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Man shoots and kills in-laws in Spencer Township

The Kent County Sheriff’s mobile crime lab outside a home in Spencer Township Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Holds family hostage

by Judy Reed

Three people are dead and a family is heartbroken after a tragic series of events that led to a man killing his in-laws and later himself on Saturday, September 22.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Samantha Lynn Huntley, 33, took her two children, ages 4 and 2, and went to stay with her mother Lisa Bradley, 58, and Lisa’s longtime boyfriend, James Cole, 54, in Spencer Township, after a domestic assault a week ago involving her husband, Bruce Edward Huntley, 33.

Huntley was booked into the Kent County jail by Wyoming Police on a domestic violence charge on Sunday, September 16. His bond was set at 10 percent of $10,000, and he bonded out on Monday, September 17.

Bruce Huntley. Photo from Kent County Corrections.

Early Saturday morning, September 22, Bruce Huntley broke into his in-laws’ home at 10036 Rooksby, in Spencer Township, and shot and killed both James Cole and Lisa Bradley, and then kidnapped his wife and two children and took them back to their apartment at 4222 Stonebridge Road, SW, in the City of Wyoming.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence on Rooksby, just east of Wickert, at 11:37 a.m. Saturday, September September 22, on a well-being check, after an acquaintance of the couple went to the home but did not receive a response after knocking. When police arrived, they found Bradley and Cole, both dead of gunshot wounds.

Police outside of suspect’s apartment building. Photo courtesy Kevin Korb.

When the Kent County Sheriff’s Office realized the wife and children were missing, they immediately contacted the Wyoming Department of Public Safety and asked them to check at the suspect’s apartment. Lisa Bradley’s vehicle was located at the apartment and the Wyoming Department of Public Safety assembled their Tactical Team. Contact was made with Samantha Huntley, who confirmed she was in the apartment with her husband and two children and was being held against her will. Negotiators with the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, with assistance from the Grandville Police Department, negotiated the release of Samantha and the two children.

Police at suspect apartment in Wyoming. Photo courtesy Kevin Korb.

The police were at Ramblewood apartments for hours trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender with Bruce Huntley. But he had threatened to commit suicide and refused to come out. The standoff ended early Sunday morning, about 12:15 a.m., when the Tactical Unit entered the apartment and confirmed Huntley was dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On September 24, the Kent County Medical Examiners Officer conducted autopsies and determined Lisa Bradley’s and James Cole’s manner of death is homicide from a gunshot wound.

Bruce Huntley’s death was ruled a suicide from a gunshot wound.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, Grandville Police Department, Grand Rapids Police Department, and LIFE Tactical Medics.

A gofundme account has been set up for Samantha Huntley to help with funeral expenses and everyday costs. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/samantha-huntley-and-kids to contribute.

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Police investigating suspicious deaths

The Kent County Sheriff’s mobile crime lab outside a home in Spencer Township Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

A standoff in the City of Wyoming ended early Sunday morning when police entered the apartment at 12:15 a.m. to find the male suspect in two murders in Spencer Township had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The police had been at Ramblewood apartments for hours, trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender.

The ordeal began after two people were found dead inside their home in rural Spencer Township Saturday.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they responded to the residence, located on Rooksby, just east of Wickert, at 11:37 a.m. Saturday, September September 22, on a well-being check, after an acquaintance of the couple went to the home but did not receive a response after knocking. Police found a man and wife deceased inside the home.

Police outside of suspect’s apartment building. Photo courtesy Kevin Korb.

Shortly after arriving on scene, investigtors developed a possible suspect living in an apartment in the 4200 block of Stonebridge SW, in the City of Wyoming. Wyoming Police tried to make contact with the suspect, who refused to come out of the apartment. WYPD then began negotiations with the suspect.

Police at suspect apartment in Wyoming. Photo courtesy Kevin Korb.

Once the Wyoming Police Department had established communication with the possible suspect inside the apartment on Stonebridge SW, it was determined that there were 3 hostages inside who were identified as the suspect’s wife and two children, ages 4 and 2. The three hostages were later released and spoke with investigators. 

The names of the victims and suspect have not yet been released. The investigation is still ongoing, and the man who died early Sunday is considered to be the prime suspect in the murders in Spencer Township. Police have not yet revealed how they died. More info will be released once family has been notified.


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Vehicle runs off 17 Mile, lands near Cedar Creek

This vehicle veered south off 17 Mile Road and went down an embankment and stopped near Cedar Creek Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department and Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call by a passing motorist on Monday, September 17, about noon, on a vehicle that was found in the swampy area where 17 Mile crosses Cedar Creek.

On arrival, authorities found the vehicle down a steep embankment on the south side of the road, on the east side of the creek. The vehicle had been traveling west on 17 Mile and had veered south off the roadway, just before the bridge.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the driver, a man in his 50s, may have had a medical emergency that caused him to drive off the roadway. He was transported to the hospital by Rockford Ambulance. 

