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The Post travels to Spain

Marina Dalmau, from Barcelona, Spain, visited Cedar Springs as a foreign exchange student this summer. She is now back in Spain at the beach of Tamariu, in Costa Brava, Spain on holiday for the month of August and she took a Post with her!

Marina was here for six weeks, and stayed with the family of Shawn and Katy Austin. “During that time she attended The Springs Church with us, and was the official Photography assistant at VBS,” said Katy. “We enjoyed going to Lake Michigan with our neighbors and family. We went to Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, and Silver Lake. We also went to John Ball Zoo, attended a movie at The Kent Theater, and enjoyed lunch at the Cedar Springs Brewing Company. Our neighborhood called it “The Summer of Marina,’ as we all enjoyed showing her the best that Pine Lake had to offer, including swimming, boating and bonfires.”

It sounds like you all had a great summer, and thank you to Marina for taking us with you to Spain!

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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We’re still here: what’s happening at Howard Christensen Nature Center

You will see all kinds of wildlife and plant life at Howard Christensen Nature Center. Courtesy photo.

By Kim Gillow

While riding on our float in several parades, I overheard members of the crowd saying, “I thought they closed.” “I remember going there as a kid.” “My sister got married there.” Well, we are still here. Kids still come with their schools and people still get married here. The Cedar Springs Post has been kind enough to list our events in “Hometown Happenings” but that is just part of our story. We are in the midst of a massive renovation and upgrade. Our biggest project is the building of dioramas inside the Interpretive Center to mimic the various ecosystems on the land. We are also planning to restore the planetarium and create an interactive, hands-on area in the former library space. This is all being done through volunteer time, money and energy. As a nonprofit, with no outside funding, we are totally dependent on revenue from our events and donations. We rent the property from KISD but we are responsible for the upkeep and repairs.

Howard Christensen Nature holds many types of events for all ages. Courtesy photo.

Our mission remains the same: To inspire appreciation and respect for the natural world, to increase awareness of environmental concerns and encourage individual’s to maintain earth’s ecology through scientific and educational activities. We have had to institute an admission fee to help with expenses. It is $3 per person for anyone 16 or older. This has led to some disgruntled comments but we do have to keep the lights on. And we want to be able to keep the cost of school trips and other events at a level that isn’t prohibitive.

We are busy staining our tables and benches at the center and are setting up a picnic area near the playground. Volunteers are repairing the boardwalks that have been damaged by weather and vandals. We have a new shed to house our snowshoes and cross country skis, courtesy of  Daniel Mills’ Eagle Scout Project. Fairy doors are appearing along the trails. We dream of paddle boats on the pond and a challenge course.  Plans are in the works for our fall events: Red Pine 5k Run, Fairy Festival, scarecrow and gourd craft day, pumpkin carving and spooky walk, haunted house, pie making, and  wreath making/make and take to name a few. For more information, call (616) 675-3158 or register on our web site: www.howardchristensen.org.

Planning an event? Rent Camp Lily’s, a private retreat center on the north end of the property. There is a large building with meeting space, full kitchen and rest rooms plus a pavilion and camping areas with picnic tables and fire pits. It is the perfect place for a family reunion, graduation party, wedding or corporate retreat. We continue to improve the venue and hope to have an indoor shower by next spring.

Next big thing! We are cleaning out the barn and other nooks and crannies. Mark and Ann Petersen are offering their services for a benefit auction on Sunday, August 27, starting at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to come any time after 1:30 p.m. to get your bid number and preview our wide variety of items that are ready for a new home. And it is a variety: electric clothes dryer, display cases, waders, filing cabinets, fencing, etc. Watch for a complete list on our web site and sale bills around town when we get closer. There will also be raffles of a child’s quilt and baskets of goodies, a bake sale, and hot dogs, popcorn and drinks for sale.

How can you help? Come and see us, become a member, attend an event, volunteer for an individual project or join us to help with an event, rent Camp Lily’s, make a tax deductible donation, wave at us in a parade, let people know—we’re still here!

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53rd Annual Danish Festival – August 17, 18, 19, 20, 2017

2017 Theme Story


2017 Theme Poster Contest Winner – Artist: Beverly Adams | Crystal, MI

THE FIR TREE (“Grantræet”)

by Hans Christian Andersen

First published in December of 1844, this story is a cautionary tale about a Fir Tree who learned too late that what we have is often far better than what we desire.  He could not be happy in the moment because he was too anxious to grow up.  He expected greater glory just around the corner and he eventually felt regret.

