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Deputy Tom McCutcheon chosen as school resource officer

 

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Tom McCutcheon will be on the job 40 hours a week at Cedar Springs Public Schools next fall as the new school resource officer.

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Tom McCutcheon will be on the job 40 hours a week at Cedar Springs Public Schools next fall as the new school resource officer.

By Judy Reed

When students return to school in September, there will be a new face there to greet them. Deputy Tom McCutcheon was recently selected as the new school resource officer (SRO) for Cedar Springs Public Schools. The position is through a partnership with the Kent County Sheriff Department, which the Board of Education approved on June 6.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the KCSD Cedar Springs unit, interviews were held at the Cedar Springs Public Schools Administration Building on June 28, where eight members of the school had an opportunity to interview five candidates from the Sheriff Department for the position. As a result of the interviews, Deputy Tom McCutcheon was selected as the Cedar Springs School Resource Officer.

Deputy McCutcheon began his career with the Kent County Sheriff Department in 1993. During this time Deputy McCutcheon has gained extensive knowledge and experience in Community Policing. Deputy McCutcheon spent many years as a D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Instructor, speaking in many different school districts, including Cedar Springs.

“While teaching D.A.R.E., you were never at the same school two days in a row, but you still felt like you were part of something that helped kids change and was a good influence in their life,” noted McCutcheon.

The Post asked him why he wanted the SRO position in Cedar Springs. “I hope to be a positive influence to the young people there,” he explained. “A lot of people think of security, and students feeling safe. But it’s more. I want to be a part of the school. It’s like what being a community policing officer is; you try to be proactive. If there is criminal activity going on, and people look up to you and trust you, you can help reduce a lot of that.”

Deputy McCutcheon has a passion for serving kids and has had immense involvement in school and communities. He has served in the Comstock Park School District as a football and girls varsity softball coach. He started a local Boy Scout troop and established KOPS (Kids & Officers Productive Society, a program centered around helping disadvantaged youth build self-esteem to become productive students).

Deputy McCutcheon was recognized as the Kent County Sheriff Department Deputy of the Year in 2007, and School Officer of the year by the West Michigan Crime Prevention Association. He has also served as president of that same group.

The School Officer of the Year award was given to him for his work in the KOPS program. McCutcheon is proud of the work he did in that program. He said he had been working with the same young man over and over at East Kentwood’s alternative high school, who kept getting into trouble. He spoke with the principal, and they formed the program to help troubled youth get back on track. “Over the four years of the program, we had multiple grads go on to college or work; students go back to regular high school; and students that had no more involvement in crime,” he explained.

McCutcheon is excited to begin his new position in Cedar Springs in August, where he will be on campus 40 hours a week. “I am excited and looking forward to the challenge of getting to know them (the students) and them getting to know me. I’ll do what I can to help them succeed. It’s just another piece of the puzzle—me doing what I can to help them achieve their goals,” he said.

The position will be jointly funded by the school and the county. The Kent County Sheriff Department offered to fund 30 percent of the program. The outstanding cost to the district would be approximately $76,000, after the Sheriff Department’s contribution. The cost would cover wages and benefits for 40 hours per week for the deputy; all standard issued deputy equipment; a Kent County Sheriff car, fully equipped, fueled and maintained; and all police training and supervision.

“We look forward to our partnership with the Kent County Sherriff Department and a focus on school safety and security throughout our district,” said Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn. “We know through our surveys of staff and parents that they view safety and security as a priority for our CSPS and we do too! This initiative is just one way we are responding to that feedback. We now join many districts in Kent County in the SRO program and know it will serve us well.”

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Solon Fire holds badge pinning, service awards ceremony

 

Lt. Chris Paige promoted to Deputy Chief

The above photo shows the promotion of Chris Paige to Deputy Chief as the 4 bugle collar brass is pinned on his uniform by his father, Mike Paige.

