Reed, Sr. age 88, of Sparta, passed away peacefully at his home, on Thursday, May 18, with family at his side. He served his country during Korea, in the U.S. Army. He was a life member of the Sparta American Legion Post 107, which he served as president, service officer, commander, sergeant at arms, as well as served in the color guard. Don was a founding member of the Sparta Hunting and Fishing Club, where he served as president, was a lifetime board member, and was the master chef for the turkey shoots. He was one of the Dirty Dingus gang members and was honored in 2014 to be the Grand Marshal of the Sparta Town and Country Parade. He was a coach, trail boss, friend, dad and husband. He loved snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, camping, traveling, racing, music, being with family and friends, and going to the casino with his wife, Barb. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 35 years, Artha A. Reed; brother, Richard “Dick” and Joan Reed; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Tobey, and Donald Davis. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Barbara J. Reed; his children, Cynthia Reed, Vicki and Chuck Myers, Jacalyn Barbour, Robin Moore, Brenda and Joe Nichols, Donald “Buck” Reed, John and Ana Endres, Janice Reed; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Jeanette Tobey; in laws, Lynn and Joyce Lewis, Gerri and Ron Urbanski, Jill Davis, Alan and Winnie Spencer; his best friend and hunting buddy, Robert “Bob” Anderson; many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank God, prayer, the medical teams, Heartland Hospice, and all the friends and family who helped us through this journey. Friends may meet with the family at the Funeral home on Monday, 5 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, May 23, at the Church one hour prior to the service. Services will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 12:00 p.m. at the Sparta United Methodist Church with Rev. Lou Grettenberger officiating. Military Honors by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Sparta Hunting and Fishing Club, in which he took special pride.

Arrangements by Hessel-Cheslek funeral home.

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Sheriff’s Office receives national traffic safety recognition

Alicia Sledge (left) and Julie Roth of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning present a national traffic safety award to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Photo courtesy of OHSP.

Alicia Sledge (left) and Julie Roth (far right) of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning present a national traffic safety award to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Photo courtesy of OHSP.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office Secondary Road Patrol (SRP)/Traffic Safety Unit has received the Salute to Law Enforcement Officers Award from the National Association of Women Highway Safety Leaders (NAWHSL).

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) presented the honor during a ceremony on Thursday, May 18, on behalf of the association.

“The award recognizes Kent County’s continued strong commitment and dedication to traffic safety,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director.
The Secondary Road Patrol and Traffic Accident Prevention Program provides county sheriff’s offices with funding to patrol county and local roads outside the corporate limits of cities and villages.  The state grant program, managed by the OHSP, has the legislated primary responsibility of traffic enforcement and traffic crash prevention on secondary roads.

Deputies funded under the SRP program are responsible for traffic enforcement, traffic crash prevention and investigation, criminal law enforcement and emergency assistance to stranded motorists on secondary roadways.

In 2016, the Kent County SRP Traffic Safety Unit investigated 35 fatal traffic crashes, including alcohol- related crashes.

“Traffic safety remains a top priority in Kent County.  We are always seeking innovative ways to address this ongoing problem,” said Kent County Sheriff Lawrence A. Stelma.

The department has focused on drugged driving enforcement through its three Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) deputies.  A DRE is a law enforcement officer trained to identify people whose driving is impaired by drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.

Stelma said deputies in the Traffic Safety Unit also have the equipment and training to precisely measure and map crash scenes.  This data is a vital investigative tool for criminal prosecution.

The unit has also established an online school bus red light violating reporting system that is used by bus drivers.  Reports are investigated by a deputy with proper enforcement action taken.

“We are grateful to receive this national honor and appreciate the ongoing support of the OHSP,” said Stelma.

The NAWHSL disseminates information and educational programs to promote safe traffic behavior and advocates for effective public programs to reduce motor vehicle related crashes, crash severity and the resulting deaths and injuries.

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Cedar Springs Community Library Grand Opening

The ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Cedar Springs Community Library. From L to R: Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team. Not shown are Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley (to the far left of Duane McIntyre) and Kurt Mabie, Chair of the CBDT (to the right of Tom Mabie). Photo by Kathy Anderson.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Cedar Springs Community Library. From L to R: Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team. Not shown are Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley (to the far left of Duane McIntyre) and Kurt Mabie, Chair of the CBDT (to the right of Tom Mabie). Photo by Kathy Anderson.

By Sue Harrison

A project planned for many years became a reality last Saturday, May 13, with the grand opening celebration of the new Cedar Springs Community Library, located in the “Heart of Cedar Springs” at the corner of Main and W. Maple St.

Sue Harrison, Master of Ceremonies, introduced the event by thanking the dozens of organizations and countless individuals who have been working on the Town Square, which includes the new library, a Veteran’s Clock Tower, a bridge across Cedar Creek, a steel dragonfly sculpture, and the historic flowing well.

