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Police investigate homicide near Sand Lake

Police at the scene of a homicide in Ensley Township. Photo courtesy of woodtv.com.

Police at the scene of a homicide in Ensley Township. Photo courtesy of woodtv.com.

Police are investigating the death of an Ensley Township man last week as a homicide.

Firefighters responded to a garage fire on 128th Street, near Balsam, last Wednesday, May 13. A neighbor reportedly asked firefighters to check on some neighbors, and when they did, they found a man and a woman inside the home, and apparently deceased.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Hart Post responded to the scene, and after making the scene safe, determined that the woman, Glenna Duram, 46, was seriously injured, but still breathing. She was transferred to the hospital and is still under medical care.

The man, Martin Duram, 45, was deceased.

Police reported that both had suffered gunshot wounds, and that the man would be examined during an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact D/Sgt. David Johnson, of the MSP Hart Post, at 231-873-2171.

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Lest we forget

This Civil War monument stands in Elmwood Cemetery. Post photo by J. Reed.

This Civil War monument stands in Elmwood Cemetery. Post photo by J. Reed.

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those that gave their lives while defending our country. It’s also a day to remember all those that have served and are now deceased. Inside this issue are the names of veterans buried in area cemeteries, and we honor them with this issue of The Cedar Springs Post, (click here to download). If you know of a veteran’s name that is missing from the list, please let us know and we’ll add them for next year.

There will be several memorial activities and ceremonies taking place this weekend that residents are encouraged to take part in:

The Cedar Springs Historical Society will hold its 15th annual Memorial Cemetery Walk on Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m. to honor veterans of all wars. This year’s veterans will be David Richmond, War of 1812; George Russell, Civil War; Cecil Dorman, World War I; Herold Stark, World War II; Thomas L Marsh, Korea; Michael Woodhull, Vietnam. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist in the presentation. Meet in the museum in Morley Park at 1:30  p.m. Transportation will be provided to Elmwood Cemetery and back to the museum for refreshments. If it rains, the event will be held in the museum. In case of severe weather warnings, the event will be canceled.

The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 in Cedar Springs will hold their annual Memorial Day program on Monday, May 25. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetery at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at 10:45 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at 11:30 a.m. In case of bad weather, services will be held only in the American Legion Hall at 9 a.m. Lt/Col. Tom Noreen will be the speaker.

The Sand Lake/Cedar Springs Tri-Corner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7912 will have ceremonies on Monday, May 25. They will be at the VFW Post in Sand Lake at 10:30 a.m., and at Pierson Cemetery at 11 a.m. Rain or shine.

Algoma Township will hold their service on Monday, May 25, at their Veteran’s Memorial Park at the Algoma Township Cemetery at 10515 Grange Ave., (south of 13 Mile), at 1:00 p.m. The service will include the 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F reenactment group 21-gun salute, Taps, Algoma Baptist Church Choir, and two songs from Dana C. Smith, singer and songwriter, singing “The Cost of Freedom,” and “For those who gave their all.” Refreshments will be served by the Algoma Township Historical Society following the ceremony.

Hospice of Michigan will travel to Metron of Cedar Springs on Wednesday, May 27, and hold a pinning ceremony from 2:30 to 4 p.m. They will recognize three veterans from WWII during this ceremony. They will have 6 AMVETS present who will participate in a POW/MIA ceremony.

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North Country Trail to travel through area


By Judy Reed

The North Country Trail, one of 11 National Scenic Trails, is one step closer to passing through the Cedar Springs and Solon Township areas, and Cedar Springs is one step closer to becoming a National Trail Town.

Mark Weaver, of the National Park Service, and Superintendent of the North Country Trail, presented a memo of understanding to representatives from the two communities Tuesday evening, at the Community Building Development Team meeting. Mayor Jerry Hall received it for Cedar Springs and passed it on to City Manager Thad Taylor, and Supervisor Bob Ellick received it for Solon Township.

The North Country Trail stretches 4,600 miles, across seven states, from the New York/Vermont state line, to North Dakota. It is the longest of the 11 trails.

