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Kent County Sheriff awards


The Kent County Sheriff Department is pleased to announce that the following employees have been selected as the 2016 Deputies of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year:

Jennifer Robinson, Emergency Communications Supervisor 1, selected as 2016 Civilian Employee of the Year

Deputy Paul Rodriguez, selected as 2016 Deputy of the Year-Corrections

Deputy Andrew Kozal, selected as 2016 Deputy of the Year -Law Enforcement

John Shumay, selected as the 2016 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year

These individuals were honored during the Kent County Sheriff Department Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson, ECS 1, 2016 Civilian employee of the year

Jennifer began her career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on June 10, 2010 as an Emergency Communications Operator 1 in the Communications Center. Her duties included receiving emergency calls, dispatching proper equipment or personnel, typing call notes, and maintaining two-way radio communication for first responders. On September 30, 2013, she was promoted to Emergency Communications Supervisor 1, providing work direction for operators responsible for dispatching emergency calls.

Jennifer wears many hats and, with the addition of Wyoming Public Safety, her role has become more complex. She not only supervises “C” squad, she also manages the Communication Training Officer (CTO) program and oversees the Dispatch Academy.

Paul Rodriguez

Paul Rodriguez

Deputy Paul Rodriguez, 2016 Deputy of the year-Corrections

Paul began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department on February 14, 2000 as a Corrections Officer, responsible for the general supervision and custody of inmates, conducting inmate searches, transfers, and investigations regarding alleged incidents within the facility.

Paul is assigned to night shift as a C-Letter, assigned as D/B rover. He is willing and capable to work any position within the jail and does so without complaint.

Deputy Rodriguez possesses great communications skills. Not only when relating with his co-workers but a necessity when diffusing situations with inmates. Deputy Rodriguez is knowledgeable in tactics to manage the jail population. He assists his partners with policy and best practices while managing the inmate population. He provides less experienced staff with veteran leadership when handling adverse situations within the jail.

Andrew Kozal

Andrew Kozal

Deputy Andrew Kozal, 2016 Deputy of the year-law enforcement

Andy began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as an Emergency

Communications Operator on March 11, 2002. He was transferred to a County Patrol Officer on September 22, 2003. Since 2007, he has been assigned as School Resource Officer (SRO) at Northview High School. As an SRO, Andy trained 400 staff members at Northview Public Schools in active shooter response, including teaching Civilian Response to Active Shooter (CRASE). In Fall 2016, Andy brought CRASE training to a Church Safety Summit, teaching 150 church staff members.

Andy builds relationships with students by simply being present and interacting with them. He gives short safety programs teaching Halloween, bike, and gun safety. During Public Safety Day, Andy invites police and firefighters to serve lunch to over 300 students. For students struggling with behavior issues, he works with teachers, counselors, and parents to mentor the student and reinforce good behaviors. If the student meets their goals, they are awarded by being a “junior deputy” for the day. In the 7th-8th grades, Andy uses the

Teaching, Educations, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M) program, teaching good citizenship, laws, leadership, and police work, using current events for that day’s lesson.

Andy works with Plainfield Fire and Mercy Health Systems to develop and complete a fatal car crash presentation for the junior class, including multiple “victims,” crashed vehicles, emergency responders, extractions, an emergency room scene, and courtroom re-enactment. The presentation takes the students through an emotional roller coaster and has an immense impact, bringing home the realization of the dangers of distracted driving.

In order to provide the school district the greatest value, a School Resource Officer must build a trusting relationship, assess their needs, and develop pertinent school programs. Andy exemplifies this ability in his work as the Northview’s School Resource Officer.

John Shumay

John Shumay

Deputy John Shumay, 2016 Traffic Squad Special Deputy of the Year

John Shumay joined the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Traffic Squad in August of 2009. He completed and graduated from the Traffic Squad Reserve Officer Academy in May of 2010. Although John has been involved in several varying aspects of The Squad, he has been particularly passionate about training and the reserve academy. In 2014 he was appointed Training Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant in 2015, becoming part of The Squad’s administrative team. In that position, he has been tasked with managing and coordinating the academy for the past three years.

