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Archive | March, 2020

Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19

Officials said 31 residents and five staff tested positive

By Judy Reed

Residents and staff at Metron of Cedar Springs have tested positive for COVID-19.

A local nursing home in Cedar Springs is now on the front lines fighting COVID-19.

Metron of Cedar Springs, a 77-bed community located at 400 Jeffrey Street, announced Tuesday, March 31, that a number of  residents and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have had 31 residents and 5 staff members at Cedar Springs test positive for COVID-19,” said Paul Pruitt, Director of Operations.

“These individuals are all located in one section of our community, which has been isolated.  Two of those residents and the staff members are currently receiving care outside of our community.  One of those residents is expected to return back to our community within the next few days. The rest remain in our care, are stable and it does not appear as if any of them are at risk to be transferred at this time.”

Pruitt said they are taking all the necessary precautions and have been following state and federal health guidelines, including restricting visitors and non-medical personnel.

“We have been working closely with local, state and federal health departments,” explained Pruitt. “As a member of Spectrum Health’s High Performing Network, we have also been in continuous contact with the health system, its doctors and staff. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, staff and community.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been closely monitoring and implementing the recommendations and requirements outlined by our local, state and federal health departments as well as the CDC in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This is all in addition to our extensive health and wellness processes and procedures.

“As other facilities around the country have done, we have restricted visitors, guests and non-essential medical personnel to the building. Those essential visitors entering the facility, including doctors, are heavily screened prior to entry. Every staff member goes through the same screening process including having their temperature taken prior to starting every shift.  We are fully stocked with all necessary personal protection equipment and our staff members are wearing these items throughout their shifts to care for our residents and for their own protection.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and our staff members is our top priority as we navigate this global pandemic and unprecedented health crisis.”

The Post first heard about the possibility of a positive staff member at Metron last Friday, and reached out to the Kent County Health Department at that time to verify whether the information was valid.

According to Lori Latham with the Kent County Health Department, there are currently 113 positive cases in Kent County, and one death. The 113 does include the 31 residents at Metron but may not include all the staff, since some could be from a different county and they did not all go together to be tested at the same time.

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Easter Coloring Contest

Hey kids, 

It’s time for our annual Easter Coloring Contest and your chance to win an awesome Easter Basket!  Please click here and print out and color the picture with crayons, markers or colored pencils. Fill out the form below and include with your entry. Our judges will choose 3 winners from three age groups: 3-4 years; 5-7 years; and 8-10 years.  

Good Luck and remember to be creative but follow the rules!


1. Only one entry per child. 

2. Only one winner will be drawn from finalists.

3. We are not responsible for lost mail. 

4. All entries must be at our office by April 6th by 5pm. 

5. Use only crayons, markers or colored pencils.

Please deliver entries to by Monday, April 6 by 5:00 p.m.: 

36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Or mail to: Easter Coloring Contest

P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Winners will be announced in the April 9th edition of The Post.

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Demolition begins on apartment building

Demolition began this week on what was left of 323 Oak Ct. after it burned last summer. Photo by Michelle Hyde.

By Judy Reed

Demolition began this week on the building that burned at Red Flannel Acres last summer. 

The Post called and emailed Red Flannel Acres to try to get some information on their plans to rebuild, but had not heard back at press time.

The fire, at 323 Oak Ct., last August, left 7 families homeless.

The fire marshal concluded that it was started by a cigarette on an upstairs balcony.

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Thrills and chills as you cross new bridge

By Judy Reed

Are you an adrenaline junky? Do you like traveling just under the speed of light? A new bridge being built across the Straits of Mackinac is bound to get your blood flowing. 

The bridge features a steep drop off, which guarantees your car will exceed speeds over a 100 mph before racing around a loop at breakneck speed (literally—so make sure you have a seatbelt on). Once you come out of the loop, it only takes seconds to make the 5 miles to the other side.

