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Help stock the Cedar Springs food pantry

Edward Jones is collecting food Oct. 15-Nov. 19

Would you like to have a chance to really make a difference in the community?

Buy a few extra items when you buy groceries this week to donate to the local food pantry and drop them off at our local Edward Jones branch.

The Cedar Springs Community Food pantry, located at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on Main Street, works in conjunction with North Kent Community Services. The pantry feeds hundreds of local families each year and depends on the community to help restock their shelves, especially during the busy fall and winter months. One local business spearheads a drive each year to do just that.

Edward Jones, 4027 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, achieved their goal last year of collecting 2,500 pounds of food, and so they’ve raised the goal this year. They hope to collect a whopping 2,750 pounds of food this year by November 19! In a year where grocery shopping is hard, this may be a challenge but if we pull together we can do it!

They started this annual food drive in 2010, and over the last 10 years, they’ve collected over 18,000 pounds to benefit our neighbors in need.

Non-perishable foods can be dropped off at the Edward Jones office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Suggestions for the pantry include boxed or canned meals such as soups, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, baking and pancake mix; and canned meats. Personal care items such as bar soap, laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper will also be accepted, but not weighed. No cash donations accepted.

Call 696-9370 for more information.

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New sculpture in Heart of Cedar Springs park

This new owl sculpture in the Heart of Cedar
Springs park, behind the Cedar Springs
Library, was created by Steve Anderson. 
Courtesy photo 

By Sue Wolfe

A new sculpture was recently set in place near the Cedar Springs Community Library in the Heart of Cedar Springs city park running along Cedar Creek. 

This is the fourth sculpture to appear in the park and is the third piece by Steve Anderson. The sculpture features a stainless-steel owl entitled “Wisdom and Imagination.” The scholarly looking owl has its right wing extended over a black metal bench and the left wing is holding a book. Next spring a bronze sculpture of a child reading a book entitled “Once Upon A Time,” by sculptor Sondra Jonson, will be seated next to the owl that appears to be looking over the child’s shoulder. This meaningful sculpture was commissioned by an anonymous local philanthropist channeled through the Community Building Development Team (CBDT). 

The donor and artist collaborated in creating this design believing it to be an ideal location and with hope it will inspire young people to grab a book from the library, cozy up within this beautiful park, and read.

Anderson shared these thoughts, “I love everything about the story this piece tells and how it just makes you smile. Also, we have never worked with a nicer group of people. Again, the Anderson Family would like to say how blessed and thankful we are to be given the opportunity and funding that allows us to continue our passion for sculpture.”

 The Andersons, known as a Christ-centered family, live in the Cedar Springs community and work as a team—father, Steve, and two sons, Troy and Chad—under the business name of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture. The Anderson’s previously installed two sculptures in this park titled “Ascension,”a nine-foot tall blue heron with a six foot wing span and “Dragons Flight,” featuring three dragonflies in motion. Both pieces are near the rain garden and Cedar Creek, close to this latest piece. More of Anderson’s pieces appear locally at Red Hawk Football Stadium (Tom Brown Fire Hawk) and the Red Hawk at the Cedar Springs High School as well as “Water Dance” at the Rogue River Rockford Dam.

The fourth park sculpture titled “Springs Eternal” was created by Andrew Kline, a Cedar Springs resident. Kline’s piece is done in mild fabricated iron situated on the site of the former steel foundry. It was gratefully received in 2019. 

Kline’s artist journey turned serious when his Western Michigan University (WMU) professor encouraged him to embrace his talent. After graduating from WMU in 2010, he spent time creating various designs and soon become employed with Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. He has spent the last 10 years with the Meijer organization as a preparator and assistant conservator and serves on an advisory committee which selects and oversees the sculptures within the facility. 

This Kline sculpture was on exhibition in various locations throughout the state. Prior to coming to Cedar Springs, it spent a few months at Crystal Mountain Resort in northern Michigan. When asked how Cedar Springs became the grateful recipient of this beautiful sculpture Kline replied, “I had been following the progress of the library, amphitheater, and creation of a new park along Cedar Creek. I felt this piece reflecting an eternal spring would be an appropriate addition to the park of my hometown.” 

