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Candidates in city/township races


 

Tuesday is election day here in the U.S., and residents will be voting for president, vice-president, federal and state senators, representatives, judges, sheriff, and many varied city and township positions and proposals. Below are just a few of the races in our area. (Mostly just the contested ones.) To see what will be on the ballot for your township or city, please visit www.michigan.gov/sos, and click on Michigan Election and Voter information, and then on “View your sample ballot.” You will input your county, then jurisdiction (city or township), then precinct to see your ballot.

CITY OF CEDAR SPRINGS

Two people are running for two City Council seats in the City of Cedar Springs: incumbent Rose Powell, and Jerry Gross, who was recently appointed to fill the seat vacated by Robert Truesdale earlier this summer.

Rose Powell

Rose Powell

Rose Powell: Incumbent Rose Powell is seeking her second term as a City Council member. She has been married to Chris Powell for 46 years. They have three children: Gina, Brynadette, and Christopher. “It has been an honor to serve our community,” she said.

Rose said her primary reason for running for office was that she felt the citizens of Cedar Springs were betrayed when the Red Flannels were destroyed. “I hoped to help restore trust and confidence in our city government and city staff,” she said.

Besides one term on the council, Rose has also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, the DDA, and the Community Building Development Team. She feels that the main strength she brings to the board is common sense and respect for others’ opinions.

Rose said the major challenges facing Cedar Springs right now is the need for a new firebarn and finding the money for it. She’d also like to see simple and inexpensive improvements to the downtown business district and storefronts.

Jerry Gross

Jerry Gross

Jerry Gross Sr.: Jerry Gross Sr. has been married to Barbara K. (Anderson) Gross for 43 years. They have two children, Lisa and Jerry Jr. (JJ); four grandchildren, and two stepgrandchildren. He has lived here for 43 years, was born and raised in Sand Lake, and graduated from Tri County High School. He spent four years in the Navy during Viet Nam. He has an associates degree from Ferris State University in social service technology, with a juvenile corrections major. He is semi-retired, and has worked part time as Nelson Township Zoning administrator and code enforcement for 10-1/2 years. He also worked half a year as Solon Township code enforcement, and has spent 36 years on the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

Jerry’s main reason for running for office: “To paraphrase something my father told me a long time ago: If you believe that there is a problem and you are  not part of the solution, then you may be part of the problem.” He said that he believes that there may be too many decisions that have been made to satisfy personal interests or special interest groups and not always to the benefit of the taxpayer and residents of Cedar Springs.

He said the main strengths he would bring to the position are logic, reasoning, look at all angles before making a decision, and to remember needs before wants.

Jerry said that the major challenge facing our community is keeping up with the cost and commitments that they already have to the citizens of Cedar Springs, while developing the dreams of others in the community. “We have business, residential, and manufacturing areas that cannot be developed because we cannot provide the fundamental services that will draw growth into the city. We need to find ways to repair our infrastructure and roads without having to hope and pray we can find grants,” he said.

NELSON TOWNSHIP

Supervisor Tom Noreen is on the ballot, but he is asking voters to WRITE IN his current Deputy Supervisor, Robyn Britton. Noreen had initially decided to run, but later decided that he would retire and missed the deadline to get his name off of the ballot before the primary. He won the primary over Britton by 20 votes. After the election, he spoke with her, and appointed her as his deputy.

“I thank the voters for their support and confidence over the years,” said Noreen, “but I encourage them to support Robyn.” Noreen said that if he wins, he would be retiring in December or January. Britton would not automatically become supervisor; instead the board would have to appoint either her or someone else.

Robyn Britton

Robyn Britton

Robyn Britton (R): Robyn Britton said she lives 27 minutes from the house she grew up in. “I’ve spent my whole life (48 years) living in either Solon Township or Nelson Township,” said Britton. “I graduated from Cedar Springs in 1986. I’ve been married to my best friend Scott Britton for 27 years and we have 3 amazing children, Hannah, Jesse and Jake. Both Hannah and Jesse are in college and Jake is a junior at Tri County High School. Both my husband and I have owned and operate Britton Builder’s Inc. for the last 25 years. I just recently left my position to start my own endeavor—a renovation company purchasing old homes and putting love back into them. And let’s not forgot my love for farming. We own and operate a 30-head Scottish Highland Farm. You want to talk about up and downs. All my friends that own what they call the ‘Real Cows’ get a chuckle at me because I love my Grass fed, big horn babies.”