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Woman pleads no contest to embezzlement

Donna Goodsell

A woman who embezzled money from several townships in Montcalm County while serving as sexton of their cemeteries has pled no contest to one count of embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000—a felony punishable by up to five years on prison.

Donna Goodsell, 60, of Fenwick, entered the plea on July 31.  

Goodsell’s next scheduled court appearance is a restitution hearing on October 10, 2018. At that hearing, the court will calculate the amount of money that Goodsell must repay to the townships that she worked for. 

Goodsell’s duties included the sale of plots, maintenance, opening and closing of gravesites, and contracting for the setting of headstone footings. Goodsell allegedly did not properly forward all of the funds she received from residents to the respective Townships. 

Sheriff Williams requests that citizens who purchased cemetery plots in the Evergreen Township, Day Township, or Bushnell Township cemeteries during 2012 to 2017 contact their township hall to verify that their transaction was properly documented. Evergreen township (989) 831-9043; Day township (989) 287-2247; and Bushnell township (989) 248-3349.

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ArtPrize 10 voting begins

This photograph by Nancy Crabbs, which depicts movement of light, is at The Bob.

It’s that time of year again, when the city of Grand Rapids is transformed into an open playing field where artists and venues will vie for a combination of Public Vote and Juried Awards totaling $500,000. 

Nancy Crabbs, of Cedar Springs, entered her photograph “The Slide,” the third installment in her Light Series. Taken from an airplane at 37,000 feet, she captures light in movement. You can check it out at The Bob, 20 Monroe Ave. Two other Cedar Springs residents also entered works: Andrea Lucas and Mark Del Covell. Check them out at ArtPrize.org.

Round one voting began Wednesday, September 19, and will close September 29 at 11:59 p.m. The public vote final 20 and independent awards will be announced September 30 at 1 p.m., and the round two voting then begins at 2 p.m. Round two voting closes October 4 at 11:59 p.m. with awards October 5.

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Post travels to Yellowstone, Oregon coast

Ed and Gail Prentice of Cedar Springs recently vacationed in Yellowstone National Park. (Supplied)

Ed and Gail Prentice of Cedar Springs recently vacationed with Ken and Carolyn Hubbell from Hastings. They travelled from Idaho to Yellowstone to the Oregon coast during September and took a Post with them. 

“We enjoyed Idaho’s Shoshone Falls, the Tetons, Crater of the Moon Park, and the Oregon shore. We travelled 2,644 miles in 10 days,” said Gail.

Thanks so much 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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Artists, authors and you

Art by Marge Clark. (Supplied)

Coming to the Cedar Springs Library in October is a display of counted cross-stitch created by local retired teacher Marge Clark. Every three months the library displays works by local artists. On display starting October 1 will be two pieces by Mrs. Clark. The first piece is a 24” x 31” work titled “Winter Skaters.” The second is a 17” x 21” piece titled “Grandchildren.” 

Marge Clark was born in Grand Rapids 92 years ago and has called Cedar Springs home for most of her life. She started sewing as a young girl, making many of her own clothes, and has continued throughout her life. She is a graduate of Michigan State University (bachelors degree) and Central Michigan University (masters degree). She married Jack Clark in 1946 and together they have four children – Marilyn, Barb, Nancy and Mark. Mrs. Clark taught kindergarten for most of her working life, starting at the White Creek country school and continuing at Beach Elementary, until her retirement in 1986. She started working on counted cross-stitch while she was still teaching and continued for many years. After retirement she and Jack traveled extensively until his passing.

Marge is truly an institution in Cedar Springs. We hope you will find time to stop in and view her artwork.

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City board vacancies

Are you looking for a way to help out your community? The City of Cedar Springs is seeking community members for two different boards.

The City is looking for a new Planning Commission Member. The Planning Commission currently has one vacant seat. The Planning Commission is a volunteer board and they generally meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. The board consists of eight members of the community and the Mayor. The Planning Commission helps shape the future of land use and business development in the City of Cedar Springs. The input from the commission provides citizens the opportunity to have an input on the decisions that will shape the community for many years to come. All eligible individuals must be 18+ years old, a city resident, and fill out the application online at http://dev.cityofcedarsprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/boards-and-commissions-application.pdf. Please email applications to manager@cityofcedarsprings.org or drop them off at City Hall.  City Manager and the Mayor will review applications and make their suggestion to the City Council for appointment to the Planning Commission. Application deadline for the vacant position will be October 3, 2018.

