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Red Hawks RULE the OK-Bronze

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten takes down the Eastern Hawks’ ball carrier. Photo by R. LaLone.

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten takes down the Eastern Hawks’ ball carrier. Photo by R. LaLone.

By Judy Reed


The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team did something this season that they haven’t done since the late 1970s—take a conference title in football. While this season marks the fifth time that the Red Hawks have made it to the playoffs since 2000, this is the first time since 1978 that the Red Hawks have earned a conference title. That year they shared it with Sparta, in the Tri River Conference. We knew last week that they had earned a share of this year’s title, but last Friday’s win over Forest Hills Eastern gave Cedar Springs sole possession of first place, with a 5-0 record in conference, and an 8-1 overall record.

This Friday, they host Forest Hills Northern in the first playoff game at 7 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium. Turn to page 9 for more info on last Friday’s game.


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Bridge recognized as historic, one-of-a-kind


By Beth Altena, Rockford Squire


Did you know that the Pine Island Drive Bridge, just north of the Pine Island and Ten Mile Road intersection, in Algoma Township, is the only one of its kind in the country? Built 90 years ago, the bridge has never been more beautiful. It underwent a lengthy restoration, and was recently recognized by the State of Michigan with a historic marker detailing its unique qualities.

Julie Sjogren, of Algoma Township, described the long process of recognizing the bridge among the state’s historic landmarks, a process begun in 2006 with the help of Tom Byl, with the Kent County Road Commission. Sjogren spoke at the dedication on Friday, October 17, at the site of the marker, before its unveiling, and practically in the shadow of the bridge it references.

N-Bridge-signAlgoma Township Deputy Supervisor Nancy Clary was the next speaker at the event, addressing a crowd of onlookers and news cameras. “This bridge has always been the jewel and crown of Algoma Township and its never shined brighter than it does since it was restored.”

James Carr spoke about the research he undertook to better recall the bridge’s history. “History means so much more when it is local,” he stated. Construction for the bridge began in 1922, and the county still has copies of the original plans. He said he looked to find his father’s initials on the project because at that time his dad was director of the road commission. “Many individuals had a hand in making this happen,” he said.

David Groenleer, P.E. Vice Chairman for the Kent County Board of Road Commissioners spoke next. He said the bridge was completed in 1924. “If you look at the plaque on the bridge, you’ll see Townsend, Johnson and Ramsdell. Townsend was Warren Townsend of Townsend Park.” Johnson was another notable public servant, recognized by the park in his name in Grand Rapids. Ramsdell, although lacking a park in his name, is the individual after which Ramsdell Road is called.

“I thought that was pretty neat, those three guys were pretty important to this area.” He also recognized another local of note, Otto Hess. “Otto was the driving force behind the organization of the Road Commission,” Groenleer stated. He said the road commission was organized in 1911. Hess was later recognized by the State of Michigan for his implementation of many of our lovely roadside parks.

Groenleer said he can picture Hess at his former place of work, sitting, tie loose, undoubtedly with a cigar in his mouth. Back in those days, Hess had some options when a new bridge was needed, and at the time, a replacement to the old 14-foot-wide steel truss bridge was needed.

N-Bridge-Old“This was a state reward bridge, where the state designed it and paid half,” Groenleer described. He said Hess was reluctant to put in another steel bridge because he had just paid $5,000 to repair the North Park steel bridge. That bridge, finally replaced with the current bridge in the 1980s, was a segmented steel bridge. When it was replaced in the 80s, one of the conditions was that a section of it be preserved. That one section from the original seven or eight, is now in Riverside Park.

“They floated the section down, but what you might not know, is that when they got it where they were supposed to, they pushed a spike into the riverbottom to stop it but it just kept going.”

Hess knew that if he put in another steel bridge, he was going to continue to see maintenance costs, so he considered the concrete camel back bridge design, similar to one in Ada, which is now gone. Another Michigan camelback bridge can be seen from I-96 near Nunica.

The Pine Island Bridge, however, is unlike either of its Michigan cousins because of the unique braces across the top, joining it all the way around. The low banks of the Rogue River under the bridge required an additional structural component, to keep the bridge from failing if the river floods it.

In this respect the Pine Island Bridge is unique from any other camelback bridge in the entire United States, a structure both beautiful, but built for purpose.

“The concrete was shipped by rail from Englishville,” Groenleer said. “A lot of towns have gone away but this one is still there if you want to look it up on a map.”

Groenleer quoted the Grand Rapids Press at the time the bridge was built. It read: “The Algoma/Solon Road bridge will last indefinitely.” He said he looked in Webster’s Dictionary for a definition of indefinitely and failed to find one. “Well, for sure we know indefinitely means at least ninety years.”

“Now in 2014 for ten times the cost of the 1920 construction it has been renovated.” He praised the contractor and noted some details. The concrete was cleaned with baking soda blasts to remove graffiti and grime. He said damage to the superstructure, such as chipping and pitting, was hand-repaired with epoxy seal silicone and the rail on the northwest corner was replaced.

