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Archive | March, 2010

Council hears plans for Veteran Park

If things go according to plan, Cedar Springs could have its own Veteran Park by the Fourth of July.

Dan Brown was at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting last Thursday, March 11, to present his plans. It will now go to the Cedar Springs Planning Commission the first week in April for site plan approval. Permits must also be gotten from the DNRE and DEQ.

The park will be located on city property at the corner of N. Main and E. Oak Street, on the south side of the creek. The parcel was once home to a home improvement business that burned down several years ago.

Brown said the park would be in honor of all veterans. It will include a sidewalk, trees, benches and three spots for monuments representing different wars, including one for his nephew Tim Brown, who died in the war for Iraqi freedom. But the monument will come after the park is completed. “My main concern is to get the park going,” he said.

Much of the supplies and labor will donated by local businesses. They are still looking for $6,000 for light poles, and for volunteers to help.

Anyone wishing to donate can call Brown at (616) 292-8767.

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Students attend FFA convention

By Samantha Grody, FFA reporter

Amidst a crazy driver, an early morning, and catching up on homework, the Cedar Springs FFA Chapter traveled an hour and a half to Lansing on Wednesday, March 10 for the annual Michigan FFA State Convention.

Over the next three days, six high school students enjoyed the opportunity to see and meet hundreds of dedicated Agriculture students and teachers. Among these students were the 16 competing candidates for this year’s State Officer Team. After many speeches and questions, Cedar Springs high school students Samantha Grody and Hanna Johnson joined other delegates from across the state in voting in the twelve FFA officers that would decide the fate of more than 100 FFA chapters over the next year.

After the announcement of this devoted team, sixty-four State FFA Band members celebrated the occasion with several amazing performances, ending traditionally with the Michigan State Fight Song. Two of our very own Cedar Springs High School Band members partook in this concert: sophomore Brent Willett and junior Amber Terhaar. Another hometown sophomore, Kayli DeCanter, joined veteran Shauna Smith as a Courtesy Corp. These young ladies got to know the Michigan State University Campus well, as they directed members to meetings and guarded the doors of closed sessions.

These six privileged members hope to attend a National FFA Convention in October. However, with cost per person averaging $350, this may not be an option. So if you see any blue corduroy jackets selling cookies at your doorstep, remember the amazing dedication these members show to their organization and to the future of America.

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Michigan author releases gripping suspense novel

STANTON, MI—Michigan author Pamela Bush released her latest suspense novel last week, “Out of the Snare,” the story of Sydney Larsen, whose secret has been discovered—she’s part of an embezzlement scheme in Louisville with accountant Vince Edgar and a third unnamed partner.

Quaid Williams is the detective on the case who works to strike a deal with Sydney if she’ll give the names of her partners. She refuses to give names and is slapped with a payback amount of $100,000 and three months of house arrest. But when Vince goes missing, Sydney realizes she’s caught in the snare, and the third partner becomes someone to be feared. Quaid is willing to protect her, but she’ll have to play by his rules and open herself up to the idea that someone cares about her, possibly even God.

As the third partner closes in on Sydney’s hiding place, the race ensues to find the partner’s identity and get Sydney “Out of the Snare” before she’s trapped forever.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. This is also an eLIVE title, meaning each copy contains a code redeemable for a free audio book version from TatePublishing.com.

A Michigan native, Bush resides in Stanton, Michigan, and previously released “Out of the Whirlwind,” the prequel to “Out of the Snare.” She and her husband have been in full-time ministry since 1980, including serving as missionaries in Mexico City and in Bolivia, and planting churches in Michigan and Indiana. Her husband has pastored a small country church in Michigan since January 2002.

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2010 Earth Day Photo Contest

This photo of Cedar Creek, by kindergartner Hunter Powell, won in the elementary division last year.

This photo of Cedar Creek, by kindergartner Hunter Powell, won in the elementary division last year.

Help celebrate Earth Day April 24, 2010 by participating in the City of Cedar Springs’ second annual Earth Day Photo Contest open to students and residents in the Cedar Springs area.

