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Red Hawks upset Oilers for District title

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks were unstoppable last Friday night against the Mount Pleasant Oilers. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

by Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks powered their way to another win and a Division 3 district title last Friday night, November 2, when they beat the previously undefeated Mt. Pleasant Oilers on their own turf by a score of 44-14.

The Oilers were 10-0 going into the match up, and had only allowed 74 points total all season. But that didn’t phase the Red Hawks, who went on to claim their 10th straight victory. They will now face the unbeaten and nationally ranked Muskegon Big Reds for the regional title this Friday.

“Anytime you can go on the road in the playoffs and beat an undefeated team by 30 points, you have to feel good about your team,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “Our guys played a great game Friday and we hope to carry that momentum forward this Friday against Muskegon.

“The Big Reds are a tough task for us. They have no visible weaknesses. We need to play our best game Friday in order to put ourselves in a position to compete with them. Anything less than our best effort will make it tough for us to have a shot.”

The first score of the game occurred with 6:12 on the clock in the first quarter when Cedar Springs’ Ben Shaw intercepted a pass from Oiler QB Jackson Ostrowsky at the Mt. Pleasant 46 and ran it into the endzone for a touchdown. The referee called the extra point run as no good. The second score in the first quarter came with 1:08 left when Red Hawk Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for a four-yard touchdown, and Lucas Pienton ran in the extra points. At the end of the first, it was 14-0 Cedar Springs.

Mt. Pleasant scored their only two touchdowns in the game in the second quarter. Both were short runs by Zach Mogg, with kicker Evan Brown adding an extra point. Cedar Springs also scored again the second quarter, when Sage Serbenta ran 33-yards for the TD, and Kolby Swank ran in the extra points. At the end of two quarters, it was CS 22, MP 14.

The Red Hawks got the ball after the half, and drove down the field to score with 9:43 on the clock on a one-yard run by Kolby Swank. Swank also ran in the extra two points. The Red Hawks kicked off to the Oilers but scored again less than a minute later when Sage Serbenta intercepted a pass at the Mt. Pleasant 39 and returned it to score. Swank then passed to Pienton for the extra points. At the end of three, it was CS 38, MP 14.

The Red Hawks scored once more at the beginning of the fourth quarter, on a seven-yard run by Serbenta. The extra points run was no good. The game ended with a score of 44-14.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our team and the improvement they’ve made since a week 1 loss at Swan Valley,” remarked Coach Kapolka. “In my 24 years coaching (15 as a Head Coach) I’ve never had a group that’s improved as much as this group has over the last 11 weeks.”

The Red Hawks racked up 319 yards on the ground and 27 in the air. Leading rushers were Serbenta with 88; Swank with 72; Pienton with 65; Ringler with 58; and Pienton with 19.

Mt. Pleasant gained 221 yards on the ground, with Zach Mogg turning in 169 yards.

Red Hawk Ryan Ringler led the team in tackles with 13; Landon Totten had 11; Zack Schmid and Lucas Pienton both had 10; Ben Shaw had 8; and Gage Gardner had 6. The rest of the players had 4 or less.

The Red Hawks will travel to Grand Haven High School on Friday to take on the top-ranked and undefeated Muskegon Big Red. Kick off is 7 p.m. Come on out and support your Red Hawks! There is a blackout theme, so come dressed in black to support your team.

Tickets are $6 and can be purchased on Thursday and Friday in the Cedar Springs High School athletic office until 3 p.m. For more information follow Cedar springs Athletic Boosters on facebook, or Twitter @cedar_athletics

 

 

 

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Halloween fun

Hundreds of kids and parents took advantage of the mild weather for trick or treating on Halloween night, October 31. Lines of kiddos dressed as fairy tale characters, super heroes, monsters, dinosaurs, and much more made the rounds up and down Main Street and city side streets to businesses, churches, and homes to get their treats. Thanks to all of you that visited us at The Post! 

 

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New KDL Bookmobile hits the streets

Will visit Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library on Thursdays

Many of the area’s baby boomers will remember the Bookmobile—a mobile library that visited neighborhoods during the 1960s and 70s. Kent District Library has resurrected that idea, and now has a Bookmobile delivering library service to local schools and communities. It will visit the Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library on Thursdays, starting November 1, from 1-5 p.m.

The Bookmobile was designed and created with the support of a $208,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation.

