The Kent County Sheriff Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating a bank robbery that occurred today, Friday, August 14, 2015, at 9:40 AM at the Chase Bank located at 7 N. Main, Cedar Springs. A suspect robbed the bank at gunpoint of an undisclosed amount of money and fled westbound toward the White Pine Trail. The suspect is described as a skinny black male, short hair, with a small amount of facial hair on his chin We are releasing pictures from the bank surveillance video and asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6357 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.
A Cedar Springs woman – twice convicted of embezzling from employers – is now accused of pilfering more than $100,000 from a Rockford area business specializing in fireplaces and sprinkler systems. Shannon Marie Schelling, 37, is charged with embezzling from H2Oasis Inc. over the course of 16 months, using the money for hair and nail care and satellite television. She was locked up for embezzling $40,000 from a Grand Rapids company several years ago and also has a 2003 embezzlement conviction in Mecosta County. In the most recent case, police say she used funds from H2Oasis for DirecTV, on hair and nail salons and on Joost Vapor products. Schelling waived a probable cause hearing Monday in 63rd District Court, sending the case to Kent County Circuit Court where it is expected she’ll enter a plea. The embezzlement came to light when H2Oasis owner Richard Brill discovered approximately $40,000 in missing cash flow and narrowed it down to Schelling, court documents show. He called Schelling into his office and she admitted to taking money in order to pay an attorney to “save her kids from being taken away from her,” Kent County Detective Michael Hopkins wrote in a probable cause affidavit. She and an earlier husband filed for divorce in July, 2012 and Schelling was granted custody of the couple’s two children, ages 10 and 7. She also sought a personal protection order against her former husband, claiming abuse. When the owner of H2Oasis confronted Schelling on the missing funds, she agreed to repay the losses from her 401K fund, court records show. Schelling quit a short time later, leaving Brill to handle incoming credit cards statements which he had not seen for several months, court records show. Brill noted several charges that did not belong to the company, so he asked for statements going back a year. In searching through those statements, he found more than $100,000 in charges that did not belong to the business, including $27,872 that went to the Paypal account of Schelling’s current husband, court documents show. Schelling contended the charges were for business expenses only. Brill was skeptical; purchases included hair/nail salons and other purchases that aren’t related to a business that sells fireplaces and sprinkling systems. Police obtained a […]
Alpha Family Center will host its annual LifeWalk on Saturday, June 19 at 10 a.m. at Morley Park in Cedar Springs. LifeWalk is a chance for everyone to help young families and children in a very useful way. “For people who don’t have a lot of time, but are looking for a practical and fun way to put their pro-life beliefs into action, LifeWalk is the perfect opportunity,” said Lorrie Shelton, executive director of Alpha. Alpha Family Center is a nonprofit, faith-based pregnancy care center servicing hundreds in the West Michigan area. Last year, they were able to offer help and hope to over 1,590 individual families with over 18,000 free baby items given out. Their services include: pregnancy testing, peer counseling, community agency referrals, maternity clothing, and baby and toddler care necessities. They also provide accurate information on abortion, adoption, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as parenting classes, sexual abuse, miscarriage and post-abortion support. To participate in LifeWalk 2011, call (616) 696-2616 for a pledge form.
On September 8, at approximately 9:00 a.m. Kent County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies responded to a car crash on Cannonsburg Road in Plainfield Township. A 16-year-old Rockford man was driving a 2004 Dodge Durango West on Cannonsburg Road near Chauncey Ave when he collided, head-on, with a 2007 Buick Lucerne driven by 56 year old Jari Morris of Cedar Springs. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene and the 16-year-old driver of the Durango was transported to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. There were no passengers in either vehicle. Investigators are still investigating trying to determine who is responsible for this crash.
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.