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Archive | March, 2019

Severe weather week: make plans now

Sirens to sound Friday, April 5

When sirens sound at noon on Friday, April 5 in Kent County, it will be a reminder that severe weather season is here in Michigan and now is the time to make plans in case severe weather hits.

Kent County Emergency Management (KCEM) will test the sirens on the first Friday of the month at noon, from April through October. “The purpose of the outdoor warning sirens is to alert citizens of an imminent hazard and to prompt them to find shelter and seek further information,” it said in a news release from KCEM. 

Two examples of imminent severe weather are: a tornado warning for Kent County and/or a storm in Kent County with sustained winds at or above 70mph. Both are potentially dangerous situations and should prompt citizens to take shelter in the lowest level of a building, such as a basement, or an interior room that does not have windows.

Severe Weather Week in Michigan this year is March 24-30. This represents a great time for families to talk about severe weather and how they can prepare, respond and recover from a storm. It is important to plan for disasters to know how you and your family will be aware of watches and warnings, how to contact each other, and where to safely shelter. 

Being aware and vigilant whenever severe weather is in the forecast is now easier than ever. The outdoor warning sirens in Kent County only represent one type of alert, with many more now available such as: weather and preparedness apps, local television and radio, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios. 

A severe weather watch means the potential exists for the development of storms/tornadoes, so be mindful of changing conditions. 

A severe weather warning means that storms are imminent or occurring. 

A severe weather plan should include how your family will communicate with one another before and after the event. A good plan should include pre-determined rooms in your home where you and your family can shelter safely. Establishing a safe and familiar alternative location is also advisable, in case family members cannot make it home quickly, or the event has already occurred and access to home is blocked or dangerous. 

Make sure you have flashlights with fresh batteries, a can opener, drinking water and canned food items for three days, an all-weather radio and a first aid kit. Maintaining a full charge on cell phones and electronics during a severe weather watch can ensure that you receive further direction from authorities, weather updates and can contact family. If a disaster does occur, be aware of compromised buildings, debris and downed power lines. Contact 911 if there are injuries to you, your family, or your neighbors. Photograph the damage to your property if it can be done safely, and check and re-stock emergency supply kits for the future.

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Police search for driver that hit child

The boy was hit on Maple Hill Road, north of Lake Montcalm Road, by a Ford F150 or similar vehicle.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for the driver that hit a child on his way to school last week Wednesday.

According to police, the hit and run occurred about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, on Maple Hill Road, north of Lake Montcalm Road, in Reynolds Township. 

Police said that an 11-year old was walking southbound with his brother along the right side of the road edge in the grass on Maple Hill Road headed to the bus stop. As he and his brother walked, the 11-year old was struck by a southbound vehicle. The vehicle continued on Maple Hill Road and made a left turn onto Lake Montcalm Road. The boys continued to school. When Tri County Schools learned of the incident, they contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

Police found vehicle parts at the scene. The vehicle is believed to be a 2007 to 2014 Ford F150 or similar vehicle. The color of the vehicle is unknown as witnesses stated it was dark at the time of the crash. 

The boy sustained minor injuries and his family was tending to his medical needs. 

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 989-831-7590 or call the tip line at 989-831-7593.

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Fast cash

By Lois Allen

When I took over operations here at The Cedar Springs Post, I never thought this fledgling “small town” newspaper would make it. The joke’s on me!

That was over 30 years ago if you can believe it. Back then no one had ever heard of “fake news.” The Post actually invented it! Too bad we didn’t get a patent on that.

We don’t run fake news every week, just one week a year. The week falling on April Fool’s day. People loved it. And sometimes they didn’t.

Here we go again, celebrating the fools that we can fool.

Years ago, we decided to make it interesting, offering readers to join in the fun and make a quick twenty bucks. All you had to do was find the fake stories, call The Post at a specified time, be the first call to get it right and “bam,” you won twenty bucks cash!

We quickly discovered many folks were too sharp, and so we decided to make it more of a challenge by adding a fake ad, and a fake classified along with the fake stories. This you must also find the fake story that has previously been published in one of our previous April Fool’s additions. Good luck with that!

Some of our most popular spoofs include the story of when the Kent Theater was to be sold on Ebay to the highest bidder—no reserve!  (shipping not included.) There was the news piece that the City of Cedar Springs was to impose a new “Bob tax” which included a special tax assessment for anyone with the name Bob. (It also included those named Robert, or even Roberta). 

We chuckled when people in the area searched far and wide to see the giant snowman built by a seven-year-old who filled her wagon with snow, turning each wagon full into a 20-foot high snowman while being supplied with ample peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by mom.

We also added a day to the week, calling it Fraterday. It was like having two Fridays! Much better than an extra Monday. Another year readers were invited to participate in a national Lotto. The government (with your consent) garnished an extra $1 out of your check each week, entering you into a national lottery which was paid to one lucky winner every week. Another year, the city participated in a government program allowing citizens in Cedar Springs to take a nap every day at noon. When you heard the noon siren, it was time for a nap! I really liked that one.

There was the new ordinance allowing for additional parking spaces designated only for left handers. 

