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Tag Archive | "solon township"

Firefighters presented with life saving award



From L to R: Andrew Bobo, Matt Schievink, and Taylor Hunt received a special life saving award Tuesday evening at the Solon Township Board meeting. Missing from the photo is Solon Firefighter Rich Hays, who also is an award recipient. Courtesy photo.

On September 10, 2019 at the Solon Township Board Meeting, four members of Solon FD were presented a Life Saving Award by the Kent County Emergency Medical Services, Medical Control Authority Systems Administrator, Mr. Lance Corey.

This award was given for their efforts with “Exceptional Patient Care” of a critically injured patient on August 16, 2018 suffered during a motor vehicle crash on Algoma Avenue near Quarter Horse Drive in Solon Township. The patient, Lila DeLine, had slowed or stopped to turn into a driveway and was hit from behind by another driver. The force of the impact caused her to suffer a life-threatening spinal cord injury—she was internally decapitated, an injury that usually proves fatal. She spent just over a week at Spectrum Health, and then transferred to Mary Free Bed for Rehabilitation. 

The members of the Solon Fire Department receiving the award included Matt Schievink, Taylor Hunt, Andrew Bobo, and Rich Hays. 

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Fire burns mobile home


A firefighter works to put out the fire in this mobile home Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

An early afternoon fire destroyed the back end of a mobile home and took the lives of two pets living there Monday.

According to Solon Township’s Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, they were dispatched to the fire on Hemlock Avenue in White Creek Country Estates at 1:36 p.m. Monday, July 22. Surrounding fire departments that supplied mutual aid included Algoma, Cedar Springs, and Sand Lake. Rockford Ambulance was there on standby.

Four fire departments responded to the blaze at White Creek Country Estates Monday afternoon. Post photo by J. Reed.

Paige said that when they arrived, they found heavy fire coming from the rear of the residence. There was no one home at the time. Neighbors told the Post that the woman who owned the home was at work. Her two cats unfortunately did not make it out of the home.

Paige said it appeared that the fire started in the rear of the mobile home, but the cause is still under investigation.

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Thieves chop hair from horses’ tails


By Judy Reed

When Solon Township resident Emily Scott went to check on her horses on Tuesday morning about 9:45 a.m., she couldn’t believe what she saw—someone had chopped hunks out of two of her three horses’ tails.

“I saw them and thought what in the world happened to you guys?” she said.

Someone chopped the hair from the tails of these Solon Township horses. Courtesy photo.

“They just took big handfuls and chopped it off. The gelding has almost no hair left.”

She’s glad that whoever did it didn’t touch their third horse, a baby Tennessee Walker. “Her hair wasn’t long enough,” explained Scott.

She said with the wind and blowing snow, no tracks were visible, and they found no trace of the horsehair on the ground.  

“My horses are so nice. We raised them like dogs,” said Scott. “They are so loving, and love to be petted and wouldn’t have fought back.” 

Scott had a lot of things running through her mind. She wondered if she had made someone mad. And did they do anything else to harm the horses? But that was not the case.

Instead, she found out through some online articles that there is a market for horsehair, and found some stories similar to her own. Horsehair is used in crafts, hair extensions for horses, strings for musical instruments, and more.

While the horses weren’t physically injured, they will miss their tails. “It’s cruel,” she said. “The hair will take a long time to grow back and they need their tails to swat flies during the summer.” They had also been planning to start showing the horses this year.

Emily and her husband Chris called the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to their home on Albrecht, and a deputy took the report, but there aren’t currently any leads. If anyone has any information about this incident, please call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Police find second crime scene in shooting


by Judy Reed

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office continued Tuesday to search for a second crime scene related to the shooting Monday in Solon Township and found it late Tuesday afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Office had asked for the public’s help regarding whether they had seen a particular Buick the day of the shooting, and tips came pouring in.

“We can confirm that the second crime scene has been located in the 300 block of 19 Mile Rd NE on a wooded piece of property not far from where the victims were located,” said Sgt. Joel Roon, in a press release to media.

“Investigators are processing the scene now. We thank the residents who called in with tips on the Buick Century, and no further assistance is needed regarding sightings of the vehicle.”

