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Archive | February, 2020

Fundraisers for teen cancer patient

The Cedar Springs basketball team in their #ryanstrong shirts visiting Ryan the night before surgery. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Athletic department and the Boys Basketball team are currently doing a couple of fundraisers to benefit Ryan Smith, a senior basketball player. Ryan is currently recovering from the removal of a large sarcoma (cancer) tumor from his skull. This form of cancer is called Leiomyosarcoma, which is cancer that attacks soft tissue. As you can imagine, this was a surgery that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and with high insurance deductibles, Ryan’s family could use your thoughts and prayers, as well as any financial support you are able to offer to help with both their immediate and future medical bills.

Ryan is a beloved student at Cedar Springs and the following are ways in which you can show the family financial support.

Senior Night on February 28 for our Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Games is sure to be an emotional time. Part of this night will be honoring Ryan, and hopefully, everyone will have on their #ryanstrong shirts. Varsity Girls will play at 5:30, Boys at 7:00 p.m. On this night, we have planned a special benefit dinner in conjunction with Nonno’s Homestyle Italian & Pizzeria in town. They will be serving $10 spaghetti dinners in the High School cafeteria (dine-in or take-out) for $10 (includes garlic bread and dessert) with proceeds benefitting Ryan’s cause. A limited number of walk-up sales will be available for the dinner. Dinner will be served from 5-7:15 p.m. on February 28.

Additional fundraising events will be planned throughout the night, as well as honoring all of our basketball seniors.

If you cannot attend the game on Friday and participate in the various fundraisers there, an account has been set up where any generous giving would also be greatly appreciated: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1026506387748410/

Thanks in advance for supporting Ryan through your prayers, and any participation in the above fundraisers.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Featured, SportsComments Off on Fundraisers for teen cancer patient

Sunday driver

One Sunday, sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 mph.

He thinks to himself, “This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!”

So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies—two in the front seat and three in the back—wide-eyed and white as ghosts. 

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! I always go exactly the speed limit. What seems to be the problem?”

“Ma’am,” the officer replies, “you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”

“Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly! Twenty-two miles an hour!” the old woman says a bit proudly.

The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that “22” was the route number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask . . . Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single word this whole time,” the officer asks with concern.

“Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer,” said the woman. “We just got off Route 119.”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

theTable at The Springs Church

Mar. 5,12,19,26: Meals are served every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Springs Church on the corner of Oak and Grant. All are welcome to theTable to enjoy this meal that is being shared with us! #tfn

2nd Chance Acoustic Jam

Feb. 28: 2nd Chance will be having an Acoustic Jam fundraiser hosted by the Gitchel’s every Friday from 6 to 9 pm. The first Friday of each month will be a Potluck. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Road). 2nd Chance would love to have you join us for an evening of playing with or listening to awesome musicians and support 2nd Chance School at this fundraiser. $4 donation at the door – 15 and under are free. Food and drinks available for purchase. 2 jam rooms available and the stage. Proceeds go to 2nd Chance School. If you have questions, call 231-856-3648 or 616-293-2150. See you there! #8,9b

Benefit for Layne McKinney

Feb. 29: A spaghetti dinner benefit will be held for Layne McKinner and family. Layne was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and her husband has also been diagnosed with cancer. The all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner will be held on Saturday, February 29th at the Eagles Club in Sand Lake starting at 2 pm. There is a minmum donation of $10 for dinner. A Euchre tournament ($10 donation to enter), sign up at 2:30 pm, starts at 3:30 pm. Silent Auction. If you wish to donate items to the auction please drop them off at Independent Bank in Sand Lake. If you would like to donate money to the family please stop in to ANY Independent Bank, there is an account set up in the name of Layne McKinney. Your teller will assist you! #8,9p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Mar. 3,10,17,24,31: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #9

Teen Chocolate Olympics at CS Library

Mar. 11: Attention Chocolate Lovers ages 12-17! Join us at the Cedar Springs Library on Wednesday, March 11th from 6-7 pm for an evening of fun and games focused around CHOCOLATE!! There will be a donut dangle, mini-chocolate pie eating contest, chocolate guessing game and so much more! Bring your appetites and sign-up, space is limited. 616-696-1910. #9

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A $10,000 reward offered for armed bank robber

The FBI’s Detroit Division, Grand Rapids Resident Agency, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s assistance to identify and locate the subject responsible for an armed bank robbery in Cedar Springs.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this individual.

At approximately 5:55 p.m., on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the robber entered the Chase Bank located at 7 South Main Street, Cedar Springs, Michigan, displayed a black semi-automatic handgun, jumped over the counter and demanded the employees give him access to the vault. While the robber kept employees at gunpoint, the bank manager opened the vault. The robber put the money into a black backpack and fled the bank on foot.

