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Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Christmas day fire leaves family homeless

This Sand Lake area home caught fire Christmas day.

An Ensley Township family is now staying with relatives after their home caught fire Christmas Day.
According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the fire broke out about 3:30 p.m., Sunday, December 25. He said the family was playing cards at their home, located at 12905 S. Elm Street, in Ensley Township, when the dog started barking. When someone went to see why the dog was barking, the person discovered the fire in the breezeway, which was between the garage and the house. All five people at home at the time got out safely.
“It may have been caused by Christmas lights in the breezeway,” said Holtzlander, “but we won’t know for sure until the fire investigator comes out to look at it this week.”
Both Cedar Springs and Grant Fire Departments assisted Sand Lake at the scene. Holtzlander said they had the fire knocked down within about a half hour and cleared the scene a little after 6 p.m.
Holtzlander said that home would likely be a total loss, but that probably 95 percent of the family’s belongings were salvageable. “We had enough help on scene that we were able to move their belongings to the west side of the house,” he explained.
While the whole house didn’t burn down, the kitchen area by the breezeway was damaged, the fire got into the attic, and the trusses were charred. The house also had smoke damage.
The house, which belongs to Don Vandenberg, is reportedly insured.

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Chinook pilot and crew heads to Afghanistan

CW3 Timothy Alan Miller’s family celebrated an early Christmas last week before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Miller was the Chinook helicopter pilot that flew in to Sjinner Field to celebrate Veteran’s Day here in Cedar Springs. He can be seen in the photo below frolicking with his sons, while wearing the Red Flannels his family received as a gift. The second photo shows him and his son before his departure.
Miller’s unit’s six Chinook helicopters left early last week for Texas to receive training before heading to Afghanistan.
Thanks to Wayne and June Price for passing along the photos.

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Operation Christmas

Cedar View teacher Mrs. Poll’s son, First Sergeant Mike Poll, is serving in the 236th transportation unit in Afghanistan.  He helps lead over 160 troops.  Many of these soldiers will not be home for Christmas.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes decided to help these soldiers during the holidays and send some holiday cheer. They called this project Operation Christmas. First Sergeant Mike Poll mentioned the soldiers would appreciate goodies of any kind.
Ten boxes of cookies, gum, crackers, jerky, stickers, and other goodies were sent to these soldiers. The ten boxes totaled over 90 pounds.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes also incorporated writing skills as each class wrote letters and Christmas cards to the soldiers.

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Christmas Coloring Contest winners

Congratulations to our winners of the 2011 Christmas Coloring Contest! Your prizes will be  available for pick up on Monday, December 26th at the Cedar Springs Post newspaper office, 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Age Group: 3-4 years
Dominic Vanderhyde
age 4
of Cedar Springs

Age group:
5-7 years
Selena Carter
age 7
of Howard City




Age group:
8-10 years
Adriana Johnson
age 10
of Cedar Springs

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Baby’s 1st Christmas

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Winter weather can strain your heart

American Heart Association offers lifesaving tips to get through the season

As many of us hope for a white Christmas, keep in mind the snow and cold winter months can be very hard on people with potential heart problems and people with existing heart problems. Some studies even suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion. Therefore, the American Heart Association is sharing some safe winter weather tips for your heart.
This winter, while you’re outdoors in the cold weather, be aware that your heart is working harder. If you’re not accustomed to physical activity, you should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person’s heart.
To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association suggests:
*Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
*Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
*Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
*Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
*Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
*Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
*Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.
Wind Chill
Besides cold temperatures and snow, we know we’ll have high winds to cope with also.  Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body.  At 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 30-mile wind, the cooling effect is equal to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand.  Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
*Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
*Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
*Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
*Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away.
For more information, visit your physician or call the American Heart Association at 800-AHA-USA1 or visit online at www.heart.org.