In the woods stood a little Fir Tree.  The Fir Tree wanted so badly to be grown up, to be able to spread out his branches with the tops looking into the wide world.  He longed to have the birds build nests among his branches and the breezes blow through his bows making him bend with as much stateliness as the others.  The little tree found no pleasure in the beauty around him, no matter the season.  He only wanted to continue to grow taller and grander.  He was envious of the magnificent trees that fell to the earth with great noise and cracking, whose branches were cut, and trunks laid in carts and dragged out of the wood.

The birds told the Fir these grown trees became masts of grand ships or Christmas trees beautifully decorated, so he dreamed of becoming a mast to fly across the sea or a Christmas tree ornamented with the most splendid things!

“Rejoice in your growth and in the fresh life that moves within you!” said the Sunbeams.  The wind and the dew kissed the Tree, but the Fir appreciated none of it.  He continued to dream of masts and Christmas adornments, and longed for something better, something grander.   “Rejoice in our presence!” said the Air and the Sunlight. “Rejoice in your own fresh youth!”  But the Fir did not rejoice at all.  He grew into a fine tree and he became the first to be cut down the following Christmas.  He fell to the earth; he felt a pang; he could not think of happiness, for he was feeling sad at being separated from his home.

He became an adorned Christmas tree with children celebrating around him.  After Christmas, the Fir thought the splendor would begin again but he was dragged out of the room into a dark corner of the attic where no one visited.  The Fir Tree was terribly lonely and he missed the animals of the wood and the children of Christmas Eve.  He told the mice in the attic about the most beautiful spot on the earth….the wood of his youth, where the sun shone and the birds sang.  And he told them of Christmas Eve, when he was decorated with ornaments and candles.  The more he remembered, the more he felt as if those times had really been the happiest of times. But he promised himself he would enjoy and appreciate his life once he was out of the attic.

When the people finally took him from the attic and pulled him outside, he felt the fresh air and sunshine.  He thought his merry life would now begin.  He did not feel old.  He felt in his prime. He spread out his branches, but they were all withered and yellow.  The Fir Tree saw all the beauty of the garden around him and he thought of his youth in the wood, of the merry Christmas Eve, and of the little Mice who had listened with so much pleasure to his stories.  He realized then it all was over and he should have rejoiced in the moments of his life as the Sunbeams had wisely advised.

To download this year’s Danish Festival Schedule click link below:

DanishFestival2017.pdf

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Report reptile and amphibian sightings

 

From the Michigan DNR

A Blanding’s turtle, a species of special concern in Michigan. Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR.

As you are out enjoying Michigan’s natural resources this summer, please take a moment to help collect valuable information on Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians.

Anyone can help by reporting sightings of turtles, frogs, toads, snakes, salamanders and lizards online at www.miherpatlas.org.

There is also a mobile app available for download to make field reporting quick and easy. The Mobile Mapper is available for Android and iOS (Apple) devices.

The Michigan Herp Atlas Project is the first statewide inventory of reptiles and amphibians ever conducted in Michigan. The project’s purpose is to document the distribution of Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians, collectively known as herpetofauna or “herps.”

In addition, citizen scientists around North America are being asked to report any possible disease cases in reptiles or amphibians to the new Herpetofauna Disease Alert System. More information about this new reporting tool and how to submit an observation can be found at http://wildlife.org/new-herp-disease-alert-system-relies-on-info-from-public.

Learn more about Michigan’s herpetofauna by visiting mi.gov/wildlife – click on Wildlife Species and look for Amphibians and Reptiles.

You also can find out more about Michigan’s snake species by watching our 60-Second Snakes videos.

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The ABCs of back-to-school budgeting 

 

(BPT) – It’s natural to pack all you can into those few precious summer months, but inevitably they’re gone before you know it. As summer vacations, sleepovers and outdoor grilling come to a close, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school.

You may be working to pay off summer vacation bills when you realize you need to budget and pay for your child’s school supplies, clothing and other related school expenses.

In a recent survey conducted by Coinstar, about half of U.S. parents with kids between ages five and 18 believe school expenses are increasing. Of those surveyed, 57 percent will create a back-to-school budget.

To ease rising school costs, here are five budgeting tips that will help you get more for your dollar:

Create a budget. One of the best ways to spend wisely is to create a budget. If you don’t already have one, open a new spreadsheet on your computer or get out a pen and paper. Consider all the potential back-to-school expenses and not just the obvious ones, such as school supplies and clothing. For example, you’ll want to factor in extracurricular or after-school activities, tutoring, special school trips and even lunch costs.

