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Two die in Courtland crash

Two people died Monday evening after their vehicle veered off 14 Mile Rd in Courtland Township and hit a tree.

According to the Michigan State Police, the crash occurred at approx. 5:55 p.m., September 13, on 14 Mile Road east of Tefft Ave.

Their Initial investigation showed that a 2006 Honda was seen driving recklessly prior to the tthe right shoulder. The driver lost control and ran off the roadway and struck a tree.  

The male driver was pronounced deceased on scene, and the female passenger in the vehicle was transported to the hospital with critical injuries where she was later pronounced deceased.  

The driver was identified as Dylan McKean, 21, of Wyoming. The passenger was identified as Kaylee Maguire, 25 of Ionia.

The crash remains under investigation.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Courtland Township Fire Department, Rockford EMS, Kent County Road Commission and MSP Lakeview Post.  

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Remembering 9/11

It was 20 years ago Saturday that the World Trade Center bombing took place.

By Judy Reed, Editor

The World Trade Center towers were one of the targets in the 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Some things are just hard to forget.

September 11, 2001 was a beautiful day. The kids were in school, and I was at home, living the life of a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom. Feeling safe and secure. And then the phone rang. It was my mother, telling me I better turn on the television, that something was happening. When I did, newscasters were trying to make sense of why a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It looked like a bad accident. Only, a couple of minutes later, I watched as another plane flew into the other tower and burst into flames. I thought for a second that I was watching a replay. Then I realized in horror that I wasn’t. We were under attack from some unknown source. And I didn’t feel so safe anymore.

Most people I’ve talked to have similar stories. They know where they were and what they were doing at 8:45 a.m. when the first plane hit. The second one hit 18 minutes later. Then at 9:45 a.m., a third jet slammed into the Pentagon. What we didn’t know at the time was that each of these planes had been hijacked by Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist group and they were filled with American people—innocent victims, just like those killed in each of the buildings. Each one of those travelers thought they were going to California that morning.

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the Pentagon, the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center attack, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries.

A fourth plane never made it to its target, thanks to the heroic efforts of some of the passengers, who attacked the hijackers in the cockpit. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. That plane’s target was unknown, but the people aboard probably saved many lives while sacrificing their own.

The attacks left many feeling hopeless. But the people in Cedar Springs showed they were made of sterner—and more compassionate—stuff. In the days immediately following, churches everywhere opened their doors for prayer meetings. A national day of prayer was decreed, and churches were open to help those looking for divine strength and understanding. Even the schools observed a moment of silence on that day. More people turned out for the monthly blood drive at the United Methodist Church than they could handle. A special salute was done before the Friday football game in honor of the rescue personnel lost. A separate memorial service was organized and held at Skinner Field to honor and remember victims of the tragedy. Wolverine World Wide sent 2,100 pairs of boots to New York City firefighters.

One of the acts of kindness that will live on indefinitely was created by students at Cedar View Elementary—fourth and fifth graders. The flag they created stretched from the ceiling to the floor in the school hallway. The stripes were made up of hand cut outs on which the students had written special messages such as, “I’m sorry for all the people who lost their family members,” “Thank you survivors who went back and tried to save other people,” “Thank you for donating blood, thank you for putting out fires,” “We are praying for the police, fireman and doctors,” and “I’m glad to be an American.” They sent the banner to New York City when it was completed, and it hung in St. Paul’s Chapel where rescue workers went to take breaks. Someone even sent back pictures of it hanging in the chapel. When it was taken down, it went to the Smithsonian for their 9/11 exhibit, and the special picture shown on the front page was sent to Cedar View Elementary, thanking them on behalf of all the rescue workers and one million visitors to St. Paul’s Chapel who were touched by the school’s gift of love, creativity and compassion. Those students graduated in 2009 and 2010 and can proudly say they were part of something special.

When we remember 9/11 this weekend and honor the memories of those lost, let’s try to remember more than just the horrible event. Let’s try to remember the feeling of camaraderie, of loving our neighbors, helping those less fortunate, what it means to be kind to one another, and what it really means to give. I think the people who lost their lives that day would want it that way.

This story first appeared in the Post on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

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Sparta couple killed in Solon crash

Two people were killed Sunday when a pickup truck ran a stop sign at 20 Mile and Algoma and struck their vehicle. Photo courtesy of Tammy Crum.

An elderly Sparta couple died Sunday after the car they were traveling in was struck by a pickup truck that ran a stop sign.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred Sunday, August 29, about 7:40 p.m. at the intersection of Algoma Ave NE and 20 Mile Rd NE in Solon Township.

According to police, a Ford F350 was traveling westbound on 20 Mile Rd when the driver ran the stop sign and struck a Buick Envision that was northbound on Algoma.