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Dealing with December

Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

In the coming weeks many of us will be quite busy. At this time of year some of us might find ourselves spending a great deal of time (and money) getting those last minute Christmas gifts for loved ones. Others, who manage to avoid the busyness of the stores, may find themselves busy in the kitchen preparing snacks and meals for family get togethers. Still others will spend lengthy stretches of time traveling in town or out of town to family functions, Christmas programs and New Years Eve parties. Andy Williams tells us in his classic song that this is the most wonderful time of the year, and the Christmas season certainly has its share of joy. But it can also be a rather hectic time. In light of this, I’ve written a poem that I hope will be helpful to you and will keep things in perspective during the sometimes overwhelming Christmas season.
When in December
When as you scrape the frost off your car and feel the cold in your face
and come to realize, you’ve just a few minutes to get to the workplace.
When there’s still gifts to be bought and cards to be sent
but you’re still trying to find the money for the monthly rent.
When the kids want you to help build the snow man and this year they want him with feet!
but your struggling to find time just to put those Christmas Cookies on the baking sheet.
When the dog needs to be walked and the tree still needs to be put up
and all the while you receive a call from a telemarketer who says “What’s up?”
When the Christmas play is at 6 and the Caroling is at 8
and your teenaged son wants the keys so he can go on his date.
When the busyness of this season, has you at wits end
Remember, our heavenly father and the Gift He did send.
When the days are cold and our windows full of frost
Remember Immanuel, God is with us; we’re never lost!
When the bills start to mount and we wonder how we’ll pay
Remember, that the Lord always makes a way.
When we start to lose our joy and can barely even talk
Turn your eyes to the one whose known as the Solid Rock.
When there’s much to do and not enough hours in the day
Never worry, because to Him we can always pray.
And in the sometimes hectic and pressure-filled December days
Always remember, by your side God always stays.

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Church Showcase

Celebrate the joy of Christmas at one of the churches in our community:
Dec. 16, 25, 25: The Springs Church Worship Arts Team is presenting a fun night of Christmas music for the whole family, on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. Hear some great classics as well as a few new songs. On the weekend of Christmas, they will have two services, one on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. and one on Christmas Day at 11 a.m.  Both will be the same, so pick the time that works best for you! Feel free to come as you are. Nursery will be provided for 3 yrs & younger during both services. We are located on the corner of Oak & First Streets in Cedar Springs.  For more information visit our website at www.thespringschurch.info or call 696-2970.
Dec. 17: Maranatha Baptist Church will present the musical drama, “Christmas in Deepwater” on Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 18 at 6:00 pm. Nursery for children age 3 and under is available at both performances. On December 25, they will have one Christmas Day service at 8 a.m. There will be no 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. services on Christmas.
