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Pierson Trading Post robbed

The Pierson Trading Post was robbed Thursday morning, April 12. Photo by Dan Randall.

This surveillance photo shows the suspect with a long gun.

The Michigan State Police are looking for the man who robbed the Pierson Trading Post gas station at gunpoint last Thursday morning, April 12.

According to police, the robbery occurred about 10:12 a.m. at the gas station on Federal Rd (Northland Drive) in Pierson. The male suspect entered the gas station dressed in a blue hooded sweatshirt/jacket, black pants with a white stripe down the side, a mask, and yellow glasses. He was carrying a long gun and told the employees to open the register. He took an undisclosed amount of money and fled south in a black pickup.

The suspect was described as a white male, 20-40 years of age, about 6 ft. 3 to 6 ft. 5.

Anyone with information about this robbery should call the MSP Lakeview Post at (989) 352-8444.

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Fire destroys Nelson Township home

Fire consumed this Nelson Township home last Friday evening, April 13. Photo from Bruce Duncan.

By Judy Reed

An old home at 8147 19 Mile Rd, about ¼ mile east of  Pine Lake Rd, was destroyed in a fire Friday evening, April 13. 

According to Bruce Duncan, who lives nearby at 19 Mile and Pine Lake Rd, the house was under renovation and had recently received a new steel roof and had other repairs done.

“We don’t know how it started, but we were still up when the firefighters started to arrive,” said Duncan. “I walked out to the corner to look and counted 7 fire trucks, 2 ambulances and 2 tanker trucks that were bringing in water from Pine Lake. It was pretty involved by the time the first trucks started to come in. The house on the corner was damaged some from the heat of the fire.”

There wasn’t much left of this home at 8147 19 Mile Rd. Post photo by L. Allen.

Duncan said that years ago the home belonged to a Gladys Hicks, who was his girlfriend’s grandmother. “She remembers visiting and playing in the old house growing up. She was from the Gillespie family and with family ties, it was sad to watch it burn down. There’s a lot of history in that old house. The house on the corner next to it that received some damage was smaller back then and was a tenant house for the field workers,” he explained.

Some of the fire departments on scene included Spencer, Sand Lake, and Cedar Springs Fire Departments. The Post put in a call to Spencer Fire and Sand Lake Fire for some official information, but did not yet have that info by press time. 

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Storm topples trees, cancels schools

This tree fell in the middle of 19 Mile Rd, east of Ritchie. Post Photo by L. Allen.

This tree came down in front of Keith Caldwell’s workshop in Solon Township. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

A rare April ice storm that began Friday evening, April 13, and continued through the day Sunday, April 15, covered roads with chunks of ice, sleet, and snow, and high winds brought down trees in some areas. Many church services were cancelled Sunday, and schools were cancelled for Monday.

One tree came down on 19 Mile Rd, east of Ritchie. Publisher Lois Allen got some photos of that tree. Keith Caldwell also experienced a falling tree—right between his workshop and fence at 3160 20 Mile Rd in Solon Township.

“On Monday and Tuesday afternoons, I work in my shop building and repairing musical instruments,” said Caldwell. “This Monday, April 16th, I arrived at about noon and found a tree down in front of the door. After an hour with a chainsaw I was back in business, and doors were open. I thank God the tree fell between the shop and the fence, about a 10-foot space, and no damage was done to the building, instruments or the fence,” he said.

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Post travels to Arizona

Charlie and Kathy Prahl took daughter Katia and friend Maddi to visit Aunt Karen Shafer in Sun Lakes, Arizona over Spring Break. Kathy’s parents, Dave and Diane Taghon, joined them there and a great time was had by all. The four also went to Sedona and took the Pink Jeep Tour, spent time at the Grand Canyon, Jerome, Superstition Mountain, Canyon Lake and took the Verde Canyon Train Ride. No Spring Break is complete without The Cedar Post! 

