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Archive | November, 2019

Santa Claus is coming!


Santa Claus cuddles a baby after the 2018 tree lighting. Photo courtesy CS Area Chamber of Commerce.

Are you ready to have yourself a merry Christmas Cedar Springs-style? Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 7, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will run from 9 a.m. to early evening, with various fun, family-friendly, events. The day starts with with the Cedar Springs Public Library hosting their Annual Holiday Open House: Winter Wonderland A Frozen Adventure on Saturday, December 7, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Join Anna and Elsa for storytime occurring every 20 minutes throughout the event, take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, make ornaments/crafts/Christmas cards, decorate cookies, check out the Friends of the Library bake sale and more. All ages are welcome to attend and everything is free. You can also decorate cookies at the Rustic Roof from 12-2, enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more. You can also hang ornaments with the Cedar Springs cheerleaders, enjoy a petting zoo, and caroling, all before the mini-parade that will bring Santa to the Heart of Cedar Springs at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street 4:30-4:45.

There are two major changes this year: the Christmas tree will be in a new location in the Heart of Cedar Springs, and that is where everyone will gather for the lighting. The other change is that the parade will not go down Main Street. It will start at Cherry Street by the White Pine Trail, head east to Second Street then North to Maple and west towards staging area.

Following the parade will be a live nativity scene near the Christmas tree, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the amphitheatre, where kids can meet Santa. While waiting for Santa, there will be crafts and coloring activities in the library, and an opportunity to write Santa. 

Bring the whole family out on Saturday, December 7, for this fun, community Christmas celebration! See page 8 of our e-edition or go to holiday happenings for more info on this event and check out events in the surrounding areas well.

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Letters to Santa Claus


Photo courtesy of S. Read.

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post will have a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter, in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street. It’s a fun memory for you and your child and a great photo opportunity! Or, mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. If you do take a photo of your child mailing a letter, you can post it to our facebook page or email it to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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It’s time for the tour of lights


This house on 12225 Shaner Ave was one of the entries in our Tour of Lights last year. Post photo by B. Sanderson

Some people go crazy at Christmas decorating their home. But you don’t have to go all out to get listed on the Cedar Springs Post Annual Tour of Lights! If you’ve decorated your home or yard with beautiful lights or know someone that did, please send us the address and we’ll add it to our list of places to visit. Send the address to news@cedarspringspost.com with “Tour of lights” in the subject line, or mail to Tour of Lights, c/o The Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Or, you can call us at 696-3655. There is no charge to be added. 

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Post collecting Toys for Tots


Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys. 

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always especially needed.

“This is our 10th year of collecting toys for children who might not otherwise get one,” said Post editor Judy Reed. “We are humbled and grateful at the community’s response to helping others in need, and hope everyone will consider giving to this program, which helps less fortunate children have a merrier Christmas.”

The program runs now through December 16. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Other businesses in Cedar Springs with boxes include Family Farm & Home, 4175 17 Mile Rd; Wireless Zone, 4021 17 Mile Rd; and Choice One Bank, 4170 17 Mile Rd.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

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The Post travels to Hawaii


Earlier this year the Post traveled to Hawaii with Alan and Alyson Kieda, of Solon Township, and their daughter Rachel and her husband Ryan Campbell, and grandson Thomas, of Gand Rapids. The trip was to celebrate Alan and Alyson’s 40th wedding anniversary.

After missing a day because of ice at the airport, they traveled to Maui for a few days, then Oahu for almost a week, and then the Big Island for a week. 

“We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb and played on volcanic beaches,” said Alan. “We learned all about volcanoes, as one cancelled two of our housing possibilities early in the year. We wondered why they didn’t just clear the lava off the road. We went to see it and found lava 30 feet high-plus over the roads and neighborhood for miles! 2000 folks lost their homes,” he said.

The Kiedas and Campbells had a great time and took lots of photos with the Post. Thank you 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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Teen bowls near perfect game


Congratulations to Isaiah Waite, 14, a freshman at Cedar Springs High School, who bowled a 299 on Saturday, November 23, during league play at Westgate Bowl with a 676 series.