To enter take a picture that best depicts the theme: “Cedar Springs Loves Mother Earth!” Entries must be submitted in digital format as an attachment to email. Send your entries by March 31, 2010 to City Clerk Linda Branyan at:  labranyan@wingsisp.com

Include your name, home address, email address, classification (resident or student—if student, include your age and grade level,) where the picture was taken and two or three sentences describing the photo and how it best depicts the theme. Put “photo contest” in the subject line.  Photos must be taken in the Cedar Springs 49319 area and must be current (no older than one year old.)

Only amateur photgraphers may enter. Prizes will be awarded to elementary, middle and high school age students, Cedar Springs area residents and a Judges Favorite.

If you have questions, please call 616.696.1330 ext. 103.

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Roger on the Road

RogerheaderGreen rocks and a tin box
After Christmas, a teacher asked the kids how they spent the holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear nametags because they don’t know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wreck-center, but it must have got fixed because it’s okay now. Grandma and Grandpa do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well.

At their gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And they eat the same thing every night—early birds.

Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the dollhouse. The ones who do get out bring food back to the wreck-center for potluck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn getting retarded. And she says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday, too. When I get retarded, I want to be the man in the dollhouse. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.
Luck of the Irish
Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, “Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I’ll go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish whiskey!”
Miraculously, a parking place appeared.
Paddy looked up again and said, “Never mind, I found one.”

About Face
I tried to get on Facebook. Granted, I’m not too pleased with my face myself, but it was still disappointing when they said, “Access Denied.”

Last words
A will is a dead giveaway; backward poets write inverse; a calendar’s days are numbered. I’m not making this stuff up.

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Grace Bible champs have local roots

When Dan George visited the small community of Wheelersburg, in southern Ohio, in 1978 to recruit Gary Bailey to play college basketball for Jordan College in Cedar Springs, Michigan, he had no idea they would be coaching together 27 years later, let alone be coaches for a championship basketball team. But that’s exactly what happened last week, when the Grace Bible Tigers men’s basketball team won the NCCAA DII championship for the third time.

Bailey remained in Cedar Springs after graduating from Jordan College, and he and George remained friends through the years, hunting and fishing together. When Bailey was named head men’s basketball coach at the struggling program at Grace Bible College in 2005, he turned to his old college coach (George) and former Grace All-American Kyle Bohl to help him in the new venture. Last Saturday night, in Springfield, Missouri, the three coaches won the NCCAA DII National Championship for the second year in a row and the third time in five years. “It was a tough week but we played well,” said Bailey.

All three coaches have roots in Cedar Springs. Bailey and George are long-time residents of the area and Bohl is the Director of Student Services and Athletic Director at Creative Technologies Academy. George is also school leader there, while Bailey, a longtime former employee at CTA, now works full time in the Grace Bible College athletics department.

“Kyle and I were asked by a national sports reporter at the National Tournament to what we would credit the turnaround in Grace’s program,” said George. “I told him, first and foremost, it is Gary’s leadership.  It begins with the character of the kids we recruit and their families.  It continues with a number of things Gary emphasizes that seemingly have nothing to do with basketball, from the way the team dresses and acts in public to the rules for taking care of sweaty practice jerseys.”

An important part of Bailey’s leadership seems to be surrounding himself with good people.  “He doesn’t forget where he came from,” says George. “He credits the lessons taught by his parents and his previous coaches and he frequently seeks advice from Kyle and me. He will have the final say on everything but he doesn’t let ego get in the way of a good decision. He doesn’t care who gets the credit.”

