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Kapolka receives coaching award



Cedar Springs Varsity Football Coach August (Gus) Kapolka was recently named Coach of the Year in Region 6 by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

Coach August (Gus) Kapolka with his Coach of the year award.

Coach August (Gus) Kapolka with his Coach of the year award.

He received the award in Lansing on January 16.

“It is my privilege to announce that your Head Football Coach, August (Gus) Kapolka, was named 2014 Regional Coach of the year (Region 6) by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA),” wrote Kelly Luplow, president of the MHSFCA, in a news release. “The efforts of your coach, his staff, and team have brought a great amount of pride to your school and community. We know that to reach this level of excellence requires numerous hours of work throughout the year.”

Region 6 covers all the teams in the Ottawa-Kent Conference.

This is the first time Coach Kapolka has been named Regional Coach of the year, and he was humbled by the honor. “I’m very appreciative to the members of my coaching staff and our players for allowing me to receive this recognition. It’s always gratifying to receive recognition individually, but the award is due to the hard work of everyone involved in our program. Hopefully we can continue the success we had on the field this year, and bring more accolades to Red Hawk Football.”

IN 2014, Kapolka led the Red Hawks to their first conference championship since 1978, when they shared it with Sparta. This year the Red Hawks went 9-2, winning their first playoff game at Red Hawk Stadium, and finally losing to the Muskegon Big Reds, who went on to the state final championship. Kapolka was named Coach of the Week early in the season by the Detroit Lions.

Kapolka came to Cedar Springs in 2013, after being head Varsity coach in Manistee from 2004 to 2012. In his first season there, he coached the Chippewas to a 4-5 record, breaking their 32-game losing streak, and was also named 2004 Class B Associated Press Special Mention Coach of the Year. In 2007 he coached the Chippewas to their second MHSAA state play-off appearance in school history with a 6-4 record. He continued to make school history in 2011 & 2012 when the Chippewas qualified for the MHSAA playoffs in back-to-back seasons. He also spent four years as an assistant at Boyne City and four years as an assistant at Warren Lincoln. 

Congratulations Coach Kapolka!





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Forget the pricey trip to the spa with simple DIY tips and tricks



(BPT) With a whole new year ahead, now is the perfect time to relax and refresh with at-home spa treatments that are easy, natural, luxurious and, best of all, affordable.

“Skin care does not have to be costly to be effective,” says Janet Little, director of nutrition at Sprouts Farmers Market. “By preparing your own body care products, you can have beautiful-looking skin, slow down premature skin aging and save money.”

As a matter of fact, you probably already have fresh and natural ingredients in your refrigerator and cupboards, or you can easily purchase them from a grocery store or health food store. These simple ingredients can eliminate dry skin, reduce wrinkles, banish dark under eye circles and relax sore muscles. The advantages of homemade skin care products include:

* Significant savings. Most of the products that you’ll use are already in your home, and are less expensive than department store-bought skin care products or spa treatments.

* Avoiding harsh chemicals. Artificial ingredients found in typical drug store beauty products may contain cancer-causing compounds that can penetrate the skin and potentially cause harmful effects.

* Always natural and fresh. Skin care products purchased in a store contain preservatives to avoid bacteria contamination and growth. On the other hand, when you prepare your skin care items yourself you get a fresh and natural batch every time.

* Easy and fun to make. Simple recipes take minutes to prepare, but can be just as effective as store bought products.

Here are a few easy, at-home spa recipes that will leave you glowing:

Gentle exfoliant

* Brown sugar is a natural and affordable exfoliant with many health benefits, while grapeseed oil gently and deeply moisturizes skin without clogging pores.


1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together with your fingers. Apply to face and body by rotating in a circular motion. Rinse off with warm water.

Firming facial mask

Egg white is great for tightening and toning skin and helps shrink pores. Yogurt is packed with vitamins and proteins, which promotes strong wrinkle-free skin.


