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Sparta Town & Country Days

Fun, friends, and family—what more could ask for in a festival? Sparta Town and Country Days had all of that last week, including some great weather. The fair had a multitude of events scheduled over five days last week, from Wednesday to Sunday. Saturday was the big parade, and we even spotted our own Red Flannel Queen and Court. Grand marshals were Don Reed and Paul “Sharkey” Badgerow.

 

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Post travels to Mexico

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Adam and Allison Randall were married in Rivira Maya, Mexico, January 31, 2014. They took along a Post and had their picture taken with it as part of the festivities!

Pictured are Lindy and Kyle Scheuneman, Larissa and Jed Avery, Adam and Allison Randall, Dacia and Long Ta, Doug and Jean Randall, Ron Brott, Chelsea Koppenaal, and Jared Randall.

Thank you for taking us with you on this special occasion!

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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Michigan State Police: Looking for a Few Good Women

 

N-MSP-seeks-a-few-good-womenMona Shand, Michigan News Connection

When it comes to fighting crime and keeping Michigan streets safe, Michigan State Police (MSP) want women to know law enforcement isn’t just a man’s job. Trooper Marjorie Richardson has been with the state police for over 25 years, and while many believe police work is purely physical, she says that’s just one portion of the job.
“You deal with people, you deal with conflict, it’s conflict resolution,” says Richardson. “It’s helping other people, seeking justice on their behalf, working within your community. For people who really want meaningful work and want to make a difference, it’s a good feeling.”
While Michigan State Police currently has the first female director in its history, women make up only about nine percent of the force. The MSP is holding an informational seminar on career opportunities for women this Saturday in the Detroit area. Details on that event and for women across the state, are available at Michigan.gov/MSP.
A mother of three, Richardson says balancing a career in law enforcement with family offers the same challenges as most other professions. She says in her experience, men and women on the force are treated equally.
“Whether you’re a male or a female, if you can’t withstand the physical and mental rigors of the academy, you’re out. It’s that simple,” she says. “I think once you either go through it with someone, or know that you’ve all been through it, there’s an instant respect and a knowledge you have the same training.”
Richardson adds that while the number of female troopers has grown from fewer than 50 in 1982 to roughly 170 today, there has been a decline in the number of female recruits in recent years. Recruits must successfully complete a 21-week training course at the MSP academy in Lansing, considered one of the most rigorous programs in the nation.

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Top three auto repair red flags

RepairPal.com provides drivers with referrals to certified mechanics who do quality work at fair prices with no hidden fees.

RepairPal.com provides drivers with referrals to certified mechanics who do quality work at fair prices with no hidden fees.

(NAPS)—Finding an auto re-pair shop you can trust can be a challenge. Here are three warning signs to watch for on your next trip to the mechanic.

• While no one likes to be overcharged, beware of estimates that are well under market rate. This can be a sign the mechanic is using low-quality or even used parts. Some mechanics use lowball estimates to lure you in for additional repairs that they will tack on later.

• Automotive technology is rapidly evolving and some shops fail to keep up. Without up-to-date diagnostic tools, a mechanic could misdiagnose your problem, which means you’ll pay for unnecessary repairs that don’t even fix your original problem.

• If a mechanic employs scare tactics or treats you in a condescending way, move on. A reputable mechanic will take the time to explain your options just as a doctor guides you to make the right decision for your health.

Fortunately, there’s a free service called RepairPal that can help consumers find a trustworthy local mechanic. RepairPal independently certifies auto repair shops nationwide for superior training, quality tools, fair pricing standards and a minimum 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.

RepairPal also provides car owners with a tool that brings transparency to repair costs—the RepairPrice Estimator. Cited as a resource by Consumer Reports, AOL Autos and Cars.com, this patented calculator generates fair price quotes based on the user’s automobile, location, and the service requested. All mechanics in the RepairPal Certified shop network honor these estimates to give consumers peace of mind that they’ll never be overcharged.

To learn more, visit www.RepairPal.com/estimator.

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Rogue River Expedition: A success!

From Nichol De Mol, Trout Unlimited

Over 50 people participated in the Rogue River Expedition, a 3-day public paddling and land tour to discover and experience conditions and opportunities of Michigan’s Rogue River and its watershed, held in June. The Rogue River Expedition grew out of the 2010 Grand River Expedition, an event where hundreds of paddlers explored more than 250 river miles over 12 days. That expedition is held once a decade. Its organizers decided some of the large tributaries to the Grand River should be paddled on alternate years between Grand River Expeditions. The first expedition was held on the Thornapple River in 2012, with the Rogue River following in 2014.

