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Fun on the lake

Sand Lake Elementary 5th grade students in Mrs. Karhoff, Mrs. Parkhoff and Mrs. Scott’s class celebrated the last days of school by completing an engineering challenge. Students were asked to work in teams to design a boat made from cardboard, duct tape and plastic, which could support two people. Boats were put to the test on Sand Lake at a year-end picnic last week. The design teams “Money Machine” and “Sharknado” came in first and second place.

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United Methodist Church to Celebrate Sesquicentennial 

The original Methodist Episcopal Church built on the corner of Main and Church Streets in Cedar Springs. Its cornerstone was laid August 17, 1870 and the church was dedicated June 7, 1871. This newly built Methodist church cost $6000 and was the tallest building north of Grand Rapids in 1871. The spire with the bell tower could be seen for miles.

The original Methodist Episcopal Church built on the corner of Main and Church Streets in Cedar Springs. Its cornerstone was laid August 17, 1870 and the church was dedicated June 7, 1871. This newly built Methodist church cost $6000 and was the tallest building north of Grand Rapids in 1871. The spire with the bell tower could be seen for miles.

by Sue Harrison

The roots of religious heritage in Cedar Springs are as deep and long as the history of the people who settled it. No group or community can survive long without some common belief or religions commitment to bind them together.

The very first sermon in Cedar Springs was preached in 1855 by a Methodist Episcopal preacher, Rev. W. W. Johnson, a circuit rider. Those services were held in the little log schoolhouse, which was then located on the southeast corner of Main and Muskegon Streets. A class of eight persons formed and continued to be served by Laphamville Circuit riders. (Laphamville was the original name for Rockford, Mich.)

The Methodist Episcopal Society was organized on October 6, 1866, with Preacher in Charge, Rev Burton Smith, along with four circuit riders who served eight other outposts in the North Kent area. Thus, the Methodist Episcopal Church became the second organized church in Cedar Springs.

This year, 2016, marks a milestone for the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, which will be celebrating 150 years serving Cedar Springs through Christian worship. As part of its Sesquicentennial celebration, the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church has planned the following events open to the public throughout the summer and fall.

June 25 – Following a week of Vacation Bible School, there will be a Field Day held at Skinner Field with games, bounce house, and face painting. Hot dogs, chips and water will be provided.

July 31 – Hymn Sing and Ice Cream Social held at the church.

August 28 – Tent Revival in Morley Park, with hot dogs, chips, and water served afterward.

Oct. 1 – Red Flannel Day. Parade entry of circuit rider and a horse-drawn float.

Oct. 16 – Jubal Brass Concert at the CS United Methodist Church with a reception following the concert.

Nov. 20 – Rededication of the church cornerstone. Former pastors will be invited. A potluck will be held after the morning church service and before the ceremony.

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City to hold City Manager interviews

 

The Cedar Springs City Council met on Monday, June 6, in closed session to choose four more people to interview for the City Manager position. The names were released on Thursday, June 9, after the nominees agreed to be interviewed. However, two of those selected pulled out on Tuesday, June 14.

The interviews will be held at Cedar Springs City Hall on Friday, June 17. There is a possibility that two more candidates will be added to take the place of the ones who pulled out. The ones currently interviewing will be:

12:30 p.m. Michael Womack, Executive Intern, Village of Lake Orion, MI; Graduate Assistant, City of Eastpointe, MI; Attorney, Womack & Womack P.C.

2:00 p.m. Nancy Stoddard, Tax Collector, City of Wyoming, MI

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Concerts in park kick off summer

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last year during concerts in the park.  Post photo by J. Reed.

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last year during concerts in the park. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation will kick off their summer series of concerts at Morley Park this Thursday, June 16, with the Oxymorons at 7 p.m.

Now in its 10th year, the concerts put on by Cedar Springs Parks and Recreation and sponsored by area businesses give people a chance to relax with friends and family, while listening to some great music.

There are concessions on site, and free raffle tickets give concert-goers a chance to win prizes from area businesses.

Other dates this summer are July 21 with Mane Street, and August 18 with The Cheap Dates.

Be sure to bring a lawn chair. Concerts start at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

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Muskegon River multi agency enforcement task force

 

Newaygo County Sheriff Pat Hedlund announced that deputies, state troopers, conservation officers and Newaygo City police officers are again patrolling the Muskegon River this summer to curb rowdy behavior. Police Officers are on the water in boats and along the river corridors in marked cruisers. “This is a proactive enforcement approach to keep the river safe and keep rowdy behavior under control,” Sheriff Hedlund said.

