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Archive | June, 2010

Teen steals car and leads officers on chase

A 16-year-old Stanwood youth stole a car in Big Rapids Sunday and led officers on a chase through Cedar Springs before crashing in Algoma Township.
A Mecosta County Sheriff deputy reportedly ran the car’s license plate after noticing a tail light was out and found the car had been stolen early Sunday. The youth took off south on Northland Drive after the deputy tried to pull him over.

The deputy chased him into Cedar Springs, but stopped because of heavy traffic. The teen weaved in and out of traffic before crashing on Northland Drive just south of Porter Hollow. He tried to run but was apprehended by the Kent County Sheriff Department and transported to Butterworth Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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Iowa firm recalls frozen chicken products possible salmonella contamination

WASHINGTON—ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods, LLC, a Council Bluffs, Iowa establishment is recalling Marie Callender’s brand Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen meals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced last week.

The company is recalling all Marie Callender’s brand Cheesy Chicken and Rice frozen meals in commerce, regardless of production date. These products are being recalled after the company was informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an investigation involving 29 people in 14 states who have been diagnosed with salmonellosis linked to Salmonella serotype Chester. Eight of the case-patients specifically reported eating this product in April and May, 2010, prior to illness onset; the last reported illness was reported on May 22.

FSIS became aware of the problem during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella serotype Chester illnesses. CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FSIS, and state health and agriculture departments are cooperating in this ongoing investigation. The investigation is ongoing, and has not yet definitively identified a food vehicle(s). Further information will be released to the public as it becomes available.

This product was shipped nationwide.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact ConAgra Foods at 1-866-484-9610.

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Crash injures three

A missed stop sign resulted in an accident that sent three people to the hospital last Thursday.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Kealan Lydell, 17, was heading north on Shaner Avenue Thursday evening, June 17, when he failed to stop his Pontiac four-door at the stop sign at Shaner and 17 Mile and crashed into another vehicle.

Gregory Downer, 39, of Belmont, was traveling westbound in a 2005 Chevy Impala, on 17 Mile, with three passengers when he was hit by Lydell’s vehicle. His front seat passenger, Sarah Teague, 29, and two children, ages 3 and 4 (in the backseat) were taken to the hospital with minor neck and back pain.

Lydell was not transported.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Concert in the park

It was a beautiful night last Thursday, June 17 for the kickoff of the summer concert series in Morley Park. Hundreds of residents were able to kick back and relax and listen to the tunes of the band “Righteous,” while kids played, and several door prizes (sponsored by local businesses) were given away during intermission.

The next concert will be July 15.

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Anderson’s Waterdance installed at Rockford dam

by Cliff and Nancy Hill

As dawn broke last Tuesday, Anderson’s Metal Sculpture installed and attached a much-anticipated work of art to the face of Rockford’s iconic Rogue River Dam.

Titled Waterdance, the sculpture is composed of three stainless steel fish leaping for joy amidst swirls of water.  The grander than life-size fish, synonymous with the Rogue River, are a rainbow trout, a steelhead, and a brown trout.

Utilizing a specially constructed boom, powered by 11 muscular and eager helpers, each fish was lowered from the top of the dam to be anchored to the dam’s foundation by Steven Anderson below.  From start to finish the installation went off without a hitch, much to the great pleasure of all involved.

After draping the sculpture for an unveiling ceremony later in that evening, the whole installation gang leaps for joy. Mind you, the sculpture installation was accomplished between 6 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. while a scant two-dozen bystanders, who happened on the scene, watched.

And so, just prior to this year’s first Tuesday evening performance of the ever popular Huntington Rogue River Blues series, all in attendance were invited by Rockford City Manager Michael Young to gather at the Rockford Dam Overlook for an unveiling and dedication ceremony of “something really special for the town by a very, very talented man, Sculptor Steve Anderson.”  Young went on to say, “Waterdance will be the centerpiece of the City’s summer long celebration of Rockford’s 75th anniversary of being incorporated as a city in June of 1935.”

