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Special tribute to Alice Allen

By Lois Allen

I would like to extend a big old “thank you” to State Representative Mark Huizenga for his special tribute, as well as a birthday card and note that he personally sent to my mother, Alice Allen in honor of her 90th birthday. The State of Michigan Special Tribute was impressive and thoughtful to say the least. Framed and signed by both Representative Mark Huizenga of the Seventy-Fourth District and Peter McGregor, State Senator of the Twenty-Eighth District, it read, 

“Let It Be Known” that it is a genuine pleasure to extend special greetings to Alice Allen upon the occasion of her 90th birthday. We are grateful for this opportunity to join with her family and many friends to honor an individual who truly understands the beauty of life in its challenges and triumps.

Born on 07/18/1930, Alice Allen grew up in a world quite different in many ways from the one we know today. In the span of her lifetime, tremendous cultural, sociological, and technological changes have transformed our world. That Alice has lived and experienced life thoughout this period has given her insight, experience, and wisdom few of us can fully appreciate.

Alice Allen has richly blessed her community through her involvement with the Cedar Springs Post. As  a co-founder of the paper, Alice has dedicated an admirable proportion of her time to informing the public on important topics. Her commitment and virtuous character have set an example for all to follow.

Long ago, Charles Dickens made an observation on aging that often seems applicable to people like Alice, who have contributed a great deal to life around them. He said:

Father Time is not always a hard parent,

and, though he tarries for none of his

children, he often lays his hand lightly

on those who have used him well.

Surely, Alice breathes great meaning into this thought.

The One Hundredth Legislature

At Lansing

Saturday, July 18, 2020

She was proud to show me and I am truly grateful that you, as well as many others here in Cedar Springs, were able to put a smile on her face.

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School bond proposal passes; Meijer wins 3rd District in primary

By Judy Reed

In one of the closest contests in Tuesday’s primary, the Cedar Springs Public Schools bond proposal passed by only 20 votes. With 35.6 percent of registered voters taking part, the vote was 2,369 yes (50.21 percent), and 2,349 no (49.71 percent). The $68,000,000 bond proposal for school improvements is not expected to raise residents’ taxes. Instead, it will extend the District’s current tax levy of 7.0 mills through 2036.

US 3rd District

Peter Meijer

Peter Meijer was the overwhelming favorite in yesterday’s primary election among Republicans to see who would run in November for the US 3rd District seat being vacated by Rep. Justin Amash. Meijer won with a whopping 50.19 percent of the vote out of 94,194 votes. Following was Lynn Afendoulis with 26.10 percent; Tom Norton with 15.83; Joe Farrington with 4.21; and Emily Rafi with 3.68. Meijer will run against Democrat Hillary Scholten in November.

State 73rd District

In the 73rd District, Bryan Posthumus led in the Republican race to fill the seat previously held by Lynn Afendoulis. Posthumus had 45.93 percent of the vote, followed by John Inhulsen 28.9 percent, and Robert Regan 24.79 percent. Posthumus will run against Democrat Bill Saxton in November.

Mark Huizenga

State74th District

In the 74th District, incumbent Mark Huizenga took a commanding lead over fellow Republican Brock Story and won with 88.31 percent of the vote to Story’s 11.69 percent. Huizenga will run against Democrat Meagan Hintz in November.

Kent County Treasurer

Beth White

While there is often only one Democrat running for the seats at the county level, there were two in the Kent County Treasurer race. The race was close, with Beth White edging out Jose Reyna with 50.96 percent of the vote to Reyna’s 48.88 percent. Voter turnout was 30.99 percent. White will face off against republican Sen. Peter MacGregor in November, who is leaving office due to term limits.

Algoma Township

In Algoma Township, Kristina Bitely-Abrigo won 934 votes over fellow Republican Mary Donnelly-Milligan’s 766 votes in the race for treasurer. In the trustee race, seven Republicans vied for four spots. Top vote-getters were Gordon Pickerd (1,161), James Powell (969), Elizabeth Johnson (943), and Steve Rikkers (838). The other three were Bob Wilson (734), Tom Ungrey (712), and Erik Schoof (303). Voter turnout was 33.85 percent.

