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Tag Archive | "cedar springs"

Man who robbed Cedar Springs Admiral now in custody


Jacob Abraham Savickas

by Judy Reed

The man who robbed the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station and a string of other businesses here in Michigan and Ohio (including two banks) is now in custody at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33, of Howard City, was arrested without incident on Wednesday, August 9, at a local hotel, by the FBI Fugitive Task Force. He was lodged at the jail on several warrants, including bank robbery, larceny from a person, fleeing and eluding a police officer, parole absconder, and being a habitual offender.

Savickas started his crime spree Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred about 9:22 a.m. The clerk told police that a white male in his late 20s came in and demanded money. He was described as wearing a white shirt, blue baseball cap, and having facial hair.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr. Both were unarmed robberies.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Av NE on Wednesday morning August 2. All were unarmed robberies.

Savickas was previously convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested after he tried to steal plasma cutters from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Employees recognized him at the time as someone who previously stole welders and interrupted the theft of the plasma cutters. He fled but was arrested and held on six charges, several for retail fraud at other locations. He was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison. His record on the Michigan Corrections website shows him listed as a parole absconder as of July 6.

 

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Cedar Springs man dies in crash


Tyler Conaty, 23, of Cedar Springs, died on a one-car crash Wednesday evening.

Tyler Conaty, 23, of Cedar Springs, died in a one-car crash Wednesday evening. Photo from his Facebook page.

by  Judy ReedN-Fatal-Conaty-and-son

A 23-year-old Cedar Springs man died Wednesday evening, April 26, when his vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree in Algoma Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Tyler Jeffrey Conaty, 23, of the City of Cedar Springs, was traveling northbound in a 2003 Jeep Cherokee on Algoma Ave. near Rector, when the crash occurred about 9 p.m. Witnesses told police that the vehicle drifted across the centerline and then off the roadway and hit a large tree northwest of the intersection. He was the only person in the vehicle.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

According to his wife, Shannon, Tyler was on his way home early from work when the crash occurred.

Tyler, the son of Jeff and Kim Conaty, was a 2012 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. He and   Shannon (Helsel) lost a baby girl early in their relationship, but were later blessed with their son Colton, who will be four in June.

Tyler was featured in a past Post article as one of our Hometown Heroes after he had graduated from basic training in the Army and went on to Advanced Individual Training to become a diesel mechanic.

According to Shannon, joining the military in September 2015 was a dream come true for Tyler. “My husband absolutely LOVED the military and felt it was his calling, his way to help our country and to better the lives of the American people!” she explained in a public Facebook post. She’s asked people to share a photo of Tyler and their son, Colton, then 2, who saluted his father while he stood at attention at his basic training graduation. “The bugle was about to play within about 5 minutes of me taking this picture of my husband looking at the flag waiting to salute! He has always been good at being on time for things and made sure he didn’t finish our tour until he heard that bugle sing. My husband had no idea our son Colton Lane was saluting him while we were waiting!! This picture just tears at my heart strings! My son always practiced saluting with me at home so when he got to see Daddy graduate he could salute him. It was the cutest thing because he’d salute and then say “yes sir” or “yes ma’am.’”
But life in the military was not to be. Tyler broke his knee in January 2016, just a few weeks before he was to graduate AIT. “With that happening he wasn’t able to train because he had a full leg cast from his hip to his ankle therefore he couldn’t wear his combat boots when at school learning to be a diesel mechanic,” explained Shannon. “His teachers wouldn’t let him go to class and he couldn’t train. Sadly he ended up being discharged. He was beyond happy to be coming home to his family but was so upset he was gone from his military family whom he loved dearly.”

Shannon said that in January of this year he began working at Star Trucking, where they were helping him to become certified as a diesel mechanic. That’s where he was coming home from when the crash occurred.

Tyler’s death has left Kim heartbroken. “I’m devastated, heartbroken, and unsure of what the future holds for Colton and I but I know Ty’s looking down on us with our little girl protecting us the best they can! I’m just so proud of all the things he’s accomplished in his life, how he was such a hard worker, an amazing friend to every person he came across whether he knew you or not. He was the biggest social butterfly and everyone just fell in love with his personality, he most certainly was the life of the party!”

Family and friends said goodbye to Tyler during a funeral at Pederson Funeral Home Monday. The family has asked for memorial contributions in lieu of flowers.

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Horse on the loose


This mini horse escaped his home on 18 Mile in Nelson Township and headed to town last Friday, December 16. Gizmo is shown here with his owner, Ann Hughes. Post photo by J. Reed.

