web analytics

Archive | News

The Post travels to Ireland


John and Deborah McGann, of Courtland Township, traveled to the town of Doolin, in county Clair, Ireland, and found McGanns Pub along the way! How cool is that? Thanks so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

Posted in Featured, News, The Post TravelsComments (0)

Library celebrates end of summer reading program


Photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Public Library celebrated the end of its summer reading program, Universe of Stories, with its annual carnival in Morley park on Wednesday, July 31. Between 850-1,000 kids and adults converged on Morley Park to get free snow cones, popcorn and water; play on the water slides, bounce houses, and playground equipment; meet deputies from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, including horse from their mounted unit; get sprayed by the Cedar Springs Fire Department; get their face painted; and play a multitude of games in an effort to get their name in a drawing for a prize. 

The Cedar Springs Historical Museum, which is on the grounds of Morley Park, was also open and counted as one of six activities kids could do to get their card stamped or signed for the drawing. Library Director Donna Clark said that museum representatives told her that about 300 people toured the museum.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Tri County offers “no tax increase” bond proposal


By Judy Reed

Voters in the Tri County Area Schools district have a chance to make some improvements in their district without paying any more in taxes than they currently do. 

They will vote Tuesday, August 6, on whether to approve a $37,020,000 bond proposal at 4.381 mills, which is what they currently pay. The proposal would consolidate all students K-12 on one campus, which means building a new K-5 elementary building. A community auxiliary gym and walking paths would provide activity areas for students and community members. One campus will improve availability of student services such as a nurse, counselor, and social worker.

A high school addition will serve a dual purpose as a performance space for choir, band and theatre, and as a cafeteria.

Modern science labs provide opportunity for hands-on-learning. All classrooms will be updated with new technology, furniture, paint, and flooring. Bathroom facilities will be improved and upgraded to meet current codes.

Computers and equipment for students will be updated. Air conditioning will reduce hot temps in classes and improve safety by removing the need to prop open doors and windows. All windows will get safety reinforcement tinting.

The previous bond proposals were defeated twice in six months, but officials went back and sharpened their pencils and took a look at property values and decided they could do what they proposed last May but without levying any extra taxes.

“Due to the increase in property values in our area, and a reduction in the bond interest rates, the millage rates have dropped, giving us the opportunity to generate the same amount of money with fewer mills,” it says on their website.

Currently residents pay 4.381 mills: 2.881 mills in current debt, and 1.5 mills in sinking fund. In 2020 the current debt falls to 0.301 and there is 1.5 mills in sinking fund and the rest in the new bond issue. In 2021, the whole 4.381 mills will be all the new bond issue. 

The district said they are not planning to ask for another sinking fund, and they understand that if the bond does not pass, residents would pay lower taxes when the other debt falls off. However major repairs that may be needed will have to be taken out of the school’s general fund, taking dollars away from classroom programming. General fund budgets do include maintenance and minor repair budgets, but do not cover major repairs that may be needed.

This could lead to increased class sizes, reduction in staff; elimination of busing; and reduction or elimination of extra curricular activities.

For more details and information, go to http://tcbond.info/

Posted in NewsComments (0)

City Hall Corner


By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Emergency plans

These past several months have brought Cedar Springs two major storm events, which cut electric power for multiple days each time and wreaked havoc on our trees.  In both February and July’s storms, Cedar Springs had 50+ mph winds and extreme temperatures, making the loss of electricity that much harder to bear and potentially dangerous for some people.  During the February storm, the City worked with the City Impact community center to setup an emergency shelter for those in need. Following the July storm, I saw many people working together to stay safe and clean up together. It was inspiring to see the City really pull together and for neighbors to be helping neighbors.  

During both storms, City Hall staff continued to work using emergency generator power but had no heat or cooling, bringing the temperature in City Hall into the 40’s and upper 80’s respectively.   In February, the fire department ran on generators that fire fighters brought from home and propane heating and the Library was forced to shut completely due to lack of power.  During the power outages, the DPW staff checked the generator powered water wells, water tower and wastewater treatment plant hourly to ensure that they all continued to operate normally.

The new fire station, planned for Spring of 2020, is intended to add a much needed public emergency shelter for use by the citizens of Cedar Springs.  The new fire station will have a built in generator and heating and cooling that can operate on generator power.  The new fire station will also have space available for overnight emergency shelter and should be able to provide hot showers and food to those most in need during an emergency.  The City is also planning to install a generator at the Library building, which should make the building able to operate and be available for additional emergency shelter during a loss of power and will be converting City Hall’s heating and cooling systems to operate on generator power, which they cannot currently do.

