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Archive | May, 2022

Remembering this Memorial Day

by Lois Allen

This coming weekend Americans look forward to a day off and the launch of summer when we celebrate Memorial Day. But the holiday is more than gathering together to barbecue and spend time with friends and family. It’s more than Memorial Day sales.

The Cedar Springs Post honors the holiday by remembering our heroes who traveled far from home to foreign countries to fight for the rights of people abroad and to secure democracy. Our center pages are filled with the names of our veterans who served but are no longer with us. We will never forget them, their service and their sacrifice. Each year, on this week, we salute them. We remember them. Click here to download this year’s tribute.

Often the paper also features a veteran from our area in appreciation of their service and in an effort for our readers to get to know them and thank them.

This year, The Post is featuring a young solider who fought on our soil to keep the states united in one union and to make sure that all men, women and children who lived here would be free. That young soldier does not rest here in Cedar Springs but on the East Coast in Pennsylvania. He was my great, great grandfather, John Dominique Vautier, born on November 25, 1843 in old Passyunk Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

At the tender age of 17, and with the permission of his mother, John Vautier (on my mother’s side) enlisted into the Union Army September 10, 1861.

According to writings included in a three year diary that followed his enlistment, it reads, “For the next three years John endured the honor and glory, the suffering, and pain of war. During this period John kept daily diaries from which later was used as notes for a book. The book is titled, “The Collective Works of John D. Vautier which included “The History Of The 88th Pennsylvania Volunteers In The War For The Union” as well as various newspaper articles and “The Unedited Personal Diary Of John D. Vautier”.

In the original hardcover bound copy of the hand-written version of private Vautier’s diary is a letter included, dated October of 1983, from the Department of the Army, U.S. Army History Institute that read, “This volume is a copy of the Civil War diary of John D. Vautier of the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. The original diary was donated to the U.S. Army Military History Institute by his granddaughter [my aunt] Mrs. Ruth LeDuc on behalf of his descendants.

Through this generous donation, this important and informative historical source will be available to historians and researchers who come to the Institute. Civil War historians have long benefitted from studying John Vautier’s published history of the 88th Pennsylvania. Now they will also be able to study his actual wartime account. They will welcome this opportunity, and the Institute values the privilege of being the means for affording them access to the diary.

…On behalf of the Institute and of the many people who study our holdings, we express our gratitude for the generous donation of the Civil War diary of John Vautier, patriot-soldier of America.”

Signed, Richard J. Sommers, Archivist-Historian.

Following is an exert from the first few pages…

Philadelphia Sept. 13 1861

John writes; “War has been declared. Our armies are marshaled for the contest. President Lincoln has called for 300,000 men to sustain his authority to protect the old flag and the men of the North are leaving their homes….”

Striking Tents at Camp Stockley

Saturday, October 5, 1865  

“Went up in the morning to market with Mother then I went down to Gordyer’s and bought me a gun. I then came back bid Mother, Aunt Louise, Aunt Ann, Oliver and the rest of the Market people “good-bye” and proceeded out to camp. Received orders to strike tents. At the first tap of the base drum we prepared our tents. At the 2nd tap took up the pins and the 3rd tap they all came down at once.

We then fell in line and the head of the column were put in passenger [train] cars – but us poor Yankees in the rear had to foot it up the dusty old road – for there were an insufficient number of cars.

It was a dusty old tramp. Dust to the right of us – dust to the left of us and dust all over us and by the time we halted near the Pass. R R. Depot, we were a dusty old crowd we were.

We then fell in and proceeded by our Silver Cornet band of 24 pieces we marched down the Ridge Platoon front. Went down to Broad to Green St. ….3rd to Washington and there partook of a substantial meal at the Refreshment Saloon. Fell in again  and tramped out to the Depot and took the cars at 9:00 p.m. I bid farewell to Philadelphia and to my friends who had followed me to see me off.

The old engine puffed and snorted  and soon the Quaker City was left behind and all it contained.

Little did I think as the cars rattled light hearted me away that when I would see Philadelphia again that I would be 21 instead of 18 – and that I would have passed through a dozen scenes of frightful carnage and bloodshed and we came home sick and wounded and careworn – a solider by experience and not by profession only.”

Along with his gun as well as pen and paper, John would document every day and every battle he experienced and participated in. Included in this issue is a list of battles fought. Some won by the north or (Yankees) and some won by the south (Johnny Rebs). The events he captured onto the pages of his diary are sometimes benign giving the weather of the day and other events of being a soldier at war while other pages depict a bloody and horrific account that can only be described as disturbing at best.

