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Fire destroys family’s home

Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

A Nelson Township family lost their home earlier this week after a fire broke out when no one was home.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the call came in at 10:49 a.m. Monday, December 5, that flames were through the roof at 9023 21 Mile Road.

Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, and Spencer Township Fire Departments all responded to the scene.

Holtzlander said that when firefighters arrived on scene, part of the roof was already caved in on the cinder block home.

He said that the fire most likely started in the attic above the kitchen/living room area, though it wasn’t determined how it started. “Their insurance company is investigating the cause,” explained Holtzlander.

He said that the home was a total loss.

Sand Lake Fire was called back to the house about 5 p.m. that day after the fire rekindled. “It was a problem with the insulation and how the roof line was built,” he explained.

Post photo by L. Allen.

Post photo by L. Allen.

No one was injured during the fire.

A gofundme page has been set up to help the Roebuck family (Billie, Laurie, and Isaac), who lived in the home, to meet immediate needs while their insurance is being sorted out and they figure out if anything is salvagable. You can visit the page at https://www.gofundme.com/fire-relief-fund-for-roebuck-family.

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Community celebrates Santa and tree lighting

Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Last Saturday, December 3, was a beautiful day to be out and about in downtown Cedar Springs, to celebrate the annual Mingle with Kris Kringle, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to Chamber president Perry Hopkins, the first weekend of the 2016 Cedar Springs Christmas went really well, with a lot of people turning out to make and take ornaments at both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and to see Santa at the end of the day.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, 74 people—old and young alike—attended the “Make and Take Ornament” morning at the library. Hopkins said that the museum estimated over 70 people attended ornament making there as well. “Story time with Mrs. Claus was a packed turn out also,” remarked Hopkins.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

At 4:30 p.m., a mini parade made its way down Main Street from Maple to Ash, with Sgt. Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs unit leading the way, and a horse-drawn wagon and rider from the Red Flannel Tree Farm carrying Santa Clause at the end. Included in the parade was the American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard and Women’s Auxiliary; Cedar Springs Renaissance Queen Victoria and guest; the Red Flannel Queen and Court; Grand Marshal Donna Clark and her husband, City Councilor Dan Clark; and Fire Chief Marty Fraser with the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

After the parade, Tom Noreen serenaded the crowd with some instrumental music, and the crowd later sang Christmas carols. Mayor Jerry Hall addressed the crowd, and then it was finally time to light the tree.

After the tree was lit, Calvary Assembly of God put on their live nativity, assisted by the Double K Farms Animal Junction. Afterward, families headed to the American Legion hall for hot chocolate and cookies, and to let children line up to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Many people were happy that the Mingle with Kris Kringle was held inside at the American Legion,” said Hopkins. He estimated over 200 people attended the tree lighting.

This weekend has more fun in store for families. On Saturday, December 10, is the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC). It is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun!

On Sunday, December 11, will be the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza. Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs Dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, they are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of their show this year.

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Woman killed in crash

 Jillian Poore was killed in a crash Dec. 5. Photo from her Facebook page.

Jillian Poore was killed in a crash Dec. 5. Photo from her Facebook page.

A Kent City woman was killed Monday, December 5, when her car veered off the road and hit a tree.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jillian Poore, 31, was traveling east on 21 Mile near Fruit Ridge, in Tyrone Township, in a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, when the vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a tree about 8:45 a.m.

Police said she was seat-belted in. She was the only one in the vehicle.

The crash remains under investigation.

Funeral services will be December 9 at 11 a.m. at Beuschel Funeral Home.

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Power outages cause problems at school

 

Falling snow weighed down tree limbs Monday evening, causing them to break and fall on power lines, which led to power outages for several thousand people in Kent County on Sunday evening, December 4, and more problems on Monday morning, December 5, which resulted in students being sent home early from school.

According to Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Operations director Ken Simon monitored the outage in the area Sunday evening/early Monday morning, and worked with the administration to ensure it was appropriate to hold school.

“There was not a problem at 5:00 a.m. this morning and therefore, school began as usual,” explained VanDuyn. “However, later in the morning, well after school began, power outages began to occur in several buildings. During those outages phones and computers were inoperable at those sites. The boilers at both Cedar View and Red Hawk became an issue as smoke was coming from them.”