Cedar Springs Community Librarian Donna Clark added, “What a great privilege it has been to work here in the Heart of Cedar Springs, to have a front row seat to watch the Heart grow to include a new library, four sculptures, a new amphitheater, a new bridge, new trees, ponds full of wild flowers and grasses, frogs and butterflies.T hroughout my day I pass the many windows of the Library and gaze out as my heart fills with joy and gratitude. I think of the vision, the collaboration, and the dedication of so many to bring it all to fruition. I feel blessed to live in Cedar Springs at such a time as this.” 

Along with the new sculpture, a 20’ x 20’ cement pad for dancing and barrier-free seating and a cement pad for a future bike rack has been installed near the amphitheater completed by Tim Greenman owner of Almighty Concrete. 

A new concrete dance pad was recently poured near the amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo 

Upcoming CBDT plans include the paving of several paths throughout the Heart of Cedar Springs park to include one from Maple Street to the amphitheater for service access to the amphitheater. Other paved sections will be completed for walking paths both along the north and south sides of Cedar Creek connecting Pine Street and the existing paved path behind the library extending to Main Street.  

The Community Building Development Team continues to work with the City of Cedar Springs on enhancing the Cedar Springs community. The next CBDT meeting is scheduled outdoors at the amphitheater on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 contingent upon the weather. Please bring a chair and mask. This is open to all interested folks. Topics on the agenda include how best to get more community members involved and discuss projects to include pickleball and sand volleyball courts, a community building, art studio, and much more. If you have ideas or want to get involved, visit the CBDT website at http://www.CSCommunityCenter.org or email Carolee Cole at CaroleeCole@gmail.com.

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State to study ways to combat distracted driving

Researchers will test dynamic message signs coupled with enforcement

Starting October 5 and running through October 19, researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) will be working with police agencies in Kent and Wayne counties to evaluate methods of enforcing distracted driving and cell phone use violations.

During the two-week period, dynamic message signs will be used off-and-on to alert drivers to the highly visible enforcement. Researchers seek to determine if targeted safety messages have any measurable impact on driver behavior.

“Distracted driving, and cell phone use specifically, continue to be significant traffic safety concerns nationwide,” said Dr. Peter Savolainen, MSU Foundation Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This project aims to assess the effectiveness of high visibility enforcement, in combination with different types of messages that discourage cell phone use by drivers.”

Dynamic message signs are roadside signs with easily changeable electronic messages.

Participating law enforcement agencies are the Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police (MSP) Second District, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Rapids Police Department, Wyoming Police Department, MSP Sixth District, and Kent County Sheriff’s Office. They will conduct up to 1,000 hours of distracted driving enforcement.

In Michigan during 2019, 70 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.

“Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous acts one can do behind the wheel,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “We hope this research will provide us with new strategies in combating this deadly problem.”

This research is part of a nationwide project sponsored by the National Safety Council. It will continue from April 5, 2021 through April 26, 2021.

Kent and Wayne counties were selected to participate because of their high number of fatal and serious injury crashes. From 2016-2018, there were 188 fatal or serious injury distracted driving crashes in Wayne County and 128 in Kent County, the two highest in the state.

Michigan law prohibits a driver from reading, manually typing, or sending a text message while driving. Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes or other emergencies. The research project is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and enforcement will be coordinated by the OHSP.

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County, schools launch interactive COVID-19 dashboard

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Recently the superintendents of the Kent Intermediate Superintendents’ Association, in partnership with the Kent County Health Department, released a public COVID-19 dashboard. The dashboard is designed to keep parents and members of the public informed on the status of COVID-19 cases in their schools and districts. 

The dashboard includes information on COVID-19 cases, those currently in isolation and the current number of outbreaks in schools (defined as two or more cases with a connection within the school). Users can also see if a case involves a staff or student and whether the student is onsite or part of a virtual program. COVID-19 data is made available through a partnership between Kent ISD and the Kent County Health Department.

“Transparency is of the utmost importance to each of our superintendents as we work in collaboration with our communities to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff,” said Ron Caniff, superintendent of Kent ISD. “We must remain vigilant and continue to strictly adhere to mitigation strategies in order to minimize the impact of COVID-19.”

“The Kent County Health Department feels strongly that one of the best ways to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to be transparent with the public,” said Dr. Adam London, Director of the Kent County Health Department. “Schools throughout the county have done a tremendous job of being proactive with safety precautions and working collaboratively with the Health Department. This dashboard is a natural extension of the close working relationship we have with schools.” 

