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Restoring wetlands can put cash in your pocket

 

Do you own property that was historically wet but the natural drainage has been altered by the installation of ditches or agricultural drain tiles?

Do you own marginal agricultural land that is often difficult to plant in the spring or harvest in the fall because of wetness?

Are you interested in receiving technical assistance and cost-share money to improve wildlife habitat on your property by restoring wetlands?

You could be eligible to receive between $2,000-$5,000/acre for land that is restored to a wetland and protected with a conservation easement!

The Rogue River Watershed Partners and Trout Unlimited will be hosting a free wetland workshop for landowners at Rockford Brewing Company on Tuesday, April 26 from 6:00-7:30pm.  The workshop will highlight programs that assist private landowners to restore historic wetlands on their properties. Landowners that meet federal requirements may be eligible for wetland restoration payments that pay between $2,000-$5,000 per acre in Kent, Newaygo, and Ottawa Counties.

Hear from leading wetland experts, including representatives from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

If you have an interest in restoring wetland habitat on your property, this is the free workshop for you!

Why are wetlands necessary?

Wetlands provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and a variety of plants. Wetlands are also important landscape features because they hold and slowly release floodwater and snow melt, and recharge groundwater.  This combined action of slowing and storing water reduces flooding downstream and shoreline erosion. Flooding and high flows in local rivers are becoming worse with increased development pressures, which add impervious surfaces, such as driveways and roads, which do not absorb rainfall.

Wetlands also act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, such as sediment and nutrients. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus contribute a large amount of pollution to Michigan’s lakes, river, and streams. Excess nutrients contribute to increased algae growth, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. Wetlands can filter out as much as 91 percent of the phosphorus and 86 percent of the nitrogen. Sediment (soil particles) is the leading non-point source pollutant in Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams. Sediments that are suspended in running water can also be removed by wetlands. As the running water enters a wetland, the water slows and the sediments settle out. Some wetlands can retain as much as 94 percent of this sediment.

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CBDT cleans up land along Cedar Creek

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N-CBDT-cleanup2Throughout the week of April 11 through 16, you might have noticed that things were changing on the north side of Cedar Creek at Main Street. Undergrowth and dead trees were removed, opening up the view of Cedar Creek. Earlier this year there was an old gray house standing on the site (157 N. Main) that was torn down, paving the way for the beautification of the area.

Over the past few years, the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) has come together to promote the City of Cedar Springs and to help implement items in the Master plan that have been around for many years. With members in the community, the City Council, and assistance from HRC, the “Heart of the City” is beating strong again. Items such as the new Library, and Amphitheater are in stages of design and “soon to be” construction, with other projects being prepared, such as a pathway, boardwalk, and pedestrian bridges along Cedar Creek (to be called the “Fishing Line”); a Veterans Clock Tower; a community center; and a recreational center.

These exciting projects led to the effort put forth by the many volunteers to clean-up the properties where these new projects are planned to be constructed. On Saturday, April 16, women from the Aquinas College women’s hockey team, several employees of Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. (HRC), as well as many members of the Cedar Springs Community, joined forces to drag the brush, logs, and trash into piles that will be disposed of, leaving a lovely area for residents of the Cedar Springs community to enjoy.

John Ensley, with HRC, the engineering firm that the CBDT has hired to accomplish the engineering needs of the amphitheater, as well as the site plans for the entire area, was the chairperson for the cleanup effort. John shared, “Like most people involved with the CBDT, I grew up in this community. When the opportunity came about to help improve the area, I decided it was time to give some more back. Once you are involved, and able to see all that is happening, the atmosphere becomes intoxicating and you just want to do more. There are some great things happening in Cedar Springs, and the best part is that it doesn’t come from just one person. The community is making the decisions on what they want and how to build their own community.”

Clearing was also completed on land recently purchased from the Sommers that runs along Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail through to Pine Street. This land will provide a walking trail/boardwalk along Cedar Creek between Main St. and the White Pine Trail.  The planned boardwalk and pathway will eventually continue from North Park where it will tie into 17 Mile Road, linking the north end of the historic downtown area with the 131 corridor businesses.

