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First grade library card celebration

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre last week to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.” Invitations were for Monday and Tuesday nights,  6 pm on March 6 and 7. The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings. Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

This year marked 20 years of celebrating first grade readers since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest,” all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were on hand both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township, brought several items for first graders to take home as well.

First grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz all welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students last week in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis, Donna Clark and Bea Hesley.

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “We talked about having integrity and the 4 way formula (is it the truth, is it fair, will it build goodwill, will it be beneficial) and how it ties in with habits of mind,” explained Clark. “People who live by these have integrity and impact their community in a positive way. We told them to think about one of these that they practiced in their own lives—a real life situation that would touch us, and told them to write about it.”

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 14 essays, they chose five. There were ties for second and third place.

“We feel like these essays were the best ever,” said Clark.

The two second place essays were about volunteering to feed hungry families. The third place winners wrote stories about how a community can work together to benefit one another, such as the fundraisers for the Rickers.

The first place winner spoke about how things people say can be cruel, but we can choose to be inspired rather than let their words have a bad effect on us.

The first place winner was Sally Odren, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View. She won $50.

Second place winners were Jack Cairy, of Mrs. Kahler’s class, and Makenna Nichols, of Mrs. Miller’s class, both at Cedar View. They each won $25.

Third place winners were Josh Trendt, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View, and Analiese Van Harten, of Mrs. Norman’s class at CTA. They each won $10.

“We as Rotarians are aware of the example we set as individuals and as a Club in our community,” said Noreen. “As community leaders and partners, we are mindful of what we think, say and do.”

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the ninth year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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WMP at Fremont and Eagle Claw

Pictured is WMP wrestler Selena Stalker, who took 2nd Place in the 4/6 age group at Fremont. Photo by B. Chong.

Pictured is WMP wrestler Selena Stalker, who took 2nd Place in the 4/6 age group at Fremont. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit had one individual enter the Eagle Claw tournament in Carson City last weekend. Logan Bennett entered the 11/12 age group in the 85 lb wt class. Bennett went 3-1 and finished for a True 2nd Place.

The rest of the team traveled to Fremont for the MYWA Greights tournament. WMP had 20 individuals enter and placed 16 in the top four.

Finishing in fourth place was 155 lb Aaiden Dowdell, 13/15 age group; 122 lb David Erxleben, High School division; 67 lb Tyler Parmeter, 7/8 age group and 80 lb Isaiah Smith, 9/10 age group.

Finishing in third place was 75 lb Carter Castillo, 11/12 age group; 67 lb Chayson Eberspeaker, 7/8 age group; and 61 lb Spencer Schoenborn, 7/8 Novice age group.

Finishing in second place was 64 lb Quinten Cassiday, 7/8 age group; 80 lb Blake Hammer, 11/12 Novice age group; and 61 lb Selena Stalker, 4/6 age group. Champions of the day were 63 lb Luke Egan, 9/10 age group; 58 lb Drew Moro, 7/8 age group; 75 lb Blake Peasley, 9/10 age group; 59 lb Josh Vasquz, 9/10 age group; 55 lb Kellen Weckesser, 7/8 age group and 46 lb Blake Werkema, 4/6 age group.

“West Michigan Pursuit and the Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling have been stepping up their training and combining practices as they head to Regionals,” said Head Coach, Dave Andrus. “These kids have been pushing each other to secure their spot for an opportunity to compete at the State Finals. I have the highest confidence in these kids to do so.”

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DNR seeks comment on inland trout management plan

The public is welcome to comment on the DNR’s draft Inland Trout Management Plan, designed to protect species like Michigan’s state fish, the brook trout.

The public is welcome to comment on the DNR’s draft Inland Trout Management Plan, designed to protect species like Michigan’s state fish, the brook trout.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its draft inland trout management plan and is seeking public comment on it. The plan, available online at michigan.gov/fishing under Angler Alerts, focuses on the ecology and management of populations of inland trout in rivers and inland lakes of Michigan.

The intent of the inland trout management plan is to provide an overview of inland trout habitats in Michigan, the biology and ecology of inland trout populations, and management activities directed toward inland trout and their habitats. This information provides a basis for understanding the role of inland trout in current and future management of fisheries in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams.

This report does not cover species such as Chinook or coho salmon and migratory rainbow trout (steelhead), which reside in the Great Lakes and migrate inland on a seasonal basis. It does cover inland trout that primarily reside in streams and inland lakes throughout their lives.

Sections of the report focus on distribution of trout waters in the state, origin of inland trout fisheries, biology of inland trout in streams and lakes, fishing regulations, status of fisheries and other topics.

Public comments may be submitted via email to DNR-FISH-ManagementPlans@michigan.gov by Friday, April 14. Written public comments also will be accepted at Marquette Fisheries Research Station, attention Troy Zorn, 484 Cherry Creek Road, Marquette, MI 49855.

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March Reading Madness

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor stopped by Creative Technologies Academy for a visit the morning of March 13 and read to the kindergarten, first, and second grade students. He read Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. Senator MacGregor discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with the young students and encouraged them to read with their peers, siblings, and adults. He made sure to allow time to answer the many questions the students had, such as: How did you get elected? Who’s your boss? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite color?

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Ferris State University’s women’s basketball Coach, Kendra Faustin, and Assistant Coach, Sharonda Hurd, brought a few of their players to the CTA elementary in order to spend time reading with students during March is Reading Month. The coaches and players also visited with the middle and high school students in an assembly to share powerful lessons about the importance of personal responsibility and accountability in everyday life.