Courtland Township

In Courtland Township, five Republicans ran for the four trustee seats. Winners were Kimberly McIntyre (932); Mary Ann Andersen (911); Terry Bartels (889); and Sandra Frandsen (814). Michele Mojzuk received 762 votes. Voter turnout was 37.17 percent.

Nelson Township

In Nelson Township, Supervisor Robyn Britton grabbed 65.21 percent of the Republican vote over contender Glen Armstrong (34.40 percent). The vote was 581 to 307, with a 36.3 percent voter turnout.

In the Republican race for two trustee seats, Curtis DeJong (491 votes) and Dan George (295) came out on top. They were followed by Maureen Mahoney (274), Darcey Strpko (205), and Margaret Merritt (159).

A proposal on the ballot in Nelson Township to restore funding to the Nelson Township Kent District Library branch that was previously approved but reduced due to the Headlee amendment failed by 71 votes. The vote was 589 no to 518 yes. If it had passed, it would have restored an additional 0.1120 mill for township library purposes. This would have brought it back up to the previously approved permanent Nelson Township library millage of 0.5 mill ($0.50 per $1,000 of taxable value). 

Solon Township

Three candidates vied to compete for two trustee seats in the Republican race in Solon Township. Winning was Mark Hoskins, with 689 votes, and Jon Stout, with 537. Kyle Dee rounded out the voting with 427. Voter turnout was 33.11 percent.

Spencer Township

In Spencer Township, both millages for fire protection passed by a good margin. A renewal for fire protection passed 623 to 312; and a proposal to add .5 mill for fire equipment and apparatus passed 573 to 363. Voter turn out was 33.18 percent.

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Man takes own life before sentencing

Daniel Myslenski

By Judy Reed

A Coral man took his own life Thursday morning, July 30, the same morning he was due in court to be sentenced on charges related to the death of a man in a traffic crash in 2017.

Daniel Mark Myslenski, 31, was found dead following gunshots heard from inside a residence in Coral just before 8 a.m. on July 30. Two troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post and a Montcalm Co. Sheriff’s deputy were called to a residence on Coral Rd. near Main St. at approximately 7:45 a.m. at the request of a concerned family member. The family member requested police assist with checking the well-being of Myslenski after he made concerning statements prior to a scheduled court appearance for later in the morning.

Myslenski, a 2007 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, was charged in the traffic crash that killed Guy Petherbridge, 61, also of Coral on July 4, 2017. The crash occurred on Kendaville Rd, west of Bailey Rd, in Maple Valley Township. Police investigation showed that Guy Petherbridge had stopped his vehicle on the road after striking a deer. The car he was driving was then struck by an eastbound Ford truck traveling at a high rate of speed, which was driven by Myslenski. The impact caused the car to split in half and catch fire. Petherbridge suffered fatal injuries from the crash. Myslenski suffered minor injuries. 

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s office authorized a warrant for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and Reckless Driving Causing Death in January 2018. Myslenski eventually pleaded to attempted reckless driving causing death. His sentencing was delayed during the COVID-19 shutdown and scheduled for June 19. However, that was also delayed due to a suicide attempt by Myslenski and the new date of July 30 was scheduled.

When police arrived on scene, the family member allowed officers to enter a door in the garage area of the residence, and as officers began to enter the residence, two gunshots were heard from inside. The officers and family member retreated from the residence and to safety while summoning additional assistance as the man was believed to be armed. Officers did not return fire and were not injured. Additional MSP, Montcalm Co. Sheriff’s Dept., and EMS personnel arrived on scene to assist and secure the area, including MSP Emergency Support Team, Canine, and Bomb Squad personnel with specialized equipment.