Britton said the main reason she is running for office is for her children. “I’ve tried to teach my children if you don’t like something do your best to fix it. Well, if I’m going to ‘Talk the Talk’ I better ‘Walk the Walk.’ I had the fortune to work with some amazing people during my time working for Cedar Springs Police Department; it gave me a real insight on our community and the people servicing our community. It’s a tough job. The biggest thing I learned is if one person tries then others will follow or at least pay attention. I’m not a politician. I just feel that it’s my responsibility to be the best person I can be and try to make the community I raised my children in a place they may want to raise their children in.”

What does she feel she can bring to the position of Supervisor? “Own and operated a building company for nearly 25 years, negotiated buy sell agreement hundreds of thousands dollars, and worked in the corporate world for 15 years. My background has led me to work with architects, engineers, subcontractors, financial institution, state and local government officials etc. I love people and I make no bones about it – I love to talk and meet people listen to their views and ideas, but more importantly I want them to know they matter regards of who they are,” she said.

Britton feels the that the major challenges facing Nelson Township are communication, accountability, and just plain common sense. “Fixing the problems start with the people. Five boards can’t fix everything that’s going on in this community.  If you want this community to prosper it has to be a joint effort.” She feels that the Supervisor and community will have to do it together, and she urges the public to attend their meetings the second Tuesday of every month.

SOLON TOWNSHIP

There are four people running for two positions for Solon Township trustee: incumbent V. Fred Gunnell; Mark S. Hoskins, who has been an interim trustee; Christine M. Witt; and Bruce Gravelin.

Fred Gunnell

Fred Gunnell

V. Fred Gunnell (R): Fred Gunnell is running as a Republican for his seat as Solon Township trustee. He’s lived in Cedar Springs and the surrounding area, including Solon Township, for over 40 years. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School, and married Carollee Crane, who also lived in Solon Township. He graduated from Mich. State Univ. with a Master’s Degree and took some post-graduate work at Western Mich. Univ. and Univ. of Mich. His professional career was at Mich. Tech. Univ. for 25 years. He’s been serving Solon Township for about 22 years. First, as a planning commissioner, and later as a trustee to the Solon Twp. Board since the mid nineties.

Other boards he’s served on include the Michigan Township Association, the Cedar Springs Education Foundation, several Rotary Clubs, Red Flannel Rod and Gun club member, chairman of the trustees of Cedar Springs United Methodist and member of their administrative board, and as President of the Cedar Springs Historical Society.

Mark Hoskins

Mark Hoskins

Mark S. Hoskins (R): Mark Hoskins is running as a Republican for a seat on the Solon Township board. He grew up in the Cedar Springs area and graduated from Cedar Springs High School, as did several of his children. He and his family have lived in Solon Township for the last 11 years. He began working as a realtor in 1985, and currently works for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Rockford.

His primary reason for running for office? “As a Christian, I believe it is important to be an active participant in the community in which I live, to have input into decisions that are made and to use my time and ability to serve the residents of Solon Township,” he explained.

Hoskins has some experience in government service. He was elected to a four-year term on the Cedar Springs City Council in 1982, and has served on the Solon Township Planning Commission, Board of Review and Board of Appeals. In 2015, he agreed to fill the remaining term as trustee of the seat vacated by a former member.

Hoskins said his main strength is fiscal responsibility, morals of right and wrong, and just plain common sense. He said he sees Solon’s main challenge as their fire department. “It is my goal to retain our on-call firefighters and medical responders. I believe that losing so many of them is partially a result of our very fluid society. We need improved methods of training and ways to retain those who join the department,” she said.

