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Archive | July, 2014

Family Fare store closing

N-Family-fareTwo weeks ago, the Post published a story questioning the rumor that Family Fare, a SpartanNash store located on 17 Mile Road, east of White Creek, did not renew their lease. We reported that the property and building were for sale and rumors had been circulating for months that Family Fare had not renewed their lease, which is up in the fall.

At the time, SpartanNash said they did not respond to store closing rumors.

However, according to employees at Family Fare, a meeting was recently held with all employees letting them know that the store is closing September 6, and the pharmacy is closing next week, August 6, with all prescriptions being sent to Rite Aid, in Cedar Springs.

After hearing the news Wednesday morning, The Post called and spoke with a representative of SpartanNash, who said they would try to get more information for us. We did not hear from them by press time, but will give you the information as soon as we hear more.

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Carnival closes out summer reading program

Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

FIZZ…BOOM…READ…It was a great summer for reading and hands on learning at the Cedar Springs Public Library this summer, and the program ended Wednesday, July 30, with their big summer reading carnival at Morley Park.

They kicked off their summer reading program on June 9 with 525 participating in the festivities—a petting zoo, free ice cream, Friends book sale, free book bags and bookmarks, and Fire Chief Marty Fraser and team with our fabulous Cedar Springs Fire Truck.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Programs ran in attendance from 71 to 230, with the largest program attendance for the Crichton Alligator Sanctuary with real alligators, snakes and other reptiles and hands on for those who were brave enough. Teen, tween and adult programs ran from 19 to 22, with the largest at 31 for the Archaeology in Israel program.

Hundreds were on hand Wednesday for the carnival in the park, where kids enjoyed a water slide, bounce houses, games, popcorn, ice cream, cold water, face painting, a petting zoo and local Fire Truck team again, but this time to periodically spray their fire hoses to cool down those standing in the park field.  Almost two hundred kids received prizes.

In all it spells, “Literacy, Success, FUN!” said Library Director Donna Clark. “Many thanks to our community businesses, service organizations, churches, City, library staff and board, and the individuals who make this program great each year. Together we can do more and have fun doing it!”


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A royal salute—75 years of volunteers!

The 75th Red Flannel Festival presents new events for 2014

N-Red-Flannel-Lumberjack-showThe Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors has been working diligently to provide fresh new events for the 75th “A Royal Salute—75 years of volunteers!” Festival celebration. “This is a very special year for all of the volunteers, said Brynadette Powell, Festival Second Vice President. “It’s truly through their efforts, over 75 years, that have made this Festival internationally famous!”

“The board has added many events in the last few years and boasts over 4,600 fans on our Facebook page,” said President Michele Tracy-Andres. “This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever! We’re already working on plans for new events for the 76th Festival in 2015!”

This year, the Festival has partnered with Townsquare Media, 98.7 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials; and television commercials will begin on FOX 17 in September. A special 75th Anniversary Edition, 34-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” will be distributed in August, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

New this year, the Festival will debut a Speed Trivia Contest in the Grand Lodge. There is also a House Decorating Contest to showcase Red Flannel Town Pride.

Justin Harndon and the Cedar Springs High School television production class will create live a World Record (attendance) Lip Dub during the Grand Parade.

The Scottville Clown Band is also new this year! They will march in the Grand Parade and then perform a concert in the Grand Lodge.

Connie and Curtis, 95.7 FM radio personalities will be here live on Red Flannel Day!

After a few years’ hiatus, the All American Lumberjack Show is back! There will be three shows on Saturday featuring world class lumberjacks chopping, sawing and log rolling.

Back again is the Red Flannel Art Review, with local artists vying for cash prizes in local venues, beginning in late August. Also back this year is an old fashioned trolley that will be used to transport Festival goers to various events and venues on a route. “The Festival is thrilled to partner with B&W Charters from Kalamazoo to make this happen,” said Festival 1st VP Mark Laws.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Rotary Chicken BBQ, Lion’s Lumberjack Supper, Queen Scholarship Pageant, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions!”

For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

The Festival was granted 501c3 non-profit status and all donations are tax deductible. The Festival is an independent, all volunteer organization with volunteer openings for individuals, families and groups to be involved. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or get involved with the Red Flannel Festival, call 616-696-2662 or visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

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Greenville man dies in crash


The Rockford State Police have not yet released the names of the victims involved in a fatal accident last week on 14 Mile Road, in Oakfield Township.

According to police, the accident occurred about 11:37 p.m., Wednesday, July 23, east of Wellman Road.

Police said that according to witnesses, a red Toyota Camry was traveling east on 14 Mile when it passed another eastbound vehicle on the right, and lost control when it reentered the roadway. It then crossed the centerline into westbound traffic, and was struck by a westbound white Chevy Traverse. The driver of the Camry, a 21-year-old male from Greenville, was pinned in the vehicle and in serious condition. The two passengers in the Camry were thrown from the vehicle. One of them, a 20-year-old male from Greenville, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other passenger, a 22-year-old, was in stable condition.

The driver of the Traverse, a 35-year-old woman from Cedar Springs, was also in stable condition. All were transported to Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids.

Police said that alcohol and speed were determining factors in the accident. The driver of the Camry was seatbelted, but it’s unknown whether the passengers were because the damage to the car was extensive.

Rockford State Police were assisted by Oakfield Township Fire and Rescue, AeroMed, Kent County Sheriff, and Rockford Ambulance.


