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Archive | January, 2018

Man killed in Tyrone Township crash

A man died Sunday after his car left the road and hit a tree in Tyrone Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 5:37 p.m. Sunday, January 14. The investigation showed that David Keith Verduin, 49, of Tyrone Township, was eastbound on 18 Mile Road, just west of Tyrone Avenue, when his 1997 Honda Civic left the roadway, struck a ditch, and then a large tree.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police believe alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash. They do not know if he was wearing his seatbelt.

Assisting at the scene was Kent City Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

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JOEL E. KINSEY

Joel E. Kinsey age 20 of Sand Lake, died Thursday, January 4, 2018 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Joel was born November 2, 1997 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Jerry and Nicole (Frahm) Kinsey. He was a 2016 graduate of Tri-County High School and was presently serving as a LCpl in the U.S. Marines. He enjoyed hunting with his dogs and fishing. He loved chocolate and had a huge sweet tooth. Surviving are his mother, Nicole (Fernando Bernal) Kinsey; father, Jerry Kinsey; sisters, Naomi (Corey) Wesche, Jordan Kinsey, Sophia Bernal; brothers, Nickolas Kinsey, Ezra Kinsey; special friend, Brianna Hesselink; and extended family. The family will receive friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 10:00 a.m. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health NICU.

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

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AARON LEE DAULT

Aaron Lee Dault age 23 of Cedar Springs, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Aaron was born January 3, 1995 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Dean and Kara (Wiles) Dault. He was a 2013 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and was finishing his bachelor degree at Ferris State University. He loved being with his family and friends, playing soccer and his guitar. He was a genuine, kind-hearted and humble young man who will be deeply missed by many. Aaron was involved at his church, St. John Paul II where he was adored by the parishioners and everyone he met. He will be remembered for his million dollar smile holding the door open and saying “hi” to the people as they came for Mass. Surviving are his parents, Dean and Kara Dault; brother and sisters, Luke, Grace and Sophia; grandparents, Sue Dault, Sue and Bruce Cadwell, and Diana Wiles; great-grandmothers, Ann Wiles and Barb Herrington; aunts and uncles, Deb (Tom) Kies, Dano (Carrie) Dault, Tricia (Dwight) Perkin, Lindsey Wiles, Tyler Wiles, Jenna Wiles, Carrie (Brandon) Covington, Cory (Tina) Cadwell, Erin (Jim) Carter, Erica Purcell, Kim Bolens; many cousins and many many special friends. He was preceded in death by grandfathers, Lee Dault and Doyle Wiles. The family greeted friends Wednesday, January 10 at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, 3110 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, January 11 at 11:00 a.m. at church. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John Paul II Capital Campaign. 

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

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Young Marine dies in M-57 crash

Joel Kinsey, a 2016 Tri County graduate, was killed in a traffic crash on 14 Mile Rd on Jan. 4.

Several people were injured and one person died in a crash on 14 Mile Rd, in Oakfield Township, last week Thursday.

According to the Michigan State Police, the crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, January 4, west of Wabasis Ave. The investigation showed that an eastbound vehicle driven by Joseph Hanna, 39, of Sparta, tried to pass a vehicle driven by Jerry Kinsey, 48, of Sand Lake, and the two vehicles collided. The collision resulted in both vehicles losing control and Kinsey’s vehicle spinning into the westbound lane, where it was struck by a van driven by Gail Gansmiller, 48, of Sheridan. The passenger in Kinsey’s vehicle, his 20-year-old son, Joel Kinsey, of Sand Lake, was killed, and Jerry Kinsey was transported to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids in critical condition.  

Hanna and Gansmiller were treated for minor injuries. 

Police said that speed and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash.  

Assisting at the scene was Oakfield Township Fire, Courtland Township Fire, the Kent County Sheriff Department, and Rockford Ambulance.

Joel Kinsey was a 2016 graduate of Tri-County High School and was presently serving as a LCpl in the U.S. Marines. He is the son of Jerry Kinsey and Nicole (Fernando Bernal) Kinsey.

Click here to see his obituary.

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Solon man dies in crash

Aaron Dault, 23, died early Sunday, when the car he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. Facebook photo.

 

Aaron Dault takes the ball upfield for Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer in 2010. Post file photo.

A 23-year-old Solon Township man died early Sunday morning in a one-car crash on White Creek Avenue.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning on White Creek Avenue, between 18 Mile and Wiersma, when the car that Aaron Lee Dault was driving veered off the roadway and struck a tree. Police reported that he died instantly. 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor.

Aaron Dault, 23. Facebook photo.

Aaron is the son of Dean and Kara (Wiles) Dault, of Solon Township.

Aaron graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2013, where he played varsity soccer and track. He was currently finishing his bachelor’s degree at Ferris State University. Aaron was also involved at his church, St. John Paul II Catholic Church here in Cedar Springs. According to his obituary, “he was adored by the parishioners and everyone he met. He will be remembered for his million dollar smile, holding the door open, and saying ‘hi’ to the people as they came for Mass.”

Click here to see Aaron’s obituary.

