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Two arrested in drive by shooting


Victoria Groth

Jose Perez

UPDATE:  The two suspects, Jose Perez, 33, of Grand Rapids, and Victoria Groth, 29, of Grand Rapids, were arraigned Monday afternoon in front of Magistrate Eggleston in Montcalm County’s 64B District Court.

Perez was arraigned on eight counts: Serious injury to a police animal, a five-year felony; weapon, felon in possession; ammunition, felon in possession; carrying a concealed weapon; felonious assault; fleeing and eluding, 4th degree; resisting and obstructing; and felony firearm. Bond was set at $250,000 cash/surety. He previously served time for home invasion, safe breaking, and possessing a weapon while a prisoner. He was paroled in 2015.

Groth was arraigned on felony probation, detainer, Kent County; and two counts of resisting and obstructing. Her bond was set at $40,000 cash/surety. She was on probation for one count of larceny in a building, and one count of uttering and publishing.


Two suspects will be arraigned on several felony charges Monday afternoon related to a drive by shooting in Howard City over the weekend.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, they were called to the scene on Howard City/Edmore Rd in Reynolds Township about 3:50 a.m. Sunday morning, August 6. While police were there, the victim was receiving text messages from the suspect. They determined the suspect was at a gas station in Howard City.

Troopers located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, but the suspect fled. The pursuit ended a few miles away behind a residence, where two suspects fled into a wooded area. A Michigan State Police K9 was brought in and tracked down the suspects. One of the suspects attempted to stab the K9 with a pocketknife and was tased by police. He was then taken into custody.

The K9 received a small cut from the knife, and he is currently in MSU’s animal hospital. He is expected to be released sometime in the next day or two.

Troopers recovered what they believe is the original firearm used in the shooting. The serial number had been removed.

The two suspects were lodged in the Montcalm County jail on several felony charges and will be arraigned at 2 p.m. Monday. Police will release the names of the suspects at that time.

The shooting is still under investigation.

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Police seek suspect in robberies

The Admiral Gas Station, 194 S. Main, in Cedar Springs, was robbed on Thursday, July 27. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jacob Abraham Savickas is suspected of robbing a string of businesses in Michigan and Indiana.

By Judy Reed

Police are asking for the public’s to help to locate the man wanted for a string of robberies in Michigan and Indiana, including the robbery Thursday, July 27, of the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station.

Savickas is driving this blue Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Police are looking for Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds, with short brown hair and a beard. He is driving a blue/purple Oldsmobile Intrigue 4D, Michigan plate DNL1257. He reportedly has family in the Howard City area.

If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6125, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Savickas started his crime spree last Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred about 9:22 a.m. The clerk told police that a white male in his late 20s came in and demanded money. He was described as wearing a white shirt, blue baseball cap, and having facial hair.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Av NE on Wednesday morning August 2.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are looking for Savickas, including the FBI.

“We believe this will continue and potentially escalate until Savickas is located and arrested,” said Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept.

Savickas was convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested for trying to steal plasma cutters from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Employees recognized him at the time as someone who previously stole welders and interrupted the theft of the plasma cutters. He fled but was arrested and held on six charges, several for retail fraud. He was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison. His record on the Michigan Corrections website shows him listed as a parole absconder as of July 6.

Current warrants out for him include parole absconder, two counts of larceny from a person, and fleeing and eluding.

The last time the Admiral Gas station in Cedar Springs was robbed was four years ago. It was robbed once in 2010; once in 2011; twice in 2012; and once in 2013.

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Garage catches fire in Solon Twp

This garage was a total loss after catching fire Sunday evening. Photo by Pamela Cooke.

By Judy Reed

The Solon Township Fire Department was called to a garage fire on Sunday, July 30, at 6 p.m., on the corner of Grosvenor and Cedar Springs Avenue.

According to Solon Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, they responded to the scene along with Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma Fire Departments. Rockford Ambulance was also on scene.

Deputy Chief Paige said that the homeowner discovered the fire. When the fire department arrived on scene, the fire was already well involved. There was a small patch of grass that burned, but other than that, they were able to keep the fire from spreading. Two pickup trucks were lost in the fire—one in the garage and one outside of the garage.

The garage, which was a detached pole barn, was used by the homeowner for storage and as a workshop.

Paige said that the fire was still being investigated and that the cause had not yet been determined. “We do know that it was unintentional,” he said.

There were no injuries experienced during the fire. Paige said the garage was a total loss.

