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Post Covering Cedar Springs for 32 years

Post Covering Cedar Springs for 32 years

Happy 32nd Birthday to The POST

by Lois Allen

Pandemic or no pandemic, birthdays keep coming. The Post is closing in on 32 years of local coverage. Thirty-two! We here at The Post are not here at The Post. Normal disappeared just as our staff has left the building. No one knows the future. How many businesses will survive? How many will disappear. Will we make it another year? Another month?

The Post building, where all the magic happened before COVID-19.

I’ve been through many difficulties keeping a local newspaper going since I took over operations over three decades ago. There have been some really tough weeks. But, thanks to a great crew, we always manage to pull it all together into a very nice little weekly. There it is on the newsstands, every week, The Cedar Springs Post. But the toughest week will be the one when I have to tell my staff that they no longer have a job. Tough. Like many small and independent business owners, it is heartbreaking.

How do I fit all the stories; the highs, the lows of over 30 years into one story? We’ve covered tragedy and triumph; the people and the life and experience of a close and ever growing community. 

Fortunately, we have saved all those stories. Not in my barn (bad idea), not in my pickup truck, (although it is full of old editions) not on the internet, although currently we are on it for now, but in book form, bound into hardcover and donated to the Cedar Springs Historical Society. Thirty-some books to showcase and chronicle Cedar Springs for the past thirty-two years.

Newspapers have struggled since the dawn of the web. Once, they were the place where you could find out what’s going on in your town while at the same time reading what’s on sale at the local grocery store or which restaurant is having a dinner or lunch special. It was all there in print. No connection needed, no power source and no password or user name required. Newspapers were the backbone of our newly formed nation, the land of the free. And it was news you could trust.

But things change. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good. Advertisers have so many venues to choose from now. The internet, robo calling, social media, Facebook, direct mailing… and so on and so forth. While big corporations have the means and the money to advertise nationally and are using the internet to boost business, small independent businesses do not. But the local newspaper is affordable to anyone and good for local businesses. These “mom & pops” and independently owned shops, facilities and restaurants make our town unique. 

We appreciate the businesses that are still with us, keeping us going in these crazy times. But many of our advertisers are struggling to stay afloat as well. When we lose them, we all lose.

The paper is a partnership that brings their customers to them while providing a public service that is actually not paid for with your tax dollars. It’s an independent business reflecting the uniqueness of a community while offering a service that is so much more than just covering accidents and fires. How often do you attend a school board meeting? That’s o.k. If you don’t, Post editor Judy Reed is there. She’ll let you know what’s happening while you enjoy some free time. Do you think city council meetings are boring? That’s because for the most part they are. But sitting there in your place is that editor from the local newspaper, and she’s taking notes. When we get a “tip” from our readers or a rumor starts to spread, she knows exactly who to call, who to talk to and what the public has a right to know. You can trust what you read because unlike “social” media and the worldwide web, legitimate newspapers are subject to libel laws if they print misinformation. 

Did your child make the sports team or the honor roll? They can feel a sense of pride when they are featured in the newspaper. We also have a partnership with the schools to get you up to speed on what’s going on there.  Sadly, a hometown newspaper has now become a luxury that is literally irreplaceable. When you lose your local paper, you’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater. 

Without it, who can we really trust? Where will we get our information? How do we know if it’s true?

I’m not saying that the internet and social media aren’t great for some things. But when it comes to news, then forget about it. How many stories can you believe in the newspaper? All of them.

For those of you who love your Post, and we know thousands of you do, we wanted to show you what the inside of a newspaper looks like. I took a picture of our office which many never see. I wanted to hold onto the memory, the moment in my camera and in my mind, just in case it disappears.

In this issue we are introducing the people behind the scenes and our office cat as well. (see below). We hope to stay in Cedar Springs covering what’s up, but nothing is guaranteed except for death and taxes after all. Mostly, we thank you for reading and loving our Cedar Springs Post.

The POST Family

Publisher: Lois Allen

Lois’s workspace, where she does payroll.

“I started the paper in 1989 when my father sold The Squire and was going to drop The Post. I took over operations with just my mother and one employee. I run the paper by doing the paperwork, paying bills and taxes (lots of taxes) cleaning, doing the payroll, feeding the cat, coming up with promotional ideas and making sure it runs like a well oiled machine. The trick is to hire good people. And good workers are sometimes hard to find. 

I never married and never had children. The Post has always been my “baby.” It needs constant attention. 

I grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1973. 

I held many jobs. From factory, to cleaning restrooms, nurse aid, long-haul truck driver, and even worked for FEMA. I even joined the army and traveled to Germany for my job as a cargo truck driver in an effort to obtain my GI bill. I went to Davenport College where I majored in retail management.

I never worked for a newspaper until I helped out at The Squire, doing their payroll. After The Squire sold, I came up here to keep The Post going. When I started the paper, I knew little about newspapers or reporting and knew almost no one in Cedar Springs. I did know they really liked this little paper, because they were always eager to tell me. So, I gave it a shot thinking it would never make it more than a few months. Now, it’s been over 30 years and I’ve come to know Cedar Springs as my home. I find that people here pull together unlike in Grand Rapids. It was always exciting to be the center of whatever was happening. There’s never been a dull week!”

Editor: Judy Reed

Judy’s Office

“I have been editor at the Post since 2006, but I have been part of the Post family since the mid- 1990s.

I began by submitting public release articles for the soccer and girl scout organizations my kids were part of, and then one day Lois called and asked if I’d like to freelance for them, and so I did.

