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Chiropractor building demolished


The building at 44 N. Main can be seen on the corner, with the awning. A sign on the side says “Joe’s dependable service.” This photo was taken in the 1930s, during the street paving project. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

The building at 44 N. Main can be seen on the corner, with the awning. A sign on the side says “Joe’s dependable service.” This photo was taken in the 1930s, during the street paving project. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

 This photo from 1977 shows 44 N. Main next to the Log Cabin restaurant. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

This photo from 1977 shows 44 N. Main next to the Log Cabin restaurant. Courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

By Judy Reed

Another building that was built in the 1880s was torn down Wednesday, after being vacant for two years.

The building at 44 N. Main, last known as Dr. Robinson’s Chiropractic office, was bought in a tax foreclosure sale by builder Duane McIntyre last August. McIntyre, who is also a member of the Community Building Development Team, said his original intention was to remodel the building. But he found it was too rotted to save. “Once we got through the gutting process, it was just too rotten—the floors, the walls, the roof, and it reeked of mold,” he said.

The building at 44 N. Main was demolished on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

The building at 44 N. Main was demolished on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

The original building on the site on the southeast corner of Elm and Main, is believed to have burned in the great Black Friday fire of 1884. This building was built sometime after that. A photo from the 1970s shows the year on the front of the building—1880-something.

According to Sharon Jett of the Cedar Springs Historical Society, it was Bradis Harness Shop in the late 1800s, and then in the early 1900s, it was a shoe cobbler shop run by Roy Marvin. Other businesses located in the building over the years include Polly Prapp’s Watch Repair, Joe’s Dependable Service (see front page photo), and a bakery and dairy bar, according to a sign on the side of the building.

McIntyre bought the building with his business, Duane McIntyre Build-Design LLC. He also built and is selling the condos behind the White Pine Medical offices. But he’s not sure yet what will happen with the lot at 44 N. Main. He said if he doesn’t sell it, he would build on it. “I just want to help make Cedar Springs look nicer,” he explained. “I’m just a residential builder trying to make Cedar Springs a better place. It’s a great town, and I’m always trying to make it better.”

Thanks to Sharon Jett and The Cedar Springs Historical Society for their photos and info on this building. They are putting together a book on the businesses on Main Street and some of the side streets, and would appreciate any info or photos residents have of the businesses that have come and gone. Call the museum at 696-3335. They are open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Solon votes to tear down barn

Photo by Len Allington

Photo by Len Allington

sw-riconcBy Judy Reed

The Solon Township board voted 4-1 on Tuesday, March 10, to remove the old horse barn, referred to as the Stout barn, which sits behind the Township Hall, at 15185 Algoma Avenue.

Board member John Rideout made the motion to authorize and direct the Supervisor to facilitate removal of the barn, by the most economical means possible.

The barn has been a bone of contention since the Township bought the property. They originally investigated putting money into it for the new township hall, but decided to build after finding out what needed to be done.

The barn has been used for the flea market portion of the Solon farmer and flea market in the past, and this past winter was used for storage of RVs.

In 2012, Solon appointed five residents to the Solon Parks Committee, to create a master plan for the location. According to Len Allington, a member of the committee and vocal proponent of keeping the barn, the committee’s view is that “If it was sitting on anyone else’s property, it would be worth $100,000,” he said. “Their view (the board’s) is that it isn’t worth anything and they’d do anything to get rid of it.”

A survey done by the committee received 140 responses on what they would like to see in the property. 94 said they would like committee to look at potential uses for the buildings and the long term cost, and 49 said they wanted the buildings to stay and be restored and utilized.

The roof of the barn was damaged in the straight line winds that whipped through the area last April. The insurance paid them $16,000, but would pay out another $27,500 if they replaced it.

Allington said there are people that are interested in using it. He said that they could continue to use it for storage for boats and RVs without any code upgrade. He also thinks they can get the roof repaired for the amount of the insurance payout. However, he said if code upgrades are made, along with the roof being repaired, they could use the barn for other things such as indoor farmers market on bad weather days; a group has shown interest in using the barn as a site for canine agility performances, clinics and seminars; another for 4H events; an indoor archery range, indoor golf driving range, and more.

