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Archive | September, 2009

Tips for cold weather driving

(NewsUSA) – The experts at the non-profit National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) remind motorists that getting their vehicles serviced for cold-weather driving should be high on their list of things to do during autumn’s milder weather.

Breakdowns in winter storms can be deadly.

“Pay particular attention to engine performance problems such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or diminished power,” notes Martin Lawson, ASE’s editorial director. “Cold weather will make existing problems worse.” Other tips from ASE:

  • Read your owner’s manual, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.
  • Replace dirty filters such as  air, fuel and PCV. Change the oil and oil filter as specified in your manual.
  • The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.) A certified auto technician should check the tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses.
  • The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment, but backyarders can perform routine care such as scraping corrosion from posts and cable connections.  (Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.)
  • Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget  your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line.

ASE was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification, while their employers display the blue and white ASE sign. They can be found at all types of repair facilities from dealerships to independent garages and franchises. Visit www.ase.com for more information.

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Three reasons for Americans to respect hunters, anglers

National Hunting and Fishing Day is set for Sept. 26, 2009. Congress formalized the annual celebration 37 years ago but organizers say hunters and anglers deserve America’s respect now more than ever.

OUT-National-hunting-Deer-t“Recent-year surveys show nearly 8 in 10 Americans approve of hunting and more than 9 in 10 approve of fishing. That’s strong support. But, when viewed in the context of a recession and other modern headlines, our sporting traditions look even better today,” said Denise Wagner of Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield, Mo., the official home of NHF Day.

She added, “On NHF Day, I hope people will pause to reflect on hunter and angler contributions to society. And for those of us who’ve long understood and enjoyed these passions, share the pride by introducing someone new to hunting, fishing or shooting.”

Here are three reasons for the American public to value hunting and fishing today:

Economic Impact

No bailouts needed here. Hunting and angling together are an economic force worth $76 billion a year. In 2010, America’s economic stimulus package will generate its highest level of federal spending at $236 billion—but hunters and anglers will spend almost a third of that amount all by themselves. A Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation report shows if hunters and anglers were a nation, their Gross Domestic Product would rank 57 out of 181 countries. About 1.6 million jobs depend on hunters and anglers. Gas stations, stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses benefit, especially in rural America. And these recreations are comparatively recession proof. In the first half of 2009, hunting and fishing license sales actually gained 7.6 and 5.4 percent, respectively, over 2008, say the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Wildlife Management

Rabies, crop damages, nuisances. Hunting helps control these wildlife issues and many others—none more dramatic than highway accidents involving deer. White-tailed deer once were on the verge of extinction but rebounded behind historic conservation efforts. Today, deer numbers are skyrocketing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates 1.5 million deer collisions occur each year. Over 200 people are killed annually. According to a Western Transportation Institute calculation that includes costs of emergency response, injuries to driver and passengers, damages to vehicle and more, the 2009 average cost of hitting a deer is $6,600. Total public cost: $9.9 billion a year. Now consider that, nationwide, for every deer hit by a motorist, hunters take six. Imagine the human casualties and costs if hunting ended.

Conservation Funding

What if Congress announced a tax increase to cover $2 billion in annual expenses for conservation programs? Don’t worry. Hunters and anglers are already paying that tab. For the privilege of consuming surplus, renewable game and fish resources, hunters and anglers purchase licenses. They also pay special excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, bows, arrows, rods and reels. Combined, these fees generate $100,000 every 30 minutes, more than $1.75 billion per year, for wildlife, fisheries and habitat programs. Hunters and anglers also contribute another $300 million a year to nonprofit organizations that extend conservation benefits even further. Results have brought many species—turkey, elk pronghorn, Canada goose, wood duck and others—and their habitats from vanishing to flourishing. These efforts enabled restoration of other species such as wolves. America’s living landscape is a precious asset for all citizens who enjoy wildlife and wild places.

For more information, visit www.nhfday.org.

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DNR Announces Deer Check Station Reductions

As deer hunters prepare for the upcoming season, the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that a number of check stations have been eliminated this fall due to budget reductions.

