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Help stock the Cedar Springs food pantry


Edward Jones is collecting food Oct. 16-Nov. 14


Would you like to have a chance to really make a difference in the community?

Buy a few extra items when you buy groceries this week to donate to the local food pantry and drop them off at our local Edward Jones branch.

The Cedar Springs Community Food pantry, located at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on Main Street, works in conjunction with North Kent Community Services. They feed hundreds of local families each year. In the past, the food pantry depended on the fall food drive with the local U.S. Post office to help stock their needs. Now that the carriers are based in Rockford, they no longer have the big drive to benefit this pantry, so a local business is stepping in to help restock the shelves.

Edward Jones, 4027 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, hopes to collect 1,750 pounds of food for the pantry before November 14. Let’s help meet their goal! Non-perishable foods can be dropped off at their office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some of the supplies needed include boxed or canned meals such as soups, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce; baking and pancake mix; and canned meats. Personal care items such as bar soap, laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper will also be accepted, but not weighed.

Call 696-9370 for more information.


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Arrests made in Spencer Township homicide

Christopher Paul Duncan

Christopher Paul Duncan

Zachary Wayne Bennett

Zachary Wayne Bennett

Jaman Amr Parish

Jaman Amr Parish








Tyler Coty Rohn

Tyler Coty Rohn

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey

Kevin Carson Berry

Kevin Carson Berry

The Kent County Sheriff Department released the names last Friday of the six people arrested for the murder last month of Brent Luttrell, of Gowen. One of them, Christopher Paul Duncan, 29, of Lakeview, is the ex-boyfriend of Luttrell’s girlfriend, and the father of her child, who was there at the time of the home invasion.

Police believe that greed and jealousy were behind the attack, and that Duncan helped plan the home invasion, though he wasn’t present when it happened. Luttrell had been dating the woman for about six weeks, and had reportedly posted photos of himself on social media with large amounts of cash. Duncan and Luttrell had reportedly been friends at one time.

Police said that Luttrell, 34, was sleeping at his home, at 12849 Pinewood N.E., in Spencer Township, on September 8, when three armed masked males entered the residence about 1 a.m. Luttrell immediately ran outside and was confronted by at least one of the suspects. He was then forced into a red passenger vehicle with a loud muffler (driven by another person) and transported to the area of Lincoln Lake and Pinewood, where he was later found in the roadway with multiple wounds. Luttrell was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth, where he died as a result of his injuries.

An autopsy was conducted and it was determined Luttrell died from multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

Police reported there were three other adults in the residence (Luttrell’s male cousin, his cousin’s girlfriend, and Luttrell’s girlfriend) and a juvenile male (Luttrell’s girlfriend’s son). The cousin received facial injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

Arrested was:

Christopher Paul Duncan, 29, of Lakeview. He is facing charges of Conspiracy to commit home invasion and habitual offender, 2nd notice.

Zachary Wayne Bennett, 21, of Lyons. He is charged with conspiracy to commit home invasion; conspiracy to commit armed robbery; armed robbery; home invasion; and habitual offender, 3rd notice. He was sentenced in May to probation for committing larceny from a motor vehicle and breaking and entering a building with intent in February of this year.

Jaman Amr Parish, 34, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, felony firearm, and habitual offender, 4th notice. Parish was on parole, as of May of last year, for assaulting a prison employee, and breaking and entering with intent.

Tyler Coty Rohn, 25, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, and felony firearm.

Isaac Michael-Paul Fezzey, 21, of Ionia. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, felony firearm, and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.

Kevin Carson Berry, 21, of Saranac. He is charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion, and felony firearm.

The Sheriff Department said that the investigation is ongoing, and other people may be arrested in the future.

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Local agencies train for worldwide Ebola outbreak


News came out this week that a second healthcare worker in a Dallas, Texas hospital has tested positive for the Ebola virus, after caring for a man who died there from it last week. So far, it is the only place in the U.S. affected by the virus. However, officials in Kent County aren’t twiddling their thumbs. Instead, they are proactively preparing to combat the threat.

