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Archive | November, 2021

Man arrested on murder charges

A Trufant man was arrested Monday after he confessed to the murder of another man.

According to the Michigan State Police, a 37-year-old man from Trufant walked into the lobby of the Lakeview MSP Post on Monday, November 29, at approximately 1:45 p.m. and said that he had killed someone.

Troopers then went to a residence in Pine Township, Trufant, and discovered a 68-year-old man dead at the scene. The 37-year-old man was then taken into custody and lodged in the Montcalm County Jail on charges of Open Murder. His arraignment is pending.

Police believe the incident to be the result of a live-together domestic situation and the investigation continues. 

Troopers were assisted by the MSP Grand Rapids Post.

Names of the victim and alleged assailant have not yet been released.

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Local veteran selected for honor flight

Gordon Reyburn and his daughter, Pam Jurick.

Gordon Reyburn, of Cedar Springs, was recently chosen to be on the honor flight, a trip for veterans to Washington D.C. to visit 14 national monuments that are dedicated to veterans of World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Viet Nam war. 

Gordon Reyburn was part of the honor guard to place a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C.

The trip took place the first weekend in November.

The highlight of the trip for Gordon was being selected for the honor guard that placed a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. 

Gordon was accompanied by his daughter, Pam Jurick, who is a nurse at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home.

The honor flights have been underway since 2005 and have taken over 225,000 veterans to Washington D.C. The trips provide veterans with the opportunity to visit the memorials alongside fellow veterans, while telling their stories, sharing camaraderie, and receiving well-deserved recognition from a grateful nation.

“I was so honored to be chosen for the trip,” said Gordon.

For more information on honor flights, visit honorflight.org.

Gordon Reyburn and the other veterans who went on the honor flight.

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Police investigate body found on White Pine Trail

A man’s body was found on the side of the White Pine Trail near 19 Mile Rd Monday morning. Photo by Daren Bower, Fox 17.

Police are investigating the death of a 45-year-old man whose body was found Monday, November 15, on the side of the White Pine Trail, near 19 Mile Rd, in Nelson Township.

The body was seen by a passerby about 10 a.m.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, no foul play is suspected. They said there was no threat to the community, and they investigated throughout the day, to determine a timeline of events leading up to his death.

Police said the possible contributing factors to the man’s death were cold weather temperatures overnight and the possibility of intoxication.

The cause of death was pending an autopsy.

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Recall filed for Sand Lake Village president

By Judy Reed

A petition has been filed and signatures are being gathered to recall Mollie Doerr, the president of the Village of Sand Lake.

Doerr is the fourth person on the current Village Council to have a recall petition filed against her. The first was former trustee Rachel Gokey, who was voted out of office in early November. It was Gokey’s husband, Jeff Gokey, who filed the recall petition against president Mollie Doerr.

According to the petition, which was filed on September 29, 2021, Gokey’s reason for the petition to recall was filed because: “President Doerr violated the provisions of the Michigan election law by signing a recall petition for a trustee twice. First on July 26, 2021 as Mollie Doerr and again on July 28, 2021 as Mollie McClellan. Both signatures were rejected by Kent County.”

McClellan is Doerr’s maiden name. She was married last fall.

The language of the petition was approved in October. Doerr did not appeal.

Those circulating the petition for her recall must collect 48 signatures to get it on the ballot in May. Doerr’s term will be up in November 2022. If enough signatures are gathered to get it on the ballot, Doerr would need to run for her position.

The Post contacted Kent County Elections Director Gerrid Uzarski regarding the matter. We asked him whether you can ever remove a signature once it’s been placed on a petition and asked why both signatures would have been rejected.

“Once signatures are filed on petitions, they cannot be changed/altered,” explained Uzarski. “When an elector signs a petition twice for a single position, this is illegal. When this happens, both instances (or all instances) are disqualified.”

This means that if you signed it improperly, you cannot change it, or sign the petition again correctly.

The Post asked Doerr for a comment, but Doerr does not have a statement ready to make to the public at this time.

Rachel Gokey’s recall petition was filed by Jack Christiansen. His reasoning was that she did not sign the Village Council’s social media policy. He then ran against her in the fall election and won.

The other two that had recall petitions filed against them are Marcia Helton and Stacie Rudicil. The petitions were filed by former trustee Glen Baker, who was voted out of office in November 2020. His reasons listed for filing the petitions, however, were misleading. For Helton, he claimed she paid over $87,000 to the Kent County Drain Commission on a special assessment after the council voted in January to do it on a 10-year plan to manage its cash flow. What he didn’t say was that she actually paid the bill in February, after the council voted to pay it in full to save $15,000 in interest for the taxpayers. 

