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Tag Archive | "Family Farm and Home"

Guns stolen in business break-in


Family Farm and Home was the site of break-in early Saturday morning, with 89 guns stolen. This photo of the store was taken last summer during a power outage.

Derrek Banks, was arrested on several firearms charges, but there is no evidence to show he was involved in the original break-in.

The Kent County Sheriff Department is investigating one of the biggest gun robberies in Kent County, and it happened last weekend in Cedar Springs.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, 89 guns were stolen from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs early Saturday morning, November 4.

According to police, they responded to a break-in at the store at 4175 17 Mile Rd at about 7:30 a.m. after management discovered the guns were missing. It’s unknown when the suspects entered or how long they were in the store.

Grand Rapids police recovered some of the guns while investigating a separate case, and two suspects were arrested on receiving and concealing stolen property charges. 

“GRPD was of great assistance during the investigation and the arrest is a result of a collaborative effort between KCSD and GRPD. The investigation remains open and active,” said Roon. Currently 13 guns have been recovered.

Derrek Banks, 42, of Grand Rapids, was arraigned on Tuesday, November 7, in 61st District Court, on four firearms charges—possession by a felon, receiving and concealing a stolen firearm, altering ID marks, and felony firearm. He was also charged as a habitual offender, 4th notice. His bond was set at $200,000 cash/surety.

Charges against the second suspect were dismissed. According to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, there was not sufficient evidence to file charges against that suspect. He also says he doesn’t have evidence that either one was involved in the break-in. 

“We charged Mr. Banks with receiving and concealing a stolen firearm along with other charges. At this time, we have no evidence that he was involved at all in the actual break-in at the Family Farm and Home. The Kent County Sheriff Department continues to work on that case and we will see how it develops, but at this point in time, nothing has been presented to us that either of these two were involved in any way with the break-in,” explained Becker.

Anyone with information involving this incident is advised to call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at (616) 632-6100 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Admiral robber caught


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, 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.

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.

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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Police seek suspect in robberies


The Admiral Gas Station, 194 S. Main, in Cedar Springs, was robbed on Thursday, July 27. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jacob Abraham Savickas is suspected of robbing a string of businesses in Michigan and Indiana.

By Judy Reed

Police are asking for the public’s to help to locate the man wanted for a string of robberies in Michigan and Indiana, including the robbery Thursday, July 27, of the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station.

Savickas is driving this blue Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Police are looking for Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds, with short brown hair and a beard. He is driving a blue/purple Oldsmobile Intrigue 4D, Michigan plate DNL1257. He reportedly has family in the Howard City area.

If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6125, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Savickas started his crime spree last 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.

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.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are looking for Savickas, including the FBI.

“We believe this will continue and potentially escalate until Savickas is located and arrested,” said Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept.

Savickas was convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested for trying 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. 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.

Current warrants out for him include parole absconder, two counts of larceny from a person, and fleeing and eluding.

The last time the Admiral Gas station in Cedar Springs was robbed was four years ago. It was robbed once in 2010; once in 2011; twice in 2012; and once in 2013.

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Band car wash


The Cedar Springs High School Band has been working very hard this summer marching and learning to make music come to life. On July 15, the kids put on a car wash in a local business parking lot to raise funds to help the band cover the cost of their trips. They are grateful to the community for the generous support they showed.

They will be having another car wash on August 26 at Family Farm and Home from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. “Please come out to see us. We’ll put a shine on your car and a smile on your face,” they said.

The Cedar Springs High School marching band put on a car wash July 15 to raise funds for the band program, and will hold another car wash on August 26.

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FFA week gains new meaning


The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R:  Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R: Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

by Madison Strain

As National FFA Week approached, the Cedar Springs FFA sought new ideas to celebrate. This year, the chapter chose to raise money for a local family in their community.

National FFA Week ran February 18 -25. The chapter extended a few of their events outside of FFA Week to raise money: a silent auction, a movie night at Kent Theatre, and a dinner at Culver’s. The silent auction was held at both Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Many businesses participated by donating items or services for the auction. At Cedar Springs High School, the students participated in a Kiss the Piglet Coin Drive. Any teacher who wanted to take part in the event received a pig container, which held the change students dropped off throughout the week. The top five teachers with the most money will kiss a piglet on video; this video will later be shown to the entire school.

The community also took part in a movie night at the Kent Theatre. Miracles from Heaven—a touching story about a little girl who was cured of a disorder after a terrible accident occurred—brought many community members out in support. Dinner at Culver’s allowed students to “work” for one night to raise extra money for the Ricker family; 10 percent of the evening’s profit will be given to them.

Many students and community members came out to support the fundraisers. Instead of hosting events to promote FFA, the club decided to take a more meaningful opportunity to help a family in their community. Cedar Springs is a wonderful place to live and serve.

