web analytics

Archive | April, 2022

Fire destroys family home

This home in Solon Township was destroyed by fire Tuesday. Photo from Solon Fire facebook page.

By Judy Reed

An early morning fire on Tuesday, April 27, destroyed the home of a Solon Township family.

Firefighters responded to the scene on Sunset View about 6:30 a.m.

They were assisted by Algoma, Alpine, Cedar Springs, Courtland, Kent City, Rockford Ambulance, and Sand Lake Fire Departments. 

Fire Chief Rich Hays was out of town, so we were unable to get details on what may have caused the fire.

If you would like to help the Verdi family, who lost everything in the fire, you can visit a gofundme page that has been set up for them, or drop off donations to Ensley Real Estate at 71 N. Main St in Cedar Springs.

Go fund me at https://gofund.me/d2ee0f92

Needed:

  • Womans XL in shirts, large in leggings woman’s shoes size 7
  • Mens med in shirts 34/30 in pants
  • Mens shoe size 11
  • Teen male – mens med shirts,
  • Teen mens med in shorts
  • Teen, shoes mens 11
  • Preteen male – kids 16/18 shirts, boys XL in pants
  • Preteen shoes mens 8

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Parks and rec program votes to continue

The NKCE 78ers softball team. From NKCE facebook.

By Judy Reed

North Kent Community Enrichment, the parks and recreation program that has been battling to find ways to sustain funding, held a special meeting last Wednesday to vote on whether to continue on when the current fiscal year ends in June. 

The board voted in favor of continuing, based on a budget presented two weeks ago by Director Jaime Gunderson, and commitments from the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and Algoma Township to continue their part in funding the program. Cedar Springs Schools will support them by letting them use their facilities.

“I am so thankful for everyone who fought so hard to keep this organization alive,” said Gunderson. “We had a large group of residents that showed their support by writing letters, going to board meetings, calling their townships and emailed their representatives. It all made a difference!”

Superintendent Scott Smith and Courtland Township Supervisor Matt McConnon abstained from voting since they do not contribute financially.  Courtland recently voted to withdraw their funding.

Alyssa Ladd from Algoma, John Stout from Solon Township, and Darla Falcon, from the City of Cedar Springs, all voted to support the organization for the 22/23 fiscal year.  

Nelson withdrew earlier this year. 

“With fewer municipalities financially contributing, participants will see one main change in our registration fees,” said Gunderson. “There will be a resident/non- resident fee. If they live in Solon, Algoma or in the City they will see a reduced price (resident fee). If they live anywhere outside those municipalities they will be paying a non-resident fee. This change will occur July 1, when our fiscal year starts.”

The exception to that rule, however, may be the school programs, where the varsity coach from Cedar Springs Public Schools runs the programs and it feeds directly into their program. Gunderson said she would be meeting with the Athletic Director to work on the details of those programs.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Don’t forget to vote

Election to fill 74th District house seat

Residents will need to vote on Tuesday, May 3, to fill the state of Michigan house seat in the 74th district. It was formerly occupied by Mark Huizenga, who ran and won the house senate seat vacated by former senator Peter MacGregor. MacGregor is now Kent County treasurer.

There are three candidates running for the 74th district seat—but only two candidates are on the ballot. Republican Robert Regan and Democrat Carol Glanville won the special primary election March 1. However, Republican Mike Milanowski has also entered the race as a qualified write-in candidate.

Whomever wins on May 3rd will serve until the end of this year. 

Another primary and regular election will take place in August and November of this year, based on new districts, to serve in 2023.

The 74th district currently covers the cities of Cedar Springs, Rockford, and Grandville; and the townships of Algoma, Alpine, Solon, Sparta, and Tyrone.

Carol Glanville – Democrat

Carol Glanville – Democrat

Born and raised in West Michigan, the daughter of union workers, Carol is ready to advocate for working families, with a focus on education, economic development, and the environment. 

Carol lived abroad for two years in South Korea, and 12 years in Chicago teaching throughout the city. From those experiences, she developed a keen dedication to the principles of equity and inclusion; seeking to understand the historic patterns that have created the current systemic strengths and weaknesses we face today and steps to mediating those challenges. She’s committed to not only representing, but empowering her constituents. 

Carol brings diverse professional experience to the table. A life-long educator, she has extensive professional experience in education as a classroom teacher, administrator, and education consultant in private, public, and charter schools.

