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Archive | July, 2019

Arrests made in gun thefts

Imperial Gunworx, in the Village of Sparta, was broken into early Sunday morning and 19 handguns were stolen. Photo from Woodtv.com.

Four people have been arrested in connection with gun thefts last Sunday in both Sparta and Kentwood.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they assisted the Sparta Police Department on Sunday, July 14, at 3:33 a.m. at a breaking and entering at Imperial Gunworx, at 134 E. Division in the Village of Sparta. Four suspects forced entry into the store using concrete slabs and bricks to shatter the glass in the front door, and then shattered the glass in the display case. They stole 19 handguns.

Another gun store, Armory Valentine, in Kentwood, was also broken into the early morning hours of July 14. Police said that the four suspects, who appear to be the same ones as in the Sparta case, stole additional firearms including semi-automatic rifles.

On July 15, the Wyoming Police Department responded to a suspicious situation involving three suspicious males entering a house under construction. The three suspicious individuals were located by police. During the Wyoming Police Officers investigation, a backpack that had been observed on one of the suspicious individuals was found nearby with nine stolen Imperial Gunworx handguns inside.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) began investigating this case. Investigators were able to identify four juvenile suspects. Search warrants were executed at two different addresses in Kent County and additional stolen handguns and rifles were recovered.

One adult suspect is in Federal custody and his name will be released pending arraignment. Three juveniles have been arrested and lodged at Kent County Juvenile Detention Facility.

This case remains under investigation. The suspects involved in the Sparta and Kentwood breaking and entering cases are not suspected to be involved in two other recent gun theft cases: Barracks 616 in Cascade Township was burglarized last week Wednesday, and Long Range Archery and Firearms in Holland was also burglarized Sunday morning, July 14. 

If you have any information about any of the Gun Store theft cases, please call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6357, Silent Observer at 616-774-2345, or the ATF.

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Sizzling summer temperatures continue to rise

High temps of 95, with heat indices in the 100s this weekend

Photo courtesy of US National Weather Service Grand Rapids.

By Judy Reed

Statements from both the Kent County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are warning residents of the need to be aware of the dangers of heatstroke and dehydration as temperatures and humidity continue to rise. 

“We collectively waited much of the year in anticipation of warm weather, but this week may be a little too warm for comfort. On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, daytime temperatures will near and surpass 90 degrees, with predicted highs of 95 degrees on Thursday–Saturday. It will also be very humid, which will increase the discomfort,” said Kent County Emergency Manager Lt. Lou Hunt.

“It’s important Michiganders stay hydrated and out of the sun as much possible to avoid serious health complications during this hot weather,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “Young children, older adults and those who are have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance.”

It is important to be aware of the dangers heat can present to residents, and pets, so we can stay safe and remain as comfortable as possible. Residents are encouraged to follow these simple tips:

• Spend as much time as possible in a temperature-controlled cool environment.

• Stay in the shade with a good breeze/air flow to decrease felt temperatures.

• Remain well hydrated by drinking water (more than usual), which can help the body’s natural process for adapting to higher temperatures, as opposed to alcohol drinks that can be counter-productive and dehydrate the body.

• Wear loose-fitting clothing.

• Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.

Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion (which can include weakness, cold and clammy skin, darker than normal urine, significant sweating, cramps, dizziness, headache and nausea, among others) is a strong indicator it is time to get to a cooler environment, drink some cold water, and rest. Heat stroke, on the other hand, is a medical emergency with signs such as confusion, disorientation, the absence of sweating, high body temperature, rapid pulse/heart rate, and others. Heat stroke can be fatal, and must be treated immediately.

Cooling centers will be open throughout this event for residents to go and rest from the heat. Most cooling centers will be open during the day while the temperatures are hottest (nighttime temperatures this week will be much more tolerable, in the mid 70’s). For locations and hours of cooling centers, please call 211 and a United Way representative will assist you in locating the closest cooling center.

Remember, this week is a good time to slow things down a little, stay out of the sun, and make sure the people around you (and yourself) are coping during this heat event. Also, please remember your family pets! Pets that live outside will require shade and lots of cool water, but residents are encouraged to bring their pets inside for cooler temperatures.

In addition to staying hydrated and out of the sun, residents are reminded to never leave children or pets alone in a car even with the windows cracked. Temperatures inside a car can easily be double the temperature outside, and because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s they are more susceptible to heatstroke.

For more information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from heat-related illness, visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

During this time, you will also hear more about “Clean air action days.” We had one Monday, and had another one Wednesday (yesterday). So what are they and what are we supposed to do when we have one?

Meteorologist Kevin Craig, of Fox17, explained it this way: “If you’re not familiar with it, clean air action days are similar to the old ozone action day. It simply means that the air quality for certain groups like the elderly, very young, and folks with breathing problems or asthma may find it difficult to be outside.

