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Halloween full of tricks and treats

Trick or Treaters lined up outside of The POST.

Trick or Treaters lined up outside of The POST.

Trick or treaters turned out in droves for the annual Halloween Spooktacular, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce last Saturday, October 31, despite the damp, drizzling weather.

Businesses, churches, and non-profits in the area passed out candy, hosted carnival games and served refreshments to trick or treaters and their families.  It was another spectacular Spooktacular, and many thanks to all the community organizations that made it great for our kids!


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Local veteran receives Purple Heart 

Spc. Samuel Andres received a Purple Heart and other medals in a recent ceremony. Pictured left to right: Nick Andres, Mary Andres, Spc. Samuel Andres, Rep. Justin Amash, Michele (Andres) Krick, and Andrea (Andres) Lisagor.

Spc. Samuel Andres received a Purple Heart and other medals in a recent ceremony. Pictured left to right: Nick Andres, Mary Andres, Spc. Samuel Andres, Rep. Justin Amash, Michele (Andres) Krick, and Andrea (Andres) Lisagor.

Rep. Justin Amash presented six medals, including the Purple Heart, to retired Army Specialist Samuel N. Andres at a ceremony held at Kent County Veterans Services on Wednesday, October 14.

Spc. Andres is a veteran of the Vietnam War. On Friday, September 13, 1968, Andres and his four-man squad were attacked while on night patrol south of Pleiku. Over the course of the nearly hour-long firefight, Andres was struck by two bullets, sustaining injuries to his right leg. On the request and with the assistance of Andres’s family, including his wife Mary, the United States Army approved Spc. Andres’s medals, including the Purple Heart, in May 2015.

Children of Spc. Andres include Nicholas (Nick) Andres, of Cedar Springs; Michele(Andres) Krick, and Andrea (Andres) Lisagor, both living in Greenville, and Eric Andres, deceased in 2009.

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States. First issued under the administration of George Washington, this prestigious award signifies that, as the result of hostile actions, the recipient was wounded or killed while actively serving our country in the United States Armed Forces.

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In honor of Veterans Day


World War I—known at the time as “The Great War”—officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. It was changed to Veteran’s Day in 1938.

Veteran’s Day is a day to honor all who have served in the armed forces, and here at the Post, we thank the veterans from all eras for their service. We urge each of you to tell a veteran “thank you” today.

Since the late 1990s, the Post has highlighted within its pages each year those Veterans that have served in the armed forces during our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please download link below to see our current list.


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The Post travels to Maine


Roger and Mary Miller, of Howard City, recently went on vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine, and took the Post with them.

“Fall is a wonderful time to travel and we enjoyed the trip,” they said.

Thanks so much, Roger and Mary, 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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Halloween fun at the library and museum

A group of teens decorated the haunted ibrary.

A group of teens decorated the haunted ibrary.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society hosted their haunted schoolhouse on Halloween.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society hosted their haunted schoolhouse on Halloween.

Both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum were up for some haunted fun on Halloween night.

Local teens created a haunted library at the Cedar Springs Public Library, and the museum hosted their annual haunted schoolhouse.

According to Library director Donna Clark, about 750 people went through the library, and Museum director Sharon Jett, about 200 visited the haunted school house.

“We appreciate the Chamber and their efforts to promote everything going on that day,” said Jett.

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Billboard campaign launched to generate new leads in 1993 cold case


There is a new effort in an attempt to solve the 1993 murder of Kathleen Vanslyke.  The Kent Metro Cold Case Team has partnered with the Grand Rapids Police and Silent Observer to highlight the victim in their unsolved homicide billboard campaign. –

On July 23, 1993 at 3:30pm, Kathleen Vanslyke, a 45-year-old mother and wife, was shot at close range while she waited in her vehicle in a parking lot near Burton Street, SE, and Eastern Avenue, SE, in the City of Grand Rapids. After the shooting, Vanslyke’s car rolled backwards and collided with an adjacent building. The location was a busy area surrounded by businesses, including the former Old Kent Bank, Silver Derby Tavern, and Bucks.

In an effort to generate tips on this brutal murder, a billboard will highlight this victim for 30 days near the intersection of Burton Street SE, and Eastern Avenue SE, on November 2, 2015.

The family of Kathleen Vanslyke is supportive of the billboard campaign and hope, after 22 years, someone with information will come forward.

To see a photograph of Kathleen Vanslyke and crime scene photos, a Facebook page has been created called Kathleen Vanslyke 1993 cold case homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or Kent Metro Cold Case Team at 616-632-6123.

The Kent Metro Cold Case Team consists of detectives from the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department and the Grand Rapids Police Department.

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Cedar Springs ends football season at playoffs

Red Hawk Anthony Topolski carries the ball.

Red Hawk Anthony Topolski carries the ball.

By Lauren VanDenHout

The Red Hawks take down a Zeeland East player in Saturday’s playoff loss.

The Red Hawks take down a Zeeland East player in Saturday’s playoff loss.

Halloween meant more than just dressing up in costumes for Red Hawk football fans. On Saturday, October 31, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks traveled to Zeeland to play against the Zeeland East Chix, in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. This matchup was fairly even. Coming into the game, both teams had an overall record of six wins and three losses. The game could have gone either way, But unfortunately, the Red Hawks fell to the Chix with a final score of 43-29.

Despite the consistent drizzle for Saturday’s playoff game, the Red Hawks found they still had numerous supporters to root for them throughout the game. To start off the first quarter, seniors Isaiah Macdonald and Cameron Umphrey led on the offensive. Both scored touchdowns, while senior Anthony Topolski made the two-point conversion. Despite their offensive gains, the Red Hawks trailed 19-14 going into the second quarter.

