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Beware of fraudulent calls

 

They may ask for money to keep a family member out of jail

The Kent County Sheriff Department is urging residents to use caution when receiving calls from people they don’t know that are requesting money.

On August 1, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the residence of an elderly female who made a fraud complaint. She was contacted by an unknown man, believed to be from the country of Columbia. She was told that a family member had been drinking and was involved in an auto accident. It was also suggested to her that the accident involved a Columbian family. The caller requested the victim send money via Western Union to keep her family member out of jail. The caller requested multiple Western Union transactions be made with the destination of the funds being Columbia. The caller’s phone number also showed up on the victim’s caller I.D. as an out of country phone number.

It was verified that the victim’s family was not involved in an accident and the information the caller had provided the victim was false.

Police said that similar scams have taken place recently in the Western Michigan area where the caller requests that prepaid credit cards be obtained and then the card numbers are provided to the suspect.

These individuals have been able to scam thousands of dollars from local residents.

The Kent County Sheriff Department says anyone receiving a call like this should contact a family member or the police to verify the caller is legitimate prior to sending any funds to any individual they are not familiar with.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Dispatch at 616-632-6357.

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Man dies in accident on M-57

Charles Finch will be remembered as a loving family man. Photo from his gofundme page.

Charles Finch will be remembered as a loving family man. Photo from his gofundme page.

The obituary of a Cedar Springs man, who was killed in a head-on crash Monday, in Oakfield Township, characterized him as a gentle soul who will be remembered most for the love of his family.

Charles Finch, 35, was reportedly on his way to work on a construction job in the Greenville area, when the accident occurred on 14 Mile Road, between Wabasis and Lappley, just before 6 a.m. on August 3. According to the Michigan State Police, a driver heading eastbound was attempting to pass other vehicles when she hit Finch’s westbound vehicle head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The female driver of the other vehicle was seriously injured, but her name has not yet been released, because the accident is still under investigation.

Charles Finch left behind a wife, Sarah, and three young children. A gofundme page was started for his family on Tuesday, with a goal of $5,000. Instead, donors to the cause raised $10,850 in 24 hours.

If you would like to donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/g8g8g89wu5n.

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“Super” Summer reading program goes out with a bang

The Cedar Springs Fire Department sprayed down a horde of giggling kiddos at the library’s summer reading celebration in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed. The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department sprayed down a horde of giggling kiddos at the library’s summer reading celebration in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Public Library held a super celebration Wednesday in Morley Park that was worthy of the super heroes they’ve been celebrating all summer long.

More than 700 people attended the finale to this summer’s reading program. “It was an awesome turn out,” said Library Director Donna Clark.

The celebration featured an expo by our local super heroes in the Kent County Sheriff Department, who brought in the mobile command center, boat, mounted unit, a motorcycle, a car, a tank, a remote-controlled robot, and other tactical items. They also had a raffle for four bikes. The expo was a big hit with both parents and kids.

Another set of local super heroes were on hand from the Cedar Springs Fire Department to cool kids off with the fire hose. They have been part of the event for many years and kids always look forward to a chance to get doused.

Kids also had a riot playing games, tackling the obstacle course, jumping in the bounce houses, slippin’ and slidin’ on the water slide, getting their face painted, munching on popcorn, grooving to the music, and cooling off with ice cream and ice water.

The kids who won prizes also picked them up at the event.

“We couldn’t have done this without all our sponsors and volunteers,” said Clark.

Turn to page 9 for a thank you ad from the library, and for more photos.

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West Nile Virus Found in Kent County 

The Kent County Health Department have been using gravid traps like this one to capture and test mosquitoes for West Nile Virus.

The Kent County Health Department have been using gravid traps like this one to capture and test mosquitoes for West Nile Virus.

As a result of a massive mosquito surveillance project conducted by the environmental health division at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), this season’s first positive specimen of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been discovered. This is not a human case. 

The positive sample was found in a pool of tested mosquitoes from the zip code 49504 in the city of Grand Rapids. The sample that yielded the positive result was collected between Tuesday July 28th and Thursday July 30, 2015.

The Kent County Health Department has been capturing and testing mosquitoes in 11 traps strategically placed throughout the county since early June. The traps, known as a Gravid trap, were placed in the 49503, 49504, 49507 and 49519 zip codes. That work will continue until Labor Day.

 

This photo shows the positive test strip for West Nile Virus from a tested mosquito.

This photo shows the positive test strip for West Nile Virus from a tested mosquito.

“This finding is significant because this is our first alert to the presence of West Nile as it begins to surface at this time of the year,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer with KCHD. “The fact that we have found West Nile in only one area does not mean that it is confined to that Zip Code. We expect West Nile to be present to some degree until the first frost. We want people to be aware that they can greatly reduce their own risks by taking some simple precautions.”

