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Sand Lake 4th of July Celebration – June 29 thru July 4th

Thursday – June 29

10am-7pm Red, White & Blue Book Sale – Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Located in the Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library program room. 

Dusk Firemen’s Parade of Lights line up at 8:30 p.m.

Friday – June 30

10am-7pm Red, White & Blue Book Sale

1pm-Midnight Midway Open – Wade Shows – Rides & Attractions @ Salisbury Park

Saturday – July 1

Kiddies Day • “Small Town Glory”

10am-2pm Red, White & Blue Book Sale – Great deals on books, magazines, movies, music and more. Located in the Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library program room. 

10:30am-11:30am Decorate Your Bike and Celebrate the Fourth of July – Come to the Nelson Township/Sand Lake library and decorate your bike for the Fourth of July! We will have many patriotic decorations on hand to help you festoon your ride.

Noon Kiddies Day Parade Registration – Receive a grab bag and free entry for a bike giveaway for ages 6-12. Judging categories: Single (1 or 2 Kids), Bike and Float/Group (max of 5). No motorized vehicles driven by kids under the age of 17 in parade. @ 6th Street

12:30pm Kiddie Parade Starts (Judging after Parade)

1pm-Midnight Midway Open – Wade Shows – Rides & Attractions @ Salisbury Park

1pm Die Cast Car Races – All ages – Free to enter. Prizes for the winners. @ VFW

1:30pm-2:30pm Farm on the Go! Animal Petting – Visit friendly farm animals with Critter Barn of Zeeland  @ Nelson Township/Sand Lake library

2pm-4pm Kids Activities! Games, pries and fun for kids up to age 12. @ VFW

4pm Drawing for Bikes (One boy’s and one girl’s Ages 6-12) Child must be present at stage to win.

4pm Mini Tractor Pull @ Water Tower Event Area

8pm Country Music – MOONSHOT @ Lake Street Stage

Sunday – July 2

8am Registration for Classic Car/Antique Tractor Show @ corner of 4th and Lake Streets

9am-3pm Classic Car/Antique Tractor Show @ corner of 4th and Lake Streets

12pm-10pm Midway Open – Wade Shows – Rides & Attractions @ Salisbury Park

2pm Mini Horse Pull @ Water Tower Event Area

6pm-7pm Hymn Sing @ Lake Street Stage 

7pm Greased Pig Contest @ Water Tower Event Area

7:30pm Country Music – REWIND @ Lake Street Stage

Monday – July 3

12pm-10pm Midway Open – Wade Shows – Rides & Attractions @ Salisbury Park

2pm-10pm Bingo  at VFW – Smoke Free

5pm-7pm Live Music – Sand Lake Rodeo – LUKE WARM AND THE NOT SO HOTS @ Water Tower Event Area

7pm Sand Lake Rodeo – Tickets at the Gate @ Water Tower Event Area

Tuesday – July 4

11am Grand Parade Registration

12pm-10pm Midway Open – Wade Shows – Rides & Attractions @ Salisbury Park

1:30pm Grand Parade Starts

2pm-10pm Bingo at VFW – Smoke Free

3pm Gates Open for Demolition Derby – Pre-Sale tickets start at 2pm

6pm Demolition Derby @ Water Tower Event Area

8pm Live Music – LUKE WARM AND THE NOT SO HOTS @ Lake Street Stage

10:30pm FIREWORKS!

Food and Merchandise vendors will be located along lake street throughout the celebration

Please NOte:

  • Sale of knives with blades more than 3” is not permitted
  • No Airsoft Guns allowed at Carnival or Events
  • No Dogs Allowed in Midway

Download schedule here: 4thofJuly2017.pdf

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Sheriff Stelma named Sheriff of the Year

Kent County Sheriff Lawrence A. Stelma (right) has been chosen as the first ever recipient of the Terrence L. Jungel Sheriff of the Year Award by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. Terrence Jungel is on the left.

Larry Stelma, a long time Cedar Springs resident and Sheriff in Kent County for 16 years, has been selected as the first ever recipient of the Terrence L. Jungel Sheriff of the Year award by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.

The Terrence L. Jungel Sheriff of the Year Award is in recognition of Terry Jungel’s dedicated 20 years of service to MSA and recognizes a Sheriff who has made outstanding contributions to law enforcement and the criminal justice profession, demonstrates exceptional service to their community, and has contributed to the betterment of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association (MSA).

“There is no Sheriff in the State of Michigan that is more deserving of this Award and the recognition that comes with it than Larry Stelma,” said St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon, who is the MSA Board President.

According to Sheriff Kirk Wakefield, of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, and the past MSA president that conceived the concept of the Sheriff of the Year Award, “Sheriff Stelma has been a mentor to many past and present Michigan Sheriffs. Larry is a very thoughtful, knowledgeable, and humble Sheriff. Larry is highly respected by all of his fellow Michigan Sheriffs.”

