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Tag Archive | "kent city"

Cedar hoops win over Kent City, Northview

By Rebekah Cronk

The varsity basketball team went head to head with Kent City on Tuesday, January 19. It was a close game, but the Red Hawks took the victory with an ending score of 56-49.

The varsity team had three players score in double figures on Tuesday evening. Taylor VanDyke had with 15, Nikc Jackson had 13, and Dustin Shaw added 10.

Not only did the varsity team take the win on Tuesday against Kent City but they won yet again on Friday, January 22 against Northview. The team won by a score of 52-42.

The team was led by Nikc Jackson with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Taylor VanDyke had 10 points and a game high of 14 rebounds.

“All but one of our games in January have been away and anytime you can get wins on the road is an accomplishment,” said varsity basketball coach, Jeff Patin. “So we feel good about getting both of those wins. Also, the wins against Kent City and Northview will help us gain some momentum as we enter the halfway point of the season.”

The varsity team has suffered some losses since the start of the season, but with improvement and hard work, they have taken wins the last two weeks.

“Our team defense has been pretty consistent throughout the season and our team offense is starting to come around now. Being able to win even though you haven’t played your best yet, has given us the drive to keep continuing to improve,” said Patin.

On a roll 

The team felt as though winning against Kent City and Northview was crucial after their win against Greenville the week before.

“We felt it was important for us to play well after our first conference win against Greenville.  It [was] exam week for Cedar Springs students, so that added another dimension to our weekly preparations,” said Patin.

The team worked hard and took the victory against Kent City and Northview, despite the pressure of school.

“Throughout the season, thus far, we’ve gotten some good individual contributions from Taylor VanDyke, Nikc Jackson, Jameson Pavelka, Dustin Shaw, and Je’len Jackson.  Knowing that we have a different person who can step up on any given night is a nice feeling to have,” said Patin.

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Woman killed in fatal accident


A Kent City woman was killed in Tyrone Township last Friday, February 28, when her car crossed the centerline and hit an oncoming car.

Sherri Marlene Knapp, 54, of Kent City, was eastbound on 17 Mile, when she reportedly came upon a vehicle turning left on Sparta Avenue and passed it on the right, and drove on to the shoulder of the road. When she came back on to the road, she crossed the centerline and hit the other car.

Knapp died at the scene of her injuries. The other driver was not injured.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The road was closed for several hours.

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Kent City teen dies in accident

Brittany Snyder

An 18-year-old girl from Kent City died last Friday night, February 24, when the car she was driving left the road and hit a tree.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Brittany Aleshia Snyder, 18, was traveling eastbound on 18 Mile, west of Fruit Ridge, in Tyrone Township, about 1:10 a.m., when she ran off the south side of the road and struck a tree. Snyder was trapped in the vehicle and it erupted in flames. An 18-year-old female passenger ran to a nearby house and dialed 911.

The car was completely engulfed in flames when deputies and firefighters arrived on the scene. Kent City Fire and Rescue extinguished the fire and assisted in medical treatment of the passenger. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said that alcohol was a factor in the accident. Speed and weather may also have been a factor. The accident is still under investigation.

Snyder is the daughter of Jason and Gail Snyder. A celebration of her life was held on Wednesday, February 29, at Stegenga Funeral Chapel in Belmont.


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CS Girls suffer second defeat of the season

Lady Red Hawk Brittany Todd pulled down 11 rebounds and made 8 points against Kent City last week.

