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From Spartan to Sparta, Boys Cross Country races with heart

The Red Hawk boys cross country teams split competitions on Friday, September 17, with one group traveling to Michigan State University while the rest of the team took on West Michigan rivals in Sparta. 

Like many Cedar Springs students and athletes, the runners traveled with heavy hearts after the passing of Kevin Martens, a middle school teacher and track coach. Martens had played a pivotal role in the development of many current team members. 

At the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, the competing Red Hawks found themselves in perhaps the largest-scale race since the 2019 season. Leading the pack once again was Espen Wood with a time of 18:12. Seniors Gabe White and Carter Moleski finished within five seconds of each other to break into the top 100 of the race. Fellow senior Gabe Minnich battled for a finishing time of 19:01, while freshman Jack Sherburn rounded out scoring for the Red Hawks. The team finished 19th overall.

“One thing I know about our boys is that effort has never been an issue,” said head coach Justin Jones. “This time around we didn’t run very efficiently and used most of our gas in the first mile. Our boys walked away better runners because of it. Sometimes ‘bad’ races can be a gift in disguise.” 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the state, the remaining Red Hawks toed the line at the annual Sparta Invitational. Similar to East Lansing, the heat was apparent in West Michigan, but the runners pressed on. Sophomores Eli Kleynenberg and Zach Reed crossed the line in 12th and 13th respectively, while freshman Quinton Bell earned a top-20 spot. 

Next up is the Cedar Springs Invitational, hosted at the Cedar View elementary course on September 25. The Red Hawks will be seeking fast times on familiar territory. 

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Country superstar Blake Shelton celebrates local “heroes” in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, MI (September 20) – Inspired by the name and mission of his tour, award-winning entertainer Blake Shelton made it his goal to identify a special community member on each stop of the Friends and Heroes 2021 run. As he prepares to take the stage at Van Andel Arena on September 30, 2021, Shelton is celebrating local “heroes” Cari Steensma and Kameron Gaffney. The couple, Cari & Kameron, are both serving in the U.S. Army National Guard military police and are set to be deployed the day after the concert (October 1, 2021) for one year.

Shelton, with the assistance of Van Andel Arena, were able to identify Cari & Kameron based on the nomination of a friend and local community member. Cari’s family will also be attending the show to celebrate the couple’s heroism on their last night in town. Cari & Kameron will receive a prize pack that includes front row tickets for Blake Shelton’s Friends and Heroes 2021 tour date at Van Andel Arena on September 30, 2021.

The cross-country run will welcome very special guest Lindsay Ell, with special appearances by Martina McBride, Tracy Byrd and John Anderson. Rescheduled dates from the 2020 run will honor previously purchased tickets, and additional tickets are currently on sale. Visit https://www.blakeshelton.com/ for links to buy. Friends and Heroes 2021 will abide by all local and venue COVID-19 policies.

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Recalls filed against Sand Lake trustees

By Judy Reed

Almost a year after the last election, war is still waging between the members voted off the Village of Sand Lake board and those elected to replace them.

Former Village trustee Glen Baker has filed recall petitions against current trustees Marcia Helton and Stacy Rudicil. On September 7, the Kent County Elections Commission ruled that the language on the petitions is “factual in nature and of sufficient clarity” to approve. 

If Baker gets enough signatures to make it on to next spring’s ballot, voters will have to decide if the statements are valid. “Factualness does not necessarily mean true,” explained Kent County Elections Director Gerrid Uzarski.

Baker’s reasoning for recalling Helton is as follows: “On January 18, 2021, the governing body of the Village of Sand Lake voted to pay the Kent County Drain Commission special assessment on a 10 year payment plan so as to manage its cash flow. Contrary to the vote of the governing body, in its management of cash its affairs, Marcia Helton, consciously disregarded the official action by preparing and signing a check for payment in full ($87,253.18) of the special assessment.

Helton had this to say: “In the February meeting minutes you will find the council voted to pay the Kent County Drain Commission bill to save the Village quite a bit of interest and the Village had the money to pay. The savings was over $15,000. I voted to pay the bill to save the Village interest.”

The Post checked the minutes from their February 15 meeting, and they show that the council did vote to pay the Drain Commission the full amount in one single payment to save interest. The vote was 5-1, with Rachel Gokey voting no. The check shows it was cut the next day. So according to the minutes, Helton was following what the board voted to do when she paid the check and did not go against their wishes. 

The recall petition against Rudicil reads: “On March 25, 2021, Village Trustee Stacy Rudicil voted to terminate the DPW Supervisor’s employment contract, which created instability in the maintenance and distribution of the Village of Sand Lake’s water system. Her vote resulted in a breach of contract claim filed by the former Supervisor.”

Rudicil had this to say about the reason given for her recall: “I, along with other members of the Village Council, received a report from the Village Attorney that the former DPW Director’s contract with the former Village Council was not authorized by law. Based on that, and the repeated actions of the former DPW Director, his employment with the Village was terminated. The former DPW Director’s lawsuit against the Village is groundless.”