She previously worked for the Grand Rapids Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

Currently, Carol works in philanthropy at the Dorothy A Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU developing curriculum and training materials for foundations/grant makers,

In addition to her seat on the Walker City Commission, Carol serves on the advisory boards for Kent County Community Action and County Waste to Energy. She’s also a board member with West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition. 

Carol’s knowledge and experience gives her a unique perspective on the issues affecting Grand Rapids and the western suburbs.

Carol hopes to gain your support in flipping a crucial seat to gain the majority in the Michigan State House of Representatives.

Info from her website at http://www.voteglanville.com/meet-carol.html. Go there for more information.

Robert Regan – Republican

Robert Regan – Republican

I am running because I want to serve the people of our district and represent OUR shared values and OUR shared interests in Lansing.

I am a Bible believing Christian. I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and that is the foundation of my worldview.

I am an entrepreneur.

A Finance Degree from Indiana University as well as an MBA from the DeVos Graduate School of Management opened the doors to an Operations Research position as well as the confidence to start my own manufacturing firm. After ten years of manufacturing, I lost it all and had the unfortunate experience of going through a bankruptcy in the recession of 2008/2009. Then it was time to rebuild. I became a professional recruiter, where I was instrumental in finding, vetting and securing top talent for great Michigan companies like Stryker, Steelcase and Tri-State Hospital.

Then, in 2014, I ran for State Representative. I took 2nd place, surprising everybody. I just love people, I worked really hard and I wanted to serve.

Whether it is finishing one of my 21 marathons, starting businesses, fighting for my children or writing three books. I give it my all and I will continue to give it my all for the people of the 74th.

I am an advocate for the 1st and 2nd amendment as well as the unborn. I support the arts as a volunteer at the Grand Rapids Ballet as well as the Grand Rapids Civic Theater.

But, my love is for people. I want people to become the absolute best they were created to be and frankly, I never met a person I didn’t like. We may not agree on everything. That’s ok. There is still something we can learn from each other and our unique perspective. I believe that within each of us is a divine spark placed there by God and that means we are all important. We all have value.

Info from his website at https://www.regan4michigan.com/. Get info on where he stands on the issues there.

Mike Milanowski—Republican

Mike Milanowski—Republican 

From his website: Mike Milanowski was born and raised in West Michigan and is now raising a family of his own in Walker. He is the proud father of a son and four girls, one of whom is a military veteran and married to an active duty member of the U.S. Army.

Mike is a member of St. Anthony Parish in Grand Rapids, and active in the church and school running events and chairing the community festival for 10 years.  He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus #3104 council there. He has also volunteered as a coach for Pioneer Little League. 
Mike is a Loan Officer and has built a career on helping families find homes they love and can afford. 

He is a conservative driven by compassion, hard work and servant leadership. To learn more about Mike, visit www.votemikemilanowski.com/

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Artist meet and greet at O’Flynn’s

Drawing by Angela Helgeson.

Stop by O’Flynn’s on May 7, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. for an artist meet and greet with Angela Helgeson.

Enjoy stunning realistic drawings, ask some questions, and watch an artist bring a graphite illustration to life! Angela will be doing a live drawing during her Artist Meet and Greet. Ask her any questions you want about her art, from what inspires her to drawing techniques she’s learned along her artists’ journey, and buy your favorite piece to brighten up your home! 

Artist Angela Helgeson.

Artist Info:

Hi, my name is Angela. Here’s a little info about myself. I took an art class back in high school 20 years ago. It was an intro class. I learned a little bit of everything, but not a lot to be good at any one thing.

About 10 years ago, I went through a divorce and needed something to help with my anxiety and calm my mind. With me always loving art, I tried painting, but was never good at it, and I eventually gave up.  

I currently work for a hospital on the covid unit. Last year, April 27, 2021, I got injured on the job. With me being unable to work, my anxiety was out if control. I needed an outlet to calm down my brain. So, October 22, 2021, was the first day I picked up paper and pencil and drew something. It was the first time I felt proud of my art. It wasn’t the best, but it was the first time in 20 years I had drawn with a pencil. I was so happy with my work!

