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Archive | December, 2019

Cedar View student pays it forward


By Judy Reed

Jaiden Thompson and ASD teacher Emily Strunk. Courtesy photo.

A Cedar View Elementary student with a big heart gave a teacher there a Christmas present that she will never forget. 

Teacher Emily Strunk teaches in the regional Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classroom at Cedar View. Jaiden Thompson, 11, is a fifth-grader in Miss Tanner’s class who volunteers in the ASD classroom, and decided she wanted to do something special for Strunk and the class. So with the help of her parents, Chris and Melissa Thompson, of Solon Township, Jaiden started a fundraiser to help Strunk buy supplies for the classroom.

 “I work in the classroom, and see how hard she works, and I’ve made lots of friends, so thought this gave me an opportunity to give back,” explained Jaiden.

Jaiden spoke with her parents about how she wanted to do something, and ultimately she decided on a fundraiser, which they posted on Facebook. “The goal was $100, and we reached that in the first hour,” explained Jaiden’s mom, Melissa. “So we kept it going about a month.” They eventually raised $725, which they spent on gift cards for Strunk. But the teacher was unaware it was happening.

“This year I took a leap, a big one,” Strunk said about teaching in the ASD room. “It has been emotional. I have laughed, cried, and learned a lot.” She said that on the day she found out about the gift (December 19), it was no different. She was dealing with a tough issue and her principal came and got her and said, “We need you.”

“Usually, this is never good,” said Strunk. “I walked into Miss Tanner’s room, and everyone was quiet. I was so confused. Then a fifth grade student (Jaiden) read me a letter. Her letter said that this year she wanted to do something special for such a special class of friends so she raised $725 for my classroom! I was blown away. Not only did she raise a ton of money but knowing that my kids have a whole classroom and community of people that care about them is the best feeling ever,” she remarked.

Strunk called it one of the most memorable moments of her teaching career. 

“She had no idea,” recalled Jaiden. “She cried a little bit. She was very surprised.”

It makes Jaiden feel good, too, to know she’s done something to help others. “The day I gave it to her I felt really happy inside. I would definitely do it again,” she said.

Jaiden’s parents are proud of her, but also aren’t surprised. “Chris and I are both very proud of her,” explained Melissa, “but giving isn’t something new to her. Two to three times a year we go through our closets and donate to Women at Risk. In Girl Scouts, she always wants to be a good Girl Scout. She’s always doing something for others.”

“It is our sincerest hope that Jaiden’s hard work will inspire others to do the same for others,” added Jaiden’s dad, Chris.

For Strunk, Jaiden’s generosity just proves something she already knows. “If you ever doubt humanity you should come spend a few minutes in our school,” she remarked. “Our students will show you empathy, acceptance, compassion, friendship and so much more; we will restore your faith.”

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Pedestrian killed on US131


Clyde Edward Hopkinson. Photo from gofundme.com

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a Cheboygan man who was hit and killed on US131 in the early hours of the morning Sunday.

On Sunday, December 22, 2019 at approximately 3:36 a.m., the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to northbound US131 near mile marker 147 in Mecosta County for a report of a male subject in the roadway, acting erratic. Officers responded and found the man, who was wearing dark colored clothing, dead on the side of the road. He was found in the travel portion of the right lane of the highway. The vehicle that had struck the man had not stopped.  

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office responded and began investigating the scene. The traffic in the northbound lanes had to be diverted for approximately three hours for the initial scene investigation to be completed. While Deputies were investigating the scene, the driver of the vehicle had called 911 reporting that he had struck something in the roadway. The suspect had stopped at a gas station in Osceola County and waited for officers to arrive and look at his vehicle which was a pickup pulling an enclosed trailer. 

Deputies were able to identify the driver of the pickup as Isaac DeRuiter, 18, of Caledonia. The victim was identified through fingerprints as Clyde Edward Hopkinson, 27 of Cheboygan.  

