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State Police add extra patrols for Thanksgiving 

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

Operation C.A.R.E. traffic safety effort begins Wednesday 

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here and that means travel, food, family and football. As motorists prepare to hit the highways, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is gearing up for the annual Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative Nov. 23-27, 2016.

“We want every family to have a safe holiday and to enjoy time together,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “We urge you to drive safely this Thanksgiving weekend by wearing a seat belt, designating a sober driver and avoiding distractions like texting or talking on your phone while driving.”

Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes. In 2015, there were 11 fatalities, five of which were pedestrians, during the holiday period. In 2014 there were six traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the lowest number in more than 30 years.

Beginning Wednesday, troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. Extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Enforcement is supported by the Give thanks. Drive safely. public awareness campaign that includes a public service announcement available at www.youtube.com/michstatepolice.

With the arrival of winter weather, motorists are also encouraged to take extra precautions when driving in snowy and icy conditions and to place an emergency preparedness kit in their vehicles. To learn more about creating a kit, go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.

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Man arrested in stabbing

A Gowen man was arrested Monday, November 21, after he stabbed a male victim several times with a knife.

Michigan State Police from the Lakeview Post responded to the call on Colby Road, Evergreen Township, Montcalm County, at approximately 2:20 a.m. They said that a 19-year old male suspect from Gowen confronted an 18-year-old male victim with a knife at the residence and stabbed him several times.

The suspect was subdued at the scene by the victim’s family members until police arrived on scene and took him into custody.  The victim was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for his injuries.

The suspect was lodged in the Montcalm County Jail pending arraignment on charges of Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, and Home Invasion 1st Degree.

The names are being withheld pending formal charges and arraignment.

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Timothy Brown monument repaired

The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The monument dedicated to the memory of fallen hero SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and was reinstalled at its home in Veterans Park in Cedar Springs last week.

The Brown family discovered the monument was missing Saturday, October 22, and called police. Thieves broke the statue, taking the helmet, rifle, and dog tags. Only the boots were left on the memorial stone. The family appealed to the public to have the suspects return the statue, no questions asked, but it did not appear.

Police suspected the same culprits took the statue as broke into concessions at Skinner Field just a day prior. They posted surveillance footage of the break-in, featuring three young males, and asked media to share the photos. Within days, suspects in the thefts were arrested.

Police found the statue in a shed on the property of Tracy Lyn Coleman, 45, in the 100 block of E. Muskegon, along with several items in the home from the Skinner Field break-in.

Police arrested David Edgar Sommerville, 17, Austin Lee Coleman, 20, and Justin Lynn Rossman, 27, all of Cedar Springs, on Thursday, October 27. All three were charged in the Skinner Field break-in, and Sommerville and Rossman were charged with the monument theft. The older Coleman was arrested the next day on receiving and concealing stolen property. He reportedly admitted to police that he knew the rifle and helmet were stored in his shed, and that he had told one of the defendants to get it out of there. Rossman reportedly told police that Sommerville stole the rifle and helmet and hid them in the storage shed.

Once the statue was recovered, DPW Director Tom Stressman had it repaired by a business in Minnesota that specializes in bronze monuments and memorials honoring law enforcement, fire/rescue, and the military.

City Manager Mike Womack had earlier said it would cost the city about $500 to have the $10,000 monument repaired, and they would probably seek to recover that cost as part of restitution on the part of the suspects.

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Kent City grad dies in crash

 

Isaiah Slater. Photo from his facebook page.

Isaiah Slater. Photo from his facebook page.

An 18-year-old Tyrone Township teen was killed last weekend when he crashed his vehicle while trying to pass another car.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Saturday, November 12, about 3:10 p.m., on Red Pine Drive, north of 18 Mile Rd. Police said that witnesses reported a southbound 2003 Mercury Sable tried to pass another southbound vehicle, and lost control. The car then left the roadway, rolled over, and crashed into several trees on the west side of the road.

The driver of the vehicle, Isaiah Slater, 18, of Tyrone Township, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no one else in the car, and no other vehicles involved in the crash.

Police believe that speed was a factor in the crash, but alcohol and drugs are not thought to be factor. He was wearing his seatbelt.

Isaiah is the son of Gerald and Deborah Slater. According to his obituary, he had attended Algoma Christian School, and graduated from Kent City High School in 2016. He was attending Grand Rapids Community College.

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Man charged in crash that killed teen

Ted VandenBrink

Ted VandenBrink

Megan Cook

Megan Cook

A 39-year-old Grand Rapids man has been charged with causing the death of a Morley teen after he ran a stop sign while intoxicated and caused a three-car collision that resulted in her death.

The crash occurred on Sunday, November 13, about 3:40 p.m. in Alpine Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Ted Allen VandenBrink, 39, of Grand Rapids, was traveling west on 6 Mile Road in a 2008 Ford Taurus and failed to stop at the stop sign at Fruit Ridge Avenue. He then struck a 2004 Pontiac Montana minivan traveling northbound on Fruit Ridge Avenue. The force of the collision pushed the Montana into the path of a southbound 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, which also hit the minivan.

Megan Cook, 17, of Morley, was a passenger in the Montana minivan. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Megan’s mother, Beth Cook, 49, was the driver of the minivan, and Megan’s father, Randall Cook, 53, was a passenger. They were both sent by Life Ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Silverado, David Castle, 60, of Grandville, nor his occupants were injured. VandenBrink, the driver of the Taurus, was also not injured.

Alpine Fire and Rescue and Life Ambulance assisted at the scene.

VandenBrink was arraigned in 63rd District Court on Monday, November 14, on a charge of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) causing death. His bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety.

