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Community prays for Cora

“Pray for Cora” lit up the night. Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

Cora Gonzales, a fifth-grade student at Cedar View Elementary, is still in critical condition after being hit by a car earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

By Judy Reed

A candlelight vigil held Monday evening at Skinner Field brought out more than 200 people to pray for Cora Gonzales, the 11-year-old Cedar Springs girl hit by a car on 14 Mile Road on October 6. She is still in critical condition.

Cora’s parents, George and Cookie Gonzales, have asked everyone to pray for a miracle. And that’s what the community did Monday evening. 

At the vigil, community members were each given a candle as they entered the field, and then found a flag to stand by. Several inspirational songs were played, and Pastor Craig Owens, of Calvary Assembly of God, offered a prayer. Everyone lit their candles and prayed for Cora as the lights on the field were dimmed. Drones flew overhead to live stream the event for those that couldn’t be there, and from overhead, the candles lit the message “Pray for Cora.” 

People of all ages and came out to pray for Cora Gonzales Monday evening. Post photo by J. Reed.

The event was organized by Danielle Hardenburg, a friend of the Gonzales family.

According to Cora’s parents’ messages in Team Cora, MRI results showed a lot of damage to Cora’s brain, and doctors do not feel she will heal enough to not be hooked up to many machines. On Wednesday, they were going to attempt to pull out her breathing tube to see if she could breathe on her own. 

A can drive was held last Saturdaya to help with Cora’s medical expenses, and another one will be held this Saturday at Skinner Field from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also two gofundme pages set up for her—one from the Lowell community and one from Cedar Springs. If you would like to donate, you can visit the Cedar Springs page at https://www.gofundme.com/love-for-cora/

If you would like to take a meal to the Gonzales family, you can sign up at http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=TPEC7896.

For updates on Cora, you can follow the Team Cora page on Facebook.

Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

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Halloween/harvest events start this weekend

Are you ready for the all the little superheroes, princesses, ghosts, and goblins that will soon be coming your way? Halloween is just around the corner, and the Post has a list of many of the Halloween and Harvest events happening in our area leading up to Halloween. Included is the Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular, with trick or treating from 5-6:30 at downtown businesses, and 5-8 p.m. in the residential area. Click here to see all of the events going on in our area.

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The Post travels to Canada

Pictured left to right: Kim Gillow, Claire Burbank, Mary Balon, Terry Hardie.

Kim Gillow and Mary Balon, of Cedar Springs, met Claire Burbank and Terry Hardie, of Jacksonville, Florida, in Seattle to start a week-long adventure in the Canadian Rockies. They travelled by train to Vancouver then took the Canadian ViaRail overnight to Jasper, Alberta. They awoke to 6 inches of snow in the mountains. After a stop in Jasper to purchase boots and coats, they spent the next five days roaming the area, including a stay at Sunwapta Falls and a visit to the Columbia Ice Fields. The scenery was breathtaking, the food delicious and the people were warm and welcoming, they said.

Thank you, Kim and Mary, for taking us with you to the Canadian Rockies!

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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ROK Navy Welcomes USS Michigan to Busan 

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (Oct. 13, 2017) — The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) (Gold) pulls into the pier of Republic of Korea’s Busan Naval Base as part of a routine port visit. The visit is to strengthen the already strong relationship between the U.S. Navy and the people of the Republic of Korea. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Carlisle.

By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs  

BUSAN, Republic of Korea–The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) (Blue) arrived at Busan, Oct. 13, for a routine visit during a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. 

During the visit Sailors will experience the culture and history of the Republic of Korea (ROK), as well as foster outstanding relations between the U.S. Navy, ROK military and the local Busan community.  

“The U.S. and ROK navies have always enjoyed a strong relationship. Today, our relationship is stronger than it has ever been and our ironclad partnership is further reinforced by this visit from Michigan.” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. “Michigan Sailors were warmly welcomed by the ROK Navy today and I know they’ll receive the same wonderful welcome from the local community during their visit to Busan.”  

