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Vintage snowmobile mystery solved

 

This unique snowmobile is owned by Dean and Kristie Wall. Photo by Oliver Johnson.

This unique snowmobile is owned by Dean and Kristie Wall. Photo by Oliver Johnson.

 

Last week, we ran the above photo in the Post, asking if anyone knew who owned the vehicle in the above photo. Within just a few hours of the newspaper hitting the stands, we found out that Dean and Kristie Wall, of Sand Lake, own this unique 1929 Ford Model A Pickup with an Arps Corporation’s Super Snowbird Snowmobile attachment.

“I purchased the model A pick up snowmobile in Marquette about two years ago, after looking for a model A snowmobile for about eight years,” explained Dean. “It looked pretty much like it does now but I totally dismantled it and rebuilt the engine, rear end, and the track system. I also added a set of original gear reduction to the rear axle. It will go through 2 to 2 1/2 feet of snow at a top speed of about 25 to 30 mph but will get stuck if you’re not careful.”

He explained that the snowmobile attachments were popular in the 20s and 30s before they plowed the roads and they packed the snow instead. “When mailmen, doctors and other delivery people had to get through, they would utilize the snowmobile attachment. Adm. Byrd took them to the South Pole on his second expedition,” he added.

The original snow attachment was created by Virgil White, a Ford dealer in Ossippee, New Hampshire, who built his first snow attachment in 1913, for the Model T. He put it on the market in 1922, and sold the attachments through Ford dealers. Snow attachments were also made for other makes of vehicles, such as the Model A. “The Super Snowbird Snowmobile attachment for the Model A has an extra idler wheel due to the extra weight of the A’s,” explained Dean. “Arps made these until the early 40’s for the V-8 powered vehicles.”

While they have taken the snowmobile to a couple of shows, Dean said they enjoy driving it the most, including to a camp they have in the Upper Peninsula. But that’s not the only vintage vehicle they own. “We have a 1930 original model AA dump truck; a 1929 fully restored AA stake bed truck; a 1929 model A pick up and a 1930 Model A 4-door sedan that we drive to church every Sunday that the roads are dry enough, regardless of how cold,” he said.

Thank you, Dean, for telling us about this vintage snowmobile! And thanks to Oliver Johnson, for sending us the photo!

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Subscribe to city alerts, surveys via email

 

Do you want to know about important events happening in Cedar Springs? Would you like to give feedback to the city on future surveys? Or receive immediate alerts about things that may affect you?

If you would like to be included in these community alerts and surveys by email, you can subscribe by picking up a form at City Hall, or by emailing City Manager Thad Taylor at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org. You will need to include your name, address and email address. The alerts and surveys will only be sent to you by email, not regular mail.

If you have any questions, call City Hall at 696-1330.

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Former defense contractor on way to prison 

 

Sold defective machinegun parts to department of defense 

U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today that Colorado resident Howard “Jack” Cahn, was sentenced in federal court in Kalamazoo,

Michigan, to 30 months in prison for attempting to sell the Department of Defense (DoD) machinegun replacement parts that were technically noncompliant with contract requirements, and also included defective components.

The parts, which had been produced by Cahn’s manufacturing company “Aerospace Manufacturing Services (AMS),” located in Buchanan, Michigan until it closed in early 2010, were critical internal components for the “M-249” 5.56 mm Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) and the “Mark 19” 40 mm grenade-machinegun. Both weapons systems are in wide use by all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the components in question were essential to the reliable and safe functioning of those weapons systems.

Cahn was convicted after a four-day jury trial during October 2014 in U.S. District Court in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The evidence at trial established that, with AMS in deep financial trouble and unable to fulfill its contracts with DoD,

Cahn not only attempted to pass off Mark 19 parts that had actually been manufactured in Colorado without DoD oversight as AMS product, but also forced employees to add defective SAW parts that had been designated as scrap to a shipment of parts that was ready to be delivered to DoD. The evidence also established that, if they had made it into the supply chain and into the field, the defective SAW parts could have caused machineguns to become inoperable in combat.

Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Cahn to serve 30 months in Federal prison, after noting that Cahn’s offenses were “particularly egregious.” Cahn not only forced several young employees to participate in the offense at the fear of losing their jobs, but the offense itself could have endangered U.S. troops in combat if those same AMS employees had not decided to turn Cahn in to DoD quality-assurance inspectors when they realized the potential danger to U.S. troops.

