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City looking for volunteers for spring clean up


By Judy Reed

The annual Cedar Creek cleanup is returning this year but in a different format.

The cleanup, which normally takes place on a Saturday near Earth Day, was put on the back burner earlier this year, due to the vacancy of the administrative assistant position, according to City Manager Thad Taylor. Rich Pajak, the former admin assistant, used to handle the clean up, but he is now retired.

The Post, not wanting to see the project fall by the wayside, contacted the Community Building Development Team, to see if it was something they would consider. Carolee Cole, of the CBDT, spoke with Julie Wheeler, of Independent Bank, and the two of them met with City Manager Thad Taylor on Monday to work out some details.

“We are going to do this and very willing to partner with these organizations,” said Taylor. “The City just couldn’t do it on its own.”

Taylor said that they are looking for community organizations or groups, and individuals that would be responsible for cleaning up certain areas of town. “We have identified approximately nine areas we can put people in,” explained Taylor. “And if we need to, we can find more.”

And since Saturdays didn’t seem to work out well, this year’s cleanup will cover a period of five days—May 11-15.  “This gives more flexibility to the group to get it done,” explained Taylor.

He said the city would have some equipment, including garbage bags, a limited number of brightly colored shoulder bags, grippers, and safety vests for volunteers.

Taylor is also checking to see if they can get an e-waste trailer, as they have done in the past.

Any groups or individuals who would like to volunteer should contact Taylor at 696-1330, extension 104.

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Motorists will enjoy cheapest summer gas prices in a decade 

N-gas-chartGasBuddy is projecting that this summer’s gasoline prices will bring the most affordable summer months since at least 2005.

While it may sound wild, GasBuddy projects that the summer driving season of 2015 (Memorial Day through Labor Day) will see the U.S. average price of gasoline come in around $2.35 per gal, a revision from its 2015 forecast it released last December. A recent Energy Information Administration projection pinned summer gasoline prices at $2.45/gal. Both numbers would represent the lowest summer prices in a decade.

“That means more Americans can afford to pack up and go enjoy a summer getaway because the cost of getting there will likely be the lowest since 2005,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “The latest data from the EIA showed the largest week-to-week buildup of crude oil (10.9 million barrels) since March 2001 and that underscores the downward pressure on fuel prices. So we’re confident in our projection; that the summer of 2015 will see the national average come in at a seasonal level we haven’t approached since 2005.”

“For consumers intent on saving the most no matter what part of the country they may be visiting, we suggest downloading GasBuddy’s free app because the average spread (the gap between the highest 5 percent and lowest 5 percent of gas prices) by state still averages out to 45 cents daily,” said Gregg Laskoski, another senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

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Man faces assault charge

Brandon Dirk Verberg

Brandon Dirk Verberg

A verbal disagreement erupted in a brawl in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last week and ended up with two people hurt and one man facing two felony counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.  

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, with the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, they were called to a fight involving eight or more people, on Allan Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates on April 5.

It was reported that a man was struck with a baseball bat and lying on the street.  Six deputies responded to the scene. Upon arrival, deputies observed the victim, a 64-year-old male, being helped off the ground, bleeding from his head.  Police investigated and discovered that the man and a 20-year-old female, who both live in the park, were both struck with a wooden baseball bat.

Deputies arrested Brandon Dirk Verberg, 23, for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. Verberg also lives in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charged Verberg with 2 counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. He was arraigned in 63rd District Court on April 6, and released on a $1,000 cash/surety bond.

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Public safety telecommunicators week


From the Kent County Sheriff’s Department

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office will be celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week from April 12-18. Call takers and dispatchers are the unsung heroes of Public Safety. They are the first contact for the public and set the tone for customer service and emergency response. This week provides an opportunity for the public and the public safety community at large to thank those that help to keep them safe.

Currently, the Kent County Communications Center staffs one dispatch manager, eight shift supervisors, 38 full-time and three part-time operators, who operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week and answer almost 400,000 calls for police and fire services per year. The Communications Center dispatches police and fire personnel to over 115,000 incidents per year, which range from non-emergency and civil calls for service to life threatening matters where every second counts.

