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Archive | September, 2021

Little Red Flannel royalty

2021 Prince and Princess: (L to R): Sadie Scott and Calvin Saboo.
2020 Prince and Princess: (L to R): Liam Vodry and Everlie Bielecki.

Two sets of Red Flannel Prince and Princesses were chosen last week to represent the Red Flannel Festival. 

One set is from this year’s kindergarteners to represent 2021, and another is from this year’s first graders, to represent 2020.

According to Red Flannel President Nancy Deyman, they had a total of 20 students enter the contest. The prince and princesses were chosen by raffle tickets that were sold by the contestants.

The 2021 Prince and Princess is Calvin Saboo, son of Duke and Dana Saboo; and Sadie Scott, daughter of Jared and Danielle Scott.

The 2020 Prince and Princess is Liam Vodry, son of Scott and Brittany Vodry; and Everlie Bielecki, daughter of Josh and Jenna Bielecki.

A new float has been build by Ken Deyman for the Prince and Princess.  They will be in the main parade right behind the Queen’s float.

Congratulations to our new Red Flannel Prince and Princesses!

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The Rotary grilled chicken dinner is back

Get your grilled chicken dinner on Red Flannel Day from the Cedar Springs Rotary Club at the corner of Main and Cherry Streets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the chickens are gone. Look for the big white tent. For $10, you get 1/2 grilled chicken, potato salad, roll, cookie and a drink. Proceeds go to support community organizations such as the CS Library, CS Community Food Pantry, ScoutsUSA, North Kent Community Enrichment, Youth Leadership Training, and others. See you then!

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A new Queen reigns

Pictured is the 2021 Red Flannel Queen Maddie Radebach (center) and her court, Re e’Anna Forman (L) and Natalie Pierce (R). Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Last weekend was a great weekend to kick off the beginning of the Red Flannel Festival, and the selection of a new Red Flannel Queen and court for 2021 was part of the fun.

Friday night was the home football game and firefighter light parade, and Saturday events included the Red Flannel run/walk, kids day events, the bed races, and the Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Pageant ended the day.

The event was held at The Springs Church, and three contestants vied for this year’s title.

Chosen as the 2021 Red Flannel Queen was Maddie Radebach, and her court members are Ree’Anna Forman and Natalie Pierce. 

Master of Ceremonies was Dave Stuart Jr. and Hostess was the 2011 Red Flannel Queen, Tranaya Verstrat Mosher.

Pageant director Kaleigh Goehler said that the three contestants went through the same practices and judging rounds that they have every year. “I am very proud of these three young ladies and the hard work they all put in,” she said.

“We enjoyed reminiscing about pageants and Red Flannel Days of the past,” she added. “Along with crowning our new queen, we enjoyed a conversation with past royalty members talking about how the pageant and the job of the Red Flannel Queen and Court has changed and evolved over the years. We also had a virtual interview with our Grand Marshal and 1989 Red Flannel Queen Cindy Patin, live from Chicago.”

The Queen and court members will each receive a scholarship–$3,000 for the Queen and $1,500 for each court member. 

The scholarship is made possible by donations from the community. Donations can be dropped off at the Red Flannel Office, or there is a “donate” button on the Red Flannel Festival website at redflannelfestival.org. 

“We are very proud that 100 percent of donations received go to the scholarship,” said Goehler.

The new Red Flannel Queen and Court will reign until next year’s Red Flannel Festival. You will be able to see them Saturday during this year’s festival, at various places along Main Street and on the float in the parade.

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Crash kills Florida man

A Florida man died last week after the car he was riding in ran a stop sign in Reynolds Township and was struck by another vehicle.

Montcalm County Deputies reported that the crash occurred at the intersection of North Federal Road and West Almy Road at approximately 5:02 p.m. on Friday, September 24, 2021.

