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One hurt in accident

N-Accident-Main-Street1-webN-Accident-Main-Street2-webA 17-year-old driver had to be extricated from her car Saturday evening, August 16, after she pulled out in front of another car at Main and Cedar Streets.

According to Cedar Springs Police Officer Mandy Stahl, a white Caprice was headed south on Main Street when the 17-year-old attempted to turn left off Cedar Street and was broadsided by the Caprice about 7 p.m.

The 17-year-old was pinned in her car, and Cedar Springs Fire had to extricate her. She was sent to the hospital via Rockford Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old female driver of the Caprice was not injured.

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

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Sheriff’s policing proposal on city agenda tonight

N-City-logo-webby Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council will vote Thursday evening on whether they want City Manager Thad Taylor to proceed with discussions with the Kent County Sheriff Department and possibly come back with a contract for them to take over policing the city.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Cedar Springs City Hall.

The City Council directed Taylor to get a proposal from Sheriff Larry Stelma earlier this year, after Police Chief Roger Parent announced he would be retiring at the end of August.

Last year’s police budget came in at $681,190. The 2014-2015 budget is projected at $685,511. Sheriff Stelma and his team propose that they could save the city at least $120,000 a year by taking over law enforcement services. And that would include hiring our current officers.

Presentations were made by the Sheriff and his staff at a City Council meeting and at a public forum last month. The City also mailed out surveys to residents to find out their thoughts.

Stelma assured residents at last month’s meeting that he was not trying to take over the police department. “This is my community, too. I raised my family here, pay taxes here. This is our project—an opportunity to discuss and impact our community for the future.”

Taylor said that he and Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent met with Sheriff Stelma recently to discuss what considerations would be necessary if they were to take over policing the city. Some of those included:

*They would choose the option that has a sergeant in the office during regular business hours and a deputy on patrol 24 hours a day.

*Deputies assigned to Cedar Springs would wear Kent County Sheriff Department uniforms and drive KCSD vehicles. The Sheriff had offered to let the officers wear CS uniforms, but Taylor said he thought it would be less confusing, in case a deputy had to come fill in for a CS officer.

*Deputies would respond to all calls for service, even those that the Sheriff department normally asks to be reported online.

*They would continue to unlock vehicles.

*The Sergeant would meet with City Manager as needed, provide monthly report for City Council packet, and attend staff meetings.

*They asked for a minimum of two current Cedar Springs officers be assigned to Cedar Springs if interested. They could always add more.

*Personnel assigned to Cedar Springs would operate from the current police department offices, and their shift would start and end in Cedar Springs (as opposed to the Sheriff substation).

*Include language in contract outlining when a deputy assigned to Cedar Springs can leave the city without a backup.

*Citizens would obtain copies of reports and follow up on complaints, etc. at City Hall.

*They would respond to all private property accidents.

*Cedar Springs officers would receive an immediate pay raise upon employment with the KCSD.

*The initial contract would be five years with automatic renewal unless either party elects to end the contract.

Taylor said that Sheriff Stelma agreed with these terms in principle. “Chief Parent and I felt these considerations were of primary importance to our community and officers,” said Taylor.

“It’s nice to save money,” he noted, “but what value are we getting for it? We wanted to make sure on what he (Sheriff Stelma) would do for our people and what services he would give to the community.”

If the city votes yes, Taylor would pursue discussions and have their attorneys work on a contract.

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent will retire at the end of this month. His last day as Chief is next Friday, August 29. However, if the council votes to approve turning police services over to Kent County, the police department would need to be dissolved. Taylor said that Parent would be willing to stay on as a civilian consultant for a couple of days a week to do the behind the scenes work to make that happen.

Officer Chad Potts, a 14-year veteran with the department, will serve as interim police chief, until some type of transition is made, either to Kent County or they hire another Chief.

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Man hurt in hit and run 


Police are looking for the driver that injured a Cedar Springs man in a hit and run accident last Saturday on US131.

According to Sgt. Jason Koepke, of the Mecosta County Sheriff Office, deputies were dispatched to a rollover accident about 9 p.m. Saturday, August 16, on southbound US131 just north of 11 Mile Road, in Mecosta Township. Witnesses reported a black passenger car, with tinted windows, sideswiped another vehicle, forcing it into the ditch, and causing it to roll over several times.

The driver of the sideswiped vehicle, Russell DeBoer, 63, from Cedar Springs suffered life-threatening injuries, and was flown by Aeromed to Grand Rapids Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. At press time, he was still in the hospital, according to police.

Sgt. Koepke said that they have not yet found the at fault driver. “We’ve had some calls, but nothing that has led to anything. The vehicle should have some damage on it,” he said.

Anyone with information on the suspected vehicle or driver should call the Mecosta County Sheriff office at (231) 592-0150.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Twp. Fire and Rescue, Mecosta/Austin Twp. Fire and Rescue, and AeroMed.


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The Post travels to Georgia


In June, Jon Korb and Sally Smith traveled to Augusta, Georgia to visit their son, Army Specialist Bill Korb, who is stationed at Fort Gordon.

