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Archive | August, 2022

Red Hawks kick off season at Wayne State

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks are back and shooting for another great season in the Ok Gold. 

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will kick off the 2022 football season this Saturday at 4 p.m. when they take the field against River Rouge, at Tom Adams Field at Wayne State University, in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.

The 2022 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic is described as the premier season-opening high school football showcase in Michigan. Six games will highlight the event over three days, including teams from multiple divisions and powerhouse conferences. The game between River Rouge and Cedar Springs, both Division 3 teams, is the event finale. 

The Red Hawks are back after a great 2021 season, and The Post asked Coach Gus Kapolka about what this season’s team looks like.

“We hope to continue the success we’ve had the past several years and the outlook is good based on who returns and how hard our guys have worked in the off season,” he said.

They have six players returning on defense and four on offense.

“Our strong point is our offensive skill,” said Kapolka. “We return all three running backs—Antwuan  Nicholls, Carter Falan, and Ryan Mitchell—and Ryan West slides into the quarterback spot.”

They also have added some new faces to the coaching staff. “Joe Testerink joins our staff as the JV coach. He coached football in North Carolina for 9 years and has most recently coached at East Kentwood.  Brad Austin will be the freshman coach after coaching the 8th grade the last two years,” he explained.

The Red Hawks have a rough road ahead, with the first four games being some of their toughest—River Rouge, Zeeland West, Catholic Central, and South Christian. We asked Kapolka how they are preparing for that.

“We are trying to improve every day and focus on small immediate goals rather than obsessing over the first 4 games,” he explained.

How does the coach feel about this Saturday’s game against River Rouge? “River Rouge is elite,” remarked Kapolka. “They have Nick Marsh, who recently committed to MSU, and several other highly recruited players. They are the toughest test we’ve had since we played Muskegon in a Regional Final in 2018.”

If you’d like to travel to Wayne State University to cheer on the Red Hawks in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic, on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 4 p.m., tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at detroitsports.org. A portion of the ticket purchased will benefit the school. The ticket is good for both games that day.

You can also watch on the NFHS Network.

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White Pine Trails development humming along

By Judy Reed

Some people have only recently become aware of the work being done on the White Pine Trails development, just off Cedar Springs Avenue, on what used to be the Red Flannel Tree Farm. The new development should open up opportunities for people to find housing in the City of Cedar Springs. 

We asked Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack for an update on their progress.

“The White Pine Trails neighborhood appears to be moving along according to the schedule that they originally laid out…Phase 1 is busy building the actual houses as quickly as they can and phase 2 is currently working on all of the underground infrastructure that is required before houses can be built there. The construction work that was on the west side of Main St. at 18 Mile was related to that project, where the developer was tying into the sewer line that runs down Main St.”

The development is being completed by Allen Edwin Homes, who also completed the Prairie Run North neighborhood.

“This neighborhood is expected to have 106 homes built over the next 4-5 years, which is sorely needed in this real estate market,” said Womack, in a statement to the Post last year. “My real estate friends tell me that Cedar Springs is a booming area and homes in the City are in high demand, so we are very happy to see this type of ongoing development.”

The first phase of 17 homes is being built off the north end of the currently existing Pioneer trail. Construction traffic is required to use a construction road built off from Cedar Springs Avenue for all phases of the project.

Phase 2 will begin to convert the construction road into a standard city street. They also plan to eventually connect through Needlewood Drive when the intervening parcel is developed for another group of homes.

The western portion of the parcel will remain a public green space with a mowed walking trail for public recreation.

Styles of homes that can be constructed include ranch, two-story and bi-levels, ranging from 1,250 square feet to 2,060 square feet. According to Michael West, Land Planning Project Manager for Allen Edwin Homes, the houses are expected to start in the mid $200,000s range and go up dependent on individual home buyer choices, preferences, and upgrades.

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Meet the new postmaster

Michael Poll II is the new Postmaster in Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

There is a new but familiar face at the Cedar Springs branch of the United States Post Office.

Michael Poll II, of Sand Lake, was appointed on July 2, by the United Postal Service, to the position of Postmaster for the city of Cedar Springs. Poll resides in Sand Lake, and is a graduate of Tri County High School, Vincennes University and the University of Michigan. He served 27 years in the US Army and is a veteran of Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Poll has been with the USPS since 1998. He said his previous positions with the United States Postal Service included Postmaster of Gowen, Officer in Charge of White Cloud and Newaygo, and Supervisor of Customer Service in Newaygo and Greenville. He said this appointment is a permanent position.