Prevention is critical in the fight against WNV, an illness that can be deadly in some people, especially those with weakened immune systems and the elderly. The Kent County Health Department recommends wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10-35 percent DEET, wearing light colored clothing and staying indoors during dusk. You can help stop mosquitoes from breeding by removing any standing water in your yard and keeping your lawn and shrubs cut.

West Nile Virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Since the first case was diagnosed in Michigan in 2001, more than 1,100 people have been diagnosed with the disease, and 92 people have died. In 2001 and again in 2012, Kent County had the second highest number of West Nile cases in the state. More about West Nile Virus can be found at www.cdc.gov/westnile.

 

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Post travels to Texas and Ontario

Pictured are (L-R) Caden, Taryn and Logan Troupe with a Post in Galveston, Texas.

Pictured are (L-R) Caden, Taryn and Logan Troupe with a Post in Galveston, Texas.

 The Post traveled to Ontario, Canada with the Troupe family for the Bremmer family reunion, which also included some Bremmers from Cedar Springs.

The Post traveled to Ontario, Canada with the Troupe family for the Bremmer family reunion, which also included some Bremmers from Cedar Springs.

The Troupe recently traveled to the Houston, Texas area for a family wedding. They spent time at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, explored the city of Richmond, experienced some of the torrential rain that caused parts of the Brazos River to flood and relaxed on their last day in Galveston, where the kids took a photo with the Post.

This same Post then traveled to Klotz Lake in Longlac, Ontario on the annual Bremmer Family Fishing Trip less than 2 weeks later. “We spent our days catching pike, walleye and a few perch, drove to the Thunder Bay area to mine amethysts and enjoyed the amazing beauty of Canada,” said Jacquie Troupe. “Over 3,800 miles by one little Post in less than a month! Whew!”

Thanks so much to the Troupe family 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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Second Green Team works to improve Rogue River

N-Green-team-Trout-Unlimited

The Plaster Creek Green Team came up to Cedar Springs to help their Rogue River counterparts plant a rain garden at CS Tool Engineering.

 

This summer, Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project employed a “Green Team” of eight high school students from all over the watershed to install and maintain green infrastructure practices, such as rain gardens, bioswales, and vegetated buffers. These practices use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to control storm water runoff, the leading source of water pollution in West Michigan, to create healthier urban environments.

The “Green Team,” funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a replication of a successful program of the Plaster Creek Stewards, a part of Calvin College. The addition of the Rogue River Green Team, working in an upstream community, in a much higher quality watershed than Plaster Creek, exposed the students to matters of environmental injustice and the importance of the upstream-downstream relationship.

Bridget Flanery from Sparta, Cassidy Freeman and MaKayla Plekes from Rockford, and Troy Wilde from Kent City, made up the July team, led by local artist, landscaper and native plant specialist Georgia Donovan. Over the course of four weeks, the students implemented new projects, with Trout Unlimited, and helped local businesses and schools maintain their existing projects. The “Green Team” planted a stream buffer on Rum Creek for a Rockford homeowner, expanded a rain garden at CS Tool Engineering in Cedar Springs, and helped Sparta teacher Sue Blackall plant a native flower garden at the entrance of Sparta High School. They even visited Grand Rapids for a day to tour Catalyst Partner’s LEED Certified facilities and worked on their native gardens.

A major advantage of the partnership with Calvin College is the opportunity to expose the high school students to a college campus and demystify the experience, making them more likely to attend college when they graduate. The students took college courses with biology professor Dave Warners and they helped Calvin students carry out their summer research projects. The combination of classroom teaching, with hands-on fieldwork, has provided the Green Team participants with unique job training and exposure to many different careers in the environmental field. But more than that, the students got a once in a lifetime experience to expand their knowledge and make a difference in their community.

Bridget, a student at Wellspring Preparatory, said about her summer, “Being a part of the Green Team has been one of the most rewarding experiences; not only for myself but for the environment around me.”

Trout Unlimited and the Plaster Creek Stewards have EPA funding for two Green Teams next year as well, reaching 32 students in just two summers.

The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project is funded by the Frey Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Wolverine World Wide Foundation, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.

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Families wanted for exchange students

 

ECEP (Educatius Cultural Exchange Program) is currently looking for loving families to share their hearts and homes with students from a variety of countries throughout the world.

To be a host family, you have to be able to provide a student with love and support, as well as meals with your family, a bedroom with a bed and storage, and some transportation to school functions. Students come with their own insurance and spending money for their personal items such as clothes, toiletries, and entertainment.

