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The Post travels to Ohio and Kentucky

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Kathy and Katia Corwin took the Cedar Post and spent spring break with Dave and Diane Taghon visiting relatives in Ohio, celebrating Katia’s 16th Birthday, and touring the National Air Force Aviation Museum. They then traveled to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Keeneland Horse Race Track, and Kentucky Horse Park. The vacation ended with them enjoying The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum, also in Kentucky.

It sounds like you had a great time! Thanks so much 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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Michigan Day: May 6 at the Michigan History Center 

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Celebrate real things, real places and real stories of Michigan

Michigan Day is a new twist on a tradition that began more than 60 years ago. On Saturday, May 6, the Michigan History Center in Lansing debuts a new signature event celebrating our Michigan pride. Michigan Day features free admission, special guests, activities, hands-on explorations, demonstrations and make-and-take projects highlighting the full range of Michigan’s diverse history.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan History Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing.

Although Michigan Day is new, the idea behind it is not. In 1950, a group of Michigan business leaders formed a task force to promote Michigan as a great place to live and start a business. Michigan Week was born out of the initiative and first celebrated in 1954. The inaugural celebration ended with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Mackinac Bridge.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

“We are honoring Michigan Week’s original mission of promoting pride in all things Michigan with this new Michigan History Center signature event,” said Michigan History Center Director Sandra Clark. “Our focus is always on getting people curious about Michigan and sharing its history in new and interesting exhibits, programs and activities. Michigan Day brings an incredible range of stories together for a fun, one-day extravaganza.”

Michigan Day is made possible with the key contributions of Michigan History Center volunteers, said Sara Gross, Michigan History Center volunteer coordinator and engagement specialist. “Our volunteers work hard year-round to develop amazing educational tools; Michigan Day shows off their many talents and skills!”

Michigan Day will have a special focus on the 60th anniversary year of the Mackinac Bridge, a tribute to that first Michigan Week celebration. Visitors can take part in a family-friendly bridge engineering activity and see original documents from the Mackinac Bridge Commission. Other Michigan Day highlights include:

  • Explore the storytelling and cultural objects of Michigan’s First Peoples with special guests Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
  • Watch a Civil War artist sketch scenes – and maybe even take a sketch home with you.
  • Meet with Rosie the Riveter to learn about steel pennies and the Arsenal of Democracy and even hear a song.
  • Celebrate the birthday of one of Michigan’s most famous rockers and vote on your favorite tune.
  • Try your hand at making old-fashioned radio sound effects.
  • Say ‘hello’ to the Lansing Flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and learn about safety on the Great Lakes.
  • Visit the Library of Michigan and try your hand at a family-friendly paper craft featuring the beauty and history of the Water Wonder Land.
  • Learn about the Detroit 1967 Project with the Detroit Historical Society.
  • Take part in more than 20 other hands-on activities celebrating Michigan’s unique past and present.

Free admission for all visitors on Michigan Day is courtesy of the Docents Guild & Associates, the 501(c)3 organization that serves the Michigan History Center volunteer program. The sponsorship is in memory of Bill and Marilyn Cochran. Bill was an original member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority and served there for 16 years.

The Michigan History Center and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free.

The Michigan History Center’s museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. The center includes the Michigan History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/michiganhistory.

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State Police celebrates 100th anniversary 

Michigan State Police Troopers in Port Huron in 1917.

Michigan State Police Troopers in Port Huron in 1917.

Governor declares April 19 as Michigan State Police Day 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) proudly marked a century of service Wednesday, and to commemorate this achievement, Gov. Rick Snyder declared April 19, 2017, as Michigan State Police Day in Michigan.

“The pride and commitment to service that began 100 years ago remains intact today in every member of the Michigan State Police,” said Snyder. “I encourage all Michiganders to join me in recognizing this historic milestone and their 100 years of proud service to the Great Lakes state with excellence, integrity and courtesy.”

Troopers with patrol vehicle in Upper Peninsula in 1922.

Troopers with patrol vehicle in Upper Peninsula in 1922.

