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Archive | February, 2022

Man killed in Oakfield Twp. crash

File photo.

An Edmore man died Thursday evening in a two-vehicle crash in Oakfield Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the head-on crash just before 11 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, on Lincoln Lake Avenue, just south of 16 Mile Rd.

According to police, the 32-year-old Edmore man was traveling northbound on Lincoln Lake, when his vehicle struck a southbound vehicle being driven by a 55-year-old man from Rockford.

The Edmore man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Rockford man and his passenger, a 77-year-old Rockford woman, both suffered serious injuries and were transported to the hospital for treatment.

No citations have been issued at this time and crash investigators are continuing to piece together what happened leading up to the crash.  Any other contributing factors are unknown at this time. 

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Two MSP troopers given bravery award

From L to R: Tpr. Elie Awad, Capt. Hinz, Tpr. Trevor Rogers as they receive their citation for bravery.
Tpr. Trevor Rogers
 Tpr. Elie Awad

Michigan State Police Troopers Elie Awad and Trevor Rogers, both from the Lakeview Post, were two of five troopers in the state honored last Friday, February 18, with a citation for bravery. It was one part of the annual awards ceremony which celebrated 60 department members who earned promotion, achieved 35 years of service, or were awarded other special recognitions.

The Citation for Bravery is awarded when a member knowingly performs an act in the line of duty which endangers or exposes him or herself to serious injury and when, because of the nature of the action, a life may be saved, a serious crime prevented, or a person arrested who has committed a serious crime.

Troopers Awad and Rogers were given the award for their response to an armed subject who fired upon law enforcement.

According to Public Information Officer Spl/Lt. Michelle Robinson, on the afternoon of February 21, 2021, Troopers Awad and Rogers responded to a call of a male with a long gun standing in traffic in the Edmore area in Montcalm County. The incident occurred in the 9700 block of North Wyman Road, and it was reported that the armed subject was exhibiting irrational behavior. The suspect, later identified as Andrew Allen Courser, age 38, from Edmore, was firing his weapon near residences and yelling at passing motorists.

While the troopers were enroute to the location, the call was updated to report that the male was now attempting to gain access to an occupied residence. Additionally, it was reported that the suspect was armed with an AK-47 rifle and a handgun.

Upon arriving at the residence, the troopers approached on foot in knee-deep snow and soon encountered the armed subject. The troopers gave loud verbal commands for him to drop his weapon, which he refused to do.  Instead, he turned and fired several rounds from the rifle at Troopers Awad and Rogers. The two troopers attempted to take cover in the open area, with Trooper Awad returning fire to force the subject to take cover himself, giving the troopers the critical time they needed to seek better cover.

Trooper Awad reported seeing rounds hitting the snow dangerously close to his position.  And later, an evidence technician found 15 rounds that were fired by the subject.

From their position, the troopers spotted the man moving north on a nearby road but chose not to fire again due to approaching traffic. The armed subject fled to a nearby barn, and the troopers took quick action to evacuate a family out of a home on the property.

During this time, Trooper Awad continuously updated responding units of the fluid situation.  His communication was clear, concise, and well understood, which allowed perimeters to be established and response plans to be made.

Members of the MSP Emergency Support Team, Aviation, and Canine were dispatched to the scene.  After an approx. four-hour stand-off, Courser emerged from the barn with the firearm and was confronted by Emergency Support Team members. Courser did not obey commands to drop the weapon and instead leveled it at troopers, who fatally shot him when he didn’t comply with their commands to drop the firearm. 

The quick actions of Trooper Awad and Trooper Rogers to engage the suspect and put him on the defense, potentially saved the lives of nearby civilians around the scene.  As a result of their brave actions, no other civilians or MSP personnel were injured.

In awarding the Michigan State Police Bravery Award, the Board of Awards found that these troopers knowingly endangered their own lives in order to protect others.

The other troopers cited for bravery included Tpr. Eric Morrow, of the First District, for his response to a head-on traffic crash on US-127 in Ingham County that occurred in August 2021; Tpr. Jacob Strong, of the Alpena Post, for the safe rescue of two persons trapped inside a burning home; and Tpr. Jason DeVries, of the Niles Post, who was shot while conducting a traffic stop. 

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Public Health order expires

By Judy Reed

Both the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department sent out notices lasts week regarding the “recovery phase” of Covid-19. 

The MDHHS announced the state is officially in a post surge recovery phase and lifted the mask advisory for most public places, including schools. The exception is high-risk congregate care settings.

Kent County Administrative Health Director Adam London said that in December when Omicron hit, “Kent County was experiencing a pandemic high of over 1,200 diagnosed cases on average per day and the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests was over 40%. We are now averaging 158 new diagnosed cases per day and the positivity rate of new tests is standing at an average of 15.4% and dropping quickly.” He said that hospitals have also seen Covid inpatient numbers in hospitals fall from near 400 to less than 200.

