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Evan M. Kobayashi

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Evan Kobayashi

Evan M. Kobayashi, 17, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, August 30, 2015. Evan was born April 6, 1998, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Toshi and Kelli (Beckman) Kobayashi. He was a senior at Cedar Springs High School, who excelled in both academics and athletics. Evan was passionate about baseball, the game as well as the friendships and character traits that came from playing the sport. Evan was a boy from whom kindness radiated, warming anyone fortunate enough to be near him.  He laughed often and was generous with both smiles and gentle words.  He was the most humble of individuals, drawing all to his positive spirit. He enjoyed morel hunting with his family, playing cards with his friends, hunting, scaling the dunes at Lake Michigan and reading avidly.  His sense of humor and quick wit brought continuous joy to those around him. Surviving are his parents; brother and sister, Logan and Elise; grandparents, George and Carol Kobayashi, and Richard Beckman; many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Wava Beckman. The family will greet friends Wednesday Sept. 2 from 1-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Thursday, Sept. 3, at 1:00 p.m., at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium. Prayers and reflections given by Rev. Fr. Lam Le. Memorial contributions may be made to a lasting memorial to be decided by the family.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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JAMES A RECTOR

 

35C-obit-RectorJames A. Rector, 85, of Baldwin and Florida, was called back to his Savior, Jesus Christ on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Faith Hospice-Trillium Woods. Mr. Rector was born January 26, 1930 in Pierson, Michigan, the son of Edward A. and Gladys S. (Bird) Rector. He was an Army Veteran and had been employed by General Motors for 37 years before retiring January 1, 1990. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and looking for lost golf balls. Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Donna L. (Rounds); two daughters, Terri (Peter) Loda of Byron Center, Gail (Joe) Parks of Grandville; six grandchildren, Michele (Justin) Poorman, Andrea (Evan) Bevolden, Aaron Loda, Shelby Loda, Conner Loda and Joshua (Heather) Lunger; three great grandchildren; brother, Alvin “Pete” (Edith) Rector; sister, Norma (Fred) Shira; several nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Marian and Ed Rathbun. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 6-8 pm, at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs and one hour before the funeral service on Wednesday, September 2nd at the First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastors James Howard and Bob Sponable officiating. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice-Trillium Woods, Byron Center or Lake Community Bible Church, 8033 Central Park Blvd., Baldwin, MI 49304.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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It’s time for football!

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

Saturday, August 29, marks the first game of the 2015 season for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, and you don’t want to miss it! They will host the Comstock Park Panthers at Grand Valley State University Lubbers Stadium, in the brand new GRidiron classic, at 4 p.m.

The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) partnered with Grand Valley State University and the OK Conference to promote the newly created high school football showcase, which will feature three games:

1:00 p.m. Hamtramck vs. NorthPointe Christian (host)

4:00 p.m. Comstock Park vs. Cedar Springs (host)

7:00 p.m. Oak Park vs. Zeeland West (host)

“West Michigan prides itself in our high school football and this event will highlight the start of the season with some great matchups at a superb facility,” stated Mike Guswiler, President of the WMSC, in a press release last spring.

Each purchased ticket entitles the bearer to attend all three scheduled games. Tickets are available online at a cost of $8 Adults / $6 Students. Tickets purchased on the day of the event at the door will be sold for $10 Adults / $8 Students.

Last year, the Red Hawks took on Comstock Park in their opening game on the Panther’s home turf, and ran away with the game, 50-13. They went on to become OK-Bronze Champions, and ended their season after losing to Muskegon in the second game of the playoffs.

Come on out and cheer on your Cedar Springs Red Hawks!

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Teen hurt in rollover crash

This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Plainfield Township teen was sent to the hospital Wednesday evening with life-threatening injuries after a collision in Courtland Township.

The accident happened about 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 26, at 13 Mile and Myers Lake Roads.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Matthew Gorkowski, 17, of Sparta, was traveling westbound on 13 Mile Road and did not stop at the the stop sign at Myers Lake Road. His vehicle was struck on the passenger side by 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was southbound on Myers Lake. The collision sent both vehicles off the road into the southwest corner of the intersection, with the Trailblazer rolling over.

Neither Gorkowski, nor the driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Rotunno, 18, of Cedar Springs, were injured. However, a 15-year-old female passenger in the Trailblazer suffered life-threatening injuries. She was transported by Rockford Ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth and then to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Everyone involved was wearing seatbelts and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Courtland Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

 

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Churches UNITE to send audio bibles to refugees

N-United1

Post photo by J. Reed

 

by Judy Reed

The churches in the Cedar Springs area are pretty good at making history.

In 2009, eight area churches joined together in Morley Park to worship together, something rare in most communities. Last Saturday, August 23, the churches met together in Morley Park for their seventh UNITED service, and did something no other community ministerial association in the country has done—together they raised $5,000 to send audio Bibles to refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq, through World Mission.

The audio Bible, called the Treasure, is about the size of an MP3 player. World Mission uses the Treasure as a tool to deliver the Word of God to those who have never heard, targeting especially unreached people. It is a solar-powered audio Bible given to oral learners in their own language.

post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

According to Craig Carter, Pastor of North Kent Community Church and part time representative for World Mission, he had previously worked with World Mission on the project, and when he presented the project to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association pastors, they liked the idea. Area churches presented it to their congregations, then began to collect change in banks through Vacation Bible School offerings and throughout their churches.

“We are absolutely the first ministerial association to do this,” said Carter. He said that World Mission CEO Greg Kelley was excited about it and made a video at the UNITED service. “He thinks it will inspire other communities,” he explained.