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Post travels to Kenya


Diana Merritt, of Cedar Springs, recently traveled to Kenya to do some missionary work. While there, she stayed with Dennis and Michelle Freeland, originally of Sand Lake. She said they went to some surrounding schools to set up Bible clubs, and a local business had given her about 325 match box cars for her grandson Ethan Riley’s “Cars for Kenya” project to hand out to children.

“On market day I dressed up in my clown suit and walked around and handed out cars and balloon animals to the children at the marketplace,” she explained. “As we were driving, I saw the equator sign and thought it would be a great place to stop and take a picture of the Post,” she said.

Thanks so much, Diana, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

NOTE: Someone dropped off an underwater photo of the Post, but did not leave us any information or email any to us. Please contact us at 696-3655 or email news@cedarspringspost.com with info so that we can run your photo.


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Another white-tailed squirrel

N-Squirrel-white-tailed-black1 N-Squirrel-white-tailed-black2

For the last two weeks we have run reader photos of squirrels with the genetic mutation of a white tail. This week, we have a squirrel of another color, though also with a white tail.

Patrick Snyder, of Solon Township, sent us photos of a black squirrel that got into his birdfeeder last winter. “He has rather distinct markings, so at first I couldn’t figure out what a baby skunk was doing out so early and how it got on my feeder,” remarked Snyder. He added that they nicknamed it Squunk (blending and shortening squirrel and skunk).

Thanks for the photos Patrick!

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North Country Trail

by Tom  Noreen


Cedar Springs has been a cross roads for over a 125 years. The first major cross road was formed when the Toledo, Saginaw and Muskegon Railroad crossed the Grand Rapids and Indiana rail line near where South Street dead ends into the White Pine Trail. While M57 never crossed through Cedar Springs, it ended at what is now Northland Drive and 14 Mile. Travelers heading west would then jog north to M46 and follow it west to Muskegon. The two roads roughly follow the course of the old TS&M.

A new cross road is being proposed for Cedar Springs—an intersection of the White Pine Trail and the North Country Trail. The NCT stretches from eastern New York for over 4,600 miles to central North Dakota. This trail is the longest of the National Scenic Trails overseen by the National Park Service, over twice that of the Appalachian Trail. It is also the only major east-west trail. This trail enters Michigan in the southeast corner and exits it in the western UP.

Jeff McCusker from the National Park Service, Andrea Ketchmark and Matt Robatham from the North Country Trail Association, Annamarie Bauer from the Department of Natural Resources, and Chuck Vannette and Chuck Hayden from the West Michigan Chapter of the NCT met with representatives from the City of Cedar Springs, Nelson and Solon Townships, Chamber of Commerce, Parks and Recreation, Community Building Development Team, area businesses and interested citizens on the future of the trail in our area.

Kurt Mabie opened the meeting and Amanda Gerhardt and Carolee Cole did an amazing job of presenting our thoughts about why Cedar Springs would make a great location for the trail to cross the White Pine Trail and head west towards the Rogue River State Game Area where it begins its northward trek to the bridge.

Jeff briefed on the Optimum Location Review process that is used to determine the final trace of the trail. Planning requirements include places to camp about every ten miles, parking areas every five miles, staying off roads and creating a 200 ft wide buffer on each side of the trail creating a protected walkway and a high quality experience for walkers.

At the conclusion of his briefing some initial steps were made to begin an OLR for this area to determine the best route from east of Rockford then north and west towards the State Game Area.

Carolee Cole summed it up when she said, “Jeff and his crew were great listeners and taught us how to move forward as well as inviting us to participate with them in determining the optimum location for the North Country Trail in the Cedar Springs area. We really appreciated the spirit they brought to the table and their willingness to work with us for an extended time in sharing what they are hoping for and considering our insights.”


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Hand, foot and mouth disease on the rise

N-handfootmouthdisease_b200pxReports from area health care providers and data from local emergency departments indicate a recent increase in illness consistent with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), especially among patients 5 years of age and younger. HFMD is caused by an extremely contagious virus and is quite common in children under the age of 10, though it can also occur in adults. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, rash, sores on fingers, palms and soles of feet, and blister-like sores in the mouth. HFMD is spread by coughing, sneezing, or coming into contact with bodily fluid such as saliva or fecal matter.

“Typically, we see cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease increase in August,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We don’t know why there is an increase earlier this year, but we want people to be aware and proactive in avoiding HFMD. There is no vaccine to protect against it, but there are precautions you can take to prevent you or your family members from getting HFMD.”

Wash hands often, preferably with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the bathroom. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when sneezing or coughing, and throw away used tissues immediately. Clean and disinfect surfaces and soiled items, including toys, where germs may spread. If you know that someone has HFMD, avoid kissing, hugging, or sharing cups, forks, spoons, or food items that they have used. Since this infection is most common among children, parents and those who work in settings where children interact (daycare centers, libraries, play spaces) should be especially aware of these prevention measures and encourage children to follow them.

The onset of HFMD is a fever for a day or two, followed by painful sores that develop in the mouth. These usually appear as small red spots that blister, and later can become ulcers. These blisters can appear on the tongue, gums, and inside the cheeks. Some will also find a skin rash a few days after onset, with flat or raised red spots, some with blisters. The rash does not itch. A person with HFMD may have only the rash or the mouth sores. In some cases, three to seven days after fever onset, some will suffer from loss of appetite, nausea, and/or vomiting. The illness could last a week to 10 days. Treatment of symptoms includes non-aspirin pain relievers and fever reducers, and make sure the infected person gets lots of rest and non-citric fluids, as fever can cause dehydration. If you or your child have symptoms of this illness, contact your health care provider for more information on treatment.