Waite has been bowling for four years and sports a 190 average. He plans to bowl on the Cedar Springs High School team this winter. That season is just getting ready to start.

Waite is the son of Michael and Marci Waite of Cedar Springs.

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Sparta man killed in crash


One man died and another man was injured when the pickup truck they were riding in rolled over on US131 north of Big Rapids Sunday.

According to the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 8:35 a.m. Sunday, November 24. They were dispatched to US131 northbound, just north of 22 Mile Rd (near Big Rapids) for a report of a one-vehicle rollover crash with entrapment. Deputies arrived on scene and found that a pickup had been travelling northbound on US131 when it lost control crossing the overpass at 22 Mile Rd. The vehicle then went off the roadway to the left and began sliding sideways in the median. The vehicle then overturned several times coming to rest on the roof of the pickup. The pickup roof collapsed on both occupants.

Big Rapids Department of Public Safety firemen were able to remove the doors with extrication equipment get to the victims. The driver of the vehicle, Steven Spring, 65, of Norton Shores, received serious injuries and was transported by Mecosta County EMS to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital for treatment.  

The passenger in the vehicle, Fred Bender Jr, 57, of Sparta, received fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

US131 northbound was shut down for a short period of time for scene investigation. Deputies were assisted by Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Fire Division, Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Township Fire, Mecosta Township Fire, and Reed City Fire.

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The blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful and so very thankful for the many people, things and acts of kindness in the City of Cedar Springs.  

First and foremost I am thankful for the amazing staff we are blessed to have between City Hall, Fire Department, Library, North Kent Community Enrichment and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Every single one of them are good people who put their heart and soul into serving their community and trying to assist and guide our community to be the best that it can be. 

I am thankful for our City Council and all of our volunteer board members who serve their community. Each one of those people live or own a business in the City and they each dedicate their time and energy to lead the City and make the tough decisions on behalf of the citizens for all of our betterment. 

I am thankful for the business owners, business employees and members of civic and volunteer groups in the City. I commend the owners for having the plan, vision and capital to start and operate a business in the City. I am thankful for the employees for all the hard work they put in to make the businesses’ run well and I am thankful for all the volunteerism and dedication from all the folks who improve the community through the Lions, Rotary, CBDT, Women’s Club, Legion, Friends of the Library and other groups. 

I am thankful for the leaders of surrounding communities and the City Attorney, City Engineer and City Planner who assist the City to accomplish our goals. 

I am thankful for all of the awesome citizens that we have who stop by City Hall to chat and I’m thankful for every citizen that has attended a meeting or event, shopped at a local store or waved at a DPW worker in the City. I am also thankful for all of the citizens who keep a close eye on what their government is doing and I am thankful for the citizens who ask the hard questions of their government helping to keep everyone focused on the good, the straight and the narrow. 

I am thankful for the books in the library, the clean water in the pipes and the movies at the Kent Theater. I am thankful for the new amphitheater building, the community garden and our many parks and playgrounds. I am thankful for a great school district, affordable housing and a walkable community. 

I am thankful for neighbors who shovel each other’s sidewalks, walkers who pick up litter in the road and the farmers who put food on our tables. 

I am thankful for the many brave men and women in our history who stood up for what is right and I am thankful for the innumerable sacrifices of our police, firefighters and members of the armed services that keep our homes, lives and country safe.  

Finally, I am thankful for friends, family and companions in life who I eagerly look forward to sharing a day of food, love and laughter with and I give thanks for what Abraham Lincoln called a day of Thanksgiving for the peace, harmony and tranquility in our America.

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Fall seat belt enforcement results released


More than 2,100 citations issued during the fall Click It or Ticket campaign

With Michigan’s October Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign now complete, preliminary reports indicate law enforcement officers from 96 police departments, sheriff offices, and Michigan State Police posts in 36 counties conducted 7,227 traffic stops resulting in 2,108 seat belt and child restraint citations between October 17 and Halloween.

In addition to issuing seat belt violations, officers during the Click It or Ticket campaign issued 1,199 speeding citations, made nine alcohol-and-drug-related arrests, and 38 other felony arrests.