Both schools were evacuated and the fire department was called was to investigate the cause of the problem. The students were eventually told to return to class at the direction of the fire department.

“Due to the fact that power issues continued and eventually affected every building, the safest manner in which to proceed was to send students home, as many related issues can arise in the absence of power ﴾i.e., loss of heat and ability to communicate﴿. Consumers Energy was working on the outage and shared an estimate of 4 p.m. for power restoration. We do apologize for the inconvenience.”

“I thank each and every one of you who worked through this today,” wrote VanDuyn in a letter to parents and staff, “including parents who had to return home to receive their children early or who had to pick up their children at an earlier time.”

She also thanked the transportation department for their quick response to come back in the middle of the day to transport students, and thanked the Cedar Springs Fire Department on their quick response for assistance. “We are always so well supported and it is greatly appreciated,” she said.

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The Post travels to Hoover Dam

From L to R: Helen Popelar, Gloria Robinson, Angie Popelar, Priscilla Shaffer, Carolyn Clement, Clare Hoover, Pam Orgeck, and Lourelle McKnight.

From L to R: Helen Popelar, Gloria Robinson, Angie Popelar, Priscilla Shaffer, Carolyn Clement, Clare Hoover, Pam Orgeck, and Lourelle McKnight.

“While on vacation in Las Vegas the first week of October, my mother, Priscilla Shaffer of Cedar Springs, insisted on going to the Hoover Dam to walk the new bypass bridge,” wrote Lourelle McKnight. “Before the walk we stopped at the Dam and pulled out her Cedar Springs Post and took a picture of all of us! It was a great time.”

Thanks so much to all of you for taking us with you to Hoover Dam!

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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Hannah Rasch crowned 2017 Michigan Apple Queen

2017 Michigan Apple Queen Hannah Rasch, right, and her Court, Michelle Alt (left). 

2017 Michigan Apple Queen Hannah Rasch, right, and her Court, Michelle Alt (left).

Hannah Rasch of Conklin, Mich. has been crowned the 2017 Michigan Apple Queen. Michelle Alt of Kent City, Mich. is first runner-up.

Contestants for Michigan Apple Queen must have a connection to the Michigan Apple industry in order to serve as its ambassador.

Hannah Rasch is the daughter of Fred and Deanna Rasch, and is pursuing an associate’s degree in medical assisting and a bachelor’s degree in medical case management from Davenport University. She is the daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of apple growers.

“The Michigan Apple Industry has crowned a queen every year since 1952. Each year, the winner of the prestigious title is given the great responsibility of serving the Michigan Apple industry as its ambassador,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “The candidates go through a rigorous interview and essay writing process for the competition. Hannah will be very busy in 2017 representing the industry at various parades, schools, festivals, grocery store events and more.”

Rasch will spend the next year attending events and festivals as the face of the Michigan Apple industry. She will also travel to schools throughout Michigan teaching students about apples.

Michelle Alt is the daughter of John and Stacey Alt, and is a student at Kent City High School. She is the daughter, niece, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of apple growers.

The 2017 Queen was crowned on December 6 at the 14th annual Michigan Apple Committee grower luncheon. It marks the 66th year of the competition that awards an apple representative based on poise, beauty, apple knowledge and public speaking ability.

Queen contestants must be between 17 and 23 years of age and have a link to the Michigan Apple industry. The Michigan Apple Committee sponsors the annual event. The queen and first runner-up each receive scholarships from the Michigan Apple Committee and the Michigan State Horticultural Society.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit http://www.michiganapples.com/www.MichiganApples.com.

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City Council tours Display Pack

Cedar Springs City Councilors Rose Powell, Dan Clark, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins, Mayor Gerald Hall and Display Pack President Vic Hansen on a recent tour of Display Pack.

Cedar Springs City Councilors Rose Powell, Dan Clark, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins, Mayor Gerald Hall and Display Pack President Vic Hansen on a recent tour of Display Pack.

The City of Cedar Springs City Council was invited to tour the Display Pack factory on West Street last Wednesday, November 30. Vic Hansen, Display Pack’s President, led the City Councilors and City Manager on a tour of the new Display Pack facility that provides consumer packaging services to some of the world’s top brands.

