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Archive | February, 2020

CTA names replacement for retiring Superintendent


CTA elementary principal Autumn Mattson has been chosen to replace retiring Superintendent Dan George. Courtesy photo.

A familiar face will be leading the charge for Creative Technologies Academy after current Superintendent Dan George retires on June 30. 

The charter school, located at 350 Pine Street, in Cedar Springs, announced at its regular board meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, that they had chosen Autumn Mattson, current Elementary Principal of the Academy, to replace George effective July 1, 2020. 

Cindy Patin, President of the Board of Directors, announced the selection of Mrs. Mattson with this statement: “For twenty-one years, Creative Technologies Academy has provided a unique learning opportunity for children within our community andsurrounding area, led by great leaders who have a genuine desire to see children succeed in all areas of their lives. We are thankful for the next phase of our history to be led by another individual as equally committed to that vision and mission, Mrs. Autumn Mattson. Her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for continual growth for her students, for her staff, and for CTA, made her the ideal candidate for the search committee and for the Board of Directors. We look forward to continuingour work of developing world changers with Mrs. Mattson as our school leader.”

Dan George has served as the Academy’s school leader for more than a decade and approved wholeheartedly of the decision of the Board of Directors. “I look forward to working with Mrs. Mattson over the next four months on this transition. Autumn Mattson has proven her value to CTA over the last four years as the Elementary Principal. She combines academic qualifications, leadership skills, vision, a growth mindset, knowledge of the community, and high energy and work ethic that will be invaluable to the Academy in her role as Superintendent/School Leader,” said George. “Most of all, she has a sincere heart for kids. I consider that her most important quality.”

Before joining CTA in 2016 as Dean of Students/athletic director, Mattson served as athletic director at Cedar Springs Public Schools for almost 10 years and was both dean of students and athletic director there for almost 3 years. She also held several other positions within the school district prior to that.

Mattson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Superior State University in 2001, her Masters in Education from Aquinas College in 2010, and her Michigan School Administrator Certificate in 2017.

She has been an Executive Mentor/Coach with the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals since 2018. Among her many leadership accomplishments, she is responsible for initiating and implementing the “WIN” (Whatever I Need) program in CTA’s elementary grades, elevating student success. Mrs. Mattson is married to husband, Scott, and they have two sons, Drew and Evan. She expressed her appreciation with this statement: “My family and I are extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve the CTA students, staff, families, and community as the new CTA Superintendent/School Leader. Since the minute I stepped onto the CTA campus, this has been a place that has supported, inspired, and challenged me to grow professionally and personally. I am filled with gratitude for the leadership that Mr. Dan George has provided for me and so many others during his time at CTA. He will be greatly missed by CTA students, staff, and families. We will continue to honor his legacy by always remembering what he has taught us: We are Chargers! We are World Changers!!”

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Lady Red Hawk bowlers win conference

The Lady Red Hawk bowlers are OK White conference champions.  Pictured L to R: Coach Tim Jackson, Katelyn Paige, Chloe Fisk, Omani Morales, Nicole Baker, Kayla Walters, Hailey Begeman, and Coach Crystal Morales. Courtesy photo.


The Lady Red Hawk bowlers are three-time OK White conference champions! They bowled their hearts out on Saturday at Rockford Lanes to seal the deal. Senior Omani Morales bowled her high game of 299. 

The boys placed third in conference, and Ethan Plummer bowled his new high school high game of 278.

These six Red Hawk bowler placed in conference play (L to R): Isaiah Waite 5th, Clifford Ranger V, honorable mention, Omani Morales 1st, Ethan Plummer 9th, Chloe Fisk 5th, Katelyn Paige 2nd. Courtesy photo.

The boys and girls bowling teams also had six individuals place in conference. For the boys team Isaiah Waite was 5th, Ethan Plummer 9th, and Clifford Ranger V was honorable mention. For the girls team, Omani Morales was 1st, Katelyn Paige 2nd, and Chloe Fisk, 5th.

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Public forum on marijuana in the city March 5

by Judy Reed

The City of Cedar Springs is ready to start the formal conversation on what types of recreational marijuana businesses might be allowed in the City, and want the citizens to be a part of it. The public is invited to a forum on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Cedar Springs Public Library to learn about the first draft of the ordinance and to give their input.

