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Archive | April, 2018

Have you seen this man?

Dr. Steven Scranton has gone missing. Courtesy photo.

UPDATE: SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2018 4:37 p.m.

The body of Dr. Steven Scranton has been found.  As a result of the media coverage, the police received a tip on the possible location of his vehicle in Montcalm County. The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office investigated the tip and located the vehicle in their jurisdiction. A short time later Dr. Scranton was located deceased a short distance from where the vehicle was located. No foul play is suspected at this time.


A rehab doctor that was charged with criminal sexual conduct and is awaiting trial has gone missing.

Dr. Steven Edward Scranton was charged on January 30 with Criminal Sexual Conduct involving some of his patients. He bonded out and was awaiting trial.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Dr. Scranton left his home in Cannon Township in his vehicle on April 25, 2018, at 10:19 p.m., and police believe he is suicidal. “We used all traditional investigative techniques to locate him and have been unsuccessful, so we are now asking for the public’s help,” said police, in a release. “We do not believe he has the intent to harm anyone else, but he did leave his home with a rifle so we ask anyone that locates him or his vehicle to call their local police agency to investigate further.”

Dr. Scranton is described as a white male, 65 years old, 5’11”, 195 Pounds, glasses, white hair (balding) and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray Northface Jacket, and jeans. He was driving a gray 2015 Dodge Ram Longhorn, Four-Door Extended Cab, MI Plate #DHM5056. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6357 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.


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CS Museum to feature bridal gowns in annual tour


Spring Into the Past Tour of Museums May 5 and 6

This 1940s style wedding dress, worn by Arlene (Shick) Wesche on her wedding day in 1950, will be on display at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum May 5 and 6. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Beachwear, bustles, and bridal gowns! A variety of timeless “Fashions Through the Ages” will be visible in the museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network during their annual “Spring Into the Past” tour May 5 and 6. 

The Cedar Springs Historical Museum, which is part of the Tri-River network, will feature bridal gowns and wedding attire from 1890, 1910, the 1940s, and the 1970s.

“Last year we featured clothing from different time periods,” said Museum Director Sharon Jett. “But when this new wedding dress came in, we thought it might be a good time to feature the wedding dresses we have.”

The dress Jett referred to is a beautiful 1940s era wedding dress donated by the Wesche family. It was worn by Arlene (Shick) Wesche when she said, “I do!” to the love her life, August (Bud) Wesche, on June 23, 1950, at the First Baptist Church in Cedar Springs. They resided in Cedar Springs for 64 years, where they raised four children, Daniel, Linda, Gregg, and Sandra. The dress became a family heirloom, and was worn by both of Arlene’s daughters and a sister-in-law as well.

This 1890s era wedding attire doubled as a dress that could also be worn to church. Post photo by J. Reed.

The museum will also be showing two wedding dresses from 1890, both black. One was worn by the grandmother of Mike Race, and the other is a simple dress which could also be worn to church. “If a family wasn’t especially wealthy, they often bought a dress that was dark so they could also wear it as their Sunday best,” noted Jett.

The 1910 dress being featured is white. “It is reminiscent of the type often wore at graduation, and they also often got married in it,” explained Jett.

A 1910 wedding dress (hanging) and a 1970s wedding dress are also part of the display. Post photo by J. Reed.

A wedding dress from the 1970s will also be on display.

The museums on the tour are as versatile as the fashions, located in former vintage meeting halls, homes, stores and depots in small communities throughout the Tri-River Network in Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties. All are eager to share the history of their community both past and present. 

During this annual event, all museums are open the same days and hours for visitor convenience. Scheduled tour hours are Saturday, May 5, from 11 am to 5 p.m., and Sunday, May 6, from 12 to 5 p.m. 

Informational booklets are available at any museum or download from commoncorners.com. A handy map is included so you can pick an area and tour several museums on the same day. (Ada’s Averill museum is closed in 2018 for expansion and renovations.) 

Museums are free, but donations are always welcome! Visit TriRiver on Facebook, too.

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Kids giving back to kids

Cedar Springs Girl Scout troop 4815 worked hard to earn enough money through cookie sales to donate $1,000 and 14 “Build-a-Bears” to DeVos Children’s Hospital last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Girl Scouts donate $1,000 to help kids

When customers buy Girl Scout cookies every year, they are thinking of all that delicious, mouth-watering goodness inside the box. But what they may not realize is that by purchasing those cookies, they are helping our local Girl Scout troops help someone else.

