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Recording of City Council meeting fails


The Cedar Springs City Council voted last month to purchase the necessary equipment to begin recording all City Council meetings and workshops and putting them on Youtube for the public to view. Last Thursday’s meeting was slated to be the first meeting to be recorded, but it is unavailable for public viewing now or in the future due to technical difficulties, according to City Manager Thad Taylor.

“Our WiFi was not working properly, which led to gaps in the video. Basically we could only make clips from gap to gap, (with) obviously no continuity,” explained Taylor. “Our IT company has a fix for that, and it should be corrected soon.”

He said the biggest issue is that the system only makes video clips up to one hour in duration. “That was never disclosed prior to purchasing, so the system we have doesn’t meet our needs,” said Taylor. “I will take the issue up with the manufacturer.”

City Councilor Rose Powell told the Post she understands it was a mistake, but feels that they should still put up what they have, even if it’s not complete.

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Do you know who this person is?


N-Identify-suspect-credit-card-theftThe Kent County Sheriff Department is asking for the public’s help to identify the person in the photograph. He is wanted in connection with fraudulent use of a credit card.

According to police, a woman lost her credit card, and discovered several hundred dollars worth of fraudulent charges were processed on the card. It was used at various businesses in and around the Cedar Springs area. Video surveillance was obtained from some of the businesses. If you can identify the suspect, please contact Detective Hopkins at (616) 632-6015.

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Wire theft suspect arrested


Joseph Clayton Butler

Joseph Clayton Butler

The Post reported last month that the Kent County Sheriff Department was searching for Joseph Clayton Butler, 34, in relation to copper wire theft. He reportedly stole the wire from a local business, then sold it in Grand Rapids.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, he will now be facing felony drug charges as well. Butler was arrested on Main Street, in Cedar Springs, on February 10, on prior warrants. During the arrest, he was found to be in possession of heroin and components of a meth lab.

Butler was lodged at the Kent County jail, and was arraigned on February 11 on the wire theft charge, a 5-year felony; operating/maintaining a meth lab; possession of narcotics; and habitual offender (4th offense). A $50,000 cash or surety bond was set on the drug charges, and $15,000 bond on the wire theft charge.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools 1st Semester Honor roll 2014-2015

HEY proud parents and grandparents!

The Cedar Springs Public Schools Honor Rolls for Middle School, High School, and New Beginnings Alternative HS are now available to download.

Click link below to download the Cedar Springs Public Schools 1st Semester Honor Roll 2014-2015


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Family escapes house fire

This  home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

This home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.


Home is former schoolhouse

By Judy Reed

A faulty chimney is believed to have caused a house fire in Solon Township earlier this week.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were called to the home at 811 21 Mile Road, on the NE corner of 21 Mile and Albrecht, at 5:55 a.m. Monday morning, February 9. He said that the homeowner, Daniel Vazquez, woke up and went to feed some wood into a newly installed wood burner, in the back of the house, and noticed smoke. He and his wife, two children and dog got out safely. When he went outside, there was smoke and flames coming from around the chimney and roofline.

N-Fire1-21-Mile-and-Albrecht-webDrake said that when the first engine arrived on scene, flames were coming through the roof and back of the house. Sand Lake, Algoma, and Kent City assisted at the scene, and Cedar Springs was on stand by in case Solon had any other calls.

The fire reignited on Tuesday morning, but Drake said that’s not uncommon in homes with cellulose insulation, and it was quickly put out.

A fire investigator ruled the cause as a faulty chimney.

Drake said that the home was not currently habitable, but could be repaired. He estimated damage at about $100,000 to the house, and $20,000 to the contents.

Clothing and other types of donations (such as gift cards) for the family can be dropped off at Cedar View Elementary.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The home, which has been renovated, was once a rural schoolhouse called Hoag School. Not much is known about it, but according to info from The Cedar Springs Historical Society, Lena Reichelt Caldwell wrote a piece about Hoag School for a new book they are putting together. She said the school was named after Lyman Hoag Sr. His son, Lyman Hoag Jr., later married Mittie Ross, who was hired by Hoag, Sr. to teach at the school in about 1890.

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Crash sends two to hospital

The driver of this vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign at 17 Mile and Myers Lake Avenue. Photo by J. Reed.

The driver of this vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign at 17 Mile and Myers Lake Avenue. Photo by J. Reed.

A man was in his basement of his home at the corner of 17 Mile and Myers Lake last Friday, February 6, when he heard a big boom shortly after 3:30 p.m. “I knew right away what it was,” he said.

He then ran outside and saw he was right—two vehicles had crashed at the intersection. He checked on the drivers and called 9-1-1.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Coil, the driver of the Spectrum Health car was headed northbound on Myers Lake and didn’t stop at the sign. She proceeded through the intersection and hit an eastbound vehicle.

This vehicle was eastbound on 17 Mile at the time of the accident. Photo by J. Reed.

This vehicle was eastbound on 17 Mile at the time of the accident. Photo by J. Reed.

The passenger in the eastbound vehicle, an elderly woman, was a med 2, and was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was not injured.

The driver of the northbound vehicle also went to the hospital to get checked out.

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Kayaker dies in Rogue River


A kayaking death in the area last weekend has authorities reminding boaters to wear a personal flotation device while boating.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, two men were kayaking on the Rogue River early Saturday afternoon, February 7, when they encountered a large body of ice on the river. The two attempted to exit their kayaks and walk over the ice, when of the kayaks began to take on water. The victim, Thomas Shepard, a 65-year-old Grand Rapids resident, was pulled under the ice shelf by the strong current and the second kayaker, Daniel Silverthorn, a 50-year-old Grand Rapids resident, attempted to render aid to his friend, but was unsuccessful. Neither subject had been wearing a personal flotation device.