His reasoning for filing a petition against Rudicil was that she voted to terminate the DPW supervisor. The entire board voted to terminate him, with exception of Gokey, who voted no.

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The Post travels Michigan

The Post will be flying high all over Michigan as 83 year old Rose Bowman accepts her Student Private Pilot’s License from Sparta Aviation’s Flight Instructor Jacob Den Dulk. Rose was a 62-year resident of Cedar Springs before moving to Greenville, Michigan. Rose still is an active member of Cedar Springs Women’s Club and member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 287. Rose enjoys serving others while challenging her life to the maximum.

Thank you, Rose, for including us in your flights!

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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Area mail carrier concludes her 38-Year career

Laurie Fifield has spent 38 years as a mail carrier in Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo.

By Sue Wolfe

December 31 will not only conclude this calendar year, but it will also mark the end of Laurie Fifield’s thirty-eight-year career of serving Cedar Springs Area residents as a United States postal carrier. 

Fifield has mixed emotions but knows “it’s time.” She is the last of the original Cedar Springs carriers who transferred to working out of the Rockford US Mail Distribution Center 12 years ago. 

Fifield joined the US Postal Service in 1983 on a part-time basis. After subbing for 13 years, she began her fulltime responsibilities on Route #1, now known as Route #31. The current route requires navigating 70 miles a day with 581 stops through rain, snow, wind, or bumpy roads. It encompasses an area running east of the Cedar Springs city limits to Lincoln Lake Road and south of 20 Mile Road to M57. What used to be considered a “letter delivery service” now includes several packages of all shapes and weights.

Many things within the US Mail System have significantly changed over the last 38 years. 

“Back when I started, carriers had multiple responsibilities including working inside the post office. When needed, I would help then Postmaster Ben Downer before or after my duties as a carrier,” said Fifield. “We sorted our own mail into boxes and stacked them into our own vehicles.” Fifield has gone through six personal vehicles over the 38 years. Her current car’s odometer shows 185,000 miles and it too is ready for retirement. 

After overcoming a 9-year battle with lung disease, Fifield is now in remission and looking forward to retirement. When asked what retirement looks like she said, “My husband Chip and I will head for the Keys in Florida, visit our daughter in Nevada, pick blueberries in the summer, camp and pontoon at Bear Lake, and then spend more time working our hobby farm.”  

She will deeply miss the many friends she has made along her route over these 38 years. “I consider my route as a service to my people. I am grateful for my job and have really enjoyed it. My mom always told me to smile and find the good in each day. I hope I have done that for my patrons,” said Fifield. 

For those along Route 31, there is still time to thank Fifield for her faithful service and wish her well as she transitions into a new route of her life journey.

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Veterans Day tribute at Mission Point

Five veterans were honored on Veterans Day at Mission Point of Cedar Springs.

According to Maria Robertson, director of business development, the day began with welcoming and recognizing their Veterans and residents’ family members, business leaders and guests. 

Reeths Puffer High School Interact Club Quilt Display. Courtesy photo

They then recognized and honored their veterans with the presentation of veteran certificates to Mission Point of Cedar Springs veterans Jerome Batog; David Bosma; Charlie Brown; Don Ingersoll; and Roy Salinas. They also read off and honored all past and present veterans. 

Mission Point Cedar Springs Veterans Certificate. Courtesy photo.

While not present, the Reeths Puffer High School Interact Club made American Flag Quilts, which were on display. 

The program ended with music and refreshments with residents, their families, staff members, and business leaders. The final closing of the program provided a thank you treat to veterans and business leaders.

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FBI and Bath Township Police Dept. ask for info in cold case

Chong Moua Yang was shot and killed in the Rose Lake Wildlife area on Nov. 16, 2018.

On the third anniversary of his death, the FBI, Bath Township Police Department, and the family of Chong Moua Yang held a press conference asking the public to come forward with information on the person(s) who shot and killed Chong Yang in the Rose Lake Wildlife area, East Lansing, in 2018.

Chong Moua Yang was 68 years old when he was shot and killed on the evening of November 16, 2018, in the Rose Lake Wildlife area of Michigan. Chong left his home in Lansing, Michigan, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to go hunting in the wildlife area. Chong was carrying a shotgun, Hmong knife, and a backpack when he left his home.

His family began searching for Chong when he had not returned home after dark. Chong was found dead from a gunshot wound in an area north of East Clark Road and east of Upton Road in Bath Township. The shotgun, Hmong knife, and backpack were not with Chong’s body and have never been located.

If you have information on the person(s) responsible for Chong’s homicide, please contact the Bath Township Police Department at (517) 641-6271 or Crime Stoppers at (517) 483-STOP (7867). You may also contact FBI Detroit at 313-965-2323.