And the great thing is, it will only cost you $5 one way. It’s $20 for a round trip, and $50 if you want your brakes checked first.

We spoke with some of the people brave enough to cross the bridge.

“I’ve never done anything so terrifying before,” said one man, whose eyes kept rolling back in his head. “I’d like to do it again but I’ll have to wait until I can see straight.”

Another man was carrying a woman’s shoe and looked a little confused. “Have you seen my wife? She was sitting right next to me when we left, and I told her to roll up her window but I don’t think she heard me because she was screaming like she does on a roller coaster, and then…I don’t remember anything else.”

According to the company that runs the bridge, there haven’t been many injuries. “Sometimes people throw up so we don’t recommend eating before driving across,” said a spokesperson. “It makes a real mess.” He said one car flew off the bridge last summer and was never found. “I think the driver was a wanted felon and it was his way of evading capture,” he explained. 

If you are looking for something fun to do with the family, check out this new bridge at www.aprilfools.gotcha!

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Restaurants see big downturn in business

Cedar Springs Brewing Company and many other restaurants are suffering from loss of business to due to orders to reduce capacity and do take out only. Photo by L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

Before Monday’s Stay Home order, restaurants were already seeing a downturn in business since being limited to only “take out” orders over the last couple weeks. Now, many people aren’t going out to get food from local businesses, and it’s hard to say how long they can go without an upturn in business.

“The restaurant business, in short, is horrible,” said David Ringler, owner of Cedar Springs Brewing Company, one of the many businesses here in Cedar Springs offering take out.

“So many of our employees, industry brothers and sisters, are suffering and many of my colleagues in the business are unlikely to reopen their doors, according to what they tell me,” he said.

“In our case, we have been blessed with a wonderful team, many of whom have been with us since the beginning five years ago. With our mandated shutdown, however, we were forced to temporarily lay off a large percentage of our workforce, which has been heartbreaking. After a team meeting, we did take volunteers for those who wanted to try to keep the doors open. 

“With a skeleton crew, we’ve managed to maintain takeout services and offer delivery on a temporary basis. The reasoning was both to keep as many people working as we can and to serve our community. It’s been wonderful to have so many of our friends in the community reach out to support our team with their generous orders and donations to our food drive, which we forwarded yesterday to Hand2Hand for their kids’ food bank.

“All that said, this model will not be sustainable for us in the long term as revenues are down about 80%, so we’re really hoping that the country rallies to ‘flatten the curve’ and we can get back to offering our full services sooner rather than later and get all our team back to work. We’re all in this together!”

Many of the restaurants in our community are offering take out or curbside pickup, including CS Brewing, Red Bird Bistro, Classic Kelley’s, Vitale’s, Nonno’s, Sue’s Kountry Kitchen, and more. Please call ahead to find out the hours and menu options available for ordering.

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Want to win some fast cash?

It’s quick. It’s easy. All you have to do is read the newspaper. That’s right! Read the stories and read the ads. Identify the fake display  ad and the fake stories and you could win a fast $30! Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com with your guesses by Tuesday, March 31, at 5 p.m. Include your name, address and phone number in the email. Or you can drop off your entry here at 36 E. Maple and put it in the mailbox outside the door. One winner will be chosen out of all the correct entries received by the deadline. We will call you to let you know you’ve won by Wednesday, April 1. And that’s no April Foolin’!

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Girls Scouts donate cookies to senior citizens

Daisy troop members (L to R): Skyler Kleyn, Morgan Uhen, Addison Solomon, Alivia Conely and Raegan Schreuder.

Troop number 8210 donated 50 box of cookies to Green Acres and The Brooks retirement home this week.

The girls had ordered extra cookies to sell at cookie booths around town to help raise money to cover summer camp tuition, but sales were great affected due to the corona virus and people not getting out.

“Our troop had these left over boxes and we wanted to do something good for our community with them during this time,” said Troop leader Melissa Kleyn.