Managing the academy is no small task as it requires an annual review and update of the classes and curriculum, which is done in conjunction with the Department’s Training Unit. Once that process is completed, John is responsible for coordinating and scheduling the classes, the instructors, and then conducting the four-plus hour classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings from the first of December through mid-May of the following year. This constitutes a significant commitment of both time and energy.

In addition to his commitment to the academy, John coordinates the annual continuing education and training for those who are in the Enforcement Unit. He also maintains an active involvement in the Enforcement Unit and the administrative team.

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Crime reports in area

Kent-County-Sheriff-logoBy Judy Reed

Burglary at Boomer Park

Thieves recently broke into the concession stand at Boomer Park, the soccer field located at 13440 Ritchie, south of Becker.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, an employee arrived on Saturday morning, May 6, to find a window open and items missing. Sgt. Joel Roon said the suspect(s) mainly took cash. If anyone has any info on this theft, please call either Silent Observer with info at 616-774-2345 or the detective bureau at 616-632-6125.

Breaking and entering

Residents of a home in the 10700 block of 15 Mile Rd returned home on Saturday, May 6, about 9 p.m., to find the windows of two doors were broken and items inside the house had been moved. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the point of entry was unclear, and nothing was taken.

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

HCNC Memberships

Memberships for Howard Christensen Nature Center are available online, www.HowardChristensen.org. Individuals are $30, Family $75. Benefits are free admission/ no more visitor fees, discounts on rentals, early newsletter releases, free snowshoe/ ice skate rental each winter. Admission to many other nature centers and so much more. HCNC is located at 16160 Red Pine Dr. Kent City. #19

Rummage Sale

May 11-13: The Sand Lake UMC Women are hosting a Rummage Sale on May 11th & 12th from 9 am to 5 pm and May 13th from 9 am to 12 noon. 65 W. Maple St., Sand Lake. #19

Cheer Sign Ups

May 11,16,18: Cheerleading sign ups will be held for Flag (K-2), Rocket (3-6) and Middle School (7-8) from 6 to 7:30 pm at the following locations. May 11th at Shaner Ball Fields, May 16th at Morley Park and May 16th at Biggby Coffee in Cedar Springs. #19

Library grand opening

May 13: The Cedar Springs Public Library will be celebrating the grand opening of their new 10,016 square foot building at 107 N. Main St. on Saturday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. Grand Opening festivities   will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony by the American Legion Color Guard, Glen Hill Post 287. Other events to follow include acknowledgements and ceremonial ribbon cutting. The library will open immediately after the ceremony until 5 pm allowing patrons to enjoy cookies and punch while exploring the facility and speak to local authors. #19

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

May 13: Flag: 4-7years olds / Rocket: 3rd-6th grades / Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 5/13, 5/23, 6/10, 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Shaner Ball Field: 5/18, 6/06, 6/14 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

May 14: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, MI (corner of 17 Mile Road and Olin Lakes Road). Message and gospel music will shared by Lenny Massey and the Old Time Gospel Singers. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each Service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. If you have questions, call 293-2150. SEE YOU THERE! #19p

Dinner at the Legion

May 15: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Roast Beef & Onions dinner on Monday,  , from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be roast beef, onions, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #19

Michigan Blood Drive

May 16th: Michigan Blood Drive on May 16th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7:00 pm. Anyone attempting to donate will receive a Biggy’s coupon, McDonald’s breakfast coupon and Cedar Springs Brewing Coupon! We would like to thank the local business for supporting our blood drives. But the best part is that each donation has the potential to save 3 Michigan lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs blood drive. #19