The above photo shows the promotion of Chris Paige to Deputy Chief as the 4 bugle collar brass is pinned on his uniform by his father, Mike Paige.

The Solon Township Fire Department held a badge pinning and service awards ceremony at a special meeting of the Solon Township Board on June 29.

“This ceremony was an opportunity to recognize the efforts of the 21 men and women of Solon Fire Department who serve the community with integrity and pride,” explained Chief Jeff Drake. “The Mission of SFD is to protect lives, property and the environment with courage, dedication and excellent service.”

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the promotion of Lt. Chris Paige to Deputy Chief. According to Chief Drake’s recommendation letter, Lt. Paige is a 20-year veteran of the fire service. He is a 10-year member of SFD, serving as Lieutenant for the last 5 years, and full time since January 2015.  “Lt. Paige has shown leadership ability in his current position. He will consistently and routinely manage and implement the Incident Management System of an emergency scene efficiently. He is by far the single member who has demonstrated the desire, commitment, and dedication to help execute the success of SFD,” wrote Drake.

Seven new recruits recently completed the MFFTC FF I & II exam. From L to R: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson. Not pictured: Brian Stevens.

Seven new recruits recently completed the MFFTC FF I & II exam. From L to R: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson. Not pictured: Brian Stevens.

Seven new recruits also received their department badges at the ceremony: April Zachow, Matt Schievink, Don Cornell, Taylor Hunt, Zachary Grutter, Jessica Ingerson and Brian Stevens.

These badges were earned by successfully completing the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council Fire Fighter I & II curriculum at the Plainfield Fire Department Academy from September 2015 to April 2016. The course included 268 hours of instruction and required a twice weekly attendance. “This group represents a dedicated and motivated group of individuals capable and prepared to serve the community in their public safety role with courage, dedication, and integrity,” commented Chief Drake.

Service Awards were given to (from L to R): Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years. Not Pictured: Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

Service Awards were given to (from L to R): Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years. Not Pictured: Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

Several members were recognized and received service awards for their time served at SFD. Chris Paige 10 years, Doug Gabrielse 19 years, Dan Spangenberg, 10 years, Bryan Russell 10 years, Casey Bennett 5 years, Craig Gunderson 5 years, and Pastor Josh Putnam, 5 years.

These members represent the veteran side of the department. “These members will fulfill  the role as mentor and brother to the new recruits with knowledge and wisdom,  and instill the FD tradition of service with integrity and pride,” said Chief Drake.

Congratulations to all of you! We appreciate the work you do!

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Library groundbreaking, concert, sidewalk sales

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It’s going to be a busy weekend in downtown Cedar Springs. The Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Community Building Development Team to bring some exciting family events to this year’s Christmas in July sidewalk sales event, including a free movie in the park, the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library at Main and W. Maple Street, and a free concert at the site where the new amphitheater will be built (near the new library).

The weekend starts with a free movie in Morley Park, concessions, and other activities Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. This year’s movie will be the Christmas movie Elf. Some businesses in downtown Cedar Springs will have Christmas in July sidewalk sales on Saturday July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Then at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, will be the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets, near the Fire Station. Everyone is encouraged to attend and celebrate this milestone.

The Community Building Development Team is also hosting a free concert performed by the band Mane Street, on July 9, from 6-10 p.m., at the site of the future amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs. This is the lot where Cedar Springs began in the 1850’s, and is also in the same area where the new library is being built. There currently is a flowing well on the site, featuring one of the springs that Cedar Springs is named for. The address for the concert is 37 W. Maple Street, and is just west of the Fire Station and north of the White Pine Trail staging area. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be ready to hear some good music!

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Child hit by car

 

An 11-year-old received minor injuries last week when he darted out in front of a car on 18 Mile Road, according to police.

On Thursday, June 30, police and rescue were called to a personal injury accident at 18 Mile and Fieldstone Meadow in Nelson Township.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, an 11-year-old boy was walking with his babysitter on the side of the road and ran out in front a vehicle that was traveling northbound on 18 Mile, between the curves, near Fieldstone Meadow.

The driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old Cedar Springs male, stated the 11-year-old suddenly ran out in front of his vehicle. He estimated his speeds to be approximately 15 mph. A witness at the scene also stated the driver was driving slowly and the 11-year-old ran out in front of the vehicle.

The boy was treated at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for minor injuries.

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DNR urges caution with fireworks, campfires this weekend

To promote the safe enjoyment of campfires and fireworks this holiday weekend, the Department of Natural Resources reminds people to properly extinguish campfires by dousing hot embers with water and stirring until cool. This is Sleepy Hollow State Park. Photo from DNR.

To promote the safe enjoyment of campfires and fireworks this holiday weekend, the Department of Natural Resources reminds people to properly extinguish campfires by dousing hot embers with water and stirring until cool. This is Sleepy Hollow State Park. Photo from DNR.

Warm weather and family gatherings can make the Fourth of July a fun time with great memories. But before celebrating, please remember that some areas of Michigan, especially the southern portions of the Lower Peninsula and eastern Upper Peninsula, are experiencing very dry conditions.

The state fire marshal, in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, currently is evaluating the situation. At this point no recommendations have been made to the governor on any state action regarding burn or fireworks bans for certain high-risk areas. Statewide bans are not being considered at this time. Anyone planning on doing any open burning or lighting of fireworks will need to check with local units of governments on any regulations or ordinances that may be in effect.

“The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is a great time for folks to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, but it is also a time to remember wildfire safety,” said Bryce Avery, DNR fire prevention specialist. “You can have fun celebrating while being safe and making sure your property and our natural resources are protected. The best way to avoid the risk of starting a wildfire this holiday weekend is to attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.”

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to an average of 19,700 fires caused by fireworks each year. For those who are planning to use fireworks, the DNR suggests keeping these safety tips in mind:

  • Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt gold. Always place sparklers in a bucket of water when they have gone out; when thrown on the ground, sparklers can cause grass fires.
  • Point fireworks away from homes and keep them away from brush, grass and leaves.
  • Chinese lanterns can stay airborne for 20 minutes and reach heights up to 1 mile high before coming down in unplanned locations. The open flame has the potential to start fires.
  • Soak all fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.

Avery said that in addition to fireworks safety, folks should keep the following things in mind when enjoying their campfires:

  • Use fire rings in non-flammable areas when possible.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep a water source and shovel nearby.
  • Place roasting sticks in a bucket of water when not in use.
  • Completely extinguish fires before turning in for the night. Douse with water, stir and douse again to make sure no embers are left.

“Fireworks and campfires are a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July, but you’ll enjoy the holidays much more knowing that your family and your property are safe,” he said. “Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Remember to check with your local units of governments for regulations or ordinances that may apply specifically to your area.”

For more fire prevention information and safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires

 

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Woman charged in husband’s death

Martin and Glenna Duram

Martin and Glenna Duram

It took over a year, but Glenna Duram, 48, was arrested and arraigned last week in Newaygo County’s 78th District Court for the murder of her husband, Martin Duram, 45. She has been charged with first degree homicide and felony firearms for the crime, which took place in Ensley Township, in May 2015.

According to the original police report, firefighters responded to a garage fire on 128th Street, near Balsam, on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. A neighbor reportedly asked firefighters to check on some neighbors, and when they did, they found a man and a woman inside the home, and apparently deceased.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Hart Post responded to the scene, and after making the scene safe, determined that the woman, Glenna Duram, was seriously injured, but still breathing. She had two gunshot wounds to the head. Martin Duram reportedly had been shot five times. Glenna was transported to the hospital.

On the following day, when Martin’s three children (from a previous marriage) were going through things in the house, they found a manila envelope with suicide letters written to Glenna’s children and ex-husband. They said she was sorry, but didn’t admit to killing Martin.

