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Reward for info on homicide

 

Alan Nelson

Alan Nelson

The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post is continuing its investigation into the homicide of Alan Nelson, 80, of Sidney Township.

Nelson was found dead March 30, at his residence at 591 Nelson Dr, Sidney Township, which is on Nevins Lake, about four miles west of Stanton.

Investigators say the man died sometime between Sunday evening, March 29, and Monday morning, March 30. They reported that evidence at the scene indicates his death is a homicide. Other evidence shows Mr. Nelson’s house and three neighboring homes were broken into.

Detectives are processing through tips and leads that have been coming into the Lakeview Post.

The MSP crime lab is processing and analyzing both forensic and physical evidence that was collected at the scene, and the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department continues to assist with the investigation.

The State Police Lakeview Post is asking the public for their continued assistance with helping to solve the homicide of Mr. Nelson. They have teamed up with Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan to assist in the investigation. Callers to Crime Stoppers will be eligible to receive reward money up to $1000 dollars for information leading investigators to the arrest of those responsible for the death of Mr. Nelson.

Crime Stoppers has call takers available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone who has information and would like to receive the reward money is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (517) 483-7867.

Otherwise you can contact the Michigan State Lakeview Post at 989-352-8444, or Silent observer at 1-866-774-2345.

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Documentary looks at rape on college campuses

 

Youth Council to Promote Prevention, Awareness 

N-Sex-assault-month-Hunting-Ground-Documentary-2015The statistics are startling: someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the United States. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and this year, the national campaign focuses on awareness and prevention of campus sexual violence. Here in Kent County, a new youth advisory council has been formed for the prevention of relationship and sexual violence. Young Leaders Against Violence (YLAV) is a diverse group of youth, ages 14-22, coordinated through a partnership between the Kent County Health Department, YWCA of West Central Michigan, Safe Haven Ministries and Family Futures. YLAV has several SAAM events planned in April for their schools and the community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five women, and one in 71 men, will be raped/sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. “Reaching out to teens and young adults is crucial,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “YLAV is a great way to advocate and educate. Teens may be more open to talking to peers about sexual violence, rather than talking to adults. Reaching out to students while they are in high school and college could have a dramatic impact on education and awareness of this serious public health issue.”

The YWCA of West Central Michigan Sexual Assault Program in Grand Rapids reports that in 2014, 75 percent of sexual assault victims reported their assailant as someone they know. This rate is even higher for women and men who report being assaulted or raped while in college. The YLAV, in partnership with the coordinating agencies, plans a screening and discussion panel regarding the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” a movie that takes a closer look at rape on college campuses across the country. The screening will be held April 16, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Celebration Cinema North (East Beltline and Knapp NE, Grand Rapids). Admission is free.

“The vast majority of the cases of college aged victims who receive a medical forensic examination at the YWCA Nurse Examiner Program involve the use of alcohol by the victim, the offender, or both,” said Patti Haist, Director Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at the YWCA of West Central Michigan. “A rapist sees intoxication as an opportunity for sexual assault or deliberately supplies alcohol to potential victims to make them vulnerable. The rapist knows that a victim who has used alcohol is less likely to report, less likely to fight back and less likely to call out for help. As a society we need to understand that sexual assault is not the fault of the victim, it is the deliberate targeting of vulnerable people by the rapist that warrants our attention.”

For info on YWCA Sexual Assault services visit www.ywcawcmi.org/sa-services.php.

To see a trailer for the film, search for “The Hunting Ground” on You Tube.

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Civil War presentation celebrates local soldiers

This photo shows a group of Civil War vets meeting here in Cedar Springs, around 1906, 41 years after the war was over. Not many vets were left at that time. Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

This photo shows a group of Civil War vets meeting here in Cedar Springs, around 1906, 41 years after the war was over. Not many vets were left at that time. Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

N-Civil-War2-presentation-Rosencrans-webSaturday, April 4, at 1 p.m. at Cedar Springs Museum

Did you know that it was men from Northern Kent County that received the Confederate flag of surrender from General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox? That story is little known in Michigan, according to Cedar Springs native and author Bobbie Robertson Rosencrans, author of The Comrades, 6th Michigan Cavalry, Co. F.

This unit, comprised mostly of men from Northern Kent County, was critical in bringing the war to a close, she said. Even more amazing is that earlier they had been crucial to keeping the Union from possibly losing the war at the Battle of Gettysburg. Why is this amazing bit of American history not well known here in the very place where so many of these heroes returned after the war?

“The reason is that like so many of our veterans today, it was painful to remember and too horrific to tell without causing new emotional pain and grief,” said Rosencrans. “They had won, true enough, but they’d also lost a great deal.”

April 9, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox Court House, and Rosencrans will tell the story of the 6th Michigan Calvary, Co F, at a special presentation at the Cedar Springs Museum at 1 p.m. April 4. Find out why their story is a classic “Hero’s Journey,” similar to mythological hero stories from around the world.