Commenting on the seriousness of Cahn’s crimes, Judge Maloney stated, “I don’t know how you could ever explain to the parents of a Marine or a Soldier that their loved one had been killed because their machinegun stopped firing when they needed it most.” The Chief Judge added that sending a strong deterrent message to any other defense contractor who might try to make a profit by evading DoD’s quality-control measures was also “at the top of the court’s list” among the various sentencing factors.

Commenting on the sentence, U.S. Attorney Miles stated, “Defense-procurement fraud is a serious offense that my office will vigorously pursue. When it involves misconduct that also can endanger U.S. troops in the field, it goes beyond serious to outrageous. Mr. Cahn tried to save his company and make a dollar even if it meant sending U.S. troops into battle with defective weapons during the height of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, instead of being a businessman and defense contractor, he is now a federal felon and inmate.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (Army CID) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hagen W. Frank and Russell A. Kavalhuna.

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We have a winner!

Winner of the Best Lips Contest 2015 is #7 Smurky: Lynn Marion of Cedar Springs

Winner of the Best Lips Contest 2015 is #7 Smurky: Lynn Marion of Cedar Springs

This year’s Best Lips contest was the most controversal yet—due to a technical glitch that made it appear that votes were not being counted.  When we set up the poll at polldaddy.com it had 3 choices for repeat voters 1. Don’t block repeat voting, 2. Block by cookie (safest), and 3. Block by cookie and IP address. We chose #3 to keep someone from voting several times a day from the same home using different accounts, which is how we set it up every year. This caused quite the controversy when voters tried to vote from the same IP address. We were accused of rigging the contest, which we find funny because if we wanted to rig it we’d go back to the old way where WE chose the winners.

We started putting the lips contest online for YOU, the readers, to vote on in 2012. It started out a little slow we only had  282 votes that first year. But it caught on with a vengence the following year with 5,702 votes — we’re still not sure if that was accurate or a glitch. Then last year we had 614 votes but had a problem with the contest not shutting down at 5pm.  This year we had 549 votes but had several people report that it wasn’t counting their votes. We changed the repeat voters setting from #3 to #2, which seemed to fix the problem.

Results from polldaddy.com

Results from polldaddy.com

But with all the controversy, is it time to retire the Best Lips contest? Let us know how you feel by commenting below, or contacting us  by email at news@cedarspringspost.com, or comment on our facebook page and we will determine if it needs to be laid to rest for next year.

Our grand prize winner was #7 Smurky aka Lynn Marion, of Cedar Springs, with 127 votes. She won a $50 gift visa gift card, flowers and candy, compliments of The Cedar Springs POST.

Coming in second was #3-Dainty aka Chorissa Misner, of Cedar Springs with 116 votes.

Coming in third was #2-Sassy aka Brendalynn Eustice, of Byron Center, with 98 votes.

A big thank you to all who participated—those who sent in their lips, and those who voted! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Our grand prize winner may pick up her prizes at The POST, 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs on Friday, February 13 between 10am-5pm. Please call 616-696-3655 if you need to make special arrangements for pick up.

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Local athlete signs with Davenport University

Caden Burrows signed a letter of intent last week to play football for Davenport University.

Caden Burrows signed a letter of intent last week to play football for Davenport University.

Cedar Springs senior Caden Burrows, who played center for the Red Hawk Varsity football team, signed his letter of intent, on February 4, to play football for the newly formed Davenport University Panther football program.

Caden, the son of Tim and Kim Burrows, cited hard work, his early years in the Cedar Springs Rocket Football Program, and all the coaches he has had through the years—from rocket to Varsity—as the reasons for this accomplishment.

Caden takes pride in his Cedar Springs heritage and and also referenced the importance of friends, teammates, sports families, and the crowd’s continued support of Cedar Springs’ athletics. “Cedar Springs is the place I’m proud to call home,” he said.

Varsity Coach Gus Kapolka had high praise for his center. “Caden is hands down one of the best leaders I’ve been associated with,” remarked Kapolka. “His work ethic and off-field demeanor served as an example to all the players in our program, as to how a champion conducts himself. He played against some really good, highly recruited players this year and held his own. He was the cornerstone of our success. I believe Davenport is very lucky to sign Caden.”

