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Tag Archive | "Skinner Field"

Tips pour in about Skinner Field vandals


This photo shows just a portion of the damage done in the Skinner Field locker recently. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Police say that four juveniles, ages 15-16, are allegedly responsible for the malicious destruction of property in the locker room at Skinner Field the weekend of March 24.

The vandalism was discovered on Sunday, March 25, and police were called. According to Shawn Kiphart, president of the Friends of Skinner Field, the locker room has large steel doors that you cannot get into, so the suspect(s) broke out a small daylight window that sits about seven feet off the ground. Nothing appeared to be stolen, but the vandals smashed and destroyed toilets, urinals, 11 new first aid kits, showerheads, football equipment and more. Two of the toilets were brand new. They also burned a flag in the sink. 

Cedar Springs Youth Football uses the locker room, and photos of the damage were posted to their page. According to Kiphart, tips began pouring in from the community. By Wednesday, March 28, police were interviewing the suspects. 

“This shows that the community will not stand for this type of behavior,” said Kiphart. “It really was the community that caught them.” He was also complimentary to the Kent County Sheriff Department. “We are very happy with the police department in how quickly they got on it, how many were involved, and how quickly they solved it. They did a great job,” he said.

The case has been forwarded to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Earlier that same week, the concession stand was also vandalized. In that incident, the vandals dumped cleaning supplies on the floor, then put paper on it and tried to burn it. The floor will need to be replaced. The police have not yet closed that case.

Kiphart said they have had an outpouring of community support to help clean up, as well as replace and repair what was damaged. A gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/skinner-field-fund has raised just over $2,300, and they have gotten several people in the community who are skilled laborers (such as plumbers) who have volunteered to come out fix things like the urinals, and donate their time. The Cedar Strong Facebook group also approached them about organizing a cleanup day for the lockeroom and concession stand. “We have not yet started on the cleanup and upgrades because we couldn’t get into the buildings while the investigation was going on,” explained Kiphart. “We’ve only just been able to get into the locker room this week, and we cannot yet get into the concession stand, so a cleanup date has not yet been set.” He hopes they will be able to set one soon.

While he’s pleased that the suspects in the locker room incident have been identified, it’s kind of a bittersweet victory.

“I’m very happy that the suspects were caught, but saddened that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for what they did, and because they seemed to be local,” said Kiphart. “While they need to be punished, I also hope they get the help that they need.” 

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Vandals smash toilets, burn flag in sink at Skinner Field


This smashed toilet is just one of the many things destroyed in a break-in at the Skinner Field locker room over the weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Vandals struck again at Skinner Field last week, and this time it was not about stealing candy bars.

According to Shawn Kiphart, President of the Friends of Skinner Field, the concession stand and locker room were both targets recently in two different incidents. First was the concession stand, early last week. Kiphart said they dumped chemicals (cleaning supplies) on the floor, then put paper on it and tried to burn it. Then this past Sunday, they discovered the locker room had been broken into. And it was far more destructive.

Vandals burned a flag in the sink in the locker room. Courtesy photo.

According to Kiphart, the locker room has large steel doors that you cannot get into, so the suspect(s) broke out a small daylight window that sits about seven feet off the ground. Nothing appeared to be stolen, but the vandals smashed and destroyed toilets, urinals, 11 new first aid kits, showerheads, football equipment and more. Two of the toilets were brand new. They also burned a flag in the sink. 

“In years past, it was very obvious that the break-ins were more about mischief and kids getting in there to get candy,” remarked Kiphart. “But this was far more vicious. They were in there to destroy it.” 

More damage at Skinner Field. Courtesy photo.

Kiphart estimates the damage was $2,000 to $3,000.

The Friends of Skinner field Board and Cedar Youth Football League have set up a gofundme account to raise money for the repairs and losses they suffered from these latest break-ins, as well as to upgrade security and maintain the complex. Please visit their page at: 

https://www.gofundme.com/skinner-field-fund

If anyone has any information about this case, please contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345, or download the Silent Observer app for your phone, and use it to contact them. They will then pass on your tip to the Kent County Sheriff Department.

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Community prays for Cora


“Pray for Cora” lit up the night. Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

Cora Gonzales, a fifth-grade student at Cedar View Elementary, is still in critical condition after being hit by a car earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

By Judy Reed

A candlelight vigil held Monday evening at Skinner Field brought out more than 200 people to pray for Cora Gonzales, the 11-year-old Cedar Springs girl hit by a car on 14 Mile Road on October 6. She is still in critical condition.

