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Chase Bank in Cedar Springs robbed

Chase Bank, located at 7 Main Street in Cedar Springs, was the scene of an armed robbery Friday morning, August 14. Post photo by J. Reed.

Chase Bank, located at 7 Main Street in Cedar Springs, was the scene of an armed robbery Friday morning, August 14. Post photo by J. Reed.

Police are asking for the public’s help to find the suspect that robbed the Chase Bank in Cedar Springs Friday morning, August 14.

According to Deputy Jason VanDyke, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, a black male, wearing a black hoodie and a bandana over his face, entered the bank, located at the corner of Main and Cherry Streets, through the front door about 9:40 a.m., August 14. He went to the front counter, pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money. While she was getting her money together, he also confronted the drive through clerk. He got the money from both clerks and then fled out the front door on foot.

A witness told police he saw the suspect flee south on the White Pine Trail. Police searched the White Pine Trail but did not find him. The canine unit also responded to the scene but was unsuccessful in tracking the suspect.

He is described as a skinny black male, in his mid 20s, short hair, small amount of hair on chin. He was wearing a dark hoodie, white bandana, black gloves, long black/red shorts, black socks and tennis shoes.

Anyone with information should call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6357 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

 

Surveillance photo of suspect

Surveillance photo of suspect

Surveillance photo of suspect

Surveillance photo of suspect

Surveillance photo of robbery suspect.

Surveillance photo of robbery suspect.

 

 

 

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Calvary Assembly of God to sell building

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This frees up finances for front-line ministries

Craig T. Owens, Senior Pastor of Calvary Assembly of God (CAG), announced this week that the church will sell its building and accompanying six acres, located at 810 17 Mile Road, in Solon Township, to 2nd Chance School. The school is a nonprofit for at-risk youth that will combine biblical lessons and traditional subjects, with the care and training of horses.

The church will rent space at Red Hawk Elementary, part of Cedar Springs Public Schools, for its Sunday and Wednesday services. Owens said that moving to Cedar Springs is a hand-in-glove fit for the focus of its extensive outreach.

“We are already so involved in activities in Cedar Springs, including Earth Day cleanups, the En Gedi Youth Center, Chamber of Commerce, and the list goes on,” Owens said. “It seemed like we could be an even bigger blessing to our city if we were closer.”

Owens said there are both practical and faith-based reasons the building was sold to 2nd Chance School.

“We have a hard time justifying paying for the full-time maintenance on a building in Solon Township that is only used a couple of days each week,” Owens said. “By only paying for the space we are using, it will free up finances to go to front-line ministries.”

Owens said these front-line ministries could include temporary housing for at-risk, transitional families, greater financial support of local charities, as well as support for international missions work.

“We would be interested in owning another building at some time, only if it could be something like an around-the-clock ministry center,” Owens said. “Until that opportunity presents itself, we will rent from CSPS.”

Owens said their first service at Red Hawk Elementary will be Sunday, August 30. They will meet in the media center. People can enter the building through door #10.

This Sunday, August 23, the church will participate with other area churches in the UNITED 2015 service, located in Morley Park at 11 a.m.

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Gas prices surge 

Gas prices in Cedar Springs jumped twice last week to just under $3.00/gallon, but had dropped down to $2.86 by Wednesday.

Gas prices in Cedar Springs jumped twice last week to just under $3.00/gallon, but had dropped down to $2.86 by Wednesday.

A report from GasBuddy.com, on Monday, August 17, noted that gas prices in Grand Rapids had risen 52 cents a gallon in the last week. The average price in Grand Rapids on Sunday, August 16, was $2.97 a gallon. Cedar Springs was only a penny lower. This compares with the national average that increased 8.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.68/g.

By Wednesday, August 17, Cedar Springs had dropped back to $2.86, while the greater Grand Rapids area averaged $2.895.

Including the change in gas prices in Grand Rapids during the past week, Sunday was 45.0 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and 36.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average decreased 9.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 77.5 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago.

“Obviously, the story about fuel prices last week was all about a massive spike in gasoline prices throughout the Midwest,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “Prices have risen in Great Lakes states at paces rivaling and exceeding prior records, which I would pin on an unexpected emergency shutdown of a unit at BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery. In addition, there have been other scheduled outages in the Midwest that may be leading to gasoline demand outpacing supply in the region, essentially causing panic on gasoline markets,” DeHaan said. “Hikes have been witnessed across many states, though the epicenter of gargantuan hikes was centered in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, where prices raced up by over 50 cents a gallon in mere days. Also seeing spikes over 25 cents: Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky, while Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa saw prices jump over 10 cents a gallon,” DeHaan noted. “At this point, it does appear that most of the price shocks are behind us, though if there are any curve balls that hit the market, all bets are off. Outside the Great Lakes, most regions are seeing gasoline prices decline. Leading decliners are New Jersey and Oregon, with Washington coming in third,” DeHaan said.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a warning to gas stations last Friday against any attempt to take advantage of consumers by price gouging or price fixing.