Last Saturday, April 21, Girl Scout Troop 4815 of Cedar Springs donated $1000 and 14 “Build-a-Bears” to patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. All of the money was earned from cookie sales. They sold a total of 7,814 boxes of cookies from January-March.

The troop is made up of 14 Brownie Scouts (2nd and 3rd graders) and nine Daisy Scouts (K and 1st graders). Troop leaders are Angie Hazen (Brownies), Susan Tagg (Brownies) and Erin Meredith (Daisies).

“The girls voted at the start of Girl Scout Cookie Season in January 2018 on what charity they would like to donate to. It was important to us as Troop leaders to exercise the lesson of Give, Spend and Save. They girls raised enough money this cookie season to give to the hospital, buy all their badges for next fall, and to plan a fun party,” they explained. 

If you would like to learn more about Girl Scouts, visit the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore website at http://www.gsmists.org/.

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Board sets calendar for Superintendent search


Residents urged to take web survey, attend community meetings Thursday or Friday

By Judy Reed

If you live or work in Cedar Springs and would like a voice in what qualities the Cedar Springs Board of Education should look for in a new Superintendent, you will have the opportunity to do that through Saturday, April 28.

The board held a special meeting Thursday evening, April 19, where they met with search consultant Gary Rider, of the Michigan Leadership Institute (MLI) and set a tentative timeline for the search.

Rider and the board discussed the importance of feedback from parents, students, staff, and the community throughout the process. “Mr. Rider will be facilitating focus group meetings and a community forum to explain the search process, and a survey to gather data regarding what people would like to see in their next superintendent will be posted on the district web site.  This data will be compiled and given to the Board to consider when developing a profile for the ideal candidate,” said Board President Heidi Reed.

The short three question survey can be found on their website at http://www.csredhawks.org/. Just scroll down to where it says, “Take the Superintendent Search Survey.” It is available through noon on Saturday, April 28.

Rider will also be holding focus group meetings and community forums this week. The community forums will be held in the Hilltop 3rd floor boardroom on Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m., and then on Friday, April 27, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. The public is invited to attend any of these.

A preliminary job posting was put up online last Friday, April 20, just putting the position out there. After the board gets feedback from the survey and the focus groups and community forums, they will put together the candidate profile, which will be posted by May 4. 

Rider stressed to the board the importance of listening to the feedback they get from the community, staff and students. “If you don’t take that feedback and include it in the profile, they should call you out on it,” remarked Rider. “You need to be accountable to them. You are looking for credibility. This is a great opportunity to show it.”

The application deadline for the position will be May 16. Rider expects a good pool of qualified candidates to apply for the position. “I anticipate the district will attract quality applicants both close to Cedar Springs and from outside the area,” said Rider.

The board will meet on May 18 to review the applications in closed session, and then will announce in open session which candidates will be interviewed. The first round of interviews will take place on June 7 and 8, with second round interviews on June 26 and 27. Rider said the community would be involved in those interviews by giving written feedback and questions to the board.

July 10 and 11 have been blocked out for possible site visits.

Rider noted that the community and staff don’t want this to be rushed. He said he would do a thorough job regardless of the time frame.

During the public comment time, both teacher Jen Kahler and community resident Sue Wolfe said they felt like the search was being rushed. Wolfe noted that not only are they are down a board member, but she asked what happens if Matt McConnon decides he can’t serve if the decision comes back from the prosecutor’s office that he can’t serve on both the school board and Courtland Township? And what happens when Brook Nichols leaves? (She is selling her house but will probably still be on board through early July.) She also noted that many people would be busy during this time.

The board met again on Monday, April 23, for a regular business meeting. Remarks during public comment time centered around asking the board to slow down the process. Teacher Virginia Valentine asked them to put the search on hold until they could get a new board. (Three are up for potential recall, and others will need to run for their seat again in the fall.) 

Teacher Libby Metiva told them there is a high level of fear regarding the Superintendent search and said that it might be time to share their thinking. “How flexible is your timeline if you don’t find the right candidate?” she asked.

Resident Todd Norman asked them to “pump the brakes, halt what you are doing. Bring in an interim and let the people decide.” He noted he didn’t want the same thing to happen that happened in March.

Resident Sally Smith said she thought it’s tragic what has happened in the district. She said she was confident Gary Rider was the best person for the job and would do his best. She also noted that having a Superintendent before the beginning of the year was the best thing for our district.

