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Highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014 to hit motorists 

 

GasBuddy data shows national average gas price poised to see largest pre-Thanksgiving rise in a decade as travel increases over the holiday 

Gas prices in Cedar Springs were between $2.30 and $2.33 on Tuesday at press time. Photo by S. Reed.

GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting 70 million drivers with their perfect pit stop, projects that Thanksgiving will see the highest average gas prices since 2014 as the country prepares for the busiest traveling weekend of the year. Yet the average gas price in four of five U.S. states is lower than a week ago, coming as the number of Americans driving is expected to surge by 20 percent over last Thanksgiving according to GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey. 

GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be $2.53 per gallon, the priciest Thanksgiving in three years (2014: $2.79), though not as high as the peak on Thanksgiving in 2012 ($3.44). Additionally, average gas prices have risen 9 cents in the last month, the largest pre-Thanksgiving Day increase since 2007, when average prices rose 26 cents in the 30 days leading up to the holiday. 

“This year has been unique at the pumps. Gas prices spent much of the time in the weeks approaching Thanksgiving by rising when typically, they would be on a sizeable downward trend,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “On average Americans are paying nearly 40 cents a gallon more than last year, which means collectively we’re spending $800 million more on fuel over the Thanksgiving travel period. Drivers should pay close attention to prices to avoid overpaying.” 

According to GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey, despite higher gas prices, travelers are driving longer distances. 2017 is expected to see a 4 percent increase in travelers driving for 10 or more hours over Thanksgiving compared to 2016. 

GasBuddy offers several tips to motorists on the road this holiday season: 

• Watch Out for State Lines. Because of differing state taxes, in some extreme cases, drivers can spend an extra $25 when refueling the tank if on the wrong side of the line according to a review GasBuddy study. 

• Avoid Gas Stations Near the Highway. Gas station on a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan ahead or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station. 

• Pay with GasBuddy. A free new payments service that offers 15 cents off per gallon on the first fill-up and 5 cents off per gallon on every fill-up after at over 100,000 stations nationwide. 

GasBuddy is the leading source for the most accurate, real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

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Another Montcalm deer positive for CWD

 

This is the second hunter-harvested CWD-positive deer in Montcalm County; three additional suspect positives awaiting confirmation

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today that the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested last month in Sidney Township (Montcalm County), was confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. This is the 11th case of CWD to be confirmed in a free-ranging deer in Michigan.

Since the harvest of that deer, three additional suspect positive deer—all from Montcalm County, in Pine, Reynolds and Sidney townships—are awaiting confirmation.

“Thank you to these hunters for checking their deer, which is required for these areas. Hunter assistance is critical in the ongoing fight against the spread of CWD,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “The response from hunters so far shows a strong willingness to help, and it’s clear that more hunters are committed to getting their deer tested.”

There are three Core CWD Areas that have mandatory check. To determine if a hunting location is within a mandatory check area, or to find the nearest DNR deer check station, visit michigan.gov/cwd.

“In a short amount of time, without many deer tested from these areas, we are finding more CWD-positive deer,” Stewart said. “This is concerning. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for hunters from the surrounding areas that are outside of mandatory check locations to have their deer tested, too.”

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals. 

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal. 

To learn more about chronic wasting disease, visit michigan.gov/cwd

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CTA presents Twain’s Tales 

CTA Drama Club students rehearse for the upcoming performance.

Creative Technologies Academy High School performers will pay tribute to the famous American storyteller, Mark Twain, in their performance of Twain’s Tales, a play written by David Taylor London. Directed by CTA’s drama teacher Jeremy Holtrop, Twain’s Tales includes five short stories penned by the well-known author including “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” “Science vs. Luck,” “The Joke That Made Ed’s Fortune,” “The Belated Russian Passport,” “Is He Living or Is He Dead?” and an excerpt from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” 

“Since its inception last year, the CTA drama department has been building to a bigger production like Twain’s Tales, shared Holtrop. “We started with improv shows, then last year we moved to our first full-length play with a comedy/farce called Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit, and this year the students have risen to the challenge of a full-length play based on classic works of literature. It is amazing to see how much the students have grown!” 

The performance will last an hour and half and features eight performers in grades 9-12. 

Performances will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Creative Technologies Academy Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Presale tickets may be purchased in the administration office at 350 Pine Street, Cedar Springs for $3.00. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5.00. 

 

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Driver injured in t-bone crash

Crash at Indian Lakes and Algoma. The driver of the silver car was transported to Butterworth Hospital by Aeromed with severe injuries. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A young woman suffered severe injuries Tuesday afternoon and was transported to Butterworth hospital by Aeromed after her car was t-boned by a pickup truck at Indian Lakes and Algoma Avenue.

The crash occurred about 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14.