One of our readers favorites that definitely got the most attention was the gambling operation to open in the downtown strip mall just across from Admiral on the corner of Main and 17 Mile Rd. Our editor drafted a story that the newly built strip mall would host a gambling operation including “Kiddie Gambling and Kiddie Slots.” It was just a few hours after the paper came out before word reached our readers in California, who called to say, “What’s going on in Cedar Springs!”

And we can’t forget when former Fire Chief Mark Strypko retired from the fire department to go work for the federal government on a politically incorrectly named project to work on flame retardant matches. One of my personal favorites, and not because I wrote it, was PMS Day in Cedar Springs complete with a PMS parade and PMS queen. We got a lot of nominations for PMS Queen! 

There were many story ideas that just hit the scrap bucket. They were either too good to be true or too offensive. This week, take the plunge and test your sense of humor.

To win all you have to do is read the newspaper. That’s right! Read the stories and read the ads. Identify the fake display ad, fake classified ad, AND the fake stories and you could win a fast $30! Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com with your guesses by Tuesday, April 2, at 5 p.m. Include your name, address and phone number in the email. Or you can drop off your entry here at 36 E. Maple. One winner will be chosen out of all the correct entries received by the deadline. We will call you to let you know you’ve won by Wednesday, April 3. And that’s no April Foolin’!

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City meets with USDA

 The USDA paid a visit to Cedar Springs last week, and visited the wastewater treatment plant. From L to R: Jason Allen, USDA; Paul Bristol, Area Specialist Grand Rapids Area Office USDA Rural Development; Mayor Gerald Hall; Bette Brand, USDA; City Manager Mike Womack; and Gerry Osborn, the waste water treatment plant operator.

Representatives from United States Department of Agriculture came to Cedar Springs last week and met with Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack and other officials.

Visiting was Bette Brand, the Administrator for USDA’s Rural Business Service and the Acting Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service, and Jason Allen, the State Director for USDA Rural Development.  

“While we don’t have anything specific going on with the USDA right this second, we did have a fruitful discussion about how we can work together in the future, along with the importance of the USDA’s assistance into the future, because infrastructure investment is very important,” explained Womack. 

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Public invited to open house about the Grand River

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, on behalf of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, announces its intent to conduct an informational open house to ask for public comments and gather information that will be used to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement related to the proposed Grand River Habitat Restoration and Invasive Species Control Project in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The proposed project will provide a means to continue to block sea lamprey from moving upstream, as this invasive species is currently blocked by the existing 6th Street Dam in the Grand River; it must maintain or reduce the current risk of flooding upstream; and it must provide for fish passage into upstream areas. If implemented, the project is expected to adversely impact existing healthy mussel populations, which includes the federally-listed endangered snuffbox mussel as well as a number of state-listed mussel species.

The public forum will be held at the following location, date and time:

Who: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, project management and environmental analysis teams.

What: The general public is invited to an open house about the Grand River. All are welcome, no registration needed.

When: Anytime Monday, April 8, 2019, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Why: To discuss the proposed multipurpose restoration project in the Grand River, in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, eventually contributing to a draft Environmental Impact Statement. The intent of the project is to restore, enhance, and maintain the rapids in the Grand River from upstream of Ann Street to Fulton Street, and may include habitat, recreation and invasive species control features.

 Several project managers and environmental scientists will be available to provide information about the proposed project. Maps, informational graphics and handouts will be available. Also, two short, informal presentations are scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

The public is invited to submit written comments at the meeting and/or to Mr. Charles A. Uhlarik, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Environmental Analysis Branch, 477 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226 or via email to: Comments-Grand-River@usace.army.mil. Comments must be received by May 15.

Go to: http://www.lre.usace.army.mil for additional information.

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Peep Dog

Just in time for Easter, scientists in China have succeeded in cloning a dog with a peep.

They call it a “Peep Dog.”

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No jail policies violated in inmate death

Amber Lynae Bills
Amber Lynae Bills

The death of a Montcalm County inmate in December has been ruled as occurring of natural causes, with no jail policies being violated. 

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office received the results of the independent MISSION investigation into the death of inmate Amber Lynae Bills, 34, of Big Rapids, last week. She passed away while in custody on December 30, 2018.

MISSION investigators conducted an extensive two-month investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. The result showed that no jail policies were violated and no criminal acts were committed.

Bills had been booked into the jail on December 22, 2018 on a driving while suspended charge with a $500 cash or surety bond. She also had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court with an additional $500 cash or surety bond. Bills experienced stomach pain several days after arriving at the jail. The nurse examined her on multiple occasions.

Bills informed the nurse she had used methamphetamine and was withdrawing from the drug. Jail staff promptly moved Bills to a cell with direct observation. The nurse placed her on Librium protocol when she discovered her condition. Bills remained in the jail’s direct observation cell from December 28 until December 30. 

In the afternoon of December 30, Bills presented in a manner consistent with her previous condition and was given the prescribed Librium. Soon after officers removed Bills from her cell in an unresponsive state. She did not regain consciousness following the application of CPR and life saving measures.

