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Free cats at Animal Shelter


ENT-Free-cats1Spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ready for a new home! 

Beginning Wednesday July 20, 2016, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is offering free adult cats (over four months old) for adoption. Kittens under four months are available for adoption at half price. Qualified adopters will only pay $20 compared to the normal price of $40 for kittens. This offer is good through close of business Friday July 22. To apply, potential adopters simply need to come the Kent County Animal Shelter, provide photo identification with a current address, and fill out an adoption form. Normal KCAS adoption guidelines will remain in place. Shelter personnel will verify with landlords of those adopters who rent that pets are accepted in their homes.

ENT-Free-cats2All of the cats currently available for adoption have already been spayed or neutered. Shelter staff test all adoptable cats for Feline Leukemia and FIV. Every cat is also up to date on all vaccinations, has been microchipped and has received a flea treatment. “These are good and loving pets,” says Dr. Christopher Buckley DVM, staff veterinarian at KCAS. “For whatever reason, we just have too many of them right now, and we want them to find good homes.”

The Kent County Health Department reminds people that the health benefits of pet ownership are well known. According to a University of Minnesota study, cat owners were 30 – 40 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease than non-cat owners. The study also found benefits from lower stress, lower blood pressure and increased life span.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller N.E. in Grand Rapids. The shelter is open Monday through Friday 9:30-1 and 2-6:30. Interested media can call for b-roll and interview appointments.

The pictures attached are of cats that were actually available for adoption as of Tuesday. Feel free to use the photos with courtesy to the Kent County Animal Shelter in any way you see fit.

The offer for free cats expires when the shelter closes on Friday July 22. More about our adoption program can be found at www.accesskent.com/Health/AnimalControl/animal_adoption_program.htm

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Fire at campground does $110,000 in damage

Photo courtesy of Dan Johnson.

Photo courtesy of Dan Johnson.

By Judy Reed


The fire at Lakeside Camp Park started in this pole barn. Photo by J. Reed.

Several area fire departments battled a structure fire Monday, July 11 at Lakeside Camp Park on White Creek Avenue, just south of 17 Mile Road.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were dispatched to the fire at 1:11 p.m. It started in a pole barn and spread to an RV next to the barn. He said it also damaged a utility truck and melted some of the siding on the brand new house that owner Rich Lupico had just built this spring.

Cedar Springs Fire, Algoma Fire, and Kent City Fire provided mutual aid at the scene.

Drake said that a park worker discovered the fire in the pole barn where he had been working. The man’s wife had a medical event due to the fire, and needed medical attention at the scene. Some saw this and thought a firefighter had been injured, but no firefighters were injured while fighting the fire.

The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

Drake said that they believe the fire started in a southern wall of the barn. But they did not yet know a cause. “We know an electrical storm moved through prior to the event. But nothing has been ruled out,” he explained.

He said they plan to dig into and investigate the fire more this week to try to determine the cause.

Drake placed damages at $110,000, which included the barn, equipment, RV, and siding on the house.

Lupico told the Post that he used the barn as his maintenance shop. “This is pretty devastating. I lost a lot of stuff in that barn,” he said.

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City, Solon celebrates library groundbreaking

The groundbreaking of the new Cedar Springs Library took place Saturday, July 9 at the corner of Main Street and W. Maple. Photo by J. Reed.

The groundbreaking of the new Cedar Springs Library took place Saturday, July 9 at the corner of Main Street and W. Maple. Photo by J. Reed.

Library Director Donna Clark was one of several speakers at Saturday’s event. Photo by J. Reed.

Library Director Donna Clark was one of several speakers at Saturday’s event. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Residents, community groups, and city and township officials from Cedar Springs and Solon Township came together Saturday, July 9, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street.

Many local officials were on hand for the ceremony, including (but not limited to) Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma, interim Cedar Springs City Manager Barb VanDuren, new City Manager Mike Womack, Mayor Jerry Hall, and Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick.

Library board member Tony Owens emceed the event.

The ceremony opened with the pledge of allegiance, led by the American Legion Color Guard. Several officials made remarks, including a passionate speech by Library Director Donna Clark.

“I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the 1800s to this present day by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers – enthusiastic people of vision and hope,” remarked Clark.

She pointed out that significant events had taken place in the library’s history both 80 years ago, and 100 years ago.