“While the Michigan State Police has evolved and changed over the years, one thing has always remained the same—at our core, the MSP is a service organization,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “It’s our honor to serve Michigan and we look forward to connecting with you and the communities you call home for the next 100 years.”

The MSP’s roots date back to World War I when the department began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security.

On April 19, 1917, Gov. Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, also known as the Michigan State Constabulary. With Col. Roy C. Vandercook as the first commanding officer, this new force consisted of five troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units totaling 300 men.

On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police. When Michigan adopted a new Constitution in 1963, authorizing up to 20 departments, Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the MSP as one of these departments.

A 1930s MSP fingerprint class.

A 1930s MSP fingerprint class.

Today, the MSP is a modern-day, full-service law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction consisting of nearly 3,000 enforcement and civilian members. The MSP provides statewide police investigative services and traffic patrol, forensic science services, criminal justice records management and state homeland security and emergency management services.

Below are a few interesting facts that show how much things have changed in the last 100 years.

Then: Horses were the main mode of transportation for troopers in 1917 and the department’s entire motor fleet consisted of four unmarked staff cars, two supply trucks and an armored truck.

Now: The MSP fleet contains over 2,220 vehicles today with a variety of makes, models and purposes. Today’s fleet also includes dive boats, helicopters and motorcycles.

Then: Two-man mounted detachments rode daily patrols of 15 to 35 miles, returning to their barracks each night.

Now: Today, troopers on average drive over 125 miles during their daily patrol.

Then: In 1917, troopers wore a khaki and forest green uniform consisting of military tunics with breeches, leather puttees, and either a Campaign-style hat or a Stetson.

Now: Today, troopers wear a dark blue and grey uniform that became the standard in 1961, along with a Campaign-style hat that was recently added in recognition of the department’s 100th Anniversary.

Then: In 1917, lacking any other means of communication, troopers had to check for telegram messages at the post office of each town they visited.

Now: Today, troopers communicate using smartphones, mobile data computers and 800 MHz radios.

Then: Capt. Ira H. Marmon opened a Bureau of Investigation and Identification at the East Lansing Headquarters in 1919 using a primitive fingerprint records file in an old shoebox that he stored under his barracks cot next to his desk.

Now: Today, fingerprint records are stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database, which contains over 3.6 million records.

Then: In 1918, troopers rendered aid in six automobile wrecks.

Now: In 2016, troopers rendered aid in 43,488 traffic crashes.

Then: In 1918, troopers made 2,937 arrests.

Now: In 2016, troopers made 72,695 arrests.

To view historical photos, videos and a copy of the Governor’s full Certificate of Proclamation, visit www.michigan.gov/msp.

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Old high school photo on genealogy site

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Char Livermore sent us the link to this vintage postcard she found on the website geanologyhound.com. It’s a photo of the first high school in Cedar Springs—the old Union School, which stood near where Hilltop now stands. The postcard is dated 1916.

The school was built in 1871-72, and students from elementary to high school attended there. It was three stories in height, with a cupola on top that held the bell. In the 1881 History of Kent County, it said, “Considering the short existence of Cedar Springs as a place of any importance, we cannot but commend the public spirit that has established her excellent graded school, and erected her noble school-house—perhaps the best in the county out of Grand Rapids.”

According to The Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, there was no inside plumbing; water had to be pumped into pails then carried up the hill and into the school and up each flight of stairs. Water was put in classrooms for drinking and washing up, and in 1922, water fountains were installed that had to be filled.

The school was razed in 1926 at a cost of $100,000, and much of the brick, timber, chairs and desks were used in the new school, which we now know as Hilltop. The bell was saved from the old Union School and placed in storage. It was later dedicated and placed at the front entrance of the school with a plaque that reads: “1872-1925 Dedicated to all those who answered the call of this bell. Presented by the Cedar Springs Alumni of Cedar Springs.”

You can also see a photo of the old Union School in the current Cedar Springs High School. It was recreated with colorful tiles in the entryway, and is a constant reminder of the first high school in Cedar Springs.

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What’s “bugging” you in our streams?