The dashboard is available on the Kent ISD’s website and can also be viewed here: 


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Hands-on History Lesson at the Cedar Springs Museum

The wigwam set up at the CS Historical Museum is a look back at the native people who once inhabited our area. Photo by C. Patin 

by Cindy Patin

Have you been to the Cedar Springs Historical Museum lately? It is a wonderful local resource in our community for learning about our Cedar Springs history and passing on an appreciation of that history to the next generation. It is the perfect place to make a special trip with your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews. Actually, you would enjoy going with anyone!!  School groups are encouraged to visit, as well, and would be a valuable field trip experience for any teacher looking for a budget-friendly option for their class. 

Photo by C. Patin 
Kids admiring a horse-drawn sleigh from bygone days in the Cedar Springs Historical Museum. 

Just before school began in September, I had the opportunity to take some of our nieces and nephews, ages 3-14, on a private tour through the Cedar Springs Museum, courtesy of one of their generous volunteers, Mr. D White. It was a fantastic opportunity for kids to engage with historical elements—farm and hand tools, kitchen implements, blacksmith equipment, printing presses, military items, uniforms, apparel, transportation devices, communication devices, Native American artifacts, etc.—not in use any longer, and to hear stories and explanations of their use. 

The younger ones were particularly interested in the full-scale wigwam, the typewriter, and the horse-drawn sleigh. The older ones appreciated their current high efficiency washer and dryer even more, and their own “chores around the house,” after seeing the “old model wash tubs and ringers.” (Dads and moms, if you want your kids to appreciate their chores, have them learn first-hand how chores use to be done! Hee, hee!) 

They also were really enthralled with Mr. White’s personal experience working for the US Postal Service on the railroad. You can even see a replica of the mailbag system that Mr. White used right inside the museum. I didn’t even truly understand, or appreciate, all the nuances of the mail process until hearing the first-hand account from Mr. White during our visit. It was very impressive! 

I’m so glad we were able to go. If you would like to schedule a personal tour for your family or for a class of students, please contact Mr. White directly at 616.835.0809. He is more than happy to share with all of you, as well.

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Alpha Family Center raises matching grant funds for ultra sound machine

Knights of Columbus to work with Alpha on rest of funding

by Judy Reed

Teresa Hathaway before
her hair cut.

If you’ve Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center recently, you might notice that she’s sporting a new look. Teresa recently had several inches of her hair cut off as part of the incentive for people to donate during their 20/20 Vision for Life Ultra Sound campaign over the summer. 

Alpha decided earlier this year to begin the conversion process from a pregnancy care center to a pregnancy medical center and began raising the additional funds needed to do so during LifeWalk. 

Teresa Hathaway after her hair cut.

“By making the conversion to a medical center we will have the ability to provide free ultrasounds,” said Hathaway. “We understand the important role ultrasounds play in a woman’s decision when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Ultrasounds have proven to change minds and save lives as women see and hear their babies.”

The deal was that if they raised $25,000 towards Lifewalk and $25,000 towards an ultrasound machine by Sept. 1, she would get her long, lovely locks shorn. It almost didn’t happen.

“As of Saturday, August 29, we had only raised $1,000 towards our goal of $25,000 for Alpha’s 20/20 Vision for Life Ultrasound Project. I had it in my mind to extend the deadline to raise the $25,000 to October 1st to give us more time,” explained Hathaway. “But apparently God had His own plans and it didn’t require more time, just hearts willing to be obedient to His leading.” 

On Sunday, August 30, she received an anonymous donation of $9,900 and then the very next day a couple provided Alpha with a check for $25,000.

“The funds that Alpha has raised are to be used towards the preparation needed in the conversion to a medical center so we can provide ultrasound services to our clients. This includes training, legal requirements, additional staff, insurance, renovations and media cost in promoting the new service to the communities,” she explained.

But what about the actual machine? “We can now publicly announce that the Knights of Columbus Council 15889 is working with the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus to purchase an ultrasound machine for Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs,” said Hathaway. She received a copy of a letter from Father Lam, of St. John’s Parish, that explains the endeavor to supporters.

“We are working with the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus so that Alpha Family Center in Cedar Springs, Michigan can purchase an ultrasound machine. It helps women choose life by giving them the opportunity to view their unborn children on the ultrasound machines at a pro-life pregnancy center. This is how it works in term of funding for the machines: after the local council raises 50 percent of the cost, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council will provide the other 50 percent to complete funding for the purchase of an ultrasound machine.