From left to right: Mark Weaver (Superintendent of the North Country Trail), Luke Jordan (intern with the National Park Service who has actually hiked the entire trail), Andrea Ketchmark (NCTA In Lowell), Charles Vannette (president West MI Chapter NCTA). Photo by Tom Noreen.

From left to right: Mark Weaver (Superintendent of the North Country Trail), Luke Jordan (intern with the National Park Service who has actually hiked the entire trail), Andrea Ketchmark (NCTA In Lowell), Charles Vannette (president West MI Chapter NCTA). Photo by Tom Noreen.

The Community Building Development Team began working with the North County Trail Association and National Park Service last summer on the possibility that it could come through the area, and has outlined possible routes.

Weaver explained that the National Park Service would be the arm responsible for planning the trail by doing the optimum location review. “We will inventory all the cool stuff in the area and start gathering information on the 30th,” he said, referring to the National Trail Celebration Day at Long Lake Park, on May 30, from noon to 4 p.m., where residents can give feedback on what cool and interesting features in the area that people should see. There will also be maps available. (More info on that at the end of story.)

After the celebration, they will begin to sift through the feedback they get, and figure out which sites would best be featured on the trail.

“We look at the scenic, cultural and historical qualities of an area, and try to connect that in as many ways as possible,” explained Weaver. “The North Country Trail is a collection of stories. There may be a lot of cool sites that have nothing to do with the people and their history, or their culture. We are telling the story of your community.”

He said they would then look at all the issues, come up with three alternate routes, and then decide on the best one. And just because certain cool features in the area might not make the cut, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be accessed by a loop off the trail. “This could help your community identify other places for trails. Loops create of richness of experience,” he explained.

Weaver noted that the White Pine Trail would be considered, along with others in the area, and that they would not strong arm anyone into selling property. “We work with willing sellers and public lands,” he said. “The lines on the map are a guide; it sets the general direction for the way we are going. It sets the stage, rather than writes the script.” He also promised that at every milestone in the planning process, they would come back to the community. He hopes that they will have the plan completed this summer.

Also on hand was Luke Jordan, an intern with the National Park Service, who has walked all 4,600 miles of the trail; Andrea Ketchmark, of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) in Lowell, and Charles Vannette, President of the West Michigan Chapter of the NCTA. The NCTA is responsible for maintaining the trail, and designating the National Trail Towns. A Trail Town is a community through which the North Country Trail passes that supports hikers with services, promotes the Trail to its citizens and embraces the Trail as a resource to be protected and celebrated.

“We are definitely committed to Cedar Springs being a North Country Trail Town,” said Ketchmark. She later noted that the only way to get the trail done is by communities being involved, and that with the determination she saw in that room Tuesday night, it wouldn’t be a problem.

To give your input and to have some fun, come out to the National Trails Day Celebration at Long Lake Park in the pavilion, 13747 Krauskopf NE, Sparta (south off 17 Mile Road), from noon to 4 p.m. There will be hot dogs, ice cream, a petting zoo, games, music, popcorn, face painting, identification of medicinal plants, history of logging in Northern Kent County, a guided hike on the North Country Trail at 3 p.m., and a ham radio demonstration.

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The Post travels to Sudan


Erika Bauer and her father, Tim Bauer, recently returned from a two-week missions trip to South Sudan. They went with a team from Partners In Compassionate Care (PCC), who built a hospital in Werkok, South Sudan. Erika, an RN who works in the ICU department at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, assisted in the Memorial Christian Hospital surgeries and patient care. Tim spent his time ministering in various ways to the local people. It was a great learning experience for both in a very harsh environment that has witnessed much bloodshed in recent years.

South Sudan became a nation in July, 2011 after years of civil war. The area they went to is still unstable where hostilities between tribes can flare up at any moment. Independence from the north has brought new challenges in maintaining unity within their society. Most Americans have become familiar with South Sudan through a group of young men known as the Lost Boys (young women were also in this group). The director of PCC, Dave Bowman, took five of these young men into his home in Rockford in 2001. A movie called “The Good Lie” was taken from his story. It describes the incredible journey these young people were forced to make after armies from the north destroyed their villages during civil war battles, causing them to flee for their lives. Some were relocated to America. Now that they have grown up, some are taking their newfound skills and degrees back to their homeland to help build a better society. South Sudan needs these young people who are no longer the lost boys, but rather the men of hope for a new nation.

