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Two injured, power pole broken in crash

After this pickup truck was hit by a car that ran a stop sign, it left the road and hit this Consumers Energy bucket truck. Photo from Fox17.

A chain reaction that resulted from a car crash resulted in minor injuries for the drivers, damage to Consumers Energy equipment and a broken power pole.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, a 93-year-old man from Howard City ran a stop sign on Myers Lake Avenue at 18 Mile Rd at about 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, and his car collided with a pickup truck that was westbound on 18 Mile Rd. 

The collision caused the pickup truck, driven by a 43-year-old Sand Lake man, to leave the roadway and strike an unoccupied Consumer’s Energy bucket truck, while there were two linemen up in the bucket. The power pole was broken, and one of the trucks was knocked on its side.

The report is still under investigation by the deputies. Both drivers were taken to the hospital to be checked out for minor injuries. 

The Consumer Energy employees were not injured.

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Teen receives award from MSP

Pictured from left to right: F/Lt. Andrew Fias (Lakeview Post Commander), Kadence Pringle, and Captain Dale Hinz (Sixth District Commander). Courtesy photo from MSP.

A 14-year-old girl from the MSP Lakeview Post area was recently recognized by the Michigan State Police for intervening on behalf of another girl who was being victimized. 

Kadence Pringle, 14, received the Distinguished Citizen award April 19 from F/Lt. Fias, Lakeview Post Commander and Lt. Col. Hinz, Deputy Director, Field Operations Bureau for her actions in reporting an assault victim.

According to Spl/Lt. Michelle Robinson, Sixth District Public Information Officer, Kadence and a friend, Sarah Foote, 13, were communicating with a third young female victim via Snapchat. “The victim shared that she was being sexually assaulted. Both girls reported the conversation to police and through investigative leads a suspect was arrested for criminal sexual conduct 1st degree. Their quick thinking and willingness to help a person they knew little about demonstrated a depth of character not always seen in children that age,” said Robinson.

Foote received her award earlier this spring.

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Lori’s Voice accepting applications for new van gifting program

After 10 years of serving families, Lori’s Voice, a West Michigan based non-profit which helps families of children with limited mobility cover the costs of accessible vans, home renovations, educational resources, and other costs that insurance doesn’t cover, is now accepting applications for its new van gifting program.

Since its founding in 2012 near Grand Rapids, Lori’s Voice and its team of volunteers has helped more than 600 children, gifting more than $1.7 million dollars to families in need.

In the fall of 2021, a generous donor gave Lori’s Voice a gift of $1 million and pledged $100,000 each year for the next 10 years to support the charity’s activities. Lori’s Voice is now accepting applications for one of its new initiatives – giving away a brand-new wheelchair accessible van every three months to a Michigan family. This gifting program is in addition to the other services that Lori’s Voice provides.

“This is an exciting time,” says Lori’s Voice Co-Founder Lori Hastings. “This program of gifting new vans will change the lives of both the child and their caregivers and we are delighted to open up the application process. Seeing the smile on a child’s face when they can get out and experience more of the world is incredible.”

To qualify for entry, a child must be under 21 years old, a legal resident of the State of Michigan, and have a neurological or degenerative disease that results in significant and permanent mobility issues. Eight applications will be randomly chosen and the Lori’s Voice board will then select one family to receive the van. As soon as the recipient for one van is announced, the application process for the next van will be open.

“These kids don’t have disabilities—rather different abilities. We’re excited to celebrate those abilities and help where we can,” adds Hastings.

Potential applicants and donors can learn more about Lori’s Voice and fill out a submission form at LorisVoice.org.

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Wild horse and burro event in Cassopolis, Michigan

The Bureau of Land Management is holding a wild horse and burro placement event May 13-14, offering approximately 60 excess animals gathered from western rangelands at Red Horse Ranch, 64247 Library Road, Cassopolis, Michigan.

“The BLM placed more than 240,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971,” said Northeastern States District Manager Stephanie Carman. “Many of those animals have  become excellent pleasure, show, or work horses.”

Adoptions and sales will be held by appointment only from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST on Friday, May 13 and from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. CST on Saturday, May 14. On both days, placements will occur in one-hour increments (five appointments per hour). Appointments can be made via email at BLM_ES_NSDO_WHB@blm.gov. The BLM requests all potential buyers and adopters to disclose their top three preferred times slots when making appointments.

The BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program was designed to help improve rangeland health in overpopulated herd management areas in the western states and to save taxpayer costs for animals held at off-range holding facilities. Through this program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $1000 after one year of issuance of the certificate of title for an untrained wild horse or burro. The incentive is available for all untrained animals eligible for adoption with an adoption fee of $125 per animal.

Animals that are over ten years old or younger animals who were unsuccessfully adopted out to new homes three times may be sold. BLM staff will be available to identify these animals to interested, qualified buyers. Purchasers will receive immediate ownership of the animals.

To learn more about BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program, visit https://www.blm.gov/whb.

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Rewards up to $10,000 for escaped inmate and $5,000 for corrections officer

Casey White’s mugshot
Casey White in corrections facility
Vicky White

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the capture of an escaped inmate from Lauderdale County Jail, and the location of a missing and endangered correctional officer from Lauderdale County, Alabama on Friday April 29.

