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Archive | February, 2019

Both cheer and boys bowling headed to state finals

Boys bowling team won their first ever regional championship. L to R:  Andrew Fliearman, Alex Steil, Jonah Drake, Dane Conely,Josh Beebe, Ethan Plummer, Cody Marshall, Coach Tim Jackson. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

History was made last weekend as the Cedar Springs Competitive Cheer locked in a bid to travel to state finals for the first time in nine years, and the boys bowling team won its first regional championship, enabling the team to travel to the state finals. Two individual bowlers—one from the boys team and one from the girls team—will also travel to the state finals. Turn to page 9 for all the info.

The Cedar Springs Competitive Cheer team will now head to state finals after placing third at regionals. Courtesy photo.

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Polar Vortex, Bomb cyclone and Odyssey of the Mind

This Odyssey of the Mind team from Cedar Trails Elementary will heading to the state finals on March 16. Courtesy photo.

What do they have in common? Creativity of course! Mother Nature or student teams it all happened this past weekend in West Michigan.

Cedar Springs sent three Odyssey of the mind teams to Greenville on February 23 to spontaneously think, present, and reach for the stars—meaning State Finals.

The new team of 1st-4th graders at Cedar Trails Elementary placed 2nd, reaching their goal, earning a trip to State Finals, and silver medals.

This team is coached by Morgan Burris and Rachel Stump with students, Blake Stump 4th grade; Kaleb Russell 4th grade; Luke Brown 4th grade; Hailey Nichols 3rd grade; Morgan Sanders 3rd grade; Isaac Brown 2nd grade; and Tanner Burris 1st grade.

The team from Cedar Springs Middle school earned a bronze 3rd place, narrowly missing a chance to advance. This team is by coached by Rhanda Bordeaux with students, Derek Bordeaux, Silas Johnson, William Dixon, Brayden Fisk, Riley Robb, and Holden Wolf. 

The other Cedar Springs Middle school team placed 4th, Honorable Mention. They are coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager, with students Coryn Wiles; Alana Wiles; Nate Slager; Jeremiah Slager; Aiden Lakes; Brielle Sarniak; and Jack Cairy.

We wish the Cedar Trails team much luck at state finals on March 16, and congratulate all the students for their hard work and perseverance.

If you are interested in learning more about the Odyssey of the Mind program for your student check out miodyssey.com. Region 2.

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First statewide study of PFAS in water supply

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced the results from the 2018 state-wide sampling of public, school and tribal water supplies for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The $1.7 million study is the first of its kind in the nation.

The MDEQ oversaw the sampling of 1,114 public water systems, 461 schools that operate their own wells, and 17 tribal water systems. Test results show that 90 percent of these supplies showed no detection for any PFAS. Very low levels of PFAS below 10 parts per trillion (ppt) were detected in 7 percent of systems tested. PFAS levels between 10 and 70 ppt were detected in 3 percent of systems tested.

Only the city of Parchment and Robinson Elementary School near Grand Haven had test results exceeding the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) of 70 ppt for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) individually or combined in drinking water.

“This first-in-the-nation study of all public water systems in the state has resulted in 3,000 people in Parchment and an additional 300 students and teachers at Robinson Elementary being protected from high levels of previously unknown PFAS contamination in their water supply,” said MDEQ Director Liesl Clark.

These findings have also led to environmental investigations and protections for many families on their own wells in the affected areas.

The Parchment system was connected to the city of Kalamazoo’s municipal water system in August of 2018. Robinson Elementary is currently supplied with bottled water and plans to install a carbon filtration system later this year.

In addition to public water systems, schools, and tribal systems, the MDEQ has expanded its PFAS testing to include 168 childcare providers and Head Start programs in the state that operate their own wells. To date 152 of these test results have been received and 89 percent have been non-detect, 6 percent less than 10 ppt, and 5 percent at 10 ppt or higher for total PFAS. None have been above the LHA of 70 ppt.

Clark also announced that MPART (Michigan PFAS Action Response Team) will pay for quarterly monitoring this year of municipal systems, schools and daycares with total PFAS levels of 10 ppt or higher. The MDEQ will oversee the continued sampling of 35 municipal systems, 19 schools and 8 daycares. The MDEQ will also take initial samples of 12 Head Start programs that were closed for the winter and three community water systems that could not be scheduled in 2018.