 “Motorists need to remember that buckling up is the easiest thing they can do to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries on Michigan roads,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Our goal is to save lives, not write tickets. Remember to buckle up every trip, every time, every passenger.”

Seat belt use in Michigan stands at 94.4 percent, higher than the national seat belt use rate of 89.6 percent in 2018, according to the statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 45 percent. In Michigan, 192 people killed in traffic crashes in 2018 were not wearing a seat belt.            

The Click or Ticket effort is funded through federal highway safety grants and coordinated by the OHSP. Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers age 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are eight years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

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Overdose deaths decrease slightly in 2018, the first decline in six years


LANSING, Mich. – After several years of increases in overdose deaths, in 2018 Michigan experienced a decrease overall, including a slight decline in opioid-related overdose deaths, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced this week. 

In 2018, there were 2,599 overdose deaths, 2,036 of which were opioid-related. Overall overdose deaths declined by 3.2 percent from 2017’s 2,686 tally—with the deaths down for the first time in six years. Opioid-related overdose deaths decreased by 0.8 percent from the 2017 total of 2,053. The age-adjusted opioid overdose death rate decreased from 21.4 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2017 to 21.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.

“This is a step in the right direction, however, there is much work to be done, particularly when it comes to disparities and access to treatment,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We have a plan in Michigan to cut opioid-related overdose deaths by half in five years and we will be using all available resources to make that goal a reality.”

The decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2018 was largely driven by decreases in the number of deaths due to poisoning by heroin and commonly prescribed natural and semisynthetic drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone.

Drug poisoning deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl continue to climb.

“With the devastation that the opioid epidemic inflicts on families and communities, the Michigan State Police is committed to doing all that we can to help,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “Whether it be from a prevention standpoint with our Angel Program that assists those struggling with opioid use to find treatment or our efforts to arrest drug traffickers and interdict shipments of fentanyl coming into our state, we’re committed to working with our state and federal partners to combat this deadly epidemic.”

Despite overall progress in decreasing overdose deaths, the data show troubling disparities across racial groups. MDHHS is firmly committed to ensuring equitable access to prevention, treatment, and harm reduction and taking targeted steps to address racial disparities.

• Overall overdose mortality rates among white residents decreased by 6.5 percent, while rates among black residents increased by 14.7 percent.

• Opioid overdose mortality rates among white residents decreased by 5.1 percent, while rates among black residents increased by 19.9 percent.

• Michigan residents of other races experienced a 9.1 percent decrease in overall overdose mortality and an 8.7 percent decrease in opioid overdose mortality.

The state is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. The collaborative efforts of state agencies are amplifying Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of patients, education of health professionals and enforcement of over-prescribers.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, MDHHS and other members of the Michigan Opioids Task Force recently announced a slate of steps the state is taking to combat the opioid epidemic. The state’s strategy addresses three key areas: preventing opioid misuse, ensuring individuals using opioids can access high-quality recovery treatment and reducing the harm caused byopioids to individuals and their communities.

Efforts include:

• Launching a $1 million statewide anti-stigma campaign focused on changing the conversation about opioid use disorder treatment and encouraging Michiganders to seek treatment to help improve their lives and ultimately prevent overdoses.

• Releasing a toolkit for medical providers on safer opioid prescribing practices along with the University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center.

• Removing prior authorization requirements for specific medications used to treat these disorders, including buprenorphine, as of Monday, Dec. 2.

• Beginning Medication-Assisted Treatment programs in three state prisons with a goal of expanding treatment to all facilities by 2023.

• Expanding syringe service programs across the state to help reduce the amount of harm caused by opioid use disorder to individuals and their communities from 13 to 25 agencies.

In addition, the Michigan Opioids Task Force, created by Whitmer in August, held its first meeting last month to map out an action plan across state departments to meet this goal. The Task Force will announce additional actions in the coming months and conduct a series of regional townhall meetings to hear directly from individuals across the state about how the epidemic has affected their communities.

For more information about opioids and the additional steps residents can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit Michigan.gov/Opioids.

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