More information about the progress on the CBDT projects can be found at www.cscommunitycenter.org or on the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cedar-Springs-Community-Building-Development-Team-353617661444365/

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Road construction on US-131

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Residents traveling south on US-131 this week have likely been in the middle of a traffic jam due to road construction in the Grand Rapids area. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s website, the construction isn’t going away any time soon.

According to their website: “Lane closures for road work will remain in place through early July on southbound US-131 between West River Drive and Pearl Street.  Double-lane closures will be in effect on some weekends.

The on ramp from Turner Avenue (just north of Ann Street) to southbound  US-131 remains closed through July 7.

The off ramp from southbound US-131 to Leonard Street remains closed through July 7.”

Details on construction on southbound US-131 from Ann St. to Pearl St. are below.

What is being done?

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will resurface and make concrete joint repairs on southbound US-131 from Ann Street to Pearl Street in Grand Rapids.

This project will include:

*Constructing a connector lane to join the interchanges of Ann Street and Leonard Street on southbound US-131.This will mirror what was constructed in 2013 on northbound US-131 connecting Leonard Street to Ann Street; and Bridge improvements on southbound US-131 over Richmond Street and Indian Mill Creek/Grand Rapids Eastern Railroad will include widening, deck replacement, and substructure work.

How will traffic be affected?

Lane closures will be used throughout the project on US-131. Some local roads will be closed and detoured.

The following ramps will be closed during different stages of the project:

  • The Turner Avenue (just north of Ann Street) ramp to southbound US-131;
  • The southbound US-131 ramp to Leonard Street;
  • The eastbound I-196 ramp to southbound US-131; and
  • The southbound US-131 ramp to Pearl Street.

Throughout the duration of the project, a double lane closure will be in place on the weekends from W. River Dr. to Pearl Street, and a single lane closure will be in place weekdays from W. River Dr. to Leonard Street.

The Turner Ave on-ramp (just north of Ann Street) will be closed until mid-July.  The southbound US-131 off-ramp to Leonard Street will be closed until mid-July.

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Three charged with felonies in Flint water crisis 

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton joined Special Counsel Todd Flood and Chief Investigator Andy Arena in announcing charges. “Today’s charges are a beginning, not an end.” 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Wednesday, April 20, that he filed a total of 13 felony charges and 5 misdemeanor charges against two state officials and one city official as a result of their actions in the Flint water contamination crisis currently gripping the city.

“What happened here in Flint is a tragedy,” said Schuette, “and we will continue to investigate all information that comes our way. This is not something I take lightly.”

Charges were filed Wednesday morning in the Genesee County 67th District Court in Flint against the following three individuals:

Stephen Busch, 40, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District 8 Water Supervisor (3 felonies, 2 misdemeanor);

Michael Prysby, 53, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality District 8 Water Engineer (4 felonies, 2 misdemeanor); and

Michael Glasgow, 40, City of Flint Laboratory and Water Quality Supervisor (1 felony, 1 misdemeanor).

“The justice system in Michigan is not rigged,” said Schuette. “Anyone that says Michigan has a wink and nod justice system is wrong. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, if you break the law there will be consequences.”

The maximum sentences for each of the felonies, which are summarized below, range from 4-5 years in prison, with fines for each in a range between $5,000-$10,000.

“So many things went so terribly wrong in Flint. I made a decision that I must investigate what went wrong. It is my job as Attorney General to protect the citizens of Michigan. The citizens of Flint deserve that, the citizens of Michigan deserve that. This investigation is ongoing, it is broad, detailed and comprehensive.”

The charges are the first announced as a result of Schuette’s investigation into the crisis, which is being conducted by Special Prosecutor Todd Flood, Chief Investigator Andy Arena, and Deputy Chief Investigator Ellis Stafford. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton is also working with Schuette on the investigation and joined Schuette in Flint for Wednesday’s announcement.

“We are working closely together on this investigation because the people of Flint deserve nothing less than the truth and we will keep working until we get to the bottom of this,” said Leyton.

The charges against DEQ workers Busch and Prysby include:

Count 1 Common law offenses – Misconduct in office 

It is alleged that between February 2015 and November 2015, they committed misconduct in office, an indictable offense at common law, by willfully and knowingly misleading federal regulatory officials in the Environmental Protection Agency, including, but not limited to, Miguel Del Toral, and/or Genesee County Health Department officials, including, but not limited to, James Henry, in violation of his duty to provide clean and safe drinking water to the citizens of the County of Genesee, State of Michigan and to protect the public health; contrary to MCL 750.505. It is a felony punishable by 5 Years in prison and/or $10,000.00.