This book has been reprinted and is also available online at several different web sites. We only have enough page space to highlight one battle… He was present and wrote about his account of the Battle at Gettysburg; one of the most documented and famous of battles in the Civil War. But each and every battle was bloody and violent with loss of life and limb. However, this battle at Gettysburg was simply too graphic to run. Something that could only forever remain in a young man’s memory despite any attempts to forget.

In this issue we are reprinting the account of the battle of Cold Harbor June, 1864.  Again, this is disturbing material, so be aware.

John Dominique Vautier and the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteers fight for the Union

John Dominique Vautier was born on November 25, 1843, in old Passynk Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a long-hip roof house, situated on the south side of Passyunk Avenue, just above where the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks cross the avenue. John was the youngest son of Peter Vautier and Sarah Young, he had two brothers, Charles and William and two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Ann.

John’s family were truck farmers. When John was about 15 years old his work was to go to market with his mother, who had a stall at No. 84 Callowhill Market. John recalled how sleepy he was getting up between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM to go to market, but there was no help for it. When he was home his chores were milking the cow, carrying the coal, shutting the chicken house as well as other duties.

John’s earliest recollections were of attending the Baptist Church on Passyunk Avenue west of Broad Street, where his mother and father were members. As a young child John was resolved that he would join the church as soon as he was old enough. Throughout his life John was an active member of the church serving in many capacities.

In 1860 John’s father Peter Vautier took sick, and after an extended illness from congestion of the lungs died. John described his father as “a kind man, tall, smoother-faced, iron gray hair and 58 years old when he died.

As John describes, “I now come to the most eventful and exciting part of my life, my service as a soldier in the United States Army for the war for the Union. In 1860 the muttering of war resounded thru the country, and I well recollect the excitement that the firing on Fort Sumter caused in Philadelphia. I didn’t think much about the war just then, but as the war grew apace and the military spirit affected the boys and young men, I was a willing victim. I coaxed my mother to let me enlist, but she would not consent for some months.”

“In July 1861, The Battle of Bull Run was fought, and the papers were full of the horror of the sufferings of the wounded on the battlefield. My mother gave me the paper to read, and said to me I don’t think you will want to go to the war after reading all that. After I read it all, I said “Mother, now I must go, the country needs the service of every young man now, and I resumed my importance until she gave a reluctant consent. I may say here that if my mother had kept me home I should never have forgiven her, as I look upon the next three years of my life as the most important, because given to the support of the Government when support was the only thing I could give. I was little pass 17, and my mother had the right to keep me home.”

“Having now gained permission, I cast about to get into a good company, and hearing about a company of Christian volunteers, composed of young men from various churches, I search them out and resolved to join them. There was one company at Franklin and Buttonwood Streets N.W. Corner, 2nd floor, being recruited by Captain Moore, to be assigned to the Cameron Light Guard Regiment, Col. G. P. McLean. September 10, 1861, I enlisted.”

For the next three years John endured the honor and glory, the suffering, and the pain of war. During this period John kept daily diaries from which he later used as notes for this book. John was wounded by shrapnel from artillery fire during the battle of Cold Harbor. In June 1864 he was sent to an army hospital in Philadelphia, where he was able to see his family and friends. He returned to his regiment where he remained until September 18, 1864 when he was mustered out of Uncle Sam’s service.

Later on, John traveled around visiting many Civil War sites. He would give magic lantern lectures on the war to many different groups. He served on the Gettysburg Monument Committee with General Wagner, Colonel Beath, General Gile and Colonel G.E. Wagner. Also, John met General Sheridan and shook his hand. In 1892 John went to Washington then to Alexandria to the reunion of the 88th Regiment. The next day John gave an oration at the Soldier’s Cemetery, which was published in the newspapers. After that he participated in a Grand Army Parade of over 75,000 men in line, where he carried the flag of the 88th Regiment. Then finally on September 26, 1894, after many years of labor writing the book, John received the first installment of 200 books of the History of the 88th Regiment. This book cost him over $1,000.00 for the 500 printed copies, but the boys of the regiment were delighted with the book.

John Vautier died on April 30, 1912 at the age of 68 years, 5 months and 5 days.

