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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Sparta teen killed in crash


Mya Jane Turoski, 16, was killed in a car crash Wednesday. She would have been a junior at Sparta High School this fall. Photo from her Facebook page.

The Kent County Sheriff Department is investigating a crash that killed a 16-year-old Sparta girl on Wednesday morning, August 9.

According to police, the crash occurred about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday. They said that Mya Jane Turoski, 16, of Sparta Township, was traveling on Long Lake Drive, near 14 Mile Rd, in a 2000 Pontiac, when she lost control and crashed into a tree. She died at the scene.

The teen was the only occupant in the car, and she was wearing her seatbelt.

Sparta Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

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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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Heat from A/C starts afghan on fire


Smoke and flames were coming out the door when firefighters arrived on the scene of a fire at this mobile home last Saturday, July 22. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A polyester afghan sealing off a window around an air conditioning unit caught fire last weekend in a mobile home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, they received the call at 11:07 a.m., Saturday, July 22, for 336 Carol Street. When they arrived on scene at 11:11 a.m., smoke and flames were coming out the front door. And by 11:14 a.m., they had the fire out.

“We had a good response time, and it was a quick knockdown,” reported Fraser.

He said that the fire was contained to the sofa area in the living room. The air conditioner was above it, with the polyester afghan around it to seal the window. Fraser said that the afghan was brittle and stiff, and that the heat from air conditioner started it on fire, which then started the sofa on fire.

The damage to the home was mainly smoke and water damage.

The Kent County Sheriff Department was on scene and helped evacuate the family, which consisted of a mom, dad, and three children, including a six-week-old  baby. Several animals were also evacuated safely.

The family was renting the home, and had no insurance. Red Cross was called in to help render aid.

Sand Lake Fire was automatically toned out for mutual aid, but then told to disregard, as was Rockford Ambulance.

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Check out these classic cars


 

This painting of an Old Packard was created by Tim Hindenach and is currently hanging in the Cedar Springs Community Library. Photo courtesy of Claudia Mabie.

Do you love classic and vintage cars? Then you don’t want to miss out on two great opportunities to indulge that passion!

The Cedar Springs Historical Society is holding their annual car show this weekend, Saturday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot between Morley Park and Skinner Field. Special guests this year include the Michigan State Police and their special black and gold cruiser, designed to celebrate their 100th anniversary of service. The car resembles the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

The Kent County Sheriff Department will also be on hand with their mobile command bus. The bus will be open for display and the operator will be available to answer your questions.

The car show helps the museum provide free family programs throughout the year. For details, click here, to download ad.

The second opportunity is to visit the Cedar Springs Community Library, and see the painting of an old Packard (shown in the photo above). It’s one of two new installations hanging at the library as part of the program “Artists, Authors, and You!” The painting is by Tim Hindenach.

The library is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.

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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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Cedar Springs Museum summer car show


The Michigan State Police black and gold car designed for their 100th anniversary will be on hand at the museum’s summer car show.

The Cedar Springs Museum will hold its annual summer car show fundraiser on Saturday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot between Morley Park and Skinner Field.

The car show helps the museum provide free family programs throughout the year.

Special guests this year include the Michigan State Police and their special black and gold cruiser, designed to celebrate their 100th anniversary of service. The car resembles the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

The Kent County Sheriff Department’s mobile command center will also be at the car show. The command center bus will be open and an operator available to answer questions. Here it is shown at a library part in 2015.

The Kent County Sheriff Department will also be on hand with their mobile command bus. The bus will be open for display and the operator will be available to answer your questions.

The FFA will sell donuts and serve as helpers; free coffee and a free hot dog lunch will also be served to those visiting the car show, thanks to two local businesses.

Trophies and prizes will be awarded at the car show, and dash plaques given to the first 100 cars. Pre Entry is $8.00 per car or $10.00 the day of the show.

Mail early entry and fee to:

P.O. Box 296

Cedar Springs Mi. 49319

Include your name, address, city, state, zip and phone number. A parent signature is required if the entrant is under 18.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer, call The Cedar Springs Museum at 616 696-3335 or email: cedarspringsmuseum@gmail.com.

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Marijuana wax operation causes fire


Fire crews at the scene of a house fire after an explosion on Lime Lake Dr on June 21. Photo by Cheryl Barrigear on WZZM13.com.

By Judy Reed

Neighbors called 9-1-1 after hearing an explosion on Wednesday evening, June 21, at 13386 Lime Lake Dr.