“Protecting the public remains our top priority,” Clark said. “MPART will continue to work with communities with detections of PFAS in their water to help them investigate and take action to drive down exposure levels.”

Statewide testing results are published on the MPART web site. Roughly 75 percent of the state’s drinking water comes from public systems. Although private residential wells are not within the scope of the study of public water supplies, information on independent testing and filtering options is available from MPART at Michigan.gov/PFASresponse.

PFAS compounds are a group of emerging and potentially harmful contaminants used in thousands of applications globally including firefighting foam, food packaging, and many other consumer products. These compounds also are used by industries such as tanneries, metal platers, and clothing manufacturers. The discovery of PFAS contamination is a nationally growing trend across the United States.

In January 2018, the MDEQ acted to set a new clean-up standard for PFAS in groundwater used for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) individually or combined. Michigan is one of only a handful of states to establish a clean-up standard.

Prior to launching the public water system sampling program in May 2018, the MDEQ had sampled dozens of locations across the state including industrial facilities, military bases, and landfills known to have used or disposed of PFAS-containing materials and acted to protect drinking water supplies. MPART is now investigating more than 43 sites with known sources of PFAS contamination across the state.

In 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer strengthened MPART by reestablishing it under Executive Order 2019-3 as a permanent body within the MDEQ.

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2019 Cedar Springs & HCNC Renaissance/ Fantasy Faire

New Venue Site, New Theme, Same Vision

The Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire is back with a new venue, a new theme, and a twist on the name, but the same vision as they’ve always had.

“Our vision is to create a family friendly outdoor faire/festival blending history and fantasy to create a more varied experience for our community and guests,” said committee member Perry Hopkins, of Kin of Hope Natural Health/Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more. The other two members of the committee are Nancy Starr, of the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and Kim Gillow, of Howard Christensen Nature Center.

This year the event will be held May 18-19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Howard Christensen Nature Center’s Camp Lily site on 530 20 Mile Rd, Kent City, with all proceeds going to support the nature center as well.

This year’s theme will combine European Renaissance (a time of cultural, artistic, political, and economic “rebirth” from the 14th century to 17th century) with epic fantasy characters (heroic & legendary characters similar to King Arthur, Catherine of Aragon, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, Hobbits, Amazons, etc.). 

They are looking for people to audition to be a part of their cast. 

Cast auditions for the 2019 Cedar Springs & HCNC Renaissance/Fantasy Faire will be held March 9, at 5:30 p.m. in the Kin of Hope Natural Health Dance & Fitness Studio located at 90 N. Main Street in Downtown Cedar Springs (on the second floor above Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more.) They will be looking for cast to play various roles in human royalty, elf royalty, commoners, soldiers, and are open to other cast figures. If you have any questions please email Perry Hopkins at kinofhope@yahoo.com

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Children of CS grads racing quarter midget cars

Patrick and Penny (Towns) Christensen are both 1993 graduates of Cedar Springs who still consider Cedar Springs home. Both moved away shortly after high school and come back as often as possible. Penny works in education and Patrick works as a software engineer. The family currently resides in Georgia.

The Christensen family travel the country to see their boys race. Courtesy photo.

The Christensens have two sons who are race car drivers since the age of 5. Seth, 11, and Lane, 7, both driver USAC quarter midget race cars. The boys participate on the local, regional, and national level for the majority of the year. The family travels together to races as far away as: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Georgia. The race calendar stretches from February to November.

In February, the Christensen boys raced at Daytona International Speedway in Florida to kick off both Speed Weeks in Daytona and their USAC race season. Seth competed in Senior Honda, Light 160, and Light World Formula. He placed 4th, 12th, and 9th respectively. Lane competed in Junior Honda and Junior Animal. He placed 2nd and 12th respectively.

Lane Christensen is vying for a sponsorship opportunity. Courtesy photo.

According to Penny, many well-known race car drivers have started out in quarter midgets. Joey Logano, Harrison Burton, and Jeff Gordon all started in quarter midgets speeding around a 1/20th of a mile race track. “Many of the older boys who raced with Seth and Lane have already gone on to race bigger cars at larger venues,” she said.

