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Creative Technologies Kindergarten Teacher receives award

Meredith Lange of the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan presented Lauren Bostic with the Educator of the Year Award.

Meredith Lange of the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan presented Lauren Bostic with the Educator of the Year Award.

The CTA team of teachers supporting the kindergarten class and two students with Down syndrome. (L to R) Sarah Classen, special education teacher; Lauren Bostic, kindergarten teacher and award recipient; Grace Middlebrook, student; Adyson Merritt, student; Susan VanEnk, teacher aide.

The CTA team of teachers supporting the kindergarten class and two students with Down syndrome. (L to R) Sarah Classen, special education teacher; Lauren Bostic, kindergarten teacher and award recipient; Grace Middlebrook, student; Adyson Merritt, student; Susan VanEnk, teacher aide.

In recognition of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM) recognized and honor Lauren Bostic, kindergarten teacher at Creative Technologies Academy (CTA) in Cedar Springs, with West Michigan’s Educator of the Year Award.

“We are thrilled to present this award to Lauren. Her commitment to serving the needs of her students is exemplified both in and out of the classroom, said Executive Director of DSAWM, Melissa Werkman. “Focused on recognizing teachers who include students with Down syndrome in learning opportunities in classrooms with typically developing peers, enhancing the lives of students through educational practices and serving as role models for their fellow educators, this award was initiated to bring attention to the many teachers in our service area, such as Lauren, who work tirelessly every day to improve the learning environment for students with special needs.”

Katie Merritt, whose seven-year-old daughter, Adyson, has Down syndrome and has been in Lauren’s class for two years, nominated Bostic. In her nomination, she shared that Bostic takes the time to learn methods that the different therapists are using and incorporates those for her entire class to use. For instance, her students do not always stand in a straight line and walk to their destination, but instead, they incorporate various gross motor skills and walk like a bear or a crab in order to use different muscles and complement what the therapists are doing. Merritt also noted the extra attention Lauren invested during the summer by continuing to meet with Adyson on a regular basis.

“We all know our children hold amazing potential, but without the help of great teachers and staff, that potential can never be achieved. We are so thankful for everything that Miss Bostic, Mrs. VanEnk and all the staff at CTA have done to support our children,” commented Merritt.

CTA held a presentation on March 21 for its kindergarten through eighth grade students to recognize Lauren and also to bring awareness to Down syndrome.

“Miss Bostic has been a dedicated teacher at Creative Technologies Academy since 2008. Her compassion and skills in working with young children are phenomenal,” said Dan George, CTA Superintendent. “She has a wonderful ability to work with students with special needs and she is devoted to helping her students succeed to their maximum ability.”

 

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Nobody Wins the $1,000,000!

money

Nobody came forward to point out the misspelled word in our last issue. Too bad. We would have awarded a large cash prize, probably $1,000,000.

Don’t start looking for it now. It’s too late for that. Just let this be a lesson to you. Don’t procrastinate on important stuff.

Actually, The Post staff is rather glad nobody found the word and won the prize. We’ve had a great time spending the money on ourselves this week. Lavish Parties, expensive clothes, fast boats. You should see the Llamborgini sports car parked in front of our office.

Maybe we’ll misspell another word some time. Be on the lookout.

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Whose pothole is it anyway?

N-April-Fools-PotHoleA dispute over legal boundaries has left motorists dodging a crater in the middle of the road and no one to appeal to.

A pothole at White Creek and Shady Lane has been steadily growing this winter, in part due to an underground spring. The other reason is lack of road maintenance. And that won’t be remedied anytime soon, because the pothole is—quite literally—in no man’s land.

With road budgets dwindling and projects being scaled back, the city and townships began looking at critical areas to repair. While looking at this particular intersection, the city discovered that due to a legal technicality, it was not included in the 425 agreement with Solon Township and therefore not in the city’s jurisdiction.

“We’ve been maintaining that intersection for years,” said a city spokesperson. “But we can’t afford to use taxpayer money to repair something that doesn’t belong to us.”

Solon Township disagrees with that perspective. “They should honor the spirit of the agreement,” they said. “There is nothing in that agreement that shows it belongs to us either.”

In the meantime, drivers are getting flat tires and bottoming out in the hole. “It’s really bad when it snows because you can’t see the hole,” said one driver, who has had his car in the shop three times due to the pothole.  “It’s ridiculous that they can’t fix it. Does someone have to get hurt?”

