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Car rear-ends school bus

A car ran into the back of a Cedar Springs School bus this afternoon that had stopped to drop off a student. Post photo by J. Reed.

A car ran into the back of a Cedar Springs School bus this afternoon that had stopped to drop off a student. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A Nelson Township mom saw the Cedar Springs Public Schools bus stop in front of their home on 17 Mile, between Shaner and Stout, about 2:45 p.m. to drop off her son. She said she looked away for a moment, and when she looked back, she saw a car crash into the back of the bus.

“I heard the airbags deploy from inside the house,” she remarked.

The Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance all responded to the scene.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the school bus was stopped on the roadway with its lights activated, when the driver of the at-fault vehicle became distracted and was unable to stop before striking the bus.

According to 911 dispatch, the 16-year-old driver of the car and her 16-year-old passenger suffered bumps and bruises. The driver was able to get out of the car early on, but it took some time for the passenger to get out, who was originally reported as pinned in. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn said 15 high school and middle school students were on the bus at the time of the accident. One was standing and waiting to get off when the bus was hit.

“All the kids are fine,” said VanDuyn, who was at the scene, along with Transportation Supervisor Jerry Gavin. She said that two students bumped their heads, and one of them was going to the hospital to be checked out, due to having some surgery the week before. “It’s just to make sure the stitches haven’t been disrupted,” she explained.

VanDuyn said they did an all-call to notify parents in the district of the accident, and also notified staff and the Board of Education.

“We are very thankful to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance for their coordination in making sure all the kids are safe,” said VanDuyn.

Another bus picked up the kids to finish the route.

The Sheriff Department said that they would review their investigation, and issue the appropriate charges to the at-fault driver at a later date.


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Sparta police seek info on armed robbery


Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify two suspects that robbed a Sparta gas station Monday, January 12th.

The robbery occurred Monday, January 12, about 10 p.m., at the AGO gas station, 560 E. Division in Sparta.

Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski said the suspects are believed to be in their late teens to mid 20′s.  A black revolver type handgun was used in the incident, and the suspects obtained an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured. There was no further information available.

If anyone has any information on these suspects please contact the Sparta Police Department 24 hour dispatch at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.


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Brad Brechting nominated for McDonald’s All-American games

Brad Brechting

Brad Brechting

Local student-athlete in the running to play in prestigious high school basketball event in Chicago

Cedar Springs Red Hawk Brad Brechting, a standout on the Varsity basketball team, is among the list of high school seniors who have been nominated to play in the 2015 McDonald’s All American Games. This year’s list includes players from 47 states and the District of Columbia who have been selected by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.

Brad is the son of Bradley and Tracy Brechting, and has already signed on to play at Oakland University next year.

Eyes have been on Brad for awhile. As a sophomore, he averaged 12.6 points per game; as a junior it was 15.5 points; and this year he has averaged 20.8 points per game (through nine games). He currently is approaching 800 career points. Brad also averages between 9 and 10 rebounds  and 4 blocks per game.

“Brad has put a lot of time into improving as a basketball player and you can see the results,” remarked Jeff Patin, head coach of the Red Hawk Varsity basketball team. “He is a pleasure to coach because of the energy he brings every day. We will be sad when his career as Cedar Springs comes to a close, but we look forward to watching him play at the next level.”

N-Brechting2Athletic Supervisor Autumn Mattson was glad to hear about Brad’s nomination. “Brad is a great kid and it has been fun watching him over the past four years develop into a great basketball player.  We are excited and looking forward to hearing of his future success at Oakland University and are proud that he will continue represent Cedar Springs High School at the next level,” she said.

A complete list of 2015 McDonald’s All American Games Nominees is available at www.mcdaag.com. McDonald’s will name the final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls who will be selected to play in the 2015 Games during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU, airing Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

The 38th Annual Boys Game will tip-off on Wednesday, Apr. 1 at 9:00 pm ET from Chicago’s United Center and will be broadcast on ESPN. The 14th Annual Girls Game will precede the Boys Game, beginning at 6:30 pm ET and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Information regarding tickets for the 2015 McDonald’s All American Games is available at Ticketmaster. Tickets for the 2015 Games go on sale Saturday, Jan. 17 at 11:00 am ET.