Past problems on the river have included underage drinking, intoxication, lewd behavior, trespassing, littering, disorderly conduct, drug use and damage to private property. Hedlund said the program is now in the third year of operation and illegal issues have been dramatically reduced when compared to past years.

The sheriff’s department also created a program called River Watch, a partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan State Police, and the Newaygo Police Department. River Watch relies on homeowners and volunteers along the river who report violations of the law.

Bridgeton Township Supervisor Michael Reagan wanted river users to “please consider our citizens, property owners and families when floating the river.”  Reagan added that he encourages people to come and use the river, but cautioned that they should be respectful of other people and private property to avoid problems with law enforcement.

Hedlund said his deputies and other police officers are actively looking for people who act outside of the law. “We want people to have fun and enjoy Newaygo County. We only ask that they do it responsibly and respectfully.”

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City to hold City Manager interviews

UPDATE 6/15: Two of the candidates have now dropped out. City Clerk Linda Christiansen reported that Robert Berner and Paula Ceglowski will not be taking part in the interviews this Friday.

Original story 6/9:

The Cedar Springs City Council met on Monday, June 6, in closed session to choose four more people to interview for the City Manager position. The names were released on Thursday, June 9, after the nominees agreed to be interviewed.

The interviews will be held at Cedar Springs City Hall on Friday, June 17, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The candidates are:
10:30 a.m. Robert Berner, Director of Service and Development, City of Fairview Park, Ohio
12:30 p.m. Michael Womack, Executive Intern, Village of Lake Orion, MI; Graduate Assistant, City of Eastpointe, MI; Attorney, Womack & Womack P.C.
2:00 p.m. Nancy Stoddard, Tax Collector, City of Wyoming, MI
3:30 p.m. Paula Ceglowski, Chief Human Resources Officer, Framingham Public Schools, MA
The interviews are open to the public.

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It’s time to celebrate!

 

Congratulations Class of 2016

Erwin Duane Empie, 90, celebrates as he receives his diploma at the Cedar Springs High School graduation. Cedar Springs Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn is behind him. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Erwin Duane Empie, 90, celebrates as he receives his diploma at the Cedar Springs High School graduation. Cedar Springs Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn is behind him. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is a great example of that! It’s so full of emotion. A World War II Veteran finally got his high school diploma last week and this was his reaction!

Erwin Duane Empie, 90, had waited a long time to get his high school diploma. But the wait was over on Thursday, June 2, when he finally received an honorary diploma from Cedar Springs High School—the school he left in the 1940s so he could serve our country during World War II. He only attended through part of his sophomore year, and enlisted in the Navy in 1944, at age 18.

Mr. Empie received his diploma, along with the class of 2016. The ceremony moved many people in the audience, some of whom posted on our Facebook page, congratulating Mr. Empie on his accomplishment.

But it’s not only Mr. Empie celebrating. Hundreds of students stepped out into a brand new world over the last couple of weeks as they graduated high school and now celebrate what lies ahead. Here in our area, students graduated from Cedar Springs High School, New Beginnings High School, Creative Technologies Academy, Cedar Christian Academy, Algoma Christian School, and Tri County High School.

To see photos of all the top honors students in our area and class photos, click link below to download.

Graduation2016.pdf

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Solon firefighter leads by example

 Firefighter Candace Wetter after she dragged herself and her nozzleman out of a window at a practice burn gone horribly wrong in October 2012.

Firefighter Candace Wetter after she dragged herself and her nozzleman out of a window at a practice burn gone horribly wrong in October 2012.

By Judy Reed

Solon firefighter Candace Wetter loves what she does. And she is determined to not only be the best firefighter she can be, but to help her fellow firefighters hone their skills as well. At the tender of age of 22, she has already been in the fire service for 7 years, and encountered numerous dangerous situations, including one as an intern, that could’ve scarred her for life.

Wetter comes from a firefighter family, and started as a junior firefighter in Wisconsin, when she was 15 years old. “My mom is a fire chief, my dad is a firefighter and my younger sister is a junior firefighter, all for the same department in our hometown where I grew up. I lived in the fire station growing up and have always been involved or around it in some fashion. This was something I just knew I wanted to do,” she explained. “I was told once that I would never make it as a full time firefighter. Well I am doing everything in my power to prove them wrong.”

That kind of determination and admitted bullheadedness has served her well.

