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The Post travels to Schroon Lake

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The Post traveled to Word of Life island in Schroon Lake, New York, with 12 teens and seven leaders from Maranatha Baptist Church, located at 12786 Algoma Avenue. The teens spent six days camping on the island, while the leaders stayed at the word of Life Inn and family campground. The teens were also participating in “Teens involved” during the week (which is now called Engage). If you want to learn more about Engage, call the church at (616) 696-3560.
Thanks so much 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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Area churches stand United

Nine area churches suspended regular Sunday services and united for a joint worship service together at Morley Park, in Cedar Springs, on Sunday, August 24. This is the 6th year the churches have held the joint service, which they call “United.”
About 500 people attended the event, which included contemporary worship music, a sermon by Pastor Craig Owens, of Calvary Assembly of God, prayer, lunch, and a worship concert.
Churches attending included Calvary Assembly of God, Cedar Springs United Methodist, Crossfire Ministries, Grace Evangelical Free, Hillcrest Community, North Kent Community, Pioneer Christian Reformed, Solon Center Wesleyan, and The Springs Church.
To learn more about this event, visit http://unitedcedarsprings.com.

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Clarification

In an article last week, The Post ran a story about a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Main and Cedar Streets. Police reported that a 17-year-old driver pulled out of Cedar Street in front of a southbound car driven by an 18-year-old. The 17-year-old driver was not technically pinned in, but was extricated because she complained of back and neck pain. “We felt it was safer to pop open the driver’s side door rather than try to get her out the passenger side,” explained Fire Chief Marty Fraser. She was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police Chief Roger Parent noted that people need to look north twice at that intersection before pulling out. Neither victim was ticketed.

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New branch manager at Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library

 

Craig Bruno

Craig Bruno

By Tom Noreen
 
On June 18, Craig Bruno joined the staff of the Nelson Township Library as the Kent District Library Branch Manager. Craig started as a circulation assistant for KDL at the Gaines Township branch. He comes to us from the Cascade branch, where he was the adult librarian offering programs for all ages. Most of his programming for adults has centered on teaching computer classes and performing outreach to senior centers and retirement homes. Craig has hosted several author talks at Cascade.
Craig was born in Sheffield, England and grew up in Pickney, Michigan. He has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State. He and his wife, Danielle, live in Grandville and have two yorkiepoo puppies. Craig follows English football, does genealogy, enjoys folk music and brews his own beer.
Stop in and see him at the library at 88 Eighth Street, Sand Lake.

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OUT OF THE ATTIC

Post office clerk in a mail car ready to make an outgoing-incoming mail exchange.  Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

Post office clerk in a mail car ready to make an outgoing-incoming mail exchange. Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

The R.M.S. Railway Mail Service

By D.M. White, Cedar Springs Historical Society

I was one of the federal employees who worked and guarded the U.S. Mail on the trains. We carried all the Federal Reserve cash and registered mail. We handled all the revenue from the Mackinac Bridge each week and it was no small amount!
Here is an example of how the mail service used to work. We lived on R.R. #1-Rockford and when my mother mailed a penny postcard on a Monday morning to Sears Roebuck in Chicago for an item, the item would be delivered to our house on Wednesday—two days later, every time!
After I entered the mail service in 1957, I found out how this speedy response was possible. In 1957, there were 82 employees in the Grand Rapids office. We had our own office separate from the regular post office. Our civil service exam was different from the regular postal workers and on a different pay scale, as our jobs were considered hazardous. We were required to carry a .38 caliber pistol and to qualify every six months with the gun. In 1957, there were also highway post offices that did the same things as the railway post offices.

 

Sorting mail for the Railway Mail Service. Photo courtesy the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

Sorting mail for the Railway Mail Service. Photo courtesy the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

Our runs out of Grand Rapids at that time were as follows: Grand Rapids to Cadillac, Grand Rapids to Ludington, Grand Rapids to Saginaw, Grand Rapids to Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids to Detroit, on the C&O Railroad, three times each way daily; Detroit and Muskegon two times each way daily; Port Huron to Chicago three times daily; Grand Rapids to Petoskey, Jackson to Bay City, Detroit to Mackinac twice daily; and Detroit to Saginaw and Grand Rapids to Chicago, twice daily.
My favorite run of the day was the Detroit and Mackinac. One problem with that was it never got to Detroit or Mackinac. It terminated on each end at Bay City and Cheboygan. As you can see, it was easy for my mother’s order to Sears Roebuck to have reached Chicago so fast with all these daily runs.
An interesting part of the R.M.S. was when we caught the mail on the fly. Smaller towns on the run were not stopped at but we would catch and dispatch the mail at 60 miles per hour, more or less.
A device called the mail crane was owned by the railroad and was on a pole alongside the train tracks. The postmaster would hang a catcher pouch on it. The catcher pouch was a heavy canvas bag that was re-enforced with leather and steel. This hanging bag would go from 0 to 60 mph instantly as we grabbed it and, at the same time, we would dispatch a pouch containing their mail. The complete transfer technique (tossing out the outgoing mail a second before grabbing the catcher pouch) required much skill and potentially could cause harm or even death for those not trained properly or anyone near the passing train.
One funny mishap occurred on a cold icy winter day in Valparaiso, Indiana. Freezing rain had turned everything to ice. The local clerk knew the dispatched pouch had to hit something or it would never stop on that ice. As we approached, we saw that the mail messenger was hiding behind his car, so we threw the pouch and it slid under the car. It hit the messenger, and the pouch and the man went sliding down the street together.

