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Post story leads to suspects in Boomer Park break-in

By Judy Reed

Thanks to our readers, two suspects have been identified in the Boomer Park break-in we wrote about last week. 

Our story last week asked if you recognized the people in the surveillance photos that were suspects in a break-in that occurred at Boomer Park in Nelson Township, about 11 p.m. Monday evening, January 29. The field is located at 13440 Ritchie Avenue, just south of Becker, and is home to AYSO Soccer Region 902. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a tipster saw the information in our story, and called Silent Observer. The info was credible, and investigators located the two named individuals—two 16-year-olds, who have been referred to juvenile court.

It was a relief to those who head up the soccer organization. “AYSO Soccer Region 902 would like to graciously thank those who called in tips which led to those responsible,” said a spokesperson for the organization.

It was the fourth break-in in nine months, and this time there was also some vandalism. A spokesperson for AYSO had said they may now need to use the money they had put aside for scholarships to repair the vandalism. The scholarships are used to help players from lower income families with registration fees.

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Man charged in attempted robbery

Jerome David Richards

A Comstock Park man is in jail on a charge of unarmed robbery after he attempted to rob the Subway on West River Drive last week. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the man walked into the Subway at 4615 West River Drive on Thursday, February 1, at 2:39 p.m., and attempted to rob the store. He implied that he had a weapon, though none was seen. He then fled the scene on foot, without any money.

The Kent County Sheriff Department then posted surveillance photos on their Facebook page, asking for the public’s help to identify the man. (The Post also shared their post on our Facebook page.) Due to people sharing their post, the police received a credible tip and acted on it immediately. 

On February 5, they arrested Jerome David Richards, 37, of Comstock Park. He was arraigned on Tuesday, February 6, on one charge of unarmed robbery, and one charge of being a habitual offender, 3rd offense. Bond was set at $50,000.

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Crash injures garbage truck worker

The operator of a garbage truck was seriously injured earlier this week when he was struck by another vehicle while on the job in Courtland Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Monday, February 5, at 10:46 a.m. on Myers Lake Rd, between 13 and 14 Mile Roads. Paul Boomershine, 40, of Rockford, had reportedly stopped his Herrington Waste truck in the northbound lane, and was behind the truck, unloading paint cans, when a northbound Toyota Camry struck him and pinned him between the car and his truck. 

The driver of the Camry, Robert Burnett, 85, of Rockford, told police he was unable to stop for the truck. He was not injured.

Boomershine was transported to Butterworth Hospital by helicopter with a serious injury to his right leg. 

Police do not believe alcohol was a factor. The crash is still under investigation.

Courtland Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Winter fun

Adeline Bender, the daughter of Brant and Leslie Bender, of Cedar Springs, has fallen in love with skiing this winter. She has been enjoying her time out at Cannonsburg Ski & Ride Area on Thursday nights with the Cedar Springs Ski Club. 

“We are thankful for the nearby ski area and ski club!” said Leslie.

Do you have a winter fun photo you’d like to share? Send it to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some info about it, and where the person in the photo is from. Please include your contact info. Photos will run as space allows.

 

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Velzy Park Fundraiser marks third year

Grab your sweetheart, bring your family and join us tomorrow, February 9, as Velzy Park hosts its third annual spaghetti dinner and dessert auction. The popular event features live music from Monique’s Quality Entertainment, a 50-50 raffle, a quality in-house cooked meal and, as ever, the highly competitive dessert auction, featuring some of our local ladies most prized recipes, as well as donations from area restaurants.  Joe Watson is again lending his talents to the auction with his lively style and wit.  

The fundraiser marks the continuing efforts of Solon Township’s Velzy Park Committee to raise money for construction of Phase One of the park, which includes a restroom and playground. Velzy Park currently offers a community walking trail, gazebo and picnic area. 

The event takes place in Solon’s community room at 15185 Algoma Avenue. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner slated at 6:00 PM. The dessert auction follows. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from committee members for $10 each or $18 a pair. For questions, please call 616-696-4227.  

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Garden Club seeks donations to fund project

 

The Cedar Springs Garden Club is getting ready to start the next phase of its Garden Renovation Project.