According to Martin’s ex-wife, Christina Keller, Martin and Glenna were married in 2005. She said that after a few years of them being married, Martin’s health began to decline, due to a car accident he had in 1995. She said that Glenna became his caregiver in 2010, and began managing all of the money and the bills. About two weeks before the murder, a family member called Martin and told him that his house was in the paper in foreclosure, and was to be auctioned off. He reportedly got a copy of the paper and showed it to Glenna, who said it was a misprint and that she would call the paper. However, papers reportedly strewn around at the scene of the crime showed it was indeed going to be put up for auction. According to MLive.com, the family’s estate attorney reported that the auction was to take place May 13, the same day firefighters discovered the Durams. It was estimated that payments had not been made in a year.

Keller told the Post she does not think that Martin knew his house was in foreclosure. “Six or seven months prior he had just built a very nice deck on the back of that house, and a few months before that he had had a nice man cave with all his mounts built as an addition to his garage. Just two days before he was killed, he was painting his bathroom ceiling, so nothing tells us that Marty knew his house was in foreclosure, and everything points to her trying to keep this a secret,” she said.

Keller added that Martin had surgery in February, and another surgery for a hernia on April 31, just two weeks before his murder. “He was pretty weakened, out of shape and in pain, and unable to protect himself,” she explained. She obviously got him at his weakest moment.”

If Glenna Duram is convicted on the homicide and felony firearms charges, the maximum penalty is life in prison without parole.

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Library groundbreaking next Saturday, July 9

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Years of plans and dreams are finally coming true—Cedar Springs is really going to have a new, much needed library building! The Library Board chose the contractor at their June 27 meeting, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. near the Cedar Springs Fire Station, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Street. Everyone is invited. See the ad on page 11 and watch the Library website and Facebook Page for activities being planned for this event.

You may have read in The Post or The Bugle that over 900 people of all ages have signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program. This growth, along with the significantly increased use of the Library in general, has taken place in spite of not having adequate room. Your Library Staff is persistent regardless of the obstacles.

The current library building has only 2,016 square feet. The new library will have 10,016 square feet, a well-deserved treat to the citizens of Cedar Springs and surrounding communities.

Library Director Donna Clark is excited about what this groundbreaking means for Cedar Springs. “I have the distinct privilege of being the Library Director of our community library at this historic moment of groundbreaking, but I do not stand alone,” she said. “I’m only one, standing on the foundation prepared from the early 1800s to this present day, by a long line of educators, professionals, town folk, volunteers, and enthusiastic people of vision and hope. I celebrate with you who have served your local library as library employees and board members, and with our great City, who is walking this journey with us. I love it that we are building a whole City block of beauty and culture for future generations.”

There are new developments every week because the Library Board and several committees are meeting regularly to accept the bids of contractors and subcontractors, to choose materials, and to keep up with all of the details that require timely attention. “One of the most significant contributions of time during the past two years has come from Duane McIntyre, who will continue to serve as the Project Construction Manager at no charge. This represents a huge savings to the donors and citizens of our communities,” said Community Building Development Team Chair Kurt Mabie. “Many others have also contributed hundreds of hours to reach this milestone so that this dream could come true. Thank you to everyone! These gifts of time are extraordinarily meaningful and are greatly appreciated.”

A finance committee, made up of a good mix of local, respected professionals, is keeping track of the donations that are being made to the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and the Cedar Springs Public Library. Donations for the new building and its contents are still very much needed and greatly appreciated.

This new library building is just one facility planned for the Heart of Cedar Springs, thanks to the CBDT and the Cedar Springs City Council and Planning Commission. They have all brought their influence to bear on raising funds and negotiating with governmental entities, as well as making sure the right people are available to support the many needs of such a large undertaking. Kent County is a wonderful place to live, thanks to a history of good leadership and smart planning. What is happening in Cedar Springs fits perfectly into the scheme of friendly, up-and-coming communities throughout Kent County. The value of these projects to the residents and businesses of Cedar Springs, and to all of northern Kent County, cannot be overestimated.