1/2 tablespoon vitamin E oil

1 tablespoon yogurt

1 egg white

Whisk together. Massage onto face and neck. Leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Avocado-honey facial mask 

Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for hydrating and great for moisturizing skin. Honey acts as a natural humectant, boosting skin’s hydration and is also a wonderful skin lightening agent.


1/2 avocado

1/2 cup honey

First, place a cloth in warm water and apply to your face to open the pores. Mash avocado until creamy, combine with honey and apply to face for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores. Use once a week.

Wrinkle reducer

Banana is wonderful as an anti-wrinkle treatment.


1 over-ripe banana

Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy. Spread all over face and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water followed by a dash of cold. Gently pat dry.

Under-eye circle treatment 

Grated potatoes can lighten under-eye circles. Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is used in cosmetics as a skin lightener.


1 potato

Cheese cloth

Run one spud through your food processor and stuff the raw mash into a piece of cheesecloth. Apply to the area directly beneath your eye – don’t let the potato juice come in contact with the eye itself – and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe away the starchy residue.

Tired and aching muscle relaxer

Epsom salts and essential oils are known for their powerful ability to sooth sore muscles and relieve aches and muscle pain.

1/2 cup Epsom Salt

5 drops lavender essential oil

2 drops chamomile essential oil

Place Epsom salts in a mixing bowl and add drops of essential oil. Mix ingredients together and add to a hot bath.




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Five winter car care tips that save you money


(BPT) Winter is when car trouble can cause big financial problems. So how do you keep your car winter-ready for severe weather and protect your budget? The right preventive care is essential, and the good news is that there are many simple things you can do to get your car ready for extreme weather without blowing your budget.

Before severe weather strikes, make sure to check these items off your car-care list:

* Avoid the “E.” A full tank of gas provides a comforting feeling. It’s also an effective way to protect your car in severe weather. An empty tank leaves room for the moisture inside to turn to ice. Keep your tank at least half full at all times to help prevent starting issues caused by a frozen fuel line.

* Check vital fluids. As simple as filling up, make sure to check and top off your vehicle’s antifreeze and examine your brake system, which includes your brake fluid.

* Double-check the tires. Driving on underinflated or worn tires makes it even more difficult to drive in ice or snow. Use a tire gauge to test the tire’s actual pressure and apply air as needed. Your tires should have the appropriate amount of pressure printed on its side. To check the wear of your tires, insert a penny into the tread. If you can see any part of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tires.

* Be ready to battle ice. Ice on the roads is one problem, but ice on your windshield is another problem entirely. Prestone’s De-Icer Windshield Washer Fluid is designed to help melt ice and frost fast for streak-free and clear visibility down to -27 degrees.

* Prep for emergencies. Sometimes even the best planning can’t prevent a severe-weather accident. That’s why it’s good to pack a winter survival kit with an ice scraper, shovel, blankets, extra clothing, bottled water, jumper cables and a first aid kit for the backseat or trunk of your car. And don’t forget the cat litter—in case your tires need a little extra traction.

Not all winter car care maintenance needs to be handled in a mechanic’s garage. Easy DIY projects can help ensure your vehicle’s performance this winter and save you time and money in the long run. Get started on your preventive list today and you’ll be ready for whatever the season brings.

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DNR announces name of new hiking and bicycling trail 


Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail follows the existing North Country National Scenic Trail for most of its length in Michigan, including through the Manistee National Forest (shown here). Photo courtesy of North Country Trail Association.

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail follows the existing North Country National Scenic Trail for most of its length in Michigan, including through the Manistee National Forest (shown here). Photo courtesy of North Country Trail Association.


Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will feature a bicycling route (shown in red) and a hiking route (shown in blue), utilizing many existing trails to provide healthy recreation opportunities and connect and showcase Michigan’s vibrant communities.

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will feature a bicycling route (shown in red) and a hiking route (shown in blue), utilizing many existing trails to provide healthy recreation opportunities and connect and showcase Michigan’s vibrant communities.

From the Michigan DNR


We asked and you answered—to the tune of nearly 9,000 name suggestions for Michigan’s planned, statewide hiking and bicycling trail stretching from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. The Department of Natural Resources recently announced this showcase trail will officially be called Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail.