Young further noted that the DDA, The Rockford Area Arts Commission, and the City of Rockford underwrote the material costs of the sculpture.  For his part, Anderson tells us his creative costs of design and layout along with construction labor and installation were Anderson’s Metal Sculpture’s gift to the Rockford community.

Anderson, a CedarRock resident, expressed his gratitude to all who played a hand in the creation and installation of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture’s most prodigious undertaking to date.  He asked that special recognition be given to his sons, Chad and Troy, for being co-creators of Waterdance. He also recognized Randy Everett of Rahm Industrial Services, Inc. and his 2-man crew, Dave and Nester, for prior preliminary concrete repair and hardware installation at the dam site.  And finally to his pre-dawn installation crew consisting of: (in no particular order) Chad and Troy Anderson, Jim Baker, Nolan and Ryan Davis, Nick and Tyler Emery, Earl Kindle, Cody and Mike Long, and Bill VanHorn.  “This dream of mine would not have been possible without the hard work and support of these folks,” said Anderson.

“Word of mouth is a powerful tool,” said Rockford Mayor Chi Chi Rogers.  “People here tonight, along with hometown newspaper coverage, will spread that word and countless others will follow.  They will now need to take a ‘new’ picture of the dam with Waterdance its focal point!”

The popular Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams tells us, “you build it and they will come.” Waterdance will prove that adage in spades.

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New library holds policy takes effect Monday

Beginning Monday, June 28, the Cedar Springs Public Library and other Lakeland Library Cooperative members will institute a new policy on library holds to help curb delivery costs.

Non-print items. Non-Cedar Springs Public Library cardholders (i.e. KDL. GRPL, Sparta, and other LLC libraries) will no longer be able to place holds on non-print items (i.e. DVDs and CDs) owned by Cedar Springs Public Library, and Cedar Springs Public Library patrons will no longer be able to place holds on LLC non-print items.  Cedar Springs Public Library cardholders will still be able to place holds on Cedar Springs Public Library AV items.

New books. New books will not be available for holds by non-Cedar Springs Public Library cardholders until six months after the book was purchased, and conversely, Cedar Springs Public Library cardholders will not be able to place holds on new books owned by other LLC libraries.

Pickup location. Holds placed after June 28, 2010 will be available for pick up only at a patron’s home library (the library catalog will no longer have a drop down menu to select pickup location.)

“While we recognize these changes may create an inconvenience for some of our library users, this decision was made in an effort to reduce the costs associated with the transportation and handling of library materials while maintaining many of the services our library users have come to rely on. Last year alone, state aid to LLC was cut by 40%, amounting to approximately $110,000 in lost revenue,” said a press release by the Lakeland Library Cooperative.

If you have any questions regarding this new policy, please contact the Cedar Springs Library at 616-696-1910.

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Fun at the C.S. library

Tuesday at 2, it’s fun at the CS Library every Tuesday until the end of July. Door prizes at every show. Tuesday, June 29, entertainer Eugene Clark will mesmerize you with fascinating facts about bodies of water and sea life using comedy, puppets and amazing magic tricks!  Everyone welcome.

Calling all teens! Choose between two great programs on July 1, 6:30-8pm at the Cedar Springs Library. Join Mary Gardner to learn basic Quilling techniques and make an art project. Google “Quilling” to get excited about this art form. Or make a bluebird house with master woodworker, Dan Davis. Do a little sawing and hammering and have a lot of fun. Bring friends. Preregister at 696-1910 or 43 W. Cherry Street. In case of rain, woodworking will be at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main.

“Something’s Fishy!” Bring your preschoolers to the Cedar Springs Library at 11:15 a.m. on June 29 to find out what it is! All summer programs on our website:cedarsprings.llcoop.org.

