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Archive | February, 2010

Need readers for poetry event at the Kent

Have you written a poem that you would like to share?  Do you have a favorite poem you think others would like? You have the chance to stand on the stage at the Kent Theatre April 20, 7 p.m. and share a poem. The Cedar Springs Library is accepting reservations. We need your name and a copy of your poem to help us prepare a program.  Contact Donna Clark @ ceddc@llcoop.org or call the library at 616-696-1910.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off

Take the chill out of heating costs

(NAPS)—Making smart decisions can have a big impact on your heating bills.

That’s a good thing, since, according to the Department of Energy, homeowners can expect to spend an average of $1,442 on heating bills this year, and with the turbulent economy and rising energy costs, most people are closely watching their dollars these days. Here are two low-cost tips to help you take the chill out of your house—and a bite out of your heating bills:

1. Use a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature higher for when you are home and awake, and lower at night when you are sleeping or for when you are away. “Setting and forgetting” will allow the thermostat to do the work for you, and allow you to reduce heating costs when you don’t need the heat operating at full blast.

In fact, according to the Alliance to Save Energy organization, lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save you 4 percent in heating costs. Based on this information, if every household in the U.S. turned their thermostat down two degrees, they could save up to 8 percent on heating costs—depending on the type of heating and where they live. Nationally, savings could total more than $11.1 billion a year.

2. Purchase a portable heater. With portable heaters, you can turn down your central heating and save hundreds of dollars in heating bills annually. Just turn on a portable heater in the room you’re in.

To quickly and easily view how much you could save on heating costs if you turn your thermostat down and turn a portable heater on, use the free, interactive “savings calculator”at www.honeywellheat savings.com. The site also provides a guide for how to buy a portable heater, safety tips and additional energy-saving information.

Posted in FeaturedComments Off

Seek safety when purchasing energy-efficient home appliances

(ARA) – Have government or manufacturer rebate programs enticed you to purchase a new home appliance, like a clothes washer or refrigerator? Or are you simply in the market to upgrade? Before purchasing any major appliance, it’s important to consider all your options before you make a final decision.

According to an October 2009 survey commissioned by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading independent safety testing organization, one in five homeowners who are involved in purchasing decisions independently reported they are likely to buy a large household appliance in the new year. That number increased to one in four upon hearing that states may offer cash back for purchasing an energy-efficient appliance during 2010.

“As today’s appliance technology continues to advance, it is now, more than ever, critical to consider safety when purchasing these items,” says Ms. Simin Zhou, vice president and general manager, UL’s Appliances, HVAC/R and Components business unit. “Energy efficiency is an important attribute, but family safety also needs to be part of the decision-making process.”

A 2009 National Fire Protection Association report states that in 2006, U.S. consumers reported approximately 17,700 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines, resulting in 15 deaths, 360 injuries and $194 million in property damage.

Five tips can be used to help assess whether your current appliances are safe for continued use and help you to make smart decisions when purchasing new appliances:
1. Read the owners’ manual or users’ guide: These resources provide essential information to keep you safe.
2. Only use as intended: Using appliances for activities other than what they are designed for can pose serious risks. The clothes dryer should only be used for fabrics and an oven should not be used to heat the home.
3. Trust your instincts: If an appliance smells, sounds or functions strangely – be suspicious. This is a likely indicator to replace the problem appliance or at least have it inspected by a licensed technician.
4. Follow preventative maintenance measures: Lack of preventative maintenance is a contributing factor to some appliance malfunctions and fires. Simple ways to keep your appliances in peak performance include never overloading the clothes washer; periodically removing debris from the dishwasher filter; and immediately unplugging the vacuum cleaner and dislodging items that should not have been picked up.
5. Look for safety certification: Safety certifications, such as the UL Mark, confirm a product has been tested and certified to meet the highest standard in safety.

If you’re ready to buy a new home appliance, you should start by researching available government and manufacturer rebate programs in your area. Programs usually vary by state so qualified appliances and rebate amounts will differ.