This mobile library will enable KDL to bring its services, programming and staff to Kent County residents living in underserved areas. One of KDL’s goals in bringing the Bookmobile to schools is to increase reading proficiency in third grade students. In 2016, 50 percent of Kent County third graders were not proficient in English language arts. Beginning in the 2019/20 school year, third graders who do not pass reading proficiency tests will be held back. The Bookmobile will help deliver services that are focused on improving third grade reading proficiency.

The Bookmobile is equipped with a collection of materials provided by a generous grant from the Frey Foundation. It also includes Wi-Fi, a large exterior video screen and modular shelves. The vehicle is also handicapped accessible and offers security features. A full year of fuel will be provided by the J&H Family Stores.

Julie Ridenour, president of the Steelcase Foundation, said: “The Steelcase Foundation is honored to partner with the Kent District Library and the Frey Foundation to return the bookmobile to Kent County. It is our hope that the travels of this vehicle will allow readers of every age to be part of the Steelcase Foundation vision of empowering people to reach their full potential. We hope the Bookmobile lights the imagination of all who visit, whether to check out books, use the bookmobile’s wireless and computer devises, or tap into the talents of the librarian.”
The Bookmobile will allow Kent District Library to make its programs and collection available to patrons, particularly students, beyond the walls of the branch library. Through a close partnership with Kent School Services Network, KDL will bring the Bookmobile to seven schools every other week. It will also visit senior centers, rural centers, summer day care programs and a variety of other locations throughout Kent County.

“This project is a game changer for KDL” said Sara Proano, community engagement manager for KDL. “Now we have the capacity of bringing the library to patrons, wherever they are. We understand that the services we offer not only foster learning and bring entertainment, but they help communities connect with available resources and that impacts their quality of life at many levels.”

The Bookmobile is 36 feet long, 11 feet tall and 8.5 feet wide. It weighs 22,000 pounds with the collection inside. The collection includes books, books in other languages, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and videogames.

The Bookmobile schedule typically runs Mondays through Thursdays, plus Saturdays. Fridays are reserved for maintenance and special events.

For more information or to request a visit from the Bookmobile, visit www.kdl.org/bookmobile.

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Residents to vote on proposals

 

By Judy Reed

Besides statewide proposals you may have heard about, there are also a few local proposals voters will need to consider on November 6.

Bond proposal for a new fire station

The City of Cedar Springs is asking voters to consider a bond proposal for a new fire station. The current fire station on W. Maple Street is almost 40 years old. “Despite what some people are saying, there are not a lot of frills in that station,” said Fire Chief Marty Fraser. We had to meet a lot of government standards not in effect 40 years ago. People don’t understand what we’ve done here (at the current station) the last 38 years. We’ve made do. It was built to code in 1980 but it no longer meets code.”

The proposal that residents will vote on will be a 15-year bond at 3.455363 mills the first year, and an average of 3.4290 mills thereafter. For someone with a home that has a taxable value of $50,000, that equates to about $172 more per year, or just under $15 per month. And, if the taxable values in Cedar Springs go up, the millage rate will go down. 

The total cost of the fire station is estimated at $2,991,741. That includes $2,136,958 in building and site prep; engineering and testing of $320,544; and $534,240 for contingencies. “Contingencies are additional funds that are set aside for fixing problems that were not accounted for or were unknowable at the time of design and planning,” explained City Manager Mike Womack. “Any funding that is leftover at the end of the construction of the building would then be put towards ‘equipping a new fire station’ and ‘acquisition of fire equipment, apparatus and vehicles, and other related expenses and improvements’ as is indicated in the ballot language.”

The total payback on the 15-year bond would be $4,013,850. It is designed to be a 50-year facility. For more info, see letter from Pam Conley on page 12.

Solon Zoning ordinance

Voters in Solon Township are being asked to vote on Township Ordinance No. 18-4-Z, which would “create a new AR-2 Low Density Agricultural Residential District, with a minimum lot size of two acres for new lots, and would rezone numerous lands within the Township to the new AR-2 District, among other matters.” The Solon Township board approved this ordinance in April 2018, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. “The purpose was to control development in the township, like a planning commission is supposed to do,” said Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick. “After going over the Master Plan, the Planning Commission made that recommendation, and we passed it.” Under the ordinance, the AR district was broken up into AR-1 and AR-2, with AR-1 lots being a minimum of one-acre in size, and AR-2 being a minimum of two acres in size. He said it would not affect anyone already living in the designated AR-2 areas. But it would limit the amount of new housing developments.

He said the township did not put it on the ballot. He said there were a couple of people that didn’t agree with the limitations and wanted to put it to a vote of the residents. See map for areas zoned AR-1 and AR-2. For more information on whether the ordinance will affect your property, call the township at 696-1718.