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Classic cars shine

By Tom Noreen & Judy Reed


The Cedar Springs Historical Society’s Summer Car Show was a great success last Saturday, July 29.  Over 100 cars were on display. This was the largest show ever for the Society, said Director Sharon Jett, and a main fundraiser for them. The car show helps the museum provide free family programs throughout the year.

Roger and Della Grongos’ 1964 Pontiac GTO was voted best in the show by fellow car owners. The top three winners out of the top 20 were Mike Bannister with his 1968 Camaro; Al Marlin with his 1976 Corvette; and Bob Jenema with his 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster.

Special Guests this year were the State Police with their new cruiser that resembles the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department brought their Mobile Command Bus. The bus was open for display.

Meijer served a free hotdog lunch to the public again this year and coffee was generously provided by  the Cedar Springs Biggby Coffee Shop courtesy of owners Bob and Deb Garza.  The Cedar Springs High School FFA students sold donuts and helped folks as needed and Pat Patin provided lots of music. Nolan Patin, their youngest volunteer, did a silent auction as another little fund raiser.

Both Jett and volunteer DM White work about four or five months to get this show ready, and their efforts certainly paid off! Jett said that White contacted the MSP and Sheriff Department about coming and was pleased they said yes. “What makes it even better is the police officers are as excited about coming as we are about having them here!” she said.

“We are so grateful to the businesses and families who sponsor the show and our volunteers,” she added.

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Post travels the Beartooth Highway

We asked our readers on Facebook to tell us how they celebrated the Fourth of July. Shannon Maurer said they took the Post with them to celebrate the holiday! “We are enjoying our holiday on the Beartooth Highway and we brought the Post with us,” she wrote. “It is in Montana and Wyoming.”

According to Wikipedia, the Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road on a section of U.S. Route 212 in Montana and Wyoming between Red Lodge and the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, passing over the Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet above sea level.

Thanks so much, Shannon, 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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Families celebrate reading program with a party

The Kent County Sheriff’s mounted unit appealed to kids of all ages. Post photo by J. Reed.

The water slide was a big hit at the summer reading program party. Post by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Community Library’s summer reading program ended with a bang last Thursday, July 27, with a big celebration in Morley Park.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, at least 642 people attended the event.

There was a lot going on to keep both kids and adults entertained. Bounce houses, water slides, games, face painting, music, popcorn, ice cream, and water were all part of the festivities. Special guests on hand included the Kent County Sheriff Mounted unit with two of their horses, and the Cedar Springs Fire Department, who kept kids cooled off.

Prizes for the end of the year raffle were also given away—45 in all. At least 389 kids in grades K-12 finished their five-ticket reading goal to be a finisher. For those first 5 tickets local businesses treated the students to pizza, ice cream, meals, and the Whitecaps and Griffins provided tickets to a game. They then got to enter that ticket into a drawing for a prize. “So it wasn’t just read for a chance to win, but they were rewarded every 2-1/2 hours of the way,” explained Clark. “Everyone had a great time!”

Clark said that 1.642 people signed up for the summer reading program, including adults, and the 25 programs they held throughout the summer brought in 1,606 people (not counting the grand finale party).

The annual summer reading program, which costs about $3,500, is funded by donations from area businesses and individuals. See the library’s thank you ad in next week’s paper.

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Veterans soar with Dream Flight

Four Veterans who are members of the Sparta Senior Neighbors center were offered a Dream Flight. These four courageous men, ranging in age from 74 to 95 years old, took flight on July 11, in a WWII Boeing Stearman Biplane. These planes were used in the 1940s to train pilots during WWII. Back then they were not painted in the pretty bright colors they are today.

It was a gorgeous day. The sky was blue. The veterans agreed that it couldn’t have been a more perfect day to fly in an open cockpit plane.

Lloyd Mitz, age 95 years old, was a Corporal T5 in the 13th Armored. Lloyd was Recon in the WWII Battle of the Bulge. He traveled all over Germany in three different armies during the time he served.  He saved an officer’s life by taking him to a German doctor after being hit with shrapnel.

Jim Hoogerhyde, age 92 years old, was a S1C (AMM) in the Navy during WWII. Jim oversaw the 80 Boeing Stearman Biplanes and directed the pilots in and out of the base. Jim, just a young 18-year-old, was responsible for working in and around dangerous equipment. He remembers a near death experience working on a plane.

Dave Huhn, age 76 years old, was a staff sergeant who flew in the RC130’s in the Air Force during the 1960s. Dave was a Russian linguist and flew 1,000 hours off the coast of Warsaw Pact countries.