Cora’s parents, George and Cookie Gonzales, have asked everyone to pray for a miracle. And that’s what the community did Monday evening. 

At the vigil, community members were each given a candle as they entered the field, and then found a flag to stand by. Several inspirational songs were played, and Pastor Craig Owens, of Calvary Assembly of God, offered a prayer. Everyone lit their candles and prayed for Cora as the lights on the field were dimmed. Drones flew overhead to live stream the event for those that couldn’t be there, and from overhead, the candles lit the message “Pray for Cora.” 

People of all ages and came out to pray for Cora Gonzales Monday evening. Post photo by J. Reed.

The event was organized by Danielle Hardenburg, a friend of the Gonzales family.

According to Cora’s parents’ messages in Team Cora, MRI results showed a lot of damage to Cora’s brain, and doctors do not feel she will heal enough to not be hooked up to many machines. On Wednesday, they were going to attempt to pull out her breathing tube to see if she could breathe on her own. 

A can drive was held last Saturdaya to help with Cora’s medical expenses, and another one will be held this Saturday at Skinner Field from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also two gofundme pages set up for her—one from the Lowell community and one from Cedar Springs. If you would like to donate, you can visit the Cedar Springs page at https://www.gofundme.com/love-for-cora/

If you would like to take a meal to the Gonzales family, you can sign up at http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=TPEC7896.

For updates on Cora, you can follow the Team Cora page on Facebook.

Community members spelled out “Pray for Cora” with candles during the candlelight prayer vigil at Skinner Field Monday evening. Photo courtesy of Danielle Hardenburg.

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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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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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Ricker football fundraiser


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You can enjoy a football game while raising funds for the Ricker family this Saturday, May 20, when the Michigan Patriots, a semi-pro football team out of Middleville, takes on the Capital City Stealth (out of Lansing) right here in Cedar Springs. The game is at 5 p.m. at Skinner Field, next to Morley Park. Tickets are $5 for adults and kids 12 and under are free. Funds raised will go to the family of Brison and Preston Ricker, two Cedar Springs brothers fighting cancer. Brison has been fighting DIPG, an inoperable brain cancer, and Preston is fighting thyroid cancer.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


CS Renaissance Faire

May 20-21: 2017 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire “Fellowship of the Springs” hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be held in Morley Park, Cedar Springs, on Saturday, May 20th from 12-8 pm, with a royal dinner and entertainment from 6-8 pm; and Sunday, May 21st from 12-6 pm. Vendors and live entertainment all afternoon both days (music, dancers, performers, and cosplay cast). #19,20b

Sing to the Lord

May 21: 2nd Chance will be having a gospel hymn sing on Sunday, May 21st at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music will be provided by Deb and Larry Eadie and the message shared by Ron Parson. Invite your family and friends. The Sing to the Lord hymn sings will be every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. It will also introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #20b

Spruce up Salisbury Park

May 21: The newly formed Community Engagement Committee is having their first event on Sunday, May 21st at 1 pm. The whole community is invited to Salisbury Park in Sand Lake to help clean out the horseshoe pits, power-wash the playground equipment, repair the gazebo, etc. Lemonade and cookies will be served. For more information you can contact Dave or Jan Dewey at 616-636-5982. #20

UMC Guitar Boot Camp 

May 22: Basic training for guitar will be taught at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Registration will be held Monday, May 22nd  at 7:00 PM. Students must be registered on this date.  To register enter at the South door Located on Church Street; class size is limited to 12 students. Registration fee is $60. A parent or guardian is required to sign. Guitar and all supplies are furnished these may be kept at the completion of the class. Classes will be Monday evenings for 12 weeks starting June 2nd. #19,20b

Auditions Canceled

May 22: The Cedar Springs Community Players regret to announce auditions for their next production, the classic tale of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” has been canceled. Production will be delayed until 2018. Any questions? Please use the following link  http://bit.ly/2ms32gX and leave your comment or question. #20

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

May 23: Flag: 4-7years olds / Rocket: 3rd-6th grades / Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 5/23, 6/10, 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Shaner Ball Field: 5/18, 6/06, 6/14 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Honeybees: Pollinators, Stinging Insects and Honey Makers

May 25: Come learn about honeybees and their amazing abilities with Donald Rewa, seasoned beekeeper of 20 years. Followed by a Q&A. Thursday, May 25th at 6:30 pm, Spencer Township’s KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #20

