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Driver injured in t-bone crash

Crash at Indian Lakes and Algoma. The driver of the silver car was transported to Butterworth Hospital by Aeromed with severe injuries. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A young woman suffered severe injuries Tuesday afternoon and was transported to Butterworth hospital by Aeromed after her car was t-boned by a pickup truck at Indian Lakes and Algoma Avenue.

The crash occurred about 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14.

Kyle Rand, of Rockford, told The Post at the scene that he was driving home from work southbound on Algoma when he witnessed the crash. He said the silver car was westbound on Indian Lakes and did a “rolling stop” at the stop sign—slowed but did not completely stop—before continuing into the intersection. “She must not have seen him, the white truck (traveling northbound),” said Rand. He added that the driver of the truck tried to avoid her.

The Dodge Ram truck t-boned the silver Ford Taurus, and the car rolled and landed on its hood on the NW side of the intersection.

Rand said that he and another man both witnessed the crash and tried to help.

“I saw it happen and I freaked out. I saw baby blankets in the back of the car so I searched the car [for a baby] but it was only her,” he explained, referring to the driver of the car.

The man driving the truck, Dennis Wayne Hathaway, 60, of Ensley Township, was checked out at the scene for chest and leg pain by Rockford Ambulance.

The woman driving the silver Ford Taurus was identified by the Kent County Sheriff Department as Olivia Erin Anderson, 21, of Alpine Township. She was extricated from the car by Algoma and Solon Fire Departments and transported by Aeromed to Butterworth Hospital with head trauma.

The scene was cleared at 5:43 p.m.

 

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City swears in winners of election

Lisa Atchison and Gerald Hall were sworn in at last Thursday’s City Council meeting. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

There is a new face on the Cedar Springs City Council after last week’s election.

Lisa Atchison was sworn in Thursday evening, November 9, along with Gerald Hall, who was reelected to his seat on the Council.

Hall and Atchison were the only two running in last week’s election. Atchison ran for the seat being vacated by Dan Clark, who decided not to run again.

Hall received 98 votes, and Atchison, who has also served on the City planning commission, received 79 votes. There were two write in votes, but they were counted as invalid since no one was officially running as a write-in candidate.

The City Council also nominated and voted on who would be their Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem for the 2017-18 year. The vote was unanimous to reappoint Gerald Hall as Mayor, and Pamela Conley as Mayor Pro-tem.

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One killed in rollover crash on Northland Drive

Patrick Brecken died in a crash on Northland Drive on Thursday, Nov. 9.
Photo from tribute at
pedersonfuneralhome.com.

Police believe that alcohol and poor road conditions contributed to a fatal crash last week on Northland Drive, north of 18 Mile Rd, in Nelson Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Patrick Todd Brecken, 21, of Sand Lake, was headed south on Northland Drive, about 10 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, when his 1999 Ford Mustang left the roadway and rolled several times before landing in the ditch on the northbound side of the road. Brecken was ejected from the car and suffered fatal injuries.

The two teenage passengers in the vehicle, Jonathan Michael Brecken, 15, of Grand Haven, and Trey Brian Street, 17, of Cedar Springs, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department assisted at the scene.

The family is planning to have a benefit to raise money to help with Patrick’s funeral costs on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at the Gun Tavern, located at 18 North Main Street, Cedar Springs. All proceeds will go to help with funeral expenses. The funeral for Patrick was scheduled for Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m. at Pilgrim Bible Church.

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Reward offered for information in gun theft

 

A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to recovering the guns stolen recently from the Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is putting up $2,500, and the National Shooting Sports Association is matching that with another $2,500. “There is a possibility that others may come forward with additional funds but we are still waiting to hear,” he said.

Eighty-nine guns were stolen in a break-in at the store at 4175 17 Mile Rd, in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 4. The theft was discovered after employees arrived at work.

Grand Rapids police recovered some of the guns while investigating a separate case, and a suspect in that case was arrested on several weapons charges, including receiving and concealing stolen property. However, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said they had no evidence that the man, Derrek Banks, 42, was involved in the original theft.

