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Archive | June, 2018

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.

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

June 24: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, June 24th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music and ministry will be shared by the group, Stroll Over Heaven, who will share their message through their musical talents. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #25b

TOPS weight loss support group

June 26: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. #15

Kooombah Rain Sticks at KDL

June 28: Koo-oom-bah means creativity in Swahili! Join us and get creative using your imagination and a few craft supplies to create your own rain stick! For ages 6 and older. Thursday, June 28th at 6:30 pm at Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #25

KDL Red, White & Blue Book Sale

June 30, July 2, 3: The Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch is hosting a book sale on Saturday, June 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday, July 2, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Tuesday, July 3, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Located in the Library program room. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. #25,26p

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Cedar Springs chooses new superintendent

Scott Smith

by Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education voted 7-0 Monday evening to extend an offer to Scott Smith to be their new superintendent.

Smith currently serves as an assistant superintendent at Hudsonville Public Schools.

The offer came after a rigorous day of Smith meeting with eight different focus groups, dinner with the board, and then a second round interview with the board at 7 p.m. The news was given to Smith by board president Heidi Reed shortly after 9 p.m. via speakerphone, accompanied by loud applause from the approximately 50 staff and community members present for the interview.

“It is an incredible honor to receive an invitation to join the Cedar Springs team as its Superintendent of Schools,” said Smith. “This opportunity has been on my radar for nearly ten years. Cedar Springs has a rich history as a student-centered and teacher-centered school district nestled within a strong, supportive community. I can’t wait to get started doing this exciting work!”

Community members and staff gave feedback to the board about Smith after the focus groups and after both the first and second round interviews. Several board members noted that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“We had tremendous feedback from staff, students, parents and community members during the process,” remarked Reed. “Scott had overwhelming support and was clearly a great fit for the candidate profile. He is very well prepared to be our next Superintendent and we look forward to having he and his wife Sarah become part of our community. The unanimous decision to offer the job to Mr. Smith is the result of several months of work by the board with support and input from staff, students, parents and community members. We are all excited to get started with Scott on the important work of moving our district forward.”

Contract negotiations will start immediately between the district and Smith, with the board voting that Reed and the lawyers for Cedar Springs lead that effort.

The board opted to forego a site visit, with several members explaining that they had already received a lot of input from members of the Hudsonville community and district. Reed noted that some of the people they had heard from were people that they would talk to during a site visit. Three of the board members—Traci Slager, Matt Shoffner, and Shannon Vanderhyde—all mentioned being open to the possibility of a site visit to add an extra layer of thoroughness to the search process, but were completely ready to move forward without it if the others were also ready to move forward.

Before the vote, board members mentioned some of the things they liked about Smith, and all agreed that he was a perfect fit to the profile that they had developed with the help of search consultant Gary Rider and the results of the community survey.

Smith has served as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for the Hudsonville Public Schools for seven years. Prior to this work, he served as the Middle School Principal for Hamilton Community Schools for six years, and as a Middle School Science teacher for Holland Public Schools for three years. Mr. Smith holds a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Earth Science both from Western Michigan University. He currently lives in Hamilton but noted that he will be looking to sell his home and find something in the area.

Cedar Springs is one of seven districts in Kent County who will have new superintendents for this next school year. The others are Caledonia, Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Sparta, Thornapple Kellog, and Wyoming.


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Runaway tractor plows into house

A man was sent to the hospital Tuesday after his tractor ran into the side of his neighbor’s home. Post photo by J. Reed.

A tractor collided with a house Tuesday, sending a 69-year-old man to the hospital.

Mike and Belinda Sanderson were taking a nap Tuesday afternoon when they suddenly felt the whole house shake. “We both wondered, ‘what was that?’” said Mike.

He said their nephew then told them the neighbor had crashed his tractor into the side of the house.

The accident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at 4499 16 Mile Rd, just east of the White Pine Trail.

This tractor crashed into the home of Mike and Belinda Sanderson, of Solon Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Sandersons went outside and discovered their neighbor, who had fallen off the tractor, bleeding from the head.

They said the man did not remember what had happened. They think the smoke stack on the tractor may have hit a branch on a tree in his yard, then came off and hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious while the tractor drove across the lawn and into the side of their house. They found the smokestack to the tractor and several branches near their neighbor’s tree.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the scene, along with Solon Township Fire and Rescue, and Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue.

The man was transported to the hospital by Rockford Ambulance with a gash in his head.

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Board selects finalist in Superintendent search

Scott Smith

Community forums and second interview set for June 18

The Cedar Springs Board of Education conducted first round interviews Friday evening, June 8, in their search for a new Superintendent, and narrowed their field down to one finalist. Scott Smith, Assistant Superintendent at Hudsonville, will return for a second-round interview.

The board gave high marks to all three candidates who interviewed, but seemed to like Smith’s leadership style, community focus, and experience with a larger district. 

The other two candidates who interviewed were Karl Heidrich, of Stockbridge Community Schools, and John VanLoon, of Ravenna Public Schools.