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Coral Days Festival crowns winners

Pictured left to right: 2010 Miss Coral-Nichole Franken; Jr. Miss Coral 2nd runnerup-Courtney Olson; 2010 Coral Princess-Brooke Chapin; Miss Coral 1st runnerup-Emily Ackerson; Jr. Miss Coral 1st runnerup-Briannah Englund, 2010 Junior Miss Coral-Melaina Wykes, 2010 Coral Prince-Hunter Merlington.

The Coral Days Festival held their annual Miss, Junior Miss, Prince and Princess contests last Friday at the Coral Community Center in Coral.

Crowned Miss Coral 2010 was Nichole Franken, 15, the daughter of Steve and Nancy Franken. Jr. Miss Coral is Melaina Wykes, 12, daughter of Clay and Amy Wykes. Coral Days Princess is Brooke Chapin 5, daughter of Melanie Lance, 2010 Coral Days Prince is Hunter Merlington, 7, son of Amie Bradley and Zack Merlington.

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Director retires from Kent District Library

KENT COUNTY, MI – Martha Esch, Director of Kent District Library, has announced her retirement from KDL effective June 18, 2010. Esch was hired in 1993 as the Grandville Branch Manager and promoted to KDL Director in 2001.

During her tenure, Esch has led a number of efforts to help keep KDL at the forefront of library innovation and service. She was instrumental in the creation of the KDL Fund, which helps to provide continued funding for early literacy and other essential library services through charitable giving. Esch has successfully led the campaign for a ten-year millage of .88 mill/year. She has also spearheaded three strategic plans, brought radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to KDL to improve efficiency and promote self check-out for patrons, and instituted a floating collection which reduces the amount of time items spend in transit from one library to another.

Since Esch became Director in 2001, the number of branch visitors per year has increased almost 50 percent to over 3.6 million in 2009 and total items checked out per year has gone up over 77 percent to almost 6.4 million. Esch also had the opportunity to see several new library building projects completed by the municipalities served by KDL, a testament to their support of libraries.

Most recently, Esch was presented the Michigan Library Association’s 2010 Librarian of the Year award, which honors outstanding members of the library profession.

“It has been an honor to serve as the KDL Director and participate in such a strong regional partnership with 26 communities in Kent County as well as the Kent County Board of Commissioners. I am happy to have been a part of such tremendous growth and to have witnessed such strong community support.” said Esch. “I am honored to have received MLA’s Librarian of the Year award and would like to share this accolade with the people and communities, as well as KDL staff and Board members that have helped our organization reach its goals throughout the years.”

Assistant Director Cheryl Garrison will serve as Interim Director until a new Director is hired.

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Roger on Main St.

Coming to you LIVE!

The live video of BP’s gusher at the bottom of the Gulf is mesmerizing but fuzzy. A disaster expert on NPR this week said BP runs another camera down there with superior resolution. That video is for company viewing only. It allows, said the expert, a more accurate measurement of oil pouring into the water. It seems likely that BP is underestimating the magnitude of the disaster. (Such disasters are ALWAYS underestimated, no matter which corporation is involved, according to the expert.)

BP is responsible for the damage and BP will pay. Whether it will pay enough is open to question. Meanwhile, we can only pity the residents whose health and income depend on the clean waters of the Gulf. And we can only pity those who make their living through offshore drilling in the Gulf. They will suffer further with even a six-month moratorium.

There’s no satisfactory answer. What’s done is done. But, looking to the future, let’s all demand that the oil industry develop huge improvements in 1) preventive measures and 2) its ability to make fast repairs in case such a catastrophe ever happens again.

Truth will out

The small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly woman.

“Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” he asked.

“Why yes, I do, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you’re a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife and you manipulate folks and talk about them behind their backs. Yes, I know you.”

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”

She again replied, “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy and bigoted and he has a drinking problem. His law practice is a joke. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, not to mention he cheated with three different women and one of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.”

The defense attorney turned a bright shade of red.

The judge asked both lawyers to approach the bench, and, in a very quiet voice, he said, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send you both to the electric chair.”

Closing wisdom

1) Forbidden fruits create many jams.

2) Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

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