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M*A*S*H comes to the Kent Theatre


ENT-MASH-the-swamp-webMarch 19-21

One of the most popular sitcoms in television history is coming to Cedar Springs this weekend, when Rogue River Community Theatre Company presents the stage version of M*A*S*H.

Based on the successful TV series that aired between Sept. 1972 and Feb. 1983, it brings back the comedic team of doctors and nurses stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea during the Korean War.

Director Lesley Nadwodnik has the credentials for the job; she’s a veteran actor and comedian. “This classic sitcom is perfect for stage,’’ she said. “There’s a lot of laughs and the audience will certainly recognize many of their favorite characters.’’

They include Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye’’ Pierce, Major Margaret “Hotlips’’ Houlihan, the ever annoying Major Frank “Ferret Face’’ Burns, and the loveable company clerk Corporal Walter Eugene “Radar’’ O’Reilly.

“You’ll see many iconic characters along with some new favorites,’’ said John Bagin, a RRCTC board member and member of the cast.

“As an actor, it’s been great being a part of bringing this American cultural classic back to the stage,’’ Bagin said. “It’s brought back many fond memories.’’

His wife and fellow thespian Kirsten Bagin agrees. “The audience is going to love this production,’’ she said. “There is always something happening on stage—sometimes something poignant and other times downright hilarious.’’

The script and cast are almost a distraction, she concedes. “The play features a large cast and I find myself laughing through every rehearsal.’’

Production assistants will transform the Kent Theatre stage into a true-to-life MASH unit and period costumes provide an extra measure of authenticity to the two-act play, Nadwodnik said.

“A lot of work is being done on the sets; it’ll take the audience back to the original MASH 4077,’’ Nadwodnik said. “We’ve been blessed to have volunteers from the arts community in Rockford helping out. It truly is a community theatre production.’’

Those born after the show left the air—its final episode the most watched television broadcast in American history—will find plenty to love. And that comes from Jack Bagin, who was just a glimmer in his parents’ eye when the ratings gusher ended.

“When I started this show, I had no idea what MASH was,’’ he said. “I learned quickly what this show was about; it quickly communicated all the laughter and silliness to a younger generation.’’

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, Friday, March 20 and Saturday March 21. There will also be a matinee performance 2 p.m. Saturday.

Performances will be held at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 North Main Street in Cedar Springs.

For more information, visit RRCTC on Facebook or send an email to RRCTCRockford@gmail.com.

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Firefighters battle blaze in outbuilding

Firefighters fought a fire in an outbuilding on Wednesday evening. Post photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters fought a fire in an outbuilding on Wednesday evening. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a structure fire just outside of the Cedar Springs city limits Wednesday evening, March 11, about 7:30 p.m.

The fire was in an outbuilding, located outside a home on Cedar Springs Avenue, just off Northland Drive, and north of the Red Flannel Tree Farm. A propane tank and several vehicles were nearby, according to the dispatch call.

Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and Sand Lake Fire departments were all at the scene.

No other information was available at press time. Watch for more info in next week’s Post.

Photo submitted by Keith Coalter

Photo submitted by Keith Coalter

Photo submitted by Keith Coalter

Photo submitted by Keith Coalter

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Firefighters save home on Scram Lake

A home on Nugent was the scene of a fire Tuesday afternoon. Courtesy photo by Oliver Johnson.

A home on Nugent was the scene of a fire Tuesday afternoon. Courtesy photo by Oliver Johnson.

By Judy Reed

Several fire departments were dispatched to a house fire in Oakfield Township Wednesday, about 2:30 p.m., at 10903 Nugent, on Scram Lake.

According to Oakfield Fire Chief Sam Peterson, they saw heavy smoke coming from the top floor on both ends of the house when they arrived on scene. He said they were able to get the fire under control in about 45 minutes, and cleared the scene by 5:30 p.m.

Peterson said he believes the fire started in an upstairs bedroom, but will know more once the MSP fire investigator inspects the site.

There was one person at home at the time of the fire, and they got out safely.

Peterson said the home was not a total loss. “About 75 percent of the structure is still good. They only lost part of the upper floor. Flames never reached the other side. There is some smoke and water damage, but the structure is still good,” he explained.

Oakfield, Grattan, and Courtland Township Fire Departments all responded to the scene.

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Cedar Creek selected for trout study

Cedar Creek, shown here with high water in 2013, has been chosen for a trout study. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek, shown here with high water in 2013, has been chosen for a trout study. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Creek, one of Cedar Springs’ greatest natural resources, will benefit from a $60,000 research project.