The driver of the Buick Envision, Jack Behrens, 73, from Sparta, and the passenger, Patricia Behrens, 74, from Sparta, died as a result of the crash. The driver of the Ford F350 was transported to Spectrum Butterworth with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. It is still under investigation.

Solon Fire Department, Cedar Springs Fire Department, and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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Are you ready for some football?

By Judy Reed

We all need something to brighten our week and here it is—the Cedar Springs Red Hawks kick off another exciting football season Thursday night (tonight) by hosting Saginaw Swan Valley at Red Hawk Stadium at 7 p.m. And this year, fans get to see the games in person!

Next week they will tackle the Rockford Rams for the first time in many years in a non-conference matchup in Rockford.

Last year the team began a new schedule in the OK Gold, after a conference realignment. Teams in the conference include GR Catholic Central, Forest Hills Eastern, Kenowa Hills, Ottawa Hills, South Christian, Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg, and Wayland. 

The Post asked Coach Gus Kapolka what the team’s biggest challenge will be this season, and what he feels is the team’s strength. “Our biggest challenge is coming closer together as a team and striving to improve daily,” he said. 

“The strength of our team is our offensive line. We return four starters from last year’s team including two all state players in Cameron Heiss and Josh Kreikaard.”

Last season, fans were limited due to COVID regulations. Coach Kapolka had this to say all of the Red Haw fans looking forward to attending this season. “Cedar Springs has been and will always be a ‘Football Town.’ It is a truly magical place on Friday nights in the fall.  I can’t wait to get Red Hawk Stadium Rocking again on Thursday against Swan Valley.”

Tickets will be sold at the gate. See you at the game!

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Back to school

This photo of Cedar Springs Middle School shows the school before the renovation was complete. Courtesy photo from the school’s website.

By Judy Reed

As students celebrated summer, Cedar Springs Public Schools was busy making renovations at both Cedar Trails and the Middle School.

What can students and parents and students expect to see when they return Monday, August 23?

“As we get ready to open our doors, we are excited to finish the first phase of bond work that took place over the summer,” said Supt. Scott Smith. “Middle school students and their families will return to a beautiful new drive with additional parking. This will help with pick-up and drop-off of students and will increase their safety. 

“Cedar Trails has completed renovations including new HVAC equipment, leaving the rooms looking almost identical to how they were left at the end of the school year. This showcases the outstanding work of the team doing much-needed updates without disrupting the look and feel of our classrooms for students.”

Smith said that the first phase of projects at the High School will get underway this fall, and renovations at Cedar View and Red Hawk will be starting in the spring.

The renovations are just the beginning of the work to upgrade the school campus, which was made possible after voters passed a bond proposal in 2020 to fund the project. See graphic for a timeline of projects.

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Post celebrates 33 years in Cedar Springs

The Post started out in a small office inside the old Sipple TV repair building in 1988. And moved a few times to different locations, and finally settled back in the building it all started in.

by Lois Allen

Time flies when you’re having fun—or publishing a newspaper. It seems like it travels at the speed of light, punctuated with deadlines that never end. We made it through Covid, so far. The Post received a grant as well as a PPP loan, which kept us from going into the red.

July flew by before we knew it. July is a milestone for The Post. The end of July marked 33 years that we have published Cedar Springs news. It hasn’t been easy; if it was easy, and made lots of money, everybody would be doing it!

We are looking forward to our flowers, cards, and a Happy Birthday hug from Donna Clark at the Cedar Springs Library. Love you Donna!

According to publisher Kerri Snowdin of The Coopersville Observer, “Small town newspapers can reflect, affirm and build a positive community atmosphere and we strive to do just that.”

Where else are you going to see your kids or neighbors in a newspaper? People don’t have to commit a crime to make the local news.  Local papers print news good and bad. We celebrate people who are doing good things in our community and sometimes the tragedies as well.

When America was young and growing, newspapers built this country by keeping the public informed about their town and the world at large. Newspapers have changed lives, documented births and deaths, covered the local stories and the growth of many towns, villages and cities.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, which cheered on the city’s anti-China protest movement in 2019, was shut down after authorities used a national security law to arrest its top editors and freeze company assets. Now they have no newspaper. The newspaper’s demise is the biggest sign yet of China’s clampdown on free speech since imposing a national security law on the former British colony last year that has been used to silence democracy activists. Authorities last week arrested Apple Daily’s three top editors and two Next Digital executives, with some 500 police officers descending on the company’s Hong Kong offices.

“The Company thanks our readers for their loyal support and our journalists, staff and advertisers for their commitment over the past 26 years,” the board said.

Non-democratic countries either don’t allow independent newspapers, or arrest, even murder journalists for printing the facts. Here in America, we are laying off journalists left and right, due to advertising leaving for other venues like social media that has taken hold of our attention.