Many of the same members who took part in FFA Week also participated in leadership contests a few weeks prior. Leadership contest were held at Beal City; the chapter was very proud of their participants. The results are the following: Ag. Issues-2nd place, Cecelia Brandt, Tanner Anderson, and Evan Young. Demonstration-2nd place, Diane Howe, Mykenzie Gage, and Kaitlin Rounds. Demonstration-4th place, Adam Parker and Cade Hall. Job Interview-6th place, Jeff Davis. Job Interview-7th place, Dylan McConnon. Public Speaking-1st place, Madison Strain. Public Speaking-5th place, Nathan Schoen. Congratulations to Madison, Evan, Cecelia, Kaitlin, Tanner, Diane, and Mykenzie for moving on to Regional contests. Regardless of the results, each member put in hard work and bettered their skills by getting involved.

Now that leadership contests are over, the chapter is shifting their focus to Spring skills contests. they currently have a Livestock Judging team and a Forestry team. The FFA chapter has been busy serving their community while learning lifelong skills along the way. Thank you to the community members, businesses, and alumni for their endless support.

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Ricker family fundraisers


The Ricker Family

The Ricker Family

Various groups are putting on fundraisers over the next couple of weeks to help pay for medical bills for two teen brothers in our community that are battling cancer: Brison and Preston Ricker. Brison has an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG) and Preston recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. They are the sons of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township. These are the ones we know about:

Varsity basketball fundraiser

FEB. 17: Please join the Cedar Springs Girls and Boys Basketball programs this Friday, February 17, as they host Forest Hills Central in a #rickerstrong game. Many activities are planned for the evening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game. Please pack these stands and bring your wallets as we come together to raise money for this awesome family that is battling cancer! We will have a 50/50, raffling off these fabulous corn hole boards that Steve Elliston made and painted by hand and donated, as well as some half time shooting. It is also Senior Night-the last night these senior boys and girls will suit up and play in the Red Hawk gym.

FFA Silent Auction

FEB. 17-24: The FFA at Cedar Springs High School is holding a series of fundraisers for the Ricker family, in conjunction with National FFA week. The first is a silent auction at both Family Farm and Home and Quality Farm and Fleet, and starts this Friday, February 17 and runs until February 24. Several businesses have donated items, and the FFA will also include some of their own homemade maple syrup and pancake mix in the baskets. They hope to have a couple of tables set up at each store, so stop in at both stores and bid on your favorite items.

Movie at the Kent Theatre: Miracles from Heaven

FEB. 22: The FFA is sponsoring the movie “Miracles from Heaven” at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, February 22, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $3. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession sales will go to the Ricker family. A donation jar will also be set up for anyone wishing to donate more to the family’s medical expenses. The movie, starring Jennifer Garner, is based on the true story of a young girl who was miraculously cured from her illness.

Spaghetti dinner 

FEB. 26: Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant, 356 N. Main Street, Cedar Springs, is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Ricker family on Sunday, February 26, from 6-8:30 p.m. They will provide either a sit down or take out dinner for $10 each, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family. #Rickerstrong t-shirts will also be available to buy that night.

Dinner at Culver’s

FEB. 28: The FFA is holding a fundraising dinner for the Rickers at Culver’s of Comstock Park, located at 4280 Alpine, on Tuesday, February 28, from 5-30-8 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Ricker family.

Other things the FFA is doing to support the Ricker family include selling bracelets at the high school that say  “Farming for a cause #rickerstrong” and running a “Kiss the Pig” contest in classrooms. For the Kiss the Pig contest, 24 piggybanks have been set up in various classrooms. According to teacher Larry Reyburn, the top five classrooms that collect the most change will win, and those lucky teachers will get to kiss a baby pig supplied by the FFA. Paper money doesn’t count, so if they don’t want to kiss the pig, they can stuff the piggyback with dollar bills. Fun stuff! FFA students Heather Beverwyk and Kate Hall have been in charge of organizing the current FFA fundraisers for the Ricker family.

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TOP STORY 2015


post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

New businesses, non-profits bring revitalization and growth to Cedar Springs

BY JUDY REED

The Cedar Springs area received a shot in the arm this year with several new businesses moving in, and even more growth is on the horizon, thanks to the partnership efforts of the Community Building Development Team with the Cedar Springs Library and Cedar Springs City Council.

The big success story of the year is the Cedar Springs Brewing Company, which finally opened its doors at 95 N. Main, in mid-November. It was the culmination of a 25-year-dream for David Ringler, a.k.a “Director of Happiness” at the brewery, and it’s the first time in recent history that a new building has been built on Main Street in the heart of downtown Cedar Springs.

N-Top-Story-CS-Brew2The brewery/restaurant features a variety of craft beers, focusing on German styles, along with a full food menu (which includes German dishes), wine and their homemade Cedar Creek Sodas, which are non-alcoholic beverages.

Since their opening, the brewery is jam-packed every night and it’s amazing to see so many vehicles in downtown Cedar Springs.

“We’ve had a wonderful reception from the community and been very pleased to welcome many people from outside our community who’ve come to visit, often multiple times,” remarked Ringler. “Some of this is to be expected, given that we’re new and over the holiday season, but we’re hopeful that we’ve made a positive impression and people will continue to visit.”