At the end of the meeting, during BOE comment time, Brook Nichols gave an emotional statement to the audience regarding the resignation of the former Superintendent and the search for a new one. She apologized to the crowd and urged them to come together and put aside their differences.

“Everyone makes mistakes. I made a mistake. I was thrilled with the last person until I realized what was happening. And her not being here is best for our whole district…The board that was there and continued to be there for part of that time is very different than the board that’s up here now…Of course we want what’s best for our district. Our kids go here, or have gone here or have graduated and we’re proud of that. We don’t want someone that does a terrible job, of course. I know it’s frustrating; I’m not going to ask you all to just trust something that you haven’t trusted and haven’t felt heard for a long time, I get it. I do. But reach out to a few of us and not just the ones you think will listen. Let us know how you feel. I understand you’ve spoken up here, but it’s different. Meet for coffee. I’ll meet anybody. Be a part of the process. There is a lot in place for feedback. 

“To me, when I heard slow down, to be honest with you, I thought that meant take your time, not wait for everybody to get recalled or changed and then start next year…now I understand what you meant. But, there could be a great candidate out there. And there might not be…And if we all work together and listen to each other, I promise I’ll listen to the feedback…This is what we’ve got going. There are rules in place for people that have retired. How long they can work, how much they can collect in salary, so there are other pieces to it.

“I can’t discuss what happened in closed session so I’m not going to do that…We did not sit down and have a happy conversation…It was not a happy ‘Hey let’s sit down and do this together.’ It was horrible. It was horrible for all of you and it was also horrible for all of us. I guess with that in mind, I’m sorry for what happened. I’ll take any responsibility that is my own. Maybe at times I should’ve done or voted something differently. I apologize if I offended anyone personally. Let me know and I’ll try to make it right.

“We are not going to vote tonight on stopping a process because that’s not how this normally works. Not that we can’t have that conversation, and not that it can’t continue and still at some point say we don’t have any good candidates…
“But that can’t happen if there’s all this conflict. So I’m asking anyone that’s willing to take a little step forward, all together, and let’s follow the process. Let’s get your input, have the meetings, see what we get, and if we don’t get somebody that’s right, we can start back over. And that’s ok…

“I do care. We all deserve to be heard and we all deserve to be cared about. And we all deserve to come to a district where we can help our kids be the best they can be. I’m asking everyone to put aside their hate or upset feelings or whatever it is and please come together.”

To reach the members of the Board of Education, you can find their email addresses at http://www.csredhawks.org/District/Board-of-Education/Meet-our-Board/index.html.

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1,000 books before kindergarten

Farrah Shamoon, 3, with Children’s Librarian Heidi Fifield.

Some people may not read 1,000 books in their life. But Farrah Shamoon, age 3, is the first graduate of the “1,000 books before kindergarten” program at the Cedar Springs Public Library. 

Parents can sign up their child from birth to before kindergarten. The program is divided in to 10 levels, with 100 books on each level. Kids can color or mark off each book read in their reading log. After reading 100 books, the log is turned in kids receive a sticker for their reading chart and a new log.

Once all the levels are complete, the child will receive a certificate of completion and a bag with a book and a matching stuffed animal.

Books do not have to be from the library and can be counted more than once.

To learn more about the program or to pick up a brochure, please visit the Cedar Springs Public Library at the corner of Main and W. Maple or call 696-1910 for more information.

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Sand Lake Elementary receives Excellence award

Students investigating how elevation and pressure affect the flow of water.


The STEM class for third, fourth and fifth graders at Sand Lake Elementary, in the Tri County Public Schools District, is one of the five programs in schools across the state selected to receive one of the 2018 Education Excellence awards for their work to create opportunities and help build stronger, brighter futures for their students.

Each school will receive a $2,500 grant from the SET SEG Foundation, in partnership with the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). 

“It’s an honor for us to recognize these schools and educators, and help support and advance their efforts,” said Lisa Truscott, SET SEG Foundation Executive Director. “Dedicated, passionate teachers and staff in public schools are what help provide opportunities to learn, grow and build brighter, stronger futures for students and our communities and state.” (more below)

According to Sand Lake STEM teacher Polly Bolt, the mission of the STEM class is to provide project-based, authentic learning experiences in which students incorporate science, technology, engineering and math. “ Each year, all of our district’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students attend STEM class as a ‘special’ (similar to art, music, and physical education), which runs the full year. Teaching students for all three years they are in our building, I have the opportunity to build on and enhance the students’ learning experiences from previous years,” she explained.