Hansen said that he was proud to show off the building to the city representatives. “Display Pack takes quality seriously and I think it shows in what we are doing here,” he remarked.

Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall said he was impressed by how environmentally friendly the Display Pack building is. “The recycling program Display Pack has instituted is top-notch, and they’re clearly trying to lead the industry in industrial recycling innovation,” he commented.

Display Pack is in the process of moving into the 360,000 square-foot building being vacated by Wolverine Worldwide on the south end of West Road. The company recently held a job fair to fill open positions and expects to have between 230 and 275 jobs on site when fully staffed. Vic Hansen told the City Councilors that he was very happy with the move to Cedar Springs and that the City has been very welcoming. “We look forward to working together for both of our benefit,” said Hansen.

Display Pack also has plans for future expansion in Cedar Springs, potentially adding an automotive plastics division and an onsite extruding division.

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Suspect wanted for felonious assault

 

Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to a felonious assault complaint at 8:56 p.m. December 6, in the Riverview Trailer Park, off Long Lake Drive, in Sparta Township.

According to police, their preliminary investigation found that two male subjects got into a verbal altercation that escalated into a physical altercation. During the physical altercation, a 23-year-old Sparta Township man was stabbed an unknown amount of times by a 25-year-old Sparta Township man. The victim was transported to Spectrum Hospital via ambulance.

The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle.

The incident is still under investigation by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. If anyone has any information please call The Kent County Sheriff’s Office at (616) 336-3113 or Silent Observer.

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Purchase a library brick or block for holiday giving

 

If you’ve been down Main Street in Cedar Springs recently, you can’t help but notice how far along the new library is at the corner of Main and Maple Street.

“It’s coming along really well,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “But you can’t really see what’s happening inside.” According to Clark, workers are putting up drywall, and the roofing will be done anytime. They are also working on the parking area. Clark also said that the Library Board voted to replace the sidewalk that will run in front of the building on Main Street. The building will be done sometime in the spring.

In the meantime, the library asks you to give a gift, a legacy, to the ones you love for Christmas and to help with costs for the New Cedar Springs Library, as well.

For $50 you can get a 4×8 brick with 3 lines, or an 8×8 brick with 6 lines for $100, and inscribe it as you wish. Bricks will be placed at the Library entrance and a few other places, as needed. The 10×8 retaining wall blocks are $1,000, and will have a brass plaque insert with 8 lines available. Logos are also possible with a block. Blocks will be used along the path to the Cedar Creek walkway.

Pick up a brochure to order a brick or block at the Cedar Springs Library or visit http://cedarspringslibrary.org/news/bricks-and-blocks-for-new-library/ to print one out.

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Take simple precautions when holiday shopping

 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding holiday shoppers that following a few safety precautions can help this season remain fun for all.

“A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger,” stated Trooper Roger Hunt, Lakeview Post. “By remaining vigilant and following a few safety tips, you can minimize your chance of becoming a victim and enjoy your holiday season.”

Mall shopping safety tips:

*Avoid shopping alone.  Use the buddy system whenever possible.

*Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.  Always lock your vehicle.

*Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.

*Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, do not bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.

*Do not carry large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.

*Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM.

Online shopping safety tips:

*Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.

*Only use secure websites. To determine if a website is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom browser window and a URL that begins with “https,” not just “http.”

*Protect your personal information. Read the retailer’s privacy policy and never provide your Social Security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name.

Holiday Shopping Safety tips:

*Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.

*Beware of emails offering cut-rate prices on popular items; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Auto Safety tips:

The Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) recommends the following safety tips to avoid a car break-in or theft:

*Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times. The majority of vehicle thefts involve an unlocked door.

*Do not keep valuables in your car. If you can’t avoid it, try to keep them out of sight by placing them either under a seat or in the trunk.

*Use your car alarm if equipped. Try to make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your valuables or your vehicle.

*Newer cars have a “panic” mode feature on the key fob. Don’t hesitate to use this feature if you see something suspicious around your vehicle when approaching.

*If you see something suspicious, do not confront the person but rather call the police and report what you witnessed.

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