The Post went along for the trip to have its picture taken with Bill and his Mom.

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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Gas prices expected to drop

Gas was $3.27/g in Cedar Springs at press time Wednesday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Gas was $3.27/g in Cedar Springs at press time Wednesday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Gas prices have been dropping, and according to GasBuddy.com, we should see gas prices decline even further as we approach fall and winter.

According to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 246 gas outlets in Grand Rapids, the average retail gasoline prices in Grand Rapids have fallen 18.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.42/g on Sunday, August 18. (They were $3.37/g here in Cedar Springs.) This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.45/g.

Including the change in gas prices in Grand Rapids during the past week, prices Sunday were 15.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 13.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 8.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

“The national average has now dropped to its lowest level since February, and with the end of the summer driving season nearing, we’ll likely see gas prices continuing the downward trend,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Oil prices last week dropped to $95/bbl briefly before rising the next day back to $97/bbl, but the important factor is that prices remain under triple digits. For motorists, we’re nearing the point that gasoline demand drops—after Labor Day—and also the upcoming switch back to cheaper winter gasoline will also put downward pressure on prices in mid-September. While a short-term increase in gasoline prices is never out of the question, as we grow nearer to September, the likelihood of a spike decreases. It won’t be long before we’ll start to see a few cities seeing averages under $3/gal. Areas of Tennessee and South Carolina are already getting close,” DeHaan said.


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Dogs removed from home ready for adoption

Thirty-seven dogs removed from custody of owner

N-Dogs2N-Dogs1The Kent County Animal Shelter received a judgment in Kent County Circuit Court last week, permanently taking 37 dogs from their previous owner. The dogs were being kept at a home in Grand Rapids since late 2013. Kimberly Savino, the previous owner of the dogs, is currently facing a felony charge animal cruelty/neglect. The civil court ruling means some of the healthier, well-adjusted dogs will be made available for adoption to the general public, starting on Friday, August 22. Some will continue to be held and treated medically until healthy enough for adoption or transfer to other rescues/shelters.

These particular dogs will need ongoing medical care at the adopter’s expense, for concerns such as dental care and eye issues.

“This was a lengthy investigation, with Animal Control Officers remaining diligent in their efforts to make sure these dogs were healthy physically and mentally,” said Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Once we could confirm that the situation had deteriorated, we requested a warrant, and found the dogs in various states of neglect and illness. Some were discolored from sitting in their own waste.” Two additional dogs taken from the home belong to the owners of the house; they continue to be held pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

The Kent County Animal Shelter received a warrant in late June to enter the home to check the welfare of the dogs at the home on Oakwood NE in Grand Rapids. The dogs were taken to the Kent County Animal Shelter, where they were evaluated by the shelter veterinarian and each dog provided vaccinations. The findings of Animal Control Officers were sent to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for review, which resulted in the felony charge. The dogs have been on hold pending the outcome of the case and review of a request by the shelter to forfeit the animals. Costs for boarding, feeding and medical care of the 37 dogs at KCAS are $629 a day; the dogs have been at the shelter for 50 days as of August 15 (total cost of over $30,000). The order to turn the dogs over to KCAS does not indicate any judgment in the criminal charges against the defendant; the criminal case is still ongoing.

“Some of the dogs have severe behavioral and medical issues that require treatment,” said Kent County Animal Shelter Supervisor Carly Luttmann. “We are working with partner agencies to help transfer these dogs to places that can best meet their needs. As dogs are treated and deemed ready for adoption, they will be moved from KCAS on-hold status to adoption kennels.”

The application to adopt from the Kent County Animal Shelter can be found at www.accesskent.com/KCAS. Dog adoption fees are only $62, due to generous funding from the Bissell Pet Foundation. Spay/neuter and all age appropriate vaccinations are included in the adoption price and adopters are counseled on making an appointment at their personal veterinarian 2-3 weeks after adoption for a check-up and any needed vaccine boosters.

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Man arrested after standoff

Brandon Carl Clements

Brandon Carl Clements

A Montcalm County man was arraigned last week on multiple charges connected to both an incident in June and another last week.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, they received a complaint on June 16 from a 32-year-old woman about Brandon Carl Clements, 39, of Vestaburg, a man with whom she had had a relationship with for about two years. She had broken off the relationship due to his assaultive behavior toward her. The woman said he had followed her from her Mecosta County home into the village of Lakeview with his car and rammed into her car several times, and blocked her path with his car. She was able to finally drive away and went to a nearby gas station and called 911.

Clements was located a few miles away by a Trooper from the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview. Sheriff Deputies arrived at the scene a short time afterwards to question Clements regarding the earlier incident. Clements was also suspected of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. Clements was then transported to Kelsey Hospital by Michigan State Police because he was complaining of pain and to obtain blood regarding the suspected OWl investigation. A Deputy remained at the Hospital for several hours and was told that Clements would be transferred to a Grand Rapids Hospital for further treatment. After the Deputy left the Hospital, Clements walked out of the hospital, against medical advice.

