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Dogs removed from home ready for adoption

Thirty-seven dogs removed from custody of owner

N-Dogs2N-Dogs1The Kent County Animal Shelter received a judgment in Kent County Circuit Court last week, permanently taking 37 dogs from their previous owner. The dogs were being kept at a home in Grand Rapids since late 2013. Kimberly Savino, the previous owner of the dogs, is currently facing a felony charge animal cruelty/neglect. The civil court ruling means some of the healthier, well-adjusted dogs will be made available for adoption to the general public, starting on Friday, August 22. Some will continue to be held and treated medically until healthy enough for adoption or transfer to other rescues/shelters.

These particular dogs will need ongoing medical care at the adopter’s expense, for concerns such as dental care and eye issues.

“This was a lengthy investigation, with Animal Control Officers remaining diligent in their efforts to make sure these dogs were healthy physically and mentally,” said Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Once we could confirm that the situation had deteriorated, we requested a warrant, and found the dogs in various states of neglect and illness. Some were discolored from sitting in their own waste.” Two additional dogs taken from the home belong to the owners of the house; they continue to be held pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

The Kent County Animal Shelter received a warrant in late June to enter the home to check the welfare of the dogs at the home on Oakwood NE in Grand Rapids. The dogs were taken to the Kent County Animal Shelter, where they were evaluated by the shelter veterinarian and each dog provided vaccinations. The findings of Animal Control Officers were sent to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for review, which resulted in the felony charge. The dogs have been on hold pending the outcome of the case and review of a request by the shelter to forfeit the animals. Costs for boarding, feeding and medical care of the 37 dogs at KCAS are $629 a day; the dogs have been at the shelter for 50 days as of August 15 (total cost of over $30,000). The order to turn the dogs over to KCAS does not indicate any judgment in the criminal charges against the defendant; the criminal case is still ongoing.

“Some of the dogs have severe behavioral and medical issues that require treatment,” said Kent County Animal Shelter Supervisor Carly Luttmann. “We are working with partner agencies to help transfer these dogs to places that can best meet their needs. As dogs are treated and deemed ready for adoption, they will be moved from KCAS on-hold status to adoption kennels.”

The application to adopt from the Kent County Animal Shelter can be found at www.accesskent.com/KCAS. Dog adoption fees are only $62, due to generous funding from the Bissell Pet Foundation. Spay/neuter and all age appropriate vaccinations are included in the adoption price and adopters are counseled on making an appointment at their personal veterinarian 2-3 weeks after adoption for a check-up and any needed vaccine boosters.

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Man arrested after standoff

Brandon Carl Clements

Brandon Carl Clements

A Montcalm County man was arraigned last week on multiple charges connected to both an incident in June and another last week.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, they received a complaint on June 16 from a 32-year-old woman about Brandon Carl Clements, 39, of Vestaburg, a man with whom she had had a relationship with for about two years. She had broken off the relationship due to his assaultive behavior toward her. The woman said he had followed her from her Mecosta County home into the village of Lakeview with his car and rammed into her car several times, and blocked her path with his car. She was able to finally drive away and went to a nearby gas station and called 911.

Clements was located a few miles away by a Trooper from the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview. Sheriff Deputies arrived at the scene a short time afterwards to question Clements regarding the earlier incident. Clements was also suspected of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. Clements was then transported to Kelsey Hospital by Michigan State Police because he was complaining of pain and to obtain blood regarding the suspected OWl investigation. A Deputy remained at the Hospital for several hours and was told that Clements would be transferred to a Grand Rapids Hospital for further treatment. After the Deputy left the Hospital, Clements walked out of the hospital, against medical advice.

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office authorized a three-count felony warrant against Clements for Unlawful Imprisonment, Malicious Destruction to Person Property and Felonious Assault stemming from the June incident. Clements also failed to appear in Court for Operating While Impaired stemming from the June 16, 2014 incident. Sheriff’s Deputies had been looking for Clements since then and believe he was evading law enforcement.
On Wednesday, August 13, the victim from the June 16 incident was leaving her work location in Lakeview and, after entering her car in the parking lot, was surprised by Clements, who was hiding in the back seat of her car. Clements then physically assaulted the victim while inside the car. She was able to eventually stop the car near Lakeview and fled on foot. Clements then drove away with the victim’s car without her permission.

A Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Trooper from the Lakeview Post went to the victim’s home in Mecosta County to look for Clements. They were assisted by Deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies determined that Clements was inside the home alone and believed he was armed with several firearms. Repeated requests by police for Clements to come to the door were ignored.

The Michigan State Police requested assistance from their Emergency Services Division. After approximately 12 hours, a Michigan State Police negotiator was able to convince Clements to surrender. He was taken into custody and turned over to Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies, where he was lodged on the charges stemming from the June 16 incident and additional charges from the August 13 incident.

Clements was arraigned on August 14 on the following charges, with no Bond, stemming from the June 16th Incident: Count #1 Unlawful Imprisonment, 20 year Felony; Count #2 Malicious Destruction to Person Property, 5 year Felony; Count #3 Felonious Assault, 4 year Felony.
For the August 13 Incident: Count #1 Domestic Violence – 93 day Misdemeanor; Count #2 Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile (UDAA).