Thanks, Erika and Tim, 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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Clean air action display at City Hall

A clean air action display will be at Cedar Springs City Hall next week.

A clean air action display will be at Cedar Springs City Hall next week.

Interested in learning about ways you can keep the air cleaner, save money, and protect the health of your loved ones this summer? Then please stop by Cedar Springs City Hall at the corner of Main and Ash Streets, between Tuesday, May 26, and Monday, June 1, and look for the Clean Air Action display.

The display includes information about ozone and fine particulate matter, two pollutants that, when elevated, can trigger Clean Air Action Days. Clean Air Action Days are forecast when air pollution is expected to reach or exceed levels where those who are sensitive to it (children, the elderly, those with heart and lung disease, and those who are active outdoors) may start to experience symptoms.

In West Michigan, air quality meteorologists most often forecast Clean Air Action Days due to high ozone—or smog—levels, which increase on hot, humid, sunny days with little breeze. On those days, the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition asks that the public voluntarily refrain from or delay pollution-producing activities such as mowing lawns and refueling cars. We also encourage the public to carpool, ride the bus (the Rapid offers free bus rides on Action Days), and avoid idling. If you’re interested in taking home information about the Clean Air Action program, feel free to grab a tip card or one of our promotional freebies, which includes our web address and the number for the Clean Air Action hotline.

If you miss the Clean Air Action display at the City of Cedar Springs, it will also be making several appearances at Whitecaps games this summer, as well as other local events, and please watch for our TV commercial or listen for our jingle on the radio. For more information about the Clean Air Action program, please visit our website at www.wmcac.org.

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Michigan celebrates 15 years of life-saving seat belt law 


N-Click-it-or-ticketClick it or ticket effort seeks to boost seat belt use

For the first time, federally funded seat belt enforcement efforts will take place in all 83 Michigan counties to help jump start an increase in seat belt use and reduce traffic deaths and injuries.  Starting May 18 through May 31, police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will conduct stepped up seat belt enforcement as part of the annual Click It Or Ticket campaign.

The enhanced effort coincides with the 15th year since Michigan adopted a law allowing law enforcement officers to stop motorists for not being buckled up.  According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2,659 lives have been saved since the law began in 2000, as a result of substantially higher belt use.  States with primary enforcement laws have higher rates of seat belt use.

“The life-saving properties of a seat belt are well established yet some motorists continue to risk more than a $65 ticket by not buckling up,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director.  “To help promote seat belt use, law enforcement officers will conduct dedicated seat belt enforcement in every corner of the state.”

Research shows when seat belts are used properly, the risk of being killed in a crash is reduced by nearly 45 percent. However the state’s seat belt use rate has fallen in recent years from a high of 98 percent in 2009 to 93 percent last year.  Every 1 percent increase in belt use results in approximately 10 fewer traffic deaths and 130 fewer injuries.

During last year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement, 7,767 seat belt and car seat citations were issued. Twenty people were killed in traffic crashes during the 2014 Memorial Day holiday.  Of those, seven were motorcyclists and nine were vehicle occupants, one of whom was not wearing a seat belt.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

OHSP coordinates the Click It Or Ticket effort.  Grant-funded seat belt enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

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Weekly fishing tip 


Taking great catch-and-release photos

Are you an avid catch-and-release angler? Do you like to take photos of the fish you catch, prior to returning them to the water? Do you know the safest way to take these photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day?

1. Wet your hands before you handle the fish—that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (aka slime) the fish has coating their body.

2. Remember a fish cannot breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot.

3. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water—not on a hard surface.

4. While holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills.

5. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you.

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Boys track OK Bronze champions

The Red Hawk boys track team won the OK Bronze Championship last Friday. Courtesy photo.