“How can you help? People who respect life from the moment of conception to our natural death write checks to the Knights of Columbus Council 15889 and mail them to St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs Michigan 49319. We hope to reach 50 percent of the funding, which is approximately $25,000, on October 22. Please make sure that the check is made out to the council and not to the parish.

“My sincere hope is that with your assistance we will reach our goal on October 22. Why this date? It is the Feast of St. John Paul II, the patron Saint of council 15889 and the Catholic parish in Cedar Springs. During this year, we commemorate the 100th birthday of this saint who during his earthly life served the church and the world as Pope and wrote a beautiful encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life. This letter serves as a foundation for many movements and reflections on the sanctity of life. Let’s celebrate this Apostle for Life by helping our community in Cedar Springs obtain the ultrasound machine for the Alpha Center.”

Hathaway said they will also be looking for a Medical Director for the center. “We praise our Lord for providing these funds and we are trusting in Him to also provide us with a M.D./D.O to serve as our Medical Director,” she said. 

To donate, make checks out to: The Knights of Columbus Council 15889

Mail them to: St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs Michigan 49319.

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En Gedi Youth Center to open at City Impact in Cedar Springs

En Gedi, a local Cedar Springs Christ-centered non-profit organization established in 2009, has been providing a free after-school youth center for students in grades 6-8 for several years. It was previously housed at Red Hawk School but unable to open this fall due to the recent COVID guidelines for schools and outside organizations. 

The En Gedi Team recently met with City Impact Co-Directors Jonathan and Kelley Bergsma. With both organizations sharing in a common mission to serve our Cedar Springs Area, City Impact Board of Directors and En Gedi Board of Directors were eager to explore options for continuing the En Gedi after-school program at the City Impact facility located at 288 N. Main Street in downtown Cedar Springs. 

With both En Gedi and City Impact supported solely on local donations from area businesses and community members, they remain seated firmly in their faith this arrangement can work through the grace of God.  En Gedi’s annual fund-raising auction held each spring had to be cancelled in 2020 but is tentatively rescheduled for March of 2021. 

The Youth Center Executive Director Pastor Craig Owens will continue to oversee the program currently scheduled to begin on Monday, October 12 and run from 2:30 to 5 pm. However, students do not need to commit to the entire four days nor the entire time period. En Gedi is open to individual schedules that coincide with the youth center hours. All students in grades 6-8 from both Cedar Springs Public Schools (CSPS) and Creative Technologies Academy (CTA) as well as home-schooled and virtual learner students are welcome to attend. The Youth Center program doors are open Monday–Thursday when Cedar Springs Public Schools are in session. Strict standards following the recommended Kent County COVID guidelines, that coincide with CSPS and CTA rules, will be followed at the Youth Center.  More details can be found in the Youth Center Handbook available from Pastor Owens.

City Impact’s mini-bus/large van will be used for student transportation from both CSPS and CTA (if needed) to City Impact free of charge. Parents or guardians must pick up their students at City Impact no later than 5 pm. All parents or guardians must complete an application in advance to attend the youth center. This application can be found on the En Gedi website of EnGediYouthCenter.com or call Pastor Owens for more options. 

All youth center staff and volunteers are screened and supervised according to educational standards under the direct supervision of Pastor Owens. A van driver with a CDC license and one part-time staff are still needed. 

Daily schedules include indoor and outdoor physical activity, group discussions, board and computer games, as well as homework with monitored internet services available. It is hoped more opportunities will be provided as the recommended COVID guidelines change.  

“Building trusting relationships through mentoring and tutoring as well as having a lot of fun is our En Gedi objective,” said Pastor Owens. “As leaders within the youth center, we try to provide encouragement and safe options for this ‘after school time’ when students are often home alone due to working parents or guardians. Statistic show a high rate of drug use and bad choices occurring among middle school aged students during this unsupervised time at home,” he continued. 

“Now, with schools closing their buildings immediately after the last class, except for athletic practices, the youth center is a great option for our young people. En Gedi hopes to provide a safe and fun supervised place to hang out,” said Owens. 