“While ozone may be of benefit in the upper levels of the atmosphere by protecting us from the harmful UV rays of the sun, it has the opposite effect when it forms here at the surface. It’s basically ground pollution. How does it form? The vapors from topping off the gas tank in your car while fueling can create ground level ozone. Running gas powered equipment like lawn-mowers and weed-wackers can do the same. That said, organizations such as the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition asks that you stop/refrain from these types of activities on clean air action days. Wait for another day to refuel or cut the grass. It really does make a difference. See their website at https://www.wmcac.org/ and learn more.”

That website will show you what types of things you can do at home, in the workplace, and while you are on the road to help mitigate the formation of ozone at ground level and help your neighbors and family members breathe easier. Examples include: 

Use non-gasoline powered yard maintenance equipment; 

Avoid using oil-based paints or solvents;

Reschedule your mowing;

Do all your errands in one trip;

Take public transportation;

Ride your bike;

Conserve energy in the home and at work

And more!

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Two injured in crash on 14 Mile Rd

A rollover crash on 14 Mile Rd at Ramsdell sent two people to the hospital on Thursday, July 11, one of them with critical injuries.

According to the Michigan State Police Rockford Post, the crash occurred about 3:56 p.m. They determined that the driver of a 2010 Kia was traveling on Ramsdell and failed to yield to westbound traffic on 14 Mile Road. The Kia entered the intersection and was struck by a westbound 2018 Ford Taurus. The Kia then rolled, trapping the occupants inside. 

Courtland Township Fire extricated the two occupants of the Kia, and both were transported to the hospital. At the time, the passenger was transported with critical injuries, and the driver with minor injuries. 

Assisting MSP at the crash scene was the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Courtland Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance. The crash is still under investigation. No other details have been released.

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Post travels out East

The Post recently traveled with Noah Gorby, of Cedar Springs, when he went on a weeklong trip with his grandparents, Dave and Jan Malmo,. out East. He was excited to design a You Tube stop motion video with a former Disney animator in Massachusetts; get totally wet at Niagara Falls; and visit Plimouth Plantation with a day drive down Cape Cod. He also fed carrots to llamas, buffalo, fallow deer and zebras at the African Safari Wildlife drive-through park in Ohio. 

“This was the best week of my life!” he exclaimed.

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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Summer fun with the Wolverine Skyhawks

Winner of the model airplane was the Uhen family. From L to R: Morgan, Wyatt, Jack, and Jeff (Dad). On the far right is Eric Pipenger, President of the Wolverine Skyhawks.
Courtesy Photo

The Wolverine Skyhawks, Model Aviation Club did it again! Last week they provided another great airshow for Cedar Springs Summer Reading families in partnership with the Cedar Springs Public Library. President Eric Pipenger calculated that this is their 9th year holding this event. Library staff are so pleased that the Skyhawks came to town, looking for the perfect air field and found it out at 13540 West Street.  Library Director Donna Clark befriended the group of model airplane enthusiasts in 2009, realizing the potential for a great partnership between the Skyhawks and her local community, especially for local families. Ever since that day, the Skyhawks have provided Summer Reading fun for local residents on an annual basis. 

The evening of July 10 was perfect for flying. There was a breeze, but just enough to cool things down with full sun above.  In all 90 children and 65 adults come to enjoy the show, many who had no idea the Skyhawks existed. What a treat! Families brought out blankets and lawn chairs and a couple of dollars for the Skyhawks famous grilled hotdogs and chips. The Club purchased 300 hotdogs and invited an ice cream truck to come out, too.  Everyone ate well and enjoyed the swoops, turns and dives performed by the various model airplanes. 

Beyond the show was the hope within the heart of every young person, grades K-12, of winning the Model Airplane offered by the Club. They handed out 81 tickets. The drawing took place at 7:30 and excitement was high. The Uhen family had three children and three chances to win the airplane, and they did! Congratulations and thank you to everyone that came!

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Help ID the Missing

Free event to collect DNA from relatives of missing persons

Do you have someone in your family that is missing? You may want to attend this event.

The Michigan State Police and National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is holding a free event on August 2 from noon to 5 p.m. at the MSP Marshall Post, 714 Old US 27 North, Marshall, Michigan, where family members of missing persons are invited to attend to submit DNA samples to help with the identification of unidentified remains housed at medical examiner’s offices throughout Michigan. Currently, there are 312 known unsolved, unidentified remains cases statewide.

Potential donors must be biological relatives and will be asked to allow a non-invasive swab of the inside of the cheek.

Family members are encouraged to bring photographs, dental records, medical records, or other identifying information to update law enforcement databases. Personal items will be immediately returned.

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City Hall Corner

Easements, Miss Dig and basketball nets

The City of Cedar Springs owns and maintains different types of land easements throughout the City, the main types being utility easements and road right of way easements. There are other types of utility easements not owned by the City including telecommunications, storm-drain, natural gas and electricity amongst others.  

An easement is the legal right to use property for a specified purpose, even though that property is still owned and maintained by the property owner. Property owners must still cut the grass and shovel snow off the sidewalks despite the easement. While water and sewer lines generally run under or next to the public road, occasionally a water or sewer line will extend through or between yards for various reasons, which requires a utility easement. Likewise, the City (or Kent County Road Commission) maintains a road right of way easement anywhere there is a public road whether there are utilities present or not.   

