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The beauty of fall

By Judy Reed

This time of year is a picturesque reminder of the beauty we experience here in Michigan as leaves and fall foliage turn bright shades of red, yellow, and orange. We asked readers on our Facebook page to post their photos of the changing fall colors, and they did not disappoint! Take a look at all the great photos submitted, both here and on our Facebook page.

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New sculpture in Heart of Cedar Springs park


This new owl sculpture in the Heart of Cedar
Springs park, behind the Cedar Springs
Library, was created by Steve Anderson. 
Courtesy photo 

By Sue Wolfe

A new sculpture was recently set in place near the Cedar Springs Community Library in the Heart of Cedar Springs city park running along Cedar Creek. 

This is the fourth sculpture to appear in the park and is the third piece by Steve Anderson. The sculpture features a stainless-steel owl entitled “Wisdom and Imagination.” The scholarly looking owl has its right wing extended over a black metal bench and the left wing is holding a book. Next spring a bronze sculpture of a child reading a book entitled “Once Upon A Time,” by sculptor Sondra Jonson, will be seated next to the owl that appears to be looking over the child’s shoulder. This meaningful sculpture was commissioned by an anonymous local philanthropist channeled through the Community Building Development Team (CBDT). 

The donor and artist collaborated in creating this design believing it to be an ideal location and with hope it will inspire young people to grab a book from the library, cozy up within this beautiful park, and read.

Anderson shared these thoughts, “I love everything about the story this piece tells and how it just makes you smile. Also, we have never worked with a nicer group of people. Again, the Anderson Family would like to say how blessed and thankful we are to be given the opportunity and funding that allows us to continue our passion for sculpture.”

 The Andersons, known as a Christ-centered family, live in the Cedar Springs community and work as a team—father, Steve, and two sons, Troy and Chad—under the business name of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture. The Anderson’s previously installed two sculptures in this park titled “Ascension,”a nine-foot tall blue heron with a six foot wing span and “Dragons Flight,” featuring three dragonflies in motion. Both pieces are near the rain garden and Cedar Creek, close to this latest piece. More of Anderson’s pieces appear locally at Red Hawk Football Stadium (Tom Brown Fire Hawk) and the Red Hawk at the Cedar Springs High School as well as “Water Dance” at the Rogue River Rockford Dam.

The fourth park sculpture titled “Springs Eternal” was created by Andrew Kline, a Cedar Springs resident. Kline’s piece is done in mild fabricated iron situated on the site of the former steel foundry. It was gratefully received in 2019. 

Kline’s artist journey turned serious when his Western Michigan University (WMU) professor encouraged him to embrace his talent. After graduating from WMU in 2010, he spent time creating various designs and soon become employed with Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. He has spent the last 10 years with the Meijer organization as a preparator and assistant conservator and serves on an advisory committee which selects and oversees the sculptures within the facility. 

This Kline sculpture was on exhibition in various locations throughout the state. Prior to coming to Cedar Springs, it spent a few months at Crystal Mountain Resort in northern Michigan. When asked how Cedar Springs became the grateful recipient of this beautiful sculpture Kline replied, “I had been following the progress of the library, amphitheater, and creation of a new park along Cedar Creek. I felt this piece reflecting an eternal spring would be an appropriate addition to the park of my hometown.” 

Cedar Springs Community Librarian Donna Clark added, “What a great privilege it has been to work here in the Heart of Cedar Springs, to have a front row seat to watch the Heart grow to include a new library, four sculptures, a new amphitheater, a new bridge, new trees, ponds full of wild flowers and grasses, frogs and butterflies.T hroughout my day I pass the many windows of the Library and gaze out as my heart fills with joy and gratitude. I think of the vision, the collaboration, and the dedication of so many to bring it all to fruition. I feel blessed to live in Cedar Springs at such a time as this.” 

Along with the new sculpture, a 20’ x 20’ cement pad for dancing and barrier-free seating and a cement pad for a future bike rack has been installed near the amphitheater completed by Tim Greenman owner of Almighty Concrete. 