To kick-off the event, an opening ceremony was held at Howard Christensen Nature Center, followed by a land tour in the headwaters of the Rogue River watershed in Newaygo County. Participants learned about the historic Rice Lake area in Grant Township and how it currently is a hub for growing and packaging muck crops (onions, carrots, and beets). The land tour also included the Fruit Ridge Area just west of Sparta—one of the prime fruit-growing regions in the world. Participants finished the first day with a nature tour and campout at the nature center.

Despite rainy conditions, paddlers gathered at Rogers Park in Sparta the second day to learn about local organizations doing environmental work in the area, with a Watershed Showcase organized by the Rogue River Watershed Partners. Later in the morning, paddlers launched in to Nash Creek and then traveled down the Rogue River finishing up at Camp Rockford, along the Rogue River off of Rector Road. That evening, expedition members were shuttled to downtown Rockford to enjoy food and drinks from local businesses. On the final day of the expedition, educational activities on birds, fish, and stream insects were presented to participants and the public at Camp Rockford.  Paddlers continued their journey on the Rogue River and stopped for a lunch presentation in Rockford from the Rockford Area Historical Society.   Participants then paddled all the way down to the Rogue River’s confluence to the Grand River, and finished the journey.  Expedition participants received a certificate and signed the Rogue River Expedition banner.

The Rogue River Expedition planning committee feels that we accomplished our goal of providing community outreach and drawing attention to the wonderful resources the Rogue River watershed provides.  An equally important goal that was reached was to bring attention to the river and the local communities that it flows through.  Thank you to our sponsors: the City of Rockford, Rogue River Expedition Planning Committee, Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited.  We’d also like to thank Friends of the Rogue River Expedition, volunteers, partners, and participants for making the Rogue River Expedition a success.

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Boogie and Ragtime piano sensation at Heritage Festival

 

ENT-Matthew-Ball-webFriday, August 1, 7 p.m.

 

Attorney turned Boogie, Blues, & Ragtime musician, Matthew Ball aka The Boogie Woogie Kid, will heat up the piano keys at The Montcalm Community College Barn Theater next Friday, August 1, at 7 p.m., with an all-American program of family piano favorites, from the swing era, for a finale celebration of the Heritage Festival!

With over 2.7 million YouTube views of his past performance and at home video footage, Ball has truly become a phenomenon, with descriptions of his performances like “Awesome!” “Crushing!” Fantastic!”

You won’t want to miss this special toe-tappin’ program of family piano fun featuring classics like Swanee River, Over the Rainbow, The Entertainer, In the Mood, Bumble Boogie and so many more!

The Barn Theater is located at 2800 College Drive
Sidney MI 48885.
Admission is $10 and tickets are available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. It will be a two-hour show, including intermission.

For more information, contact Karen Maxfield at 989-328-2111, Ext. 334, or by e-mail at Karen.maxfield@montcalm.edu.

Check out Matthew Ball’s website at www.boogiewoogiekid.com.

 

 

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Red Flannel Festival moves to Main Street

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The Red Flannel Festival has a new home at 18 S. Main Street, most recently the home of Take Two Game Shop. The RFF bought the building from Terry and Diane Bengtson on June 27. Bengtson ran his State Farm Insurance business from that location before he retired several years ago.

“Since 1969, the Bengtson’s have owned this building and a successful insurance business, and we are proud to continue their legacy of honesty and integrity,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, Festival President. “It meant a lot to us to receive such a warm welcome from our new neighbors!”

Andres explained that they decided to buy the building at 18 S. Main Street because they felt it would be better to be in the center of town. “The visibility will be great for selling souvenirs,” she said. “Our goal is to eventually have it open all the time.”

The Festival still owns the building at 21 E. Maple, which they bought in 2006, the former Bob’s Barbershop. The building is up for sale or lease. And for now, they will still hold their meetings there. “It was a great buy for us at the time, but we didn’t really need this big of a building,” she said.

Andres said that the Maple Street has been paid off for a year or two, and that they bought the new building on a land contract. She said the money would come out of the Festival’s operating expenses. “It’s a small monthly payment,” she noted.

The Festival headquarters will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. New additions to their shop include Red Flannel Festival coffee, and coming soon will be custom cookie cutters and cake pans made especially for the RFF.

See pages 14-15 for more business stories in our Business section.