Christine Witt

Christine Witt

Christine M. Witt (D): Christine Witt is running as a Democrat for a trustee seat on the Solon Township board. She was born in Muskegon, moved to Grand Rapids during college, and has lived in Solon Twp. since 2004. She is married and has two children. She will graduate with a law degree in Janauary, and has worked in local government for the last two years as a deputy clerk and archivist.

What is her primary reason for running? “I care about the community and want to be a part of it. I see Solon Township growing. I’d like to make sure that it retains its rural charm and strong community,” she said.

Witt said she has served on other types of boards in the past, and has a long history of volunteering. “I believe we should all lend a helping hand to keep our community strong,” she noted.

Witt said the main strength she’ll bring to the position is a background rooted in the understanding and analysis of legal issues, current and former work experience in local government, and a desire to expand the work she does in the community.

Witt said she sees Solon’s major challenge as keeping up with growth and the resources necessary to support it. “I would work diligently to understand the issues, examine the information, and hear public input. I would also look for ways to streamline processes and maximize efficiency if needed.”

Dave Gravelin

Bruce Gravelin

Bruce Gravelin (NPA): Bruce Gravelin is running with no party affiliation. He originally came from Ottawa County, but has lived in Solon Township for 32 years (since 1984). He is a Metroligist\Tool & Die Maker at GM.  “I have a wife and two wonderful adult children. I am in my early 60’s and I was born in the early 1950’s,” he said.

Why is he running for office? “I see an opportunity to better my community.  Instead of a division between the other communities within Solon Township I feel we should work together to form a partnership that will benefit us all in the long run,” he explained.

Gravelin said he has served on numerous team problem solving oriented committees while working for GM for the last 33 years. He said his main strength is “a multitude of life skills including ISO-9001 and ISO-14001 Lead Auditor certifications, with on the job work skills which give me a unique insight on how to problem solve and achieve all of the goals that the individual citizens of Solon Township require.”

Gravelin said the major challenge facing Solon Township is that property taxes should be established in a more impartial manner that will benefit individuals, businesses, and the township. He noted that infrastructure also needs a more aggressive strategy to improve the community’s quality of life. He also said there should be more transparency in the decisions made in Solon Township.

VILLAGE OF SAND LAKE

Residents in Sand Lake will be voting for a new Village President, and three seats on the Village Council. Two trustees are running for Village President. Thomas Norton is on the ballot, and Bette Towsley is running as a write-in candidate.

President

Thomas Norton: Thomas Norton is running for Village President. “We live in the village of Sand Lake and my family has been part of that community most of my life. I’m a small buisness owner which started about 2 years ago and has been going very well. I am married and have 3 kids that are very happy to go to the Sand Lake park and I can say are all loved very much by myself and people in the community,” he said.

What is his reason for running? “My main reason for running for Village President is to make sure our road construction project of Lake St. is completed, then to lay out a plan to fix roads throughout the village. Secondary reason is to start working on making sure there are budget standards to continue to have snow clearing of sidewalks, police and fire departments. My third reason for running is to make sure that there is a more open meeting format. The agenda needs to be expanded to have more input from the community during meetings than we have now. For example, two sections for public comment,” he explained.

Norton has served as a trustee on the board for two years of a four-year term, and was elected as a write-in candidate. “I am very happy to have been on the budget committee and balanced the budget while maintaining services,” he said. He has also served on the police committee.

Norton feels the main strength he brings to the office the ability to negotiate. “Since being on the council I have negotiated the reopening of the boat landing, with the majority of the council oddly enough opposed during the meeting by my write in opponent. I also have negotiated the telecommunications contracts, which saved the village thousands of dollars and hadn’t been done in years.”

He said he also brings leadership. “I have led soldiers in the army and have had a knack for vision of where we need to go to put ourselves on solid footing. This is the reason why the majority of the council has had me do negotiations and agreements that would traditionally be done by the village president.”

Norton said he feels the major challenges facing Sand Lake will be roads and budgets, and the next biggest challenge will be “making sure we begin to improve our infrastructure projects and have standards met and enforced when it comes to testing water and enforcing law.”