Memorial Cemetery Walk

May 28: The Cedar Springs Historical Society is holding its 17th annual Memorial Cemetery walk on Sunday, May 28th at 2 pm to honor veterans of all wars. This years’ veterans will be Samuel Andrus, Civil War; Burton Smith, Spanish/American War; Leon Marsh, World War I; Neal Mackey, World War II; James Remington, Korean War; John Gardell, Vietnam War. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist at the presentation. We will leave from the museum in Morley Park at 1:30 pm and return there for refreshments. In case of severe weather warnings we will cancel the event. In case of rain we will do the presentation in the museum. #20,21b

CS Varsity Wrestling Fundraiser

May 31: The Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestling Team is striving to be their BEST this year! Support the team and purchase a tube of WHITENING Toothpaste by May 31st!The team would like to attend The University of Iowa Competition Camp this summer, June 26-30th. This program will help increase their skills, performance and make way for a successful upcoming season! Visit the fundraiser Facebook event “Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestling Whitening Paste Fundraiser” and share on your social media platforms. COST: $20 per tube, plus shipping. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the wrestling team. Visit www.havewhiteteeth.com to order some today or email fundraising host Kim Shuck, at kimberlyshuck@hotmail.com with any questions. #20,21p

Red Flannel Queen Pageant Time

June 3: Attention all young ladies living in or attending school in the Cedar Springs School Public School District who will be in the 11th grade in the 2017-2018 school year (including homeschooled, or private school attendees that live within the Cedar Springs Public School District boundaries): There will be a mandatory meeting for any young lady who would like to participate in the 2017 Red Flannel Pageant and her parent (at least one). The meeting will be Saturday, June 3rd at 10 am at the Springs Church (135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs, Michigan). There will be a makeup meeting for anyone not able to attend the first meeting on Sunday, June 4th at 2 pm at the Springs Church. Informational packets can be picked up before the meetings in the main offices at Cedar Springs High School and Creative Technologies Academy starting Tuesday May 16th. For more information, contact pageant director Kaleigh Goehler at redflannelpageant@gmail.com. #20-22b

Irish Bowling Fun Day

June 3: Join Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16160 Red Pine Rd., Kent City, as we partner with the Sparta Celtic Festival for a day of Road Bowling on our trails. An exciting family fun experience that includes a pig roast, music and beverages! Saturday, June 3rd all day. Register online or call the office, www.HowardChristensen.org, 616-675-3158. The entirety of the HCNC property will be closed on this day to accommodate the event taking place on all the trails. Please plan accordingly, or simply join the Irish fun. #20

Alpha Family Center LifeWalk

June 17: Alpha Family Center will hold its 22nd Annual LifeWalk on Saturday, June 17th at 10 am Morley Park in Cedar Springs. There will also be a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 am and a Kids FunRun at 9:15 am. There is a coloring and short essay contest too. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, June 7th. For a pledge form or entry forms for contests stop by Alpha at 6 N. First St. in Cedar Springs or call 616-696-2616 for more information. You may also visit Alpha’s Facebook page to print off forms. #20,21b

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Locker rooms at Skinner Field vandalized


 

By Judy Reed

Vandals have once again taken aim at Skinner Field, this time vandalizing the outside of the locker room with graffiti.

According to Jerry Gross, a member of Friends of Skinner Field, the damage was discovered Wednesday, March 29. He said it cannot be washed off, and will need to be repainted. No one reported seeing the crime.

“They (the vandals) are defacing public property,” said Gross. “Skinner Field belongs to the City, and we oversee the property and are trying to keep it nice. We would really like to ask for the public’s assistance with that.”

The Skinner Field concession stand and several outbuildings were also broken into last fall. No one reported hearing anything at that time either, though there would’ve been some noise to break open the back door. The suspects were caught after police distributed surveillance footage of them that was taken inside the concession stand.

Why is Skinner Field important?

The short answer is that it is a piece of Cedar Springs history and worth preserving.

Skinner Field was named after J.A. (Bert) Skinner, a leading citizen and businessman. He owned Skinner’s Drug Store, which was located at 43 S. Main Street, the vacant lot where we now hold the Christmas tree lighting. According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, Skinner started work at the age of 13 in a local drug store, and later set a record as the youngest person to pass the state pharmaceutical board. He was given his pharmaceutical license when he turned 18.

Skinner served as village president for 25 years, and was president of the board of education for 25 years. He was a state senator for two terms, and involved in Republican politics all during his life. On Friday, July 6, 1948, the Village of Cedar Springs paid tribute to Bert Skinner, and part of the tribute was the dedication of Cedar Springs Public School’s lighted athletic field, on the west side of Morley Park.

