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Archive | June, 2010

Keep your “Thumbs on the Wheel”

Driver texting ban goes into effect July 1

Beginning Thursday, drivers who text behind the wheel risk not only a traffic crash but a $100 citation under provisions of a new state law designed to keep drivers’ eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

To encourage awareness and compliance, the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is launching a “Thumbs on the Wheel” campaign that will feature billboards, public service announcements and posters. OHSP will use federal traffic safety funds for the campaign aimed at reducing driver distractions.

“The state’s ban on texting while driving recognizes the potential danger when drivers are not fully focused on the road,” said Col. Eddie L. Washington, Jr., director of the Michigan State Police. “As with all traffic laws, law enforcement officers will take appropriate action when witnessing violations.”

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent said that they would also actively enforce the new law. “We’ll watch for it, just like everything else,” he said.

The primary enforcement law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. Driving is defined as: operating a moving motor vehicle on a street or highway. Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes or other emergencies. Drivers face a $100 fine for a first offense and a $200 fine for subsequent violations. No points are assessed or posted to a person’s driving record.

Michigan is the 24th state to ban drivers from texting.

Parent said they might stop someone if they have no hands on the wheel, if they have a phone in their hand and appear to be looking down, or otherwise appear distracted.

Nationally, driver distraction is a major focus of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are three main types of distraction:

* Visual – taking your eyes off the road
* Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
* Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing

While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.

Michigan crash data captures information relative to cell phone use but does not differentiate whether a driver was talking or texting at the time of a crash. In 2009, the state recorded 947 people were using cell phones at the time of a crash.

While it’s not covered in the bill, Parent said that another problem is that when people are talking on cell phones, they often don’t use their turn signal. He said that the Supreme Court ruled last year that a change in lane does require a signal to be used. “Remember to continue to use the rules of the road,” he cautioned.

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Fireworks explosion injures man

A 42-year-old Stanton man had a commercial firework explode in his hand while at a friend’s house Tuesday.

According the Montcalm County Sheriff Office, Blaine Kortes, 42, was at 1379 W. Klees Road in Douglas Township when the accident occurred, about 7:34 p.m., June 29.

The blast caused serious injury to the victim’s left hand, and burns to his body. Montcalm Emergency Services transported Blaine to Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Deputies remind the public to use caution when handling fireworks during the July 4th holiday. Fireworks that explode or leave the ground are still illegal in Michigan. No one else was injured in the blast. The incident remains under investigation.

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Benefit for Joshua Parker

Help Cedar Springs grad fight leukemia

It was a birthday Lisa Mabie Blair will never forget—the day she was told her oldest son, Joshua Parker, was diagnosed with leukemia. That was two years ago and the news hit the family hard. Joshua grew up in Cedar Springs and is now residing in Rockford with his wife, Heidi.

Joshua was healthy until only days before his diagnosis. His first symptom was shoulder pain. He worked at Acme Pool Company and figured he strained a muscle. Days later he had a terrible stomach ache that propelled him to call his wife at work. Heidi took him into emergency and after several tests, they learned Joshua had a large spleen and his white blood count was high.

That’s when they got the diagnoses of cancer.

Since then, he’s been in and out of the hospital. In June of this year Joshua received a bone marrow transplant and continues to struggle with health issues.

The family has made plans for a benefit for Joshua on July 30. The event will be held at Solon Center Wesleyan Church from 5 to 8 p.m. and will consist of a spaghetti dinner and silent auction. Donations are needed and if you would like to be a part of this event, call 696-9264.

An account at Independent Bank has also been set up for those who would like to donate. Mention Joshua’s name at any Independent Bank location. You can follow Joshua’s progress on the web: lifeloveandleukemia.blogspot.com.

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Rotary looking for host family

Do you want to promote peace in the universe? Do you want your children to experience different cultures and ethnic backgrounds? Have you ever wished you could develop a meaningful relationship with someone in another country? Do you have children wanting to improve their Spanish-speaking skills? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please consider serving as a host family for 15-weeks to the Cedar Springs Rotary Club’s inbound student named Daniel.