“It is noteworthy that the Clipper Girls used their printing presses and their enthusiasm to spearhead a millage campaign for stable funding for the Cedar Springs Community Library, and it passed in 1936 during the Depression—80 years ago.”

She also said that 100 years ago, in 1916, the old Congregational Church, which stood on the NE corner of Beech and 2nd Streets, was purchased by the town and was used as a community center for several years. After the building was purchased, a library was established in the tower rooms and Una Hopkins was the first librarian.

And now, 100 years later, in 2016 we are building to move from 2,016 sq ft to a new facility of 10,016 sq ft.

“Our goal is to make the Library a central hub, providing an open environment to enhance access to the world of knowledge through mentoring, networking and collaboration, and to provide quality resources for personal growth and lifelong learning,” said Clark.

She mentioned many of the people who had dreamed of a new library, but did not live to see it happen—Mike and Alice Holton, Jim Charon, Ronny Merlington, Niels and Edna Andersen, Jack Clark, and others. “We thank them for their vision, determination and generosity, so important to us today.”

She also thanked many of the others helping on the project, including members of the Community Building Development Team.

After the speeches, several people from area boards moved dirt with the golden shovels provided by Nugent Builders, the builder on the project.

According to Duane McIntyre, who has volunteered hundreds of hours on the library project, work on the library should start the week of July 25.

The Library is phase 1 of the building of the “Heart of Cedar Springs.”

A concert by Mane Street was held after the groundbreaking, just west of the site, where the new amphitheater is expected to be built in another phase of the project.

To find out ways you can help the Library with fundraising, stop in or give them a call at 696-1910.

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City to vote on city manager contract


By Judy Reed

It’s taken nine months, but the Cedar Springs City Council may finally be getting a new City Manager.

They are scheduled to vote on the contract for Michael Womack at their Council meeting on Thursday evening, July 14. If approved, he will be sworn into office, and start on August 1.

Womack has been serving as an Executive Intern, for the Village of Lake Orion, Michigan, which is located on the east side of the state.

He is also currently a Graduate Assistant, in the City Manager’s office in the City of Eastpointe, Michigan; and an Attorney at Womack & Womack P.C., in Shelby Township.

The contract calls for a salary of $72,000, with a 2 percent increase annually at the anniversary of his start date; five days vacation to start; insurance; and other benefits. The entire contract can be found in the agenda on the city’s website at cityofcedarsprings.org.

The City will also be approving two other contracts Thursday evening.

One is for an interim City Clerk—Christine Witt, who will work part time until the City Manager can hire a new, full time clerk. She will be paid $16.00 per hour for up to 25 hours of work.

The other contract is a property assessment agreement with Grand Rapids Township. The township will provide property assessing services to Cedar Springs for approximately $24,600, which is about the same as was budgeted for the prior assessor, Jason Rosenzweig. The City Council fired Rosenzweig after a vote of no confidence resulting from a dispute over whether the City should pay taxes on their own property.

The Council will also revise current Interim City Manager Barbara VanDuren’s contract. In her contract, she was originally slated to stay until August 31. But since Womack is starting August 1, her contract will be revised to that date. But it also states she may continue her assignment here to assist in the transition if that’s acceptable to both parties.

Readers can find the agenda and entire packet with the contracts at www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Click on meetings and documents, and then archived documents, and then on the right side, 2016 City  Council documents.

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Pierson man dies in crash


A 28-year-old Pierson man died Monday evening after the vehicle he was driving was struck by another vehicle.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, the crash occurred on Monday, July 11, at about 11:10 p.m. at the intersection of Stanton Rd. and Maple Hill Rd., in Montcalm County.

Police said the preliminary investigation showed that a vehicle driven by Frederick Fahner, 28, of Pierson, was traveling north on Maple Hill Rd. when it was struck by a vehicle driven by Nathan Mackenzie, 19, of Pierson, who was traveling westbound on Stanton Rd.

Both drivers were treated by EMS personnel. Mackenzie was transported to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for injuries he sustained. Fahner was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said it was  unknown whether alcohol was a factor in the incident and the investigation was ongoing. They did not say which driver was at fault.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department, Sand Lake Fire Department, and Montcalm County EMS.