“Through this grant, our STEM program has the opportunity to be proactive in offering our elementary students greater access to computer science in an engaging, social, and interactive way,” said Bolt. “Funds from the Education Excellence grant would allow us to purchase Dash robots and accessories to expand students’ exposure to computer science through coding beyond what they can learn at online site like code.org.”

Other programs/schools that were awarded grants were:

Kent Intermediate School District’s program, MySchool@Kent, a student-centered, teacher-driven school, featuring online instruction with extensive support.

Be True 2 You at Greenville Public Schools, a program that inspires girls to develop and maintain healthy relationships, create a keen sense of self, and recognize the impact they can have on their community.

Ionia Public Schools After-School Panther Learning Club at Twin Rivers Elementary School, focuses on homework completion and reading for students that are falling behind.

 The Bulldogs Bookin’ Bus through Otsego Public Schools encourages students to read over the summer by visiting key neighborhoods in the district, allowing students to check out books twice a week.

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Earth Day clean up


Rose Powell helped clean up on Earth Day. Courtesy photo.

Denny Benham helped stack brush and limbs during Earth Day clean up. Courtesy photo.

On Saturday, April 21 from 9 am to noon, about 20 volunteers, as young as 1 year old, gathered to clean up the park area off Pine St and along Cedar Creek behind the library. Brush was cleared and put in a pile for the Cedar Springs Fired Department to burn at a later date. Logs were hauled out and cut up as well as debris put in garbage bags. It was a beautiful sunny day for community volunteers being led by the Community Building Development Team to participate in a local Earth Day cleanup. 

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Construction update

Traveling on US-131 is about to get a little more complicated as ramps at 14 Mile and 10 Mile close for construction.

The following two ramps will soon close for construction through mid-July. Motorists will be detoured to Algoma Avenue:

  • The on ramp from 14 Mile Road to southbound US-131 is scheduled to close today, Thursday, April 26.
  • The off ramp from southbound US-131 to 10 Mile Road will close on Tuesday, May 1.

The closures have been delayed a couple of times due to weather.

The closure is part of the US-131 reconstruction project between 10 and 14 Mile Roads this spring/summer.

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Police seek info in Leppinks breaking and entering

The Leppinks Food Center in Stanton was broken in to between April 1-2.

Reward for info

Leppinks is offering a reward up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in the breaking and entering of their store in Stanton.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, Leppinks Food Center in Stanton was broken in to between the evening hours of Sunday, April 1, and the early morning hours of Monday, April 2. The suspects gained entry into the safe located in the office of the store and left with an undisclosed amount of money. 

Anyone that has any information regarding this crime is asked to please call the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post at (989) 352-8444.

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Protesters removed from Ice Mountain property

On Monday, April 23, 2018, at about 4:18 p.m., the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Stanwood, Ice Mountain water bottling plant for a report of approximately 40 protesters that were attempting to gain entry into the plant.  

According to the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrived on scene and were met by multiple protesters exiting the lobby entrance. Deputies identified the people that were reported to be trespassing. Police said they were cooperative and that they said were there to speak with Ice Mountain regarding the permit to pump more water as well as the Flint water crisis.  

Deputies also spoke with plant personnel and were advised that no protesters made it past the lobby. There was no property damage and no assaultive behavior was reported.  

Police said the protesters agreed to leave the property and they did so without incident.  

Deputies were assisted by Ferris State University Police, Michigan State Police, and Michigan DNR Law Division.

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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28


The Michigan State Police (MSP) is urging residents to discard expired, unused and unwanted pills during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, one of two annual events held in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies.

MSP’s 30 posts will participate in the one-day Take-Back effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, by serving as drop-off points. All collected pills will be destroyed. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

“With opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses becoming all too common, I strongly urge Michiganders to use this opportunity to check what is in your medicine cabinet and then properly dispose of any medications you no longer need,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October. During the October 2017 effort, MSP posts collected roughly 802 pounds of prescription drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose safety and health hazards.

Find your closest MSP Post at www.michigan.gov/msp. Additional collection sites across the state can be found by going to www.dea.gov.

Anyone who is unable to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any MSP post, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

The City of Cedar Springs also collects unused prescription drugs daily Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

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Hunting Michigan morels with Mi-HUNT

Gathering morel mushrooms is a gratifying pursuit whether with friends and family or alone. This photo was taken during a 2015 morel mushroom hunt in Windsor Township in Eaton County.