According to City Manager Mike Womack, the draft of the ordinance is not really a recommendation, just a place to start. The City Council will review it and the public’s comments as well before making a decision.

This is only a draft and not the final policy.

1. The City of Cedar Springs would allow the following recreational marijuana establishments:

a. Marijuana Growers-all license types (from 100 to 2,000 plants)

b. Marihuana Processors (converts marijuana from growers for sale in retail locations)

c. Marijuana Retailer (operates stores for purchase of processed marijuana)

d. Marijuana Safety Compliance Facility (tests marijuana for contaminants)

e. Marijuana Microbusinesses (a smaller, self-contained business allowed to grow, process and sell the products from a maximum of 150 plants)

f. Excess Marijuana Grower (a license issued to a person holding 5 Class C marijuana grower licenses and licensed to cultivate marijuana and sell or otherwise transfer marihuana to marihuana establishments). 

2. They would not allow the following:

a. Marijuana Secured Transporter (they may operate within the City but may not establish any place or parcel in the City as a base of operations as either a primary or accessory use on that property)

b. Marijuana Event Organizer

c. Temporary Marijuana Event

d. Designated Consumption Establishment

e. Any other marijuana establishment or license not specifically permitted under Part 1 above.

The ordinance also explains they will allow an unlimited number of licenses and where those various businesses can be located.

The Cedar Springs City Council wants to hear citizen input on this issue. Please plan to attend the public forum at the library on March 5th, or the March 12thor April 16thCity Council meetings. You can also e-mail the Council members via their email, listed on the city’s webpage at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/city-council/. Just click on the name of the Councilperson you’d like to email, or e-mail the City Manager (manager@cityofcedarsprings.org) who will then forward your comments to all members of the City Council.

Read a draft of the City’s proposed ordinance at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Rec-MJ-Proposal-2-26-2020.pdf. It will tell you what zones the various businesses can be located in.

The City’s zoning map can be found at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/8A-Cedar-Springs-Zoning-Map2020.pdf

Who to contact to open a recreational marijuana business

Before contacting the City about opening a business, you need to get a license from the State of Michigan through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) www.michigan.gov/lara. And unless you already have a medical marijuana license, your choices on what type of recreational marijuana business you can open will be limited, at least until 2021. 

According to Michigan’s law, only three business types are currently available to those that do not already have a medical marijuana license. Those three are:

*A Class A grower (up to 100 plants allowed, $4,000 license fee, must be a Michigan resident); 

*A microbusiness (a smaller, self-contained business allowed to grow, process and sell the products from a maximum of 150 plants, $8,000 license fee, must be a Michigan resident); and a

*Safety compliance facility (tests marijuana for contaminants, $25,000 license fee). 

Those limitations expire in December 2021.

If you are already prequalified for a medical marijuana license, you could apply for licenses such as Class B and C grower; processor; retailer; and secure transporter.

The cost to submit an application for a recreational marijuana business (with no guarantee a license will ultimately be issued) is $6,000. (That is above the annual licensing fee listed above). The application fee is non-refundable and offsets the cost for LARA, the Michigan State Police (MSP), and/or contract costs for investigative services for conducting the background investigation of those applying for licenses.

Once a business is approved, the licensing and renewal fees range from $1,000 for a marijuana event organizer to $40,000-plus per year for large-scale processors and growers.

Applicants must also have a $100,000 liability and bodily injury insurance policy.

Once you have qualified at the state level, then you can talk to the City about the type of business you want to start and where. There may be a fee there as well.

Review the rules at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/Adult_Use_Marihuana_Establishments_659804_7.pdf.

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Post travels to Haiti


Belinda & Mike Sanderson of Cedar Springs, Wendy Benaway of Rockford, and Beverly Chapman of Sand Lake pose with the Post at Labadee, Haiti, in front of their cruise ship.

Truman and Holly Smith, of Belding, pose with the Post while relaxing on the beach at Labadee, Haiti.