London said the health department has had inquiries on whether they will mandate Covid vaccination for the public, and he said they will not. “Eligible persons are encouraged to get vaccinated, however, this office will not mandate the vaccine for the public,” he said.

All public health orders have expired. The one in place for schools expired last Friday. Cedar Springs Public Schools posted an announcement regarding changes to their guidelines.

“With this shift, the following changes that go into effect immediately for students, staff, and guests of Cedar Springs Public Schools District:

  • Isolation is not required for a student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Quarantining is not required for a student or staff member exposed to COVID-19.  
  • Students or staff members who display symptoms of any contagious illness should stay home until fever or symptom-free.

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who has tested positive, contacting your health care provider is recommended.  

Our district will continue to report positive cases of communicable diseases for staff members or students to the KCHD (as required by the Public Health Code).

The federal mandate for mask-wearing on public transportation (school buses) is still in place until March 18. We will continue to follow this mandate and communicate any changes to this in the future.

Visitors will be permitted in buildings during the school day following our pre-pandemic protocols starting on Monday, February 28, 2022.

Cedar Springs Public Schools will continue to work with public health officials and make the necessary adjustments to our practices based on local health department orders, the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services (MDHHS), and Center for Disease Control guidance.”

We also checked with Creative Technologies Academy Superintendent Autumn Mattson on what they are doing. “We are following the recovery phase requirements, which includes that all positive cases must isolate for 5 days. We are no longer mandatory quarantine for close contacts or household contacts,” she said.

To read the MDHHS press release, go to www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/ and click on press releases, and go to the most recent one dated Feb. 16.

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Odyssey of the Mind team headed to state

Cedar Springs Middle School Odyssey of the Mind T=team members include (from L to R): Talon Smith, Zephaniah Kirsch, Luke Brown, Catriona Van Sweden, Blake Stump, Kaleb Russell, and Quentin Bliss. Coached by Rachel Stump and Kimberly Durkee.

Cedar Springs Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team showed off their creativity and placed 2nd at their regional competition held February 12, 2022, at North Rockford Middle School. 

They had to create a humorous circus performance, which included three original circus acts and two original animals that performed a trick. The theme they created was based on school. They had a class clown, bookworm, teacher’s pet, strongest student, a young person who unknowingly showed up in the circus world, a principal as the ringmaster, and a mysterious figure also known as the Janitor.

East Rockford Middle School came in first, Cedar Springs was second, North Rockford Middle School was third, Greenville Middle School was fourth, and Renaissance Public Academy placed fifth.

The team will move on to compete at State Finals at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School in Middleville on March 12, 2022. We congratulate you on your hard work and dedication and wish you the best of luck at State Finals!

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Winter robin or spring robin?

By Judy Reed

Bernie Hale, of Solon Township, sent us this photo of a robin in his yard. We’ve been hearing of other people seeing robins as well. 

Are they signs of spring?

We certainly don’t know for sure, but according to what Ranger Steve Mueller told us a few years ago, it’s also possible they could be robins that wintered here. “Many stay around but mostly in swamp areas during the winter. They seek berries during the winter and show up in people’s yards feeding on crab apples and things like that,” he explained.

According to results of the Christmas Bird Count that he posted in Nature Niche in January, they counted 142 robins. 

But whether they are newly arrived or whether they wintered here, a robin always gives us hope that spring is just around the corner!

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Library glow in the dark party

Kids had fun last Friday at the Cedar Springs Public Library glow-in-the-dark party. 

Last Friday night, February 18, the Cedar Springs Public Library partied after hours in a Glow-in-the-Dark event!  Kids ages 6-11 got to participate in glow bowling, painted glow pictures, danced around to their favorite songs and even got to make and take home glow-in-the-dark slime! It was a huge hit that left many kids asking when they could come back and do it again!  

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Artist meet and greet at O’Flynn’s

Saturday, March 5th, Artist Meet and Greet with Wayne Vander Hout

Stop by O’Flynn’s on March 5th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and watch an artist bring a painting to life! Wayne Vander Hout will be doing an acrylic painting in person during the Artist Meet and Greet. Ask him any questions you want about his process or tools, and learn about his artists’ journey.

Painting by Wayne Vander Hout

Artist Info:

Wayne Vander Hout

I’m 60 years old. I have been painting since 2014, and have been a cabinet maker for most of my life. I make my own frames for all of my paintings, as well as some furniture. I do Acrylic or oil painting, my black and whites are the most popular, some are as large as 30”x 48”. I also create some 16” by 20”, and many 11”x14” paintings. There is quite a variety to choose from priced between $20 and $240.