Police said that their investigation revealed that a 2021 Chevy Equinox was westbound on West Almy Road when the driver failed to stop at the stop sign at North Federal Road.  A 1992 Chevy Silverado was northbound on North Federal Road and struck the Equinox in the intersection.

 All persons in the crash were transported to Spectrum Hospital-Butterworth campus for treatment.  The driver of the Silverado, a 73-year-old man from Morley, and the driver of the Equinox, a 52-year-old man from Winter Park, Florida, were both transported via Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services with non-life threatening injuries.  

The front seat passenger of the Equinox, a 72-year-old man from Winter Park, Florida, was airlifted by Aeromed.  On September 25, the Sheriff’s Office was notified that the passenger died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Seatbelts appeared to have been used by all occupants involved. Alcohol is believed to be a factor.  The crash remains under investigation.

 In addition to the Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services, the Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Howard City Fire Department, Montcalm County Road Commission, and the Michigan State Police.

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Cedar Springs librarian to retire

Donna Clark, Library Director for the Cedar Springs Public Library, was Grand Marshal for the Red Flannel Festival in 2016. Courtesy photo.

Will be accepting resumes to replace her

By Judy Reed

One of the most well-loved and well-known people in Cedar Springs will soon be retiring from a job she’s held for 20 years.

Donna Clark, Library Director at the Cedar Springs Public Library, announced that she will retire at the end of this year. “I’m not leaving town, I’m just retiring,” she added with a chuckle.

Donna’s face is one that you will have seen at most events and meetings of all kinds over the years, as well as in the pages of the Post. She’s had her fingers in a lot of pies—library events, city and township meetings, Rotary, CS Women’s Club, Red Flannel Festival, school events, and more—all to help with public relations for the library. And she’s done a wonderful job with that. 

“The priority for me for the last 20 years was whomever walked in that library door,” she remarked. 

 But now, she says, it’s time to step down.

“I want to be able to see more of my family,” she explained. 

Donna came to Cedar Springs from Oklahoma in 1971, when she was 18 years old, to attend the Wesleyan Bible Institute (later Jordan College). She met her husband, Dan, and they were married a year later in 1972. After graduation, the two taught at the college for a time, then lived for a time in Oklahoma. They eventually went to Israel to live on an archaeological site in the desert for three months. The three months became 12 years and eight months, with Donna helping to teach English to Hebrew children.

When she and Dan came back to Cedar Springs in 2000, Dan took a job at Creative Technologies Academy, and by February, Donna had a job at the library. 

“I didn’t know anything about how to run the library,” said Donna. “The board wanted me to apply, so I did. The thing that helped me was I was fresh off the boat, blind, and enthusiastic.” The staff said they knew how to run the library but wanted her to do the public relations side of it. So she did. Her enthusiasm and drive has helped the library to become more visible over the years, and helped keep the fundraising for a new library in the public eye. In 2016, the city finally broke ground on a new state-of-the-art library that was just under five times the size of the old one, and mostly paid for. It was community donations and work-in-kind that made it possible.

She loves the setting of the new library and the sculptures and amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs Park that surrounds the library. “People just gave,” she said, awed and grateful for the generosity of residents and businesses.

She talked about how people help the library with different things and how the people there back each other up. “We surround ourselves with people who have gifts for doing different things. We are a library family. We were able to stay open during Covid when everyone else shut down,” she said.

Donna said one of the blessings has been the “Giving Tree” at the library. “People have donated over $4,000 for us to buy books,” she explained.

“The whole town has really come around the library. It’s what I love about this job.”

Donna has slowly been giving over parts of her job to other staff and said they will be looking for someone to replace her by the end of the year. They will have an application process up on their website soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to apply, you can drop off a resume, email one to ced@llcoop.org, or mail one to the Cedar Springs Public Library, PO Box 280, Cedar Springs, Michigan, 49319. A Bachelor’s degree is required.

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Band takes third at competition

Courtesy photo

The Marching Red Hawks competed in their first competition of the year on Saturday, September 25 at Rockford High School. Their show is titled “The Eternal Circus” and is based around an enchanted circus.

