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Archive | October, 2019

Sun shines on Red Flannel Festival

By Judy Reed

It was a beautiful day for the 80th Red Flannel Festival last Saturday, October 5. Temps in the high 50s, low 60s, just cool enough for a light jacket, and the rain stayed away until the evening hours. Nancy Deyman, president of the Red Flannel Festival, estimated approximately 30,000 people attended the festivities, and she could be right—the streets and events were packed! We hope you enjoyed yourself, and by the looks of some of the photos you posted to our Facebook page, we think you did! We tried to use as many photos as we could in this week’s paper. We apologize if we didn’t use yours, but we just couldn’t fit them all in! Thank you for posting them for us. On this page, and pages in our Red Flannel section, you will see photos taken by you—the public—as well as some taken by our staff. Take a look at how much fun everyone had!

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Get questions answered on school bond proposal

Do you have questions you’d like answered or points you’d like clarified on the Cedar Springs Public School bond proposal? You will be voting on it on November 5, so now is a good time to get some answers!

They will be holding public forums Tuesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 17. There will be held both days at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the 3rd floor boardroom at District Office (Hilltop), and at Beach Elementary in the evening, with a building tour at 6:30 p.m. and a meeting in the cafeteria at 7 p.m.

There will be major renovations at Beach Elementary, with plans for a new academic wing that will tie into the current cafeteria and gymnasium. The original academic wing was constructed in 1964.

There are plans for upgrades and repairs at all the elementary and secondary buildings, along with construction of a new 8th/9th grade building on the high school campus, which Supt. Scott Smith said would eliminate the need to build additional classrooms and to increase the size of the food service area at the High School. It also provides needed space to add new career/college readiness programs for students in grades 8 through 12.”  

Voters will be asked to approve a tax levy of 7.9 mills over the next 18 years. If the bond proposal is approved by voters, it will provide $81,150,000 for district-wide improvements. The owner of a home with a market value of $150,000 would receive a tax increase of approximately $70 per year. 

The bond proposal was put together with input from parents, community, and staff.

To read up on all the details, go to csredhawks.org and click on bond information. Then attend one of the public forums next week to get your questions answered.

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Some city streets to be repaved

Paving to take place October 24-26

By Judy Reed

At least three streets in the City of Cedar Springs will be repaved by the end of the month.

According to City Manager Mike Womack, the city has allotted $200,000 toward road paving, and currently has plans to do S. First Street between E. Cherry and E. Muskegon Street; East Maple Street between N. First and N. Park St.; and Ann St. between E. Beech and E. Muskegon St. They may also have enough money to do one block of S. Second Street between Church St. and W. Muskegon St.

The plan is to “mill and fill.” They will scrape off the old asphalt and put down new. “It’s a quick process. Maybe one day with a huge machine to scrape, and maybe another day or half a day to pave,” said Womack. He added that they would try to minimize the impact on anyone living on the road they are working on.

Womack explained that the decision on which roads to pave was made by the City Engineer, based on several factors, including what kind of shape the roads are in, how traffic travels the road, and how to get the most repairs in with the money they have.

Paving is set to take place between October 24-26.

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Hometown Hero

Randolph Steadman, the son of Tammy Steadman, of Cedar Springs, was recently promoted to the rank of SFC.

SFC Steadman has been in the Army for over 13 years, and is stationed at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri. He has done tours in Iraq and in the Sani Peninsula. He has been a Criminal Investigator and is now a Drill Instructor.

SFC Steadman is a graduate of Northview High School.

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School walkathon raises $47,500

Courtesy photos

The Cedar Springs Public Schools walkathon event was held on Friday, October 4. Each elementary building walked for about 45 minutes. K–6th grade participated. “Between community business sponsors and the students raising money from pledges, we raised the most ever!” said PTO spokesperson Alyssa Ladd.

The total raised was approximately $47,500.    

The money raised goes to the PTO to help support the needs of the students. Recent PTO money has went to things such as field trips; K-1 Building classroom items such as play kitchens, easels, drying racks, sensory tables; playground equipment; spiritwear/class tshirts; books for classrooms; teacher/staff appreciation gifts and lunches; technology purchases; assemblies; installing drinking stations in some of the buildings; and more.

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FBI warns public about ransomware Internet scams

In a ransomware scam, your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine; or, you get a pop-up message telling you your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed to encrypt them.

Ransomware scams involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom—anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars—is paid.

Ransomware has become a significant threat to US businesses, state and local government entities, public services, schools, and individuals. With over 100 different variants and tens of thousands of victims nationwide, ransomware has grown into one of the most costly and destructive cyber criminal threats to businesses and governments.

Locally, the FBI has found ransomware attacks are becoming more targeted, sophisticated, and costly, even as the overall frequency of attacks is holding steady or even declining. Since early 2018, the incidence of broad, indiscriminant ransomware attacks has sharply declined, but the losses from ransomware attacks has increased significantly.

This month, the FBI encourages you to protect your computer from ransomware:

• To prevent the loss of essential files due to a ransomware infection, it is recommended that individuals and businesses always conduct regular system back-ups and store the backed-up data offline. A cloud-based backup is not considered offline. Ransomware will encrypt any drive that is visible to the computer, including back-ups.

• Filter out emails with .exe attachments and set your computer to show hidden file extensions. Ransomware is often delivered as a file with more than one file extension such as example.pdf.exe.

• Make sure you have updated antivirus software on your computer.

• Require a password to disable antivirus and firewall.

• Limit the number of people who have admin rights to your domain.

• Do not log into a domain admin account on a user workstation.

• Enable automated patches for your operating system and web browser.

• Have strong passwords and don’t use the same password for everything.

• Use a popup blocker.

