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Post collecting Toys for Tots

Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys. 

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always especially needed.

The program runs now through December 16. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

Posted in Home for the Holidays, NewsComments (0)

American Legion post honored to help veterans

American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 is on a mission to help veterans. Post file photo.

By Judy Reed

Glen Hill Post #287 is named after Glen Hill, a young corporal from Cedar Springs killed in action during World War I. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

If a veteran or their family needs help, there is one place they can count on to give them some help—their local American Legion post. And the American Legion post here in Cedar Springs is no exception.

The post is named after Glen Hill, a young man from Cedar Springs drafted into World War I in 1917. He participated in the battles of Champagne, Aisne, Saint Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. After being decorated twice for gallantry in action, Corporal Glen Hill died of wounds received in battle in the Argonne Forest in France, on October 19, 1918. (Some sources say October 17.) He was 25 years old, and was laid to rest in Solon Cemetery.

Glen Hill Post #287 received their temporary charter in June of 1920, followed by their permanent charter in August 1921. And they’ve been helping veterans ever since.

“We are a veterans organization and our main goal is to help veterans,” explained Post #287 Commander Skipper Townes. “We lobby Congress for a better budget for active and inactive personnel; lobby for better conditions in VA hospitals; more recognition for vets, and try to get more help for those with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). They never really looked at it during previous wars. Guys would come home and commit suicide. We want more help for them.”

He also noted that they try to get more adequate wages for those serving. “Privates live under the poverty level. They would lose money if they tried to get food benefits,” he explained.

Townes said one of the things they’ve tried to do is to get the VA to treat Veterans sooner rather than making them wait years. He said their Post can help veterans with their claims to get the benefits they need. All they have to do is ask for help.

The Post holds Bingo nights often and the proceeds are put in a fund for veterans and families that need help. You don’t need to be a member to request help. The funds are also used to donate to the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans. They recently had them at the Post for a dinner, and other times (usually once a month) they go to GR Home for Veterans and hold a dinner there. They also give money to many other community entities, such as the ministerial association to help with food. “We give wherever help is needed,” explained Townes.

But there’s a lot more that goes on than just Bingo nights and dinners. They annually organize Memorial Day activities in area cemeteries; hold Veterans Day activities, and march in area parades, such as the Grand Rapids Veterans Parade. They will be at Metron of Cedar Springs on November 11 at 2:15 p.m. to do a flag ceremony. They will do a reading of the folds of the flag, and explain the POW/MIA table. They will be accompanied by the Cedar Springs Marching Band, who also plays at the Memorial Day ceremonies. In return, the Post donates money to them as well.

The Post holds a lot of youth activities and offers several scholarships through the state legion. They send youth to boys and girls state, where youth can learn about the government and earn scholarships there. There is an oratorical contest scholarship, baseball scholarship; shooting program, and much more. With the oratorical contest, students can start entering in 9th grade, and keep entering until they turn 18. First prize is $20,000. Go to michiganlegion.org to find a list of scholarships, their deadlines, and eligibility rules.

The Post has about 240 Legion members. There are more members under the Auxiliary (spouses) and Sons of the American Legion. “We are trying to get about five members who’d like to create a motorcycle riders group,” noted Townes.

He also said that rules have recently been revised by Congress on who is eligible to join as a member. American Legion is open to those veterans honorably discharged from December 7, 1941 to the current day, as well as WWI. This takes in National Guard, reservists, Air National Guard, and more. “Previously eligibility was based on individual wars or conflicts, and there was always the cold war gap. Congress finally realized we were at war with the communists during that time,” he said.

In the Auxiliary, spouses (male or female) and their daughters can join, and granddaughters, and on, for as many generations as they have. The auxiliary has many of their own programs, such as an upcoming blanket and winter coat drive for homeless veterans.

Similarly, Sons of the American Legion can join under their father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. They also have their own projects that they do.

We’ve only scratched the surface on all the ways the Post can help veterans, and they types of things they do. If you’d like to join, or would like more information, or know of a veteran who needs help, you can contact the Post #287 at 696-9160.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

New sculpture set in city park

By Sue Wolfe

Steve Anderson and his new sculpture of a blue heron.  Courtesy photo. 

A beautiful new sculpture has landed in the Heart of Cedar Springs and the artist who created it will be familiar to many.

“Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life” is local artist Steve Anderson’s motto as he celebrates 44 years of living by and through his “God-given gift” of sculpting. Anderson’s stainless-steel sculpture of a blue heron, standing nine feet tall with a six foot wing span and titled “Ascension,” was recently set in place in the northwest area within the Heart of Cedar Springs park along Cedar Creek between the new community library and amphitheater.  This is the second piece of Anderson’s abstract, nature-based work in the park. It joins his earlier piece titled “Dragons Flight” featuring three dragonflies in motion. Both sculptures are done using the 316L alloy that has superior anti-rust qualities and beautifully retains its shine.