After attempting to render aid, Silverthorn made contact with nearby residents, who called 9-1-1.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Plainfield Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance were dispatched to the area of Rio Rogue Lane NE and Roguewood DR NE about 2:34 p.m. The sheriff’s department dive team, with the assistance of the Plainfield and Cannon Township fire departments and Aeromed, conducted an extensive search in an attempt to locate and recover Shepard’s body. They ended the initial search late Saturday night after conditions became unsafe for emergency personnel.

A second search was conducted in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 8th by the KCSD, along with the Plainfield and Cannon township fire departments. During the course of the second search, Shepard’s body was located a short distance from where he had last been seen alive.

The medical examiner’s office was contacted and the victim’s family was notified of the recovery.

No foul play is suspected.

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The Post travels to the Bahamas

Traveling with the Post to the Bahamas was Roxann Perron and Debra Johnson on the left, and Jean Sutherland, Janice Harris and Jan Sutton on the right.

Traveling with the Post to the Bahamas was Roxann Perron and Debra Johnson on the left, and Jean Sutherland, Janice Harris and Jan Sutton on the right.

The paper went on vacation to the Westwind Club 1 of Nassau, Bahamas, January 3-10, 2015. “There was a lot to do and not a lot of time,” wrote Debra Johnson. She said they got around in small buses that were called Jitneys. For a $1.25 they were picked up in front of their condo and driven around. During their trip they went to the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre; downtown to the straw (flea) markets; happy trails horse back riding on the beach; and Atlantis on Paradise Island. “The Dig has beautifully preserved underwater Atlantean art and artifacts,” remarked Johnson. “The marine life also gives you a show.” She said they also visited the Atlantis casino and shops, snorkelled and walked the beach looking for shells.

She said that the next time they go, there is even more to see, including the changing of the guards; three different forts; the queen’s staircase; powerboat adventure’s Blue Lagoon; and The Baha Mar,” a new 1,000 acre resort set to open in March 2015.

“I left the paper there so other visitors could enjoy our small town paper,” said Johnson.

Thanks, Debra, 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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Kids help woman trapped in shed

Joyce DeWeese (left) was rescued by Dillon Smith, 6 (center), and Emma Smith, 9 (right), earlier this week after getting trapped in her shed.

Joyce DeWeese (left) was rescued by Dillon Smith, 6 (center), and Emma Smith, 9 (right), earlier this week after getting trapped in her shed.

A Nelson Township woman is grateful to two neighbor children who came to her aid earlier this week, after she accidentally shut herself in her shed.

Joyce DeWeese, of 17 Mile Ride, said she was in her shed about 3:30 p.m. when a plank she was carrying bumped the overhead door and it came down with a crash. “The shed’s in terrible condition,” she said.

Dillon Smith, 6, and his sister Emma, 9, children of Jarrod and Olivia Smith, were next door, at the home of their grandparents, Danny and Carla Lawrence. Dillon went outside and heard Joyce calling for help, but thought it was someone calling a dog. Finally he told his grandmother, and she and the two children went outside, where they heard Joyce calling, and discovered she was trapped in the shed.

Joyce said that Emma noticed another door on the shed that was bolted and unlocked it. She then put her shoulder to the door and forced it open.

Joyce said she called for help for quite awhile. “I was in there about 45 minutes,” she explained. “They had a hard time hearing me because of the cars going by.”

Joyce is grateful that Dillon heard her calling, and that Emma helped get her out. “I just want to thank for them for what they did,” she said.

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Got Birds? Tell FeederWatch!

A Northern Cardinal by Errol Taskin/Project Feederwatch

A Northern Cardinal by Errol Taskin/Project Feederwatch

Don’t let what happens at the feeder stay at the feeder

Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, and other feeder birds carry an important message about the health of bird populations and our environment. In order to decode that message, people just need to count their birds and report what they see to Project FeederWatch. The 28th season of this Cornell Lab of Ornithology citizen-science project is going on now and there is still time to sign up.

FeederWatch runs November 8, 2014 through April 3, 2015. Participants are urged to sign up at www.FeederWatch.org. The project is easy to do and makes a great family activity.

“We learn so much from the information people report to us, and the data becomes more and more valuable as time goes by,” says project leader Emma Greig. “This is how we learned that Bushtits are increasing in the western part of the country and that more Yellow-rumped Warblers are appearing in the East.”

A new tool on the FeederWatch website makes it easy for everyone to see the trends, such as the Bushtit and warbler increases, along with many others that decades of data reveal.

“With this new tool, anyone can make discoveries about bird populations using the millions of FeederWatch data points, with just a few clicks of their mouse,” says Greig.

Look at reports for one species, compare two species, or compare trends in different parts of the country. The new trend graphs are in the Explore section of the FeederWatch website.

“One trend we’d like to see is more bird reports coming in from cities,” Greig explains. “During the past 27 years of FeederWatch, we’ve only had reports of Monk Parakeets from 136 participants out of more than 50,000. We’re very interested in this invasive species, which has established breeding populations in cities from a few escaped caged birds. And overall, we need to hear from people with feeders in cities to make sure we’re getting a good sample of urban sightings. Join the 20,000 FeederWatchers from around the U.S. and Canada who already make this an important part of their year and contribute vital information to science while enjoying their feeder visitors.”

To learn more about joining Project FeederWatch in the U.S. and to sign up, visit www.FeederWatch.org or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 989-2473. In return for the $18 fee ($15 for Cornell Lab members), participants receive the FeederWatcher Handbook and Instructions with tips on how to successfully attract birds to your feeders, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, and a calendar. Participants also receive Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings, as well as the Cornell Lab’s printed newsletter, All About Birds News. The fee is $35 in Canada. To sign up visit Bird Studies Canada at www.bsc-eoc.org.

Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.pecies.

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