As reported in The Cedar Springs Post in October 2017, the Garden Club has plans to renovate the City Garden, which is on the corner of First and Cherry Streets, across from the Cedar Springs United States Post Office. A new plan was drawn up by Kristin Perez at Shaner Avenue Nursery for an easier to maintain garden, with a walking path and sitting areas. On October 21, 2017, the Garden Club members and more volunteers from the community, removed most of the plants that have been in the garden for many years. We offered these plants to the public for a donation and got a great response. We are happy that most of the plants found new homes. Thank you to all who participated.

Plans are currently being made to begin the installation of the new garden in April 2018. The first project will be to install the pathway; next will be the planting of the shrubs and perennials. Then, in late spring or early summer, we will finish by planting annual flowers.

We are seeking donations to enable us to complete the project this year. The Garden Club plans to use much of its money in the project. Some money has been raised by the sale of the plants. Several individuals and a business have donated. Some of the gifts have been made as memorial donations. We are asking for help from businesses, community organizations and individuals who would like to help beautify downtown Cedar Springs by supporting and donating to this project. The new shrubs and perennials range in price from $8.00 to $25.00 each. We also will need money for the hard path, the mulch and for the annuals.

If you would like to make a donation please mail it to:  Cedar Springs Garden Club, PO Box 13, Cedar Springs, MI  49319. Checks should be made out to The Cedar Springs Garden Club. Donations will be publicly acknowledged unless there is a request to remain anonymous.

If you enjoy gardening and you would like to be a part of beautifying Cedar Springs, please join us at one of our upcoming meetings at the Cedar Springs Library, 2nd Monday evening, 7 p.m. That will be on February 12, March 12, and April 9 of this spring. If you would like more information you may call Pat at 616-893 7305 or Sandra at 616-696 8660.

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Contractor scam alert

The Kent County Sheriff Department recently alerted the public to a scam in West Michigan where the suspects are posing as contractors and then stealing money from elderly victims. They said that over the past month, there have been incidents reported in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing, but they have not yet taken any reports in our area.

Suspects are described as Hispanic males driving a silver/grey full size pickup truck, possibly a Chevy. They typically target the elderly by telling them something on the exterior of their home is in need of repair and they offer to show the homeowner what they are talking about. While one suspect distracts the homeowner, the second suspect enters the home and typically takes money from the victim.

Pass this information along to any homeowners you know, especially the elderly, and call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100 to report any information related to this type of activity.

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Reward offered for info in elderly woman’s homicide

 

On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Troopers from the Mt. Pleasant State Police Post responded to a report of a house fire at 1487 N. Lakola Rd, Ellsworth Twp, Lake County, Michigan.

Mt. Pleasant Troopers, Lake County Sheriff Deputies, MSP Fire Investigators and LeRoy Twp Fire department personnel responded to the fire. Human remains were located at the scene. An autopsy was conducted at Blodgett Hospital and the victim was positively identified as the homeowner, Evelyn Louise Ware, 79.  

The Lake County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled Ms. Ware’s death a homicide. Detectives from the MSP Mt. Pleasant Post, Hart Post, and 6th District Headquarters, along with investigators from the MSP Fire Investigation Unit continue to investigate.  

At this time the Michigan State Police is announcing that there is now up to a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest in this case. If you have information that could assist investigators, contact the MSP Mt. Pleasant Post at 989-773-5951 during business hours, or contact the Cadillac Area Silent Observer at 231-779-9215 or 1-800-528-8234. Tips submitted through the Cadillac Area Silent Observer, can be submitted anonymously. Tips can also be submitted through www.P3tips.com.

According to the Cadillac News, Ware was a former member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Posse and the former director of Pine River Schools Transportation. 

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Michigan couple identified in multi-state cold case homicide investigation 

 

James Hendricks and Kimberlin Mills before they were killed.