(Please note: HFMD is sometimes confused with foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease), which is found in livestock. These viruses are not related: humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.)

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CTA announces reauthorization with Ferris State University


Creative Technologies Academy is pleased to announce the reauthorization of its charter with Ferris State University for five years through June 30, 2019. The University’s Charter School Office conducted an intensive reauthorization review in September of last year in anticipation of the expiring contract of June 30, 2014. A written report of that review was issued in March of this year. The report includes evaluations of the Academy’s Strategic Planning, Mission, Vision, and Core Values, Governance, School Improvement, Financial Viability, and School Culture. The Academy achieved an overall score of 466.2 points out of 500 (93.24%) and was categorized as “Exceeds Standards.” A copy of the Reauthorization Review is available for review at the Academy’s central office at 350 Pine Street, Cedar Springs, Michigan.

The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved the reauthorization of the Academy’s charter this spring and the Academy received its new contract at the end of June. “I am pleased with our school’s evaluation under rigorous accountability standards. With recent media reports that paint schools in a negative light I think it is important for our community to know that it is served by a public school academy that is transparent, focused on continuous improvement, and is a partner with the community in the educational process,” said Dan George, CTA School Leader. “I do not view our school as a competitor to traditional public schools. We are a partner with the other schools in our area. We all want the same things – a better education for our children and a better community for them to live in. I am blessed to have a wonderful staff, and I’m blessed with friends and colleagues in other schools that partner with us to serve children.”

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Don’t forget to VOTE in primary August 5

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, August 5, to narrow down and in some instances, select who will represent them in local, county and state government. There are also several proposals on the ballot. (See accompanying story.) These profiles are only tidbits of information, and we encourage you to check out candidate’s websites for more thorough information. Please see last week’s paper online for bios on the judicial candidates.


There are two candidates running for Michigan Governor: current Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Mark Schauer (D). The term ends in 2018.

*N-Candidate Governor Rick SnyderGov. Rick Snyder (R) was first elected in 2010. Prior to that, he had no political experience. Instead, he was a businessman whose mission was to create more jobs. Labeling himself “one tough nerd,” and “Michigan’s Comeback Kid,” his website says that since Rick Snyder took office, Michigan has created more than 220,000 private sector jobs, and our state is #1 in the country for states that have recovered most from the Great Recession.

Snyder was born in Battle Creek, and lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Sue. They have three children.


*N-Candidate Governor Mark SchauerMark Schauer (D) began his political career as a City Commissioner in Battle Creek, serving 1994-1996. He served as a state representative from 1997-2002; a state senator from 2002-2009, and was a candidate for the US House of Representatives in District 7 in 2010. His website says that when Mark was elected to represent Michigan’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, he was instrumental in passing tougher Buy American laws, helping to rescue the auto industry, ensuring quality health care for millions, and working to make college more affordable for middle-class families.

Schauer was born in Howell, and lives in Battle Creek with his wife, Christine. They have five grandchildren.

He is endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America and the United Food & Commercial Workers.

U.S. Senate

There is one position open for the U.S. Senate, with the term ending in 2018. Two candidates are running: Terri Lynn Land, Republican, and Gary C. Peters, Democrat.

*N-Candidate US senate Terri Lynn LandTerri Lynn Land is running as Republican for the U.S. Senate. She served two terms as Michigan’s 41st Secretary of State (2003-2010). With a message of improving customer service and reducing costs to the taxpayers, Land was elected in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006. Prior to that, she was the Kent County Clerk from 1992-2000. She was born in Grand Rapids, and makes her home in Byron Center, with her husband Dan and two children.

“Now, I am ready to take my work ethic and experience as a mother, small businesswoman and public official to Washington to show them how government should work for the hardworking taxpayers,” says Land.

Endorsedments: Rep. Candice Miller[8], Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra[9],

FRC Action PAC, the political action committee affiliated with Family Research Council Action.

*N-Candidate US senate Gary PetersGary C. Peters is running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate. He is currently serving in the U.S. House, 14th District. He has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, 2009-present; Commissioner, Michigan State Lottery; Candidate, Attorney General, Michigan, 2002; Senator, Michigan State Senate, 1994-2002; Councilman, City Council, Rochester Hills, Michigan, 1991-1994. He was born in Pontiac, and makes his home in Bloomfield Township with his wife, Colleen, and three children.

Peters grew up in Oakland County. He was a businessman for 20 years, helping families plan for their retirement and their children’s college education. At 34, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. Peters ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 because he said he believed that middle class families, like his, did not have a strong, independent voice in Congress. He says he has drawn on his business background to make Washington more transparent and accountable for our tax dollars.

Endorsed by Council for a Livable World; League of Conservation Voters; NARAL Pro-Choice America; and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.


Three candidates are running for the position of US House Representative of the 3rd District. Candidates are incumbent Justin Amash (R), Brian Ellis (R), and Bob Goodrich (D).

*N-Candidate US Rep Justin AmashJustin Amash (R), began his political career when he was elected to the state house of representatives in 2008 and served until 2010. He was also a precinct delegate for the Republican party and a house Republican liaison in the Michigan state house. In 2010 he was elected to the US House of Representatives in District 3, and reelected in 2012.

His webpage says that Amash is frequently recognized as America’s most accountable and transparent congressman. He earned this reputation by becoming the first and only member of Congress in the history of the United States to explain every vote he takes, which he does through his official congressional Facebook Page. It says he has been a principled and consistent defender of limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty.