Everyday since then, I draw. Yes, I draw something or I work on a piece of art every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I also watched YouTube videos to find out how to do different things like shading, hair, fur and eyes. I have only been drawing realistic drawing since the beginning of November 2021. I have room to improve my art and I’m excited to see how my work will be! I hope all of you who are reading this will come meet me on May 7, 2022. I look forward to showing you my work and answering any questions you may have.

https://www.facebook.com/artbyangelah

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Empty the Shelters pet adoption event

Empty the Shelters is back! On May 2 – 15, BISSELL Pet Foundation will sponsor reduced adoption fees of $25 or less per dog or cat to help pets find loving homes. This event will be hosted nationwide in more than 275 shelters across 40 states.

Empty the Shelters is BPF’s largest program, and we need your support to keep it going and growing. If you’re unable to adopt, please give to the Empty the Shelters fund, where 100% of your contribution will help a shelter pet find a forever home. You can do that by visiting https://www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters-donations/.

Note – not every shelter is participating for the full event. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit the “Empty the Shelters” website to find the nearest participating shelter and confirm their adoption day details. https://www.bissellpetfoundation.org/map-detail/?map_region=midwest

Posted in NewsComments (0)

All-new picture-book app engages young users

Kent District Library Offers iVOX  

Kent County, Michigan – Parents are always looking for ways to make learning fun and engaging for their children. Well, thanks to a new offering from Kent District Library, they won’t need to look far! 

iVOX is a children’s book app which uses the latest in storytelling technology to delight and engage curious young minds. Children ages 2-10 can follow along with a story while interacting with its characters and scenes—immersing them in the narrative like never before.  

KDL patrons can access these exciting new “books that move!” for free. All they need is a KDL library card. iVOX is available online at kdl.org/ivox through any browser or through a free app that’s available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. After accessing iVOX through the web or the app, they just need to select a book to bring it to life. 
“We know iVOX is just another way we can help kids fall in love with reading,” said Tammy Schneider, Collection Development Librarian. 

iVOX has already garnered awards from parents’ groups. iVOX won 2021 National Parenting Product Awards for Best Apps for Kids and Families and was named a 2021 Mom’s Choice Award winner for best Apps and Software. Visit kdl.org/ivox for more information – and to get the magic going. 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Former CS Fire Chief passes away

By Judy Reed

Mark Strpko, 63, a former Cedar Springs Fire Chief and longtime Red Flannel Keystone Kop, passed away unexpectedly last Friday, April 22. 

According to current Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, Strpko joined the Cedar Springs Fire Department in 1982, took a leave of absence in 2002, rejoined in 2004, and retired in 2005. Several of those years were spent as Fire Chief.

“Mark was a good, fair chief, and a darn good firefighter,” remarked Fraser. He added that he was also good at teaching the other firefighters, though he (Strpko) wouldn’t think so.

“Mark was a great guy,” said Fraser. “If you didn’t learn something from Mark, you weren’t listening. He always went out of his way to make sure people understood.”

Fraser said Strpko brought a lot of knowledge and skills to the department, and was well-liked by the firefighters, and others. “He had a lot of respect for the fire department and earned respect from others, too.”

This reporter never worked with Strpko, but Post owner/publisher Lois Allen did. One of her favorite photos of him is one shown above with a billy club in his hand, at one of the early Post Easter Egg hunts. “We had a hard time keeping the parents from the crossing into the circle, so we asked the Keystone Kops help keep the parents back,” she explained. “And then I got that photo of him with his billy club.”

Allen said she also did an April Fools story on story on him when he was fire chief, telling people he was retiring from firefighting to go to Washington DC to work on a special project. “But I said he’d be back on Red Flannel Day, driving his limo and wearing his sunglasses,” she said with a laugh. 

Allen said she saw Strpko awhile back at the American Legion, and they talked about that story from long ago. “He said he liked that story so much that he had it laminated,” she recalled.

Allen said the Post also did a story on him racing speedboats. 

Fraser also commented on Strpko’s love for racing. “He loved speed. He raced cars, motorcycles, boats. If he got it started, he raced it,” he said with a chuckle.

We jokingly asked if Strpko ever raced the old Model A fire engine down Main Street. “No,” said Fraser and laughed. “It only goes about 35 mph at top speed.”