During this momentous week, members of the community, commissions, area departments, and local businesses show their support in various ways. The Communications Center staff would like to extend their sincere thanks to everyone who takes the time to recognize the excellent work that the Center does on a daily basis.

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Take Cover Michigan: Statewide Tornado Drill on April 16

Photo courtesy of NOAA

Do you know what you would do in a tornado warning?  Photo courtesy of NOAA

Kent County to participate without sirens

Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is this week, and the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is asking residents to prepare for severe weather by participating in a voluntary, statewide tornado drill at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 16.

Businesses, organizations, schools, families and individuals are encouraged to be a part of this statewide preparedness activity, but not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will be participating.

According to Lt. Jack Stewart, Emergency Management Coordinator for Kent County, they will participate, but without sirens. “We are encouraging all county employees and department heads to review severe weather protocol and procedures with staff,” he explained. “We run the sirens once a month, and just did so a week ago, and they were all working, so don’t see a need to run them again.”

Residents can practice what they would do with or without a siren. Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD just wants people to be ready.

“Tornadoes can develop rapidly, with little or no warning,” he said. “Due to their unpredictable nature, we must be ready well in advance. We’re asking citizens and businesses to take a few extra steps during the week to ensure they’re prepared and safe.”

While tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months. As one of nature’s most violent storms, they can devastate homes and property in just seconds.

The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means citizens need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.

To be ready for a tornado:

*Identify the lowest place to take cover during a tornado. If a basement does not exist, find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls.

*Go under something sturdy—such as a workbench or stairwell—when taking shelter in the basement or designated spot.

*Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.

*Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.

*Know the difference: a Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; a tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

*Be aware of the following signs that can indicate an approaching tornado:

*Dark, often greenish sky

*Large hail

*A large, dark low-lying cloud

*Loud roar, similar to a freight train

*Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.

As a part of regional partnership and collaboration, the Michigan statewide tornado drill has been scheduled to occur at the same time and date as the Minnesota and Wisconsin statewide tornado drills.

For more information about being safe before, during and after a tornado, go to follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared. Emergency preparedness information is also available at www.ready.gov/tornadoes.


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Fiery crash results in arrest

*N-Truck drags motorcycle

The driver of this truck, Jeremy Gard, of Stanwood, allegedly hit a motorcycle, then continued driving with it wedged beneath the vehicle. His truck caught fire about a mile from the scene.

A pick up truck on fire early Tuesday morning, in Reynolds Township, turned out to be more than just a routine fire call.

Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies and the Howard City Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire on Church Road just East of Amy School Road, about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, morning, April 7.

While extinguishing the fire, a motorcycle was discovered wedged underneath the pickup truck. While still at the fire scene, deputies were notified of a personal injury motorcycle crash at the intersection of M-82 and US-131.

A Michigan State Trooper responded to that scene, and found a male victim who appeared to have been the operator of a motorcycle, but no motorcycle was located at the scene.

It was determined that the pickup truck involved in the fire had earlier collided with the motorcycle at M-82 near US 131 and continued to drive, while dragging the motorcycle to the point where it stopped on Church Road and caught fire.

The motorcycle operator, a 58-year-old Howard City man, was taken by Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The motorcycle driver’s condition is not known at this time.

Jeremy Gard

Jeremy Gard

The driver of the truck, Jeremy Gard, 43, of Stanwood, and his passenger, were not injured in the crash or subsequent fire.

Gard was arrested at the scene for suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated, Second Offense and was lodged at the Montcalm County Jail. He was arraigned later in the afternoon in Montcalm 64-B District Court on two felony charges: Operating While Intoxicated causing serious injury, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death. Both are 5-year felonies. Gard is being held at the Montcalm County Jail on a $10,000 cash/surety bond.

Montcalm County Deputies were assisted at the accident scene by Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services, Howard City Fire Department, and the Michigan State Police.



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MCC hosts NASA astronaut on April 22

NASA Astronaut Dr. Andrew J. Feustel will present “America’s Space Program: Then and Now” at Montcalm Community College on April 22 as a part of this year’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Lectureship Series.

NASA Astronaut Dr. Andrew J. Feustel will present “America’s Space Program: Then and Now” at Montcalm Community College on April 22 as a part of this year’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Lectureship Series.

