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Archive | January, 2022

Dog saves family from fire

By Judy Reed

A dog woke a woman early Tuesday morning to let her know their house was on fire. The woman then woke up her dad and stepmom to get them all safely out of the house.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, they were dispatched to the fire at 67 E. Beech Street (Beech and First St) at 3:15 a.m. When they arrived on scene, Fraser said there was smoke coming out of the eaves. 

Chief Fraser said it was an old home with balloon construction, which had been remodeled. That means there were no firestops between the first and second floors, which made fighting the fire difficult. 

“We couldn’t get to where the fire was,” said Fraser. “It spread easily up the wall and then to the left and right, and into the attic. It was tough to knock down.” 

Those living in the home lost everything.

Cedar Springs had automatic aid from the Sand Lake Fire Department, and after arriving on scene, they requested mutual aid from both Courtland and Algoma Fire Departments. They had all cleared the scene by 8:41 a.m.

“We greatly appreciate all the assistance we received, especially under those conditions,” said Fraser, referring to the frigid temperatures and the difficulty of the fire. “There was a lot of great help between the departments. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A gofundme has been set up for the family. To contribute, go to https://gofund.me/5234fbbe.

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Blood and platelet donation appointments still critically needed

Winter weather, ongoing COVID-19 surge continue to threaten blood supply  

There has been a significant and encouraging response to the dire need for blood across the nation, the American Red Cross needs more people to give in the weeks ahead to recover from its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Those interested in helping are urged to schedule the earliest-available blood donation appointment in their area to help ensure accident victims rushed to the emergency room, those being treated for cancer, and others who count on blood product transfusions can receive lifesaving care without delay.  

Since the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis alert, severe winter weather has further complicated efforts to rebuild the blood supply. Hundreds of blood drives have been canceled across the country due to winter storms in January, forcing about 6,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. 

As February approaches, and the effects from the spread of the omicron variant and winter weather persist, people are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets in the weeks ahead by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).   

As an added thank you, those who come to give blood or platelets Feb. 1-28, 2022 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Blood drive safety  

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.  

Save time during donation  

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App. 

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements. 

Health insights for donors  

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.     

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.   

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Man arrested in connection with thefts

Michael Jay Eaton

Kent County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Michael Jay Eaton, a 40-year-old Grand Rapids man, early Saturday morning for a catalytic convertor theft.  

Detectives and patrol were conducting surveillance on January 22, 2022, at 1:00 a.m. in reference to the uptick of catalytic convertor thefts in our county. A suspect was developed by detectives and he was found in the 5100 block of S. Division in the City of Kentwood.  Detectives witnessed him cut a catalytic convertor off of a vehicle and he ran away upon deputies approaching.  He was taken into custody by assisting deputies moments later.  

Eaton was arraigned on charges of Larceny from a Motor Vehicle and given a $3,000 personal recognizance bond. The investigation remains open and we encourage the public to remain vigilant in regards to the theft of catalytic convertors.

If you have information that could help to move the investigation forward, please call the KCSO at 616-632-6125, or call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 to report information safely and anonymously.

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Kids & family Expo ticket giveaway winners

Congratulations to the five winners of the ticket giveaway to the Kids & Family Expo happening this Saturday at DeVos Hall.  Each winner will receive two tickets. All they had to do was give us one sentence telling us what they liked the about the Post.

The winners are:

Morgan Sheldon, Sand Lake; Amanda Watkins; Corey Eberhardt, City of Cedar Springs; Britney Gunnell, Solon Township; and Jennifer Wood, City of Cedar Springs. 

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Cat adoption event

The Cedar Springs Public Library and the Kent County Animal Shelter have partnered together to host a Cat Adoption Event this Friday, January 28.  It will be held in the Cedar Springs Public Library’s Community Room from 11am-1pm.  These are ready-to-go adoptions so be prepared to bring a kitten home!  Kittens are $40 each, cash sale only.  Applications can be found on the Library’s Facebook event page or at www.cedarspringslibrary.org  A driver’s license or State ID is required.  For more information, please visit the Kent County Animal Shelter at www.accesskent.com/health/animalcontrol/ 

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Grand Rapids man pleads guilty to shooting at a federal officer

Jaquari Navon Trotter

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Birge announced this week that Jaquari Trotter, 21, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, pled guilty to shooting at a member of the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Gregory Rogers, who drove the getaway car following the shooting, previously pled guilty to aiding and abetting the assault.

On February 4, 2020, Trotter and Rogers were hanging out with friends outside a residence on Sherman Street SE in Grand Rapids when they saw a member of the task force drive by in an unmarked vehicle. When the agent drove by a second time, Trotter and Rogers pulled out in front of the agent’s unmarked SUV and sped around a neighboring corner. Trotter then had Rogers pull over sharply to the right side of the road, jumped out of the passenger door, pulled a loaded 9mm handgun from his waistband and fired 11 shots at the agent’s vehicle before jumping back into the car and speeding away with Rogers. Trotter is a previously convicted felon and it was illegal for him to possess a firearm in the first place.

