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Archive | November, 2021

Man charged in murder

Zachary Benjamin Corcoran

A Trufant man was arrested Monday after he confessed to the murder of another man.

According to the Michigan State Police, a 37-year-old man from Trufant walked into the lobby of the Lakeview MSP Post on Monday, November 29, at approximately 1:45 p.m. and said that he had killed someone.

Troopers then went to a residence in Pine Township, Trufant, and discovered a 68-year-old man, identified as Stephen Edward Harrington, dead at the scene. 

The 37-year-old man, identified as Zachary Benjamin Corcoran, was then taken into custody and lodged in the Montcalm County Jail on charges of Open Murder. 

According to the Greenville Daily News, Corcoran allegedly stabbed the older man to death with a knife and then tried to cut off his head with a pair of scissors.

Police believe the incident to be the result of a live-together domestic situation and the investigation continues.  

Troopers were assisted by the MSP Grand Rapids Post.

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Santa Claus is coming to town

By Judy Reed

Are you ready for some holiday cheer? With Thanksgiving this week Thursday, that means the holiday season will be in full swing! Sana Claus will be making appearances in the surrounding areas, and nearby cities and villages will hosting  their annual festivities, including tree lightings, parades, carriage rides and more! 

Cedar Springs will be holding their annual Mingle with Kris Kringle next Saturday, December 4, along with other events in December. Turn to pages 7-10 for more information on that and a list of holiday events in the surrounding areas.

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Letters to Santa

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa! 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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Covid cases rising

Covid cases are rising to the highest peak since the pandemic, hospitals are the fullest they have been since it started, and schools are closing this week due to staff shortages and illness.

“The increases in case counts, percent positivity and hospitalizations have us very concerned,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We are issuing the face mask advisory and are looking to Michiganders to do their part to help protect their friends, their families and their communities by wearing a mask in indoor settings and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible if they have not already done so.”

Kent County is one of the hotspots for the virus. According to a news release issued Tuesday, the current test positivity rate is 22.8 percent, the 7-day average for new cases is 645, and local hospitals and ICUs are operating at extremely high capacity.

“This is a crisis for all of us who live and work in Kent County,” said Dr. Adam London, KCHD Director. “The capacity for hospitals to provide care, which is exasperated by staffing shortages, is at a tipping point. We should all expect increased wait times for emergency, urgent, and primary care as well as delays in ambulance transfers and some surgical procedures until we control the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

As a result of increasing numbers of patients admitted with COVID-19 and hospitals at or near capacity throughout West Michigan, Spectrum Health is revising its visitor policies to reduce the number of people in its Grand Rapids and regional hospitals and outpatient care sites. 

“Spectrum Health is happy to welcome visitors who want to be with their loved ones,” said Chad Tuttle, senior vice president, hospital and post-acute operations, Spectrum Health West Michigan. “Like hospitals across West Michigan, Spectrum Health is experiencing high demand for our services and our hospitals are very full. While our teams focus on care, visitors can help their loved ones feel more comfortable during their stay and keep everyone healthy and safe by following our updated visitor guidelines.”

Effective Tuesday, Nov. 23, patients are allowed only one adult visitor in the following areas: All inpatient rooms, emergency departments, urgent care, walk-in clinics, surgery, radiology and lab locations, as well as labor and delivery. Adult COVID-19-patients are allowed only one adult visitor, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.

Spectrum Heath pediatric patients may have two adult visitors in the emergency department, urgent care, surgery and lab. Pediatric radiology patients can have one adult visitor. 

Pediatric inpatient areas allow two adult visitors, who must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay. In double occupancy rooms, a pediatric patient is only allowed one parent. Pediatric COVID-19 patients are allowed two adult visitors, who must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.

Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the care teams involved based on end-of-life care or special needs. Adults are individuals ages 18 and older. Children and minors will be allowed as visitors only in limited circumstances.

Both Kent County and the State of Michigan ask that people get vaccinated against both Covid and influenza; get tested if you’ve been exposed or are showing symptoms; wear a mask during indoor gatherings; and take other preventative steps such as avoiding large indoor gatherings; practicing good handwashing; physical distancing; and covering your coughs and sneezes.

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The Post travels to Ireland

The Post recently traveled to the Republic of Ireland with Steve and Judy Reed, of Cedar Springs. The Reeds went on an escorted tour of the country in early November, where they visited several cities and many historic sites. Some of their favorites were the castles in Kilkenny and Blarney, and Bunratty Castle with the historic homes there; the Ring of Kerry with its beautiful mountains and landscapes; and the Cliffs of Mohr. They liked learning about the history and culture of the people of Ireland, and liked the Irish folk songs, dancing and delicious food.

