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Get ready for Santa

In this photo from 2013, Santa arrives escorted by the Red Flannel Tree Farm, as he will again this year. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

In this photo from 2013, Santa arrives escorted by the Red Flannel Tree Farm, as he will again this year. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Santa parade, tree lighting this Saturday, December 3, and a musical weekend December 10-11 

Are you ready to have yourself a merry Christmas Cedar Springs-style? The next two weekends will have some great family fun and entertainment put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 3, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will start at 10 a.m. with families able to make and take Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10-1, then do kids crafts at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 1-3 p.m. You can also enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more, all before the mini-parade that brings Santa to the corner of Main and Ash Street at about 4:30-4:45.

Following the parade will be a live nativity scene, tree lighting, caroling, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall.

Then on Saturday, December 10, is the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC). It is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun! 

On Sunday, December 11, will be the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza. Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs Dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, they are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of their show this year.

For more info on the musical weekend, check out the Chamber ad by clicking the link below:

CSChamberXMAS6x16fc4816.pdf

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It’s time for the tour of lights

n-tour-of-lights

Some people go crazy at Christmas decorating their home. But you don’t have to go all out (like the photo above) to get listed on the Cedar Springs Post Annual Tour of Lights! If you’ve decorated your home or yard with beautiful lights or know someone that did, please send us the address and we’ll add it to our list of places to visit. Send the name of the homeowner (if known), and the address to news@cedarspringspost.com with “Tour of lights” in the subject line, or mail to Tour of Lights, c/o The Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Watch for the Tour of Lights in upcoming issues!

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Green strobe lights mean go slow

During a recent student tour on snow plow safety, Tim Fennema of the Kent County Road Commission explains to students about the new green lights they installed on trucks to increase their visibility and enhance safety for both motorists and crews. Photo courtesy of Kent County Road Commission.

During a recent student tour on snow plow safety, Tim Fennema of the Kent County Road Commission explains to students about the new green lights they installed on trucks to increase their visibility and enhance safety for both motorists and crews. Photo courtesy of Kent County Road Commission.

To promote enhanced safety during storm response and other road maintenance efforts, the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) joins state, county and municipal transportation agencies throughout the state in installing green strobe lights on road maintenance vehicles.

When motorists see green strobe lights, they are asked to slow down and be alert—a KCRC snowplow or road maintenance truck is performing work on the right of way.

“Our vehicles generally travel at speeds of 25-35 mph when conducting storm response efforts or other road maintenance activities. The ability for motorists to identify our vehicles quickly improves their own response time in reducing their speed, which provides the necessary space between vehicles and improves safety for both the motorists and our workers,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s Deputy Managing Director of Operations.

Public transportation agencies advocate the use of green lights because they:

*Improve the visibility of authorized public agency trucks while working in the right of way.

*Differentiate a public agency’s vehicles from other private motorists and companies using amber lights.

An example of a road commission truck with green lights while plowing snow. Photo courtesy of Kent County Road Commission.

An example of a road commission truck with green lights while plowing snow. Photo courtesy of Kent County Road Commission.

For the past few years, KCRC has been advocating the use of green strobe lights on road maintenance vehicles. On September 7, 2016, an amendment to the Michigan Vehicle Code, Public Act 16 became effective, giving state, county and municipal transportation agencies the right to use green lights on their vehicles.

“Amber lights are used on vehicles performing all sorts of jobs: mail delivery, refuse pick-up, private plowing, even pizza delivery,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s Deputy Managing Director of Operations. “By combining amber and green lights, public road agencies can differentiate themselves and, hopefully, motorists will learn to equate the green lights with storm response efforts or road repair. We think this will keep motorists, and our crews working along the right of way, safer.”

KCRC has been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the County Road Association of Michigan and other local road agencies to spread the word about the implementation of green lights on their road maintenance trucks.

“This winter, motorists will see the green strobe lights throughout the state,” said Jerry, “so it’s important we collaborate to get the message out: green strobe means go slow!”

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Food assistance work requirements reinstated 

 

Kent, Oakland, Ottawa, Washtenaw Counties affected

Able-bodied adults without dependents in four Michigan counties will be required by the federal government to meet work requirements that have been waived for more than a decade to continue receiving food assistance benefits.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services this week is notifying approximately 14,000 people in Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties of the change, which is effective Jan. 1.

Able-bodied adults without dependents in those four counties will have a three-month federal time limit for receiving food assistance benefits without meeting the reinstated work requirements.

Michigan began receiving a waiver from the requirements in 2002 due to high unemployment. The significant reduction in the state’s jobless rate over the last several years means the state is no longer eligible.

The four counties are being phased out first because of their lower unemployment rates. MDHHS expects the waiver to be phased out statewide by October 2018 or sooner.

