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Tag Archive | "solon township"

Solon delays pole barn removal


By Judy Reed

About 20 people attended the Solon Township board meeting last Tuesday, July 12, to voice their opinion on why a horse barn on township property should not be pulled down to make room for a new township hall.

At the meeting, the board decided to table action for authorization of the sale and removal of the barn. They approved preliminary plans last fall for the construction of a 6,000 square-foot building with community room, at a cost of about $750,000.

Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick said that they had not yet seen the site plan, though were told it was complete, and would not act until they could review it. He also feels that if they wait a couple of years, they would be in a good financial position to pay for it without financing any of it. “Our revenue sharing went up substantially, but these are still tough economic times,” he said. “Why rush it?” He noted they would still need to pay for heat and electricity for the current building, which also houses the fire department.

Currently the pole barn is being used to host a farm, craft, and flea market every Saturday during the summer, at no charge to vendors. The originally thought they might be able to convert it into offices or a new fire department, but an engineer told them it would be cost prohibitive to do that.

“We could probably sell it through an auction,” said Ellick.

Solon bought the 19-acre horse farm at 15185 Algoma two years ago in a tax foreclosure sale for $28,378.

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Kent City man hurt in accident


A 21-year-old Kent City man was seriously injured Friday afternoon when the car he was driving hit a tree in Solon Township.
The man was driving a blue Dodge Neon west on 17 Mile just west of Olin Lakes Rd went the vehicle left the road and smashed into a tree about 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Both Solon Township Fire and Rescue and Kent City/Tyrone Township Fire and Rescue worked feverishly to extract the man, who was conscious but pinned inside the vehicle. He was transported to the hospital by Rockford Ambulance with leg, hip and abdominal injuries.
According to Captain Kevin Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department, the man was driving on a suspended license, and the driver’s name has not yet been released, due to pending charges against him.

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Fire ravages Solon Township home



By Judy Reed

A Solon Township home went up in flames last Friday morning after a fire rekindled from the night before.

Firefighters were first called to the scene on Ja De Drive, north off of 16 Mile, and west of Algoma, about 4 p.m. Thursday, March 24. Solon, Cedar Springs and Algoma Fire departments knocked down the fire pretty quickly and cleared the scene by 10 p.m.  According to Solon Township Deputy Fire Chief Brian VanderLaan, they had made a good save on the structure, with it mainly suffering heavy smoke damage.

“We spent hours double checking to make sure it was completely out,” noted VanderLaan. “I even crawled through the attic.”

Fire departments were called back to the scene about 5:45 a.m. Friday morning, March 25. “It was fully involved when we got here,” said VanderLaan.

Solon, Algoma, Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, and Kent City Fire all fought the blaze, and Rockford brought in their aerial trucks so they could douse the flames from the top. Most of the firefighters had cleared the scene by 11 a.m.

The family was not home at the time of the fires, and no one was injured. VanderLaan said that the fire appeared to originate in the basement, but the cause was still under investigation.

He explained that you never know where a spark might linger, and that’s why they spent hours the night before making sure the fire was out.  “This is what I didn’t want to happen last night,” he said while looking at the burned out house. “We did everything in our power we could have done.”

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Robin sighting


It’s a bird, it’s a plane—no, it’s another bird. And another, and another, and another. Robins, to be specific.
Over hundreds of robins landed in Gary Johnson’s yard last week in Solon Township, and decided to spend all day and all night there. He said they slept in a pine tree next to an outbuilding on his property.
Migrating robins will often stop like this on the way to their destination. Thanks Gary!

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Stolen car found in Solon Township


A vehicle that was stolen in Grant Township Sunday was found in Solon Township Monday.

According to the Michigan State Police Post in Newaygo, troopers were dispatched to a larceny complaint Sunday, about 6:45 p.m. on S. Thornapple in Grant Township, Newaygo County. The caller said the suspect was still in the residence.

The caller took off on foot before troopers arrived on scene, and a canine unit was called in. While the canine unit attempted to locate the suspect, a City Watch alert was sent out on the phone line to area residents telling them that a suspect was on the loose and to make sure their doors were locked and their keys were not in their vehicles.

A short time later, a resident who received the call looked out his window and noticed that his pickup truck, a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, with a black bed cover, was missing.

On Monday, March 7, the Kent County Sheriff Department located the suspect and the stolen vehicle near the Olin Lake area in Solon Township. Trooper Bozek of the MSP Newaygo Post responded to the scene with the owner of the stolen vehicle, and the suspect was taken into custody. He was transported to the Newaygo County Jail, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, March 10. His name is being withheld pending arraignment.