N-Solon-FF-Candace-Wetter-pullquoteAs a junior firefighter, she said her job was to run around and take care of little tasks, such as retrieving equipment from the trucks or cleaning things. “More importantly, we were receiving on the job training and experience long before we even graduated high school. That helped me tremendously, because I such a significant head start,” she said.

Wetter took fire classes while still in high school, and worked her way into a firefighter position at 18 years old. In May 2012, she was offered a position of intern Firefighter/EMT for a department in a suburb of Madison Wisconsin, and a job as an adjunct fire instructor at a local college. Under the intern program, the firehouse was home to her and other interns while they worked on their associates degree in fire science, but got on the job guidance and training. It was there that she had a life-changing experience with fire.

Firefighter Candace Wetter wore full turnout gear when she competed in the Gazelle 5K earlier this year, just to prove she could.

Firefighter Candace Wetter wore full turnout gear when she competed in the Gazelle 5K earlier this year, just to prove she could.

Just five months later, on October 27, her department was invited to attend a multi-department live fire-training burn. Their burn room was in the garage, three feet below the foundation. Some of the instructors asked her and the other interns if they wanted to go in for the last burn. She and three others were on the hose, and she was second, making her the command officer. But once they got into the room, all did not go as planned. Her third and fourth crewmembers disappeared, and her nozzleman (in front of her) began to panic. She couldn’t figure out where the other two went and kept looking for them. When the blackest smoke she had ever seen dropped from the ceiling, she knew something had gone wrong and they need to get out of there. But her nozzleman could not move; he was paralyzed with fear, and she had to drag him out, while flames licked at her ears and her mask began to melt. As she reached the steps, the room flashed on them and she thought she was going to die as a 19-year-old firefighter. She caught a tiny ray of light out of a corner of her mask and finally bailed out a window with her nozzleman. She kept crawling, just wanting the burning to stop. She suffered first and second-degree burns, smoke inhalation, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Everyone had made it out; her third team member, who was also her best friend had left because of an equipment problem, and the fourth crewmember left as well. Neither had told her they were leaving. She also noted that at least nine rules of the National Fire Protection Association had been broken by those setting up the burn; and no one was watching or controlling the fire.

FF Wetter and other runners at the Gazelle 5K.

FF Wetter and other runners at the Gazelle 5K.

It took Wetter quite awhile to recover from the experience, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well. “We as firefighters and first responders deal with these types of things on a daily basis,” explained Wetter. “That is why we stress highly on the importance of firefighter mental well-being and behavioral health. We cannot help others, if we ourselves are hurting.”

She said the fire defiantly changed her and her outlook on a lot of things. “Since that fire, I have taken every single training or class that I had the opportunity to take. My best friends and I nearly died and I am hell bound to make every attempt at not letting history repeat itself. I grew up learning that I would make mistakes in my life. And when those mistakes happened, you learn from them, get back up, dust your boots off and do it again; until you got it right. This fire just took a little bit longer to stand back up from.”

Wetter said that her nozzleman’s brain and body shut down because he couldn’t figure out what to do. “That is why we train so much as firefighters. So when we may not have a quick answer to the problem, we will still have our training and field experience to back us up and come up with a solution. It is also why we have such strict requirements on mandatory training hours and academy curriculum.”

Wetter said she now fights fires from a much smarter standpoint. “We are constantly maintaining our situational awareness and observing changing conditions. We also use a risk-benefit analysis; what are our gains vs. what are our risks? About 100 firefighters die in the line of duty every single year. That is something I keep in the back of my head when I am on a scene or fire. We will make every attempt we can to do what we were sworn to do; save lives and protect property.  We also will make every attempt to bring all of our members home, after every call. When you come close to losing everything, you make every attempt to keep your crew up to speed and well trained. Again, that is why we train constantly. I am not here for myself; I am here for them; to make sure they make it back to their families at the end of the day.”

And Wetter does just that. She moved to Michigan in 2014, and has worked for Solon Fire Department for a little over two years, and helps train new recruits. She also works for Plainfield Fire Department and Life EMS. Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake nominated Wetter this spring for a scholarship to the 2016 Fire Departments Instructor Conference.

He wrote that he nominated Wetter “due to her extreme passion to serve the community and her unwavering commitment to improve fireground safety through her extensive donation of time and talent to train new recruits on fire ground skills. In a very unselfish manner, FF Wetter is willing and able to attend various regional and national training seminars and then donate endless hours in sharing this knowledge within the SFD.” He went on to talk about the recruits she was training, and the countless hours of training classes she takes at her own cost.”