A group of 18 people from the area went on a Caribbean cruise on Empress of the Seas (a Royal Caribbean ship) in February. They visited Labadee Haiti, San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Thomas & St. Croix US Virgin Islands, and took the Post with them to all the sights. They enjoyed relaxing on the beach, shopping and touring, a snorkeling trip on a catamaran, and a historic tour of the island of St. Croix.

Thanks so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Winter fun


No matter your age, you can still have fun in the snow! In the photo above are Chad Williams and Isabella Williams (2 years old), of Courtland Township, having Daddy-daughter snowman fun. Thanks so much for sending us your photo!

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Food for—squirrels?


We know February is birdfeeding month, but it looks like this squirrel decided the birds didn’t need it. In the photo above, he’s helping himself to a good dose of Vitamin C via some oranges that Mike DeGroot, of Cedar Springs, put out for the birds.

“He put them out for the birds but they ignored them so the squirrels took over,” said Mike’s wife, Deb. “It was a hoot!”

Thanks so much for sending us your photo! 

If you have a wildlife photo you’d like to send, email it to news@cedarspringspost.com with info on what’s happening in it, where it was taken, and who took the photo.

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Freezin’ for a reason


The bright sunshine and the warmer temperatures were a perfect mix for a group that took a chilly plunge last weekend. On Saturday, Feb 22, around 30 brave jumpers plunged into the icy water of Pine Lake to raise funds for North Kent Community Enrichment (formerly Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation).  

Several costumed characters and some wearing only the briefest of bathing suits took a plunge in the chilly waters of Pine Lake last weekend to raise money for North Kent Community Enrichment. Courtesy photos.

Individuals jumped for the cause and local businesses sent teams to jump as well.

“This year’s success is credited to having great sponsors and great community involvement,” said Executive Director Jaime Gunderson. “With the help of our sponsors and all of the donors we raised around $5,000. This money will help maintain affordable pricing for programming in our community for youth and adults.”

If you did not get a chance to donate to this fundraiser, email Gunderson at director@mynkce.com for details on how to donate. Or call her at 696-7320.

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The City Council

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

The last two weeks I’ve discussed the Planning Commission and the Downtown Development Authority. Today we’ll talk about the City Council, my boss(es).  There are two primary different types of local governments in the United States—the “Strong Mayor” form and the “Council-Manager” form. These two forms combine to account for 90 percent of all local governments. The Strong Mayor form is what people primarily think of when they think of local government, even though it is the less common version compared to Council-Manager. The Strong Mayor form seems to be more prevalent in huge cities like Chicago and Detroit, while Council-Manager is more common in smaller communities like Rockford, Sparta, Greenville and Cedar Springs.  

There are advantages to both forms of government but since Cedar Springs operates as a Council-Manager government we will be talking about how the Cedar Springs City Council (CC) works. The City Council is composed of seven City residents who all must be a “qualified elector” (See Mich Const Article II § 1 of 1963).  After each election, the CC members choose between themselves who shall serve as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Legally speaking, the Mayor is imbued with the power to run meetings; they are the ceremonial head of the government; they are the City’s conservator of the peace; and they shall authenticate all ordinances, motions and resolutions of the Council by their signature. The Mayor does not have any veto power over the Council but does have an equal voice and vote to every other member of the Council.  

The Mayor Pro Tem undertakes those same powers in the absence of the Mayor but in reality, they both share in representing the government in both a legal and ceremonial capacity. 

The other five councilpersons combine with the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to undertake all “legislative or policy forming powers” in the City. While the City Council is the ultimate authority on virtually everything in the City, on a day-to-day basis, the CC employs a City Manager to run the administrative operations of the government. The CC hires a City Manager on the “basis of training and ability alone” and entrusts the City Manager to legally, ethically and effectively run the City on their behalf.  

The City Manager daily “steps into the shoes” of the Mayor and City Council and runs the City while following the laws, rules and policies that the CC has enacted throughout the years. In Cedar Springs, the City Manager communicates with the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem on a frequent basis to discuss various major issues facing in the City. The City Manager works with the City Council to address citizen concerns. They work together to develop good laws and policies for the whole City but the City Manager has no vote on such matters and can only advise the Council. One important distinction to understand is that the City Manager does not work for the Mayor or the Mayor Pro Tem or any other individual councilperson but instead works for the Council as a group, requiring a consensus of four of seven of those persons to enact laws or policies.

