The four-year-old preschool class at Our Lady of Consolation School in Rockford is visited by the seventh-grade students to share information regarding Constitution Day. The seventh-graders taught the preschoolers that Michigan is one of the 50 states in the United States. They discussed rules they need to follow and authority. The event concluded with the Pledge of Allegiance and the coloring of the United States’ flag.
by JUDY REED A drunk-driving related accident in Solon Township claimed the life of a Wyoming man Saturday night. According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the crash occurred at the intersection of White Creek Avenue and 17 Mile Road about 10:25 p.m. Saturday, October 4. According to a witness, a red Jeep driven by Todd Michael Benoit, 35, of Rockford, was heading northbound on White Creek Avenue, and had stopped before pulling out into the intersection in front of a westbound, full-size Dodge pickup truck. The Jeep was struck in the front passenger’s door. Cedar Springs and Solon Township fire and rescue responded to the scene, and used the Jaws of Life to extricate the passenger in the Jeep, Derrick Mitchell Holstege, 19, of Wyoming. Paramedics performed CPR on the young man, before sending him to Butterworth Hospital, where he later died. Benoit, who is reportedly the teen’s father. was also sent to the hospital by Rockford Ambulance, in critical condition. Parent said that alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor on the part of Benoit. At that time of night, the light flashes red for north-south traffic on White Creek and flashes yellow for east-west traffic on 17 Mile Road. Parent said that the witness told him the northbound Jeep stopped, and then he (southbound witness) stopped, and then the Jeep proceeded into the intersection. “He (Benoit) may have thought it was his turn to go, and not have realized that there was a flashing yellow the other way,” said Parent. “But alcohol was also a factor.” The driver of the pickup, a 33-year-old man from Howard City, was not injured. “Due to the seriousness of the crash, he voluntarily submitted to a preliminary breath test,” explained Parent. “The results were negative for alcohol.” The accident remains under investigation at this time.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office would like to honor two outstanding employees for their achievements within the Kent County community. Both employees are receiving prestigious statewide recognition for their work ethic and professionalism. On Sunday, October 4, Deputy Tim Erhardt received the prestigious “Secondary Road Patrol Deputy of the Year Award” from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety and Planning in conjunction with the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. This is the first year that this award has been presented. Deputy Erhardt has been assigned to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Enforcement Unit for the past nine years. In March 2009, he reached his career milestone of issuing 10,000 written citations. He has made numerous traffic stops leading to felony drug and other criminal charges. In the summer of 2007, Kent County had several serious personal injury vehicle crashes and six teenagers lost their lives. The crash investigations indicated the drivers were distracted when each crash occurred. Kent County took the lead in providing distracted driving awareness programs to the teens of Kent County. Deputy Erhardt has been the lead deputy in this initiative. In 2009, Deputy Erhardt coordinated with five area high schools and promoted a distracted driver awareness student competition. Teams from each high school submitted a poster as well as a video demonstrating the dangers of driving while distracted. The event was judged by local media officials, and the winners were invited to an awards ceremony. The winner of the poster contest had their work displayed on a large full-size billboard visible to traffic on US-131, and the winner of the video contest had their video aired as a public service announcement on local television. The project was a huge success, reaching thousands of teens. On Tuesday, October 20, Sandi Jones, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office volunteer coordinator/crime prevention practitioner, will be this year’s recipient of the esteemed “Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year Award.” She will receive this award at the annual Crime Prevention Association of Michigan’s banquet being held in Mt. Pleasant. Jones works hard within the Community Policing Unit of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. She is actively involved in many crime prevention programs and belongs to many statewide crime prevention organizations. She sits on many boards and committees that include West Michigan […]
Plain talk People depend on steady jobs and regular paychecks to balance their budgets. Few households in this country haven’t had to pass up something because of the cost. Our federal and state budgets have the same problem. All those subsidies and grants were for good ideas, but the government doesn’t exactly have a steady job. The money the government gets depends on individuals earning and paying taxes. Business cycles will be with us forever. We have to adjust. Even plainer This country is a democratic Republic where everyone gets to vote for representatives who make the laws we live by. Often those seem designed to benefit the re-election of the politicians. I think we have made those jobs too good if a congressman will spend millions to get re-elected. The idea should be to make the lives of citizens better, not give elected representatives more power. From a parishioner: Because our former small-town church wasn’t a wealthy one, our pastor depended on members for the maintenance of the church. Once he asked my husband, Sam, to rewire some of the church’s communication system. The only way to reach a portion of the wiring was to enter the attic above the altar and crawl over the ceiling by balancing on the rafters. Concerned for my husband’s safety, I waited in a pew. Some parishioners were congregating in the foyer. They paid little attention to me, probably assuming I was praying. Worried about my husband, I looked up toward the ceiling and yelled, “Sam, Sam! Are you up there? Did you make it okay?” There was quite an outburst from the foyer when Sam’s hearty voice echoed down, “Yes, I made it up here just fine!” Hooked on fonics From a teacher: My six-year-old students are learning to read. Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said, “Look at this! It’s a frickin’ elephant!” I took a deep breath, then asked, “What did you call it?” “It’s a frickin’ elephant! It says so on the picture!” And so it does… “African Elephant.” Last words The kids had all arrived in the high school sophomore English class when in walks a very stern-looking teacher and a hush falls over the room. […]