Born in Grand Rapids, Amash lives in Cascade with his wife Kara. They have three children.

He is endorsed by FreedomWorks and The Club for Growth.

*N-Candidate US Rep Brian EllisBrian Ellis (R) has been president of Brooktree Capital Management (which he founded) since 1996. He is also president of the Kent Intermediate School Board. His webiste says that Brian Ellis is a conservative small business owner who strongly supports the Balanced Budget Amendment and repealing ObamaCare. He is 100% pro-life, pro-second amendment, and will work to advance conservative solutions to help hardworking taxpayers and build a brighter future.

Ellis lives in Grand Rapids with his wife JoAnn. They have three children.

He is endorsed by the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Right to Life, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Farm Bureau, Fraternal Order of Police, Congressman Pete Hoekstra, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Bob Goodrich (D), of Grand Rapids, has been the President and CEO of Goodrich Quality Theaters since 1967. His theaters number 30 multiplexes with 277 screens, in four states. His father, W. Emmett Goodrich founded the company. Bob Goodrich also owns several non-commercial radio stations. His website says that Bob understands changes are needed to be made to reach economic fairness for all Americans. Inadequate jobs, women’s rights, and government protecting our economic health are just a few of the realities Bob wants to bring to West Michigan citizens’ political discussions.

“I decided to run for Congress because we need representatives who understand what government workers do to help our economy grow,” said Goodrich.


Three candidates are running for state senator in the 28th district: Kevin Green (R), Peter MacGregor (R), and Deb Havens (D). The 28th District covers Algoma, Alpine, Byron, Cannon, Courtland, Grattan, Nelson, Plainfield, Solon, Sparta, Spencer, Tyrone, and Vergennes Townships, and the cities of Cedar Springs, Grandville, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

*N-Candidate State Senate 28th Kevin GreenKevin Green (R), of Cedar Springs, recently moved here from Wyoming, Mich. But he is no stranger to the area, having interned here for the City Manager from 1994-1995. In 1999, he was the youngest person elected to a position on the Wyoming City Council. He served there until 2004, when he was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the City of Wyoming and Byron Township. He became Whip of the party, and served as a state rep from 2005 to 2010.

Green has faced some adversity over the last several years and Green says he wants to be honest about it. He tells the story on his website: “In 2007, we lost our daughter Skylar Anne Green. In 2008, I received a DUI shortly after the one-year anniversary of Skylar’s death and faced the consequences of my reckless actions. In 2013, my wife and I went through a difficult divorce, leaving me with majority custody and requiring me to leave my well paying job to raise my young children. But through this hardship I have decided not to give up on my self or the people of the 28th district. As a single father raising two beautiful toddlers, I have gained a deep understanding and empathy for our struggling families. As owner of a new, small business, I understand the challenges our businesses face.”

Green noted that he will forego many of the political events to be home with his family, and that the residents of our state are ready for a part-time legislature and to be done with the ugly politics that plague our state and our country.

*N-Candidate State Senate 28th Peter MacGregorPeter MacGregor (R), of Cannon Township, is currently serving as Michigan state representative for the 73rd District. He was elected in 2010, and again in 2012. Prior to that, he was Cannon Township Supervisor, and also served on the planning commission. As a former business owner and job provider, MacGregor believes we should apply business “best practices” to local and state government—attempting to find efficiencies, cut red tape and demand more accountability. His website lists some of his highlights in office as cutting legislator pay; eliminating lifetime benefits for legislators; cutting his office budget by 18 percent; cutting income taxes; passing freedom to work legislation (right to work); eliminating lifetime welfare benefits; reducing state spending by more than $1 billion; sponsoring and passing legislation to end double taxation of Michigan businesses; etc.

MacGregor is endorsed by Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan (ABC); Citizens for Traditional Values (CTV); Commercial Alliance of Realtors; Grand Rapids Association of Realtors; Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce; Great Lakes Education Project; Michigan Chamber of Commerce;  Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners – A+ Rating; Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA); Michigan Retailers Association; Right to Life of Michigan; and Small Business Association of Michigan.

MacGregor and his wife, Christine, have three children, and live in Cannon Township.

*N-Candidate State Senate 28th Deb HavensDeb Havens (D), of Plainfield Township, Deb is a proud wife and mother of two and grandmother of three grandchildren, a retired educator and television producer, honored to serve currently through leadership in several non-profit and community organizations. According to her website, her broadcast career began in Grand Rapids where she worked as a radio news reporter and talk show host and later produced award-winning documentaries, investigative reports, and public affairs programming for WZZM TV. She later moved to San Francisco to serve as programming consultant for client television stations in small, medium, and major markets. She also worked as a Communications Specialist for Van Buren Public Schools and wrote curriculum and taught in the Arts & Communication Academy for Southfield Public Schools. Most recently, she taught scriptwriting and broadcast courses as an Adjunct Professor at Grand Valley State University. She is a founding member of the Grand Rapids Screenwriters Group and has written a number of screenplays and teleplays profiled on her website www.TravelingMoon.com. She is also the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Michigan Film Video Alliance (www.wmfva.org), a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to growing a new digital tech industry here to attract and retain our younger creative and entrepreneurial population.

Deb is running for the State Senate to fight for fair treatment for Michigan residents and businesses. “As your next Senator from the 28th District, Deb will fight to restore the funding for good schools, safe neighborhoods, and well-maintained roads and infrastructure we once enjoyed in Michigan. Our businesses are the life-blood of our state, no question. However, we depend on business leaders not only to provide jobs but to care about the health and well-being of our communities. Businesses can well-afford to pay their fair share for services we all depend on to keep Michigan healthy, strong, and vibrant.”