And in the meantime, newsprint paper continues to rise, just like everything else. In the days of old, before television, cars and airplanes, the only place to grow your business was in print in the newspaper. People could get their news and find out what was on sale at the local grocery or what specials the restaurants were offering. Everyone was on the same page. It was a perfect match for a growing democracy.

Things are different now. With so many venues to choose from, newspapers are left to struggle for those advertising dollars they need to continue and thrive. We all know there is no shortage of advertising. It’s literally everywhere, from television, radio, billboards, signs, placemats, on vehicles, in our mailbox, our favorite sports and even on race cars covered with the logos of sponsors. It’s tracking what we read on the internet, what we Google, filling up our emails and gleaning our personal information. And then there are those algorithms that drive us down an endless internet rabbit hole. It’s pretty overwhelming sometimes. But that’s what keeps America going—advertising.

There are good things about the internet as well as bad. Unfortunately, it has no filter, is unchecked and has few regulations. But when you pick up the paper, or read it online, we don’t know what you are reading. We don’t know who you are or how old, or how much money you make. It is private and your life is completely confidential.

The POST building in 2016.

Each loss of a community newspaper is a stab at democracy. Death by a thousand stabs. We as a nation should be concerned. There seemed to be more outrage when they discontinued producing Twinkies a few years ago than the demise of our local newspapers. What does that say about us as a free and democratic society?

As an independent newspaper, we cover the facts, and only the facts. Everyone has an agenda. Our agenda is to find the truth. It’s news you can trust. How many stories can you believe in our local weekly? All of them.

Integrity is what we are all about. Without it, we’re just another blog. We can’t lose the institution of real journalism that helped build and keep our democracy secure. Every true democracy has a newspaper not controlled by the government.

Our advertisers believe in the importance of a free press and what it does for a community they wish to serve. By putting the local paper in their advertising budget, they contribute to a service that is priceless. It has great value that cannot be measured. These advertisers are helping to support the local journalist who works for you when they sit through the city council meeting in your place so you can enjoy that time for yourself and your family. If something important happens, you can read it at your leisure while at home. You don’t need to have internet, a password or username or even electricity! Your local reporter is on the beat to talk with officials and ask the questions to get the answers you want to know that affect you where you live. It’s our history—in print.

Thank you for reading this story and for reading The Cedar Springs Post. Here’s to another year and hoping for the next!

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Fire at McDonald’s

Two Cedar Springs Fire Trucks at McDonald’s Tuesday evening for a grease fire. Post photo L. Allen.
Two Kent County Sheriff vehicles block the entrance at McDonald’s Tuesday evening. Post photo L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

A kitchen fire at the Cedar Springs McDonald’s on 17 Mile Rd Tuesday caused the restaurant to temporarily close their doors.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the fire, a small grease fire that started in a fryer, was short-lived. 

“It could’ve been a bigger incident, but due to a quick-thinking store manager, who pulled the fryer away from the wall and put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, the fire was out by the time we arrived,” explained Fraser. 

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Sand Lake woman injured in crash

By Judy Reed

A 26-year-old Sand Lake woman was hospitalized Monday after she hit a garbage truck head-on in Spencer Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the two-vehicle crash on July 19, at 1:08 p.m. on Meddler Avenue, north of 18 Mile Rd.

Police said that a 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, driven by a 26-year-old Sand Lake woman, was southbound on Meddler Ave NE, just north of 18 Mile Rd NE, when it crossed the centerline and struck an Allied Waste/Republic Services utility truck head-on. 

The woman was reportedly unresponsive and pinned in her vehicle and needed to be extricated. Once freed, she was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. 

The driver of the utility truck, a 40-year-old male, was not injured.  

Meddler Ave NE between 18 Mile Rd NE and Black Creek St NE was closed for an extended period of time. Spencer Township Fire Department, Montcalm Township Fire Department, Lakeview Fire Department, and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

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Celebrate ice cream month!

Maverick Hunt, 4, and Atlas Hunt, 6, enjoy ice cream while on a recent outing in Grand Haven. Post photo by J. Reed.

Did you know National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 18? In fact, the whole month of July is a time to celebrate ice cream! This Sunday (or anytime between now and then) we’d like you to snap a photo of you or your family and friends enjoying ice cream, and then post your photos in the events comment section on our Facebook page.  It can be at an ice cream shoppe, restaurant, park, zoo, or in your own kitchen—it’s up to you! Just post it and tell us what flavors you are enjoying! Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/3857837614328353/?active_tab=discussion.

Visit our Arts & Entertainment page for more National Ice Cream Month info and for an easy homemade ice cream recipe.

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Fourth of July fun

Last weekend was a great one for family, friends, food, and lots of fun! We asked you to post your photos on our Facebook page and show us what you did for fun over the Fourth of July holiday, and you gave us some great photos! We have photos of camping, swimming, fun at the Sand Lake celebration, and more. Click here to see even more photos on our Facebook page.

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