Battle of Cold Harbor

Chapter XXIII

From Cold Harbor to Petersburg: June 1 to 16, 1864

June came in hot, dry and dusty: the sun scorching hot, the country dry and the roads dusty. The Army of the Potomac was in the woods and thickets around Cold Harbor, within two hours’ march of the Confederate capital, gradually feeling its way toward the enemy.

At nine a.m., on the 1st the brigade cautiously advanced towards Richmond, the batteries shelling the woods in front; in reply, the Confederate cannon opened a quick fire, their projectiles tearing through the trees over the swaying lines of men, as they very carefully pushed towards the enemy’s position. Upon passing through a thick strip of timber their lines were in plain view, not a thousand yards distant, heavy columns of infantry moving in rear of their breastworks towards our left. About noon the confederate skirmishers made a break for the regiment, but were easily repulsed, and at three o’clock the brigade advanced again, stopping every few hundred yards to throw up breastworks.

The mortality of battle and the sickness incident to so continuous and severe a campaign had told fearfully on the ranks of the regiment, scarcely 150 men being present. Every day some comrades fell in battle, little noted by the world, but greatly missed by their companions as well as by the loved ones at home, and yet the handful of survivors – a mere fragment of a regiment-marched and fought, wondering who next would fill a soldier’s grave or be carried to the hospital disabled and incapacitated from making a living in the future.

On June 2nd we built more works, with traverses for protection from cross-fire; the enemy’s artillery taking the line in flank and his sharp-shooters in front, it dangerous to raise the head higher than the works. A member of the 11th Pennsylvania, while jesting with some of our boys, incautiously looked over the cap log, when a rifle-ball pierced his brain and he fell back dead. Orders to move were expected at any moment, and not wishing to leave the body lying there, his comrades dug a shallow trench and buried him, and within a half-hour were sitting on his grave, speculating as to who would be the next to fall. The boys left the dead soldier, not alone in his glory, for there where hundreds of new-made graves in the trail of the arm, occupied by the boys in blue,-

Lying so silent by night and by day,

Sleeping the years of their manhood away.

June 3, 1864, was a beautiful day, one that would been much enjoyed if our Southern friends had let us alone; but they were most disagreeable people, and consequently made our lives very unhappy, pitching cannon-balls at us in the most reckless manner. *John Keller said that they ought to be arrested, and volunteered to send Jim Hague, John Williams, and Boocock over to bring them in; but the proposition was vetoed, though Charley McKnight said he would lead the gang.

On June 5, we marched from Bethesda Church to Cold Harbor, being placed in reserve behind the 18th Corps, and remaining here until the 11th, when the brigade moved to near Bottom Bridge, on the Chickahominy. Crossed that stream and formed line of battle at White Oak Swamp on the 13th, at which place the enemy made a fierce attack, but was shaken off at all points. While under this fire the regiment suffered an irreparable loss in the death of its leader, Captain George B. Rhoads, who was killed by a single shot or shell. He was one of the bravest officers in the service, greatly beloved, and his untimely death was regretted by every man in the regiment. He doubtless had a presentiment of his fate, as for some days prior to his death he often read his Bible and gently rebuked any one using profane language in his presence. When Comrades Wallace and Street raised his bleeding body, they found his Testament in his pocket. With sad hearts the boys dug a shallow trench, and tenderly laid to rest the mortal remains of as brave a soldier as ever followed the colors through this terrible war.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,

Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;

But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,

With his martial cloak around him.

  • During one of these intermittent ball matches at Cold Harbor the writer received an ugly gash in the hand from a fragment of shell, and had all the glory there is in bleeding for one’s country without much physical harm, as probably his feelings were hurt more than his hand. If he has not done so before, he desires to apologize now to the too-confiding comrades who generously intrusted him with about a score of canteens to fill with pure water, and who lost them in his rapid change of base to the friendly shelter of the breastworks, after the shell overtook him. If there is any blame to be scored against anybody for this loss, he wants it chalked to the account of the bad man on the other side of the line who sent the shell, and not against him. He probably forgot to gratefully thank his messmates for their sympathetic advice to “keep a stiff upper lip,” and other like comforting expressions which were possibly not rightly appreciated at the time. At any rate, these thanks can go with the regrets for the tins, and will probably square the account.