“This name effectively captures the beauty and strength of our state’s exceptional natural and cultural resources,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “Along the route from Belle Isle to Ironwood, Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will ultimately connect communities, provide a variety of recreation opportunities, and showcase our great state to residents and visitors alike.”

Creagh said it’s important to note that while Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail is a work in progress, significant portions of the trail already exist throughout both peninsulas and are open right now for public enjoyment and exploration.

“The hard work and thoughtful vision that have for years gone into Michigan’s existing trail system and future connectors help to lay the groundwork for completion of this important cross-state trail,” Creagh said.

The DNR in September hosted a contest inviting residents and visitors to submit their best ideas to help name the trail. More than 8,800 submissions were received and then evaluated by a team representing partner organizations—the Michigan Trails Advisory Council, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance—involved in the trail’s establishment. DNR Director Creagh chose the final name based on recommendations from that committee.

The trail-naming contest ran for three weeks (Sept. 22-Oct. 13, 2014), with entries submitted via online survey, Facebook and paper entry form. Contest participants also showed their support by sending hand-drawn logo concepts, personal stories about their connections to trails and even a stack of entries from elementary students.

The DNR received hundreds of variations of the final name. To determine contest winners, three names were randomly drawn from that smaller pool of entries: Amanda Mailer (Rochester, Michigan), Matthew Husted (Jerome, Michigan) and John Meikle (Lapeer, Michigan). Each will be awarded (via drawing) one of three vacation prize packages at locations along the trail:

The Henry Ford and Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

Kaug Wudjoo Lodge at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon

First proposed as a “showcase trail” by Gov. Rick Snyder in November 2012, Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will stretch across Michigan and link numerous existing trails to provide both a 1,259-mile hiking route and a 774-mile bicycling route. One end of the trail lies in Michigan’s newest state park, Belle Isle Park (Wayne County); the other is more than 900 miles away in Ironwood (Gogebic County).

The Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR, as well as other partners, currently is seeking private and public funding to secure and develop trail corridors for Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. Temporary connectors already are in place along much of the trail and will be made permanent as resources become available. For more information about the development of the trail, please contact DNR state trails coordinator Paul Yauk at 517-284-6141.

Additional segments of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail will open throughout 2015, with ceremonial events in communities along the trail to locally mark the occasions.

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail follows the existing North Country National Scenic Trail for most of its length in Michigan (1,085 of 1,259 miles). North Country Trail extends to the New York/Vermont border to the east and central North Dakota to the west. Spanning 4,600 miles, it is the longest National Scenic Trail in the nation. Michigan—a national leader in designated trail miles and plentiful opportunities for hiking, bicycling, snowmobiling, kayaking and other trail pursuits—continues to cement its reputation as the nation’s Trails State. The state offers more than 12,000 miles of recreational trails total.

An extensive Michigan State Trails system provides broad public access to low-cost, healthy recreation opportunities and strengthens communities’ appeal by boosting quality-of-life amenities.

The Department of Natural Resources works each year with local communities and partners to celebrate and promote Michigan’s excellent public trail offerings during Michigan Trails Week, which this year runs Sept. 19-26, 2015. The website offers many planning tools and ideas for participating community projects.

Visit the DNR website www.michigan.gov/dnrtrails to sign up for email updates and to learn more about Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail and other recreation trail offerings.

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Cedar Springs Cheer shows success on mat

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheerleaders in their winning routine.

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheerleaders in their winning routine.

Cedar Springs Cheer teams won championships at all levels: Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity.

Cedar Springs Cheer teams won championships at all levels: Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity.

Cedar Springs Competitive Cheer traveled to Lowell for their annual “Arrowfest” Cheer Invitational this last Saturday.