Remains Found in Missouri and Arkansas in 1978 

Human remains discovered nearly 40 years ago, miles apart in two separate states, have been positively linked to a Michigan man and woman. Police believe the pair, identified as James Hendricks of Flint, and Kimberlin Mills of Millington, was murdered by the same suspect. 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Missing Persons Coordination Unit credits, in part, new fingerprint matching technology that allows for comparison using lower quality or even single digit samples. Previous technology required higher quality prints from both hands, which were not available in this case. 

The remains of Hendricks and Mills were both found on June 17, 1978, both with gunshot wounds, but 12 miles apart in Missouri and Arkansas respectively. Neither was reported missing from Michigan at the time. Hendricks, a parole absconder, was thought to have fled the state with his girlfriend Mills. He escaped in November 1977, two days before his 21st birthday.

The first investigative break came in May 2017 when Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators re-ran samples from their case using the new fingerprint matching technology, which associated with Hendricks’ fingerprints on file with the Michigan Department of Corrections. 

The Wexford County Sheriff’s Department notified the Hendricks family, now living in the Cadillac area and learned of Mills. Members of the MSP Caro Post contacted the Mills family and a new missing persons case was opened. Family reference DNA was collected from a brother in Maine and sent to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) lab at the University of North Texas to be uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and compared against the Arkansas unsolved human remains case. The Arkansas State Crime Lab, State Medical Examiner confirmed Mills’ identification in December 2017. 

Police have not yet found who murdered the couple.

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How basketball games should be

The Hawks Nest student section during the pink out game against Lowell last Friday, January 26. Photo by K&R Lalone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks’ student section—the Hawks Nest—just barely missed making it as a top three finalist for MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans VII. But they are winners none-the-less.

“Our student body has been absolutely fantastic this year. In fact, I believe it has been the best it has been in many years,” said teacher and coach Justin Harnden, who has been working with the student Athletic Leadership Council to create a culture that positive and supportive for all fans and teams. “A large amount of students have taken the challenge of changing the culture of our student section and making it a positive experience for everyone.”  

Cedar Springs was chosen as one of nine semi-finalists and one of three in Class A, on January 16. They then had 12 days to step up their game and show what they could do, and record it on social media. On January 23, almost 1,000 students cheered on a Special Olympics basketball game between Cedar Springs and Sparta—and they cheered for both sides. They also cheered at pink out games for girls and boys basketball. During last Friday’s pink out boys basketball game against Lowell, the positive spirit they showed made a big impact on at least one of the opposing team’s fans.  

Joel Fritsma, a Red Arrow fan, posted this on Twitter: “Shoutout to @CedarALC for the hospitality Friday night! The pink out was really fitting. Quite the SS you guys have put together this year! Keep up the great work, and best of luck towards moving on in the #BOTF rankings! – A Lowell Student #HowBasketballGamesShouldBe”

Harnden said that sentiment really exemplies all that they have done this year. 

“There have been a large amount of great moments the past two sports seasons that are highlighted with one of the largest sections we have ever had for our Lowell football game, and partnering with the school Be Nice campaign for our Glow Out Bullying basketball game,” he said.

“While we were disappointed that we didn’t make the finals, everyone here is extremely proud of all the we have done and we absolutely will try again next year. The upperclassmen that we currently have put forth so much effort into the shift and they have laid the groundwork for everyone else to follow.”  

Harnden hopes the positive impact of the campaign extends beyond school walls. “I hope that the positive shift resonates with not just our students, but our community as well. Everyone leading and pushing in a supportive way makes the games so much fun to be a part of and when we can lead the shift out of the student section we can make a much bigger difference in the lives of many other people,” he explained. 

Boyne City, Buchanan and Petoskey were selected as finalists by MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council. Voting among the top five semifinalists was particularly close, according to the MHSAA. Cedar Springs and Charlotte just missed earning spots among the top three. Munising, Negaunee, Pellston and Traverse City West also were among the semifinalists.

“Charlotte and Cedar Springs were very close to becoming part of this year’s finalists tour,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “Both have established incredible fan cultures, and we certainly plan on seeing them in this contest again next year.”
Harnden agrees. 

“This year semi-finalists; next year champions,” he said.

Visit CedarSpringsTV on youtube.com to see several examples of the Hawks Nest in action during Battle of the Fans VII.

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