On June 7, our old comrades composing the 9th New York bid the brigade farewell and left for the quieter and more congenial scenes in Gotham, their three years’ service having expired. The 9th (83d of the line) was an exceptionally good regiment and had a record for reliability second to none. It entered the campaign on May 4 with 515 men, and had lost 257 killed and wounded, 98 going home under command of Colonel Chalmers and the recruits being transferred to the 97th. Colonel Moesch was killed the Wilderness and buried under the supervision of Chaplain Roe. In 1887, Captain George A. Hussey, the historian of the 9th, had his body removed and reinterred at Fredericksburg, his memory being perpetuated by an elegant and appropriate monument erected by his comrades. When his remains were disinterred there were found in the grave one pair of boots in pieces, some fragment of cloth, the buttons from his uniform, and the bullet that killed him, which had been placed under his head. Truly, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

With the action at White Oak Swamp ended this stage of the campaign, the army now being transferred to the vicinity of Petersburg. During the forty days from the 5th of May to the close of the campaign on the Chickahominy the stubborn, steady and sanguinary charter of the fighting had been unprecedented in the history of this country. In that time Grant had lost in killed, wounded and missing upward of 54,000 of his bravest soldiers, and Lee over 32,000. Such havoc is appalling and has often been remarked that this loss was useless, that the army might have been safely and speedily conveyed south of the James without the sacrifice of a single life. The writer [John Vautier] wishes to express his humble opinion on this point, being satisfied that it is worth as much as any other, and if the reader does not like it he can form one of his own; that opinion is, that General Grant pursued the correct and only route and adopted the surest means of ending the rebellion. Richmond was not the true objective of the Union army. So long as Lee’s army remained intact, the fall of Richmond, important as it was, would not have ended the war. That army, therefore, was the true objective, and if it could be destroyed or its power of resistance seriously impaired by heavy and continuous hammering, the solution of this difficult problem would be easily reached. Of course the frightful loss of life is sad to contemplate, and no one feels that more keenly than the soldier who marched and fought in this dreadful contest, and who mournfully buried so many gallant comrades wherever the lines were formed. But war means mangled bodies and gaping wounds, ruined homesteads and blighted households, hospitals filled with the sick and wounded; nevertheless, it had to be fought out; the bitter cup had to be drained even to the very dregs, and then the fratricidal contest ceased. When General Grant assumed command he bent all his energies to the destruction of Lee’s army, and he fought it out on that line, though it took all summer and winter, too.

So much for the overland campaign.

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Lest we forget

This statue stands in Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs as a tribute to those who fought in the Civil War. Post photo by J. Reed.

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those that gave their lives while defending our country. It’s also a day to remember all those that have served and are now deceased. Inside this issue are the names of many of the veterans buried in area cemeteries (though not all), and we honor them with this issue of The Cedar Springs Post. If you know of a veteran’s name that is missing from the list, please let us know and we’ll add them for next year. 

There are some memorial activities and ceremonies taking place, though not as many as in prior years.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society will NOT hold its annual Memorial Cemetery Walk this year. They hope to return next year.

Cedar Springs: The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs will hold their annual Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetery at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at about 11 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at about noon. This year’s speaker is Jerry Dennis, a 1963 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, and  a member of Post 459 in Grand Rapids, where he serves as Judge Advocate and Service Officer. The Cedar Springs High School Marching Band will also be back this year. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at the American Legion Post #287. 

Algoma Township: The Algoma Historical Society will be holding its annual Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 30, 2022 at 1:00 pm. The special Guest of Honor will be veteran Esther Barr. Please come out to this special memorial service and support all of our USA veterans.

Sand Lake: The Sand Lake VFW disbanded last year. We have no info on whether any other post will have services in any of the area cemeteries. 

Sparta: Sparta will host its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30 at 10:30 am in Lamoreaux Park (256 Park St.), Sparta. The Memorial Ceremony is hosted by the American Legion Post 107 and Sparta Township Historic Commission.

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Tornado hits Gaylord

An EF-3 tornado devastated the City of Gaylord last week. Photo from YouTube.com.

How to help

By Judy Reed

On May 20, the town of Gaylord was hit by the first EF-3 tornado in Michigan in 10 years. The last one was in Dexter, in 2012. 

There were two deaths and 44 injuries from the Gaylord tornado, with both deaths taking place in the Nottingham Forest Mobile Home Park, one of the first areas to be hit when the tornado touched down. 

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was 200 yards wide—that’s twice as wide as a football field—and had maximum winds of 150 mph. It was on the ground for 20 minutes and traveled 16.6 miles. Its intensity varied between an EF-1, EF-2, and finally reached EF-3 around the City of Gaylord.

