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Archive | January, 2020

Out of the attic: The great bank robbery of 1903


from The Making of a Town: A historical journey through Cedar Springs

The building at 43 N. Main Street once served has quite the history behind it. It was built in 1889 by Frank Fuller. The building started its life as a bank and was used as a bank for many years. Frank was a noted horse breeder here and abroad. However,  in May of 1900, Frank Fuller disappeared and at the same time, the assets of the bank disappeared as well.

The next owner of this bank was Fred Hubbard, who purchased the building and opened the Cedar Springs Exchange Bank.

Then, on February 13, 1903, the unthinkable happened in our small town.

The following article is from the Cedar Springs Clipper, February 13, 1903:

The building at 43 N. Main Street (southwest corner of Main and Elm Streets) was once the site of a bank that was robbed in 1903. Photo from the Cedar Springs Historical Society.



HUBBARDS BANK ROBBED

Vault was Opened by Two Charges of Nitro-Glycerine

THE WORK OF EXPERTS

A view of the inside of the bank. Photo from the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

The Cedar Springs Exchange Bank owned by Fred Hubbard was burglarized at about 1 o’clock, by the time clock, last Friday morning. They gained entrance with a chisel and tools at the front door of the office at the corner of the building. These tools were gotten by breaking into Munsell’s wagon shop. The robbers worked quietly and quickly, using nitro-glycerine in two charges on the outer and inner doors of the big vault. Both doors were torn from their hinges, the outer one being thrown several feet from its fastening, and the inner one torn all to pieces. There was nothing in the way of the heavy pieces, however, and the bank furniture was not damaged.

When the bank robbers left they did so hurriedly, leaving behind them in their haste a cigar box full of dimes which they removed from the vault, but which they dropped in their hurry to get away. Aside from this amount of money, there was very little cash in sight when Assistant Cashier Wright Nelson came to the bank at 7:15 that morning. Several persons, including Mrs. G. Aumond, who lived across the street from the bank, two young ladies in the house of W.H. Jones at the other end of the block, and Mrs. John Pollock who lives a block away, heard the explosion of the blasts. But none of them attempted to discover the cause. Every man in the town apparently slept through it all, even the guests at the Central Hotel, half a block away, being in entire ignorance of the robbery.

They first secured a horse and buggy from the barn of H. Miller and Son of the Cedar Springs Mill. The horse is a rangy fellow and great roadster. Dr. Annis, in driving into town passed this rig with two men at about 2:00 o’clock one mile south of the bank, and before 6 o’clock the horse was found hitched on West Fulton in Grand Rapids shivering in the cold, and taken care of by the police.

Sheriff Chapman was phoned and arrived on the 8:22 train. The sheriff’s force and all the detectives in Grand Rapids have been hard at work but are handicapped seriously by a total absence of any description of the men. That night two men boarded the train at Big Rapids with tickets for Rockford, and quietly stepped off the 9:22 southbound train at opposite side of the station here.

Conductor Long did not miss them until reaching Rockford and was informed by the brakeman.

It is evident that there were three or four on the job. Bankers and safe men pronounce it an extraordinary piece of work. But it is hard to believe that the two men driving the horse into Grand Rapids had the money in their possession. The loss to the bank and safe was covered by insurance in the Casualty Insurance Company three to one. No matter how much they stole, neither Mr. Hubbard, Cashier Herbert W. Wheeler or Assistant Cashier Wright Nelson have given out any figure as it is against the rules of insurance. Banker Hubbard, the owner, keeps simply enough cash on hand to meet daily demands, the balance being deposited in Grand Rapids. 

On the 8:22 train arrived Banker F.W. Johnson of Rockford and on the 8:57 train arrived Banker Bruce N. Kiester of Sparta with thousands of dollars and 9 o’clock the bank opened and was doing business and not a man in the whole village even thought of pulling out a cent, and it was very gratifying to Mr. Hubbard, the owner, that he has the confidence of the people. Fred Hubbard, owner of the bank, has been a private banker in the village for four years and has been a resident for 25 years. All depositors have the utmost confidence in Mr. Hubbard and business is going on as if nothing had happened. The insurance men have been here and will pay every cent lost.

