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Sand Lake chooses royalty for July 4th celebration

The Sand Lake Queens, Court and Firecrackers for 2022-2023. Top Row (L to R):  Avery Vandyke, Alexia Stoner, Sarah Sharp, Julia Stadler. Bottom Row (L to R):  Maverick Hoogerhyde, Amya Jones, Briana Hoogerhyde, Kenzlee Burns, Alexia Unger.

The annual Sand Lake July 4th Celebration is right around the corner, and that means a new set of royalty has been chosen to grace this year’s festivities and represent the festival throughout the year. 

This year’s Miss Sand Lake is Alexia Stoner, 15, the daughter of Nikki and Kevin Stoner, of Pierson. 

Miss Sand Lake Queen’s Court is Julia Stadler, 11, the daughter of John and Suzanne Stadler of Howard City; and Sarah Sharp, 15, the daughter of Julie Sharp of Sand Lake.

The Jr. Miss Sand Lake Queen is Avery Vandyke, 11, the daughter of Lisa VanDyke, of Pierson. 

The Jr. Miss Sand Lake Queen’s Court is Kenzlee Burns, 8, daughter of Amanda Burns, of Howard City; and Amya Jones, 8, daughter of Jessica Fox, of Sand Lake.

Little Miss Sand Lake is Briana Hoogerhyde, 9, daughter of Justin and Jamie Hoogerhyde of Sand Lake.

Little Miss Firecracker is Alexia Unger, 5, the daughter of Katrina Christensen, of Sand Lake.

Little Mister Firecracker is Maverick Hoogerhyde, 4, the son of Justin and Jamie Hoogerhyde, of Sand Lake.

The Sand Lake Queens and Court will be hosting a Veteran’s lunch free of charge on July 4th at 2 pm at the VFW in Sand Lake for any veterans that would like to attend. “We are so excited to serve our community this year,” they said.  

The group will be selling crowns and cookies this year to raise money for a new float and the scholarship fund. 

Come check out the Queen’s and the Sand Lake 4th of July Fair and activities this year starting on July 1, 2022. Click link below to see a schedule of events.


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Homemade bomb discovered on side of the road

What would you do if you saw something on the side of the road that looked like a possible explosive device? 

On June 20, 2022, at approximately 2:35 p.m., the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Newaygo City Hall for a possible homemade firework complaint.

Newaygo County Central Dispatch advised that a citizen found an unknown device on the side of the road. The citizen then brought the device to the City of Newaygo Police Department for an officer to look at it. A Newaygo Police Officer looked at the device and requested the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office to respond since the device had been located outside of the city.

Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and immediately noticed that the device was not a firework. The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office requested the Newaygo Fire Department to respond to close roads near City Hall. Michigan State Police Bomb Squad was also requested and responded to the scene.

The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad arrived on scene and took the device to a secure location and detonated the device.

The device was found to be a homemade bomb.

The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office spoke with the citizen that found the device and located the area where he found it. The Michigan State Police was contacted and responded to the area with a K-9 dog trained in detecting explosives. The area was checked and nothing suspicious was located.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people that if they locate suspicious packages or devices to leave them alone and call 911.

The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on the scene by the Newaygo Police Department, Michigan State Police, Newaygo Fire Department, and Newaygo County Central Dispatch.

Bob Mendham, Sheriff

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Fundraiser for K9 unit

It was a fun afternoon for area residents, firefighters, and staff from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office that attended the fundraiser June 12 at Deer Tracks Junction for the KCSO 11-member K9 Unit.

Festivities included free food, face painting, a dunk tank, tours of emergency and tactical vehicles, and families got to meet the Kent County County Sheriff’s K-9 unit.

“Our K9s and their handlers had tons of fun meeting local families and businesses,” said a Kent County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson on their Facebook page. “Our staff was extremely grateful for the amount of support shown by those in our community, the staff of Deer Tracks Junction, and the Courtland Fire Department. The funds raised will in part go towards K9 first aid kits, additional equipment needs, and training. The staff highlight of the day is seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces we get to meet!”

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Nominations open for the KDL Literacy Champion Award

Kent County, Michigan – Kent District Library is introducing the KDL Literacy Champion Award for outstanding leadership and advocacy of literacy. The award will go to one individual and one organization who does or has done something exceptional to promote literacy. Nominations are open through July 31 and may be submitted online at kdl.org/literacychampion. Winners will receive $1,000, a crystal trophy and two tickets to KDL’s Literary Libations Gala taking place on September 15. 

