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Archive | April, 2019

Cedar Springs Red Hawks

Spring Sports Schedules

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Sand Lake appoints new president

By Judy Reed

The Village of Sand Lake is once again under new leadership after appointing a new president on April 3. 

Tracy Quinlan was appointed as the new president of the Village of Sand Lake.

Trustee Tracy Quinlan was appointed by the council to take the place of former President Danielle Hardenberg, who resigned on March 30, reportedly to begin nursing school.  

Quinlan was appointed to the council in January to fill a vacant seat. When the president’s seat became open, she was asked to serve in that position.

Quinlan may be new to the board, but she is familiar with the area, having grown up nearby. She shared a little of her history with the audience at Sand Lake’s regular meeting Monday evening, April 15, and also spoke with The Post.

She said that she originally lived with her family on a farm between Howard City and Morley, and that her family later moved to a farm west of Ensley Center. She attended Grant Christian School from first through ninth grade, and then went on to Grant High School, and graduated from there. 

“I married a local boy—my husband, Jim, is a firefighter and nurse,” she said. 

Quinlan said she spent 20 years in the legal field, doing some work with commercial real estate in the area of commercial lending and litigation, and also in trust administration. She was also an adjunct professor. She eventually decided she really liked teaching, and is currently teaching English and Social Studies to 6th graders at Grand Rapids Public Schools. She does still have her hand in real estate though, and is taking her real estate exam soon. She and her husband moved back to this area in September.

“Change is not always bad,” Quinlan told the audience. “It gives us an opportunity to look at where we’ve been and where we are, and where we want to be.” She explained that she is a get it done kind of person—warm and demanding at the same time.

“I would like to say thank you to Danielle Hardenberg for all she’s done for us and wish her well with her nursing degree, which she starts next week,” said Quinlan.

She also noted that the board could not answer any questions regarding a lawsuit brought by former Police Chief Jim Reamsma, or another lawsuit brought by an officer who was recently fired.

Several people spoke during the meeting, including Sand Lake Police Sgt. Steve Brandow, and former President pro-tem David Dewey.

Dewey spoke some about what he felt was shameful treatment of the former Chief of Police Jim Reamsma, and also cautioned the board about approving a request from current trustee Glenn Baker to vacate the street that also currently serves as Baker’s driveway. Dewey was cut off during his comments, because he exceeded the allotted time.

Dewey explained to the Post that the council had already denied Baker’s request when he was a private citizen, and didn’t feel it was right for him to bring it up again now that he was a council member. Dewey said that he felt sorry for Baker, who bought the property thinking he would be able to build a workshop, when that’s not possible since it’s in a residential area. 

Is the police department suspended or terminated?

Brandow asked the board whether the police department was still suspended or whether they were terminated. He wanted it clarified for the officers. The question was not answered Monday evening, but the Post spoke with Quinlan about it. 

“As a council we have not made a determination yet,” she said. “We did hire Kent County to patrol an extra 8 hours a week. We are going to just let it sit for now while we investigate other options while we get through this litigation process.”

She said that they are paying $82/hour to Kent County for the extra hours.

Quinlan explained that the real catalyst behind suspending the police department was that Sgt. Brandow and Officer Andrews came to the Public Safety Committee and said they had other interests for the summer, and that Brandow couldn’t work after May 1, and Andrews could only work every other week. 

“They came to us and suggested we suspend the department and check with Kent County. And now they are acting like we blindsided them,” she said.

The Post spoke with Brandow to confirm what Quinlan said. He explained that it was true they recommending suspending operations, but not to the extent that occurred. 

Brandow said that all the officers have other full time jobs, including himself. When he was asked to run the Police Department after Reamsma was fired, he said it was a heavy load. “I went from working every other weekend to three days a week and every Saturday,” he explained. Andrews had been a fill in, but had stepped up to working every Friday.

Brandow said that during the summer months, he does a lot of drag racing with kids from ages 5 to 18 at Martin. It’s usually on the weekends—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—the days he had recently been working. “A lot of my normal hours would’ve been impacted,” he explained. He noted that Andrews is also involved in the racing.

Brandow said their recommendation was to suspend patrols only. “I was willing to come in and do administrative stuff such as checking emails, phone calls, and following up on cases,” he said. Instead they completely shut down the department.

“I asked the question on whether we were terminated because I’ve seen officers suspended and they still have their equipment. At the meeting where they voted to suspend us there was an attorney, and they took our keys, our IDs, our badges, our uniforms—all of our stuff. Usually they don’t take everything. That was a big red flag to me,” he explained. 