Bette Towsley

Bette Towsley

Bette Towsley: Bette Towsley is running as a write-in for President of the Village of Sand Lake, a seat her husband Roger Towsley currently holds. She has been married to Roger for almost 54 years. “We came to Sand Lake after living in Trufant on a small farm for about 5 years, and were headed back to the Grand Rapids area. We got sidetracked here and have now lived her about 43 years,” said Bette. “I am a 40-year-old in mind, physical strength and spirit—72 by this world’s time clock.  We are parents of four kind, thoughtful and successful adult children.”

Bette said one of her main reason for running is availability. “I feel availability is very important in daily operations as well as attending informative and often beneficial meetings. I am retired and available on a daily basis. I am physically active, care for people, am free to volunteer and actively serve not just as President of the Village Council, but to serve the community or individuals in whatever capacity as I see occasion or need,” she explained. She noted that there is also another reason. “Recently, there have been concerns  of change that have come to my attention that I feel would not be beneficial for the Village and its residents. As President I would hope to foster a healthy, friendly community for the peace and success of the Village as a whole.”

What is the main strength she would bring to the position? “Availability and willingness to serve whenever and almost whatever is needed. I was Village Clerk about 8 years, custodian for 2 years and have been a council member twice.  As clerk I found everything passed through me—mail, phone calls, communications of every sort; thus I feel it important to have  a good relationship and communication with the Clerk as well as the Treasurer, Police, Fire Dept., DPW and the community,” explained Bette.

The major challenge she sees is the role of President at the meetings. “I do not have the knowledge of much that comes natural to men.  However, I am counting on the understanding of all while I learn, and hope to be able to depend on the Council and Council member Dave Dewey in particular, who is wise and has served as President and Council Member over a period of over 25 years (or more).”

Sand Lake Village trustees – 3 seats

Nyha French

Nyha French

Nyha French: Nyha French is running for Sand Lake Village trustee. She is 36 years old, married, and has four daughters, ages 18, 12, 11 and 9. “I have lived in Sand Lake Most of my life. I grew up in Sand Lake and worked at my grandfather’s hardware store, grandmother’s gift shop, and mowed lawns for those in need,” she said. “I have worked with the people in our community for a long time now. I am also a part of the Sand Lake Fire department and have been a First Responder and Fire Fighter for the past 2 years. I love serving the community in this way. I work at Williamson Family Medicine in Rockford as a Medical Assistant.”

French said her main reason for running for office is to “help improve our little town. To hear the concerns and ideas of our community and help address and or achieve those concerns and ideas. I want to be a part of making our community a better place,” she explained.

What is the main strength she would bring to the position? “I would have an open mind and hear all options before making a decision, not only that but my decision would be based off what is factual and right for our community. I want to hear the people of Sand Lake and what their concerns are for our community and help improve in any way I can.”

Tonia Parkhurst

Tonia Parkhurst

Tonia Parkhurst: Tonia Parkhurst is running for Sand Lake Village trustee. She is 42, and a 17-year resident of the Village of Sand Lake. “I was born and raised in the greater Grand Rapids area. I graduated from Aquinas with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems with a focus in Systems Analysis. I am the Senior Technologist for TrackCore, Inc. located downtown Grand Rapids. I’m happily married with four grown children and two beautiful grandchildren.”

What is her main reason for running? “Sand Lake is facing some major issues and challenges.  I would rather be part of the solution than part of those who gossip and complain after the tough decisions have been made,” she explained.

Parkhurst served on the Village council once before. “I’ve served several years previously on the Village of Sand Lake Council as trustee, including being part of the budget committee.  When I chose not to continue in the trustee position several years ago, I continued my service on the Planning Committee for the Village of Sand Lake.” She has also served as a leader in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and filled various positions in Boy Scouts.

What is the main strength she’ll bring to the board? “In addition to the experience gained from serving previously on the board, I bring a strong analytical mindset, a desire to do what is best for the Village and a strong background in technology and problem solving.”

The major challenges she sees facing Sand Lake include limited funds, poor road conditions, limited community involvement and communication, as well as needed image improvement of the downtown district. “These challenges cannot be overcome by a single person; it will be a group/community effort to overcome them,” she said.