Troopers were unable to establish communication with Myslenski following the two initial gunshots from inside the residence. Just after 11 a.m., a specialized MSP robot was deployed to enter the residence, at which time Myslenski was found deceased with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. There were no other injuries and no one else was inside the residence. After examining the scene following the incident, investigators do not believe Myslenski had fired at officers. The incident remains under investigation.

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Woman dies in three-vehicle crash

Cassie Burbank, 23, was killed Sunday, July 26th in a three-vehicle crash. Facebook photo.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post are investigating a three-vehicle traffic crash resulting in fatal injuries to a 23-year-old Sheridan woman. 

The crash occurred on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at approximately 12:06 p.m. on M-66 near Ruby Rd. in Montcalm County’s Sidney Township. A trooper traveling through the area drove up on the crash scene moments after it happened and immediately began to administer aid to the passengers of a minivan containing seven passengers, including five children.  

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2003 Pontiac minivan traveling northbound on M-66 was stopped and waiting to turn left before it was struck from behind by a 2009 Chevrolet Impala, also traveling northbound on M-66. The Pontiac minivan was pushed into the southbound lane of M-66 following the initial collision, then was struck by a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck traveling south on M-66.

The female passenger in the Pontiac minivan, Cassondra Jean Cheyenne Burbank, 23, of Sheridan, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Five children in the Pontiac minivan also suffered various injuries and were transported by both ambulance and Aero Med medical helicopter to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. The driver of the Pontiac minivan, a 23-year-old Sheridan man, suffered minor injuries and was treated on scene. 

The driver of the Silverado pickup, a 38-year-old Stanton man, along with his passengers, a 37-year-old Stanton man, and a 9-year-old male from Stanton, were treated for their injuries on scene. The female driver and only occupant of the Chevrolet Impala, a 20-year-old Perrinton woman, was not injured in the crash. The incident remains under investigation.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Sheridan Community Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, Aero Med, Bookwalter’s Towing and Recovery, MSP Aviation Unit, Montcalm County Victim’s Services and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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State police investigating fatal accident

Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post are investigating an accident resulting in fatal injuries to a 26-year-old male from Hubbardston, MI. The incident occurred at the Crystal Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at approximately 4:51 a.m. in Montcalm County’s Crystal Township.  

Preliminary investigation revealed three occupants were riding in the open back of a SUV passenger vehicle in a public area of the Crystal Motor Speedway before being ejected from the vehicle as it accelerated. A 26-year-old Hubbardston man, identified as Alex Richards, died as a result of injuries sustained after falling from the vehicle. A 26-year-old Vestaburg man also suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing by Aero Med medical helicopter. The third occupant ejected, a 25-year-old Sheridan woman, was not injured. 

The driver of the vehicle, a 30-year-old Ionia man, was arrested following the incident for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and lodged at the Montcalm County Jail pending arraignment. A 30-year-old Ionia woman riding in the front passenger seat of the vehicle was not injured.  The incident remains under investigation.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Crystal Twp. Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, Aero Med and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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Big Rapids man held on kidnapping and assault charges

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post arrested a 30-year-old Big Rapids man on July 23, 2020 in connection with an investigation into kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in Mecosta County, Austin Township.

On July 23, 2020 Troopers started an investigation into the report of an adult female being sexually assaulted by an adult male subject. Troopers determined sexual assaults on the female had taken place at two different residences over a two-day period. The victim was allegedly held against her will, threatened with a weapon, and sexually assaulted.

After further investigation into the reported crimes, the Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office issued a three-count felony warrant for the male suspect which included Kidnapping, Criminal Sexual Conduct -1st degree, and Criminal Sexual Conduct-3rd degree.

The suspect was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

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School sports to start next week

From CS Athletic Director John Norton

Cedar Springs High School Fall Sports start the week of August 10.  All the tryout information you need—times, locations, etc. can be found on the school website by going to: http://www.csredhawks.org/Departments/Athletics/index.html 

Or just go to www.csredhawks.org and follow the link from the home page.

Remember, if you have a valid physical from sports last year, you do not need another one, but you must complete a form which is available at the website.