The public road easement is generally about 33 feet from the center of the road in both directions; sometimes it is 42 feet in both directions and sometimes 16.5 feet, depending on each specific road. Utility easements are generally 30 feet wide, 15 feet on either side of the utility line. The easement area is used to place the specified utility or improvement and keep it open and available to maintenance in the future. Any object installed or placed in or upon the City’s easement is considered an encroachment and can be removed by the City at the cost of the property owner. The last thing that the DPW wants to do is have to fix a water main break underneath a home, business, garage or other building which is why we don’t allow structures or buildings to be built on top of city easements. The DPW also doesn’t want to hit anything with their trucks during brush/leaf pickup or snowplowing.

Since there are potentially dangerous utilities in the easements under the ground on your property, Michigan State law requires that you contact Miss Dig 811, Michigan’s free and easy utility notification system, prior to any digging project, any size and any depth.  The Miss Dig service will get utility lines marked so when you dig down you don’t break a utility line or potentially injure yourself. This service needs to be used for projects such as installing fence posts, mailboxes, deck piers/footings etc.

Finally, while the City continues to work on the creation of a community basketball court, I see many temporary basketball nets lining the City’s streets. Those basketball nets encroach upon and violate the City’s road easement and cannot be installed by digging or be placed on a permanent basis in the City’s easement area. The City does usually allow temporary and portable basketball nets to be placed along the edge of the road surface so long as the basketball net doesn’t cause any problems, are moved upon request and are moved out of the City’s easement area between October 1st and May 1st of the following year.

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Man identified in fatal crash

Police are still investigating the crash that took the life of a Cedar Springs man last week. Photo from Woodtv.com.

The Michigan State Police in Lakeview have identified the man killed in a Reynolds Township crash last week as John Louis Davis, 29, of Cedar Springs.

According to police, the crash occurred on July 9, at about 2:20 p.m. on Reed Rd. near Yankee Rd. The vehicle was traveling north on Reed Rd when it traveled off the roadway and about a quarter of a mile through a field before hitting a tree. The 29-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information about him has been released.

Speed is believed to have been a factor in the crash; but neither alcohol nor driver distraction are suspected. 

State Police were assisted on scene by, Howard City Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, McKay’s Towing, and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

The crash is still under investigation.

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Mark D. Purcey, age 65, of Reed City, passed away Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. Mark was born August 28, 1953 in Fremont, MI the son of Clair and Verna (Caldwell) Purcey. He served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam and graduated from Ferris State University as a Respiratory Therapist. Mark always had a real spirit of adventure and found joy in the great outdoors. People who knew him saw him as a man full of integrity, loyalty and had a great “left-of-center” humor. Friends and co-workers referred to him as “wretchedly reliable” and as a father and husband he was a real rock. He left behind his wife, Bonnie; and son, Scott (Marlee) and family. A small private burial has taken place at Crandall Cemetery, Ensley Township. A gathering for friends and family will take place on Saturday, July 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the Reed City Depot, 200 N. Chestnut, Reed City. Please dress casually, and come and remember Mark as you personally knew him. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to either Right to Life of Michigan or Alpha Family Center, Cedar Springs. 

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

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Things can become clear

Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

You know what’s reallyhard a lot of days? Discernment. What is right and wrong in some of the situations we find ourselves in?

You know why discernment is so hard? There are probably many reasons, but here are just a couple:

First, good luck finding any person who always does right and never does wrong. Check out Romans 3:10 on this. We can’t trust one single person to always do the right thing! Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn, the famous author who endured terrible things in Communist Russia, tells us that “the line between good and evil is never simply between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ The line between good and evil runs through each one of us.”* 

Second, you and I often tend to think we already know what’s right and wrong in mostsituations. Because of this, we don’t generally build any “feedback loops” or “checks and balances” into our lives that would teach us to recognize opportunities to change our minds about any number of things. 

Which brings up the question: Do we really want to know what’s right or wrong? If so, there is hope, but also a challenge. The Bible, which in many ways is the basis of our discernment, is a still pretty large and challenging book to find simple, Google-style “answers” for the kinds of questions with which life seems to regularly confront us. But read it–you’ll get there. Work at it. Ask for help. Few things in life are more worth your time and energy.

But for today, let me offer this: The prophet Micah wrote the bible book that bears his name when things in his world were at least as confusing as ours are. He writes to a group of people who had a background of seeing God do some amazing things for them. Because there was this history, God used Micah to create a feedback loop for these people—a way that He could give them clarity in their fog.

Here’s the catch, though. God has some things to say in Micah chapter 6 that they’re not going to want to hear. It starts with reminding them of all the ways that He had looked out for them in their history. They would’ve recognized these old stories immediately, and would’ve then realized that they had forgotten God. Then, Micah asks a very important question: 

“What can we bring to the Lord [because of all this]? …the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 

Reading Micah’s seven chapters will begin to show you what God calls right, merciful, and humble. The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 will, too. 

Things can become clear. Just don’t forget Him.

*See p. 38 of N.T. Wright’s Evil And The Justice Of God, IVP, 2006.

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