“We complete each other well,” added Bohl. “We all have different roles, but it’s a lot of fun.” Bailey said that working with his friends is one of the keys of their success. “It’s nice working with really good friends. It makes it easier. When you are working with acquaintances you can’t always be totally honest with each other; as friends, we’ve been able to do that,” noted Bailey. Bailey has been named Midwest Region Coach of the Year for three consecutive years and was the National Coach of the Year in 2009.  In 2006, the first year for the three at Grace, Bailey’s son, Kirby, was a senior starter on the Tiger team that won the National Championship on a buzzer beater tip-in by Cedar Springs grad Jimmy Booth.
With only 190 students, almost every school on the schedule is larger than Grace, but Bailey is not afraid to play anybody, believing tougher competition makes his team better. Last season, the Tigers put a scare into NCAA DI The Citadel, losing a close one in Charleston, South Carolina.  They then grabbed local headlines when they thumped NCAA DII Ferris State University on the Bulldog’s home court en route to 19 straight wins and a second National Championship. This season, Grace knocked off local perennial basketball powerhouses Cornerstone University and Calvin College.  The Tigers finished this season with 15 straight victories and they have now won 41 straight contests against NCCAA DII schools.

“I told Gary this all still seems a bit surreal,” said George. “Who would have thought this would happen to a couple of small town guys?”

Bailey is thankful for area fans for coming out to the games. “Grace gets a lot of support from Cedar Springs, and I appreciate them showing their support,” he said.

Bailey also noted that Grace will have a parade on March 25 with a big bash afterward at the college, and everyone is invited. He said they had a few details to iron out, which had not yet been finalized at press time.

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Rams head to state finals

Cedar Springs High School hosted the Class A Girls Basketball Regional Finals last week. The Rockford Rams overpowered Holland’s West Ottawa Panthers 40 to 34 in Tueday’s game, then came back Thursday to defeat the Marquette Redettes 33 to 29. The Rams now advance to East Lansing for the state quarter-finals.

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Youth wrestlers bring home trophies

Greenville was host to the last official regular season tournament for the western region, on March 7, 2010. Cedar youth battled it out against hundreds of other wrestlers to bring home a total of 11 trophies at the tournament hosted by the Yellow Jackets.

In the 5/6 year division, winners were Landon Demorest 37lbs/1st, Trenton Wachter 52lbs/2nd, and Aiden Bouwens 58/61/4th.  Winners in the 7/8 year division were Trenton Snoeyink 55lbs/2nd, Reese Gonzales 58a/3rd, Logan Hull 58b/2nd, and Cody Gott 112lbs/2nd.

Winners in the 9/10 division were Allexis Gonzales 71lbs/4th, George Gonzales Jr. 100lbs/1st and Jeremy Wildfong 150/1st.

The winner in the 13, 14, 15 division was Jacob Bronsema 70lbs/1st.

Ryan Ringler flew solo, wrestling in Plainwell. He took first in the 82lbs 7/8 year division. Look for Regional results and State qualifiers in next week’s Post or find results on www.cedarspringsyouthwrestling.com.

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Michigan frog and toad survey begins its 15th year

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) announced that this year will be the 15th annual statewide Frog and Toad Survey coordinated by the DNRE Wildlife Division.

Declining populations of frog, toads, and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection.

Michigan’s annual survey efforts help biologists keep tabs on frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

“We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan’s frog and toad populations,” said Lori Sargent, the DNRE’s survey coordinator.

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites. These sites are visited three times during spring when frogs and toads are actively breeding. Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present and make an estimate of abundance.

“There are only about 200 routes statewide that are active routes. We could really use some new volunteers in all parts of the state,” said Sargent. “I encourage folks to consider joining us for a fun, educational time every spring and run a route. The continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support.”

For additional information or to volunteer, please leave your contact information for Lori Sargent at 517-373-9418, or at SargentL@michigan.gov.

More information on the Frog and Toad Survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available on the DNRE web site at www.michigan.gov/dnre.

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Spring is in the air!

“Robins have been sighted, and crocuses are in blossom! Can spring be far behind?” asked Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township, when she sent us a photo of these beautiful flowers springing up in her yard.
The weather has been sunny and warm this week (50s and low 60s), but watch the weather—even thought it’s the first day of spring Saturday, we might get a snowstorm Sunday! According to WOODTV-8 meteorologist Bill Steffen, “It’s not over til the fat snowman sings!”

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