Police said the driver of the vehicle was cooperative throughout the investigation and speed and alcohol were not factors in this crash. Deputies are still investigating how and why Hopkinson came to be on US131 as there was no vehicle associated with him located in the area.  

Deputies were assisted by Ferris State University Police, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Fire Division, and the Michigan State Police.  Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office at 231-592-0150 or at tips@mecostacounty.org. 

A gofundme account has been set up to help his other with funeral expenses. You can visit the page at https://tinyurl.com/tg7jy86.

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Gingerbread house contest winners

Gingerbread house 

The Cedar Springs Public Library held their annual Gingerbread house contest in December, and the winners are:

Ronan Smith, ages 4 and under

Ava Wright, ages 5-9

Corrie and Olivia Geerligs won the group/family category (right) and Savannah and Olivia Geerligs won the Santa’s Choice category (left).

Congratulations to the winners!

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CTA donates to Hand2Hand


Hand2Hand, the agency that supplies meals for almost 300 students in our area to take home every Friday after school, received a donation from Creative Technologies Academy last week to help fund their effort.

According to Pastor Craig Owens, who oversees the program, he received an email about the donation last week. “Kelly Atkins, the administrative assistant at Creative Technologies Academy, emailed me to say: ‘Every year the staff at CTA collects money and donates it to a charity we pick.  We do this in honor of our administration in place of buying them gifts. We have chosen Hand2Hand this year.’” 

The donation was $432.

“About 1-in-5 of the nearly 290 students Hand2Hand serves each week attend CTA,” explained Owens. “We are very appreciative of their very generous donation!” 

The group takes both financial and food donations from individuals and churches in the area, and volunteers help keep the pantry stocked and fill the grocery bags each week and put them in a special backpack in the student’s locker.

For more information on specific needs of the Hand2Hand ministry, contact Craig Owens at craigtowens1@gmail.com or craig@cscalvary.org.

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United Hospital Birthing Center announces top baby names of 2019


Amelia and Liam lead the list of most popular names in annual list

Of the more than 500 babies born this year at Spectrum Health United Hospital Family Birthing Center in Greenville, Amelia and Liam took the top spots for most popular names, replacing Oliver and Scarlett from a year ago.

Grayson and Jaxon were also popular, finishing 3rd and 4th most popular, followed by an eight-way tie consisting of Ava, Charley, Skylar, William, Luna, Piper, Evalyn and Easton.

To date, 523 babies have been born at the Greenville hospital birthing center this year, compared to 547 last year.

The complete list for 2019 and 2018:

Top 10 Names – 2019

1. Amelia

2. Liam

3. Grayson

4. Jaxon

5. An 8-way tie with Ava, Charley, Skylar, William, Luna, Piper, Evalyn, and Easton. 

Top 10 Names – 2018

1. Oliver

2. Scarlett

3. Harper

4. Grayson

5. Everly

6. Carter

7. Adalynn

8. Sophia/Sofia

9. Asher

10. Elizabeth

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Forty-three recruits sworn in as State Police troopers


Michigan’s newest troopers will soon report to work at Michigan State Police (MSP) posts across the state after graduating from the 136th Trooper Recruit School Friday afternoon, December 20.

MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Lansing Center. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered the keynote address.

“Public service is a very honorable profession,” said Whitmer. “Thank you for choosing to serve our residents and for committing yourselves to this career. I support you wish and each of you a long, safe and rewarding career with the Michigan State Police.”  

In his address to the graduates, Gasper spoke about the positive impact troopers can make in people’s lives, telling the class, “I’m a strong advocate of fostering a positive mindset and I challenge you to look for the positives in all your experiences. The power of vision is extraordinary and incredible things happen when you are open to the possibilities.”

The 136th Trooper Recruit School began on June 30, 2019, at the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 25 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, cultural diversity and implicit bias, decision making, leadership, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving..

The MSP is actively recruiting for future trooper recruit schools. Persons interested in learning more about a career with the MSP should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for information on how to apply. 