Able-bodied adults are recipients ages 18 to 49 who do not have a disability that prevents them from working or meet other federal criteria that exempts them from requirements. They can meet the reinstated work requirements to receive food assistance by:

*Working an average of 20 hours per week each month in unsubsidized employment.

*Participating for an average of 20 hours per week each month in an approved employment and training program.

*Participating in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization.

“Michigan’s improved economy under the leadership of Gov. Rick Snyder creates greater opportunities for the state’s residents to find jobs and achieve self-sufficiency,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon.

“MDHHS and our partners at the Michigan Talent Investment Agency and Michigan Works! Agencies are prepared to assist people affected by these reinstated requirements so they can continue on their journey toward self-sufficiency.”

The federal government determines work requirements and other eligibility criteria for individuals to be eligible to receive food assistance under the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. MDHHS administers federal food assistance benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program.

Phasing out these work requirements goes along with the MDHHS goal of assisting Michiganders in finding employment to achieve self-sufficiency, end generational poverty and realize their dreams.

MDHHS this week is sending notices to able-bodied adults without dependents in the four counties notifying them of the upcoming change.

MDHHS and its partners at Michigan Works! Agencies and the Michigan Talent Investment Agency will provide resources—such as approved training programs—to help affected residents meet work requirements.

Rolling out the waiver changes in phases allows MDHHS and its partners to implement changes on a smaller level, so the department can evaluate the actions taken and make improvements before statewide implementation. In addition, this provides an opportunity to properly train staff to prepare them for the changes in order to provide effective and positive customer service.

Some federal exemptions to the reinstated work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents will remain. They include exemptions for individuals who are physically or mentally unable to work for 20 hours, are pregnant or care for a child under age 6 or someone who is incapacitated.

Able-bodied adults without dependents can call their MDHHS case specialist with questions or visit www.michigan.gov/FoodAssistance for more information.

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The Post travels to the Ryder Cup

n-post-travels-to-ryder-cup-covell

Tim Covell and his son, Tyler, from Cedar Springs, recently attended the Ryder Cup in Chaska, Minnesota. Along with the golf tournament, they also went to South Dakota to visit The Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and the city of Deadwood.

While attending the Ryder Cup for two days, Tim and Tyler witnessed the United States secure victory over Europe.

Thanks so much to Tim and Tyler 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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CTA cross country awarded academic all-state

(L to R): Coach Danielle Davies, Collin Bishop, Dawson Ingersoll, Ethan Lehman, James Hofstra, Les Miner and Dawson Armstrong. Not pictured team member is Ken Roesner.

(L to R): Coach Danielle Davies, Collin Bishop, Dawson Ingersoll, Ethan Lehman, James Hofstra, Les Miner and Dawson Armstrong. Not pictured team member is Ken Roesner.

Creative Technologies Academy boys cross country team was awarded the Michigan Class D Cross Country Championship Team Academic All-State Award. Only the top five highest ranking combined GPA team averages are awarded “Team Academic All-State.” The Championship meet was held at Maple Creek Golf course in Shephard, Mich.

In order to be eligible, individual team members must have a 3.50 GPA or better, who finish in the top 25 percent of places overall in order to receive the honor. Athletes must be at least a sophomore and the GPA is based on a standard 4.0 grade scale with no weighted grades.

“The award is for all of the hard work, diligence and sacrifice the cross country athletes put forth in the classroom during the season,” said Coach Danielle Davies. “Fewer than 10 percent of all athletes in the Class D State Championship receive this team award. It is a high honor to have such a great team committed to both their education and cross country.”

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Kent County Sheriff Deputies to get lifesaving equipment

 

When seconds count, it is critical for first responders to have the equipment that can save lives. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) can make a difference. And soon, Kent County Sheriff  Deputies will have them in their patrol vehicles.

Earlier this month, The Kent County Board of Commissioners approved accepting a grant that makes the purchase of the AED’s possible. The grant was an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. More than $63,000 was awarded to the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Special Project Fund for the AED’s.

Cardiac arrest—when a person’s heart stops beating and he or she stops breathing—can happen to anyone at any age. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can keep blood flowing and oxygen going to the brain, but it is critical to get the heart beating normally again as quickly as possible. AEDs are small, portable devices that deliver an electric shock to a person’s heart, which can stop abnormal impulses in the heart and return it to a normal rhythm.

The Edward Byrne Memorial JAG grant will be used by the Sheriff Department to equip patrol vehicles with AEDs. This allows patrol staff to respond to calls related to drug overdoses and other emergency assistance situations and provide defibrillation faster, potentially saving lives. Sheriff Department patrol staff are certified to use AEDs, but do not currently have the equipment available in patrol cruisers.

