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Flowing well dedicated


Flowing well dedicated
By Judy Reed
One of Cedar Springs oldest natural landmarks has been restored.
Cedar Springs was named after the naturally flowing springs and Cedar trees that dotted the area. One of the first settlements was reported to have been a tavern near Cedar Creek, and nearby were some Cedar trees and a large spring. It is thought to have been behind the current firebarn on Maple Street, where a large spring still flows. Or at least it did, until a year and half ago, when it was capped to avoid contamination from the old foundry that was being torn down.
Members of the Cedar Springs City Council thought it was important to get the well uncapped, but there were costly steps that needed to be taken to get the work done properly. With the same economic problems facing the city that faces other municipalities across the state, they weren’t sure they would get it done in this year’s budget. But volunteers stepped forward to make sure it happened.
The spring was uncapped Friday, October 2, and the well formally dedicated.
“This is a project that is dear to the hearts of several council members since it was capped 1-1/2 years ago,” noted Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns.
Mayor Linda Hunt showed a photo of the well from the book The Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, and told the story of the first settlement. “It reminds us that it’s a place in history for us,” said Hunt. “It’s a pleasure to see the well uncapped again. It looks like it did long ago.”
Hunt also presented a “You make a difference” award to Craig Merlington, of North Kent Well Pump, for the work he did on the well.
“This has been a long time coming, and is a huge passion for many,” noted Burns.
Though many people say they remember drinking from the well, it is labeled as “non-potable.” The city hopes to eventually turn it into a fountain.

By Judy Reed

One of Cedar Springs oldest natural landmarks has been restored.

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

Cedar Springs was named after the naturally flowing springs and Cedar trees that dotted the area. One of the first settlements was reported to have been a tavern near Cedar Creek, and nearby were some Cedar trees and a large spring. It is thought to have been behind the current firebarn on Maple Street, where a large spring still flows. Or at least it did, until a year and half ago, when it was capped to avoid contamination from the old foundry that was being torn down.

Members of the Cedar Springs City Council thought it was important to get the well uncapped, but there were costly steps that needed to be taken to get the work done properly. With the same economic problems facing the city that faces other municipalities across the state, they weren’t sure they would get it done in this year’s budget. But volunteers stepped forward to make sure it happened.

The spring was uncapped Friday, October 2, and the well formally dedicated.

“This is a project that is dear to the hearts of several council members since it was capped 1-1/2 years ago,” noted Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns.

Mayor Linda Hunt showed a photo of the well from the book The Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, and told the story of the first settlement. “It reminds us that it’s a place in history for us,” said Hunt. “It’s a pleasure to see the well uncapped again. It looks like it did long ago.”

Hunt also presented a “You make a difference” award to Craig Merlington, of North Kent Well Pump, for the work he did on the well.

“This has been a long time coming, and is a huge passion for many,” noted Burns.

Though many people say they remember drinking from the well, it is labeled as “non-potable.” The city hopes to eventually turn it into a fountain.

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City councilmember receives award


City councilmember
receives award
Patricia Capek, mayor pro tem on the Cedar Springs City Council, received a special award of merit from the Michigan Municipal League at their annual convention last week.
The award recognizes outstanding leadership and service to the League and municipal government.
Capek has been a resident of Cedar Springs since 1975. She is currently serving her 4th term on the Cedar Springs City Council, where she held the position of Mayor Pro-Tem on two separate occasions. She currently serves on the Cedar Springs Public Library Construction Committee and serves on the MML Elected Officials Academy Board and is a past president of MML Region III.
According to the MML, Pat has been a tireless supporter of the League since 1995. It was noted in the awards program that “She not only received the highest Elected Officials Academy award, the Level III Governance Award, but she also served as EOA board president in 2007-08. She has been and continues to be a vocal cheerleader for continuing education and the EOA program.”
City Manager Christine Burns was pleased to see her honored. “If people ask her to serve on a committee, she does. And she gives 110 percent. She’s very visible, everyone knows her. It’s a pretty cool thing.”
Capek was humble about it. “Anytime anyone gets recognized, it’s a reflection on the community, and I am privileged to be part of it,” she said.

Patricia Capek, mayor pro tem on the Cedar Springs City Council, received a special award of merit from the Michigan Municipal League at their annual convention last week.

The award recognizes outstanding leadership and service to the League and municipal government.

N-capek-wins-awardCapek has been a resident of Cedar Springs since 1975. She is currently serving her 4th term on the Cedar Springs City Council, where she held the position of Mayor Pro-Tem on two separate occasions. She currently serves on the Cedar Springs Public Library Construction Committee and serves on the MML Elected Officials Academy Board and is a past president of MML Region III.

