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Archive | September, 2018

Local musician writes Michigan themed song for ArtPrize 10

Pictured L to R is the Mark Del band at ArtPrize:  Eric Strand, violin; Teresa Boehm, vocals; Tony Burnett, guitar; Clarissa Hubert, piano;  Jill Boehm, flute;  Mark Del, lead vocals & guitar;  Nathan Treman, cello.

By Judy Reed

Last year at Red Flannel time, Mark Del Covell premiered a song he had written specially for the occasion. This year he decided to do something similar, but on a bigger scale. This year he wrote a song about Michigan, and decided to showcase it at ArtPrize 10. 

“My main inspiration to write this song came from the hope that it might help some resident feel proud to live in a state with so much natural beauty, apart from the harsh blizzard conditions of winter. Each of us should be able to relate to at least one part of the lyrics,” he said. 

Mark worked with photographers and videographers to catch the beauty of our great state, and created a video to go along with the song, which can be found on his artist page on the website. He and his band performed the song outside of First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids last weekend. He said that they would be performing it again in an outdoor area somewhere in the downtown area. It is a time-based event, and we did not have a time at press time. 

Mark said he’s gotten a lot of good feedback from people about the song and would love for it to become the official state song. “If your readers wanted to help an artist right here from their community possibly make this song our state’s official song, then they need to cast their vote for my (Time Based) entry by late Saturday night!” he remarked. 

To watch the video and hear the song, go to: http://www.artprize.org/68190. 

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Driver dies while trying to pass


Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post responded to a two-vehicle head on collision that occurred on Saturday September 22, at approximately 9:31 p.m. on Sidney Rd. near Hillman Rd. in Sidney Township in Montcalm County.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 40-year old female from Stanton was driving eastbound on Sidney Rd. and was attempting to pass a slower vehicle when she collided with a 25-year old female from Greenville who was traveling westbound. 

The 40-year old female driver did not survive her injuries. The 25-year old female driver was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids with serious injuries. She was traveling with her 10-month old son who was not injured in the crash. 

The cause of the crash is still being investigated. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Names of the drivers have not been released.

State Police were assisted on scene by, Montcalm County EMS, Sheridan Community Fire Department, Aeromed, Captain Hooks Towing and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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FFA Booster Group is Formed


By Brent Willett

The Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends is excited to announce that their FFA Alumni chapter has officially been charted at the national and state level, as a non-profit organization, to support and grow the local agricultural education program and the FFA chapter at Cedar Springs Public Schools. The National FFA Alumni Organization is encouraging locals across the country to organize a local support system for the agricultural education program by forming an official FFA Alumni chapter. 

The Alumni chapter is open to anyone who is interested in supporting and promoting agriculture, agricultural education and FFA. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept 27 T 6:30 in the High School Agriculture room. The alumni chapter will be made up of a wide variety of supporters. You do not have to have been in FFA or have a child in the FFA program to be a member of the Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends. FFA Alumni members are proud of FFA and want to help the local members acquire knowledge and experience from agricultural education and FFA activities. 

“As alumni, it is our responsibility to serve as a source of relief for our agriculture educators as well as attract new volunteers and supporters to help our FFA programs,” said National FFA Alumni Executive Director Josh Rusk. 

The Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends is looking for more community members to become alumni members today. Find us on Facebook or contact President Brent Willett at brent.willett16@gmail.com to find out more information on how to become an FFA alumni member. Community members without an email may contact Advisor, Larry Reyburn at 616-616-1200 Ext. 6331.  

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S. Please consider joining the Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends to help support our local FFA chapter and ensure the future of local agriculture for the next generation. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

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One dead in Tyrone crash


The Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle crash about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, September 23.

Police said the vehicle crashed into a tree near the intersection of Rusco and Sparta Avenue, in Tyrone Township.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the vehicle was traveling east on Rusco when it went through the stop sign and hit some trees on the east side of Sparta Ave. The vehicle started on fire. 

At press time, the name of the driver had not been released.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Kent City/Tyrone Twp Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

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Enjoy a free pancake breakfast & learn how to protect your waterways


 The Rogue River Watershed Partners are joining forces with Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative to host an educational breakfast served on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 from 7am to 9 am at the Cannon Township Hall: 6878 Belding Road, Rockford. All are welcome, stop by just for breakfast or stay for the Rogue River Watershed Partner’s monthly meeting at 9:30 a.m.

You will learn why the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds and others have teamed up to bring farmers and forestland owners access to a unique pool of $2.8 million in funding to help them take actions on their land to help prevent soil loss, and to create and improve fish and wildlife habitat in the Rogue River and Indian Mill Creek watersheds, a 250 square mile area in northern and western Kent County. Financial assistance is available now to help you plant: filter strips, grassed waterways, cover crops, and riparian forest buffers, as well as many other options to help in this effort. This special opportunity is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) over the next four years. Call Matt Soehnel, NRCS District Conservationist, at (616) 942-4111 x 3 to learn more.