By Samantha Mack


In keeping with its 50-year tradition of bringing cultural opportunities to the area, Montcalm Community College will host NASA Astronaut Dr. Andrew J. Feustel for two presentations on April 22.

Feustel will present “America’s Space Program: Then and Now” as a part of this year’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Lectureship Series. The presentations will be from noon to 1 p.m. in rooms D303-305 in the Beatrice E. Doser Building on the college’s Sidney campus, and again from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in room G129 in the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center (Ash TLC) on the college’s Greenville campus. Lunch or dinner is free for students with a current MCC student ID and is $2 for all others.

Feustel has been a NASA astronaut since 2000. He was first selected as a Mission Specialist. After two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Space Shuttle and Space Station Branches.

In 2009, Feustel served on the crew of STS-125 Atlantis, the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission successfully extended and improved the observatory’s capabilities. In 2011, Feustel launched on Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final mission for STS-134 to the International Space Station where he served as the lead space walker. The mission delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a state-of-the-art cosmic ray particle physics detector designed to examine fundamental issues about matter and the origin and structure of the universe.

Feustel’s education includes an associate degree from Oakland Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in solid earth sciences and a Master of Science degree in geophysics from Purdue University, and a doctorate in geological sciences, specializing in seismology, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

MCC Dean of Instruction and Student Development Dr. Gary Hauck said bringing Feustel to campus supports MCC’s mission of creating a learning community, and it ties with the college’s 50-year history.

“The NASA space program was in its foundational years in 1965, the year MCC was established, and was frequently dominating the news during this time,” Hauck said. “Plus, Dr. Feustel is from Michigan and is a community college graduate, so he’s a perfect choice for this year’s Ash Lectureship Series.”

The Stanley and Blanche Ash Lectureship Series was founded in 2014.

“It was instituted to provide MCC and the community opportunities to address key topics of public interest while enhancing our cultural literacy,” Hauck said.

Last year, the college hosted author Cleo Paskal, Dr. Annie Dandavati, an eye witness to the Cairo uprising, and author Dr. Amy Richards. This year, MCC has already welcomed Matthew Rojansky, scholar and CNN consultant.

“Stanley and Blanche Ash wanted to improve the lives of local people,” said former MCC President Don Burns. “They invested in local people through scholarships and they wanted people to have access to culture through lectures and music.”

“The process toward the Ash Lectureship began over 10 years ago. The Ashes wanted to enhance the lives of people in the area and, naturally, MCC wanted to assist their endeavor,” he added.

The final Ash Lectureship presentation of the year will be held on Oct. 8. Dr. SuiWah Chan, Professor Emeritus of Michigan State University and an associate of the Confucius Institute of the University of Michigan, will present “China’s World Influence: Past, Present and Future” at noon in rooms D303-305 in the Beatrice E. Doser Building on MCC’s Sidney campus and at 6:30 p.m. in room G129 in the Ash TLC on MCC’s Greenville campus.

MCC has a history of hosting nationally- and internationally-renowned speakers for lectures and cultural presentations, even before the Ash Lectureship was established. Notable speakers include radio and television personality Art Linkletter and comedian George Gobel, who both presented in the 1970s.

In 1998, MCC began hosting Lifelong Learners presentations, which are still offered today. Lifelong Learners was originally organized to provide academic experiences for area seniors and has grown to affect community members of all ages.



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Post publisher injured in accident

Damage to Allen's black Chrysler Sebring convertible can be seen here

Damage to Allen’s black Chrysler Sebring convertible can be seen here

By Judy Reed

Lois Allen, owner and publisher of The Cedar Springs Post, was injured and hospitalized for several days following a two-vehicle crash last weekend in Nelson Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred about 7 p.m., on Saturday, April 6. Deputy Chad Tucker, the officer at the scene, said that Allen was southbound on Shaner Avenue, in her black Chrysler Sebring convertible, when she failed to stop at the stop sign at 17 Mile. She then collided with a westbound 2004 silver Saturn Ion.

Allen was transported to Butterworth hospital by Rockford Ambulance, where she was diagnosed with several broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a cracked verterbrate in her neck.

Sara Butler was the driver of this Saturn Ion.

Sara Butler was the driver of this Saturn Ion.