Count 3 Conspiracy – Tampering with evidence 

It is alleged that defendants on or about January 2015, through November 2015, defendants did unlawfully conspire, combine, confederate and agree together with persons, both known and unknown to the People of the State of Michigan, to commit an offense prohibited by law, to wit: Tampering with Evidence, including but not limited to manipulating monitoring reports mandated by law; contrary to MCL 750.157a. It is a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and/or $10,000.00.

Count 4– Tampering with evidence 

It is alleged that defendants did knowingly and intentionally remove, alter, conceal, destroy, or otherwise tamper with evidence, to wit: reports entitled “Lead and Copper Report and Consumer Notice of Lead Result” dated February 27, 2015 and/or July 28, 2015 and/or August 20, 2015; contrary to MCL 750.483a(6)(a). It is a felony punishable by 4 years in prison and/or $5,000.00.

Count 5– Treatment violation – Michigan safe drinking water act 

It is alleged that defendants did cease the utilization of optimal corrosion control treatment at the Flint Water Treatment Plant after the Plant switched to the Flint River as a water source and/or did refuse to mandate optimized corrosion control treatment at the Flint Water Treatment Plant in a timely manner after the lead action level was exceeded; contrary to MCL

325.1001. It is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year and/or $5,000.00 for each day of violation.

Count 6 – Monitoring violation – Michigan safe drinking water act 

It is alleged that defendants did improperly manipulate the collection of water samples by directing residents to “pre-flush” their taps by

running the water for five minutes the night before drawing a water sample and/or did fail to collect required samples included in the Tier 1 category of serviced lines and/or did remove test results from samples to be included in the Lead and Copper Report and Consumer Notice of Lead Result; contrary to MCL 325.1001.  This is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year and/or $5,000.00 for each day of violation.

Michael Prysby was also charged with:

Count 2 Common law offenses – Misconduct in office 

It is alleged that the defendant did, on or about April 4, 2014, commit misconduct in office, an indictable offense at common law, by authorizing a permit to the Flint Water Treatment Plant knowing the Flint Water Treatment Plant was deficient in its ability to provide clean and safe drinking water for the citizens of the County of Genesee, State of Michigan; contrary to MCL 750.505.  This a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and/or $10,000.00.

Charges against Flint water employee Michael Glasgow include:

Count 7 – Tampering with evidence 

It is alleged that defendant did knowingly and intentionally remove, alter, conceal, destroy, or otherwise tamper with evidence to be offered in an official proceeding, to wit: the report entitled “Lead and Copper Report and Consumer Notice of Lead Result” dated February 27, 2015 and/or July 28, 2015 and/or August 20, 2015; contrary to MCL 750.483a(6)(a). This is a felony punishable by 4 years and/or $5,000.00.

Count 8 – Willful neglect of duty 

It is alleged that defendant did willfully neglect to perform a duty enjoined upon him by the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, to wit: by failing to perform the duties of an F-1 Certified Operator employed by the Flint Water Treatment Plant; contrary to MCL 750.478. This is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year and/or $1,000.00.

Schuette noted the investigation remains fully active and that the charges filed do not preclude additional charges at a later date.

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In His rising, the life of all have risen

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

 

Finally, spring is here! Having many friends and relatives who live in warm parts of the country, whenever I visit them, they always ask, “When will you move here with us and stay in the sun-shining states instead of Michigan?”

My response to them is always the same. “Only in Michigan will you experience four distinct seasons and, after a long winter season, you will appreciate spring time. What happens during spring is a wonderful analogy to Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  Through him the children of light rise to eternal life and the halls of the heavenly Kingdom are thrown open to the faithful; for his death is our ransom from death, and in his rising the life of all have risen. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. . .  (Preface II of Easter, Roman Missal-Third Edition).

I would like to call your attention to what is highlighted in the prayer: the resurrection of the Lord has an impact on not just human beings, but on all. That is the faith of the Church! Christ’s resurrection changes all things for the good! Alleluia.