The company was raised mainly in northern Kent and rural Washtenaw Counties during the summer of 1862. They arrived for training on rafts hauling cedar shingles down the Grand River and up the river on steamers from Spring Lake and Grand Haven. They came on foot from Sparta and Laphamville (Rockford) and the rural townships. Those from eastern communities often came by train or stagecoach.

Basic training camp was on Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids. These were committed men raised on tales of the American Revolution, and knew their family’s rebellious history. One man’s grandfather had served on George Washington’s staff; others were descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They eventually numbered to 1000 members. At Gettysburg, these green troopers served under General George Custer, and helped hold off a mass Confederate cavalry attack on the rear of the Union line, in the largest battle ever in North American history. That was followed by continual battles for two years, until finally, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, they ferociously attacked the rear of Lee’s army and blocked any further progress.

General Robert E. Lee sent the flag of surrender to Custer and all of his Michigan command. And so it was that men from places like Solon Center, Ionia, and Cedar Springs witnessed the end of the Civil War.

Count Phelps, the great-great-grandfather of Sharon Jett, served in Company A.

Count Phelps, the great-great-grandfather of Sharon Jett, served in Company A.

Rosencrans’ book, The Comrades, contains the stories of 150 men who served in Company F, and mentions some from other companies as well. One of them is Count Phelps, great-great-grandfather to Sharon Jett, of the Cedar Springs Historical Society. He served in Company A. He came to Cedar Springs in 1850 as a young lumberman and lived his entire life here.

Rosencrans donated her files on these men to the Cedar Springs Historical Society, along with her Civil war books. She compiled the information through many trips to the National Archives and ten years of research.

Come to the Cedar Springs Museum on Saturday, April 4, at 1 p.m., and hear more of the tale of the 6th Michigan Cavalry, Company F. Her book is available at the museum.

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Police investigate Montcalm County murder

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Alan Nelson

Alan Nelson

An elderly man died in his home over the weekend in Montcalm County, and police are investigating it as a homicide.

The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post said that the victim, Alan Nelson, a white male, age 80, was found dead at his residence at 591 Nelson Dr, Sidney Township, which is on Nevins Lake, about four miles west of Stanton.

N-Homicide-mapInvestigators say the man died sometime between Sunday evening, March 29, and Monday morning, March 30. They reported that evidence at the scene indicates his death is a homicide. Other evidence shows Mr. Nelson’s house and three neighboring homes were broken into.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department is assisting with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Observer at 1-866-774-2345.

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Crash splits car in half

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A driver ran off the road in Solon Township last week Wednesday and struck a tree so hard that it split the car into two pieces.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, the accident occurred about 4 a.m. March 29, in the 17600 block of Albrecht, which is north of 21 Mile Road.

“This car was literally split in half behind the fire wall/dashboard, as a result of the impact, on the passenger side, with the massive tree,” remarked Drake. He noted that the remaining passenger compartment flipped over, and rested upside down.

N-Crash2Sgt. Corey Luce, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, identified the driver as Brett Jarrett Lanakila Slocum, 33 of Pierson. He was reportedly driving southbound at the time of the crash.

Both Luce and Drake confirmed that the driver was severely injured, but refused treatment at the scene. Instead, he was transported to a hospital in Big Rapids by a family member. As of Thursday, April 2, Luce said the driver was still in the hospital.

The crash is still under investigation, and no further information is available at this time.

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Eggs, eggs, everywhere

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The Mike Cook home, at 3240 17 Mile, Solon Township, sports a sea of pastel colors at Easter time each year. The Cooks have been decorating their yard with these colorful eggs for the past nine years. Take a drive by and see for yourself!

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The Post cruises to the South Caribbean

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen and Myrna and Bruce Chapman pose with The POST.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen and Myrna and Bruce Chapman pose with The POST.

Bruce and Myrna Chapman pose with The Post aboard the Legend of the Seas.

Bruce and Myrna Chapman pose with The Post aboard the Legend of the Seas.

The Post recently visited the South Caribbean with Bruce and Myrna Chapman, of Sand Lake, their grandsons Troy Vermeulen and his wife Jenni, of Greenville, and Rich Chapman, formerly of Cedar Springs. They went on a 10-night South Caribbean cruise aboard the Legend of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. They boarded the ship on February 27 at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and sailed to  Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Roseau, Dominica; St. Johns, Antigua; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and returned to Ft. Lauderdale on March 9, 2015.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen, Bruce and Myrna Chapman, and Rich Chapman pose for a pic as they board the Legend of the Seas cruise ship.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen, Bruce and Myrna Chapman, and Rich Chapman pose for a pic as they board the Legend of the Seas cruise ship.

This was Bruce and Myrna’s 30th cruise. They went on their first cruise in February of 1986 for their 25th anniversary and have taken a cruise once a year ever since, except for one year they went twice! They are experienced cruisers and enjoyed having some of their adult grandchildren join them this year. In 1998 they took a big group of their family (children, spouses, grandchildren) that were able to go on a 7-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Troy and Rich were just tweens then, so it was fun for them to go on another cruise as adults. Troy and Rich played volleyball in the pool on the ship and were reigning champions. They went cliff diving at Ti Tou Gorge in Dominica (where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest were filmed). They also entered the sexiest man on the ship contest, Troy won the contest and gained the nickname “Shaggy,” making him a celebrity on the ship.  Bruce and Myrna enjoyed these special moments with their grandchildren and the Post was there with them.