The Post asked Village President Mollie Doerr about the advice from their Village attorney regarding the former DPW Director’s contract. She confirmed Rudicil’s statement. “This contract was deemed voidable by the village attorney and is still under review in a current litigation,” she explained. She added that everyone on the board participated in the vote, not just Rudicil.

“Unfortunately, Marcia and Stacy have found themselves as the only council members of the Village of Sand Lake that are eligible for recall at this moment. Marcia and Stacy have both been fantastic additions to the Village Council and are respected in the community in their selfless giving to village events and community service.

“It does appear as though this previous trustee (Baker) is unhappy with last November’s election results. It is a shame that the time of election officials of Kent County is being wasted at the expense of taxpayers for these ridiculous accusations.”

The petition language is valid for 180 days after the determination. Once circulated, all signatures must be collected within 60 days of each other in order to be valid. Signatures must be filed by January 28, 2022 in order to qualify for the May 2022 Ballot.

Village trustee Rachel Gokey is also facing recall, and will be on the November 2, running against Jack Christensen for her seat.

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Red Flannel Festival countdown

By Judy Reed

The Red Flannel Festival is set to bring back the fun in 2021! Bringing back the fun is an appropriate them for this year’s festival since it was canceled in 2020 (due to COVID-19) for the first time since World War II.

They are bringing back the events we know and love and included something new—a Red Hawk Reunion in the Grand Lodge tent after Saturday’s parade.

“The Red Flannel Festival Board is so excited that we are able to have the event this year,” said Deyman.

She gave us some highlights of the 2021 Red Flannel Festival:

*Cindy Patin will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal.

*This year only, the Prince and Princess Contest will have 2 sets.  One for the 2020 year and one for the 2021. The will crown both a kindergarten and first grade prince and princess. The pageant is September 22 at the Kent Theatre.

*The Queen Scholarship Pageant will be held at the Springs Church on September 25. There will be a food truck in the parking lot this year with a portion of the proceeds going to the scholarship fund. 

*There is a 5/10 K Run, Chili Cookoff, Kid Day event, and Bed Races on Saturday, September 25.

*The Lumberjack Show is back again this year.  Provided by Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows from Mackinaw City, Michigan.

*Also back is the Pie Eating Contest.

*The Grand Lodge will be located in the Heart of Cedar Springs this year.

*The Grand Parade and the Arts and Craft Show are a family favorite.

*There will be wristbands again on Saturday, for the Carnival.

*A new event this year is the “Red Hawk Reunion” to be held in the Grand Lodge on Saturday from 5-7pm. 

Click here for more details, and watch for the entire Red Flannel schedule in our paper next week.

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Direct Aesthetics

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered where those crow’s feet or laugh lines came from? Have hours in the sun played havoc with your complexion? Do you feel like your face could use a fresh start? Then it might be time for a free consultation at Direct Aesthetics.

Direct Aesthetics, located at 65 E. Bridge Street in Rockford, is owned by Valeri Rusco, PA-C, a physician assistant with 15 years of experience in aesthetics, orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine, and addiction medicine.

Rusco offers an array of professional aesthetic services, in a welcoming environment. Services include Botox, Dysport, Restylane/Juvederm (dermal fillers for lips, cheeks, etc.), VI Peel, dermaplaning, etc. She also offers a line of award-winning medical grade skin care products from Skinbetter, which are only available through medical offices. 

Would you like to take care of aesthetics and fashion at the same time? The business adjoins LA Miller Boutique, and together they also offer some joint events, such as Botox and shopping! 

Direct Aesthetics is patient centered and offers both walk-ins and appointments. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and alternate appointment times are available if needed.

Check out Direct Aesthetics and see what they can do for you today! Give them a call at (269) 998-5992.

This is a paid advertisement

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CTA remembers 9/11 heroes on Patriot Day

Creative Technologies Academy helped students to honor our 9/11 heroes. Courtesy photo.

People in the United States and around the world recently honored and remembered the heroes of 9/11, on the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 

Last week, Creative Technologies Academy, located on Pine Street, helped their students honor those who lost their lives, and those who helped others, on that tragic day.

“At CTA we are committed to changing the world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership,” said Autumn Mattson, Superintendent, of CTA.  “As a community we gathered to remember Patriot Day and the tragic events that took place on 9/11/2001.

“Each year as Patriot Day approaches, I find myself pondering how we can appropriately honor the day as a community of educators,” continued Mattson. “The tragedy that occurred that day in 2001 is beyond comprehension and a day that our students only remember through history class. We recognize that we cannot spend the day recounting the graphic details of those events, however, we believe that we can continue to honor the lives lost, and the countless brave heroes of that day.”

Creative Technologies Academy (CTA) is a preschool through grade twelve community of learners. CTA is a public school of choice for students and families in west Michigan offering academic courses with built in character education, small class sizes, technology, fine arts and athletic programs.  