“So much has been done already, but in order to complete the vision, much more funding is needed through donations and pledges through the Community Building Development Team,” she added.

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library. Viet Nam veteran Dan Davis delivered the invocation, which was followed by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful by members of the Cedar Springs High School, under the direction of Ryan Miller and Adam Borst.

City Manager Michael Womack and Mayor Pro-tem Pam Conley spoke about the city planting a maple tree on the library grounds. Mayor Gerald Hall presented some special “Making a Difference” awards to Duane McIntyre, Kurt Mabie, Dale Larson, and Dean Wall for for their work on the “Heart of Cedar Springs” projects.

Louise King, member of the Library Board, gave some of the history of the library in Cedar Springs and introduced Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, who spoke about the importance of the new library to the Cedar Springs Community.

Crowd gathers in front of library for the Grand Opening.

Crowd gathers in front of library for the Grand Opening.

“This is a very significant contribution to our community and one only being accomplished through a cooperative and caring group of people. Our community now has its own library where people of all ages can learn, share, gather, and celebrate for many years to come,” said Clark.

The Ribbon Cutting for the Library followed with many dignitaries present. They were Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie and Kurt Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team.

Mayor Gerald Hall does a ceremonial first check-out of The Cedar Springs Story. He is shown here with co-author Sue Harrison and Library Director Donna Clark. Photo by Kathy Anderson.

Mayor Gerald Hall does a ceremonial first check-out of The Cedar Springs Story. He is shown here with co-author Sue Harrison and Library Director Donna Clark. Photo by Kathy Anderson.

After the ribbon cutting, Mayor Gerald Hall ceremonially checked out the first book, a signed copy of The Cedar Springs Story presented to him by co-author, Sue Harrison. The book will remain permanently in the library and will be checked out in perpetuity to the Mayor.

Members of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club served refreshments to the hundreds of visitors who toured the new library and grounds. Visitors also talked with local authors Sue Harrison, Shirley Neff, Kathryn Moore, David Stricklen and puppeteer Rebecca Casavant. The Open House lasted from 2:30-5:00 p.m.

 

View of the Community Room patio.

View of the Community Room patio.

View of the interior of the new Cedar Springs Community Library

View of the interior of the new Cedar Springs Community Library

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Oakfield Twp man dies in crash

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A man was killed in Nelson Township last weekend after another driver ran a stop sign and hit his vehicle.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the intersection of 18 Mile Rd and Myers Lake Ave. Police said that Phillip Allen Garcia, 18, of Solon Township, was driving a Chevy Monte Carlo southbound on Myers Lake Ave and ran the stop sign at 18 Mile. His vehicle then struck an eastbound Chevy Impala that had the right of way.

The driver of the Impala, Edward Allen Czarnecki, 59, of Oakfield Township, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Monte Carlo sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Spencer Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Both drivers wore seatbelts and the crash remains under investigation.

The Post checked with the Kent County Road Commission to find out how many crashes have occurred at this intersection over the last five years.

According to spokesperson Maura Lamoreaux, prior to this crash, there have been nine crashes at that intersection over the last five years and four months (2013 to April 2017). One of them was fatal (in 2013). So about two per year.

She said that to modify traffic control at an intersection, the Kent County Road Commission must follow warrants in accordance with the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. “This is the state and national standard,” she explained.

Lamoreaux added that a study was just completed for the intersection, and it showed that the intersection did not warrant changes to traffic control. “We will continue to monitor this intersection for any changes that would warrant a modification in traffic control,” she said.

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North Kent Community Services takes new name

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It began in 1973 as Rockford Community Services. Sometime in the 1980s it became North Kent Service Center. Then, in 2010, it changed its name to North Kent Community Services, to better reflect the fact it was serving the northern Kent community—from 6 Mile Rd north to the county line at 22 Mile Rd—with food, shelter, utilities support, clothing and more.

Now, in 2017, a bigger change is happening. Not only is it changing its name to North Kent Connect, it is also opening a store to the general public.

“People had difficulty remembering the name North Kent Community Services since it was so long,” explained Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director at North Kent Connect. “We needed something shorter that describes what we do. North Kent Connect does that.”

North Kent Connect connects people to the resources they need–anything from food to job training to fellowship–to help residents in northern Kent County meet basic needs and work towards economic independence.

In order to help even more people in the community, they are opening North Kent Connect Store on Friday, August 4. Anyone can shop there for high-quality, gently-used clothing and household goods at affordable prices. It will be located at 10075 Northland Drive NE. Every purchase will help local families better their lives through North Kent’s empowerment programs.

However, the store has a unique buying proposition. Not only can items be purchased at affordable prices, North Kent Connect clients can also receive store credit by volunteering in the community or taking classes. The organizations’ V.I.P. plan for clients supports the initiative of three-ways-to-pay: Volunteer, Invest or Purchase.