Anyone with information should contact ATF at 800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867), or the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6125, or Silent Observer  at (616) 774-2345. You can also use the Reportit app to send information to the ATF.

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Post travels to Rocky Mountains

The Post traveled to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, 11,800 feet, well above the timberline, with Mary Ann Misner and John Cornell, both of Cedar Springs. This was part of their two and a half week trip exploring the Rocky Mountain region – from Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to northern Red Lodge, Montana, to Durango, Colorado.

They drove over several mountain passes that were above 10,000 feet, including the million dollar highway of Durango through the mining towns of Silverton and Ouary. One of the hightlights of the trip was watching a horseback rider and two dogs on top of a mountain above the timberline in northern Wyoming, herding a large herd of sheep (approximately 500) across the road in front of them. They also saw wild mustangs in Montana before traveling over Bear Tooth Pass into Yellowstone National Park, and about 200 buffalo in the park. Arches National Park was also beautiful, with the evening sun shining on the arches.

The most dangerous part of the trip was dealing with a herd of free range cattle in the middle of the road after dark. Unlike our Michigan deer, their eyes didn’t shine in the headlights and they didn’t dash out of the way. The cattle have the right-of-way there, and if you hit one you have to pay the rancher. The cattle seemed to know this. At night time, they recommend driving slowly or not at all, if you ever have the chance to visit free range country in this beautiful area. 

Thanks so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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GR Fire promotes Algoma man 

Ron Tennant, of Algoma Township, was recently promoted to Grand Rapids Deputy Fire Chief, support services. GR Fire Facebook photo.

From GR Fire Department

On Tuesday, November 07, 2017, the Grand Rapids Fire Department promoted Battalion Chief Ronald G. Tennant, of Algoma Township, to Deputy Fire Chief, support services.

Deputy Chief Tennant was hired by the Grand Rapids Fire Department in 1985 and has held the positions of Firefighter, Fire Equipment Operator, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Acting Assistant Training Supervisor, Acting Fire Training Supervisor, Battalion Chief, and has been in a long term acting assignment in the position to which he is promoted.

“Chief Tennant went into this position, he kept the ship moving forward and he advanced the position creating new areas taking it to a higher level,” said Fire Chief John Lehman. “He has definitely proven himself as somebody I welcome into my command staff.”  

Upon receiving his badge and brass, Chief Tennant replied, “My honor, Sir, I humbly accept the position, and I appreciate your confidence.”

Addressing the staff in attendance Chief Tennant said, “This is certainly a team effort and I really appreciate your support that all of you have shown. I couldn’t have done anything without the help with everyone here and plus some. I will continue to rely on that.”

Deputy Chief Tennant earned an AAS in Fire Science in 1990. He holds two EMS licenses and is a certified instructor in firefighting, hazardous materials, EMS, and fire leadership courses.

His duties include oversight of the Support Services Division for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, which includes oversight of the Fire Marshal, the Building and Fleet Division, Administrative office staff, and over 30 individual fire department programs.

Outside of the GR Fire department, DC Tennant was an adjunct instructor with the Michigan State Police Hazmat Training Center; currently Co-Chairs the Governors Traffic Safety Advisory Commission Traffic Incident Management Action Team; he has volunteered with the Coopersville & Marne Railroad; and has been active with his church in Cedar Springs.

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Men of Honor program

A group of young men from Cedar Springs traveled to Neebish Island in the Upper Peninsula this past summer on a mission trip and showed their character by helping some of the elderly with yard work. 

“The work was hard but the payoff of thankful hearts and smiles was so rewarding,” said Randy Badge, leader of the Cedar Springs chapter of the Men of Honor youth group for 6th-8th grade students.

Men of Honor started in Texas in 2003. Tony Rorie, who was then a Dallas middle school principal, started to meet with his four biggest troublemakers. He started mentoring them once a week after school about the basics of manners, leadership, character, and common courtesies. By the end of the year, his small group of four grew to 50. The Men of Honor was birthed. 