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New art exhibits on display at the library

 

These 3D pieces of art by Lori Hough are part of the new art display at Cedar Springs Public Library. Courtesy photos.

Since the new Cedar Springs Public Library opened last spring, it has been showing interesting works of art by local artists, and the new exhibit is no exception.

Artists, Authors & YOU!, a continually-changing art exhibit sponsored by the Cedar Springs Public Library, is currently featuring the works of  multi-media artist Hazel Palmer of Cedar Springs, and papier mache sculptor, Lori Hough of Fremont. 

On display by Hazel Palmer are two vibrant multi-media pieces—Visitors and Soul’s Journey. A graduate of MSU, Palmer also studied watercolor extensively with Reynold Weidenaar, Mary Jane Anway and Eunice Bolt. She enjoyed teaching for several years, including a position with Grand Rapids Public Schools.  

“Water media has become a way of life for me. The excitement of seeing rich color pooling, dripping and splashing on a plain white paper and becoming something is a high that is extraordinary,” she said.  

Ideas for her artwork come from within as she closes her eyes, dreams or meditates. She believes “we are all one” and it pleases her when someone understands the language of her paintings. Palmer often combines watercolor, acrylics, watercolor pencils, oil pastels, sand, gesso and flights of fancy to convey her visions. 

Contrasting Palmer’s multi-media works are several 3-D pieces submitted by wildlife artist Lori Hough. Hough studied art at Grand Rapids Junior College and holds a degree in zoology through MSU. Prior to her livelihood as an artist, she worked a variety of seasonal jobs in wildlife—including stints as a biologist on fishing boats in the Bering Sea. She holds many honors and awards for her work, including her rank in the Top 50 at ArtPrize 2010. Her papier mache sculptures on display in Cedar Springs include whimsical dancing mice, a tabletop sized giraffe, a mythological Pegasus, an elk interacting with nature, and other delightful creations. 

The library is located at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 9-noon.

The Artists, Authors & You! Program will continue to offer the community new works of art each quarter of the year. If you’re an artist who is interested in participating in the program, or you own a piece of art you’d like to share with the community, please send your information to:

Artists, Authors & You!

Cedar Springs Community Library 

107 North Main Street

Cedar Springs, MI 49319 

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OK2SAY has received over 10,000 tips from Michigan students

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in 2016 with Jo Spry, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and the inspiration behind the OK2Say program. Post photo by J. Reed.

AG released the 2017 tips numbers, which increased 37 percent since 2016

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that the OK2SAY student safety program has received 10,734 tips since the program was started in September 2014. In 2017 alone, the program received 4,605 tips–up 37 percent from 2016. For the first time, suicide threats topped the tip list.

Tips were received across 30 categories including the following:

  • 1,205 tips on suicide threats;
  • 961 tips on bullying;
  • 456 tips in the other category, related to anxiety, stress, depression, harassment
  • 390 tips on self-harm
  • 311 tips on drugs; and
  • 287 tips on cyberbullying.

“This program can be categorized as nothing else but a success, and it is a success because Michigan students are using it,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY has given students who previously did not know where to turn a confidential place to get help. I want to thank our presenters and the OK2SAY technicians at the Michigan State Police who make students feel safe and comfortable when providing tips. They are another piece of the puzzle that makes this program such a success.”

State Attorney General Bill Schuette with Cedar Springs students in 2016 when the OK2SAY program was adopted here. Courtesy photo.

OK2SAY is a student safety program that acts as an early warning system in Michigan schools to prevent tragedies before they occur. Launched in 2014, the program encourages students to submit confidential tips to trained technicians regarding potential harm or threats 24/7.

Through the 4,605 tips received in 2017, OK2SAY has saved lives. Submitted tips have prevented school violence, thwarted suicide attempts and provided help to many Michigan students in need of mental health or social services.

OK2SAY is effective in combatting the culture of silence that permeates Michigan schools. After every tip a report is filled out and acted upon. In the 2016 reports, 67 percent of schools, law enforcement and mental health professionals who received the tip from OK2SAY line said they were previously unaware of the problem. OK2SAY has proven to be immensely successful in saving lives and preventing tragedies.

Cedar Springs Public Schools adopted this state program in 2016. Schuette was on hand for the kick off of the program, and told both students and the Post that it is about changing the culture from “don’t be a snitch” to “it’s ok to communicate to save a life.”

“OK2SAY has made a difference. We are stopping violence in its tracks and making school a safer place for our kids,” said Schuette. “Credit for the program’s success is directly attributable to the thousands of student ‘heroes in the hallway’ who stepped up and took ownership of their roles in keeping their schools and classmates safe.”

The state program, which started in fall 2014, just happened to be inspired Cedar Springs Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Jo Spry, before she came to Cedar Springs. Schuette honored Spry during that program with a special license plate in a frame that reads “OK2SAY.” 

“It’s truly a passion of mine to make sure students in all of our schools are safe,” said Spry at the time. “OK2SAY is a wonderful program, and I will be eternally grateful to the legislators, community groups and the attorney general that stepped up to see it through.”