This story is an excerpt from the book by the Cedar Springs Historical Society titled The Making of a town: a journey through Cedar Springs 1857-1970. The book talks about many of the buildings here in town and gives some history. If you’d like to pick up a copy, they are for sale at The Cedar Springs Historical Museum (open Wednesdays 10-5); the Cedar Springs Public Library; and Cedar Springs City Hall.

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Cold Weather Pet Tips


Owners urged to protect pets from dangerously cold temperatures

From the Kent County Animal Shelter

A newly released video from the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is now available to pet owners and all county residents about the special care your pet needs during the cold weather. To view the video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLv688mXaGg

While Michigan law does not prohibit dogs from being left outside in the cold, state law was recently changed requiring that all dogs who spend long periods of time outside have access to adequate shelter, fresh water and dry bedding. The statue also stipulates separate shelter requirements for livestock.

“We are encouraging all pet owners to take appropriate steps to protect their pets—especially dogs that may be left outside for long stretches of time,” said Dr. Adam London, administrative health officer at the Kent County Health Department. “Dogs, to varying degrees, feel the effects of the cold and inclement weather, so we want to remind pet owners of their responsibilities to care for their pets during the winter.”

A few of the cold weather requirements in State statue include:

1. Maintain adequate shelter, which can be one or more of the following:

a. Residence of the dog owner or another individual.

b. An enclosed doghouse with a roof that is the appropriate for the size and breed of the dog.

c. A structure, including a garage, barn or shed, that is sufficiently insulated and ventilated to protect the dog from exposure to extreme temperatures, or if not sufficiently insulated and ventilated, contains a doghouse inside the structure. 

2. Provide dry bedding such as straw, hay, etc. when the temperature is or predicated to be below freezing.

3. Provide water that is safe to drink and suitable for the age and species of the animal. Owners are encouraged to check every few hours to ensure the water is not frozen.

The KCAS leadership recognizes some of the terms contained in federal and state animal protection laws are subjective (i.e. needless suffering). To provide guidance to the animal control officers in addressing the more challenging animal welfare situations, an internal Animal Crimes Workgroup has been formed. This group is comprised of representatives from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, County Corporate Counsel, and other KCAS staff.

“Animals are among the most vulnerable victims because they obviously cannot speak for themselves,” said Prosecuting Attorney Chris Becker. “By having an assistant prosecutor from my office on this multi-disciplinary workgroup, we will strengthen our ability to identify, address and potentially prosecute cases of animal neglect and abuse.”

The Animal Crimes Workgroup meets once a month, but the team is available at the ready to address urgent situations. Additionally, the workgroup will likely expand to include representatives from other municipalities throughout the county.

“The KCAS encourages pet owners to watch the video to ensure this winter is a safe and happy season for their dogs,” concluded London. “We are available to answer questions, but we are also prepared to respond to calls of animal neglect throughout the winter.”

Residents are encouraged to call the KCAS at (616) 632-7300 if they notice an animal being kept outside for an extended period of time without adequate shelter, water and bedding.

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Reward increased to $15,000 in fatal house fire


Evelyn Ware’s death was determined a homicide.

It’s been two years since 79-year-old Evelyn Ware’s body was found in the rubble left behind after her home burned in Lake County, in Leroy, Michigan. The Michigan State Police continue to seek leads in her death and a reward for information leading to an arrest has increased to $15,000.

A structure fire was reported just before 6pm on January 10, 2018 at a home on Lakola Road in Ellsworth Township between 14 and 13 Mile roads. Lakola Road is also known as 240th Avenue, which is on the county line between Lake and Osceola counties. By the time first responders arrived on scene, the home was fully engulfed in flames. Human remains were discovered among the debris following the fire, which destroyed the home. During an autopsy at Spectrum-Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, the Lake County Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the remains as the 79-year-old homeowner, Evelyn Ware, and determined her death to be a homicide.

Police want to remind the public that what may seem to be a minor or insignificant piece of information can lead to a significant breakthrough in an investigation.  Anyone with tips or information, or knows someone who may have information, is asked to please contact the MSP Mt. Pleasant Post at 989-773-5951 or may remain anonymous by contacting the Cadillac Area Silent Observer at 231-779-9215 or 1-800-528-8234.