According to the MML, Pat has been a tireless supporter of the League since 1995. It was noted in the awards program that “She not only received the highest Elected Officials Academy award, the Level III Governance Award, but she also served as EOA board president in 2007-08. She has been and continues to be a vocal cheerleader for continuing education and the EOA program.”

City Manager Christine Burns was pleased to see her honored. “If people ask her to serve on a committee, she does. And she gives 110 percent. She’s very visible, everyone knows her. It’s a pretty cool thing.”

Capek was humble about it. “Anytime anyone gets recognized, it’s a reflection on the community, and I am privileged to be part of it,” she said.

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Historic well to be rededicated


By Judy Reed

N-Well-to-be-rededicatedThe oldest flowing well in Cedar Springs will be rededicated on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

The well sits on property behind the fire barn on Maple Street, which is thought to be the property where the first residents in Cedar Springs settled, when it was all still woodland.

The well was temporarily capped a year ago, when the old foundry was torn down, so that the well wouldn’t become tainted.

The casing on the well has been inspected, and new stone now surrounds it, thanks to volunteers. The well cannot be used for drinking, however. The city is also seeking donations to make it into a fountain.

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Class of 1959 holds 50th reunion


N-Reunion-Class-of-59-50thThe Cedar Springs High School Class of 1959 celebrated its 50th Reunion on Sunday afternoon, September 13, 2009, at Boulder Creek Golf Course. Twenty-six of the 53 graduates attended, along with one of their class advisors, Mrs. Helen McLaughlin.

There was a total of 46 in attendance. Nine classmates are deceased.

After many group pictures were taken, the classmates had dinner and cake, watched a DVD of slides of their school years put to music, spoke about their families, and reminisced about their past adventures. After an enjoyable evening, all left with souvenir coffee mugs and booklets of classmate information.

The Class of ’59 was the last Cedar Springs High School class to attend all 13 grades in the school on the hill, now known as Hilltop Administration/New Beginnings. Since the “new” high school (now Red Hawk Elementary) was built and finished in the spring of 1959, the 53 graduates of the Class of ’59 were the first to hold their graduation ceremony in the “new” high school gymnasium.

Members of the Reunion committee were Sue (Grannis) Harrison, Joanne (Ballard) Cahoon, and Judy (Winter) Rowland.

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Mobile home parks not high crime areas


When people think about crime in the city of Cedar Springs, there are certain neighborhoods that spring to mind as “high crime areas.” But when Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent took a look at the statistics for July 2009, he found something many might find surprising.

“My goal was to see how many calls are related to the two mobile home parks—Cedar Springs Mobil Estates and Northland Estates, and on calls related to our two apartment complexes, Red Flannel Apartments and Meadow Creek Apartments,” explained Chief Parent. None showed crime disproportionate to the number of residents.

They had a total of 273 calls or incidents in July. Fifty-six (20 percent) were at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates; seven (2 percent) were at Northland Estates; and 18 (6 percent) at the two apartment complexes on E. Oak Street.

Cedar Springs Mobile Estates has 216 lots with 190 filled. “Averaging four per household, 760 residents would be very close to 24 percent of our city population, and they had about one-quarter of the calls. That makes sense,” said Parent.

“I also found it interesting that five of the 18 calls at the apartment complexes were fireworks,” noted Parent. Northland Estates had one fireworks complaint while Cedar Springs Mobile Estates had two.

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Church to give back to community


The city of Cedar Springs and its residents will get a helping hand with yard chores this Sunday.

According to Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns, members of The Springs Free Methodist Church in Cedar Springs will forego a traditional church service on Sunday, September 27, 2009, and will instead disperse into the community to perform a city-wide clean-up.

“Congregation members will be trimming hedges, washing windows and pulling weeds in public areas along with a host of other tasks,” said Burns. “Pastor Barry Briggs approached the City several weeks ago, requesting a list of items that needed to be accomplished before the Red Flannel Festival on October 3rd. Pastor Briggs tied the concept of community service to a recent sermon, hoping to spark others to give back.”

Burns said the congregation also plans to assist homeowners at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates with basic home repair and maintenance. It is estimated that 200 worshipers will spend 2 hours canvassing Cedar Springs.

“If you see them, please extend a warm ‘thank you’ for their contribution to make Cedar Springs a great place to live, work and play,” she remarked.