Ready by Five proposal

Kent County is asking whether voters will approve a levy .25 mill, or 25 cents of every $1,000 of taxable value on real and personal property for 208-204 t0 provide planning, evaluating, and provide early childhood development services to persons up to age 5 and their parents. The amount raised by the levy in the first calendar year is estimated at $5,702,887. In Kent County there are local authorities that capture and use, for authorized purposes, tax increment revenues from property taxes levied by the County. Such capture would include a portion of the millage levy. The total amount of captured tax increment revenue from such millage in the first calendar year of the levy is an estimated $243,962. The owner of a $150,000 would pay just over $18 per year, according to First Steps Kent, the organization spearheading the proposal.

If it passes, the proposal would provide health and developmental screenings for all children under age 5, as well as support for parents, and increased access to high-quality learning experiences. Visit https://www.firststepskent.org/earlychildhoodproposal for more information.

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Free movie screening at 2nd Chance School

The community is invited to a free screening of “A Second Chance” at 2nd Chance School on Sunday, November 11, at 6 p.m.

By Judy Reed

What would it mean to you to have a second chance to make things right? To make up for something you did wrong? What might it mean to a teenager who thinks he or she has ruined her life? 2nd Chance School invites the community to a special screening of the Christian movie “A Second Chance,” on 810 17 Mile Road on Sunday, November 11, at 6 p.m.

The Post reported last summer about how Ron and Patti Silverman, founders of 2nd Chance School, are passionate about teaching kids respect through working with horses, and giving teen offenders a second chance to go back to school to earn their GED’s and become productive members of society. To that end, they founded 2nd Chance School several years ago. But they are still doing fundraising to be able to build a barn for the horses and to get kids in the classroom.

Steven Campbell, one of the actors in “A Second Chance” will be on hand to talk about the movie.

Earlier this week, Steve Campbell, formerly of Sparta, and who now lives in Big Rapids, happened to be driving down 17 Mile Road and saw the 2nd Chance School sign. Campbell is a full-time electrician and part-time actor. He was intrigued by the sign because the most recent movie he appeared in was also called “A Second Chance.” The movie involves three teen girls, all from single parent homes and from the wrong side of the tracks, who commit numerous crimes against an elderly woman. But when they face a tough family court judge, their punishment doesn’t seem to fit their crimes. The movie received the Gold Award at the 2018 Christian Family Film Festival. 

“I drove by the 2nd Chance Corp.org worship building and thought how cool it was that they used pretty much the same name as our movie,” said Campbell. “So I did a u-turn and went back and looked at the website on the sign out front and called Ron Silverman to see if their worship facility was still up and running and asked what it was exactly he did there. I was amazed that his ministry deals with kids who have run into trouble of various kinds and who perform community service, and was almost spot-on to the focus group we wanted to reach. 

“Besides the names being so coincidentally close it was as if this movie had been written for this organization though we never knew about their existence before now,” he added. “I believe that whether it be children or even adults, anyone who is messed up and made mistakes and feel like they are beyond forgiveness, we are all in need of a Second Chance and this movie epitomizes what this organization stands for and can reach a lot of people.”

Silverman was also amazed and felt the movie would be a perfect fit for them to show. “It’s a God-thing,” he said.

They will hold the event during their weekly Cowboy church time of 6 p.m. Instead of music, they will have Campbell there to give a brief talk, and show the movie. A freewill offering will be taken after the movie. Refreshments will also be available to purchase. Movie-goers can also register to win a free copy of the dvd autographed by the three girls starring in the movie.

Campbell has been in several productions, both secular and Christian, credited and uncredited. The Post featured him in 2011 when he was part of the crew of “Perfectly Prudence,” a Hallmark Channel movie with Jane Seymour and Joe Lando that filmed in Ada. In “A Second Chance,” he plays the father of one of the teen juvenile offenders. 

He said he’s happy to be bringing a movie back to his original hometown area. “We already had a showing up in Big Rapids but I have felt a need to show it in other places to reach different communities. I’m glad to be able show it there,” he said.

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Holiday event honors Marge Clark

Marge Clark

Cross stitch by Marge Clark

The Cedar Springs Public Library invites you to join in a festive holiday event that will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The library will be honoring our local artist and treasure Marge Clark with a holiday display of counted cross-stitch. Marge will be at the library to greet everyone during this time. Along with honoring Marge there will be a cross-stitch demonstration by our local seamstresses Pat Capek and Dorothy Bishop. And best of all there will be refreshments!