Dec. 18, 24, 25: Solon Center Wesleyan Church will have their Children’s Christmas Program, The Light of Christmas, Sunday, December 18, at 11 a.m. They also invite you to their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Saturday, December 24th at 6 p.m., and their Christmas Day Service, with a special start time of 10:30 a.m. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Ave., just north of 19 Mile Rd.
Dec. 18, 25: Church of the Full Gospel will celebrate their Christmas service on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. and evening service at 6 p.m. On Christmas day, Dec. 25, they will have a morning service only at 11 a.m. The church is located at 180 E. Lake Street, Sand Lake.
Dec. 18, 24, 25: Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main, Cedar Springs, will present their Choir Cantata: “Rejoice in His Coming” on Dec. 18 at 9 a.m. On Dec. 24, they will hold two Christmas eve worship services, one at 7 p.m. and one at 10 p.m. The 7 p.m. service includes a children’s activity for kids during the service. Childcare available up to 3 years old. The 10 p.m. service includes special music from a brass ensemble. Holy Communion will be celebrated at both services, and an offering taken for Beach Picnic Basket in Cedar Springs and Methodist Children’s Home near Detroit. Christmas Day they will hold one worship service at 10 a.m.
Dec. 18, 25: Pioneer Christian Reformed, located at 3110 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, will hold a candlelight service on Dec 18, at 4 p.m. and a Christmas Day Service on Dec. 25, at 10 a.m.
Dec. 24: Calvary Assembly of God is holding candlelight services at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day. The church is located at 810 17 Mile Road.
Dec. 24: North Kent Community Church will hold a Christmas Candlelight Service on December 25 at 10 a.m. Morning refreshments will be served at 9:45 a.m. The church is located at 1480 Indian Lakes Rd, Sparta.
For more info contact Pastor Craig Carter @ 616.550.6398.
Dec. 24: East Nelson United Methodist Church, at 9024-18 Mile Rd. NE will celebrate Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, with a candlelight service at 7 p.m. On Christmas Day, Dec. 25, they will have an informal service in the Gathering Room that will include brunch at 9:30 a.m. Come and celebrate the Holy Birth!
Dec. 24: Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church will celebrate a Candlelight Service, on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at 7:00 p.m. They will celebrate Christmas Morning Worship, at 10:00 a.m., Dec. 25. The church is located at 10295 Myers Lake Ave., just south of 13 Mile Rd.
Dec. 24: Rockford Springs Community Church will be having a Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 9:00 p.m. and a Christmas morning service at 9:30 a.m.  The church is located at 5815 – 14 Mile Rd., Rockford.
Dec. 24: Sand Lake United Methodist will hold a Christmas eve service at 7 p.m. and a Christmas day service at 9:25 a.m. The church is located at 65 W. Maple Street, Sand Lake.
Dec. 24: South Ensley United Methodist will join Sand Lake United Methodist for their Christmas Eve service (see above) and then hold their own Christmas day service at 10:55 a.m. The church is located at 13600 S. Cypress, Sand Lake.
Dec. 24: Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Drive, in Sand Lake, will have a Christmas Eve Candle Light service at 7 p.m. and Christmas Day service at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 25: Pilgrim Bible Church  will be having a Christmas celebration service on Sunday morning, December 25, at 10:00 a.m. This will be their only service that day. The church is located on West Pine Street, in Cedar Springs.