Anonymous community philanthropists and lovers of art commissioned both pieces. They said their dream is for our community to have its own sculpture park where people of all ages could enjoy the outdoors while appreciating their interaction with the sculptures. Hopefully, some will be inspired to a higher level of artistic appreciation and new possibilities.

Local artist Alice Powell-Anderson, (not related to Steve Anderson) was one present for the recent dedication of the sculptures. “Both of Anderson’s pieces fit very well along the pond and creek and are nicely done,” she said.

Mayor Gerald Hall, on behalf of the City of Cedar Springs, expressed his gratitude to Anderson and the donors in saying, “These two Anderson sculptures are wonderful additions to our newest community park.”

In the late 1990’s, Anderson created two stainless steel hawks for Cedar Springs Public Schools with the larger 18-foot tall “Tom Brown Fire Hawk” being located in front of the football stadium honoring the late football Coach Tom Brown. This Red Hawk took about three months to construct with assistance from Tom Kloote’s and Dan Davis’s high school vocational education students. Coach Lonnie Armstrong assisted in the smaller hawk standing in front of the high school.

Anderson’s sculptures “Water Dance” is seen at the Rogue River Rockford Dam built in 2010.

Anderson’s father was a steel hauler and often brought home scrap metal pieces, therefore allowing him to create his first pieces in their garage. Anderson credits his mother for encouraging him to pursue his art and suggested he introduce his talents to the public eye by renting space in Wyoming’s Old World Village Mall back in 1975. Mr. Wally Murphy, Anderson’s strict and structured 7th grade art teacher, praised him and told him he possessed something very special.

Anderson married his childhood sweetheart, Janell, after earning his bachelor’s degree in 1975 from Grand Valley State University with a major in art and minor in business. Soon they were blessed with three sons—Troy, Cory and Chad. All three sons were accomplished Cedar Springs student-athletes. Many others benefited from Anderson coaching wrestling while his boys were involved. Both Janell and Steve were actively involved in volunteering with school and athletic organizations. They also kept an “all welcome at our home” policy for the young people of our community.

Currently, Troy is a sculptor in the summer when not teaching eighth grade at Rockford North Middle School. Cory is a Sheriff Deputy for Lake County in Florida, as well as being recognized as a very good sculptor. Chad is a full-time sculptor in the Cedar Springs area. Steve and Janell now spend winters with Cory in Florida doing 4–6 art shows a year featuring Anderson’s 3-D stainless steel and aluminum kinetic (wind activated) works of art. Anderson does five to 10 shows in Michigan and surrounding states during the summer. Eventually, Anderson hopes to only do commissioned sculptures for municipalities.

The Andersons priorities begin with a Christ-centered family foundation. They feel blessed to have family share in their passion for sculpture. This is demonstrated with the emergence of the third generation of Anderson artists—Troy’s 16-year-old son, Quaden. Sculpting has always been a family activity with the legacy of each being challenged to begin sculpting by the age of 12. Then, they learn other basic sculpting techniques such as raising and chasing metal with hammers into a sandbag.  

Anderson explained he does all sizes of sculptures and each one is an original inspired by the “Ultimate Master Sculptor, God.” And, while he doesn’t actually have one favorite piece he does have favorite features about each of his pieces. Features he particularly enjoyed creating with his two Heart of Cedar Springs pieces include the welded and ground textures on the head and neck of “Ascension” and the overall graceful flow and glass eyes on “Dragons Flight.”

When asked what words of encouragement he might like to share with young people he said, “Whatever you have a passion for, just stop and think about that thing you enjoy more than anything else. Never let money be the major factor. Now figure out how to make a living doing it.”

More information about Andersons Sculptures can be found at AndersonsMetalSculpture.com or you can email Steve Anderson directly with additional questions at Sculptor76@yahoo.com.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

School bond proposal defeated

By Judy Reed

It’s back to the drawing board for Cedar Springs Public Schools after citizens in the school district voted down an $81,150,000 bond proposal Tuesday.

Many voters seem felt it was too much money and they couldn’t afford any higher taxes. Others called for a less expensive plan. And others had misconceptions about how accountable the school would be to do what they said they were going to do with the money.

The proposal was defeated by a vote of 1935 NO to 1502 YES. It was defeated in every precinct except one—Courtland precinct 2—and there it passed by only 17 votes.

