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Cedar Springs falls to Muskegon in District Final


A flock of Red Hawks take down Muskegon quarterback Cameron Martinez. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Varsity Football team ended a great season last weekend with a 48-10 loss to Muskegon in the district final at Grand Haven. They finished with a 9-2 record (only one loss during the regular season) and went undefeated in conference, making them the OK White Champions two years in a row. They went on to beat Mount Pleasant in the predistrict game, and then faced Muskegon. For details on that game, and teams they will face next year, click here.

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Reminder: give your input at marijuana forums

November 15 5:30-6:30 p.m. and December 12 from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. both at the Cedar Springs Public Library located at 107 N. Main, Cedar Springs.

The City of Cedar Springs wants to hear what citizens have to say about whether to allow marijuana businesses in the city, and if they do, what type of businesses they would like to see. Citizens can give their input at a public forum/conversation in the first of two public meetings at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s community room Friday, November 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“As I stated following the City’s decision to opt-out in November 2018, the City Council is reexamining their position on allowing marijuana businesses now that the State of Michigan has released their rules governing the businesses,” explained Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack last month.

Sand Lake has already rescinded their medical marijuana ordinance and has decided to allow up to two dispensaries that are part of a franchise.

The City of Cedar Springs is looking for people to tell them what types of recreational marijuana businesses people are interested in having in the city, where in the city they are interested in seeing them, how many businesses they should allow, and what types of restrictions they should put on them.

Both meetings will be the same, so there is no need to attend both.

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First snowman of the season


This snowman is livin’ the life!

Kerri Mayo shared a Pinterest idea with her aunt, Tonnie Smith, last week when the first snow hit. “Her re-creation was even better than the original!” said Mayo. “She and my uncle did this snowman on their deck last week.”

The Smiths reportedly did this at their home near Cedar Springs High School. What a great looking snowman!

Send us your snowman and winter fun photos. We will use them as space allows. Email them to news@cedarspringspost.com and give us a description of what’s happening and who is in the photo.

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CBDT celebrates accomplishments


By Carolee Cole

The Community Building Development Team (CBDT) recently sponsored a Community Celebration. This was an opportunity for community members to meet together, enjoy a generous appetizer buffet catered by the Red Bird Bistro, and hear a presentation regarding the accomplishments of the CBDT since its inception in 2013 and hear the plans for the next few years. The Celebration was held at the American Legion on Main Street in Cedar Springs.

Audience members were truly amazed at how much had been accomplished over the last six years, both obvious and less obvious. Sonya Cronkright recently posted this statement online, “What a Great Evening it was at The Community Celebration hosted by the CBDT tonight. It was so good seeing so many familiar faces from the past and many dear friends we have shared our journey with for more than three decades…Thank you Red Bird for doing an excellent job with catering the event as well. MANY caring people who did much of the foundational work to help this city move forward all gathered in the same room made my heart sing tonight. Thank you all who came, and for those of you who couldn’t make it…we missed you and have not forgotten the hard work and effort each and every one of you have contributed throughout the years.”

Highlights of the presentation included the very first project, to build a rain garden at the corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets next to Cedar Creek. The purpose of this garden is to slow water run off from parking lots, building roofs, and streets by creating a buffer of indigenous plants between these areas and the Creek. The roots slow, clean and cool the water before it actually reaches the creek proper. Since that time, a second rain garden has been built, as well as other wetland preservation improvements using money from a $300,000 grant. 

A repeated statement heard throughout the evening was, “cash on the barrel head.” This is a favorite of Kurt Mabie, our President and speaker for the evening. Several times he noted everything that’s been accomplished was completely paid for through grants, volunteer labor, reduced costs for materials, and the generous donations of local lovers and supporters of Cedar Springs. Cash and donations to the CBDT have totaled just over $2 Million.

Another topic throughout the presentation was the Master Plan, devised by the City of Cedar Springs. The focus of the CBDT has been to look at the dreams and plans included in this awesome Master Plan and bring them to fruition. From a new library to trails throughout the city and a new amphitheater, it was noted that these are becoming a reality one and two at a time. 

The CBDT’s connection to the North Country Trail, Trout Unlimited and the Rogue River Home River’s Initiative has resulted in many trees being planted to protect and cool our amazing and perfectly situated trout stream. In addition, trails along the creek and through beautiful areas of both the city and the surrounding countryside on the way to the Rogue River State Game Area are becoming a reality, in fulfillment of the Master Plan. 