 

Detailed view of the mail hook on CBQ 1926, a RPO preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. Photo courtesy the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

Detailed view of the mail hook on CBQ 1926, a RPO preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. Photo courtesy the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

We stood and sorted mail as the train was running down the tracks and had to know how to direct a letter to all the towns in Michigan. When I started in 1957, Michigan had 1,080 post offices in the state. We had to put up an exam for each state we worked in. I had to know Indiana, Michigan, and New York. I don’t remember how many post offices Indiana had, but New York had over 2,000. There were no zip codes then so we had to know the towns in each state. We were required to score 95 percent on each exam to keep our jobs. To explain why were not robbed is easy—nobody knew we carried this valuable cargo—nobody.
We were issued four items that were to be protected no matter what. One was an L.A. key. This opened all first class mail pouches. Number two was a registered key that opened all registered mail pouches. Each time it was opened, a dial, like an odometer, would record this opening. Each time this locked pouch was transferred to another unit, it was accompanied by a bill bearing these numbers, and the signature of the man who dispatched it. Number three was your pistol, and number four was your badge. You were inspected regularly. If any of the above were missing, or in bad shape, you were in real trouble.
With large shipments of cash, the post office Detroit or Chicago would notify the police and they would escort the truck down to the depot. They in turn would alert the Grand Rapids police to meet the train and escort it to the post office. I have a comical story about what happened to me one dark night during this event. Ask me and I’ll tell you about it sometime. Like the man said, “you gotta stop sometime.”
If you would like to visit the Cedar Springs Historical Museum or get a group together to visit, I would love to tell you more of the story and give a demonstration. Just call the museum to make arrangements at 696-3335.
Visit the museum Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and other times by appointment to see the Railroad Mail Service exhibit.
Article and photos used courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

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Education Foundation awards grants

By Tom Noreen

Each year the Cedar Springs Education Foundation reinvests the dividends it earns on its investments back into the schools. This year the foundation returned over $15,000. Of this, over $5,000 was used to provide each of the 205 teachers with a $25 gift card from Schuler’s Books. The other $10,000 was divided up among the individual schools based on student enrollment for projects, programs, and equipment selected by the staff and faculty of each school. The grants awarded are listed below.

CEDAR TRAILS—$1,900

Benefits 625 students. Purchase additional Mentor and Grade Level Text books to support Reading and Writing Workshop

BEACH–$1,500 of $1,700 fee

Benefits all 520 students. Subscription to Raz-kids.com website, a personalized on-line reading support program that challenges all students at their reading level.

CEDAR VIEW

4th Grade—$750
Benefits 270 students. Purchase leveled American Revolution books for students use in researching “Museum of Knowledge” writing project. Also purchase tri-fold boards and other supplies for project.
5th Grade—$750
Benefits 260 students. Purchase math manipulatives to complement Everyday Math curriculum. Purchase current book titles to enhance literacy instruction.

 

RED HAWK—$700

Benefits 250 students. Purchase books that emphasize visual literacy and present same core concepts for varying reading levels that align with social studies and science units.

MIDDLE SCHOOL—$1,500

Benefits all students. Materials for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) inventions which allow students to take theoretical engineering concepts to the design, build and testing phases.
HIGH SCHOOL-$2,700 towards $35,000 total cost
Benefits 700 students. Partnering with Athletic Boosters to replace 20-plus-year-old equipment used for strength training and conditioning by physical education students and athletes.

NEW BEGINNINGS HIGH SCHOOL—$550

Benefits 68 students. Purchase books in a wide range of reading fluency levels for student’s use in the school library.
To learn more about the Cedar Springs Education Foundation, visit them online at http://www.csredhawks.org/csef.

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One hurt in accident

N-Accident-Main-Street1-webN-Accident-Main-Street2-webA 17-year-old driver had to be extricated from her car Saturday evening, August 16, after she pulled out in front of another car at Main and Cedar Streets.

According to Cedar Springs Police Officer Mandy Stahl, a white Caprice was headed south on Main Street when the 17-year-old attempted to turn left off Cedar Street and was broadsided by the Caprice about 7 p.m.