Solon Supervisor Bob Ellick was the lone no vote. But the no vote doesn’t mean he is against it. “I didn’t know the motion was coming, and I wasn’t ready to vote on it that night,” explained Ellick. “Something needs to be done with it—it needs hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work done,” he said. “Even if gets remodeled, it’s in the wrong place. I fought that when the Township Hall was going to be built; I thought it should’ve been in a different spot. But I can’t change it. I’m not horribly opposed to the board’s decision,” he explained.

Right now he is looking at public auction to sell the barn. However, if the committee’s contractor comes through with a bid to fix the roof, they will listen to it, he said. Ellick thinks restoring the barn could cost up to $500,000. “I don’t think the majority of the people would be enthused about us putting public money into it,” he noted.

Ellick thinks they could be build something smaller, lower to the ground, more economical, and more energy efficient for the same price. He said he would probably have some more ideas on the public auction by the next meeting.

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Let the sun shine in


We may be having some much-needed outdoor sunshine this week, but we are also celebrating sunshine of another kind. March 15-21 is being celebrated as “Sunshine Week” across the nation. Sunshine week is a week dedicated to shining a light on the importance of freedom of information, transparency and openness in government.

In this week’s paper, stories marked with a sunshine week emblem show that they were made possible through the Freedom of Information Act or Open Meetings Act. We hope this will bring awareness to how much we depend on an open, honest government.

It is important that citizens participate in our local government meetings and exercise their right to know. As responsible citizens working to keep our community strong, healthy and vibrant, we need to keep the focus on having an open government.

For more information on the FOIA and OMA acts visit the Open Government Guide at www.rcfp.org/open-government-guide. You can learn about both federal and state guidelines.

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Catholic Church breaks ground on addition

Some of the children also participated in breaking ground on the addition at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, in Cedar Springs. Photos courtesy of Sue Wolfe.

Some of the children also participated in breaking ground on the addition at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, in Cedar Springs. Photos courtesy of Sue Wolfe.

Some of the children also participated in breaking ground on the addition at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, in Cedar Springs. Photos courtesy of Sue Wolfe.

Some of the children also participated in breaking ground on the addition at St. John Paul II Catholic Church, in Cedar Springs. Photos courtesy of Sue Wolfe.

Father Lam Le, pastor of Saint John Paul II Church, held a ground breaking and blessing with several parishioners present on Wednesday, March 11.

The approximately 1,500 square-foot addition and a 24-feet x 32-feet pole barn are planned for the two-year-old Catholic church, currently serving over 290 families. This is just the first phase of a much bigger master plan for the location at 3110 17 Mile Road, just west of Meijer in Cedar Springs. The addition will serve as classrooms for the growing numbers of students and adults involved with religious education. The project is expected to be completed by midsummer.

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The Post travels to the Bahamas


Photo taken aboard the cruise ship Disney Dream.


The Post traveled to the Bahamas in early February with Jeremy and Brooke Robinson and their family. “The kids even got to miss a week of school,” said Brooke. “We traveled on Disney’s newest cruise boat, The Disney Dream. It was gorgeous! It was 70 and no snow! Who could ask for more than that?”

During the cruise they traveled to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) where they hung out on the beach and played in the ocean’s aqua blue water all day. They also went to Nassau, Bahamas where they got to swim and do tricks with the Dolphins in the Blue Lagoon.

“It was an incredible trip for our three kids, Jaxen Robinson, 6, Trentyn Roelofs, 11, and Alyssa Roelofs, 15,” said Brooke. “They are already asking when can we go back?”

Thank you Robinsons, 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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Crocuses are blooming


The warm weather we had over the weekend and Monday has tricked a few flowers into blooming. Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township, took this photo of crocuses blooming in her yard. It sure is a sight for sore eyes! Springs is on the way!

Thanks, Mary Lou, for sending in your photo!

We’d like to see your flower photos. Please send them to news@cedarspringspost.com, with some information about the photo.

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Fire update


By Judy Reed

Firefighters responded to a fire last Wednesday evening. March 11, about 7:43 p.m. at 14625 Cedar Springs Avenue, Solon Township. The structure fire was a pole barn at the home of Brent Davenport, just north of the Red Flannel Tree farm.

According to Solon Fire’s Lt. Chris Paige, fire departments on scene included Solon, Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma.

Paige said they got the fire out relatively quickly, considering they had to work around things in the barn such as a vehicle, tools, tires, etc. They cleared the scene at 10:45 p.m.

Their fire investigator and the insurance investigator both looked at the barn but did not yet determine a cause. It’s still under investigation.

