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Board approves funding for Mental Health Court 

 

This morning the Kent County Board of Commissioners accepted a $193,000 grant to institute a Mental Health Court in the County. This specialized court docket was created for certain defendants with mental illness, an approach that substitutes a problem-solving model for traditional criminal court processing. The grant comes after spending the past several months completing a planning study, which was funded by a grant from the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) in March of 2017. 

Staff from 17th Circuit Court, Circuit Court Judge Joseph Rossi, Network180, the Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan Department of Corrections and the Public Defender’s Office reviewed the potential of a mental health court for the County and developed the policies, procedures and an implementation strategy. Earlier this month, the SCAO awarded $193,410 for implementation of a mental health court within the County. Grant dollars will be used for program coordination, clinical support, incentives, data entry, program involvement, drug tests and legal defense. 

The goals of the program include a reduction in recidivism for defendants, and a corresponding reduction in jail bed days. When fully operational, the court will have a caseload of 45 clients. It is anticipated that most, if not all, clients in the mental health court will be managed in the community while being engaged in treatment. The Kent County mental health court will focus on serving individuals who have a severe mental illness and are charged with a felony. “Mental health issues are perhaps one of the largest contributing factors to recidivism,” said Judge Rossi. “Merely putting offenders suffering from mental illness in jail will not resolve the problem. Providing much-needed treatment could help people recover and stay out of the justice system, while alleviating the strain on the courts and jails.” 

The State Legislature created the mental health court statute in 2013, enabling trial courts in Michigan to develop and operate mental health courts. The SCAO makes funds available for planning and implementation of mental health courts. “Approximately 10 percent of our jail population is severely mentally ill; that is more than 100 people on any given day,” according to Kent County Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. “Although in some cases jail will still be necessary, our hopes are that the right treatment at the right time in these cases can allow residents to remain in the community in a safe manner.” 

“Treatment is a much more cost-effective way to deal with mental health issues, and it is also a more holistic course of action,” said Scott Gilman, Executive Director of Network180. “I believe we can positively impact lives through this specialized docket.” The grant runs through September 30, 2018. It is expected that the grant will be renewable. 

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Police seek info on stolen guns

The Kent County Sheriff Department is asking the public for information regarding guns that were stolen from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs Saturday morning, November 4.

According to police, they responded to a break-in at the store at 4175 17 Mile Rd at about 7:30 a.m. Management reported that several guns had been stolen. It appears that two people are involved in the theft.

Anyone with information involving this incident is advised to call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at (616) 632-6100 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Police investigate stabbing

Kent County Sheriff Deputies responded to a stabbing Friday morning, November 3, in the 400 block of Sarah Street in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Cedar Springs man underwent surgery this morning after he was reportedly stabbed with a knife in a domestic assault.According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they were dispatched to a call about 7:30 a.m. Friday, November 3, on a stabbing that occurred in the 400 block of Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. When deputies arrived they found an adult male with a stab wound to his upper torso. The male was transported by ambulance to Butterworth Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Detective Joe Abram told the Post at the scene that they had people in custody but the investigation was not complete.

According to a news release issued by the KCSD, police spoke to two people near the scene, and detectives later interviewed them at the Kent County Sheriff Department.

The KCSD Scientific Support Unit and a KCSD K-9 deputy also responded to the scene. Also assisting on scene was the Cedar Springs Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

The event is still being investigated by detectives and deputies. Additional details will be released after further investigation.

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Red Hawks beat undefeated Pioneers

Red Hawk Ryan Ringler leaps over several Pioneers as he scores a touchdown. Photo by K&R LaLone photography.

Community pep rally Thursday evening

By Judy Reed

Before last Friday evening, October 24, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Football team had only played the East Grand Rapids Pioneers a handful of times—four times to be exact, and none were wins for the Red Hawks. Two of those games were play off games. As a matter of fact, the last time Cedar Springs faced them was 10 years ago, in 2007. It was also a pre-district game at East Grand Rapids, and the Pioneers went on to win the state championship. But the Red Hawks turned up the heat Friday night, and gave the Pioneers (who were undefeated) a run for their money with a 41-40 win. And now the Red Hawks will face DeWitt in the district final on Friday, November 3, at 7 p.m. at DeWitt. Read more here.

There is even more to celebrate than the Varsity football team, and Cedar Springs High School invites everyone to come out for a community pep rally tonight (Thursday, November 2) at 8 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium. They will celebrate band and cross country going to state, and other great things going on. The event is free. Come on out and show your spirit!

UPDATE: from Cedar Springs Public Schools… The Community Pep Rally for tonight has been moved from the Red Hawk Stadium to the Cedar Springs High School gym due to the weather.