Seven Republicans are vying with one Democratic candidate for representation of the 73rd District. The 73rd District is made up of Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield and Spencer Townships and the City of East Grand Rapids.

Chris Afendoulis (R) has lived most of his life in Grand Rapids Township. Co-owner of Afendoulis Cleaners and Tuxedoes. Has been Grand Rapids Township Treasurer since 2007.

John Decker (R), former owner of Decker Chevrolet. Now retired. Lives in Belmont. Endorsed by Tom Pearce, former 73rd District Rep, Right to Life, FarmBureau AgriPac, Dr. Mike Shibler, Rockford Public Schools, and more.

Brian Downs (R), an engineer and register patent attorney. Lives in Rockford.

Brady Middleton (R), has a po box in Byron Center. Says he is running because he was almost murdered in Grand Rapids five years ago when he was a Papa John’s pizza delivery person. He was then mentored by one of Michigan’s senators. No other personal info on his website.

Tom Norton (R), of Sand Lake, is an Afghanistan war veteran. Endorsed by Steve Grimm, Cannon Twp. Supervisor, Dave Agema, Republican national committee, and other individuals.

Frank Pfaff Jr. (R), of Comstock Park, has worked in the fine jewelry business for 30 years. He has worked for the Kent County GOP since 2009, and is currently a precinct delegate chair. He is endorsed by Right to Life, and Tom Hooker, house representative from the 77nd District.

Robert Regan (R), was born in Lansing and lives in Grand Rapids. He most recently has been a professional recruiter. Endorsed by Right to Life, Commercial Alliance of Realtors, GR Police Officer Labor Council, GR Association of Realtors.

Mary Polonowski (D), of Rockford. Could not find any personal information.


One Republican and one Democrat are vying for representative in this district—incumbent Rob Verheulen (R) and Richard Erdman (D). The 74th District encompasses the cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford and Cedar Springs, as well as Solon, Tyrone, Sparta, Algoma and Alpine townships.

Rob Verheulen (R), Robert J. VerHeulen is currently serving in the Michigan House of Representatives. Prior to his election to the House, VerHeulen served as the mayor of Walker, Michigan. He was born in Grand Rapids, and lives in Walker with his family.

Richard Erdman (D), no info found.

Please note that if there are positions on the ballot with not more than one person running, we have not printed info for those.


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Residents to vote on proposals Tuesday



Depending on where readers live, they may be required to vote on several proposals in Tuesday’s primary. Everyone will vote on Proposal 1, a proposal of a new statewide tax to reimburse local governments for revenue lost due to personal property tax reforms; the Kent County senior millage is up for renewal, as is the Kent District Library millage; and several townships also have millage questions on the ballot.


Each year, Michigan businesses pay personal property taxes on equipment, furniture, computers, and more—no matter whether they were purchased last year or 50 years ago. Advocates to repeal say this discourages business expansion and job creation, and that it is unfair to tax businesses at the time they buy the equipment, and again on an annual basis.

While legislators have wanted to change this, they needed to come up with a way to replace the money that the tax brings in—money that goes to local municipalities for city services such as police and fire. In 2012 and 2014, the state legislature and governor enacted reforms that bring personal property tax relief to businesses. But local governments have wondered where their revenue was now going to come from. Public Act 80 redirects a portion of the state’s current use tax to create a new local tax. The revenue of this new tax would be distributed to local governments as reimbursement for lost personal property tax. A new special authority would be created to levy the tax and distribute the revenue.

The proposal, already approved by lawmakers, would reimburse local governments through a new assessment on manufacturers and reallocation of existing money from the state “use tax,” which is collected on items brought into Michigan or purchased from out-of-state retailers via mail or internet.

According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (a non-partisan think tank on public policy), if the ballot question is approved by voters, the personal property tax reforms will go forward, with local revenue reimbursement implemented as prescribed in the 2014 legislation. If the measure fails, all provisions of the personal property tax reforms will be repealed effective for tax year 2015, meaning that all businesses would once again be subject to any relevant tax levies on personal property.

Vote yes to approve or no to reject this proposal.

For more info, visit election.crcmich.org and read the CRC’s full report.


The Kent County Senior Millage served nearly 17,000 people overall last year with 43 different in-home services. Included in that was more than 1,150 seniors over age 60 in northern Kent County that received in-home services funded by the Kent County Millage, with 243 in Cedar Springs. Services to help seniors live independently in their own homes included home delivered meals, transportation to vital medical appointments, personal care, home weatherization and repairs, and respite for caregivers. First passed in 1998 at 1/4 mill, it was renewed at 1/3 mill in 2006. It is up for renewal for another 8 years at ½ mill, an increase that will cost the owner of a $150,000 home $12.50 in additional tax per year.

Vote Yes to approve, no to reject.