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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“Empty the Shelters” Holiday Hope event

BISSELL Pet Foundation is bringing hope to homeless pets across the country this holiday season with its “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” event December 6 – 20, 2021. Participating shelters across the country will reduce adoption fees to help pets find their adoptive families.

BISSELL Pet Foundation is hosting its “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” adoption event, an effort that has helped more than 67,758 pets find homes in shelters throughout the country. During each nationwide event, BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsors reduced adoption fees for $25 or less. The “Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope” event will be hosted in more than 220 shelters in 40 states and Canada.

Two hundred-plus shelters across 40 states and Canada are participating. But not every shelter is participating for the full event. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit the “Empty the Shelters” website to find the nearest participating shelter and confirm their adoption day details. 

Go here for an interactive map: www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters/

“Shelters are overcrowded and in desperate need of support due to slowed adoption rates and increased length of stay for pets,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “With so many people seeking to add pets to their family around this time of year, our ‘Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope’ event is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in your community by saving a life and creating space to give another homeless pet a chance.”

Although pets can feel like a gift in terms of the joy they bring to life, BPF reminds prospective pet parents that adopting a pet during the holidays is a long-term commitment.

Visit www.BISSELLPetFoundation.org/Empty-The-Shelters for more information.

Pets in West Michigan participating include:

Al-Van Humane Society

Crash’s Landing

Faithful to Felines

Harbor Humane

Heaven Can Wait Animal Haven

Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County

Humane Society of West Michigan

Kent County Animal Shelter

SPCA of Southwest Michigan

Unleashed Love Pet Rescue

Van Buren County Animal Control

Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance

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Plainsong Farm partners with Community Food Club

To expand access to fresh produce

Plainsong Farm is bringing fresh produce to people coping with poverty in Kent County by teaming up with the Community Food Club.

Beginning in spring of 2022, the new partnership will allow patrons utilizing nonprofit grocery store Community Food Club to select from a variety of organically grown vegetables harvested at Plainsong Farm. Crop selections are being purposefully chosen to be familiar and easy-to-use for the patrons of Community Food Club.

“Plainsong Farm has grown and distributed fresh produce through food pantry partners as long as our organization has existed,” said Nurya Love Parish, executive director of Plainsong Farm. “During, the pandemic, we saw how essential food access was to health equity, and we committed to increase our work in this area. Our new partnership with the Community Food Club helps us achieve that goal.

“We’re filled with hope and excitement as we work alongside the incredible team at Community Food Club to be a catalyst for greater health in West Michigan.”

Founded in 2015, Community Food Club, located at 1100 South Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, focuses on providing and expanding access to healthy food for people in Kent County. Serving families at or below the 200% poverty level, the club operates on a membership model with a sliding scale pricing structure. For $11-15 a month, members get an allotment of points they can use. As an incentive for patrons to choose fresh options over shelf-stable food, produce is available for the lowest number of points.

“From our initial conversations with Plainsong Farm, it was clear there was a strong synergy in our missions and vision for food equity in our community,” said AJ Fossel, executive director of Community Food Club. “We are all about dignity and choice, which often depends on our partners. Plainsong will allow us to work on a new level to be intentional with people who, for so long, haven’t had a voice in their food choices.” 

Plainsong Farm previously offered its produce to the public through a community-supported agriculture, or CSA, program, but it was discontinued so the nonprofit could focus on supporting community outreach programs. Leaders at the organization cite the disturbing impact of longstanding health inequities brought forward through the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons they sought out a new partnership to share their produce with.       

“Typically, access to healthy produce is directly related to income,” Love Parish said. “The last two years have made that even clearer. We very much don’t want that to be true. Everyone deserves the option to put nourishing food on their table.”

In 2021, Plainsong Farm provided fresh produce through partnerships with Grand Rapids Community College Student Resource Center’s pantry, the Pantry at North Kent Connect, the Kent County Health Department and Southeast Market.

Both Plainsong Farm and Community Food Club rely on financial and volunteer community support to provide nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate food to the underserved.

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Alpha Family Center dedicates new ultrasound machine

Alpha celebrates the new ultrasound with a ribbon cutting.

Announces name change to Alpha Pregnancy Center

From Alpha Family Center

Alpha Family Center is truly thankful for many things this year. First and foremost, we are thankful that we are able to serve the local communities with the truth and love of Jesus Christ. We are blessed by the generous support from local churches, businesses and individuals that allow us to serve families and individuals faced with an unexpected pregnancy with resources and encouragement. 

On Saturday, October 23, we held a dedication ceremony for our new medical area that houses our ultrasound machine. Father Lam Le from St. John Paul II blessed the ultrasound machine and led a dedication ceremony. The Knights of Columbus were represented both at the local level by Leonard Kogut and at the state level by Ed Strach, the State Culture of Life Director.