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Lions and pastors and rotarians, oh my!


A community showdown for neighbors in need: game show-style fundraiser “North Kent Pastors’ Feud” this October 4 at Meijer Gardens

For the fifth year in a row, pastors from churches across northern Kent County will entertain the public to help North Kent Connect raise funds. And this year, they have company.

For the first time, the pastors will be joined by Rotary Club and Lions Club chapters from Rockford, Sparta and Cedar Springs on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for a classic showdown of TV game show-inspired fun.

“We are beyond blessed to have the support of Rotarians and Lions this year, in addition to our returning pastors,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director at North Kent Connect. “In its fifth year, our annual fundraising event enables us to support those in need throughout our community, and we are thankful for all event participants, supporters and sponsors.”

The 2018 fundraiser, presented by Rivers Edge Property Management and Same Day Delivery, features a life-sized simulation of a “Family Feud”-style game show, with teams of pastors, Rotarians and Lions competing against each other to raise funds for North Kent Connect’s healthy food market and empowerment program. The evening, emceed by Pastor Jeff Amlotte of Mamrelund Lutheran Church, and Michael Bohnsack, NKC board member, includes networking and strolling dinner.

Limited tickets are available to the public for $75 each. Visit northkentevent.org, nkconnect.org/donatenow.php, or call at 616-866-3478 for more information.

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Red Hawk marching band gets ready for season

On Saturday, September 15, the Marching Red Hawks performed at Sparta High School in a MCBA Field Day. A field day serves to provide educational feedback to the band before the season starts. Since this is a field day there are no scores and no awards.  

This also helps the freshman with any jitters they may have since this is their first season marching forward, backward, diagonally, and sideways while playing an instrument.

Their next performance is at Otsego, Mich. on September 29 at 5 p.m. Their show is called “We the People.”

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Nature center to get full restitution


By Judy Reed

It’s going to take nine years, but the Howard Christensen Nature Center will be getting back the $16,812 embezzled by a former director.

David Kieft was charged in February with one count of embezzlement over $1,000 but less thank $20,000 of a non-profit or charity. He later pled no contest to attempted embezzlement as part of a plea agreement. He was sentenced in June to three years probation; 90 days in jail at the end of his probation; 200 hours of work crew in lieu of 100 days in jail (that is separate from the 90 days he will serve at the end of probation); and restitution. At the time, restitution was set at $4,000, but the Nature Center contested it because they had evidence of much more than that.

The restitution hearing was held on September 17 before Judge Sullivan in 17th Circuit Court. Kieft and his lawyer agreed to the larger amount of restitution as long as the Nature Center did not file a civil claim. 

The Internal Revenue Service has their own investigation yet to complete, so there could possibly be more charges yet to come.

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Red Flannel Queen scholarship pageant

Photos by China Breen

The 74th annual Red Flannel Festival Queen Scholarship pageant will be held this Saturday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium at Cedar Springs High School. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance for adults, $13 at the door, and $5 for students 18 years and younger.

This year there are seven contestants competing in the pageant. The contestants are: Larissa Marie Fettig, daughter of Brian and Cynthia Fettig; Alyssa Nicole Washington, daughter of Steve and Jody Washington; Paige Nicole Pierson, daughter of William and April Pierson; Kalli Green, daughter of Kevin and Mandy Green; Harlow Jaye Hovarter, daughter of Will Hovarter & Raelene Davis; Zoe Nichole Castor, daughter of David and Terrie Castor; Rileigh Warner, the daughter of Miranda Warner.

The Scholarship Committee’s goal is to raise $5,000 for the Queen, and $2,500 for each of the two court members. If you would like to contribute, you can donate online through Paypal at redflannelfestival.org, or you can send a check or money order to Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Fund, PO box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Every contribution helps! Donations of $100 or more earns the donor two free passes to the Red Flannel Queen pageant. Donations are accepted through June 30, 2019 for the 2018 Queen and court. All contributions are tax deductible.

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Red Flannel Day talent show


Do not miss the Red Flannel Day Talent Show at the Kent Theatre! Always an entertaining event, this annual show highlights talent from Cedar Springs and the surrounding areas. Former RFDTS performers have gone on to touring professionally and every year we get a new crop of talent with dreams of greatness.

This year we have a few artists returning, including the talented pianist/vocalist Rylie Tate, Ballet Dancer Veronica Smelik, Pianist Andrew Langley, Poi Dancer Seira Kovach, and Magician Phil Mann, and among the newcomers we have pianist/singer Matthew Rainwater, Ventriloquist Erika Thomas, and more. We have space for a couple more newcomers so contact Len Allington at Len@LAphoto or text or call 231-750-2337.  We have tryouts yet on Thursday, September 27 and Wednesday, October 3 at the Kent Theatre from 7-9 p.m.

So visit the Kent Theatre this year directly after the Red Flannel Grand Parade for another great show. All seats $3.00.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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