Police were called to the 200 block of 19 Mile Rd shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, February 18 on a shooting with possibly four victims. When police arrived, they found a mother and her three children—all elementary age and younger—dead. A preliminary search led officers to believe that there is a second crime scene where the shootings may have taken place.

Autopsies are being conducted tomorrow. Police said the official identification of the victims would be provided after the autopsies are complete.  

Tri County Area Schools Superintendent Allen Cumings sent out a letter to the parents and communities saying that two of the sisters killed—Cassidy and Kyrie Rodery—were Tri County students. Cassidy was a first grader at MacNaughton Elementary, and Kyrie was a third grader at Sand Lake Elementary.

Cassidy’s teacher, Mrs. Kelley, said that she was a friend to everyone, a hard worker, and was always on task. Kyrie was a sweet girl who enjoyed playing and being active. Her teacher, Mrs. Schnepp, said that Kyrie  “loved to read, always volunteered to help others, her classmates loved her, and that she was a good friend.”

Tri County’s crisis team members were available at the two schools this morning to help students, staff and parents. The letter said they would be available to middle and high school students as well.

“We hurt and mourn with the loss of these precious students,” wrote Cumings. “Please keep the family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”

Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Scott Smith told the Post today that while the tragic events that touched the Cedar Springs community yesterday did not directly involve any of their students, their crisis team was ready to support students and staff who may have been connected in some way to the tragedy.

Related story: http://cedarspringspost.com/2019/02/18/four-dead-in-solon-township-shooting/

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What is Solon Township trying to do?


On November 6th, 2018, the voters in Solon Township voted down Ordinance No 18-4-Z.

After the election, the Solon Township Board added to the moratorium on residential development in the Township. This extension has resulted in a moratorium totaling approximately two years. Because of this moratorium, Solon Township is in a lawsuit.

I ask you now, how much of the Solon Township taxpayers’ money is the Board going to spend on an issue which was already voted down in the November election? 

Gary Johnson, 

Solon Township


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Successful grant promises public restroom for Velzy


Velzy Park, in Solon Township, is slated to build a restroom in the spring or summer of 2019 thanks to the successful completion of a $50,000 matching grant. The Park Committee worked diligently to acquire the funds needed by the October 31st deadline. The goal was obtained with only minutes to spare before the close of business that day.

The grant came from an anonymous donor. The park committee raised $25,000 and it was matched by the donor.

“The credit really goes to area citizens and businesses who generously stepped forward with donations and fundraisers to help bring this project to fruition,” stated Hal Babcock, park committee member and co-coordinator of the matching grant. “The completion of the restroom and playground (also slated for 2019) will complete Phase One of the park’s Master Plan and become an important element to the North Country Trail.”

The North Country Trail is a public walking and hiking trail stretching approximately 4,600 miles from Crown Point in eastern New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota. Future plans include running the trail from Cedar Springs through Velzy Park and the State Game area.

Additional plans for the park, located at 15185 Algoma Ave. behind Solon Township Hall, include a soccer field, baseball diamond and pavilion. The park has primarily been funded through donations and fundraising efforts. The next fundraising event will be the annual Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction taking place on February 9, 2019. Free concerts are scheduled for the summer as well. As the park progresses, there will be many opportunities for volunteers to contribute time and labor to maintain a clean and attractive environment.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Mary Lou at 616-696-1718 or Hal at 616-696-4227. Check out the facebook page, Solon Township’s Velzy Park for events.

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Residents to vote on proposals


 

By Judy Reed

Besides statewide proposals you may have heard about, there are also a few local proposals voters will need to consider on November 6.

Bond proposal for a new fire station

The City of Cedar Springs is asking voters to consider a bond proposal for a new fire station. The current fire station on W. Maple Street is almost 40 years old. “Despite what some people are saying, there are not a lot of frills in that station,” said Fire Chief Marty Fraser. We had to meet a lot of government standards not in effect 40 years ago. People don’t understand what we’ve done here (at the current station) the last 38 years. We’ve made do. It was built to code in 1980 but it no longer meets code.”

The proposal that residents will vote on will be a 15-year bond at 3.455363 mills the first year, and an average of 3.4290 mills thereafter. For someone with a home that has a taxable value of $50,000, that equates to about $172 more per year, or just under $15 per month. And, if the taxable values in Cedar Springs go up, the millage rate will go down. 