Caden said he would be studying to get a degree in sports management at Davenport.

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Time to Vote for Best Lips!

Best Lips 2014 winner, Amanda McGovern’s lips.

Best Lips 2014 winner, Amanda McGovern’s lip

It’s time to VOTE for the Best Lips in Cedar Springs!

You be the judge – Vote for your favorite lips below!

The entries are in! Now, it’s your turn to be the Judge! Vote for your favorite below. The entries have been numbered and nicknamed so every entry has a fair chance to win – this is no popularity contest! Voting starts at 5pm on Thursday, February 5. You can vote once per day. Contest closes Tuesday, February 10th, at 5pm. The person with the most votes at that time will be the grand prize winner. 

 

 

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, News, Valentine's DayComments (16)

Winter storm drops 10 inches of snow

Snow piled up on Main Street on Monday after Sunday’s storm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Snow piled up on Main Street on Monday after Sunday’s storm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Blowing, drifting and plowed snow surrounded The Springs Church parking lot Monday at First and Maple Streets. Post photo by J. Reed.

Blowing, drifting and plowed snow surrounded The Springs Church parking lot Monday at First and Maple Streets. Post photo by J. Reed.

February 2015 introduced itself Sunday with a winter blast that saw storm warnings issued across the Midwest from Iowa to the Great Lakes to New York.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids reported that the heaviest snow fell across northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Lower Michigan. Grand Rapids and Cedar Springs were in a medium band and saw 8-10 inches of snow. A resident on Berrigan Ave reported 10 inches to the Post. Counties south and south east of us saw up to 18 inches, while counties to the north saw 4 to 6 inches.

This storm was the 5th largest snowstorm on record for Chicago, where 19.3 inches fell. Winds increased on the afternoon and evening of February 1, gusting to 30-35 mph across Lower Michigan. The wind was a significant factor in creating blowing snow, very low visibilities, and deep drifts. Arctic air wrapped in behind the storm system and skies cleared during the early morning hours of February 2, resulting in low temperatures in the single digits with wind chills down to -10 to -15 degrees.

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Ranger Steve receives excellence award

 

Ranger Steve Mueller with the Thomas Say Naturalist Award for Excellence.  Courtesy photo.

Ranger Steve Mueller with the Thomas Say Naturalist Award for Excellence. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs naturalist Steven Joel Mueller, known as Ranger Steve to many of us, was recently nominated and won the Thomas Say Naturalist Award for Excellence. The award was presented to him in November, at the National Association of Interpretation in Denver, Colorado.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by colleagues,” said Mueller. “Colleagues throughout my career mentored me and made it possible for me excel. I have worked diligently to become competent in a broad spectrum of natural history subjects and to hone interpretive skills.”

According to the National Association of Interpretation website, Thomas Say (1787-1834), identified more than 1,500 species of insects and animals unique to North America (including the coyote), and was one of the brave naturalists who helped blaze a trail for future naturalists. Say was said to represent innovation, commitment, and a passion to contribute to science.

Those are all qualities that Mueller exhibits, and it shows in his Nature Niche articles each week in the Post.

Ranger Steve Mueller is also known for his photography. Courtesy photo.

Ranger Steve Mueller is also known for his photography. Courtesy photo.

Mueller grew up in Saginaw, and held several different jobs related to the nature field over the years. He was a high school science teacher in Alpena, Michigan, Dry Ridge, Kentucky, and Kenosha, Wisconsin; an urban forester for Dow Chemical in Midland; a state park ranger in Traverse City; a ranger/naturalist at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah; where he discovered a new species of moth; and a teacher at Jordan College in Cedar Springs. Many know him best as the director of Howard Christiansen Nature Center for over 20 years. When that temporarily closed in 2005, Lowell Schools hired him to direct the program at the Wittenbach/Wege Agri-Science Environmental Center. He retired from there in 2008 due to bone cancer. Besides those programs, Mueller has been President of the Grand Rapids Audubon Club, President for the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education, West Michigan Butterfly Association, and Grand Rapids Camera Club. He has won several other awards.

