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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel parade"

Missing fire truck sparks controversy in Sand Lake


By Judy Reed

Some tempers are flying hot again in the Village of Sand Lake after Village President Tom Norton took a Sand Lake Fire Department grass fire/medical truck without discussing it with the Fire Chief and allowed someone in the Curt Benson for Judge campaign to drive it in the Pulaski Days parade last Saturday, October 6.

The Post got a tip about it from someone earlier this week, and then called Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander to verify what had happened. 

According to Holtzlander, he went into the fire station Saturday and saw it was missing. “We already had engines 6 and 7 reserved to go to Cedar Springs for the Red Flannel parade and now this one was missing. We use it for grass fires but it’s also our second medical truck,” explained Holtzlander. 

He said he found out that Norton had spoken with a DPW taking the truck. When Holtzlander saw it was missing, he immediately called Norton. 

“I told him to he had 20 minutes to get it back here or I’d report it stolen,” said Holtzlander. “He told me he didn’t need permission to take it.”

The pickup did arrive back at the building about 20 minutes later. But none of the firefighters recognized the guys who brought it back.

The Post spoke to Norton about it, and he verified that he did take the truck without calling Holtzlander. “The Chief doesn’t run the fire department, the President of the Village does,” stated Norton. 

When the Post asked why he didn’t call him and let him know, Norton responded, “The Chief never calls me back anyway.” He also said he had a new phone and didn’t have everyone’s phone number in it.

He assured the Post that it was completely legal. “Under a general law village, a president can do that.” 

“We were asked by someone to send a truck to the parade. An email was sent out on Friday evening to the Chief and Council,” he said. “I got no response. People have smart phones with emails popping up all the time. There’s no reason not to see it.”

The email was reportedly sent at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

“One of the reasons I delayed the email was to see if we were going to have rain,” explained Norton. “We’d had three days of rain so knew we wouldn’t need it. The only time it’s used is during a grassfire so this is a complete non-issue.”

But Holtzlander said that’s not the case. It’s also a four-wheel drive vehicle with medical supplies and they just recently used it to get back to where someone had fallen out of a tree stand.

But who was driving it in the parade? Norton said he swore a guy into the village so that he would be covered by the village insurance and legally be able to drive it.

In the email that was sent out (which Norton read to the Post over the phone) it was mentioned that doing this would help with grants by making other community’s parades look bigger. The Post spoke with some other Village sources (not Sand Lake) who said that they knew of nothing like that. Instead, they said they don’t allow the use of Village property for political purposes to avoid the look of impropriety.

“I’m appalled,” said Sand Lake Village Council member Danielle Hardenburg. “I did some investigating and don’t like what I found out at all,” she said. 

Hardenburg is also a firefighter and said she understands Holtzlander’s frustration. “We don’t even know the drivers, or if they were certified to drive the vehicle. I had to take a course, and then a test, and then a driving test, and then an annual test every year just to be able to drive it. The fire chief also signs off on who drives it.”

Hardenburg said the vehicle should only be used for when the village is responding to a call. “We just had a conversation recently about who can use village property,” she said. She also doesn’t think it should be used to endorse a candidate. “We should try to stay neutral.”

“This was a complete disrespecting of the head of the fire department by not asking to use the vehicle,” she added. “It shows extremely poor judgment and a complete disregard for public safety. This is a serious matter. I think he should resign and let president pro-tem Dave Dewey take over, even though he only has a month left.”

Norton’s term will be up this fall and he will soon be moving out of Sand Lake.

Hardenburg, who will run for Village President as a write-in in the November election, said she plans to call for Norton’s resignation at the next meeting.

“I feel Tom is incapable of performing his presidential duties. He’s abused his power. It’s a dishonorable service to the community. It makes our board look unhealthy and it needs to stop. I am so floored. What if we had been toned out and showed up at the station and the truck wasn’t there? What would’ve happened?”

The next Sand Lake Village Council meeting will be Monday, October 15, according to the dates posted on their website.

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FFA celebrates with fall activities


 

FFA members participated in the Ag Olympics earlier this month, where they competed in various games, including sack races. Courtesy photo.

