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Vandalism update

Cody Steven Quay

Cody Steven Quay

The name has been released of the 19-year-old arrested last week for vandalism in Cedar Springs. Cody Steven Quay, a homeless Cedar Springs teen, was arraigned on Thursday, April 3, in 63rd District Court on a charge of Malicious destruction of property—building, $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 (a felony), and one count of malicious destruction of property—personal property, $200 or more but less than $1,000 (a misdemeanor). Bond was set at $1,000 on the felony and $500 on the misdemeanor. He has a preliminary examination set for April 16 at 2 p.m.

At least two or three others were also arrested in the case, but all were juveniles.

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Woman serving sentence for moving violation causing death

Kristy Lynn Beemer

Kristy Lynn Beemer

A Cedar Springs woman is serving a 25-day sentence as part of a plea deal for causing the deaths of two elderly people last fall.

Kristy Lynn Beemer, 28, of Sand Lake, was reportedly driving too fast and caused the accident that occurred at Cedar Springs Avenue and Egner, Wednesday evening, October 16. A 2008 Ford Taurus was eastbound on Egner and stopped at the stop sign at Cedar Springs Avenue about 6:22 p.m. The driver attempted to turn north on Cedar Springs Avenue and collided with Beemer’s 2008 Saturn that was northbound.

The backseat passenger in the Taurus, Kathleen Fernn Bitely, 88, of Bailey was pronounced dead at the scene. The front seat passenger, Herbert Donald Smith, 92, from Twin Lakes, was transported to the hospital where he later died of his injuries.

Beemer was also charged with a moving violation causing serious injury to her front seat passenger, Michael McBride, 30 of Sand Lake, and his five-year-old daughter, who suffered two broken legs.

As part of the plea deal, Beemer pled guilty to one count of moving violation causing Smith’s death. The other charges were dismissed.

 

 

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Man crashes into tree

This Jeep Wrangler crossed the centerline and struck a tree in Spencer Township. Photo from Woodtv.com.

This Jeep Wrangler crossed the centerline and struck a tree in Spencer Township. Photo from Woodtv.com.

 

A Gowen man was injured when his car ran off the road in Spencer Township last week.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Gregory Reed, of Gowen, was traveling westbound on 18 Mile Road, in Spencer Township, about 9:04 p.m., April 3, when he lost control of his 2002 Jeep Wrangler near Meddler, and crossed the centerline and struck a tree on the south side of the road.

The 21-year-old driver Gregory Reed suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Spectrum Downtown.

The accident is still under investigation but police believe alcohol was a contributing factor.

 

 

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Founders Day fun in Cedar Springs

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Signal Trip, a local band, was one of the performances.

 

The second annual Founders Day weekend, put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce last weekend, had a little something for all ages, and helped everyone know just a little bit more about the history of Cedar Springs.

It kicked off with a children’s street fair under tent at Main and Ash Streets Friday from 4-7 p.m., with balloons, carnival games, animals, face painting, story time, a magician, a model train set, and loads of fun. The event was put on by Double K Farms and 4H.

On Saturday, March 29, kids gathered at the library for pioneer storytime and did pioneer crafts; the Cedar Springs Historical Museum was also open for tours. The tent was reopened from 4 to 10 for free concerts by two area bands, and good food and local craft beer and hard cider was available to purchase.

Children enjoyed the petting zoo at the Founder’s Day Celebration

Children enjoyed the petting zoo at the Founder’s Day Celebration

Matthew McQueen shows off his crafts he made at the Library.

Matthew McQueen shows off his crafts he made at the Library.

Chamber president Shawn Kiphart was pleased with the turnout. “It was double that of last year,” he noted. “But we still have room to grow.”

He said he had positive feedback from the events at the library and museum, and that the children’s street fair would become a permanent addition to the event. “Next year they will have more time to plan for it,” he said.

One thing that added to the comfort level this year was that the tent was enclosed and actually felt heated. “It really made a big difference,” he said.