Thanks to the Chapmans for taking us with you on your many adventures!

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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Fast cash winner

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Audrey Debri, of Cedar Springs, correctly identified all the fake stories and the two fake ads in last week’s paper, and was chosen at random out of all the correct entries. She earned a fast $20 in cash!

The fake stories were: Post goes shopper, The Post Travels to Pierson, Bob Tax in Cedar Springs, and Skinny Skyscraper comes to town. The fake display ad was Grand Opening of Off the Hanger, and the classified ad was the Cash Redemption offer.

We had said there were five stories, but one was dropped at the last minute, so we didn’t penalize anyone if they guessed all four stories and ads correctly, plus one more story.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest, and took time to read the April Fools articles. We enjoy doing it each year!

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Quilt show raises funds for new library

Winner of this quilt was Dena Wever.

Winner of this quilt was Dena Wever.

The Cedar Springs Friends of the Library had a beautiful sunny day for their third annual quilt show held at the Cedar Springs Middle School. There were over 130 attendees to see the array of 40 quilts, including 9 antique quilts. Each of the 40 quilts was displayed in full glory, thanks to the outstanding quilt stands crafted by D. White, a cooperative effort on the part of the Cedar Springs Museum and the Friends of the Library.

Prizes were awarded for the most popular quilts voted on by the attendees. First place went to Shirley Fritz, second to Judy Mallory and third place to Maryevelyn Vu. First place for antique quilts went to Kathy Bremmer. First place prizes were donated by area businesses, and second and third place prizes were provided by vendors at the show.

The raffle quilt winner was drawn by Library Board Vice-President Earla Alber and the winner was Dena Wever. The raffle quilt was made by Louise King, Friends President, and quilted by Nancy Rogalski of Aerie Quilting. Dena was overjoyed and surprised at winning the coveted quilt stating, “I never win anything! I’ve never owned a real quilt in my life. This means so much to me!”

N-Quilt-show2“The show wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our community friends and businesses who contributed to the sale table managed by Kim Gillow, Vice-President of the Friends, and the silent auction managed by Dena Wever, Vice-President of Woman’s Life, Chapter 841,” said King.

Woman’s Life, Chapter 841, had arranged to support this year’s Quilt Show again with a matching pledge of $500 if its members could raise $500 in an effort they sponsored.  The silent auction was supported and managed by Woman’s Life and at the end of the day raised $638 to be matched another $500.

Approximately $2,500 was raised for the new Library Building Fund. Over the years the Friends have raised to $22,359, including the money from the Quilt Show. Overall, the library building fund now has $596,300.83.

The Friends plan to have another quilt show next March. Consider showing off your own treasured quilt. What a treat for your neighbors and friends, and financial support toward our community’s long-time dream—a new, larger library facility.

The Friends welcome new members. If you would like to help with fun projects to support the library, you are invited to attend the Friends next meeting, Tuesday, May 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Library.

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This Easter, give toy bunnies, not live ones 

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From the Kent County Health Dept.

Baby bunnies and chicks grow up to be rabbits and chickens. Before you decide live Easter pets would be a cute gift for your kids, be sure you do plenty of homework. Adults should consider the life cycle, as well as health and safety issues, of giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter. The Kent County Health Department recommends giving children toy stuffed animals instead.

“Those who adopt these pets should be aware of the responsibilities and the health-related concerns that come with these pets—both human and animal health concerns,” according to Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Municipalities may have restrictions on adult

chickens. Be sure you know what the legal or neighborhood association requirements are before you buy chicks.”

Every year, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted rabbits from people who can’t care for them. The shelter no longer takes in unwanted or stray chicks or chickens.

Raising chicks and other poultry is popular and can be safe, but in recent years, there has been an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Salmonella is common in baby poultry and spreads from contact with the birds or their environments. Birds with Salmonella may appear healthy, but in humans, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever, and dehydration. Illness can last for up to a week and can be serious in young children, older adults, or those with weakened immune systems.

Children under the age of five should have adult supervision when handling chicks or chickens. Be sure to wash your hands and your child’s hands thoroughly after handling chicks or chickens. Don’t let children snuggle or kiss chicks. And never allow chicks or chickens into bathrooms, kitchens, or areas where food is

prepared, stored, or eaten. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information at http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

Rabbits can live seven to ten years. Pet rabbits have specific health needs, special diets, and must live indoors. While they can be very social with the right care and supervision, they don’t like to be held or cuddled. Releasing a house-raised rabbit into the wild leaves the animal vulnerable to predators.

If giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets. Some items, such as lilies and daisies, can be toxic to pets. For a complete list, check out: www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

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