Overall, the $5,000 will purchase about 225 units. Fifty went to Kenya on a mission trip with Pastor Kristi Rhodes and Hillcrest Community Church, and the rest will go to Kurdistan. Carter said that they chose Kurdistan because of the problems with ISIS and the persecutions taking place. He estimates that the audio Bibles will reach a minimum of 25,000 people in one year.

“Audio learners—people who cannot read—are very social. They gather with others, and the audio Bibles will be shared in listening groups. We estimate they will be shared at least 10 times in a year,” he explained. He said they will stay in the field for a minimum of three years, so could reach as many as 75,000 people.

“It’s exciting,” said Carter. “If we have the ability to reach that many people (25,000) in one event, we should also be able to reach our own community, which is about that size.”

Another thing they did this year is took the $1,000 they would normally spend on a hot dog lunch after the service, and decided to donate it to feed refugees in Kurdistan. “It should feed about 3,500 people,” he said.

The Treasures are expected to go to Kurdistan in October, when a medical team is going and the food distribution will take place.

To find out more about the Treasure, you can visit www.worldmission.cc, or contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398.

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Post travels to top of Mackinac Bridge

N-Post-travels1-top-Mackinac-Bridge-WallDean and Kristie Wall, owners of Dean’s Excavating in Sand Lake, attended a fundraiser at Frederik Meijer Gardens this past spring. At the auction there, they purchased a certificate allowing them the chance to go to the very top of the Mackinac Bridge. They said it’s an opportunity that only 100 people per year get to experience. They took a very small elevator most of the way up, then had to climb about 40 feet through a narrow tunnel, and came up through a hatch on the top of the bridge structure.

N-Post-travels2-top-of-Mackinac-Bridge-Wall“The view from the top was breathtaking!” said Kristie.

Thanks so much, Dean and Kristie, for taking us with you!

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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Drive sober or get pulled over

 

N-Sober-DrivingStepped up drunk driving patrols through Labor Day

No back-to-college checklist is complete without books, smart phones and backpacks. Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are encouraging everyone to also add a safe, sober ride home after a party.

Stepped up drunk driving patrols began last weekend and last through Sept. 7. This period includes student move-in at many Michigan colleges and universities, as well as the Labor Day holiday weekend.

For some college students, the dangers associated with underage drinking include academic issues, health risks and criminal charges, as well as serious injury or death from traffic crashes. Michigan has a zero tolerance alcohol law for a driver under 21 years old. Strong awareness and enforcement efforts help reduce underage drinking by limiting opportunities and access to alcohol and decreasing impaired driving.

“Wrapping up the summer and starting the school year should be full of possibilities, not tragedy from preventable drunk driving crashes,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Be on notice: Michigan law enforcement officers will have extra patrols looking for drunk drivers and unbuckled motorists to help keep you and your family safe.”

During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, five of the six fatal traffic crashes involved alcohol. In 2014, 319 people died in Michigan as a result of alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes, a 9 percent decrease from 2013.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will also include stepped up seat belt enforcement. Buckling up can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45 percent.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level, if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger, in any seating position, to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP. Grant-funded impaired driving and seat belt enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

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British woman injured in go cart accident

 

A 40-year-old woman from Great Britain was hospitalized Tuesday after a freak accident at AJ’s Fun Park.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Plainfield Fire Department, and Life Ambulance all responded to AJ’s Fun Park on Ball Park Dr. in Plainfield Township, on Tuesday, August 25 at approximately 3:30 p.m., on the report of a subject having trouble breathing.

It was determined that Rachel Gibbs, a 40-year-old female, who lives with her family in Great Britain, but was in West Michigan visiting family, was riding a go cart at AJ’s Fun Park, when the scarf she was wearing became entangled in the tire of the go cart. The scarf injured her neck and she was unable to breath.

The woman was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth with life threatening injuries. Her condition was unknown at press time.

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Suspect arrested for damage to cemetery

Patrick Wayne Oliver

Patrick Wayne Oliver

A Howard City man was arrested for causing $13,000 in damage, with his car, at the Pierson Township Cemetery.

According to the Montcalm Sheriff’s Office, a witness reported seeing a vehicle leave the road and enter into the cemetery on July 19, at approximately 3:40 p.m. The witness also saw that the driver did not stop but left the scene. The witness was able to tell the deputy where the vehicle went after the crash, as well as what the vehicle registration was.

The suspect, Patrick Wayne Oliver, 28, of Howard City, was eventually located and interviewed. The report was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, which led to the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Oliver was charged with operating a motor vehicle without insurance, driving while having a suspended license, reckless driving, and failure to report an accident. He was arrested on August 19 and is currently out on a $1,500.00 bond.

The cemetery sustained over $13,000.00 in damages, which included damage to several headstones and monuments.

Oliver is scheduled for a district court arraignment on August 28 in connection with these charges.

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A boyfriend and family charged with harboring runaway

 

Three people have been charged with harboring a teenaged runaway from Cannon Township.

On August 14, the Kent County Sheriff Department asked for the public’s assistance to find 16-year-old Joanna Henry, of Cannon Township. She had left her residence on August 7, and it was reported she suffered from bi-polar/depression and could be without her medication.

On August 17, police reported that she was found safe.

On August 20, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charged Joanna’s boyfriend, the boyfriend’s mother, and the boyfriend’s mother’s sister with Harboring a Runaway in connection with this case. The names are currently being withheld pending arrest. Harboring a runaway is a misdemeanor charge with a penalty of one year and/or $500 fine (MCL 722.151).

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