The Lady Red Hawks went down to defeat for only the second time this season, 72-51, at the hands of Kent City, who posted their tenth win against no losses. Cedar had two consecutive games postponed prior to the matchup against Kent City on January 19, and had not played in almost two weeks. They looked a little rusty especially from the free throw line in the first half, making only 6 of 17 charity attempts. Even with the poor shooting, they were tied 27-27 with the Class C number 4 rated Eagles.
The second half was a totally different story as the Eagles reached for another gear and put the Red Hawks in the rearview mirror.  Cedar gave up 45 points to the Eagles in the second half of the game. Previously Cedar had not give up more than 44 points in an entire game this season. Kent City hit over 70 percent from the field in the second half and over 40 percent from the three-point line for the game.
“We just got out worked in the second half,” said Coach Scott Taylor. “But as I told the girls, this was a good test and Kent City is a good team but that it doesn’t affect us as we go forward with our conference schedule. We need to be able to put this game behind us.”
Cedar was led by senior Tiffany Karger’s double/double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Brittany Todd pulled down 11 rebounds to go with her 8 points. Other scorers for Cedar were Rachael Ludtke with 10, Chaya Coxon and Molly Holtrop with 6 apiece, Hannah Wight with 4, and Allie Veltkamp with 1.
Kent City was led by Sonnie Kurnat with 19 points and 8 steals and Kara Carlson chipped in 18.
Cedar faced conference foe Belding Tuesday (see story this page), and will face West Catholic on Friday.

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Kent City streetscape nears completion

This shade structure is part of the new Kent City Streetscape.

As the snow flurries begin to fly and the 2011 construction season nears an end, the final touches on Phase 2 of the Kent City Streetscape are nearing completion.
The Village of Kent City Downtown Development Authority has been actively planning, and constructing its downtown streetscape project since 2008. According to Andrew Bostwick, of the Kent City DDA, the project was made possible by two major funding sources, as well as the DDA monies saved over the last 15 years. The DDA is structured to capture and retain a percentage of property taxes to stay within the district. Funds collected by the DDA are being used to pay for the matching portion of the project.
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, provided through the Grand Valley Metro Council, provided funding to repave the road surface. MDOT funded the remainder of the project with matching funds through a Transportation Enhancement Act (TEA) grant. These funds provided many improvements such as new LED lighting, a community shade structure, enhanced stormwater runoff collection, new curbs, benches, street trees, trash barrels, and many other improvements.
According to Bostwick, the intent of the streetscape design is to incorporate a green design into the project. “The library plaza is a good example of this design. Permeable pavers provide a courtyard plaza for library patrons to enjoy, while lessening the impact of stormwater runoff. Rain barrels are installed to capture rainwater, and to aid the DPW workers in watering the trees and planters.”
New LED lighting will help lower the operating costs and provide a more efficient light source. A photometrics study was completed to help ensure an even flow of lighting across the entire downtown.
The Shade structure is meant to replicate a gazebo that once existed near the same location. The public is welcome to use the structure to meet friends, read, eat lunch, etc.
The final touches include the much-awaited removal of the electric poles from the street. Bostwick said that longtime village residents have expressed great joy that the street poles would one day be removed.
Bostwick noted that all of the DDA members have worked diligently to ensure that the project has continued to move ahead. Whenever possible, the DDA worked with the MDOT contractor to hire local businesses to help complete the project. “The community of Kent City is the benefactor of this project thanks to all parties involved with the construction. Residents are encouraged to take some time to walk through the downtown and enjoy the improvements,” he said.

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Car rear ends school bus

A school bus loaded with 31 kids was rear-ended by another vehicle in Kent City last week.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred near the intersection of S. Main and E. Muskegon in the Village of Kent City. The bus driver, Paul Olson, 50, of Cedar Springs, had stopped at the four-way stop, when a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer ran into the back of the bus. The driver of them Trailblazer, Cassi Hansen, 30, of Comstock Park, told police she was reaching into the back seat to give her child a cup when the accident occurred. No one sustained any injuries. The driver was cited for failing to stop within assured clear distance.

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A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

Howard Christensen Nature Center takes steps to reopen

Ranger Steve Mueller leads a group on a nature walk at Howard Christensen Nature Center in this Post file photo.

By Tom Noreen

A group of about 30 people gathered at the Tyrone Township Hall on March 3 to learn about the progress made in reopening the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC), 16160 Red Pine Dr, in Kent City, as its own nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The center closed in January due to a funding shortage.