The Heart of Cedar Springs will include the following projects that are critical to the continued growth of Cedar Springs.

A library, designed and developed as a place to gather, a place where educational opportunities can be extended, a place where a community can meet, grow and learn together.

An amphitheater where outdoor plays, musicals, movies, concerts and more will fill the summer days and evenings for residents, as well as a place of respite for White Pine Trail and North Country Trail enthusiasts.

Rain Gardens and a Sculpture are a part of the continual beautification of Cedar Creek and its historic flowing spring, which will provide multiple opportunities for several school districts to collaborate with science experiments, and participate in research that can benefit Michigan water way protection and development. The new library will be a great source and meeting place for these classes.

A Boardwalk and Bridges along the Creek, initially running from Main Street to the White Pine Trail but eventually spanning through to Riggle Park and 17 Mile Road to be enjoyed by walkers, nature enthusiasts, and fishermen.

A Community Center that can be used as a FEMA crisis center, as well as provide a beautiful venue for wedding and retirement receptions, and many other community and personal celebrations and gatherings.

A Recreation and Fitness Center where the Parks and Recreation Department, various other recreational and fitness organizations, schools, and individual residents can focus on health and wellness as a community.

All of north Kent County will benefit and appreciate these facilities and open spaces. The value they bring to the Cedar Springs Community will be a legacy for years to come. Please get involved now to be part of this legacy.

Tax deductible donations can be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to treasurer, Sue Mabie, 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319.

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Green team upgrades rain gardens

This group of students did some upgrading on the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week.

This group of students did some upgrading on the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week.

N-Green-team1A Green team of high school students working with Trout Unlimited did some work upgrading the rain gardens at CS Manufacturing last week (located at Fifth and Cherry Streets).

This group of students is spending the summer learning about the Rogue River and creative ways to manage its major pollutant—stormwater runoff—with green infrastructure. During their four weeks, the students will be working on public and private lands to install and maintain rain gardens, bioswales, and other native landscaping techniques in Rockford, Cedar Springs, and Sparta.

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Christmas in July brings family fun, savings

See the Mane St. band at a free concert at the site of the future amphitheater on July 9.

See the Mane St. band at a free concert at the site of the future amphitheater on July 9.

The Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Community Building Development Team to bring some exciting family events to this year’s Christmas in July sidewalk sales event, including a free movie in the park, the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library, and a free concert at the site where the new amphitheater will be built.

Christmas in July is an annual Chamber of Commerce event, which takes place the weekend of the second Saturday of July. The weekend starts with a free movie in Morley Park, concessions, and other activities Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. This year’s movie will be the Christmas movie Elf. Some businesses in downtown Cedar Springs will have Christmas in July sidewalk sales on Saturday July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Then at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, will be the groundbreaking for the new Cedar Springs Library at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets, near the Fire Station. Everyone is encouraged to attend and celebrate this milestone.

The Community Building Development Team is also hosting a free concert performed by the band Mane Street, on July 9, from 6-10 p.m., at the site of the future amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs. This is the lot where Cedar Springs began in the 1850’s, and is also in the same area where the new library is being built. There currently is a flowing well on the site, featuring one of the springs that Cedar Springs is named for. The address for the concert is 37 W. Maple Street, and is just west of the Fire Station and north of the White Pine Trail staging area. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be ready to hear some good music!

For details on the weekend and to see the ads download the link below:

ChristmasInJuly-sf.pdf

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The Post travels to Tucson

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The Post recently traveled to Tucson, Arizona with Darlene (Towns) Wirtz, of Ionia, to visit her sister Jean (Towns) Peterson. Jean and Darlene are graduates of Cedar Springs High School, and both were Red Flannel Queens. Darlene, pictured on the left, was RF Queen in 1949, and Jean, on the right, was the 1948 RF Queen.

Thank you, Darlene and Jean, for including us in your visit!

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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