OUT-Stream-monitoringIn many cases we think bugs are a nuisance, but bugs in a stream can be very useful.  Stream insects are a good measure of water quality.  Unlike fish, stream insects cannot move around much so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality.  Stream insects can also be easily identified.

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin – 220 North Monroe Street in Rockford.  Volunteers will be assigned to a monitoring group with a team leader.  Each group will collect and identify insects from different stream sites in the Rogue River watershed. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

What will you need?  Please RSVP to Jamie Vaughan at jvaughan@tu.org or 312-391-4760 if you would like to attend.  Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.  Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions. Children under 16 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.

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Give Michigan drivers relief from high auto insurance premiums

 

Michigan drivers pay above-average prices for auto insurance.

Michigan drivers pay above-average prices for auto insurance.

By Michael Van Beek and Matt Coffey, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

A new legislative session kicked off in January, and once again, there’s talk in Lansing about reforming auto insurance in Michigan. This is a perennial issue: Since 2001, legislators have introduced 340 bills about auto insurance regulations, according to MichiganVotes.org. But like drivers in the Indy 500, lawmakers keep going around in circles without getting anywhere. This pattern needs to stop and policymakers should fix the problem.

The interest in reforming auto insurance stems from a well-known fact: Michiganders have the regrettable privilege of paying some of the highest premiums in the country. According to research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average annual premium in Michigan was $1,351 in 2014, second only to New Jersey and Louisiana and 37 percent more than the national average.

Bad drivers aren’t to blame for Michigan’s abnormally high auto insurance premiums. After all, Michiganders can navigate the most miserable conditions, thanks to our winter wonderland. When a snowflake falls in Atlanta, on the other hand, there are ditches full of cars and highways are backed up for miles.

What is to blame, however, are Michigan’s unique auto insurance laws. The state’s no-fault approach is similar to that of just 11 other states, and no other state forces all drivers to buy unlimited personal injury protection.

Michigan’s current auto insurance system was created in 1973, and a solid case can be made that it has been, by and large, a failed experiment. For instance, the no-fault system—which gives insurance benefits to anyone injured in an auto accident regardless of who was to blame—was meant to reduce litigation. Since the law guarantees insurance benefits for all accident victims, the theory goes, there should be fewer lawsuits, reducing costs for both insurance companies and the courts.

That’s not what’s happened in practice. Michigan still allows an accident victim to sue an at-fault driver if a certain threshold for injuries is met. The Michigan Supreme Court has interpreted the law in a way that lowers this threshold—effectively undoing what no-fault set out to achieve. The result is that Michigan drivers pay a hefty premium for no-fault protection but don’t really benefit from it. Not surprisingly, Michigan ranks as one of the most litigious states in the nation, according to the Pacific Research Institute.

The failed no-fault system is only half the problem. Requiring insurers to provide unlimited PIP is even more problematic. It’s easy to figure out how this approach contributes to astronomical insurance premiums, why it’s rife with abuse and why no other state uses it.

With no limit on what insurers must cover, anyone injured in an auto accident can seek and “afford” the most expensive treatment possible. What’s worse: While private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid have fee schedules that limit what medical providers can charge, there are no schedules for what they can charge for services they provide to accident victims. That’s why it’s common for hospitals to charge auto insurers significantly more than they charge medical insurers or Medicaid and Medicare for exactly the same service.

The generous benefits available through Michigan’s unlimited PIP system, as might be expected, attract those who see an opportunity for profit. For instance, unlimited PIP covers paying a caregiver to serve accident victims in their own homes. There are very few limitations on who can provide this care and, again, there is no fee schedule. As a result, family members of accident victims can and do bill auto insurers for 24 hours of care each day at hourly rates as high as $30. That works out to be a nice six-figure salary. While it is unlikely that this is the norm for those providing home-based care, the opportunity for abuse is clear.