The new ultrasound machine at Alpha.

We are looking forward to providing an answer to the life changing question women are confronted with, “Am I really pregnant?” with the use of our newest service of limited obstetric ultrasounds. We hope to be able to begin providing this new service no later than the first of January, 2022. A positive pregnancy test can verify that a woman is pregnant. But an ultrasound image can confirm a viable intrauterine pregnancy. By providing an answer to this one question women are empowered to make a medically informed decision. The use of ultrasound also serves as a means of creating a bond between mother and child at the earliest stages of life. 

Part of going medical is training RNs to perform ultrasound scans. That training includes the use of volunteer models that are pregnant in their first to second trimester. We currently have one RN we need to train. We hope to begin training after the first of the new year. We are also seeking more volunteers who are medically qualified to perform pregnancy tests and limited O.B. ultrasounds once a week for 3 hours during our business hours. If you are interested in helping us with either of these needs, please call the center at 616. 696.HELP (4357) for more information.

Along with our new medical service, we are excited to announce our new name, Alpha Pregnancy Center, which better reflects the new services. “What’s in a Name?” In this case it may be the difference between life or death of an innocent human life. We need to be approachable to women when they are seeking an answer to their question “Am I really pregnant?”

Some things aren’t changing at Alpha Pregnancy Center. We will still provide all the same services we have before – advocate support for our clients through educational and referral support, parenting classes, childbirth classes and material items. We will continue to provide support studies for those who have experienced miscarriages, and one for post abortion healing.

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Kent County receives two refugee resettlement grants

Funding will provide critical services to Afghan refugees

Afghan refugee Meals

At its November 18 meeting, the Kent County Board of Commissioners approved two grants to meet the health and nutritional needs of newly arriving Afghan refugees.

• $333,000 Refugee Resettlement Food Assistant Grant from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services which will be managed by Kent County Community Action (KCCA)

• $180,000 Refugee Screening Grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity which will be administered by the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)

“I am glad that KCCA can help during this time of need,” said KCCA Program Manager Rachel Kunnath. “I cannot imagine what these families have been through over the past few months, and it is my hope that these meals are a little taste of home that brings them comfort.”

Afghan refugee supplies

Local resettlement agencies determine the needs of each family as meals are provided to those in temporary living quarters until permanent housing is established. To date, KCCA has prepared more over 1,000 meals which are packaged in boxes containing 20 culturally appropriate meals with four to five different varieties and pita bread.

Additionally, the KCHD will screen newly arriving refugees for contagious disease, review and document medical history, administer vaccinations, and provide referrals for primary care physicians.

“Kent County is expecting more than 350 refugees from Afghanistan and the responsibility to provide health screenings and immunizations for these new residents falls on local public health,” said KCHD Public Health Division Director Joann Hoganson. “These funds will allow us to provide screenings and other support services to the Afghan refugees and assist them in their transition to a new life in the United States.”

The KCHD will also provide health education services that include an introduction to the U.S. health care system along with information about nutritional healthy living and Medicaid health insurance coverage.

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Holiday happenings around the area

Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.

CEDAR SPRINGS

A Cedar Springs Christmas 2021

Dec. 2, 9, 16: Cedar Springs Downtown Holiday Shop Hops. The first three Thursdays of December, visit downtown Cedar Springs between 5-7pm to shop local, support your community, and be entered in a drawing to win great prizes from local businesses.

Dec. 3, 4, 5: Polar Express Movie at the historic Kent Theatre

A Cedar Springs Christmas Mingle with Kris Kringle

Dec. 4: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. downtown Cedar Springs.

If your business, club or organization would like to be in the parade, it’s free to join!

Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are also available. Email the CSACoC Secretary for more information at csacocsecretary@gmail.com

9am – Noon – Cedar Springs Library Polar Express Christmas Open House 

2:00 p.m. – Storytime with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place 2021 

4:00 p.m. Kris Kringle Parade line up starts

4:30 p.m. – Kris Kringle parade starts! Parade route is Cherry Street by the White Pine Trail > east to 2nd Street > North to Maple > West towards the staging area

4:45 p.m. – Nativity Story

4:50 p.m. – Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Heart Of Cedar Springs

5:00 p.m. – Mingle with Kris Kringle & get your picture taken inside the Cedar Springs Public Library. Santa leaves when there’s no children waiting for pictures so please don’t wait till last minute to come see him.

Potentially more activities to come.