They scored a 67.150 and landed themselves a 3rd place! Way to Red Hawks!

Their next performance is this Saturday, October 2, at the Red Flannel Invitational at Cedar Springs High School.

Keep up to date on the marching band by following them on Facebook at Cedar Springs Bands.

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Sparta scouts replace torn flags to benefit community

Sparta scouts replaced a dozen flags in their community. Courtesy photo.

For more than a century, scouting has been serving communities. Now, Scouts across the nation are embarking on a Summer of Service to help our communities. Earlier this month, Scouts in Sparta went door-to-door to replace torn, tattered, and missing American flags while also conducting flag ceremonies for members of the community.

This project was coordinated in tandem with this year’s Freedom Cruise, which is a daylong event in support of Finish the Mission Veterans Relief Fund. According to their website, “Finish the Mission Veteran Relief Fund is dedicated to West Michigan veterans by developing strategic partnerships and resources to enhance their quality of life, remembering their sacrifice through ceremony, and acknowledging their service through events and community outreach.” On the evening of August 16th, Troop 704 of Sparta, replaced nearly a dozen flags and replaced them with brand new ones. The American flags collected that day will be properly retired in a ceremony with Scouts BSA Troop 704 and the Sparta American Legion.

“I was proud to put the flags up for the community. Also, I felt good to represent the Scouts and I was happy how the people who owned the homes felt,” said Aidan DuPont, an 11 year old Tenderfoot Scout in Troop 704. When asked why projects like these are important, Darci Nanzer, Committee Chair of Troop 704, explained that “it’s about giving back to the community while also giving the Scouts an opportunity to see what needs there are in the community, and it reacquaints our citizens, our community leaders, and our Troop with each other. So, the community knows the Scouts are there for them.”

This is one of many projects Scouts across the country are embarking on as part of the Summer of Service, a national initiative designed to encourage the members of the organization to “give back” at a time when a spirit of community service is needed more than ever. The Scouts will be concentrating their service projects on four main areas: promoting health and wellness, protecting the environment, supporting neighbors in need, and improving local communities. If this sounds fun, sign up for Scouting today! Visit BeAScout.org to find a Scouting unit near you

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Health Department to offer COVID-19 Boosters

The Kent County Health Department will begin making Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 booster shots available to eligible individuals on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at all three KCHD clinic locations. Clinic locations and hours can be found at www.accesskent.com/Health/health_clinics.htm. Appointments can be made by calling (616) 632-7200. You may also use this number to schedule your first dose of vaccine if you have not already had it. KCHD continues to encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings. This recommendation only applies to people who originally received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.

The CDC recommends the following groups SHOULD receive a booster:

  • People 65 years and older.
  • Residents in long-term care settings aged 18 years or older.
  • People aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions.
  • Additionally, the CDC recommends that the following groups MAY receive a booster based on their individual benefits and risks
  • People aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional (residential) setting. This groups includes adults aged 18-64 years who work or reside in settings such as health care, schools, congregant care facilities, correctional facilities, or homeless shelters. This group also includes front line essential workers such as first responders (firefighters, police, and EMS), food and agriculture workers, manufacturing workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers, and grocery store workers.

After reviewing data in the coming weeks, the CDC is expected to make recommendations about the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 including the Delta variant. However, public health experts are beginning to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease so boosters are now being approved for use in populations that are most vulnerable.

In the meantime, there have been reports about a “third dose” of the COVID vaccine that is now available. The third dose is different than a booster and has been approved by the FDA and recommended by the CDC specifically and exclusively for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. These individuals have a medical condition or are on a medication that limits the strength of their immune systems and, therefore, they may not receive the same level of protection from a regular course of vaccination. People who are immunocompromised may receive a third dose of either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine as soon as 28 days after the second dose. There is no additional dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine currently recommended. More information on who is eligible for a third dose can be found here. Again, the third dose should not be confused with a booster. A vaccine booster is an additional shot that is given to previously vaccinated people as the immunity provided by the original dose(s) has started to decrease over time. A booster is administered to help maintain the level of immunity in the future.