Paige said the homeowner estimated damages at $20,000 to the building and $40,000 to the contents. The home was not damaged, though a few vehicles outside were damaged, said Paige.

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ICCF home in need of volunteers

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

The lot at 40 E. Maple is once again the site of a family home.

The previous home, which had been turned into apartments, was destroyed in a fire five years ago. The lot sat vacant until January, when Inner City Christian Federation began building a home on it. ICCF, which is similar to Habitat for Humanity, builds homes for those in need. Their mission is to “provide housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence, thereby helping to build stable communities.”

The three-bedroom, two-story home is similar to others in the area. Don Fredricks, Construction Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator, said that roof inspections should be done this week, and that they would be drywalling and insulating the inside. After that, they will need volunteers to step forward to help finish the project. “We will need trim carpenters in two to three weeks, and painters,” said Fredricks.

Anyone who would like to volunteer their services should call Fredricks at (616) 262-8863.

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City Council vetoes donating or selling property to ICCF


sw-riconcBy Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council voted down a proposal to donate 174 Pine Street, a city-owned lot, to Inner City Christian Federation, who was hoping to build another affordable home in the community for a family in need.

The ICCF is already building a house at 40 E. Maple, and recently purchased a lot on Cedar Street as well.

ICCF proposed to build a two-story house on the double lot. The lot is assessed at $20,000, and ICCF said that they were willing to purchase it for $10,000. City Manager recommended that they either donate the property to ICCF or sell it for $10,000. John Witmer, who represented ICCF at the meeting, said they had it in the budget, but a donation would be appreciated, and the money would just be put back into a better product.

In a presentation just previous to the ICCF proposal at the meeting, Kurt Mabie, president of the Community Building Development Team, had said he was no longer interested in 174 Pine Street for the CBDT, since they had closed on the Fifth Street property. He did mention, however, that he knew of a builder who might be interested in building senior no-step residences in that area.

Pam Conley asked if someone else was coming before the Council that night with plans for that lot, and Mabie said no.

The City’s master plan calls for senior housing in the mixed use area, and there currently is none. This lot, however, is not in the mixed use area.

Councilor Dan Clark said he wasn’t ready to make a decision, he thought they should look at the master plan. Councilor Perry Hopkins said he was with Dan, that he thought it would be better to gamble and follow through with the master plan of having some senior housing. Councilor Bob Truesdale said his heart was divided. He’d like to see them (ICCF) have it, yet he’d also like to see some senior housing.

Councilor Molly Nixon felt that it would be best to donate it to someone who already had a plan, to get some money back on the property. Taylor said taxes would be about $2,290 and the city would see $900 of that.

In the end, the motion to donate the property was voted down 3 to 4. Voting in favor was Councilors Powell, Conley and Nixon, and against was Councilors Clark, Hall, Hopkins and Truesdale.

You can view the City Council meeting on their website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org.

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Kraft recalls Macaroni & Cheese boxed dinners 


N-Mac-and-cheese-recall-webPossible metal pieces in boxes

Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling approximately 242,000 cases of select code dates and manufacturing codes of the Original flavor of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, due to the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal.

The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz. size of the Original flavor of boxed dinner with the “Best When Used By” dates of September 18, 2015 through October 11, 2015, with the code “C2” directly below the date on each individual box. The “C2” refers to a specific production line on which the affected product was made.

Some of these products have also been packed in multi-pack units that have a range of different code dates and manufacturing codes on the external packaging (box or shrink-wrap), depending on the package configuration.

Recalled product was shipped to customers in the U.S. and several other countries, excluding Canada. The affected dates of this product were sold in only these four configurations:

7.25 oz. box, Original flavor

3-pack box of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor

4-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor

5-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor

No other sizes, varieties or pasta shapes and no other packaging configurations are included in this recall. And no products with manufacturing codes other than “C2” below the code date on the individual box are included in this recall.

Kraft has received eight consumer contacts about this product from the impacted line, within this range of code dates, and no injuries have been reported. “We deeply regret this situation and apologize to any consumers we have disappointed,” they said.

The recalled product was shipped by Kraft to customers nationwide in the U.S. The product was also distributed to Puerto Rico and some Caribbean and South American countries but not to Canada.

Consumers who purchased this product should not eat it. They should return it to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund. Consumers also can contact Kraft Foods Consumer Relations at 1-800-816-9432 between 9 am and 6 pm (Eastern) for a full refund.

For more info visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm438708.htm.

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