A gofundme page has been set up to help the Cook family with funeral and burial expenses at www.gofundme.com/angelmegan.

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City council appoints Hall another term as Mayor

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The City of Cedar Springs held their reorganizational meeting last Thursday, November 10. City Council members Rose Powell and Jerry Gross Sr. were sworn in, after running unopposed in the November 8 election. Powell was elected to another four-year-term, and Gross, who was appointed this summer to replace Bob Truesdale, won a four-year-term.

The Council voted 7-0 to appoint Jerry Hall to his third term as Mayor, and Pam Conley to another year as Mayor Pro-tem. No other nominations were brought forward.

To watch a recording of the entire meeting, go to youtube.com and type “City of Cedar Springs” in the searchbar.

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The Post travels to Wyoming

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Art Smith Auctioneer brought along his Cedar Springs Post while on a hunting trip to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. He and hunting buddy Brian Braun hunted on a ranch within sight of the fort. Fort Laramie was built in 1849 to protect the pioneers headed west from the Indians and was the sight of the famous Fort Laramie Treaty of 1958.

“It is now a National Park and has a very interesting history,” said Smith.

He said the hunt was successful with two Antelope taken.

Thanks so much, Art, 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 make gifts at library

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On Saturday, November 12, Shelly Aardema did a “Christmas Gift” workshop for local families from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. “It was a great time for the 19 who participated,” said Librarian Donna Clark. “They could make a sun catcher, decorate a mug and make an angel necklace—all very nice gifts to keep or give away.”

Ms. Heidi, youth parapro for the Cedar Springs Library, was Santa’s helper for the event.

 

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130th Trooper recruit school graduates 

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Fifty-eight recruits become State Police Troopers 

On November 4, Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP), administered the Oath of Office to 58 new Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers at the graduation ceremony of the 130th Trooper Recruit School at the Lansing Center.

“I commend these new troopers for their hard work and dedication in proving they have what it takes to join the ranks of the elite Michigan Department of State Police,” stated graduation keynote speaker, Governor Rick Snyder. “We wish them safe and rewarding careers as they stand on the front lines to serve and protect the residents of our great state.”

In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, “As you accept the honor today of becoming Michigan State troopers, the department demands, and the public deserves, nothing less than your very best performance every day. In all things you do, do what’s right, do your best, and treat others the way you want to be treated. Strive each day to Provide ‘Service With a Purpose’ to those who break the law and to those who choose not to break the law.”

Tpr. Dennis Meek, who was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits, spoke on behalf of the graduating class at Friday’s ceremony. Other award recipients included Tpr. Dylan Neill who received the Team Building Award, Tpr. Vincent Modjeski who received the Marksmanship Award, Tpr. Heather Svoboda who received the Academic Achievement Award and Tpr. Eric Morrow who received the Outstanding Performance Award.

The 130th Trooper Recruit School began on June 5, when 70 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 22 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.

In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

As part of the department’s commitment to “Providing Service With A Purpose,” the recruits participated in a community outreach project in which they helped build a playground at Wacousta Elementary School.

The following graduates were assigned to Posts in the Sixth District:

David Burr, of Otsego, was assigned to Rockford; Dennis Meek, of Almont, was assigned to Rockford; Eric Morrow, of Big Rapids, was assigned to Rockford; Jacob Barnes, of Ithaca, was assigned to Lakeview; Jacob Lewis, of Rockford, was assigned to Lakeview; Jacob Robison, of Concord was assigned to Hart; Garrett Salters, of Blissfield, was assigned Hart; Brittany Campbell, of Caro, was assigned to Mount Pleasant; Patrick Harrington, of Cheboygan, was assigned to Mount Pleasant; and Vincent Modjeski, of Manistee, was assigned to Mount Pleasant.

The 130th Trooper Recruit School is the second of four trooper recruit schools this year, as well as a motor carrier officer recruit school:

  • 131st Trooper Recruit School started July 17, 2016; will graduate December 22, 2016.
  • 21st Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School started August 28, 2016; will graduate January 6, 2017.
  • 132nd Trooper Recruit School started August 28, 2016; will graduate February 3. 2017.

The MSP is actively recruiting; interested candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply. The next trooper recruit school is anticipated to begin in June 2017.

Including these troopers, there are currently 1,035 troopers assigned statewide.

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Book sale nets funds for Friends of Library 

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On Friday and Saturday, November 11-12, the Friends of the Cedar Springs Library had a huge, blow-out, let-it-go, fundraising book sale! All books were $0.25 or $1 for a bag, including hardcovers. Local citizens poured into the Senior Center on Park and Elm Streets to scoop up the bargains. The regular Red Flannel Day book sale, postponed due to rainy weather, had to happen at some point to unload the overburdened storage unit before winter set in. With the blessing of a sunny day and unusually warm temperatures, over one-half of the books were sold, bringing in $375 for the 15-hour sale. The Friends saw many smiles as some walked out of the building with their $1 bag stuffed with 6-9 paperbacks. Many readers are set for the winter!

Saturday, March 18, is the Friends next fundraising event for the new library—their annual Quilt Show held at the Cedar Springs Middle School. Raffle tickets are on sale at the Library, $1 for one ticket or $5 for 6. If you are thinking about Christmas, the Library has 4×8 bricks for sale for $50, 8×8 bricks for $100 and larger retaining wall blocks on sale for $1,000. Think about getting a brick or block in the name or memory of your family or friends, a gift that will keep on giving. Contact the Library for more information (616-696-1910) or print out an application form from the Library’s website: cedarspringslibrary.org.

 

 

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