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Domestic call ends in arrest

Police cruisers blocked the entrance to Sarah Street during a domestic call on Wednesday, July 22. Post photo by J. Reed.

Police cruisers blocked the entrance to Sarah Street during a domestic call on Wednesday, July 22. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Cedar Springs man was taken into custody by police just after midnight July 23, after a four-hour long operation in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

The event started when a woman called 911 and reported that her boyfriend had beaten her up, and locked her out of the house, while holding their one year old in one hand, and a rifle in the other. She also reported that he said that if anyone came to the house, he would kill everyone inside.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the scene, shortly before 8 p.m., July 22, and blocked off the intersections leading to 348 Sarah. The Michigan State Police Canine Unit was also on scene.

They wanted to talk to the man, and make sure the baby was safe.

The KCSD set up a perimeter, and repeatedly told the man through a megaphone to exit the home, but they got no response. The woman said he did not have a phone, so they tried to put a phone through the window, but still got no response. They sent in a robot, and saw him lying in bed, just before midnight. They then decided to go to the door of the residence, and the man surrendered peacefully. The baby was not harmed.

Several neighbors in the park were surprised by what had happened, and said the man was a good guy. One neighbor said they called him the snake man, because he walks around with a snake around his neck.

At press time, the man’s name had not been officially released. He is expected to face a domestic violence charge.

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Post celebrates 27 years

By Judy Reed, editor

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The Cedar Springs Post is celebrating 27 years of being your hometown newspaper.

 

Any town’s history is only as good as its local newspaper.

Did you ever wonder how we know so much about our town’s history? It isn’t by word of mouth (though stories have been handed down); it isn’t taught in school; and it’s not from old movies or magazines. There are a variety of ways we know about the early days of Cedar Springs, or can piece it together. But the biggest resource we have for information is the early newspapers of this town. Our town fathers had the foresight to hold on to each issue, dating from 1867 to the 1970s and they are now on microfilm at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

The Cedar Springs Story, a history of our town written in the 1970s by Donna DeJonge and Sue Harrison, used those newspaper clippings as major source material (along with interviews, census data, plat maps, and much more) to give us a treasure trove of information. But the Cedar Springs Clipper shut down in the 1970s, leaving a hole that needed to be filled.

The Cedar Springs Post has filled that hole since 1988. Our newspapers are kept on file at the museum now. We print 5,000 copies each week for readers, and keep a few extra copies for ourselves. We have them bound into books each year, at The Post’s expense. One copy for us, and one for the museum. This year an anonymous donor stepped up to help with that expense. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

The books are a record of what happened in our town, in the greater northern Kent County and western Montcalm County, each year. It’s our history—history that some day, another generation will research.

Life at The Post is different than it used to be. Gone is the hey day of having an editor, reporter, several stringers, photographers, a bustling sales staff, multiple designers, office manager and publisher. We have had to do what newspapers and businesses across the country have done—cut expenses. And that usually means cutting personnel. Our only revenue to support what we do is by local businesses advertising, or readers paying for things like announcements and classified ads. The problem is that just like everyone else, businesses are looking for ways to cut expenses. And too often, the newspaper advertising is the first to go. Businesses will often ask why they need to advertise in the local paper if people already know they are here? Or if they can do it free on Craigslist? Or Facebook?

There are many reasons. But the most important reason is this: it will help keep our town’s history alive for another generation.

We thank the local businesses who continue to support us, even in tough economic times.

Our readers have an equally important part in keeping the newspaper going. Keep sending us your stories and photos. This paper is about you—it’s your story we are chronicling. But the other important piece is for readers to shop at their local businesses. Let them know you read The Post, and that you saw their ad.

On July 28, it will be 27 years that we have served you. Twenty-seven years of writing your stories. We hope to be doing it for many more!

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Fire destroys family home

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This home caught fire Saturday morning. Photo from woodtv.com

 

Lightning struck an Oakfield Township home Saturday morning, July 18, sparking a blaze that destroyed the home.

The fire occurred shortly before 12 p.m. on Crawford Lake Trail, in the area of Wabasis and 15 Mile.

The homeowners, Craig and Lori Reppert were not there at the time, but reportedly received a call from a neighbor letting them know. A kitten died in the fire.

The family is currently staying in a hotel. A Gofundme page has been set up for them. If you’d like to help, you can visit it at: http://www.gofundme.com/reppertvanderslik.

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Murder suspect arrested 

Alan Dale Nelson

Alan Dale Nelson

Alan Lee Morse

Alan Lee Morse

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post have arrested a suspect in the murder of Alan Dale Nelson, 80, of Sidney Township.

Nelson was was killed March 29, at his home on Nevins Lake, about four miles west of Stanton. Evidence at the scene showed that his home and several other homes nearby had been broken into.

Police arrested Alan Lee Morse, 48, Stanton, for the murder.

Morse was incarcerated at the Montcalm County Jail on unrelated charges of Home Invasion and Possession of Child Sexually Explicit Material.