The subject is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately five feet nine to five feet eleven inches tall, wearing white tennis shoes, gray shorts, blue or purple hooded sweatshirt, blue face covering, and black and gray gloves.

Again, the FBI and Kent County Sheriff’s Department are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for this armed bank robbery. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer, (616) 774-2345, or share what they know at tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

The wanted poster can be found at: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2020-02-12.2631175467.

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Winter fun

Each winter we ask readers to send us their winter fun photos—snowmen, snow sculptures, kids sledding, skating, etc.—to brighten up these dreary winter days. This week we have Mason Jandron, 3, and Ryan Jandron, 5, of Cedar Springs, and their cute little snowman, which they built when we got some snow last month. The brothers did a great job! Thanks for sending us your photo!

Please note that we print winter fun photos as space allows.

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Sand Lake residents upset with Village decisions

By Judy Reed

It was standing room only at the latest Sand Lake Village Council meeting on Monday, February 17. The room was full of residents who wanted to voice their opinion or ask questions on issues that the Council was either considering or had already approved. Many residents expressed they feel like they are not getting their questions answered and they want the Council to be more transparent.

Some of the issues they have questions on include how many wells they actually have working; why are they allowing the new development by Sable Homes off Ritchie Avenue to not connect to the Village sewer and instead only have individual septic tanks, especially when EGLE (formerly DEQ) recommends it; why they forced former DPW Director Jerry Dines out by reducing his pay and then hired the Village of Howard City and someone related to President Tracy Quinlan to handle the work; why they pulled out of their part of the agreement to support the Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library; why are many decisions being made at the committee level, and more. Some of these questions and concerned were expressed at the meeting and some to the Post directly.

One surprise attendee was former Village President Tom Norton, who is currently campaigning for Rep. Justin Amash’s seat in the 3rd District. He and current president Quinlan exchanged some harsh words. 

Norton explained he was there about the wells. He said he may have moved out of town but he still owns property and has a renter there with children. “All the wells should be working,” he said. He also talked about the Council reducing Dines’ wages so he would quit, and then hiring someone related to the Village President and Howard City for $71,000. “That should never happen,” he said. “You should never hire family.”

President Quinlan responded that there was nothing against nepotism in their charter. She also later said she was not the one that hired him.

Norton was told that his 3 minutes were up. He remarked that it was five minutes, and he was going to finish. He told the people, “You didn’t know this when I was your president but you can strip the Village President of her powers so that she can only run meetings.” 

Steve Brandow gave his comment time over to Norton, and during that time, President Quinlan lambasted Norton about the wells. “It was your mismanagement of the Village that put us in this position,” she told him. “Your mismanagement of the wells.”

Norton vehemently disagreed. “We treated those wells 6 months before I left. They were tested every spring. You can shake your head no and lie all you want but I have meeting minutes you all deleted to prove it,” he said. He did have some meeting minutes from several years earlier that stated that the water was tested daily.

One woman said, “These are the people you serve and it doesn’t feel like you are.”

Quinlan also told someone to FOIA the information they asked about.

At one point, President Quinlan laughed when asked about sewage spilling into Duke Creek. “I’m laughing because it’s not true,” she said.

It took a long time to get there, but an explanation was finally given about the wells. Councilor Glenn Baker explained that there are three wells. One was capped for contamination years ago. Of the two remaining wells, one has some organics in it and needs to be treated because of a sulphur smell. “Before Chad came on, it wasn’t tested or wasn’t done properly. We just need to clean it,” he said.

President Quinlan told the audience, “We try to get the correct info out there but someone’s whipped the constituents into a frenzy. We get blocked or deleted. I look at what’s on social media and sit and think ‘You people are more intelligent than that.’”

The remark did not go over well with the audience. 

At the end of the meeting, people were invited to stay and talk to get more questions answered.

The Post did email some questions to President Quinlan at her request, but did not receive a response in time for this week’s story.

She did tell the Post in November that while the first phase of the Genevieve project would not be connected to the village sewer system, the second phase would be. Or if a homeowner’s system fails and phase two is complete, they would need to connect also.

“The Village planners foresaw this as a potential development and it is included in the Master Plan that a re-zoning may be necessary to facilitate a housing development,” she wrote. “The Village of Sand Lake wants and needs to grow!  The first step in the process is to work with a developer and come to terms that are fiscally responsible for both parties. Without the concession of allowing Phase 1 to be exempt from hook up to Village sewer, the development is not economically feasible for a developer. All of the homes will hook into Village water. The fact is:  Sand Lake is at a crossroads—it either grows or it will die. The Council chooses life!”