Rotary has carefully screened and trained this 17-year-old young man from Mexico over the past year for his 10-month stay in America. Daniel is enrolled as a senior at Cedar Springs High School. He enjoys basketball, martial arts, swimming and loves dogs. He is the oldest of three children who has studied English for the past 9 years. Rotary’s Exchange Student Program is unique in that Rotarians will assist and support host families. Daniel arrives in August, so if your family would like to learn more about this fabulous opportunity please quickly contact Tom Noreen at 696-5186, Gabrielle Warner at 616-732-9000, or Sue Wolfe at 696-2246.

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Family fun at Coral Days

Festival-goers experienced some great family fun at the Coral Days Festival in downtown Coral last weekend. It was the 7th year as a weekend celebration, from what began as a one-day community event. The festival, sponsored by the Coral Fire Department, took place Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26.  There were numerous activities planned for young and old, single and families alike.

The Friday before, the annual Coral Days Pageants was held at the Coral Community Center, with Nichole Franken winning the crown for the 2010 Miss Coral. The new Junior Miss is Melaina Wykes and Prince & Princess are Hunter Merlington and Brooke Chapin. The Grand Marshals, Mr. & Mrs. Dean Larson were introduced during this time also.

A car & bike show kicked off the festival and had the largest number of cars & bikes attending since the event began. Local Fire Departments came for the annual Firemen’s Water Battles and was a lot of fun to watch.

Coral Cowden Lake Bible Academy started Saturday’s events with a free pancake breakfast. There was 3 on 3 basketball, horseshoe and volleyball tournaments going on in the park, along with the craft and flea market vendors displaying their wares. With sirens blaring and crowds cheering, the grand parade made its way through town, with a variety of floats. Rusty the Clown was painting faces & creating balloon animals for the kids. Firemen were busy grilling brats and hotdogs, while Chari Miles entertained as folks were eating. Pedal Tractor Pulls showed children testing their strength and the Soapbox Races had future NASCAR drivers racing their cars! In between, the “Fun for all Ages” was in full swing with hometown games and contests.

“We were very excited to have The Stolen Horses Band come back to perform for us in the evening with a free concert in the park,” said festival director Kristy Stevenson. “These guys are seasoned musicians who have performed shows with many national acts and two of their songs are currently being played on country radio.” Folks brought their lawn chairs and enjoyed the concert. Concluding the celebration at dark was the annual Firemen’s Night Parade of Lights.

“With the help and generosity of volunteers throughout the community, Coral had another successful festival,” said Stevenson. “Thank you to everyone who helped put it together and make it all happen.”

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Roger on Main St.

Best hope

Efforts to fix the “Spill” have been disappointing. We are all pinning our hopes on the relief well designed to plug the old well. It’s still over a month away. But what if that doesn’t work? Nothing else has. It could mean the end of BP as a very major international corporation. The President will surely demand they keep paying damages until all their money is gone. And what then? The worst case scenario may be too serious to contemplate.

Back on Main Street

The effects of the recession are still with us. Michigan has been hard hit because of the migration of the auto business to Japan. We won’t get that back. Local business has been hit hard but most are hanging in. Some, however, have gone, with their hopes. Things are slowly picking up. We will recover but it’s going to take a while.

Lighter side

The computer company Jane works for distributed a corporate clothing catalog that included a pair of cuff links. One was inscribed Ctrl (control) and the other Esc
(escape), just as they look on a computer keyboard.
“They would make a good present for any man,” Jane commented to a colleague, “if only to remind him of the two things he can never have.”

Last name basis

My friend wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, but he bought one anyway.
“I’ll tell you what,” he told her. “In the spirit of compromise, why don’t you name the boat?” Being a good sport, she accepted.
When her husband went to the dock for the maiden voyage, this is the  name he saw painted on the side: “For Sale.”