In the past, the department operated about 125 check stations, but will only operate about 50 this fall during the firearm deer season in November. Check stations will not be operated during the early antlerless season that starts Sept. 17 or during the archery season that begins Oct. 1. During those seasons, hunters may bring their deer to a DNR Operations Service Center (OSC). There are nine OSCs throughout the state, located in Baraga, Bay City, Cadillac, Gaylord, Marquette, Newberry, Plainwell, Roscommon and Southfield. OSCs are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Even with these closures, we hope to check as many deer as possible to continue gathering critical data on Michigan’s deer herd, which includes monitoring the herd’s health,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.

“Because of budget reductions we had no choice but to eliminate a number of check stations,” said Mason. “But we will continue to check deer at all of our service centers and hope hunters will make the effort to bring in their deer.”

This year the deer check stations will be staffed by DNR wildlife employees with limited assistance from volunteers and other DNR staff. This may cause some DNR offices to be short-staffed during this time. Delays are possible and the DNR is asking hunters’ understanding, and apologizes in advance for any inconvenience.

Head collections for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing will be significantly reduced this fall as well, though the DNR will continue to test any deer that are identified as “suspect.” The DNR is also obligated to test a number of deer from areas where disease concerns have been identified, which include the five counties in the northeastern Lower Peninsula within the TB area, as well as Iosco, Shiawassee, and Kent counties.

For a list of deer check stations that will be open Nov. 15-25 and Nov. 30 during the regular firearm deer season, please visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting. In the nine-township CWD surveillance zone in Kent County, where deer check is mandatory, there will be several locations open for deer check throughout the 2009 deer hunting seasons.

Hunters also are reminded that it is illegal to feed or bait deer across the entire Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for current and future generations.

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Seasonal flu clinics begin

Flu shots available throughout community

Spectrum Health is offering the flu vaccine in multiple locations throughout the community in the coming weeks, to encourage as many residents as possible to protect themselves from seasonal influenza.

Starting this month, the Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is offering over 200 community flu shot clinics. Flu shots are also available on a walk-in basis at the five Spectrum Health Urgent Care Centers from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Spectrum Health Medical Group primary care providers are offering the vaccine on an appointment basis.

“We all need to make an effort to protect our families and our community from the negative health and productivity impacts of influenza,” said Richard S. Rasmussen, MD, preventive medicine specialist, Spectrum Health. “Good hygiene, avoiding close contact with others and staying home when you’re sick will help prevent the spread of the disease. Immunization provides the best protection.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu vaccinations are recommended for people at high risk for complications from the flu, including:

  • Children ages six months to their 19th birthday
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Flu  shots area also recommended for people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

  • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than six months of age, as these children are too young to be vaccinated
  • Health care workers

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu shots are particularly important for pregnant women. A study published September 2008 in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that when a pregnant woman receives a flu shot at least a month before her due date, her baby will have a high degree of immunity to the flu for the first six months of life.

Recent outbreaks of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, have elevated concerns about this year’s seasonal flu. The current vaccine for seasonal flu does not provide protection against H1N1. More information about the H1N1 vaccine and how it will be distributed is expected in the next few weeks. More information about H1N1 is available through the CDC.

Individuals with questions about the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 vaccine can call the Spectrum Health Flu Helpline at (616) 486-3939 or visit spectrum-health.org/flu for locations and times. No appointment is needed.

The cost of this year’s seasonal flu vaccine is $30 at most locations; $35 at primary care providers. Cash and checks are accepted forms of payment at VNA clinics. Cash, checks and credit cards can be used at Spectrum Health Medical Group locations and Urgent Care Centers. Some insurance companies cover some or all of the cost of the vaccine. VNA offers a mist inhaler as an alternative to the injection for $35. Preservative-free flu shots are available through VNA, but must be scheduled by appointment by calling (616) 486-3050.

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Red Hawks rock the Rams

The Red Hawks had 472 yards rushing and held the Rams to only 7. Photo by J. Reed

The Red Hawks had 472 yards rushing and held the Rams to only 7. Photo by J. Reed

On a glorious football weather night in Cedar Springs, the Red Hawks went “old school” on Grand Rapids Central and defeated the Rams 48-14 with solid line play. The Red Hawk offensive line of Brandon Flanagan, Andrew Klompstra, Trevor Hemry, Jeremy Stellema, and Sam Bekins paved the way for 472 rushing yards. With the offensive line clicking on all cylinders, linebackers Tyler Baker and Scott Vodry held up their end by limiting GR Central to just 7 yards rushing. By maximizing the run game and limiting the Rams to nothing but the pass, the game was never in question.

