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Tag Archive | "Algoma Township"

Spring cleanups start soon


By Judy Reed

 

SPR-Spring-clean-upsAs the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 26. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall and manned by Rotarians. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, TVs, modems, power cords, etc. Almost any electronic item, working or non-working, with a cord or battery, will be accepted. Computer hard drives will be wiped and destroyed.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday, April 28. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town.

There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date. Check with your waste hauler for pickup.

Also note that the city will be flushing City hydrants on April 25. To avoid staining laundry, allow water to run until clear before washing white or light colored clothing.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup in September.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5th and Cherry Streets, near the water tower in Sand Lake. We accept appliances, sheet metal, auto parts and engines (liquid drained), aluminum and copper wire, fencing (flattened and folded), mattresses, furniture, carpeting, clothing, glass, etc. No garbage please. No hazardous or toxic waste. No yard clippings or brush. No shovel offs of shingles and drywall. Will also collect E-Waste and metal at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Sand Lake: Sand Lake will have a brush only pickup April 17-25. Pile brush along side of the road. See Nelson Township (above) for regular spring cleanup.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 3 and May 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 15185 Algoma. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon  or other toxic chemicals. Call township for more info at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

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Algoma Township Historical Society


April annual meeting

 

Saturday, April 19, 2014, will be the Algoma Township Historical Society Annual Meeting. It will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Chalmers’ School building on the Southwest corner of Fonger St and Pine Island Dr.

They will have Election of Officers to elect a Secretary and Treasurer. If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors please contact Julie at 866-1583 so she can put your name on the ballot. Planning meetings are the first Thursday of each month at Chalmers’ at 9:00 am.

They will show a movie on the Michigan White Pine Era and try to utilize the 16 MM movie projector that was donated by the Eileen (Munn) and Gordon Bitely family.  The projector was Eileen’s parents, Betty & Merrill Munn.

The ATHS is looking to publish a book on Algoma Township. Your input will be greatly appreciated and they will be categorizing and getting information on the contents for this book at this meeting, so that during the year they will be able to put the contents together for publication.

“This book will be a great way to share the history of our township and to preserve those events, activities and people for generations to come,” said Julie Sjogren.

 

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Drowned diver at dam a false alarm


Dozens of first responders help in search

Algoma Township rescue dive team officers search the waters of the Rogue River for a diver suspected of drowning after failing to surface for more than an hour. A visitor to the dam called 911 after suspecting the diver had run into trouble. Photo by B. Altena.

Algoma Township rescue dive team officers search the waters of the Rogue River for a diver suspected of drowning after failing to surface for more than an hour. A visitor to the dam called 911 after suspecting the diver had run into trouble. Photo by B. Altena.

By Beth Altena

 

Rockford Police and fire, Algoma Fire and Rescue with their inflatable rescue boat, the Kent County Sheriff Dive team, the Kent County Sheriff motorized emergency rescue boat and Rockford Ambulance were all on the scene Tuesday, July 9 for a possible drowning at the Rockford dam.

According to Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones, a visitor to the dam called 911 after observing that a scuba diver had been under the water without coming up for over an hour. They had seen the diver drop a snorkel on to the dam and then go back underwater.

With over a dozen first responders and more than half a dozen rescue vehicles on the scene, the Algoma Township dive team, attached to shore by ropes, searched the water without success. Kent County Sheriff Deputy and rescue diver Don Hamilton prepared his scuba gear and rescue equipment with the assistance of other officers.

Hamilton had begun a search of the water under the dam when the diver returned to the surface near where he had placed his snorkel over an hour before. Chief Jones said that he believed the man was not following safety practices for diving. Hamilton called the man’s behavior “very unsafe.”
A group of residents had gathered at the dam watching rescue efforts. The diver, upon coming out of the water, seemed unaware of the efforts made on his behalf. He stayed in the water for awhile, telling rescue officers he needed some time to “get his land legs back.”

Hamilton said the individual broke many safety rules of scuba diving and that he had personally seen the man in the water at 2 p.m. when Hamilton was driving downtown.

Hamilton said divers are required to dive within 100 feet of a flag so boaters are aware of their presence. “If you drag a flag above you, it makes it really easy for us to find you if we suspect a problem,” he explained. Hamilton said rescuers and observers at the dam noticed no air bubbles indicating a diver’s breathing. “That’s what really made me believe this was a very bad situation,” he stated. However, after talking with the diver, he explained that the diver had been coming up for air, but under the dam spillway where he couldn’t be seen. He also was diving under the spillway while he was in the water so air bubbles were not visible. He noted that it is also very unsafe to dive alone and not an accepted practice.

Hamilton said the diver was not issued a ticket but received a severe talking to by authorities. He said the man seemed to think he had done nothing wrong. “This goes to the bill State Representative Pete MacGregor is trying to get passed where departments can recoup the cost of rescues when people are being stupid,” he said.

