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Tag Archive | "Courtland Township"

School board selects new trustee


 

Matt McConnon was appointed on Tuesday, January 23, to fill a vacant seat on the Cedar Springs Board of Education. Courtesy photo.

But question arises on whether he can serve

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday evening, January 23, to fill the board seat vacated by Patricia Eary last week when she resigned. The board interviewed six candidates, and voted 6-0 to appoint Matt McConnon, of Courtland Township, to fill the seat until January. He was sworn in at the end of the meeting by School Resource Officer Deputy McCutcheon.

Several of the board members felt McConnon’s 10 years of experience in policy making and budgeting on the Courtland Township board would be beneficial to the school board. It remains to be seen, however, whether they will get to use his expertise.

“After we appointed Matt McConnon to the BOE, it came to light that there could be an outside concern with the incompatible office law as Matt is a trustee on the Courtland Township Board,” said Board President Heidi Reed.

“With the first look, the two positions (Township Trustee and BOE) appeared to only have a ‘potential of incompatibility,’ which meant the law did not apply. Matt’s longstanding board service to Courtland Township is to be admired. We have been in contact with Matt and we will amicably resolve this situation after we have gathered the facts,” she said. 

The concern arose because at the end of the meeting, the Post found, after speaking with Mr. McConnon, that he was still serving on the Courtland Township board. He explained that Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn had checked into it, and told him that there should be no conflict of interest since Courtland Township doesn’t do much voting on school issues.

However, the Post remembered that there was a similar case eight years ago, involving our own school board and the Cedar Springs City Council, and that the Kent County Prosecutor had deemed the two offices incompatible.

In that case, Pamela Conley, who was a Board of Education trustee, ran for Cedar Springs City Council in 2009 and won a seat. Both lawyers for the city and the school eventually agreed that the offices would be in conflict, and decided to send it to then Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth for a final opinion. He sent back his decision, explaining why the offices were incompatible. He also told Conley she needed to resign one of the offices by a certain date or he would file charges in Circuit Court. She decided to resign her BOE seat and still serves on the Cedar Springs City Council.

According to the opinion issued by Forsyth in January 2010, in which he cited the Public Offices Act, State Attorney General opinions and Supreme Court opinions, he noted that a person could serve on both boards if they do not negotiate or enter into contracts with one another, which the city and school do. “Of equal significance, an individual cannot avoid the incompatibility by abstaining from voting on resolutions…because abstention under such circumstances ‘is itself a breach of duty.’” He specifically mentioned the city collecting the taxes for the school, and the city conducting school board elections, and the school reimbursing the city for them.

Courtland Township does the same.

The Post emailed Board of Education President Heidi Reed and Superintendent Van Duyn to inform them of the prior case. Reed told the Post they would check into it. She then later issued her statement cited earlier in this article.

The Post will update this story when we know more.

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Courtland man dies after crashing into tree


 

This photo shows the tire tracks where the man’s pickup ran off the road and crashed into a tree. Photo from Woodtv.com.

This photo shows the tire tracks where the man’s pickup ran off the road and crashed into a tree. Photo from Woodtv.com.

Police believe alcohol and speed may have been a factor in a crash that killed a Courtland Township man early Wednesday morning.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, an off-duty Grand Rapids police officer came upon the crash scene on 14 Mile Ct, near Northland Drive, shortly before 2 a.m., April 12, and discovered a 56-year-old Rockford man unresponsive, after striking a tree with his pickup truck.

The Sheriff Department, Courtland Fire/Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance then responded to the scene.

The man was identified as Jeffery Alan Peterson, 56, of Courtland Township. He was driving a 2008 Lincoln Mark LT. He was the only person in the vehicle.

The crash is still under investigation.

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Two die in murder-suicide


Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a home in Courtland Township Monday and found a woman dead and her son injured.

Police were dispatched to the 9200 block of 14 Mile Road, on Monday, March 20, about 2:24 p.m., after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a third party asking them to do a welfare check. When they arrived, they went inside and found Gloria Launiere, 59, deceased. Soon after they found her son, David Applegate, 34 seriously injured. Both had been stabbed.

Applegate was transported to Butterworth Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Police believe that Applegate killed his mother, then stabbed himself.

No other information is being released at this time.

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Sheriff Department crime stats


Kent-County-Sheriff-logo

The Kent County Sheriff Department has issued their crime statistics for the year for the cities and townships they patrol.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of those statistics. Below are some statistics from three of the cities/townships in our area.

Algoma Township: Population: 9,932. Had 1,493 dispatched calls, 320 traffic stops. The top five dispatched calls were for broadcast to area police (832); suspicious conditions/noise/subject (193); assists (189); traffic crash-property damage (180) and alarms (160). The top five criminal offenses were obstructing justice (29); domestic simple assault (25); intimidation/stalking (25); driving law violations (23); OUIL or OUID (20). The highest number of calls occur on Friday; the peak time of day is 5 p.m. The hotspots for service calls are areas of US131.

Courtland Township: Population: 7,678. Had 829 dispatched calls, 143 traffic stops. The top five dispatched calls were for suspicious condition/noise/subject (104); assists (93); traffic crash-property damage (65); alarms (60); broadcasts (38).  The top five criminal offenses: domestic simple assault (16); obstructing justice (16); intimidation/stalking (14); damage to property (10); driving law violations (10). The highest number of calls occurs on Monday, with 9 p.m. being the peak time for calls. The hotspot for service calls is in the area around Peninsula, Eva, Orun and 11 Mile Rd.

Oakfield Township: Population 5,782. Had 707 dispatched calls, 91 traffic stops.