Don Zimmerman, age 74 years old, was a SP4 in the Army. Don was a low-pressure boiler operator in the 1960s. He came from a military family with two brothers serving, one in the Air Force and another in the Marines.

Pilot Mike Sommars and his wife Lynn greeted each veteran. Mike is currently an American Airlines pilot. Mike and Lynn give their time to the Ageless Aviation organization, which provides Dream Flights to veterans around the U.S.

Darryl Fisher, who is a pilot out of Washington, founded Ageless Aviation. Darryl had a dream to make a difference in senior citizen’s lives, as they profoundly influenced him during his formative years.

Jane Ringler, coordinator for the Sparta Senior Neighbors, contacted the Miller Sparta Airport requesting flights for the seniors. Airport manager Vic Johnston was helpful in connecting this local senior center with Ageless Aviation.

“Fortunately, Mike and Lynn could make time for our veterans with such short notice,” commented Ringler. “We are so grateful to Vic, the Miller Airport, Mike, Lynn, and everyone at Ageless Aviation. Our vets had a memorable day and were given the royal treatment.”

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Man arrested for breaking and entering

Nicholas John-Alexander Wilson

A 20-year-old Blanchard man was arrested Tuesday, July 25, for break-ins that occurred on February 8 in Lakeview and Howard City.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, both the Sheriff’s Office and Lakeview Police Department worked in conjunction while investigating the two related break-ins, which led to the arrest of the suspect responsible.

On February 8, 2017, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a break-in at a business in the 800 block of West Shaw Street in Howard City. Later that morning, the Lakeview Police Department began an investigation of a break-in at a related business in the 9000 block of North Greenville Road. The investigation continued with both agencies working together. After several interviews and an analysis of evidence, a suspect was developed and eventually arrested. 

On July 25, 2017, Nicholas John-Alexander Wilson, 20, of Blanchard, was arrested in connection with the thefts. Wilson is currently housed in the Montcalm County Jail on one count of Breaking and Entering. Wilson’s next court date is scheduled for August 8, 2017.

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Bush’s Baked Beans recalled

Bush Brothers & Company is voluntarily recalling certain 28 ounce cans of Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans and Original Baked Beans because cans may have defective side seams. These side seam defects may affect can integrity and may cause the cans to leak or allow for harmful bacteria to grow inside the product. Bush Brothers found the issue as part of their quality control inspections.

The recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

This event only affects the flavors and lot codes below. Lot codes are printed on the bottom of the can.

BUSH’S BEST® BROWN SUGAR HICKORY BAKED BEANS 28 ounce with UPC of 0 39400 01977 0 and Lot Codes 6097S GF and 6097P GF with Best By date of Jun 2019.

BUSH’S BEST COUNTRY STYLE BAKED BEANS 28 ounce with UPC of 0 39400 01974 9 and Lot Codes 6077S RR, 6077P RR, 6087S RR, 6087P RR with the Best By date of Jun 2019.

BUSH’S BEST ORIGINAL BAKED BEANS 28 ounce with UPC of 0 39400 01614 4 and Lot Codes 6057S LC and 6057P LC with the Best By date of Jun 2019.

You should not use these products even if the beans do not look or smell spoiled. No illnesses or other adverse consequences have been reported to date in connection with this product.

The recall was initiated after product leakage from the side seams of cans of the above product was detected. Subsequent investigation indicated the problem was caused by a temporary quality issue from Bush’s® can supplier. The problem was corrected and no other product is affected.

Consumers who have purchased the product listed above are urged to call Bush’s Consumer Relations at 1-800-590-3797 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday for instructions. Information may also be found on our website at www.bushbeans.com.

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The 8th Annual Sparta Celtic Festival 

August 11-12 at Rogers Park in Sparta

Are you looking for some fun, family entertainment? Interested in good food and good brews? Love Irish and Scottish music, dance and history? Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to run a 5K in a kilt? The 8th annual Sparta Celtic Festival has a little something for everyone!

The 2017 festival kicks off Friday, August 11, at Rogers Park, 75 N. Union in Sparta, and runs from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and reopens Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The festival continues to exceed growth expectations, and this year they added the nationally known touring act “The Moxie Strings,” to their full entertainment lineup, and added a new “Snap Fitness, 5K KILTED Fun Run & Walk” this year.

Friday night’s Festival Preview opens at 5 p.m. with access to the new “Splash Pad” at Rogers Park and the festival grounds, which includes a beverage tent, food vendors, Celtic shops and even a 1500’s Mercenaries Historic Encampment.