Counsel

Sandy began a job as an elementary school counselor and was eager to help the students. One day during recess, she noticed a girl standing by herself on one side of the playing field while the rest of the kids enjoyed a game of soccer at the other.
Sandy approached and asked the girl if she was all right.  The girl said she was.  A little while later, however, Sandy noticed that the girl was in the same spot, still by herself.
Approaching again, Sandy offered, “Would you like me to be your friend?”
The girl hesitated, then said, “Okay,” looking at the woman suspiciously. Feeling that she was making progress, Sandy then asked, “Why are you standing here all alone?”
“Because,” the little girl said with great exasperation, “I’m the goalie!”

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Post Script

What about Nelson Township?

Dear Editor,
In regards to the disincorporation of the Village of Sand Lake: Why are the citizens of Nelson Township excluded from the vote? We are the ones whose taxes will be raised! We are also the ones who will be forced to inherit their debts. What about grants awarded to the village? Are we to be expected to reimburse the government? The villagers of Sand Lake should be asking: “What is the TRUE reason behind this movement to disincorporate?”
We are ALL affected by the current economic status of our state. Are we not still in a democracy? When will the largest population affected be allowed their say? One of our country’s earliest battle cries was: “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!”

Dennis White
Nelson Township resident

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Track and field summer camp

Last week 95 Cedar Springs youth participated in the annual Track and Field camp put on by the Varsity coaches and athletes. The camp took place at Red Hawk Stadium and was run through the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Department.

The youngsters took part in learning many different track and field events including hurdles, softball throw (mimicking the shot put), standing long jump, relays, starting blocks and more.  After working on the events for two days, even in the rain, the participants put their new skills to task and participated in a meet. Hershey’s puts on track and field meets around the country and this event was the local one of its kind. The event is held to let the participants explore the sport of track and field, but also to act as a qualifier for a Hershey Track and Field state meet held on July 9 at Holt High School. To qualify for the state meet the athletes must win their event during the Cedar Springs Hershey Track and Field meet. They compete in various events based on age and gender. Thanks to all of the participants at this years camp, the high school athletes and coaches that helped instruct them and train them, and the support of their families. We also would like to congratulate our qualifiers for the state meet in Holt.

The results from the meet are as follows:

Boys 9-10

50 Meter Dash
1st- Jared Hause 8.43 • 2nd- Ben Joppich 8.72
100 Meter Dash
1st- Jared Hause 16.15 • 2nd- Mason Miller 16.23
200 Meter Dash
1st- Mason Miller 34.62 • 2nd- John Jacob Todd 35.19
400 Meter Dash
1st- Dallas Mora 1:20.6 • 2nd- Brayden Marvel 1:30
Standing Long Jump
1st- Julian Lewis 5‘ 11.5” • 2nd-  John Jacob Todd 5’ 3.75 “
Softball Throw
1st- Colton Gould 104‘ • 2nd- Ben Joppich 93’4 “

Boys 11-12

100 Meter Dash
1st-George Gonzales Jr. 15.13 • 2nd- Josh Merritt 15.20
200 Meter Dash
1st- Jarred Reyers 33.46 • 2nd- Josh Merritt 33.53
400 Meter Dash
1st- Cameron Umphrey 1:12
800 Meter Dash
1st- Cameron Umphrey 2:58
Standing Long Jump
1st- Jameson Pavelka 6’ 7” • 2nd- Jacob Hooker 5’ 11”
Softball Throw
1st- George Gonzales Jr. 141’ • 2nd- Collin Alvesteffer 136’ 6“
400 Meter Relay: Collin Alvesteffer, George
Gonzaeles Jr., Nick Rathemel, McCarty Snoeyink