Incumbents Danielle Hardenburg and James Ward are also running for their seats as trustees, but did not return a candidate survey.

Proposals on ballot for all of Kent County:

John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum millage: The John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum are seeking a millage to establish dedicated funding for the care of animals and artifacts, to provide enhanced educational programs and for the repair and renovation of exhibits. This proposal will create a dedicated source of funding for these publicly owned institutions. This is a 10-year, .44 millage that starts in 2016 and ends in 2025. If passed, the proposal is an annual increase of $37.44 per year or $3.12 per month, for the average homeowner in Kent County. All millage dollars will be split equally between both institutions and go through an independent financial audit every year.

Kent County 911 surcharge: The ballot question asks to increase the current 9-1-1 surcharge you already pay for phone service in Kent County. An additional $0.70/month per line for a total of $1.15/month would address 9-1-1 Dispatch technology improvements and fire dispatch operations. Residents with one phone would pay approximately $13.80 a year per phone. Visit https://accesskent.com/Sheriff/surcharge.htm for more information on who the money would be used.

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Development causing problems


 

Nelson Township has not yet granted Allen Edwin Homes its request for the rezoning of the property located at 6500 18 Mile Road for the building of an OSPUD development. However, building of the first unit has begun.

Woes and hazards for motorists driving on Shaner and 18 Mile Roads came on the first day (August 24) with the arrival of the developer’s construction equipment and hauling rigs. The area where the construction was taking place was a field with soft ground and no driveway to get to the actual building site. One semi driver chose to park his rig behind the stop sign on Shaner’s southeast corner, blocking all clear vision for drivers needing to get on or off either of the roads. Other smaller vehicles parked on the narrow road shoulder in front of the stop sign. One accident took place in the intersection, while the vehicles parked were in the clear vision area. On September 8, a more hazardous situation came about when double tandem rigs hauled in tons of dirt up Shaner to the building site. This time the haulers used the eastbound lane of 18 Mile to back up their rigs, in order to turn around to get southbound on Shaner. The northbound lane of Shaner was used for parking the loads while the dirt was being unloaded. This activity lasted from early in the morning that day until around 2:30 p.m. This is only a sample of what is to come if the developer gets the request for rezoning and the rest of the building starts.

On September 21, Allen Edwin Homes will present yet another new plan for its condominium site to the Nelson Planning Commission. This proposed development has already raised several legitimate concerns with residents living nearby, and others not so close. Some of these concerns seem to have fallen by the wayside where the Township Board and Planning Commission are concerned. For instance: increased traffic, well water contamination, well water supply, and the other impacts that a development of such density will have on current property owners/taxpayers. The amount of time that the Township has spent on it should be a strong indication that what Homes wants to do on the property isn’t compatible to the location.

Mary L. Stidham, Nelson Township

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Proposed condos for rural area in Nelson Township raises concerns


POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

Proposed condos for rural area in Nelson Township raises concerns

Letter to the Editor of The Cedar Springs Post:

Residents of Nelson Township and of the City of Cedar Springs should be aware that a development company is asking Nelson Township to rezone 39 acres located on 18 Mile Road and Shaner Ave. The change in zoning that the Company is asking for would be from SFR-L to a OSPUD (Open-space planned unit district).

If the Township grants the request for the rezoning the developers plan to start building their Condominium project in September. Thirteen-nineteen sites will be built on to begin with. Six, or more of these building sites will be on the East side of Shaner Ave. The developer hasn’t presented plans to the Planning Commission that will fit into the existing community; that will maintain the rural residential character of the Township. Their plans, as proposed, will bring about inappropriate overcrowding of land and congestion of population and roadways to the area here. The White Pine Ridge development if built as planned under the State Act 59 (The Condominium Act) will be similar to inner City projects.

Eventually, the so-called “open-space” may also be sited for more condos. This proposed project has raised many concerns already. A few: many septic tanks closely put in on a WellHead Protection Area, a source of drinking water for Township residents and for the City’s residents too.