A new concrete dance pad was recently poured near the amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo 

Upcoming CBDT plans include the paving of several paths throughout the Heart of Cedar Springs park to include one from Maple Street to the amphitheater for service access to the amphitheater. Other paved sections will be completed for walking paths both along the north and south sides of Cedar Creek connecting Pine Street and the existing paved path behind the library extending to Main Street.  

The Community Building Development Team continues to work with the City of Cedar Springs on enhancing the Cedar Springs community. The next CBDT meeting is scheduled outdoors at the amphitheater on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 contingent upon the weather. Please bring a chair and mask. This is open to all interested folks. Topics on the agenda include how best to get more community members involved and discuss projects to include pickleball and sand volleyball courts, a community building, art studio, and much more. If you have ideas or want to get involved, visit the CBDT website at http://www.CSCommunityCenter.org or email Carolee Cole at CaroleeCole@gmail.com.

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Cedar Springs outscores Wayland 28-12

Antwuan Nicholls being taken down by Wayland. Photo by J. Harnden.

QB Jeremy Campione getting ready to pass. Photo by J. Harnden.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team swooped into Wayland last Friday and scooped up their second win of the season in the OK-Gold with a score of 28-12.

Wayland scored first, with 5:44 left in the first quarter, on a Kaden Dole 2-yard run up the middle. The Red Hawks blocked the extra point kick.

The Red Hawks then scored with 2:36 left in the first quarter when senior halfback Da’montae Barnett ran to the left for a 53-yard touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Campione then passed to Barnett on the next  play to earn two extra points. The score was now 8-6 Cedar Springs.

Most of the second quarter passed with neither team hitting the scoreboard. As time was about to expire before the half, Cedar Springs was 3rd and 10 on Wayland’s 14-yard line. Campione handed the ball off to sophomore fullback Antwuan Nicholls, who ran to the left and into the endzone to score as time ran out. On the next play, Aiden Brunin passed to Barnett but it was no good. The score was now 14-6 Cedar Springs.

During the third quarter, Wayland managed to get back on the board when Justin Holtz scrambled to the right for five yards and a touchdown. His run for extra points was no good. The score was now CS 14, Wayland 12.

Cedar Springs hit the board again twice in the fourth quarter. The first time was when Alex Ream ran one yard into the endzone with 9:38 left on the clock. Campione’s pass to Josh Kriekaard was good for two more points.

The second time they scored in the fourth was with 3:25 left on the clock and Da’Montae Barnett had his second touchdown of the night on a one-yard run. Campione’s pass to Kriekaard for extra points was no good. 

Wayland didn’t score again. The final score was then 28-12 Cedar Springs.

Cedar Springs had 260 yards rushing, and 71 yards passing. Wayland had 57 yards rushing, and 111 yards passing.

Leading rushers for Cedar Springs included Da’Montae Barnett with 88 yards on 9 carries; Antwuan Nicholls with 69 yards on 9 carries; Aiden Brunin with 68 yards on 21 carries; Jeremy Campione with 23 yards on 7 carries; Nathan Elliston with 11 yards on 2 carries; and Alex Ream with 4 yards on 5 carries.

 Leading in tackles for Cedar Springs was Brennen Porter with 8; Aiden Brunin with 6; Alex Ream with 5; Dylan Greenland with 4; Nathan Elliston with 3; and the rest of the team with either one or two tackles each, including quarterback sacks by Porter, Greenland, and Tate Ringelberg.

Cedar Springs, Catholic Central, and South Christian are all 2-0 in the OK Gold, and this week Cedar Springs will face Catholic Central in an away game. You can watch the game by subscribing to the NFHS Network and watching the game on your computer, tablet, phone or on the NFHS Roku channel. Here is the link for Friday’s game: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/catholic-central-high-school-grand-rapids-grand-rapids-mi/gama008c6e75b

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Cedar Springs wins over Thornapple-Kellogg, 34-7

Junior Aiden Brunin runs with the ball against Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg. 

By Judy Reed

The long wait is over for varsity high school football, and last Friday’s game at Red Hawk Stadium did not disappoint. The Cedar Springs Red Hawks showed fans Friday night that they are serious about being a contender in their new conference—the OK Gold. 