Kent County was contacted to see if they could help repair the road, but they said they don’t have the money for anything north of 14 Mile Road.

A new community group called the “Shady Lane pothole initiative” is looking for donations of cash to help solve the problem. They plan to hold a meeting on Tuesday, April 1 at a local tavern to discuss whether to use the cash to fill the hole or use the money to pay for their drinks.

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Corrections officers arrested on drug charges

Brian Tennant

Brian Tennant

Todd VanDoorne

Todd VanDoorne

Mike Frederick

Mike Frederick

Tim Bernhardt

Tim Bernhardt

A call last week from a local U.S. Post Office about a suspicious package ended in the arrest of one sergeant and three corrections officers—all 20-year-plus veterans of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

According to Undersheriff Jon Hess and Sheriff Larry Stelma, the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) was called on March 17, 2014, to inspect a suspicious package. The investigation led to a suspect responsible for the package, which contained marijuana. Investigators discovered the suspects were making and/or in possession of a large quantity of marijuana extract called “marijuana butter.”

The four suspects arrested are Kent County Sheriff Department Corrections Officers: Corrections Sergeant Tim Bernhardt, a 22-year veteran, charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Conspiracy to Deliver/Manufacture a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Mike Frederick, 24-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance; Corrections Officer Todd VanDoorne, 22-year veteran charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Maintaining a Drug House; Corrections Officer Brian Tennant, a 20-year veteran charged with Delivery/Manufacture Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The suspects were arraigned on March 21, 2014, at the 63rd District Court in front of Judge Servaas. Bond was set at $2,000.00, and the employees were placed on administrative leave.

According to Sheriff Stelma, the Sheriff Department did a comprehensive internal investigation as a result of the arrests. Four additional Correctional Officers were placed on paid administrative leave and were administered drug testing to exclude their involvement in criminal activity. Their test results were negative and those four Corrections Officers were cleared of criminal wrong-doing and have been returned to full duty.

They believe the original four officers arrested were acting alone and that no other offices were involved in the criminal activity.

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Final candidates for superintendent

red hawkAfter interviewing five candidates for the Superintendent position last week, the Cedar Springs Board of Education narrowed down their choice to two candidates–Assistant Superintentdent David Cairy, and Laura VanDuyne, executive director of a special education consortium in Concord, California.

Final interviews will be on Wednesday, March 26, in the Hilltop Boardroom, with Cairy at 6 p.m. and VanDuyne at 7:30 p.m.

On Monday evening, March 24,  the Board will do “site” visits to get a better idea of each candidate. Each candidate will select a team of people that they work with (administrators, staff, parents) to be present to be interviewed by the board. The board will ask those people questions to get a better snapshot of the candidate. Since VanDuyne is from California, her team will interviewed via Skype. Cairy’s team will be interviewed at 5 p.m. and VanDuyne’s at 6 p.m. Both are open to the public.

Final details of the process will be outlined by the board at their regular meeting, which follows at 7 p.m.

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Go ahead given on recall petitions

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Cedar Springs resident Mark Laws can begin collecting the signatures he needs to recall City Council members Ashley Bremmer and Patricia Troost. The two councilors had 10 days to appeal the decision of the Kent County Election Commission, who approved the language on the petitions 2-1. But they opted not to appeal this time, and are instead leaving it in the hands of the voters.

The recall petition language reads:

1) On July 11, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patrica Troost voted to go into a closed session, to hear complaints against council member Truesdale. The Open Meetings Act 267, 15.268, 8a allows for a closed session if it is requested by the person to be disciplined or reprimanded. Council member Truesdale made no such request.

2.  On November 14, 2013 Ashley Bremmer/Patricia Troost voted to change the city logo and tagline. For many years it has been procedure of the council to not take action on an item not previously on agenda for public input and comment. This change in the logo and tagline was not presented to the public for input or comment before the change was made.

While Bob Truesdale voted with the rest of the council to go into closed session for that July 11 meeting to hear complaints against him by the council, he says he was unaware of his rights. During a special meeting in December, he alluded to the previous meeting and noted that it was illegal for the council not to explain to him when they took him into closed session that he could call it off anytime. “Some of you really pounded on me,” he said, “and I said nothing in my defense.”