A new partnership between National Trout Unlimited, Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team (CBDT), South Peat Environmental, and researchers and students from Grand Valley State (GVSU) has been formed to better understand and improve Cedar Creek as a cold water resource. This $60,000 research project is being funded by the above organizations. Dr. Mark Luttendon, Professor and Biology Graduate Program Coordinator at GVSU and Joshua Zuiderveen, Owner of South Peat Environmental recently outlined their project at the CBDT meeting and gained the organization’s support.

Mark Luttendon, of GVSU (left), and Josh Zuideveen, of South Peat Environmental (right) outlined their trout project to the Community Building Development Team.

Mark Luttendon, of GVSU (left), and Josh Zuideveen, of South Peat Environmental (right) outlined their trout project to the Community Building Development Team.

The partnership will combine forces to evaluate current conditions in Cedar Creek, and using that information, implement projects that will enhance the resource. The general plan is to let the fish show us where they prefer to be, then members of the partnership will try to figure out why. To do this, a group of Grand Valley State graduate students will surgically implant small radio transmitters into ten brook trout. The transmitters allow the students to locate a fish to within 1 square yard of its exact location. The transmitters will also be equipped with a tiny temperature sensor, allowing the team to determine the internal body temperature of a fish at any given moment. The hope is that the fish will show the research team where water temperatures are the best for brook trout.

From this information, managers can develop plans to build habitat within the stream that will enhance conditions for trout living in Cedar Creek. Knowing where the best water conditions are within Cedar Creek will also help managers to protect those areas in the future. The project will happen in conjunction with Schrems Trout Unlimited’s Kent County Brook Trout Project, a grant and municipally funded endeavor that improves conditions for trout, including brook trout, in several Kent County streams including Cedar Creek.

The project is slated to begin in May 2015 and run approximately five months. The general public is invited to participate and observe the transmitter implantation process. More details will be released later this spring.

“This is another wonderful partnership that has been created in support of the CBDT’s vision of enhancing the community’s natural resources,” said Kurt Mabie, President of CBDT.

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We want your wildlife photos

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

This bright red cardinal has been hanging around in the trees outside of the Post newspaper offices. This splash of color brightened up the day last week Friday, when he finally let us take his photo.

Do you have wildlife or wildflower photos? We’d love to see your signs of spring! Please send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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The Post travels to Orlando


With members of the Cedar Springs High School band

N-Post-travels-Orlando-band1-webN-Post-travels-Orlando-band2-webThe Cedar Springs Post traveled to Orlando, Florida, with members of the Cedar Springs High School Band from February 12 through February 17. While there were blizzard warnings around West Michigan, band members, directors and chaperons enjoyed the sunny skies and 75-degree weather.

The group, led by Mr. Borst and Mr. Hendry, consisted of 40 students and seven adults, who were in Florida four days and three nights. The first night they enjoyed dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and entertainment from Blue Man Group in Universal Studios. During the show, Mr. Borst was chosen to participate by the Blue Men, accurately throwing three pieces of Toblerone into the mouth of a blue man from about 30 feet away. Many students considered this show the highlight of the trip, which uses music, percussion, paint, black lights, Twinkies, audience participation and comedy for an awesome experience.

On Sunday, February 14, the group spent much of the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios enjoying the rides and the shows. Members watched the show Fantasmic! at the end of the day, which is a show with pyrotechnics, laser lights, 50 costumed characters and more than one million gallons of water that make Mickey’s dream as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice come alive. After that, the group participated in a band clinic with a professional Disney musician to create music for an animated movie trailer for Disney’s Tarzan. Students also learned about what it takes to be a professional musician and work at Disney.

The next few days were spent in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe and time in Animal Kingdom. After seeing and experiencing most everything Walt Disney World had to offer, the group had a long 25-hour bus trip home, which included some standstill traffic, as an ice storm had blanketed much of Tennessee, with over two inches of ice.

Members of the band would like to thank the Cedar Springs Board of Education, Administration and Music Boosters for their support in making memories that will last a lifetime.

Thanks to the Cedar Springs High School band for taking the Post 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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Display Pack to take over Wolverine building

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

By Judy Reed

A Grand Rapids-based packaging business has found a home in Cedar Springs, and plans to bring at least 50 new jobs to the area.

Display Pack, a 48-year-old family owned business, has purchased the 350,000 square-foot facility at 660 West Street, currently being used by Wolverine World Wide. Wolverine has used the building as a distribution center since 1996.

“We have come to the conclusion we have outgrown our facility in Cedar Springs,” said Christopher Hufnagel, vice president of Wolverine’s strategy, investor relations and communications. “We have an opportunity to consolidate operations to better serve our customers.”

He said that Wolverine would transfer operations to other distribution facilities. They also have distribution centers in Howard City, Louisville, Ohio and Rockford. He said they would work with the 90 employees at the Cedar Springs facility to help them find other positions within the company. They would also have the opportunity to apply at Display Pack.