Wetter was awarded the all-expenses paid scholarship to attend the conference in Indianapolis, in April. “Thousands of firefighters attend this conference,” remarked Wetter. “I spent a week learning from some of the best chiefs, training officers and seasoned firefighters throughout the country. I took many different classes, ranging from firefighter mental health to rapid intervention and self-survival classes. I am extremely honored to have had that opportunity. I have already planned trainings at my departments to pass the knowledge on and to grow my departments so we are more prepared and proactive.”

Wetter is an inspiration to others around her, sometimes without knowing it. Earlier this spring, she ran the Gazelle 5K in Grand Rapids, in full firefighter gear, which she said weighs about 90 pounds. An email and photo of Wetter was sent to the GR Fire Chief from deputy city attorney Elizabeth White, asking if anyone knew who she was. In the email, White noted that she followed behind the firefighter all the way. “I’m 50 years old, and I don’t run much as a general rule. But as long as this girl kept running, so did I. I was so inspired by her determination, I [darn] near broke my personal 5K record!” She asked if anyone knew who she was to pass on her appreciation. “She inspired a lot of women today!” she wrote.

Wetter said she did it because she wanted a challenge. “I tend to get bored easily and wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I ran in my full turnout gear with my SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus). Someone told me that I couldn’t finish the 5k in my gear, so again, I was bound and determined to prove them wrong.”

The Post asked Wetter if she had any advice for young people who might want to become a firefighter. “I would tell any young person aspiring to be a firefighter that he/she needs to pace themselves. Also:

  • The fire service is a journey not a destination. You must first learn how to crawl, then walk, then jog, then run.
  • Enthusiasm, dedication & passion are an absolute must with this job, and they are all things we cannot teach from a book.
  • We never stop training and learning. From the first day on the job, to graduating from academy, to fighting fires every day. You must make it part of your life, because it can so easily take your life.
  • You need to have a hobby. Something other than fire or ems. Too much of something can never be good.
  • You need to have your crew’s back. Through thick and thin. Bottom line—we are a family.”

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Renaissance Faire this weekend

 

These guys did some sword fighting at last year’s Renaissance Faire.

These guys did some sword fighting at last year’s Renaissance Faire.

June 10-12

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will once again turn Morley Park into something out of the Middle Ages when they host the 2016 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire, June 10-12.

The fun starts Friday night, with PiYo in the park at 6 p.m., and you can meet and greet the actors performing this year. At dusk, they will show a movie in the park. This year’s movie is the 1951 version of Alice in Wonderland to go with the 2016 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire theme “Alice in Morleyshire.” This is a family classic so bring out the entire family. The Kent Theatre will be giving out free popcorn to the first 50 people just before the movie (which starts about dark). They will have other concessions and drinks for sale too.

The fun continues on Saturday with all day entertainment from noon to 8 p.m. and a Royal Dinner from 6-8 p.m. (Visit the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire page on Facebook for more info on the Royal Dinner.) Sunday continues the fun, with all day entertainment from noon to 6 p.m.

There will also be vendor booths set up throughout the weekend selling wooden and steel swords, armor, natural remedies, essential oils, hats, masks, books, fairy items and more.

Returning entertainers for this year include Darkmore Colony of Larpcraft, E-leesa Gypsy Enchantress, Steal Lotus Dance Troupe, The Late Mountebank & Wonder Elixir of Life Company, Bell Book and Canto, Robin the Bard and new performances by The Fae of Norsey Woods.

Hopkins said they have over 20 vendor booths selling anything from steel swords, crafted armor, natural remedies, essential oils, hats, masks, wooden swords, hand crafted items, books, fairy items, dresses, and more.

Either come as you are, or dress up and join the fun! Hope to see you there!

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The Post travels to California

N-Post-travels-Orange-County-Thornton

The Cedar Springs Post traveled to California with the Thornton family, where they celebrated the marriage of Tommy Thornton (2004 Cedar Springs grad) to Inge Hergenrather. The couple resides in San Clemente, California, where Tommy is an Orange County Sheriff Deputy and USMC Reservist, and Inge is an events manager.

Joining in the fun were Tommy’s parents, Tom and Sara; brothers Austin (2007 CSHS grad), and Judson (2010 CSHS grad); nephew Carson; and Cedar Springs High School friends Brandon Bauer and Mike Bigney (both 2004 grads).

The couple was married in the same church as Tom and Sara—South Shores Church, Laguna Niguel, California.

Thanks so much for taking us with you, and best of luck to the happy couple!

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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