By Olivia Martinek 

Fall activities are starting to take place here at the Cedar Springs FFA. As we’re getting into the swing of a new school year, officers have been planning many events for the FFA. Unfortunately some of our officers moved this summer, but we elected a few new ones for this school year. Our new secretary is Zack Cardinal, our new reporter is Olivia Martinek, and our new historian is Marjorie Hosking.    

Two members of the Cedar Springs FFA, Melody and Michael Hughes, entered in this year’s Broiler Contest. The broiler contest consists of the members purchasing broiler chickens (meat chickens) and raising them for 6 weeks. They then pick three to five chickens to bring to Michigan State University to be judged based on their composition; the members also bring their records along to be judged.  

The FFA also participated in the annual Red Flannel Parade the first weekend in October. Volunteers worked hard after school to make a float for the parade. A big thank you to Dave Johnson for letting the FFA use his tractor to pull our float and also a huge thank you to Catherine Smith for helping organize the float workers.

On September 18, the FFA members gathered to participate in various games and activities for the Ag Olympics. Games included: marshmallow toss, egg toss, milk chug, hay bale toss, pitchfork javelin, cookie slide, and sack races. The Ag Olympics is an annual event for the FFA to get members outside for recreation and having a good time. 

Members Attend SLCCO-Pictured l to r Cecelia Brandt, Heather Beverwyk, Evan Young, Alyssa Marshall, Dylan McConnon, Mykenzie Gage, and Diane Howe.

The FFA is beginning their PALS (Partners in Active Learning Support) program. PALS is a mentorship program where high school FFA members are paired with at risk second graders to tutor them one day after school every week for an hour. So far 9 members have signed up to participate.

On Monday October 9, Mr. Reyburn’s agriculture classes took a field trip to the FFA’s sugar bush. They went to help manage the trees and clean up the woods in preparation for the winter. The students ran chainsaws, stacked wood, and cleaned up brush. In the spring, the FFA taps approximately 200 sugar maple trees, collects the sap, and then local supporter Rick Sevey makes the maple syrup for the FFA to sell. Several adults aided in running chainsaws and mentoring our future foresters; they included Wayne Marsmen, Bob Babbitt, Bill Brandt, Randy VanDuyn, and Dennis White. 

FFA members partnered with Beach Elementary to give kids a hayride, experience a corn maze, and other fall activities. Courtesy photo.

The annual FFA Harvest Day, planned with Beach Elementary, took place on Monday, October 16. The kids went through a corn maze, visited farm animals, received an apple, milk, and a coloring book, and took a hayride back to the school. 

The fall is a busy time for the FFA, but we are excited and ready. We are looking forward to the winter and spring activities to come!

  

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JOSEPH WATSON SR.


 

Joseph Franklin Watson Sr. “Joe or Pappy”, age 82 of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Joe was born September 6, 1934 in Lexington, Virginia, the son of James and Melinda (McCormick) Watson. Joe served 10 years in the United States Air Force and 10 years in the Michigan National Guard. During his time served, Joe played minor league baseball for the Air Force. Joe had a heart for coaching and umpiring for the Little, Pony and Silver Baseball Leagues. Joe was a founding member of Cedar Springs Amateur Athletic Association, member of the Roundtable Coffee Drinkers, a Keystone Kop, and was the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Red Flannel Parade. Joe considered his greatest life achievement being a grandparent to 14 grandchildren. Surviving are his beloved wife, Florence E. (Clark) Watson; children, Joseph Michael Grove of Virginia, JeDonne (Jerry) Morton, Joseph (Connie) Watson Jr., Kelli Watson, Charlie (Ladonna) Watson, Merri (Rich) Moore; grandchildren, Steven, Megan, Hollie, Nick, Jake, Jeff, Chris, Mandi, Charli Anne, Ashley, Ricky, Elizabeth, Erin and Carlee; great grandchild, Addison; brother-in-law, Virgil R. (Sandie) James; sister-in-law, Mary Ellen (Melvin) Cole; brother-in-law, J. Thomas Bundy; many nephews, nieces and cousins who he adored; and friends that he loved as family. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Mayhlon James “Tarzan” Watson, James Alexander Watson, Geraldine “Binky” Bundy, and Margarite “Moe” Sweeney; Nephew, James Alexander “Butch” Watson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles O. and Mary (Caverly) Clark; brother-in-law, Herman O. Clark; and sisters-in-law, Maxine M. (Clark) Manteufel and Alice J. (Clark) Haubenstricker. The family will receive friends Saturday at 10 a.m. until time of service at 11a.m. at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. N.E., Cedar Springs, Pastor Larry Young officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Cedar Springs Veterans Park Fund.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Red Flannel Festival names 2017 Grand Marshal