To learn more about 2010 state rebate programs, and to find more tips on appliance safety, visit www.UL.com/appliancesafety.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Posted in Home and GardenComments Off

Space heaters cause fire deaths

NFPA urges caution as peak time for heating fires continues

Quincy, Mass. – While only 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, they are involved in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths, according to the new report Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment released today by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Heating equipment continues to be the second leading cause of home fires behind cooking and the second leading cause of home fire deaths behind smoking.

NFPA is urging caution and asking the public to practice safe heating behaviors as the peak time for home heating fires continues; half of all home-heating fires occurred in December, January and February in 2003-2007.

“Half of fatal home space heater fires started because something was too close to the heater and ignited. Keep heaters and things that can burn at least three feet apart,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Heating fires and the deaths they cause can usually be prevented with awareness and a few simple actions.”

The leading factor contributing to space heater fires in general was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.  Other leading factors contributing to home space heater fires were failure to clean, which is principally related to creosote build-up in chimneys, and leaving an operating space heater unattended.

“Whether your chimney supports a wood or coal stove or just a fireplace, be sure to have it cleaned and inspected at least once a year to reduce your risk of having a fire,” added Carli. “And always turn off a portable space heater when you go to sleep or leave the room.”

In 2007, U.S. fire departments responded to 66,400 home structure fires that involved heating equipment. These fires killed 580 people, injured another 1,850, and were responsible for $608 million in direct property damage.

NFPA offers the following safety tips:

* Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
* Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy, metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are even more common than flame burns.
* All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
* Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
* Never use your oven for heating.
* Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Have a qualified professional install the equipment, and make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death. Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow and ice around the outlet to the outside.
* Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

Posted in Home and GardenComments Off

Roger on the Road

RogerheaderPandering
Grief reigns at the National Zoo. Tai Shah, the cute panda born there almost five years ago, has been repossessed by China. Only about a dozen giant pandas live in U.S. zoos but China has a bunch of them. Did anyone think of offering to swap the Chinese government a couple of buffalos?
Buried
In these parts we plow ahead during giant snowstorms, but Washington just shut down. Government workers did nothing all week. (Will we be able to tell the difference?) Congressmen kept busy raising money for re-election, so they may not have realized that nothing was happening.
Big fuss
The Anglican Church of England is in a furor. Some members want the church to appoint a female as a bishop. It’s never been done before. The arguments go back and forth. The main argument of those opposed is that Jesus didn’t have any woman disciples. Who the heck do they think prepared that Last Supper?!
Fixing it
I was having trouble with my computer so I called Richard, the 11-year-old next door, whose bedroom looks like mission control. Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was leaving, I called after him, “So, what was wrong?”
He replied, “It was an ID ten T error.”
I didn’t want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, “What’s that? In case I need to fix it again.”
“Haven’t you ever heard of an I D ten T error?” asked Richard.
“Nope,” I said.
“Write it down,” he said, “and I think you’ll figure it out.”
So I wrote it down: ID10T
Ocean View Restaurant
A group of 40-year-old buddies discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the young waitresses there wore low-cut blouses.
Ten years later, when they were 50, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the food there was better than most places and the wine selection was extensive.
Ten years later, at 60 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because they could eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.
Ten years later, at 70, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the building was wheelchair accessible and even had an elevator.
Ten years later, at 80 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because they had never been there before.

Posted in Roger on Main St., Voices and ViewsComments Off

Mr. Clean to the Rescue

With a 3-year-old daughter who loves to color every day, and a 1-year-old son who wants to imitate but has yet to master the concept of not eating crayons or using my walls as a canvas, I’m bound to wind up with some crayon marks on the wall.