At  last Thursday’s City Council meeting, the council voted 6-1 to authorize City Manager Thad Taylor and their attorney to investigate whether anything illegal did occur regarding the July meeting. An outside agency will need to investigate the matter.

The second complaint on the petition refers to the new logo for the City of Cedar Springs, and the complaint is that the public did not get to see or comment on the logo before it was voted on.

According to Kent County Elections Director Sue deStiguer, the recall law has changed drastically, and the Cedar Springs recall will be the first test of the law since it went into effect in January.

The language on the petitions is good for 6 months from the date it was approved—March 7. However, the signatures (170 of them) must be gathered within a 60-day window. It used to be 90 days. “Any signature older than 60 days is automatically stricken,” explained deStiguer.  The amount of signatures needed is based on 25 percent of the votes cast in the last presidential election.

Another change is that there will be no justification or explanation from the defendant (the council members) on the petition. The language will be as you see above.

A local recall can now only go on a May or November ballot, where previously it could go on the February or August ballot.

The ballot will also look differently. It will say recall election partial term ending, and the two candidates will automatically be on the ballot as running to fill that term. And that may be confusing for some people. “If the voter wants them to complete the term, they vote for them,” she explained.

 

 

 

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Pollock brothers named honorary grand marshals for festival

Bill (left) and Bob (right) Pollock are honorary grand marshals of this year’s Red Flannel Festival.

Bill (left) and Bob (right) Pollock are honorary grand marshals of this year’s Red Flannel Festival.

If there is a name other than Nina Babcock or Grace Hamilton that is closely associated with the original Red Flannel Day, it would have to be John (Jack) Pollock. He was the owner of the dry goods store that sold red flannels way back in 1936, when the writer at the New York Sun wrote that red flannels couldn’t be found anywhere. And so it would only be fitting that his two sons—William (Bill) and Bob Pollock—have been named honorary grand marshals for the 75th celebration.

Bill and Bob are the surviving sons of Jack and Ann Pollock, and grandsons of Pearl and William Pollock, the founders and operators of Pollock’s, The Original Red Flannel Store. Jack, Ann, and Pearl were all on the board of directors of the first Red Flannel Club, established in 1940. The directors of the club were chosen from those who were actively engaged in business in the community.

“This is such an important, historic year for the Festival, we wanted to honor the first families of the original Red Flannel Festival Board,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, Festival President.

Bill, Bob and their late older brother, John (Mac) grew up in Pollock’s Store.  In their house, Red Flannel Day was second only to Christmas. They helped build and rode on Red Flannel Day floats from the age of four. Bill and Bob have carried on that tradition by entering a Pollock’s float in the 2011 parade. They also recently purchased a license from Life Magazine to the full page color photo of their dad and a hundred school children dressed in red that appeared in Life Magazine on December 19, 1949. A framed copy of the photo was donated by Bill to the Cedar Springs Historical Society Museum in Morley Park where it is on display. Bill also narrated the “Under the Radar” television show for the RFF in 2012 and both are great advocates of the Festival.

Bill told the Post that they are thrilled to have this opportunity.

“The entire Pollock family is extremely grateful to the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors for designating us as Honorary Grand Marshals. Bob and I humbly accept this honor on behalf of the Red Flannel pioneers that preceded us including our grandparents, William and Pearl, our parents, Jack and Ann, our aunt, June Allchin and her sons, Skip and Mike…not to mention the hundreds of Red Flannel Town residents who worked at Pollock’s Store over its 60 year history such as Don Koster, Lil Meyers, Libby Hanna, Clara Gust, Spud Ensing, and many, many more. We are eagerly looking forward to participating in the 75th Diamond Anniversary Festival.”

Bill graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1963, the University of Notre Dame in 1967 and holds an MBA from the George Washington University.  He is a retired U.S Navy Captain and corporate vice president. He and his wife, Gisela, travel full-time in their motor home.

Bob attended Cedar Springs High School until he moved to Kalamazoo in 1966. He is a 1969 graduate of Monsignor Hackett High School where he lettered in football and tennis. Bob graduated from Western Michigan University in 1974. He is retired from a career in human resources and real estate/property management. He lives in Parchment, Michigan.

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Founders Day celebration next weekend

Music is back for this year’s Founders Day, along with several other events. Post photo by J. Reed.