Lane, the youngest, has a chance at a sponsorship opportunity. InTech trailers is letting race fans to vote for who wins the use of an InTech trailer and is the ambassador to their racing community. Lane received enough votes to make it out of over 200 racers to the top 10; he now wants to advance to the top ten finalists.

Voting is happening now through March 8th online. You can vote now for Lane Christensen at http://apply.intechtrailers.com/cast-your-vote. See the Christensen Family Motorsports Facebook fan page for more details and to follow the family through this racing season.

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FBI seeks to identify rightful owners in cultural artifacts case

Artifacts on display at Don Miller’s farm in 2014. For more than seven decades, Miller unearthed cultural artifacts from North America, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, and in Indo-Pacific regions such as Papua New Guinea. Photo courtesy FBI.gov.

Four years ago, after an operation in rural Indiana resulted in the largest single recovery of cultural property in FBI history, the Bureau’s Art Crime Team faced an unprecedented challenge: how to identify the rightful owners of more than 7,000 seized artifacts that came from locations spanning the globe.

The efforts to identify and repatriate the cultural property—which included approximately 500 sets of human remains looted largely from Native American burial grounds—is ongoing, and the FBI is now publicizing the case, along with an invitation-only website detailing the items, in the hopes of gaining further assistance from governments around the world and from Native American tribes.

 “There is no single expert that can tell us everything we need to know about all of this material,” said Special Agent Tim Carpenter, who oversees the FBI’s art theft program and who led the 2014 recovery effort in Indiana. “This case requires the FBI to go out and seek assistance from many experts in the field.”

The seized artifacts and human remains were part of a much larger collection amassed by Don Miller, a renowned scientist who helped build the first atomic bomb and a globetrotting amateur archaeologist whose passion for collecting sometimes crossed the line into illegality and outright looting.

Museum studies graduate students from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) help care for the recovered artifacts in a facility near Indianapolis where all the recovered artifacts are housed securely and temperature, humidity, and light levels are controlled. Students and highly trained IUPUI staff also help prepare the artifacts for shipping when repatriation occurs. Photo courtesy FBI.gov.

For more than seven decades, Miller unearthed cultural artifacts from North America, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, and in Indo-Pacific regions such as Papua New Guinea. A Ming Dynasty vase or intricate Italian mosaic might be on display in his home alongside Civil War and Revolutionary War items.

“Don would collect pretty much anything,” Carpenter said. “He collected from just about every corner of the globe.” Areas of his Waldron, Indiana, farmhouse where he displayed many of the approximately 42,000 items in his collection were stacked “floor to ceiling” with material, Carpenter said. “But his passion, I think, was Native American cultural goods.”

Although Miller opened his home over the years to school groups and others wishing to view his collection, he mostly kept hidden hundreds of human remains. A tip to the FBI in 2013 that he had such remains led Carpenter to his door.

A year before his death at the age of 91, Miller agreed to relinquish items he had likely acquired in violation of state and federal law and international treaties. “He cooperated with us throughout the course of the investigation,” Carpenter said, “and it was his wish that we take these objects and return them to their rightful owners, and for the Native American ancestors to be reburied appropriately.”

During a painstaking, six-day recovery operation in 2014, the FBI took possession of 7,000 items.

“It was a very complex operation,” Carpenter recalled. “We are not treating this material as simply evidence. These objects are historically, culturally, and spiritually important, and you have to take that into consideration.” He added, “We are dealing in many cases with objects that are thousands of years old. So imagine a scenario where you take an artifact that was created 4,000 years ago, survived in the ground or a tomb, survived being looted, survived being transported to the United States, has been in this guy’s house for the last 60 years, and the FBI comes along and we pick it up and we stumble and we drop it and we break it. That’s a pretty bad day.”

In many ways, he said, “We had to learn to become a museum.” Until the FBI can identify the rightful owners and repatriate the items—a task made more difficult because Miller did not keep detailed records—“we have to care for and curate these pieces like any museum would.”

To accomplish that, the Bureau partnered with tribal authorities and academic experts early on, consulting with archaeologists, anthropologists, and tribal experts on how to handle and care for the objects and human remains, and how best to locate their rightful owners.

The FBI leased space in a facility near Indianapolis where all the material is housed securely and temperature, humidity, and light levels are controlled. A team of anthropology and museum studies graduate students from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI ) helps to curate the items and prepare them for shipping when repatriation occurs.