One of the many structures destroyed by the tornado in Gaylord. Photo from YouTube.com.

People are looking for ways to help those in Gaylord to recover, and the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan had some tips for everyone.

“Only donate to charities and fundraisers put on by organizations you know and trust,” says Lisa Frohnapfel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Make sure the charity or organization actually has the means to provide relief to the community, in order to avoid scammers looking to take advantage of the situation.”

The BBB suggests starting with these well-known charities to provide assistance:

  • Otsego County United Way
  • American Red Cross-Michigan Region 

Crowdfunding campaigns are already being set up for those in need.  While some may be drawn to providing direct assistance to individuals, BBB Wise Giving Alliance recommends the following tips:

  • Give to people and organizations you know. It is safest to give to crowdfunding postings of people you personally know. If that is not possible, consider a posting that is being managed by an established charitable organization that can be checked out. 
  • See if the posting describes how funds will be used. Vague descriptions of how the collected funds will be used should also be met with caution. Thoughtful collections will take the added step of identifying and verifying needs before money is raised.
  • Don’t assume pictures represent an official connection to the person or family identified. 

Report any suspicious donation requests to bbb.org/scamtracker. Visit BBB’s Give.org for more tips on safe donations.

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The Post travels to Lowell to celebrate birthday

On Saturday, May 21, “The Cedar Springs Post” traveled with Dale Garner from Sand Lake to The Laurels of Kent in Lowell, MI, to join with family and friends to celebrate the 101st birthday of her Mother-in-law, Eva Hodges, a resident at The Laurels.  Included in the photo are Eve’s son, Kenneth Garner (standing far right) and wife Beth (on his right, from Alabama, Daughters-in law Dale (holding “Post”) and Carlene, seated on the left, and some of Eva’s many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

That must’ve been a great birthday celebration! Thanks so much, Dale, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Taking a business trip? 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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A New Skirt in Town

“A New Skirt in Town” this weekend at the Kent Theatre. Photo by Tom Noreen.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

What do you do when the status quo is thrown out the window and your simple life plunges over a Class VI rapids? That’s what happens to a tradition-bound Amish community when a young lady, Delilah, shows up claiming to be the new owner of the town’s mercantile. Apparently, the prior owner, Isaiah, had a bit of a dalliance during his Rumspringa. Rumspringa is a rite of passage for Amish youth to explore other ways of life and fall in love before facing the big decision of being baptized into the Amish community or leaving it. Delilah did not know that her father was Amish until just before he died, when her mother gave her birth certificate to her. Suffice it to say, the male hierarchy is threatened and the ladies of the town secretly support Delilah as she stands her ground. 

Playwright Scott Phillips keeps you laughing at the characters and their foibles. He also takes great license with the town’s name, Intercourse, PA. He milks that for all it’s worth. I had a great time laughing my way through the production. I know I missed a couple of jokes because I was still laughing at the one before.

If you didn’t see it the first run or listen for the jokes you missed, you can do it this weekend. Show dates are May 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent Theatre. Tickets are $12 in advance from the Cedar Springs Public Library or by emailing phillips4ba@yahoo.com. At the door, they are $15 and tickets for youth under 18 are $6. For more information go to the Cedar Springs Community Players on Facebook.

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Bissell Pet Foundation sets new adoption record

Over 13,500 pets find loving homes during the nation’s largest funded adoption event

Bissell Pet Foundation is excited to announce the adoption of more than 13,500 cats and dogs during our Spring National Empty the Shelters event hosted in a record-setting 280 shelters in 45 states earlier this month. This is a new seasonal record number of adoptions for the Spring National event!

The pets found loving homes over two weeks during BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters,” the nation’s largest funded adoption event. The May 2022 event encouraged adoption through reduced adoption fees at 280 shelters in 45 states.

From May 2–15, approximately 6,035 cats and 7,469 dogs were adopted through this lifesaving event. The foundation extended “Empty the Shelters” to include an additional week to ensure as many pets as possible made it out of shelters and into loving homes. Shelters across the country currently face unprecedented overcrowding due to slowed adoptions and pandemic-related issues such as lack of spay/neuter services, staffing shortages, and more. BISSELL Pet Foundation sponsors adoption fees, allowing participating shelters to charge $25 or less per cat or dog, which gives a needed boost to their adoption rates.

