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Tag Archive | "Courtland Township"

Supervisors run close race


By Judy Reed

One local township voted to retain their Supervisor in Tuesday’s August primary, while another township voted a new leader to take the helm. 

In Nelson Township, current Supervisor Robyn Britton won with 449 votes to Tom Norton’s 343. There are 3,487 registered voters in Nelson Township, and 1,136 ballots were cast, for a turn out of 32 percent. Both Britton and Norton were registered as Republicans, which meant most all of the parties (except for 53 Democratic write ins) had to vote Republican since you couldn’t split your ticket. Some were happy to do it if it meant voting for the candidate they thought should win the Supervisor race, while others weren’t happy about it.

In an even closer race in Courtland Township, trustee Matt McConnon won the Supervisor job by just 36 votes. He took 457; current Supervisor Mike Krygier had 421; and challenger Eric Smith had 209. They also all ran on the Republican ticket, so voters in Courtland also had to vote Republican to vote for their Supervisor candidate. There are 6,358 registered voters in Courtland Township, and 2,118 cast ballots, for a turn out of 33 percent.

Fire protection millage renewals in both townships passed.

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Courtland opens disc golf course


The Courtland Township Disc golf course was dedicated July 3. From left to right is Chuck Porter, retired Supervisor; Mary Ann Andersen, trustee; Mike Krygier, Supervisor; Kimberly McIntyre, trustee; Colleen Brown, treasurer; Michele Mojzuk, trustee; Matt McConnon, trustee. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Thanks to Courtland Township, area residents now have a new form of recreation to try. Courtland just opened up a new disc golf course, on July 3, which was built on about 20 acres just west of the hall on 14 Mile Rd (M-57).

According to Supervisor Mike Krygier, he suggested the idea to the board a couple of years ago when he was still a trustee. After doing some research, they found that there was quite a bit of interest in it. 

“We also spoke with other communities that have them, and they are quite popular,” he said.

The course was designed by Jacob Stahl and installed by the retail outlet Disc Barren and a group of volunteers.

Disc Golf is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target. It is played using rules similar to golf. 

 It’s fun for families of all ages and they can get out there and walk for free—just like on any parkland. “I’ve seen fans from small kids to adults—it appeals to young and old,” explained Krygier. “This is right up into the woods. It’s fun but challenging.”

The disc golf course is open to the public from dawn to dusk and there is no charge to use it.

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Two crashes in two days


 

This crash occurred at 15 Mile and Shaner Ave on Sunday, July 8, when a motor home hit a Volvo. Photo courtesy of Ron Parker.

By Judy Reed

There were two crashes in just over 48 hours at a rural intersection in Courtland Township this week.

The first crash occurred at 15 Mile Rd and Shaner Ave on Sunday, July 8, at about 12:25 p.m. According to Deputy Tim Essig, with traffic and safety at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred when an 80-year-old from Whitmore Lake, Michigan, who was traveling westbound on 15 Mile Rd, ran the stop sign at Shaner Avenue and collided with a Volvo station wagon driven a by a 52-year-old from Grand Rapids. Neither driver was injured.

This crash occurred at 15 Mile and Shaner Ave on Tuesday, July 10, when a Ford Focus ran the stop sign and was hit by a Dodge Ram truck. Photo courtesy of Ron Parker.

The second crash occurred on Tuesday, at 5:53 p.m. Deputy Essig said that the crash occurred when a 61-year-old woman from Grand Rapids, who was traveling eastbound on 15 Mile in a Ford Focus, failed to stop at the stop sign at Shaner Avenue and was hit by a 21-year-old Cedar Springs man driving a 2010 Dodge Ram. The drivers only suffered minor injuries. Neither were transported to the hospital. 

Both Courtland Fire and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scenes of both crashes.

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The Post travels to Sarasota


John and Carla Wood, of Courtland Township, recently traveled to Sarasota, Florida for a family vacation and took the Post with them. John said they had a good time. “We had a memorable inner coastal pontoon trip,” he said. “We almost sank the boat!”

Now that would’ve been a story! 

Thank you to the Woods for sending us your photo and taking us with you! 

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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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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