According to Solon Township’s Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, they were called out at 10:59 p.m. The first unit arrived on scene to see heavy smoke, with flames showing in the main floor of the home. The three occupants of the home were already out of the house.

“We had it out within about a half hour, but were on scene an addition 1-1/2 hours checking for hot spots,” said Paige.

Algoma, Kent City, and Sand Lake Fire Departments all assisted at the scene.

The Kent County Sheriff Department also responded to the scene. According to police, a 39-year-old resident told deputies that they were making marijuana wax prior to the explosion. The man suffered severe burns to his hands and feet, as well as cuts from glass, and was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.

The fire is still under investigation, and authorities have not yet released any more information.

Marijuana wax is also known as Honeycomb, Wax, Butter, and BHO (butane hash oil). It’s made from oils found in pot plants and has a higher concentration of THC than most marijuana products. Highly flammable butane gas is used to extract the THC from the marijuana leaf, and has resulted in home explosions, injuries, and deaths.

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Blessing of the bicycles


At least 20 bikes were given away at the Blessing of the Bicycles at The Springs Church last Saturday. Photo by Duane Harriman.

By Judy Reed

The 3rd annual Blessing of the Bicycles was held at The Springs Church in Cedar Springs last Saturday, June 24.

The focus of the event is to make sure kids get connected with a bike if they don’t have one. Each year organizer Johna Alexander takes donations of used bicycles and has them refurbished, and they also give away some new ones at the event. Simple repairs and maintenance is offered to kids who already have a bike.

“At least 20 bikes were given away, with four of them being brand new,” said Alexander. “We had new helmets available for all that attended and several other prizes were given away in a drawing.”

The Kent County Sheriff Department and many other volunteers helped make the Blessing of the Bicycles a success. Photo by Duane Harriman.

The Kent County Sheriff Department was on hand, to talk about bicycle safety, and worship Pastor Greig Hess gave the blessing over the bicycles.

Alexander said that she was grateful for the bicycle donations and for all those that participated.

“Seeing all the smiling faces on the children in our community is a blessing for all that took the time to come and help,” she said.

If anyone has a bicycle they would like to donate for next year’s event, please call 616-799-2850 for a drop off or to be picked up.

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Detective exposed to dangerous drug


 

The detective bureau at the Kent County Sheriff Department was temporarily evacuated Tuesday after a detective showed medical signs of being exposed to an opiate.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, a Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team detective with the Wyoming Police Department was conducting routine testing of suspected narcotics that were in the form of a white powdery substance. The substance in question was collected on Monday, May 29, as part of an ongoing investigation. While testing, one of the detectives began to experience symptoms that could possibly be related to a drug exposure, and so NARCAN was administered. That detective was transported to a local hospital to be checked, and was conscious and alert.

The detective bureau was temporarily evacuated and remained closed while the Grand Rapids Fire Department hazmat team completed air quality tests. It reopened shortly after noon.

K.A.N.E.T. is made up of detectives from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Police Department, Walker Police Department, Grandville Police Department, and East Grand Rapids DPS. K.A.N.E.T. is operated out of the KCSO located at 701 Ball Ave NE.

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Oakfield Twp man dies in crash


N-Fatal-crash-18-Mile-and-Myers-Lake-courtesy-photo

A man was killed in Nelson Township last weekend after another driver ran a stop sign and hit his vehicle.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the intersection of 18 Mile Rd and Myers Lake Ave. Police said that Phillip Allen Garcia, 18, of Solon Township, was driving a Chevy Monte Carlo southbound on Myers Lake Ave and ran the stop sign at 18 Mile. His vehicle then struck an eastbound Chevy Impala that had the right of way.

The driver of the Impala, Edward Allen Czarnecki, 59, of Oakfield Township, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Monte Carlo sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Spencer Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Both drivers wore seatbelts and the crash remains under investigation.

The Post checked with the Kent County Road Commission to find out how many crashes have occurred at this intersection over the last five years.

According to spokesperson Maura Lamoreaux, prior to this crash, there have been nine crashes at that intersection over the last five years and four months (2013 to April 2017). One of them was fatal (in 2013). So about two per year.

She said that to modify traffic control at an intersection, the Kent County Road Commission must follow warrants in accordance with the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. “This is the state and national standard,” she explained.

Lamoreaux added that a study was just completed for the intersection, and it showed that the intersection did not warrant changes to traffic control. “We will continue to monitor this intersection for any changes that would warrant a modification in traffic control,” she said.

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