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Archive | November, 2020

GasBuddy study finds 45% fewer travelers on the road this Thanksgiving

Gas Prices Projected to Be Lowest Since 2016

BOSTON (November 18, 2020) – The Thanksgiving travel season will be notably different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app used by more North American drivers to save money on gas, has released its 2020 Annual Thanksgiving Travel Survey, finding that only 35% of Americans will be taking to the roads this year, a decrease from 65% from last year, amidst some of the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices the country has seen in years.

The national average gas price is projected to be $2.17 per gallon, lower this year as oil prices plunged from year ago levels amidst depressed demand for gasoline due to the coronavirus keeping Americans closer to home and away from their normal driving routines.

“Gasoline demand has continued to struggle as the coronavirus has kept Americans in their homes and keys out of their cars, working and e-learning from home. But with positive outcomes from two vaccine trials, we’re beginning to see optimism return, leading prices to rise slightly just in time for Thanksgiving,” says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “However, survey results show continued anxiety from motorists even with the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in years, highlighting the challenges we’re facing in this pandemic.”

Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents in GasBuddy’s Annual Thanksgiving Travel Survey said that their travel plans are impacted by the coronavirus. When asked in what ways they were impacted, 71% said they are staying home instead of traveling this year. Five percent said they are not celebrating Thanksgiving this year due to the coronavirus. The remainder are either celebrating Thanksgiving at a different location this year (20%), or driving instead of taking other forms of transportation to their Thanksgiving destination (11%).

Yet low gas prices are luring people to travel more than ever before. Fifteen percent of those who said they are planning to travel said they are doing so to take advantage of gas prices, a significant jump compared to 6% of people saying the same last year and 2% in 2018.

Seventy-nine percent of people said that gas prices are not impacting their travel plans.

“Typically during the holidays, it’s all about traditions and less about the cost, even when gas prices were over $3, plenty of Americans didn’t hesitate to travel for Thanksgiving,” said DeHaan. “With Americans still concerned about traveling by plane, many families will take advantage of low prices and make a road trip when they otherwise wouldn’t.”

Those who are traveling are taking shorter trips than in years past, with survey results seeing a 75% increase in those who are traveling less than one hour to their Thanksgiving destination compared to 2019.

Cleanliness is a bigger concern for travelers this year when choosing a pitstop. Finding clean facilities has jumped to the third most important consideration when choosing a gas station compared to the fourth most important consideration in 2019, and the last spot in 2018. The top considerations for travelers when choosing a pitstop this year are gas prices (1), convenience (2), cleanliness (3), brand (4) and food options (5).

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Man charged with killing neighbor’s dog

Cindy Holliday and her dog, Kita.
Courtesy photo.

A Spencer Township man is facing charges in the shooting death of his neighbor’s Siberian Husky.

Matthew Goldsmith. 
Photo from Kent County
Correctional Facility.

Matthew Goldsmith, 43, was arraigned in 63rd District Court on Monday, November 23, on one charge of killing/torturing an animal-third degree.

According to Cindy Holliday, Goldsmith’s neighbor on 19 Mile Rd, she was trying to put her dog, Kita, on a leash, on November 4, when she bolted. She called her friend, Laura Ensley, and they went to search for her. “We were standing right in front of his house calling for her when we heard her whine, and then heard the shot,” she said. “She was literally shot six yards from my driveway.”

Kita, whom Cindy said was an amazing, sweet dog that liked to run, did not survive.

“She didn’t deserve a bullet,” said Cindy. “She deserved a call to animal control and I would’ve dealt with it from there. But not a bullet.”

Cindy said that she had been on good terms with her neighbors before she got the dog. “They had my number. They could’ve called or texted and said, ‘Hey, your dog is over here.’ But they wouldn’t.”

Cindy had Kita for about four months before she was shot. She had gotten her from Laura, who had fostered her for about three weeks. During those four months, Kita had gotten away a few times. 

