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Archive | August, 2009

Man found dead in Greenville

The Greenville Department of Public Safety is investigating the death of man found dead in one of the city’s apartment complexes last week.

Officers were dispatched about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, August 6, to River’s Edge Townhomes, 718 N. Hillcrest, and found a 22-year-old white male dead at the scene. The man was identified as Michael Allen Powers, of Belding.

Police have not released the cause of death and the case is still under investigation. Anyone with information concerning this case is encouraged to call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or Greenville Department of Public Safety at 616-754-9161 and ask for Detective Dillon.

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More paving of the White Pine Trail

From Friends of the White Pine Trail

N-More-paving-White-Pine-TrThursday, August 7, was a milestone day for the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. That was the day that Dave Heyboer, Chairman of Friends of the White Pine Trail picked up a check for $502,240.00 from the Meijer Foundation and delivered it to Ron Olson of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in Lansing. This check will start the next phase of trail paving with the ultimate goal of paving the trail in its entirety.

The Meijer money along with a Federal grant from the transportation bill for $2,240,000 will be used to completely engineer the remaining unpaved portions of the trail in preparation for paving. It will also fund the paving of a significant section of the trail starting at Cadillac and proceeding south. Further paving will take place as funds become available. Since the engineering will already be completed, future paving will be able take place without delay once funds are obtained.

The engineering will begin immediately and the paving will start in late spring or early summer next year.

There will be having a formal ceremony to launch the project on September 11, 2009 in Cadillac. It will take place at 11:00 a.m. in the morning. We will be inviting all legislators whose districts adjoin the trail as well as many other officials and community leaders.  Please attend this event if you can. We will let you know the location as soon as the details are firmed up. Right now it is scheduled to take place at the staging area, near the trail head, on the south side of Cadillac.

We still have money left from the one million dollars that Fred Meijer has pledged. It will be used to match additional funds as they come available.  This is not enough to complete the trail so we will be starting a campaign to raise additional money to keep the paving going until it is completed.

Southern section White Pine Trail work day

There will be a trail maintenance work day this Saturday, August 15 at 8:45 a.m., Rockford parking lot just north of the Wolverine Shoe Store (235 N. Main St. Rockford, MI).

We are planning on doing some site preparation for picnic tables that will be installed just south of House Street and south of Indian Lakes Rd. We will also be doing a little trimming, erosion control, etc. We can provide some tools, shovels, saws, loppers etc. Bring some of your own if you can. All volunteers welcome, no experience necessary!

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Rockford Rebels Cooperstown trip a success!

The Rockford Rebels 12U travel baseball team recently returned from Cooperstown, NY with a lifetime of memories.

S-Rockford-Rebels-at-CooperThe Rockford Rebels 12U travel baseball team recently traveled to Cooperstown New York to play in a national baseball tournament hosted at the Cooperstown Dream Park, minutes from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The 5-day baseball extravaganza, limited to 12-year-old and younger teams, draws over 100 teams weekly from all over the country throughout the summer months.  During tournament play the Rebels faced teams from as far away as San Diego, California and finished with 3 wins and 4 losses.  “The boys played great ball the entire week and grabbed a couple of impressive victories over top-rated teams from around the country,” commented Mark Stephens, head coach.

The week was topped off by a team visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame after tournament play was concluded. “We didn’t come home with a trophy, but playing at Cooperstown and visiting the Hall of Fame was really cool, and something I will remember all my life,” said Connor Jackson, Rockford Rebel.

The Cooperstown Dream Park is home to weekly tournaments beginning in early June and running through September each year.  More information about the Dreamspark can be found at www.cooperstowndreamspark.com.

The Rockford Rebels Travel Baseball organization was founded in 2007 and for 2010 will be expanding to three teams encompassing 13, 12 and 11 year – old age groups.  The 2010 12U team will be returning to Cooperstown, New York, in addition to playing in the 7 to 10 Michigan weekend tournaments.

Tryouts for the 2010 Rockford Rebels travel baseball team will be held on Saturday, August 15th from 10 AM to 2 PM (participants should arrive 15 to 30 minutes early to warm-up), at Rockford Christian School on Belding Road.  More information can be found by visiting www.rockfordrebels.com.