Stelma began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on January 3, 1972, as a deputy working various duties in the jail and eventually transferring to the road patrol. As a detective in the investigative bureau, he was awarded the Sheriff’s Office Combat Star for his efforts to save his partner when a domestic violence suspect shot that officer in the chest in 1980. In August 1981, Stelma was promoted to sergeant on the road patrol; in 1985, he was promoted to road patrol lieutenant; and promoted to road patrol captain in January 1997. In January 1999, Stelma was appointed to serve as Kent County’s Undersheriff. On January 1, 2001, he was elected by the citizens of Kent County to serve as their Sheriff. He has since been re-elected Kent County Sheriff for five consecutive terms.

The MSA said that under Sheriff Stelma’s leadership, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office has become one of the most innovative, strategic departments in the United States. “Sheriff Stelma has woven the Office of Sheriff into the fabric of the entire community. He does this through his investment in staff; he is always there to be the friend to lean on, the guiding voice in a time of need, the stern guidance in a time of uncertainty, or jovial congratulation in a moment of triumph.

“The Sheriff has been intricately involved in the Law Enforcement community for decades and has been a leader in significant initiatives. These accomplishments are possible due to a strong vision and through the development of unprecedented relationships with area police chiefs, county, state and national leaders and most importantly, the citizens. These relationships enabled new initiatives that have made the Kent County Sheriff’s Office the epitome of efficient and effective government.”

Two particular initiatives that have affected Cedar Springs include the city and Sheriff Department partnership on police services, and the school resource officer at Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Stelma was integral in the creation of the partnership between the City and the Sheriff Department in 2015, the first time anything like that had been done in Kent County. The Cedar Springs Police Department was dissolved, and the full-time officers were offered jobs at the Kent County Sheriff Department, and a chance to serve in Cedar Springs. Sgt. Jason Kelley oversees the Cedar Springs Unit, which currently works out of the former police area at City Hall.

Cedar Springs was not the first public school to employ a Kent County Sheriff Deputy as a school resource officer, but the Sheriff Department did partner with the district to help fund the program. SROs work to improve school safety by investigating school related incidents and take a proactive approach to improve security of the campus, staff and students.

Congratulations Sheriff Larry Stelma!

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Lawn mower starts car on fire

A fire spread from a lawn mower to a car in Nelson Township Monday. Post photo by L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

What started out as a fire in the engine of a lawn mower in Nelson Township Monday turned into something bigger when it spread to the homeowner’s automobile.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, they were called to a home on Myers Lake Avenue, between Stout and 19 Mile, about 2:45 p.m., Monday, June 19. “It came across as a lawn mower/tractor fire, and it was next to a car,” explained Fraser. “It was then updated when were on the way to a car fire.”

Post photo by L. Allen.

Fraser said that the homeowner had been mowing the grass, then parked it next to the car and went into the house. When she came back out, she tried to restart the mower but it wouldn’t start, so she checked under the hood and found it was on fire. She then called 911, and the fire quickly spread from the lawn tractor to the car.

Fraser said both were burning when they arrived on scene. The cause was undetermined.

Sand Lake assisted at the scene, and Spencer Township Fire was put on standby in case the fire spread to the garage before they got it out. “It melted some vinyl on the garage but that was it. They were lucky,” said Fraser.

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Parent files lawsuit against Cedar Springs Public Schools

 

By Judy Reed

The mother of a Cedar Springs graduate filed a lawsuit in Federal Court last week against Cedar Springs Public Schools and several administrators regarding how they allegedly handled an assault that occurred in 2014.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants’ “indifferent response to a student-on-student sexual assault on school premises and subsequent sexual harassment” violated Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding, as well as denied the student’s right to equal protection under the fourteenth amendment.

According to the lawsuit, in the fall of 2014, the student had a locker next to another student, simply known in the lawsuit as “JD.” The suit alleges that JD began to slam the door of the lockers into the plaintiff. A school official that witnessed it then allegedly told the plaintiff that JD likely had a “crush” on the plaintiff and was merely flirting. No action was taken to curb the locker-slamming.

The plaintiff then notified an administrator that the incidents were occurring and she wanted JD to stop. The administrator allegedly told the plaintiff that it was “horseplay” and that there was nothing the district could do.

The lawsuit then states that on October 9, 2014, the plaintiff was at her locker, leaning towards the interior when JD slammed the locker door into the plaintiff’s head. He then walked away, laughing. The suit says that the locker door hit her head so hard that she experienced immediate pain and started crying. The girl went to her next class, and the teacher sent her to the office. Officials gave her ice for her head, but did not seek medical attention. An official reviewed video footage, but said it was blurry.

