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Woman killed in fatal accident

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A Kent City woman was killed in Tyrone Township last Friday, February 28, when her car crossed the centerline and hit an oncoming car.

Sherri Marlene Knapp, 54, of Kent City, was eastbound on 17 Mile, when she reportedly came upon a vehicle turning left on Sparta Avenue and passed it on the right, and drove on to the shoulder of the road. When she came back on to the road, she crossed the centerline and hit the other car.

Knapp died at the scene of her injuries. The other driver was not injured.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The road was closed for several hours.

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First graders and families celebrate

N-Library-card1Almost 250 first-graders were at the Kent Theatre Monday and Tuesday to celebrate March is Reading month and their brand new library cards.

The Cedar Springs Public Library launched its 16th Annual First Grade Library Card Roundup last month, in partnership with the Kent District Library, Cedar Trails, Creative Technologies Academy, and Algoma Christian School.

“The program is largely successful due to the classroom visits by Children’s parapros Shannon Vanderhyde, of Cedar Springs Library, and Sara Magnusen, of KDL, and the great cooperation and support by each first grade classroom teacher,” said Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark.

First graders and their families were invited to celebrate “March is Reading Month” by getting a library card and thereby gaining access to hundreds of thousands of books and other materials available at the 81 libraries and branch libraries in the 8 counties served by the Lakeland Library Cooperative.

N-Library-card2Free movie passes to see “Nut Job” at the Kent Theatre were issued to all 320 first graders, paid for by the Cedar Springs Public Library via a grant from a local Cedar Springs sponsor. Students showing a library card also got a free popcorn to eat during the show, compliments of the Kent Theatre. About 246 came to the movie and almost every single child/family had a library card.

Just before the movie started, local children’s author Amanda Litz hosted a drawing to give away 6 of her books, one of which was just released that afternoon. To find out more about Amanda, her books, her new bookstore located at 25 S. Main, and the events she has planned, go to her website at www.travelerstrunkpublishing.com

The library card program was originated in 1998 by Mike Metzger, a former library board member.

 

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The Post goes to Haiti

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“On jou!” That’s Creole for hello, the language that is spoken in Haiti, where Jan Malmo, recently retired teacher at Tri County Schools, traveled recently on a mission trip, and took a Post with her. She was able to work with children and teachers in a school in Les Cayes for 3 days. Jan’s focus was to bring new ideas and teaching techniques to a small town in a third world country where they are open to everything because they have so little—little to no teacher training and little to no supplies.

Jan said they primarily teach by reciting. She felt blessed to be welcomed by so many eager Haitians in a country where any help is appreciated. She saw God at work in the loving spirits and fellowship of people she could not really talk to without an interpreter.

“It was an awesome trip and I hope to be able to go back annually with more teachers so more lives can be enriched (mine and theirs)!” she exclaimed.

Thanks for taking us with you, Jan!

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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Daddy daughter dance a big hit

N-Daddy-daughter-dance1N-Daddy-daughter-dance2It may have been postponed for a month due to inclement weather, but the annual Daddy daughter dance put on by Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation was a night to remember for the nearly 500 people in attendance last Saturday, March 1.

Originally scheduled for February 1, the dance took place at Cedar Springs Middle School, and was open to girls and a special man in their life, whether a dad, grandpa, uncle, brother, or other male figure.

N-Daddy-daughter-dance3They danced to the Cupid Shuffle, the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance, the Macarena and much more.

The girls made necklaces to take home and door prizes were given away. Photos of the dads and daughters were also taken.

Check out videos of the event on YouTube and photos on Google + and the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Facebook.

If you missed this year’s dance or just want to go back next year, mark your calendars for February 7. Tickets will go on sale December 1.

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Girls Basketball season ends with loss to Forest Hills Central

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Cedar Springs girls varsity basketball ended their season with a loss in a close game in their district, and on their home court against Forest Hills Central on Monday, Feb. 24.

The girls played hard and stayed close for most of the game. Cedar Springs went into half time only trailing by 2 points. Forest Hills Central came out strong and extended their lead in the 2nd half ending on top with a final score of 45-52.

It was a team effort with all contributing.  Scoring for the Hawks were Brittany Todd, Aubree Mouthaan, Mikenzie Francis, Sam Taylor, Taylor Baker, Sayge Wight and Allison Snavley. Aly Hamiliton grabbed several rebounds and Nikki Matzke and Alysha Chaney chipped in with great defense.