“My students work diligently to make sure that each piece is properly rehoused before it is shipped back to its homeland or to its proper country,” said Holly Cusack-McVeigh, a professor of anthropology and museum studies at IUPUI. “We make sure that nothing is just thrown in a checked bag and tossed into the belly of an airplane. Everything is handled with the utmost care.”

In addition to her background in anthropology and museum studies, Cusack-McVeigh has a deep knowledge of Native American culture and has been an invaluable partner to the FBI regarding the Miller artifacts, particularly the handling and repatriation of Native American human remains.

Cusack-McVeigh took part in the six-day recovery operation in 2014 and recalled that no one on the team was expecting to discover hundreds of remains. “The FBI immediately understood that these are human beings and we can’t treat them like inanimate objects,” she said. “They need to be treated with respect and dignity, and the FBI took that very seriously.”

Pete Coffey, who represents three affiliated North American tribes—the Mandan, the Hidatsa, and the Arikara—said he has “nothing but praise” for the agents who worked on the Miller case. “They made sure that the tribal representatives were included in all aspects of the repatriations,” he said. “They were very forthcoming with regard to procedures and policy.”

The affiliated tribes Coffee represents, known as the MHA Nation, were historically farmers along the Missouri River bottomlands. He has taken part in reburial ceremonies involving repatriated remains from the Miller collection and explained that in his culture, “When you die, your spirit goes back to your ancestral village. If you are not buried with proper ceremony, or if that was interrupted like these burials were, you will never be able to go to back to that village.”

When remains have been dug out of the ground after being laid to rest, he added, “Their spirits are wandering. They cannot rejoin their relatives and family members in the afterlife. That’s my motivation for doing these repatriations,” he said, “to make sure that these spirits are at rest.”

Robert Jones, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office at the time of the 2014 recovery operation, said he was “bothered immensely” by the fact that Miller had so many Native American remains.

“Even though this case didn’t fit with our traditional type of investigation,” he said, “the FBI was in the best position to be able to right this wrong”—not only regarding the repatriation of human remains but taking responsibility for the stewardship of thousands of culturally significant artifacts Miller had collected illegally. “I felt that if it weren’t for the FBI,” said Jones, currently special agent in charge of the Bureau’s Pittsburgh Field Office, “a vast amount of important historical material might have been lost forever.”

The task of returning the material to its rightful owners was never going to be easy, both Jones and Carpenter acknowledged, because Miller collected so much over such a long period of time and did not keep detailed records, and because the items were taken from all over the globe.

Although Carpenter’s team has had many successes in the past four years, with reburials of human remains and repatriations to numerous countries, he estimates that only about 15 percent of the material has been returned.

“Our ultimate goal in this entire operation has been the respectful repatriation of these objects and these ancestors to the people they were taken from,” he said. “And we want to do that with some measure of dignity.”

The FBI created an invitation-only website that contains information about all the recovered material. The idea was to have the experts “come to us,” Carpenter said. “They could review the collection relevant to their area, identify the pieces for us, tell us where they may belong, and then guide us in contacting the right individuals to begin the repatriation process.”

After the FBI took possession of the material, Carpenter’s team contacted all the federally recognized Native American tribes, which number nearly 600. Working through the United Nations, the team also notified the member nations about the recovered artifacts and the FBI’s website for viewing them. Nations nominated experts who contacted the FBI by sending an email to artifacts@fbi.gov.

“We would give them access to the website, which is not open to the public,” Carpenter said. “The intent was for them to then go online, review the material, and make claims for any objects they felt were their cultural patrimony. The same process held for Native American tribes.”

To date, he said, “We have not reached as large an audience as I’d hoped, and we have not been as successful as we’d like to be in identifying the pieces and getting the claims to come forward.”

To renew interest in the artifacts, the FBI has decided to publicize the case, providing information for the first time about the Miller investigation and the recovery and repatriation efforts. “We have a lot of work left to do,” Carpenter said, “and we can’t do that work until the experts come forward and help us identify these pieces and guide us on where they need to go.”

The FBI is asking official representatives of Native American tribes and foreign governments that would like to determine whether they have a claim to any of the recovered artifacts to contact the Bureau’s art theft program and submit a request via artifacts@fbi.gov.