The total cost of the fire station is estimated at $2,991,741. That includes $2,136,958 in building and site prep; engineering and testing of $320,544; and $534,240 for contingencies. “Contingencies are additional funds that are set aside for fixing problems that were not accounted for or were unknowable at the time of design and planning,” explained City Manager Mike Womack. “Any funding that is leftover at the end of the construction of the building would then be put towards ‘equipping a new fire station’ and ‘acquisition of fire equipment, apparatus and vehicles, and other related expenses and improvements’ as is indicated in the ballot language.”

The total payback on the 15-year bond would be $4,013,850. It is designed to be a 50-year facility. For more info, see letter from Pam Conley on page 12.

Solon Zoning ordinance

Voters in Solon Township are being asked to vote on Township Ordinance No. 18-4-Z, which would “create a new AR-2 Low Density Agricultural Residential District, with a minimum lot size of two acres for new lots, and would rezone numerous lands within the Township to the new AR-2 District, among other matters.” The Solon Township board approved this ordinance in April 2018, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. “The purpose was to control development in the township, like a planning commission is supposed to do,” said Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick. “After going over the Master Plan, the Planning Commission made that recommendation, and we passed it.” Under the ordinance, the AR district was broken up into AR-1 and AR-2, with AR-1 lots being a minimum of one-acre in size, and AR-2 being a minimum of two acres in size. He said it would not affect anyone already living in the designated AR-2 areas. But it would limit the amount of new housing developments.

He said the township did not put it on the ballot. He said there were a couple of people that didn’t agree with the limitations and wanted to put it to a vote of the residents. See map for areas zoned AR-1 and AR-2. For more information on whether the ordinance will affect your property, call the township at 696-1718.

Ready by Five proposal

Kent County is asking whether voters will approve a levy .25 mill, or 25 cents of every $1,000 of taxable value on real and personal property for 208-204 t0 provide planning, evaluating, and provide early childhood development services to persons up to age 5 and their parents. The amount raised by the levy in the first calendar year is estimated at $5,702,887. In Kent County there are local authorities that capture and use, for authorized purposes, tax increment revenues from property taxes levied by the County. Such capture would include a portion of the millage levy. The total amount of captured tax increment revenue from such millage in the first calendar year of the levy is an estimated $243,962. The owner of a $150,000 would pay just over $18 per year, according to First Steps Kent, the organization spearheading the proposal.

If it passes, the proposal would provide health and developmental screenings for all children under age 5, as well as support for parents, and increased access to high-quality learning experiences. Visit https://www.firststepskent.org/earlychildhoodproposal for more information.

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Solon receives opportunity for matching grant for park


Solon Township’s Velzy Park Committee received some exciting news recently. The committee, under the direction of Solon Township, has been attempting to raise funds to complete Phase One of Velzy Park, which includes a playground and restroom facility. The park is located behind the Township office at 15185 Algoma Ave.

Recognizing the need, a Solon Township family has pledged $25,000 as a matching grant in an effort to finance the restroom. The planned structure is slated to be a 3-season unisex unit, which will be open to the public during park hours. In order to fully utilize the grant, the committee will need to acquire an additional $25,000 in donations. They are planning various fundraisers and looking into creating a gofundme page in an effort to match the grant.

The committee is asking for your help. Timing is limited, as the window for the matching grant closes on October 31, 2018.  If you would like to make a contribution, or to volunteer at events, please call the Solon Township office at 696-1718. Watch our facebook page or the Post for upcoming events.

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Bald eagle sighting


This bald eagle is looking for his next meal.

Wendy Russell sent us this photo she took of a bald eagle near Meijer, in Solon Township on Friday, March 23. She said he grabbed a squirrel but then dropped it in the middle of 17 Mile Road.

Thank you, Wendy, for sending us your photo!

Do you have a photo of wildlife you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some info about the photo and your contact information. We will print as space is available.

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Large eagle spotted in Solon


Jennifer August, of Solon Township, spotted this large eagle near her home last weekend. 

When she first saw him, he was sitting on a top of a deer carcass in a field and she could tell he was a big bird. She later returned with her camera, and snapped a photo of him in a nearby tree. 

Thanks so much, Jennifer, for sending us your photos!

If you have wildlife photos you’d like to send us, please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some information about the photo. Will run as space allows.

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