Kiphart noted that they are always looking for new ideas, and would welcome other community groups to join them in planning for Founders Day next year. “If anyone has an event they would like to do, it doesn’t have to be on Main Street. We would put it under our umbrella and get the advertising out for it,” he said.

You can reach Kiphart at shawnkiphart@csacoc.com or (616) 773-5126.

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Police Chief to retire

 

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent

By Judy Reed

 

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent announced last month that he would retire August 29, after almost 40 years in law enforcement.

He hired on as the Cedar Springs Police Chief April 15, 2008. Prior to that, he served 34 years with the Kent County Sheriff Department.

“What I’ve really enjoyed is being able to work with dedicated patrol officers who understand how important it is to provide service to the community along with police protection. Even through these tough economic times, the police officers have been given the proper equipment, training and technology to maintain a professional police department,” he noted.

He also highly commended the officers working under him.

“We have great officers. When you don’t have a lot of turnovers, and the officers like to work here, they have good relationships with the citizens—that’s really a plus. You don’t see that everywhere,” he explained.

Growing up just outside of Sparta, Parent was familiar with small towns, and said it was pretty much what he expected it would be like.  “Cedar Springs has a lot to be proud of,” he said. “I was never embarrassed to say that I was police chief in Cedar Springs,” he remarked. “My entire experience has been positive. There are a lot of nice people here. I’ve worked for two fine city managers here, and the city has good employees at city hall.”

Parent said he will be spending his free time with more recreational activities, including his twin 2-1/2-year-old grandsons.

“Roger has done a fabulous job,” said City Manager Thad Taylor. “I was and am continually impressed with his professionalism. And his customer service is outstanding. He has a keen sense of what it takes to succeed as a small town police chief and translates that to how our officers should perform. He sets a great example and will be sorely missed.”

The city is already searching for a new chief. They currently have an ad up on their website, and plan to post the ad on several professional websites as well. Taylor said they would consider both internal and external candidates. The deadline to answer the ad will be April 25, and interviews would be the week of May 12. “We hope to have a candidate identified with background check and physicals by the end of June, and extend an offer and have it accepted by the first part of July,” explained Taylor. He added that the candidate would then start in early August to have three to four weeks of working with Parent.

The Post asked Taylor if he had considered doing what the Village of Howard City recently did—merge with the county Sheriff Department to save money. Under their agreement, the officers became Sheriff deputies and administrative duties went to the county. Cedar Springs has checked into this before, but never acted on it.

“If council directed me to do it I would,” said Taylor. “There are pros and cons to going that route. I’ve not been asked by council as a whole to pursue that.”

 

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More buildings vandalized; arrests made

 

Handcuffs

 

For the third time in six weeks, business and homeowners woke up Tuesday, April 1, to find out their buildings and/or homes had been vandalized with spray paint. By late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, Cedar Springs Police had arrested a 19-year-old and two juveniles for the crimes.

The United States Post Office on Cherry Street, Alpha Family Center on First Street (kitty-cornered from the Post Office), Car Quest, Len Allington’s building (which houses Perry’s Place) at 90 N. Main, and the vacant building at 95 N. Main, as well as some houses on 8th Street, were all victims of defacement with graffiti. Swear words and numbers were the most common marks.

According to Police Chief Roger Parent, officers did some good police work, and narrowed down their list of suspects to include this 19-year-old Cedar Springs resident, who is homeless. When they saw him and three others walking late Tuesday night, and carrying backpacks, they stopped them and questioned them. The suspects ultimately confessed to several of the crimes.

The 19-year-old, who has not yet been arraigned, is lodged in the Kent County Jail, and could be arraigned Thursday on a charge Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000, a felony. His name and actual charges will be released once he has been arraigned.

Chief Parent said that while defacing The Post Office is a federal offence, they would probably want it taken care of under a local ordinance.

Parent noted that the case is still under investigation.

 

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What’s for dinner?

