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Archive | September, 2010

New royalty reigns

A new Red Flannel Queen and court were chosen last Saturday night. Pictured are Kayla Ovokaitys (Court), Queen Tinsley Nulph and Samantha McGahan (Court). Courtesy photo.

There are some great things about this time of year—cooler weather, leaves changing color, football, bonfires, caramel apples—and it’s also the time of year that another young girl’s dream comes true when she’s chosen as the Red Flannel Queen.

According to Red Flannel Festival president Michele Andres, the historic Kent Theatre was sold out for the event last Saturday, September 25. Named as our new Red Flannel Queen was Tinsley Nulph, daughter of Mike and Sally Nulph; and court members chosen were Kayla Ovokaitys, daughter of Thomas and Donna Ovokaitys; and Samantha McGahan, daughter of Alan and Beth McGahan. All the girls are juniors at Cedar Springs High School.

Kayla Ovokaitys also won the award for Miss Congeniality, which comes with a $250 scholarship.

“Pageant Directors Sheila Patterson and Patsy Baar created an outstanding evening with performances by Jake Mellema, 2009 Red Flannel Queen Jenna Johnson and adorable dancers from Dancing Plus,” said Andres. She noted that Zack Carlstrom and Olivia Esquivel from Dancing Plus were also a huge hit.

Grand Marshals Fred and Carollee Gunnell were in attendance as well, celebrating their reign over all Red Flannel festivities.

One of the highlights of the program was a special presentation to the 1941 Red Flannel Queen, Jean Thrall Erickson. Andres said that when Jean was Queen, the Queen passed her crown on to the next Queen, so Jean no longer had one. “This year, the Festival Board recognized Jean with a new custom crown, honoring her and her amazing generosity and volunteerism to the Red Flannel Festival,” explained Andres.

Another highlight of the evening happened during intermission. Pageant Hostess Mary VanderWal (1986 Red Flannel Queen) and Pageant Emcee, Dr. Dave Weinandy, from Aquinas College, offered to each match all scholarship money collected during intermission. $1,500 was collected during intermission, and with the generosity of Mary and Dave, $4,500 was added to the Queen Scholarship Fund in just 15 minutes!

The 20th year of Scholarships was also celebrated, and honored Pat Capek and Dorothy Bishop with beginning the Scholarship Program.

Congratulations to the new Queen and her court! And be sure to stop and say hello to them during this weekend’s Red Flannel festivities!

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Post goes to Prague

We know that the Post extends around the world through the worldwide web, but even our print edition extended to eastern Europe last week when it traveled to Prague with Rachel Reed.

Rachel, a 2003 Cedar Springs graduate and 2008 graduate of Cornerstone University, took it with her when she traveled to Prague in the Czech Republic last week as part of a class for her master’s degree in business administration in the professional graduate studies (PGS) program at Cornerstone.  She and others in her group visited various business centers, attended seminars, and learned about business there and in Brno. Rachel, who is also an accountant at Cornerstone University, said it was a great experience. You can see St. Nicholas church in the background.

Are you traveling? Take a Post with you and take a photo! Then submit it to us at postnews@charter.net.

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City paints fire station

The Cedar Springs Fire Station got a new paint job this week.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department now has a more appropriate color for their fire station—fire engine red. City employee Tom Stressman started painting the fire barn last week, in preparation for Red Flannel Day.  It formerly was brown.

“We had to paint the door, so we thought we might as well paint the whole thing,” said DPW Superintendent Jerry Hall. He said it had been 10-12 years since it was last painted.

While in town for Red Flannel Day, be sure stop and take a look! For a list of all the events going on this weekend, turn to page 8.

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Rockford man indicted for tax evasion

A Grand Rapids grand jury indicted Kerry Thomas Kilpatrick, age 55, of Rockford, with nine counts of tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced last week.

Dr. Kerry Kilpatrick, now indicted for tax evasion, poses with the Michigan Surgeon General Kimberly Dawn Wisdom MD at the Michigan Department of Community Health’s awards program. Dr. Kilpatrick received an award for his leadership in the chiropractic association’s public education programs. 

The indictment alleges that Kilpatrick, owner of the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center in Grand Rapids, established several shell companies, including one in the Republic of Panama, for the purpose of evading taxes due on income earned through his chiropractic business. The indictment alleges that the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center had gross deposits of over $3,400,000 from 1999 through 2007 but that Kilpatrick paid no personal income taxes for this time period despite deducting payroll taxes for the employees of the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center. The indictment alleges that, following a meeting with the IRS in 2005, Kilpatrick filed income tax returns in 2006 for the tax years 1999-2005. In these returns, Kilpatrick acknowledged adjusted gross income of over $1,000,000 but claimed no tax due and owing because of purported miscellaneous deductions for each year that matched his adjusted gross income. The indictment further alleges that Kilpatrick filed similar income tax returns in 2010 for the tax years of 2006 and 2007 by claiming deductions that exactly matched his adjusted gross income.