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The Post travels to the Bahamas


The Post traveled with the Passarelli/Malon family over Christmas break on a cruise to the Bahamas. They visited Princess Cays and Nassau and had a great time.

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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Hometown Hero


Samuel Jacob Blanchard

Marine Pvt. Samuel Jacob Blanchard, of Cedar Springs, graduated in December from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, with platoon 1100, after 13 weeks of training.

Pvt. Blanchard is currently at Camp Geiger in North Carolina for military combat training. Next he will go to Fort Lee in Virginia for MOS training as a bulk fuel specialist.

Sam is a 2019 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. His parents are Mark Blanchard, of the City of Cedar Springs, and Lisa Blanchard, of Rockford.

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Check out this Japanese book collection at the C.S. Library


Yuko Roberts and many of the Japanese books she’s donated to the Cedar Springs Library. Courtesy photo.

Yuko Roberts was 29 years old when she moved to the United States with her husband, whom she met while he was in the Army and stationed in Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan where she was working. Over the years she has had 6 children, all graduates of Cedar Springs Public Schools. She was first noticed by the Cedar Springs Public Library as the Japanese person who was placing a lot of holds on books through the interlibrary loan system. Her love of books and many years of volunteering at the Cedar Springs Library landed her a job in 2004, and eventually at Kent District Library, and even a few years at the Lakeland Library Cooperative in cataloging.

Since 2007, Yuko has been purchasing Japanese-themed books for all ages, especially adult non-fiction books. This holiday season she presented the Library Board with another 32 books on several topics. She started keeping track of the books on The LibraryThing.com, where you can see all the books in her Japanese Collection housed at the Cedar Springs Library. There are 96 books cataloged over the years, many of which are donated by her, making the collection at our local library one of the finest around. There is even one baby board book about sushi.

If you are interested in the culture and beauty of Japan, or even learning Japanese, or meeting a really talented, cool Japanese person, come to the Library on a Monday or Tuesday after 4:30 p.m. In the meantime, come check out the Library’s extensive collection. Thank you, Yuko!

To see the complete list of books of their Japanese Collection, go to http://www.librarything.com/catalog/cedyr  (all the books have a Japanese Collection sticker with a web address affixed on the inside cover).

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FFA wraps up busy 2019


By FFA reporter Casey Fisk and FFA President Dylan McConnon

The summer of 2019 started as a struggle for many FFA members after long time Advisor, Mr. Larry Reyburn retired, with over 30 years of service to Cedar Springs Public Schools. During this absence, leadership for the club was carried out by the Cedar Springs Alumni Association and Friends. Alumni meetings were held monthly to work with students on projects such as Land Lab, Livestock Judging, and Officer Training Camp. The Alumni Association worked with the Administration at the High School to ensure that the program would continue to be able to provide opportunity for students in the absence of an Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources instructor. After an arduous interview process that included input from both the student body and Administration, the Cedar Springs Public School District was pleased to announce Mr. Brent Willett as the new Ag teacher and FFA Advisor. This could not have come at a better time, as the Officers were headed to a state leadership training camp just three days later. After a successful camp, chapter officers began planning fall activities for the upcoming academic year.

The first order of business for the chapter was the Kent County Youth Fair. Members ran the agriculture adventure barn, an initiative by the KCYF board to teach the community about agricultural industries. After planning several events, the barn was a huge hit seeing as many as 500 participants daily. But fall community events did not stop there. Agriculture Olympics kicked off the school year with events such as milk chugging, hay bale tossing, and the all time favorite pitchfork toss. State officers Haili Gusa and Devin Haywood were also in attendance to represent the remainder of the state. The overall podium included Mr. Garret Migoski, Mr. Gavin Spicer, and Ms. Casey Fisk. 

It was a successful kickoff and a fun start to 2019.