The next trooper recruit school starts Jan. 26, 2020. Including these new troopers, there are 1,238 troopers assigned statewide.

Rockford Post: Tpr. John Brant from Escanaba, Tpr. Lauren Posthumus from Lowell, and Tpr. Joseph Read from Dearborn are the 136th Trooper Recruit School graduates who will serve at the Rockford Post. 

Lakeview Post: Tpr. Cody Ransom, originally from Granby, CO, graduated from the 136th Trooper Recruit School and will serve at the Lakeview Post. 

Mount Pleasant Post: Tpr. Cody Bauer from Midland, Tpr. Andrew Drust from Clark Lake, and Tpr. Aaron Killingbeck from Reed City, will serve at the Mt. Pleasant Post. Tpr. Killingbeck also received the Lt. Thomas E. Baldus Marksmanship award for the 136th Tpr. Recruit School. 

Hart Post: Tpr. Griffin Lewis from Morrice, Tpr. Hyder Mansour from Livonia, and Tpr. Zachary Murphy from Muskegon, will serve the citizens of Michigan at the Hart Post.  

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Sludge spill at Cedarfield


By Judy Reed

Gary Osborn, with Infrastructure Alternatives, called the Post Friday morning to report a sludge spill at the Cedarfield Community on 17 Mile west of Meijer.

He said that a sludge hauler that was there transferring sludge into their tanker still had the hose connected when it drove away. “It drove away and the hose popped off,” Osborn explained.

He estimated the spill at about 1,000 gallons.

“I called in Plumbers Environmental to clean up the sludge and the spill was then treated with hydrated lime,” he said.

This is the second time there has been some type of spill there in the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, a plugged line caused a sewage overflow.

Infrastructure Alternatives oversees the wastewater system there, and is mandated to report such issues to the Kent County Health Department, EGLE (formerly DEQ), and the local newspaper. 

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Update on charges in standoff


Brent Morris

Last week the Post reported on the arrest of an Algoma Township man after he pointed a gun at a court officer.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday, December 13, a court officer asked for assistance at about 12:30 p.m. while he was checking a residence on Deer Trail NE, in Algoma Township. Police said several eviction notices had been served to the previous owner, and the residence should have been vacant since it had been sold to a new owner who had not taken possession. 

The court officer attempted to open several doors, but they could not be opened. The court officer then broke a single pane on a sliding glass door, and a man inside pulled back a curtain and pointed a handgun at the court officer and two deputies who were assisting him. The Deputies drew their weapons and the man set his handgun down. Deputies continued talking to the subject, while the TAC Team, negotiators, and Technical Support Unit responded. Eventually the subject exited the residence and surrendered without incident. 

We have since learned that the man was Brent Morris, 43. He was arraigned on Dec. 18 on a charge of assaulting and resisting a police officer and bond was set at $10,000 cash/surety. He remains in jail. 

Three other charges of felony assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.

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ETABLISHED IN…

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ESTABLISHED-IN-2020.pdf

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Elementary Concert Students Jingled All The Way


Kindergarten through 2nd grade students used hand instruments as part of their performance.
Students in grades 3-5 performed a mix of songs during the concert.

Elementary students donned their holiday bow ties, sparkles and ruffles and entertained their families and friends at their Dec. 18 concert at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium. Students in grades kindergarten through second grade performed three songs, including “The Winter Hokey Pokey”, which included the audience joining them, “Up On The Housetop” and “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea”. They used sleigh bells, shaker eggs, and rhythm sticks as part of the performance.

Third through fifth grade students also performed three songs including “O, Christmas Tree”, “A Kitty For A Present”, and “Fight Song”, which was dedicated to individuals who have gone through or are going through cancer.

The concert was the first elementary performance for the new music teacher, Mr. Dominic Morlan. He created a delightfully entertaining performance for the students and audience with his mix of traditional Christmas songs, holiday songs with a comical twist, and pop music!

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