Indoor Yard and Bake Sale

May 18,19: The Greenville Area Senior Center at 715 S. Baldwin St., Greenville, is holding its annual Indoor Yard and Bake Sale on Thursday, May 18th from 9 am – 5 pm and Friday, May 19th from 9 am to 4 pm. Enjoy delicious, homemade baked goods and an eclectic shopping experience. Browse through at wide assortment of items supplied by our members and advocates. Ample parking and our entrance are in back of the building, just off Faber St. Proceeds from this sale go to support the Greenville Area Senior Citizens Center, a non-profit dedicated to improving and advancing the health and welfare of area senior citizens. #19

CS Renaissance Faire

May 20-21: 2017 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire “Fellowhip fo the Springs” hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be held in Morley Park, Cedar Springs, on Saturday May 20, from 12-8pm, with a royal dinner and entertainmetn from 6-8pm; and Sunday May 21, from 12-6pm. Vendors and live entertainment all afternoon both days (music, dancers, performers, and cosplay cast). #19,20b

Magna-Tiles Mania @ KDL

May 20: Drop-in and build. Create cubes, pyramids, or other geometric shapes and patterns from two-dimensional to more complex three-dimensional systems. Discover patters, symmetry, 3D skills and magnetic principles. For ages 6 and older. Saturday, May 20th at Spencer Township KDL, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #19

UMC Guitar Boot Camp 

May 22: Basic training for guitar will be taught at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Registration will be held Monday, May 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM. Students must be registered on this date.  To register enter at the South door Located on Church Street; class size is limited to 12 students. Registration fee is $60. A parent or guardian is required to sign. Guitar and all supplies are furnished these may be kept at the completion of the class. Classes will be Monday evenings for 12 weeks starting June 2nd. #19,20b

Cedar Springs Garden Club meetings

June 13: The Cedar Springs Garden Club, part of Michigan Garden Club and National Garden Club, meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. The focus of our present meetings is to maintain the garden at First and Cherry Streets, Cedar Springs. Please join us there at 7pm on June 13 to get a taste of gardening fun. Future projects may involve wild flowers and naturalized gardening for country gardens. We also talk plant horticulture and food crop gardening. Our association at District and State levels has brought valuable education for more gardening pleasure. For more info contact Sandra McEwen at 616-696-8660. #19,21p

Auditions for CS Lewis play

May 22,24: The Cedar Springs Community Players is pleased to announce auditions for their next production, the classic tale of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” written by CS Lewis and adapted for stage by Joseph Robinette. Many fun roles are available for folks aged 10 and older! Actors with any experience are encouraged to try out. Auditions will be held on Monday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 24 at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 6:30 to 8:30 pm with call backs scheduled for Thursday, May 25.  Rehearsals will begin on Monday, June 5 from 6:30 to 8:30. Actors will rehearse four nights a week (maybe more) and should plan to attend all rehearsals unless otherwise notified. Performances are scheduled to run on July 21, 22, 23, 28 and 29 at the Historic Kent Theatre. Any questions? Please use the following link  http://bit.ly/2ms32gX and leave your comment or question. #19

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Cedar Springs man dies in crash

Tyler Conaty, 23, of Cedar Springs, died on a one-car crash Wednesday evening.

Tyler Conaty, 23, of Cedar Springs, died in a one-car crash Wednesday evening. Photo from his Facebook page.

by  Judy ReedN-Fatal-Conaty-and-son

A 23-year-old Cedar Springs man died Wednesday evening, April 26, when his vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree in Algoma Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Tyler Jeffrey Conaty, 23, of the City of Cedar Springs, was traveling northbound in a 2003 Jeep Cherokee on Algoma Ave. near Rector, when the crash occurred about 9 p.m. Witnesses told police that the vehicle drifted across the centerline and then off the roadway and hit a large tree northwest of the intersection. He was the only person in the vehicle.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

According to his wife, Shannon, Tyler was on his way home early from work when the crash occurred.

Tyler, the son of Jeff and Kim Conaty, was a 2012 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. He and   Shannon (Helsel) lost a baby girl early in their relationship, but were later blessed with their son Colton, who will be four in June.