I am quite certain the little stress of coloring on the walls would be, in my world, a much more magnified disaster if not for one tiny miracle product. Moms, if you haven’t yet discovered this modern marvel, I have the blessing of four small words for you: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Now, granted, there are much more powerful things in this world than Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads to offer a path toward salvation. Similar to baptism, they sure appear to contain the regenerative power to wash away sins! No longer do I have to feel my blood pressure rise with despair as I watch my son happily defacing the walls, chairs and other furniture with his small wax weapon of choice. I can simply hand him a piece of paper to redirect his artistic efforts and sigh with relief. Yes, it really is that simple. The cleansing pads don’t look like much at first glance. Initially, you think, “Yeah, right! How is this feather-weight marshmallow square going to remove something an SOS pad couldn’t put a dent in?” Then viola! Right before your eyes, you witness the only product containing the word “magic” that astonishingly seems to live up to its title. Crayon marks, coffee stains, mysterious black scuff marks that until now no amount of elbow grease could uncover, is effortlessly disappearing with minimum effort. No, I’m not selling them. If I were, I’d be faring much better in these economic times than we are with my being a stay-at-home mom. It is just an amazing phenomenon. How do they work? I may never fully understand. Then again, there are a lot of things on the grander scale of faith that are even more unbelievable, mysterious and marvelous. And, while Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is not an actual requirement for spiritual sanity or salvation, some days, when life as a stay-at-home mom is filled with continuously scrubbing the walls of peanut butter, diaper cream, and Crayola murals, it feels like the little miracles can make a big difference.

Posted in Mercy in MamahoodComments Off

Varsity cheer takes 3rd place at Delta Plex

One of the biggest competitions leading up to Districts took place at the Delta Plex on Saturday, February 13.  Thirteen Division 2 teams from across the state met at the Delta Plex for a competition many call the “mini-state finals” because in just a few weeks state finals will be held in that exact location. Many of the teams the Red Hawks would be competing against will probably be in their regional competition in 2 weeks.  “This competition gave us a pretty good indication of how we are doing with other teams that we will hopefully see in two weeks at Kenowa Hills for the Regional competition,” said Coach Pamela Ingles. “The top four teams advance to the State Finals and this team has been working really hard to try and make that goal become a reality in the next couple of weeks.”

After all the teams finished round 1, the CS Varsity Team was in 5th place with 216.9 behind Mt. Pleasant, Brandon, Allen Park, and Divine Child.  Round 2 can really shake up the scores and placements depending on how the skills in round 2 are performed. The Red Hawks had one of their best round 2s for the season with a score of 234.8956 and moved up to 3rd place with the 2nd highest rd 2 score for the day.

The competition was going to be tight with round 3 underway. They finished round 3 with a score of 304.1 with 13 girls on the floor. Mt. Pleasant and Brandon were right behind them but they both had 16 on the floor so their execution score could be higher.  In the end, Cedar Springs finished the competition in 3rd place beating Mt. Pleasant and Brandon.  “I think the girls thought they were bumped back down to 5th after watching MP and Brandon finish their round 3s because they had more girls on the floor,” said Ingles. “When the announcer read the final scores and announced their name for 3rd place, they were in total shock.  It was so much fun to watch their excitement!”

The girls are now excited about what lies ahead. “The Delta Plex was a really good thing for us at this point in our season,” remarked senior Samantha Kinney. “It was a big confidence builder and really opened up our eyes to all the possibilities for the rest of this season.”

The Varsity Cheer Team also finished the OK Blue Conference at Comstock Park on Thursday in 2nd place.  Their next competition is Districts on Saturday, February 20 at GR Christian HS at 10:00.

Posted in SportsComments Off

Lady Chargers’ Cassie Dille signs with Grace Bible College

Pictured left to right (standing):  Dan George, principal of Creative Technologies Academy; Robin Greene, Cassie’s high school basketball coach at CTA; Brent Dille, Cassie’s father; Cheryl Dille, Cassie’s mother; and Rich Renzema, coach of the Grace Lady Tigers.  Seated:  Cassie Dille.

Pictured left to right (standing): Dan George, principal of Creative Technologies Academy; Robin Greene, Cassie’s high school basketball coach at CTA; Brent Dille, Cassie’s father; Cheryl Dille, Cassie’s mother; and Rich Renzema, coach of the Grace Lady Tigers. Seated: Cassie Dille.