This mini horse escaped his home on 18 Mile in Nelson Township and headed to town last Friday, December 16. Gizmo is shown here with his owner, Ann Hughes. Post photo by J. Reed.

It’s not something you see every day—a mini horse traveling down the streets of Cedar Springs on his own.

But that was the case last Friday morning, when a 911 caller reported seeing a  pony loose at the intersection of Main and Muskegon Street, and dispatch reported he was skittish around vehicles. Soon after he was reported on First Street, where some quick thinking gentlemen captured him in the parking lot across from Sue’s Kountry Kitchen.

The animal’s owner, Ann Hughes, of Nelson Township, arrived soon after to retrieve the four-year-old mini horse, whose name is Gizmo. Another gentleman there in the parking lot was trying to find a trailer to haul the animal back home again for her when the Post left the scene.

The amazing thing is how far the mini horse traveled—the owner said they live on 18 Mile Road, between Shaner and Ritchie, so it came quite a ways on its own! We are glad Gizmo was recovered safely, and we wish him and his family a merry Christmas!

 

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Biggby Coffee coming to Cedar Springs


biggbylogofcCoffee chain to move into storefront just off 17 Mile at White Creek Avenue

By Judy Reed

Come this December, there will be a new coffee shop serving people in the greater Cedar Springs area. Bob and Deb Garza, of Sand Lake, are opening a new Biggby Coffee in the strip mall on White Creek Avenue, just north of KFC.

The coffee shop will be next to the Laundromat, and will include a drive thru on the back of the building. Patrons will enter in the north drive and follow that to the rear of the building and turn left to get to the board and drive thru window.

They are doing full renovations to the store, and have already completed major framing, the piping, and some of the electrical. Bob Garza said the project will cost about $300,000, and will bring about 15-22 jobs to Cedar Springs.

The Garzas acquired the franchise in 2014, and had looked at a couple of other sites before deciding on the current one. Both a potential site behind the Citgo station at 17 Mile and White Creek, and where the Family Fare pharmacy was located were under consideration previously.

During the time that they were trying to secure a location in Cedar Springs, Garza said he could have chosen locations in other areas, such as Fremont, but he wanted to stay in Cedar Springs.

He said his two daughters went to Cedar Springs Schools (one graduated two years ago and one is now a senior), he has coached soccer, and Deb coaches cheer.

“We stayed in Cedar Springs because we are the best owners for the area, being we are from the community,” he said.

You can follow their progress on facebook by searching for Biggby Coffee of Cedar Springs.

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Crashes on 17 Mile and White Creek


POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

 

Once again, on the corner of White Creek and 17 Mile Road, there is a wreck—one truck with the front end destroyed and the other upside down. Quite a few crashes in the center turn lane and the other lanes on 17 Mile Road. Two people taken to the hospital from the two-truck incident. Cars are turning this way and that way into the stores. People run the light at White Creek and 17 Mile Road often. Does anyone else wish the speed limit on both roads was 35 mph enforced? Forty-five to 50 mph is way too fast.

David Viau, Cedar Springs

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No longer a welcoming community?


POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

I am truly saddened and disheartened by the actions of some of our community members. The way that some behave and tear others down is just wrong.  I remember when my kiddos were at Cedar Trails they use to sing a song about welcoming people to Cedar Springs and how people with all different backgrounds were welcome here. I wish our community would follow in the footsteps of that song.

How horrible it is that someone comes to our town looking to put down roots, but before they’re even able to get a toe in the water there are people trying to push them out. Constantly being criticized for doing the job they were hired to do. The way our superintendent has been treated makes me sick. How would you feel if you put your all into something you believed in, working tirelessly and accomplished amazing things, bringing our district many, many positive changes and programs that it had been in desperate need of, but yet, you constantly had to be on guard and defend yourself because some people want you gone? The same people who were upset you got the job in the first place. Now they’re not only attacking you, they’re attacking your husband; a man who spends countless hours volunteering for the school and Red Flannel. I’ve heard it said that people don’t know how it is possible that he’s now the Red Flannel President. I can only imagine it’s because of the countless volunteer hours he’s put in for the festival and he’s earned his place.

It really makes me sad that we live in a place that does not give people a chance and does not accept everyone as equals. I can’t even begin to list all the positive things that have happened in our district in the past two years, things that directly affect our kids. I pray people take a step back and think of how they’re treating others and the message it’s sending to all of our kids. It is high time we let the past be the past and move forward together in the positive direction the district is now heading.