**Times are subject to change due to the timing & duration of the parade.

Other Christmas activities

Dec 9: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cedar Springs Christmas Carriage Rides and 5pm to 7pm Downtown Cedar Springs Shop Hops

Dec. 11: Kent Theatre Christmas Music Show 3pm top 5pm 

Dec. 12: Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Show 3 pm to 5pm 

GREENVILLE

Santa Park Party

Dec. 3: Bring the kiddos downtown in Lafayette Park for visits with Santa, cookie decorating, smores, crafts, games and more! Friday, December 3, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Hometown Christmas Parade

Dec. 3: Join us as we celebrate Santa, and welcome him to town! Friday, December 3, 6:00 p.m. in downtown Greenville.

PIERSON

Pierson Township Parks & Recreation is kicking off fundraising for a park in Pierson Township.

Nov. 27: Parks and Rec volunteers will have a snack booth at the Sand Lake Trading Company Holiday Open House on Saturday, November 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Can Drive – there are clean trash toters marked for Pop Cans for Parks! Outside the township hall front, side and lower level for easy drop off anytime. Cans and bottles of all types are welcome – we all have an Uncle Beer, right?

Dec. 2: Paint for Parks! Join us for a Paint Night at the Pierson Township Hall on Thursday, December 2 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $30 and advance reservation required. Join Crystal Cunningham from Refabulous Studios for all you need (paint, canvas & instruction) to bring home a painted Gnome or Snowman. Bring a friend as a gift or make them a gift. Dinner and snacks will be available, bring your own beverages for a fun night out! Reservation information and preview of painting on our Facebook page or email PiersonCommunity@gmail.com

Now – Dec. 6: Pierson Township CE&G is partnering for the second year with Tri County Schools for the TC Giving Tree. There are tags at the township hall with the name of a child in our area that is in need for some holiday cheer. Gifts can be returned in provided gift bag – unwrapped or wrapped!  Stop by the township hall T-TH 9-2 and grab a tag so a child may experience the joy of the holidays. Gifts must be back to the township NO LATER THAN December 6.

ROCKFORD

Dec. 3: Holiday lighting ceremony. Garden Club Park, Friday, Dec. 3 from 6-7 p.m. Free carriage rides from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 4: Santa parade, downtown Rockford, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Dec. 4: Santa visit in the Christmas tent, after the parade until 2 p.m. Enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies.

Dec. 4: Free carriage rides immediately after the parade until 2 p.m. at the Rotary pavilion.

Dec. 8, 15: Santa visits, live reindeer, free hot cocoa and cookies, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15.

Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17: Free carriage rides from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rotary pavilion.

Dec. 11: Polar Express event, Christmas tent, Saturday, Dec. 11. Ticketed event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Polar Express movie at 5 p.m.

Dec. 17: Live nativity at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets, Friday, Dec. 17, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rotary pavilion.

Dec. 18: Christmas Carol Karaoke and Ugly Sweater party at the Christmas tent, Saturday, Dec. 18, from 7 to 10 p.m.

SAND LAKE

Nov. 28:  Sand Lake Community Tree Lighting and Caroling at Salisbury Park  Sunday beginning at 6 p.m.  Bring your bells to help ring in the Season!

Dec 3, 4: Live Indoor Nativity at Sand Lake United Methodist Church, Friday 6-8 p.m. and Saturday 1-3 p.m. Come visit the city of Bethlehem and be a part of the story.

Dec 4: Christmas Craft Show, Bake Sale, & Library Book Sale at Resurrection Lutheran Church  9 a.m. -2 p.m.

Dec. 10:  Christmas Bake Sale at Independent Bank in Sand Lake 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Homemade treats and Prize Raffle. 

Dec. 11:  Sand Lake Christmas Party and Santa Visit at the former VFW Hall 9:30-11:30 a.m. Santa will be there with goodie bags. Bring your cameras. Large prize drawing, crafts and cookie decorating, free carriage rides by Cottonwood Carriage Co.

SPARTA

Now through Jan. 31: Candy Cane Lane lighted pathway located behind the Sparta Library.

Nov. 25: Sparta Turkey Trot, 9 a.m. 5K run/walk, Sparta Civic Center.

Dec. 11: Christmas at the Library. Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon. Outdoor visit with Santa.

Dec. 21, 22, 23: The Living Nativity at Ballard Church of Christ from 6:30-8 p.m.

Santa Visits – new location Sparta Chamber office 194 E. Division, downtown Sparta.

Dec. 9: 5-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 11: 10 a.m. to noon at the library.

Dec. 16: 5-7:30 p.m. Pets are welcome, too.

Dec. 18: 9-noon with horse-drawn carriage rides.

Dec. 21: 5-7 p.m. with horse-drawn carriage rides.

Dec. 23: 11-1 p.m.

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