Thank you to the Prahl family 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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Truck crosses centerline; sends 2 to hospital

Two people were sent to the hospital Wednesday after a pickup truck and SUV collided on M-57 in front of Courtland Township Hall shortly before noon.

According to the Michigan State Police, a black pickup truck driven by an unnamed male was traveling eastbound on M-57 when he crossed the centerline and hit a Chevy Trailblazer head on.

Both the driver of the pickup truck, and the unnamed female driver of the SUV were sent to Butterworth Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Courtland Fire assisted at the scene.

No other information was available at press time.

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How the Au Sable River changed the world

Becoming an Outdoor Woman (B.O.W.) flyfishing the Ausable River in the Rain

By CASEY WARNER, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

With the opener of Michigan’s trout season right around the corner, anglers soon will be donning their waders and heading out to one of the thousands of cold, quality streams that make the state a nationally known trout-fishing destination.

Perhaps the most renowned place to cast a fly in Michigan – the Au Sable River, running 138 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula – is significant for much more than its outstanding trout fishing.

In 1959, 16 fishermen, united by their love of trout and the Au Sable River and concerned about the need for long-term conservation of Michigan’s cold-water streams, gathered at George Griffith’s home east of Grayling.

“For some time I and several others have been considering ways and means to protect and preserve trout and trout fishing, and have come up with the idea of forming an organization to be known as Trout, Unlimited,” wrote Griffith, a member of the Michigan Conservation Commission, in an invitation letter to a fellow angler in 1959.

“Such an organization could work with state and federal agencies now charged with that responsibility … it would help educate the public on the dire need of sound, practical, scientific trout management and regulations to protect the trout as well as satisfy fishermen.”

The sportsmen that responded to Griffith’s invitation to meet at his cabin on the Au Sable believed that better and more scientific habitat management would improve the environment as well as the state’s trout population and fishing.

Encouraged by the work of Trout Unlimited, groups like the Anglers of the Au Sable have undertaken habitat restoration projects on the river.

Nearly 60 years after that initial meeting, the organization those fishermen founded – Trout Unlimited – has become a national champion of fish habitat conservation.

Today, the organization has almost 300,000 members and supporters, with 30 offices nationwide, and sponsors the International Trout Congress.

The Michigan History Museum in Lansing is showcasing Trout Unlimited’s founding on the Au Sable in a special exhibition, “The River that Changed the World,” open through July 29.

“The Au Sable River has influenced – and continues to influence – people around the world,” said Mark Harvey, Michigan’s state archivist and the exhibition’s curator. “The stories in the exhibition demonstrate the innovative and unprecedented ways private citizens and state government worked together to conserve and protect the river and sustainably manage its fish populations.”

Harvey said that the idea for the exhibit stemmed from the Michigan History Center’s longstanding relationship with, and eventual donation of materials from, Art Neumann, one of the cofounders of Trout Unlimited and its executive director from 1962 to 1965.

“Instead of just focusing on the Trout Unlimited group, we took a wider view of the river that inspired these people to work for systemic change,” Harvey said.

The Wolverine fish car, a converted railroad car, carried milk cans of fingerlings (young fish) to lakes and rivers all over the state from 1914 to 1937. Photo courtesy of the Department of Conservation./

The exhibition features George Griffith’s 24-foot-long Au Sable river boat and a re-creation of Neumann’s Wanigas Rod Shop, where he made fly rods considered works of art and became known as a champion of conservation.

A “battery” of glass beakers from the Grayling fish hatchery, each of which held thousands of eggs, highlights the late 19th-century work of state conservationists and private citizens who tried to save the Arctic grayling.

An iconic cold-water fish that once dominated northern Michigan streams but was almost extinct by the beginning of the 20th century, Arctic grayling were native only to Michigan and Montana in the lower 48 states.

“When sportsmen first discovered the grayling in the Au Sable, it drew international attention,” Harvey said.

The current Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative now aims to restore self-sustaining populations of the fish within its historical range in Michigan.