In addition to this warning, the Attorney General has also issued a letter to BP, the owner of the Whiting, Ind. facility experiencing an outage, as well as other major petroleum companies outlining a need for transparency in the case of an outage or other unexpected event.

“As Labor Day weekend approaches, the effects of an outage at a major Indiana petroleum refinery, combined with additional factors, means Michigan families are seeing an increase in the price at the pump. These circumstances do not constitute a free pass for gas stations to gouge consumers,” said Schuette. “We will not tolerate any unscrupulous behavior that violates Michigan law when it comes to gouging and price fixing.”

Every day, year round, Schuette’s Consumer Protection team monitors the balance of wholesale and retail petroleum prices and profit margins in regions around Michigan. Additionally, the Department receives and reviews consumer complaints and inquiries about individual stations. The Department investigates any time there is evidence that state law has been violated for gouging or price fixing.

Under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, a retailer may not charge a price that is “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.” Anti-trust laws also prohibit gas stations from entering into agreements to arbitrarily fix prices in unison.

For example, Schuette secured convictions for gasoline price-fixing by five Michigan station owners in 2012. The Department has also entered into “compliance-agreements” with stations requiring them to submit to monitoring after they spiked prices well above the state-wide norm on a particular day or after a weather event.

Schuette remains committed to fighting higher gasoline prices in court when the price increases violate the law. If consumers become aware of direct evidence concerning a conspiracy between companies, or have verifiable evidence of a retailer charging a price “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold,” they are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file an online complaint at www.michigan.gov/ag.

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New Partnership gives cats a second chance

 

A new partnership between the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan will give cats like Zee a better chance of being adopted. Zee is a 2-year-old black and white neutered male at the Kent County Animal Shelter, who was surrendered by his family when they moved.

A new partnership between the Kent County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of West Michigan will give cats like Zee a better chance of being adopted. Zee is a 2-year-old black and white neutered male at the Kent County Animal Shelter, who was surrendered by his family when they moved.

Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) and Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) will have changed the way they take in stray and/or unwanted cats, giving them a better opportunity at getting a second chance.

Starting Monday, August 17, KCAS (our government-funded, open admission shelter) will only accept stray cats; and HSWM will only accept owner-surrendered cats. HSWM and KCAS expect this change will positively affect the live release rates of Kent County and continue to collaborate to improve the outcome for all animals brought to them.

In the last few months, KCAS and HSWM, the two largest shelters in Kent County, discussed community statistics on feline euthanasia and feline intake into both facilities. HSWM has been successful with placement of owner-surrendered cats, but does not have the kennel space and set up for holding stray cats. Often, KCAS is near- or at- capacity for cats, due to a mandated stray hold. If space is limited, owner-surrendered cats aren’t placed for adoption; they are euthanized. Historically, the majority of KCAS’s cat intake has been stray cats and HSWM’s cat intake has been owner surrendered.

“Communities that have a municipal and non-profit shelter working side by side sometimes find it beneficial to enact policies and procedures to direct all owner surrender cats to the non-profit shelter while the municipal shelter only takes in strays,” said Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at KCAS. “We are hopeful that by implementing this strategy, we will see a higher success rate for placement of adoptable owner-surrender cats at HSWM and a high success rate for placement of adoptable stray cats and more successful return to owners of stray cats at KCAS. It also makes sense for the public to just have one place to go looking for their lost cats.”

With the new BISSELL Cattery Enrichment Center, HSWM has seen an increase in the amount of owner surrendered cats who are able to be adopted. “Typically cats coming into a shelter situation need some time to adjust,” said Namiko Ota-Noveskey, Director of Animal Behavior and Care. “We have been successfully able to place cats that are a bit shyer and just need some time to get used to their new surroundings.”

HSWM manages their admission and asks the public to schedule an appointment before bringing any animal. Appointments can be made by contacting via phone at 616-453-8900 or via email, admitting@hswestmi.org. Hours of intake are Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. For more information on intake policies, visit www.hswestmi.org.

KCAS accepts animals during open hours, Monday-Friday 9:30am-1pm and 2pm-6:30 pm. For more information on intake policies, please visit www.accesskent.com/kcas or call 616-632-7300.

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The Post travels to Johannesburg

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N-Post-travels-Johannesburg2Harold McFarland, of Cedar Springs, had the opportunity to visit Lory Park Zoo, August 1, while working in Johannesburg, South Africa. While visiting, he had the opportunity to pet these young lion cubs. The two young lion cubs liked him, and one can be seen licking his arm in the photo. The Post traveled with Harold every day while he was in Johannesburg.

Harold recently married the former Thelma Sovereign-Taylor, a lifetime resident of Cedar Springs.

Thank you, Harold, 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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Saying goodbye and good luck to Kelly Roach

N-Goodbye-KellyBy Donna Clark

It is with a heavy heart that the Cedar Springs Library Board, staff and patrons say goodbye to Kelly Roach after only six months as the Library’s Children’s Services Manager. Kelly hired in January 20 after closing her dream business, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, the month before. She jumped right in to the Library environment!