This is when spring in Michigan can help us explain the mystery of Easter. After a long winter, grass, flowers, and tree leaves appear again. It is refreshing! When you walk into your house, it seems like a new one! What spring does for the environment, the Resurrection of the Lord does even more so for the world. The Lord, the Creator of all, has entered the world and by his death and resurrection has redeemed the world. Nothing has been untouched in this earthly field by the resurrection of Christ.

The challenges us now is to listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3: 1-4).

Our entire world has been changed by Christ’s resurrection. Let’s us focus on “what is above.”  Amen.

 

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50th Anniversary

 

C-ANN-Shevock1C-ANN-Shevock2Gary and Trudy Shevock

Gary and Trudy Shevock were married on April 16, 1966. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at a surprise party with family and friends. Gary and Trudy are both retired. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their family and friends. They are blessed with two children: Scott (Duinn) and Jamie Shevock. They have 5 grandchildren: Christopher, Nicole, Meagan, Morgan, and Malory Shevock. Congratulations and may the two of you have many more years to come.

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Congratulations

C-CONGRATS-SawadeRemington Sawade

Remington Sawade, a senior at Cedar Springs High School has been awarded a 4 year full tuition Air Force ROTC Scholarship for college.  This highly competitive scholarship is based on GPA, ACT test scores, a physical ability test, leadership qualities, an interview process, and community service.  Remington plans to study Materials Science Engineering at either Michigan State University or Michigan Technological University along with his ROTC training before he serves as an officer in the United States Air Force.

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Tyler James Helton

 

December 24, 1991 to April 22, 2012

4 years ago Jesus took you home.

Family and friends come by to share their wonderful memories of you to keep us going and laughing. Thankful for the Angel we now have.

Love you and deeply missed, 

Dad, Mom, sisters, brothers, 

family and friends

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Franklin John DePue

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Franklin “Frank” John DePue, 75 of Greenville, passed away Sunday, April 17, 2016 at home. Frank was born October 5, 1940 in Eaton Co., Michigan, the son of the late Maurice “Mike” and Helen (Holbrook) DePue. Frank is loved and survived by his wife of 56 years, Judith (Ellick) DePue; his children: Monique (Dave) Doolittle and Vincent (Kayleen) DePue; grandchildren: Trafford (Ashley Hattis) Giles, Stephanie Doolittle, Nick Doolittle, Michael (Ceara) DePue, Kyle DePue, Donald Eikenhout, Andrea (Larry) Wiley and Graham DePue; sisters: Dorothy Fisher, Carol (Ron) Stevens, Shirley (Dick) Rinckey and Dee (Ron) Corwin; great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. Frank was preceded in death by his siblings: M. Jean Schafer, Edwin Maurice DePue, Kathleen Marie Cooper, Jennifred Joan Schrauben, David Lee DePue and Dean A. DePue. Frank was a graduate of Greenville High School in 1976. He retired from Meijer as Loss Prevention Manager after 30+ years of service. In addition to a long career at Meijer, he and his wife Judith were owners of Animal Crackers Farm Petting Zoo of Greenville. Frank and Judy touched countless lives, spanning several generations by taking their large traveling zoo to schools, festivals, churches, parades and more local events than can be documented. Frank donated time, along with Judy, at Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Optimist Camp and the American Cancer Society, and he walked his beloved camel Shalamar across most of Montcalm County to raise nearly $1000 for that cause. Frank also enjoyed greeting Mejier customers every Christmas Eve dressed as Santa with his reindeer and sleigh. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Frank always appreciated being embraced by the community and enjoyed sharing his love of his animals. He got great enjoyment making people laugh and smile with his wit and a wink. His contagiously happy spirit will be missed by so many, but never forgotten by anyone. We are sad that you are gone, but find peace in knowing we will someday see you again. We love you. Memorial services were held at 1:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Hurst Funeral Home, with Pastor Ken Harger officiating. Visitation was Wednesday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Cancer Society, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


 

Education is proactive

Laura VanDuyn, our Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent’s message to us in The Post of April 14 was filled with good news about our improving educational program for our youth.

An extended study of change in business and industry years ago showed production improved with each change in work environment, leveled off, and eventually decreased. I think it was called the Hawthorn effect.

Education is a proactive thing. It’s good that the program we offer our children is proactive.

Lyle Perry Jr.

Cedar Springs

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