The Red Hawk boys track team won the OK Bronze Championship last Friday. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks boys track and field team took home the 2015 OK Bronze Conference Championship last week. After securing a number one seed during the dual season by going 5-0, the Hawks defeated the league last Friday at Forest Hills Northern. Final scoring was: Cedar Springs 130.50, Greenville 105.50, FHN 80.75, FHE 80.25, Northview 76 and Wyoming 50. This is their fifth conference title since 2000.

Leading the way for the Hawks was senior Austin Sargent, with a first in the 1600m, 800m, and 3200m runs, and he anchored the winning 4x800m relay team. The other three members of the relay team included senior Justin Jones and juniors Remington Sawade and Brandon Harthorn. Senior MavRick Cotten won both hurdle events, while Sawade was champion in the pole vault.

Earning All-Conference were: Sargent, Cotten, Jones, Sawade, Harthorn and sophomore hurdler Alex Douglas.

Other teammates that captured necessary points were Caden Burrows and Jaron Spencer in the shot put; Mike VanAssen and Brandon Sawade in the pole vault; Nikc Jackson and Taylor VanDyke in the high jump; Dallas Mora in the 3200m run; Jones in the 800m run; Cotten in the long jump; Douglas in both hurdle events; the 4x200m relay team of Jacob Hooker, Paul Mead, Lane Gott and John Todd; the 4x100m relay team of Gott, Austin Basso, Todd and Cotton; and the 4x400m relay team of Gott, Todd, R. Sawade and Jones.

“We struggled out of the gate in the field events. That is typically an area that we are strong at,” commented Coach Jeff Myers. “We didn’t earn the places and points that we expected. Yet, we didn’t panic, and got after it in the hurdles, relays and distance events. Many athletes set personal bests in 14 of the 17 events. All four relays ran their best times of the year.That’s what we focus on here, ‘What can we do to better the team?’ We don’t worry about what the competition is trying to do,” he added.

This week, the Hawks host the JV Conference meet before heading to GR Houseman Field and competing at the MHSAA regional meet.

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Council approves easement for brewery


By Judy Reed

Construction is underway again on the Cedar Springs Brewing Company, at 95 N. Main, after the Cedar Springs City Council approved a right-of-way easement last Thursday, May 7, allowing them to move the building two feet to the north.

Excavation of the site was started two weeks ago, and temporarily halted, when they discovered that the building next door, Liquor Hut, did not have a foundation, and they could not construct their building with a zero lot line without possibly damaging that one. The Liquor Hut building was built in 1900, and it’s unknown whether it was built on a slab, or if there is foundation under other parts of the building.

City Manager Thad Taylor told the Council that the most feasible plan was to move the proposed construction two feet to the north, on the city-owned property (where the sidewalk is.) They approved the easement 6-0.

Owner Dave Ringler said there will still be parking, and they are still looking at a late summer/early fall opening.

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City and Red Flannel Festival work on agreement


N-red-flannel-logoBy Judy Reed

Will Cedar Springs be known once again as the Red Flannel Town? If an agreement between the City and the Red Flannel Festival is approved, the City could once again use that nickname at no charge.

A City committee made up of Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley, and Councilors Dan Clark and Molly Nixon, met with Red Flannel President Michele Tracy and her committee, to work out an agreement. The RFF lawyer then drew up the agreements that the City Council will discuss Thursday evening, May 14, for the first time.

Under the agreement, the City would trade in-kind services in order to license the various logos owned by the Festival. They would not bill the Festival for any services.

“That type of agreement—the trading of in-kind services—seemed to be the most popular way of handling this, according to the West Michigan Municipal League,” commented Clark.

Tracy is pleased with the progress they are making. “The Red Flannel Board is thrilled to have open, honest, sincere dialogue with the City Ad Hoc Committee,” she said. “Our first meeting went smoothly.”

Since the City no longer has their own police department, the Festival would need to contract for their own security, and, according to Michele Andres, they have met with Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs unit, and are waiting for an estimate.

The City will discuss the agreement tonight, Thursday, May 14.

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