Considering these problems with Michigan’s auto insurance system, one might wonder why nothing has changed. After all, each lawmaker has thousands of constituents who are harmed by these steep premiums. The answer to this riddle is what economists call “concentrated benefits and diffuse costs.” The status quo provides concentrated benefits to medical providers, attorneys and accident victims, and they will spend significant resources lobbying the Legislature to protect these benefits. The costs, meanwhile, are diffuse, paid by drivers all across the state. Diverse and unorganized, drivers’ voices are easily drowned out by the loud, coordinated and well-funded voices of those who defend the status quo.

It’s time to admit that our no-fault auto insurance system has largely failed. As a result of court rulings, it has strayed from its original purpose and its promised benefits have not materialized. For the sake of Michigan drivers, policymakers need to overhaul it and make our state competitive again.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Michigan citizens by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions. The Mackinac Center assists policy makers, scholars, business people, the media and the public by providing objective analysis of Michigan issues. Visit them online at www.mackinac.org.

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Charger Voices Perform at District Festival

Charger Voices students perform at District Festival with teacher Jeremy Holtrop and pianist Bethany Holtrop.

Charger Voices students perform at District Festival with teacher Jeremy Holtrop and pianist Bethany Holtrop.

CTA’s Charger Voices had the opportunity to participate in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) District Festival for the first time in March. This was the first year for the choir to do so and the experience was a very successful and enjoyable one. Charger Voices was the first performing group of the day, performing at 8:00 a.m. The group performed two songs, “Jonah” by Rollo Dilworth and “River, Sing Your Song” by Eugene Butler. After the performance, an adjudicator came onto the stage and worked with the group on things they could improve. Choir members were appreciative of the feedback and enjoyed trying the different things the adjudicator coached them on. The second part of the festival was sight reading, during which the students had to sight read music that they had never seen before and only had twenty minutes to do so before performing the piece. The experience was challenging, yet rewarding. As an added bonus after the festival, students got to spend the remainder of the day at Craig’s Cruisers. The day was a very positive experience and students were already excited to participate next year.

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Cedar loses to Lowell, wins at N. Muskegon

Peyton Newman turns back from a lead off in Friday’s win over North Muskegon.

Peyton Newman turns back from a lead off in Friday’s win over North Muskegon.

JV Baseball

The JV Red Hawks baseball team lost a three-game series against the Lowell Red Arrows last week. The games were led by the bats of Seth Biggs and Peyton Newman, who both provided timely hitting and good base running.

Coach Tyson Hoffman said, “Lowell was a good team, with very disciplined and well coached athletes. We were able to stick with them for a lot of the game and made some good plays, but also showed our youth. We have to work on our fundamentals to get to their level.” Tuesday’s double headers ended with a loss of 12-4 and 5-4. Thursday’s loss was 12-3.

Last Friday’s battle against North Muskegon proved a win. The team was able to grind out at bats driving the starting pitchers count up to 91 in four innings. Peyton Newman was starting pitcher for Cedar Springs, who held the Norsemen at bay for the first four innings. Jerome Patin provided just over two innings of relief for the save, while Lucas Secord made multiple catches in the outfield, showing very good range for the position. The final score was 11-8.

The Red Hawks play against Grant, Greenville, and Holland West Ottawa this week.

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Amash talks partisanship, Syria, healthcare

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N-Amash-pullquoteBy Judy Reed

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash told the crowd at Cedar Springs High School Monday night, April 10, that the partisanship in Washington is the worst he’s ever seen, and that the leadership doesn’t seem to be interested in breaking the gridlock.

“I’ve always said that we need to work with each other, have honest debate, and let things fall where they may. The only way you fix it is by choosing a speaker of the house who is non-partisan. It takes tremendous will, and I haven’t seen that with this or the previous speaker,” remarked Amash.

N-Amash2The town hall meeting was the first of several that Amash is holding throughout the district over the next week.

He explained that the only things that go to the floor for a vote are the things that the leadership wants, things that have no chance of passing, or things too mild to affect anything. “We either need a change in direction from this speaker, or we need a new one,” he said.

Amash is a firm believer in the principles of the Constitution. He is known for not only standing up for those principles, but also for not mincing words when it comes to politicians he feels are violating them, such as President Trump. That was the case with the President’s recent strikes on Syria.