Kyle Rand, of Rockford, told The Post at the scene that he was driving home from work southbound on Algoma when he witnessed the crash. He said the silver car was westbound on Indian Lakes and did a “rolling stop” at the stop sign—slowed but did not completely stop—before continuing into the intersection. “She must not have seen him, the white truck (traveling northbound),” said Rand. He added that the driver of the truck tried to avoid her.

The Dodge Ram truck t-boned the silver Ford Taurus, and the car rolled and landed on its hood on the NW side of the intersection.

Rand said that he and another man both witnessed the crash and tried to help.

“I saw it happen and I freaked out. I saw baby blankets in the back of the car so I searched the car [for a baby] but it was only her,” he explained, referring to the driver of the car.

The man driving the truck, Dennis Wayne Hathaway, 60, of Ensley Township, was checked out at the scene for chest and leg pain by Rockford Ambulance.

The woman driving the silver Ford Taurus was identified by the Kent County Sheriff Department as Olivia Erin Anderson, 21, of Alpine Township. She was extricated from the car by Algoma and Solon Fire Departments and transported by Aeromed to Butterworth Hospital with head trauma.

The scene was cleared at 5:43 p.m.

 

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Post travels to Rocky Mountains

The Post traveled to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, 11,800 feet, well above the timberline, with Mary Ann Misner and John Cornell, both of Cedar Springs. This was part of their two and a half week trip exploring the Rocky Mountain region – from Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to northern Red Lodge, Montana, to Durango, Colorado.

They drove over several mountain passes that were above 10,000 feet, including the million dollar highway of Durango through the mining towns of Silverton and Ouary. One of the hightlights of the trip was watching a horseback rider and two dogs on top of a mountain above the timberline in northern Wyoming, herding a large herd of sheep (approximately 500) across the road in front of them. They also saw wild mustangs in Montana before traveling over Bear Tooth Pass into Yellowstone National Park, and about 200 buffalo in the park. Arches National Park was also beautiful, with the evening sun shining on the arches.

The most dangerous part of the trip was dealing with a herd of free range cattle in the middle of the road after dark. Unlike our Michigan deer, their eyes didn’t shine in the headlights and they didn’t dash out of the way. The cattle have the right-of-way there, and if you hit one you have to pay the rancher. The cattle seemed to know this. At night time, they recommend driving slowly or not at all, if you ever have the chance to visit free range country in this beautiful area. 

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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Men of Honor program

A group of young men from Cedar Springs traveled to Neebish Island in the Upper Peninsula this past summer on a mission trip and showed their character by helping some of the elderly with yard work. 

“The work was hard but the payoff of thankful hearts and smiles was so rewarding,” said Randy Badge, leader of the Cedar Springs chapter of the Men of Honor youth group for 6th-8th grade students.

Men of Honor started in Texas in 2003. Tony Rorie, who was then a Dallas middle school principal, started to meet with his four biggest troublemakers. He started mentoring them once a week after school about the basics of manners, leadership, character, and common courtesies. By the end of the year, his small group of four grew to 50. The Men of Honor was birthed. 

The Men of Honor is a Christian character-building program aimed at 6th-8th grade students but can be used for any age of men. In the past 14 years, the Men of Honor has spread across the US and into 11 countries.

During that time, The Ladies of Honor (LOH) was also birthed. 

The Cedar Springs program partners with the En Gedi after school youth Center at Red Hawk Elementary. MOH meets after school every Thursday in the Media Center until 4pm. They learn such things as leadership, character, courage, diligence, compassion, honesty, integrity, perseverance and so much more. MOH has developed a two-year teaching curriculum for leaders to follow. 

Young men and ladies are rewarded with an official MOH or LOH T-shirt by reciting axioms. The MOH can earn five tenant pins for courage, diligence, character, passion, and perseverance. The LOH can earn five charms. 

Participants become partially commissioned by completing the 3 MOH or LOH magazines and earn a dagger. They become fully commissioned and become an Honor Guard by reading 6 more books and completing the complementary workbooks. MOH earn a William Wallace sword and LOH earn a beautiful Shield. 

The MOH will be going to Pine Ridge Bible Camp for Honors Camp on  November 17-19. Any young man is welcome to join the camp. There will be a lot of fun and challenging activities and events that will encourage each young man in his manhood. 

On Thursday, December 14, Cedar Springs will be launching it’s own Ladies of Honor program at Red Hawk Elementary right after school. They will also end at 4pm. Any interested 7th & 8th grade ladies can take the shuttle bus from the middle school to Red Hawk. 

For more information for Men or Ladies of Honor in Cedar Springs, camp, or to start your own club, please contact Regional Director Randy Badge at rbadge@themenofhonor.org. You can also visit the website at www.HonorMinistries.org

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Spreading Kindness

 

Just spreading the love for Kindness month with some very sweet 1st graders. “We just really care about each other” was the quote that inspired the student-initiated group hug! Also our secondary students chose to spread notes of kindness around our school. We have challenged all our students to do at least one random act of kindness this month.