A second-round interview is scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m., Monday, June 18. (Please note this date is a change from that listed in the tentative calendar previously released.) The interview will take place in the District Office Board Room, 204 E Muskegon St., Cedar Springs, Mich.  

“The public is strongly encouraged to attend,” said Search Consultant Gary Rider. “Feedback from the audience has already been very valuable to the Board in the selection process.” Rider is the consultant that was selected by the Cedar Springs Board to facilitate the search effort.

Prior to the second round interview in the evening, focus groups will be held during the day on June 18 so that the community, staff, business, and government officials can all meet with Smith and give feedback to the board. There will be two community forums: one at 10 a.m. and one at 4 p.m. Both will be held in the District Office board room. Smith will have dinner with the board at 5:30 p.m., followed by the interview at 7 p.m. in the board room.

Scott Smith has served as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for the Hudsonville Public Schools for seven years. Prior to this work he served as the Middle School Principal for Hamilton Community Schools for six years, and as a Middle School Science teacher for Holland Public Schools for three years. Smith holds a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Earth Science both from Western Michigan University.

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Grand Marshals chosen for 2018 Red Flannel Festival

Bob and Betty Truesdale are this year’s Grand Marshals of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Bob and Betty Truesdale, of Cedar Springs, have been chosen as Grand Marshals for the 79th annual Red Flannel Festival. They own the Amish Warehouse at 141 S. Main Street.

“We chose Bob and Betty for the Grand Marshals because of their long history in Cedar Spring and the love they have for the festival,” explained Nancy Deyman, President of the Red Flannel Festival board.

This year’s theme is “Step back in time.” And you can certainly do that when talking to Bob and Betty!

Bob was born a mile north of Pine Lake to Eula Eldred Truesdale, who was a rural schoolteacher for 30-plus years. It was just Bob and his mom, in those early years, and he often traveled with her to the rural schools she taught at in and around Cedar Springs and helped by building the morning fires. 

He first met Betty, the daughter of James and Dorothy Albright, of Ravenna, at a church rally in Rockford, when she was a freshman in high school. “He had a date but I flirted with him,” she said.

They went their separate ways but later reconnected at Spring Arbor High School, a Christian school that later became Spring Arbor University, and eventually married.

The couple spent four years on a reservation in Alberta, Canada, from 1960-64, where they helped build a church. “Bob was a lay preacher there,” explained Betty. “The kids say it was the highlight of their lives. We have wonderful friends up there.”

Bob said he has been an entrepreneur most of his life. He worked for the Rand Corporation selling typewriters, mechanical calculators, etc. He then created his own business, Mr. Dictate, and later sold it. He then went to work for Peter Secchia as director of maintenance for a line of restaurants and wood products. He has now been selling Amish furniture for 25 years. 

Betty stayed home with their four children—Dean, Vicki, Collette, and Dan—for 23 years. She also worked for INA, which later merged with another company and became Cigna.

The two have always attended the Red Flannel Festival and been big supporters of the event. They have also been active in other areas of the community. Bob served on both the City Council and Planning Commission. While on the City Council, he brought to the board the possibility of bringing the Kent County Sheriff’s Office in to do the policing here. Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma, also a Cedar Springs resident, presented a plan to Council for a partnership between the two entities, and it was approved. The plan was eventually implemented with great success. 

“It was the highlight of Bob’s political career,” remarked Betty.

Bob wasn’t the only one that dabbled in politics. Betty served on the Courtland Township board for a year. “I found politics wasn’t for me,” she said.

Betty was treasurer of the Community Building Development Team for three years, and Bob was also a part of the team. But they had to drop that when they began spending part of their time in Marshall, with family. They have also always been busy with their church activity at Pilgrim Bible. 

How did Bob feel when he was told they had been selected as Grand Marshals? “I felt like there must be some mistake. We are only commoners. I’m humbled. It’s a great honor. It excites me and pleases me that we have so many friends in Cedar Springs and we are proud to serve as Grand Marshals.”

Red Flannel Day will be Saturday, October 6, 2018. Watch the Post for more information about this year’s activities.

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Public invited to attend meeting on Cedar Springs Drain


Meeting on June 21, at 7 p.m. at Cedar Springs High School

By Judy Reed

The Kent County Drain Commissioner recently sent out a notice about a meeting determining the future of the Cedar Springs County Drain, which will affect quite a few residents on the east side of Cedar Springs, and a few on the west side as well.

The Board of Determination will meet at 7 p.m. on June 21, at Cedar Springs High School to decide whether a petition to clean out, relocate, widen, deepen, straighten, tile, extend or relocate along a highway is necessary to the public health. It will affect both the City of Cedar Springs and some of Nelson Township.

The Cedar Springs County Drain is an open and enclosed storm system that collects the storm water runoff from properties and road within the drainage district. (See map above.)