Original paneling and artifacts from the Wolverine fish car, which carried millions of fish by rail across Michigan, tell museum visitors the story of efforts to plant trout in the Au Sable.

Fred Westerman, one of the first employees of the Wolverine and former fisheries chief in the Michigan Department of Conservation, forerunner to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, once reported:

“Frequently… thirty cans of fish would be dropped off at some spooky junction – like in the jack pine at Au Sable-Oscoda with the cemetery across the tracks and the depot a mile from town – on the night run of the Detroit & Mackinac, to await the morning train going up the river branch.”

The exhibition also introduces the relationship between the Anishinabe (Odawa and Ojibwe people) and the Au Sable River and explores Grayling as a fishing and tourism hotspot since the mid-19th century. 

Current DNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter applauded the vision and passion of those who recognized the Au Sable’s promise as a premier fishing destination.

“As the name of the exhibit implies, the Au Sable is a world-class fishery resource attracting anglers from every corner of the earth,” Dexter said. “It’s one of the most stable groundwater-influenced watersheds in North America, and produces exceptional trout fishing.

“It wasn’t always that way, though. Without the creation of Trout Unlimited at the Au Sable River, by those who understood the potential of our cold-water resources, Michigan might not be home to one of the world’s greatest trout fisheries.”

Trout Unlimited’s work has also encouraged other groups like the Anglers of the Au Sable, who now lead the charge for preserving this unique, high-quality body of water. Dubbed the “river guardians,” the Anglers group has fought multiple environmental threats to river.

The exhibit and related events also offer opportunities for hands-on experiences.

Visitors can learn how to tie a fly and compare tied flies to real insects under a microscope or sit in a kayak and take a 360-degree virtual reality paddle down the Au Sable.

They can also explore the essence of the Au Sable without leaving mid-Michigan through a series of museum programs revolving around the exhibit.

“While the exhibit focuses on the wonderful stories, images and sounds of the river, we wanted to bring the Au Sable River to the capital region,” said Michigan History Center engagement director Tobi Voigt. “We designed a series of programs highlighting themes from the exhibit – like fly-fishing and kayaking – that can be enjoyed by a variety of age groups. We’re especially excited to showcase a fly-fishing star and host our first-ever kayak tour.”

Programs include a fly-casting workshop with noteworthy fly-tier and fly-fishermen Jeff “Bear” Andrews, a kayak tour on the Red Cedar River, and the Second Saturdays for Families series featuring hands-on activities like making a compass, a sundial or a miniature boat.

To learn more about “A River That Changed the World” and to find Michigan History Museum visitor information, go to  www.michigan.gov/museum.

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Offering a helping hand across the bridge

Flanked by fellow VFW Post members Larry Herrington, Robert Maier, Gary Opalewski and Richard Ringersma, VFW Post 3946 Quartermaster Fred Chambers presents Jane McGookey, Network Director of Feeding America West Michigan, with a check for $1,800. The money will be used by FAWM to provide 20,000 pounds of food for distribution to food insecure residents living in Marquette County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Members of C E Schumacher Rockford Memorial VFW Post 3946 recently joined hands with Feeding America West Michigan (FAWM) to help provide food for food insecure residents of Marquette County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  

Post 3946 donated $1,800 to FAWM which will use the funds to stock and deliver a mobile food pantry loaded with 20,000 pounds of food to Upper Peninsula residents. The food will be distributed in Marquette County later this spring by members of VFW Post 4573 from their post in Ishpeming.

“This is Post 3946’s first partnership with FAWM and Post members are excited about providing food to veterans and local residents in the cash strapped Upper Peninsula,” according to current Rockford Post Commander Vern Sall.

And according to Kenneth Estelle, President and CEO of FAWM, the organization couldn’t be more pleased with the donation.