Adult volunteers are needed at the Youth Center for any time slots they may have available to share.  If community members have a hobby or skill they are willing to share with the students please contact Pastor Owens.  Previous classes or demonstrations have included jewelry making, fire safety, guitar, and more. 

The Ladies and Men of Honor, a partner organization with En Gedi, will also conduct their meetings during Youth Center hours. This program promotes positive life leadership skills, community service, and Christian values. 

If you should have any questions surrounding the youth center please feel free to contact Pastor Owen by phone at 616.667.7773 or email at EnGediYouthCenter@gmail.com. Check out the En Gedi Facebook page and website of EnGediYouthCenter.com.  You can download the Youth Center Handbook and application on the website. 

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Governor files motion on court ruling

By Bruce Walker—The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion Monday requesting the Michigan Supreme Court clarify when its ruling nullifying her COVID-19 executive orders issued after April 30 takes effect.

In her motion seeking clarification for the Supreme Court’s decision, issued last Friday, Whitmer claims the ruling does not take effect for at least 28 days.

On Friday, she had stated her executive orders retained the force of law for 21 days.

The Supreme Court struck down the statute under which the governor has issued executive orders for over 200 days.

Whitmer claims an immediate ruling effect would cause up to 830,000 Michigan workers to lose unemployment benefits and cause confusion for the other orders she’s issued.

“The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I vehemently disagree with their ruling, I’m ready to work across the aisle with Republicans in the legislature where we can find common ground to slow the spread of the virus and rebuild our economy,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“It’s time for Republicans in the Legislature to get to work and start showing that they are taking this crisis seriously. They can start by canceling their October recess and getting back to work. Let’s work together and get this done.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon said the ruling raises legal questions and needs time to transition.

“Make no mistake, Governor Whitmer will continue using every tool at her disposal to keep Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses safe from this deadly virus,” Gordon said in a statement.

“The same is true for our department. We will use every statutory tool available to protect our state employees and the residents we serve. We also need Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and getting their flu vaccine. We will get through this together.”

The Michigan Supreme Court Friday unanimously agreed Whitmer lacked authority to extend her state of emergency past April 30 without approval from the GOP-controlled legislature.

Whitmer contends her powers are still active, but in the meantime, local health departments are issuing orders.

In a July 29 executive order, Gordon cited a 1978 law, saying “Every person in this state must comply with the rules, procedures, and restrictions outlined in EO 2020-153, EO 2020-160, and EO 2020-161” – all orders issued after April 30.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi, citing the Friday ruling, said they “will no longer enforce the Governor’s Executive Orders through criminal prosecution.”

“However, her decision is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority,” Jarvi said in a statement.

“It’s her fervent hope that people continue to abide by the measures that Governor Whitmer put in place – like wearing face masks, adhering to social distancing requirements and staying home when sick – since they’ve proven effective at saving lives.”

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Statement regarding Michigan Supreme Court decision

from Dr. Adam London, Director, Kent County Health Department

On October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the Governor did not have the authority to issue executive orders under emergency declarations past April 30, 2020.

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is hopeful the Legislature and the Governor will work together to protect public health in a collaborative and expedited manner. The KCHD is communicating closely with officials at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other local health departments to identify pathways forward which respect rule of law and are protective of the health and safety of our communities.

Actions such as orders for isolation and quarantine are not affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. These actions are authorized under the Michigan Public Health Code, a law that was enacted by the Michigan Legislature in 1978. The KCHD will continue to use public health orders and enforcement actions as appropriate under law as this agency has done for many decades.

The KCHD stresses the importance of adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Those strategies include wearing facial coverings in indoor public places, maintaining social distance, frequent handwashing, and staying home if you are sick. The KCHD is confident Kent County residents will continue to take the steps necessary to place their families, friends, and coworkers at the least possible risk for contracting COVID-19.

More COVDI-19 resources and information can be found by visiting https://www.accesskent.com/Health/coronavirus.htm.

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Email scam: Windows support center

The Mecosta County Sheriff Office has been alerted of an email scam. If you get an email requesting you to call Windows Support Center or any other entity in regard to your bank account being accidently billed or funds deducted, do not call the number provided. They are attempting to get you on the phone and obtain your personal information and bank information and remotely accessing your computer.

If you get an email or an unsolicited phone call, do not open or answer the email and hang up and block the phone number. 

If you believe you have been scammed contact your bank and check your account online and report any suspicious activity to them.

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