“Literacy is the foundation of all learning for our children and throughout life,” said Lance Werner, Executive Director of Kent District Library. “There are many people and organizations who have an exceptional passion for literacy, creating a profound impact on lives in our community. The KDL Literacy Champion Award shines a light on and celebrates them.”  

Awards will be selected from public nominations received by July 31, then given to one individual and one organization who has demonstrated leadership and exceptional achievement in advancing reading. Individuals can be teachers, tutors, school librarians, authors and others. Organizations can be schools, non-profit services, for-profit businesses and government entities. 

Nominations will be reviewed by a panel from Kent District Library and its Board of Trustees. Winners will be publicly announced and celebrated on September 15, 2022 at the eighth annual Literary Libations Gala. For complete details, visit kdl.org/literacychampion

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Tips and tricks to stay healthy during heat waves

Recently we’ve experienced some extremely hot days and nights, with the temps into the 90s and the heat index at 100 or more. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging Michigan residents to take steps to protect themselves from risks related to hot weather. 

MDHHS routinely reviews emergency department (ED) data for heat-related illness. As daily temperatures rise above 80 degrees, ED visits for heat-related illness tend to increase. This is often more likely early in the summer season as people are not yet used to high temperatures and are not taking the necessary precautions.

“Michigan residents can take steps to protect themselves from heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance. Limit time in heat, stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight and find somewhere with air conditioning or take cool showers. Text or call 211 or contact your local health department to locate a cooling center in your area.”

When it is very hot, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness because the body’s temperature rises and cannot be cooled by sweating or the other ways the body cools itself. The most severe heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If not treated, heat exhaustion can worsen and cause heat stroke or death. To prevent complications from the heat, residents are encouraged to: 

  • • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol. 
  • • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening. 
  • • Spend time indoors in air conditioning. 
  • • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. 
  • • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down. 
  • • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance. 

For those without access to air conditioning, text or call Michigan 211 or contact your local health department to find out if there is a cooling center nearby. You can also spend some time at an air-conditioned store, shopping mall or other public building – even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help. 

In addition to staying hydrated and out of the sun, residents are reminded to never leave children or pets alone in a car even with windows cracked. Temperatures inside a car can easily be double the temperature outside. Because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult, they are more susceptible to heatstroke. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are both forms of heat-related illness. Signs of heat-related illness vary but may include: 

  • • Heavy sweating 
  • • Muscle cramps 
  • • Weakness 
  • • Dizziness 
  • • Headache 
  • • Nausea 
  • • Vomiting 
  • • Fainting 
  • • Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F) 
  • • Tiredness 

Heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and can result in death if not treated promptly. Humidity can make temperatures feel even hotter and further stress the body’s ability to self-regulate. If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 911 for immediate medical help and try to cool the person down. For more information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from heat-related illness, see the MDHHS Heat Awareness and Safety Fact Sheet at https://tinyurl.com/dj5pfjwu or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html.

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West St. project to begin soon

Last week we told you utility and road work would begin on the south end of West St. around July 5, for the creation of a business park. We reached out to Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack for a little more information.

How long will construction take and how big will the area be?

“The West St. project itself has been in the works now for several years, delayed by COVID, but we anticipate breaking ground on or about July 5th and the project will likely go through late October,” he said. “This project opens up more than 40 acres of City-owned property to the development of a business park.”

How is the project being funded?

The city received a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and also has their own portion to pay, which they bonded for. They were, however, able to reduce their cost.

“When we started looking at the West St. development project, the City anticipated that it would cost the City approximately $700,000 in development costs (in addition to the expected $872,000 from the EDA),” explained Womack. “However, after all was said and done, we were able to decrease the City’s portion down to just under $450,000.  So, to pay for that portion of the City’s cost of development, we decided to bond for that amount and then pay back the bond as the land is sold off to businesses.  The City has been on a bit of a tear recently obtaining grant money, but each grant opportunity requires that the City put up a matching amount of money to complete each project.”

How is the City able to fund the other projects they have going on when they have this huge project in the works?

“Since the West St. project was expected to generate income based upon land sales after the project was completed, we decided to take the City’s existing money in the bank and put that existing funding towards other projects that are not expected to generate any income (such as the Heart of Cedar Springs playground, the 17 N. Main pocket park, the 2nd Street and 5th Street sidewalk projects and the Main St. bridge and reconstruction projects that are all in the works,” said Womack. 