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Michigan’s move over law expanded

Starting February 13, Michigan’s Move Over law expanded to require drivers to slow down and move over when passing emergency, maintenance, and utility vehicles on the road.

Drivers now have to slow down to 10 mph below the posted speed limit as well as yield their lane, if possible, when passing police or emergency vehicles, roadside tow trucks, garbage trucks, maintenance, and utility vehicles that have amber lights flashing. Failure to do so could result in a civil offense subject to a $400 fine.

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He said wut?!

Pastor Bill Dixon. Solon Center Wesleyan Church. 15671 Algoma Ave, NE, Cedar Springs

Have you ever heard someone say something so shocking that it made you take a step back and say to yourself, he or she said wut?!. A few weeks ago, I started a series called, He Said Wut?! As a church, we began to look at a few shocking things that Jesus said about everyday stuff like, anger, lust, marriage, promise-keeping, retaliation, and loving our enemies. 

Throughout this section of scripture, which begins in Matthew chapter 5 verse 21, Jesus follows a pattern. He always starts off by saying, “You have heard it said…” or something similar to that and then He goes onto mention an Old Testament Law. After this, Jesus always goes onto say, “But I tell you…” which is Jesus’ way of saying, listen to what I’m about to tell you. 

I want to do is share with you just one of the topics that Jesus addresses. It is a topic that is out of control in our world today—anger. Listen to what Jesus has to say and then I will point out a few things for you to chew on. 

21 “You have heard it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You Fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (NIV)

Jesus equates being angry with…murder. Here is what I believe Jesus is getting at. I believe that He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (could mean anyone) you are no better in God’s eyes than someone who literally takes an innocent life. I believe He is saying that if you are angry with your brother (again, could mean anyone), you are a murderer. So, are you a murderer? Maybe not in your own eyes, but in God’s eyes you are. 

Before you decide to stop reading hear me out on a few things. 

1: Jesus is not saying that all anger is bad. There is such a thing as good or righteous anger. We know this because the Bible clearly teaches that God gets angry. And we know that God is good so there must be such a thing as good or righteous anger. In fact, if you look at the Gospels, Jesus gets angry. Go and read Matthew 21:12-13. Not long after Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, He entered the synagogue (Jewish Church) and looked around and saw that a lot of people were doing things that they should not of have been doing. So, what does Jesus do? Listen to what was written… 

“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling droves. It is written, he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers” Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV).

There are plenty of things going on in our world today that should make us angry, especially as Christians. The problem is our anger often times goes off the rails and becomes unrighteous/sinful. Jesus is talking about the type of anger that holds grudges towards others. He is talking about the times when we say and do things that are meant to hurt others—maybe not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. 

Here is the second point I want you to chew on. 

2: Jesus is clarifying (making known) the spirit of the law. 

The spiritual leaders of the day had the letter of the Law down pat. They knew and understood that God did not want them to murder folks. Many of us have the letter of the Law down pat as well. We get it. Murdering people is bad. But here is the thing. Jesus makes it clear that stopping short of murdering people is not good enough. He is making it clear that, like the leaders of His day, we are missing the spirit of the law. 

God is not interested in us becoming people who just stop short of literally murdering each other. No. He is interested in us becoming people who constantly value others. In other words, God is interested in us becoming people who constantly treat others with dignity, respect, and love. This is the spirit behind the law of ‘Do not Murder’ (Exodus 20:13). 

Let me end with a few questions: 

1: Are you in need of open-heart surgery? The reality is, unrighteous/sinful anger is a heart problem. Matthew 15:19 makes this clear. If this is you, if you are struggling with anger (valuing others), do this. Stop what you are doing and go to the Lord. Ask Him to do what only He can do, and that is this, to forgive you and to begin to transform you inside out by the power of His Holy Spirit. 

2: What is one relationship that you have that needs reconciling? Have you done or said something to someone in the past or maybe recently that has caused an offense? Instead of ignoring that you have wronged someone, here is what you need to do. First, ask God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) then, go to the person, acknowledge your error, ask them for forgiveness, and then do everything in your power to bring about reconciliation to that relationship (read again verses 23-26). 

God wants us to become people who constantly value others. Who constantly treat others with dignity, respect and love. 