He credited the Kent County Road Commission and staff, specifically Wayne Harroll for “all their efforts on this historic structure that is also an important transportation structure.”

Larry Wagenaar, Michigan Historical Commissioner, had the honor of unveiling the historic designation marker for the bridge. “I am here wearing three hats,” he stated. First he was present for the State of Michigan on behalf of the Historic Commission. Second, he is the Executive Director for the nonprofit Historic Society of Michigan. Finally, he stated, he was there as a resident of Kent County, specifically Ada, which lost its own camelback bridge.

“This is a unique span of 100 feet and is the only one like it in the country. I hope it stands another 90 years, gets restored again and stands another 90 years,” he said.

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The Post travels to the Outer Banks


The Steinebach family took the Post with them on a family vacation to Rodanthe, North Carolina this past summer.

Pictured is Cayden Steinebach, age 10, and sister Monica Dean, 26, children of Curt and Carol Steinebach. They spent a week in a house on the beach of this Outer Banks town.

“As the picture shows, there was a lot of time spent riding the waves on their body boards and soaking up sun on the beach,” said Curt.

Cayden was pictured previously in the January 31, 2013 Post, with a picture of their trip to Walt Disney World. “He thought that was pretty cool and wanted to make sure we brought the Post for our trip to North Carolina this year,” explained Curt.

Thank you, Cayden, and the rest of the Steinebach family, for taking us with you on your vacation! It sounds like it was fun!

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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Walkathon raises money for PTO

Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

The Cedar Springs Elementary PTO held a Walk-a-thon Friday, October 17, which was their one fundraiser for this year. They raised $24,192.96, which will go directly to the four elementary schools that participated—Cedar Trails, Beach, Cedar View and Red Hawk.

According to Liz Grice, with the PTO, the money will go toward playground equipment, library books and other educational items.

“We had 2,119 participants, including students, staff and volunteers,” said Grice. “We accepted sponsorships from companies in and around Cedar Springs to purchase a t-shirt for every student at these four schools. The day of the event the students and staff all wore their matching red shirts and walked the stadium.”

The students took pledges from friends and family prior to the event. On the day of the Walkathon, classes walked to Red Hawk Stadium at the High School, and then around the track for a half hour while music played. The top classes in each grade won $200 for their class.

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Way of the wolf


November 7-8 at The Kent Theatre

Actors del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan will be presenting “Way of The Wolf,” at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, in Cedar Springs, on November 7 and 8.

If you like fantasy/adventure, this is the story for you. It is similar to “Lord of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. You will be rooting for the heroes who have vowed to save the Kingdom of Vasilki from corruption. It’s a show for the whole family and a great way to start the holiday season.

Showtimes are Friday, November 7 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, November 8, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets at the door. Adults are $10, students $4, and seniors $8.

For more details call 874-5264.


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Halloween Happenings


Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween!


MCC Haunted Indoor Forest

Oct. 24, 25: Montcalm Community College Art Club hosts a Haunted Indoor Forest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building, on the college’s Sidney campus. A $2 donation is suggested.

Harvest Brains at Sand Lake/Nelson Library

Oct. 25: Program for teens, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25. Save your brains! Build a survival bag, practice your aim, and learn what it takes to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Harvest party

Oct. 25: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a harvest party on Saturday, October 25, from 5-8 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin painting, dunking for apples, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 25: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike from 5-8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 25. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Friendly enough for your toddlers. Non scary animals will be on display in the forest, weather permitting for the mock-animals). Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 25: It’s our fourth annual Trunk ‘r Treat for kids of all ages. Saturday, October 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE. Candy outdoors; hot dogs & baked beans indoors.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 25: Bring your kids and come “Trunk or Treat” at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Warm up with hot chocolate and sloppy joes. Games and fun for all.

Fall Festival  

Oct. 29: Fall Festival for all ages at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs on Wednesday, October 29, from 6:30- 8 p.m. For families with children 5th grade and under. Games, prizes, snacks, boy and girl door prizes and candy, candy, candy! The church is located on Algoma, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Nightmare on Cherry Street

Oct. 30: Calling all 4th to 6th graders!  You are officially invited to come to our “Nightmare on Cherry Street” party at the Cedar Springs Library! The fun, games, and food will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and go until 7:30. Registration is required, so come into the library to sign up or call 616-696-1910

Trick or Treat Trail Walk

Oct. 31: From 3-5 p.m. on Halloween, bring your kiddos by Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, to take a short walk down one of our trails to collect some candy, so we don’t get tricked!

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 31. Some of the free events include: spooky storytelling and crafts at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 4:30 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park 5-7 p.m.; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God 5-7 p.m.; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm; and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Kids carnival

Oct. 31: Calvary Assembly of God will be presenting a free carnival during the Chamber of Commerce’s Spooktacular event from 5-7pm on Friday, October 31. The carnival will be at the corner of Ash and Main Street, next to DJ Nails, and will have lots of family-friendy games, with prizes and candy.