Brandow said he knew they had previously looked at Kent County taking over a few years ago, and were talking about it again, so told them “Sure, go ahead and call” and find out what they charged now for extra patrols. 

Quinlan feels that what they get for $82/hour is a good deal. “Kent County has a lot of resources, and all the liability, the firearms, patrol cars, the training—it’s all taken care of,” she said. “Right now it seems the best way to go.”

She noted that they have looked at many options, including hiring another Chief. “Given the budget we have, you look at the quality of what we could get, and we just don’t have the budget to get the expertise we need,” she explained. “Most small municipalities across the country just can’t bear the burden of having their own police department anymore.”

Board votes to stop audio recording meetings

Quinlan told the audience Monday evening that for transparency, they would begin to post the meeting notices for the committee meetings, so that the public could attend. But in what could be seen as a setback for transparency, the board did vote to stop recording the council meetings. Reasons cited were that it is not required by the Open Meetings Act (it’s not); that it took the clerk up to three hours to play it back; and that “they” recommended they not be recorded because the recordings were FOIAble, and could result in a lawsuit. (It was not specified who “they” referred to.) Quinlan also mentioned that some things might need to be redacted in the recording. However, recordings are a record of an open meeting and there should not be any redacting of information. 

Under the Open Meetings Act, the public may still record the meeting, whether through video or audio. The board may ask they do it in a way that is not disruptive, That won’t help those, however, who cannot attend the meeting. A better choice may have been just to post the audio of the meeting online, or video record it and post it online, as other agencies do, such as the City of Cedar Springs and Cedar Springs Public Schools.

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Man critical after crash

By Judy Reed

An early morning crash on US131 on Monday sent a Howard City man to the hospital in critical condition.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, the crash occurred about 5:50 a.m. on Monday, April 15. A 42-year-old Howard City man was outside of his vehicle helping a family member who had slid off the road on southbound US131 in Reynolds Township when he was hit by another vehicle. 

Police said the driver, a 17-year-old female from Howard City, was traveling southbound and lost control of her vehicle and struck the man and the rear of his vehicle. The man suffered head trauma and significant injuries to his lower body, requiring immediate trauma care. He was taken to the hospital by Aero Med, and is still in critical condition.

The driver of the other vehicle was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police believe weather was the cause of the crash. The crash is still under investigation.

Assisting MSP at the scene was Montcalm County EMS, Howard City Fire Department, Lakeview Fire Department, Aero Med, McKay’s Towing, and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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Last snowman of the winter (hopefully)

During our most recent bout of snow on Sunday, April 14, Bailey Robydek took the opportunity to create one last cute snowman for the winter of 2018-19. We hope it’s winter telling us goodbye!  Thanks so much for sending us your photo!

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The Post travels to Las Vegas

Charlie and Kathy Prahl and Jake and Katia, and grandparents Dave and Diane took the Cedar Post to Las Vegas for 3 days. They too in “One – Michael Jackson Cirque De Soliel,”,made a day stop at beautiful Lake Havesu and London Bridge (a must see) and then went on to stay with Aunt Karen in Sun Lakes, AZ to relax. They enjoyed a picnic on the patio day with the Peterkin relatives, too. A fabulous time was had by all!

Thanks so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Sand Lake teen makes Eagle Scout rank

Travis Brockschmidt, the son of Marty and Susan Brockschmidt of Sand Lake, has made the Eagle Scout rank in the Cedar Springs Scouts.

Travis Brockschmidt has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Courtesy photo.

Travis is a senior at Greenville High School. 

In July of last year, Travis had to speak in front of the Greenville School board to get approval for his Eagle Scout Project. He was aware of the need for white boards in the science department. His teacher, Mrs. Platte, was supportive of Travis making 30 boards to help the students in the science department. 

Travis raised funds by having people donate their unwanted metals, such as non- working washers, dryers, and other items. Greenville Schools donated old metal desks. So it was a win-win situation, cleaning up the environment as well as raising funds. 

Travis’s uncle, John Allen, used one of his work trucks to transport all the metal to recycle.

Travis’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor will be held at the Nelson Township Library on April 27, 2019 at 3:30.

Congratulations, Travis!

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En Gedi fundraiser a huge success

The recent 2019 En Gedi Anniversary Fundraiser Auction was deemed a huge success by the En Gedi Team earning the organization over $40,000 between event income and matching funds from CS Manufacturing. 