According to Victor Hansen, one of the owners of Display Pack, Wolverine’s lease is up at the end 2017. “We will slowly take it over as they wind down operations,” he explained. “We need to add offices and parking. We will begin external infrastructure work this year, before the freeze hits next fall.”

Display Pack is a retail packaging company. They provide a wide range of thermoforming, printing and packaging services. They make the plastic containers you might find in the produce department at a grocery store; cell phone cases; packaging for sporting goods, general retail, and trim for automobiles. They also provide warehousing and distribution services for customers. Some of their customers include Meijer, Good Foods, Gerber, AT&T, NAPA, Amway, Sony, Bissell, and many more.

The company started in a one-stall garage in Rockford in 1967. They have been in Grand Rapids since 1979, and currently employ 225 people, with up to 275 seasonally. They anticipate they will need to rehire somewhere between 30-80 people once they make the final move. “We employ about 60 temporary workers, and many won’t want to make the move if they live in Grand Rapids,” explained Hansen. “So we anticipate hiring at least 50 people.”

Display Pack is currently located at 130 Monroe Avenue. “We just can’t grow there anymore,” said Hansen, “and there is not a lot available in West Michigan. Most of our family is from the northern area—Rockford, Sparta, Lakeview—so this is a great location.”

Display Pack sold their building to Franklin Partners, who will turn the building into 200 apartments. Hansen said the move benefits everyone involved.

“For us to be able to grow in Cedar Springs is important,” explained Hansen. It’s good for Grand Rapids that we go and good for Cedar Springs that we come here. It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” he said.

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Middle School wrestlers win Blue Division 

The Cedar Springs Middle School wrestling team with the Blue Division Plaque. Photo provided by Colleen White.

The Cedar Springs Middle School wrestling team with the Blue Division Plaque. Photo provided by Colleen White.

By Colleen White

After defeating Sparta on Thursday, the Cedar Springs Middle School grapplers focused on the challenge of the Sparta Invitational on Saturday. They arrived Saturday morning ready to defend their undefeated record.

They were paired against Caledonia, Sparta, Comstock Park and Greenville for their first four matches. Each presented their challenges that our Red Hawks faced and met, defeating all four teams. Their final pairing was against Lowell. It was the biggest battle of the day with Cedar Springs receiving their first loss of the season. Overall our young grapplers placed 1st, winning the Blue Division. Coach Wood summed it up stating “You all did what was asked of you today! Well done 7th and 8th graders!”

This week our Red Hawks faced Northview on Tuesday and will face Comstock Park on Thursday, with an individual tournament at Lowell on Saturday to complete the Middle School season. Thank you all for your support for our young Red Hawks this season.

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Chimney fire damages home

This home on Algoma was damaged in an early morning fire on Monday, March 2. Post photo by J. Reed.

This home on Algoma was damaged in an early morning fire on Monday, March 2. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Five fire departments were called to the scene of a fire in Solon Township early Monday morning.

According to Solon Fire Lt. Chris Paige, the call came in at 6:17 a.m., Monday, March 2. The homeowner at 16770 Algoma, north of 20 Mile, woke up to the smell of wood smoke. Paige said the chimney caught fire and spread to the attic.

The family of six got out safely.

Firefighters from Solon, Sand Lake, Algoma, Kent City, and Cedar Springs all fought the fire. Paige said they had it under control in about an hour and a half, and cleared the scene after 5 hours.

Paige noted there was pretty heavy fire damage to the attic space, with heat, smoke and water damage to the main floor. He said they estimate damage to the structure at $150,000 and contents at $50,000.

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Passersby help man escape burning vehicle


The vehicle above caught fire after crashing into trees at W. Church and N. Masters Road in Winfield Township Thursday, February 26.



This map shows the location where the incident took place

A man whose truck crashed and caught fire Thursday escaped with non-life-threatening injuries after two people passing by stopped to help.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to the vehicle personal injury crash at the intersection of West Church Road and North Masters Road, in Winfield Township, about 9:38 p.m., on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Their investigation revealed that a 1999 Ford F-150 Pickup, driven by a 51-year-old Coral man, was traveling eastbound on Church Road coming up to the intersection. The driver failed to stop for the stop sign and drove through the intersection, where he collided with some trees across the road and the vehicle caught fire. The driver was reportedly pinned in the vehicle. However, with the assistance of two passersby, he was able to get out of the vehicle as the fire began to spread.

According to Maple Valley Fire Department personnel on scene, the vehicle was completely engulfed upon their arrival.

The driver was transported to Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview by Montcalm County Emergency Services Personnel for non-life threatening facial, chest and leg injuries.

The driver was the only one in the vehicle and was believed to have been wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. The crash remains under investigation but alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted by the Lakeview Police Department, Montcalm County Emergency Services, and the Maple Valley Fire Department.

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