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Man arrested for trying to steal plasma cutter

Jacob Abraham Savickas

Jacob Abraham Savickas

A man believed to be involved in several thefts around the county was arrested this week for attempting to steal merchandise from a local farm store.

On Friday, June 19, the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit responded to a possible retail fraud attempt at Family Farm and Home on 17 Mile, in Cedar Springs.

They reported that a white male attempted to steal a valuable plasma cutter. Employees recognized the man as someone who previously stole welders. The theft was interrupted and the suspect fled the scene.

Store employees provided a thorough vehicle description, including the license plate number to police. After further investigation, the suspect was identified as Jacob Abraham Savickas, 31.

Savickas was arrested, and is currently being held in the Kent County jail, on six charges, several for retail fraud.

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Promotions to Captain 

 

Capt. Dave Kok

Capt. Dave Kok

Capt. Bruce Ivie

Capt. Bruce Ivie

Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma announced that two officers have been promoted to Captain.

Dave Kok was promoted to Captain of the Road Patrol, and Bruce Ivie was promoted to Captain of the Detective Bureau, both effective Monday, June 22.

Capt. Kok was hired as a county patrol officer in December of 1996; promoted to Sergeant of Road Patrol, in November 2006; and promoted to Lieutenant in the Support Services Division in February 2013.

Capt. Ivie was hired as a Corrections Officer in June 1992; transferred to County Patrol Officer in January 1996; promoted to Sergeant-Road Patrol in March 2007; Promoted to Lieutenant-Support Services Unit in March 2011; and assigned as First Lieutenant-Road Patrol in June 2013.

Congratulations to both officers on their promotions to Captain!

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Earthquake shakes Michigan

No Reported Injuries or Damages; Assessments Ongoing

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that a 3.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Michigan today, June 30, seven miles northeast of Union City at 11:42 a.m.

Assessments are still ongoing, but there are no reported injuries or damages at this time. Anyone with earthquake-related damage is encouraged to report it to local emergency management officials.

“Even though they don’t happen often in Michigan, earthquakes are a threat our emergency management officials are prepared and trained to handle,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “Today’s event should serve as another reminder for Michiganders of the importance of personal preparedness for all kinds of emergencies and disasters.”

The state, via the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, continues to closely monitor the situation and will act as warranted. The public is encouraged to monitor local media for up-to-date reports and emergency information.

On May 2, 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed a 4.2 magnitude earthquake 5 miles south of Galesburg. There were no injuries, but minor structural damage was reported.

For more information about preparing before, during and after an emergency or disaster, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared.

 

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Shelter reduces pet adoption fees through Thursday

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If you are thinking about adopting a cat or dog, the Kent County Animal Shelter will have reduced adoption fees from now until Thursday, July 2.

From now until Thursday July 2, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is lowering adoption prices in order to grant more of its pets the opportunity to pursue the American dream of having a home to call their own. People adopting dogs will automatically save $50, and rescuing an adult cat (over four months old) will cost nothing.

“This is a hectic time of the year for us,” says Carly Luttmann, program supervisor at KCAS. “We have many adoptable dogs who have been dropped off and we have been forced to take in additional strays. When you combine that with the fact that people do not normally adopt much this close to the Fourth of July Holiday, the shelter fills up pretty fast.”

Shelters across the country face similar issues in the summer but particularly around the Fourth of July, as many dogs will run away to escape the noise of fireworks. Often those dogs will be taken in as strays, potentially displacing other adoptable dogs.

“This is especially true if those dogs are not properly licensed or do not have a microchip.” said Luttmann. “We cannot stress enough the importance of having your dog licensed and chipped. If your pet does get away from you this is the quickest way to get them back. That means they spend less time here and that opens the doors for the other animals we have to serve.”

Cats are also breeding more actively in the spring and early summer months. “It is not uncommon for people to drop off litter after litter day in and day out this time of year,” said Luttmann.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Adoption hours are 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-5:30p.m. The shelter is closed on weekends. You can see some of the pets available for adoption online at http://awos.petfinder.com/shelters/kcanimalshelter.html.