Tension began to rise in the second quarter. Umphrey again was the only Red Hawk to earn a touchdown for Cedar Springs. The conversion was no good. The Chix managed to successfully make a touchdown and a conversion in this quarter, but they still lacked a solid lead to ensure victory against the Red Hawks. Cedar Springs trailed going into half 27-20.

Unfortunately, Cedar Springs was unable to break through Zeeland East’s defense in the third quarter. The Chix however, managed to score another touchdown and a conversion to make the score 35-20.

In the final quarter, Umphrey scored the only Red Hawk touchdown, and junior Dustin Shaw successfully kicked the field goal. The Chix made a touchdown and completed a conversion, for a final score of Zeeland 43, Cedar Springs 29.

“i thought we played really hard. We gave great effort. The team never quit or gave up. We just made a few too many mistakes, and didn’t make enough plays when it really counted,” said head football coach Gus Kapolka.

Despite the loss, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks had a successful 2015 season. They held a record of 4-1 in conference, tying Zeeland East for first place in the OK Bronze, and an overall record of 6-4.

Next year the Red Hawks will move to the OK White when the OK Bronze is eliminated. Other teams in the OK White will include Lowell, Forest Hills Central, Forest Hills Northern, Greenville, Northview and Ottawa Hills.

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Two Cross Country runners qualify for state finals 

Red Hawk Cross Country runners Ellie Ovokaitys and Dallas Mora qualified for the state finals.

Red Hawk Cross Country runners Ellie Ovokaitys and Dallas Mora qualified for the state finals.

Two Cedar Springs High School cross country runners finished regionals with a treat, after a tricky race day on October 31.

The Cedar Springs Cross Country team and supporters traveled north to Gaylord on a cold, wet, ghoulish Halloween day. The girls and boys teams competed in the MHSAA Regional race for a chance to race one more time before ending their season. There were many pleasing results, despite the blustery weather the runners had to endure.

“I’m very pleased with my team’s performances,” boasted Coach Marie Covey. “Nearly all of the girls ran their fastest race of the season.” Ellie Ovokaitys not only ran her best race of the season, but ran well enough to be a qualifier for the State Finals this coming Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Also, qualifying is Dallas Mora from the boy’s team. (See other story on this page.) Congratulations Ellie and Dallas.

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Dying Pines

This photo shows normal fall needle drop in a white pine tree. Photo from purdue.edu.

This photo shows normal fall needle drop in a white pine tree. Photo from purdue.edu.

By Ranger Steve Mueller


During fall, people notice pine trees dying. They become concerned about what unexpected fungal blight or insect infestation is killing trees. Events occur in our neighborhoods that generally escape notice and then suddenly capture our attention.

Broad-leaved trees like maples, cherries, and aspens drop their leaves each fall and stand naked all winter in wait for the spring growing season. Losing leaves helps them avoid structural damage that would occur from the weight of snow or ice that would get caught on leaves during the winter. The weight would snap branches. If the trees maintain their large leaves during winter, they would fail. Frozen water in leaves would burst cell membranes causing leaves to die.

In our yards and in wild places over yonder during fall, one is likely to see massive brown needles on pines. This is very noticeable for our State Tree, the White Pine. People contact me inquiring what is wrong that trees are dying. In most cases I reassure nothing is wrong and the trees are healthy. It is normal for needles that are three years old to die. Younger needles closer to the branch tip remain green and healthy.

The older needles away from the tip wear out from old age. They are also tucked farther back into the tree instead of being more exposed to sunlight. Look at pine branches to notice the brown needles are clustered away from the branch tip. Closer to the tree trunk notice that there are no needles. In previous years the bare branch held needles. Each year as the branch extends new growth with fresh needles, old needles die at the inner portion during fall.

A layer of needles builds annually under pines, where pine pitch helps prevent their decay. Usually a thick duff of pine needles is found under the trees in wild nature niches. Yard needles are often removed.

How is it that pine needles avoid frost damage that would kill broad-leaved tree foliage? One advantage is pine pitch helps prevent frost damage by lowering the freezing temperature like antifreeze. Needles also contain sugar that functions like antifreeze. That only works to a limited point and then water in the cells would freeze and burst cell membranes causing the needles to be killed.

To survive very cold weather, water must be mostly removed from the needles. Trees transport water from needles and branches to roots in a similar manner to broad-leaved trees where sugar and nutrients are stored. Living needles that did not turn brown in fall cling to life throughout the winter but are mostly dormant.

During a warm sunny spell in midwinter, green needles are warmed and become active. This is dangerous for the needles and tree. The needles produce sugar by photosynthesis where they combine carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight energy.

The winter needles contain little water and that helps prevent frost damage. Unfortunately, using the limited amount of water can dehydrate the needle to the point of death during photosynthesis. The trees are unable to ship needed water from the cold ground unless the soil temperature is above 40 F. The needles in warm air and sunlight make the effort to produce sugar but instead die from lack of water for completing the process.

What were healthy needles in late fall become victims of “winter burn.” The winter burn might only affect some needles on the tree but some years I have seen entire trees “burned” to the point that it causes tree death. Living is not easy but brown needles on pines in fall is usually not a sign of stress or tree death.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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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 two days until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of 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 Area Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun begins at 4:30 p.m. with trick or treating at area businesses up and down Main Street, some side streets, and 17 Mile until 7 p.m. Special events include a haunted library at the Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Cherry and Second from 5-7 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum on Cedar Street in Morley Park from 5-7; Calvary Assembly of God will have lots of games and candy and prizes at the corner of Main and Ash from 5-7 p.m.; 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 Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6-8 p.m., in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and refreshments.

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