According to Lt. Marc Burns, the driver of the Saturn was Sara Butler, 34, of Grand Rapids. She was also transported to the hospital, with non-life-threatening injuries.

Allen’s small dog was also in the vehicle, but escaped without injury.

Assisting at the scene was the Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

The Post would like to thank everyone at the scene for their help.

Lois hopes to be back up and around soon!

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Sand Lake Elementary going to World Finals

Team from left to right-Zach Princer, Megan Wozniak, Ali Walkwitz, Grace Erdman, Sofia Muholland, Gavin Longcore and Taden Gleason.-1st place regionals & 2nd place state finals and going to World FInals.

Team from left to right-Zach Princer, Megan Wozniak, Ali Walkwitz, Grace Erdman, Sofia Muholland, Gavin Longcore and Taden Gleason.-1st place regionals & 2nd place state finals and going to World FInals.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competitive program which emphasizes creative problem solving.  Team members work together to design and create their own original performance which includes creating costumes, props, sets, writing scripts and building mechanical devices.  Thousands of teams compete annually throughout the U.S. and in 25 countries around the world.

At this year’s regional tournament all three of Tri County’s Sand Lake Elementary teams advanced to the state finals. The teams each created unique solutions which included a TC Pizza delivery vehicle which was guided by a track and needed to overcome obstacles, a performance which took the audience into a video game world and provided an interpretation of the myth of Pandora’s Box and a side splitting play which combined chemistry and math humor into a silent movie theme.

Tri County was proud to have received a 1st place finish in the Vehicle problem, a 2nd place finish in the Classics problem and the coveted Renatra Fusca award for exceptional creativity in the Theatrics problem. MacNaughton Elementary also sent two primary teams to the regional tournament. While these were non-competitive teams, we have high expectations for them in the future.

On Saturday, March 21, the teams competed at the state finals and the 5th grade Vehicle problem team finished 2nd and will be advancing to the 2015 World Finals hosted at Michigan State University this May 20-24, for the first time in Tri County School’s history!

Visit the team’s go fund me account to help their trip:  http://www.gofundme.com/pzr58k.  They are also collecting pop cans and loose change. If you are interested in donating your pop cans or loose change you may contact Tory Mulholland by email: petetory13@gmail.com.

All three teams after State Finals! Coaches-Tory and Pete Mulholland and Dave Princer (Not pictured). Team- Taden Gleason, Zach Princer, Gavin Longcore, Sofia Mulholland, Grace Erdman, Ali Walkwitz, Megan Wozniak -1st place regionals & 2nd place state finals and going to World FInals. Coaches- Jennifer and Spencer Gould (Not pictured). Team- Ava Longcore, Kendal Gould, Isabel Schuster, Katie Busch, Alexis Gleason, Trenton Laskey, Madalynn Laskey. Coach- Tyana Ford (Not pictured). Team- Ilana White, Emma Carlson, Voca Ford, Samantha Patin, Jesse White, Trace Laskey.

All three teams after State Finals! Coaches-Tory and Pete Mulholland and Dave Princer (Not pictured). Team- Taden Gleason, Zach Princer, Gavin Longcore, Sofia Mulholland, Grace Erdman, Ali Walkwitz, Megan Wozniak -1st place regionals & 2nd place state finals and going to World FInals. Coaches- Jennifer and Spencer Gould (Not pictured). Team- Ava Longcore, Kendal Gould, Isabel Schuster, Katie Busch, Alexis Gleason, Trenton Laskey, Madalynn Laskey. Coach- Tyana Ford (Not pictured). Team- Ilana White, Emma Carlson, Voca Ford, Samantha Patin, Jesse White, Trace Laskey.

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The Post travels to Europe


Larry Tovey, formerly of Cedar Springs, and now of San Jose, California, and his wife, Diane, finally made a trip to Europe after several postponements and took The Post with them.

They spent two weeks seeing the sites of London, Paris, Venice and Rome. “I was skeptical of the weather going in mid-March, but it only rained one day and reached the high fifties the rest of the time,” said Larry. He added that he played his part as “The American Tourist” and snapped close to 500 pictures for posterity. “We had an amazing time and found it very easy to immerse yourself in the time period of every historic landmark or thousand-year-old church you stepped foot in,” he said.

Thanks to Larry and Diane 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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