The 17-year-old was pinned in her car, and Cedar Springs Fire had to extricate her. She was sent to the hospital via Rockford Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old female driver of the Caprice was not injured.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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Sheriff’s policing proposal on city agenda tonight

N-City-logo-webby Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council will vote Thursday evening on whether they want City Manager Thad Taylor to proceed with discussions with the Kent County Sheriff Department and possibly come back with a contract for them to take over policing the city.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Cedar Springs City Hall.

The City Council directed Taylor to get a proposal from Sheriff Larry Stelma earlier this year, after Police Chief Roger Parent announced he would be retiring at the end of August.

Last year’s police budget came in at $681,190. The 2014-2015 budget is projected at $685,511. Sheriff Stelma and his team propose that they could save the city at least $120,000 a year by taking over law enforcement services. And that would include hiring our current officers.

Presentations were made by the Sheriff and his staff at a City Council meeting and at a public forum last month. The City also mailed out surveys to residents to find out their thoughts.

Stelma assured residents at last month’s meeting that he was not trying to take over the police department. “This is my community, too. I raised my family here, pay taxes here. This is our project—an opportunity to discuss and impact our community for the future.”

Taylor said that he and Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent met with Sheriff Stelma recently to discuss what considerations would be necessary if they were to take over policing the city. Some of those included:

*They would choose the option that has a sergeant in the office during regular business hours and a deputy on patrol 24 hours a day.

*Deputies assigned to Cedar Springs would wear Kent County Sheriff Department uniforms and drive KCSD vehicles. The Sheriff had offered to let the officers wear CS uniforms, but Taylor said he thought it would be less confusing, in case a deputy had to come fill in for a CS officer.

*Deputies would respond to all calls for service, even those that the Sheriff department normally asks to be reported online.

*They would continue to unlock vehicles.

*The Sergeant would meet with City Manager as needed, provide monthly report for City Council packet, and attend staff meetings.

*They asked for a minimum of two current Cedar Springs officers be assigned to Cedar Springs if interested. They could always add more.

*Personnel assigned to Cedar Springs would operate from the current police department offices, and their shift would start and end in Cedar Springs (as opposed to the Sheriff substation).

*Include language in contract outlining when a deputy assigned to Cedar Springs can leave the city without a backup.

*Citizens would obtain copies of reports and follow up on complaints, etc. at City Hall.

*They would respond to all private property accidents.

*Cedar Springs officers would receive an immediate pay raise upon employment with the KCSD.

*The initial contract would be five years with automatic renewal unless either party elects to end the contract.

Taylor said that Sheriff Stelma agreed with these terms in principle. “Chief Parent and I felt these considerations were of primary importance to our community and officers,” said Taylor.

“It’s nice to save money,” he noted, “but what value are we getting for it? We wanted to make sure on what he (Sheriff Stelma) would do for our people and what services he would give to the community.”

If the city votes yes, Taylor would pursue discussions and have their attorneys work on a contract.

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent will retire at the end of this month. His last day as Chief is next Friday, August 29. However, if the council votes to approve turning police services over to Kent County, the police department would need to be dissolved. Taylor said that Parent would be willing to stay on as a civilian consultant for a couple of days a week to do the behind the scenes work to make that happen.

Officer Chad Potts, a 14-year veteran with the department, will serve as interim police chief, until some type of transition is made, either to Kent County or they hire another Chief.

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Man hurt in hit and run 

 

Police are looking for the driver that injured a Cedar Springs man in a hit and run accident last Saturday on US131.

According to Sgt. Jason Koepke, of the Mecosta County Sheriff Office, deputies were dispatched to a rollover accident about 9 p.m. Saturday, August 16, on southbound US131 just north of 11 Mile Road, in Mecosta Township. Witnesses reported a black passenger car, with tinted windows, sideswiped another vehicle, forcing it into the ditch, and causing it to roll over several times.

The driver of the sideswiped vehicle, Russell DeBoer, 63, from Cedar Springs suffered life-threatening injuries, and was flown by Aeromed to Grand Rapids Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. At press time, he was still in the hospital, according to police.

Sgt. Koepke said that they have not yet found the at fault driver. “We’ve had some calls, but nothing that has led to anything. The vehicle should have some damage on it,” he said.

Anyone with information on the suspected vehicle or driver should call the Mecosta County Sheriff office at (231) 592-0150.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Twp. Fire and Rescue, Mecosta/Austin Twp. Fire and Rescue, and AeroMed.

 

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The Post travels to Georgia

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In June, Jon Korb and Sally Smith traveled to Augusta, Georgia to visit their son, Army Specialist Bill Korb, who is stationed at Fort Gordon.

The Post went along for the trip to have its picture taken with Bill and his Mom.

Thanks so much 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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