The girl’s mother arrived at school but was not allowed to see the video. She became frustrated with the lack of cooperation from school officials and was escorted from the premises. She then took her daughter to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with acute head trauma, having sustained a concussion. She received a CT scan two days later, and another in January 2015. She was also diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction, including dizziness, fatigue and some memory dysfunction. She also began suffering from headaches.

The plaintiff’s parents said they attempted to contact the Superintendent about their daughter’s safety, but she did not return their calls.

School officials initially said plaintiff could move her locker, but ended up having JD move his. She still saw him throughout the day, however. The parents then filed a complaint with police against JD and he was charged with assault and battery. JD then allegedly began spreading rumors about the plaintiff, and bullying her. Plaintiff reported this to school officials, but the suit says no steps were taken to stop the harassment.

The plaintiff says she still suffers physical pain, as well as emotional and psychological distress.

The Post emailed the Superintendent VanDuyn about the case and the effectiveness of current anti-bullying programs, but she did not respond to our request for comment.

The School did implement several anti-bullying measures the last couple of years, including the OK2Say program, a peer listening group, and partnered with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to employ a full-time deputy on campus.

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Missing principal and son found dead 

George Heckman

A missing elementary principal and his adult son were found dead in a vehicle in rural Montcalm County on Tuesday, June 20.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, their deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

George Heckman, 52, the principal at Pewamo Elementary, part of the Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools District, was reported missing Monday after missing a 7 p.m. board meeting. The district lies in both Clinton and Ionia Counties, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office led the missing person’s investigation.

Heckman and his son, Grant Heckman, 28, were found in a van on a dirt two-track off of Tow Road, near Boyer Road, in Bushnell Township. Michigan State Police East Lansing Crime Lab assisted members of the MSP Lakeview Post with processing the scene.

Police said that preliminary autopsy results revealed that both George and Grant Heckman died of gunshot wounds and evidence indicates that George Heckman’s wound was self-inflicted.

Grant Heckman reportedly had cerebral palsy and was wheelchair-bound.

Besides serving as principal at Pewamo Elementary, George Heckman had also been special education director there, and was vice-president of the board of Austin’s House, located in Westphalia, whose mission it was to “develop and provide secure long-term residential services responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities,” according to the group’s website.

Heckman was also due to become Superintendent of Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools in 10 days, when the current Superintendent leaves for Allendale Public Schools.

The case is still under investigation.

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Solon Township celebrates trail with ribbon cutting

Solon Township cut the ribbon on the new trail which will run through and around Velzy Park.

Saturday, June 10, was a perfect day for Velzy Park’s Spring fundraiser. The event, sponsored by the Velzy Park Committee and Solon Market Committee, included community sales, indoor craft sales, basket raffles donated by area businesses, a ribbon-cutting and a hotdog lunch.  All profits went to funding continued development of the park, located behind Solon Township Hall.

Community sales were part of the fundraiser.

The highlight of the event was a ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the new trail running through and around the entire park. This begins Phase One, which will include a restroom, play ground and picnic area. Shelly Aardema, Committee Chair, assisted in the ribbon cutting. It was her inspiration to pair Solon Market’s Community Sales with the Park fundraiser. The event netted the Park over $450 and likely will become an annual event to showcase park improvements. Donations for the park can be made out to Solon Township Velzy Park and mailed to 15185 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs, MI  49319.

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Hutchinson chosen as 2017 CHP Teacher of the Year

Mark Hutchinson,

Cedar Springs resident Mark Hutchinson, an associate professor in the Health Care System Administration program in the College of Health Professions (CHP) at Ferris State University, was recently named the 2017 CHP Teacher of the Year.

Hutchinson, who graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1990, went on to get his Bachelor of Science degree from the Health Care Management (now HCSA) program in the College and was actively involved on campus.

“I found a home at Ferris and loved my time as a student. The faculty made learning fun and interesting and that is what I strive to recreate for my students today.”

After college, Mark worked at District 10 Health Department for eight years in Community Health. He was responsible for identifying community needs and collected official statistics for the county. He also worked at Spectrum Health United Memorial Hospital prior to joining the HCSA faculty in 2012.

Gaining the title of “Teacher of the Year” is no easy feat; however, Mark attributes his successes in the classroom to one simple principal, “make it as real-world as possible. Students respond well to real-life examples and I use my own to connect theory with practice.” Although Mark is a first-generation Bulldog, the Hutchinsons anticipate a new generation heading to campus in the near future!

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Local teacher selected as 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

 

Multifaceted yearlong learning journey to prepare Shayne Dove, students as global citizens

Shayne Dove, a New Beginnings teacher, has been chosen as a Global Learning Fellow.