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

The Rams opened the scoring with a 28-yard pass to Nino Payton from Randy Howard and led 8-0 on their first possession. That was the last they would see of the lead as the Red Hawk line opened huge holes on the way to 48 straight points. James Putnam rambled for 3 touchdowns, Shane Bratt legged out an 89 yard touchdown run, and Zack Carpentier finished the scoring with a 69 yard sweep. Bratt led all rushers with 209 yards on 17 carries. The Red Hawks welcomed a new place kicker to the team, Ryan Austin, who converted all four of his extra point tries. The Rams finished the scoring with another scoring strike from Howard to Payton, who finished with 6 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Photo by Aimee Brumleve

Photo by Aimee Brumleve

The Red Hawks, 2-2 overall, 1-1 in OK Blue, will take the momentum from this victory into next Friday night’s game against the Broncos of Coopersville in Coopersville. The Broncos are known for their disciplined style and tradition of winning, a test the young Red Hawks will have to prepare for both physically and mentally.

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Charger Cross Country takes on tough local competition

S-Cross-country-CTAThe runners from Creative Technologies Academy concluded a busy week of competition with tough races at Tri County and the Sparta Invitational. On Tuesday, the Chargers traveled up to Tri County High School to run against both Tri County and Lakeview. Warm weather led to some tough conditions, but that did not stop the top female for CTA, Erin Willis, from finishing with an impressive third place with a time of 23:43. Freshman Grace VanEnk also placed high in sixth place. The boys team was lead by senior CJ Bouck, Jeff Spicer, and Jeremiah Wortz in fifth through seventh place, respectively.

In the “Silver” division at the Sparta Invitational this past Saturday, CTA faced 15 other schools and fast, dry conditions for numerous personal bests. The boys placed 13th as a team and found themselves with a new number one runner for their team. Freshman Jeremiah Wortz stepped up a big way half way through the race to lead the Chargers across the line with a time of 19:47.  Wortz dropped 52 seconds from his previous best time. Kyle Biddlecome, Andre Winters, Bouck, and Lukas Holstein rounded out the scoring.

On the girls side, four Lady Chargers competed in a tough race. Willis continued to lead the way for the team, followed by VanEnk, Ashton Willis, and Cassie Dille. Although it was not the best race of the season for the girls, Coach Verwey was impressed by the heart demonstrated by the ladies. Dille, despite battling injury, ran a personal best time and freshman Grace VanEnk appeared to be adapting well to tougher high school competition.

CTA will travel far north this weekend for the Central Lake Invitational. After some struggles at Central Lake last year, the team is looking for some redemption and will test their will against some smaller northern Michigan schools.

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Red Hawk golf team wins tournament

It was a good week for the Lady Red Hawks girl’s golf team last week. They traveled to the Royal at Canadian Lakes and won the Chippewa Hills Invitational with a 396 score. Nikki Bouwens finished 1st with a solid round of 77. Kaylee Costello finished 10th with a 101, Zarah Smith added a 106 and Tricia Luke a 112. (Megan Rice had a 117 and Chaya Coxon a 120).

“It was a big boost for us,” said Coach Glen London. “We have not won a big tournament in over 5 years. Nikki shot great and the rest of the girls posted some good scores,” he added.

In league action the Red Hawks went 1-1 by defeating Coopersville 201-211 and losing to Forest Hills Northern 205-225.  At Western Greens, Bouwens shot a 40, Costello a 50, Maggie Bielak a 55 (her personal best) and Zarah Smith a 56. The split puts the golf team at 2-1 in conference.

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Varsity soccer racks up two more wins

Strong, reliable defense and goal tending, combined with offensive ball control and accurate passing resulted in two victories for the Red Hawks this week, as they kept their opponents scoreless.