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Poke stop at the Post


N-PokemonGo-PokeStop-POSTN-PokemonGo-logoPokemon Go!—the new game for Android and iPhone users—has taken off like a wildfire across the nation since its release last week, even here in Cedar Springs. Kids and adults of all ages can be seen on streets and sidewalks in Cedar Springs looking for Pokemon. The Post has been a popular stopping site for those wandering the neighborhood, and we were told that we are one of several Poke Stops in the augmented reality game, which layers a digital word over the real one. Poke Stops are historical landmarks or other interesting local sites where you find free items—poke balls, potions, Pokemon eggs, and other items you need.

If you haven’t played Pokemon Go! yet, it will give you a good reason to get out and walk around and see what’s happening in your neighborhood.

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Local girl meets Hollywood star

Katie Schumann met the actor Robert DeNiro during spring break. Photo courtesy of Glenn Stout.

Katie Schumann met the actor Robert DeNiro during spring break. Photo courtesy of Glenn Stout.

A Cedar Springs grad had an exciting spring break this year when she met Hollywood star Robert DeNiro on the set of a film he was making in Florida.

Katie Schumann, the daughter of Mark Schumann, and Jayne Bremmer, all of Cedar Springs, was visiting with her Grandma Verla, Uncle Glenn Stout and Aunt Boni in Briny Breezes, Florida at a mobile home park located on the Atlantic ocean, about fifteen miles south of West Palm Beach.

“This is a community where elders vacation and can relax with the amenities of a country club,” explained Katie. “The residents are super sweet and I love talking and hanging out with them when I go down to visit.”

Glenn said that over the past number of years scenes in two movies have been shot there, “Folks” and “In Her Shoes.”

“The park has a beautiful clubhouse that sets right on the beach facing the Atlantic which is where much of the filming had been done in the past,” he explained. “A rumor was floating around the park at this time that yet another crew might be stopping at Briny for another shoot.”

Katie said her aunt told her the night before that they might be shooting the movie the next morning at the clubhouse, where there Zumba class was held. “My Uncle came back from trying to get his DJ equipment up at the clubhouse and he said that the filming crew was up there filming a scene! He got his camera and went running back up there and I was close behind him,” she said.

“Katie and I made our way to the clubhouse early on the suspected day to find lots of people shouting directions to local resident extras while camera men shot the scenes from the clubhouse porch. Golf carts and police cars were everywhere,” said Glenn.

The two watched the crew film a scene, but didn’t see DeNiro and then they announced it was time to move to a different location.

“I had just said to Katie that while this was certainly filming for a movie, it didn’t appear that Mr. DeNiro was there. Lots of unfamiliar faces, but none that looked like him.  Katie’s eyes got big when she said, “Look! He’s right over there!” He had walked right by us, inches away, on his way to his car! The next thing I knew, Katie was following him and his assistant. It made me a bit nervous. What was she doing?

“People started moving everywhere and Robert De Niro was escorted right past me with his security guard into his black escalade!” explained Katie. “The door was still open in the backseat and so I walked right up to the security guard and asked if I could have a picture with him. You honestly probably weren’t supposed to do that, but I thought I would regret it if I didn’t ask. She said that I could and I just had to wait until he was done checking his phone. He was totally cool about getting back out of the car and taking a picture with me.”

Glenn saw the actor get out of the car and pose with his arm around Katie, so Glenn whipped out his phone and took the photo. DeNiro then got back in the car and was driven away.

“He is such a big movie star and really it was crazy that we actually got a picture together,” remarked Katie. “It was only the park manager and I that got a picture with him and I was totally floored. I talked about it all day and was full of energy and excitement! That was definitely the highlight of my vacation and I am very lucky to have family members that let me stay with them for my spring break!”

Katie said she has one more year at Grand Rapids Community College, and then plans to go to Grand Valley State University.

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Kids can cook

N-Kids-can-cook1Cindy Patin of Cedar Springs, Natural Health Advisor, held three sessions of “Kids Can Cook” at the Cedar Springs Middle School on June 24 for the Cedar Springs Library summer reading program. It was a great place to hold a library program for ages 8-13. There were five stoves in the encore room where it was held. Cindy wanted a real hands on experience for the students. Students formed groups of two  or three and had a blast making homemade blueberry pancakes and basic white sauce for macaroni and cheese.

Cindy had the students gather around her and a cooking station, where she talked to them about cleanliness, cooking safety, healthy ingredients and how to measure. She brought her own wheat mill and shared what real wheat berries look like. She then put the berries in her wheat mill and ground them into whole wheat flour to make into hearty pancakes.