“Right now, shelters are so full, and pets are experiencing longer stays. Our partners are reporting that ‘Empty the Shelters’ is driving even more adopters into their facilities. With the decline in transport, local adoptions have become our primary lifesaving tool,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “This is an expensive program for our small foundation, but it is a proven success, and we can’t turn our backs when we know we can save thousands of lives in one event.”

One of those success stories happened here in Kent County, at the Kent County Animal Shelter. A wonderful dog named Princess Leia was adopted on May 4, 2022 (Star Wars Day)! Princess Leia was waiting for a home at the shelter for 111 days before she was adopted. And she looks to be happy with her new mom!

BissellL Pet Foundation’s mission to find every pet a loving home is the driving force behind “Empty the Shelters.” In 2016, BisselL Pet Foundation created this reduced-fee adoption event—hosted at just a few Michigan shelters in the beginning—to make an immediate impact on the nation’s ongoing pet homelessness problem. Since then, this event has grown to be the foundation’s most prominent program and the country’s largest funded adoption event. To date, “Empty the Shelters” has helped find homes for 96,068 pets and provided more than $7.6 million in direct funding to shelter partners to support pet adoptions.

BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” cannot continue growing without donor support. The foundation is seeking donations to expand to more shelters in more states, and 100% of contributions will go directly to fund pet adoptions: www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters-donations/. For more information on Empty the Shelters, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters.

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Cedar Springs grad killed in WWII

Tombstone photo from findagrave.com, by Ron “Ozzie” Oswalt.

By Judy Reed

This Memorial Day in 2022, we remember Pfc. Curtiss Beach, 22. He was a graduate of Cedar Springs High School, and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Curtiss Beach, of Cedar Springs, according to the article printed in a Rockford, Michigan, newspaper in 1945.

According to the article, he had made his home in Rockford, with his wife, Evelyn, and three young children, Penny (3), Jeff (2), and Pat (1). He entered the service in July 1944 and went overseas in January 1945 with the 3rd Army 35th Division. He was killed in action in Germany two months later, on March 8. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Besides his parents, wife, and children, he also left behind three brothers and three sisters: Sam, Tom, Allan, Rhea, Ruby, and Ruth. 

Many thanks to Sharon Jett, Director of the Cedar Springs Historical Society, for sharing this news clipping with us.

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Jif products recalled for potential salmonella contamination

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg infections linked to certain Jif peanut butter products produced at the J.M. Smucker Company facility in Lexington, Kentucky.  

CDC’s review of epidemiological information indicates that five out of five people reported consuming peanut butter and four of the five people specifically reported consuming different varieties of Jif brand peanut butter prior to becoming ill. FDA conducted Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis on an environmental sample collected at the Lexington, KY, J.M. Smucker Company facility in 2010. The analysis shows that this 2010 environmental sample matches the strain causing illnesses in this current outbreak. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Jif brand peanut butter produced in the J.M. Smucker Company facility located in Lexington, KY, is the likely cause of illnesses in this outbreak.

J.M. Smucker Company has voluntarily recalled certain Jif brand peanut butter products that have the lot code numbers between 1274425—2140425, only if the first seven digits end with 425 (manufactured in Lexington, KY). See photo examples.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing and more information will be provided as it becomes available.


Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any recalled Jif brand peanut butter.

For Consumers

Follow these steps:

Check if you have Jif peanut butter in your home.

Locate the lot code on the back of the jar, under the Best If Used By Date (the lot code may be next to the Best If Used By Date for cups or squeeze pouches).

In the lot code, if the first four digits are between 1274 and 2140, and if the next three numbers after that are 425, this product has been recalled and you should not consume this product. 

If you are unsure what to do with your recalled product, you can call or email J.M. Smucker Company for more information:

The J.M. Smucker Co. Hotline: 800-828-9980 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM ET.

Website: jif.com/contact-usExternal Link Disclaimer

FDA recommends that if you have used the recalled Jif brand peanut butter that have lot code numbers 1274425 through 2140425 and the first seven digits end with 425, you should wash and sanitize surfaces and utensils that could have touched the peanut butter. If you or someone in your household ate this peanut butter and have symptoms of salmonellosis, please contact your healthcare provider.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The recalled peanut butter was distributed nationwide in retail stores and other outlets. To see a complete list of products and lot numbers, visit https://tinyurl.com/pyw7yccb.

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Bureau of Elections: 5 GOP gov candidates shouldn’t reach Aug 2 ballot

By Scott McClallen | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The State Board of Canvassers will determine on Thursday whether five gubernatorial candidates will reach the Aug. 2 primary after a report says they didn’t collect the threshold of 15,000 valid signatures.