Out with injuries were Mary Monterusso and Jessica Kriekaard, who gave encouragement to all. All in all it was a great effort put out by everyone and it was sad it had to end.

Overall for the season the girls were 6-14, 4-6 in the OK Bronze conference.  Through all the ups and downs the girls played tough and came up just short on several games. Having 9 seniors out of 12 on the team made it very tough for it to come to an end. Playing together for 9 years and knowing that this was the final game they would ever play on their home court at Cedar Springs High School made it even harder. Congratulations on completing the season with a great game.

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Red-winged blackbird arrival

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

OUT-Nature-niche-red-winged-blackbirdEncourage family members to predict the arrival date and first sighting of Red-winged Blackbirds. For decades it has been an annual activity for me. It helps us tune in to nature occurrences. I wait until mid February before making a final hypothesis. The hypothesis is different than a wild guess. I could make a guess in September. Instead I gather available evidence to make an educated guess on an annual basis. My friend Greg and I always try to guess the closest date and hope our own is the most accurate. It is a fun activity.

It is somewhat like predicting weather. Daily variations are going to impact the actual arrival day.

Evidence from previous years indicates early March is usually when they arrive in our area. With evidence from past years, we can make a hypothesis months early. For a more accurate prediction, I like to gather additional information. I look at long-range weather forecast, current snow depth, the amount of frozen water on lakes, and spring progression in plant communities. The final critical piece is determined by when a good south wind will facilitate bird flight. I make a prediction before information on wind direction is available. I once predicted February 28 and hit it right on and have gotten it right on at least one other time. I usually do not hit the date exactly but I am quite close.

It is mid February and already willow tree branches are turning brighter yellow. Silver Maple buds are beginning to swell just a little. This is occurring despite this winter being much colder than usual, snow depth much deeper, and winter storms persisting. The plants are anxious for their seasonal spring work. A few sunny days have warmed tree trunks and branches causing sap to start flowing. This afternoon the first sapsickle has formed on the sugar maple. Time to go sample the sweet taste of spring before the squirrels start licking it.

Frost may still be moving deeper into the ground, but a higher sun and longer days indicate spring is near. Male Red-winged Blackbirds want to claim the most productive breeding habitat available. First arrivals get first dibs. They will choose cattail marshes where they can broadcast claim to breeding territory, with a vocal konk-a-ree and by flashing as much as possible of the red wing patch bordered with yellow.

For 10 to 14 days, males vie for the most desirable territory, before females arrive. Amid male territory challenges, females arrive to compete for ideal nest and feeding habitat, with other females. Females are drab brown flecked with tan for a camouflage appearance. We tend not to notice their stealth arrival without effort.

Beautiful males are loud and stand in open exposed areas that capture our attention more than many bird arrivals. It is always a fun bird to anticipate and to watch changing season signals that help predict arrival most accurately. My prediction for this year’s first arrival is March 7. I need to leave Ody Brook to see the first arrivals. They come here and visit feeders but not until they have first inspected breeding habitats and filled the air with konk-a-ree in favored nature niches.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.  

 

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Preserving history—museum restores 1911 sculpture

Marie Patin after her work was complete on the 1911 bas relief donated to Hilltop School by the class of 1929. Post photo by J. Reed.

Marie Patin after her work was complete on the 1911 bas relief donated to Hilltop School by the class of 1929. Post photo by J. Reed.

 

This 1952 yearbook photo shows the sculpture hanging on the wall in the stairwell at Hilltop, with students lined up on the steps.

This 1952 yearbook photo shows the sculpture hanging on the wall in the stairwell at Hilltop, with students lined up on the steps.

By Judy Reed

 

For years a 1911 bas relief of the signing of the Mayflower Compact hung on the wall of the old Cedar Springs High School—at Hilltop. It was bought and donated to the school by the class of 1929, and hung on the walls at least into the 1950s. Cracked and dilapidated after years of being neglected, it was eventually donated to the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, where it has now been given a new birth by volunteer Marie Patin.

The plaster relief, with a copyright of 1911, was sculpted by Pietro P. Caproni and Bro., Boston. They were manufacturers of plaster reproductions of classical and contemporary statues. These cast reproductions were, in an era before commercial photography, an integral educational tool in teaching people the history of art and antiquities.