USS Michigan is one of four Ohio-class guided-missile submarines. The Navy’s guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, guided-missile submarines are capable of launching missile strikes and supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions.   

“Throughout this deployment, the crew has been extremely professional and dedicated,” said Capt. Gustavo Gutierrez, Michigan’s commanding officer. “Everyone on board is mission ready, and I’m proud of being their commanding officer.” 

Measuring more than 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,000 tons when submerged, Michigan is one of the largest submarines in the world. 

“We are looking forward to working with our [Republic of Korea Navy] partners and experiencing the Korean culture, which is a first for many of us,” said Gutierrez.  

Michigan is the second submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs), and the third U.S. Navy Michigan to bear the name. Michigan is homeported in Bremerton, Washington and is forward deployed from Guam.   

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Black bears and humans: What you should know

A sow and two black bear cubs investigate a grassy area where garbage has been left. Photo by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

By Kevin Swanson and John Pepin

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

For many people, the opportunity to see a Michigan black bear in the wild is an amazing experience.

Black bears are Michigan’s only bear species. These animals prefer large hardwood or pine forests, intermixed with wetlands, and they can be colored black, brown or cinnamon.

Males live in areas that can be larger than 100 square miles, while females—which give birth to an average of two to three cubs every other winter—stay in smaller areas ranging from 10 to 20 square miles. Adult female black bears typically weigh 100 to 250 pounds.

Bears have sharp claws on their padded feet, used for climbing trees and searching for food, like tearing open rotted stumps and trees for insects.

Many wildlife watchers have a natural curiosity about bears, and the chance to see bears from a safe distance, especially when a sow is accompanied by cubs, often produces moments most people don’t soon forget.

Anglers, campers, hikers and others enjoying the outdoors in Michigan may also encounter a black bear. Typically, bears will run or walk away from humans if they become aware of their presence.

However, in some instances, bears do not run. In these cases, an adult male Michigan black bear—which can weigh more than 400 pounds and stand 5 feet tall—can present an imposing obstacle.

“When bears stand their ground, people should do the same thing,” said Kevin Swanson, a wildlife specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ bear and wolf program. “In these kind of encounters, you should make loud noises and back away from the bear slowly, giving the bear plenty of room to leave the area. Do not run from a black bear or play dead if one approaches.”

In rare cases, black bears can attack. If they do, fight back with a stick, a backpack, similar available items, or your bare hands. 

Fatal black bear attacks are extremely rare. According to the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota, black bears have killed 61 people across North America since 1900. Bear experts there say your chances of being killed by a domestic dog, bees, or lightning are vastly greater.

According to the Center, “Most attacks by black bears are defensive reactions to a person who is very close, which is an easy situation to avoid. Injuries from these defensive reactions are usually minor.”

In Michigan, while cases of black bear attacks—like that of a 12-year-old girl who was attacked and injured while jogging at dusk in Wexford County in 2013—remain rare, reports of bear nuisance complaints are relatively common.

DNR bear nuisance complaints in the Upper Peninsula tallied a bit over 100 for each of the past two years, down from the peak of nearly 250 in 2004.

However, in the northern Lower Peninsula, bear complaints in 2016 numbered over 200, a new record for the region. Previously, complaints had peaked in 2003 in that part of the state at more than 160.

Numerous factors affect bear complaints, including available food sources and public attitudes toward bears over time as population numbers increase.

Many black bear nuisance complaints involve encounters between humans and bears, that were prompted by human behavior.

“Black bears eat plants and animals and seek out a number of different food sources, such as sedge, juneberry, blueberry, acorns, beechnuts, and animal protein that includes insects and occasional deer fawns,” Swanson said. “Bears also have big appetites, an excellent sense of smell and can remember the locations of food sources from one year to the next.”