Boys 13-14

100 Meter Dash
1st- Chris King 13.58 • 2nd- Blake Willett 13.89
200 Meter Dash
1st-  Brandon Sipka 26.75 • 2nd-  Mav Rick Cotten 27.9
800 Meter Dash
1st- Dylan Finch 2:30 • 2nd-  Jack Koning 2:30.7
1600 Meter Run
1st- Gabe Zwinger 6:06
Standing Long Jump
1st- Brandon Sipka 7’ 10.5” • 2nd- Luke Dault 7’ 8”
Softball Throw
1st- Kaden Myers 196’ • 2nd- Mav Rick Cotton  194’
400 Meter Relay:   Luke Dault, Kaden Myers, Brandon Sipka, Blake Willett

Girls 9-10

50 Meter Dash
1st- Nadia Williams 8.16 • 2nd- Baylie VanDyke 8.28
100 Meter Dash
1st- Baylie VanDyke 16.26 • 2nd- Nadia Williams 16.28
400 Meter Dash
1st- Alexis Gonzales 1:20 • 2nd- Madelyn Titus 1:58
Standing Long Jump
1st- Ebonye Hunter 4’ 11.2” • 2nd- Joyce Sella 4’ 8”
Softball Throw
1st- Maddie Nichols 89’ 10” • 2nd- Nadia Williams 67’ 2“
400 Meter Relay: Baylie VanDyke, Maddie Nichols, Leah Kuzma, Shelby Shotko

Girls 11-12

100 Meter Dash
1st- Elizabeth Redfield 16.0 • 2nd- Peyton Rumsey 16.20
200 Meter Dash
1st- Tara Tepin 31.77 • 2nd-  Janelle Odren 32.75
400 Meter Dash
1st- Kenzy Hunter   1:26 • 2nd- Madison Mora  1:31
800 Meter Dash
1st- Brooke Morris 3:10 • 2nd-  Kenzy Hunter 3:16
Standing Long Jump
1st- Grace Dault 6’ 0.75“ • 2nd- Payton Rumsey 6’ 0.25”
Softball Throw
1st- Mariah Alger 101‘ 4” • 2nd- Autumn Hinton 66‘ 2”
400 Meter Relay: Siena Wight, Grace Dault, Cassandra Rivard, Brooke Morris

Girls 13-14

100 Meter Dash
1st-  Alyson Marvel 16.0
200 Meter Dash
1st-  Alyssa Alger 30.31 • 2nd-  Jordan Scheidel 32.30
800 Meter Dash
1st- Mackenzie Weiler 2:32 • 2nd-  Charlene King 3:26
1600 Meter Run
1st- Mackenzie Weiler 5:30
Standing Long Jump
1st- Alyson Marvel 6’ 6” • 2nd- Sarah Swinehart 4’ 5“
Softball Throw
1st- Mackenzie Weiler 121’ • 2nd- Sarah Swinehart 65’
400 Meter Relay:  Jordan Scheidel, Alyssa Alger, Alyson Marvel, Mikayla Cooper

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Force rolls over Soldiers

Transportation issues caused the Detroit Motor City Soldiers to make it to Skinner Field at Morley Park last Saturday night with only 20 of their 35-man roster. The West Michigan Force took no pity, however, and won 55-8. That now brings their record to 4-1 on the season. Unfortunately, no stats were available at press time.

The Force plays again on July 10, against the Michigan Gators in Berkley, Michigan.

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Mitz shines in all-star game

Kenny Mitz, a 2010 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, had a good outing when he played recently in the Jon Bos All-Star game O-K White vs. O-K Blue.

According to his high school coach, Ron Weir, Mitz pitched two innings for the O-K Blue, with four strikeouts and allowed only two runs against an all-star lineup.

At the plate he went 2 for 4, with a key double, and scored two runs and had one run batted in. The O-KWhite came out on top, however, 5-4.

Weir said Mitz had a great season with the Red Hawks last spring. “He pitched 60 innings, with 90 strikeouts, and his batting average for the year was .610. He was a great senior leader,” noted Weir.

Mitz is the son of Theresa and Ken Mitz of Cedar Springs.

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