Red Hawk #5 Tyler Hinton going for a header. (Also pictured #11 Austin Mora)

Red Hawk #5 Tyler Hinton going for a header. (Also pictured #11 Austin Mora)

The Red Hawks hosted the Comstock Park Panthers on September 15 and the game ended with a shut out score of 5-0. The scoring began as Austin Mora blasted in a quick penalty kick from just outside of the box. Robert Klein directed in the second goal after receiving the ball from Austin Mora. Within minutes, Robert Klein pushed in another goal with the assist credited to Kyle Szirovecz. Robert Klein opened the scoring in the second half, giving him another hat trick for the season. (Assist: Austin Mora). Kyle Szirovecz kicked in the final goal as he directed the ball into the corner of the net. (Assist: Zach Hawkins).

The following night, the scoring was fast and furious as Cedar Springs finished the game early against Belding, due to the mercy rule with a final score of 8-0. About two minutes into the game, Jake Rickner scored on a breakaway, with an assist from Zach Hawkins. The second goal came within minutes, when a header by Austin Mora was deflected off the goal post and finished off by Kyle Szirovecz. Jake Rickner knocked in the third goal after receiving a sideline pass up from Austin Mora. Goal four was a result of a powerful shot at the net by Robert Klein, which the Panther goalie deflected, and then the ball was followed up by the quickness of Kyle Szirovecz. Cody Cook fought hard through the Belding defense and plowed in another goal. (Assist: Zach Hawkins). Robert Klein finished off the half, adding goal number 6, with another assist from Zach Hawkins. The Red Hawks continued their aggressive play after the half, as Robert Klein hit the back of the net yet again. (Assist: Zach Hawkins). The game was finished off with about 20 minutes remaining, when Zach Hawkins launched a shot from the 18 and placed the ball into the upper 90 leaving the Belding keeper without a chance. Cedar Springs goalkeeper Kyle Coutchie also made some outstanding saves for the night, including a fully extended grab nearly on the goal line.

Score! #13 Freshman Robert Klein kicks in a goal!  (Also pictured # 5 Tyler Hinton)

Score! #13 Freshman Robert Klein kicks in a goal! (Also pictured # 5 Tyler Hinton)

“The guys have had a really solid week with some impressive game play!” said Coach Kyle Avink. “We look forward to an exciting week ahead as we face some tough teams, including our second match-up in conference game with our Spartan rivals as they face off on Thursday September 24 at  Sparta.” Please come out and cheer on this exciting team as they take on GR Central and Coopersville this next week. Keep up the heat!

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City names beautification winners

By Judy Reed

On Thursday, September 10, the city of Cedar Springs honored the winners of this year’s beautification awards, nominated and judged by the Cedar Springs Garden Club.

Gary and Sandra Brooks won the residential award.

Gary and Sandra Brooks won the residential award.

Winner of the residential award was Gary and Sandra Brooks, of 245 W. Muskegon. “This is cute stuff they do,” remarked Mayor Linda Hunt. “This is what we want the citizens to do.”

Bill and Sue Wakeland were awarded with mayor’s choice .

Bill and Sue Wakeland were awarded with mayor’s choice .

Winner of the commercial award was McBride and Caron Accounting, 123 S. Main St. “This was a bigger project than just landscaping,” said Hunt. “They have a new façade, new windows, awning, doors. Thank you for keeping it beautiful.”

McBride and Caron Accounting won the commercial award.

McBride and Caron Accounting won the commercial award.

Winner of the mayor’s choice award was Bill and Sue Wakeland. “They do really neat things,” said Hunt. “Thank you for your contribution to the beautification of our community.”

Each winner was presented with framed photos of their landscaping, and a gift bag.

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Man indicted on child porn charges

Leonard Glen Overmyer III

Leonard Glen Overmyer III

A Solon Township man already facing state charges of child sexually abusive activity was indicted on eight new counts by federal authorities last week.

Leonard Glen Overmyer III, 44, was indicted in federal court on Wednesday, September 16, on six counts of transportation of child pornography, and two counts of possession of child pornography.

Overmyer was arrested in June after a 10-month investigation by the members of the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). “This investigation was initiated after 43 cyber tips were received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NMEC),” said Detective First Lieutenant Tim Kish of the MSP Digital Evidence Section, at the time of Overmyer’s arrest. “The officers assigned to the ICAC Grand Rapids office took aggressive steps to identify and arrest the individual responsible for such significant efforts to exploit children.”

State authorities charged Overmyer with two counts of sexually abusive activity, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. He is still awaiting trial on those charges.

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