By Andy Evans, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

It was early May, and a certain spring activity was on my mind—looking for some tasty morel mushrooms in the beautiful hardwood forests of northern Lower Michigan.

As that Friday’s work shift was drawing to a close, I thought about places on state-managed land that I might find a new “honey hole” – a spot covered with morels.

A new weekend adventure would soon be at hand, and an amazing forest with rolling hills awaited. We are quite fortunate here in Michigan, having over 4.6 million acres of state land to explore.

The next morning, I grabbed my compass, jackknife and mesh bags and then headed for the woods. That hunting spot I had in mind turned out to need one more warm rain, so no mushrooms had popped up that night. I did find a nice deer run, however.

Truth be told, every morel hunt is ultimately a success, as you always find plenty of fresh air and sunshine in Michigan’s great outdoors.

More than a handful of beautiful Michigan morel mushrooms.

Aiding the hunt

The key to putting me in the right area was an interactive map application maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called Mi-HUNT (www.mi.gov/mihunt).

I learned about Mi-HUNT through my work at the DNR’s customer service center in Gaylord, and I often recommend it to our customers. This mapping tool delivers a wealth of information right to your computer or mobile device.

When looking for morel mushrooms, I often target hilly areas covered in hardwoods, along with burn scars from recent forest fires. Mi-HUNT provides customized maps of state-managed land, showing ash and other upland deciduous tree cover types.

Mi-HUNT has topographic maps and maps that show what types of trees are on state-managed land, as well as aerial photography for any area you zoom in on. You can also find more DNR information to target morel mushrooms at Mi-MOREL.

The Mi-HUNT tool lets users include or exclude layers of information on the maps they view. These layers include recreational facilities, trails, hunting lands, cover types, township, range and sections.

Base maps include 7.5-minute topographic quadrangles and aerial photos depicting leaf-off conditions from 1998, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and 2009 leaf-on images from the National Aerial Imagery Program.

To help a user’s research, a guide on the left side of the Mi-HUNT page indicates how densely wooded a place will be, indicated by numerical value, and what type of trees dominate the area, shown with a color.

Mi-HUNT maps also show contour lines to help users find the hills and other elevation highs and lows. From viewing the Mi-HUNT map screen, I was able to locate hillsides with ash and other hardwoods.

Sliced morel mushrooms ready for the pan are shown.

A morel primer

If you have never tried morel mushrooms, you might want to explore their culinary power. Some people describe them as nutty, some say meaty – but most agree the morel truly is unique.

They can be added to many dishes, sauteed in butter and onions, or fried. You will be rewarded with a great dish to share with family and friends, from Michigan’s natural wild bounty.

If you have never collected morels before, here are some tips for the first-timer:

Remember to bring your compass or GPS unit, and plan a route that will bring you back to your vehicle. Remember to let someone know where you will be that day – let’s call that filing your “mushroomer plan” for safety.

Always cut or pinch the mushrooms off at ground level, to protect the lower portion of the fungus and ensure mushroom regrowth in future years. Pulling them out can do permanent damage. This is where a jackknife comes in handy.

For that same reason, and to maintain a good nourishing layer of leaf litter, you should never rake an area for morels or drive an off-road vehicle cross country. For more information on using ORVs in Michigan, you can visit  www.mi.gov/orvinfo.

Using a mesh bag (such as an onion bag) will allow your collected morels to stay drier, versus using a paper or plastic bag.

Most important of all, know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous.

Try to work with an experienced morel mushroom hunter. In addition, there is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. Note that the true morels are hollow when sliced open lengthwise, and that the bottom edges of their caps are attached to the stem.

More Mi-HUNT help

Are you new to using interactive maps, or are you new to Michigan? Mi-HUNT is ready to help you plan all kinds of outings.

The Mi-HUNT webpage has video tutorials to help users quickly get up to speed on using the application, whether they are mobile users or using a desktop or laptop computer.

The webpage also provides useful links to other information on wildlife viewing, public hunting land maps, game areas, waterfowl hunting, and downloadable geographic data.

For those looking to improve their chances while on the hunt, be it for morels, deer, fish, camping, hiking and more, a good place to start is Mi-HUNT.

Let this application help make your expedition for morels memorable, just like it helped me with my hunt.

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