Guisfredi said, “Financial struggles can be a very humbling experience. Shopping at North Kent Connect Store serves as a reminder that everyone has something to offer. It gives our clients dignity knowing that they can give back in some way–through volunteering, investing in themselves (by taking a class), or purchasing items. The North Kent Connect Store is an exciting opportunity for us. It will help the community become aware of all that we offer here. Also, the store will offer job skills training for special needs young adults.”

North Kent Connect Store will be open to the public (beginning August 4) on Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. Clients only can shop Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

 

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The Post travels to Traverse City 

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The Post went on a wine tasting tour in Traverse City over Mother’s Day weekend. Judy Reed, of Cedar Springs, was treated to the weekend as a Mother’s Day present from her children, Rachel Hunt, Jessica Williams, and Steven Reed. The four visited several wineries on both the Old Mission Peninsula and the Leelanau Peninsula, tasted all things cherry at Cherry Republic, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery surrounding Traverse City and the bay.

Thanks to the Reed family for taking us with you!

If you are going on a trip, take a Post with you, snap a photo, and send it to us, along with some info about your trip. Be sure to include your contact info in case we have a question. Send your Post travels stories and photos to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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KDL to bring back the bookmobile

Do you remember when vehicles like this bookmobile visited neighborhoods in the 1970s? KDL is bringing back the bookmobile to serve children, daycare centers and senior centers.

Do you remember when vehicles like this bookmobile visited neighborhoods in the 1970s? KDL is bringing back the bookmobile to serve children, daycare centers and senior centers.

Kent District Library is pleased to announce that it has received a $208,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation to design and offer a bookmobile to the KDL community.

This mobile library will enable KDL to bring its services and programming to Kent County residents who can’t travel to one of its 18 branches on a regular basis. When it hits the streets in winter 2018, it will be equipped with a vast assortment of collection materials for both children and adults.

The bookmobile, which will take 6-9 months to craft, will be outfitted with Wi-Fi, a video screen, a computer, printer, and modular shelves. The vehicle will also be handicapped accessible and will offer security features.

“The Steelcase Foundation chose to support the new KDL bookmobile because of its alignment with the Foundation’s mission of empowering people to reach their full potential by encouraging early learning experiences, family literacy and improving access to books, programs and computer learning throughout Kent County,” said Steelcase Foundation President Julie Ridenour. “While not a new concept, the bookmobile will take these opportunities to the communities where they are most needed. The Steelcase Foundation hopes there will be a future time when today’s young and new readers will share their bookmobile experiences with their own families.”

The bookmobile will allow Kent District Library to share its programs and collection with patrons, particularly students, beyond the walls of the branch library. KDL will partner with Kent School Services Network, or KSSN, to bring the bookmobile to seven elementary schools each week. The bookmobile will also bring the library to senior centers, rural centers, summer day care programs and a variety of other locations.

“KDL is thrilled to offer library services and programs that can help improve our students’ reading ability through this partnership with KSSN,” said Linda Krombeen, development manager for Kent District Library. “We are extremely grateful to the Steelcase Foundation for its generosity in making this effort a reality.”

One of KDL’s goals in offering the bookmobile is to increase reading proficiency in third grade students. In 2016, 50 percent of Kent County third graders were not proficient in English language arts.

“The Kent School Services Network is very excited to partner with the KDL on the Bookmobile grant,” said Carol Paine-McGovern, executive director of KSSN. “Bringing access to library programs and collections to schools is a community school strategy that will have a positive impact on early literacy and parent engagement.”

Kent District Library will seek donations to fill the bookmobile with books and other materials.

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Congressional Medal of Merit recipients recognized

Rep. Justin Amash and Tara Tepin, Cedar Springs High School.

Rep. Justin Amash and Tara Tepin, Cedar Springs High School.

Rep. Justin Amash and Autumn Shelagowski, Creative Technologies Academy.

Rep. Justin Amash and Autumn Shelagowski, Creative Technologies Academy.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) recognized the 2017 service academy appointees and student Congressional Medal of Merit recipients from Michigan’s Third District at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on Saturday, May 6.

“We are blessed to have such amazing students in our community. They are making a difference for our future,” said Amash.

Applicants to the service academies require a nomination from an authorized nominating source, which includes members of Congress. To assist with the nominating process, Amash assembled a committee of military and civic leaders who reviewed applications, interviewed potential nominees, and made recommendations.

In addition to the six service academy appointees recognized, Amash honored 40 students with the Congressional Medal of Merit. The Congressional Medal of Merit recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship and academic excellence. Recipients were nominated by their principals or guidance counselors.