According to Kent County Drain Commissioner Ken Yonker, due to recent permit requests, it was discovered that the Cedar Springs Drain runs under several existing buildings. Those properties cannot be further developed due to the County’s easement on the drain area. For instance, there is a restaurant that wants to buy the Gun Tavern and expand it, but cannot due to the drain running underneath. It also runs underneath the city property at the corner of Elm and Second Street, next to the old library, where the new fire station is to be built.

“The drain was installed years ago, before motorized vehicles,” explained Yonkers. “They didn’t think of that. It worked great back then. The Gun Tavern was able to store their beer down there to keep it cold. But now we have roads that go over those drains.”

He noted that there are other reasons it’s not a good idea to have drains run under buildings. “If a gas tank ruptures, it would spill into the same catch basins that collect the storm water. The drain is flat; it doesn’t move, and gas fumes would build up. They would move upward until they exploded.” 

It also puts development at a stand still. “In the city you have land that now can’t be developed because it’s sitting over the drain. It’s a bad scenario. It needs to be developed for the growth of Cedar Springs,” he said.

They don’t yet have a definite plan to on what they would do, or where it would be moved if the board decided it was needed. But one thing is sure: both the city and the people in the drainage district will pay a portion of the cost. “I know it’s not an easy thing for Cedar Springs because it’s not a lot of people for the cost,” said Yonkers. He added that it would be a bonded cost and they would put it out as far as possible to keep the cost as low as possible for residents.

City Manager Mike Womack said that they have been given an estimate for their share. “The City government has already been informed that the government will likely be seeing a minimum of $25,000 per year share of the overall cost for 15 years and we have already started to budget for it. Homes and businesses in the district will also see a 15 year special assessment and that amount will be based upon the size and perviousness of their property. Since the final drain costs are not known it is impossible to predict with any reasonable accuracy what that dollar amount will be at this time.”

Yonkers told the Post that if the Board votes to go ahead with the project, work would likely not start until late 2019 or early 2020.

For more information, attend the meeting on June 21 or contact the Drain Commissioner at (616) 632-7910, or email drinfo@kentcountymi.gov.


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The Post travels to Bavaria

The Post traveled to Bavaria this spring with the Cedar Springs Brewing Company Tour of Bavaria to sample some German beer, eat some great food, and see some amazing sights. According to Director of Happiness David Ringler, they had 26 guests join them on a guided tour of history, beer culture, and dining. The photo was taken in Bamberg, Germany, in the state of Bavaria.

Thanks David for taking the Post with you on your Bavarian adventure. 

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Cedar Springs Women’s Club selects scholarship recipient

Erika Larsen

By Sue Harrison

Each year the Cedar Springs Women’s Club presents a $1,000 scholarship to a female of any age who resides in the Cedar Springs School District and is planning to attend a college or skill training program. This year’s recipient is Erika Larsen, a Cedar Springs High School senior who was a member of the National Honor Society, played soccer, and volunteered in a local food pantry. 

Erika has over 150 hours of volunteer work, has tutored students, has aided students in the En Gedi program after school, and has traveled to Costa Rica and Mexico to volunteer in orphanages and serve food to poverty-stricken children. 

Erika graduated with honors and is planning to attend Western Michigan University in the Biomedical field and study auto-immune diseases and immunology.  She will be the Women’s Club representative in the Red Flannel Parade in October.

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Summer reading program kicks off

By Judy Reed

The 2018 Summer Reading program at the Cedar Springs Library kicked off a weeklong summer celebration of events this past Monday.

This year’s reading program theme is “Libraries Rock” and it certainly did. According to Library Director Donna Clark, 1,550 people came through the library Monday, with 823 signups on that day alone. With 367 pre-signups, that means 1,190 people have signed up to be part of the reading program so far. 

“We had incredible crowds,” remarked Clark.

The Red Flannel Court was on hand to pass out “Happy Birthday” stickers in celebration of the Library’s first birthday, with 450 given out. Kelly’s Restaurant bought 900 ice cream cups to last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but they ran out at 3 p.m. Mayor Gerald Hall and his wife, Amy, passed out popcorn in the morning and again in the late afternoon.

Kids also could get a balloon hat; pet animals from Double K Farms; enjoy a magic show; see the Cedar Springs Fire trucks; play carnival games; take part in a rubber duck race; and more.

It’s not too late to sign up for the summer reading program. Just head over to the library, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets, or call 616-1910 for more info.

For more info on the Summer Celebration week, visit the “Cedar Springs Community Summer Celebrations” page on Facebook, or check out last week’s story and ad in our e-edition at http://www.cedarspringspost.com/pdf/ThePOST2318.pdf.

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Beautiful blossoms

The peonies and many other flowers are in bloom right now, and Ron Parker, of Courtland Township sent us photos of many of the beautiful blossoms in his yard. Aren’t these gorgeous? Such a great reminder to stop and smell the roses (or any other flower) each and every day!

Do you have photos of wildflowers or wildlife you’d like to send us? Please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com, and we will print them as space allows.

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