The top five dispatched calls were for assists (72); suspicious condition/noise/subject (62); alarms (48); domestic argument-no assault (45); traffic crash-property damage (39). The top five criminal offenses were domestic simple assault (17); violation of controlled substance (14); OUIL or OUID (10); intimidation/stalking (9). The highest number of calls occurs on Saturday, with 4-5 p.m. being the peak time of day. The hotspot for calls is in the area surrounding 14 Mile, Old 14 Mile and Lincoln Lake.

Next week we’ll review Spencer, Sparta, and Tyrone Townships.

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Whooo cooks for you?


n-owl-barred

Have you ever heard a sound in the woods or forest that sounds like a barking dog or the hooting call “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” That is the call of the barred owl, a creature that lives in mature woods and mostly comes out at night to hunt. So it was a rare sight for Jean Smith, of Kentwood, when she spotted one during the day in Courtland Township.

According to Smith, she was recently out on Russell Road east of Northland Drive and looking to capture photos of the leaves turning color. “To my surprise, I looked up and saw an owl in the afternoon daylight,” she said.

Ranger Steve Mueller confirmed to the Post that it was a barred owl.

According to allaboutbirds.org, their preferred habitats range from swamps to streamsides to uplands, and may contain hemlock, maple, oak, hickory, beech, aspen, white spruce, quaking aspen, balsam poplar, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, or western larch. They prey on many types of small animals, and hunt by sitting and waiting on an elevated perch, while scanning all around for prey with their sharp eyes and ears. They may perch over water and drop down to catch fish, or even wade in shallow water in pursuit of fish and crayfish. Though they do most of their hunting right after sunset and during the night, they sometimes feed during the day.

Thanks, Jean, for sharing your photo with us!

Do you have a wildlife photo you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com, and include some info about what’s in the photo, when and where it was taken, and your name and contact info. We will use as space allows.

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Teen hurt in rollover crash


This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

This Trailblazer (right) rolled after colliding with a pickup (left) Wednesday evening in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Plainfield Township teen was sent to the hospital Wednesday evening with life-threatening injuries after a collision in Courtland Township.

The accident happened about 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 26, at 13 Mile and Myers Lake Roads.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Matthew Gorkowski, 17, of Sparta, was traveling westbound on 13 Mile Road and did not stop at the the stop sign at Myers Lake Road. His vehicle was struck on the passenger side by 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was southbound on Myers Lake. The collision sent both vehicles off the road into the southwest corner of the intersection, with the Trailblazer rolling over.

Neither Gorkowski, nor the driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Rotunno, 18, of Cedar Springs, were injured. However, a 15-year-old female passenger in the Trailblazer suffered life-threatening injuries. She was transported by Rockford Ambulance to Spectrum Butterworth and then to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Everyone involved was wearing seatbelts and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Courtland Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

 

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ROBERT ALLEN JOHNSON


 

Robert Allen Johnson, 76, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Thursday, June 25, 2015. Bob was born January 28, 1939. Bob lived most of his life as a resident of Courtland Township. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1957. He retired in 1992 after 30 years at General Motors Fisher Body plant on 36th Street. He loved farming and his family. Bob had a stroke in January, 2000. Although life was never easy after that, he always had a smile on his face. He was the kindest and gentlest person you would ever meet who cared deeply about others. He was preceded in death in 1997 by his father, Wesley. He is survived by his mother, Elna, whom he loved dearly. She was his primary caretaker. He is also survived by his children; Bob and Paula Johnson, Tim Johnson and Kathy Kay, and Kathy and Ken Coleman. Bob has three grandchildren, Ryan Coleman, Kate Coleman and Logan Armstrong. He is also survived by his sisters Joyce and Dick Kastas and Judy and Jim Idziak and their families. The family thanks the Green Acres of Standale family who took care of dad the last few months of his life. And also the Porter Hills home health care nurses who took care of dad at home before Green Acres. The family greeted friends on Sunday, June 28 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where services were held Monday, June 29. Pastor Robert Eckert officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Paws With A Cause, 4646 Division St, Wayland, MI 49348.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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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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Family loses meat, supplies in fire


Three departments were called to the scene of this outbuilding that burned directly behind a home in Courtland township Thursday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Three departments were called to the scene of this outbuilding that burned directly behind a home in Courtland township Thursday. Post photo by J. Reed.

*N-Fire2 Courtland Wood

 

Wind was a factor in a fire that burned an outbuilding to the ground in Courtland Township last Thursday.

According to Courtland Fire Chief Mickey Davis, the call came in around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 23, reporting a fire at 5240 Russell Road. A building behind the residence was on fire. Cedar Springs and Algoma Fire Departments were also called to the scene.

Homeowner John Wood said that he and his wife Carla heard a pop but he didn’t know what it was. He said he looked outside, but didn’t see anything. He then started to make a cup of tea, and noticed cars driving by very slowly, and wondered what they were looking at. When he looked out back again, he saw the smoke and called 911.

Chief Davis said the building was already on the ground by the time they got there. “We had the fire knocked down in about 20 minutes,” said Davis. They cleared the scene by about 6 p.m.

Davis said they think the fire started from trash the family was burning nearby. “The wind was blowing in that direction,” said Davis.

The building was actually two buildings joined by an overhang. The Woods kept various supplies there, including materials for an addition to the home, a coop for ducks they raise, beehive supplies, green goods they had canned, a refrigerator, and a freezer full of duck meat. The meat was incinerated in the fire.

The Woods are not insured. He said that they had recently switched insurance companies, and that they had made all the changes to the home that the insurance required, and were accepted. Then, after a month, the insurance company sent them a cancellation notice, because they were doing the work on the addition themselves, rather than hiring a contractor.

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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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