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Archive | June, 2020

Teen drowned in Lake Bella Vista had epilepsy

Molly Rasmussen

Sixteen-year-old jumped in and never came up

By Beth Altena, The Rockford Squire

A beautiful spring day on the lake ended with shock and agony when a 16-year-old girl drowned after going under the water and not coming back up. 

The incident happened around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 at the west end of the lake near the Kent County dock that is a permanent structure at the berm known as the Lake Bella Vista Dam. 

Rescue boats searched for 16-year-old Molly Rasmussen after she went under and did not resurface. Photo by Beth Altena.

Two young men were diving to try and find the girl, later identified by authorities as 16-year-old Molly Rasmussen. Rasmussen had just completed her sophomore year at Forest Hills Eastern. Multiple people called 9-1-1 and responders to the scene included the Kent County Sheriff Department with several vehicles and a boat, Cannon Township Fire and Rescue, the Cannon Township hovercraft, Rockford Ambulance and the City of Rockford first responders.

Photo by Beth Altena.

Divers on the scene repeatedly searched the area and appeared to be gridding off the area with floats. They used a long stick-like device they pushed down into the water and used a pontoon boat that was in the area to use various devices to try and locate the girl. Other people on a variety of boats circled at a respectful distance watching the rescuers.

A large crowd of mostly teenagers gathered on the berm during the hour-long search before authorities dispersed the crowd to either end of the long berm. After more than an hour and while dusk was settling on the lake, the hovercraft left and most boats left. Later the Kent County Sheriff Department Dive Time found the girl, but were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Molly is the daughter of Cindi and Mark Rasmussen and was a celebrated athlete at her school. She reportedly suffered from epilepsy.

About 2,000 people showed up Thursday, June 4, for a candlelit vigil at the Forest Hills Eastern high school football stadium. 

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Police rescue elderly woman from swamp

Police and fire department personnel worked together last week Thursday to locate a missing elderly woman with dementia in Casnovia Township.

One of the search team can be seen carrying the woman in the middle of the image. Video footage courtesy of Michigan State Police. See video footage here.

On June 18, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Michigan State Police Troopers from the Rockford Post, Michigan State Police Canine, Michigan State Police Aviation, Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department, and several local fire departments responded to the 15000 block of Hall Rd. in response to a missing 83-year-old female with dementia.  The caller advised that her elderly mother had wandered away from the home and had been missing for approximately an hour and a half. 

Troopers, deputies and fire personnel began searching the area.  MSP Aviation arrived on scene from above and located the elderly female in the dense swamp on the family property approximately six hours after the initial report.  The woman was reportedly in good medical health and cleared by medical personnel while on scene.    

See video of the rescue at:


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Sand Lake suspects arrested for breaking and entering

On the evening of June 15, deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Breaking and Entering complaint that was in progress in the area of 6 Mile Road and Osborne Ave. Police said the homeowner observed people in his residence on a motion camera and called 911. Deputies arrived to find two individuals in the yard of the residence as they were removing property. During the investigation, multiple stolen items were recovered from the area, including a riding lawnmower. 

A 40-year-old woman and her 18-year-old son, both from Sand Lake, were lodged in the Newaygo County Jail and pending arraignment. Police were looking for any possibly related cases.

The police had not released their names at press time.

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Former educator publishes book of memories

Ray Kleefisch, of Rockford, donated a copy of his just published book “Living in high clover” to the Cedar Springs Public Library earlier this week. Kleefisch is shown here with librarian Donna Clark, in front of the flowing well in the Heart of Cedar Springs, behind the library. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Ray Kleefisch, a former teacher, assistant principal and coach at Cedar Springs Public Schools for 28 years, has just published a unique book that looks at Kleefisch’s life through the eyes, ears, and paws of his best friends–his dogs.

Kleefisch grew up in Lowell, Michigan. He attended Western Michigan University and the University of Virginia and went on to serve 28 years in the U.S. Army as active duty and reserves.