The NEA Foundation named Shayne Dove, a social studies educator at New Beginnings Alternative High School in Cedar Springs, is one of the 48 public school educators to become a member of this year’s class of Global Learning Fellows. Dove will spend a year building global competency skills (the capacity to understand and act on issues of global significance).

As a result of the Fellowship, Dove will be better equipped to prepare students for global citizenship. Fellows also create valuable global lesson plans for their students that are freely shared with educators across the nation and the world through open-source platforms.

The experience provided through the online coursework, webinars, and professional development workshop directly applies to my teaching and will give me concrete steps to take and skills to build to be a more effective teacher in all subject areas,” says Dove.

This class of Fellows was selected from more than 400 applicants from across the country. These new Fellows teach all grade levels and all subjects: from visual and performing arts to agri-science, vocational studies to history. They come from rural, suburban, and urban schools. They are National Board Certified, curriculum coaches, IB coordinators, foreign language speakers, and more. Some have participated in similar programs, and some have never traveled abroad. The diverse cohort will allow educators to learn from each other and bring global perspectives to a wide range of students.

We believe that educators are the key to giving students the skills to thrive in an interconnected world,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “We created the Global Learning Fellowship to provide professional development in teaching global competencies and to support educators as they integrate these skills into classroom instruction.”

Over the course of a year, the NEA Foundation staff, partners, and field experts will support Dove as he immerses himself in online coursework, webinars, and collegial study, including a two-day professional development workshop this fall and a nine-day international field study next summer, bringing the full cohort together with experts in global learning.

Prior Fellows have contributed valuable knowledge to the field by posting replicable lesson plans on open-source platforms. Past Fellows have returned to advance global competency in their schools and districts. One Fellow recently brought Peruvian artists to her school to teach her students how to incorporate their own culture into their art. 

Get to know all of the 2018 NEA Foundation Learning Fellows by visiting neafoundation.org.

The NEA Foundation will accept applications for the 2019 Global Learning Fellowship this fall.

The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students. Since our beginning in 1969, the Foundation has served as a laboratory of learning, offering funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges.

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Three-car crash sends four to hospital

A Morley woman who hit another vehicle from behind Friday morning in Reynolds Township may have been distracted by one of her children trying to loosen their seat belt.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 9:39 a.m. on Friday, June 16, in the 22000 block of West Howard City Road (M-82).

Police said that Vanessa Dyer, aged 25 from Morley, was travelling eastbound on Howard City Road (M-82) in her 2003 Chevrolet minivan with her three children, ages 2, 3, and 4. Joseph White, aged 61 from Muskegon, was travelling eastbound in front of Dyer, in his 1989 Chevrolet van. White was slowing to wait for traffic to clear so he could make a left turn into a private drive. A westbound 2000 Chevrolet Tracker, driven by Carl McNees, age 65, from Sand Lake, was slowing to make a right turn into the same private drive. Dyer told police she was distracted by her children and did not realize White was slowing on the roadway. Dyer struck White’s vehicle from behind causing White’s vehicle to strike McNees’ vehicle.
Dyer was pinned in her vehicle and the Jaws of Life had to be used to remove her. She suffered serious injuries and was flown to Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids by Aeromed. Dyer’s three children were transported via ambulance to Spectrum for observation.
White was not injured in the crash. His wife, Gloria aged 56, was a passenger and was complaining of injuries. She sought her own medical treatment.
McNee sustained minor injuries during the crash and refused treatment. His wife, Donna, aged 63, was passenger and was not injured.
In addition to Aeromed, ambulances from the Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services and Life EMS assisted at the scene, as did the Howard City Fire Department.
Police believe that one of the Dyer children was attempting to undo his seat belt in the vehicle. However, the remaining occupants, and the occupants of the other vehicles, were properly restrained and there were no other known contributing factors that led to the collision.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Second three-car crash injures motorists

 

The Montcalm County Sheriff Department responded to their second three-car crash of the day in Reynolds Township last Friday, June 16, at 5:05 p.m.

According to police, the crash occurred at the intersection of Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) and Edgar Road, in Reynolds Township. They reported that a 2008 Subaru Outback driven by Joseph Hondalus, 56, of Howard City, stopped at the stop sign on Edgar Road, at M-46, and then proceeded west into the intersection and was struck by an eastbound Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Johnathan Little, 43, of Crystal. The near head-on collision pushed the Subaru into the path of a westbound Chevrolet Trailblazer on M-46 that was driven by Christopher Conger, 37, of Big Rapids.

Both Hondalus and a female passenger were transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital by the Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

Little, who driving the Avalanche, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. His female passenger was not injured.

Conger, who was driving the Trailblazer, complained of pain but refused treatment.

The crash remains under investigation. All of the occupants were properly belted and airbags deployed in each of the vehicles.

In addition to the Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services units, the Howard City Fire Department and the Michigan State Police assisted at the scene.

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