 

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BUSINESS BIT: West Michigan Collision

West Michigan Collision employees, friends and family at recent ribbon cutting to celebrate expansion: (From L to R) Kim Neveau, Jason Behrendt, Rick Ross, owner John Ross, Joe Smith, Kealan Lydell, Bruce Kwekle (BDD Construction) and Elizabeth Ross.

If you are looking for an auto shop to fix your car, you might want to check out West Michigan Collision. The business, located at 4595 14 Mile Rd, was established in 2012. Owner John Ross recently added four stalls to the service repair shop, and a state-of-the-art Hunter Hawkeye Elite alignment machine, which they say is the largest in the area.

They service all domestic and foreign vehicles in both mechanical and collision repair. They offer electronic engine diagnostics and repair, suspension, brakes, tires, and more. They repair cars, trucks, RVs, boats, motorcycles, etc.

They say their business is unique because it has the latest equipment, certified technicians including ICAR Platinum in the collision shop, and an ASE Master mechanic in the service shop. They also offer free loaner cars for overnight repairs. The labor is rate is only $59/hour.

They feel that part of their edge over the competition includes having affordable rates, being honest and dependable, and guaranteeing all work 100 percent. 

They are also working on becoming certified in aluminum repair.

You can give them a call at 616-696-9699 and check them out today. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment on Saturday. 

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Howard City student contributes to art exhibit

 

 

MCC students Makenna Anderson, of Howard City, on left, and Sarah Rittersdorf, of Belding, will present some of their most recent pieces in the Montcalm Community College Winter Artists’ Market Art exhibit.

MCC art exhibit opens Nov. 20

Montcalm Community College presents its annual Winter Artists’ Market art exhibit and sale Nov. 20-21, Nov. 27-30 and Dec. 4-7.

The exhibit features artwork created by MCC students, the MCC Art Club and local artists for viewing and for sale. The event is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building on MCC’s Sidney campus. Admission is free.

MCC students Makenna Anderson, of Howard City, and Sarah Rittersdorf, of Belding, are currently taking Introduction to Art with MCC Art Instructor Debbie Bell. 

“I never had a chance to take an art class in high school, so I figured now would be the best time to get a good underlying base for my art education before I head off to a university,” Anderson said.

Anderson is also in Drawing I with MCC Art Instructor Carolyn Johnson. 

“As the K-12 curriculum gets narrower due to budget cuts and continuous standardized testing, MCC can be the open door to quality higher education in the arts,” Johnson said. 

“As time goes on, I see more and more students like Makenna who have not had access to art classes before coming to MCC,” she added. “It’s sad to see gifted and motivated students denied opportunities, but how wonderful that we have MCC to be a leader in arts education for our community.”

Anderson and Rittersdorf both plan to create art for a living.

“Both student artists have had a passion for and interest in art prior to this class, but practice has helped them to see more and grow as artists,” Bell said.

“I want to be an artist for a living, so putting my pieces in this exhibit will be a good experience,” Rittersdorf said.

Anderson said the exhibit is also beneficial for the community.

“Art is such a wonderful thing,” Anderson added. “I think the exhibit is a great way for others to experience art created by those in our community.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact Johnson at cjohnson@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1248. 

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Suspect stabbed during domestic assault

Kent County Sheriff Deputies responded to a stabbing in the 400 block of Sarah Street Friday morning, November 3. Post photo by J. Reed.

Tyler John Bouwens has been arrested on domestic assault charges.

A Cedar Springs man underwent surgery Friday morning after he was reportedly stabbed with a knife during a domestic assault. On Saturday, he was arrested.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they were dispatched to a call about 7:30 a.m. Friday, November 3, on a stabbing that occurred in the 400 block of Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. When deputies arrived they found Tyler John Bouwens, 25, of Cedar Springs, with a stab wound in his upper torso. He was transported by ambulance to Butterworth Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Detective Joe Abram told the Post at the scene that they had people in custody but the investigation was not complete. 

According to a news release issued by the KCSD, police spoke to two people near the scene, and detectives later interviewed them at the Kent County Sheriff Department. They were then released.

According to a family friend, Bouwens was assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and threatening to kill her and their children and blow up their mobile home. The friend said that another family member of the woman reportedly stabbed him to get Bouwens off of her. Just prior to the incident, another male at the scene was also reportedly assaulted by Bouwens.

The friend said that the police had also escorted Bouwens out the day before for threatening the woman.

The KCSD Scientific Support Unit and a KCSD K-9 deputy also responded to the scene. Also assisting on scene was the Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance. 

Bouwens was arraigned on Sunday, November 5, and charged with interfering with a 911 call; then on Monday, November 6, he was charged with one count of domestic violence; one count of assault and battery; and one count of assault/resist/obstructing a police officer. His bond was set at $10,000 cash/surety. As of Wednesday evening, November 8, he was still in custody at the Kent County Correctional Facility. According to police, no other charges will be brought against anyone in the case.

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