How to submit an OK2say tip

OK2SAY encourages confidential tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, and schools. Tips can be submitted through the following ways:

Call: 8-555-OK2SAY, 855-565-2729

Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)

Email: ok2say@mi.gov

Web:  www.ok2say.com

OK2SAY Mobile App: Available for download in app stores for iPhone and Android.

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Kent District Library Director named Top Librarian in the Nation

KDL Library Director Lance Werner

Lance Werner, executive director of Kent District Library, has been named the top librarian in the nation by Library Journal.

The 2018 Librarian of the Year award honors a professional librarian among nominees from across the country for outstanding achievement and accomplishments reflecting the loftiest service goals of the library profession. Werner was recognized for his strong leadership, effective legislative advocacy and championing access for his over 200,000 patrons in Kent County.

Werner is the first–and only–Michigan librarian to win the Librarian of the Year award.

“My version of leadership is to get the best people I can, give them what they need and then get out of their way,” Werner said. “I’m one gear in a big machine where everyone is important.” Werner credits this philosophy as a cornerstone to building strong advocacy among his team, municipalities, strategic partners and patrons. 

Under Werner’s leadership, Kent District Library:

• Championed access for all by becoming the first public library in the state to offer e-magazines, e-movies, e-comics and streaming video games free of charge.

• Extended the reach of technology by circulating iPads and wireless hotspots community-wide.

• Installed a collection of Little Free Libraries around Kent County. There are currently 14, which are housed in community centers, senior centers, parks and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

• Opened a branch in Kelloggsville High School, which will be a community library outside of school hours.

• Began offering healthcare for part-time employees.

• Partnered with other West Michigan libraries to collect 50,000 library materials for the Port Arthur Public Library, a Texas library devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

• Launched a statewide short story contest called Write Michigan, now in its 6th year, which most recently drew more than 900 submissions from children, teens, adults and Spanish-language writers.

• Provided books for military troops stationed in the Middle East.

• Trained all staff members in first aid and CPR.

• Launched adult program series highlighting beer (KDaLe), wine (KDL Uncorked) and coffee (KDL Caffeinated).

• Partnered with The Geek Group and other local organizations to offer innovative programming, including STEM initiatives.

“Working with Lance is exciting,” said Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, KDL’s director of innovation and user experience. “I admire that he has respect for all of our staff and genuinely wants to do the best for our patrons and communities. This shows in the relationships he has grown over the years and our efforts to grow our KDL family to include more and more community groups.”

Werner builds his life around three pillars: kindness, empathy and love.

“I don’t feel like I have a job, it’s more of a calling,” Werner explained. “I’m so blessed to do work that I love, with those that I love, for those that I love. I consider myself a public servant and want to add to the greater good and touch the lives of future generations.”

Werner has been director of Kent District Library since May 2011. He previously served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing and as a library law specialist at the Library of Michigan. He earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, a law degree from Michigan State University and a master’s of library information systems from Wayne State University.

“As the 30th recipient of the LJ Librarian of the Year award, Lance exemplifies the dynamism and keen intelligence we expect in a winner,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal. “His deep understanding of the importance of building and nurturing strong relationships at all levels has resulted in improved service for his community, enhanced benefits for the Kent District Library staff, and improved the outlook for libraries across Michigan. We are very excited to name him LJ’s 2018 Librarian of the Year.” 

Werner will receive a $1,500 cash prize and is featured in Library Journal’s January 2018 issue, available in print and online. Werner was previously a 2016 LJ Mover & Shaker and 2017 Michigan Library Association Librarian of the Year.

About Kent District Library

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries that serve nearly 400,000 residents of 27 different municipalities throughout Kent County. KDL is an IRS-designed 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations. KDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. For more, visit kdl.org.

 

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Community organization seeking members

 

Would you like to make a hands-on difference in your community? If you’re interested in getting involved in the Cedar Springs community, the Community Building Development Team is looking for new members. The CBDT spearheads major community projects in the City and is responsible for the new community library, community gardens, and is actively working on developing playgrounds and an amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs park. If you want to make a difference, consider joining the CBDT at their next meeting January 16, at the new Cedar Springs Public Library at 6:00 p.m. to see how you can make the City a better place to live.

You can visit their website at http://www.cscommunitycenter.org/.

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Man injured in Montcalm crash

Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a two-car crash on Greenville Road south of Wise Road at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 7, 2017.

The investigation revealed that William Mason, age 46 from Belding, was leaving the parking lot of a local business in his blue 1994 Honda Accord and pulled into the path of a northbound vehicle driven by Lyle Joslyn, age 48 from Ionia.

Mason’s vehicle was struck in the driver’s door by Joslyn’s black 2003 GMC pickup. Mason had to be extricated using the Jaws of Life due to the damaged sustained to the vehicle.

Mason was transported to Spectrum in Grand Rapids for serious injuries. Mason’s passenger, John Dulea age 54, from Greenville, was not injured. Joslyn was not injured in the crash.

Police said seat belts were used and airbags deployed during the crash. There are no known factors contributing to the crash and it is not known why Mason pulled into the path of Joslyn. Portions of Greenville Road had to be closed for approximately one-half hour during the extrication and clean up. The crash remains under investigation.

Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services and the Greenville Department of Public Safety fire units assisted at the scene.

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