Tyler was featured in a past Post article as one of our Hometown Heroes after he had graduated from basic training in the Army and went on to Advanced Individual Training to become a diesel mechanic.

According to Shannon, joining the military in September 2015 was a dream come true for Tyler. “My husband absolutely LOVED the military and felt it was his calling, his way to help our country and to better the lives of the American people!” she explained in a public Facebook post. She’s asked people to share a photo of Tyler and their son, Colton, then 2, who saluted his father while he stood at attention at his basic training graduation. “The bugle was about to play within about 5 minutes of me taking this picture of my husband looking at the flag waiting to salute! He has always been good at being on time for things and made sure he didn’t finish our tour until he heard that bugle sing. My husband had no idea our son Colton Lane was saluting him while we were waiting!! This picture just tears at my heart strings! My son always practiced saluting with me at home so when he got to see Daddy graduate he could salute him. It was the cutest thing because he’d salute and then say “yes sir” or “yes ma’am.’”
But life in the military was not to be. Tyler broke his knee in January 2016, just a few weeks before he was to graduate AIT. “With that happening he wasn’t able to train because he had a full leg cast from his hip to his ankle therefore he couldn’t wear his combat boots when at school learning to be a diesel mechanic,” explained Shannon. “His teachers wouldn’t let him go to class and he couldn’t train. Sadly he ended up being discharged. He was beyond happy to be coming home to his family but was so upset he was gone from his military family whom he loved dearly.”

Shannon said that in January of this year he began working at Star Trucking, where they were helping him to become certified as a diesel mechanic. That’s where he was coming home from when the crash occurred.

Tyler’s death has left Kim heartbroken. “I’m devastated, heartbroken, and unsure of what the future holds for Colton and I but I know Ty’s looking down on us with our little girl protecting us the best they can! I’m just so proud of all the things he’s accomplished in his life, how he was such a hard worker, an amazing friend to every person he came across whether he knew you or not. He was the biggest social butterfly and everyone just fell in love with his personality, he most certainly was the life of the party!”

Family and friends said goodbye to Tyler during a funeral at Pederson Funeral Home Monday. The family has asked for memorial contributions in lieu of flowers.

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Library to celebrate grand opening

The new Cedar Springs Community Library will hold its grand opening celebration on May 13. Photo by J. Reed.

The new Cedar Springs Community Library will hold its grand opening celebration on May 13. Photo by J. Reed.

May 13, 2-5 p.m.

The Cedar Springs Library staff and community volunteers have been busy the last two weeks moving books and other things from their small building at 43 W. Cherry, into the new library at the corner of N. Main and W. Maple—a building that is almost five times the size of old one.

The library, which is designed to resemble a train depot, promises to be a main attraction in the heart of Cedar Springs. The new building is beautiful, spacious, modern, and comfortable. And come next week, the public is going to get to see what a gem the new Cedar Springs Community Library is. They will have a soft opening on May 8, with the grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, May 13, from 2-5 p.m.

Grand Opening festivities at the 107 N. Main Street location will begin at 2:00 pm with a flag raising ceremony by the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post #287, and patriotic songs by the Cedar Springs High School Band. Other events to follow include acknowledgements and ceremonial ribbon cutting. After the ceremony everyone is invited to take a tour of the new library and enjoy refreshments until 5 p.m. Stationed throughout the library will be local authors, a puppeteer, staff, local officials from the Library Board, the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and the Community Building Development Team.

Library staff and volunteers have been busy getting the new library ready for children, teens and adults. Courtesy photo.

Library staff and volunteers have been busy getting the new library ready for children, teens and adults. Courtesy photo.

The new 10,016 square-foot building was built with donated funds, products, and services from the community and local businesses. The additional 8,000 square feet will allow for much greater areas for reading, special events, and small group gatherings.

The new library includes separate areas for children, teens, and adults; 12 computer stations; four stations for children’s computers; a cozy reading or meeting area with fireplace and chairs; three small group rooms for tutoring or studying; and a classroom with white board and screen.