Each count of tax evasion is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Kilpatrick had an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Joseph Scoville last Thursday and was released on a $100,000 bond. Kilpatrick’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell, and Kilpatrick’s arraignment on these charges is scheduled for October 4, 2010.

According to his website, Dr. Kilpatrick is a 1980 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Life University in Marietta, Ga. He established the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center in 1981. He has held a variety of leadership positions within the profession including President of the Michigan Chiropractic Association (1995–96) and Representative from Michigan to the International Chiropractors Association (1998–2005). He was named Michigan Chiropractor of the Year on two occasions (1994, 2000).

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Two students named National Merit semifinalists

Two seniors from Cedar Springs High School have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.



Charles Hyde, son of Charles and Brenda Hyde, and Brittany Bellamy, daughter of Brett and Rhonda Bellamy, were two of the 16,000 semifinalists named in the 56th annual competition. They have the chance to compete for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million that will be offered next spring. They must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level, and half of the finalists will obtain a National Merit Scholarship, and earn the Merit Scholar title.

Principal Ron Behrenwald is very proud of the two students and their accomplishment. He said it also might be a first for Cedar Springs. “We have searched extensively, and no one can remember ever having two semifinalists in one year,” he said.

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Hometown hero

Army Pvt. Joseph A. Van Dreumel has graduated from the H-8 Tracked Vehicle  Recovery Specialist Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

The course is designed to train students in the skills and knowledge needed  to perform recovery operations using the M88A1/A2 tracked recovery vehicle.  The  course includes field and classroom training in the proper use of tools,  equipment, technical data, and applicable references needed to determine  recovery methods, locate recovery sites, operate tactical communications  equipment, and maintain recovery vehicle armament systems.

Students drive, maintain, and perform preventive maintenance on recovery vehicles; receive operating instructions in recovery vehicle component  equipment, auxiliary power units, and use of proper recovery safety procedures when rigging, recovering and towing tracked vehicles.

Van Dreumel is the son of Dennis G. Van Dreumel, and Karen A. Van Dreumel, both of Raleigh, N.C. His wife, Sarah, is the daughter of Allen J. Greiner of 10th Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Deborah Wilson of Cedar Springs, Mich. The private is a 1997 graduate of Jenison High School, Mich.

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Hometown hero

Air Force Staff Sgt. Landon K. Mull has graduated from Airman Leadership  School at Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The five-week course is designed to train senior airmen to understand their positions in the Air Force organizational structure, combat leadership, supervisory communications skills, and profession of arms, which are needed for  professional development to be effective noncommissioned officers. Airmen are prepared and better equipped to serve as supervisors, managers and rating officials as they progress in their enlisted military careers.

The school is the first of three levels of professional military education programs used to develop and cultivate leadership and supervisory skills. The course is required for airmen to complete prior to being promoted to the rank of  staff sergeant.
Mull, an imagery analyst assigned to the 15th Airlift Wing, has served in the military for five years. He is the son of John and Trish Mull of Cedar Springs.

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Michigan deer crashes

Special safety tips offered for motorcyclists

October and November are the two most dangerous months in Michigan for deer/vehicle crashes. Vehicle/deer crashes can cause more than just damage to the outside of the vehicle. The 61,486 crashes last year resulted in 1,571 injuries and 10 deaths, according to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition.

In 2009, all 10 deer crash fatalities involved motorcyclists. That is why the MDCC has developed new safety tips for motorcyclists.

“Motorcyclists are vulnerable to deer crashes as they travel Michigan’s roadways,” said Coalition Chair Lori Conarton of the Insurance Institute of Michigan. “Reducing the number of injuries and fatalities from these types of crashes is a priority for the coalition.”

Motorcyclists should:

* Be alert for deer whenever they ride.  Deer-vehicle crashes happen in urban, suburban and rural areas.

* Slow down. Decreasing speed gives a motorcyclist more time to spot an animal and react.

* Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time.

* Use high beam headlights and additional driving light when possible.

* If riding in a group, spread out riders in a staggered formation. If one rider hits a deer, this will lessen the chance that other riders will be involved.

* Wear protective gear at all times.

In 2009, Michigan experienced an increase the number of total vehicle/deer crashes. According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, there were 61,486 deer/vehicle crashes in 2009, up from the 61,010 crashes reported in 2008.  However, officials note that many crashes also go unreported, so actual crash numbers are much higher.

In 2009, Kent County once again topped the state’s counties in the number of car-deer crashes with 2,164 crashes.  The remaining top nine were Oakland (1,947), Jackson (1,877), Calhoun (1,659), Montcalm (1,641), Lapeer (1,455), Clinton (1,428), Genesee (1,420), Eaton (1,384) and Ottawa (1,300).