To learn more about Mark Strpko, view his obituary here. A visitation will be held on Friday, April 29th from 4pm-8pm at the Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Kent City native to be honored by Muskegon Community College

Samuel Callen ’08 to Receive 2022 Alumni Achievement Award 

Samuel Callen

Muskegon Community College will present its 2022 Alumni Achievement Award to Samuel Callen ‘08, the Vice President of Strategy for Worldpay by FIS, the world’s leading global payments provider.  

Established in 2017, the Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes extraordinary professional achievement by an MCC graduate from the past 15 years, is selected by the MCC Alumni Relations Committee.  

Callen will formally acknowledge his honor with videotaped remarks to be included as part of the 2022 Commencement video. 

Born and raised in Kent City, Mich., Callen attended MCC prior to transferring to Ferris State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and was an award-winning member of the school’s Speech and Debate Team. 

After Ferris State, he moved to Alaska to serve in the AmeriCorps VISTA program, with a specific focus on rural Alaskan economic development as a means of poverty alleviation. Through his placement at the University of Alaska, Callen led the growth and scale-up of two non-profit initiatives focused on spurring rural entrepreneurship. From there, he was promoted first to a Strategy Consultant, and then to the Associate Director of Strategy for the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development. In these roles, he led several statewide economic development projects, including one that was nominated for an economic development innovation award. 

During his time in Alaska, Callen was an active member of the community, co-founding and serving as the vice president for the Anchorage chapter of AmeriCorps Alumni, where he focused on developing a thriving AmeriCorps community within the region. He also established a scholarship fund in his hometown of Kent City, focused on supporting high-potential graduates from his high school alma mater. 

After Alaska, he earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he interned at one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, Bain and Company, and focused on strategy and private equity projects. After concluding at Harvard, he relocated to Bain’s Chicago office to work full time. His project work included time spent on addressing the growing problem of plastic pollution, as well as an economic development revitalization strategy focused on the Metro Detroit community. 

From there, Callen joined Worldpay, a global leader in e-commerce and payments, in an internal consulting role in their Denver office. Over the next two and a half years, he quickly rose through the ranks into senior leadership. His career progression spanned from roles as a Senior Strategic Solutions Consultant, to Director of Portfolio Strategy, to Senior Director of Merchant Strategy, ultimately leading to his current role as the Vice President of Merchant Strategy.  

He now focuses on leading the global strategy for the Worldpay division of FIS, which FIS acquired in 2019 for approximately $40B. He concentrates on mergers and acquisitions, global competitive alliances, and the overall long-term strategy of the division. He manages an international team that spans three continents, with a presence in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and India. 

Callen credits his time at MCC as being an especially instrumental foundation for his current professional success. 

“Muskegon Community College impacted my life in many ways,” he explained. “First, by allowing me the privilege of attending college in the first place. Neither my parents, or any of my grandparents, were college graduates. College was a foreign concept to me, and financing brought a whole host of additional challenges. Muskegon Community allowed me to stay near family while affordably furthering my education. It wasn’t until I went to Muskegon Community that I was able to start connecting the dots on where my life could head.” 

“When I think back on the influential relationships that I had at MCC, there were many. It was the guidance counselors who taught me about some of the scholarships available at Ferris State, which motivated me to put in the extra work necessary to win one. It was my government professor, Kurt Troutman, who encouraged me to think about my role in civic society, and how to be an active leader within the community. And it was my philosophy class—still the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life—that taught me the importance of hard work to be successful.” 

At Ferris State, his “next set of mentors” further opened his eyes to what was possible. 

“I remember my first conversation with my debate coach, when I told him I wanted to go to law school,” recalled Callen. “He told me I needed to go Harvard, and he kept repeating it, and repeating it…until I started to believe it myself.” 

“However, none of that would have been possible without having had the pathway to achieve it, and MCC will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart. It forced me to begin thinking about my career, the world around me, and the role I wanted to play in it. I received a personal level of investment from my professors that I truly never saw at any other school I attended. They took an interest in me, and that interest led me to where I am today.” 

“And, more than anything, MCC taught me the importance of mentoring others, and being there to provide a helping hand to folks who need it. Had I not been fortunate enough to have had some of those opportunities that were afforded to me, or those mentors who managed to get through to me, I may not have ever made it to where I am today, and for that I’m forever grateful.” 