N-Bald-eagle-photoHave you ever seen a bald eagle up close in the wild? Allison White did. Allison is a 7th grade student at Cedar Springs Middle School, and took this photo on Wabasis Avenue near 13 Mile Road, on March 24. The eagle was enjoying a rabbit dinner about five yards off the shoulder of the road when Allison snapped this picture.

Thanks for sending us the photo!

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The Post goes to the Alamo

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Darcey and Sandra Raymond recently visited the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas with their grandchildren, Cory and Cortney Myers.

“We are spending a couple of weeks with each daughter in Texas. The weather has been in the high 60s to low 80s, and gas prices are running $3.15 to a high of $3.29 per gallon. People here are real friendly and helpful. We’ll bring you all back some warm weather,” wrote Darcey and Sandra.

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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Greenville native serves as Navy seabee

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Wisinski, a construction mechanic, is a Navy Seabee assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Wisinski, a construction mechanic, is a Navy Seabee assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11.

with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa G. Berassa

A 2012 Greenville High School graduate and Greenville, Mich., native boasts a unique distinction: that of serving in the Navy as part of a premier Navy engineer unit in the world today.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Wisinski, a construction mechanic, is a Navy Seabee assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 (NMCB 11), home-ported in Gulfport, Miss., and recently returned from deployment to Guam. NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in advance base construction, battle damage repair, contingency engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery support to fleet and unified commanders.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalions, more commonly known as the “Seabees,” are the premier military engineer units in the world today. Born out of necessity in the early days of World War II, their exploits are legendary. This legacy is carried on today by the men and women of the Naval Construction Force who build and fight. For over 70 years, the men and women of the Naval Construction Force have been deployed around the world around the clock and have defended America at all times.

Wisinski and the rest of the battalion returned from their six-month deployment earlier this year, where they were in charge of providing engineering support to four combatant command areas of responsibility. While deployed, Wisinski and the other Navy Seabees of NMCB 11 were responsible for executing a countless number of projects, ranging from security improvements to bases in Africa to the construction of a submarine support facility in Guam.

Wisinski said it is an exciting time to be in the Navy. “I wanted to serve my country. And the Navy has also given me the opportunity to be a mechanic and train for something I wanted to do. The best part is I can take those skills into the civilian workplace.”

“This deployment was a huge success for the Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa, and for us as a crew,” said Cmdr. Steve Stasick, commander of NMCB 11. “The Sailors did very well executing the mission.”

“We’ve been very pleased with the support of the Naval Station Rota community at large,” said Stasick. “It enabled us to operate in 19 countries in four COCOMS [combatant commands].”

“The Seabees are very team-oriented,” said Wisinski. “That makes the job easier when everyone pulls together.”

Through concentrated planning and operations, Wisinski and other Seabees of NMCB 11 were able to assist the local population and add an unparalleled level of responsiveness and flexibility to our fleet and unified commanders in the area.

When it comes to protecting and defending America, being there matters, and America’s Navy Seabees are already there.

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April Fools contest winner

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

The fake stories were: Vandalism on the water tower, the newspaper lottery, the pothole story, and nobody wins the million dollars. The fake ads were the Let them eat cake ad, and the classified ad for help wanted – long hours, low pay, etc.

Several of you thought the Kent County Sheriff auction was fake. Nope. Someone else guessed a daycare was fake. Nope. That tax time is online at cedarspringspost.com was fake. It really is there. But the biggest stumbling block to most of you was the masthead.

In each April Fools edition, we create a few fake stories, and a fake ad or two. Then we also throw in some “Easter eggs”—little tidbits that are fun to find but don’t have anything to do with the contest, such as page numbers or dates upside down, wrong page numbers, and kooky job titles on the masthead. The masthead in any newspaper or magazine is a listing of the staff; it is not considered an ad (advertisement), so didn’t count for contest purposes. But we are happy you took the time to read it! And now you know for next year!

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