“As a troop we decided to ask family, friends and community to sponsor as many boxes as they would like so we could donate them to the retirement communities to bring them a little joy during this time of isolation,” she explained.  “That also helped our daisy troop sell 1545 boxes of cookies, do a good deed to help others, and also helped cover our good summer camp tuition. So thank you for all who helped us!”

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Drive up pantry still available

Due to the “Stay at Home” order…

We are offering food distribution to NKC clients via drive-up service on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning March 25, and continuing through April 13.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in becoming a client, please call North Kent Connect at (616) 866-3478 and leave a message. Our case managers will work with you via phone.

If you are in immediate need, please call 2-1-1 (or 800-887-1107). 

During this time, the NKC Thrift Store will be closed, and we will not be accepting donations of food or household goods. We apologize for any inconvenience and continue to pray for everyone’s health and safety.

Please help us continue food distribution in this community

As we limit personal contact by closing our donation area and distributing pre-packaged boxes of food to our clients, we are asking our community to purchase a food box for $13.75 through our website. Each box will provide a family of four with five meals, and includes items such as canned and boxed foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy items.

Or, you can make a one-time donation in any amount to fund our need as we help families especially hit hard during this pandemic at https://app.autobooks.co/pay/rockford-community-service-center (Please be sure to add “BOXED FOOD” or “AS NEEDED” in the description field.) 

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Giving table for those in need

By Judy Reed

Giving table in front of Five Star Realty before it was transferred to City Impact. Photo by L. Allen.

Local realtor, Laura Ensley, wanted to do something to help those in need during this COVID-19 pandemic. So last weekend she set up a “giving table” in front of her business, Five Star Realty, on Main Street. 

“We started out with our team filling up the giving table,” explained Ensley. “I knew a lot of kids might not be able to afford to eat during the day, and even though they are serving some food at the school, they might not be able to get there. And other people need food, too.”

So they loaded up the table, and people began coming and taking food for free. And then other people began bringing food to put out on the table as well. They had fresh eggs, water, toilet paper—many things people were looking for. “People were bringing all kinds of stuff,” she said.

One of the most heartfelt moments for Ensley was when a family came to get some supplies from the table. “I could see the mom talking to the kids, and before they left, they all knelt down and prayed,” she said. “It was very cool.”

Then three days after they put up the giving table, the governor temporarily shut down all non-essential businesses due to the spread of COVID-19. Ensley’s was one of them. 

“We are not deemed an essential business,” explained Ensley, “so we needed to find a new home for the table.”

Table in front of City Impact. Facebook photo.

The table now has a new home in front of 288 N. Main Street, at City Impact, an outreach center next to Dollar General on the north end of the City. “It’s the perfect place, really. I watched so many people come and go there to get groceries,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, there were plenty of canned goods as well as deli sandwiches, cookies, and more. If you are in need of food, stop by there and check it out. 

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Cease and Desist letter sent to local businesses for selling phony COVID-19 protection patch

Price-gouging Complaints Near 1,600

This screenshot of the Frequency Apps website shows the corona virus defender patch they were selling.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel  sent a cease and desist letter to two related local businesses earlier this week for marketing to consumers the “Coronavirus Defender Patch,” which the companies falsely claim will help protect people from contracting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Meanwhile, price-gouging complaints related to COVID-19 filed with the Attorney General’s office are nearing 1,600. 

The businesses, Frequency Apps Corp. and Biores Technologies Inc., owned by Adam Petty, and located on Edgerton and 14 Mile Rd, claim the patch will “help aid the immune system to defend itself against exposure to the virus,” and “can help lessen the effect of the virus if you already have” it. The patch was priced at $49.99, but the companies stated that consumers could receive a 30-day supply of the patch for free when they buy a 45-day supply of any patches the companies sell. 