Eight teams competed in the Middle School division. Cedar Springs White took the mat and earned a score of 83.50 after Round 2, giving them a 6th place overall. After the completion of Round 3, they gained an additional 256.40 points. This score gave them a total of 339.90 points, ending their season with a third place overall. “Another great performance from this team,” said Head Coach Cassandra Chartier. “Round 3’s score was the highest score all season. These girls have grown and learned so much; it has been great to watch their improvement this season. I had a proud coaching moment when I was stopped by a judge after the competition to compliment my team on how great they looked and how much they have improved this season.”

Cedar Springs Red took the lead with a score of 135.78 points after Round 2. Earning an additional score of 247.90 after Round 3, secured another Championship title for Cedar Springs Red with a final score of 383.68. Forest Hills’ took second place with an overall score of 341.60. “We ended the season with another Championship and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” said Head Coach Amy Arnold. “They work extremely hard and always give 100 percent.”

Cedar Springs brought the only Junior Varsity team to compete. Round 1 earned a score of 184.70. After Round 2, they gained an additional 164.94 points bringing their subtotal to 349.64. Round 3 gained an additional 211.90 points giving them a final score of 553.54 points and securing another Championship for the Junior Varsity team. “We achieved a new highest score in round 1, (and I’m) proud of the girls for pushing through on Saturday with all new material for Round 1 & 3!” said Head Coach Katy Baird. “Round 3 was a little rough, but the girls rose to the challenge. The new Round 3 has a lot more difficulty and I am proud of the way they handled and executed the changes. Time and practice will only make it better.”

Seven teams competed in the Varsity Division. The Cedar Springs Varsity Team dominated this competition and took the lead after Round 1 with a score of 213 points. Round 2 gained an additional 206.46 points bringing their subtotal to 419.46 points, keeping their first place position. The completion of Round 3 gained an additional 270 points and secured another Championship with a final score of 689.86. Belding came in second place with an overall score of 648.28.

“We had our entire program at Lowell High School this past weekend—Varsity, JV and both middle school teams,” said Head Varsity Coach Anne Olszewski. “It was great to stand there and look at the sea of red and black and watch them perform so well. Cedar Springs took first at all three levels, Varsity, JV and Middle School. It is a very proud moment as a varsity coach in a program the size of Cedar Springs.

“Our JV Coach has done a wonderful job pushing these girls,” added Olszewski. “They are hitting more difficult stunts and the creativity is starting to be there! We want to increase our strength and gymnastics ability. Saturday was also the last middle school competition for both teams. Their seasons ended well with improvements in scores and skill level.”

But the Varsity season is not finished. “Varsity has been working on standing tumbling a lot,” she explained. “We had two injuries this past week, so we knew stunt round would be weak with missing bodies. We have two more competitions this coming week, one being a conference meet at Grand Rapids Christian High School. We would really like to place well there so we can continue into post-season play. Our final conference meet will be February 11 at home. We really need to place well there!” she said.


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Car rear-ends school bus

A car ran into the back of a Cedar Springs School bus this afternoon that had stopped to drop off a student. Post photo by J. Reed.

A car ran into the back of a Cedar Springs School bus this afternoon that had stopped to drop off a student. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A Nelson Township mom saw the Cedar Springs Public Schools bus stop in front of their home on 17 Mile, between Shaner and Stout, about 2:45 p.m. to drop off her son. She said she looked away for a moment, and when she looked back, she saw a car crash into the back of the bus.

“I heard the airbags deploy from inside the house,” she remarked.

The Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance all responded to the scene.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the school bus was stopped on the roadway with its lights activated, when the driver of the at-fault vehicle became distracted and was unable to stop before striking the bus.

According to 911 dispatch, the 16-year-old driver of the car and her 16-year-old passenger suffered bumps and bruises. The driver was able to get out of the car early on, but it took some time for the passenger to get out, who was originally reported as pinned in. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, both the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn said 15 high school and middle school students were on the bus at the time of the accident. One was standing and waiting to get off when the bus was hit.

“All the kids are fine,” said VanDuyn, who was at the scene, along with Transportation Supervisor Jerry Gavin. She said that two students bumped their heads, and one of them was going to the hospital to be checked out, due to having some surgery the week before. “It’s just to make sure the stitches haven’t been disrupted,” she explained.