There are two specific projects being supported by the CBDT in 2020. These are the planning and possible installation of a children’s natural playground in the “Heart of Cedar Springs,” and the building of a veteran’s honor garden/park by the American Legion, near the library. There are other projects that will also be considered, but these two will be the focus.

A detailed power point with many photos from past and present has been prepared by Carolee Cole. If you have any groups or organizations who might like to see this presentation please contact Kurt Mabie or Carolee Cole. 

The CBDT meets four times per year to discuss plans and organize action. The next meeting is January 21, 2020 in the library at 6:30 p.m. More community members are needed to complete the next phase so join in at a level that works for you. All are welcome to attend. 

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The Post travels to the Bahamas


The Post recently took a tour of the Bahamas with Josh and Rachel (Reed) Hunt, of Martin. The couple left Miami on a five-day cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and made stops at Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s own island), Nassau, Freeport (on Grand Bahama Island), and then back to Great Stirrup Cay. That island is the one shown in the background of the photo.

Thank you, Rachel and Josh, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? 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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Angel Tree at First Baptist Church


It’s that time of year again—time for the Salvation Army Angel Tree. All over Kent County various businesses and organizations are hosting Angel Trees for the less fortunate in West Michigan. This year, First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs is hosting a tree. 

On the tree you will find tags with gift information for either a boy, girl or teenager. All you have to do is take a tag, fulfill the request and bring back your unwrapped toy and place it under the Angel Tree with the tag by Sunday, December 15. 

First Baptist Church is accepting donations on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

If you or a friend would like to sign up for Angel Tree assistance for this Christmas and you live in Kent County, visit your neighborhood food pantry to get information or call the United Way hotline by dialing 211 or 1-800-887-1107.

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Rifle raffle winner


The Sons of the American Legion, Glen Hill Squadron 287, of Cedar Springs would like to congratulate Mark Freiberg of Rockford. Mark’s winning ticket for the rifle raffle was drawn on November 9. Pictured is Mark holding his new Remington Model 783  30-06 with scope and Squadron 287 Commander Keith Tyler.

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Life in Algoma Township in the 1800’s


By Eloise (Armstrong) Covey, courtesy of the Algoma Township Historical Society

The Armstrong family home: 120 acres  on Algoma Avenue, north of 14 Mile Rd, between Indian Lakes and 15 Mile Rd. Helen and John are show here with five of their nine children. Front row (L to R): mother Helen Armstrong, Matie, father John, and Bessie. Back row: Harvey, Eloise’s father Milton, and Hattie. Photo courtesy of Algoma Township Historical Society.

The following story was submitted to the Algoma Township Historical Society by Eloise (Armstrong) Covey, who passed away in 2011. She donated many artifacts and pictures. She and her family owned and operated an upholstery business in Cedar Springs and a portion of her work is displayed at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in the “Queen” exhibit.

My grandmother, Helen Armstrong, was such an important part of my life as she often stayed with my family when I was a little girl. She told stories about living in the log cabin that her husband, John, built in the tall timbers that covered almost all of Algoma Township. The home was located just east of Algoma Avenue and on the south side of 14 Mile Rd.

The cabin was very small with only one window and one door. They had two small boys when they build the cabin. My father, Milton Armstrong, was just two years younger than his oldest brother. Grandma told me about the bears and wolves that roamed the thick woods surrounding their cabin. One time, she explained, they were out of meat but to make matters worse, they had no ammunition for their rifles and it just so happened that one night they heard a bear clawing at their door. Grandfather John wanted to take an axe and to go out and kill it before it got into the cabin and then they would have a good supply of meat but Grandma Helen begged him not to do it. She said an axe was of no good against a hungry bear! Just then they saw a second bear come around the side of the cabin so Grandma was right in not letting him go outside and confront the bear. The bears finally left the cabin alone and slipped back into the woods.

Eloise’s parents, Minnie and Milton Armstrong’s wedding picture from November 24, 1917. Minnie’s wedding dress has been donated to the Algoma Historical Society and is on display. Photo courtesy of Algoma Township Historical Society.