Music is back for this year’s Founders Day, along with several other events. Post photo by J. Reed.

March 28-29

Cedar Springs was officially recognized as a village 143 years ago, on March 18, 1871. And that’s something worth celebrating.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce invites young and old alike to come out and help celebrate that special event with the second annual Founder’s Day weekend, March 28-29. There will be something for everyone!

The event kicks off Friday with a new addition—a children’s street fair from 4-7 p.m. at the tent on the corner of Main and Ash Streets. From 4 to 5:30 p.m. there will be music, a balloon man, and face painting; from 5:30 to 5:45 will be storytelling by Post editor Judy Reed; from 6 to 6:30 ventriloquist/magician Charles Mabie will entertain the kids. There will also be carnival games and other events going on during the entire three hours such as ring toss, beanbag toss, duck pond, bucket bonanza, crafts, a log cabin to play in, a real lumberjack, model trains, wooden train sets, and a petting zoo courtesy of Double K Farms and 4H.

Saturday has more in store. The Cedar Springs Public Library will host pioneer crafts and storytelling from 10 to 1 p.m. at the Library. The Cedar Springs Historical Museum will be open from 11 to 3 p.m., and host several different presentations at the museum as well.

392828_614001431948730_1727882393_nThe Saturday evening free concert is back at the Ash Street tent from 4-10 p.m. and all ages are welcome. This year’s concert features the bands Signal Trip and the Youz Guyz Band. Food will be available to purchase from The Grilling Company and will feature pulled pork, brisket, and sides. Beer (including a local craft beer) and hard ciders will also be available to purchase.

Chamber president Shawn Kiphart said that they called the future Cedar Springs Brewing Company first (a business coming to the area in the future) to see if they would be available to supply the beer, but they are not yet ready. “We look forward to using them at a future event,” he noted.

For questions about the event, call Kiphart at (616) 773-5126.

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Let the sun shine in

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We may be enjoying some much-need outdoor sunshine this week, but we are also celebrating sunshine of another kind. March 16-22 is being celebrated as “Sunshine Week” across the nation. Sunshine week is a week dedicated to shining a light on the importance of freedom of information, transparency and openness in government.

In this week’s paper, stories marked with a sunshine week emblem show that they were made possible through the Freedom of Information Act or Open Meetings Act. We hope this will bring awareness to how much we depend on an open, honest government.

It is important that citizens participate in our local government meetings and exercise their right to know. As responsible citizens working to keep our community strong, healthy and vibrant, we need to keep the focus on having an open government.

For more information on the FOIA and OMA acts visit the Open Government Guide at www.rcfp.org/open-government-guide. You can scroll down the page, and see the state guide for Michigan.

 

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Glen Hill Post 287 family helps Beach Elementary

N-Glen-Hill-Post-Dictionary-Presentation-March-12-2014

by LoraLee Nauta

 

The American Legion, Sons of The American Legion and the Auxiliary teamed together to purchase dictionaries for every third grade student. We all felt it was important to give back to our community and our students. They are the future of our country, and we wanted to help anyway we can as an American Legion Family. We delivered approximately 262 books to the Beach Elementary on Wednesday, March 13, 2014.

Mr. Ken See, the principle, was very happy to have this donation. Along with Mr. See, we had 10 students: Eli Malon, Leah Ramsey, Aricia Tompkins, Brady Mason (who is also a Squadron 287 member), Darrien Kolk, Molly Bentley, MacKayla Cazier, Haley Castle (Auxiliary 287 junior), Taylee Self, and Bryce Skelonce. We also had members of our Glen Hill Post Family with us: MaryAnne Yuncker, Past Department President & Unit Education Chairmen; Post Commander Bill Gregones; Keith Tyler, Squadron 287 member and Department Children & Youth Committeeman; and LoraLee Nauta, Auxiliary President.

This book is not only a dictionary, it has the Periodic Table, details about the American Flag, the United States Constitution, a section on all the United States Presidents, the fifty states, plus several more items. We were honored to present these books to the students.

It’s important to the Glen Hill Family to give back to our community and our schools. The Glen Hill Post family is very involved with the veterans, but also many other programs. Education is one of our programs we feel strongly about. These students are the future, and these books should help the students with their studies and give them information that will help guide them.

 

 

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