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Ivory Coast Bishop to visit

The public is cordially invited to join the Crossfire Ministries Church family On Sunday, August 16, for a “day in Long Lake Park” on the corner of 17 Mile Road and Long Lake Road, Sparta. Family activities begin at 10 a.m., followed by a worship service under the tent. Bishop Anthony Yeboah from Ivory Coast, West Africa, will be the featured speaker. Kids will be dismissed from the main service for their “kids church.”

At 1:00 p.m., all are welcome to enjoy a huge potluck dinner followed by a baptismal service in Long Lake at 2:15 p.m. At 2:45pm, family games begin. Folks are encouraged to play, swim, soak in the sun or munch on delicious desserts.

Bishop Anthony Yeboah and his wife Marilyn are native from Ghana. Bishop Yeboah is the Field Director of Free International Missions (FIM) with its U.S. based headquarters in Lansing, Michigan and its African based headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

In 1990, Bishop Yeboah started Free International Missions. By the year 2000, FIM hosted crusades in seven African countries and helped plant 120 churches and touched over 8 million people. Bishop Yeboah is believing the Lord to plant 180 churches in 10 African countries and win ten million people to Christ in mass crusades within the next four years.

Last March, Pastor Keith, Pastor Judy, Sherry Holmes, Linda Penn Davis and Shirlee Kamstra visited Bishop Yeboah’s African Ministry. He’s the real deal! He’s a strong leader and compassionate man of God. God has opened up many doors of opportunity for his ministry throughout Africa.

His wife Marilyn also shares his vision to meet people’s spiritual and physical needs.  She has a great desire to help children by building loving orphanages to rescue the numerous children left parentless because of the recent Civil Wars in West Africa.

We hope that you will come and hear what God is doing in their lives. If you have questions call the church office at 616-863-8197.

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Concert and family fun in the park

Are you looking for something fun for your kids to do? Do you love good music? Then you won’t want to miss next week’s fun family event, August 20, at Morley Park in Cedar Springs.

The Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation and area businesses are bringing not only the last concert in the park for the summer, but a special children’s concert and child-friendly activities as well.

The fun starts at 5:30 p.m., with games and activities for the kids, including three inflatables; the Cedar Springs Fire Department and other Fire Departments will be on hand with their trucks and emergency vehicles (and water hoses!); and 250 water bottles will be given away.

The fun continues at 6 p.m. with a special children’s concert called “Dilly Songs” with Aaron Vanderwege. All inflatables and games will last until 7:30 p.m.

At 7 p.m. Punch n’ Company, featuring Jake Mellema, will perform. There will be door prizes and concessions available.

According to Parks and Rec Director Amanda Gerhardt, they wanted to do something special for area families, since they had such a good response to Maranda’s Park party last summer. “We couldn’t have done this without the additional support from our partner organizations working together to make it happen,” said Gerhardt. “It’s going to be a great activity.”

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Pork on the hoof – Benefit to support Big Brothers and Big Sisters

The Sparta Airport will once again host Pork on the Hoof Pig Roast, a benefit to support Big Brother and Big Sisters on Saturday August 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain date is August 16.

Come and enjoy some great food and great events:
•    A pig roast with all the trimmings, as well as hot dogs.
•    Free plane rides available for kids 8-17.
•    Meet two-time national freestyle champion Jocelyn Perrin and see her monster truck “High Maintenance.”
•    Meet Tim Stevens and his 250 MPH, 3,000-plus HP NHRA alcohol funny car.
•    Numerous activities for kids including free ice cream and popcorn for kids 12 and under.
•    Come see motorcycle stunt riders Grand Rapids’ Finest along with West Side 50s.
•    WWII Armored Vehicle by S/Y transport.
•    Check out two onsite flight schools.

This event is to provide an opportunity to spotlight the Big Brother Big Sister Program and raise funds to support this program.  It also allows people an opportunity to visit their community airport, meet the area pilots, view the aircraft and see what it has to offer.  This is an event that is sure to be exciting and fun for all.

The Sparta Airport is located at 9100 Vinton Sparta Michigan.  Cost for the pork lunch is $5 for adults, $3 for children. All other activities are free.

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Congressman Ehlers on health care legislation

V-Ehlers-headshotWASHINGTON—The House Committee on Education and Labor, of which Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers is a member, began consideration of the America’s Affordable Health Choice Act (H.R. 3200) in July. Congressman Ehlers gave this opening statement on the bill: “We are here today to consider legislation that will have a significant impact on my constituents, as well as most other Americans.