“The process was not right,” said Amash. “He risked escalating the situation. The framers of the Constitution gave to Congress the power to declare war because we are the closest to the people. I’m here holding the town hall meeting, not Donald Trump. With war, I might be sending your son or daughter off to be killed. To think you can launch a missile strike with no consequence is naïve.”

Amash explained that the War Powers Resolution is often used to justify one-off strikes. Those cases are supposed to only happen when the U.S. itself has been attacked. It says: “The President’s powers as Commander in Chief are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States” (50 USC Sec. 1541).

“It did not give the president the authority to do what he did,” noted Amash. “There are times we want him to act quickly. But it’s not for offensive acts against another government.”

Amash said the framers of the Constitution left it up to the people to decide whether they want war, and the president then conducts the war.

He did say he thought they should continue to go after ISIS, but that they should update the 2001 mission and goal, and have more debate about it in Congress. “I don’t think you can have perpetual war; it’s dangerous,” he said.

Amash also talked about why he didn’t support the failed Republican proposal on healthcare. “It didn’t repeal the ACA, just tweaked it,” he explained. “The ACA is not functioning the way we’d like it to function. Premiums are going up for a lot of people. It helps many, but also hurts many. We need to start over, in a bipartisan way. The Republican proposal just restructures it, and tweaks can make it worse. It left the sickest and most vulnerable at risk.”

He said that there is no reason to rush it. “We want to make sure we get it right. They just wanted to get it done quickly. It was just a political plan. I’m part of the Freedom Caucus, and I’m sure you heard that we caused it to fail. It’s not true. There were more Republicans going to vote against it than were part of the Freedom Caucus.” Amash said that 50-80 Republicans would have voted against the bill. “It would have been actually very embarrassing, and that’s why they pulled it,” Amash said.

After the failure of the bill, an aide to President Trump called Amash a liability over Twitter and urged Trump supporters to vote for a different Republican candidate in 2018.

But Amash isn’t letting that sway him. “We should’ve worked with the Democrats on it. It needs to be bipartisan. We need buy-in. I still believe the best system is to let states regulate health care. They have different people, different demographics. Allow them to try out a variety of ways. There would be more alternatives, more choices, and would cause the least amount of tension. If you didn’t like it, you could move to another state. I think it would be easier to move out of state than out of the country,” he said, which brought a chuckle from the crowd.

Amash touched on several other topics including immigration, Internet privacy, education, the presidential transparency act, and more, and answered questions for two hours. He also encouraged residents to let him know their feelings on possible war with Syria, and to reach out to his office if they have problems, such as veterans getting assistance, immigration issues, and other concerns.

You can contact the Grand Rapids office at (616) 451-8383 or send physical mail to 110 Michigan St NW, Suite 460, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. You can also email him through his website. Visit https://amash.house.gov/contact-me.

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Major US-131 project starts this week

MDOT plans to reconstruct the stretch of US131 from south of 14 Mile to two miles north of where it crosses over White Creek Ave.

MDOT plans to reconstruct the stretch of US131 from south of 14 Mile to two miles north of where it crosses over White Creek Ave.

The road project many residents have hoped for finally begins this Thursday, April 13.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will invest $22 million to reconstruct northbound and southbound US-131 between 14 Mile Road and White Creek Avenue (just north of 17 Mile Road). Work also includes repairing three bridges, culvert and drainage improvements, new signs, and ramp reconstruction at 14 Mile Road and 17 Mile Road.

Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction with the use of temporary crossovers and a split-merge traffic shift. This configuration is scheduled to go into effect April 21. Intermittent ramp and lane closures will be used throughout the project.

Ramp closures for ramp reconstruction will be allowed for a maximum of 14 calendar days per ramp. Ramps to be reconstructed include all 17 Mile Rd ramps, northbound 14 Mile Rd on ramp, and southbound 14 Mile Rd off ramp.

Visit www.Michigan.gov/drive for updates and sign up to receive Kent County traffic notices via text or email.

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