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Sand Lake to host parade honoring emergency workers


The Village of Sand Lake is hosting a solemn parade of emergency vehicles on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The public is encouraged to attend and show their support for their local police, fire and EMS personnel.
All police, fire and EMS across Michigan are invited to be a part of the parade. According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, about 20 agencies have said they will participate, including Cedar Springs Police and Firefighters, Howard City Police and Firefighters, and more from surrounding townships. “There could be up to 60 vehicles,” he said.
The parade lineup will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the parade will start at 8 p.m. at Lake and 7th Street, and end at Lake and 4th Street. The vehicles will make two passes. The first time through they will run lights and sirens, and the second time through it will be a silent, remembering time.
After the parade, everyone is encouraged to stay and meet local emergency personnel, and bring a lawn chair or blanket to Salisbury Park and watch a special outdoor large screen showing of news and documentary footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and heroic responses.
For more information, call Chief Williams at (616) 799-1900.

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Sand Lake to vote on Tuesday


By Judy Reed

Sand Lake voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose their next village president for the next two years. They will also vote several trustee positions, but none of them are contested.
There are four trustee positions open, and only three people running. Incumbents Dave Tibbe and Roger Towsley are running to retain their position on the board, Duncan Rogers is a write-in for Dave Dewey’s position (Dewey is not running again), and no one has filed for the partial term previously filled by Tonia Parkhurst.

Kirk Thielke

Kirk Thielke is running for his third two-year term as president of the village of Sand Lake. The former business owner said he looks at running again as a continuation of the civic service he’s done in Sand Lake for the last 25 years. During that time he has served on both the fire and police department, coached, served on the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and more. “I’ve been the same guy all the way through. I’ve been consistent, with the same tenacity and integrity I’ve always had. That’s what people are going to get. I enjoy it. It’s a challenge. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions that aren’t always popular. But I’ll do what the village asks me to do,” said Thielke. “The village president position is a privilege. With it comes responsibility, not a personal agenda. I think I’ve proven that. If they like what they’ve seen, then vote for me.”
He said that while he’s been in office, they have had several opportunities to cut costs through pay adjustments and looked at ways to absorb increases, and updated policies and procedures. There are also some new people in charge of various departments. One of the big projects that will pay off in the future is a $2.1 million sewer project. They received a $1 million-plus grant to update and repair the sewer system, and a $1 million loan from the USDA to fund the rest. Thielke said that they previously weren’t charging enough to ensure they had money for repairs, and in order to borrow the money, they had to up the user fee from $42 to $69 per quarter to show they could pay back the loan. He said that while some people may not like the increase, without the grant and the loan, they would be paying $135 per quarter for the repairs.
Thielke urges voters to get out and vote and not be apathetic. “We usually have about 60 people vote. There are 500 people in Sand Lake, and about 300 voters,” he said.

Todd Finkel

Todd Finkel is a newcomer to politics and is running against Kirk Thielke for the Village President position. He is manager at Tire Wholesalers Plus in Rockford, and has been a resident of Sand Lake for three years. Finkel said he has no background in politics but was asked by several people to run. “I know how to run a business, and I can’t imagine it is too much more complicated to get into the political end of it,” he said. “I’ve been running businesses my whole life.”
Finkel said he is running with the intent to save the village money, such as by moving the village election from September to November. “It’s costly to the taxpayers to have this special election,” he said. He noted that in Sand Lake they pay taxes to both the village and Nelson Township and that there must be some way to reduce taxes.
Finkel admitted he was one of the people that signed the petition last year to dissolve the Village. The Post asked Finkel, if he was elected, and another petition came around, would he vote for it or support the village? “I believe you are supposed to work for the people, not against them,” said Finkel. “People want the village to remain. It was quite unanimous that people wanted to keep the special amenities of the village. So, if elected, I would not vote for it. I’m not ashamed I did it, though, because we need change.”
Finkel said he would have an open door policy, and that he would return calls.