Cindy Perski, with the assistance of Kathy Reed (former director under the Kent Conservation District) has taken the lead at creating the umbrella organization that would oversee the center. Perski recently retired as CEO of a manufacturing company in Southwest Michigan. After retirement, she sought out Reed to volunteer at HCNC, only to find out that the center was going to close. Perski’s goal is “to give a legacy to our communities, children, to volunteer with a purpose, to give unselfishly, to expect nothing back in return, to leave this life better than I found it. It is an act of responsibility to leave a positive legacy.” She decided to put her words into action and see what she could do to bring the nature center back to life.

During the meeting, former director Ranger Steve Mueller gave a brief history of the center and its primary goal of education. The Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) ran the facility from 1976 until it closed in 2005 because of budgetary constraints. The KISD owns the 142-acre facility and would be willing to negotiate a lease with a qualified nonprofit as they did with the Kent Conservation District (KCD).

KCD Chair, Connie Redding, explained that the KCD used the facility to not only provide educational opportunities to school children but as a demonstration site for the services that KCD provides to land owners in the county. She briefed that funding was the primary reason for not renewing their lease. During the four years that the KCD ran HCNC, the center ran a loss of about $30,000. She said, “We will be willing to help and are very supportive of this plan.”  One attendee asked about the 10-year Forestry Plan and she said the plan was still intact and all it needed was an individual or organization to execute it.

One of the primary agenda items was identification of potential directors/advisors for the board. While Perski has filed the initial forms for creating the nonprofit under the name Lily’s Frog Pad, a board must be established to take responsibility.

Reed said, “We are looking for a diversified board with different talents in such areas as finance, marketing, education, fund raising, and legal.” According to the draft by-laws, the board must have at least three members and up to ten. Cindy asked those interested in being on the board to leave their name. She plans to contact each and have a follow-up meeting within the next two weeks.

One of the first actions of the board is to agree on a name for the organization, which may be different from the actual center. Kathy affirmed that the Christensen family was supportive of this plan and of using the current name. Perski said that, from a marketing perspective, the organization’s name should be short, easy to remember and have an association with the location. An example she gave was “Pure Nature.” Those in attendance were asked to submit ideas for the organization’s name.

Reed was questioned about current funding for the group and she said that a $3,000 matching grant was available once the organization could open a checking account. She said she already had matching funds for this. The historical operating expenses for part-time operation was between $35,000 and $40,000.

There was a great deal of positive input from the audience regarding potential uses, fundraising, and collaborating opportunities. The group left with a sense of encouragement that a bright new future awaits HCNC.

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Red Hawks lose close game to Middleville

Red Hawks finish second in holiday tournament

Middleville defeats Cedar Springs in 49-48 thriller

Red Hawk Jason Gingrich came on strong, scoring 19 points against Middleville, including a 3-pointer for the final play of the game.

After defeating Kent City in the opening game of the second annual Cedar Springs Holiday Tournament, the Red Hawks had only hours to prepare for the championship game the very next day. The challenge for Cedar Springs was to try to slow down 6-foot-8-inch Ferris State bound center Jared Stolicker. In a 9 a.m. practice on game day, the Red Hawks worked to do just that.
Stolicker entered the game averaging 26.5 points and 15 rebounds per game this season. “Middleville is a solid basketball team with the best player we have faced so far (Stolicker),” said Cedar Springs head coach Andy Secor. “Coming into the game he had consecutive games of 38 points and 28 points.” The aggressive Red Hawk defense dug in their heels and held Stolicker to only 12 points and 5 rebounds.
Cedar Springs began the game with four points each from Jason Gingrich and Derek Ash, then an Alec Hanmer three-pointer gave the Red Hawks an 11-10 lead after one quarter. In the 2nd quarter, Gingrich hit a three, then Derek Ash took over. Ash scored eight consecutive points with the towering Stolicker guarding him, outplaying the Ferris recruit. Cedar led 22-19 at the half.

Jason Gingrich hits the running 3 pointer on the final play of the game.