 

Tom Anderson will be the 2017 Grand Marshal of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

Tom Anderson will be the 2017 Grand Marshal of the Red Flannel Festival. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed 

The Red Flannel Festival board of directors has chosen Thomas Anderson, a long time Cedar Springs attorney, as the 2017 Grand Marshal for the 78th annual Red Flannel Festival.

Tom, who is now 82, was born in Grand Rapids, but raised in northern Kent County. He graduated high school from St. Patrick’s, in Parnell, Michigan, which is in Grattan Township. His father was an attorney in Rockford, and Tom decided to open up an office in Cedar Springs. “I knew my father got a lot of business from Cedar Springs, so I thought it would be a good idea,” he explained.

And it was. He opened up his office here in 1961, and continued working until he sold it in 2011—50 years later. During that time, he worked as Cedar Springs City attorney for many years, served as Kent City’s attorney for 30 years, and was attorney for the Village of Morley.

In 1963, Tom began announcing the Red Flannel Parade, and continued through 1990.

In 1962 he became a Rotarian, and has been one now for 55 years. Most years you can find him working at the Rotary Chicken BBQ on Red Flannel Day.

How does Tom feel about being selected as Grand Marshal? “I was surprised,” he said. “I guess it’s a good thing. I thought they had forgotten me.”

Not by a long shot.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Tom’s outstanding dedication to the Cedar Springs community,” said Randy VanDuyn, President of the Festival. “It’s very obvious Tom loves the Red Flannel Town, and especially the Red Flannel Festival! The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of his involvement and extraordinary volunteerism!”

Tom’s family also has close ties to Cedar Springs and Red Flannel. His wife, Jean, taught at Cedar Springs Public Schools for 30 years. And the couple’s three children all went to Tri County High School, participated in band all four years, and all marched in the Red Flannel parades.

This year’s Red Flannel Festival weekends will be September 30 and October 7. Anderson will reign this year, the Festival’s 78th, over the two weekends of the 15th oldest Festival in the state of Michigan, sharing the Red Flannel warmth of our community to visitors and residents.

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Time for Cub Scouts


 

It is that time again where Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are selling popcorn in our community. You will see boys of all ages trying hard to earn their way to summer camp, which offers a fun and safe environment to learn and grow while developing interests and skills. These boys that are selling, live in our community and take part of everyday events and activities here in Cedar Springs. You may see them cleaning up parks and trails while on a hike, or participating in our Red Flannel parade.  Show your support for our local scouts by visiting a Popcorn booth near you to purchase yummy popcorn or to make a donation.

Boy Scouts of America encourages character building and development centered around good morals, and core values that offers a chance for boys to learn life skills that help them become successful adults and contributing members of society. The local Cub Scout packs focus on these values in all pack activities.

If you are interested in Volunteering for Cub Scouts or signing up you son, kindergarten to fifth grade join us for a Cub Scout sign up night Thursday September 15, at Beach elementary at 6:30pm.

Also Cub Scout Pack 3220 is hosting a Mother/Son Dance at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S Main St.  If you would like to join us for a fun activity to learn more about Cub Scouts please join us Saturday September 17th from 4-7 p.m.The cost is $10 per couple, at the door. This will include a grilled chicken and pasta dinner. We are asking that you RSVP due to limited space. RSVP to email cscubscoutpack3220@gmail.com.