Every student left the class happy and full, and with recipes of their own to turn the class into action at home. Several asked if the library had more cooking classes lined up. The library is considering how to meet this interest in future programming.

For a copy of Cindy’s “go to” home recipes, visit the Library’s website: cedarspringslibrary.org.  Cindy also recommended a website for great family recipes, school lunch ideas and information at www.100daysofrealfood.com. The Cedar Springs Library has a copy of the book available for checkout. Happy eating!

Kids Can Cook

Cedar Springs Public Library – June 2016

N-Kids-can-cookBasic Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½  cups milk, more if needed

2 Tablespoons butter (melted) or oil, plus ½ tsp. for griddle

1. Heat griddle.  Wisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk and butter.  Wisk to combine, but don’t overmix.  Should have small lumps.

2. Test griddle with a few drops of water – it will bounce and spatter, when griddle is ready.  Oil griddle.

3. Pour ½ cup of batter onto griddle.  When pancakes have bubbles on top, and are slightly dry around edges (about 2 ½ minutes), flip over.  Cook bottom for about a minute.


Basic White Sauce

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons white flour

1 cup milk

**1 cup of shredded cheese

1. Melt butter in a pan, on low-medium.

2. Add flour and stir to combine.

3. Slowly add milk, while stirring, until it is thickened

4. Add cheese, slowly, while on low, or use sauce as a base for soups, etc.

**For macaroni and cheese, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese; for alfredo sauce, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese, stirring to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Combine with pasta.

For more great family recipes, school lunch ideas and information, visit:  100 Days of Real Food at www.100daysofrealfood.com

Presenter:  Cindy Patin, Natural Health Advisor (616) 696-6121 

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Blueberry pancake mix recalled


N-Recall1Continental Mills has issued a recall affecting only retail Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix, which involves product manufactured between April 2016 and June 2016.

“The company was notified by our supplier that their product, a blueberry nugget, is made with a small percentage of affected flour which was recalled by General Mills because it may be contaminated with E. coli O121. This is an isolated issue, and only affects specific lots of Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix. Food Safety is our highest priority and this has caused us to take action for the safety of our consumers,” stated the company in a press release.

Most strains of E. coli are harmless, however, others can make you sick. E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately. The very young, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli 0121 should contact state and local public health authorities.

N-Recall2No illnesses have been reported to date from the pancake mix.

FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to warn that consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour. E. coli O121 is eliminated by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.

Product was distributed nationwide where consumers purchased product through retail stores.

If you have recently purchased Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix 28 oz. carton with a best by date code between 3/30/2018 and 6/16/2018, and a UPC code 041449001289, please contact our Consumer Relations Team at 1-800-457-7744 for information to receive a full refund. Please dispose of the product.

If you have recently purchased Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake a 3.5 lb. bag, with a best by date code between of 4/27/2018 to 4/28/2018, with a UPC code 041449001487, please contact our Consumer Relations Team at 1-800-457-7744 for information to receive a full refund. Please dispose of the product.

“The quality and safety of our products is of the utmost importance and we are doing everything possible to ensure our customers have all of the pertinent information,” said Andy Heily, Continental Mills’ president.

For more information, please call the Recall Phone Hotline at 1-800-457-7744 Monday – Friday 7 am to 4 pm PT.To see the original recall and updates on the Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens flour, go to http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm504192.htm

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Year’s second Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on the way


Motorists should be on the lookout beginning Saturday as thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers head back to state roadways to pick up litter. Participants in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program will clean highway roadsides from July 16 to 24 during the second of three scheduled pickups this year.

“We have tremendous appreciation for the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers and their dedication to keeping Michigan roadsides clean,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Please be alert during the litter pickup period and drive cautiously when you see these crews at work.”

N-Adopt-a-highway2Every year, dedicated Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect about 70,000 bags of trash, generating about a $5 million value annually for state taxpayers. The popular program began in 1990 and has grown to involve nearly 3,000 groups cleaning 6,400 miles of highway.

Getting involved in the program is straightforward. Volunteers include members of civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must include at least three people. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing group names are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

When working in a highway right of way, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Interested groups can get more information at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

The year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup is scheduled for the fall, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2.

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