Fall traditions in the FFA didn’t stop with Ag Olympics. Drive Your Tractor to School Day (DYTTSD) ran on the morning of September 20th. Tractors of all shapes and sizes traveled miles to get to campus in time for breakfast provided by the CSHS kitchen staff. After school, reporter Casey Fisk took photos and participants paraded through campus with a police escort generously provided by the Kent County Police Department. Dozens of tractors participated along with a guest appearance by Mrs.Hilyard and Mrs.Marrow on the CSHS gator. It was a fantastic turnout and another safe and fun display of agriculture in Cedar Springs. 

The FFA annual Harvest Day exposes 2nd graders in the district to agriculture, often for the first time. This year was no exception. Kids enjoyed animals brought in by members as well as large agricultural equipment provided by Nutrien Ag, apples provided by Hart Farms, and a corn maze Created by Mr. Willetts Ag and Natural Resources class. 

The FFA continued tradition in the Cedar Springs Red Flannel festival as well as the annual trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. 10 members attended with two chaperones where they attended sessions by motivational speakers and industry leaders. Members met students from all 50 states and 4 territories of the United States and toured the Apache Sprayer Plant just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. 

New for November this year was the Michigan FFA Broiler Contest. Students learned about animal nutrition and health by raising twenty five birds in order to compete in the contest. Bryant Maley, Seth Almas, Isabel Wood, and Sam Rusche of the Animal Science class took the birds to Munsell’s Poultry Processing in Fowlerville Michigan to watch their birds be processed and then be evaluated on the carcass and record keeping of the group. FFA officers Casey Fisk and Gideon McConnon also raised birds for the contest. 

President Dylan McConnon wrapped up November by participating in the Farm Bureau Discussion Meet. There, participants compete in constructive discussions about ag related issues and are judged on their input and conversation steering abilities. “It was neat to hear others’ views on problems we see all the time,” said McConnon. Topics discussed included suicide rates among struggling agriculturalists, issues with increasingly severe weather events, and anti-agricultural bullying on social media. McConnon was the state alternate for region 4. Later, he attended the Farm Bureau state annual meeting with advisor Mr. Willett where policy in agriculture was discussed. 

The FFA capped off 2019 with their annual Christmas party organized by member Madison Skelonc. Members enjoyed fellowship and the age old classic “A Christmas Story” while eating holiday food. 

All in all, the fall of 2019 began with uncertainty but ended with a promising future.

2020 is off to a great start with Cedar Springs representing district contests such as Parliamentary Procedure, Creed Speaking, Job Interview, and Demonstration at the end of January. Additionally, the chapter has received over $1,000 in grants from the Michigan FFA Glassbrook Endowment and the CHS Foundation. Exciting things are happening at Cedar Springs Public Schools as we work to create a bright future for agricultural, career, and technical success. For more updates and information on the happenings of the CSHS FFA, follow us on Facebook @cedarspringsffa.


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Imitation, not always a form of flattery

City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

City Hall was recently approached by a citizen, who lives in a mobile home park, about their water being shutoff by someone claiming to be the City’s public works contractor.  This surprised us at City Hall since the City does not use a public works contractor and the Department of Public Works (DPW) never shuts off water at any home in the mobile home parks. The citizen then provided City Hall with a copy of their water bill that they thought came from the City, it was not a City water bill, though it looked like an official City water bill, using the same colors, size and general format.

The City does not send water bills to any person or home in the mobile home parks and the City does not send water bills to tenants living in apartments or other multi-tenant homes.  At each of these locations, the City sends one water bill to the landlord and the landlord handles it from there.  Now, there are some rentals in the City where the monthly rent covers the utility payments and other rentals where there is an additional charge for the actual cost of utilities, including water and sewer. However, there are also rentals in the City where the water bill rates, late-charges, extra fees and more are entirely set by the landlord and passed on to the tenants.  Those water bills may or may not be based upon actual water used by the tenant or it might be based on some other methodology or no methodology at all by the landlord, which should be spelled out in the landlord-tenant lease agreement for the property.  Sometimes that bill is significantly higher than what the City charges the landlord for the water and sewer. The water bills sent to the tenants of apartments, mobiles homes in parks or other multi-tenant housing does not come from the City, that bill comes from the landlord.  Anyone who says otherwise just isn’t telling the truth.   City water bills say “City of Cedar Springs” on it in multiple places. On the front it has the City’s 66 S. Main Street PO Box 310 mailing address and, on the back, it has City Hall’s phone number of 616-696-1330.