In the beginning it was difficult to keep up with the demand for beer, but people came anyway.

“We’ve remained very busy, which is a blessing,” said Ringler. “As we’ve progressed over the past six weeks, we’ve been able to adjust our inventories to keep up on beer production, which means we’ll be able to fill growlers soon.”

Ringler talked about some things customers can expect in the coming year. “Our beers will rotate and expand regularly, and our food menu will see the addition of daily specials and be updated at least 3-4 times over the course of the year. We will begin hosting live music regularly and we also have a number of events planned throughout the year (with details coming soon).”

He said they will also begin hosting “Community Giveback Nights,” beginning January 11, where they will be giving back 10 percent of food sales to the Cedar Springs Band Boosters on that evening. Other organizations will follow.

He said they will also begin growler sales, and canning their product for sale in the marketplace, so we will be able to find their beers in stores, bars and other restaurants.

“Our spirits line will also be launched, beginning with Wodka and White Lightning products,” added Ringler. “We will also add additional season sodas and soft drinks to our lineup.”

One of the big things will be the outdoor Biergarten, which will open in the spring, and add 70 to 80 seats.

Ringler is grateful to the community for how they’ve embraced the brewery. “Thank you. We’ve been humbled by the warm reception, encouraged by the enthusiasm, and we’re working hard to earn your continued support,” he said.

The brewery is one of several businesses to come to Cedar Springs this year. The brewery bought the Liquor Hut building, which they then leased to Cold Break Brewing, a home supply brewing company; Family Farm and Home bought the old Family Fare building; and Advance Auto built a new building on the site of the old Family Fare gas station. Since Advance Auto had bought Car Quest previously, they took in all the employees from the Car Quest shop on Main Street.

Another company coming to Cedar Springs is Display Pack, who bought the Wolverine World Wide warehouse at 660 West Street. Wolverine’s lease is up in 2017, and Display Pack is slowly taking over the building as Wolverine vacates the premises. Display Pack, employs 225 people, and up to 275 people seasonally. Since many of their employees live in Grand Rapids and those who walk won’t make the commute, they may hire as many as 60-80 people from this area.

Another group who is revitalizing Cedar Springs is the Community Building Development Team, through their partnership with the Cedar Springs Library and the City of Cedar Springs. Over two dozen organizations and businesses in Cedar Springs, along with dozens of individuals, have been working together for the past three years to develop eight acres of land, within the City limits, into “The Heart of Cedar Springs.” This place can be called our own “Town Square,” where the local citizens and visitors can enjoy a new library building, a community building, a recreation center, and an amphitheater, all placed among beautiful rain gardens and sculptures along a board walk on the banks of Cedar Creek.

Donations of land and cash, as well as pledges, as of November 2015, total over $2,555,000. The overall project is expected to cost approximately $10,000,000.  The plan is to raise funds for each individual project and to break ground for each facility when funds are adequate. Donations may be designated.

The Cedar Springs Library building is scheduled to be built first, breaking ground early next spring. A Capital Campaign Committee was appointed by the CBDT and they are in the process of writing grant proposals to large corporations and foundations to raise the funds needed to complete these projects.

Checks can be written to the Cedar Springs Public Library and either sent to Box 280 or dropped off at the Library. They can also be written to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Betty Truesdale, 141 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Man arrested for trying to steal plasma cutter


Jacob Abraham Savickas

Jacob Abraham Savickas

A man believed to be involved in several thefts around the county was arrested this week for attempting to steal merchandise from a local farm store.

On Friday, June 19, the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit responded to a possible retail fraud attempt at Family Farm and Home on 17 Mile, in Cedar Springs.

They reported that a white male attempted to steal a valuable plasma cutter. Employees recognized the man as someone who previously stole welders. The theft was interrupted and the suspect fled the scene.

Store employees provided a thorough vehicle description, including the license plate number to police. After further investigation, the suspect was identified as Jacob Abraham Savickas, 31.

Savickas was arrested, and is currently being held in the Kent County jail, on six charges, several for retail fraud.

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Coming and going


 

Workbox Staffing, a temporary employment agency, is now located in Cedar Springs at 4116 17 Mile Rd, next to Little Caesars. They are locally owned and have served the surrounding area since 1997. “Our move to the area (from Rockford) was to help provide better service to our northern Kent County area clients,” said Billi Thielke, sales representative for Workbox Staffing.

According to their website at workboxstaffing.com, they specialize in hiring for manufacturing, industrial work, warehouse operation, office support and more. They offer a variety of services including direct hire, temp to hire, short-term, long-term temporary and contract workers, payroll plans, drug and alcohol screenings, background checks, resume workshops, workplace skills proficiency tests and much more.

Give them a call today at 616-326-2550 or check them out online at www.workboxstaffing.com.

Family Farm and Home has renovated the old Family Fare Store at 4174 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs, and is now open for business.

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