Entertainment on The Kent Equipment Main Stage begins with the area’s favorite Irish Group, “The Conklin Ceili Band,” at 6PM, followed by local Irish Dancers from Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin, and finishing up with an energetic performance at 7:45 from The Moxie Strings. The group has recently appeared at the Meijer Gardens Amphitheater and been seen at Festivals all over America.

On Saturday, the fun begins early with the “Inaugural, Snap Fitness, 5K KILTED Fun Run & Walk.” Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Main Stage with kilted participants getting $5 off their entry fee! Also returning to the Festival this year is a Rugby Tournament at Balyeat Field and the very popular Highland Games on the Festival grounds.

A full day of Celtic entertainment on four separate stages begins at 11:00 a.m. with Irish Dancers (one of 6 different dance groups on Saturday,) and ends with two incredible Rock style acts later in the evening. Local favorites “Hazard” will be performing on the ChoiceOne Bank Street Stage beginning around 8 p.m., and Detroit’s “Stone Clover,” the Midwest’s hottest Irish rock show, closes out the night on the main stage beginning at 8:30 p.m. In between, there will be 12 other musical acts, a Giant Leprechaun emcee, two “Kilted Magician Shows,” a bagpipe band, a tribute to a Fallen Soldier, a wandering Scottish Clown, and “Celtic Kilroy,” the living statue! All of this, for free!

The Sparta Celtic Festival remains one of the largest “free entry” Cultural festivals in Michigan thanks to the generous support of many great sponsors and with the help of a small army of volunteers. Besides the music and dance acts on stage, there will be a new Cultural Tent on the grounds, Irish Language Lessons, Irish Set and Ceili Dance Instructions, traditional Irish Music Sessions, Clan tents, a “Mercenaries of the 1500’s” encampment, and children’s activities with a Celtic twist.

Celtic gifts, food and drink are all available on both Friday and Saturday, as well as a craft fair on Saturday only. New to our “Cellar Brewing Co. Beverage Tent,” and especially with the kids in mind, are “Craft Soft Drinks” from Detroit City Soda” on tap. Also back at the festival are “The Whiskey Guys,” with samplings of both Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky.

So, the Sparta Celtic Festival continues to grow, continues to be free to enter, and remains very family Friendly.

What’s not to love about that? Even if you are not Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or any of the other four Celtic Nations, there is something you should enjoy about a free day of great cultural entertainment at a beautiful park in downtown Sparta, Michigan! See the complete entertainment schedule below.

AUGUST 11 & 12



Rogers Park, Sparta MI

Family Friendly


2017 Entertainment Schedule

Friday, August 11 & Saturday, August 12

Friday – August 11 – Gates Open 5PM

Kent Equipment Main Stage:

6:00PM Conklin Ceiu Band

7:00PM Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

7:45 PM The Moxie Strings

Cellar Brewing Beverage Tent Serving Until 9:30PM

Saturday – August 12 – Gates Open 10:30AM

Kent Equipment Main Stage:

11:30AM Mona Shores Fiddlers

1:15PM Uneven Ground Trad. Celtic Band

3:00PM Toby Bresnahan

4:30PM Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums

5:00PM *Fallen Soldier Memorial*

5:15PM The Moxie Strings

7:00PM Blarney Castle

8:30PM Stone Clover

Alpine Auto care dance Stage:

11:00AM Hubbardston Irish Dancers

12:30PM McClintic Highland Dancers

2:15PM Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

3:45PM Shannon Irish Dancers Academy & Co.

6:30PM Motor City Irish Dancers

8:00PM Ardan Academy of Irish Dance

Freeland Chiropractic civic center Stage:

11:00AM west michigan gaeltacht, irish language demo

Noon hugh irwin, the kilted magician

1:15pm hubbardston irish dancers

2:15PM McClintic Highland Dancers

3:00PM west michigan gaeltacht, irish language demo

4:00PM Motor City Irish Dancers

5:00pm hugh irwin, the kilted magician

6:45pm irish set & ceiu dance instruction & participation

8:00pm traditional irish music sessions

ChoiceOne bank Street Stage:

noon Scoil Rince Ní Bhraonáin Irish Dancers

1:00pm tom cotter

2:15pm Shannon Irish Dancers Academy & Co.

3:15pm lee mulder

4:30pm *to be announced

5:15pm leprecons

6:30pm ardan academy of irish dance

7:15pm cider the hard way

8:00pm hazard

Cellar Brewing Beverage Tent Serving Until 10:30PM

Performance times and stages subject to change


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