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Bear sightings in Algoma, Solon 

This bear, caught on camera in Algoma Township, is one of two bear sightings in the area in the last two weeks. Photo courtesy Luke Tonneberger.

This bear, caught on camera in Algoma Township, is one of two bear sightings in the area in the last two weeks. Photo courtesy Luke Tonneberger.

By Judy Reed

Bear sightings have continued in northern Kent County in the last two weeks.

The most recent sighting reported to the Post was last Saturday, June 20, at 19 Mile and Algoma, in Solon Township.

Russ DeBoer, of Solon Township, said he was traveling north on Algoma about 1:00 p.m. last Saturday, June 20, with his son, Nick, and grandson, Ethan, when a bear crossed the road at Algoma 19 Mile. He said it ran behind Solon Center Wesleyan Church, on Algoma, toward the Solon Fire Department to the west.

“I saw a lot of cars in the church parking lot, so I pulled in, and saw a playground in back, so I went inside and told people. They were having a baby shower, and they had young kids, so I wanted to tell them so the kids didn’t go out on the playground,” he explained.

DeBoer said that he thinks it was a younger bear because it was smaller. “It wasn’t a cub, but it wasn’t full grown,” he said.

The Post called the church to talk about the bear, and while talking with Kathy Mabie, she told us about a parishioner who had also recently caught footage of a bear on his game camera.

Luke Tonneberger, who lives on 13 Mile near the intersection of Algoma, said that they had been gone on Saturday, June 13, and when he came home, he found a note taped to his door that said a neighbor across the street had seen a bear cross his driveway.

“I think the bear headed toward 13 Mile, then went back along my fence, by my house, and by my garden and compost pile,” said Tonneberger. He also has woods behind his house with trail cams.

Friday, June 19, he decided to check his game cameras, and sure enough, there was the bear. “If I was standing there, it couldn’t have been any clearer that it was a bear,” he said.

Tonneberger said that he has seen evidence in the past—6 to 8 years ago—of bears on his property, but nothing recent. “I see pictures on my camera of other wildlife, such as deer, raccoon, skunk, etc., but it’s pretty cool to get pictures of a bear,” he remarked. “It’s pretty exciting.”

The DNR recommends removing birdfeeders and putting garbage cans inside to keep bears from visiting your yard to feed.

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Man killed in motorcycle crash

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A Courtland Township man died last Friday, June 19, when his motorcycle collided with an SUV in Courtland Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Taylor Miedema, 23, was traveling eastbound on 10 Mile Road on his 2007 Yamaha motorcycle just before 10 p.m., when he collided with a westbound 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe, being driven by Dawn Batchelder, 49, of Grand Rapids.

Miedema was pronounced dead at the scene.

Batchelder was not transported to the hospital.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident, and the investigation is ongoing.

Courtland Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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LifeWalk raises over $13,000 for life

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Last Saturday, June 20, was a great day to celebrate life, as Alpha Family Center held its yearly fundraising event, LifeWalk.

“Everyone who walked received a “Walk in Love” T-shirt that relays the message that we care about the unborn babies we are walking for,” said Lorrie Shelton, former Executive Director.

The day began with 18 runners taking part in Alpha’s second annual 5 K LifeRun. Chris Anton, youth pastor at The Springs Church, awarded the trophies and medals to top runners. LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. A crowd of over 174 walkers followed behind the Lifewalk banner for the 2 mile walk down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for our community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. This year the walk route included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center that emphasizes life as precious at all stages.

The walkers returned to the park for a time of refreshment, door prizes, face painting, a clown for kids, and a report that included the total amount raised this year, which was over $13,000. LifeWalk covers a huge portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as they assist over 100 families per month, and give away over 18,000 baby and maternity items per year.  Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, support for abuse, miscarriage, post-abortion and sexual integrity classes.