At one point, she got off her leash and killed one of her neighbor’s chickens. Cindy didn’t know she had gotten off her leash until her neighbor came and told her what had happened. “I apologized and offered to replace one or more chickens, but she didn’t want to work anything out. Instead she just called animal control and said she wanted me to end up in court every time my dog got loose.”

Cindy explained to the Post that she didn’t just open the door and let the dog run. “She was always with me. And if she got away, I was always right nearby, calling and searching for her,” she said. She also took her for a run every day. She said she drove the quad while Kita ran alongside of her.

On the day of the shooting, Cindy said the neighbor’s chickens were in no danger, and were safe inside the chicken coop. “It is completely fenced in. Kita was not a threat,” she said.

When they found Kita, she said they also found Goldsmith with the gun in his hand.

“They feel no remorse,” said Cindy, about her neighbors. “I don’t understand how they think it’s ok to do something like that. I even told them we were working on getting a fence, but they didn’t care.”

Cindy said police have told her that these cases happen often with no resulting charges. “I think it’s fantastic he’s being charged,” she said. “There is no justification for what he did. We need to set an example.”

The felony charge is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Those convicted can be ordered to perform up to 500 hours of community service; the court may also order psychiatric evaluation. Goldsmith’s bond was set at $5,000 and he was released on his own personal recognizance. His next scheduled appearance is for probable cause conference on December 7 at 10:00 a.m.

Cindy also filed a PPO against Goldsmith because of the gun and the shooting in close proximity to them and her property.

The Post asked the Kent County Sheriff Office what residents should do if they run into a similar situation.

“The KCSO encourages all residents to contact Kent County Animal Control and their local law enforcement agency if they are dealing with a similar issue; whether they have a dog that is getting loose or if a neighbor’s dog is getting loose and coming onto their property,” said Sgt. Joy Matthews. “Seek help before the situation escalates and gets too severe. Both animal control and law enforcement have resources to assist. If a resident feels that someone has shot their dog unlawfully, we encourage them to report it immediately to Kent County Animal Control and their local law enforcement agency. The two agencies will work together to investigate the complaint to determine if there is legal justification to shoot the dog (i.e. attacking persons, pursuing/worrying/wounding livestock, poultry, etc.). Contact Kent County Animal Control at (616) 632-7300, report non-emergency incidents to the KCSO at (616) 632-6357, or call 9-1-1 for emergencies.”

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New Sand Lake Council members sworn in

Special meeting called for Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.

The five new members of the Sand Lake Village Council were sworn in on Friday, November 21: Mollie McLellan, Kim McNees, Kevin Wright, Nile Hayden, and Stacy Rudicil.

President Nile Hayden has called a special meeting for Wednesday evening, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. via ZOOM to discuss several items, including employment contracts and changing the name on bank accounts from the former president to the current one. You can see the agenda by going to http://villageofsandlake.org/Minutes and clicking on Nov. 25.

The ZOOM meeting ID is 662 019 5932 and the code is 044356.

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Consumers urged to shop as normal

Overbuying and stockpiling may cause supply chain ripple effects

With the new three-week semi-shutdown in place, consumers are unfortunately starting to panic buy again.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell, Michigan Retailers Association CEO William Hallan and Meijer CEO Todd Weer, Senior Vice President of Stores responded to news that consumers may be buying larger quantities than necessary at the stores.

“Michigan has an ample supply of food products and other items. But, when shoppers panic buy products like toilet paper, paper towel and other items, it creates a ripple effect within the supply chain,” said McDowell. “Buying what your household will use for the week keeps the supply chain moving, ensures everyone has access to what they need and allows the stores to replenish shelves for your next shopping trip.”

According to McDowell, COVID-19 has changed everything about how people come together, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

“The impact of this pandemic has not been easy, and it is not over as we see rampant community spread,” he added. “One thing we can all do to help each other during this time is buying only what you need. This ensures your friends and neighbors have access to food and other necessary products during this pandemic.”