Pastor Tom Holloway and family.

This year’s event commemorated 10 years of En Gedi serving the community. En Gedi is a Christ-centered non-profit Cedar Springs 501(c)3 organization formed in 2009. The organization is dedicated to strengthening the community of Cedar Springs and surrounding areas through the building up of families. En Gedi provides a free after-school youth center for 6-8th graders, community/family events, scholarships to camps, conferences, and mission trips, along with supporting existing organizations such as the Hand2Hand Food Program, V2 High Schoolers, Ladies and Men of Honor and others. 

Pastor CJ Maurer and family.

Founding En Gedi board member and previous youth center director Pastor Tom Holloway flew home from South Carolina to help celebrate and honor the organization. Holloway explained how he and the other founding members, Pastor CJ Maurer, Marilyn Magnuson, and Julie Jancek felt called to give kids a safe place to hang out while at the same time providing encouragement and an opportunity to know Christ. The first community meeting had great attendance where he asked for support and money to help get things started. Those who came forward had their first few meetings at The Springs Church and things started moving forward. 

Pastors Holloway and Maurer knew they could best reach students if they could meet right after school and in a location closer to school. They met with school administrators and learned both organizations shared similar missions and visions. 

“Many people came together to help this thing, that nobody could pronounce—En Gedi—become a reality. Tim Mabie stepped in with his leadership skills and support to bring the organization stability and success, “ explained Holloway. 

“The Bible says that for the lack of vision the people perish. Please don’t forget that En Gedi has a purpose and the purpose is kids and families of the Cedar Springs community. Seeing this mission continue to serve 10 years later is a great blessing,” he added. 

Pastor Maurer also shared his memories of early days and wondering if this would all come together. “There were lots of challenges but always solutions as we believed and trusted in God,” Maurer said. 

Rite Aid officials Melinda Silliman, Store Manager, and Sharlene Kent, staff, were recognized for the support from the Rite Aid Kids Cents Program. Darci Frostick was instrumental in submitting an application three years ago for En Gedi to become a recognized organization. 

Randy Badge, En Gedi board member and director of the Men and Ladies of Honor Kent County Chapter, shared statistics supporting the need to have safe and supervised opportunities for middle school students during those hours between school being out and parents coming home from work. 

“Factual statistics show the staggering number of middle school students who often make bad choices during these unsupervised afterschool hours supporting the need for En Gedi’s youth center,” Badge stated. 

Badge also explained the two scholarship funds (Marilyn Magnuson and En Gedi) available to those attending a Christ-centered camp, conference, or mission trip. Sandy and George Waite shared stories from the Polestar group, 2018 recipients of scholarship funds, and how their adventure out west showed them God’s goodness through nature. 

Auction attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet of appetizers while browsing a wide selection of silent and live auction items. 

Jody Coxon, volunteer event coordinator, was pleased with this year’s 10th Anniversary Fundraiser Auction saying, “We are fortunate to have tremendously supportive businesses and community members coming together to continually making this event successful so that En Gedi can better serve our community.” 

More information about En Gedi can be found on the website of www.EnGediYouthCenter.com or by contacting any En Gedi Board Member Robert Frostick, Tim Hullinger, Randy Badge, Autumn Mattson, Brendan Fitzgerald, or Sue Wolfe as well as the Youth Center’s Director, Pastor Craig Owens. 

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City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Fire hydrants 

City staff take great pride in the quality of our water services and the safety it helps provide for citizens and City businesses through our network of fire hydrants. The City’s water service permits businesses to flourish and new homes to be built in the City. Recently, some businesses along 17 Mile Rd. experienced issues with some unexpected brown water. While brown water is safe to use and drink it isn’t best for using to wash the laundry. After investigating this brown water, City staff believe it was caused by someone stealing water from one of the city’s fire hydrants on White Creek Ave.  Stealing water from a fire hydrant is dangerous and illegal and anyone caught doing so will pay a fine and possibly receive jail time. A fire hydrant is not a toy and is not to be used except by the DPW staff and the Fire Department. The misuse of a fire hydrant can cause brown water, local flooding, low water pressure for the entire City and could impact the Fire Department’s ability to fight a fire. If you see a vehicle parked near a city fire hydrant that is not a fire truck or city marked truck or if you see someone manipulating a fire hydrant who shouldn’t, please contact the Cedar Springs Fire Department, or Cedar Springs Public Works as soon as possible. Fire Chief Martin Fraser can be reached at (616) 696-1221; Public Works at (616) 696-1330. The City is committed to protecting our fire hydrants and we appreciate citizen vigilance that helps us maintain the safety of our system.