The Men of Honor is a Christian character-building program aimed at 6th-8th grade students but can be used for any age of men. In the past 14 years, the Men of Honor has spread across the US and into 11 countries.

During that time, The Ladies of Honor (LOH) was also birthed. 

The Cedar Springs program partners with the En Gedi after school youth Center at Red Hawk Elementary. MOH meets after school every Thursday in the Media Center until 4pm. They learn such things as leadership, character, courage, diligence, compassion, honesty, integrity, perseverance and so much more. MOH has developed a two-year teaching curriculum for leaders to follow. 

Young men and ladies are rewarded with an official MOH or LOH T-shirt by reciting axioms. The MOH can earn five tenant pins for courage, diligence, character, passion, and perseverance. The LOH can earn five charms. 

Participants become partially commissioned by completing the 3 MOH or LOH magazines and earn a dagger. They become fully commissioned and become an Honor Guard by reading 6 more books and completing the complementary workbooks. MOH earn a William Wallace sword and LOH earn a beautiful Shield. 

The MOH will be going to Pine Ridge Bible Camp for Honors Camp on  November 17-19. Any young man is welcome to join the camp. There will be a lot of fun and challenging activities and events that will encourage each young man in his manhood. 

On Thursday, December 14, Cedar Springs will be launching it’s own Ladies of Honor program at Red Hawk Elementary right after school. They will also end at 4pm. Any interested 7th & 8th grade ladies can take the shuttle bus from the middle school to Red Hawk. 

For more information for Men or Ladies of Honor in Cedar Springs, camp, or to start your own club, please contact Regional Director Randy Badge at rbadge@themenofhonor.org. You can also visit the website at www.HonorMinistries.org

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Consultant to CS Board: “You have to start working together”

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education heard some straight talk last month from the MASB consultant who went over the results of the board’s self-assessment.

Scott Morrell, from the Michigan Association of School Boards, told the Cedar Springs Board of Education that when he looks at them, he sees possibilities. But when he showed his staff the results of the board’s self-assessment, their one word to him was, “Yuck.” He added that it may be one of the worst spreads they’d seen.

Six out of seven of the board members took part in the self-assessment questionnaire. They had to rate themselves from 0-5 (0 meaning don’t know and 5 meaning excellent) in areas of leadership, academic performance/accountablility, board responsibilities, board effectiveness, data-driven decision-making, board-superintendent relations, and community engagement/advocacy. 

They scored lowest in board-superintendent relations, with only an average score of 1.97, which is between unsatisfactory (1) and needs improvement (2). Their second lowest score was in leadership at 2.02. In fact, they scored between (2) needs improvement and (3) satisfactory, in every category.

Morrell told the board he suspected they had trust issues, and that they had lost the respect, responsiveness and professionalism they should have when dealing with each other. “You need to listen to each other,” he told them.

For some time now, various community members and staff have been coming to the board to express their concerns about not being heard, and with the things they see happening.  Morrell had a remedy for that.

“When the board starts functioning better, these community members are going to stop coming. They have better things to do. I’m sorry, but you guys are crazy. You’ve got better things to be doing than this monsoon that’s been going on. But as long as your board is not functioning, you are going to see this…What we have to do is build trust and respect versus setting our hair on fire. When you set your hair on fire, it’s a good show. So here comes the community, “Ok, what are they going to do this time?”

Morrell urged them to make a decision that evening, October 23, that they wanted to improve. “If you don’t make a decision saying we want to improve, you are sending a clear message to the whole organization tomorrow morning that the board doesn’t care. And can you tell me those people aren’t going to talk tomorrow about what the board did tonight?”

Morrell recommended they do a retreat and take the DISC personality profile to learn more about themselves and each other. But there didn’t seem to be a lot of buy in from the board for that. He did also go around and ask each board member one thing they could do to improve. 

The Post also asked board members that question, and received answers from four of the seven members—President Matt Shoffner, Vice President Brook Nichols, and trustees Ted Sabinas and Michelle Bayink.