All highs school sports will begin on Wednesday, August 12, except for Football which will begin Monday, August 10 at 9 a.m. at Red Hawk stadium.

Middle school sports will begin later in August, and contact information and those days can be found at this website as well. If you have any questions, or you are new to the District, please email the athletic director at john.norton@csredhawks.org

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MDOT resurfacing 17 Mile, causing traffic delays

If you’ve been caught in traffic on 17 Mile west of Cedar Springs, you may want to avoid traveling in that direction for a while. The Michigan Department of Transportation began road construction on that stretch of 17 Mile Rd on Monday, August 3.

The $2.07 million project will consist of cold milling and resurfacing 17 Mile (M-46) from US131 all the way to M-37 (9.43 miles). There will be single lane closures while they maintain two-way traffic with flag control during daylight hours.

The project is expected to be completed by September 25.

According to MDOT, “the pavement replacement will enhance the safety and ride quality on M-46 while extending the life expectancy of the roadway.” 

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Chair Bolter announces $2 Million for Kent County Schools “Get back to School” assistance

Mandy Bolter

Final approval of COVID Relief Subcommittee funding scheduled for August 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (July 30, 2020) – Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter announced that the Kent County COVID Relief Subcommittee unanimously approved a new $2 million allocation to be used by Kent County schools for the purchase of approved PPE to assist schools in dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The next step will be consideration and approval by the Finance Committee and then the full Board of Commissioners at its next meeting on August 27. The Kent County COVID Relief Subcommittee approved the funding by a vote of 7-0 at its meeting on July 23. Once given final approval, the new school PPE funding would be allocated from the $115 million federal CARES Act grant sent to Kent County earlier this year. COVID Relief Subcommittee members include Commissioners Bolter, Stan Stek, Diane Jones, Emily Brieve, Roger Morgan, Jim Talen, Phil Skaggs, and Robert Womack. 

“As schools consider how to reopen this fall, the safety and mental health of our children are the primary concerns of every parent I know,” said Bolter. “By allocating this funding, we can be part of the solution to keep our kids and teachers as safe as possible and help to bring back some normalcy in this crazy time.” 

A distribution formula and approved list of PPE materials will be approved at the August 27 full County board meeting for all schools in Kent County. The Kent County Board of Commissioners has previously allocated CARES funding for other programs to assist communities during the coronavirus pandemic, including $25 million for the Kent County Small Business Recovery Program, shelter assistance, non-profit assistance, a business PPE program and more.

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Funeral info for Tpr. Caleb Starr

Tpr. Caleb Starr

From the Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police is grateful for the outpouring of support and many messages of condolences that we have received from the public safety community and general public. While the MSP desires nothing more than to lay Trooper Starr to rest with the traditional formality of a full public law enforcement funeral that honors both him and his family, in the interest of health and safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the visitation, memorial service and graveside service will be private events with limited attendance. 

For this reason, we are asking those who wish to pay their respects to the Starr family to do so virtually by leaving a message at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/mason-mi/caleb-starr-9294020.

On Saturday, August 8, law enforcement agencies with marked patrol vehicles are invited to participate in a patrol vehicle tribute lining the funeral processional route. Officers participating in the patrol vehicle tribute shall report to the Ingham County Fairgrounds, 700 East Ash Street in Mason by 9 a.m. Officers are asked to remain in their vehicles, and a briefing via the public-address system will be held at 9:30 a.m., with staging for the tribute to begin at 10 a.m.  

Law enforcement agencies are also welcome to send a video message, in lieu of attendance, for compilation into a tribute video for Trooper Starr’s family. Interested law enforcement agencies should email MSP Public Affairs at MSPPublicAffairs@michigan.gov for further instructions.

Make a Donation to the Starr Family
Tax deductible donations to support the Starr family are being accepted by the Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund (MSTAF), managed by the Michigan State Police Troopers Association. Donations can be mailed to MSPTA or made online at http://www.mspta.net/mstaf/donations/. Please indicate the donation is in support of the Starr family.

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