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Sinking fund millage renewal information

This is not an increase

Cedar Springs, Sept. 27 – Cedar Springs Public Schools is asking voters to renew its building and site sinking fund levy on November 2. 

According to Superintendent Scott Smith, “We are asking voters to extend a millage they are currently paying to provide continued support for the district’s efforts to provide quality facilities for our students and guests. This will not be a new addition to their property taxes. Strong communities build strong schools and strong schools build stronger communities. The two go hand in hand.” 

Originally approved in 2012, the sinking fund has been used to help the District maintain its buildings and grounds over the last ten years. District officials want to make sure constituents understand how the upcoming ballot request will be used to make additional improvements on campus.

In Michigan, schools are able to use a Sinking Fund as a millage (tax) levied to support school

safety improvements, technology improvements, and the repair and construction of school

buildings and facilities. It is a “pay as you go” system that does not require a district to borrow

money or pay interest. During the last 10 years, the district has used its sinking fund for turf

replacement at Red Hawk Stadium, secure entrances at various school buildings, new gym

floors, repaving of district parking lots, LED lighting, as well as countless repairs to school

facilities.

The request on the Nov. 2 ballot asks voters to extend the current sinking fund millage for an

additional 10years. If approved, the district has plans to continue to make upgrades to its

facilities designed to enhance the experiences for students and visitors to the campus. Key

improvements in the areas of health and wellness, technology, and safety include:

  • Safety and security upgrades
  • Continuing to provide each student with personal technology
  • Adding fitness based features to our elementary playgrounds
  • Upgrading the tennis courts
  • Upgrading the baseball and softball fields
  • Adding a campus fitness trail
  • Adding pickleball courts
  • Replacing the track in Red Hawk Stadium
  • Replacing water fountains with water bottle refilling stations
  • New technology infrastructure
  • Replacing the Agriculture Science storage building
  • Updates to district signage

“The renewal of our sinking fund millage is vital to making continued progress on our comprehensive facilities plan,” stated Chief Financial Officer, Chris LaHaie.

The current construction bond approved in 2020 is addressing the district’s critical facility needs. However, that bond does not address long term technology, maintenance and other enhancement projects a renewal of the existing sinking fund will help provide.

“The sinking fund provides us with a savings account to use for necessary facilities repairs, andthis renewal would allow us to enhance many other important updates that were not includedin the 2020 bond,” LaHaie said.

The new sinking fund ballot language also allows for the district to use funds for technology and security, two categories that were not allowable when the sinking fund millage passed in 2012.

This language change causes the ballot to state it is an increase, rather than a renewal, of the existing millage. “Rest assured, it’s still the same 1 mill,” states LaHaie.

If approved, the tax would generate approximately $718,000 annually. Cedar Springs property owners with a home valued at $100,000 now pay less than $9 per month for the sinking fund

bit.ly/SinkingFundNov2 for more information.

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Comstock Park man dies in rollover

A 27-year-old Comstock Park man died early Sunday after he rolled his vehicle on US-131 in Reynolds Township.

Troopers from the MSP Lakeview Post responded to the one vehicle crash on Sunday, September 26, 2021, at approximately 02:29 a.m. on northbound US-131 north of M-46 in Montcalm County, Reynolds Township.  

According to police, a 1997 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle was traveling northbound on US-131 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway and overturned multiple times. The driver, a 27-year-old man from Comstock Park, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and was declared deceased on scene. He had been wearing a seatbelt. No one else was in the vehicle.  

The Michigan State Police continues to investigate this crash. Troopers were assisted by Montcalm County EMS, Howard City Fire Department, and Montcalm County Central Dispatch. 

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