Teresa Hathaway, LifeWalk Coordinator and new interim Executive Director presented the awards for top walker and coloring contest winners.  Lorrie Shelton was honored as she retires from Alpha after twenty plus years of service. “I have enjoyed being a part of this amazing pro-life ministry and thank the community for all the support throughout the years,” she said.

LifeWalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the 54,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.

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Concerts in park kick off summer

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last Thursday night. Post photo by J. Reed.

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last Thursday night. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation kicked off their summer series of concerts at Morley Park last Thursday, June 18, with local band Roosevelt Diggs.

The band’s unique mix of country, folk, bluegrass and blues was a feast for the ears, and it was a beautiful summer evening to sit and relax with friends and family.

There were concessions on site, and free raffle tickets gave concert-goers a chance to win prizes from area businesses.

Check out Roosevelt Diggs on YouTube, or their website rooseveltdigs.com to see where they perform next. Their album “Songs from the Shed” is available on their website or at Amazon.com.

The next concert in the park is July 16 with Don Middlebrook. The Sea Cruisers will perform on August 20. Be sure to bring a lawn chair. Concerts start at 7 p.m.

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Summer reading programs flying high

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Summer readers are off to a great start at the Cedar Springs Public Library! Since the big kick-off day on June 8, where over 800 came to get signed up and get their reading logs, 5 programs have hit their mark, as of Tuesday, June 23, with 203 in attendance! The biggest program was with Master Magician Thomas Plunkard, who pulled out every trick in the book before 139 delighted and mystified Cedar Springs spectators.

They have also hosted a geocaching treasure hunt, a preschool “Nature Dancing” morning with teacher and dancer Kathy Burch, an adult sunrise stretch with Christine Holman of Curves, and a teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament with the Library’s youth services manager Kelly Roach, all within a week and a half. Wednesday programs for families are at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Springs Middle School.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Today (Thursday, June 25) if you hurry, you could catch the teen workshop with Valarie Roach, artist from Kalamazoo, and learn “How to Draw Superheroes” from 1:30 to 3:30pm at the library  or the adult program with author and long-time fraud examiner/police investigator Joe Koenig  from 7-8:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in their fellowship hall.

Check our website: cedarspringslibrary.org for a full listing of our fantastic programs and the generous local businesses and service organizations who bought them for your enjoyment.

We’re looking forward to such programs as a Theater Workshop, Zeemo and his Zany Science show, the John Ball Traveling Zoo, Wolverine Skyhawks Air Show and our very own Sgt. Jason Kelly showing off a local police car, radio, and all those gadgets he carries around on his belt and more.

Read for fun and prizes—all ages from babies to senior citizens. Sign up today, get a card, get a log, get a book. Finish all of your reading coupons and start on the finisher coupons for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a bike or a refurbished Xbox 360.

The Cedar Springs Library is going full speed ahead. Someday, in the near future, they will begin building a new library facility, five times bigger than the one they have now–9,998 sq. ft. They have around $600,000 now, other monies pledged and a goal, with the help of the Community Building Development Team, to build a library that is debt-free.

If you want to help raise an additional $800,000, or if you want to donate, contact the library at 616-696-1910 or the Community Building Development Team at CSCommunityCenter.org.  Meetings for the Library Board are the 4th Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Library, and for the CBDT the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m. on the top floor of the Cedar Springs Schools District Office building (Hilltop).

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Post travels to British Columbia

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N-Post-cruises2The Post traveled on the Kayla Rae Cellars Wine Lovers Cruise, in May 2015. This photo was taken in Victoria, British Columbia, when returning from Butchart Gardens on the last night of their cruise. The 17 cruisers enjoyed special amenities, which included a custom private group tour and tastings in Napa Valley, CA, hosted by Karen Grossman, owner of Kayla Rae Cellars, of Rockford, and a specialty wine-paired dinner on board the Jewel of the Seas. Cruise Planners of Cedar Springs designed and planned the group’s cruise. Cheers!

Thanks for taking us with you on the cruise!

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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