“In Michigan, about 11 percent, or just over one million people, lack health insurance coverage. I strongly believe that Michiganders and all Americans should have access to good health care. I support making improvements to health care so that more people may have more of the health care that they need, while maintaining control over their own health care. Having suffered from chronic asthma during my childhood, I fully understand that all people need access to excellent doctors, nurses and hospitals.

“We should focus on prevention of illness, finding cures, and ensuring that Americans have accurate information about their health while receiving the best health care in the world.  In addition, I support combating fraud, waste and abuse in health care so that taxpayer funds are wisely invested in providing health care that people need.

“I also believe that the state and federal governments have a role in providing health care access and payment, especially for vulnerable populations such as the frail elderly, people with disabilities and those with lower incomes. In fact, I have supported many proposals over the years to expand health care coverage. For example, I voted in support of providing low-income children with health care under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and I supported providing access to prescription drugs for people enrolled in Medicare.

“But, even though the government has a responsibility to ensure its citizens have access to health care, it does not mean the government has to provide it.

“We must take care in defining the role of the government, especially given the role the private sector currently plays. In Michigan, two out of three nonelderly people with health insurance receive it through their employer.  Controversial “pay or play” schemes will disrupt employer-sponsored coverage or cause benefit packages to change. In addition, many people and businesses rely upon the informed advice of health insurance agents, often their friends, in selecting health plans. Under the “exchange system,” Americans will no longer have access to the valuable advice of their trusted advisors. Moreover, a government-run, public plan likely will create an unlevel playing field, pricing private health insurers out of business. This is an issue which particularly concerns me.

“When America and the states decided that every auto owner needed to have auto insurance, they did not set up state-run or federal-run auto insurance companies. Rather, they made use of the existing structure. Similarly, if we now would like to advocate that everyone have health insurance, why should we assume that the federal government must provide it all? We have a complete industry that deals with health insurance, we have private agents who are well-known in their communities. They are well-versed in the issues, and they know how to best help the public. We should make use of them, and not invest in a public plan in which the government controls it all.

“Also, we must ensure that health legislation boosts our economy, not harms it further. In Michigan, we have been struggling economically for too many years. The unemployment rate in my state is 15.2 percent, and the total number of unemployed reached an unfortunate historic high of 740,000 in June. I am concerned that new mandates and taxes will cost my state and our nation jobs at a time when we can least afford to lose them.

“In addition, we must foster a workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to innovate and transform medicine.  I am a strong supporter of improving our students’ math and science education, and this is crucial to having an excellent medical workforce. Related to this, I plan to offer an amendment to provide loan assistance to students entering the medical profession.

“Finally, we must safeguard our children’s future by not only providing them access to excellent health care, but also by providing a fiscally responsible system.  We need to address the structural and financial problems associated with the current government programs before enacting a new, massive entitlement program. To that end, I am a cosponsor of the Securing America’s Future Economy Commission Act, and I am hopeful that provisions from this legislation will be included in any final health care reform legislation.

“I look forward to carefully evaluating the legislation before us, and it is my hope that we will enact bipartisan legislation that truly helps Americans access health care without bankrupting either our citizens or our nation.”

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The Health Care Scare

By Lois Allen

Health Care is scary. Especially when you don’t have it! There’s been a lot of debate about Health Care, the health care system and an urgent need to reform.

Let’s face it, the only people that need health care are sick people. And they cost money. The only way a health insurance company can make a profit is to deny paying for care. Death by denial.

I have long thought that health insurance companies should be nonprofit industries. With a not-for-profit industry, any money made over expense is put back into the company thereby making it even better for those that use it. Of course that’s only if  the CEO’s of that company don’t give themselves great big fat paychecks!

I’m 54 (almost) and I pay $100 a week for my health insurance coverage. That does not include prescription or dental. I also have to pay for doctor’s visits and lab tests. I have not been sick since I got it. Not that I’m complaining! But I can’t help thinking how much money I would have right now if I could have put that money into the bank and drawn interest!

Today I am having great difficulty deciding whether to cancel my health insurance or not pay my mortgage. And that’s the way it is.

A woman awakes from a deep sleep to hear someone breaking into her home. She dials 9-1-1. “Someone’s breaking into my home,” she whispers. The operator on the other end replies, “I’m sorry ma’am, but you don’t have police protection coverage, so we cannot service your call….” Click.

Calling the doctor’s office, “I’m sorry ma’am, but you don’t have health coverage we cannot heal you…. Click. Or at the pharmacist’s counter, “I’m sorry, you have to pay…” “we can’t help you.”