In her words, “I’ve danced in front of an audience, learned an entirely new computer system, created and executed programs for the Summer Reading Program, and I’ve learned how to be creative with my ideas, working on a limited budget…all of which I will take with me throughout my career.”

Recent events turned the tide for Kelly and her family.  Their house sold, and due to unforeseen circumstances, they ended up renting a place in Grand Rapids. In Kelly’s words, “It really comes down to the drive and wanting to be a part of the community that I live in.”  Who can argue with that?

So, we have to let her go and make her mark on Grand Rapids, the same way she came to Cedar Springs. She certainly did become a part of our community—owning a business on Main Street, helping restart our Chamber of Commerce and serving as secretary, hosting book clubs, moms’ day out, gaming events for homeschoolers, students and adults, and serving that great cup of coffee with a smile and a sincere interest in everyone she served both great and small.

Good luck, Kelly.  You have a lot of friends in Cedar Springs.

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I spy; a spider

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Mike Cook, of Solon Township, brought this large spider into the Post, which he found under his porch. His friend wanted to take it out of the jar for a picture, but we were perfectly happy to leave it inside!

While it resembles a wolf spider, we discovered it actually is a type of fishing spider (dolomedes tenebrosus). Ranger Steve Mueller verified that for us.

According to Penn State’s webpage on this spider, the species Dolomedes tenebrosus is more frequently associated with wooded areas (it would be more accurately classified as a tree-dwelling spider) and is a common household invader in these locations. It occurs from New England and Canada south to Florida and Texas.

Another website, www.spiders.us, said that “Despite the moniker of fishing spider, this particular species is frequently found far from water. Look for the spiders waiting motionless in ambush on tree trunks, fenceposts, walls, and other vertical surfaces, mostly at night. The spiders dash into tree holes, under bark, and into crevices when startled.”

It also said that this is a powerful hunting spider that does not spin a prey-catching snare. Prey is composed of large insects and even small vertebrates that the spider can overpower. This includes small fish (e.g. minnows) and various aquatic insects when this spider hangs out near bodies of water.

These spiders mature in late spring, and reproduce in mid-summer.

If you have wildlife you’d like to show us, please take a photo and send it to us with some information to news@cedarspringspost.com. We prefer you send us photos over bringing in the actual wildlife.

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Newaygo corrections officer charged with CSC

 

Zachary Almon Clark

Zachary Almon Clark

The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department reported that one of its former corrections officers has been charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct.

Sheriff Patrick Hedlund became aware, on July 1, of allegations of misconduct on the part of a male corrections officer. He launched an internal investigation, and the officer resigned on July 9.

Sheriff Hedlund then contacted the Michigan Sheriff’s Association to request that a Sheriff’s mission team be assigned to conduct a criminal investigation. Outside sheriff investigators conducted the investigation.

The corrections officer has been identified as Zachary Clark, 30, of Newaygo. He is alleged to have had sexual relations with a 27-year-old inmate of the jail, after  her release. The woman, also from Newaygo, was on supervised release, and this was known to the corrections officer. It was found that there was no sexual activity inside the jail. It was outside the jail, after her release, and consensual.

However, it is still against the law. MCL 750.520c states it is CSC in the second degree—a felony—if the other person is a prisoner or probationer under jurisdiction of the county…and the actor is an employee with the county or department of corrections who knows that the other person is under the county’s jurisdiction.

It is also alleged he assaulted a male inmate in the hallway of the facility on June 19.

Zachary Almon Clark, 30, of Big Prairie Township, Newaygo, was arrested August 12, and held in the Lake County Jail on $50,000 bond. He is being charged with six counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct (felonies), and one misdemeanor count of assault and battery.

“The ex-officer in question allegedly acted outside of the ethical behavior and ‘rules of the road’ of this agency,” said Hedlund. “This will not be tolerated and he will now be held accountable to the system  he once served.”

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Newaygo jail administrator suspended

 

The administrator at the Newaygo County Jail was put on administrative leave after being involved in a drunken driving accident.

The Newaygo County Sheriff’s office said that on August 14, at approximately 12:15 a.m, Newaygo County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a report of a one car accident on Dickinson Avenue near 16 Mile.  Deputies arrived on scene and found a vehicle that had went off the roadway and rolled over. Through the investigation, it was discovered that Lt. Matt Froehle, the jail administrator for the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was driving the vehicle.  Lt. Froehle was subsequently arrested for OWI and currently lodged in the Oceana County Jail.

An internal investigation has been initiated by the sheriff’s office and the lieutenant will be placed on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Library to hold special meeting

 

The Cedar Springs Public Library will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 7 p.m. at the library, at 43 W. Cherry Street.

Under discussion will be overdrive periodicals; recognition of donors for new library; estimated budgets for library owning vs. City owning library; ownership of library decision; elevation plans review; and more.

They plan to kick off a new capital campaign for the new library on September 12.

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