The City of Cedar Springs is also looking for qualified members of the community to serve on the Downtown Development Board. The DDA currently has one vacant seat. The DDA generally meets once per quarter on the last Monday of January, April, July, and November at noon. The board of 9 members consists of a minimum of one resident of the district, the Mayor, and the board must maintain a majority of members with ownership or business interest in property in the district. The basic purpose of the DDA is to reestablish and maintain the vitality of the Central Business District. Basic components of the plan include parking, commercial development, and building renovation. All eligible individuals must be 18+ year old, a resident of the district or an individual with ownership or business interest in property in the district, and fill out the application online at http://dev.cityofcedarsprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/boards-and-commissions-application.pdf. Please email applications to manager@cityofcedarsprings.org or drop them off at City Hall. City Manager and the Mayor will review applications and make their suggestion to the City Council for appointment to the Planning Commission. Application deadline for the vacant position will be October 3, 2018.

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Michigan resident infected with Eastern equine encephalitis

LANSING, Mich. – Health officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Allegan County Health Department have confirmed an infection of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in an Allegan County resident. The individual was hospitalized in late August with a neurologic illness.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S., with a 33 percent fatality rate. The disease can often leave survivors with lasting brain damage.

The southwestern region of the state has experienced outbreaks of this mosquito-borne disease in people and horses in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s, mid-1990s and 2010. This is the first human case reported in Michigan since 2016, when three people were infected. Mosquito-borne illness will continue to be a risk in Michigan until late fall when nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing. Michigan residents are reminded to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

“There is still plenty of mosquito season left in Michigan,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “When outdoors, Michigan residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites including using mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long sleeves.”

Horse owners should note that EEE can also cause neurologic illness in horses. However, vaccination can protect horses from infection with EEE.

EEE is a virus of birds that is spread by mosquitoes near swamps and bogs. Human cases are rare, with only a few cases reported each year in the U.S. People who become ill with EEE may experience fever, headache, chills and nausea. In some cases, symptoms may progress to inflammation of the brain, signaled by disorientation, seizures and coma. Physicians treating patients with these symptoms should consider testing for EEE and other mosquito-borne viruses and should report suspected cases to their local health department.

As a reminder, West Nile virus is continuing to cause illness in people across the state, with a total of 44 cases and two fatalities reported to date. WNV has also been identified in 149 mosquito pools, 115 birds and one horse throughout the state.

Steps people should take to protect themselves include:

• Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other EPA- approved product to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.

• Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

• Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings.

• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

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Adopt-A-Highway cleanup starts Saturday

Volunteers  will  soon  be  scouring  the  roadsides  looking  for  trash  during  the  year’s  final  Adopt-A-Highway  pickup.  Thousands  of  volunteers  in  the  popular  Michigan  Department  of  Transportation  (MDOT)  program  will  be  picking  up  litter  along  highway  roadsides  from  Saturday,  Sept.  22,  through  Sunday,  Sept.  30.  

There  are  three  scheduled  Adopt-A-Highway  pickups  each  year:  one  each  in  the  spring,  summer  and  fall.  Volunteers  in  Michigan  have  been  participating  in  the  program  since  1990.  Every  year,  Adopt-A-Highway  volunteers  collect  65,000  to  70,000  bags  of  trash.  The  popular  program  has  grown  to  involve  more  than  2,800  groups  cleaning  6,300  miles  of  highway.  

Motorists  should  be  on  the  lookout  beginning  Saturday  for  volunteers  wearing  high-visibility,  yellow-green  safety  vests.  MDOT  provides  free  vests  and  trash  bags,  and  arranges  to  haul  away  the  trash.  

Volunteers  include  members  of  civic  groups,  businesses  and  families.  Crew  members  have  to  be  at  least  12  years  old  and  each  group  must  number  at  least  three  people.  

Sections  of  highway  are  still  available  for  adoption.  Interested  groups  should  check  the  MDOT  Adopt-A-Highway  website www.michigan.gov/adoptahighwayfor  more  information  and  the  name  of  their  county’s  coordinator,  who  can  specify  available  roadsides.  Groups  are  asked  to  adopt  a  section  of  highway  for  at  leasttwo  years;  there  is  no  fee  to  participate.  Adopt-A-Highway  volunteer  groups  are  recognized  with  signs  bearing  a  group’s  name  posted  along  stretches  of  adopted  highway.  

Several  landfills  in  southwestern  Michigan  are  also  helping  the  Adopt-A-Highway  program.  Westside  Landfill  in  St.  Joseph  County,  C&C  Landfill  in  Calhoun  County,  Orchard  Hill  Landfill  in  Berrien  County,  Southeast  Berrien  County  Landfill  near  Niles,  and  Republic  Services  Gembrit  Circle  Transfer  Station  in  Kalamazoohave  all  agreed  to  accept  trash  generated  by  the  three  annual  AAH  pickups  at  no  charge.  In  exchange,  these  businesses  will  receive  a  sign  recognizing  their  support. 

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