All motorists should “think deer” whenever they are behind the wheel, and drive defensively, as if a deer can appear at any moment, because they can! And all motorists should remember to always fasten their safety belts. Safety belts often make the difference in surviving a serious crash.

The MDCC says motorists can help avoid dangerous encounters with deer by heeding the following tips:
* Watch for deer especially at dawn and dusk.
* If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight.
* Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning.
* Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads. Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer-crossing areas and serve as a first alert that deer may be near.
* Slow down when traveling through deer-population areas.

For more information, visit the coalition’s website, http://www.michigandeercrash.org/

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Marching band festival celebrates 50 years

One thing that has remained a constant draw for spectators each Red Flannel Day is the annual Red Flannel Marching Band Competition. It’s a great chance to see phenomenal marching bands from all across the state, including the Cedar Springs Marching Red Hawks. And this year they are celebrating 50 years, which makes it one of the longest, if not the longest, marching band festival in the state of Michigan.

According to Patricia Eary, of the Cedar Springs music boosters, at least 91 different bands have performed throughout the years at the competition, and neighboring Tri-County has been here every year since 1966. Cedar Springs always does an exhibition at the end.

We know, according to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, that a band festival was held during the Red Flannel Celebration in 1956 for the bicentennial. But it may not have become an annual event until 1960. The 1961 high school yearbook refers to the annual RF day band competition. The 1962 yearbook states that the concession stand at Skinner Field was constructed in memory of Carol Winter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Winter. Band directors over the years included: 1957-1958 Mr. Leavenworth; 1958-1959 Mr. Evans; 1961 Mr. Sheffer; 1962 Charles Hasselbring; 1963-1965 Leon Bradley; 1965 to mid 70s Ted Bazany; then Dale Working, Patricia Page, Steve Foote, Bob Persky.  Page and Foote may have been assistant directors.  Then it was Robert Robuck, Jim Greene, Adam Borst & Ryan Shaw. Pam McComb and Linda Martino were also band directors for a short length of time.

“Many of these directors have been invited to attend this year but some cannot make it due to other commitments,” said Eary.

1973 marked the first year that cassette recorders were used for judging. Award presenters have included Gerald R. Ford (when he was minority speaker of the House).  University bands that have performed at the competition (as an exhibition) included Central Michigan University, Ferris State University and Northern Michigan University.

If you’d like to attend this year’s competition, it will be held at Cedar Springs High School’s Red Hawk Stadium, with a flag-raising at 8:45 a.m. Admission is $6; seniors & students are $4. Be sure to come out and see your Red Hawks, who placed 2nd ou of 8 bands in Class B recently at the Rockford Competition.

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Nanny scam alert

In August, The Post ran a help wanted ad that was looking for a nanny for two children at an address here in Cedar Springs. It turns out the ad was a scam, and ran in several newspapers. We were alerted this week by Merchant Services that the credit card was fraudulent, and we were charged back for the cost of the ads.

Of greater concern, however, is whether any our readers answered the ad. According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the perpetrators of the scam were probably trying to get personal information from applicants, and may have tried to charge you a fee for running a background check. If you answered the ad and gave “Mrs. Joy Moore” personal information, please contact the Cedar Springs Police Department at 696-1311.

We try our best to get rid of any classified ads that look like they could be a scam. However, please remember to protect yourself when applying for employment: employers will not ask for money for a background check, and they will not offer to give you an advance check, which they require to be deposited in your checking account. If you are skeptical about a classified in our newspaper, please give us a call at 616-696-3655.

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IRS alert to tax exempt groups

According to the Internal Revenue Service , as many as 10,000 small community-based nonprofits in Michigan are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status due to not filing the required tax returns.

“The loss of this status could greatly impact the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions,” said an IRS spokesperson.

Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.

The organizations that are at risk failed to file the required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to IRS records. The requirement to file is the result of a tax law change that occurred in 2006. For many of these small organizations, complying with the new law may be as simple as completing a 10-minute form online. They can preserve their exempt status under a one-time relief program the IRS announced in July, but only if they file by Oct. 15, 2010.

The IRS said they have made numerous attempts to alert these organizations, but are concerned that many may not have gotten the word. A list of the organizations that were at-risk as of the end of July is posted at IRS.gov along with instructions on how to comply with the new law.

If you are connected with a small nonprofit community group, make sure that your organization is aware of the law change and is in compliance before the October 15 deadline.

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Happy Birthday Greg!

49 & Holding!

If you see “Gregordog” today, wish him a
Happy Birthday for Oct. 6th!!
We love you,
Angela, Chase & Caden VandenBerg

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