While the City is working to make public facilities better able to handle an emergency situation, you can put together an emergency plan and emergency kit for your family, friends and neighbors.  Your plans should address how to stay informed, where to shelter and evacuate if needed and how to communicate.  Your emergency kit should address the needs and wants of each member of your household, including pets.  Also, check in with your friends and neighbors to see how you can help each other in an emergency; take special care to help friends and neighbors with special needs and the elderly.  You can get help planning for an emergency at  www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Woman injured in Spencer Township crash


A 59-year-old Cedar Springs woman suffered serious injuries this week when her car left the road and hit a tree in Spencer Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they responded to the area of 18 Mile and Meddler Ave NE about 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, on a single vehicle pin-in crash. Police said the vehicle was headed eastbound on 18 Mile Rd through the curves west of the intersection, when it crossed the centerline and ran off the north side of the road into a tree.

The driver of the vehicle, a 59-year-old woman from Cedar Springs, was extricated from the vehicle and flown to the hospital via Aero Med. The initial report showed that she had head, chest and leg injuries, but was talking to Aero Med personnel as she was being transported. 

Spencer Township Fire Department, Montcalm Township Fire Department, and Rockford Ambulance also assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at the scene. 

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash at this time.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Police seek armed robber

The Michigan State Police are searching for the suspect who robbed the Trufant Gas and Party Store Wednesday morning, July 31.

According to the MSP Lakeview Post, Montcalm County Central Dispatch advised Troopers about 9:20 a.m. that an armed robbery had occurred at the store on 1101 S. Kohler Rd, Trufant.

A witness described the suspect as a heavy-set white male wearing gray sweatpants, a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, and wearing a bandana as a mask. The man presented a black bolt-action hunting rifle with a scope and a green sling while demanding cash. He carried a light blue bag, which he used to take an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect was seen driving a black 2008-2012 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 full-size pickup truck, with extended cab, no topper, “4×4” written on the side, chrome front bumper, plastic missing from the top of the tailgate, and damage to the front right bumper.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Montcalm Central Dispatch at (989) 831- 5253 or the MSP Lakeview Post at (989) 352-8444.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Recreation program hires new director

by Judy Reed

The North Kent Community Enrichment Board of Trustees (formerly Cedar Springs Parks and Recreation) voted unanimously Tuesday evening, July 30, to hire Jaime Gunderson as their part-time new director.

Jaime Gunderson is the new director for North Kent Community Enrichment.

Gunderson, of Solon Township, will replace long-time director Amanda Gerhardt, who recently resigned due to a career change. According to a statement from the board, Gunderson was selected from a strong pool of talented applicants.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” she remarked.

Gunderson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and a Master’s degree in Sports administration and events. She worked in Parks and Recreation for 1-1/2 years with the City of Walker and spent 10 years as Sports Director for Special Olympics. She is also an instructor at Grand Rapids Community College in the Exercise Science Department. She teaches recreation classes, camping and canoeing, CPR/First aid, swimming, and has also taught basketball and soccer.
Some students will recognize her as a teacher of early middle college at Cedar Springs High School. She teaches the class “Intro to college” during both first and second hour to sophomores.
The Post asked her why she wanted to get involved as the Director of NKCE. “The biggest reason was hearing that they were in financial trouble and the possibility that they might shut down,” she explained. “It’s my community and the last thing I’d want to see is the program shut down. With my background, I thought maybe I could step in with some fresh ideas. I have the time, resources, and knowledge to do it.”
Gunderson will work up to 25 hours at an hourly rate of $25 per hour. She said that she would start in the position mid-August.

Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, and a Masters in Sports administration and events. She worked in Parks and Recreation for 1-1/2 years with the City of Walker, and spent 10 years as Sports Director for Special Olympics. She is also an instructor in at Grand Rapids Community College in the Exercise Science Department. She teaches recreation classes, camping and canoeing, CPR/First aid, swimming, and has also taught basketball and soccer.

Some students will recognize her as a teacher of early middle college at Cedar Springs High School. She teaches the class “Intro to college” during first and second hours to sophomores.

The Post asked her why she wanted to get involved as the Director of NKCE. “The biggest reason was hearing that they were in financial trouble and the possibility that they might shut down,” she explained. “It’s my community and the last thing I’d want to see is the program shut down. With my background, I thought maybe I could step in with some fresh ideas. I have the time, the resources, and the knowledge.”