Poll is available to meet customers if they’d like to introduce themselves. 

“I am usually here from open to close,” said Poll. “If anyone wants to see me, just ask the two wonderful clerks, Tiffany and Rachael. They are outstanding. I researched the office before I came, and the clerks are one of the top reasons I did.”

This is not the first time that Poll has appeared in our paper. We honored him as a Hometown Hero in 2014, when he celebrated 25 years of service in the military. You can see that story by visiting our website at http://cedarspringspost.com/2014/11/06/hometown-hero-celebrates-25-years-of-service/

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Whose sleeping in my backyard?

By Judy Reed

We see a lot of squirrels in the City of Cedar Springs, and once in awhile see a rabbit or two hopping around the yard or flower gardens. But what Jessica and Joe Williams discovered in their fenced in backyard surprised them. 

They noticed that a hole they had seen a couple of days prior, near their sidewalk, now looked to be filled with debris. They pulled back the top and found four baby bunnies snuggled together in the hole.

“They are so cute,” said Jessica.

According to the Michigan DNR, cottontail’s prefer areas with ample vegetation and hiding places such as brush piles and thickets. Summertime foods include grasses, clover, and garden vegetables.

They can have up to three litters in a year, and can breed at 2-3 months old.

Baby rabbits are born about a month later with little hair and their eyes closed. A cottontail’s litter is usually 3 to 8 babies. The mother only visits her nest once or twice a day to nurse her young. After about three weeks the young rabbits are weaned and on their own.

Thank you to the Williams for our dose of cuteness for the day!

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Scam alert

From the Michigan State Police

MSP will never contact an individual requesting bail money and instruct you to pay using gift cards, Paypal, or any way other than in person. This is a scam! Simply hang up. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, please call your local MSP post to report.

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Dearborn bank robber nabbed in porta potty pleads guilty

DETROIT, MI – An Inkster resident pleaded guilty to bank robbery in federal court this morning in Detroit on charges stemming from his robbery of the Dearborn Federal Savings Bank, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Joining United States Attorney Dawn Ison in the announcement is Acting Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division and Issa Shahin, Chief, Dearborn Police Department.

Charles William Woolery, age 52, admitted guilt to robbing the savings bank in Dearborn, Michigan before U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith. According to court records, on the afternoon of March 2, 2022, Woolery entered the Dearborn Federal Savings Bank wearing a black facemask. He approached a victim teller, handed her a note, and gestured to his hip as if he had a weapon. The note demanded the teller to “smile” and put money in a bag or Woolery would “kill everyone.” The teller, fearing for her safety, placed $1,690 in cash in a black bag and handed it to Woolery. Woolery then fled the bank on foot. He was later arrested by Dearborn police officers hiding out in a Port-a-John located in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn on Michigan Avenue near the bank. Officers found the $1,690 cash in the front of a Lions’ hoodie that Woolery was wearing. Officers also recovered Woolery’s facemask, full tan Carhartt style suit, and tan gloves like those used in the bank robbery, in the Port-a-John where Woolery was hiding.

“This case shows that violent criminals can run, but they can’t hide no matter where they may go,” stated U.S. Attorney Ison.  “The federal authorities appreciate the assistance and partnership of the Dearborn Police Department.”

Woolery faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for bank robbery.  Judge Goldsmith will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  Sentencing has been set for December 19, 2022.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI along with the assistance of the Dearborn Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosemary Gardey is prosecuting the case.

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Man arrested on federal straw purchasing and firearm trafficking charges

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —United States Attorney Mark Totten announced this week that Jerreil Lamounta Martin, of Grand Rapids, has been arrested on charges involving alleged straw purchasing and illegal sale of firearms.

A “straw purchase” is an illegal firearm sale where the actual buyer of the gun, being unable to pass the required federal background check or desiring to not have his or her name associated with the transaction, uses another person who can pass the required background check to purchase the firearm. The indictment alleges that between September and October 2021, Martin straw purchased at least 11 handguns from licensed firearms dealers and falsely certified on federal forms that he was the actual buyer of these guns. In reality, the indictment alleges, Martin purchased those handguns on behalf of other individuals, then transferred them to his customers, collecting a fee for his illegal service. Numerous guns that were allegedly illegally purchased and trafficked by Martin were later used in crimes.