 Casey White, 38, was charged with two counts of capital murder in September 2020 in the brutal stabbing of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway.  He was already serving time for a 2015 crime spree that involved home invasion, carjacking, and a police chase. White confessed about the murder and was awaiting trial at the Lauderdale County Jail when he disappeared. He stands 6 feet 9 inches and weighs approximately 260 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Vicky White is 5 feet 5 inches and weighs approximately 145 pounds. She has blond hair and brown eyes and reportedly has a waddling gait. 

The U.S. Marshals Service has adopted the case of inmate Casey White and the disappearance of Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White. (The two Whites are not related.)

A warrant has been issued for Vicky White, 56, charging her with permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree in connection with capital murder suspect Casey White’s escape from jail. 

Authorities said Vicky White sold her home a month ago, and she was supposed to retire on Friday, the day she and Casey White disappeared.

“Casey White is believed to be a serious threat to the corrections officer and the public,” said U.S. Marshal Marty Keely.

Authorities say Vicki and Casey White may be traveling in a 2007 orange or copper colored Ford Edge. It is unknown what license plate is on the vehicle, or it may have no license plate. The subjects should be considered dangerous and may be armed with an AR-15 rifle, handguns and a shotgun. There is minor damage to the rear left bumper.

Anyone with information on White’s location or Assistant Director of Corrections White’s disappearance is urged to contact law enforcement.  You can call the USMS Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102. Anonymous tips may also be submitted via the U.S. Marshals Tip App. “Do not attempt to apprehend this fugitive,” said Keely.

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Striking similarities between two Michigan FBI undercover plots

Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

By Scott McClallen | The Center Square

 (The Center Square) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s two covert plans to convict Michigan militia accused of plotting to overthrow the government have failed so far but share striking similarities.

In 2010, officers arrested nine Hutaree militia members for allegedly planning to kill a police officer and then bomb the funeral. But just two men pleaded guilty to weapons charges, and a judge acquitted the remaining seven defendants in 2012.

“This plan is utterly short on specifics,” District Judge Victoria Robert wrote. “[I]t is a stretch to infer that other members of the Hutaree knew of this plan, and agreed to further it.”

In 2020, authorities claimed to stop a militia’s attempt to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her COVID restrictions. Officers arrested 13 men on state and federal charges. Two men pleaded guilty after a two-year investigation, two are headed for retrial, and a jury acquitted two others on April 8, 2022.

Eight men face separate state charges.

The two plots share commonalities.

Multiple FBI informants (two in 2010 and 12 in 2020).

The FBI started investigating partly over alleged threats to kill cops.

The FBI paid substantial amounts to advance the plots (at least $31,000 in 2010 and $80,000 in 2020).

Future violent actions didn’t support the militia’s violent words.

In the 2012 case, the FBI rented a warehouse in Ann Arbor for the militia to store and discuss weapons and explosives.

In the 2020 case, the FBI offered to sell explosives to the militia, but the men couldn’t pool $4,000.

In the 2020 case, FBI informant-turned-double-agent Stephen Robeson organized and drove members to meetings in Ohio in June and July 2020, where he bought “pizza, moonshine, and paid for attendees’ hotel rooms.” The FBI paid him about $20,000.

In the 2010 case, FBI informant Dan Murray joined the militia in 2008, and another informant, Steve Haug, posed as a trucker to infiltrate alleged group leader David Stone’s life and served as best man at his wedding. Still, they didn’t obtain enough evidence to convince a judge that the militia plotted to kill police.

“The government’s case is built largely of circumstantial evidence,” Roberts wrote in her 27-page order. “While this evidence could certainly lead a rational fact-finder to conclude that ‘something fishy’ was going on, it does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants reached a concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the United States government.”

An Associated Press report says FBI agent Leslie Larsen wrote in an email that they aimed to get the militia to “bite on additional explosives and weapons activity,” despite the 2010 plot never escalating.

The militia faced charges of seditious conspiracy (a maximum 20-year sentence), attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction (a maximum sentence of life in prison), teaching explosives materials (a maximum 20-year sentence), and a weapons charge during a violent crime (a minimum of five years in prison).

2020 defense lawyer Attorney Nicholas Somberg said the accused men were too busy “chain-smoking” marijuana and getting drunk to plot, so the FBI goaded the men on instead.

For example, FBI informant Dan Chappel suggested alleged ringleader Adam Fox surveil Whitmer’s vacation home, target her boat, and shoot an ammunition round through her cottage window.

As of Aug. 1, 2020 – two months before their capture, the men hadn’t yet selected a plan.

On Sept. 5, 2020 – one month and three days before the sting arrest – FBI Special Agent Jayson Chambers texted an informant: “Mission is to kill the governor specifically.”

“The FBI provided all of the training, ammunition, money, guns, transportation, and lodging,” Somberg said in a phone interview with The Center Square. “They drove these guys across the country in a nice Suburban and then put them up in a place to stay.”

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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

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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.

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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/

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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

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