We hope that you will be able to join us for this unique holiday kick-off celebration. Two of Marge’s works are already on display in the library near the fireplace. Don’t forget to check them out. See you then!

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FFA Kicks off Fall With Ag Olympics

By Chloe Boomgaard Cedar Springs FFA Reporter

There is nothing more fun than some healthy competition and games revolving around agriculture!   On Monday September 10th the Cedar Springs FFA chapter held Agriculture olympics where the members participate in many different games, including sack race, hay bale hurdles, holey bucket race, sweet corn bobbing, round bale roll, pitchfork javelin, and tug of war. Thirty three high school FFA members were in atttedance along with two of Michigan FFA state officers. Kyle McFarren the Region five state Vice President and Raegan Gembarski the state Secretary joined in the fun. 

Members started off the night with pitchfork javelin where there were a large number of members competing. Zack Cardinal, Kyle McFarren, and Nolan Hall came out on top with the longest throws. After the winners were crowned, hay bale hurdles got started.  The members got to run the hurdles race once with their best efforts to achieve the fastest time hurdling stacks of hay, but only three were crowned John Fisk, Nolan Hall, and Trevor Johnston. 

The round bale roll went to whoever rolled the round bale the farthest in thirty seconds wins. Kaleb Colby, Garret Migoski, and Dylan McConnon were able to push the round bale the furthest in the time they were given. The Holy Bucket race was an fun activity each student was given a half full bucket of water but the bucket had holes drilled in the bottom and the first member to get the most water in their bucket at the other end of the field wins. Wyatt Fisk took first, Carly Dunham took second, and Melody Hughes finished third.

For sweet corn bobbing members placed in a large tote cold water and sweet corn each student was given 30 seconds to get the most corn out of the tub. Gideon McConnon took first, Kaleb Colby took second, and John Fisk took third. Congrats to all of othe winners and the officer team would just want to thank everyone that came out to participate in our games. 

In further news members organized a fundraiser at the new Culvers restaurant, a Harvest Day/ corn maze for all the 2nd grade students, the FFA PALS program, and the Big Buck Contest. Watch for future news on these and others!

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Don’t forget to vote on November 6

By Judy Reed

This week we continue our election coverage with candidates for the Village of Sand Lake, the area senate and representative seats, and Kent County Commissioner.

Village of Sand Lake

The Village of Sand Lake has several seats to fill, including Village President and three trustees. However, your ballot will look rather empty and includes a name of a person no longer running. Listed below are your candidates. Some of them you must write in.

NOTE: Nyha French is on the ballot for Village President. She is no longer a candidate since she moved out of the area.

Danielle Hardenburg is a write-in candidate for Village President, which is a two-year term. She currently serves on the Village Council as a trustee. Hardenburg is 33 years old, and grew up in Cedar Springs where she was raised and attended school. “For the past seven years, my family of six children and spouse have lived in Sand Lake. It is in Sand Lake where I currently hold a seat as a Village Council Member, Fire Fighter, and Medical Responder for the Sand Lake fire department over the past three years. I work in the nursing field as a Nurse Technician at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Currently, I am seeking my Registered Nurse Degree with hopes of continuing my line of work on the Ortho Trauma floor.”

Hardenburg said she is running as a write-in for Sand Lake Village President because there is a serious need there for positive change. 

Besides serving on the Village Council, prior leadership experience includes teaching CPR, assisting on the AYSO board for a brief time, providing assistance on request for a committee where candidates were reviewed for work programs through Michigan Works, and chairing a seat in the neighborhood watch program for the Rockford area.

What strength can she bring to the Village President position? “Besides a fresh start with new ideas and an eagerness to learn, I feel that my passion for the place I raise my family provides all the strength I need. What is best for my family and our community is my driving force. While I may make mistakes its an opportunity to learn and grow.” 

What does she think is Sand Lake’s biggest challenge? “There are many challenges here in Sand Lake. I believe once our annual audit is complete we can really dig in to analyze where and what our biggest issues are that we face.”

Sand Lake Village trustee 

There are three people running for three seats. This is a four-year term. You will only see one name on the ballot, and must write in the other two.

Marcia Helton will show up on the ballot. Helton grew up in Cedar Springs and graduated from Cedar Springs High School. She has lived in Sand Lake, Nelson Township for 30 years after with her husband, Marty Helton. “We have 6 children and 9 grandchildren. Our children attended Tri-County. My husband Marty was the Sand Lake Village DPW Supervisor for 13 years. I am the Custodian for the Sand Lake Village/Nelson Municipal Hall, Library and also at Algoma Township hall.” 