Another draw will be the community room, which will hold up to 75 people with the tables and chairs, and 100 without. A complete kitchen opens up into the community room. People can walk out of the community room to a patio, which is facing the creek.

Donations of any amount are still greatly needed to help purchase furniture, kitchen items, and other operational items for the library. If you’d like to donate, please call the library at 616-696-1910.

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Spring into the Past at the C.S. Historical Museum


Nolan Patin turned a female mannequin into a male mannequin to display men’s tops and hats. Photo by J. Reed.

Nolan Patin turned a female mannequin into a male mannequin to display men’s tops and hats. Photo by J. Reed.

This Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

by  Judy Reed

The mannequin restoration project took several months to complete. Photo courtesy of the C.S. Museum.

The mannequin restoration project took several months to complete. Photo courtesy of the C.S. Museum.

If you rarely get a chance to visit the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park, this weekend would be the perfect time to do it. Usually open only on Wednesday during daytime hours, the museum will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Tri River Historical Museum Network’s yearly “Spring into the Past” event.

The museum is one of 27 small town museums in the Tri River Historical Museum network that will be open and feature a theme of “Fashion through the Ages.” One of the ways that the CS Museum got ready for the exhibit was their mannequin restoration project. The museum only had six mannequins in their displays, but costs prevented them from buying more.

“They are very expensive to buy, hundreds of dollars each,” explained Sharon Jett, Director at the museum. “We had many from area stores, such as Mathers, Pollocks and others. We also had a huge box of hands, arms, and legs left over from other broken mannequins.”

Before: This mannequin needed repairs on the chin, jaw, neck and hair. Photo courtesy C.S. Museum.

Before: This mannequin needed repairs on the chin, jaw, neck and hair.
Photo courtesy C.S. Museum.

After: This mannequin now looks good as new. Photo courtesy C.S. Museum.

After: This mannequin now looks good as new.
Photo courtesy C.S. Museum.

So several museum volunteers stepped in to sort through them, and evaluate what could be fixed. The volunteers included Jett, Tanya Eldred, Pat Patin, Marie Patin, Nolan Patin, Deb Pipe, and Sharon Nielsen.

Jett sculpted new fingers on broken hands from polymer clay and glued them on; Pat sanded them, and Marie, Deb and Nielsen painted them.

Marie and Pat did a lot of repair on broken faces and arms, and Marie painted new faces on a few. “Pat made new stands for most of them that looked very professional,” said Jett.

Nolan took the head and shoulders of one mannequin and by gluing a beard on the face and touching it up, made a male figure to use as a display for men’s tops and hats.

Tanya went through many boxes of vintage clothes to dress the finished mannequins in the “Fashion through the Ages” theme.

“When the project was finished we ended up with 20 complete mannequins,” remarked Jett. “They are very expensive to buy but we had a giant box of parts accumulated over the years and several mannequins in too bad of shape to use, so the project was a great success.”

They invite you to come out this weekend and see the finished mannequins and the fashions on display, as well as the other unique exhibits that are a part of the history of Cedar Springs and the surrounding area.

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Students illustrate and publish their own book


book cover

book cover

April’s Baby 

Students at Beach Elementary illustrated and published a book about April the giraffe.

Students at Beach Elementary illustrated and published a book about April the giraffe.

Second and third grade students at Beach Elementary School in Cedar Springs celebrated March is Reading Month c by illustrating and publishing a book about the internet sensation, April the Giraffe. This project, titled “April’s Baby” was the brainchild of visual art teacher Vicki Burke, after overhearing her students talking about April the Giraffe.

“When I saw the fascination the students had for the giraffe April, I just knew I had to turn this interest into a lesson,” explained Burke.

Thirty-one students, affectionately dubbed “Team April,” volunteered their drawing talents for a short story titled “April’s Baby,” which Ms. Burke penned and graphically designed. Although the project began in March, the actual publication was delayed until the celebrity giraffe delivered her calf.