“There are times when the first responder on a medical emergency call is a Sheriff Deputy, and it could be several minutes before Emergency Medical Services arrive on the scene,” said Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young of the Kent County Sheriff Department. “Our Deputies are trained in several life-saving techniques and this gives them another tool that is far more effective in cardiac arrest cases.”

Without the early use of CPR and AED during cardiac arrest, chances of survival are about 2.5 percent. An AED increases chances of survival to 75 percent; AED combined with CPR increases that to 80 percent. “We’ve heard time and again that AEDs can be used even by an untrained person,” said Jim Saalfeld, Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “This fully automated, lightweight equipment has saved countless lives. We are grateful to receive this grant which will help our first responders react quickly and efficiently to cardiac arrest incidents.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial JAG supports local activities that prevent and control crime, including law enforcement programs, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections programs, drug treatment programs, and planning, evaluation, and technology programs.

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Woman arrested for credit card fraud

Monique Megchiani

Monique Megchiani

A Greenville woman was arrested last week after she picked up someone’s credit card and used it to pay for phone calls from an ex-boyfriend who was in jail.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, the owner of the credit card had mistakenly left it at a restaurant in Greenville. The suspect, Monique Megchiani, 38, of Greenville, found the card. She had been receiving phone calls from her ex-boyfriend, who was in the Van Buren County jail. She was prompted to enter a credit card to pay for the calls, so she used the card to pay for the incoming calls.

Megchiani was arrested on Wednesday, November 23, and lodged in the Montcalm County Jail on felony possession of a financial transaction device and stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent. Her bond was set at $2,500.

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KANET investigates dispensaries

 

N-Kent-County-Sheriff-logoThe Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement team conducted several search warrants throughout Kent County Monday, searching three dispensaries and other addresses connected to them in some way.

According to police, the search warrants were executed after a lengthy investigation into the illegal sales of marijuana. Search warrants were conducted at the following locations:

Relief Hub dispensary, 4920 Plainfield, Plainfield Township; Third Day dispensary, 4981 Plainfield, Plainfield Twp.; Red Jasper dispensary, 3926 West River Dr, Plainfield Twp.; the 5000 block of Circle Dr, Cannon Twp.; the 5400 block of Pine Island Dr, Plainfield Twp.; the 2100 block of Wyndham Hill Dr, City of Grand Rapids; and the 1200 block of Taylor Ave, in City of Grand Rapids.

Police said that the investigation involved subjects that have been previously investigated and given written and verbal warnings by law enforcement and the Kent County prosecutor’s office, but continue to operate illegally under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

Police said they have received several complaints and tips from the public in regarding illegal sales of marijuana occurring at the dispensary locations. They also said investigators had made undercover purchases of marijuana at the locations, proving that the dispensaries continue to operate illegally. All seven locations are related to the investigation.

The Kent County Sheriff Department said that they continue to work with medical marijuana caregivers and patients who are complying with the laws and no enforcement is taken against them.

They said that they are also familiar with the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing act, which was recently passed in Michigan and signed by the Governor. The bills cover the licensing requirements and includes local control by cities, villages, and townships, which can pass their own regulations for marijuana facilities, and legalizes marijuana provisioning centers/growing facilities.  It also covers safety compliance, taxes, fees, funds to municipalities, counties and the state. The bill also legalizes marijuana infused products.

Police said the subjects of the investigation found that the three dispensaries continue to operate illegally, even in violation of the new bills passed (MMFLA).

The names of the suspects have not yet been released, and the investigation is still ongoing.

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Health Department warns of potential scam

 

Scam targeting restaurants

On Monday November 28, 2016 the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) was contacted by a local restaurant who said they had received a phone call from a person claiming to be a representative of KCHD. The caller told an employee that the restaurant would have to pay a $5 “rescheduling fee” for an inspection. The caller insisted that the fee be paid immediately by credit card. This call did not come from a KCHD employee.

The Kent County Health Department does not charge a “rescheduling fee” and KCHD inspectors do not demand immediate credit card only payments for any fees.

The Kent County Health Department is urging restaurant owners and employees to be cautious.

“Our concern is that a restaurant owner or an employee could easily be caught off guard especially since this is a very busy time of the year for them,” said Adam London, Kent County Administrative Health Officer. “A five dollar charge might seem so insignificant to someone that they simply agree to pay it. It is very possible though, that whoever is making these calls has larger plans for your credit card such as selling your information or running up huge bills on your account.”

If you are contacted by someone who claims to represent the Kent County Health Department and they are asking for money over the phone, please request a call back number and contact the Kent County Health Department immediately at 616-632-6900.

KCHD also urges anyone who believes that they have been a victim of this scam to contact the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616-632-6100.

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