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office authorized a three-count felony warrant against Clements for Unlawful Imprisonment, Malicious Destruction to Person Property and Felonious Assault stemming from the June incident. Clements also failed to appear in Court for Operating While Impaired stemming from the June 16, 2014 incident. Sheriff’s Deputies had been looking for Clements since then and believe he was evading law enforcement.
On Wednesday, August 13, the victim from the June 16 incident was leaving her work location in Lakeview and, after entering her car in the parking lot, was surprised by Clements, who was hiding in the back seat of her car. Clements then physically assaulted the victim while inside the car. She was able to eventually stop the car near Lakeview and fled on foot. Clements then drove away with the victim’s car without her permission.

A Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Trooper from the Lakeview Post went to the victim’s home in Mecosta County to look for Clements. They were assisted by Deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies determined that Clements was inside the home alone and believed he was armed with several firearms. Repeated requests by police for Clements to come to the door were ignored.

The Michigan State Police requested assistance from their Emergency Services Division. After approximately 12 hours, a Michigan State Police negotiator was able to convince Clements to surrender. He was taken into custody and turned over to Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies, where he was lodged on the charges stemming from the June 16 incident and additional charges from the August 13 incident.

Clements was arraigned on August 14 on the following charges, with no Bond, stemming from the June 16th Incident: Count #1 Unlawful Imprisonment, 20 year Felony; Count #2 Malicious Destruction to Person Property, 5 year Felony; Count #3 Felonious Assault, 4 year Felony.
For the August 13 Incident: Count #1 Domestic Violence – 93 day Misdemeanor; Count #2 Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile (UDAA).


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IRS updates phone scams warning

The IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:

The IRS will first contact you by mail if you owe taxes, not by phone.

The IRS never asks for credit, debit or prepaid card information over the phone.

The IRS never insists that you use a specific payment method to pay your tax.

The IRS never requests immediate payment over the telephone.

The IRS will always treat you professionally and courteously.

Scammers may tell would-be victims that they owe money and that they must pay what they owe immediately. They may also tell them that they are entitled to a large refund. Other characteristics of these scams include:

Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves.

Scammers may know the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Scammers spoof caller ID to make the phone number appear as if the IRS is calling.

Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.

Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site.

After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you with a payment issue if you owe taxes.

If you know you don’t owe taxes or don’t think that you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

If scammers have tried this scam on you, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

The IRS encourages you to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov, to learn how to report tax fraud and for more information on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.


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Kent County seeks volunteers for boards

N-Kent-County-logoThe Kent County Board of Commissioners is seeking citizens interested in serving the community through appointment to various boards, commissions, and committees. Any Kent County resident may apply by completing an online application form via the County’s website at www.accessKent.com. Resumes and cover letters are encouraged and may be attached. All citizens are urged to apply. The application deadline is September 30, 2014.

Listed below are the boards, commissions, and committees that have citizen openings for terms effective January 1, 2015:

*Agricultural Preservation Board (1 agricultural representative)

*Area Agency on Aging of Region VIII – Advisory Council

*Area Agency on Aging of Region VIII – Board of Directors

*Community Corrections Advisory Board (1 Probation Representative and 1 Defense Attorney)

*Community Health Advisory Committee (1 community-based organization representative, 1 faith-based organization representative, and 2 health care providers)

*Community Mental Health Authority Board (term begins April 1, 2015)

*County Building Authority

*Department of Human Services Board (term begins November 1, 2014)

*Friend of the Court Citizen’s Advisory Committee (1 general public representative and 1 custodial parent)

*Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board (1 Kent County resident and 1 non-county resident from Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon or Ottawa County)

*Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority

*Housing Commission

*John Ball Zoo Advisory Board

*Kent County Family & Children’s Coordinating Council (4 private funding organization representatives and 4 Advocate/Consumer representatives)

*Kent District Library Board (Region 1 – Nelson, Oakfield, Spencer and Tyrone Township; and Region 5 – Ada, Cascade, and Grand Rapids Township and the City of East Grand Rapids. Applicants must live in Region 1 or 5.)

*Kent Hospital Finance Authority

*Millennium Park Architectural Advisory Review Board (1 business community representative and 1 design community representative)

*Officers’ Compensation Commission

*Road Commission Board

*Solid Waste Management Planning Committee (4 -Waste Company Representatives, 1-Waste Generator Representative, 2- Environmental Organization Representatives, 3 – General Public Representatives)

*Veteran’s Affairs Committee (Applicant must be a Veteran of the Armed Forces.

Indicate on application form which war/conflict served in the space provided to list your qualifications)

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One hurt in accident

20140816_194002_resizedA 17-year-old driver had to be extricated from her car Saturday evening after she pulled out in front of another car at Main and Cedar Streets.

According to Cedar Springs Police Officer Mandy Stahl, a white Caprice was headed south on Main Street when the 17-year-old attempted to turn left off Cedar Street and was broadsided by the Caprice about 7 p.m.

The 17-year-old was pinned in her car, and Cedar Springs Fire had to extricate her. She was sent to the hospital via Rockford Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old female driver of the Caprice was not injured.

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