“The students were onboard from the very beginning and were so excited about the entire process,” Ms Burke explained. “This lesson became much more than an art or literacy lesson; it also taught the importance of the stewardship of our world, its resources and animals, and stressed the selfless act of volunteering and giving.” All proceeds from the book will go to Giraffe Conservation Foundation and Animal Adventure Park, whose live web feed of their Giraffe April inspired this project.

This book is illustrated by children for children, however adults will find it enjoyable as well. Ms. Burke added, “If you followed the adventures of April, as so many of us did, you will appreciate the inside jokes and funny references to the giraffe watching experience.”

You can purchase your very own copy of “April’s Baby” from Amazon in soft cover or ebook formats.

From Createspace (softcover):  www.createspace.com/7057351

Kindle e-book: www.amazon.com and search for April’s Baby.

For more information please contact Vicki Burke at vicki.burke@csredhawks.org or 616-696-0350 ext. 6021.

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Boys training to be Men of Honor

Approximately 17 6-9th graders, along with their chaperones, loaded the Men of Honor bus on April 26 to travel to Grand Rapids to watch the movie titled The Case for Christ.

Approximately 17 6-9th graders, along with their chaperones, loaded the Men of Honor bus on April 26 to travel to Grand Rapids to watch the movie titled The Case for Christ.

Courageous leadership, chivalry, and honor were once qualities held in high regard—especially by the knights of old. But those qualities don’t have to be a thing of the past, and a group of young men in Cedar Springs is learning what it means to become “Men of Honor.”

Randy Badge, a 30-year teacher and youth minister, is the area leader for this Christ-centered Men of Honor organization. Badge has teamed up with En Gedi, also a Christ-centered organization, to share space at the free after-school youth center at Red Hawk Elementary.

This international character-building program from Honor Ministries is aimed at 6-12th graders and meets on Thursdays from 2:40–3:40 in the Media Center.

Badge was thrilled to have 26 young men sign up this year for the nine-month Men of Honor program. “In all of human history there has never been a time when the call for strong men was louder or the need greater,” explained Badge. “I have witnessed firsthand the effects of young men who have no father or an uninvolved father in their lives. Many young men have no model of what real manhood is like.”

The group learns how to build character qualities such as integrity, courage, honesty, honor, perseverance, diligence, compassion, and leadership. Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous for the Men of Honor.

Cristian Leggett said, “This is a fun group that teaches me how to grow as a man and connect better with God.” A good example of that was an event last week Wednesday, when the group and their chaperones traveled to Grand Rapids to watch the movie titled The Case for Christ.

Other students joined for different reasons.

When Trevor Marshall was asked why he joined the program he responded, “I thought it would be a good way to connect with other Christian young men.”

Matthew Maxwell shared, “I read about historical leaders who were men of courage. I wanted to learn how to grow in Christian courage and strength as they did.”

As these young man practice chivalry and strive to become Modern Day Knights, they must read three books written by Edwin Cole and complete the corresponding workbooks. Once completed, they receive a dagger. To become fully-commissioned, men must read nine books. They are then knighted and receive a beautiful Men of Honor sword for their accomplishments.

There are opportunities to earn tenant pins for leadership, courage, diligence, character, and compassion. A Men of Honor t-shirt is awarded by reciting the axioms, “I am a winner. I am a Man of Honor. I do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. My word is my bond. Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice. There is no greatness outside of God. 1,2,3, YES!”

This past summer, Badge was certified in leadership training through the John Maxwell Team. Because of his certification, he can teach leadership skills to organizations, businesses, schools and churches. He also loves to encourage marriages, parents, men and teens through workshops and talks.

To get more information about the Men of Honor program, email Badge at rrbadge@hotmail.com or go to the Men of Honor website at HonorMinistries.com.   There also is a Ladies of Honor program, and while the group would love to see one started at Cedar Springs, they would need someone to lead it.