“We face an epidemic of gun violence in Michigan, like other states across the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. He continued: “No person should fear for their lives merely by going for a walk in their neighborhood, but that fear is real for some families. The recent surge in gun violence is driven, in part, by individuals who illegally supply firearms to violent criminals. When you illegally buy a gun for someone else, you could buy yourself 10 years in federal prison. My office will continue to use federal laws to prosecute straw purchasers and hold them accountable for trafficking illegally purchased firearms.”

“Straw purchasing is a serious crime. Straw purchasers put firearms in the hands of felons and trigger-pullers, and they directly enable the violence that follows,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Resident Special Agent in Charge Andrew Holt. “Our agents are committed to working with our law enforcement partners and prosecutors to stop the flow of guns to individuals who cannot legally purchase them.”

The United States Attorney’s Office and the ATF in the Western District of Michigan are focused on prosecuting those individuals who are putting guns in the hands of dangerous criminals.

This case was investigated by the ATF as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce violent crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement work closely together to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for driving violent crime in our communities to make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Individuals with information or concerns about violent crime or firearms offenses should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit: https://www.justice.gov/psn

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Fox, Croft found guilty in Whitmer kidnapping plot

Adam Fox, of Grand Rapids, was one of two men found guilty earlier this week in a plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer in 2020. 

By Bruce Walker | The Center Square Aug 23, 2022

(The Center Square) – Adam Fox and Barry Croft were found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

After eight hours of deliberation, the jury also found Fox, of Grand Rapids, and Croft, of Delaware, guilty of conspiring to obtain and use weapons of mass destruction. Croft was also declared guilty on another explosives charge. Another pair of defendants, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, had already pleaded guilty to charges brought against them. Garbin and Franks cooperated as witnesses in the Fox and Croft trial.

It was the second trial for Fox and Croft after a mistrial was declared last April. In the first trial, a jury found two other defendants, Brandon Caserta, 33, and Daniel Harris, 24, not guilty of all charges against them, but could not reach a unanimous verdict for Fox and Croft.

The case garnered national headlines after Whitmer accused the rhetoric of then-President Donald Trump for inspiring the plot against her. It was later revealed that FBI agents paid some of the informants of the plot approximately $80,000 and had engaged in questionable, sometimes salacious, activities themselves.

According to the prosecution, the men were retaliating against the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions by plotting to kidnap and possibly murder Whitmer. The plot allegedly included buying a bomb to obliterate a bridge to slow first responders during the kidnappers’ getaway. The men, however, didn’t carry through on buying the $4,000 bomb from another FBI informant.

For its part, the defense argued their clients were merely frustrated and angry men with big mouths, a penchant for alcohol and marijuana, which helped fuel their “stoned crazy talk.”  Further, they alleged, the men were entrapped by the FBI and its well-funded informants.

“Those who threaten the lives of public officials must be held accountable. No one should have to forfeit their safety or that of their loved ones in exchange for pursuing public service,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “If domestic terrorists are allowed to get away with acts of violence against the people’s representatives, they may soon turn that violence on our communities and residents. Today’s verdict is a victory for the rule of law and a significant defeat for domestic terrorism. I have a zero-tolerance for such acts and look forward to pursuing the state’s cases in court.”   

Another 10 men face jury trial in state court this fall.

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DNR says black animal is not a wildcat

This photo taken by photographer Dakota Stebbins, of Traverse City, in Copemish, looks like a large black wildcat at first glance, but the DNR has said they think it is a domestic house cat.

By Judy Reed

Photos of what looks like a large, black wildcat have been in the news and making the rounds on social media since they were taken on August 13. But the Michigan DNR has now said that they believe the photos are of a domestic house cat, and not a wildcat. 

A photographer who volunteered to take photos for the Drew Kostic Memorial 5K Tough Run, in Copemish, in northern Manistee County, snapped the photos on August 13. The DNR was called in to confirm whether it was a wildcat.