He was arraigned in the 64B District Court on Friday, July 17, on charges of Homicide–Open Murder, Homicide–Felony Murder, Home Invasion-1st Degree, Weapons-Felony Firearm, Home Invasion 2nd Degree (2 Counts), Weapons-Firearms-Larceny, Weapons-Felony Firearm, authorized by the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Greenville Department of Public Safety assisted with the investigation.

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The Post travels to China

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Kaleigh Vanderlip, of Coral, Michigan, traveled with a Post to Yantai, China, in May, as part of Montcalm Community College’s study abroad program. Three teachers and nine students, including Vanderlip, went to China for a week. They also spent one night in South Korea.

“While in China, we learned about their culture and we even got to do group presentations with some of the Chinese students,” she explained. “We did some traveling as well, and saw some amazingly beautiful sights.” She said the picture was taken from her dorm room at the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology.

Vanderlip, who graduated from New Beginnings High School in 2008, graduated from MCC this year with an Associates Degree in Liberal Studies.

Thanks, Kaleigh, 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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Traveling Zoo comes shows animal super powers

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N-Zoo2Last week Wednesday, July 15, Rhiannon, an animal handler from the John Ball Zoo, put on a presentation for the library’s Summer Reading Program at Cedar Springs Middle School. She shared about some amazing animals and their super powers. And she brought along some live animals, including a screech owl, a tortoise, a king snake, and a chinchilla.

With the phrase, “Eyes on the side, born to hide. Eyes in the front, born to hunt,” she taught us an easy way to identify whether an animal is a hunter or a prey animal,” said Kelly Roach, of the Cedar Springs Public Library. “It was a really great opportunity for the community of

Cedar Springs to learn more about some of the animals that live in our backyard, as well as animals that come from different areas!”

For more info on summer reading programs, visit www.cedarspringslibrary.org or call 696-1910.

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Red Flannel Festival and City reach agreement

 

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council approved an agreement with the Red Flannel Festival Board to donate in kind services during the Festival, as well as an agreement to use any of the Festival’s 14 trademarks in return for the in kind services.

The Council voted in favor of both agreements 5-1, at their regular meeting on Thursday, July 9. Only Councilor Perry Hopkins voted against it. Councilor Bob Truesdale was absent.

“We are grateful this City Council negotiated fairly and in good faith,” said Festival President Michele Tracy. “This reinstates and memorializes the original 69 year handshake agreement, and provides a solid foundation for the long term sustainability of the Festival. We couldn’t be happier for Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.!”

The City voted in August 2012 to stop using the Red Flannel logos and initiate development of their own logo, after an ongoing disagreement over who had the right to use the logos, which the RF Festival had trademarked. The Festival disputed that the city had common law rights to the trademarks, and in August 2012 sent a letter with a notice that they would file for trademark infringement. The Red Flannel Festival had asked for a $4,000 licensing fee for the city to use two of the trademarks, and the city declined, stating that they had used them for 70-plus years. The Council then voted 6-1 to drop the RF logo.

The City removed all Red Flannels from City letterhead, trucks, benches, etc., and eventually created their own logo. However, the members of that City Council are no longer on the Council. The only person left on City Council that was part of that vote was current Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley, and she was the lone nay vote three years ago.

Conley said, “I have always believed the community wants there to be a supportive working relationship between the City and all of our community groups, especially Red Flannel. I am glad to have had the opportunity to affirm that.”

The Council has not yet voted on if or where they will use any of the Red Flannel logos.

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Man killed in crash in northern Michigan

 

The Michigan State Police Gaylord Post confirmed Wednesday that a Cedar Springs man was killed Sunday, in an accident in northern Michigan.

According to police, David Joseph Maurice, 52, of Cedar Springs, was a front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by David Jensen, 31, of Grand Rapids, when the accident occurred shortly after 11 a.m., Sunday, July 19. Jensen was reportedly traveling eastbound, on Sparr Rd, near Wolf Rd, in Charlton Township, in Otsego County, when he crossed the centerline and struck a westbound vehicle head on.

Maurice was transported to Otsego Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Jensen and a juvenile passenger in the back seat were also transported to the hospital, with serious injuries.

The driver of the westbound vehicle, a 56-year-old Johannesburg man, was also transported to Otsego Memorial Hospital, with minor injuries.

Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash. The investigation has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, Otsego County EMS and Heavy Rescue, the Charlton Township Fire Department, and the Otsego County Road Commission.

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Motorcycle accident sends one to hospital

 

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron Kimbrough and Deputy Scott Abbatoy look at the motorcycle involved in the accident Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron Kimbrough and Deputy Scott Abbatoy look at the motorcycle involved in the accident Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Gowen man was injured Monday when he dumped his motorcycle while traveling on the curve on 18 Mile, just south of Fieldstone Meadows.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Scott Abbatoy, the 58-year-old man was traveling toward Cedar Springs, on 18 Mile, when his foot got stuck under the brake, and he tipped the bike. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a head injury, as well as lacerations on his hands. He was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A man and woman who were out doing home inspections stopped at the scene when they saw the victim on his hands and knees, with his head bleeding. They let him sit in their vehicle to wait for police and the ambulance. “If you see someone like that, you can’t just drive by,” said the woman. “If it was my dad, I’d want to someone to stop.”