Net proceeds from the Games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).



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The Post travels to Rome

N-Post-travels-to-Rome-HendgesGary and Gail Hendges, of Nelson Township, traveled to Rome, Italy in May to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and took along a copy of the Post. Here they can be seen in front of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome. They also saw the Vatican and other sites in Italy.

Thanks to Gary and Gail 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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Library hires new children’s librarian

Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

When business owner Kelly Roach decided to close her coffee shop, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do. It didn’t take her long to find something. Kelly started this week as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Public Library.

Kelly replaces Shannon Vanderhyde, who took a job at the Rockford branch of Kent District Library, as a children’s parapro. Shannon had worked for Cedar Springs Library since 2008. “We enjoyed her storytimes, and wish her well at Rockford,” said Donna Clark, Cedar Springs Library Director.

Donna is excited about Kelly joining the library and the new ideas she is bringing with her. “I think there could be lots of new programs coming. She can do all ages. She’s great with adults, and loves teens as well as the younger kids. I am really thrilled to have her,” said Clark.


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Make 2015 your year to improve financial fitness


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Family Features


Lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job and get out of debt…does this sound familiar? Millions of Americans will resolve to change their lives in the New Year, but few will stick with their goals.

In fact, a recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) finds six in 10 people will strive to improve their financial well-being in 2015. Changing your financial habits is a resolution you cannot afford to overlook. It’s time to flex your financial muscle.

The experts at the nonprofit National Endowment for Financial Education offer these seven tips to help make your financial resolutions stick:

Do it now. Many will wait until they feel the time is right to begin new behaviors. If you wait until after the big party to start watching your diet, or until after that big purchase to start saving money, the ideal time will never present itself.

Write down your financial resolutions. The NEFE survey finds setting a budget, making a plan to get out of debt, and boosting retirement savings are the top priorities for Americans in the coming year. Clearly articulate why you think your resolution is a good idea, steps you can take to reach your goal, and what you hope to gain. Post your list where you will see it each day.

Identify your money morals. Understanding your values and attitudes about money will bring clarity to the decision-making process. NEFE offers various online tools, such as the LifeValues Quiz, which will help you identify your values and make resolutions based on those values. You can find the LifeValues Quiz at www.SmartAboutMoney.org.

Recruit a “financial buddy.” Share your resolutions with a trusted family member or friend who can provide support in helping you meet your financial goals. Find someone who will hold you accountable and will set a good example for you to follow.

Vary goal intensity. Give yourself a short-term objective such as paying more than the minimum on one credit card this month. A long-term goal could be setting up – and adding to – the emergency savings account you know you should have but didn’t get around to starting last year.

Monitor your progress regularly. If you are trying to reduce debt, make sure you check your balances often. Set aside a couple of hours each week to address your finances. Over time this will become second nature and part of your normal routine.

Address conflict logically. If you find yourself breaking a financial goal by reverting to old spending habits, identify what value might be causing you to stray and take the time to ask yourself if the decision is appropriate given your current financial situation.

For help with setting goals and getting your finances in order in 2015, visit www.SmartAboutMoney.org.

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Make for Change


This past December, the CTA elementary and middle schools participated in a “Make For Change” campaign in which the students brought in coin change from home. We mixed things up this year by allowing the winning class to choose the charity that would receive the funds. In order to win, one class needed to have the most positive or least amount of negative points; pennies were worth 1 point, nickels were worth negative 5 points, dimes were worth negative 10 points, quarters were worth negative 25 points, and dollars were worth negative 100 points. Each morning, students were given the opportunity to put silver coins in other grades’ jars, and then put their copper coins in their own class’ jars. During a period of nine days, the students of CTA came together and raised $920!