In 1991, a gift was given to the school district, to construct a running track at the field. An agreement signed by both the school and city made it available for both school athletic events and the community to run on. It was created partly on school property and partly on city property, with the school district responsible for maintenance for a period of 99 years, or until they relocated the field and running track, which they did, in the mid-2000s, when they built Red Hawk Stadium. The City later took ownership, but did not have the money to maintain it. The Friends of Skinner Field was formed, and they have renovated the field, which hosts many athletic events, including Rocket football.

If you see or hear anything suspicious at Skinner Field, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department by calling 911. If you know anything about the vandalism, you may contact non-emergency dispatch at (616) 632-6100 and ask for an officer to take a report.

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Year in Review: Veteran’s memorial stolen and then recovered


The Kent County  Sheriff Department found the stolen monument and arrested suspects in the crime within days of its disappearance. Photo courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

The Kent County Sheriff Department found the stolen monument and arrested suspects in the crime within days of its disappearance. Photo courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

By Judy Reed

The monument dedicated to the memory of fallen hero SPC. Timothy Brown was stolen in October from Veterans Park, and suspects in the case were arrested within days by the Kent County Sheriff Department.

The Brown family discovered the monument was missing Saturday, October 22, and called police. Thieves broke the statue, taking the helmet, rifle, and dog tags. Only the boots were left on the memorial stone. The family appealed to the public to have the suspects return the statue, no questions asked, but it did not appear.

The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

Police suspected the same culprits took the statue as broke into concessions at Skinner Field just a day prior. They posted surveillance footage of the break-in, featuring three young males, and asked media to share the photos. Within days, suspects in the thefts were arrested.

Police found the statue in a shed on the property of Tracy Lyn Coleman, 45, in the 100 block of E. Muskegon, along with several items in the home from the Skinner Field break-in.

Police arrested David Edgar Sommerville, 17, Austin Lee Coleman, 20, and Justin Lynn Rossman, 27, all of Cedar Springs, on Thursday, October 27. All three were charged in the Skinner Field break-in, and Sommerville and Rossman were charged with the monument theft. The older Coleman was arrested the next day on receiving and concealing stolen property. He reportedly admitted to police that he knew the rifle and helmet were stored in his shed, and that he had told one of the defendants to get it out of there. Rossman reportedly told police that Sommerville stole the rifle and helmet and hid them in the storage shed.

“We are proud of the work of our investigators as they worked tirelessly to bring SPC Brown’s Monument back into safe hands,” said the Kent County Sheriff Department in an announcement on their Facebook page.

Once the statue was recovered, DPW Director Tom Stressman had it repaired by a business in Minnesota that specializes in bronze monuments and memorials honoring law enforcement, fire/rescue, and the military.

City Manager Mike Womack said it would cost the city about $500 to have the $10,000 monument repaired, and they would probably seek to recover that cost as part of restitution on the part of the suspects.

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Timothy Brown monument repaired


The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

The monument dedicated to SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and restored to its rightful place in Veterans Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The monument dedicated to the memory of fallen hero SPC. Timothy Brown has been repaired and was reinstalled at its home in Veterans Park in Cedar Springs last week.

The Brown family discovered the monument was missing Saturday, October 22, and called police. Thieves broke the statue, taking the helmet, rifle, and dog tags. Only the boots were left on the memorial stone. The family appealed to the public to have the suspects return the statue, no questions asked, but it did not appear.

Police suspected the same culprits took the statue as broke into concessions at Skinner Field just a day prior. They posted surveillance footage of the break-in, featuring three young males, and asked media to share the photos. Within days, suspects in the thefts were arrested.

Police found the statue in a shed on the property of Tracy Lyn Coleman, 45, in the 100 block of E. Muskegon, along with several items in the home from the Skinner Field break-in.

Police arrested David Edgar Sommerville, 17, Austin Lee Coleman, 20, and Justin Lynn Rossman, 27, all of Cedar Springs, on Thursday, October 27. All three were charged in the Skinner Field break-in, and Sommerville and Rossman were charged with the monument theft. The older Coleman was arrested the next day on receiving and concealing stolen property. He reportedly admitted to police that he knew the rifle and helmet were stored in his shed, and that he had told one of the defendants to get it out of there. Rossman reportedly told police that Sommerville stole the rifle and helmet and hid them in the storage shed.

Once the statue was recovered, DPW Director Tom Stressman had it repaired by a business in Minnesota that specializes in bronze monuments and memorials honoring law enforcement, fire/rescue, and the military.

City Manager Mike Womack had earlier said it would cost the city about $500 to have the $10,000 monument repaired, and they would probably seek to recover that cost as part of restitution on the part of the suspects.

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