“Stupid is the best way to describe it, like kayaking in the river when there are record high levels of water.” Hamilton said he made several rescues during this spring’s flood, where people believed they were good enough kayakers to take on the flooded Grand River.

“You just never know what’s in the river in that kind of a situation,” Hamilton said. He also noted the Tuesday rescue is not the first where the outcome was lucky. In March 13, 1991 a boy fell into the Rogue River at the dam and was underwater for 37 minutes. The water was cold enough that it slowed his body function and when he was revived he suffered no permanent damage. “I just ran into that guy fishing in the river the other day,” Hamilton said.

 

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Home destroyed in fire


Fire ripped through this home in Algoma Township Monday. Post photos by J. Reed.

Fire ripped through this home in Algoma Township Monday. Post photos by J. Reed.

N-Fire2Six area fire departments were called to the scene of a house fire in northern Kent County Monday.

Algoma Township Fire responded to the scene on Friendly Ln, a private drive off 15 Mile, between Hoskins and Algoma, shortly before noon Monday, April 1. “It was gone before we got here,” said a fire official on scene.

The home was set back in the woods and water needed to be brought in on tankers.

Assisting fire departments included Cedar Springs, Courtland, Kent City, Sand Lake, and Solon.

No injuries were reported, and everyone got out safely. At press time Wednesday, there was no word yet from Algoma Fire on the cause of the blaze.

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Spring cleanups start soon


By Judy Reed

 

As the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 25, through Saturday, April 28. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. The trailer will be there until 3 p.m. No TVs or big box appliances will be accepted. TVs may be brought to Comprenew at 629 Ionia SW in Grand Rapids for recycling. A fee will be charged per TV.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday April 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town. Final fall pickup is September 24. There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date, since Duncan Disposal, the city’s preferred waste hauler, does that for residents.

The Department of Public Works will be flushing the City’s hydrants on Friday, April 27, 2012 and September 21, 2012. In most cases, hydrants are flushed during the night-time when water demand is at its lowest

Please remember to let your faucet run clear before doing any white or light colored laundry to avoid staining your laundry. Please contact DPW Director Roger Belknap at 616.696.1330 X 108 should you have any questions.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup days are Friday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents should bring trash to the water tower in Sand Lake. New this year is a charge of $15 for mattresses and $15 for box springs. Proof of residency required with a tax bill or voter registration AND a driver’s license. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Oakfield Township: No cleanup scheduled.

Sand Lake: See Nelson Township.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 5 and May 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old horse farm, 15185 Algoma. Proof of residency required. Must be residents—not just landowners. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon. Call township for more info  at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

 

 

 

 

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Police investigate home invasions


Kent County Sheriff Deputies are investigating a series of home invasions that took place in Algoma Township last Thursday during daylight hours.
According to police, the crimes took place on Thursday, November 17, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They occurred in the 12600 block of White Creek Ave, 11300 block of Summit Ave and 8400 block of Wolven Ave.
Police said that the owner of the Wolven home interrupted suspects at approximately 11:30 a.m. The suspects said they were looking for a construction company. They are described as 2 black males with no facial hair, medium build, approximately 6 feet tall. The vehicle is described as a dull red compact car.
Items stolen from the homes include coins, cash, electronics and jewelry.
Police said remind residents to keep all exterior door and windows locked, including the exterior doors of your garage.
If you have any information or if you observe any suspicious activity, contact the Kent
County Sheriff’s Department at 632-6100.

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Two injured in Algoma crash


Two people were seriously injured in this crash at 13 Mile and Edgerton last week. Photo from WZZM13.com.

A Greenville resident and a Howard City man were both hospitalized last Friday morning after their vehicles collided in Algoma Township.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jonathan Sutton, 38, of Howard City, was traveling southbound on Edgerton about 6:38 a.m. Friday, September 16, in a 2009 Chevy Silverado, when he ran the stop sign at 13 Mile Road and collided with a a 2003 Chevrolet Impala traveling westbound on 13 Mile.
Both drivers were seriously injured. Sutton, who was seat-belted, suffered serious internal injuries. The driver of the Impala, a 42-year-old Greenville resident, was not seat-belted and suffered critical injuries.

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Crash sends four to hospital


A head-on accident in Algoma Township Tuesday afternoon sent a Wyoming family, including an infant, to the hospital.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Jason VanDyke, the family was driving a blue escort southbound on Algoma Avenue about 4 p.m., after visiting their parents in the Cedar Springs area, when a northbound GMC Jimmy, driven by a Cedar Springs woman, tried to turn west (left) into a driveway and two cars collided head-on.

The front seat passenger in the escort, a woman, was pinned inside and had to be extricated. She and the other three passengers, including a child in a car seat, sustained injuries and were transported to the hospital. The driver of the GMC Jimmy was not transported.