Jennifer Skelonc, Nelson Township

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Students visit from Beijing


These Chinese students spent three weeks in Cedar Springs this summer.

These Chinese students spent three weeks in Cedar Springs this summer.

Almost 70 high school students from China have made an impact on Cedar Springs over the last few weeks, and will also take a little bit of Red Flannel town with them.

Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, a local nonprofit organization, teamed up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp for the third summer in a row, in order to work together with Lu He Cultural Training Center in Beijing to bring the students here.

Chinese students learned about some of America’s founding fathers in their ESL class this summer.

Chinese students learned about some of America’s founding fathers in their ESL class this summer.

The Chinese students are here for a three-week English Immersion program. They spend two weeks in local host families, and one week at camp. While here, they participated in twelve hours of ESL classes under the theme of “All men are created equal,” as well as visiting some of our local attractions. Not only were there guest appearances from famous Americans in their ESL classes such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, a pilgrim, and Paul Revere, but they also learned of our struggles as a nation with racism and prejudice. An African American, and a Native American Indian speaker also shared their cultural difficulties within our land. Whether Chinese or American, it was very moving for all who heard them share their hearts.

The students cleaned the Kent Theatre as part of a community service project.

The students cleaned the Kent Theatre as part of a community service project.

The students also did a thorough cleaning of the Kent Theater in Cedar Springs, as part of a community service project.

The students’ final week is spent having fun at Pine Ridge Bible Camp August 1-6. When they leave, they hope to take some copies of the Cedar Springs Post back with them to Beijing.

The Bauers and Pine Ridge Camp are grateful for this exciting relationship with those from the other side of the world. They hope to visit Lu He next year in Beijing for their 150th anniversary. The school was founded in 1867 by American Christian missionaries, and many of the buildings on campus have American names after those who first began their school. It is a growing relationship that the Bauers pray blesses both countries.

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Memorial Day services 


It was a beautiful day across West Michigan Monday, May 30, and many residents gathered in cemeteries and parks for the annual Memorial Day Services.

Here in Cedar Springs, the Glen Hill American Legion Post held services at Elmwood Cemetery, where the Avenue of Flags memorialized veterans laid to rest there; at Solon Cemetery; at East Nelson Cemetery; and at Veterans Memorial Park on Oak Street. Nelson Township resident Lt/Col. Tom Noreen was the guest speaker.

Memorial Day services were also held at Algoma, Sand Lake, and Pierson.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society held their annual cemetery walk honoring veterans on Sunday, May 29.

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EMILY L. GATES


Emily L. Gates

Emily L. Gates 91 of Cedar Springs, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at Metron of Cedar Springs with her family by her side. Emily was born June 15, 1924 in Forest Grove, MI the daughter of John and Elizabeth (DeKleine) VanOss. She was a loving wife, mother and homemaker who enjoyed handwork – knitting, crocheting and cross-stitch. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs where she served as a deaconess. Surviving are her sons, Lohryn (Debbi), David, Dan (Carole), Karl “Johnny” (Vicki), Kevin (Valerie), Lance (Kim); 24 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; sister, Karen (Al) Kunzi; brothers, Howard Van Oss, Robert (Verna) VanOss; sister-in-law, Ruth VanOss; brother-in-law, Lyman (Joan) Gates. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan in 1975; sister, Dorothy (Robert) Crater; brother, Richard Van Oss; great granddaughter, Piper. The family will greet friends Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Wednesday 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 233 S. Main St. Cedar Springs. Pastor Dan Currie officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Missionary Fund or Hospice of Michigan.

Arrangements by Bliss Witters &Pike Funeral Home.

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Three northern Kent County residents hurt in Lowell crash


A Rockford man is in critical condition and a Cedar Springs couple is in stable condition after a traffic accident in Lowell Township Sunday morning, October 26.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Joseph Kelly, 66, of Rockford, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Prism southbound on Segwun Avenue, about 9:26 a.m., when he failed to stop at the stop sign at Cascade Road. He was hit by an eastbound 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by David Ladd, 65, of Cedar Springs.

Both vehicles drove off the roadway and into a field. Kelly was not responsive at the accident scene and was transported by Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. He is in critical condition at this time. Lad,d and his wife, Vickie,63, were transported by ambulance to Spectrum. They are in stable condition.

The accident is still under investigation at this time. Neither Alcohol nor speed appear to be factors.

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