Collaborate with other parents. Consider joining parent groups, either through your school or community. These groups can offer a great support network to share ideas and information. They also serve as a fantastic resource for meeting parents who have items such as sports equipment their kids have outgrown or even musical instruments their children no longer play. This can lead to some serious money-saving deals.

Tap your coin jar. With rising school costs, the old saying that every penny counts really is true. You can literally put this into practice by collecting all the loose change around your house or tucked away in your coin jar and bringing it to a Coinstar kiosk. At the kiosk, you can turn your coins into cash by paying a small fee or put your change toward a no-fee eGift card to use at retailers.

Make a shopping list. Most schools provide a back-to-school list to help you plan and shop for your child. Use this as a starting point to make your own list and then stick to it! Retailers are set up to encourage impulse buys, but checking to see if something is or is not on your list is one of the most effective ways to avoid purchasing non-essential items and blowing your budget.

Embrace the three Rs. Your kids will probably learn about the three Rs in school: reduce, reuse, recycle. This is a great principle to keep in mind when getting them ready for school, especially for back-to-school clothes. Choosing quality basics such as a jacket, skirt, sweater or jeans that can be combined with other clothing in your child’s closet will reduce the need for quantity purchases. In addition, consignment stores and online retailers are very popular and offer gently used items that check the “reuse” box. And finally, don’t forget to take advantage of hand-me-downs, whether from older siblings or friends.

Going back to school should be an exciting time for you and your kids. With these five budgeting tips, you can help cut the financial stress out of the process and kick the school year off to a great start.

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Travel to Stratford with MCC on Oct. 6 to see Romeo and Juliet

 

Montcalm Community College offers a one-day cultural trip to Stratford, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 6, to see Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Buses depart from MCC’s Sidney campus at 6 a.m., and there is a second pick up at the Ionia Meijer parking lot at 6:30 a.m.
Student registration is $31.59 and the cost for non-students is $67.29. Registration includes the cost of the bus trip and the theater ticket. Participants are responsible for buying their own meals.

“Even though ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of the most well-known of Shakespeare’s plays, we can count on seeing it through new eyes at Stratford,” MCC Drama and Art Instructor Carolyn Johnson said. “The level of professionalism and creativity is always exceptional and entertaining.

“Watching live theater is an amazing type of synergy; it’s a communal experience where everyone plays a part in creating the event,” she added. “The immediacy of being in the moment with the actors, where anything can happen in the play, and the audience is swept away by the story unfolding in front of them, is a rare magic.”

Anyone planning to participate in this trip must be age 12 or older, and have an enhanced driver’s license, United States Passport or Passport Card that is valid through October 2017. Participants between 12 and 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Children younger than age 12 are not permitted to attend.

To register, visit http://www.montcalm.edu/stratfordwww.montcalm.edu/stratford by Oct. 4. There is a limited number of tickets, and registration is first-come, first-served.

For more information about the trip, visit http://www.montcalm.edu/stratfordwww.montcalm.edu/stratford or contact MCC Cultural Events Coordinator Karen Maxfield at karen.maxfield@montcalm.edu or 989-328-2111, Ext. 334.

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Body found in woods in Newaygo County

D’Anthony Keenan’s dismembered body was found in the woods in the Crystal Trails area.

Anthony Shawn Blamer Jr.

The Newaygo County Sheriff Department has arrested a Fremont man after a dismembered body was found in the woods over the weekend.

According to police, they received a call at about 6:06 p.m. Saturday, August 5, about a possible body located in the woods of the Crystal Trails area between 20th and 28th Streets, in Sherman Township (between Fremont and White Cloud). The victim, a black male, was found deceased. He was later identified as a missing Muskegon man, D’Anthony Keenan, 24.

Police asked for help from anyone who had trail cameras in the area for footage between Friday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug 5. They also asked for help locating a white 2007 Chevy Tahoe, with tinted windows, with license plate number HAYMER3.

Police arrested Anthony Shawn Blamer Jr. in the death on Monday, August 9. They developed him as a suspect after looking at Keenan’s Facebook activity and seeing that they planned to meet in North Muskegon.

Detectives said Blamer told them that an argument about money led to them fighting, and Keenan’s death. Blamer reportedly said that Keenan pulled a gun, which they struggled over in the Tahoe, and it went off multiple times, accidentally shooting the victim in the head.

Blamer reportedly drove the Tahoe to a carpool lot in Fremont and left it there, with Keenan’s body inside, and returned the next day with a chainsaw to dismember it, to make recognition harder.