“The obvious downside of doing this, is that we will end up paying interest on the bond loan but the upside is that it allows the City to use existing funding in the bank to apply for and hopefully get more grant funding in the meanwhile, in other words we aren’t tying up $450,000 of the City’s money into this project, which would have prevented us from pursuing grant money on those other projects.”

According to Womack, West St., north of the project area, should remain unaffected by construction, but the area will see increased construction traffic. The Skyhawks flying field is expected to remain open throughout most or all of the project.

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Five overdose at Grand Rapids hotel

One person died; four others hospitalized

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is investigating why five people from out of town overdosed at a hotel in Cascade Township earlier this week.

According to police, they were called on Monday to a hotel in the 5400 block of 28th St SE, where five people were found unresponsive inside a hotel room.  Naloxone (Narcan) was administered to all five people and CPR was performed on two patients.  

A 32-year-old female from Florida was pronounced deceased at the scene. Four others were transported to area hospitals for further treatment and were reported in stable condition.  

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said preliminary findings point to this being a drug overdose-related event and several of the individuals involved were in from out of state on business.  KCSO detectives are working on details of what led up to the event and the final cause of death will be pending the Kent County Medical Examiners’ final report.  There is no foul play suspected other than the use of illicit drugs.     

Sgt. Eric Brunner, with the KCSO, said they cannot yet give out information concerning what type of drugs were used, or whether they were bought in Kent County. But he did tell us what often causes an overdose. 

“Common drugs of concern are heroin and fentanyl. Often times users have to use more and more drugs to achieve the first high.  Therefore, they end up overdosing. They also will overdose if something else like fentanyl is cut in with the cocaine or heroin,” he explained.

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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Prisoner sentenced to nine years in prison for mailing threats

Nathon James Zink

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced Tuesday, June 21, that Nathon James Zink, 35, was sentenced to 112 months in federal prison for mailing threatening communications to state and federal judges. 

U.S. District Court Judge Hala Y. Jarbou imposed the sentence and ordered that it be served consecutively to the state court sentences Zink is currently serving with the Michigan Department of Corrections. After release from prison, Zink will be on supervised release for three years.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Zink is currently serving state terms for home invasion, arson of a house, possession of a weapon by a felon, and two counts of possession of a weapon by a prisoner.

In August and September 2020, Zink was an inmate at a Michigan Department of Corrections facility when he sent threatening letters through the U.S. Postal Service to state and federal court judges. The letters included threats to extort, kidnap, sexually assault, and kill judges and their family members. One letter, which was sent to the U.S. District Court in Kalamazoo, Michigan, stated it contained the biological agent anthrax. Authorities investigated and determined the letter was safe and did not contain any anthrax. 

On March 8, 2022, Zink pled guilty to one count of mailing a threatening communication and one count of mailing a threatening communication to a federal employee.

While sentencing Zink, Judge Jarbou emphasized the extremely serious nature of the threats Zink made, noting they were “vulgar and violent” and that his extensive criminal history indicated he was “capable of hurting others.”

“Mailing threatening communications is a serious federal crime and Mr. Zink’s threats were especially depraved. No one should have to live in fear based on threats like these,” said Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. “My office will not hesitate to prosecute these crimes, especially when the targets are public officials who play a critical role upholding our democracy.”

“Nathon Zink’s actions were intended to incite fear and intimidate members of our state and local judicial system,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Threats of violence against public servants have no place in our society and the FBI will use every available resource to disrupt and investigate those threats.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations with important additional assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, and the Michigan Department of Corrections. The case was prosecuted by AUSA Lauren Biksacky.

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Hometown Happenings 6/23/22

theTable Meals at The Springs Church

June 23,30: Meals are served every Thursday fom 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Springs Church on the corner of Oak and Grant. All are welcome to theTable to enjoy this free meal that is being shared with us! #tfn

Sand Lake Museum Open

June 28: The Sand Lake Salisbuy Park Museum will be open Tuesday, June 28th from noon to 7 pm. The museum is open the fourth Tuesday of every month. #24,25

Explore MCC’s Nature Trails

Montcalm Community College’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails are open to the public from dawn until dusk, 365 days a year. There is no charge ot visit these beautiful trails winding through forests, grasslands and wetlands. More than four miles of trails are marked with numbered trail posts and maps are available at most major trail heads. For more information, visit www.moncalm.edu/nature-trails or email naturetrails@montcalm.edu. #25

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Flying the friendly skies

Shortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the Captain announced:

“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain. Welcome to Flight 293, nonstop from London’s Heathrow Airport to New York. The weather ahead appears to be good, so we should have an uneventful flight. So sit back and relax and…OH…DEAR GOD!!!” 