Once a month, the City Manager and city hall staff brings various issues to the City Council for their review, discussion and approval. The Council reviews all the spending and finances of the City and gives the City Manager direction on how to proceed on various issues into the future. The City Council members will also bring issues and concerns that they have identified to the whole Council for the discussion and potential action (though, its generally quicker and easier for a citizen to approach City Hall to get any issues resolved). 

If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns about how the City Council operate please e-mail the City Manager at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org or you can find more information about the City Council at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/city-council/. 

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Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport top location for potential spaceport


The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport has been chosen as the top candidate for a spaceport to launch satellites here in Michigan. Courtesy photo.

Sterling Heights, Michigan—The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association announced last week findings from an initial site-selection process for a potential horizontal space launch site in Michigan.

The site-selection process, which was conducted over the past eight months, identified the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, built on a portion of the former Wurtsmith Air Force base, as the top candidate for a horizontal spaceport. The airport received the highest ranking because of its runway infrastructure, business capacity, operational strength and safety track record.

The announcement at the Michigan Capitol is the next step in the process of exploring Michigan’s ability to support space-launch facilities, a command and control center to manage commercial satellite operations and a space ecosystem.

 “This is an exciting next step in the process of developing Michigan’s ecosystem of space technology,” said Gavin Brown, executive director of MAMA. “While much work lies ahead, we are pleased to share these initial results from our due diligence. Such a facility would solidify Michigan’s leadership role in the aerospace and defense industry while becoming an important economic catalyst.”

In June 2019, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $2 million to assess the feasibility of developing one or more low-orbit launch sites in Michigan.

The Oscoda-Wurtsmith airport was among eight Michigan sites evaluated by MAMA and its spaceport expert Brian Gulliver from Kimley-Horn under the oversight of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Site submissions were evaluated on a variety of technical, economic and physical factors by MAMA and Gulliver, who has experience assisting spaceports all over the world.

This is an initial but important step in exploring whether Michigan can support a space ecosystem. MAMA will continue to conduct the feasibility study that will be submitted to the MEDC by the second quarter of this year. This will include having more site-specific discussions with governmental licensing and regulatory agencies, as well as partners in the commercial sector. In addition, MAMA will continue conducting a site-selection process for a command center and vertical launch site.

“The announcement of this first important step toward Oscoda becoming the official location for a horizontal spaceport is the news we had been hoping for,” said Rep. Sue Allor, who represents Iosco County. “Oscoda’s prime location and strong community are certainly deserving of this fantastic opportunity, and I will continue working with Sen. Stamas to ensure that we do what we can in Lansing to help make this plan a reality.”

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Cheer takes third at districts; advances to regionals


The Cedar Springs Competitive Cheer team will compete at regionals this Friday, February 29 at Portage Northern High School. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Competitive Cheer team advanced to regionals by earning third place at district 11 finals at St. John’s High School on Friday, February 21.

Coach Anne Olszewski is proud of her team. “I just want to take the time and thank all of the parents and people in the stands that supported the team on our travel to St. John’s High School for districts,” she said. “We knew it would be a tough competition; only the top four teams advance to regionals. We were sitting very well after round 1 (score: 234.1) and 2 (score: 226.42). Honestly, at that point it was anyone’s win between the top three teams.”

Then something happened that could have meant the end of their season. 

“In round three, we threw one of our most exciting rounds,” continued Olszewski. “However, we had a fall. Typically, a fall in round 3 in post season, takes you right out of tournament play. I can tell you that there were 19 girls and coaches that were sick to our stomachs because there was a real fear we would not advance to regionals. However, we had a big enough lead that we finished 3rd (combined round three score of 761.32) and get the opportunity to redeem ourselves this Saturday, February 29 at Portage Northern in regional play. These girls can do anything they put their minds to, honestly. And if we were going to have a fall, it’s better at districts than regionals. We earned another week of competition and for that I am super grateful. We just need to dial it in this week and then just show everyone what Red Hawk stunting is all about!”

The Lady Red Hawks will compete in regional finals on Saturday, February 29 at Portage Northern High School, where the top four teams advance to State Finals on March 7 at the Delta Plex. Good luck Lady Red Hawks! 

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