The suspect also led investigators to the place in Oceana County where he left the bag containing Keenan’s head and hands, and the swamp where he tossed the chainsaw.

Blamer was arraigned on Tuesday, August 8, in the 78th District Court, in Newaygo on charges of dead body mutilation, failing to contact authorities about a dead person and being a habitual offender.

Newaygo officials believe that the death actually occurred in Muskegon County, and Muskegon Police have not yet charged Blamer.

Anyone with information related to this incident are asked to call 231-689-5288. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Silent Observer at 231-652-1121.

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Police seek suspect in robberies

The Admiral Gas Station, 194 S. Main, in Cedar Springs, was robbed on Thursday, July 27. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jacob Abraham Savickas is suspected of robbing a string of businesses in Michigan and Indiana.

By Judy Reed

Police are asking for the public’s to help to locate the man wanted for a string of robberies in Michigan and Indiana, including the robbery Thursday, July 27, of the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station.

Savickas is driving this blue Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Police are looking for Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds, with short brown hair and a beard. He is driving a blue/purple Oldsmobile Intrigue 4D, Michigan plate DNL1257. He reportedly has family in the Howard City area.

If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6125, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Savickas started his crime spree last Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred about 9:22 a.m. The clerk told police that a white male in his late 20s came in and demanded money. He was described as wearing a white shirt, blue baseball cap, and having facial hair.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Av NE on Wednesday morning August 2.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are looking for Savickas, including the FBI.

“We believe this will continue and potentially escalate until Savickas is located and arrested,” said Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept.

Savickas was convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested for trying to steal plasma cutters from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Employees recognized him at the time as someone who previously stole welders and interrupted the theft of the plasma cutters. He fled but was arrested and held on six charges, several for retail fraud. He was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison. His record on the Michigan Corrections website shows him listed as a parole absconder as of July 6.

Current warrants out for him include parole absconder, two counts of larceny from a person, and fleeing and eluding.

The last time the Admiral Gas station in Cedar Springs was robbed was four years ago. It was robbed once in 2010; once in 2011; twice in 2012; and once in 2013.

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Garage catches fire in Solon Twp

This garage was a total loss after catching fire Sunday evening. Photo by Pamela Cooke.

By Judy Reed

The Solon Township Fire Department was called to a garage fire on Sunday, July 30, at 6 p.m., on the corner of Grosvenor and Cedar Springs Avenue.

According to Solon Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, they responded to the scene along with Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma Fire Departments. Rockford Ambulance was also on scene.

Deputy Chief Paige said that the homeowner discovered the fire. When the fire department arrived on scene, the fire was already well involved. There was a small patch of grass that burned, but other than that, they were able to keep the fire from spreading. Two pickup trucks were lost in the fire—one in the garage and one outside of the garage.

The garage, which was a detached pole barn, was used by the homeowner for storage and as a workshop.

Paige said that the fire was still being investigated and that the cause had not yet been determined. “We do know that it was unintentional,” he said.

There were no injuries experienced during the fire. Paige said the garage was a total loss.

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Classic cars shine

By Tom Noreen & Judy Reed

 

The Cedar Springs Historical Society’s Summer Car Show was a great success last Saturday, July 29.  Over 100 cars were on display. This was the largest show ever for the Society, said Director Sharon Jett, and a main fundraiser for them. The car show helps the museum provide free family programs throughout the year.

Roger and Della Grongos’ 1964 Pontiac GTO was voted best in the show by fellow car owners. The top three winners out of the top 20 were Mike Bannister with his 1968 Camaro; Al Marlin with his 1976 Corvette; and Bob Jenema with his 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster.

Special Guests this year were the State Police with their new cruiser that resembles the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department brought their Mobile Command Bus. The bus was open for display.

Meijer served a free hotdog lunch to the public again this year and coffee was generously provided by  the Cedar Springs Biggby Coffee Shop courtesy of owners Bob and Deb Garza.  The Cedar Springs High School FFA students sold donuts and helped folks as needed and Pat Patin provided lots of music. Nolan Patin, their youngest volunteer, did a silent auction as another little fund raiser.

Both Jett and volunteer DM White work about four or five months to get this show ready, and their efforts certainly paid off! Jett said that White contacted the MSP and Sheriff Department about coming and was pleased they said yes. “What makes it even better is the police officers are as excited about coming as we are about having them here!” she said.

“We are so grateful to the businesses and families who sponsor the show and our volunteers,” she added.

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