Why is Helton running for a seat? “We have great people that live in Sand Lake and I want to see what I can do, along with our board to help us as Village Residents work together. We’re a small town, but I believe we have big hearts!”

What other leadership has she had? “I served on the Sand Lake Chamber for many years of helping out in many areas, along with being the Secretary after awhile. Linda Misner and myself co-directed, bringing an Easter Egg Hunt to the Village for many years. Also, did the Santa Claus arrival for a few years. Sand Lake is a community that enjoys their children.”

What strength can she bring to the board? “I have been going to the Village meetings for awhile and see there is a need for help in different areas that if I can help, I would like to. We all have opinions, which is good and we need to respect each other’s opinions then work out a compromise. The Village of Sand Lake and Nelson Township can work together to help each other out and accomplish more. 

“I will do the best I can to help out as a Village Trustee to help the residents.”

Rachel Gokey is running as a write-in for Village trustee. She is currently serving as an appointee to the board. “I was born and raised in Lakeview, Michigan before heading to GVSU to obtain my BBA in Management and Marketing. I have lived in the Village of Sand Lake since July 2005. I am married with 3 children. Currently I am a stay at home mom that also substitute teaches in my spare time.”

What is her reason for running? I decided to run because our Village needs some TLC. There is quite a bit of moving forward and working together as a team that needs to be done to get everything accomplished. I do not plan on leaving Sand Lake any time soon. I plan on raising my kids in the community and would love to help our Village anyway I can.

What prior leadership experience does she have? I am currently the President of our Preschool board for Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. I spent over 16 years in customer service and management and was happy to serve on various committees through the years from event planning, education planning and more. I enjoy problem solving and brainstorming to help create forward movement and well thought out decisions.

What is the main strength she can bring to the board? The main strength I feel I am bringing to the Village of Sand Lake Council is my determination. I firmly believe that where there is a will there is a way. I love to make things happen! There is nothing better than setting goals and accomplishing them.”

What is the major challenge Sand Lake faces? “I feel like the major challenge our Village is facing is unity. The last few years have been bumpy. My hope is that I can help open positive lines of communication between all Village councils and boards, as well as Nelson Township boards and councils. If we all work together we can head in the right direction of positive change for our entire community.”

Thomas Gore is also a write-in for Village trustee. He is currently serving as an appointee. He did not respond to emails or messages from the Post requesting information.

 

Kent County Commissioner 3rd District

Roger Morgan, of Courtland Township, is running for another term as County Commissioner of the 3rd District. He is running unopposed. It will be his 9th two-year term representing the residents of the City of Cedar Springs; the Villages of Casnovia, Kent City, and Sand Lake; and the townships of Courtland, Nelson, Solon, Spencer, and Tyrone. He is a member of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board, and was chair of that board from 2013-2018; is CEO of Rockford Ambulance; is a member of the Kent County Fire Commission and the Kent County 911 board; and a past member of several others. 

Senator – 29th District

There are three candidates running for State Senator in the 29th District: incumbent Peter MacGregor (R), Craig Beach (D), and Nathan Hewer (Lib).

Peter MacGregor is running as a Republican and is seeking another four-year term as our state senator in the 29th district. He and his wife, Christine, have been married for 27 years. They have three sons, Patrick (24), John (22) and Matthew (20). “Our family attends Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford. I have lived in Kent County Since 1991 and in the senate district for 21 years. I grew up in SE Michigan. Prior to serving as your current State Senator, I owned a small business for 14 years, employing 12-14 employees.” 

Why is he running for office? “My children are why I ran for office. In 2010 when I first decided to run for the legislature, and as a parent of three school-aged children, we were terrified there would not be opportunities in Michigan when they graduated from school. In 2010, our state was the worst state in the country. I wanted to help create an economic environment so that all Michigan residents can thrive. Our state has made an amazing turnaround with unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2000, and personal income rates are up. Michigan is out of the crisis mode and today, because revenues are up, we are investing more in early childhood, career tech education, K-12 education is funded higher than ever before, the roads are being fixed, and our State’s debt has been reduced by $20 Billion. The investment has begun to pay for itself through a stronger, healthier economy. We still have much more to do and I want to continue this amazing transformation of our state over the next 4 years.”

