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Tag Archive | "Kent County Correctional Facility"

Sand Lake mother killed in fatal crash


Meranda Baguss and her 5-year-old twin boys were victims of a hit-and-run crash on Friday, September 15 that took her life and put her boys in critical condition. Photo from gofundme.com

by Lois Allen

The suspect in the fatal hit-and-run is in custody while two 5-year-old boys are recovering from critical injuries and facing a long road to recovery without their mother who died in a Friday night crash.

Douglas James Crystal, 36, of Cedar Springs, is facing multiple charges including reckless driving causing death and failure to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident, according to Kent County Correctional Facility.

Douglas Crystal fled the scene of the crash leaving the totaled truck behind. Deputies searched the area and were unable to locate Crystal. Photo courtesy of woodtv.com

According to officials, the crash happened around 8:23 p.m., Friday, September 15 at the intersection of 15 Mile Road and Ritchie Avenue in Courtland Township.

Authorities said Crystal was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed on Ritchie Avenue when his pick-up truck blew the stop sign at 15 Mile Road and slammed into a vehicle heading westbound on 15 Mile Road.

Meranda Baguss, 33, of Sand Lake was on her way to meet the father of the two boys in Byron Township driving a 2011 Ford Fusion when her vehicle was broadsided by the 2015 Ford F150 pick-up truck. It was estimated that the pick-up was traveling at approximately 90 miles per hour. Baguss was killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene. Both boys, who were in the back seat in their car seats, were critically injured. Five-year-olds Chauncey and Tony Anthony III, were taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids with life-threatening head injuries.

The twins remain in recovery without their mother and were listed in critical but stable condition surrounded by family on Sunday. They had just started kindergarten at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs.

“She’s a beautiful young lady, she was sweet and she loved her babies,” said grandfather Tony Anthony Sr. “They meant the world to her and now we have to decide how to tell them that their mother has been taken away from them.”

Baguss was a certified nursing assistant for Spectrum Health. “She took care of others and she took care of her own. She was great,” said Anthony Sr.

Crystal fled the scene of the crash leaving the totaled truck behind. Deputies searched the area with multiple canine units and were assisted by the Michigan State Police Helicopter for several hours but were unable to locate Crystal. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

“For someone to just do what he did and then leave, just discard them like waste, is horrible,” Anthony Sr. said. “It’s unspeakable.”

Acting on a tip, Kent County authorities located and arrested Crystal taking him into custody where he is facing multiple charges. He was arraigned on Monday, September 18.

Cedar Springs Superintendent Laura VanDuyn said the district is working to support the family and that counselors will be made available.

A gofundme page has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/jn5a88-meranda-baguss-tony-chauncey. All proceeds will go to Meranda’s family for funeral expenses and if there is any left over, will go towards the boys medical expenses.

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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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Woman arrested after car crash at library


A 54-year-old Spencer Township woman was arrested an OWI charge this week after her truck struck two other vehicles in Library/Fire Department parking lot.

The crash occurred on Monday, July 10, at 5:47 p.m. According to witnesses, the woman was parked on the south side of W. Maple Street, and reportedly backed up her pickup truck into the parking lot that is shared by the Cedar Springs Fire Department and Cedar Springs Library, and struck two vehicles in the parking lot. A witness reported several children who had left the library with their parents were also in the parking lot at the time.

When Deputies from the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs unit arrived, they made contact with the driver of the pickup, a 54-year-old Spencer Township woman. Upon completion of the investigation, the woman was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. She was subsequently lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility. A blood draw was conducted to ascertain the blood alcohol content and/or the presence of drugs. She was later released.

Charges will be sought upon receipt of the blood test. The case remains under investigation.

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Northwest Kent Mechanical receives award


 

Northwest Kent Mechanical is proud to announce its recent Associated Builders & Contractors Award of Excellence. They received the award for their mechanical work on the recently completed Kent County Correctional Facility. It is the 16th Award of Excellence the company has received in the last 10 years.

This portion of the project was $4.9 million and was a three-year project starting with the renovation of an existing section of the jail. The second phase involved tearing down a different section of the jail facility so that the new addition could be built.

Mechanically, Northwest Kent Mechanical installed 14,150 feet of ductwork that totaled more than 100,000 pounds. On the plumbing side, they installed 42,500 feet of pipe (approximately eight miles). This job included 301 plumbing fixtures and 236 drains. There are two lower-level mechanical rooms that house the chilled water system, domestic hot water system, and the heating distribution pumps. The Penthouse Mechanical room houses six air-handling units.

They also encountered a rare incident during the project, when a crane collapsed on another building at the facility. This accident caused the facility to lose water and heat to some of the older portions of the jail. Northwest Kent employees worked through the weekend to restore water and heat to make the facility operational again.

“It was incredible to see all the trades work together to get things back up and running after this accident,” said a spokesperson for Northwest Kent Mechanical.

 

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Police investigate death of inmate


Scott Hammer, 51, the live-in boyfriend of Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, reportedly burned the woman’s farmhouse in Sheridan that they had been renovating, after he allegedly killed her in a struggle in Spencer Township, Wednesday, October 23. Post photo by L. Allen.

Scott Hammer, 51, the live-in boyfriend of Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, reportedly burned the woman’s farmhouse in Sheridan that they had been renovating, after he allegedly killed her in a struggle in Spencer Township, Wednesday, October 23. Post photo by L. Allen.

Scott Allen Hammer

Scott Allen Hammer

A man charged with murder for allegedly killing his live-in girlfriend, in Spencer Township, in October was found dead in his cell at the Kent County Correctional Facility Tuesday, December 10.

The Kent County Sheriff Department reported that Scott Allen Hammer, 51, did not come out of his cell for breakfast at 4:48 a.m. When deputies checked on him, they found him dead, in what they said appears to be a suicide. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Hammer was arrested October 23, after allegedly killed Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, at a home on Lincoln Lake Avenue, in Spencer Township, where they had been staying with family. The couple was staying there while renovating their home in Sheridan. Police said that sometime early that morning a struggle had taken place between the couple that resulted in Danielle’s death. Hammer then fled the home and went to their farmhouse at 3360 Wise Road, in Sheridan, Montcalm County, and set the house on fire. Montcalm County Sheriff deputies then apprehended Hammer without incident.

Hammer was charged with open murder and his case was pending trial at the time of his death.

 

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