A Tyler Baker jumper started off the second half for the Red Hawks. Then Tyler Covell canned two 3-pointers followed by field goals by Gingrich and Trey Reed. Cedar led 34-33 after three quarters. The Red Hawks opened the fourth with a Gingrich triple, followed by 2 Alec Hanmer lay-ups, but Middleville took the lead with 2:07 left.
Trailing by 2 with one minute left, Cedar failed to score and after a Middleville rebound, were forced to foul. Middleville converted all 6 of their free throws in the last minute. Two pull up jumpers by Gingrich kept Cedar within striking distance, but Red Hawks could not gain any ground as the Trojans made all their free throws. Gingrich converted a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Middleville winning margin to 49-48.
“We needed to make a few more plays offensively down the stretch to secure the win,” said coach Secor. “In a game like that, all it takes is one less turnover, a made free throw, one more block out, a better play call from the bench, all of those things could’ve made the difference in that game and we were just one play away,” he said.

Alec Hanmer goes up for 2 of his 7 points.

Gingrich led Cedar Springs with 19 points and 6 assists. Derek Ash had 12 points and 8 rebounds, outshining the Middleville star. Alec Hanmer scored 7 points and had 6 assists in his best game of the year. Covell scored 6 points, Reed and Baker had 2 each.
Despite the loss, Coach Secor found some positives. “The championship game was just a great high school game to be a part of. I thought we played one of our best games of the year,” he said. “I thought the kids executed our defensive game plan very well. Our defense is holding teams to 38 points per game, and that is something we are taking great pride in and trying to carry it over into OK Blue play.”
The Red Hawks continue with OK Blue Conference play when the travel to Coopersvile Friday to take on the Broncos. Game time is 6 p.m.

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Kent City teen injured in crash

A Kent City teen was seriously injured last weekend in a crash in Sparta Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Samuel Limon, 17, was traveling eastbound on 17 Mile about 3 p.m. Sunday September 13, in a Dodge Caravan, when he ran the stop sign at Fruit Ridge Avenue and was struck by a southbound F150 pickup.

Limon was airlifted by AeroMed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital with neck, back and chest pain, and facial injuries. He was later upgraded to fair condition.

The driver of the pickup, Charles Crandall, 48, of Grand Rapids, was transported to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance with arm, leg and stomach pain.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, and both were wearing seatbelts.

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Nature center opens doors to public this fall

Fall is one of the best times to visit the Howard Christensen Nature Center

A decrease in biting insects and increase in color make September and October two of the most popular months to visit the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC) in Kent City. This year the nature center, which is about 20 miles north of downtown Grand Rapids, offers both new programs and returning favorites.

A new event will be held at HCNC on September 19, 2009. It is a kick-off celebration from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for the county-wide “Connecting Families With Nature” Passport Program. Although the focus of the day will be to promote a cross-generational appreciation of nature, guided hikes and refreshments will be available for all visitors.

Family groups, which can include children and parents, grandparents, or any other adult mentor, are invited to pick-up a free “Connecting Families with Nature” Passport at HCNC and get started filling in their passport. Those children who complete the passport can attend a special party at the John Ball Zoo on September 25, 2010. Additional “Connecting Families With Nature” events will be scheduled throughout the year. Learn more about the passport program at the kick-off celebration (on September 19), or visit www.kentconservation.org/families for more information.

Returning events at the Howard Christensen Nature Center include a Home School Student Workshop on October 2, and the Kent Conservation District (KCD) Fall Seedling Sale pick-up on October 10. Registration information for the Home School Workshop can be found on-line, along with the KCD Seedling Catalog (www.kentconservation.org). These events require advance orders or registration.

On October 10 and 17 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., the nature center’s Red Pine Interpretive Center will be open so that visitors can view the educational displays inside as well as the fall colors on the hiking trails. A drawing for a “Fall Colors Art Raffle,” sponsored by the Rockford Sportsman’s Club to benefit the nature center, will be held on October 17, at 1:00 p.m. Please contact the nature center for details about the raffle by calling (616) 675-3158, or (866) 675-3158, or send an e-mail to hcnc@kentconservation.org. Proceeds from the raffle will help support programs such as field trips for school groups and Snowshoe Saturdays for the public. Volunteers are also needed to help with the fall open houses, grounds maintenance, and upcoming snowshoe days.

The Howard Christensen Nature Center is managed by the Kent Conservation District and the trails are open for hiking and cross country skiing everyday from dawn until dusk.

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