Meter Reads

Thank you to everyone for working with the City to get a new meter installed at your home or business. We will now have actual meter reads every month (no more estimates)! Water and sewer utility bills can be paid by cash, check, credit card, automatic withdrawal, or online at our website: cityofcedarsprings.org. We now have a drive up “drop box” on Ash Street as well as the drop box outside the front door. The staff at city hall is happy to assist with any payments or questions you may have.

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A Busy spring for FFA members

By Chloe Boomgaard 

On Monday February 11th the Cedar Springs FFA Officer team and other contestants participated in different competitions at the district level in Chippewa Hills. The  Parliamentary Procedure team consisted of Dylan McConnon, Chloe Boomgaard, Olivia Martinek, Carly Dunham, Garret Migoski, Zack Cardinel, Luke Millilus, and Coach Stacy Sevey. The Demonstration team was made up of Trevor Marsman, Alyssa Roelofs, and Taryn Troupe. The chapters Greenhand public speaker was Gideon McConnon, and this year’s job interviewer was Angel Shears. Along with these students, the FFA brought four  judges Bill and Heidi Brandt, and Rick Sevey. The members that took part in these contests put in countless hours of practice, came in on snow days to work, and helped one another get prepared for the contests. 

After many hours of waiting for results the demonstration team took third place with a gold rating with their horse presentation, the parliamentary procedure took second with a gold rating, public speaker Gideon McConnon took second with a gold, and job interviewer Angel Shears took sixth with a gold rating. The parliamentary procedure team and Gideon moved on to regional contests that took place on Thursday, February 14, in Lowell. At the regional level the parliamentary procedure team took fifth with a silver rating and Gideon also received a fifth place with a silver rating. Congratulation to all of the students that participated in the leadership contests. 

After the many hours spent on leadership contest, FFA members Autumn Adkison and Chloe Boomgaard put together some activities for National FFA Week. These members prepared a coloring contest for the 4th grade students in Cedar View Elementary which emphasised the field of agriculture. Four classes participated in the contest and there were twelve winners. While the elementary students were coloring away, the high schoolers had an FFA member lunch in Mr.Reyburns classroom, where the FFA provided all of the fixin’s needed to have a great home cooked lunch. Thank you for all of the hard work put in by all members that made FFA week possible. 

In March, FFA sent seven students to Michigan FFA State Convention. Those members included Gideon McConnon, Chloe Boomgaard, Carly Dunham, Autumn Adkison, Zack Cardinal, Olivia Martinek, Emily Brown, along withChaperone Marcie Boomgaard, and Mr.Reyburn. While at Michigan State University, the students were able to attend many different sessions lead by the Michigan state FFA officer team. Along with these sessions several members received awards and degrees. Dylan McConnon received the Outstanding Junior award and the Academic Excellence award. Zack Cardinal and Chloe Boomgaard both received the State FFA degree. All of the students that received awards and degrees put in many hours of hard work and dedication to their FFA chapters. Congratulations to all of the students that were able to receive awards and attend State convention. 

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God makes all things new

Pastor Darryl Miller |Sand Lake & South Ensley | United Methodist Churches 

Revelation 21:5: And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true (American Standard Version).

As I sit at my desk writing this, the television is on in the next room and the terrible tragedy of the destruction of the Notre Dame cathedral is playing out. It is horrible to hear. Although I serve a different denomination today, I grew up in the Catholic Church and I grieve with my Christian brothers and sisters. 

Yet, as this tragedy takes place, there is the sound of hymns rising up from the crowds surrounding the island. There is pain and worship. Thankfully, no building can contain God nor can anything stop His wondrous and unconditional love for His children. 

As Easter approaches, we must remember and cling to the truth of salvation. God does make all things new. Will a new cathedral rise from the ruins of Notre Dame? Most likely and the same is true of us. From our charred and sinful lives, we will rise. Not by our efforts but by the unconditional grace of God. He loves and cares for us. He said so Himself. He even told John to write it down because it was an important truth for all people. God does make all things new. He cleanses away the dirt and washes us clean. 

We tend to label ourselves differently, but we worship the God of life together. This week we will all celebrate the resurrection of Christ as one people. This is the way God wants us to be—one voice singing praises even in the toughest times. 

Visit your local church this Sunday and see what all the celebrating is about!

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