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Car show draws crowds

The Cosplay Crusaders were a big hit at the museum car show last Saturday.

This car was shown in its original condition. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The annual car show at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum was a huge success last Saturday, July 28, bringing in lots of vehicles and people to their biggest fundraising event of the year. 

“We made $5,000 this year, the best we’ve ever done,” said Sharon Jett, Director at the Museum.

Steve Quigley won best of show, with a 1987 Buick.

Special guests included the Cedar Springs Fire Department, and DJ JoJo Girard from radio station WFGR 98.7. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office also was on hand with one of their tactical vehicles.

Also on hand were the Cosplay Crusaders, as part of a fundraiser organized by Ryan Hess, 8, and Cub Scout pack 3220. Kids were excited to see Thor, the Black Panther, and the Dark Knight of Michigan with his bat bike. For a donation, anyone could sit in the bat bike. Proceeds raised will go to Howard Christensen Nature Center, as will the proceeds from the Cub Scouts beef stick sale, and Ryan’s pop can drive.

“It looks like we will be donating a little over $400 to the nature center,” said Dana Hess, Ryan’s mom.

“Everyone loved the superheroes and the cub scouts sold all their beef sticks,” noted Jett. She also said that Maranatha Baptist Church gave out almost 600 hot dog lunches and dozens of donuts. 

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New left turn signals at Northland/14 Mile

The intersection of Northland Drive and 14 Mile Road on Wednesday, July 25 in the immediate aftermath of one of two crashes that happened within three days. Photo by Beth Altena.

By Judy Reed

Since construction started on US-131, traffic detouring on to Northland drive  has gotten heavier. And if you’ve ever tried to turn left off of Northland Drive on to 14 Mile Rd, chances are you’ve become frustrated by all the traffic, and the low number of cars making it through the intersection. By this Friday, making that turn should be a little easier, thanks to the installation of left hand turn lights for traffic traveling both ways on Northland Drive.

According to Mike Krygier, Supervisor of Courtland Township, he’s been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation since the spring to get four left turn signals installed there since construction started on US-131. MDOT then did a traffic study to see if the left hand turn signals were warranted.

Krygier, who is a member of the Greater Greenville Transportation Committee, which looks at making improvements to the road, said that as he was leaving for last week’s meeting, Courtland Fire and Rescue responded to another crash there (there were two crashes in three days at the intersection). So when he got to the meeting, he asked his MDOT contact about the signals. He got his answer this week.

According to an email to the Post from John Richards, of MDOT, they approved two left turn signals for Northland Drive only. “That is where the greatest need was,” he explained. 

“This was a study based on NB 131 closing between 10 Mile and 14 Mile. When we added the traffic from the soon-to-be closed on ramp from 10 Mile to NB US-131, the NB lefts at Northland and M-57 increased, so we’re adding the left turn phases. We will be monitoring it during the second half of the US-131 construction, and once the project is complete in the fall, we will assess how we want to operate the signal under normal conditions.” 

Richard said the City of Grand Rapids will be installing them, and they should be operational by the end of the week.

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The Post travels to China

Shana Poll, a 1994 graduate of Tri County High School, spent 16 days in China. The first 10 days she taught PE at the Zhaingjaigang Liangfeng International School, a sister school to the Rochester Hills school where she teaches PE. Then she returned to Shanghai for more sightseeing before returning home.

She is shown above at a traditional restaurant in Zhaingjaigang.

Thanks so much, Shana, 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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Boy Scouts earn reading badge

Boy Scouts Ben Barber and Derek Bordeaux volunteered three hours at the Cedar Springs Library to earn their Boy Scout reading badge. Derek’s mom, Rahnda, assisted them in preparing 500 lanyards for the library’s Grand Finale Reading Celebration in Morley Park today, Thursday, August 2, from 1-3 p.m.

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Great places to target muskellunge in Michigan

Are you interested in targeting muskellunge this summer? Many anglers would place the four water bodies listed on their lists of top spots to visit.

1. Tahquamenon River in Luce County

From below Tahquamenon Falls all the way to Lake Superior produces great muskie fishing.

2. Thornapple Lake in Barry County

Muskies can be found on the east or west ends of the lake. Please note there’s a 50-inch minimum size limit on this lake.

3. Skegemog Lake in Kalkaska County

A good spot to focus on here is the edges of a deep hole that’s off the entrance to Elk Lake.