The two men face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. They will also be ordered to pay restitution for the damage their crimes caused. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou on May 10, 2022 in Lansing.

“This shooting was a senseless act of violence that could have cost a law enforcement officer his life,” commented U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge. “Trotter and Rogers acted intentionally and without regard for the damage their actions could cause. With these pleas, they have taken the first step in accepting responsibility for their crime.”

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, whose office assisted on the case, commented that “We are tremendously pleased with the resolution in both these cases; we especially appreciate the way in which our office, and the Office of US Attorney, were able to work closely together to bring these individuals to justice in such a serious case.”

“Law enforcement officers risk their personal safety every day to protect the public, enforce the law, and keep our communities safe from violence,” said Josh P. Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Criminals who choose to target officers can expect that every resource of the FBI will be used to ensure they are brought to justice.”

“We take any attempt to harm our Task Force Officers or Deputies while engaged in the performance of their official duties extremely seriously,” declared Joseph Guzman, Acting Chief Deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service. “We are thankful to see those responsible for this shooting held accountable and thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, the FBI, and GRPD for their efforts in prosecuting everyone who was involved in this reckless act of violence.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grand Rapids Police Department, with additional assistance provided by the United States Marshals Service and the Michigan State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Carowan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Blair Lachman, who also serves as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Winter Strike “ice bath”

Military, local emergency responders team up for extreme hypothermia training at Lake Margrethe

GRAYLING, Mich. – Special Operations forces from the U.S. Army’s 20th Special Forces Group, Massachusetts Army National Guard, teamed up Jan. 24 with local first responders from Crawford, Grand Traverse, Muskegon and Roscommon counties to perform intensive hypothermia training at Lake Margrethe near Camp Grayling. The event took place during Northern Strike 22-1 (”Winter Strike”), a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise held Jan. 21-30 with participants from several U.S. states and partner nations at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Michigan, which together comprise the National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC).

“This rigorous training scenario instills the skill and mental tenacity required to survive one of the most dangerous scenarios posed by Arctic conditions: full submersion into a frozen lake,” said Scott Martzke, emergency management program coordinator for the Michigan Army National Guard. “This event also spotlights the vital importance of emergency management programs and the ability for emergency managers from multiple agencies to work together and support agency planning, training, and exercise needs.” 

During the two-hour training window, participants plunged through a pair of six-foot by six-foot holes in the ice, remaining in the water to ensure breathing control and focus before recovering from the lake on their own. Participants then moved to the shoreline where they began post-exposure procedures to prevent injury. These included application of high-quality cold weather gear and proper techniques to manage body heat and perspiration. 

“This Northern Strike ice training was a unique opportunity for our divers and ice rescue personnel to participate in extreme cold weather training, to share information and experience, and to learn and coordinate efforts in a rare collaboration of specialists,” said Roscommon County Undersheriff Benjamin Lowe.   

The training, referred to by participants as the “ice bath,” was overseen by survival and winter warfare instructors from the U.S. Army and the Swedish Air Force. A total of sixteen personnel took part.

“The ‘ice bath’ training was a great opportunity for the Northern Michigan Mutual Dive Teams to come together for a training scenario,” said Lt. Chris Oosse, Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office. “The training gives us an understanding of each team’s manpower, equipment and capabilities. We are proud to share our cold weather rescue and survival knowledge and experience with our military forces.”

The NADWC encompasses nearly 148,000 acres of training area and is frequently used by law enforcement and emergency management agencies in addition to military personnel from across the Department of Defense and partner nations. Winter Strike and the NADWC both serve as a cost and time-effective way for units to train in extreme cold weather situations. 

“This training was invaluable for the first responders. Ice training usually does not include being able to witness participants that are not in any type of protective gear. The training exposed the first responders to the way a person reacts during a cold water submersion and the initial cold shock effects,” said Deputy John Yax, Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office. “Our ice instructors will be able to take this knowledge forward when they teach and train in the future. The training was also a perfect platform to share and build cooperation and teamwork strategies between multiple agencies.” 

“The Ice Bath event at Camp Grayling will supply the needed visuals that will help educate and prepare responders in the event that a situation like this ever does occur,” said Doug Pratt, Crawford County emergency management director. “Trainings such as these prepare participants to safely and effectively respond to rescue and recovery incidents on and through the ice, as well as in, on and around cold water. This event will give agencies the ability to pre-plan so they have the practical skills, self-awareness and resources available to help save lives.”

In addition to enhancing our nation’s defense and readiness capabilities, the Northern Strike exercise series also serves as an important boost to the local economy. It brings an average of $30 million to Michigan’s economy annually in military pay, travel, and local spending in northern Michigan.

“We’ve never done anything like this in these conditions at Camp Grayling before, with participants from the military and our local emergency management services working together for mutual benefit,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Fuller, Northern Strike safety director. “The ‘ice bath’ event is a true win-win because it enhances both military readiness and the National All-Domain Warfighting Center’s connection to our surrounding communities.”