Each morning it was such a pleasure to see students walking up and down the hall with their bags of coins. The teachers did a fantastic job of hyping-up the contest; for example, teachers would pretend to get angry when students would bring in coins to add to their classroom’s jars. Yes, students and staff got caught up in the competition of the contest, but we also knew the underlying reason for the contest: to raise money for a specific charity.

The seventh grade came up with the win! Their class raised a positive $50; every other class end up in the negative. Nice job, seventh grade! As a result of their win, the seventh grade class had to make the hard decision of where to donate the funds. With a lot of deliberation, the students decided to donate the money to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Child Life! Child Life is an area of the hospital that helps the patients and their parents/families feel as much at home as possible; they provide arts and crafts, books, and games for everyone involved!

We are happy to have had another successful “Make for Change” campaign! Great work showing others what Chargers look like, CTA elementary and middle schools!


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MS Cheer team conference champions


The Middle School cheer teams both earned championships last week.

Red earns conference title; White gets first championship at Hudsonville

The two teams representing Cedar Springs Middle School Competitive Cheer traveled to Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville for the Conference finals on Tuesday, January 13. There were 16 teams competing for the 2015 Conference Championship title. The teams in attendance were: Allendale, Caledonia, Cedar Springs Red, Cedar Springs White, Coopersville, Comstock Park, Hastings Blue, Hastings Gold, Kenowa Hills, Lowell, Northview, Sparta, Thornapple Kellogg, Wayland, Wyoming Black and Wyoming Purple.

Cedar Springs White took the mat and earned a score of 88.90 after Round 2, placing them 5th overall. After the completion of Round 3, an additional score of 237.10 advanced them to 4th Place with an overall score of 324 points. “Some last minute adjustments were made to the routine and the team had a few hours to learn new material,” said Head Coach Cassandra Chartier. “I am so proud of the hard work and dedication these girls continue to show each week. I couldn’t have asked for a better performance! Great job White Team.”

Cedar Springs Red immediately took the lead after Round 2 with a high score of 129.68. Keeping the lead with a score of 257.80 after Round 3, Cedar Springs Red secured another Conference Championship with an overall score of 387.48. This is the third consecutive year in a row that Cedar Springs Middle School Competitive Cheer has secured the Conference Championship Title. “I love the Cedar Springs Cheer Community! I couldn’t be more proud of this group of athletes and their supporters,” said Head Coach Amy Arnold. “The girls work extremely hard, on and off the mat and I am thankful to have such supportive parents and fans to cheer us on! It’s a defining moment for me when other coaches compliment my teams’ performance and their representation of this sport.”

CS White gets championship at Hudsonville

Both Cedar Springs Cheer teams traveled to Hudsonville to compete last Saturday, January 17. Twenty-six teams competed and they were split into six different pools. Cedar Springs White competed in the 7th/8th Grade Pool B, which had seven teams competing. After Round 2, Cedar Springs White was in 4th Place with a score of 71.78. They gained momentum and earned an additional 239.9 points with an overall score of 316.68 points. Cedar Springs White finished their day with their first championship of the season. “My girls brought me to tears this week. Their hard work and dedication has paid off with an almost flawless Round 3,” said Head Coach Cassandra Chartier. “Their pride and excitement after hearing their team’s name called for their first championship was a proud moment of my coaching career.”

Cedar Springs Red competed in the 7th/8th Grade Pool A, which also had seven teams competing. Cedar Springs Red had a score of 122.96 after Round 2, putting them in 2nd Place. The completion of Round 3 earned an additional 261 points with an overall score of 383.96. This score secured a 2nd Place for Cedar Springs Red, after Mona Shores’ championship and final score of 384.28. “I am so proud of my girls. They are a fun and hard working group of young ladies that always encourage each other to do their absolute best,” said Head Coach Amy Arnold.


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Vacant lot to get new life

Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed


A lot with historical significance in the City of Cedar Springs, but has sat vacant for five years, is getting a new lease on life.