4. Lake St. Clair in St. Clair County

Lots of inlets and outlets on this lake provide ideal conditions for muskies.

If you harvest a muskellunge, don’t forget you have 24-hours to register it. This action is required and can be done online at Michigan.gov/registerfish, toll-free by calling 844-345-FISH (3474), or in person at any DNR Customer Service Center during normal state business hours with advanced notice of arrival.

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American Pickers to Film in Michigan!

Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe of American Pickers

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Michigan! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the region in September 2018.

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History.

The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST. facebook: @GotAPick

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Happy 30th birthday to us

by Lois Allen

Thirty years. The Post has been here for 30 years! When I started the Post operations in 1988, I wasn’t sure we’d make it thirty days! But we have. Starting with a staff of three, my mother, Alice, myself, and shortly after, a salesperson. We struggled to produce and publish the small weekly paper.

I had worked for The Squire doing administrative work. No reporting. But after the Squire was sold in 1988, the new owner had no interest in owning the Post. The Post had been produced in Rockford at the Squire offices. It was then that I became a publisher. 

Operations began in the old Kent Theatre building. Not the theater part, which was then used for storage by the previous owners, but in an office area in the building. A small office with small rent. Almost too small for my mother and me to work together!

It was so long ago, that we didn’t even use computers. Oh, I had one. It was a Mac. The screen was about the size of a toaster. There was no software for layout or ad composition. Everything was cut and paste on a light table. Very labor intensive.

I wasn’t even sure what a newspaper did. I knew I had to cover accidents and fires, so I bought a $50 used camera and a police scanner. With my Mac, a copy machine, a waxer and my mother, I began to make a newspaper. Then I became a journalist. 

I lived in Rockford at the time and having grown up in Grand Rapids, I didn’t know a soul in Cedar Springs. I was alone and on my own. But the one thing I learned quickly was that the people here loved their little local newspaper. It kept me going when things seemed overwhelming. 

After two years of consistent publishing without missing a week, I went down to GR City Hall and applied to be a legal newspaper. Quite an accomplishment for three employees, although my mother wasn’t really an employee because we didn’t pay her.

As each issue hit the streets, I began to understand the value of a local newspaper and what it did for a community. I could see that it is definitely a public service, however not supported with tax payer money. All funding came from advertising dollars paid by the local businesses which is why I hired a salesperson. 

We were always grateful to have just enough advertisers who said “yes” to the local paper, giving us enough revenue to pay the bills and our meager paychecks. It was, and is, a labor of love. You don’t get rich and there were no benefits, no 401K, no health care and sometimes no paycheck. 

It’s difficult to place a value on what we [the newspaper] offer to a community. While other news publications covered several communities, we covered just the one. If it was important to the people of Cedar Springs, we covered it.

It was also near the time when shoppers began to “bloom” as journalists were laid off and news print with advertising minus the news was the new way to advertise. Then came the internet and then Face Book, and now tariffs that threaten all newspapers, big and small.

I don’t think anyone can truly understand what a miracle it is that the Post is still here with so much going against it. There were times when our bank balance was literally at zero. I would write a check to the printer and then go out and collect money from advertisers to cover it. At one point, we mortgaged our building to keep going. Another time, during a severe wind storm, the roof from our neighboring building blew off and landed on top of us, just like the wicked witch of the West! We lost power, but we got the paper out that week anyway.

There are 30 years of “behind the scenes” stories I could tell about running a weekly newspaper. I like to joke and say that I don’t run the paper, it runs me! We have never missed an issue, not one. Missing just one week would mean the paper would lose its legal status and no longer be able to print legal or public notices. No pressure!

Now, we have a staff of five. All working together like a well-oiled machine. I wouldn’t be lying if I said we’re all pretty tired, especially on Wednesdays when the paper is finished and “put to bed” for Thursday’s delivery. Everyone works hard especially our super duper editor, Judy Reed, who I think we all agree does an outstanding job of covering all the important stuff that CNN and other news agencies don’t. She’s our only reporter doing the work of three. 

There’s an old newspaper saying, and I mean really old, that goes, “A dog bite in [Cedar Springs] is bigger news than a war in Europe!” And that has proved true to this day. It also applies to coyote attacks as well, which we also covered in this week’s issue.

The story of the local newspaper can be summed up as a whole bunch of challenges and obstacles. This little paper has overcome them all! And it’s never, ever boring.