A Michigan Bureau of Elections report says five candidates shouldn’t reach the ballot:

  • Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig: 10,192 facially valid signatures, 11,113 invalid signatures.
  • Perry Johnson: 13,800 facially valid signatures, 9,393 invalid signatures.
  • Michael Brown: 7,091 facially valid signatures, 13,809 invalid signatures.
  • Michael Markey: 4,430 facially valid signatures, 17,374 invalid signatures.
  • Donna Brandenburg: 6,634 facially valid signatures, 11,144 invalid signatures.

Released Monday night, the report found that 36 petition circulators forged entire petition sheets totaling at least 68,000 signatures across 10 nominating petitions.

If those five are disqualified, then that would leave Tudor Dixon, Garrett Soldano, Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebandt, and Kevin Rinke as GOP contenders. 

In a staff report, the bureau said 36 petition circulators “submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures.”

The bureau said it was “unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures.”

“In total, the bureau estimates that these circulators submitted at least 68,000 invalid signatures submitted across 10 sets of nominating petitions,” the report said. “In several instances, the number of invalid signatures submitted by these circulators was the reason a candidate had an insufficient number of valid signatures.”

Dixon had 29,041 facially valid signatures out of 29,240. Democrats challenged Dixon’s nomination, but the report rejected the challenge.

Michigan’s DeVos family endorsed Dixon on Monday. She’s also backed by former President Donald Trump.

The Board of State Canvassers, a four-person bipartisan panel, will meet Thursday to discuss whether they follow or break the recommendations.

Jon Yob, a consultant for Johnson, said he plans to fight in front of the State Board of Canvassers and in court to keep some of the signatures collected by alleged forgers.

It’s unclear why petition circulators targeted this race or if circulators are also forging signatures on many concurrent ballot measures that include raising the minimum wage, capping the annual percentage of payday loans rate at 36%, creating state-based abortion rights, require ID and partial Social Security numbers to vote, and to limit state and local health department emergency orders to 28 days.

The winner of the Aug. 2 primary will face off against current Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

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Four Red Hawks Qualify for the Division I State Finals

Sophomore Dylan Lafontsee qualified for the State Championships with a long jump of 21’3”.  Photo by Justin Jones 

The Boys and Girls Track teams traveled to the Lakeshore on Friday, May 20, to compete in the Region 2, Division 1 Championships hosted by Grand Haven High School. Both teams qualified two individuals for the June 4th State Finals to be held at Rockford High School. 

The boys team finished 12th in the 17-team field with 23 points. State qualifiers were Senior Gabe White in the Pole Vault (2nd place – 13’3”) and Sophomore Dylan Lafontsee in the long jump (5th place – 21’3”).  Other point scorers for the Red Hawks were: Junior Espen Wood in the 3200-meter run with a 3rd place finish (9:51. 31); Junior Josh Kriekaard in the discus with a personal record (PR) throw of 123-03 to finish in 7th place; and the 4 x 200 meter relay teams 6th place effort in 1:35.21. The relay team consisted of Ryan West, Kevin VanderHaag, Dylan Lafontsee and Mitch Metiva.  

Senior Alyssa Detweiler is the 2022 Regional Champion in the High Jump.  Photo by Aubrie French.

On the girls side, the Red Hawks finished 10th in the 17-team field. The Lady Red Hawks were led by Senior Alyssa Detweiler who leaped to a winning jump of 5’4” in the High Jump to secure a first place finish and Regional Championship. Alyssa’s effort qualifies her for the State Finals in two weeks. Joining Alyssa will be Sophomore Taylor Diemond.  Taylor finished as runner up in the pole vault competition with a vault of 11’3” punching her ticket to the 2022 State Championship Meet. Senior Emily Neiderheide narrowly missed a berth in the State Finals with her 3rd place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.60. 

The Red Hawks will be back in action this week at Comstock Park High School for the Metro Health Invitational.  

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Red Hawks win three out of four last week

L to R: Senior Red Hawk baseball players Cayden Steinebach, Brennen Porter, and Aiden Brunin were honored on Tuesday, May 17. 