 

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DONALD WHITE


EPSON scanner image

Donald White, age 95, of Cedar Springs, passed from this life on Monday, January 25, 2016. Don was born in Montcalm County, Michigan on August 9, 1920 to Vern and Hazel (Rogers) White. At a young age Don and his family moved to Ensley Center where Don was raised. On September 19, 1941 Don married the girl of his dreams, Audrey Brownell. The couple resided on a farm in Courtland Township for 71 years until Audrey passed on February 2, 2013. Don White was a horse man. There was a sign in front of their home that said, “Horses for sale, by Don White.” Don farmed his land almost to entirety with horses, only using a tractor to run the belts of the thrashing machine. Don traveled the state with his wagon and team of horses, appearing in various parades, but most notably the Red Flannel Parade in Cedar Springs. For many years Don and Audrey were members of the Draft Horse Club that met in Blanchard, Michigan. Don was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife; his granddaughter, Kelly Jean Brophy; seven brothers, Ben, Wayne, Roy, Alton, Floyd, Alvin and Bernard White; four sisters, Mildred Barnes, Frances Johnson, Pauline Rebecca White and Virginia Reed. He is survived by his three children, Suzanne (Jennings) Johnson, Bonnie (Tom) Reynolds and Donald White, Jr. and special friend, Judy Sailor; his grandchildren, Scott (Michele) Johnson, Brian (Julie) Johnson, Mark (Veronica) Allen, Julie Anne Johnson, Jason Van’thof, Molly Goodman, Jordan White, Rebecca Reynolds and Thomas Louis (Audrey) Reynolds Jr.; 26 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren. Don is also survived by his brother, Robert White; his sisters-in-law, Stella White, Hattie White, Yvonne White, Esther White, and Yvonne Brownell Hendrick and many nieces and nephews. The family greeted friends Wednesday January 27 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The Service of Praise and Thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ will be held Thursday 11:00 am at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs. Pastor Wayne Cash and Donald’s son-in-law, Pastor Jennings Johnson officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Springs Church.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home

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Rockin’ Red Hats take home two trophies


N-Red-Hats1

The Rockin’ Red Hats of Cedar Springs float entry was awarded the first place trophy in the non-profit category as well as the “Queen’s Choice” trophy in this year’s Red Flannel parade.

N-Red-Hats2-float-backA cold  and rainy afternoon did not dampen the spirits of the riders on our float: Front row: Bea Singleton, Nicki Male (who provided the new Ford pickup and her daughter who safely  pulled us down the parade route), Jeanice Goltz. Second row: Lila Bowman, Routh Boughton. Third row: Sandy Johnson, Karen Forbes. Back row: Jayne Bowman, Margaret Martin.

Thanks to all members of the Rockin’ Red Hats Chapter of the Red Hat Society for their support of each other and those who worked on the 3D portrayal of the official festival logo and float décor. Thanks to Richard Martin for all he did for us. Special thanks to Darwin and Joanne Armstrong, and Ron Silverman, for their generous donations of western gear to outfit or float.

Paid for by the Rockin’ Red Hat Society.

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Out of the attic


N-Out-of-the-Attic-MathersRed Flannel parade

Joan Covell, formerly of Cedar Springs, and now of Boyne City, was cleaning out photo albums last fall when she came across some old photos of Red Flannel parade floats. Last week, we ran a photo of the 1958 Red Flannel Queen and Court. This week, we have a photo of another float. Can anyone identify who the people are on the Mather float, and what year it might be? Give us a call at 696-3655, or email news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Out of the attic


N-Out-of-the-Attic-RF-Parade-1958

Joan Covell, formerly of Cedar Springs, and now of Boyne City, was cleaning out photo albums last fall when she came across some old photos of Red Flannel parade floats. The one we are sharing this week is of a Red Flannel Queen and Court. The back of the photo says it was 1958. How many of you remember the parade that year?

The RF Queen that year was Martha Newell, and her court members were Sally Morris, Judy Korcal, Mary McInnis, and Judy Winter. If you were around during that time, please give us a call at 696-3655 and let us know if the young women in the photo are the ladies we just mentioned.

Do you have any photos from previous Red Flannel Days you’d like to share? Please  email them to news@cedarspringspost.com or send them to Red Flannel photos, The Cedar Springs Post, PO 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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