I attended school in both the Kenowa Hills and Sparta school districts and graduated from Sparta in 1979. That’s where I met my husband, Steve, and have now been married for 41 years. We have three children, and three grandchildren, whom we spoil whenever we get the chance, which is often! 

I love the work I do at the Post. It can be hard sometimes to write about the tragedies that occur in people’s lives, or the violence going on, or to listen to the petty bickering. But it is also a wonderful thing to be able to tell the stories of the people in our own backyard, to highlight their accomplishments, hopes, and dreams, and to hear back how much they appreciate it. If we don’t tell their stories, who will?

And lastly, I love my boss, Lois, we’ve come a long way together and she’s taught me a lot. She’s a great boss to have. She trusts me to do my job and has allowed me to be flexible on when and where I do my job—whether in the office or at home”

Office Manager: Mary Randall

Mary’s workspace.

“You will find me at the front desk just inside the front door. I am usually the one who answers the phone, takes classifieds, handles the accounts receivables, subscriptions for the paper, and tries to find answers to questions that come up.

I am married to Dan Randall and have 2 children, Jennifer and Thomas, with 5 grandsons, Westley, Nicholas, Gabriel, Seth and Lucas.

I have worked at the Post since 1994 for 26 years. 

We have lived in the Cedar Springs area since 1987 when we moved north from the Wyoming, Michigan area. 

Dan and I both graduated from Rogers High School in Wyoming.

I am old enough to retire but don’t want to, this job is perfect for my needs.

I have enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere at the Post and how everyone gets along to make a great team.

I appreciate the fact that Lois is flexible and understanding.”

Paper Delivery: Dan Randall

“I deliver the Post to businesses and drop boxes from Cedar Springs to Howard City.

I retired from General Motors in Wyoming after working in the factory for 30 years.

I started out filling in for the regular deliverers and then delivered regularly after they retired.

I am the husband of Mary Randall, The Post’s office manager.

I graduated from Rogers High School in Wyoming.

I always enjoyed seeing people and being out and about.”

Advertising Consultant: Melissa Kleyn

Melissa’s empty workspace. She’s been working from home since the COVID-19 shutdown.

“I have been the lead sales/marketing person for 4 years, since July of 2016. 

I am originally from Grant, Michigan. I graduated from Grant High School in 2005. After my husband and I married in 2011 we bought our first home in  Cedar Springs. 

I have been married to my husband, Evan Klyen, for 9 years and we have two girls, Skyler, 8, and Ella, 4. We have a 13 year old Yorkie named Harley and 2 cats! Luna and Daisy.

I love building amazing friendships with business owners and people in our community.  I also love helping them get news about their business to the community as well. 

I love my boss, Lois, so so much!”

Graphic Design/Composition: Belinda Sanderson

Graphics Department, taken over by Lois. Belinda has taken her computer and needed materials to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 16, 2020.

“I have been working at The Post since Dec. of 2004, over 15 years! I started out part-time as a graphic designer building ads, and eventually learned composition and have been the lead graphics/composition person since July of 2007.

My husband, Michael Sanderson Jr., and I were married July 9, 2005 and I helped raise his daughter, Autumn, from the time she was 6 years old, she is now 21. I consider her my daughter. I’m also a step-mother to his two older sons, Devin and Michael the 3rd. 

I grew up in Cedar Springs on 16 Mile Rd off of Pine Lake Rd, the Allen’s were one of our neighbors. I graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1991. I’ve furthered my education by taking some classes at ACT, and GRCC.

I like EVERYTHING about working at The Post! I love all my co-workers, I love what I do – designing ads and designing the layout of the paper. I love the flexible hours, I don’t have to get up early – lol. 

I love my boss Lois BUNCHES! She’s a friend as well as a boss. She helps me out when I’m in a jam and gives me good advice, although sometimes I don’t listen – lol. She’s forgiving and understands that I can have a temper, but my heart is in the right place.”

Advertising Consultant: Marybeth Ford

Marybeth works from home. The above is our extra workspace for sales, as you can see Waldo likes to chill in the chair and wait for customers to greet. He’s been sad and lonely since the pandemic started.

“I started working at The Post in 2007 as a part-time sales consultant.

I grew up in Grand Rapids and moved to Cedar Springs because I wanted to move to a small town to raise my two children, LeeAnne and Christopher, who both graduated from Cedar Springs High School. I now have eight grandchildren, ages 1 – 17.

I have been with my partner, Scott, for nine years and we have three cats that we love like children and they cost just as much.

I graduated from Northview High School and got an associates degree from Jordan Collage in business administration and attended GVSU for a couple years.

I like talking. That’s what makes me good at my job. I enjoy working at the paper because every week I get to see an end product that brings the community and businesses together. Also, where else can you open the newspaper and see your child or grandchild’s picture.

I love my boss, Lois. She’s my friend and she’s afraid to fire me.”

Our Mascot: Waldo

Waldo loves to jump up on the front counter and greet everyone.

“I showed up at The Cedar Springs Post about four years ago. Lois didn’t want me, but I convinced her to take me in. I needed a home. She got me fixed and my shots and was looking for a home for me. I had to convince her that I was already home! 

The best part of my job here is greeting the customers when they come in and make sure they know they are welcome here. And more than welcome to pet me! Sometimes I throw myself on their papers or I might try and climb in their purse. Some people love to pet me, some not so much. I try to convince them. I’m a good convincer.

Other than that, I mostly lie around. Sometimes I lick myself. I usually take a nap around 3 p.m. It’s a good life. I love the people of Cedar Springs and am missing them.”

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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