May 16

In a rescheduled game, the Red Hawk Varsity baseball traveled to Middleville to take on the Trojans of Thornapple-Kellogg in the third of three games. Junior Clays Oosting got the start on the mound. In four innings of work he only allowed 2 hits while striking out 7. Ryan Vos came on to pitch in the 5th, earning a strikeout to end the game.  At the plate the Red Hawks totaled 10 hits. Zach Reed led the charge with a single, double and triple. Brennen Porter had a pair of singles. Braydon Gregory hit a single and a double. Aiden Brunin smashed a bases-clearing triple and singles were hit by both Bryce Luevano and Parker Vaughn. With a final score of 11-1, Cedar Springs won 2 out of 3 from the Trojans.

May 17

On Tuesday, May 17, the Cougars of Catholic Central came to visit.  This game would honor the 3 seniors: Aiden Brunin, Brennen Porter and starting pitcher Cayden Steinebach. In perfect senior-night fashion, Steinebach threw a complete game shutout.  In seven innings, he allowed only 4 hits while striking out 3 and walking none.  The bats were quiet at the plate.  Bryadone Gregory had a single and a double.  In the bottom of the 6th, Porter squirted a ball into right field which scored Gregory to earn a 1-0 win.

In the second game, sophomore Parker Vaughn got the start. He allowed 4 hits in his 6 innings of work, striking out 6 and walking 1. Walker Glyshaw came on to strike out the side in the top of the 7th to earn the save in the 4-1 victory.  The hitting was a bit better in game 2 as the Red Hawks totaled 6 hits, led by Clay Oosting with a pair of singles. Vaughn, Brunin, Luevano and May each had singles as well. The hitting in both games was timely and Cedar was able to capitalize on opportunities.  Coach Glyshaw was impressed with the solid defense, stating “When we play clean baseball, we can beat anybody.”

May 19

On Thursday, in the third and final game of the series, Clay Oosting took to the mound as the Hawks visited the CAT for the third and final game of the series. He pitched a strong 6 innings.  Walker Glyshaw came on in the 7th and wasn’t able to shut the door as the Red Hawks dropped the third game 6-5.  Zach Reed had 3 hits in the game. Glyshaw had two. Both Vaughn and Oosting had singles and Brennen Porter hit a double.  As frustrating a loss as this one was, it was a successful week with bright days ahead. With 5 regular season games to go before the District Tournament, the varsity record sits at 18-12.

This week the varsity team will wrap up conference play with three games against South Christian.  Next week Tuesday (May 31) will be the final regular season games as the Yellow Jackets of Greenville will come to town for a double header.  

Posted in SportsComments Off on Red Hawks win three out of four last week

WMBA 2022 Butterfly Counts

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

July 2, 2022 (Sat) 9:00 AM Allegan Butterfly Count – Allegan Co. Leader: Ronda Spink. Meet at the Allegan State Game Area, Fennville Farm Unit, 6013 118th Ave, Fennville (butterflynetwork@naturecenter.org)

July 5, 2022 (Tues) 9:00 AM Rogue River Butterfly Count – Kent Co. Leader: Ronda Spink. Meet at Long Lake County Park south of 17 Mile on the east side at the beach parking area. odybrook@chartermi.net

July 11, 2022 (Mon) 9:00 AM Newaygo County – Manistee National Forest Butterfly Count. Leaders: Ronda Spink. Meet at Leppink’s Grocery parking lot at the corner of M 82 & M 37 in Newaygo. butterflynetwork@naturecenter.orgor odybrook@chartermi.net)

July 14, 2022 (Thurs) 9:00 AM Greater Muskegon Butterfly Ct – Muskegon Co. Leader: Dennis Dunlap. Meet on Mill Iron Road north from M-46 (Apple Ave.) east of Muskegon at second set of power lines that cross the road north of MacArthur Road. dunlapmd@charter.net.

Contact Ranger Steve to sign up at Odybrook@chartermi.net so unexpected changes can be shared. There is a $3 charge sent to the North American Butterfly Association to participate. Rain day alternates will likely be the next day. Any questions can be directed to his email or to the other leaders. Steve’s phone is 616-696-1753. 

Bring a bag lunch and plenty of water. We eat lunch in the field. Dress appropriately with long trousers to protect legs from raspberry thorns or leg grabbing plants. Light weight long sleeves protect from sun. Bring insect repellent but in most locations is it not essential but always good to have. Restrooms are limited. 

Bring close focusing binoculars and butterfly field guides if you have them. WMBA members will share and help with identifications. Ranger Steve will have the Michigan Butterfly and Skipper book for sale for those wanting one.  

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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