Gunderson will work up to 25 hours at an hourly rate of $25 per hour. She said that she would start in the position mid-August.

Posted in NewsComments (2)

Man arrested in homicide

A 30-year-old Howard City man has been arrested for the death of a Coral man over the weekend.

Ryan Griffee

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, they responded to a home in the 16000 block of McBride Road, in Maple Valley Township, on Saturday, July 27, at 11:02 p.m., where they found the victim unresponsive. Troopers performed CPR on the victim until relieved by EMS. After all attempts at resuscitation were exhausted, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim, a 57-year-old man from Coral, identified as Ricky West, had been severely beaten and died from his injuries.

On Sunday, July 28, police arrested Ryan Keith Griffee, 30, of Howard City, without incident, at his parents’ residence in Howard City. He was arraigned Monday, July 29m in the 64B District Court on a charge of Open Murder and was given a $500,000 cash bond.  He is being held in the Montcalm County Jail.

The MSP was assisted at the scene by Montcalm EMS and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Weekend storms classified as derechos

By Judy Reed

The early Saturday morning storms that caused residents to lose power for as many as four days, have officially been classified as derechos by NOAA and Storm Prediction Center, according to Fox 17 meteorologist Kevin Craig. 

A derecho is a long-lived windstorm with winds of 58 mph minimum, and usually more.  The one we just have swept across five states. Wind gusts of 60-70 mph were measured as the line went through Muskegon, Ottawa, and Kent counties. The hardest hit area was near Jenison, MI where an NWS Damage Survey determined peak wind gusts broached 80 mph in a microburst. 

The most recent derecho before this was on May 31, 1998 when straight line winds swept across the area, taking down trees everywhere.

The storms on July 19-20 occurred on the hottest days of the summer, when the heat index was in the 100s, and left more than 220,000 people without power, according to Consumers Energy. The hardest hit areas were in Kent County, where over 50,000 lost power. There were also 2,800 downed wires. CE called for help from out of state to get the power back up and running. 

They also went to various areas in Kent County to provide free ice, bottled water, and free ice cream bars. They were in Cedar Springs, at the American Legion, on Monday, July 22 from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. By about 3 p.m., hundreds of people had already stopped in to pick up the free water, ice, and ice cream. 

“I am beyond grateful that they did this. We are now on day 4 with no real power just a generator to run our fridge and fan,” Shauna Smith-Grindle posted on our Facebook page. “Continuing to be as patient as we can knowing they are working around the clock. Thank you to the amazing team they had out yesterday packing vehicles with ice and water and ice cream. God bless you all.”

Saturday morning, July 20, showed trees and limbs down all across the area. A woman who lives in the four-plex at Second and Beech Street said she heard the storm come up and walked out on to her porch. She watched as a huge tree in the yard came tumbling down. We also received photos of trees down at Pine Lake and on Oak Street in Sand Lake. The sign at the corner of First and Oak Street for The Springs Church in Cedar Springs was blown over. There was also a report of the scoreboard at Skinner Field being damaged, but we haven’t confirmed that. 

The City is providing a special storm brush drop off at Morley Park this weekend where residents can bring their brush. Must show residency. See ad on page 13.

Many of the businesses on Main Street had generators after last winter’s ice storm, and power came back relatively quickly to that area. However, certain parts of the area, including the west side of town and areas out in Solon Township, did not receive their power back until Tuesday.


Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Fire burns mobile home

A firefighter works to put out the fire in this mobile home Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

An early afternoon fire destroyed the back end of a mobile home and took the lives of two pets living there Monday.

According to Solon Township’s Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, they were dispatched to the fire on Hemlock Avenue in White Creek Country Estates at 1:36 p.m. Monday, July 22. Surrounding fire departments that supplied mutual aid included Algoma, Cedar Springs, and Sand Lake. Rockford Ambulance was there on standby.

Four fire departments responded to the blaze at White Creek Country Estates Monday afternoon. Post photo by J. Reed.

Paige said that when they arrived, they found heavy fire coming from the rear of the residence. There was no one home at the time. Neighbors told the Post that the woman who owned the home was at work. Her two cats unfortunately did not make it out of the home.

Paige said it appeared that the fire started in the rear of the mobile home, but the cause is still under investigation.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

advert
Kent Theatre
Advertising Rates Brochure
Cedar Car Co

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!