Signaling evidence of consumers starting to panic shop at levels first seen during the early months of the pandemic, Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William Hallan urges Michiganders to limit purchases to a week’s worth of supply.

“Retailers across the state continue to work hard to restore and maintain product levels in stores to meet the demand in communities,” said Hallan. “Consumers need to know that stores, particularly grocery stores, will remain open. Consumers should plan for essentials in weekly increments to ensure that supply levels remain steady over the next few weeks. As retailers continue to do their part to keep retail environments safe to shop, we are asking consumers to do their part by limiting quantities to ensure there is enough for everyone.”

If consumers are leery about shopping in person, Hallan encourages consumers to consider using services like curbside pick-up and home delivery.

Meijer, which has 120 Supercenters and grocery stores throughout the State of Michigan, continues to focus on keeping ample supply for its customers.

“Our goal is to have everything our customers need, and our supply chain and store teams are working very hard to keep our shelves stocked during these busy times,” said Todd Weer, Senior Vice President of stores for Meijer. “As long as shoppers buy the number of items they normally would, then everyone should be able to check off the items on their grocery list when they visit the store.”

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Thank you

The family of Max Cole would like to thank family, friends and neighbors for  all the love, support, cards, calls, flowers, food as well as prayers, During the recent loss of our beloved Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Papa.

A special thanks to the Nurses, RT, and support staff of the 5th floor ICU of Spectrum Health as well as Kevin Pike and his staff for their compassion and kindness during this very difficult time.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Cindy Cole, Karen Sanders

Jennifer and Jason Lund and family

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Esther L. Anderson age 73 of Cedar Springs, passed away Sunday, November 22, 2020 at her home. Esther was born March 22, 1947 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Hattley and Arlene (Ballard) Rector. She retired from Forest Hills Central Middle School in 2007. She was a tomboy growing up and enjoyed camping and the pool at her home. She loved her grandchildren and taught them how to cook, she was always there for her family. Surviving are her husband, Carl whom she married on May 25, 1968; sons, Michael, Aaron (Lisa); grandchildren, Hannah, Abby and Brayden; sisters, Carol (Chuck) Mackus, Linda (Gary) Nead; brother-in-law, Fred Andrus; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Lois Andrus. The family will greet friends Friday, November 27th from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A private family service will follow the visitation. Pastor Inge Whittemore officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to East Nelson United Methodist Church or Faith Hospice.

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

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Richard Lee Hart, 78, passed away to his heavenly home on November 20, 2020. Richard lived with his wife of 56 years, Joyce May Hart in Cedar Springs, Michigan. Richard was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Donald Sr. and Vivian Hart. He is survived by his two brothers, Donald Hart Jr and David Hart. He was loved by his family including many nieces and nephews. Richard served in the military as a young man. He worked as a masonry as well as owning and managing property. He and Joyce lived in California for 21 years where he owned and managed a car wash. Richard enjoyed fishing, art and music. He took many long walks and drives enjoying God’s creation. Most of all, Richard loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At this time no public services are being planned. To send a sympathy card for family please direct them to Joyce Hart at 143 Tamarack Ave., Cedar Spring, MI 49319.

Pederson Funeral Home is caring for the family.

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John L. Mason age 78 of Ensley Township, Sand Lake went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, November 20, 2020. John was born March 9, 1942 in Walker, MI the son of Orval and Ethel (Mapes) Mason. He served in the U.S. Navy and retired from Steelcase. John was an amateur and professional boxer and went on to coach amateur boxing for 40 years. He impacted hundreds of lives as a coach. He was true American Patriot and also enjoyed hobby farming. His faith in God and trusting Jesus Christ as his Savior was very important to him. Surviving are his wife, Carolyn; children, John (Shelly) Mason, Ron (Elizabeth) Mason, Brian (Lisa) Mason, Angela (Barry) Remlinger, Jennifer (Todd) Magoon; 17 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two sisters and one brother. Visitation and service was held Tuesday, November 24th at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Arthur Barton from Harvest Baptist Church, Grant officiated. Interment North Ensley Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Harvest Baptist Church.