The Kent District Library is asking for 1.28 mills to provide funds for library services. This is a renewal of its former .88 mills, and an additional .4 mills, for 10 years, until 2023. They expect it to raise $20,060,000 in the first year. Residents of the City of Cedar Springs will not vote on this, since they have their own public library.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Residents of Algoma Township are being asked to vote on a renewal of the current millage that supports the fire department. They are asking for .9854 mills ($.9854 for every $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten years, 2014-2023. They expect it to raise $353,335 the first year.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


When a house in Solon Township catches on fire, response is immediate, due to Solon and neighboring fire departments being part of the MABAS system (Mutual Aid Box Alarm Systems). That means that in a fire, neighboring departments will also be dispatched right away. However, that’s not the case in medical calls, and Solon Township has had a hard time getting volunteer firefighters during daytime hours. If firefighters are working, they might not hear the call, and if no one answers by two minutes, dispatch calls it out again, and then finally calls another department. That’s happened a couple of times this year, according to Fire Chief Jeff Drake. But those five minutes could be crucial in a medical call. He said they currently have one firefighter that mans the station for 20 hours/week during the day, but it’s only on a trial basis. With the millage proposal of a half mill (.50), they are looking to fund one for 40 hours. The person would be there to answer calls immediately, maintain equipment, and maintain the facilities.

Drake said he’s taking a three prong approach to address the lack of daytime volunteers: he asked to hire someone, he asked for the funding to pay them (the millage question), and he has applied for a grant for the Michigan Treasury to examine the feasibility of Solon consolidating their fire department with neighboring fire departments, such as Cedar Springs. He sent out letters to neighboring departments, and did receive a response from Cedar Springs City Manager Thad Taylor in favor of the study. Drake has not yet heard anything on the grant.

Drake said that if the millage is not approved, they would remain with the status quo, and that he would try to continue recruiting, but that it’s tough. “People just aren’t available,” he noted.

If the millage is approved, residents would pay 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. It would last from 2014 to 2023, and is expected to raise $76,511.15 the first year. While the millage language talks about fire equipment and maintenance also, Drake said the main goal is to support staffing.

Vote Yes to approve the levy of .50 mill and No to reject it.


Sparta Area Schools is looking to renew its operating millage of 18.7 mills on all property except principle residences. This allows for the collection of its foundation allowance to support school operations. The current millage expires in 2015, so this proposal will run from 2016-2025.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Sparta Township has two millage renewals on the ballot for the fire department. The first one is a renewal of .2409 mills for six years, for the acquisition of fire equipment, and the second is a renewal of .25 mills for renovating and repairing of fire station, and vehicle purchases.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Tyrone Township is seeking both a renewal and increase to support their fire department. Proposal 1 seeks a renewal of one mill for two years (2015 and 2016) for fire operations. Proposal 2 asks for an increase of .50 mills for the same two  years 2015 and 2016).

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Posted in NewsComments Off on Residents to vote on proposals Tuesday

Kent County Youth Fair

KCYF-header-webKent County Youth Fair and fair grounds 225 South Hudson Lowell, MI 49331


Daily Audacious Hoops; Performances daily at 1 PM, 4 PM & 7 PM., Saturday 1 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM & 7 PM. The Audacious Hoopers are a professional hula hoop dance troupe specializing in high energy, dynamic performances that elevate simple plastic circles into a compelling art form. Handcrafted hula hoops will be available for purchase. Next to children’s barnyard

Daily Back by popular demand, Chainsaw Carving! Take a log, a chainsaw and a very talented artist and what do you get? Beautiful works of art! Watch them be carved, if you like one you can bid on it our silent auction. South Entrance

Daily 1-5 PM, 6-10 PM Bingo Bingo Tent

Daily Meijer Children’s Barn Yard Kids young and old will love checking out the cute animals. By Entrance

Daily Exhibitor Show & Tell Tent By Children’s Barnyard

Daily Draft Horse & Tractor Shuttles Parking Lots

Friday August 1

10 AM Dog Showmanship, Obedience & Rally Klackle Orchards, 11466 W. Carson City Rd, Greenville MI.

Saturday August 1

10 AM-3 PM Still Exhibit Judging Free Entertainment Tent

Sunday August 3

2:30 PM Explorer Recognition (Special thanks to the 4H Council)Free Entertainment Tent

4:30 PM-6:30 PM Pork DinnerEvent Tent

6:30 PM Opening Ceremony and Royal Court CoronationFree Entertainment Tent

7 PM Goat Team Fitting Reath Barn

Monday August 4 – Heros’ Day

All Day Heroes’ park free! Active military, Veterans, Fire, Police and EMT’s show your ID at the gate for free parking

TodayMichigan Association of Veterinary Medicine – Science, Animals, Medicine and YOU!Children’s Barnyard

9 AM Horse Judging: Fitting & Showing Horse Arena

9 AM-1 PM Off Road Vehicle Safety Class – Presented by: Kent County Sheriff Dept.; The class is free, but please register at www.kcfg.org, Seating is limited. King Building

9:30 AM Goat Judging: Showmanship Breed and Market Classes Costume Contest follows Reath Barn

Noon-2 PM Youth Talent Contest Registration,  Free Entertainment Tent

1-4 PM Michigan Blood Center Blood Drive – Get on the bus! Please call 1-866-MIBLOOD to make an appointment or stop in at the bus! South Entrance

1-5 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

1 PM Cavy Breed & Showmanship Rabbit Tent

2 PM Horse Judging: Grand & Reserve Showmanship Horse Arena

3 PM Horse Explorers: Explorer Fitting & Showing Horse Arena

3:30 PM Horse Explorers: Explorer 7 & 8 Year Old Riding Pattern Horse Arena

4 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

4 PM Horse Judging: Horseless Showmanship Horse Arena

5 PM Antique tractor pull weigh in Track

5 PM-Close Carnival Rides Open Midway/Carnival

5 PM Rabbit Breed Judging Rabbit Tent

6-10 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

5 PM Rabbit Breed Judging Rabbit Tent

6 PM Swine Showmanship Reath Barn

6 PM Horse Judging: Senior/Horsemasters Presentations Horse Arena

6:30 PM Youth Fashion Show Free Entertainment Tent

7 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

7 PM Antique tractor pull: Open event Track

7 PM Youth Talent Contest – Contest open to kids 19 or under on January 1st, 2014. Cash prizes. Note you must sign up between noon and 2 pm to take part in the contest. Free Entertainment Tent