“It was a very solid effort against a good Thornapple-Kellogg team,” remarked Coach Gus Kapolka. “I was proud of how our kids responded after all the interruptions we’ve had in the preseason. It was great to be back out on the field and achieve a sense of normalcy during a very strange period in all of our lives.”

Thornapple-Kellogg scored first with 3:23 left in the first quarter on a run by Cole Shoobridge for 2-yard  touchdown. The extra point was good.

Cedar Springs scored their first touchdown with 11:46 left in the second quarter on a 29-yard run by sophomore Antwuan Nicholls. Junior Aiden Brunin ran in the extra points, making the score CS 8, TK 7.

The Red Hawks scored again toward the end of the second quarter when Brunin ran the ball in from the 1-yard line. His extra points attempt was no good. The score at the half was CS 14, TK 7.

Cedar Springs scored again with 2:51 left in the third quarter on an 11-yard run by Brunin. Senior QB Jeremy Campione’s pass for extra points was incomplete.

The Red Hawks then scored twice more in the fourth quarter, first on a long 45-yard run by Campione, with 11:51 left to play; and then again on another long run, this time by Nicholls, who took the ball and scampered 59 yards to the endzone with 5:46 left to play. Da’montae Barnett’s run in for extra points he 

Senior quarterback Jeremy Campione runs toward the endzone for a touchdown.

The Red Hawks had 340 yards rushing, with Nicholls leading the way with 137 and two touchdowns; followed by Campione with 70 and one touchdown; Brunin with 68 yards and two touchdowns ; Barnett with 33; Alex Ream 12; Kyle Hoort 10; David DiPiazza 7; and Nate Elliston 3.

Wayland had 163 yards on the ground, led by Mitch Middleton with 72.

Defensively, Josh Kriekaard led the Red Hawks with five tackles, followed by Logan Petty, Dylan Greenland, and Brennan Porter, who each had four. Fourteen others had 3 tackles and below.

The Post asked Coach Kapolka what he thought the team did well.

“We played well on defense,” he said. “TK is a triple option football team that forced us to play extremely disciplined, and with a few exceptions we were up to the task.”

What does he think they need to improve on?

“Our offensive line play needs to improve moving forward, and we need to do a better job of protecting the ball,” he explained.

What does Kapolka think the Red Hawks need to do to win against Wayland this Friday?

“We need to work on a 1001 little things that go into winning this week.  We have a lot of improving to do,” he said.

Instead of shaking hands after the game, the two teams waved their helmets at one another (due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Wayland fell to the division four state champions Catholic Central last week 44-7, and went 0-9 last season. Cedar Springs has faced them 24 times, going 12-12. The last time they played each other was in 2013, when Wayland won 28-26.

For those subscribing to the NFHS Network (nfhsnetwork.com) you can find the link to stream this Friday’s game at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/wayland-union-high-school-wayland-mi/gam3ea22a1125.

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Deer check and CWD/TB testing changes for 2020 hunting season

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises deer hunters to be prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall. Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises deer hunters to be prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall.

Staffing and financial shortages, due to both funding associated with long-term declines in the hunter base and the COVID-19 pandemic, will result in reductions in check station and drop-box locations, dates and hours operated, and the number of deer heads that will be accepted for chronic wasting disease testing (CWD).

Additionally, to protect hunters and DNR staff, some procedures will be changed to make deer check stations safer for all. Hunters are required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, staying 6 feet away from other people, at DNR deer check stations. At many check stations, hunters will be required to stay in their vehicles while their deer is checked.

“It is an unprecedented time in our state’s history, with serious challenges that affect everyone. We ask for your patience and grace as we adapt to meet these challenges,” said acting DNR Wildlife Division Chief Dan Kennedy. “Michigan hunters have a long history of partnering with the DNR for the benefit and health of the state’s deer population. Let’s continue working together to protect public health, too.”

Deer check stations and drop boxes

Deer check station locations will be reduced this fall. Check station days and hours of operation also will be reduced across much of the state. Many check stations will be open only during parts of the firearm deer season in November. Wait times may be longer than usual, especially during the firearm deer season, due to staffing reductions. It’s important to note, too, that any changes in the state’s COVID-19 situation could result in changes to planned locations and hours of operation.