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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“Respectful robber” tied to armed robberies in three states

Steven Timothy Snyder, the “respectful robber,” shot and killed a Wisconsin man and a Wisconsin State Trooper, after a bank robbery March 24.

Steven Timothy Snyder, the “respectful robber,” shot and killed a Wisconsin man and a Wisconsin State Trooper, after a bank robbery March 24.

The “respectful robber” turned cold-blooded killer, aka Steven Timothy Snyder, of Kingston, Michigan, is now believed to be responsible for nine armed robberies of banks located in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, according to the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, who is part of a law enforcement task force investigating his crimes.

The Newaygo County Sheriff Office put out a news release, in January 2015, announcing a $35,000 reward and asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspected serial bank robber that the FBI dubbed the “respectful robber.” At that time, the Caucasian male bank robber was suspected of robbing banks at gunpoint in Luther, Michigan (Lake County in June of 2011), Wellston, Michigan (Manistee County in June of 2011), Pellston, Michigan (Emmet County November of 2011), and Croton, Michigan (Newaygo County in September of 2013).

In March, someone called the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office and said they believed they knew who this bank robber was. The person was interviewed and identified the suspect as Steven Timothy Snyder, 38, from Kingston, Michigan (which is in the thumb area). Newaygo County Sheriff’s Detectives and FBI Agents immediately began a thorough background and criminal history check and attempted to gain supporting evidence of the citizen’s information, including getting Snyder’s DNA to compare to the Michigan bank robberies where suspect DNA had been left behind.

Meanwhile, on March 24, an armed bank robbery occurred in Marinette County, Northern Wisconsin at the State Bank of Florence, in the small town of Wasaukee. The lone Caucasian male bank robber, armed with a semi-auto pistol, shot one round in to the ceiling of the bank, before stealing an employee’s vehicle to drive to where his getaway car was parked.

Police believe that citizen Thomas Christ came upon the robbery suspect and may have confronted him about parking his car on or near Christ’s property. Not long after the 911 call for the bank robbery in Wasaukee, there was a report of a male victim lying near his truck, who had been shot to death. The victim was identified as 59-year-old Thomas Christ and evidence later showed that Steven Timothy Snyder was responsible for both the bank robbery and the murder of Thomas Christ on March 24.

Within a couple of hours of this bank robbery, FBI agents from Michigan and Wisconsin networked and were attempting to locate Steven Timothy Snyder to see if he could be responsible for the bank robbery in Wasaukee. Investigators were able to determine what vehicle Snyder was driving and that he was in central Wisconsin, apparently driving southbound.  Detectives and FBI Agents determined that Snyder could be responsible for the robbery and murder in Wasaukee and decided to call the Wisconsin State Patrol to attempt a high-risk traffic stop on Snyder and his vehicle.

Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper, who was 21 years old at the time and on his first solo shift as a trooper, spotted the suspect vehicle going southbound on highway 41 north of Fond Du Lac. Trooper Casper began following the vehicle without his lights or siren on, while waiting for other patrol units to attempt the traffic stop. Before other units could join, Snyder did a quick U-turn, exited his car and began shooting at Trooper Casper in his patrol car, mortally wounding him. Trooper Casper exited his car and returned fire, hitting Snyder, who ran a short distance and died on scene.

DNA was obtained from Snyder and extensive follow-up was conducted to determine what other crimes he may have committed. On June 24, 2015 a meeting was held in Emmet County, Michigan, at the Pellston Regional Airport, where 19 Sheriffs, Detectives, and FBI agents from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio met and discussed all of their open bank robberies suspected to have been committed by Snyder.  So far, Steven Snyder has been linked through DNA, rental car records, hotel records, video surveillance, and/or method of operation to the following nine bank robberies in MI, WI, and Ohio:

1. June 3, 2011- Lake Osceola State Bank, Luther, MI (Lake County)

2. June 22, 2011- Lake Osceola State Bank, Wellston, MI (Manistee County)

3. November 16, 2011- Citizens National Bank, Pellston, MI (Emmet County)

4. September 3, 2013- Independent Bank, Croton, MI (Newaygo County)

5. November 26, 2013-National Bank of Commerce, Poplar, WI (Douglas County)

6. April 11, 2014- Dairy State Bank, Haugen, WI (Barron County)

7. August 6, 2014- Banner Bank, Hatley, WI (Marathon County)

8. March 4, 2015- Lebanon Citizens National Bank, Rochester, OH (Warren County)

9. March 24, 2015- State Bank of Florence, Wasaukee, WI (Marinette County)

The task force of law enforcement agencies that investigated the above listed Michigan bank robberies includes the FBI, Michigan State Police, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, and the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

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