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Tag Archive | "cedar springs"

Student hit while crossing street

By Judy Reed

A car struck a Cedar Springs Middle School student attempting to cross the street earlier this week. 

According to Sgt. Todd Probst, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred on Tuesday, November 13, about 7 a.m. He said a 13-year-old girl was on the edge of the road on Northland Drive, about 20 feet south of Beckett Blvd (at Northland Estates), when she stepped into the roadway to cross to the Middle School and was hit by the front passenger side of a vehicle traveling southbound on Northland.  

The impact sent her flying into the air, and she landed on her hip, but reportedly had no visible injuries. She did complain of some hip pain and was privately transported to the hospital by her parents.  

A bus driver nearby called the accident into dispatch. The driver of the car that hit her, a 16-year-old male, stopped at the scene. The driver of the vehicle following that car also stopped and was a witness at the scene. “From what the driver told us and what the driver of the vehicle following told us, it does not sound like speed was a factor,” said Probst. “The driver was not at fault.” He added that the flashers on the speed limit signs were flashing at the time showing the speed limit was 40 mph.

Some students may have seen the accident. “My daughter said that she heard a thud and turned and saw her friend lying in the grass across from the school,” a parent told the Post. 

School Superintendent Scott Smith sent out an email to parents who had students on bus #7156 and may have seen the accident. He explained the 7th grader was struck while attempting to cross Northland Drive and transported by her parents to the hospital. “Staff members and counselors were available throughout the day today to support students as needed at Red Hawk as well as the Middle and High Schools. If you find that your daughter/son needs additional support to process the events of this morning, please reach out to her/his Principal.

“We are thankful that the student was not seriously injured in the accident. We are also grateful for the members of our community who assisted at the scene until the first responders arrived. We appreciate the efforts of the first responders, the bus driver, and members of the Cedar Springs team this morning.  

“Student safety is always our priority. We will assess this situation to see if there is anything we can do to improve safety measures for our students as they make their way to and from school,” Smith said.

Sgt. Probst said that the City and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office are going to look into that area near the Middle School also to see if there’s anything that can be done.

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Activities keep the FFA Busy

By Chloe Boomgaard 

The Cedar Springs FFA chapter has had a very busy start to a new year with many events happening. Now that the school year is in full swing so are many of FFA events. 

The FFA kicked off October with our second grade harvest day on the 16th. The FFA had 26 members help lead 10 different classes of students through a FFA designed corn maze and many members brought different livestock animals to give the kids a small barnyard with cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, and a draft horse. Each child got the opportunity to ride on a wagon pulled by one of the two tractors with high school drivers Dylan McConnon and Garret Migoski. These wagons brought the students to the middle school where the students were split into smaller groups with one high school student leader. After the students completed the corn maze, they were able to interact with the animals and get an apple, a drink of milk, and a coloring book made by FFA members. The second grade students, their teachers, and parent helpers had a great time exploring the corn maze and animals.

 On October 24th through the 26th a group of FFA members took a trip to Indianapolis for the 91st national Convention and Expo. Those members included Chloe Boomgaard, Dylan McConnon, Autumn Adkison, Gideon McConnon, Carly Dunham, Garret Migoski, Olivia Martinek, Trevor Marsman, Emily Brown, Zack Cardinal, and a great group of chaperones including Amy Marsman, Marcie Boomgaard, Bill Brandt and Mr. Reyburn. The National FFA Convention is an event where FFA members and advisors from all over the country attend sessions, competitions, an expo, workshops, and many other activities. The National Convention drew over 62,000 members from across the nation. The attendees also had the opportunity to see the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Bass pro shop, a Garth Brooks concert, The World’s Toughest Rodeo, and the chance to see the National FFA Officers. National Convention is always an awesome learning opportunity, and an exciting event to be a part of. One of the highlights was the election of Michigan member Adrian Schunk elected to National FFA Eastern Region Vice President. On Saturday, President Trump addressed the convention, but the Cedar group had to return home as several members were scheduled to work Saturday.

After students returned from National convention, the PALS program kick off took place on November first. PALS is a branch of the FFA where high school students mentor 2nd graders. Members are very eager to get the program rolling. Members of this program include: Chloe Boomgaard (chairperson), Morgan Singleton, Ricky Wood, Aubriana Smith-Russell,and Ryan Matteson Jr. These students are very excited to begin changing the lives of a few students in the elementary schools. Along with PALS beginning, the students in Mr. Reyburn’s Agriculture and Natural resources classes and Animal Science class had the opportunity to have a class period run by two of the Michigan State Officers, Secretary Raegan Gembarski and Region I State Vice President Abigail Puskala. The Officer Team would like to give a big thank you to the State Officers for taking time to come to our high school to meet with our members.   

The FFA is beginning to plan many other activities including the Big Buck Contest with Gideon McConnon chairing the contest.  All of the rules and regulations are up on the Cedar Springs FFA official Facebook page, and a Christmas party with Emily Brown planning the activities for the party. Keep a look out for more updates to come. 



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Community organization seeking members


Would you like to make a hands-on difference in your community? If you’re interested in getting involved in the Cedar Springs community, the Community Building Development Team is looking for new members. The CBDT spearheads major community projects in the City and is responsible for the new community library, community gardens, and is actively working on developing playgrounds and an amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs park. If you want to make a difference, consider joining the CBDT at their next meeting January 16, at the new Cedar Springs Public Library at 6:00 p.m. to see how you can make the City a better place to live.

You can visit their website at http://www.cscommunitycenter.org/.

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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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