Also, Cedar Springs is fiercely proud of our Department of Public Works and its employees.  The DPW plows snow at all hours of the day, keeps the water and sewers operating safely and they install and fix a myriad of other things in the City. It is not an understatement to say that the DPW staff literally keep the City operating.  City DPW employees all drive red trucks with the City’s logo on the door and they should be familiar faces with their collective decades of experience working in the City.  If you ever have any concerns whether somebody works for the City, you should call City Hall (616-696-1330) and ask. If somebody claims to work for the City and you have doubts, City Hall is happy to verify whether that person works for the City or not. If you ever have questions about your water bill, the City’s utility billing clerk is happy to talk with you about it at 616-696-1330 x 1199#

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Nominations sought for Hometown Health Hero awards


LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Health Week Partnership is seeking nominations of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to preserve and improve their community’s health for its annual Hometown Health Hero awards.

Hometown Health Hero awards are presented every April as part of Michigan Public Health Week. This year’s awards focus on the following five areas of public health:

• Mental Health

• Maternal/Child Health

• Violence

• Environmental Health

• Education

• Healthy Housing

“Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life in a safe environment,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “Hometown Health Hero awards are an opportunity to honor those tackling the causes of poor health and disease risk within their communities.”

Nomination forms can be downloaded from Michigan.gov/mphw. Completed nominations should be sent to Jim Koval via email at kovalj@michigan.gov or faxed to 517-335-8392 by Friday, Feb. 14.

Awards will be presented at the State Capitol on Wednesday, April 15.

The Michigan Public Health Week Partnership consists of the following organizations: Grand Valley State University, Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Association for Local Public Health, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, Inc., Michigan Public Health Association, Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan State University, University of Michigan School of Public Health and Wayne State University.

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Good Health Reset


(NAPS)—A good health reset can happen any time of the year. It simply takes a commitment to making small, sustainable changes that add up to impactful, healthy habits. Dr. Samara Sterling with The Peanut Institute says it’s best to begin by concentrating on the good habits you already follow.

“Set yourself up for success by building on the healthy things you like to do,” says Sterling. “For example, if you typically eat one serving of fruit a day, figure out a way to increase that to two servings.”

Over time, as you amp up your healthy habits, the detrimental ones tend to fade away more easily.

As part of a good health reset, Dr. Sterling recommends incorporating more protein, especially plant-based proteins, into a daily diet.

“Proteins and healthy fats make you feel fuller for longer and can help eliminate the urge to snack and consume empty calories,” explains Sterling.

Peanuts are an example of a powerful plant protein. Just one serving of peanuts delivers seven grams of protein, 19 vitamins and minerals and heart-healthy fats.

“Peanuts are categorized as a superfood because they’re nutrient-dense and deliver superior health benefits in a very small serving,” says Dr. Sterling. “If you combine superfoods, like kale and peanuts or quinoa and peanuts, you’re really maximizing your nutritional intake.”

There’s more good news because peanut butter also packs protein.

“Research has shown that the consumption of small amounts of peanuts or peanut butter has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” says Sterling. “It’s easy to incorporate peanuts and peanut butter into breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

Mediterranean Grain Medley with Peanuts

3 Tbsp. peanut oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. hot pepper flakes

½ red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

8 oz. snap peas

2 cups beluga lentils or brown lentils, pre-cooked

1 cup jasmine rice, pre-cooked

2-inch piece of ginger, grated

1 cup peanuts, plain, roasted

1 bunch green onions, chopped

Salt to taste

Lime juice to taste

Cilantro as garnish

Heat a sauté pan and add peanut oil. Add garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and squash, sauté for 3–4 minutes. Add snap peas, cook for an additional minute. Add lentils, rice, ginger, lime juice and salt, mix well. Heat the grains for 1 minute then toss in the peanuts and green onions. Serve warm, enjoy! 

For more delicious and healthy recipes, visit peanutinstitute.com.

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