CTA’s middle school students were visited by the Grace Bible College Tigers basketball team. The students watched a video, produced by MAPSA and Buddy Morehouse, about the story of Curtis Jones. Jones was widely considered the greatest basketball talent ever to come out of the city of Detroit, but his dreams died and his life spiraled downward because he couldn’t read and write. After viewing the video, team members led small group discussions with CTA students about lessons to be learned from Curtis Jones, specifically, about the importance of getting the best education possible.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

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Fantasy themed fun at the Kent Theatre

Local theater group rehearses latest production which opens at the Kent next Friday night.

Local theater group rehearses latest production which opens at the Kent next Friday night.

by Terri Riggle

Ghouls just want to have fun! Who doesn’t enjoy a few belly laughs now and again, even if you are the living dead? The Cedar Springs Community Players have selected three hilarious fantasy/science fiction/monster one acts for your entertainment!

The Players are just itching to perform their next project—the third annual Springtime One Acts at the Kent. This year it’s a trio of one-act plays featuring fiendish monsters and bone-chilling characters who will be performing on the Kent Theatre stage March 24-26.

The Rot features the perils of living in the suburbs and attempting to have a nice dinner with your future in-laws and a pesky zombie who won’t leave the yard!

Then it’s action in the old West as Zombie Gunslingers head into town to stir up trouble at the local saloon! There are no customers at the Wet Yer Whistle Saloon because the Temperance Ladies done smashed all the bottles of Red Eye whiskey, confiscated all the bullets and burned up all the Poker cards. While waiting for the next stage coach to arrive, the saloon girls hear of zombie gunslingers heading their way. Quick thinking and fast action have the girls concocting their own brew of Red Eye to keep the zombies satisfied.

Set in the future, Country Folk, Lycanthropes and Extraterrestrial Entities features alien visitors to our Moon’s dark side are prepared to take a pack of werewolves off to their planet, but, alas! The ship crash lands in the southeastern US and the locals are ready to do some shootin’ to rid the countryside of the Tourist Dogs in Clothes!

Showtimes are March 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and March 26 at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets $10 at the Cedar Springs Library. Tickets at the Kent Theatre are $12 at the door, $8 under 18.

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High winds blow across state

Jeannie Larsen sent us this photo of a tree that was blown down Wednesday and blocked Myers Lake Rd, near Pringle, in Nelson Township (near Sand Lake).

Jeannie Larsen sent us this photo of a tree that was blown down Wednesday and blocked Myers Lake Rd, near Pringle, in Nelson Township (near Sand Lake).

Firefighters, police, and other first responders were kept busy Wednesday as high winds swept across the area, toppling trees and taking down telephone poles and electrical wires. There were various reports of trees blocking the roadway, falling through roofs, electrical wires down, and sporadic brush fires.

Power outages were also a big problem for many in the area. Power went off early in the day for many residents (about 10:30 a.m.). At 5 p.m., 38,000 in Kent County were without power, and 210,000 statewide. Consumers Energy said that harder hit areas may not have power back until late Saturday.

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Break-in at Cedar Café

N-Break-in2

N-Break-in1By Judy Reed

The Kent County Sheriff Department is investigating a break-in at the Cedar Café, 40 N. Main St, in Cedar Springs.

The break-in occurred on Saturday, March 4. According to owner Lisa Cisler, she had closed up at 3 p.m. and went home. She then got a call from her alarm company at 4:28 p.m. telling her the alarm went off and police were on their way.

According to police, the suspect(s) attempted to enter the building through a window at the rear of the building. Nothing was reported missing.

Cisler said she thinks the alarm may have scared them off. “I had a break-in 10 years ago. That’s what prompted me to get the security system,” she said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Crocus in bloom

N-Crocus-Fuller

The warm temperatures we had in February have caused some plants to follow a little early. We received this photo of a crocus from Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township last Wednesday, March 1.

“It is not all the way open, but apparently my crocus thinks spring has arrived,” said Mary Lou.

The very next day we had much colder temperatures with snow. We asked Mary Lou this week if it damaged the crocus. She said no, it was still hanging in there!

If you have a wildlife or wildflower photo you would like to send us, please email it to news@cedarspringspost.com with some information about the photo and your contact info. 

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Road commission vehicle catches fire

A fire in the median of US131 Tuesday was quickly put out by Algoma Fire Department. Post photo by L. Allen.

A fire in the median of US131 Tuesday was quickly put out by Algoma Fire Department. Post photo by L. Allen.

a Kent County Road Commission bobcat caught fire in the median of US131.

a Kent County Road Commission bobcat caught fire in the median of US131.

By Judy Reed

The Algoma Township Fire Department responded to a fire in the median of US131 Tuesday afternoon, south of 17 Mile.

According to Algoma firefighter Chris Kutzli, when they arrived on scene they found a Kent County Road Commission bobcat, fully engulfed in flames. The fire was coming from both the operator’s cab and the engine compartment.

“We hooked up one hose line to the engine and put out the fire in about 10 minutes,” said Kutzli.

He said that the operator was clearing excess brush from the median in preparation for the upcoming road construction project when the warning light came on, saying that the engine was overheating. When he opened the engine compartment, he saw the fire.

The actual cause of the fire is unknown.

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