Cassie Dille, a senior at Creative Technologies Academy of Cedar Springs, has agreed to play basketball for the Lady Tigers of Grace Bible College in Wyoming, Michigan next year.  Cassie signed her letter of intent during halftime of the men’s game between Grace and Indiana University Northwest.  Cassie’s teammates from CTA were on hand to witness the signing along with the men’s and women’s teams of Creative Technologies Academy and their families.

Cassie is the first recruit to sign for the 2010-11 season.

Posted in SportsComments Off

Local schools earn sportsmanship award

Both the Cedar Springs and Algoma Christian boys soccer teams were chosen by the Michigan High School Athletic Administration to be recognized for outstanding sportsmanship during fall postseason tournament competitions through the Good Sports Are Winners! Program. The teams were chosen for their sportsmanship during districts.
The program is conducted in team sports, with schools being evaluated by tournament management at District, Regional and Final Round sites. This fall a total of 205 teams were selected from 170 schools in tournaments conducted in football, boys soccer and girls volleyball.
The program recognizes one school at each MHSAA tournament center at all levels of play for having met the highest sportsmanlike standards. Those schools will be presented framed certificates and will be recognized through the publication of their names in the MHSAA Bulletin, the MHSAA Finals program series, and on the MHSAA Website.

During the course of the school year, over 500 teams will be recognized in 13 activities for their sportsmanship efforts during MHSAA tournaments. At the Finals in those tournaments, the school judged to have met those standards is presented a crystal trophy and commemorative banner.

Marshall in football (Division 4), Ann Arbor Greenhills (Division 4) in boys soccer, and Bronson (Class C) in girls volleyball were selected by the tournament management at their respective Finals for displaying the exemplary sportsmanship by their coaches, student-athletes and spectators. Bronson will receive its award at school board meeting on March 2, and Greenhills will receive its honor at an all-school assembly on March 11.  The presentation dates at Marshall is pending. Petoskey was the MHSAA champion in its tournament, while Ubly and Lutheran Westland were finalists in their respective sports.

It is the first time that Marshall has been named a recipient of a Finals sportsmanship award.  Greenhills has been honored on two previous occasions – in boys soccer in 1992, and in girls soccer in 2007.  Bronson received a Finals award in wrestling in 2003.  Ann Arbor Greenhills was also recognized in boys soccer at the District level of play; Bronson was honored in the football playoffs at the District level and at the District and Regional tournaments in girls volleyball; and Marshall was also honored in football at the Regionals.  Bronson and Marshall captured the MHSAA title in their respective sports, while Greenhills was a finalist in boys soccer.

Bronson, East Kentwood, Goodrich, Grand Rapids Christian and Hudsonville Unity Christian were recognized in the fall at three tournaments, while 25 schools received mention in twice. Girls volleyball led the way with 101 teams feted, followed by 56 teams in football and 45 in boys soccer.  A complete list of fall award recipients can be found at the end of this release.

The following is a list of Good Sports Are Winners! Award recipients as submitted by tournament managers for the Fall sports season

GOOD SPORTS ARE WINNERS!

2009 Fall Award Recipients

(Based on reports received at the MHSAA offices as of 1.15.10. NOTE: Not all site managers responded.)
Football
Districts
Bark River-Harris
Beal City
Bronson
Canton
Capac
Colon
DeWitt
East Kentwood
Farmington Hills Harrison
Fenton
Frankfort
Genesee
Goodrich
Grand Rapids West Catholic
Howell
Ithaca
Jackson Lumen Christi
Lake City
Lake Linden-Hubbell
Lansing Catholic
Lapeer West

Lowell
Madison Heights Lamphere
Manchester
Marine City
Mendon
Merrill
Millington
Monroe St Mary Catholic Central
Mt Pleasant
Muskegon Heights
Negaunee
New Lothrop
Petersburg-Summerfield
Reading
Southgate Anderson
Sterling Heights Stevenson
Stevensville Lakeshore
Regionals
Adrian
Birmingham Brother Rice
Colon
Detroit Catholic Central
East Kentwood
Goodrich
Ishpeming
Lowell
Marshall
Montague
Muskegon Heights
Petersburg-Summerfield
Saginaw Swan Valley
St Charles
Sterling Heights Stevenson
Warren DeLaSalle
Waterford Our Lady
Boys Soccer
Districts
Ann Arbor Greenhills
Bloomfield Hills Andover
Canton
Cedar Springs