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Catch of the Week


Kaitylynn Magoon, 9, of Sand Lake, caught this blue gill while fishing for the first time this summer in Sand Lake. The fish was so small that they didn’t bother to measure it. Instead, they threw it back to grow a little more and be caught another day! And who knows? Maybe it will be Kaitylynn that catches it again, because she is planning to do a lot more fishing!

Congratulations, Kaitylynn, you made the Post Catch of the Week!

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Sand Lake Lions


Guy and Karen Hayden, both 20-year members from the Sand Lake Lions Club, attended the Greenville Lions Club’s 75th Anniversary Event held at the Candlestone Inn in Belding on June 24, 2011.
Guest speaker was past International Director, Lion Dr. Dennis Cobler from Muskegon, Michigan. According to the Haydens, Lion Cobler pointed out that of the 25 top world relief agencies, three have annual budgets of $1 billion or more, yet Lions relief workers are nearly always among the first to arrive with help at disaster zones.
Lion Guy is 1st Vice President, and Lion Karen is Secretary of the Sand Lake Lions.

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Mister Pizza, hometown flavor


Mister Pizza, a pizzeria and restaurant in Sand Lake, changed owners in the last couple of years, but still offer the same recipes and hometown taste customers have come to expect.
Owner Justin Hoogerhyde has 13-14 years experience with the restaurant, having started as employee before taking over ownership of the business.
They offer pizza, subs, ribs, spaghetti, lasagne, Stromboli, and breadsticks, and also offer a large delivery area. Three miles or less is still free delivery.
“We’re all laid back here,” said Hoogerhyde, “but we take our work seriously.”  He said they are willing to accommodate late or early orders with enough notice.
“We plan to keep providing our customers with good product and service, and expand to surrounding customers who have not tried us out yet,” said Hoogerhyde.
Mister Pizza is located at 31 N. 4th Street, Sand Lake, MI. Hours are Monday through Thursday 3-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 2:30-11 p.m.; and Sunday 2:30-10 p.m. Call 636-4000 for more info.

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Carnival worker dies in accident


By Judy Reed

A carnival worker died early Tuesday morning while folding down the Fire Ball, a ride at the Sand Lake Fourth of July celebration. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Fourth of July celebration in Sand Lake ended in tragedy early Tuesday morning when a carnival worker was electrocuted while taking down a ride.

According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, the accident occurred about 3:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, while workers from McDonagh’s Amusements were folding up the Fire Ball, a tall circular ride that replaced the Ferris Wheel.

“The ride was set up in a safe location, and the public was never in any danger,” explained Williams, “but when folding it up, the arms swing out to the side and there was a power line nearby it came in contact with.”

One worker manned the controls, while another was on top of the ride, pushing away a power line with a wooden stick covered with electrical tape on one end. During that process, the man on top was electrocuted. “A witness said someone yelled to him to jump but it was too late,” said Williams.

The man caught on fire and fell 36 feet to the pavement. “It was a horrendous sight for those that saw it,” remarked Williams.

Sand Lake Police, Consumers Energy and MIOSHA at the scene of the accident Tuesday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

Workers from Consumers Energy and MIOSHA were on scene this morning to try to determine what happened. Because the stick the worker used was not burned, they suggested that either the ride came into contact with the power line, or that the victim did. “It’s hard to tell how close you are to a power line when looking straight at it,” explained one Consumers Energy worker. “(After pushing the line away) it may have come back and hit him.”

The victim, identified as Steven McCann, 41, of Jackson, Michigan, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:26 a.m. An autopsy will be done either today or tomorrow to determine whether he died from electrocution or from the fall.

McDonagh’s Amusements is based in Chesaning, Michigan.

 

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Sand Lake officers recognized


Sand Lake Police Officer Steven Brandow (left) is presented an award by Chief Ken Williams (right).

Sand Lake Police Officer Steven Brandow and intern Zachary Gregory were awarded the Village of Sand Lake Excellence Award and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Certificate of Recognition, Saturday, June 25, for quick thinking and action regarding an arson incident last spring.
Gerald Lee Krug set fire to an historic building located at 20 W. Lake Street in downtown Sand Lake, on March 14, 2010, at approximately 3:00 a.m. According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, Brandow and Gregory’s keen observations and dedication to duty helped them to recognize Krug as a suspicious person at approximately 9:00 p.m. on March 13. As a result, they were able to continue observation of Krug later that night.