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Halloween was Spooktacular

Kids lined up outside of the Post to get a spooktacular treat. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s Halloween Spooktacular was a big hit as hordes of little and not so little ghouls and goblins, zombies and zany characters visited homes and businesses in Cedar Springs Tuesday evening for annual trick or treating fun.

Businesses along Main Street, the old schoolhouse at the C.S. Museum, the fire station, the library, and The Springs Church all gave out treats and held their own form of Halloween fun.

Superheroes, princesses, and evil villains all helped
themselves to candy at The Post. Post photo by J. Reed.

Downtown trick or treating was from 5-6:30 p.m., while residential trick or treating lasted until 8 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Former MLB player dies of carbon monoxide poisoning

Ross Powell was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1989. Photo courtesy of Mark Schumann.

Ross John Powell, 49, a Cedar Springs High School graduate and former Major League baseball pitcher, died last week in Texas, after his lawn care van was overcome with carbon monoxide fumes.

His father, Lyle John Powell, 72, was also found dead in the van.

The Collin County Sheriff Department told media that it appeared the van rolled to a stop in a cul-de-sac of Thunder Bay Drive and Enchanted Way, in Lucas, Texas. 

Powell, who played for three different MLB teams, and served as a youth baseball coach, had recently opened the new lawn care business.

Ross Powell (above) and his father, Lyle, were found dead in a commercial lawn care van last week. Photo from Ross Powell’s facebook page.

A woman who saw the men in the van reportedly called 911 after she knocked on the window and got no response. 

The fumes were so intense that a sheriff’s deputy, EMS officer, and three firefighters were all transported to the hospital for treatment and then later released.

Ross was a 1986 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, where he was selected as an All State pitcher his senior year. He pitched for three seasons at the University of Michigan and was a third-round draft pick for the Cincinnati Reds in 1989. He made his major league debut on Sept. 5, 1993. In April 1994, he was traded to the Houston Astros. In July, 1995, his contract was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was his last year in the major leagues. His career spanned eight seasons. 

Ross’ father, Lyle John Powell, 72, was also found dead in the van.
Facebook photo.

Ross was living in Carrollton, Texas.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in Allen, Texas. A memorial service will also be held at a later date in Michigan.

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Sparta man killed in crash on M-57

A Sparta man died early Wednesday morning after rolling his vehicle on M-57 in Courtland Township.

According to the Michigan State Police Rockford Post, the crash occurred on M-57 (14 Mile Rd) shortly after 6 a.m., November 1. The investigation showed that a 2004 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Vincent John Cooper, 20, of Sparta, was travelling eastbound on M-57 near Berrigan Ave. and attempted to overtake a semi-truck, also eastbound on M-57. The Impala drove off onto the left shoulder of the roadway, lost control, then spun back across the roadway before striking a curb on the right shoulder of the roadway, going into the ditch, and rolling multiple times.  

Cooper was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Police said he was not wearing his seatbelt and speed is believed to be a factor in the crash. 

The Michigan State Police were assisted at the scene by the Courtland Twp. Fire Department, Rockford Ambulance, and Kent County Road Commission.

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The Post travels to Canada

Art Smith, Noah Smith and Brian Braun traveled to High Level, Alberta, Canada, for a seven-day moose hunt and took along the Cedar Springs Post to read in camp. The group of three hunters took home two large Canadian moose.

Thank you 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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Fall beauty

Kay Bultema sent us this beautiful photo of a tree changing color. She said it was taken last week at her home, in Solon Township.

Do you have any fall photos you’d like to share with us? Please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Do you know who hit and killed Ryan Tsatsos?

Family of CMU student killed in hit-and-run makes desperate plea on 2nd anniversary, $10,000 reward offered

Two years after their son was killed in a Hit-and-Run accident, the Tsatsos family is making another plea for someone to come forward with information to help solve their case. 

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,500 cash reward and the Tsatsos family raised the amount by $7,500 for a total of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in the hit-and-run death of Ryan Tsatsos.

Just after midnight on Sunday morning, November 1, 2015, freshman Ryan Tsatsos, of Macomb, was hit by a vehicle while walking to his Central Michigan University residence hall in Mount Pleasant, Mich. 

The incident occurred on Crawford Road between Billabrail Street and Concourse Drive, south of the main campus. 

Police believe the vehicle is a dark metallic blue color. The vehicle could likely have front passenger side damage and potentially fender, windshield and hood damage.

If you have any info, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245) or visit www.crimestoppersofflint.com and submit a tip. You can also download their mobile app.

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