Haunted school house

Oct. 31: The Haunted School House is back this year at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park from 5-7 p.m. again. Nolan Patin has worked up another fun spooky event for the museum. We do adapt our spookiness when young children are coming through and will be handing out treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, on Friday, October 31, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn, everyone is welcome to join us.

Halloween party – Courtland Fire

Oct 31:  Stop by the Halloween party at the Courtland Fire station #2, 9535 Myers Lake road from 5-9 p.m. Games, snacks candy, cider, coffee,  car trunks with treats welcome. Sponsored by women auxiliary, and many stores in the area.

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes hayride, games, puppet show, cider, donuts and trip through Treat Town. Please bring a bag for collecting treats. It is a fun night for the whole family. Costumes welcome but not necessary. Please no witches, ghosts, monsters, etc. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town at 8415 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Drive, Cedar Springs, from 6-8 p.m. There will be games and prizes, candy for the kids, hot dogs and chips available.

Ghostbusters at the Kent Theatre

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov.2: Don’t let the Halloween weekend go by without spending some time at the Kent Theatre. A special showing of Ghostbusters will be on the big screen October 31, November 1 and 2, in celebration of Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. Now in digital format, watch your favorite ghost busting team in action! Showing Halloween night at 6 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 6 pm. Tickets are only $3.00.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest. Judging is at 7:15, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

Trick or Treat at Meadowlark

Oct. 31: Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta loves having trick or treaters. Their doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 31. The residents can’t wait to see all the kids dressed up! Meadowlark is located at 65 Ida Red Ave, Sparta. Call 887-8891 ext. 102 for more info.




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Fall colors 

We asked for your beautiful fall photos, and many of you took the time to post them on our Facebook page. The photos on this page show the splendor of the fall colors in the West Michigan area.

Now is the time to take a drive and take in all the beautiful fall colors Michigan has to offer. Get out and see them before they are gone. You are sure to be delighted with the colors in this fall’s fashion show!

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Pedestrian dies in accident

A man died Friday evening after being hit by a vehicle while trying to cross 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs.

A man died Friday evening after being hit by a vehicle while trying to cross 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs.

A man was killed on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs about 6 p.m. Friday evening, October 17, while crossing the street.

Police identified the man as Bruce Hickman, 53, of the City of Cedar Springs.

Chief Chad Potts said the man had just left a store and was trying to cross the road.

A witness at the scene told the Post that while he was waiting to pull out of the Family Fare driveway, he saw the victim on the south side of the road, near the mailbox at 4186 17 Mile (just east of the Cedar Christian Academy sign), enter the roadway heading north. The witness looked away to the west, and when he looked back east, he saw the man get hit by a westbound vehicle.

The vehicle skidded to a stop in front of Choice One Bank.

Chief Potts said that according to another witness, the victim looked west before he crossed the road, but not east.

First responders gave the man CPR, but he did not survive his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol was not a factor on the part of the driver. A toxicology report on the victim is not yet available.

Cedar Springs Police, the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance all assisted at the scene.

The accident is still under investigation.

A memorial service for Mr. Hickman, reportedly a longtime resident of an adult foster care home here in Cedar Springs, is set for Thursday, October 23, at the Pentecostal Church of Kentwood, 2627 44th St. SE, Kentwood, from 6-8 p.m.


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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the Cedar Springs firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park. Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at Main and Ash, and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments. For more info, see ad below.




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Medical cause suspected in M-57 crash into home

The driver who crashed into this home on 14 Mile Road Monday may have suffered a medical emergency. Photo courtesy of the Rockford Squire.

The driver who crashed into this home on 14 Mile Road Monday may have suffered a medical emergency. Photo courtesy of the Rockford Squire.

A resident in the home located on the southwest corner of Myers Lake Road and 14 Mile Road (M-57) heard two crashing sounds before a final one shook the house. She found that a Jeep Patriot had left the road, gone down and up a hilled area, taken out a road sign, and narrowly missed a large pear tree before striking her home, at 7156 14 Mile Road, just before 12:23 p.m. on Monday, October 20.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the driver may have suffered a medical emergency. They reported that a witness said that the driver, identified as Bruce Wayne Beck, 69, of Gowen, was slumped over the wheel as he entered the intersection, and never tapped his brakes or made any attempt to slow down before hitting the home.

First responders to the scene worked on the driver, the sole inhabitant of the vehicle, for nearly an hour before transporting him to a downtown Grand Rapids hospital with a life-threatening medical condition. After removing the driver from the vehicle, they performed chest compressions in attempts to stabilize him before transportation via Rockford Ambulance.

Responding to the scene was Courtland Fire and Rescue, the Kent County Sheriff Department and Rockford Ambulance.

The resident of the home said she didn’t immediately realize what had happened, but noted that there are numerous accidents at the intersection. No one in the home was injured.


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