In our coverage area, there were two students recognized as Congressional Medal of Merit recipients: Autumn Shelagowski, of Creative Technologies Academy; and Tara Nicole Tepin, of Cedar Springs High School.

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Fundraiser for Solon Fire Department

 

N-Fire-department-fundraiser-Auto-chest-compressionSpaghetti fundraiser and silent auction May 31 for lifesaving equipment

By Judy Reed

When someone you know and love is in cardiac arrest, you want to get them the best help possible. That’s why the Solon Township Fire Department is holding an all you can eat spaghetti dinner and silent auction at Big Boy, on Tuesday, May 31, from 5-8 p.m., to raise money for new equipment that will help save lives. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children.

In 2016, there were more than 350,000 instances of sudden cardiac arrest (outside of hospitals), according to the American Heart Association. About 46 percent had CPR performed on them by a bystander, and only 12 percent survived. That might not sound like a high number, but it’s a number that’s climbed over the last several years, thanks to new lifesaving equipment available to paramedics that will automatically do chest compressions. And Solon Township Fire and Rescue is trying to raise money to buy the equipment to treat people locally.

Algoma and Kent City have the equipment, and Cedar Springs purchased it earlier this year after doing a fundraiser. Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser said they were first introduced to it by Algoma Fire, who helped them on a call. “It’s an amazing piece of equipment and will help save lives,” he said.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, the equipment is about $15,000. They have received a $2,500 donation, and have also applied for a grant through Lowe’s.

Administering manual CPR is not easy work. It calls for 120 chest compressions a minute, and involves several paramedics. The new equipment would bring that number down.

According to Drake, automatic chest compression devices save precious amounts of time, manpower, and increase a patient’s survival rate substantially. They are safe and efficient tools that standardize chest compressions during cardiac arrest and are in accordance with the latest scientific guidelines developed by the American Heart Association.

One case where they had to use manual CPR occurred in February. The woman’s husband later thanked Solon first responders at a township board meeting. Tom Decker praised the responders for their efforts when his wife, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, collapsed in their home. He began to do chest compressions, and then Solon Fire responded within minutes and took over. They eventually got her heart beating again, and she was sent to the hospital.

“Sadly she did not regain consciousness and passed away on the evening of the second (of February),” wrote Tom. “That was God’s will, not our first responders. At my request, they did everything possible in their efforts to save her. They were obviously well trained, dedicated, driven, and efficient, yet compassionate and understanding…I do want them to know how grateful I will always be for their service to my wife. Even though I don’t know them, they are my heroes.”

Getting the equipment to do automatic chest compressions will help the rescue workers in cases such as Mrs. Decker’s, and others.

You can help by attending the all you can eat spaghetti dinner and silent auction. Some of the items being auctioned off include a TV, Tiger baseball tickets (10th row), Whitecaps tickets, and a $25 Dairy Queen gift card.

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Michigan sees 10 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 

 

For the second year, Michigan traffic deaths increased 10 percent, up from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 in 2016, according to just-released information from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

For 2017, we have had 338 traffic deaths so far, which is up by 26 (eight percent) from May of 2016.

Prior to 2016, the last year Michigan exceeded 1,000 traffic fatalities was 2007. Crashes, injuries and serious injuries were up as well:

*Crashes: 297,023 in 2015 to 312,172 in 2016, up 5 percent.

*Injuries: 74,157 in 2015 to 79,724 in 2016, up 8 percent.

*Serious injuries: 4,865 in 2015 to 5,634 in 2016, up 16 percent.

Positive progress was noted in several areas, including alcohol-involved traffic deaths, which fell 11 percent, from 303 in 2015 to 271 in 2016, and a 7 percent decline for young driver-involved fatalities (age 16-20), from 158 in 2015 to 147 in 2016.

“Some trends are emerging, especially with regard to drug-impaired traffic deaths, and our office is aligning resources accordingly,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “More resources are available to train law enforcement officers in the detection of drug-impaired drivers and OHSP is continuing federal funding for impaired driving traffic patrols throughout the year. In addition, planning is underway to use new earmarked federal funds to help address the state’s bicyclist and pedestrian crashes and fatalities.

“Our core programs, focused on increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving remain as important as ever,” he added.

The increases are part of a national trend of rapidly rising traffic deaths. Researchers believe an improved economy and lower gas prices have contributed to an increase in miles driven.

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 In other areas:

*Bicyclist fatalities increased from 33 in 2015 to 38 in 2016, up 15 percent.

*Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities increased from 85 in 2015 to 120 in 2016, up 41 percent.

*Drug-involved fatalities increased from 179 in 2015 to 236 in 2016, up 32 percent.

*Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 138 in 2015 to 141 in 2016, up 2 percent. *Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 170 in 2015 to 165 in 2016, down 3 percent. Note: More detailed 2016 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months. Statewide crash information can be found at Michigan.gov/crash.

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