On February 7, 2010, a once beautiful and elegant old house that had been turned into apartments was destroyed by fire. The house at 40 E. Maple, located on the southwest corner of Maple and First, had long ago been the home of Sally Wall, who for years had sewn the city’s famous Red Flannels both in her home, and then later, in her remodeled barn next door at 36 E. Maple (which is now the Cedar Springs Post).

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

When the house burned, in the wee hours of the morning, it was a total loss, and what didn’t burn was torn down. There were a few inquiries into the lot; but nothing serious until last year, when Inner City Christian Federation, an organization similar to Habitat for Humanity, decided it would be a good lot to build a home on for someone who needed it. Their mission is to “provide housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence, thereby helping to build stable communities.”

“I like to call us Habitat on steroids,” joked Don Fredricks, Construction Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for ICCF. He also happens to be a licensed builder. “We have a whole education department that they go through,” he explained. He said potential homeowners are educated in home maintenance, how to manage credit, family values, etc. “They have to know the why and how to take care of a home,” he added.

N-40-E-Maple-blueprint-3The house will be a three-bedroom, two-story home, similar to others in the area. The house will face Maple Street, with the driveway off First. Digging out the basement began this week.

“We really wanted to start this last year, but it didn’t work out,” said Fredricks.

He said that with the cold weather, the first few stages would be subcontracted out instead of using volunteers. “We will be subcontracting the framing, roofing, siding, mechanical, electrical and heating work. With this cold weather, we need to make sure it’s done correctly.”

Volunteers will be needed when they start on the trim, carpentry, painting, landscaping, etc. If anyone would like to volunteer for that, they are welcome to call Fredricks at (616) 336-9333. He said they are shooting to be done by the end of June, or the end of August. “The way our financing works, the owner has to be working at the time, and since she works for a school, she doesn’t work during the summer,” he explained.

The owner of the home will be a single mom who lives in the area. Fredricks said there is definitely a need in the area for this type of housing.

“The County has been after us for years to do in the rural community what we normally do in the inner city,” he explained. The catch is that the community has to have city water and sewer, so it can’t be just anywhere. They also built a few homes in the City of Lowell several years ago. “Cedar Springs and Lowell both seem to be the two communities that could really use this,” he noted.

They are also looking at a city-owned lot on Pine Street. That will still have to be approved by the City Council, however. City Manager Thad Taylor said it would be taken up at the next City Council meeting.


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CBDT begins cleanup on new property

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Members of the Community Building Development Team began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

Nick Andres working the chainsaw.

The Community Building Development Team, a local non-profit looking to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs, began a cleanup last Saturday of some recently acquired land.

The clean up along the White Pine Trail and storage area that previously belonged to Tony Johnson, located at the west end of Maple Street, began on a cold and windy January 10, when a bunch of supermen from the area got to work. Nick Andres, Kurt Mabie, and Dave Ringler, from the Community Building Development Team, pulled the event together. The West Michigan Hawks, a semi-pro football team in the Minor League Football Alliance league and based in Cedar Springs, brought 10 of their finest guys to help out. Several other men from the community came along for a total of nearly 20 guys wielding chain saws and basic brawn to cut down trees and brush.

Everyone got started at 9:00 a.m. and had made a huge dent by 11:30 a.m. Dave Ringler and Rose Powell opened the Brewery and former Red Flannel Festival offices for a warm place to eat and Little Caesar’s Pizza of Cedar Springs donated enough pizza to feed everyone.  Dave provided beer (of course!) and Rose provided hot chocolate. There was also pop and coffee for all the workers.

CS Manufacturing recently purchased the property from the Tony Johnson Estate and plans to donate a portion to the CBDT. Permission from the appropriate organizations had been granted to the CBDT for a clean-up prior to Saturday’s work.

There will be lots of other opportunities to work together as a community to plant rain gardens and stream buffers, clear land, clean up Cedar Creek and much more. You, too, can join the team of volunteers working under the name of Community Building Development Team and help to make a positive difference in Cedar Springs. The team meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the board room on the 3rd floor of Hilltop School at 6 pm. Facebook fans can also “Like” the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or check out the website at CSCommunityCenter.org to get information as it becomes available.


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