For those in that situation, it may feel like they’ve been assigned to a death squad.

And that’s what I’m going to hear when I’m canceled! It seems to me that in this, the wealthiest country in the world, people should not be afraid to get ill.

Currently those that have it are either the rich or the very poor. But it is the working class that runs this country! If you have it great! If you don’t have it, you want it. You need it.

Some of the Post employees need it while others have it through their spouses.. The Post is an independently owned small business. Like many today, it is trying to just stay afloat.

We need all of America healthy with a home. Anything less is not acceptable.

Join our health care discussion on our Facebook page.

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Roger on the Road

rogerheaderDog Days

This poem comes from seventh-grader Lauren Pratt in Rockford. “The dog days of summer” seem like the right time for it.
Jagger
We got him in a little town called Bath.
He would walk down a little path.
I taught him how to shake.
We made him birthday cakes.
If he could talk then he’d bug us
Till we took him for a walk.
I know I’m being a bragger,
But he’s just a tail wagger.
I love my dog Jagger.

According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the dog days are from July 6 to August 17. They’re named after the Dog Star, Sirius, which used to rise at sunrise. The story was that these days were evil and caused the seas to boil. That’s hot, all right.

Another dog

I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the shopping center and rolled down the car window to make sure my Labrador retriever pup had fresh air. She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress on her that she must remain there.

I walked to the curb backwards, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, “Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay! Stay!”

The driver of a nearby car gave me a strange look and said, “Why don’t you just put it in Park?” (Thanks to Carol Dionne.)

Why women prefer dogs

1) Dogs go to the beach to swim, not for the chance to ogle girls in bikinis.
2) A dog is a pack animal. A man is a six-pack animal.
3) You can train a dog in obedience.
4) A man will roll over and play dead only if you ask him to get up and make coffee.

Last dog

Who’s your best friend? Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour.  When you open the trunk, see which one is really happy to see you.

Late Bullet-in

A recent news story reported on a church pastor who was urging the congregation to bring guns to church. If you’re in that church and the pastor says, “Let us pray,” you better start!

In Colorado, a legislator was promoting a law making it legal to bring a gun to a bar or saloon. A local barkeep said he was thinking of opening a funeral parlor.

In Missouri, a truck dealer offered a free AK-47 to anybody who buys a new truck.

It’s a slippery slope. How long before kids routinely bring guns to high school?  But we definitely have to keep them out of pre-school. Those kids are too little to properly aim heavy weapons.

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Preventing prescription drug abuse by teens: recognize and react

HEA-Prevent-teen-drug-abuse(ARA) – Every day, millions of Americans appropriately use prescription medicines to improve their health. But what happens when a teenager or child misuses these products? How can parents recognize and respond to the signs of potential prescription drug abuse?

Nearly one in four high school seniors report that they have abused prescription drugs by the time they graduate, according to a recent study. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports prescription medications are the drug of choice among children as young as 12.

Why are teens abusing prescription drugs? One factor is access—they are found in your own home. Also, many teens incorrectly believe there is nothing wrong with using medications without a prescription once in a while, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Under a doctor’s supervision, medications can be highly effective. However, they become dangerous when used improperly and without a prescription.

Every day, 2,500 children ages 12 to 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time. “While overall drug abuse among teens is decreasing, prescription drug abuse is growing,” says Amy Garcia, a registered nurse and executive director of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). “Parents and schools need to work together to educate our children about proper use of prescription medicines.”

As a first step, Garcia advises parents to learn about prescription drug abuse and educate their family. “It is important that everyone in the family understands that doctors prescribe medicine based on specific criteria—age, weight, condition and other medications. That is one of the reasons prescriptions shouldn’t be shared,” explains Garcia.

Stay alert to your children’s behavior, including signs that may indicate drug abuse, such as changes in your teen’s appearance, mood, grades and friends. Clean out the medicine cabinet of any unused prescriptions and monitor it regularly.

Keeping your house safe is important; but remember, you will not always be in control of your child’s environment. In fact, more than 65 percent of teens say they get prescription pain medications from friends or relatives, often without their knowledge.

To educate parents and young people about the serious risks of abusing prescription medicines, NASN has teamed up with PriCara, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., on an educational program called “Smart Moves, Smart Choices.”  The program offers a free series of downloadable videos and a guide for parents available now at: www.pbs.org/newshour/thenews/themedic.
Courtesy of ARAcontent

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