What other experience does he bring to the position? “Prior to joining the State Senate, I served 4-years in the Michigan House of Representatives. From 1997 through 2010, I also served as a Cannon Township Planning Commissioner, Township Trustee and Township Supervisor.  I’m a member of the Rockford Lions Club – serving as the club’s President from 2007-2008. I volunteer as a board member with “Finish the Mission” Veterans Relief Fund, helping veterans and their spouses during critical times in their lives. For the last 2-years I have been pinning Vietnam Veterans with a 50-year commemorative lapel pin – thanking them for their service and properly welcoming these veterans’ home. I am also one of the founding chairmen of “Volley for Mitchell” – a charity volleyball tournament to raise funds for Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.”

What strength does he bring to the position? “My past experiences in both the private sector, running a successful business with 12-14 employees, and in the public sector as a local township official, are where my core strengths come from. I believe we should apply business ‘best practices’ to local and state government, attempting to find efficiencies, cut red tape and demand more accountability. I have the practical experience that helps me lead. When times were tough, early in my legislative serve, I cut my own pay and increased my healthcare co-pays. I have led by example. My commitment is to fight for working taxpayers, so that you will have the secure future that you deserve. I respect that you work hard for your paycheck, and that’s why I want to make sure you keep more of what you earn.” 

What does he feel are the major challenges facing our district? The three major challenges facing our district are 1) Continuing the investment in our infrastructure—not only for roads and bridges, but also water, sewer, storm water, and broadband. 2) Developing a sustainable plan for school mental health and school safety initiatives. 3) Creating a working environment for public/private partnerships for skilled trades training and talent initiatives. 

Craig Beach is the Democratic challenger for state senator in the 29th District. “I have lived in the Rockford area for 20 years. I have been married to my wife Laura, for 29 years and together we have been blessed with three children, each working their way through college. Our family has also welcomed numerous refugee foster children into our home, helping us to experience the world from a larger perspective. These young people are now in college, college graduates, and even business owners. I have taught in public schools for 32 years, 30 years at Rockford High School, teaching Economics, History of World Religions and Advanced Placement European History. My wife, Laura has taught at the elementary level at Rockford Public Schools for 31 years.  

What is his primary reason to run for office? “My main platform issues include: Restoring funding and the respect for education in Lansing. The current political structure has done everything it can to discourage and denigrate the teaching profession, which has scared off our best and brightest young people from pursuing a career in the classroom. This is an ominous issue for the future of our children and grandchildren.

Restoring Michigan’s middle class. The Michigan Association of United Way estimates that close to 50% of Michigan families have an income stream that does not allow them to cover all necessities, plan for retirement and help their children fund post-secondary training. Through my educational plan we will develop in our young people the talent to capture not just a job, but a lifelong career that provides a level of income that creates a stable and sustainable middle class.

Protect our water and natural resources

PFAS, Line 5, and the Nestle water withdrawal are symptoms of a state government that fails our citizens. Michigan receives 10% of the material that flows through Line 5.  Our tourism industry generates $27 billion in economic benefit.  The risk of Line 5 dwarfs our benefit.  The health of our citizens and our economy have been threatened by the failure of the current administrations leveraging of our natural resources to corporate interests. Together we can put people above profits and return government to the citizens who elect it.

Restore governmental accountability and transparency

Unfortunately, our state government is rated last (50th) in the United States and given a “F” grade in terms of governmental accountability and transparency.  This shows a troubling disregard for the citizens who elect our legislators. I will restore governmental transparency so that citizens have confidence that their voices carry as much weight as “dark money” donors.

What other leadership experience does he bring? “I have served on the Otisco Township as a township board trustee and on the zoning board.”

What is the main strength he brings to the position? “I believe an effective education is the key to the success of our state. As someone who has taught for 32 years I believe I bring practical knowledge to this foundational issue. If we can develop our young people’s talent, talent will provide them the tools to capture a career, not just a job and a career will create a sustainable, thriving middle class. I will end our divisive political culture by working with all stakeholders.  Our state will become more prosperous and vibrant when we put people above politics.

What does he see as the major challenge facing our district? Creating an educational system that ensures our young people will have the talent to have a sustainable standard of living; one that covers family necessities, health care, retirement and post-secondary training for their children.

Protecting the health of our citizens through greater governmental oversight of our water and natural resources. We need to put people first and preserve the beauty of our wonderful state.

Addressing our dismal governmental transparency and accountability issues.

Nathan Hewer is the Libertarian candidate for state senator in the 29th District. Hewer grew up in Reed City, a small town about an hour north of Grand Rapids, but has lived in Cannonsburg Township for the last five years. “I went to college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Construction management and 2 associates degrees, one in Business and one in Building Trades Management. While at college, my wife Amanda and I started our family very early, when I was 18 years old, with my son Ayden (now 14 years old), followed by Charlie (13), Emma (11) and Ella (6). I paid my way through college by working 2-3 jobs until I started a small contracting business and was able to support my family through that job alone. After college graduation I worked across the country as a superintendent and project manager for large industrial and mining construction projects. In 2013 I was able to move back to Michigan. I now work for Meijer in the corporate office managing construction.” 