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Police seek home invasion/assault suspect


The Kent County Sheriff Department is looking for a man that broke into a home on White Creek Avenue in Solon Township Monday morning and then assaulted an elderly relative who arrived on the scene.
According to Det./Sgt. Marc Burns, a 77-year-old relative of the homeowner arrived at the house in the 17000 block of White Creek Avenue, near 20 Mile Road, about 11 a.m., as the suspect was exiting the home. The suspect attacked the victim, and then fled with several items from the home. The victim was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
The suspect is described as a black male, 30-35 years old, approximately 6 feet tall, with a large build. The vehicle he used was described as a gray, newer style passenger car.
Anyone with information about this incident or suspect is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Investigative Division at (616) 632-6125, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

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Deadly rollover in Solon Township


car rolled over

A man died in this crash at 18 Mile and Simmons Thursday morning, December 2. Photo courtesy of WOOD-TV8.

A man was killed Thursday morning, December 2, when he slid through the intersection at Simmons and 18 Mile Road in Solon Township about 4:30 a.m.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Christopher Lee Walker, 45, of Cedar Springs, was southbound on Simmons Avenue, approaching 18 Mile Road, when he lost control, left the roadway and rolled his car into a ditch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Solon Township Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance all assisted at the scene.
According to his obituary, Walker was employed at Irwin Seating, was a member of the Tri-County Eagles, in Sand Lake and the Man Cave, in Howard City and liked to ride his motorcycle.
Funeral services were held Monday at Bliss-Witters & Pike funeral home with interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

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Solon farmers to add flea market


Due to public interest, Solon Township has decided to expand their farmers market/craft show to include an outdoor flea market beginning this Saturday, May 22. The market will be located north of the stable at 15185 Algoma Ave.
“We’ve had a great response,” commented Linda Badgerow, administrative assistant at Solon Township. The farmers market just opened this month.
Flea market vendors can apply with Linda Badgerow at Solon Township 616-696-1718.  A refundable $20.00 deposit will be required to ensure prompt removal of any unsold items. The flea market will run concurrent with the existing farmers market every Saturday through September from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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Right number, wrong street


Man enters wrong home while intoxicated

Joshua Clark Vann

Joshua Clark Vann

A Solon Township man is facing charges of third degree home invasion after he entered the wrong home while intoxicated and became aggressive toward the homeowner.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officer Jason Schaefer responded to a home invasion on Sarah Street in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates on Wednesday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m. Upon arrival, he heard voices inside the mobile home, with one person sounding very upset.  Officer Schaefer entered and confronted the intruder, Joshua Clark Vann, 30, of Solon Township, who was intoxicated and arguing with the homeowner through a closed bedroom door.

After the suspect was arrested and placed into the patrol car, Officer Schaefer interviewed the homeowner. He learned that the suspect entered and confronted the homeowner but would not leave when he clearly knew he was not inside his friend’s house. It appears the address he was looking for may have had the same house numbers, but he was on the wrong street.

The 19-year-old homeowner said he was able to get the man outside but was then chased by the intruder, and the man then followed him back inside the mobile home. At one point, he said Vann was grabbing at him and threatening to assault him.

The homeowner’s wife was able to grab her purse and retreated to the rear bedroom calling for help. The two of them were holding the bedroom door closed to keep the subject from getting into their bedroom when the police arrived.

Due to the unusual circumstances, Officer Schaefer removed the subject from the scene and sough a warrant for Home Invasion 3rd Degree, a 5-year felony. This charge requires the suspect to have entered a home being occupied and committing a misdemeanor violation once inside. In this case he did not enter to steal but committed a simple assault by grabbing the homeowner and threatening him.

Van was arrested on Tuesday, October 13. He was arraigned in 63rd District Court, Rockford on Wednesday, October 14. His bond was set at $3,000 cash/surety, and his preliminary exam was scheduled for October 28 at 10 a.m.

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Solon supervisor resigns from fire department


By Judy Reed

A heated argument between two firefighters on the Solon Township fire department resulted in the suspension and resignation of one of them—Solon Supervisor Bob Ellick.

“I was wrong, I made an error in judgment,” said Ellick, a firefighter for 21 years.

According to witnesses, Ellick had a problem with the way another firefighter entered the scene of an accident on September 4, while driving a fire truck. He reportedly yelled at the firefighter at the scene, and the argument continued afterward during their critique of the call. Witnesses alleged that Ellick threatened the firefighter and called him names.

Fire Chief Joyce VanderMey suspended Ellick, and the other firefighter filed a complaint of threats with the Kent County Sheriff Department on September 10. According to Lt. Kevin Kelley, the case was dismissed. “It was just an argument. They swore at each other, but there was no crime, so we closed the case,” he said. Kelly went on to explain that sometimes an assault could occur without the battery. “If two people are arguing, and someone is red in the face, and they cock their arm back and say they are gonna punch you in the face, and the other person runs, that could be assault. But in this case, neither leaves, so it’s just an argument. There was no fear.”

VanderMey was told to direct all questions on the issue to the township’s lawyers, Mika, Meyers, Beckett and Jones. Lawyer Mark VanAllsburg said that while he’d like to be helpful, it was the township’s policy that they not comment on personnel matters.

But Ellick personally confirmed the argument, and he submitted his letter of resignation from the fire department at Tuesday evening’s township board meeting. The board accepted his resignation without comment.

“I apologize to the chief, to the board, to the residents of the township, and to the fire department,” Ellick told the Post.

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