Intern Zachary Gregory receives his award from Chief Ken Williams

“Brandow and Gregory’s decision to conduct a foot patrol of the area that evening showed exemplary dedication to duty and led them directly to the scene of an arson fire set less than a minute prior to their arrival,” explained Williams. “They observed Krug walk from the area and attempt to avoid contact with them. Officer Brandow acted quickly to apprehend the suspect and assigned his partner, Intern Zachary Gregory, to extinguish the fire.”
Williams said that their ability to make quick decisions under great stress proved commendable.  “They are a true heroes,” said Williams. “Thanks to their actions on that night, they not only apprehended an arsonist, but saved an historic building and half of downtown Sand Lake.”

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Lions honor 30-year charter member


Charter member Carl Paepke, Past District Governor Lynnwood Mast, wife Lion Jan Mast, Sand Lake’s First Vice President Guy Hayden, and Johh Monahan, soon to be District Governor.

On Wednesday, June 8, the Sand Lake Lions Club held an invitational, informative meeting for people to learn about Lions International. Lion dignitaries present were 1st Vice District Governor John Monahan, of Mt. Pleasant, who will become District Governor on July 1 for 2011-12, and past District Governor Lynnwood Mast and wife, Lion Jan, from White Cloud. Both gentlemen gave brief explanations of the Lions projects in which they are most involved. The invited guests’ questions were also answered.
The highlight of the evening was the surprise presentation of the “President’s Appreciation Award Medal” to charter member Lion Carl A. Paepke, in recognition of 30-plus years of serving. King Lion Erin Allen, who gave a summary of the life of service that Carl has lived made the presentation.
Lion Carl refers to himself as “just a farm boy” but he is much more than that. His whole life has been exemplary of service. He served in World War II, has served the local, national and international communities for over 30 years as a dedicated Lion, and serves as County Commissioner in Montcalm County.
He said, “I like people.” And he lives the Lion motto: “We serve.”

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Amusing Legal Notice


Dear Editor,

I am amused to see the Legal Notice that Sand Lake Village Clerk, Judy Howard, put in the Cedar Springs Post. She explains the Moratorium on all aspects of Medical Marijuana in the Village.
When people complain regarding visible marijuana use in the downtown City Park Clerk Howard tells them that the marijuana use is hard to discipline and so the City officials and Village Police do not take notice.
In good weather the doors to the Fire Station are open and in front of it a group of Police and Fire & Rescue personnel have chairs and some stand around for most of each day, unless they receive the infrequent call. One only has to visit the ice cream store to see the group of people in the park gazebo and the police and fire & rescue facing them.
My amusement comes from knowing people who have complained, what Clerk Howard has told them, and the fact that the Village has such high hopes when their Police are incapable of doing anything about the really illegal marijuana. Theft of materials while the library was being built was clearly not dealt with either. Also evident in Clerk Howard’s Legal Notice is that she cannot spell the word marijuana.

Sand Lake Resident
Beth Williams

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Sand Lake man dies in fire



Firefighters responded to the scene of a tragic house fire on Northland Drive, just south of Sand Lake, Thursday morning, January 20, that killed a man and sent his sister to the hospital.
According to Sgt. Steve Dabkowski, of the Kent County Sheriff Department, the homeowner, Sandra DeVault, 57, came out of her bedroom a little before 7 a.m. to find the living room, where her brother slept, engulfed in flames. She was unable to get him out.
Both Sand Lake and Cedar Springs Fire Departments fought the blaze. Dabkowski said they had initially knocked the fire down, and firefighters were inside, and ambulance workers almost inside, when it caught fire again. The man, William Samalot, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dabkowski said according to DeVault, her brother was on oxygen and often smoked. “That looks to be the probable cause of the fire,” said Dabkowski.
DeVault was taken to Spectrum Butterworth, where she was being treated for smoke inhalation.
The fire is still under investigation.

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