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Man crashes motorcycle, breaks legs


The above photos show the scene of crash last week after a motorcycle hit a Jeep Liberty head-on on Northland Drive, near Porter Hollow. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

A man suffered two broken legs and severe lacerations to his arms after his motorcycle crossed the centerline and hit another vehicle head-on last week.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Michael McDonald, 48, was traveling northbound on Northland Drive, near Porter Hollow, on Wednesday, April 26, about 5:10 p.m., when the crash occurred.

Witnesses reported that he appeared to have a problem with the front tire before losing control and crossing into oncoming southbound traffic, where he struck a c head-on.

The driver of the Jeep, a young female on her way to ChiroHealth, suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized. According to the girl’s family, the motorcycle suddenly veered straight at her, and she only had time to stomp on the brakes just before impact. There also was a pickup truck traveling in the right lane next to her, so there was no room to move over.

McDonald, the driver of the motorcycle, was cited for driving a motorcycle with no endorsement, violation of basic speed law, and no proof of insurance. He was not wearing a helmet.

According Sgt. Joel Roon, if a driver ever experiences another driver coming at them head-on, they should decrease their speed as quickly as possible and move out of the path of the oncoming vehicle (if possible). “Consider two vehicles travelling opposite directions at 60 mph have an impact speed of 120 mph; so reducing your speed while evading an oncoming vehicle is very important,” he said.

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US131 and other roads see speed limit increases

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

MDOT-logo-fcIf you travel US131 north from Cedar Springs, you can now legally make the drive just a little faster. That’s because US131, from M-57 (14 Mile) north to the end of the freeway, is one of the routes recently chosen for a speed increase from 70 to 75 mph.

N-MichiganStatePolice-logoIn accordance with new state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan State Police (MSP) have identified 600 miles of freeway for speed limit increases to 75 mph, and 900 miles of non-freeway state highways for speed limit increases to 65 mph. Select freeway routes had increased speed limits posted beginning May 1.

Public Act 445, passed by the state Legislature in late 2016, tasked the two agencies with increasing speed limits on some state highways and freeways based on 85th percentile speeds (the speed at or below which 85 percent of traffic is moving) and the results of engineering and safety studies. The law requires that these modified speed limits be in place prior to Jan. 5, 2018.

“The corridors identified by MDOT and MSP were selected not only because studies indicated most drivers were already driving at those increased speeds, but also because their design and safety features were best suited to these speed limits,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We reviewed design speeds, crash patterns, number of access points, traffic volumes and continuity of these corridors, and chose them to minimize necessary improvements for higher speed limits.”

“The engineering and safety studies conducted utilized the 85th percentile speed, which is a national scientifically proven method to determine and establish safe speed limits,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Troopers and motor carrier officers do, and will continue to, aggressively enforce all posted speed limits to ensure compliance by the motoring public.”

MDOT began posting new speed limits beginning May 1, starting with three freeway routes:

I-75: From Bay City to US-23 in Mackinaw City (Bay, Arenac, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Crawford, Otsego, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties), and St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie (Mackinac and Chippewa counties).

US127: From I-69 to the end of the freeway at St. Johns (Clinton County), and the beginning of the freeway at Ithaca to I75 (Gratiot, Isabella, Clare, Roscommon, and Crawford counties)

US131: From M-57 to the end of the freeway north of Manton (Kent, Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola, and Wexford counties).

New speed limits will be posted on those three routes by mid-May.

MDOT also will begin installing sign overlays reflecting the new 65 mph speed limit for trucks and buses on state roadways with posted speed limits of 65 mph or greater. The new maximum speed limit for trucks and buses was another change prompted by Public Act 445.

MDOT and MSP are finalizing the administrative processes and signing traffic control orders to implement increased speed limits on the remaining freeway and non-freeway corridors. New speed limits will be posted on all of the selected freeway and non-freeway routes prior to mid-November.

While implementing these modified speed limits, MDOT also will install advisory speed and curve warning signs, shorten passing zones, move signs, and change pavement markings where necessary. Reduced speed limits in communities along these corridors will remain in place.

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