Deputy VanDyke said he does not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Both Algoma and Courtland Fire Departments assisted at the scene.

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Christmas day fire destroys home


This Algoma Township home was destroyed by fire Christmas Day. Post photo by J. Reed.

Christmas Day took a tragic turn for one northern Kent County family after their home was destroyed by fire Saturday evening.

Firefighters responded to the 4100 block of Ives Farm Lane, (a subdivision off White Creek just north of Russell Road) just after 7:14 p.m. When firefighters arrived, it was fully engulfed.

Several fire departments fought the blaze, including Algoma, Courtland, Solon and Cedar Springs, who was set up as a pumping station at the Cedar Springs Middle School.

According to Algoma Fire Captain Roger VanderKlipp, the  family of four (2 adults and two children) got out safely, along with guests they had over at the time. He said that one of the children slept downstairs, and that they were able to get some of his clothing out. Several Christmas presents were also stacked in front of the home in the driveway.

The family was staying with neighbors overnight and the Red Cross had been called in.

According to Algoma Fire Chief Steve Johnson, the fire appears to have started from discarded ashes from a  charcoal grill. The family had grilled the previous day, and the ashes had been stored in the garage, where they ignited. “Ashes can stay hot for three or four days down inside of them,” noted Johnson.

The Post reached the homeowner, Norman Galang, on Monday. He said they are currently staying with family. “Everyone is doing great, and no one was hurt,” he said. “We are in much better spirits now.” The Galangs have a 7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

Anyone interested in helping the Galangs can email Norman at galangn@gmail.com for specific needs.

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Easement legacy a permanent protection for Rogue River


by Beth Altena

One family’s dedication to protecting the land and their generous spirit is good news for those in Algoma Township. The Cok family has preserved 126 acres of property along the Rogue River as a conservation easement through the Land Conservancy of West Michigan—an action that ensures the property will never be developed. Stu Cok was one of the speakers at the annual meeting of the Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC) and spoke before the group at the Rockford Community Cabin on Wednesday, Dec. 1, describing why a nature easement was the right choice for his family and their land.
Cok said land has been important to him since he was a child in the Great Depression and was in seven schools in three years. As a young man just out of service in the Marine Corps, he drove around Kent County looking for waterfront property. He was determined to find his own homestead and stay put. “I bought the land in 1953,” he said of his property on the Rogue River downstream of Sparta.
Property prices actually slowed the timeline and size of the easement, Cok noted. The easement allows the Cok family to be compensated for some of the value of the land, but with property prices so low it was difficult to get an estimate.
“While we felt it was important to protect the land with a conservation easement for a multitude of reasons, here are just a few that stand out,” Cok stated.

The Cok family protects over 125 acres of forested floodplain.

Cok described the importance of land for his family as well as himself. “We built our home here in 1964 and all of our children, and now our grandchildren, have grown up on the land. We feel that all of us have been able to form a close relationship with the natural world here, and preserving its natural beauty was very important to us.”
“Also, while we have contemplated developing small portions of the land in the past, we have come to the conclusion that even minimal development would do irreparable harm to the beauty and natural values that we hold dear. These forests and wetlands drain into a valley, creating a tributary stream, which flows into the mainstream of the Rogue River, all on our land. We felt protection was important to the long-term sustainability of the water quality of the rivershed to maintain its natural characteristic.”
“Lastly, we were able to continue our sustainable forestry operation under the terms of the conservation easement. We are able to periodically remove trees under our forest stewardship plan, which the conservancy has accepted, and this provides the next generations of our family a realistic opportunity for continued ownership. Future generations will have the ability to maintain the property as we have and this legacy aspect of protecting the property was important. We feel a conservation easement was a ‘win-win’ situation for our family and the natural environment into the future.”
Being a good neighbor was on the list of reasons to offer the land for an easement. The Algoma Township resident has been on the Board of Review and Planning Commission for the township. He said the reason people choose to live in the township is because it is less developed.
“The purpose of a conservation easement is to prohibit development. We ask our residents what they want and they say, ‘To preserve open space.’ They want to feel they live in the country,” said Cok.
Cok said it was exciting news to hear the Rogue River has been chosen by Trout Unlimited as a Home Rivers Initiative, a long-term preservation project with the goal of protecting and improving the quality of the river. He said 40 years ago he and others formed a group to protect the Rogue River from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who proposed a series of dams on the waterway. The dams would flood large bodies of land to make lakes for recreational use. He said the fight his Rogue River Protection organization faced was long and hard and speculated how the dams would have affected the health of the Rogue. Just one of the proposed dams, north of Rockford by US-131, would have created an 11,000-acre parcel of land.
“We beat them, with the help of Jerry Ford, we beat the United States Army Corps of Engineers and seven other federal agencies,” Cok said.
With the easement along the Rogue of Cok’s property, he has again proven to be a protector of land and water. The conservation of the Coks’ land was completed at the end of August 2010.

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