7:30 PM Horse Judging: Contesting: Down & Back; Poles Horse Arena

Tuesday August 5 – Reading for Rides Day 

Today Michigan Association of Veterinary Medicine – Science, Animals, Medicine and YOU! Children’s Barnyard

8 AM Horse Judging: Jumping Horse Arena

9 AM Poultry Judging Poultry Barn

9 AM Swine Judging: Market Class Explorer Showmanship Following Reath Barn

9 AM-2 PM Boating Safety Class- Presented by: Kent County Sheriff Department; The class is free, but please register at www.kcfg.org, Seating is limited. King Building

10 AM-11 AM Grand Parents Coffee and Donuts Community Tent

Noon Horse Judging: Hunter Hack Horse Arena

Noon-4 PM Reading for Rides – Go to www.kcyf.org to print your registration form. Midway/Carnival

12:30 PM Performing Arts Vocal & Instrumental: Registration Free Entertainment Tent

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

1-5 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

1 PM Performing Arts Vocal & Instrumental Judging Free Entertainment Tent

Noon-4 PM Free Blood Pressure Check Event Tent

1:30 PM Horse Judging: Hunt Seat Ground Poles Horse Arena

2 PM Cattle Fitting Clinic, Team Fitting Contest Beef Arena

2 PM-3 PM Grand Parents Coffee and Donuts Community Tent

2 PM-Close Carnival Rides Open: Wristband Ride Special $18.00. $3.00 off Carnival coupon available at many locations in Kent County or visit http://kcyf.org to print coupon; Carnival coupon is good for Tuesday ONLY. Midway/Carnival

3:30 PM Horse Judging: Hunter Hack Horse Arena

4 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

4 PM Dog Agility Registration Football Field

4 PM Goat Trail Class Reath Barn

4 PM Horse Judging: Bareback Horse Arena

4:30 PM Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Construction King Building

4:30 PM Dog Agility Judging Football Field

5 PM Rabbit Judging: Showmanship Rabbit Tent

5:30 PM Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Parade Midway to Horse Barns/Arena

6-10 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

6 PM Team Tractor Pull 4-person teams will pull a tractor and race against the clock. In front of the Free Entertainment Tent

6 PM Horse Judging: Saddle Seat Pattern Horse Arena

6 PM Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Jumping Practice Arena

7 PM Horse Judging: Pleasure: Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat, Western Horse Arena

7 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

7 PM Draft Horse DemonstrationTrack

7 PM Club KCYF with the Mid-west Dueling Pianos Free Entertainment Tent


Wednesday August 6 – Community Day 

Today Local non-profits join us at fair from 3 PM to 7 PM

8 AM Beef Steer Market Classes Beef Arena

8 AM Horse Judging: Hunt Seat & Dressage Seat Equitation Horse Arena

8:30 AM-10 AM Performing Arts: Storytelling, Puppetry & Theater Judging Free Entertainment Tent

9 AM Goat Milking Contest Goat Barn

9 AM Dairy Market Judging: Showmanship, Market, Explorer Reath Barn

10:30 AM-12 Noon Performing Arts: Dance and other evaluations Free Entertainment Tent

11 AM Horse Judging: Hunt Seat, Western & Saddle Seat Riding Patterns Horse Arena

12:30 PM-2 PM Performing Arts: Clown Judging Free Entertainment Tent

1-5 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

1 PM Feeder Beef Judging & Beef Breed Heifer Show (time approx. following lunch break) Beef Arena

2 PM Rabbit & Cavy Individual Quiz Bowl and Breed Identification Rabbit Tent

2 PM-Close Carnival Rides: Wristband Ride Special $18.00 Midway/Carnival

3 PM-7 PM Visit local kid oriented non-profits Main Street

4 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

4 PM Horse Judging: Saddle Seat Pattern & Equitation Horse Arena

4 PM Sheep Judging: Market, Showmanship & Breed Reath Barn

5 PM Dodge ball Tournament! Teams of 5 will work their way to the top! Get more rules and entry form at http://kcyf.org Football Field

5 PM Alpaca Obstacle Course Football Field

6-10 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

6 PM Rabbit & Cavy Costume Class & Adult Showmanship Rabbit Tent

6:30 PM Horse Explorers: Explorer Stick Horse Keyhole Event Practice Arena

7 PM The Brian Randall Band – come on down for some great rocking country music. Free Entertainment Tent

7 PM Horse Judging: Contesting: Speed & Action; Keyhole Horse Arena

7 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

7 PM Draft Horse Pull (Using Barnyard Rules) Track


Thursday August 7 – Agriculture Day 

8 AM Horse Judging: Dressage Tests Horse Arena

8 AM Beef Showmanship Beef Arena

9 AM -11 AM Goat Quiz Bowl Free Entertainment Tent

10 AM Rabbit & Cavy Explorer Rabbit Tent

Noon Horse Judging: Equitation: Dressage Seat; Western; Gymkhana Horse Arena

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

1-5 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

1 PM-3 PM Youth Variety Show Free Entertainment Tent

2 PM-Close Carnival Rides: Wristband Ride Special $18.00 Midway/Carnival

2 PM Livestock Sale: Small Animals followed by the Sale of Champions Reath Barn

3:30 PM Livestock Sale Sale Order: Swine, Sheep, Feeder Calf, Gallon of Milk, Beef followed by the Sale of Champions, Buyers dinner  Reath Barn