“Providing consumers with a false sense of security that these patches could somehow protect them from this virus is simply wrong,” Nessel said. “I will not tolerate deceptive and misleading business practices at any time, but especially not during this time of uncertainty surrounding Michigan’s battle with COVID-19.” 

The companies are likely in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act because they may be: 

Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not have, or that a person has sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that he or she does not have. 

Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer. 

Causing coercion and duress as the result of the time and nature of a sales presentation. 

Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is. 

The companies have 10 days to respond to the letter by agreeing to not market or sell the patches to Michigan consumers and to provide contact information for all consumers who purchased the patches. 

As of 7 a.m. Monday, the Attorney General’s office had received a total of 1,578 complaints of price-gouging related to COVID-19, which includes 649 complaints filed electronically through the office’s Consumer Protection website and 929 complaints taken by telephone.  

A total of 97 price-gouging complaints were received by phone Monday out of 169 calls to the Consumer Protection tip line. Calls may pertain to topics other than COVID-19-related price-gouging. 

The Consumer Protection tip line usually receives around 80 phone calls daily. However, between March 16 and Friday, the intake team received an average of 280 calls per day – though there were extended hours of operation in place last week.  

Consumers can file a complaint online or by calling the Consumer Protection tip line, 877-765-8388. Hours of operation are between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest public health information is available online at a state website focused on the issue, and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

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City to use ZOOM to hold meetings during lockdown

The City of Cedar Springs is holding a special meeting tonight, March 26, for their annual fiscal year budget workshop. They mayl also consider bond authorization, and Fire Station Bid, and any other business that may come before the City Council.

You can find a meeting packet at www.cityofcedarsprings.org.

What’s different about this meeting is that the general public cannot be on site. But they will still be able to give input.

From the city: “To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to City of Cedar Springs residents; the City of Cedar Springs boards and commissions are conducting all meetings by video teleconference with limited public access to participate at the meeting location in accordance with public health gathering crowd size limitations, social distancing recommendations and Michigan Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21. It is the intention to of the City to be in compliance with EO 2020-21, EO 2020-15 and also the Open Meetings Act in order to promote government accountability and fostering openness in government to enhance responsible decision-making.


  • Public comments may be submitted to the City Manager by email at any time prior to the meeting at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org Comments submitted will be read aloud during the public comment portion of the meeting.
  • Members of the public who attend at the location of the meeting may address the members during the public comment period via videoconference.
  • Any member of the public wishing to listen to the proceedings or provide public comment may do so by using the following internet connection or phone numbers and pass code:

Internet: https://zoom.us/j/428142184 Meeting ID: 428142184

Phone Options: 1(646)558-8656 Meeting ID: 428142184#
or 1(312)626-6799 Meeting ID: 4281421845#

ACCESSBILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: Meetings of the Cedar Springs Boards and Commissions are available on the City of Cedar Springs YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/…/UCoShqbamJ4TUESE_ykoK_PA/playlists YouTube provides real time closed caption transcriptions of the Board’s meetings. Enable captions by clicking the “Closed Captioning” or “CC” icon on the bottom bar. Please contact the City Clerk’s office at (616) 696-1330 Ext. 101 prior to the meeting if additional assistance is needed to assist individuals with accessibility.

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School bond election postponed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education passed a resolution during a special meeting on Friday, March 20 to postpone the school bond election scheduled for May 5, 2020.

“In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community, the Board determined that it was not the right time to ask our community to vote on such a significant issue,” said Superintendent Scott Smith. “Their decision to postpone the election was out of respect to the current degree of health and financial uncertainty in our community.”

The Board is considering its options about moving the date of the election to August 4, 2020.

Rather than increasing taxes, the District is asking residents to approve an extension of the current tax levy of 7.0 mills for an additional 18 years. 

If voters approve the bond proposal, there would be NO tax rate increase expected for property owners. This bond would generate $68,000,000 for district-wide improvements to all school buildings and would impact every student. The cost of the new proposal is 16 percent less than the plan from November 2019.

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