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Fire guts home


N-FireFive fire departments battled a blaze in the wee hours of Friday morning that consumed a Cedar Springs home.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Jerry Gross, they were dispatched to the scene of the fire at132 S. Grant, at 3:07 a.m. on Friday, September 11 and were on scene at 3:14 a.m. They had it under control by 4 a.m.

According to neighbors, the home belonged to the Hunter family, and Bobby Hunter Jr. was staying there at the time. He was home at the time of the fire, and escaped with minor burns near his left elbow.

Gross said that construction and additions to the home contributed to the difficulty in extinguishing the fire in the attic area. The cause has not been determined, and is still under investigation.

Courtland, Sand Lake, Solon, and Algoma Township Fire Departments all assisted at the scene.

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Driver killed in head-on collision on M-57


By Judy Reed

The Michigan State Police are still investigating what may have caused a driver to cross the center line of M-57 Tuesday and crash head-on into a semi-tractor trailer.

The Michigan State Police are still investigating what may have caused a driver to cross the center line of M-57 Tuesday and crash head-on into a semi-tractor trailer.

A family was left fatherless Tuesday after a vehicle and semi-truck crashed head-on in Oakfield Township Tuesday.

Witnesses Joan and Chuck Carpenter were heading westbound on 14 Mile to a doctor’s appointment Tuesday about 12:08 p.m., near Redmond Avenue, when the accident occurred.

“The car in front of me just swerved across the center line and into that truck,” said Chuck, who was visibly shaken by the accident.

The car in front of them, driven by Kevin Fazio, 41, of Rockford, had hit an eastbound semi-tractor trailer hauling diesel fuel. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It was like something out of a wild movie,” remarked Joan. “The car flew up and spun around. I really thought it was going to hit us.” The car did sideswipe the Carpenter  vehicle, but they were unhurt.

According to Michigan State Police Trooper Mike Hall, the truck driver swerved to the shoulder, where the truck overturned and caught fire in the cab. It also spilled its contents.

Shortly after the accident occurred, a Kent City fireman and a reserve officer stopped and checked on the victims, and helped get the truck driver out of the burning cab. Courtland and Oakfield Fire Departments responded to the scene, and quickly doused the flames. The truck driver escaped with non-life threatening injuries.

*N-Accident Fatal CarTrooper Hall said that an autopsy would be conducted to see if there was any medical condition that would have caused the driver to cross the centerline. He is survived by his wife Cathy, and two children, Nate and Megan.

Assisting Michigan State Police at the scene was the fire departments, Kent County Sheriff’s Department, and the Kent County Road Commission. The road was closed for several hours while a Hazmat company and the fire departments cleaned up the scene. The accident is still under investigation.

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Victims pinned in vehicle after crash


A quick turn into a driveway on Lincoln Lake Avenue to look at a van for sale resulted in a trip to the hospital for four residents Sunday.

Four people went to the hospital after this accident in Oakfield Township Sunday.

Four people went to the hospital after this accident in Oakfield Township Sunday.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Virgil Turner, 53, of Cedar Springs, was southbound on Lincoln Lake Avenue, just north of 14 Mile Road in his Dodge Durango just after 6 p.m. August 30, when he attempted a turn in front of a northbound Ford F150 truck. The vehicles collided, sending the Durango into a tree before it flipped onto its top.

Both Oakfield and Spencer Township Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, and extricated the victims. Oakfield Fire Chief Mickey Davis said he was the first rescuer on the scene, and that the Durango was smoking when he arrived, but he could not confirm another media report that said neighbors had doused flames before firefighters arrived. “No one said anything about that to us,” said Davis.

Rescued from the Durango was Turner, who suffered minor injuries; front seat passenger Carol Fisher, 44, of Cedar Springs, who suffered minor injuries; and rear-seat passenger Edward Fisher, 24, of Cedar Springs, who suffered a head injury. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

Merle Glendon, 67, of Gowen, was driving the Ford F150, and he complained of head and neck pain. All were transported to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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Car accident leaves victim critical


Cedar Springs man suffered severe injuries when he crashed his car into some heavy construction equipment last weekend in Algoma Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Eric Darling, 25, of Cedar Springs, was traveling northbound on Northland Drive, just north of 13 Mile Road at 3:38 a.m. Sunday morning, August 30, when his 1993 Pontiac Sunfire left the roadway and crashed head-on into a skid steer loader.

Algoma Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and extricated the driver from the vehicle. He was airlifted by AeroMed to Butterworth Hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Rockford Ambulance also assisted at the scene.

According to police, the victim was alone in the vehicle, and alcohol is believed to be a factor. The accident is still under investigation.

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