ECEP is currently seeking permanent placements, which last the school year, and welcome families, which last about 8 weeks, while the coordinator finds the student a permanent home. Being a welcome family is a great way to introduce yourself to hosting without a year-long commitment. If you decide to be a welcome family and you would like to, you have the opportunity to become their permanent family.

Please consider this enriching experience for you and your family. You will make forever friends and learn so much about the cultures of our neighbors around the world.

They are currently seeking families for students from Japan, Spain, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brazil.

To learn more, contact the ECEP office at (616) 951-7010. Visit them online at http://www.culturalexchangeprogram.org.

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Work begins on pavilion

A new 20 x 36-foot pavilion will soon fill this spot in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

A new 20 x 36-foot pavilion will soon fill this spot in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

Visitors to Morley Park may have noticed something unusual: a large area of dirt behind the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

That’s because excavation started on the new pavilion being built there, and fill was recently brought in.

The pavilion is the Eagle Scout project headed up by Scout Kevin Galloway, who will be a junior at Cedar Springs High School this year. He originally wanted to repair the gazebo in Morley Park, but when that one was deemed structurally unsafe, he came up with the idea to build a new one.

His goal is to build a 20 x 36 pavilion that will be maintenance free and fit 8-10 picnic tables. Over $18,000 was raised for the project. A groundbreaking was held in April.

According to Brenda Galloway, Kevin’s mother, contractors are fitting Kevin’s job in between others, but they hope to have the concrete laid soon.

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Scam targets seniors

 

N-ScamFrom the Better Business Bureau

Scammers are fraudulently soliciting West Michigan seniors regarding Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS).

BBB was alerted to this issue by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM), a legitimate senior advocacy group based in Grand Rapids.

AAAWM reported that a company is calling older adults and claiming that Area Agency on Aging is paying in full for Personal Emergency Response devices (commonly referred to as call-buttons). The caller then encourages people to “press 1 to verify their address.” These PERS claims are baseless and untrue.

 AAAWM and BBB encourage anyone who receives this type of call to NOT provide any personal information and to hang up immediately.

Area Agency on Aging has contacted all of the companies they currently use to provide Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS) and they stated that they are not behind these calls.

If you, or someone you know is in need of a PERS, please contact AAAWM at http://www.aaawm.org so they may provide you with names of agencies they have a funding relationship with.

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DNR arrests four for buying and selling of black bear parts

 

Three residents from Kent County and another from Chippewa County have been arrested on charges related to buying and selling wildlife, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced this week. The arrests are the result of a multiyear investigation by the DNR’s Special Investigations Unit.
The complaint originated from information gathered from confidential informants who were concerned about the illegal trade in black bear parts.
“Individuals soliciting for the purchase of black bear parts creates a market for the illegal parts and provides a financial incentive for poachers to take the animals during closed seasons, in excess of established limits and by unlawful methods,” said DNR Detective Lt. Jason Haines, who heads the investigative unit. “There is a black market for black bear parts in Asia, where the parts are used for medicinal purposes.”
In all, 11 misdemeanors were charged among the defendants—three male and one female. Each of the charges carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail, plus $1,500 reimbursement for each animal illegally purchased. The Kent County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office authorized charges against the following individuals, who are Grand Rapids-area residents:

Tuan Hoa Pham, 52, of Kentwood, Michigan, was charged with one count of buying bear parts and one count of buying sport-caught fish.

Hoang Linh-Duy Tran, 45, of Wyoming, Michigan, was charged with two counts of buying a black bear.

Hoa Trung Huynh, 51, of Kentwood, Michigan, was charged with one count of illegally possessing black bear parts and one count of aiding and abetting the purchase of black bear parts.

The three defendants were arrested and lodged in the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids. They have waived arraignment and are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 27, in Kent County District Court.
In the Upper Peninsula, the Chippewa County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued a five-count warrant against a Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, man:

Hieu Van Hoang, 45, was charged with purchasing bear and deer parts.

Hoang was served the warrants in the Chippewa County Jail in Sault Ste. Marie, where he is being detained on a felony of allegedly attempting to murder his wife.
Hoang was arraigned on the wildlife misdemeanors in Chippewa County District Court. A pretrial hearing on those charges is set for Aug. 18.
“The Special Investigations Unit plays a vital role investigating and arresting major violators and its cases often include interstate and international violations,” said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. “The unit’s role in the law enforcement division is to use undercover investigations and the latest in technology and forensics to apprehend poachers and others who are illegally commercializing fish and game in our state.”
Hagler said the investigative unit works with DNR conservation officers to build strong cases and to protect Michigan’s natural resources.
Anyone with information on the illegal commercialization of any Michigan fish or wildlife or any other natural resources violations is encouraged to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.

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