In parts of the state where CWD and bovine tuberculosis (TB) samples are needed, check stations and drop boxes will be available to hunters beginning Oct. 3 and continuing into December and January.

Deer cooperator patches will be available at DNR deer check stations, during their hours of operation, while supplies last.

Deer disease surveillance

The DNR still needs hunters help to learn more about the status of CWD in Michigan. Since the DNR no longer has the resources to test the same volume of deer heads as in the past, the department will prioritize gathering deer heads from in and around known CWD areas to gather more information about the extent of the disease in these locations. See 2020 CWD testing goals map at https://tinyurl.com/y2ycjlf2.

In 2020, deer heads from southern Jackson, southern Isabella and western Gratiot counties and from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties) will be accepted for CWD testing from Oct. 3 to Jan. 4.

Deer heads from Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties will be accepted for testing Nov. 15-18 only. USDA-approved lab testing is also available for hunters in these areas at any time. 

Those who hunt in the remainder of the state and want their deer tested for CWD must submit their deer head to a USDA-approved lab for testing and will be charged a fee. Visit Michigan.gov/CWD for information about USDA-approved labs conducting CWD testing.

Carcasses from deer displaying symptoms of CWD will be tested throughout the deer season, regardless of where they were killed.

Deer will continue to be collected for annual TB surveillance in DMU 487 (Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties). TB tests also will be conducted in Cheboygan, Crawford, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon counties, as well as parts of Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Emmet, Kalamazoo, Ottawa and Saginaw counties as part of the state’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and continued commitment to conduct surveillance for potential TB expansion. See 2020 deer TB testing map at https://tinyurl.com/y4ggwtfo. Although these are the DNR’s priority areas for TB surveillance, deer from anywhere in the state will be accepted for TB testing.

This fall, hunters coming in for disease testing are asked to bring only deer heads to check stations, removing them ahead of time, if possible. Those who would like to keep the antlers are asked to please remove those from the head but bring the antlers when they visit a check station so that antler measurements can be taken.

Information about the new check station procedures can be found in the 2020 Hunting Digest at https://tinyurl.com/deerhuntingdigest2020 or at Michigan.gov/CWD. Hours and locations of deer check stations will be updated this week and will be available at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck.

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9/11 Tribute

Thank you to our staff and students who paid tribute by sharing together a moment of silence to honor and remember those we lost on 9/11.

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Are you ready for some football?

Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone.

By Judy Reed

It’s the season that almost wasn’t. But boy are we glad it’s back!

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks, defending champions in the OK White, have moved to the OK Gold this season, after a conference realignment, so they will be up against some teams they haven’t recently played, but have the chance to rekindle some old rivalries and create new ones. Other teams in the conference include GR Catholic Central, Forest Hills Eastern, Kenowa Hills, Ottawa Hills, South Christian, Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg, and Wayland. 

The first three games were canceled due to the pandemic (Swan Valley, Rockford, and Forest Hills Eastern), so the Red Hawks take on Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg Friday night at home. 

According to Michigan-football.com, Cedar Springs is 1-1 against Middleville.

Please note that attendance this year is limited to 2 guests per athletic participant, so that means that for most of us, we will need to watch it on a streaming device, such as a computer, tablet, phone, or on the tv through the NHSF’s Roku channel. For more details on how to watch, click link below:

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Community welcomes soldier home

Members of the community and Kent County Sheriff’s Office welcomed home PFC Steven Elkowitz last Friday from duty at Fort Lee in Virginia.

At the age of 17, PFC Steven Elkowitz, the son of Jennifer and Steven Elkowitz Sr., joined the Army in 2018 during his Junior year. Last summer he attended basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Steven then returned home to complete his senior year at Rockford High School. He came back home Friday from his duty at Fort Lee in Virginia, where he plans to attend college while continuing his reserve on the weekends. After his 6-year commitment, he plans on enlisting as an active duty Officer. 

The Elkowitz family recently moved to the Cedar Springs area, and resident Jeff Uhen helped organize the welcome home for the soldier.