In his new book, “Living in high clover,” Kleefisch weaved his story around the most influential canines in his life—Skippy, Tippy, Puppy, Mandy, and Chester. From childhood to adulthood, those dogs were all there at important times in his life. The 42-page book from RoseDog Books is filled with photos and anecdotes of those moments—both happy and sad.

The Post asked Kleefisch what was his inspiration to write the book?

“I just wanted to leave a little history for my family and show that if you slow down a little bit and recognize the little miracles that happen every day, the little things often end up being significant,” he explained.

He wanted to use his dogs, because he always had a special bond with them. “One woman told me that all dogs are service dogs; some are just freelancing,” he remarked.

The title of the book, “Living in High Clover,” has a family connection. “My cousin has a farm in Parnell, and he’d say, ‘Look at those deer—they’re all living in high clover—going from one banquet to the next.’ He was upset they were eating his crops and having a great time.” He said his wife, Jan, who helped him with the book, adopted the saying for the dogs and used it as the title of the book.

Kleefisch said if any profits are generated from the book, he will donate them to an organization to help feed hungry kids in Cedar Springs.

To order a copy of the book, go online to http://rosedogbookstore.com/living-in-high-clover/; call 1-800-788-7654; or email bookorders@rosedogbooks.com.

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Cedar Springs graduation postponed

The commencement ceremony for Cedar Springs High School has been postponed to July 14, 15, and/or 16 (with 16th being a rain date).

According to high school principal Ron Behrenwald, the number of exercises each day will be dependent upon what phase region 2 is in and the number of people allowed to gather together. 

Creative Technologies Academy had their graduation earlier this week. See next week’s Post for photos and information on that ceremony.

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Meet Up and Eat Up returns to Kent District Library

Kent County, Michigan – Kent District Library is pleased to partner with Feeding America to present Meet Up and Eat Up, a summer food program at 12 KDL locations. Anyone 18 years old and younger can come enjoy a free lunch.

“Feeding the minds, imaginations and spirits is something that we have always done at KDL, but through this program we are literally feeding hungry people,” said Lance Werner, executive director of KDL.

Each location who is hosting this summer food access program is providing a table outside the Library building. Most branches have a canopy to provide shade, etc.  Our staff will be wearing masks and will stand at one end of the table while patrons will stand at the other end of the table to pick up their meal.

1. Students will come to the table to pick up their meal. We are providing hand sanitizer at the table so their hands can be relatively clean prior to getting their lunch.

2. Due to the grab and go option, they will be able to eat the meals at home.

3. Summer Reading materials in a make-n-take format will be available at the same time/place.

4. Parents can report how many children under 18 need a meal for their family and we are allowed to provide that number of meals to the parent—we do not have to see the students.

5. Students dealing with developmental disabilities are eligible for the meals until they are 26 years old.

6. This program is operating separate from the curbside service and as a result has a different traffic flow.


Alpine Township, Weekdays from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Comstock Park, Weekdays from noon – 12:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Gaines Township, Weekdays from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Kelloggsville, Weekdays from noon – 1:00 PM, June 22 – August 14

Kentwood, Weekdays from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Nelson Twp., Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Plainfield Twp., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:15 AM – noon, June 22 – August 14

Spencer Township, Weekdays from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Tyrone Township, Mondays – Thursdays from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, June 22 – August 13

Walker, Weekdays from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, June 22 – August 14

Wyoming, Weekdays from 1:00 – 2:00 PM, June 22 – August 14

Bookmobile, Various dates and locations

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Athletes of the year

Your 2020 OK White Athletes of Year: Jaydon Moleski and Omani Morales!

By John Norton, Athletic Director Cedar Springs Public Schools

John Norton, Athletic Director at Cedar Springs Public Schools, recently announced their OK White Conference Athletes of the Year. Both recipients receive a plaque and conference certificate. What follows is his announcement.

As we do every year, we have one male and one female athlete that will represent our school as the 2020 OK White Conference athlete of the year, as well as being the Class of 2020 Athlete of the Year. This is the most prestigious award annually in the athletic department.