Out of 19,432 registered voters in the school district, only 3,441 voted—an overall turnout of 17.71 percent. Some precincts turned out in higher numbers: About 39 percent of voters between the two precincts in Nelson Township voted; 36 percent of Solon residents voted between their two precincts; 30.52 percent of Algoma voters turned out; 23 percent of Courtland voters went to the polls; 21 percent of Spencer registered voters came out; 19 percent of City of Cedar Springs voters voted; and 14 percent of Oakfield voters turned out.

The Board of Education issued a statement to us after the results came in Tuesday evening. “On behalf of the Board of Education, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our families and neighbors who voted in this election.  We will review the data gathered throughout the election cycle and set a course of action moving forward. Our top priority is to provide all of our students an educational experience that allows them to thrive.  Facilities play a critical role in shaping our students’ school experience. The next stage of this important work begins tomorrow morning.”  

Other schools in the area, including Grant and Kent City, passed their bond proposals (17,000,000 and 21,000,000) and Sparta passed the renewal of their sinking fund. Grandville Public Schools passed a 94,000,000 bond proposal— and voted down one for 29,000,000.

In other election news, Cedar Springs City Councilor Molly Nixon was reelected to her position. She ran unopposed and received 359 votes, and 17 votes were write-ins. 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

The Post travels to the Thumb

TJ Norris of Solon Township, traveled with husband Ken to the Thumb Region of Michigan to get one last road trip in before the snows. While the main display at the Sanilac Petroglyphs, just south of Port Austin, was closed for the winter, there was still a good hike in the woods and enough petroglyphs visible to give a good reason to come back.

Thanks to TJ and Ken for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

Posted in Featured, News, The Post TravelsComments (0)

Veteran’s Day services 2019

Cedar Springs: The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 color guard will do a flag ceremony on November 11 at 2:15 p.m. at Metron of Cedar Springs, 400 Jeffrey St. All are welcome to attend.

Sand Lake: The Tri Corner VFW Post #7912 in Sand Lake will hold a flag burning ceremony on Monday, November 11, at 6 p.m., to properly and respectfully dispose of worn and tattered American flags. The flags will be burned and then buried. A container is set up on the front porch of the post for people to drop off flags that need to be burned. 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Red Flannel photo contest winners

The Red Flannel Festival has announced the winners of their Red Flannel Festival Photo contest.

“We had so many great pictures, it was hard to choose,” said RFF President Nancy Deyman.  In fact, it was so hard, they also chose a fourth place winner. 

Winning first place and $100 was Jennifer Swift with her photos of kids at the lumberjack show.

Elaine Horvath took both second and third place ($50 and and $25) with her photos of wood cutting at the lumberjack show and a family walking down Main Street.

Taking fourth place and winning $15 was Cynthia Brown with her photo of a Red Flannel merchandise display. “We are also going to use her picture for our Christmas Cards!” said Deyman.

Congratulations to the winners!

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Man wanted for credit card fraud

Man wanted for credit card fraud. Photos courtesy of Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man wanted in at least five counties for using a fraudulent credit card. The thefts started in Septemeber.

He has used a credit card in multiple counties with multiple local victims. 

Businesses he shopped at include Walmart, Wesco, and Menards in Big Rapids (Mecosta County); Walmart in Cadillac (Wexford County); Wesco in Evart (Osceola County); Home Depot in Mt. Pleasant (Isabella County); and Carrow’s Supermarket in Farwell (Clare County).

Surveillance footage shows the man and the truck he was driving. If you can identify him please contact the Detective Bureau at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office by calling 231.592.0150.

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Woman shoots self with homemade weapon

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post responded to an accidental shooting on Sunday, November 3, on Stanton Rd, West of Jones Rd in Montcalm County.  

The investigation found that a 33-year-old female subject was firing a homemade firearm, and while doing so, discharged the firearm into her shoulder accidentally. The female was transported to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids with severe injuries.    

State Police were assisted on scene by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, Montcalm EMS and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Winter parking in effect

With the first snowfall of the year, now is a good time to remind everyone within the Cedar Springs City limits that winter parking is now in effect.

Under Ordinance No. 180 Section 36-86, no parking is allowed from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. from November 1 to April 1 on streets and areas that have a curb, such as Main Street and connecting side streets, and no parking within a distance of 20 feet of the center of a street for all other areas. The ordinance was created to help with snow removal.

There are public lots available to park in overnight, but cars must be moved daily. Lots can be found at the NE corner of Ash and Second; the SE corner of Elm and Second; the SW corner of Ash and First; and the NW corner of Cherry and First.

A violation of the ordinance is a civil infraction.

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