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Max T. Demorest Sr., age 62, passed away Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at Trillium Woods. Max was born April 18, 1956 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Donald and Thelma (Russell) Demorest Sr. He loved camping and boating. He coached his kids rocket football and T-ball and loved spending time with his brothers and family. He adored spending time with his grandchildren as well. He is survived by his children, Max Demorest Jr., Angelia Demorest, Eric (Bobbie) Demorest, Bradley Demorest; grandchildren, Austin, Makayla, Kiersten, Landon, Jarek, Claudia, Ava, Mason and Hudson; great-grandson, Rylan; brothers, Donald (Terri) Demorest Jr., James Demorest Sr., Craig (Laura) Demorest; sisters, Sally (Marty) Roelofs, Christine Shears; brothers and sisters-in-law, Dino (Tina) Masteropietro, Aldonna Spain; many nieces and nephews. Max was preceded in in death by his wife, Laura; parents; mom, Gloria Demorest; brother, Rusty; daughter-in-law, Danielle Demorest; brother-in-law, Brian Shears. The family will greet friends Monday from noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. until time of service at 6:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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

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John E. Aspinall, age 70, passed away Sunday, February 24, 2019 in Grand Rapids. John was born July 9, 1948 in Evart, MI the son of Lonnie and Dorothy (Bodman) Aspinall. His grand kids were the light of his life. He loved to tinker on anything motorized. John also enjoyed hunting, fishing and listening to old country music. He is survived by his children, John (Brandy) Aspinall, Teri Aspinall, Tracy (Adam) Albrecht and Amy Aspinall; grandchildren, Corrine (Nate) MacDonald, Cortney Aspinall, Jaxson Aspinall, Justin Bogner, Jesse Johnson, Landon Johnson, Noah Aspinall, Brody Albrecht and Amiyah Albrecht; sisters, Sheila (Jim) Young, Shirley (Rick) Mockeman, Evy Drowley, Margie Vincent, Barb (Bill) Johnson and Linda (Gordon) Tower; brothers, Dick (Delores) Aspinall and Bob Fisher. He was preceded in death by his parents. The family will greet friends Saturday from noon until time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Following the service a luncheon will be held at the American Legion.

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

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William Gregones, age 73, passed away Sunday, February 24, 2019 in Grand Rapids. Bill was born June 18, 1945 in Grand Rapids, the son of John and Alma (Seaborn) Gregones. He was in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam and was in the active Naval reserve from 1975 – 1989. Bill was a former commander at the American Legion Post #287 in Cedar Springs and was a member of the Sons of the American Legion. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Brenda (Banta) Gregones; children, John (Brandy) Gregones, Matthew Gregones and Lisa (Paul) Hollenbeck; 11 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter; brothers, Michael (LaVonne) Gregones, Robert Gregones; sisters, Pam (Dale) Larson and Robin (David) Oie. He was preceded in death by his parents. The family will greet friends Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Bill Johnson officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Purple Heart Homes.

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

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Put recycle items in proper dumpster

Dear Citizens of Kent County,

What will it take to get you to put your recycle items into the proper dumpster at the North Kent Transfer Station on 10 Mile Rd? There is a Joni Mitchell song called “The Big Yellow Taxi” and in that song there is part of a lyric which says, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” What would the citizens of Kent County do if the recycling dumpsters were taken away? Can Rockford landfill handle more unnecessary items? I see people throwing cardboard into plastic/metal/glass/paper dumpsters. I see unnecessary trash/garbage in these dumpsters. I see large black plastic garbage bags filled with who knows what in the dumpster. Empty the bags. Reuse the bags. The recycling personnel have no use for them. The bags just get tossed in the landfill. I was told by the person who runs the scales that if a dumpster is mostly filled with unnecessary items, the whole dumpster is dumped in the landfill. 

Citizens of Kent County, stop abusing the system. Those of us who are 70 years of age or younger wouldn’t handle a depression or a situation like WWII where people had to reuse and recycle. We have this mentality of just throwing things out. “Out of sight out of mind”—is that the thinking of those who abuse the system? I would like to see the persons who abuse the system fined. But it would be impossible. Take the time and sort out what you have and put it in the right dumpster! You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Lenn Perry

Kent County Citizen

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