These athletes are recognized by all coaches, players, and athletic directors in the OK Conference and here at Cedar Springs High School as examples of how high school student athletes should compete and act—on and around the playing fields. These individuals have achieved athletic excellence.

This photo shows Omani Morales and Coach Tim Jackson when she signed to bowl for Davenport University. Courtesy photo.

Your 2020 female Athlete of the Year and OK White Conference Athlete for Cedar Springs is Omani Morales. Omani is a multiple sport standout in softball and bowling, as well as a star in the classroom with a 3.95 GPA. Outside of sports, Omani is easy going, funny, incredibly humble with great priorities—you can tell she has great parents. But as an athlete she has laser focus on her goals and an incredible work ethic. She was a softball and bowling team captain this year, and one thing that always stood out to me, is her sportsmanship. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better sport or teammate, in success or in failure. But her domination of the bowling alley is what has earned her a scholarship to bowl at Davenport next year. How’s this resume?

Led team to first ever and multiple consecutive OK White championships; two-time regional champ; academic all-state; four-time conference champion; three-time state individual qualifier; state champ; dream team – all classes; Miss Bowling 2020 in Michigan. 

The best. Nothing else to say—Omani Morales—congratulations, you’ve been a joy to watch.

This photo shows Jaydon Moleski when he signed to run Cross Country at Rochester University. He is pictured here with his coach Justin Wood. Courtesy photo.

Most the time, I’d say that’s a tough act to follow, but our male athlete of the year more than holds his own. I’m proud to announce our male selection as athlete of the year is Jaydon Moleski. He is mostly known for his excellence in track and cross country, but he also played hockey and soccer during his career. I remember watching Jaydon as a freshman playing varsity soccer, and I knew he was special, he was a competitor, and he was going to succeed no matter what he did.

In addition to a fierce competitor, Jaydon is a loyal teammate and true leader as described by his coaches.

Cross country coach Jones said the following: “I can’t say enough about his impact off the course as well. He has a bright personality and approaches everything he does with enthusiasm. He knows when it’s time to have fun but also knows when it’s time to flip the switch and compete. I feel that Jaydon has set the standard for Red Hawk distance runners for years to come. If our younger runners can continue to emulate his work ethic, competitiveness and leadership skills then I’ll be a happy coach.”

And the accolades speak for themselves:

Cross Country: #9 Cedar Springs All-Time; three-time All-Conference; one-time All-Area; two-time Regional Medalist; two-time Academic All-State; one-time All-State.

Track & Field: One-time All-Conference; one-time All-State (Indoors); one-time All-State (Outdoors).

Jaydon will be continuing his running career on scholarship at Rochester University while studying in their Sports Management program. I am certain that he will continue to represent our town and our athletic department at the highest level during his next chapter in life.

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Outwin signs to play volleyball

Madi Outwin officially signed at a small ceremony outside Cedar Springs High School on June 16  to continue her volleyball career at Great Lakes Christian College In Lansing, Mich. Family, friends and coaches were there to commemorate the event. 

Madi has been a two-sport standout (soccer and volleyball) throughout her four year career at Cedar Springs. She is the daughter of Amy and Ryan Outwin.

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Service academy appointees and Congressional Medal of Merit recipients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) congratulates the 2020 service academy appointees and student Congressional Medal of Merit recipients from Michigan’s Third District.

“It’s a privilege to recognize the achievements of these outstanding students, and I look forward to seeing how they impact and lead future generations,” said Amash.

Appointees to a service academy must first secure a nomination from an authorized nominating source, which includes members of Congress. To assist with the nominating process, Amash works closely with an assembled committee of military and civic leaders who carefully review applications, interview potential nominees, and make recommendations.

In addition to the five service academy appointees, Amash awarded 26 students with the Congressional Medal of Merit. The Congressional Medal of Merit recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship and academic excellence. Recipients were nominated by their principals or guidance counselors.

Students selected from our area are in bold.