VanDuyn said they did an all-call to notify parents in the district of the accident, and also notified staff and the Board of Education.

“We are very thankful to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance for their coordination in making sure all the kids are safe,” said VanDuyn.

Another bus picked up the kids to finish the route.

The Sheriff Department said that they would review their investigation, and issue the appropriate charges to the at-fault driver at a later date.


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Sparta police seek info on armed robbery


Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify two suspects that robbed a Sparta gas station Monday, January 12th.

The robbery occurred Monday, January 12, about 10 p.m., at the AGO gas station, 560 E. Division in Sparta.

Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski said the suspects are believed to be in their late teens to mid 20’s.  A black revolver type handgun was used in the incident, and the suspects obtained an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured. There was no further information available.

If anyone has any information on these suspects please contact the Sparta Police Department 24 hour dispatch at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.


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Brad Brechting nominated for McDonald’s All-American games

Brad Brechting

Brad Brechting

Local student-athlete in the running to play in prestigious high school basketball event in Chicago

Cedar Springs Red Hawk Brad Brechting, a standout on the Varsity basketball team, is among the list of high school seniors who have been nominated to play in the 2015 McDonald’s All American Games. This year’s list includes players from 47 states and the District of Columbia who have been selected by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.

Brad is the son of Bradley and Tracy Brechting, and has already signed on to play at Oakland University next year.

Eyes have been on Brad for awhile. As a sophomore, he averaged 12.6 points per game; as a junior it was 15.5 points; and this year he has averaged 20.8 points per game (through nine games). He currently is approaching 800 career points. Brad also averages between 9 and 10 rebounds  and 4 blocks per game.

“Brad has put a lot of time into improving as a basketball player and you can see the results,” remarked Jeff Patin, head coach of the Red Hawk Varsity basketball team. “He is a pleasure to coach because of the energy he brings every day. We will be sad when his career as Cedar Springs comes to a close, but we look forward to watching him play at the next level.”

N-Brechting2Athletic Supervisor Autumn Mattson was glad to hear about Brad’s nomination. “Brad is a great kid and it has been fun watching him over the past four years develop into a great basketball player.  We are excited and looking forward to hearing of his future success at Oakland University and are proud that he will continue represent Cedar Springs High School at the next level,” she said.

A complete list of 2015 McDonald’s All American Games Nominees is available at www.mcdaag.com. McDonald’s will name the final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls who will be selected to play in the 2015 Games during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU, airing Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

The 38th Annual Boys Game will tip-off on Wednesday, Apr. 1 at 9:00 pm ET from Chicago’s United Center and will be broadcast on ESPN. The 14th Annual Girls Game will precede the Boys Game, beginning at 6:30 pm ET and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Information regarding tickets for the 2015 McDonald’s All American Games is available at Ticketmaster. Tickets for the 2015 Games go on sale Saturday, Jan. 17 at 11:00 am ET.

Net proceeds from the Games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).



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The Post travels to Rome

N-Post-travels-to-Rome-HendgesGary and Gail Hendges, of Nelson Township, traveled to Rome, Italy in May to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and took along a copy of the Post. Here they can be seen in front of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome. They also saw the Vatican and other sites in Italy.

Thanks to Gary and Gail 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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Library hires new children’s librarian

Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

Kelly Roach started as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Library this week.

When business owner Kelly Roach decided to close her coffee shop, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do. It didn’t take her long to find something. Kelly started this week as the new children’s librarian at the Cedar Springs Public Library.

Kelly replaces Shannon Vanderhyde, who took a job at the Rockford branch of Kent District Library, as a children’s parapro. Shannon had worked for Cedar Springs Library since 2008. “We enjoyed her storytimes, and wish her well at Rockford,” said Donna Clark, Cedar Springs Library Director.

Donna is excited about Kelly joining the library and the new ideas she is bringing with her. “I think there could be lots of new programs coming. She can do all ages. She’s great with adults, and loves teens as well as the younger kids. I am really thrilled to have her,” said Clark.


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