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State police motor carrier officers join forces to fight human trafficking

LANSING, MICH. During National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Michigan State Police (MSP) motor carrier officers are teaming up with officers from neighboring states to raise awareness of human trafficking.

From Jan. 24 – 28, MSP motor carrier officers will join with their colleagues in the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police, Indiana State Police, and along with the organization Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to educate motorists about the signs of human trafficking and to enforce laws that crack down on traffickers.

The goal of this week-long, multi-state human trafficking initiative is to raise awareness and educate those individuals in positions to observe human trafficking taking place, such as commercial motor vehicle drivers, public transportation companies, rest area attendants, and truck stop employees.

The MSP first partnered with TAT in 2015 and has since been recognized as a national leader in human trafficking awareness and education. For more information about TAT, visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org.

To report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resources Center at

888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733

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Bryan “Spaz” W. Batchelder age 56 died Monday, January 24, 2022 in Pierson, MI. He was born April 10, 1965 in Grand Rapids, MI, the son of Herbert and JoAnn (Henry) Batchelder. Bryan enjoyed fishing and just being outdoors. He was a talented musician, playing guitar, banjo, piano, drums and almost any other instrument and listening to “the old rock n roll”. He was a wonderful cook and enjoyed family dinners. Bryan was very artistic doing acrylic pour painting, murals, etching and tie-dye. He might not have had much but would give anything to help someone else. He will be missed. He is survived by his children, Elizabeth (Josh) Taylor, Molly Batchelder, Joseph Batchelder, Benjamin Batchelder, Destiny Batchelder; mother, Jo Ann Smith; father, Herbert (Kathy) Batchelder; sister, Tammy (Dan) Longtine; grandchildren, Kyrie, Jeremiah, Joshua, Anorra, Warren; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his stepfather, Earl Smith. The family will greet friends Saturday, January 29 at 12:00 pm until time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Tunnel to Towers, 2361 Hylan Blvd. Staten Island, NY 10306.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Andrew Eric Lewis age 42 passed away on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Mercy Health from pneumonia, surrounded by his family. The son of Ric and Bonnie Lewis, Andy reluctantly entered the world on October 27, 1979. A very noisy infant developed into a shy, brooding child who found a niche in performing at Odyssey of the Mind competitions while in elementary and middle school. During his teenage years Andy expanded his interest in the world of art with his bewildered family. A love of theater, music and dancing were little known skills in their world. At the first performance as the Tin Man in the Wizard of OZ his sisters looked each and said (with wonder in their voices) “Andy can sing?” Andy performed in many productions at local theatres including Children’s Creations, Circle in the Park, Civic Theatre, Flat River Community Players and some lesser-known venues with roles that included the Tin Man, Prince Charming, and several musicals that showcased his singing and dancing. What joy these brought to him and to us. Andy also was a creative thinker and author whose poems and plays were outlets for his teenage angst. As an adult, Andy worked in customer service positions where his very handsome face, great smile, kindness and helpfulness were appreciated. Andy was preceded in death by his grandparents Erlene and Wesley Lewis and Genevieve and Foster Carr and his father Ric Lewis. Andrew is survived by his mother, Bonnie Carr Lewis, sisters Libby & Bob Allen, Katie & Jeff Radike, and Kim Lewis. Beloved niece Rachel and nephews Gavin, Justin and Hayden. Extended family includes Louise and Jim Opperman, Rosemary Carr, Polly VerDuin and many cousins. Visitation will be on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home in Cedar Springs. Following visitation please join us for dinner at the American Legion in Cedar Springs.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Kenneth B. Lockwood age 99 of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Green Acres of Greenville. Mr. Lockwood was born August 7, 1922 in Cedar Springs, MI the son of the late Lyle and Dora Mae (Baker) Lockwood. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion. He served on the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard for 21 years. He enjoyed vegetable gardening and going to the casino. He leaves behind no family but has been part of the Kerr family for 45 years. Visitation will be held Monday, January 31 from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Military honors by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Richard P. “Dick” Nagy, age 82, of Sand Lake, passed away on Sunday, January 23, 2022. Dick was born March 5, 1939 in Lapeer, MI, the son of William and Illa (Leduc) Nagy. He graduated from Grandville High School and served as a radar specialist in the U.S. Navy. Dick was well known as an auctioneer, as well as the owner of Expressway Auto Auction in Howard City. He was best known to his family as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He was a valued member of the Tri County Eagles in Sand Lake, and a friend to many. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Carol in 2012. He is survived by his son, Rick (Jeanne) Nagy, daughter Christine (Brian) Westra; grandchildren, Mark (Emily) Nagy, Rebekah (Austin) Delmotte, Stephanie Gould and fiancé Christoph Schuerch, Austin Gould, Sam (Lynsey) Nagy, Libby, Leah, Joseph Nagy; 6 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends Thursday from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. at Grant Christian Reformed Church, 13110 Poplar Avenue, Grant. Pastor Dave Brower officiating. Interment Pierson Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Tri County Eagles, 32 E. Lake St. Sand Lake, 49343 or Grant Christian School, 12931 Poplar Ave Grant, MI 49327.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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