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Local researcher honored at museum

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

 

For Betty Heiss, 91, doing genealogical research isn’t a job; it’s a passion. And on Wednesday, July 16, The Cedar Springs Historical Society honored Betty by naming their genealogical library after her.

“It’s such an honor,” shared Betty through her tears, after the board surprised her with a plaque reading “Betty L. Heiss Genealogical Library.”

“When we started here 20 years ago, all we had was a bookshelf with a couple of books and they weren’t even genealogical books,” recalled Sharon Jett. “Betty came in and asked if she could help, and she built this entire library over the last 20 years, and so it seemed appropriate to name it after her.”

They now have an extensive collection that Betty acquired a piece at a time—microfilm, microfiche, a civil war collection, census books, surname histories, county histories, phone books, all the school yearbooks, Cedar Springs Clipper newspapers, Cedar Springs Post newspapers, and much more. Betty said a fund was set up for the collection through the research she did. She was frugal with the money and shopped estate sales, and other low cost venues for items.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

Betty said that she got the genealogy bug when she was 12 years old. “My grandfather showed me a book that had been written about the Martin family (her family) and I knew I wanted to write a book about our family,” she explained.

She has now written two books, which can be bought at the museum, and helped countless people with their family research. “I liked being helpful to people. When I saw them happy, I was happy,” she explained. “It made me feel like I had done something worthwhile. “

Betty retired last year, but still comes in on Wednesdays to help finish up some of the things she was working on before she retired, such as making cards for the old library cabinet donated from the library. “I just don’t take work home anymore, “ she explained. That gives her more time to spend with her husband Melvin (Jack) Heiss. They will have been married 64 years in October.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

But Betty doesn’t feel her work is done yet. “I want to write another book—my memoirs,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.

We think she can do it.

The Post thanks Betty for her tireless dedication, and all the help she has given to others and us over the years. You deserve the honor!

The Cedar Springs Historical Museum is located in Morley Park, on Cedar Street, and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, and other days by appointment.

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Should you move turtle eggs?

*N-Turtle question Snapping turtle_2_mdWe had a question recently from a reader about a turtle nest he felt was in danger. Here is his email:

There is what I believe is a snapping turtle nest up against a hot top road that I walk on a daily basis. I only noticed it because an animal dug up and destroyed all the eggs the first year, which made me aware it was there. The second year the baby turtles hatched but the vegetation adjacent to the nest was so thick they stayed on the road and were all killed by cars. This year I know where the nest is and was wondering if it would be wise to carefully dig up the eggs and bring them home buried in a small pail of the same dirt they were in by the edge of the road? If I leave them where they are, I know with certainty that none of them will survive. If this is feasible then I could release them in a much safer environment once hatched. Please advise.

Thank you, Paul

We went to Ranger Steve and asked his advice. Here is his response.

“It will be dangerous to move them. Turning an egg will usually cause them to die. For some reason they are very fragile. I do not have a good solution but have a couple ideas.

1. Fence the road for a short distance to force the turtles to go a different direction.

2. Make a pathway the baby turtles can access away from the road.

Turtles like loose bare soil away from water to lay eggs. Near water they are even more vulnerable to raccoons, skunks, and other egg predators. Roadsides and trails are often selected for egg laying.

Raccoons and skunks have become over abundant and have made turtle survival difficult.”

We hope Ranger Steve’s suggestions help you protect these baby turtles!

 

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New library moving ahead

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If you noticed stakes on the property just northeast of the firebarn, it’s because the Cedar Springs Public Library board recently voted to put the new library on the east side of the property. Board Chair Earla Alber gave an update to the City Council on the new library Thursday evening.

The building will be 10,000 square feet.

Alber explained that she was the lone nay vote, because she thought the library would be better served on the rear (west) portion of the property. She said the board had been “bullied” into the decision.

Council member Bob Truesdale noted that the property was bought and donated to the city (where houses used to be along Main Street) for the library to be put on.

However, at the time, it was thought that the fire barn would be moved, and that has not yet happened.

Mayor Mark Fankhauser pointed out that the west side would not require as much work to prepare, and Alber said that the east side would require a lot of a fill, being so near the creek.

Alber said she thought the east property should be put back on the market and bring money back to the city.

Truesdale then asked her, “What would you tell the people who bought and donated the property for a library?” Alber commented that only the corner was bought privately (where the parking lot is going to be), and it would fit about four cars.

The library building committee was interviewing architects for the project this week.

 

 

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