Problems typically occur when humans feed black bears, intentionally or unintentionally. Bears eat foods left near campsites, garbage, or foods left out for pets or wild birds.

“The best way to avoid issues with black bears is to never feed them,” said Brian Roell, a DNR wildlife biologist in Marquette. “It is very important that bears maintain their natural fear of humans. Bear problems are far more likely to occur when bears become used to finding food provided by humans.”

A DNR information flier on Michigan black bear details some helpful tips for avoiding conflicts with bears around homes and camps:

  • Never intentionally feed bears.
  • Remove potential food sources, like bird feeders, from your yard. Do not feed wild birds in the spring, summer and fall, when bears are most active.
  • Keep pet food inside or in a secured area.
  • Keep garbage and odor at a minimum by removing trash often and cleaning the can or other container used for garbage.
  • Keep garbage in a secured area or in a secured container with a metal, lockable lid until it is picked up or taken away.
  • Keep grills and picnic tables clean.
  • Bee hives (apiaries), fruit trees and gardens can be protected from bears by electric fencing.

There are additional tips for hikers and campers:

  • Keep a clean camp, limiting food odors and garbage.
  • Food and toiletries should never be kept in tents. Store these items in air-tight containers in a vehicle trunk or suspend food in burlap or plastic bags or backpacks from trees. Hang these bags or backpacks 12 feet off the ground, 10 feet away from the tree trunk and 5 feet from the nearest branch.
  • Always cook at a distance from your campsite and wash dishes and utensils shortly after eating.
  • Don’t sleep in clothes that have cooking odors or blood on them.
  • Store garbage as you would food. Burning or burying garbage attracts bears.
  • Travel in groups and make noise when hiking to avoid surprising a bear.
  • Carry bear spray.

“All of us who live and enjoy the outdoors in bear country share the responsibility of not doing things that will intentionally or unintentionally attract bears and create the potential for bear problems,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “As human and black bear populations grow in some areas, the possibility of human-bear interactions becomes more likely, making this shared responsibility even more important.”

Get more information on Michigan black bears at www.michigan.gov/bear.

See part 2 of this story in next week’s paper.

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Pink game raises funds for Susan Komen Foundation


The Lady Red Hawks Varsity Volleyball team hosted a “Dig Pink” game in honor of breast cancer awareness on Tuesday, October 10. Athletic Director John Norton was happy with the results.

“Congratulations to the whole Cedar Springs Community and the Volleyball Program. After we pay some expenses, it is with great pride we will be making a donation in the amount of $1,591.53 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Michigan as a result of our “Pink out” Volleyball event last night,” announced Norton. “Thank you again to everyone who helped make this evening possible, and thank you to everyone who has donated to this great cause. Proud to be a Red Hawk.”

This was the first year that the Volleyball team held the event. Prior to this, it was held by the Varsity football team.

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Community Connection

Elementary students had the opportunity to learn about the Cedar Springs community during their trip to the local museum.

The Cedar Springs Public Museum more than 100 CTA students visit earlier this month. All of our 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students had the opportunity to learn many things about the history of our country, state and the town of Cedar Springs. We appreciate the opportunity to visit our local museum and give our students the opportunity to learn more about their community.

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Metron of Cedar Springs Earns 2017 Silver National Quality Award  

Metron has been recognized as a 2017 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award recipient by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The award is the second of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which was established in 1996 and spotlights providers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for residents and patients in long term and post-acute care centers and communities.

“We are honored to be recognized for what we’ve accomplished on our journey to improve quality care,” said Robin Miller, Administrator of Metron Cedar Springs. “Applying for the Silver award has helped Metron to achieve better outcomes as an organization.”

Based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is also the foundation of the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative, AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award Program challenges member providers to achieve performance excellence through three progressive levels—Bronze, Silver, and Gold. At the Silver level, members develop and demonstrate effective approaches that help improve performance and health care outcomes. 