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IRS updates phone scams warning

The IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:

The IRS will first contact you by mail if you owe taxes, not by phone.

The IRS never asks for credit, debit or prepaid card information over the phone.

The IRS never insists that you use a specific payment method to pay your tax.

The IRS never requests immediate payment over the telephone.

The IRS will always treat you professionally and courteously.

Scammers may tell would-be victims that they owe money and that they must pay what they owe immediately. They may also tell them that they are entitled to a large refund. Other characteristics of these scams include:

Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves.

Scammers may know the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Scammers spoof caller ID to make the phone number appear as if the IRS is calling.

Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.

Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site.

After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you with a payment issue if you owe taxes.

If you know you don’t owe taxes or don’t think that you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

If scammers have tried this scam on you, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

The IRS encourages you to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov, to learn how to report tax fraud and for more information on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.


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Kent County seeks volunteers for boards

N-Kent-County-logoThe Kent County Board of Commissioners is seeking citizens interested in serving the community through appointment to various boards, commissions, and committees. Any Kent County resident may apply by completing an online application form via the County’s website at www.accessKent.com. Resumes and cover letters are encouraged and may be attached. All citizens are urged to apply. The application deadline is September 30, 2014.

Listed below are the boards, commissions, and committees that have citizen openings for terms effective January 1, 2015:

*Agricultural Preservation Board (1 agricultural representative)

*Area Agency on Aging of Region VIII – Advisory Council

*Area Agency on Aging of Region VIII – Board of Directors

*Community Corrections Advisory Board (1 Probation Representative and 1 Defense Attorney)

*Community Health Advisory Committee (1 community-based organization representative, 1 faith-based organization representative, and 2 health care providers)

*Community Mental Health Authority Board (term begins April 1, 2015)

*County Building Authority

*Department of Human Services Board (term begins November 1, 2014)

*Friend of the Court Citizen’s Advisory Committee (1 general public representative and 1 custodial parent)

*Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board (1 Kent County resident and 1 non-county resident from Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon or Ottawa County)

*Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority

*Housing Commission

*John Ball Zoo Advisory Board

*Kent County Family & Children’s Coordinating Council (4 private funding organization representatives and 4 Advocate/Consumer representatives)

*Kent District Library Board (Region 1 – Nelson, Oakfield, Spencer and Tyrone Township; and Region 5 – Ada, Cascade, and Grand Rapids Township and the City of East Grand Rapids. Applicants must live in Region 1 or 5.)

*Kent Hospital Finance Authority

*Millennium Park Architectural Advisory Review Board (1 business community representative and 1 design community representative)

*Officers’ Compensation Commission

*Road Commission Board

*Solid Waste Management Planning Committee (4 -Waste Company Representatives, 1-Waste Generator Representative, 2- Environmental Organization Representatives, 3 – General Public Representatives)

*Veteran’s Affairs Committee (Applicant must be a Veteran of the Armed Forces.

Indicate on application form which war/conflict served in the space provided to list your qualifications)

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One hurt in accident

20140816_194002_resizedA 17-year-old driver had to be extricated from her car Saturday evening after she pulled out in front of another car at Main and Cedar Streets.

According to Cedar Springs Police Officer Mandy Stahl, a white Caprice was headed south on Main Street when the 17-year-old attempted to turn left off Cedar Street and was broadsided by the Caprice about 7 p.m.

The 17-year-old was pinned in her car, and Cedar Springs Fire had to extricate her. She was sent to the hospital via Rockford Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old female driver of the Caprice was not injured.

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Teacher’s legacy spurs acts of kindness


N-Random-acts-of-Hazel2-shirtBy Judy Reed


Scotty Hazel, a teacher at Cedar Springs for 20 years, was loved by his students for his encouraging, selfless, and giving attitude. That legacy has lived on, even after his death last month from cancer.

Soon after his death in July, a Facebook page was created called “Random Acts of Hazel.” The intent is to honor Hazel by performing random acts of kindness and dedicating them to him. The page already has over 3100 members, and countless acts of kindness have been chronicled there. They even have t-shirts for sale that will benefit the Hazel children’s college fund.

One Cedar Springs grad honored Hazel last weekend by creating a beautiful tree with chalk art. One of Hazel’s poems, Remember Me, is written in the tree. Justin Balczak, a 2011 graduate, spent 12 hours bringing the tree to life on the side of the Edward Jones business in the strip mall on 17 Mile. You can see the whole process on YouTube by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJahTq0ceFA.

The random acts of kindness that people have performed are reaching everywhere. Some of the messages on the page are being left by people who experienced a Random Act of Hazel.

One woman wrote: “Today in Versailles, Kentucky my Dad and I were the recipients of a Random Act of Hazel in a drive thru Starbucks line. To the man in the silver truck who bought our coffee…thank you. Not so much for the coffee but for the adventure of finding out about Hazel, for finding this group, and for inspiring the acts of Hazel we hope to pass along. What a great man he must have been. My Dad, who is 85, said…now that is a legacy I would like to leave behind.”