Patin said they moved it out of storage when they did the haunted house at Halloween, and someone suggested that they try to clean it up, although it was in bad shape. There was a crack running all across the top, with a triangular hole in the top middle, more cracks throughout, peeling paint, and even some key pieces missing.  But Patin felt up to the challenge. “I paint ceramics at home, and have experience filling holes, and fixing things. I’m a crafty person.” Patin had her work cut out for her. In addition to the holes, cracks and missing shoes, fingers, etc., the work had been painted over several times—and not by an artist.

Marie Patin working on the project.

Marie Patin working on the project.

Historical Society President Fred Gunnell worked part time as a student worker doing janitorial work in the summer when the picture was hanging at Hilltop. “We used to take it down to paint the walls, then one year the janitor, Bert Hawkins, said to just paint over it, so we did,” he recalled.

A picture in the 1952 yearbook shows the sculpture hanging in the hallway at the top of the stairs, where several students are lined up. Gunnell recalled that there was also a duplicate—or at least another similar relief, that also hung at the school, along with some busts in the library. But this particular bas relief is the only one that the museum has.

DM White made a special frame for the artwork. “The back is hollow and there is no support for the body parts,” he noted. “So we shimmed it up from behind.”

Patin used powdered plaster of paris and worked on the relief tediously one day a week at the museum—for 2-1/2 months. “I’m tickled. I like the way it turned out,” she said. “It was kind of fun because I like to see things come to life—it’s rewarding. It was an achievement, history preserved,” she explained.

The Caproni brothers—Pietro and Emilio—supplied major universities and museums with quality reproductions. The firm operated under their ownership between 1892 and 1927, the year the company was sold and a year before Pietro’s death.

The museum, located at Morley Park, on Cedar Street in Cedar Springs, plans to display the relief behind the counter, and it will be ready for patrons to see next Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

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The Post visits The Baths National Parks

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Gorda Baths is a collection of massive granite boulders that lie in piles on the beach and is among the most spectacular natural wonders in the British Virgin Islands.

Michele and Doug Loper visited Virgin Gorda, BVI in February and hiked a trail, leading to Devil’s Bay beach, through the huge rocks, caves, and pools which required some ducking down and maneuvering through crevasses, ladders and bridges. Michele said it was very scenic and remarkable! Thanks for taking the Post with you on your adventure!

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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Owl pays a visit

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This barred owl was seen in Solon Township.

Kathy Dempsey, of Solon Township, has had two visits from this owl in the past week.

She thought maybe it was a snowy owl, but we’ve had a few people identify it as a barred owl. After looking at photos of both types, it does look more like a barred owl. One way you can tell is that snowy owls have yellow eyes and a black beak. Barred owls have brown eyes and a yellow beak – which this one does.

Barred owls are common to this area, and have a distinctive call. Robert Stegmeier, with the conservation group the Izaak Walton League in Belmont, said, “The Barred is an easy bird to call in in the spring, with the ‘who who who cooks for you’ call. Anyone can do it. You can tell their call.”

Snowy owls normally stay further north, although there has been an influx of them into West Michigan since December. Wildlife biologists theorized there may have been a disruption in their food supply.

Barred owl

This is a barred owl.

See photos to compare:

Female Snowy Owl. The male is more white.

Female Snowy Owl. The male is more white.

 

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Reward offered in Rite Aid robbery

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A $5,000 reward is being offered for information about the robbery that occurred at the Cedar Springs Rite Aid on September 13, 2013.

A man with a handgun and wearing what appeared to be a wig and fake dark rimmed glasses robbed the Rite Aid store on 17 Mile of an undisclosed amount of cash. Employees were threatened with harm if they did not comply. The suspect fled west on foot with a customer following and then ran south behind Subway and into the wooded area behind the stores in the strip mall. Police arrived quickly and a Michigan State Police K-9 unit was on scene within minutes tracking the suspect through the heavily wooded area. Eventually the dog lost the track after crossing back and forth over a creek.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, police speculate that the suspect may have had an accomplice waiting with a vehicle on White Creek Ave.

“A number of tips called into the police department and other tips provided through Silent Observer have been looked into,” said Parent. “Unfortunately, we are once again asking for any additional information that someone may have that will help bring this investigation to a close.”

The Rite Aid Pharmacy Corporation is offering up to a $5,000 reward based on information provided that leads to an arrest for those responsible.

“We continue to ask the public to call in your tips to Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or directly to the Cedar Springs Police Department at (616) 696-1330,” urged Parent. “Over time suspects will talk or brag about what they have done and we feel there might be someone willing to provide us with information knowing there is still a hefty reward being offered. Our goal is to keep this investigation active.”

 

 

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