Officials from the City of Grand Rapids, Kent County, area hospitals and first response agencies met Monday to discuss emergency preparedness regarding the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus worldwide. Discussions centered on the virus, transmission, prevention, patient isolation and monitoring, in case there was a patient with Ebola–like symptoms who had travelled to (or had close contact with someone from) the region impacted by Ebola.

“This meeting brought key first responders and healthcare providers to the same table to discuss our preparedness plans with county and city officials,” said Jack Stewart, Emergency Management Coordinator. “We need to be able to respond quickly, while making sure we are protecting our front-line personnel and others.”

The meeting resulted in a decision to reestablish the Metropolitan Medical Response System, which will ensure a coordinated effort.

The meeting included representatives of Emergency Management, the Grand Rapids City Manager’s Office, Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Rapids Fire Department, Kent County Health Department, Kent County Administrator’s Office, Kent County EMS, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, and Metro Health Hospital.

“We are working to bring all of the right people to the table to discuss this emerging health threat,” said  Greg Sundstrom, Grand Rapids City Manager. “Knowing who to call before an emergency helps us provide the most successful response we can.”

The Kent County Health Department has provided guidance to area health care providers, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) direction. “The region’s top emergency and medical professionals are making sure all providers have the right information and tools,” said Dan Koorndyk, Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “This type of cooperation ensures that our team is always prepared and informed.”

Area hospitals are continuously training for the unexpected. “We welcome the opportunity to work with our Kent County partners on this issue,” Michael Kramer, MD, Spectrum Health Senior Vice President & Chief Quality

Officer. “Spectrum Health is committed to providing all available assistance to our partners to educate and protect our community and health care workers.”

“As a community well-known for its collaboration, West Michigan’s health care providers and key stakeholders are preparing as best as we can, focusing on education, awareness and monitoring to prevent Ebola from occurring within our region,” said Mary Neuman, RN, BSN, MM, CIC, Director of Infection Control at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “All these pieces to keep our community safe will require constant and open communication among our health care systems.”

“By working together with the Kent County Health Department and area hospitals and using CDC guidelines, we are able to share best practices that truly benefit our community,” said Svetlana Dembitskaya, Metro Health chief operating officer. “Our community can rest assured that we are working together to provide the high quality care West Michigan residents expect and deserve.”

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease in humans. The CDC continues to issue regular updates to state and local authorities. The outbreak continues to affect several countries in West Africa: Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

Currently, those at highest risk include healthcare workers and the family and friends of a person infected with Ebola. A person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear, which can take up to 21 days.

Signs and symptoms of Ebola are flu-like in nature. They typically include:

Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)

Severe headache

Muscle pain



Stomach pain

Unexplained bleeding or bruising

No one in Kent County has met the criteria for testing at this time, and no cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Michigan.



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Man convicted in cat killing

Michael Stackhouse

Michael Stackhouse

A Cedar Springs man rolled the dice and lost.

Michael Patrick Stackhouse, 35, killed a cat outside his home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last April. He was reportedly offered a plea deal in May that would reduce his sentence if he pled guilty to a charge of animal cruelty causing death. Under the plea deal, he would not be charged as a multiple felony offender, which could have reduced his sentence. But he rejected the deal, and instead decided he wanted a jury trial.

His decision backfired this week when he was convicted by that jury on the animal cruelty charge. He was remanded to jail immediately to await sentencing.

It started on April 7, when a call came into police dispatch, with the caller telling them that a cat had jumped over a partial door barrier to their mobile home on Susan Street, and then went inside the home and was fighting with their dogs. Later the caller said the cat was dead and that her husband may have killed it.

When officers investigated, they found that the man had thrown the cat into the street, in front of children and neighbors. He admitted to then stomping on the cat’s head, because it was twitching from seizures.

Stackhouse never denied he did it. He told reporters that he did it to put it out of its misery.