“My response for improving myself was to seek clarity before board meetings, whether that’s asking the President or Superintendent for clarification on an item or if it’s reaching out to other board members,” said Nichols. “Other board members must have done this as well for Monday’s meeting. Earlier on Monday, Laura sent an e-mail answering multiple questions that board members had on various agenda items so we could all have that information ahead of time, which was very helpful,” she explained.

Michelle Bayink was quite animated during the workshop, asking for ways they could improve and what Morrell’s recommendation might be. “I want to speak up, I want to work together as a board. I’m trying to get solutions,” she said.

Matt Shoffner sent out a general press release stating that the board took a major step toward demonstrating its commitment to governing effectively on behalf of the students and communities it serves by formally adopting the Board of Education Governance Standards at its meeting on November 13, 2017 (click here to read story).

“After working with Mr. Scott Morrell, from the Michigan Association of School Boards during a Cedar Springs Board of Education Self-Evaluation Workshop on October 23rd, 2017, I believe BOE members listened to Mr. Morrell. There is a commitment to be better and do better. To that end the board passed the MASB Board of Education Governance Standards Resolution with a vote of 5 to 1. “   

“We are excited to be among the many school districts in Michigan to adopt the BOE Governance Standards,” said Board President Matt Shoffner. “We believe these Standards are an important tool that will help us with the vital task of governing our district. They will help us raise the bar, live up to expectations as elected officials and better understand our roles as board members.”

Ted Sabinas was the lone member who voted against adopting the Governance Standards. “I don’t agree with everything MASB is trying to communicate,” he explained. “They are pretty generic standards. We struggle with the ones we already have and then to try to add more without a plan on what to do if it’s violated or not followed correctly doesn’t make sense.”

One of the things Morrell told the board was that in certain instances, such as on actions that have to do with vision, the vote should always be 7-0. He also noted that there should be a lot less split votes. But Sabinas doesn’t agree. “I’m not that type of personality that if it’s on the agenda it’s automatically going to pass. I was elected to speak up and point out things that don’t seem correct,” he said.

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Board of Education adopts governance standards

 

The Cedar Springs Board of Education took a major step toward demonstrating its commitment to governing effectively on behalf of the students and communities it serves by formally adopting the Board of Education Governance Standards at its meeting on November 13, 2017. 

 “After working with Mr. Scott Morrell, from the Michigan Association of School Boards during a Cedar Springs Board of Education Self-Evaluation Workshop on October 23, 2017, I believe BOE members listened to Mr. Morrell,” said Board President Matt Shoffner. “There is a commitment to be better and do better. To that end the board, passed the MASB Board of Education Governance Standards Resolution with a vote of 5 to 1.”    

“We are excited to be among the many school districts in Michigan to adopt the BOE Governance Standards,” he added. “We believe these Standards are an important tool that will help us with the vital task of governing our district. They will help us raise the bar, live up to expectations as elected officials and better understand our roles as board members.”

The Board of Education Governance Standards were developed by school board members for school board members through the Michigan Association of School Boards. The Standards provide a shared, research-based framework for effective school board governance. Not only do they define the principles that should affect board decisionmaking, they also identify the specific behaviors of school boards and school board members that contribute to positive outcomes for students. And they do so in simple terms so as to be easily understood by board members and the entire school district community.  

“We believe that locally adopting the Standards not only helps our governance team be more effective, but it sends a strong message that all of us as local school leaders are willing to step up and serve professionally,” said Shoffner. “We have standards for students, teachers and administrators, and now we have Board of Education Governance Standards for our board as well.”

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Fight breaks out near US Post office

 

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the area of the U.S. Post Office on Cherry Street, in Cedar Springs, on Monday evening, November 13, at about 8:55 p.m., to a large fight involving 10-15 people.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, there were conflicting statements as to who started the fight. Minor injuries were reported, and a 57-year-old female was transported with injuries for additional evaluation. The case is still open and active. Prosecutor review on charges is pending.

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