The family had made a narrow trail through the woods to go to Edgerton for supplies. Grandma Helen sometimes took the train from Edgerton to Grand Rapids to visit her mother. One time when she was coming home the train had some mechanical trouble so she arrived in Edgerton way after dark. She had no other choice than to walk through the dark woods on the narrow trail to get back to her log cabin home. She had no lantern to light her path and the thick woods prevented starlight from sharing its light. Her mother had given her a fresh loaf of bread and a pail of honey to bring home. Grandma said she could hear all kinds of animals in the dark woods around her and as she hurried toward home she pried off the lid of the honey jar and dipped chunks of bread in it and she determined that if any animals came close to her or within her sight she would throw the morsels to them. She was thankful she didn’t need to do that and she did get home safely.

Nine children were born to the family and they eventually moved to a big house on Algoma Avenue, between Indian Lakes Rd and 15 Mile Rd on 120 acres.

Grandma said when they moved there that the road (Algoma Avenue) was just a rutted sand two track and that even the horses had a hard time pulling their wagons with household goods up the hill that was just north of 14 Mile Rd on Algoma Avenue. The children could not ride but would follow behind and would carry their chickens, pigs, and other animals and pets.

Reflecting back, I’m sure it was a big and welcome change to move from a log cabin in the deep woods to a large house on what was then a road that was a route to civilized areas. I pause many times and think of how all those forests were cut down and the timber was brought to the nearby lumber mills and how more families came into the area to farm and raise families and how all that changed the landscape. I am thankful for the strong determination and will of my and all our early settlers, paving the way for the farm fields and homes and to still see many stands of timber standing tall and giving natural habitat for woodland birds and animals. 

I so enjoyed hearing my grandmother tell stories of her growing up in the 1800s and all the hard work and determination to provide for her family in the rough conditions of the early settlers days in Algoma Township.

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City Hall Corner


By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Vote Vote Vote

In the recent November 2019 election, voter turnout in the City of Cedar Springs was 19.34 percent and I know we can do better than that.  I won’t bore you with an argument about voting being a civic duty and simply say that voting is now easier than ever in Michigan. The voters of Michigan overwhelmingly passed Proposal 3 of 2018 by a 66.9 percent to 33.1 percent tally. That proposal enshrined several voting policies into the state constitution. Some of these voting policies were long-held practices that theoretically could have been revoked by action of the State government. Those rights are now irrevocable because they are written into the constitution. These rights include the right to use secret ballots and the right of military members to receive absentee ballots 45 days before the election. 

Other changes written into the proposal included the right to audit elections, extending the times that people can register to vote, making voter registration an opt-out option when getting a driver’s license or state-ID card and reinstituting the straight-ticket voting option that was outlawed by the State government in 2015.

What I think is the most exciting part of the changes included with Proposal 3, however, is the no-excuse absentee voting for 40 days before an election. Absentee voting used to be only available to persons who were 60 years or older, persons who would be out of town on election day or persons who were physically incapable of voting due to disability, religious tenet or incarceration. The new no-excuse absentee voting means you can skip the lines at the precinct if you hate waiting in lines and you don’t have to get time off from work to do it. It means you can fill out the ballot at home with your computer to look up the candidates you are considering voting for or what experts think about a particular millage proposal. It also means that you can pin the ballot to a board and vote by dart, put it on the ground and vote by “jumping to conclusions,” or vote with the assistance of 2018’s Proposal 1, not that I would recommend any of those options. 

The truth of the matter is that decisions are made by those who show up.  Voting is having your voice heard and directing the policies of your local, state and federal government. Starkly put, elections have consequences and your vote really does count.

If you have questions about the City of Cedar Springs’ elections or if you’d like to discuss absentee voting in the City please contact the City Clerk at clerk@cityofcedarsprings.org or by phone at 616-696-1330.

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Taco bar raises $800 for Velzy Park


It took some time due to a small glitch, but the tally is finally in. Big Boy’s Taco Bar fundraiser to benefit Velzy Park netted around $800. 

The park committee noted that funds came in from donations and a silent auction, as well as a percentage of food sales during the event.  Area businesses stepped up to provide items for the auction as area residents were treated to the park’s 2nd annual Taco Bar dinner Tuesday, September 24.  

The event coincided with Big Boy’s “Free Pie Night”, adding a special treat for participating patrons. Funds from the dinner are destined to go towards playground equipment, slated to go in next Spring. The park restroom, funded largely through public donations, is still under construction.  For more information, or to volunteer for future fundraisers, contact Solon Township @ 616-696-1718 or check out their facebook page @ Solon Township’s Velzy Park.

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