• Only download software—especially free software—from sites you know and trust (malware can also come in downloadable games, file-sharing programs, and customizable toolbars).

• Don’t open attachments in unsolicited emails, even if they come from people in your contact list, and never click on a URL contained in an unsolicited email, even if you think it looks safe. Instead, close out the e-mail and go to the organization’s website directly.

Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the Internet.

If you receive a ransomware popup or message on your device alerting you to an infection, immediately disconnect from the Internet to avoid any additional infections or data losses. If you believe you have been a victim of a ransomware scheme or other cyber fraud activity, please contact the FBI’s Detroit Division at 313-965-2323 or report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).

More information about ransomware and other online frauds can be found at www.ic3.gov and www.fbi.gov.

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The Red dress

The 2015 Red Flannel Queen Bailey Lachniet wearing the lucky red dress. From left to right: Court member Megan Zinn, Queen Bailey Lachniet, and court member Jessica Plowman. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

By Deanna Inskeep Bailey

Most everyone is familiar with the story of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It was a best selling book and eventually made into a movie. The story follows many young women who go separate directions in their life and the pants that keep them all tied together. This story that I am sharing follows one red dress, many young ladies and the one dream that they are all chasing. 

This story starts back in the fall of 1988 when Laura (Inskeep) Warlick  decided to try out for the Red Flannel Pageant. She selected the perfect, beautiful, red sequined dress to wear in the evening gown portion of the pageant. Although Laura competed beautifully that evening, her dreams of being the Red Flannel Queen were not fulfilled. So what does one do with a dress that they know they will probably never wear again but is full of sentiment from one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of their time in high school? They hang it in their parent’s closet and that is exactly where the red dress stayed until 5 years later when Laura (Allen) Felsted borrowed the red dress to compete in the 1993 Red Flannel Queen Contest. Laura Allen’s mother, Deb Allen, worked with Laura Inskeep’s mom Diane. Deb mentioned that her daughter Laura was competing in the pageant, and my mom mentioned that Laura had a beautiful red dress that she had worn years prior that was hanging in her closet that her daughter, Laura Allen could borrow. Laura Allen was crowned as the 1993 Red Flannel Queen and took her victory walk across the stage in that beautiful sequined red dress. The red dress was then hung back in the closet and yet its story was far from over. 

Fast forward to a couple of years later and now the red dress is hung at Laura Inskeep’s sister’s house. There the red dress hangs untouched at Deanna Inskeep’s house for 22 years until the fall of 2015. Laura Inskeep’s youngest daughter, Ashlee Warlick, has a friend that doesn’t have a dress for the pageant. Bailey Lachniet asks if she could try the red dress on and decides to borrow it for the pageant. She decides to make the dress more of her own style and pairs it with a pair of red converse sneakers and strolls her way across the stage. The luck of the red dress continues and Bailey is crowned the 2015 Red Flannel Queen in a dress that is over 25 years old. 

Fast forward to 2017 and the story of the red dress continues. One of Bailey and Ashlee’s mutual friends, Jenna, is competing in the Red Flannel Pageant and borrows the famous red dress that has helped so many dreams come true. On September 30, Jenna Alcumbrack accepts her title and is crowned as the 2017 Red Flannel Queen, while wearing the red dress that is almost twice as old as she is. 

In this day and age, styles come and go it is so refreshing to see that the red dress has proven to be a timeless classic in every way. Every young woman who has worn this dress has a unique story to tell, a different body type, and a different sense of style. Yet the one thing they have in common is they are trying to fulfill their dreams of becoming the next Red Flannel Queen. For now the red dress will go back in Deanna’s closet until the next lucky girl chooses to borrow it for their big night and a chance at making their own dreams come true.

Anyone young girl wishing to borrow this dress for the pageant should contact Deanna Bailey at dlbailey474@gmail.com.

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Fremont Police Chief fired over CSC investigation

Former Fremont Police Chief Randall Wright

The Fremont City Council fired Fremont Police Chief Randall Wright Monday evening, October 7, after he was arraigned in two different counties on 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct charges last week.

According to the Michigan State Police, Wright, 48, was arraigned in Kent County on October 2, and in Ingham County on October 3.

The charges are a result of a three-month investigation into Wright’s actions during a June 5, 2019 private bus trip to a Detroit Tigers game. During the return trip, the female victim alleges she was sexually assaulted by Wright as the bus travelled through the two involved counties.  

Fourth Degree involves sexual contact with another person using force or coercion and is high court misdemeanor, punishable by up to 2 years in prison.  

Wright, a Fremont resident, was initially put on administrative leave, but the City Council fired him at their meeting Monday evening. Sgt. Jon Geeting was put in charge of the department until a replacement is found.

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Wastewater spill at Cedarfield cleaned up quickly

By Judy Reed

A wastewater spill occurred at the Cedarfield 55-plus Community on 17 Mile Rd last week Thursday after a truck ran over their clean out area.

According to Gary Osborn, who works for Infrastructure Alternatives and oversees the operation of the wastewater treatment at Cedarfield, the spill occurred about 2 p.m. on October 3, when a truck delivering gravel drove over their clean out area and pushed a clean out pipe down and cracked a fitting on the force main. That then caused the release of an estimated 2,000 gallons or less of wastewater.

Osborn said that it occurred between the main lift station and the wastewater treatment plant, and the owner of the park was on scene and shut down the pumps on the main lift station right away. 

They brought in a tanker in to hold the wastewater in case the pipe couldn’t be repaired quickly but they didn’t need to use it. “The owner excavated the pipe and repaired it within the hour. Hydrated lime was then applied to the affected area. It was all repaired by 3 p.m.,” explained Osborn.

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The Red Flannel Post

A supplement to the Cedar Springs Post Dedicated to Red Flannel Events & Info – page 13

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