The plans for the projects drainage (water runoff) is simply to hook into the current natural system. And to run water under Shaner Ave. from east to west; where the runoff water will reach Cedar Creek here in Nelson Township and flow with the creek towards town. Not only will the safeness of our water be at risk but our supply may be as well.

The Nelson Township Board meets on August 9, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., at No. 2 Maple Street, Sand Lake. Anyone can attend.

Mary L. Stidham, 

Nelson Township resident

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Bears sighted in Algoma, Newaygo


This photo of a bear was taken at the US131 exit to 14 Mile Road. It appeared on Woodtv.com.

This photo of a bear was taken at the US131 exit to 14 Mile Road. It appeared on Woodtv.com.

By Judy Reed

Bears are on the move, and have been seen recently in communities closer to home.

On Monday, June 8, deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that a vehicle had struck a bear in M-37 near 24th Street in Newaygo County. The bear died at the scene, but the driver was not injured. They turned the bear over to the DNR, along with three cubs they found in the area, that they presumed were hers.

On Tuesday, June 9, a man sent a photo to WoodTV.com through reportit, saying he had spotted a bear just off the US131 exit at 14 Mile, in Algoma Township, about 4 p.m. Alan Brunges snapped the photo with his cellphone.

It’s not the first bear spotted nearby. A few years ago the Post ran a photo from a surveillance camera that caught footage of a bear in a yard in Nelson Township.

Bears have also been sighted in Ottawa County and even further south.

To keep bears away from your yard, remove bird feeders, garbage bins, and other sources of food.

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Resident helps put out fire


 

The quick thinking of a Nelson Township resident probably helped save his home from burning down, according to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser.

Cedar Springs and Sand Lake Fire Departments were dispatched to a structure fire at 6590 19 Mile, at 2:03 a.m., Friday, February 20. When the first firefighter arrived on scene, Fraser said flames were seen coming through the roof of the attached garage.

Fraser said that the man who lives there, Thomas Gilchrist, was on the roof of the home, throwing snow on the roof of the garage. “With what he did, combined with the firewall, it probably saved his house from burning,” said Fraser.

The Chief said it took firefighters about 25-30 minutes to put out the fire. There is a wood stove in the garage, and Fraser said the fire started in the attic, around the chimney. “It just goes to show that a proper firewall and resistant materials really help in a fire,” he said.

Fraser said the garage wasn’t a loss; it probably just needs a new roof.

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Nelson Township Library millage request


The November 4, 2014 General Election ballot for Nelson Township voters will include a request for the Nelson Township Library operating millage to be restored to the original .5 mills which was approved in 1987.  Since 1987, the effect of the Headlee Amendment has reduced the levy to .3940 mills.  The November ballot request is asking for an additional .1068 mills to bring the levy back to the original ½ mill.

Since the construction of the new library in 2007, operating expenses have continued to rise and millage receipts have diminished.  The 2014-15 budget for the library was set at $51,400.00. Expenses for the building include utilities, insurance, custodial services, grounds maintenance and miscellaneous items.

The reduced millage of 0.3940 mills generates $46,600.00 annually. Approval of the requested additional 0.1068 mills will add $12,718.00 to the dedicated library operating funds. At present, the shortage comes out of the township general fund. If passed, property owners will pay 11 cents per thousand dollars of taxable value or $11 on a home with a taxable value of $100,000.

In August, Kent County voters approved a millage request by the Kent District Library. This money provides librarians, programs, books and magazines in both print and audio, music, videos, programs, computers and internet access, plus more. The townships in turn must provide a facility for the library to operate in and like KDL, our funds have remained flat while our costs have increased.

Please vote YES on November 4.

Dorothy Bishop, Nelson Township

Post Scripts Notice: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

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Spring cleanups start soon


By Judy Reed

 

SPR-Spring-clean-upsAs the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 26. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall and manned by Rotarians. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, TVs, modems, power cords, etc. Almost any electronic item, working or non-working, with a cord or battery, will be accepted. Computer hard drives will be wiped and destroyed.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday, April 28. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town.