Why is he for running for office? “I have a deeply held conviction that people should be allowed to run their own lives without government interference. I believe in the liberty of the individual to make their own choices. I believe in true free markets without corporate welfare and government kickbacks. I believe people should have the right to keep the money they earn. I believe individuals should be allowed to chase their dreams without the government protecting big businesses though unnecessary licensing, red tape and bureaucracy. And I believe that individuals have a second amendment right to protect themselves and those rights in the manner they see fit. It became apparent to me at the end of the 2016 election cycle that without a third party both parties will continue to erode our freedoms campaigning as the lesser of two evils. I decided I could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch both Democrats and Republicans trample these rights. We need a strong third party to force politicians to campaign on their convictions and not just demonize the opposition. Libertarians are the best voice for freedom and liberty. As your state senator I can help keep the government out of your wallet, bedroom, health care system, and your markets.”

What other leadership experience does he have? “I was involved with the Republican party for many years. I was a Precinct Delegate and a poll watcher in 2004 and 2008 involved in campaigning for them in Northern Michigan. Most recently I was a Precinct Delegate in the 2016 election. This experience showed me that as long as we only have 2 choices no one will campaign on any principles. They will simply find a demographic to cater to and offer to use their power to their advantage at the expense of others. I joined the Libertarian Party in 2016 and have worked in various committees within the party since.” 

What is the main strength he would bring to the position? “Tenacity, independence and conviction. My wife and I had three kids by the age of 21. I was able to finance my own education while supporting my family and I was an MMA fighter for 10 years. I know how to stretch a dollar and I have the tenacity and grit to fight for a cause. People don’t want to be taxed more; they want their existing taxes to be used for their intended purpose. If you want someone to defend your personal freedoms, make better use of existing funding and protect your paycheck, elect the fighter to take the politicians, lobbyists and special interests to the mat for your liberty.”

What does he see as the major challenge facing our district? 

“The challenges that face my district are largely the same as those facing the state and the country. Democrats are attacking half of the constituent’s freedoms and Republicans are attacking the other half. Both take your money and spend it on their pet projects. They both have marketed for years that you only have two choices. They know they can steam roll half of their constituents as long as they can claim they are better than the other guy. We need an independent voice for the people in Lansing that says it is the people’s individual right to make their own choices to pursue life liberty and happiness, and they must be allowed to keep the money they earn to spend as they see fit.” 

73rd District Representative

There are two candidates running for state representative of the 73rd District: Lynn Afendoulis (R) and Bill Saxton (D).

Lynn Afendoulis is running as a Republican and is seeking a two-year term as state representative. “I was born in 1958 in Grand Rapids, Mich. My mother was an elementary school teacher; my father owned a restaurant. I am part of a large, extended family that includes my second cousin and the current state representative for the 73rd District, Chris Afendoulis. I started my career as a newspaper reporter. For 25 years, I have worked in various capacities for Universal Forest Products; for last 15 years I have been director of corporate communications. I have lived in the area most of my life. Today, am a resident of Grand Rapids Township. Most importantly, I am the mother of two– a daughter who is a junior in college and a son who is a senior in high school.”

What is the main reason she is running for office? “I love this state and I have been pleased with many of the accomplishments of the current legislature. I want to continue the Michigan Comeback and improve upon it to make sure it is meaningful to all. Importantly, I believe holding office is an honorable vocation and want to demonstrate that to my children and their friends so they might see it as a worthy opportunity for people of integrity, and so that they might understand the work and commitment behind a healthy, successful republic.”

What other leadership experience does she have? “I sit on the boards of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. I resigned a few seats to run for office: my church’s parish council and the Michigan Transportation Commission, to which I was appointed in 2013 by Gov. Snyder. I have had the honor of serving on many other boards, including the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation (which serves Grand Rapids Public Schools and which I chaired for a number of years), Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (now the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids), Opera Grand Rapids, Circle Theatre and others.”

What is the main strength she would bring to the position? “I bring to the table conservative principles, 35 years of business experience and communication expertise, a history of public service and a passion for respect, accountability and results. From that combination of experience springs an ability to make thoughtful, sound decisions based in facts and not emotion, a commitment to working with integrity and toward results, and a perspective of someone who hasn’t worked in politics, but understand what it takes to get a job done.” 