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Puppy scams drain thousands of dollars from Michiganders

BBB warning

Photo by T.R Photography on Unsplash

November 3, 2021 —  If you are looking for a furry addition to your family, beware of buying online. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan continues to see consumers falling victim to puppy scams. In fact, pets/pet supplies was the most risky sales category when it came to online purchase scams, according to the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, and it continues to be one of the most common scams reported in 2021.

Earlier this year, a Muskegon woman thought she found the perfect addition to her family. She was contacted by a scammer posing as a shipping service to deliver her puppy. The scammer continued to ask for money to cover puppy insurance, quarantine services, vaccines, housing, a puppy passport and a city permit. All of the money needed to be sent through Zelle. The woman was promised the payments would be refunded when the puppy arrived. The animal was never delivered, and the woman lost more than $5,300 in the scheme.

“If you can’t physically see the animal, don’t buy it. It is a scam,” says Phil Catlett, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Many victims tell us they are more impacted by the emotional toll of not getting the pet than they are the money that was taken.” 

The BBB offers these tips on avoiding puppy scams:

Don’t buy a pet without seeing it in person before you pay.

Do a reverse image search of the picture of the pet you are considering. If the same picture appears on multiple websites, you may be dealing with a fraud. You can also search the text from ads or testimonials to see if the seller copied it from another site

What if you have been a victim of a puppy scam? 

Report it to  BBB’s Scam Tracker 

Report it to Petscams.com

Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP

If you sent money through Western Union, MoneyGram or a Green Dot MoneyPak, contact those companies directly for information about the transactions. They also download their complaints into the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database, which police around the country can access.

Green Dot 800-795-7597

Western Union 1-800-448-1492

MoneyGram 1-800-926-9400

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Red Hawks end spectacular season at regional final

By Judy Reed

Photo by Justin Harnden.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawk football team of 2021 will be one for the record books and one fans will remember for a long time.

They went from tragedy early in the season—with the death of assistant coach Kevin Martens—to triumph—when they not only beat the Muskegon Big Reds but claimed the district title.

“This was the most resilient team I have ever coached,” said head coach Gus Kapolka. “They have had to deal with unimaginable tragedy and heartbreak, but it only served to bring us closer together. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of young men. I am honored to be their coach.”

Cedar Springs went on to face the DeWitt Panthers last Saturday at Grand Ledge for the regional championship. But unfortunately, they lost by a score of 42-14.

DeWitt scored three times in the first half—once in the first quarter and twice in the second quarter—while Cedar Springs failed to score until the third quarter, which is unusual for the Red Hawks. Both of the Red Hawk touchdowns were made by quarterback Aiden Brunin, one in the third and one in the fourth. He also made two extra-point kicks.

Cedar Springs was limited to 183 yards rushing. Brunin had 63, Antwuan Nicholls 53, Carter Falan 52, Kyle Hoort 11, Ryan West 9, and both Alex Ream and Ryan Mitchell had 2. Brunin also threw for 54 yards, with two passes to Ryan West for 23 yards, and one to Carter Falan for 31.

DeWitt racked up 285 yards rushing and 139 yards passing.

Photo by Justin Harnden.

“We could not match our energy and intensity from our game last week and we came out flat,” said Kapolka. “Dewitt was able to capitalize off some early turnovers and we never could dig ourselves out of that hole.”

“Beating Muskegon was a great accomplishment for our program, but it also serves as a reminder to our players and coaches that in order to win a state championship, you need to play at that level for the entirety of the playoffs,” noted Kapolka.

“As a coach, I feel humbled to be a part of a great victory over a storied opponent on their own field. Our kids and coaches have worked so hard to get over that hump the last few seasons, so it was very fulfilling to see it come to fruition.”

The Red Hawks had some great memories and triumphs this year. Some examples are playing on and finishing 9-3 in memory of Kevin Martens; Coach Kapolka getting his 100th win; Aiden Brunin kicking an 86 yard punt in the 3rd quarter of the Muskegon game that is the 2nd longest punt in MHSAA history, and the longest punt in a playoff game ever; losing to Catholic Central by one point; finally beating both South Christian and Muskegon for the first time ever; being ranked as having the best team offense in the OK Gold by media covering the OK Gold; being ranked 7 in the final division 3 AP poll.

What are some of Coach Kapolka’s favorite memories of the season?

“Obviously the atmosphere at the TED (Carlson Memorial Stadium) before and during the Rockford game was electric.  Playing in front of 8-10,000 people was an experience we’ll never forget. The Catholic Central game was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of, even though the outcome was not what we had hoped for,” he said.

But Kapolka also touched on another facet of the Red Hawks’ success.

“I want to thank all the fans that have supported us this season. Cedar Springs is a town that is very proud about its football team, and we are proud to represent Red Flannel Town!”

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