Below, we will post several documents related to the Genevieve Plat. One is a letter from Michigan EGLE (formerly DEQ), one from Sand Lake resident Marty Helton, one from the Kent County Health Department, and one from the Drain Commission.

Residents are urged by Council to attend Village Committee meetings (March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall) and other meetings for clarification on issues they are concerned about.

Letters from KCHD and DEQ

Letter from resident Marty Helton

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Cedar Springs woman dies in crash

A Cedar Springs woman died last weekend when her car rolled on US-131 in the early hours of the morning.

According to the Michigan State Police, the crash occurred on Saturday, February 15, at 3:59 a.m. on northbound US-131 north of 6 Mile Rd, in Plainfield Township. The preliminary investigation showed that only one vehicle was involved.

A Chevrolet Cruze had been reported as driving recklessly shortly before the crash, then ran off the roadway and rolled multiple times. The only person in the vehicle was the driver, identified as Monique Gabrielle Wilks, 22, of Cedar Springs. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

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Post travels to Puerto Rico

Post designer, Belinda Sanderson, enjoyed her Caribbean cruise on the Empress of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship, last week. Tuesday, February 11th they visited Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and took some pics with some very friendly Macaws.

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.

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Three injured in crash

Three were injured in this crash at 13 Mile and Grange last Friday. Photos by L. Allen.

Three people were injured in a two-car crash in Algoma Township last Friday afternoon.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at 3:55 p.m. on February 14, at 13 Mile and Grange. A 15-year-old driver’s education student was traveling southbound on Grange Ave NE and stopped for the stop sign at 13 Mile Rd NE. She thought she had enough time to cross over 13 Mile and was struck by a westbound car driven by a 43-year-old Sparta woman.

The at fault car was occupied by the 15-year-old driver, her 38-year-old father, and  her 8-year-old brother. Both drivers and the father had minor injuries. They were treated and released from local hospitals.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Sparta man in live fire training exercise

200215-N-HR150-1077 SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 15, 2020) – Chief Master-at-Arms Seth Larson, from Sparta, Michigan, participates in a live-fire training exercise on the flight deck of U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matt Hall)

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 15, 2020) – Chief Master-at-Arms Seth Larson, from Sparta, Michigan, participates in a live-fire training exercise on the flight deck of U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. 

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The Downtown Development Authority

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Where the Planning Commission generally sets rules for businesses to follow, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a government-business partnership whose goal is the development of a more business and citizen friendly atmosphere in the downtown area. The DDA Board is composed primarily of downtown business owners but they work with City staff to do things that will benefit the downtown area. The DDA Board works similarly to the Chamber of Commerce but the DDA is in a better position to address certain things like new signage and new parking due to their close working relationship with the City government. The DDA primarily receives its funding from a thing called Tax Increment Financing, (which is complicated but the important thing is that it does not raise anybody’s taxes at all).  

In 2017, the Cedar Springs DDA was reformed and immediately began to be productive again with some minor modifications to their operating plan. Since their reformation, the DDA has put-up brand-new parking signs and other new signs welcoming people into the City on the White Pine Trail. They helped pay for some of the new street name signs that you see along Main St. and Muskegon. The DDA helped arrange for the new parking lot at Second and Maple St. and they were the ones responsible for all of the flowers along Main St. last year. The DDA members also put up the bicycle racks you see on the Main St. corners and they also help put on the Halloween trick or treating in the downtown. This past year, the DDA’s budget was just over $21,000 but they get a lot done with that money.

The DDA is already planning for future projects and they are working on new benches and garbage cans for Main St., new public art, new hanging flower baskets, more parking options, more/improved public bathrooms and sponsorship of some downtown events such as the upcoming summer concert series at the amphitheater and potentially a new bicycle race that would start and end in the Heart of Cedar Springs.

The DDA is a public body and the public is always welcome at any of their meetings.  Just like the Planning Commission and the City Council, their meetings are broadcast and recorded on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. Meetings are generally the fourth Monday of the month at City Hall.

If you have anything about local government operations that you would like to see addressed in a future edition of the City Hall Corner, please send me an e-mail at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org and I can try to answer that for you and anybody else who might be curious about that question.

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Firefighter promoted to lieutenant

L to R: Lt. Ben Robinson, Fire Chief Jeff Drake.

Solon Fire Department recently promoted Ben Robinson to the position of Lieutenant on February 11 at the Solon Township Board, meeting effective immediately.

Ben moved to Solon Township five years ago with his wife, Elizabeth, due to a job relocation with Gill Industries, where he is employed full time as a welding engineer.  Ben and his wife enjoy spending time with their horses for leisure. Ben has seven years of fire service experience including Jerusalem Township, Ohio and Courtland Township, Michigan, prior to Solon Fire Department.

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