Cody Norton, large carnivore specialist with the Michigan DNR, told the Post this week that the Department’s Cougar Team has reviewed the photos and feels the appearance of the animal in the photos is most consistent with a domestic cat, not a wild species.

He said they studied the characteristics of large and smaller wildcats, and domestic cats, and determined it looked most like a house cat, and is no longer than 30 inches from nose to tail.

“A question came up about it possibly being a black cougar,” said Norton. “Nowhere has there ever been a black (melanistic) cougar,” he explained.

Norton said that whenever a photo is taken of an animal on a surface such as bare dirt, or a parking lot, with nothing nearby to compare it to, it makes it harder to ascertain the size of the animal.

For more on distinguishing between the species, visit https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/education/michigan-species/mammals/cougar/distinguishing-cougars-bobcats-and-domestic-cats.

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Pick red pinecones to help replant Michigan forests

Are you a whiz at tree identification and would you like to make some money? Collecting a bushel of red pine cones this September will earn you $100 and help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources plant trees in state forests.

From Sept. 1-30, you can pick red pinecones and drop them off by appointment at several DNR locations in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula where red pines are most abundant.

What are foresters looking for in a quality seed pinecone from a red pine? Freshness, proper storage and most of all the right species. Old cones or the wrong species of cone won’t be accepted.

To be paid for your collected cones, register as a vendor in the DNR’s online system.

Finding enough of the right cones is not an easy task, so come prepared for the outdoors and expect to be in the woods for a while. A bushel is approximately two 5-gallon buckets.

Tips to get started

Red pines have craggy, reddish bark and 4- to-6-inch needles that grow in bundles of two. Scotch and Austrian pinecones, which have some similarities, will not be accepted. See more tips on our identification flyer.

Cones should be picked off the tree; cones on the ground are likely too old or wet.

No twigs, needles or debris will be accepted in bushels of cones.

Cone scales—the individual plates of a cone—should be closed (scales should not move when squeezed), with a little green or purple tint. All brown and open, and they’re too far gone and will be refused.

The easiest way to collect cones is to pick from living red pine trees where branches extend close to the ground. Fresh cones can be found in recently felled treetops from timber sales and on state forest lands. If picking from a recent timber sale, logger permission is required, and hardhats must be worn for safety.

Drop off pinecones by appointment.

Store pinecones in a cool, dry place in mesh bags. Onion bags will be provided to pickers by the DNR at drop-off locations. Don’t use burlap or plastic bags, which can hold moisture and ruin the cones. Tag bags on the inside and outside with your name, county where you picked and if the cones are wild or from a plantation.

Cones may be dropped off by appointment at select DNR Customer Service Centers and Wyman Nursery:

  • Newberry CSC Jason Tokar, 906-291-0126.
  • Wyman Nursery (Manistique) Sheila Clark, 906-341-2518.
  • Gaylord CSC Tim Greco, 989-619-5519.
  • Roscommon CSC Jason Hartman, 989-390-0279.
  • Cadillac CSC Scott Throop, 231-878-0669.

Please do not bring pine cones to DNR Customer Service Centers not listed here and without first making an appointment.

What does the DNR do with pine cones?

After pinecones are dropped off, they’re put into machines that gently warm and shake them, allowing the seeds within to drop out and be stored until planting time. This process helps foresters replant the forest and replenishes the supply of red pine seed, which is in high demand.

Red pine is a fast-growing tree species that is used to make many types of forest products including lumber, posts and pulpwood.

Michigan’s forests provide clean air and water, renewable resources, homes for wildlife and places to explore nature. The DNR is committed to ensuring we will always have forests by maintaining responsible management certifications and regenerating or replanting cut trees. Learn more at Michigan.gov/Forestry.

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Fishing Tip: Fishing for bass at night

From the Michigan DNR

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. You still can find fish at dusk and dawn, but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting and targeting the shallows.

You’ll want to change your technique, though. Since after dark you can’t see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion, making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike, which can be explosive.

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Catch of the Week

Sean Melle, of Cedar Springs, and his nephew, Nate Minnema, and a friend’s son, have been enjoying a lot of fishing this summer. Above is Sean Melle showing off his small mouth bass he fished out of Clear Lake with a nightcrawler on August 6, 2022. 

Congratulations, Sean, on being chosen this week’s Catch of the Week!

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