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

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John H. Tow, Sr., age 82, formerly of Crystal and Clifford Lake, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus at home on Thursday, November 19, 2020, under the loving care of Laurie and his family. The son of Merle & Clela (Race) Tow, he was born on May 6, 1938 in Grand Rapids. On October 7, 1961, he married Barbara Ann Greenhoe and together they enjoyed 48 years of marriage and raised two children. John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara (Greenhoe) Tow in 2009; and infant son, David Mark Tow in 1969. Surviving are his “Sweetie” of eight years, Laurie Bowen; his children, Johnny H. & Kelly Tow, II of White Cloud; Jackie Tow-Zerka of Stanton; six grandchildren including Sarah “too pretty for a nickname” Tow, Joshua “Dozer” Tow, Jacob “Hammer” Tow & Sarah VanderMeer, Katie “too pretty for a nickname” & Travis “Traverse” Johnson, Eric “Tractor” & Chelle Zerka, Benjamin “Boomer” Zerka & Katelynn Epple; great-grandson Rowan “Pumpkin Seed” Tow; two brothers, Norm & Christi Tow of Chippewa Lake, and Dick & Sharon Tow of Florida; one sister, Shirley & Fritz Strautz of Stanton; siblings-in-law, Betty & Rev. Jim Wilcox of Greenville, Ronald Greenhoe, and Wilber Jr. & Laura Greenhoe, all of Sheridan; and many, many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and especially the family of Laurie Bowen. John began his career in retail with Tow’s Leonard Service, a gas station in Crystal that he ran with his father, which he later converted into a convenience store. John and Barb worked together with their family in many of their business ventures including the Paris Hardware & Grocery, Crystal Hardware, Brookside Dairy Freeze in Big Rapids, Tow’s General Store in Crystal, as well as several family rental properties. What made John unique was that he genuinely loved talking with people and made every person feel special; he remembered your name, he remembered your story, and he always had a smile. Even in retirement he delighted in being the official greeter at his son’s stores at Lincoln Lake and Coral and we salute those that survived his Handshake of Steel! John’s last years were filled with love as he and Laurie enjoyed each other’s company greatly. When they were not driving the roads in his golf cart bottle hunting, they enjoyed spending time together playing cards, visiting with friends and family, and spending time at Little Rainbow Lake. But, if you knew John, you know his biggest delight after his grandchildren and newest great-grand, was in cheering for his Spartans! Go Green! Go White! We will miss him greatly. Due to current state orders, a private graveside service for immediate family will be held at Evergreen Township Cemetery near Sheridan. A celebration of life will be held in the future when COVID restrictions are more forgiving. Instead of flowers, contributions in memory of John to Spectrum Health Hospice would be appreciated as we can not say enough about the loving care their team provided to John and our family throughout this journey. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign John’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.

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Michael A. Hanes age 31 of Cedar Springs died Thursday, November 19, 2020. Mike was born November 20, 1988 in Grand Rapids, MI. He enjoyed fishing and outdoor activities. He was a friend to many and loved his children. Surviving are his parents, Andrea Sees, Karl and Kathy Hanes; children, Ayden Hanes, Raelynn Hainlin, Jonathan Hanes and Braxton Hanes; siblings, Sarah Finn, Lisa Karakaya, Ted Hanes, David Hanes, Laura DeLong, Jeffrey White, Lawrence Graham, Jacob Graham, Justin Hanes, Mackenzie Hanes, Shala Parm, Victoria Hanes, Sausha Parm, Savanna Parm, Robert Hanes, Joel Hanes. The service was held Wednesday, November 25th at Huggard Bible Church, 8860 21 Mile Road, Sand Lake. Pastor Rick Malone officiating. 

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

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Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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