Links to my social media

No social media

Saturday, March 19th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Young Entrepreneur’s Day

Young Entrepeneur’s Day supports talented kids from the area.

Join us for our semiannual Young Entrepreneur’s Day to support these amazing and talented kids!

They’ve worked hard creating great items for you to enjoy! Stop out and be a part of this great learning experience with them and help encourage them to continue developing their skills and talents into adulthood.

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One week remains until special elections in four Michigan counties

With one week until Election Day on March 1, when four Michigan House districts will hold special elections, citizens who received but have not yet returned their absentee ballot are encouraged to hand deliver it to a local drop box or their clerk’s office to avoid postal delays.

Absentee ballots must be received by the voter’s city or township clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Voters in districts holding special election primaries can also vote in person at their polling place on March 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Special election primaries will be held in the following House districts:

  • 15th in Wayne County
  • 36th in Macomb County
  • 43rd in Oakland County
  • 74th in Kent County

“With one week remaining until these districts hold special elections, clerks stand ready to assist voters in making their voices heard in their communities,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Voters have options to cast their ballot, and whether you vote in person or by drop box, you can be confident that each option is safe and secure.”

Eligible Michiganders who have not yet registered to vote can do so in person at their city or township clerk’s office now through 8 p.m. on Election Day. They can also request and submit an absentee ballot at the clerk’s office in the same trip.

The March 1 special election primary will determine the candidates to fill partial terms for the vacated seats in the respective districts, meaning those elected in the May 3 special general election will serve until Dec. 31, 2022. The seats to be filled will represent districts based on the district maps that have been in effect since the prior state redistricting took place after the 2010 census.

Primaries and general elections for the next term, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, and based on the new district maps from the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, will be held in August and November of this year.

Clerks’ offices are required to be open for eight hours the weekend before the election. Voters should contact their local clerk for their hours of operation this weekend.

Voters can find more information including a sample ballot and the location of their clerk’s office and polling place at Michigan.gov/Vote.

See last week’s Post, dated February 17, for the candidates running for the 74th District seat, or visit https://cedarspringspost.com/2022/02/17/special-election-to-fill-74th-district-house-seat/.

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Motor Carrier Officer of the Year

MC Officer Mickey Parling

Michigan State Police recently named Motor Carrier Officer Mickey Parling, of the Lakeview Post, as Motor Carrier Officer of the Year.

The Motor Carrier Officer of the Year Award recognizes the MSP motor carrier officer who symbolizes outstanding professional ethics, dedication to duty and concern for giving back to their community. Parling serves as a field training officer, background investigator, recruiter, motor coach inspector, size and weight instructor, and is certified in post-crash investigation, in addition to his daily duties as a motor carrier officer. 

Additionally, he implemented an officer mentoring program among fellow motor carrier officers and successfully brought the first officer through the process. In his community, Parling has completed a multitude of commercial motor vehicle safety and “Truckers against Trafficking” human trafficking awareness presentations. More recently, because blood is desperately needed right now, Parling helped co-host a successful blood drive. Parling enlisted with the MSP in 2006, graduating as a member of the 16th Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School. 

Congratulations, MC Officer Mickey Parling!

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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over results released

Officers made 4,099 traffic stops, took 140 impaired drivers off roads during holidays

Law enforcement officers from 80 police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police (MSP) posts recently increased patrols across the state during the holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”enforcement campaign that ran from December 17, 2021, to January 1, 2022.

Before and during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, law enforcement officers throughout Michigan participated in the enforcement campaign with the goal of saving lives and decreasing crashes by stopping impaired drivers.

“If you are impaired by any substance you shouldn’t drive. The goal of this campaign was to get dangerous drunk and drugged drivers off our roadways,” said Alicia Sledge, interim director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Officers were able to take 140 impaired drivers off our roads and issue more than 900 speeding citations, making it safer for everyone.”

Preliminary reports indicate officers made 4,099 traffic stops, arrested 127 drunk drivers and 13 drivers under the influence of drugs, and issued 906 speeding citations and 35 seat belt citations. In addition, officers made 103 felony arrests and 309 misdemeanor arrests during the enforcement period.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Michigan’s drunk driving law contains a zero-tolerance provision for drivers with certain illegal drugs in their system. The same penalties for drunk driving also apply to those convicted under the zero-tolerance drug provision.

According to the 2020 Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit by the MSP, 41.8 percent of all fatal crashes that occurred involved alcohol, drugs or both.

In their holiday enforcement reports, officers statewide witnessed an alarming number of vehicles traveling well above the posted speed limit.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is coordinated by the OHSP.

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