Killing and torturing an animal is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As a two-time felony offender, the judge could sentence him prison time up to eight years. Under the plea deal, he would have faced no more than a year in jail.

He is scheduled to be sentenced November 18.


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Four Michigan conservation officers honored for lifesaving efforts

Four Michigan conservation officers were honored last week for their role in the search and rescue operation that eventually recovered Newaygo County toddler Amber Smith, who had been lost in the woods for nearly 24 hours in October 2013. Pictured here (L to R) are Officer Brian Lebel; Officer Mike Wells; Officer Jeff Ginn; and Sgt. Mike Bomay.

Four Michigan conservation officers were honored last week for their role in the search and rescue operation that eventually recovered Newaygo County toddler Amber Smith, who had been lost in the woods for nearly 24 hours in October 2013. Pictured here (L to R) are Officer Brian Lebel; Officer Mike Wells; Officer Jeff Ginn; and Sgt. Mike Bomay.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division recently honored four Department of Natural Resources conservation officers who worked as part of a search and rescue operation and who ultimately found a missing 2-1/2-year-old child in the woods in Newaygo County last year. The officers were honored at last week’s meeting of the Natural Resources Commission in Cadillac, Michigan.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and conservation officers Jeff Ginn, Brian Lebel and Mike Wells were presented with Lifesaving Awards by DNR Director Keith Creagh and DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler for their role in locating Amber Smith, a toddler who disappeared Oct. 8, 2013, from her Barton Township home.

“Our officers go through extensive training to locate lost persons in the woods and they are experts in the areas where they work, knowing the terrain better than anyone,” said Hagler. “I would like to congratulate all of the officers involved for their diligence on this search. Some had already worked a full shift when they were requested to help and did not hesitate to assist.”

The DNR conservation officers responded to a request from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department to assist with the search of the heavily wooded area around the girl’s home. The area is part of national forest land and contains a maze of two-track roads and power lines. The officers searched the area until 1 a.m. and then were relieved by another search team. The conservation officers reported back once the sun came up and continued their search, locating the little girl approximately 24 hours after she was reported missing.

The conservation officers used an off-road vehicle and utility task vehicle in their search. As they searched, the officers retrieved items that were potential evidence and turned them over to an evidence collection team. After a brief meeting at an intersection of two-track roads, the officers separated to continue the search and, shortly after that, while cresting a hill, CO Ginn stopped short, got off his ORV and walked into the woods and returned carrying the toddler, alert and unharmed. CO Wells immediately contacted Incident Command to report the missing girl was found and that she was alive.

To learn more about Michigan conservation officers and the work they do, visit the DNR website www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers


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C-obit-dubridge-webCharles V. Dubridge 85, of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at home with his family by his side. Charles was born July 21, 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Henry and Mildred (Loree) Dubridge. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II and had been a draftsman at Fridgidaire in Greenville, retiring in 1990. His family was very important to him and he was a great father and grandfather. Surviving are his children, Wanda (Roger) Kleinjans, Tom (Char) Dubridge, Chuck (Linda) Dubridge, Rob (Angel) Dubridge; daughter-in-law, Ellen Grifhorst; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; brothers, Robert (Bonnie) Dubridge, Leon (Helen) Dubridge; sister, Nyra Goetzel; sister-in-law, Dorothy Dubridge; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Evah in 2003; brothers, Harry, Lynn, Don and Flinton; sister, Lucy Vidro. The family will greet friends Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a Rosary will be recited at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday 11:00 am at St. John Paul II Church, Cedar Springs. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment with military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to Gentiva Hospice, 2221 Health Dr. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs


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C-obit-Ford-webOtto J. Ford 91, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, October 12, 2014 at Lincoln Square Assisted Living, Grand Rapids. Otto was born May 18, 1923 in Quincy, Michigan, the son of Cecil and Luella (Newberry) Ford. He served in the U.S. Army, in the Pacific Theater, during World War II and was a member of the Cedar Springs American Legion. Following the war he came back to Cedar Springs and worked in his father’s gas station on Main Street. He also had been an auto mechanic for Jack Hough Ford and later worked on the grounds crew at the Grand Rapids Golf Club. Surviving are his wife, Winifred, whom he married on August 14, 1971; stepsons, Dean and Deb Parker, Dale and Jeny Ransom; grandchildren, Amy Ransom and Dana Aspinall, Jason and Cyndi Parker, Rick and Rene` Martin, Julie and Bob Robinson, Jeremy and Haley Parker; 9 great-grandchildren; sister, Greta Ackerly; sister-in-law, Inez Ford; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lloyd and sister, Marjorie. The family will greet friends Friday, October 17 from 1:00 pm until time of service at 2:00 pm at Mamrelund Lutheran Church, Kent City. Pastor Leonard Dahlgren officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Mamrelund Lutheran Food Pantry.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs


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Barry W. Harrold

C-obit-Harrold-webBarry W. Harrold 71, of Cedar Springs, surrounded by family went to be with our Lord, Thursday, October 9, 2014. Barry was born August 5, 1943 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the son of George and Lillian (Laski) Harrold. He served his country for 6 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, stationed in Sault Ste. Marie. There he met and married Phyllis, his loving wife of 51 years. He retired from Old Orchard Brands in Sparta, Michigan. Barry was a kind and generous man, who gave freely of himself to others. His wonderful charm was admired and appreciated by all who knew and loved him. Surviving are his wife, Phyllis (Kravis); children, Darren (Wendy) Harrold, Kelly (David) Kivell, Faith “Georgie” (Steve) Beeman, Rebecca (Isaac) Mallory; seven grandchildren; sister, Jackie (Tom) Gibbs. He was preceded in death by his parents. The family greeted friends from 1:00 pm until time of Memorial Mass Monday, October 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford. Rev. Fr. Tony Russo presiding.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.


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October 15, 2003


I pray you’ll be our eyes,

And watch us where we go.

I pray we’ll find your light

And Hold it in our hearts.

Help us find a place,

Guide us with your grace,

Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

Sadly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren


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Peanut butter pews

Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319


Over the years, I have had the privilege of being used by God to help many people, marriages, and families through some very hard seasons in their lives. Too often, people get stuck in a bad place and really struggle to find a way out. In many cases, some have resigned themselves to give up, believing there is no hope.

As a pastor, my calling is to point them to the hope—Jesus Christ—who is the hope of the world! There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain and restore hope to those who seem stuck in a bad place. Each new assignment brings its own challenges, but none that God can’t handle, for those who will trust him with the outcome in every situation.

As I was preparing my most favorite sandwich in the whole wide world (Jif peanut butter and almost any flavor of jelly), I was meditating on one of the most recent victories. I was in awe of God, praising Him for His power and thanking Him for trusting me with His precious child. I am amazed yet again of His amazing power to transform relationships for His glory.

The peanut butter on my sandwiches is always quite thick (yum) and I dropped the knife in the middle of the peanut butter and it stuck there. I got the knife out and cleaned the peanut butter off, then the lid to the jelly dropped on the peanut butter and stuck there. My thoughts went to—“hmm, I would like to get stuck in a sea of peanut butter.” Then I was reminded of how often we can get stuck in a good place, too!

We can get so comfortable in our peanut butter pews that we don’t want to go out and reach those who are lost or hurt, depressed, confused, or struggling in relationships, stuck in hopelessness. We can even become a hindrance to those who do. Those who won’t leave their comfort zone have lost sight of why the church exists in the first place. We dishonor God when we refuse to be used to expand His Kingdom.

When God has redeemed us and healed our broken relationships, healed our past hurts and scars, restored our dignity, and written our names in the Lamb’s book of Life, we should be so thankful that we want to help others. Just before Peter would experience the lowest point of his life thus far, Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31-32, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter was stuck in the worst place of his life—betrayal of his Lord—until he remembered Jesus’ words. Jesus’ powerful words restored Peter who in turn helped restore and strengthen his brothers. Let us be found faithful to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19).

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