There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date. Check with your waste hauler for pickup.

Also note that the city will be flushing City hydrants on April 25. To avoid staining laundry, allow water to run until clear before washing white or light colored clothing.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup in September.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5th and Cherry Streets, near the water tower in Sand Lake. We accept appliances, sheet metal, auto parts and engines (liquid drained), aluminum and copper wire, fencing (flattened and folded), mattresses, furniture, carpeting, clothing, glass, etc. No garbage please. No hazardous or toxic waste. No yard clippings or brush. No shovel offs of shingles and drywall. Will also collect E-Waste and metal at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Sand Lake: Sand Lake will have a brush only pickup April 17-25. Pile brush along side of the road. See Nelson Township (above) for regular spring cleanup.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 3 and May 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 15185 Algoma. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon  or other toxic chemicals. Call township for more info at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

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Family homeless after fire


Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by Marty Fraser

Photo by Marty Fraser

A fire that started in a garage destroyed a two-story home in Nelson Township last weekend that had recently been remodeled.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, February 1, at a home at 7788 19 Mile Road, between Myers Lake Avenue and Pine Lake Rd. “The family woke up when they heard a noise in the garage and couple of explosions,” explained Fraser. “They were probably the tires on the minivan and a small car.” Both cars were destroyed in the fire.

Fraser said the first unit arrived at the home of Karl and Kathy Hanes to find the structure well involved and the occupants outside. Home at the time was the mother and four teenagers.

Assisting at the scene was the Sand Lake, Spencer, Courtland and Oakfield Fire Departments. “It took approximately two hours to knock the bulk of the fire down, and about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to knock down hot spots. We were on the scene a total of six hours,” explained Fraser.

The home was a total loss. Fraser said that the interior of the home was compromised so they had to attack the fire strictly from the outside. The cause was undetermined.

The family does have insurance, and the Red Cross put them up temporarily in one of their Red Cross houses. Anyone who would like to help the Hanes family, should contact the Red Cross.

 

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Man sentenced in crash that killed 2-year-old


John Gilbert Heeringa

John Gilbert Heeringa

A Howard City man was ordered to spend 20 days in jail and two years on probation as the result of an accident that killed a two-year-old boy.

John Gilbert Heeringa was sentenced Friday, January 10 on the charge of moving violation causing death, a misdemeanor.

The crash occurred in Nelson Township on June 25. Paula Zuniga, 33, was traveling westbound on 17 Mile in a red Ford Explorer with her three children about 10:15 a.m., when the gray Ford F150 that Heeringa was driving northbound on Myers Lake Avenue ran the stop sign and hit Zuniga’s vehicle. Two-year-old Oscar was ejected from his car seat and died at the scene. Three-year-old Alex Salgado was transported to the hospital with serious head injuries, and both one-year-old Gretta Salgado and Paula Zuniga were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Heeringa may have been distracted by his dog, which was in the cab of the truck.

 

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Murder victim found in Nelson Township


FileTwo_1744

Steven Carl Day

Steven Carl Day

The Kent County Sheriff Department is looking for a backpack and some missing clothing that belongs to a murder victim found in Nelson Township.

A man driving on 16 Mile Road near Myers Lake Avenue saw what he thought was a dead deer in the snow off the side of the road Wednesday morning, December 18. After a closer look, he discovered it was a body.

An autopsy done on the body by the Kent County Medical Examiner’s office on Thursday, December 19, determined the cause of death as a homicide.

The Kent County Sheriff Department identified the victim as Steven Carl Day, 54, of Grand Rapids.

Police said the Day was last seen on video surveillance wearing a backpack. Both the backpack and some of his clothes are missing, and police said the items may have been dumped or thrown from a car.

FileFour_1744FileThree_1744Two suspects were initially arrested in the murder and lodged at the Kent County Jail, but they were later released when the Kent County Prosecutor declined to press charges.

Detectives are asking for anyone with information on a found backpack, clothing or Steven Day’s activities just prior to the homicide call Det. Justin DeBoode, Kent County Sheriff Department, at 616-632-6130 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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