Bills was being held on two contempt of court charges and a no operator’s license on person charge. An autopsy was performed and revealed an undiagnosed perforated ulcer.

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Pothole fishing catches on

By Judy Reed

A Cedar Springs man found a way to make the best of the enormous pothole that opened on Main Street last week—he caught his dinner in it. 

According to “Hook” N. Bobber, who lives on Whitefish Lake Road, he was headed into town with his fishing equipment when he saw the crater in the road at Main and Oak Streets. “I stopped and helped one fella pull his car out and then noticed something wiggling around in there,” related Bobber. “So I grabbed my fishing pole and thought I’d sit for a spell and see if I could catch whatever it was.”

Residents sat awestruck as Bobber pulled not one, but three blue gill from the pothole. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Other fishermen soon joined in, and began to pick out other potholes along the street to fish in.

One city official, who asked to remain anonymous, had an explanation for the unusual occurrence. “Cedar Creek runs right under that area of Main Street, and with the excessive freezing and thawing of the pavement, the hole must have worked all the way down to the creek bed,” he said.

Although there are other springs in the Main Street area, fishermen who chose other potholes didn’t have quite as much luck. “Maybe the potholes weren’t deep enough. Or, maybe we could divert the creek a little so that the fish swim up Main Street,” suggested Bobber. 

The DPW urged those who wish to try their luck fishing in the potholes to do it by this weekend, because they will be filled in by Monday, April 1, April FOOLS day!

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Some area roads still closed

Kent County Road Commission is spot grading where possible. Photo from their Facebook page.

The Kent County Road Commission said that temperatures and dry weather are helping to improve conditions on gravel roads, allowing KCRC crews to begin grading where possible. 

Crews will continue to spot grade gravels where conditions do not yet allow for grading. Each road has its own characteristics that play a role in how quickly the road can be restored and crews evaluate each and proceed based on its current condition.

Roads in Kent County closed due to impassable conditions include:

Tisdel (21 Mile Rd to 22 Mile Rd)

Shaner Ave (Coan to Grosvenor) 

22 Mile Rd (Pine Lake to Jones)

7 Mile Rd (Dunn to Corrigan) 

7 Mile Rd (Gavin Lake to Nugent) 

Willow (Canright to Bailey Park) – water 

4 Mile Rd (Lincoln Lake to Ashley) 

Here is a link to their daily work with corresponding road and lane closures. http://bit.ly/KCRCDailySchedule

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Roger De Meester was born to Joseph and Wilma (DeVos) De Meester on January 5, 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He passed away March 19, 2019. Roger was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Thomas De Meester; his mother and father-in-law, Ted and Shirley (Boezwinkle) Retan and brother-in-law, Ted Retan. He leaves his wife, Marcia (Retan) De Meester of 53 years; children, Erin (John) VanRegenmorter, Scott (Sarah) De Meester and Mark (Sharon) De Meester; grandchildren, Jasmine, Wyatt, Gabby, Maddie, Zach, Sam, Anna and Bryce; brother, Gordon (Christine) De Meester; sister, Ruth (James) Tew; sisters-in-law, Carole Retan, Diana Retan and many nieces and nephews. Roger attended South High School and graduated in 1963. He earned a degree in Engineering from Western Michigan University and spent his career working for the automobile industry. Roger and Marcia married in 1966. They lived and raised their children in Flint, Traverse City and Rockford, Michigan. Roger was a devoted family man and loved spending time with them. He enjoyed cooking and often shared specialty dinners with his kids. Roger loved teaching his children and grandchildren about the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking and just sitting out in nature. Roger was a talented fix-it man, problem solver and carpenter. He was the family’s go to person. He offered good advice to many. Roger retired to the family cottage he loved and had completely renovated. Living on the lake was a perfect place for him to be at peace. He will be missed. Roger has been cremated and his family will hold a memorial service in the Spring. 

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Daniel Paul Hall, age 39, died Monday, March 18, 2019. Dan was born December 27, 1979 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Michael and Lois (Smith) Hall. He enjoyed fixing anything. He helped out his family and was always there for them. Surviving are his wife, Casey; children, Briona Taylor, Haleigh Donihue, Brandon Taylor, Dylan Donihue; father, Michael Hall; brother, David Hall; mother-in-law, Wendy Claypool; brothers-in-law, Matt Colby and Marc (Rachel) Colby. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Community Church, 5994 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs. 

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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June 23, 1957 – March 2, 2019

Allen LeRoy Metzger Jr., 61 years old, passed away peacefully, surrounded by close family on March 2, 2019. Allen is survivied by his parents, Allen L. (Linda) Metzger Sr. and Doris J. Coby; wife, Cathy; four children, Sandra (David), Tracy (Steve), Matthew, Jeramie (Amber); grandchildren, Tyler, Logan, Kayla, Skylar, Brice, Zander, Jayce, Brenton, Brooklyn; one great-grandchild, Addlyn; many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. There will be celebration of Allen’s life on Saturday, May 4th at the Pierson Hall from 12 to 4 p.m. All family and friends welcome.

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