4 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

4 PM Horse Judging: Reining Horse Arena

6-10 PM Bingo, Sponsored by Lowell Moose Lodge Bingo Tent

6:30 PM Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Reining Event Practice Arena

7 PM-9:45 PM West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association Presents Steam Powered Blue Grass & The Patchwork Band Free Entertainment Tent

7 PM Horse Judging: Reining Horse Arena

7 PM Extrication Demonstration: Presented by: Lowell Fire Dept. Next to Foreman Building

7 PM Horse Judging: Contesting: Flag; Cloverleaf Horse Arena


Friday August 8 – Handi-Capable Day

Today Flush Tank Check the schedule on Main Street to see who will be getting dunked.

8 AM Horse Judging: Trail Horse Arena

10 AM Dairy Showmanship Classes Dairy Type Classes immediately following Reath Barn

11 AM Rabbit Agility & Cavy Obstacle Course Rabbit Tent

11:30 AM Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Trail Event Horse Arena

11 AM-2 PM Handi Capable Day – Carnival Rides & Luncheon for Special Needs Individuals. Lunch is from 11 AM to 1 PM, rides are from Noon to 2 PM. Attending is free but please register at www.kcyf.org so we can get a head count for lunch. King Building & Carnival

1-5 PM Bingo, Bingo Tent

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

1 PM Horse Judging: Grand & Reserve Equitation Horse Arena

2 PM Goat Parent “Fun bowl” Class Rabbit Tent

2 PM-Close Carnival Rides: Wristband Ride Special $18.00 Midway/Carnival

2 PM-4 PM Teen Leadership Judging Event Tent

2:30 PM Tractor Driving Judging Track

3 PM Alpaca Showmanship (including Explorers) Reath Barn

3 PM Horse Judging: Versatility Horse Arena

4 PMAudacious Hoops South Entrance

6-10 PM Bingo,  Bingo Tent

6 PM Horse Explorer Stick Horse Team Games Horse Arena

6 PM Cow Pie Bingo Ticket Sales Beef Barn

6:30 PM-10:30 PM Country Karaoke With Diva Productions Free Entertainment Tent

6:30 PM Horse Judging: Team Performance Games Horse Arena

7 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

7 PM Extrication Demonstration Presented by: Lowell Fire Dept. Next to Foreman Building

7 PM Cow Pie Bingo, Silent Auction Beef Arena

8 PM-11 PM Family Line Dance with Lia’s Line Dancing & Dance MovesReath Barn


Saturday August 9 – Meijer Kids Day & Dollar Day

All Day Scavenger Hunt Get your official scavenger hunt page at guest services or print it here. Everyone who completes the hunt will be put into a drawing to win one of several bicycles. Sponsored by “Fry Guy”! All Over

9 AM-Noon $1 parking with 3 or more non-perishable food items from 9 AM to Noon, they will be donated to the food pantry at F.R.O.M.

Noon-6 PMLook for $1 food specials through out the fairgrounds. Food vendors will have $1 specials, carnival rides just $1 each from noon to 6 PM !

8:30 AM Showmanship Sweepstakes Reath Barn

9 AM Horse Award Ceremony Free Entertainment Tent

9 AM Sidewalk Chalk Artist Richard Francisco, creates a masterpiece

Noon Sidewalk Chalk FunShow off your creative abilities and get some help from Richard Francisco! Next to the Foreman Building

Noon-6 PM Carnival Rides:$1 per ride from Noon to 6 PM! Special Food & Game Discounts Midway/Carnival

Noon-4 PM Disc Golf Fun! Football Field

Noon-11 PM Carnival Rides: Wristband Ride Special $18.00 Midway/Carnival

1-5 PM Balloon Animals and creations, by the Balloon Guys Picnic Area

1-5 PM Bingo,  Bingo Tent

1 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

2 PM Ice Cream Social – Free, While supplies last Midway

2 PM Project Animal Expo Learn about showing livestock at the Fair! Exhibitors from each livestock area will explain how they care for and show their animals Horse Arena

2 PM Alpaca Costume Classes Reath Barn

2:30 PM Field Day Mixer & Photo Booth Have fun and celebrate with team games! All kids are welcome to join the 3-Legged Race, Blind-Folded Wheel Barrow Race, Relay Obstacle Course Race and Tug of War! Horse Arena

3 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

3 PM Princess Tea Party King Building

3 PM Puff the Dragon Pedal Pull: Youth Classes Midway

5 PM-8 PM Release of horses Horse Arena

5 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

5 PM Dodge ball! *** NOTE: THE DODGE BALL TOURNAMENT HAS MOVED TO WEDNESDAY AUGUST 6TH AT 5 PM ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD *** Get more rules and entry form http://kcyf.org

6-10 PM Bingo  Bingo Tent

7 PM Off the Radar You will be amazed at this Cover/Christian Rock band made up of very talented young people. Opening for Off the Radar will be Maya Eaton with her original and cover songs and The Preservers with their classic rock covers and original tunes. Free Entertainment Tent

7 PM Audacious Hoops South Entrance

9 PM Release of breeding stock

9 PM Release of still exhibits

10 PM Release of market animals

11 PM Kent County Youth Fair Closes for 2014 Release of all other Exhibits



Posted in Arts & Entertainment, OutdoorsComments Off on Kent County Youth Fair



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