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Memorial for Axel

This is a reminder that the Kent County Sheriff’s Office will be having a memorial K9 Axel this Saturday, September 18, at 11 a.m. at Cedar Springs High School’s Red Hawk Stadium.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office lost their prized K9 the last weekend in August, when Axel suffered a medical emergency while searching for a suspect. He was rushed to the Animal Hospital, where he later died. The KCSO and our local community has grieved his loss, as he was well-known here.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has been overwhelmed by the show of support that they have received, and posted the following notice on their Facebook page:

“The love and support that has been shown to Deputy Stuart, our K9 Unit, and the entire #KCSOFamily since we lost K9 Axel has left us speechless. The cards, the cookies, the messages, the drawings, and more – they hold a very special place in our hearts, and we are so appreciative of them. We truly cannot thank you enough, Kent County and beyond.”

They are inviting everyone to attend a public memorial for K9 Axel on Saturday, September 18, at 11:00 a.m. at Cedar Springs High School’s Red Hawk Stadium located at 204 E Muskegon St N.E. 

“Please join us in honoring K9 Axel and his service to the residents of Kent County,” they said.

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Mobile food pantry

If you need a little extra food to help you get by this month, you will want to check out the mobile food pantry coming to Cedar Springs Public School’s Hilltop Administration building’s south (lower) parking lot on the third Monday of each month. The next one will be this next Monday, September 20, at 5 p.m. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. 

Feeding America offers fresh produce (usually local and seasonal), dairy products. and other food and grocery products. You may get foods such as asparagus, cabbage, potatoes, onions, apples, breads, pastries, milk and craisins.  

There are no requirements to receive the food, other than the person must deem they are in need. No proof of income is required. 

Park and walk up to the tables. This allows you to pick items that your family will use. Please bring your own bags/boxes.

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Lakeview man injured in rollover crash

A Lakeview man was injured in this rollover crash on US131 Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

A 33-year-old man was injured on Monday evening, September 13, when he lost control of his vehicle on US131.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 7:18 p.m. on northbound US131, near Edgar Rd, in Reynolds Township. They were dispatched to a report of a single vehicle crash with an ejected driver who was injured. 

The investigation revealed that the involved vehicle had been northbound on US131 when the vehicle had lost control and exited the roadway causing the vehicle to roll over. The vehicle rolled multiple times and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.
The driver, a 33-year-old man from Lakeview, sustained head injuries and injuries to this arms and legs. He was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids by Mecosta County Emergency Medical Services.
Police said speed and weather are believed to be factors in the crash. He was not wearing a seatbelt, which they believe led him to be ejected from the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing. 

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by Montcalm County EMS, Mecosta County EMS, the Howard City Fire Department, and the Michigan State Police.

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at new Veterans Home in Grand Rapids

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Veteran Homes (MVH) and the Michigan Veterans Facility Authority (MVFA) Board of Directors held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly-constructed Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids at 12:00 p.m. on September 2, 2021, at 2950 Monroe Avenue, NE, Grand Rapids.

The ribbon cutting ceremony included remarks by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Anne Zerbe, executive director of MVH, Dave Henry, chairman of the board for the MVFA and Robert Troost, a veteran and resident member at the Home. In addition to the remarks being offered, the program included a posting of the colors led by the Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids Member Color Guard and music by the Belmont Armory 126th Army Band.

“This new home is the result of a years-long, bipartisan effort to uphold our commitment to our veterans and their families in Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The new Grand Rapids Home was designed to provide comfort and well-deserved peace of mind for the men and women who put their lives on the line for all of us. It will give 128 veterans a place to call home and further our ongoing efforts to modernize state-run veterans homes and provide state-of-the-art skilled nursing care to those who served. I look forward to working with the legislature, veterans’ organizations, and our national partners to use the massive influx of federal resources we have to move dirt on more projects like today’s as soon as possible.”

“The state has been serving veterans right here on this campus since the conclusion of the Civil War,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “As we embark on this new chapter, we can confidently say that our legacy of serving those who have served will continue for many years to come.”

“As we cut the ribbon on this new Home, we recognize all the hard work and dedication that was put into this ambitious modernization effort over the past six years,” said Anne Zerbe, executive director of MVH. “Now that we have this new Home for our veterans here in Grand Rapids, we must continue to move forward with our work of expanding access to Homes like this across the state.”

“I have been anxiously awaiting the completion of the new Home,” said Robert Troost, a veteran and resident member at the Home. “I am very excited to join my friends for a fresh start in a place that truly feels like a home instead of an institution.”

At a total project cost of $62.9 million, with $40.9 million provided through a federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Construction Grant Program, construction of the Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids began in April 2019 and occupies 20 acres and totals 152,784 square feet. The state-of-the-art Home consists of four unique neighborhood buildings and a community center. The neighborhood buildings collectively house 128 private resident rooms with ensuite baths and feature shared living and dining spaces. The adjacent community center is the centerpiece of the Home and features therapeutic facilities for behavioral, occupational, physical and group therapy, an exam room, chapel, barbershop and salon, café bistro and gift shop. Residents will also have access to an adjacent outdoor courtyard and memorial garden to observe the natural surroundings the campus has to offer.

The Christman Company was selected as the construction manager for the project and site construction began in April 2019. The project directly supported veterans and veteran-owned business through contracts and employment. Over the course of construction, 17 veterans were employed on the project.

If you are interested in learning more information about the new Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids, or applying for admission, please call 616-345-6110.

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