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Archive | May, 2019

Old Glory and the Avenue of Flags

Avenue of Flags
Glen Hill Post members, Dale Hogue and Steven Schmitz begin the process of capturing the waves of glory to be carefully removed, respectfully refolded and then returned to the Legion post until next year. Thanks guys, for all you do!


by Lois Allen

In the early morning hours of Memorial Day 2019, the men of Glen Hill Post 287 were up at the crack of dawn to respectfully place the flags of nearly 200 honored veterans resting at Elmwood Cemetery. 

“Each post does something,”  according to Paul Shrier, veteran, former Sgt. of Arms, and now treasurer at the Glen Hill Post here in Cedar Springs. “This is our project,” said Shrier.

The project was started years ago, originally honoring Ray Peavy, a Cedar Springs veteran and has morphed into the impressive display of patriotisim it is today.

This year the normally peaceful cemetery was unusually active as many pulled in with their vehicles to drive through the impressive display unique to Cedar Springs. Some flags also honored those vets that are no longer with us even though they rest elsewhere. If they have ties to Cedar Springs and fought for our country, their family members are not denied the opportunity to fly the flag of their loved one here, on Memorial Day.

Families continue to give the Legion the flag they receive at their loved ones burial. They were the flags that covered the caskets at burial. However, some families wanted to keep the original flag, so the Legion allows them to buy a dulicate to display once a year. The Legion also provides a pole and plate to be placed beneath the flag with the name of the veteran.

A duplicate flag, with pole and plaque can be purchased for $75.

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Royal Tea Party


The Cedar Springs Library held a Princess & Prince Tea Party last Wednesday, May 22. There were 20 prince and princesses who attended the elegant event. They were all dressed to the nines in their princess dresses and fancy suits. Then, Elsa, a Disney Princess form Frozen made an appearance and came all the way from Arendalle to surprise the kids. She taught them all about royal manners and how to wave and twirl like a true princess. They also learned fristhand from Elsa about the proper tea etiquette. The tea party was full of tasty desserts and elegant treats from some of the beloved Disney Princesses themselves. Cinderella brought her carriage wheels (donuts) and Ariel brought along her fish friends. Then, as the night went on Elsa threw a royal dance party and danced the evening away with some of the famous Disney songs. everyone got a chance to dance with Elsa herself as they sang, “Let it go.”

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Memorial Day 2019


By Judy Reed

Area residents gathered in cemeteries and parks for the annual Memorial Day services on Monday, May 27.

Here in Cedar Springs, the Glen Hill American Legion Post held services at Elmwood Cemetery, where the Avenue of Flags memorialized veterans laid to rest there. There were names at each of the flags along the walkway, and flags on all the veterans’ graves, dating as far back as the Civil War. The American Legion also held services at Solon Cemetery; East Nelson Cemetery; and at Veterans Memorial Park on Oak Street. Memorial Day services were also held at Algoma, Sand Lake, Pierson, and Sparta. We asked people to send in their photos of the services—thank you for doing that! See them on this page.

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19th Annual Memorial Cemetery Walk


American Legion Glen Hill Post 287 Honor Guard were present at the Historical Society’s annual Cemetery Walk last Sunday.

by Lois Allen

On May 26, 2019, residents and the public at large were invited to take a walk through Elmwood Cemetery and learn about the lives of just a few of the men who risked it all, even their lives to serve our country and ensure freedom for us and those around the world. Hosted by the Cedar Springs Historical Society for nearly two decades, a small gathering listened as the sun made an appearance on a cloudy day while the stories of five of those brave soldiers were revealed.

Assisted by the Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard, the group listened to the story of among others, Richard Allen, a veteran of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was a conflict that few people understood. With the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, America’s involvement actually began during the Eisenhower Administration in 1954. The French asked for U.S. Air support during their last stand against the North Vietnamese.

During the ten years of troop involvement in Vietnam, 58,000 service men and women were killed or listed as MIA’s. Most returning Vietnam vets gained small homage – they were not given a parade, and were unable to find outlet for the horrors they experienced.

The dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial on Memorial Day 1982 helped propel a change of attitude and development of treatment for Vietnam vets.

Richard Allen

Richard Allen of Cedar Springs was among those who served and fought in those foreign jungles.

Richard Allen was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1949, the only son of Elton and Aletha Allen. (Not related to the Allens’ that started the Squire and the Post newspapers.) He attended Cedar Springs High School and graduated in 1967, 29th in a class of 127 with a college prep diploma. Instead of a college education, Richard entered the U.S. Navy. According to the V.A. Department, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder afflicts nearly 1 million Vietnam Veterans. Symptoms include flashbacks, paranoia, emotional detachment, hostility, substance abuse and social alienation. This used to be termed “shell shock”. Only in recent years has treatment been developed that has showed some success.

Richard died at his home in Cedar Springs on July 21, 1977 at the age of 27.  Although he didn’t die in battle, he gave his life as many others whose lives were forever changed by the war experience.

Also remembered and whose stories were narrated for those in attendence included Leander Jewell, a Cedar Springs veteran of the Civil War, narrated by Nancy Starr. Narrated by Terri Matz was the story of Harold Bicknell Glidden, a veteran of World War I.  William C. Wilson, a former Cedar Springs resident and veteran of the Koren War was narrated by Tanya Eldred. Also, Michael E. Magoon, a veteran of the Vietnam War narrated by Lenn Perry. And finally, Leland Dewey, a veteran of World War II narrated by Riley Matz, see their bios on page 13. 

Attendees gathered at the Cedar Springs Museum for refreshments and socializing after the Cemetery Walk.

Afterwords, attendees gathered at the Cedar Springs Museum for refreshments and socializing.

To discover more about our brave veterans, contact the CS Historical Society (616) 696-3335.

*information supplied to us by the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

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City Hall Corner


By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Water Resource Management

Hey high school students, do you want to know about a solid career field with lots of job offers, good pay and isn’t going to be automated any time soon? Consider going into water or wastewater management.  Every single day you get out of bed, brush your teeth, take a shower and flush the toilet. Your family members all do the same thing and so do your friends and neighbors, each using water along the way.  An average person uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day, meaning that a family of 4 can use 320 gallons per day and about 9600 gallons per month.  Businesses also use water, restaurants to wash dishes and prep food, retail stores for sinks and bathrooms and industrial uses like cleaning machines. The City uses water to fight fires, water the cemetery’s lawn and run the public toilets.  The City of Cedar Springs produces, on average, 400,000 to 800,000 gallons of water per day for use by City residents and businesses.  At 800,000 gallons per day the City is producing 555 gallons of water every minute for 24 hours.  After use, that water then goes through the sewer system to the City’s wastewater treatment plant and is treated and cleaned before it is released back into the ground.

The American Water Works Association says that some of the key skills required of water resource management include mathematical, mechanical and science skills, the ability to read charts, graphs, maps and the use of logic in troubleshooting and a strong commitment to safety practice and standards.  Bay College, right here in Michigan, is a leading school with its water resource management program and it boasts a ratio of 15 jobs available to each college graduate with rapid promotion and job mobility due to high nationwide demand.  So, if you want to impress your parents and teachers with your foresight and plan for your career development, consider going into water or wastewater management as a career.  Society needs water and right now, there are not enough qualified people that are working to produce it.

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Preliminary Findings Show Decrease in Traffic Deaths During Memorial Day Holiday Weekend


LANSING, MICH. Preliminary reports indicate 10 people lost their lives in eight separate traffic crashes during the 2019 Memorial Day holiday weekend. In comparison, 19 people were killed in 15 fatal traffic crashes during the 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Of the eight deadly crashes:

• Restraint use was unknown in five.

• Alcohol use was a known factor in one of the deadly crashes.

• One involved a motorcyclist; a helmet was worn.

• One victim was a pedestrian.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 28,” stated Spl/F/Lt. Jim Flegel, MSP Traffic Safety Specialist. “We continue to urge motorists to make responsible driving decisions and always ensure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. Never operate a vehicle impaired on alcohol or drugs and avoid distractions at all times.”