“Food insecurity among both veterans and non-veterans is a huge problem in the Upper Peninsula,” said Estelle.  Finding sufficient funding to provide adequate food resources to residents of the Upper Peninsula is huge challenge for FAWM.” 

“That this downstate VFW Post is donating to support fellow veterans and residents in the Upper Peninsula is a testament to their generosity and commitment to providing food to those in need,” said Estelle.  “We are delighted to be partnering with them.”

Providing food to hungry people is nothing new for members of VFW Post 3946 which draws its membership from the greater north Kent County area as well as Rockford and Cedar Springs.

For over 17 years, members prepared and served monthly roast beef dinners at their Post on 13 Mile Road between Rockford and Cedar Springs. 

However, faced with ever increasing overhead costs on an aging building, members of the Post decided two years ago to sell their building and join with several other veterans groups sharing overhead and operating expenses at the Boat and Canoe Club in North Park.

“It was not an easy decision to shut down our building, but it was a good one,” according to Richard Ringersma, Post 3946 Service Officer.   “The move allowed us to spend less on maintaining bricks and mortar and more on community service and outreach.” 

Fred Chambers, past Post 3946 Commander, Kent County Veterans’ Services Officer, and lead chef for the roast beef dinners concurs.  According to Chambers, “Not only did the move free up more funds for charitable purposes and community outreach due to decreased overhead, the numbers at our monthly dinners have steadily increased since we moved to the Boat and Canoe Club. That means we have more money available for community service.”

Post 3946 uses proceeds from its monthly dinners to support a wide range of charitable activities, some specifically aiding veterans and their families, and others, such as their donation to FAWM, directed at helping the community at large. 

The Post’s charitable activities cover a broad spectrum from providing scholarships for disadvantage youth to Camp Trotter to financial support of the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids which offers a wide range of support services to veterans of foreign wars and their families. 

The Post serves roast beef dinners between 12 and 2 the third Sunday of each month at the Boat and Canoe Club in North Park.  The $10 all-you-can-eat dinners are open to the public and are available to eat in or carry-out.

“VFW Post 3946 is always open to new members,” according to Chambers.  The Post holds their monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Boat and Canoe Club. “Just come on in and join us.”

Membership in the VFW is open to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who has served in the armed forces “in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition, which service shall be recognized by the authorization or the issuance of a U.S. military campaign medal.” 

If you are interested in joining or would like more information, call Fred Chambers at 616-443-7630.

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Choirs Performed at District Choral Festival

The Charger Voices stand with poise following their performance.

On Friday, March 16, CTA choir students attended the District 7 Choral festival at Greenville High School. This year, both our middle school choir, Harmonic Chargers, and our high school choir, Charger Voices, attended. Although our our middle school students attended solely to receive comments this year, they really enjoyed their first festival experience and received helpful feedback from the festival adjudicators. The high school choir went for a rating this year for the first time. Last year, Charger Voices attended for comments only, so the stakes were higher this time around. We ended with a high II rating. Both choirs demonstrated great growth from the previous year, and the students really enjoyed the experience! Both groups were conducted by Mr. Jeremy Holtrop and accompanied by Mrs. Bethany Holtrop.

The Harmonic Chargers are proud of their first effort at the District Choral festival.

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Bald eagle overlooking Pine Lake

Recently we have received several photos of bald eagles in the area. This beautiful photo was taken by Tim Hindenach on April 4, when he spotted a bald eagle in the trees overlooking Pine Lake, in Nelson Township. Bald eagles tend to stay in areas where water is close by (fish is a favorite food), but will also prey on small rodents. They became rare in North America in the early to mid 1900s, and were added to the endangered species list in 1978. They were removed from that list in 2007.

To read about another bird that has made a dramatic comeback, go to our Outdoors section.

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The Post travels to Las Vegas

Photo by Clint Conley

The Conley family took the Post and flew into Las Vegas, Nevada over spring break. They then traveled the full length of Arizona and back. Pictured is Pam and Caelun Conley in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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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