Comstock Park
East Kentwood
Fairview
Frankenmuth
Goodrich
Grand Rapids Christian
Grand Rapids South Christian
Grant
Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian
Hartford
Hillsdale Academy
Holland West Ottawa
Holt
Hudsonville Unity Christian
Ithaca
Kalkaska
Kent City Algoma Christian
Lawton
Marine City Cardinal Mooney
Mason
Mason County Central
Monroe Jefferson
Onsted
Perry
Romeo
Saginaw Arthur Hill
Saginaw Valley Lutheran
Salem
South Lyon East
St Johns
Sterling Heights
Suttons Bay
Regionals
Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian
Caledonia
Freeland
Grosse Ile
Hudsonville Unity Christian
Petoskey
Plymouth Christian
Salem

Trenton
Girls Volleyball
Districts
Adrian
Arenac Eastern
Athens
Beal City
Benton Harbor
Big Rapids Crossroads Academy
Birch Run
Birmingham Marian
Bloomingdale
Breckenridge
Bronson
Burton Faith
Byron
Cadillac
Carson City-Crystal
Caseville
Cassopolis
Central Lake
Charlevoix
Cheboygan
Coloma
Dearborn Edsel Ford
Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy
Dexter
Erie-Mason
Farmington
Ferndale
Flint Northwestern
Frankenmuth
Gladwin
Grand Rapids Christian
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett
Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse
Hemlock
Holt
Howell
Ida

Iron Mountain
Jackson Northwest
Jenison
Kentwood West Michigan Lutheran
Lansing Catholic
Linden
Livonia Churchill
Mackinac Island
Macomb Lutheran North
Marion
Marquette
McBain
Midland Dow
Niles Brandywine
North Branch
North Muskegon
Okemos
Olivet
Onekama
Pellston
Portland St Patrick
Richland Gull Lake
Roseville
Sand Creek
South Lyon East
Southfield Christian
Southgate Anderson
Spring Lake
St Clair Shores South Lake
Stanton Central Montcalm
Sterling Heights
Swartz Creek
Taylor Trillium
Traverse City Christian
Ubly
Wakefield-Marenisco
Waterford Our Lady
Watervliet Grace Christian
White Cloud
Whitehall
Wolverine

Regionals
Battle Creek St Philip
Bronson
Cadillac
Caseville
Dearborn
Detroit Cass Tech
Flushing
Grand Rapids Christian
Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse
Hemlock
Hudsonville Unity Christian
Lutheran Westland
Marlette
Marysville
McBain Northern Michigan Christian
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian
North Branch
Novi
Plymouth Christian
Potterville
Riverview
Williamston

Posted in SportsComments Off

Chargers win third in a row

The CTA Chargers traveled to Kentwood on February 8 to lock horns with the Titans of Grand River Prep. The Chargers came out of the gate strong and built a quick 8-point lead in the first quarter. That is when sophomore guard Cole Chilcote took over, scoring 12 of his game high 18 points in the second quarter, including three straight 3-pointers.

“We have faced a lot of zone this year, and this was definitely the best we have shot against a zone,” said assistant coach and offensive guru Aaron Kenemer. “It really opened up the paint and let us get some good looks on cuts.”

CTA ended up 5-9 from long range. The Titans made a furious comeback in the second half but with some timely defensive stops and great free throw shooting down the stretch, the Chargers held on for the 49-42 victory.

This is the third straight win for the Chargers. Last week they had wins over Lakeshore Baptist Academy and an overtime victory against Fremont Providence Christian. The three-game winning streak has brought the Chargers record to 9-6 on the season. They were scheduled to  finish their season with a game at Zion Christian High School in Byron Center on Tuesday, February 16.

Posted in SportsComments Off

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