The 2019 Memorial Day holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2019.

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AAA reveals key deadly behaviors for teen drivers as “100 deadliest days” begin


Fatal teen crash rates show drinking and driving, speeding and distraction are among top killers on the road during summer

Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the number of crash fatalities involving a teen driver historically rise. New crash data from 2013-2017 reveals major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer driving period include:

Speeding (28 percent)

Drinking and driving (17 percent)

Distraction (9 percent)

“Crash data shows that teens are a vulnerable driver group with a higher probability of being involved in crashes,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And while teens may make mistakes when first learning to drive, it is important to continue educating them about safety behind the wheel so they avoid the reckless behaviors that put themselves and others at risk on the road.”

AAA Foundation research found that nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer because teens are out of school and driving more. Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

An average of almost 700 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers.

The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 was 17 percent higher per day compared to other days of the year.

Reckless behavior like drinking and driving, speeding and distraction are contributing to the alarming number of crash deaths involving teen drivers each summer.

Speeding

Speeding significantly increases the severity of a crash and is a growing problem among teen drivers. In the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, half (49.7 percent) of teen drivers reported speeding on a residential street in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent say they sped on the freeway.

Drinking and Driving

Despite the fact that teens cannot legally consume alcohol, one in six teen drivers involved in fatal crashes during the summer tested positive for alcohol.

Distraction- Underreported Problem

More than half of teen drivers (52 percent) in the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index report reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent report sending a text or email. It is difficult for law enforcement to detect distraction following a crash, which has made distracted driving one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.

 Additional AAA Foundation research using in-vehicle dash-cam videos of teen driver crashes found distraction was involved in 58 percent of teen crashes, approximately four times as many as federal estimates.

“Parents have plenty to be concerned about as their teen hits the road this summer,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “Teens are making deadly mistakes on the road. Parents are the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel.”

To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:

Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.

Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.

Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.

“Teens should also prepare for summer driving by practicing safety during every trip,” said Dr. Bill Van Tassel, AAA Manager of Driver Training Programs. “Storing your phone out of reach, minding the speed limit, and staying away from impairing substances like alcohol and marijuana will help prevent many crashes from ever occurring.”

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills.

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Happy 87th Birthday


Kathleen Peterson

We love you!

Melissa, Evan, Skyler, Ella

Terry and Machell

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Arnold Family 5 Generations


The Arnold family spent time together over the Memorial Day weekend and got this 5th generation photo. 

Great-great-grandmother, Kathleen (formerly Arnold) Zemaitis, of Pierson; (her daughter) great-grandmother Holly (formerly Arnold) Smith, of Belding, (her son) grandfather Brian  Arnold, of Stanwood; (his son) Levi Arnold, of Big Rapids; (Levi’s baby) daughter Aubree Lynn (being held by great-great-grandma Kathy). 

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PAULA JEANNE RAU


Paula Jeanne Rau, age 73, of Sand Lake passed away Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Jeanne was born October 27, 1945 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Howard and Bessie (Burg) Russell. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School and the Grand Rapids Beauty College. She was a member of South Ensley United Methodist Church. A retired school bus driver, who served for 30 years, including 11 years driving for special needs students. Jeanne was a woman of deep faith and conviction who will be remembered as an incredibly strong person known for her kind and compassionate spirit. You could always count on Jeanne for her dimpled expressive smile and a show of love through her cooking and caregiving. Surviving are her husband, John whom she married 55 years ago on February 8, 1964; children, Nick (Amy) Rau, Brenda (Lloyd Penn) Rarick; grandchildren, Samantha Rau, Ben Rau, Arianna Rau, Kyle Rarick; 2 great-grandchildren; brothers, Glenn (Betty) Russell, Dale (J Ann) Russell; sister, Donna (Patrick) Valentine. The family will greet friends Friday, May 31 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Saturday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. at South Ensley United Methodist Church, 13600 S. Cypress Avenue, Sand Lake. Pastors Darryl Miller and Dick Selleck officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs, with a luncheon immediately following. Memorials may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice, 750 Fuller Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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

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