“With just 48 hours to put this together, we had a wonderful turnout from our community and surrounding areas,” remarked Uhen. “There is nothing more special than an old fashioned motorcade to welcome home soldiers whom make sacrifices for us, in serving our great country, and it was just so amazing to see the support he received. A big special thanks to Lieutenant EJ Johnson, Deputy Lance Gilbert, and Deputy Terry Lecuru for coming out in support. Additionally, a special thank you to Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith and his team for allowing us to stage at the High school.”  

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Equestrian team clinches championship

L to R: Coach Katie VanDyke, Parker VanDyke, Taryn Troupe, Melana Kettler, Lorraine Ives, Chloe Myers, Morgan Chaffin, Gloria Alaverz and assistant coach Dan Dunham. Missing from photo: Casey Fisk and Emily Eagan.

The Cedar Springs High School Equestrian Team competed in three district meets this season on Aug 29, September 12, and September 13. According to Coach Katie VanDyke, the Cedar Springs riders won all three district meets, besting their competition by over 200 points to earn the title of District 5, Division B Champions!  They will compete at regionals October 3-5.

Their riders are: Parker VanDyke, Chloe Myers, Gloria Alvarez, Melana Kettler, Taryn Troupe, Morgan Chaffin and Emily Eagan. Grooms are Casey Fisk and Lorraine Ives.

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Building torn down to make way for drain

The building at 17-19 N. Main Street was torn down this week. Photos by B. Powell.

By Judy Reed

The building at 17-19 N. Main Street, that many remember as the old Red Flannel Insurance building, was demolished earlier this week as part of the reroute of the Cedar Springs drain.

The building has not housed a business for at least four years; some of the more recent ones included Mercantile of Yesteryear; Hidden Treasures; Red Flannel Insurance and Barber’s Jewelry and Rau’s Real Estate. Even earlier ones include The Cedar Beauty Studio, and the office of the Rudell Creamery, later the Cedar Springs Creamery.

The building before it was torn down. Google photo.

The building originally was built to house a dentist office after a fire in 1909. According to information in both the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, and the Making of a Town—a historical journey through Cedar Springs, Michigan by the Cedar Springs Historical Society, Dr. George Ferguson’s office was destroyed in the fire, and he and young lawyer Thaddeus Taylor built the new brick building on Main Street with offices for both of them. 

Dr. Ferguson originally came to Cedar Springs after he became a railroad telegrapher for Grand Trunk Western Railroad in the spring of 1891 at the age of 19. He served various communities but later became interested in dentistry and earned his degree from the Detroit College of Dental Surgery. He practiced in Cedar Springs from 1907-1940. He was very active in the community, serving on the Board of Trade (Chamber of Commerce); the CS Board of Education; the local theater association; and others. His son, Ardale Ferguson, later had a gas station (Ferguson’s Super Service) built next to Dr. Ferguson’s office (in the 1920s), in the area now used as parking for Chase Bank (northwest corner of Cherry and Main St).

Thaddeus Taylor came to Cedar Springs in 1909. In 1910, he ran for the state legislature and won the right to represent 13 townships in northern Kent County, including the Village of Cedar Springs. He was only 23 years old and served from 1911-1913. He was only 23 years old, the youngest to ever serve. In 1976, he was honored by the legislator for that distinction. Taylor also served as Village Clerk, and in 1922 he moved to Grand Rapids to serve as a prosecuting attorney. He later was appointed a judge of the Superior Court and held that position for 27 years. 

To learn more about the Dr. Ferguson and Mr. Taylor, or the buildings on Main Street, purchase a copy of the Making of a Town from the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

The Post asked Kent County Drain Commissioner Ken Yonker for an update on the drain project.

He said they have secured all the easements needed for the re-route. “Our last permit needed is from EGLE to relocate the outlet a few hundred feet downstream of the current outlet,” he explained.

He added that they are expecting to have this project bid by the end of November with a completion date by the end of next summer.

“Once we get the bids and get the job awarded, we can get the bonding to finance the project,” he said.

Watch the Post for more updates on the project.

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