He and his wife, Natasha, reside in Denver, Colorado. They have one son, Oliver, with a second on the way. 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

FBI Detroit warns of increase in sextortion schemes targeting young boys

The FBI is warning parents and caregivers about an increase in incidents involving sextortion of young children. The FBI’s Detroit Field Office is receiving reports of adults posing as young girls and coercing young boys through social media to produce sexual images and videos. Once those images or videos are sent, the victim is threatened with exposure unless they pay the perpetrator.

Sextortion begins when an adult contacts a minor over any online platform used to meet and communicate, such as a game, app, or social media account. In a scheme that is becoming more prevalent, the predator (posing as a young girl) uses deception and manipulation to convince a young male, usually 13 to 17 years old, to engage in explicit activity over video, which is then secretly recorded by the predator. The predator then reveals they made recordings and attempts to extort the victim for money to prevent them from being posted online.

And while sextortion schemes typically target young boys, adult males have been victimized as well.

Sextortion is a crime. The coercion of a child by an adult to produce what is considered Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) carries heavy penalties, which can include up to life sentences for the offender. To make the victimization stop, children typically have to come forward to someone — normally a parent, teacher, caregiver, or law enforcement. The embarrassment children feel from the activity they were forced to engage in is what typically prevents them from coming forward. Sextortion offenders may have hundreds of victims around the world, so coming forward to help law enforcement identify the offender may disrupt ongoing victimization.

“The most effective way to stop these criminals is by preventing young people from becoming victims. We can do that through awareness, education, and having important — and sometimes difficult — conversations with the young people in our lives,” said Special Agent James A. Tarasca of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “We recognize victims may be hesitant to come forward and report these incidents. If you are a victim and don’t feel comfortable reporting directly to law enforcement, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted adult, who can help you. Your brave decision to come forward can not only help us identify the criminal but could also prevent another young person from being victimized.”

The FBI provides the following tips to protect you and your children online:

1. Be selective about what you share online, especially your personal information and passwords. If your social media accounts are open to everyone, a predator may be able to figure out a lot of information about you or your children.

2. Be wary of anyone you encounter for the first time online. Block or ignore messages from strangers.

3. Be aware people can pretend to be anything or anyone online. Videos and photos are not proof that a person is who they claim to be.

4. Be suspicious if you meet someone on a game or app and they ask you to start talking to them on a different platform.

5. Encourage your children to report suspicious behavior to a trusted adult.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of sextortion:

1. Call the FBI’s Detroit Field Office at 313-965-2323 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You can also file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-THE-LOST or cybertipline.org).

2. Do not delete anything before law enforcement is able to review it.

3. Tell law enforcement everything about the encounters you had online; it may be embarrassing, but it is necessary to find the offender.

In 2021, the IC3 received over 18,000 sextortion-related complaints, with losses over $13.6 million. The number reflects all types of sextortion reported, not just this particular scheme.

More information about sextortion can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/stop-sextortion-youth-face-risk-online-090319.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

H’s Grind Scholarship

The National Honor Society volunteers who helped with the race for H’s Grind Scholarship. Courtesy photo.
Taylor Hunt is the first ever winner of H’s Grind Scholarship. Courtesy photo.

Last Sunday, April 24, the Cedar Springs High School National Honor Society hosted a 5k run/walk to celebrate the first annual H’s Grind Scholarship. 

Members of the community teamed up to enjoy a 5k, celebrate the nominated athletes, and eat some donuts. Before the race H (teacher and coach Justin Harnden) took time to recognize all of the scholarship candidates. Every varsity coach was asked to nominate a senior athlete who works very hard but isn’t often recognized. The senior was then required to write a one-page essay on a time where they had to grind. 

This year H elected to have friends of his—who had no relation to Cedar Springs—read the essays and vote on the winner. H announced that the first ever winner of his scholarship was Taylor Hunt, who was recommended by Brandon Miller, coach for the girls basketball team. 

The goal was to raise $1000 for one scholarship. Through donations, t-shirt funds, and entry fees for the 5k, the NHS was able to raise over $3,000 dollars. With the extra money they were able to give out two $500 scholarships to second and third place, and set money aside to fund next year’s scholarship. Congrats to Tate Ringelberg and Mia Cooper. If you would like to still donate to H’s scholarship, and/or buy t-shirts, and help fund winners to come – please contact allyladd0721@gmail.com or madeline.schultz@csredhawks.org

Posted in SportsComments (0)

advert
Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie

Archives

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!