We continue to struggle and will always struggle like a print form of David & Goliath, as advertising dollars continue to leave newspapers to go to other, more exotic and “smart” ad venues. And yet, we still survive. Truly a miracle.

We especially appreciate and owe our survival to the businesses that continue to say, “Yes, we want to advertise in our local newspaper.” With so many other choices they are truly our heroes. They are vital to us. They invest in community by giving back more with their ad money, delivering an invaluable service to you, the people that call Cedar Springs home.

Will The Post make it another year, or another 30? I hope so, but we never know. I need to wrap this story up, as it’s Wednesday night and they’re waiting for this piece so the paper, and then we, as well, can go to bed.

Happy birthday Cedar Springs Post!

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New hotel coming to Cedar Springs

Holiday Inn Express and Suites planned to open early summer 2019

Visitors to Cedar Springs and the surrounding areas next summer won’t have to travel far to stay in a hotel. West Michigan hotel developer and operator Belmont Lodging announced plans this week to construct a four-story, 76-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites near U.S.-131 and 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs.

The hotel will be built on property at 14190 White Creek Avenue, across the street from Save-A-Lot.

According to the press release, market demand in northern Kent County and the understanding of the positive economic influence of a hotel motivated local investors to pursue the project.

On-site amenities will provide guests with a complimentary hot breakfast, free high-speed Internet access, an exercise room, indoor pool, and outdoor patio. The hotel’s location and easy access to downtown Grand Rapids will provide both corporate and leisure travelers a small town alternative when visiting the area.

They expect it to bring about 20 jobs to Cedar Springs. Construction is expected to start in September. 

Belmont Lodging also developed the Holiday Inn Express in Hastings and the AmericInn Lodge and Suites in Greenville.

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Two charged in youth football embezzlement

By Judy Reed

Photo by April Victorson

Two former officers on the 2017 Cedar Springs Youth Football League board were arraigned this week on charges of embezzlement in 63rd District Court. 

According to Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, past president James Michael Crouch and former treasurer Heather Marie Vaughn were both charged with embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a non-profit or charitable organization, which is a 10-year felony.

The CSYFL contacted the police in March, after they found they had $12,000 missing, and $6,800 in unpaid invoices. About $7,000 of the missing funds was money they had saved to buy new jerseys for the kids. 

There were only two board members responsible for the money during the 2017 year—Vaughn and Crouch.

As the investigation proceeded, it was discovered that the two board members each took money from the league at different times. The missing money was never deposited into the league’s bank account.

The current board has since been doing fundraising to make up some of the shortfall. If you would like to donate, you can do it online by visiting https://cedarspringsyouthfootball.sportngin.com/register/form/058188639.

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Coyote attacks dog in Ensley Township

by Lois Allen

Watch out for coyotes in the area.

An Ensley township couple were relaxing at home last week Thursday, July 19, when they heard  a commotion coming from their back yard. They were shocked to see a coyote mauling one of their two dogs, a Yorkie Poo, in broad daylight. 

The Castles, who live in Ensley township near Gould’s Mini Mart, have two dogs, a Yorkie Poo (Jack) and the other an Australian Shepherd (Ruby).

It was approximately 7 a.m., when they had let their dogs out into the back yard to do their “business.”

Jack, a Yorkie Poo, was a victim of a coyote attack last week.

Machell Castle said it was shortly after when she heard a bunch of “yipping” coming from the backyard. When she looked to see what was going on, she saw a large coyote with the Yorkie Poo in its mouth that was heading back into the woods. However, the Australian Shepherd, Ruby, was hot on its tail and the coyote eventually dropped the 12 pound Yorkie Poo.

After the coyote let loose of Jack, both dogs headed for the house with the coyote chasing them, literally on their tails. “I flung open the back door and they came running in,” said Machell.

It was then that the coyote retreated back into the woods.

Pictured here is one of Jack’s puncture wounds on his back left leg.

Thanks to Ruby’s bravery, Jack the Yorkie Poo survived the attack and was taken to the animal hospital to be treated.  “Ruby saved him,” said Machell. 

Jack’s injuries included approximately four puncture wounds on his back and leg, the largest on his back left leg. He is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.

According to the DNR of Michigan, “…coyotes can be killed without a hunting license on private land by the landowner or designee if the coyote is doing or about to do damage to private property, pets, livestock, or humans…” To learn more about Michigan Coyotes go to the DNR website by visiting www.michigan.gov/wildlife found under the “Mammals” section.

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