Mueller was nominated for the Thomas Say award by Ray Novotny, a founder of the NAI and life member. “Steve has consistently demonstrated his passion for our profession,” wrote Novotny.

He also received several letters of support. “Steve is a driven individual, whether following his own curiosity in research and exploration or in his indomitable spirit to not let his cancer interfere with what he loves,” said Dorothy F. McLeer, CIT, CIG, MALS, Program Coordinator/Interpretive Naturalist for the University of Michigan-Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center. “There is a lot left that Steve wants to do in his life, and how he is dealing with his illness is also inspirational. It has been my privilege to know and learn from “Ranger Steve” Mueller throughout my interpretive career.”

Mueller has a passion for nature that his cancer cannot diminish. He attends professional conferences with specialists in entomology, ornithology, botany, and interpretation annually. “When I am with specialists in each field, I am humbled by how limited my knowledge is but I learn so very much from each… It is the broad spectrum knowledge in many fields of natural history that has allowed me to be effective with natural history interpretation,” explained Mueller.

He said it is the continued curiosity about the natural world around us that made it possible for him to discover a new species to science, find species at Isle Royale National Park that had not been found previously, and to discover a breeding colony of Northern Blue Butterflies new to Michigan.

“I am fortunate to continue my work after going home from work,” remarked Mueller. “My supervisor told me it must be nice to have my work also be my passion.”

Other awards Ranger Steve has been honored with include:

2013 – Grand Rapids Camera Club hall of fame inducted Feb 2013

2011 – NAI Senior/Retired Intepreter,

2010 – NAI Distinguished Professional Interpreter (Region 4’s highest honor),

2008 – Mary Jane Dockeray Award – Outstanding Environmental Educator form the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

2005 - William Stapp Environmental Education Award, Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education,

2002 – Charlotte Runnels Conservation Award, Grand Rapids Audubon Club,

2000 – Michigan Audubon Society Member of the Year,

1985 - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Recognition for Peregrine Falcon reintroduction,

1979 – Special Achievement Award from the National Park Service for outstanding performance as director of the Environmental Education.

Congratulations, Ranger Steve!

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Beauty and the Beast starts tonight

 

Shows Feb. 5-8 at Cedar Springs High School

Alexis Lucarelli as Belle reading to Brandyn Kirchoff as the Beast.

Alexis Lucarelli as Belle reading to Brandyn Kirchoff as the Beast.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and love is in the air, along with some good old-fashioned fun, as over 60 cast members take the stage tonight at Cedar Springs High School for their winter musical, Beauty and the Beast. 

This classic tale is a charming love story about a young woman (Belle) who falls in love with a beast, who happens to be a prince placed under a spell. In order to escape the spell, the Beast must learn to love and be loved. If he doesn’t learn this before time runs out, he and his home will be under the spell forever.

Remington Sawade as Gaston performing with many of the cast members.

Remington Sawade as Gaston performing with many of the cast members.

Leads include Alexis Lucarelli as Belle; Sean Murphy as Maurice; Brandyn Kirchoff as Beast/Prince; Remington Sawade as Gaston; Dallas Mora as Lefou; Alec Falicki as Lumiere; Roland Nulph as Cogsworth; April Roberts as Mrs. Potts; and Sam Owens as Babette.

Shows are February 5, 6, and 7 at 7:00 p.m., with matinees on February 7 and 8 at 1:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10, and can be bought at the high school main office, online at http://www.hprodcshs.com, and at the door.

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The Post travels to Italy

Hannah and Thomas Thomas outside of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy with The Post.

Hannah and Thomas Thomas outside of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy with The Post.

Hannah (Wright) Thomas (originally from Sand Lake) and her husband, Thomas, travelled to Rome, Italy during Christmas 2014 and took along the Cedar Springs Post. “We had a magical time visiting the Vatican, Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon and many other beautiful sites that Rome had to offer,” explained Hannah. “We even had the honor and privilege of watching Pope Francis give his Christmas address at the Vatican.”

She also said they enjoyed visiting with the local Italian people, who were very friendly, and eating the local Italian cuisine, which they thought tasted delicious.

“We are happy the Cedar Springs Post was able to take this amazing trip with us,” said Hannah.

And thank you, Hannah and Thomas, 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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