An eerie silence followed the captain’s horrendous cry. 

A few moments later, the captain came back on the intercom.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you. While I was talking to you, I accidentally spilled coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!”

As passengers breathed a sigh of relief, an Irish voice yelled from the back of the plane, “Fer the luvva Jaysus you should see the back o’ mine!”

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Lucille Marie Middleton, age 97, of Cedar Springs, went home to her Lord and Savior on Monday, June 20, 2022. Lucille was born to Clyde and Ila (Moore) Ashley on March 30, 1925, in Rockford, Michigan. She loved to dance and listen to music, which she was still doing a few weeks ago. Lucille was such a people person with a bubbly personality and with a heart of gold. She also would never miss an opportunity to give hugs. Lucille enjoyed being with her family and a very simple lifestyle. She is survived by her children, Arnold (Naila) Middleton, Teresa (Dan) Pountney; grandchildren, Shelly (Allen) Campbell, Steven Middleton, Stephanie DeBoer, Todd (Tonya) DeBoer; great-grandchildren, Alyssa DeBoer, Damon Middleton, Haylee DeBoer, Taylor DeBoer, Tessa DeBoer, Elizabeth Campbell, Andrew Campbell; great-great-grandchild, Christian Middleton; and many nieces and nephews. Lucille was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clair; sister, Dorothy (Edward) Lanesky; brothers, Clayton (Nellie) Ashley, and Loren Ashley. There will be a time of visitation with the family from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 27, 2022 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe St., Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Lucille will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at Pederson Funeral Home. Memorial donations in Lucille’s name can be made Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Ramon Morris Bassett, age 94 of Gowen MI, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 18, 2022 into his heavenly home after suffering several mini strokes followed by pneumonia. He was born on March 28,1928 in Cedar Springs, MI to Alden & Irene (Morris) Bassett. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alden & Irene; his sister, Joan Weldele and his loving wife of 64 years, Louise in 2016. He is survived by his brother, Gerald; 4 children, Renae & (Stanley) Kimes of Belding, Debra & (Norman) Chee of New Mexico, Judy & (William) Fish of Rockford and Jeffrey & (Debbie) Bassett of Sparta; 10 grandchildren, Abby & (Nick) Gould of Sand Lake, Whitney Bassett of Sparta, Matthew Kimes of Belding, Michelle & (Jaime) Pyne of Cedar Springs, Peter & (Brandilyn) Fish of Cedar Springs, Kathryn Fish & (Brooks Hobson)of E. Grand Rapids, Emily & (Kevin) Ritzema of Cedar Springs, Hannah, Brian & Benjamin Chee of New Mexico; 11 great-grandchildren: Colten, Dakota & Shalynn Schreiner, Mason & Madison Hobson, Aiden, Blaire & Brynne Ritzema, Parker, Emmett & Reid Fish. Ramon graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1947. One of his first jobs was at the Kent Theatre in Cedar. He went from passing out flyers to making popcorn to running the movie reels for all the shows. After high school he entered into the Navy. He served from 1948-49 at Glenview Naval Air Base. He operated 2 Amoco service stations, 1 on Main St and 1 at the 131 freeway in Cedar. Upon retirement in the early 1980’s he helped his son Jeff start a new business, Bassett’s Auto & Towing on 17 Mile Rd near freeway in Cedar. His hobbies included drawing, building a canoe, model airplanes (big-small-tiny) and HO scale trains. He also loved to ride motorcycles and owned several different Harley’s including one with a side car (for Mom of course). He was a loving husband, best father ever, a fun grandpa and great grandpa. We will miss his humor, his sweet smile and the wave of his hand to welcome you or say goodbye. Visitation will be Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. till the services at the church. Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City with Pastor Richard Townes officiating. A luncheon will immediately follow. Burial with Military honors will take place at Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers those wishing to make a contribution in Ramon’s name are asked by the family to contribute to the American Heart Assoc, American Cancer Society or St Jude’s Children’s Hosp. 

Arrangements are by the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville with complete online at www.marshallfuneralhomeinc.com where you can leave a message of condolence for the family.

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