Service Academy Appointments

Benjamin Harms, Lakeview High School, United States Air Force Academy

Jacob Shepherd, NorthPointe Christian High School, United States Military Academy

Garrett Siemen, Ionia High School, United States Air Force Academy

Emmett Rosenzweig, Marshall High School, United States Air Force Academy

Sayvion Young, Rockford High School, United States Naval Academy

Congressional Medal of Merit Recipients

Alexis Behnke, St. Philip Catholic Central High School

Kaeleigh Casavant, Cedar Springs High School

Jeffrey Davlin, St. Patrick High School

Autumn Dorsey, Lakeview High School

Hannah Feng, Grand Rapids Christian High School

Kolton Grice, Algoma Christian School

Suchir Gupta, Forest Hills Central High School

Madison Haid, Forest Hills Eastern High School

Kaitlyn Hutchins, Rockford High School

Johnathon Kulich, Comstock Park High School

Jacquelyn Molloseau, Catholic Central High School

Melanie Orozco-Zavala, Union High School

Megan Paasche, Northview High School

Karlie Platz, West Michigan Aviation Academy

Joshua Roelofs, Plymouth Christian High School

William Roosien III, Hastings High School

Ayshia Rubley, Marshall Academy

Benjamin Sorota, East Grand Rapids High School

Kelsi Steele, Homer Community Schools

Benjamin Toaz, Ionia High School

Quyen Thu Tran, East Kentwood High School

Grace Verdun, West Catholic High School

Xeny Lucas Vicente, Innovation Central High School

Faith Watson, Creative Technologies Academy

Samuel Wolowski, NorthPointe Christian High School

Sonnet Yancey, Kenowa Hills High School

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65th wedding anniversary

Elwyn and Goldie Joslin are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. They were married June 25, 1955 in the Free Methodist Church of Cedar Springs. Children of the couple are Dennis and Connie Joslin, Tom and Denise Raisch, Jim and Darla Stroup, Daniel and Tammie Joslin, Darrell (deceased) and Sherry Joslin, DeWayne and Renee Joslin, and Danella Joslin. They have sixteen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

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Thank you

Please forgive me for my procrastination. I couldn’t, and still can’t find the words to sufficiently express my gratitude to everyone for your heartfelt condolences following the death of my son, David MacKinnon. My family and I truly appreciate all the cards, food, phone calls, gifts and prayers.

Thank you very much.

Dorothy Bishop and family

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Pray-a lot!

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson United Methodist

This Coronavirus (Covid19) is affecting many people in many ways. I’ve been praying for my family, church community, those who have the virus, the caregivers and essential people working hard to help us all. Will you join me in prayer each and every day until this virus is gone?

In the book of Daniel we find a faithful, praying man. Daniel didn’t just occasionally lift his eyes to the heavens and mutter a word or two. No, Daniel prayed a lot! He prayed in his room. He prayed when he was in the lion’s den. He prayed for wisdom and guidance. He prayed for the people of Israel and, towards the end of his life, we find he’s been praying for 21 consecutive days because he’s troubled. He prayed for 21 straight days! Then Daniel heard these words, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (Daniel 10:12 NIV). Have you ever prayed consistently for something, for like 21 days?

In Luke 18:1-7 (The Message) Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’ He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’ Then the Master said, ‘Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help.’”

I know that it’s easy to despair right now. But please know that our anxiety can be allayed by relying on and trusting in God’s word and promises found in the scriptures. Keep on keeping on! Keep on praying through this time of crisis.

Look at what God says to Daniel: “Your words were heard.”  God hears our prayers! It’s when we “set our minds to gain understanding and to humble ourselves before our God.” We need to continue seeking God and humbly sit at His feet. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that those who seek Him will ever be turned away.

Please do not let the fear of this deadly virus deceive you. God will never, never fail those who seek Him. God will always be at our side. Stay focused on walking in His way, no matter how this virus obstacle presents itself. No matter how discouraged you may be sometimes, continue your journey with Him.

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace in this time and in all times.  The Lord be with you.

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