What does she see as the major challenge facing our district?  “The 73rd district, like all others, needs improvements in education and training for today’s jobs, better roads and infrastructure, and a more efficient and understandable government, but at the top of the list of issues is the quality of our water. This is a basic human need for which the government is responsible. I was heartened by the legislature’s current allocation for addressing PFAS, but how and when that money is spent is critical. It must reach communities and people in the form of solid solutions. As your legislator, I will stay on top of the entities and individuals responsible; I will listen to and learn from local officials to make sure they are satisfied with the response. I will listen to residents and I won’t rest until they feel that the water they use for their families, pets, crops, homes and recreation is safe. We must make sure that water in our state is protected from PFAS and other threats; this abundant Michigan resource is our treasure and our responsibility.  

One other issue critical to making sure anything in politics gets done in Michigan—and everywhere—is practicing respect, even for those with whom we disagree. I will do that. Those who call for incivility harm the republic and model dangerous behavior for our next generations. We must show that we are bigger than our differences through thoughtful, respectful communication and action and by doing what we are sent to Lansing to do: listen to the taxpayers and work together to get things done for them as responsible public servants.” 

Bill Saxton is running as the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 73rd District. “I’m Bill Saxton and I’m 40 years-old, currently residing in East Grand Rapids. I’m a small-business owner, an engineer, and married with 3 young children. My wife and I are raising our kids in the Grand Rapids area because of the great schools, the tight-knit communities, and shared Midwest values. We are members of Central Reformed Church and our oldest attends preschool at Grand Rapids Christian.”

What is the main reason he is running for office? “Every family should have access to safe, clean drinking water, every child deserves a high-quality education, and everyone, regardless of age, deserves affordable healthcare and prescription drugs.  Over the last 8 years, our government has prioritized polluting industries over the environment, has left our public-school system severely underfunded, and has done nothing to rein in the costs of health insurance and the price-gouging of pharmaceutical companies. I’m running because we need someone new representing us in Lansing who will work to solve these problems, for us and our children. As an engineer, I have the problem-solving abilities we need to think creatively and get real solutions.”  

What other leadership experience does he have? “I’ve been focused on providing for my 3 young children and coaching their t-ball teams. But, when I saw how under-funded our schools were and the multiple crises our environment was facing, my family and I felt compelled to act. This is not the time to elect a typical politician.”

What is the main strength he would bring to the position? “As an engineer and small business owner, our district could use a problem-solver with my real-world experience, rather than another partisan politician. I will also work across the aisle to find solutions to our State’s issues.  In business, you don’t ask your employees or customers what their political affiliation is—you establish relationships based upon mutual respect and trust. My family has both Democrats and Republicans and most of us work to find common ground with one another.”

What does he see as the major challenge facing our district? “Although the government is, belatedly, dealing with the groundwater contamination issues across the district, many of the people I’m talking to are still not drinking their tap-water even if their water considered safe—people simply do not trust the government, particularly after the Flint water crisis. We need to work on getting that credibility back or we’re simply wasting millions of dollars on these cleanup efforts. I think more transparency in the process and more community involvement will go a long way.”

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In loving memory of TIMOTHY D. BROWN

October 7, 1982 – November 4, 2005

His presence we miss,

His memory we treasure,

Loving him always,

Forgetting him never.

We love and miss you so much.

Dad, Mom, Stevie and Nathan

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Colen Clem Cole

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Colen Clem Cole age 73 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, October 30, 2018 after a long illness with Dementia/Alzheimers disease. Colen was born April 14, 1945 in Greenville, MI the son of Clem and Rose (Nelson) Cole. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1963 and married his high school sweetheart on August 20, 1965. Together they shared 53 years of marriage. He served proudly in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War Era from 1966-68. He enjoyed the outdoors sporting life: hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and riding his quad around his farm with his dog, Little Joe. He loved best being in the big woods and observing nature. Colen owned and operated United Riggers and Erectors Company, Inc., a construction company in Grand Rapids since 1974. Surviving are his wife, Nancy (Tisdel) Cole; son, Calvin (Carolynn) Cole; granddaughters, Laurynn and Allison; sisters, Marion (Richard) Morris, Marieta (William) Peterson; nephews, Dirk, Bill, Brent; niece, Tresa. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers-in-law, Victor Tisdel and Leon Dennis. Visitation will be held Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 12:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating. Interment with military honors will take place at East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to East Nelson United Methodist Church.

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

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