A woman from Wisconsin said they were visiting their favorite Farmers Market in Muskegon, when a cute little boy held a beautiful bouquet of flowers out to her. “His mom said that he wanted me to have the flowers. I was so touched and could not believe it. Then he handed me a note that explained Random acts of Hazel! What a blessing! We are from Wisconsin and were leaving the next day so I decided to gift the flowers to someone else. A wonderful young couple with small children were walking toward us and I decided this mom might really enjoy the flowers as much as I did so I gave them to her. I explained about the little boy and gave her the note. She was thrilled as I was and said I made her day! What a wonderful feeling! Thank you Random Acts of Hazel! You are now expanding to Wisconsin!”

Another woman wrote that she was buying groceries in Grandville, and had left her debit card at home. The woman behind her told her she wanted to pay for her groceries, as a Random Act of Hazel.

A family from Holland, Michigan heard about Random Acts of Hazel and decided to come to Cedar Springs after church Sunday to see the chalk art tree. They spent time in both Cedar Springs and Rockford, picked up some RAH t-shirts, a copy of Hazel’s book, and then performed some Random Acts of Hazel in Grand Rapids. “It was lots of fun to pop quarters in candy machines to give others a free turn, play some arcade games and then give the tickets to a young boy to turn in, and tip our servers a little extra and tell them we greatly appreciated their service. It will be fun to continue to think of ways to bring a smile to the faces of others. I’m looking forward to reading his book and seeing more about the kind of man he was to leave such a legacy behind,” she said.

T-shirts with encouraging sayings from Scotty Hazel can be bought at Main Street Restaurant in Cedar Springs, and Aunt Candy’s Toy Company in Rockford.

To read more about the Random Acts of Hazel being performed, search for Random Acts of Hazel on Facebook.


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Motorcyclist killed in crash

A Rockford man died early Tuesday morning, August 12, when a car turned in front of the motorcycle he was riding.

According to information released by the Michigan State Police, N-Motorcyclist-fatal-Thomas-Clemson, 56, of Rockford, was traveling west on 17 Mile Road, near Barber Creek Avenue, in Tyrone Township, just before 6 a.m. when the accident occurred. A Chevy Impala driven by Cody Jerls, 28, was traveling eastbound and attempted a left turn into a driveway. The motorcycle struck the Impala broadside.

Clemens was pronounced dead at the scene.

He is survived by his wife, 8 children, 18 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.  A memorial fund has been set up for the family at http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/tom-clemens-family-support-fund/218204.

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Good Samaritan found


By Judy Reed

Emily Scott, left, was rescued by Renee Doren (right), both of Solon Township, after Emily’s horse bucked her off and Emily broke her arm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Emily Scott, left, was rescued by Renee Doren (right), both of Solon Township, after Emily’s horse bucked her off and Emily broke her arm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Last week, we ran a story saying we were looking for the Good Samaritan who stopped and helped Emily Scott, of Solon Township, who suffered a broken arm and fractured shoulder when she fell off her horse on Albrecht recently. Emily had asked for the woman to stop by and see her so she could thank her.

We received a call from someone (who wished to remain anonymous) that the Good Samaritan was Renee Doren, of Solon Township, and the manager at Verizon  Wireless in Cedar Springs and Caledonia.

“Renee is an absolutely wonderful person who goes above and beyond no matter what she does,” said the tipster.

The Post met up with both Emily and Renee, who have since visited.

According to Renee, she was on her way home from work when she saw a horse walking down the road without a rider. “Then I saw her on the side of the road and stopped and asked if she was ok. She said no, that her arm was broken bad. So I flagged down a passing truck to take her home, and then I walked her horse home about a half mile and put him away,” she explained.

By that time, Emily was on her way to the hospital.

Renee said that after we ran the story in last week’s Post, she received a Facebook message from a friend saying that the Post and Emily were looking for her, so she looked up the story online. She then stopped by Emily’s house, and struck up a new friendship. “I’m glad she’s ok,” said Renee. “We might even go out to dinner sometime.”

Renee, who also owns horses, didn’t feel like she did anything special. “I just did what I hope anyone else would do for me,” she explained.


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The Post travels to Portugal


Julie Crandall, of Cedar Springs, recently went to visit Sandy, her missionary daughter, who teaches at an international Christian school near Lisbon, Portugal. Sandy just finished her first year of teaching abroad and is home for a few weeks to visit family and raise financial support. While in Portugal, Julie and Sandy visited castles, palaces,14th-century churches and the beach. In the photo taken with The Post, they were at Cabo Da Roca which is the westernmost point of Europe.

Thanks, Julie, 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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Sunflowers stand tall

N-Sunflower-AugustJennifer August sent us this photo of daughters Danielle and Lizzie standing beneath a 12-foot-7-inch sunflower their grandpa is growing in Algoma Township. That’s a towering flower! Thanks so much sending us a photo!

How tall are your sunflowers? Send them our way! Email your photos with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com. Tell us your name, who is in the photo, and what city/township you live in, how tall your sunflower is. Also tell us anything special you do when planting to make it grow tall.

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