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Holiday Happenings

A Christmas Carol
Dec. 9: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Brian Way and produced through special arrangements with Baker’s Plays and the Cedar Springs Theatre Association, will be opening Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. on the Kent Theatre stage in downtown Cedar Springs. The production runs through Dec. 11 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 10th, and a final matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids 11 and under. They’re available at the Cedar Springs Public Library or by calling 616-696-0949 or 616-696-SHOW or before each performance at the Kent Theatre box office, which opens at 7 p.m. for evening performances and at 1:30 p.m. for matinee performances.
Meet Santa
Dec. 10: Santa will be at Family Fare in Cedar Springs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10.
Make a gingerbread house
Dec. 10: Calling all Kids to decorate a Gingerbread House at the Cedar Springs Public Library. Please preregister for supplies provided. Sign up for one of three sessions: 10-11am, 11:30-12:30pm or 1-2pm. Stop by the library to register, call 616-696-1910 or email your reservation in at ced@llcoop.org and put “Gingerbread House” in the subject line.
Santa at CTA
Dec. 15: Santa and his reindeer will be at Creative Technologies Academy, 350 Pine St., Cedar Springs, on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $5 per person, or $20 per family. Kids 2 and under free. Ticket Includes: photo with Santa, a craft, refreshments, interaction with Santa’s reindeer, and much more!
Holiday movie at library
Dec. 28: Looking for something fun to do during the holidays? A holiday movie will be showing at the Cedar Springs Public Library just for you from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Santa at the library
Dec. 10: Friends of the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library welcomes the Tri County Jazz Band, Saturday, December 10, at 11:00 am. Santa will be visiting from 11:00 am-1:30 pm. Bake Sale from 10:00 am–2:00 pm.
Community Christmas
Dec. 10: Sand Lake Community Christmas will be December 10, Saturday, in Sand Lake. The Santa parade will begin at 10 a.m., and Santa will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. and winners of the Gingerbread house contest announced at that time.
Adopt a family
Join the friends of the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library, Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club by donating a new toy, clothing item or food for area families in need this Christmas. Items collected until December 12.
Pet Night with Santa
Dec. 8: 6-8 pm in Santa House (94 N. Union, behind library). Bring your furry friends to visit with Santa! Free photo with a pet food or cash donation to go to the Humane Society.
Santa Train & Kids Parade
Dec. 10: 10:10 am Enter the free raffle to win a chance to ride with Mr. & Mrs.
Claus in the kids parade! Santa Train arrives Saturday morning at 10:10 am.
Kids Parade to the Santa House after the Santa Train departs. Santa Hours 10:30 am-Noon. Santa’s Reindeer 9 am- Noon & free horse & wagon rides from 11 am to 1 pm.
Round Again Elf Workshop
Dec. 10: 10 am-Noon Kids are welcome to stop by the Elf workshop to pick out
and wrap a surprise gift for free!
Christmas Musical
Dec. 10-11: 6 pm Sparta Nazarene Church, ticket required, Call 887-1169
Visit Santa
Dec. 17: Visit Santa from 10 a.m.-noon in the Santa House, 94 N. Union.
Dec. 22: Visit Santa from 6-8 p.m. in the Santa House.
Living Nativity
Dec 21-24:  41st Annual “The Living Nativity,” Ballard Church (1633 10 Mile Rd) from 7-8:30 p.m.
Horse-drawn trolley rides
Dec. 24:  Horse-drawn trolley rides through Harper Drive in Sparta 6-9 p.m. Loading zone and treats hosted at Sparta Fire Dept.
Gingerbread Lane
Dec. 8: Take a stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy some tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Registration is required and participation is limited. For all ages. Call 784-2016 to register.

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Tour of Lights

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer. Below is just a sampling of the many beautiful displays in our area. Pack up the kids, go for a ride, and enjoy the decorations your friends and neighbors have put up this year. We’re sure you’ll find a few other treasures along the way!
A.    427 Northland Drive, near the corner of South Street and Northland.
See the 90-foot evergreen Christmas tree at the Reep family home.
B.    65 E. Muskegon, corner of First and Muskegon Streets. The home of
Larry and Audrey Young is a classic home decorated with style.
C.    Downtown Cedar Springs is aglow with lights and decorations on the
lampposts, and the Christmas tree at he corner of Main and Ash.
D.    The home of Aaron Clem, 13357 Jeanette Way, in Northland Estates
Mobile Home Park, off Northland Drive (just north of 16 Mile). There is a
light display on both sides of the road.
E.    5144 Fieldstone Meadow Drive, just east off 18 Mile at the curve NE
of town. Home of Jeff Shaffer. House has a full computer-animated light
show to music. Tune your radio to 93.3 and watch the lights from your car!
Over 15,000 lights.
F.    326 17 Mile Road, between Cedar Springs and Kent City, south side of
G.    345 Tall Grass Drive in the Prairie Run subdivision, just north off Pine
St. Take Prairie Run Drive to Tall Grass Drive. The Brays’ home features
beautiful angels reflecting on the house along with many lights and decorations.
H.    2075 18 Mile Rd., between Algoma and Hanna. Home of Mike Meyer.
I.    14181 MacClain St., Gowen. Whites Winter Wonderland, the home of
Dave and Shelly White. Home also has a great musical light show. Tune
your radio to 89.1 Show starts at dusk 7 days a week and lasts till 10 p.m.
weekdays and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
J.    55 Beech St., in Sand Lake. These homeowners, Bob and Tracey Fitzgerald,
are excited to decorate their home and yard for Christmas, and welcome  you to drive by and enjoy the view!
Send us your home or homes you’ve seen to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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