“I am honored to recognize this year’s Silver award recipients for their dedication to delivering quality care,” said Alana Wolfe, Chair of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers. “I applaud Metron of Cedar Springs’ ability to effectively apply the Baldrige criteria to improve quality performance.”

As a recipient of this year’s Silver award, Metron of Cedar Springs can now advance in developing approaches that meet the criteria required for the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award.

The awards were presented to honorees during AHCA/NCAL’s 68th Annual Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15-18, 2017.

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Book to tell history of Cedar Springs

New book in the works

The Cedar Springs Historical Society is working on a new book to tell the history of Cedar Springs in both word and photos, some never seen before. Sharon Jett, Director at the Museum, has shared some of the pages with us, which we have shared with you over the last few of weeks. Sharon said she hopes the book will be released in the next few months.

Interviews tell the tale

In 1976 Sally Grannis Grayvold interviewed some of the oldest citizens in Cedar Springs. Her tapes have proven to be a treasure trove on our early history. The following is an excerpt from one of her taped interviews with Ora Lewis. 

“When my father Dennis Lewis, lived in Grand Rapids, he had heard of a place a long distance north. It was called Cedar Springs. He found a Tavern where one might stay and a dealer in some provisions. The road was somewhat used to Laphamville (Rockford) but beyond that it was nearly solid pine, hardwood and tamarack. Near the road by Cedar Creek was the tavern, just about where the old City Hall is now (1965) on the creek behind the old water tower. Close by it was a large Cedar tree and some small ones. Close to both was a large spring. Thus the tavern and its location became known as Cedar Springs long before there was a settlement here or a surveyed road to it.” 

Ora’s father saw this when he walked to Cedar Springs as a very young man. He related the story to Ora many times. The place where Dennis Lewis stayed had to be that of John & Lydia Smith. 

By the late 1800’s or early 1900’s the village owned the property. The Cedar Springs Pumping station was located on the spot and soon after “City Hall” was housed there in part of the old pumping station building. Around 1868 or 69 the log tavern was torn down “to make room for more modern improvements.” History of Kent Co. 1881, under Zimri Phelps Bio. 

Old City Hall 

This picture was taken in in the building that used to be the pumping station on Cedar Creek. Miles Mulford, sitting behind the desk was a successful Solicitor of Pensions Justice of the Peace and a Notary Public in Cedar Springs. 

Born July 30, 1844 in Chemung, NY, Miles died July 19, 1927 in Cedar Springs, Mich. His wife, Mary A. Harris, was born in 1848, and died in 1929.

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Foxville Friendship club turns 100

The Foxville Friendship Club turned 100 years old in September. The club started back in the fall of 1917 during the First World War. The club was organized to work for the Red Cross, to make articles for the soldiers.

The first meeting was held at the home of Laverne Speaker, who lived across from Foxville School, on Algoma at Indian Lakes Rd. At the time there were 15 ladies that were members. They met every two weeks, and members took turns having the meetings in their homes. Many of the ladies had their children and even granddaughters that attended and joined the club throughout the years.

The club was involved in many different projects over the years. They sewed cancer pads for the Cancer Society for many years. They have donated quilts and blankets to families that lost everything in a fire; they have also donated money to the Santa Claus Girls, Salvation Army, Mel Trotter Mission, and St. Jude’s. Around Christmas time they also have adopted families, for whom they provided food, and toys for the kids. They have also made gifts for patients in the hospital and put on programs for the nursing homes.

Today the club meets once a month for about two hours in each other’s homes. “We have great fellowship and every member brings a dish to pass,” said treasurer Alice Carlson. They do fall and spring trips; they make a quilt to raffle off every year to earn extra money to help out with gifts for when a member’s family is in the hospital or passes away; and they also do a white elephant sale in the spring.

The Club currently has 8 members and meets every second Thursday of the month. “We always welcome more to join us,” said Carlson. If you are interested in joining the Foxville Friendship Club, call Alice at 866-2365.

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