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Archive | June, 2011

This week’s happenings

TOPS, weight loss support group
July 5: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weight loss goals! Exercise 8-8:30am (optional), weigh-ins from 8:30am – 9am and the meeting starts at 9:15am. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. #26

Help promote literacy!
July 5: The Literacy Center of West Michigan needs volunteer tutors (the need is urgent at this time!) and has scheduled an information session on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, for prospective volunteer tutors. This session is held at 6:30 p.m. and lasts one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Center and its literacy programs. At the end of the session, there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. The information session will be held at the Literacy Center of West Michigan located at 1120 Monroe Ave., N.W. Suite 240, grand Rapids. Please call us at 459-5151 (ext. 10) to register. #26

Howard Christensen Nature Center events
July 11: SIGN-UP NOW for upcoming events at Howard Christensen Nature Center in July…Bugs Are Beautiful (7/11) ages 7-12; Wild Wednesday II: Forests (7/13), ages 5-12; Geology Rocks! (7/22), ages 5-8; Greenup Gardening Workshop: Flower Arranging (7/25) all ages! Details and registration deadlines can be found at www.lilysfrogpad.com. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED… Junior Naturalist Day on July 14, noon-3:00 p.m.; Volunteer Work Day on July 23, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Please call 616-675-3158 if you would like to volunteer. Lily’s/HCNC is IN THE NEWS! See clips on our Facebook group page “Howard Christensen Nature Center managed by Lily’s Frog Pad Inc.” #26

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Buy a verdict

Murphy, a dishonest lawyer, bribed a man on his client’s jury to hold out for a charge of manslaughter, as opposed to the charge of murder which was brought by the state.
The jury was out for several days before they returned with the manslaughter verdict.
When Murphy paid the corrupt juror, he asked him if he had a very difficult time persuading the other jurors to see things his way.
“Sure did,” the juror replied, “the other eleven wanted to acquit.”

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GR Symphony Picnic Pops

Take some time out this summer to enjoy the Grand Rapids Symphony and their popular Picnic Pops program! Classical Fireworks July 14 & 15, 8pm, Cannonsbug Ski Area- Spectacular fireworks and classics you know and love, including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Generations of Rock with Michael Cavanaugh July 21 & 22, 7:30pm, Cannonsbug Ski Area-The greatest hits of Elton John and Rock songs of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Beach Boys Tribute with Papa Doo Run Run July 28 & 29, 7:30pm, Cannonsbug Ski Area- Hear all your Beach Boys favorites… Fun, Fun, Fun, Good Vibrations, California Girls, Surfin’ U.S.A. The Music of Michael Jackson August 4 & 5, 7:30pm, Cannonsburg Ski Area- Singer/dancer James Delisco takes you through each era of the King of Pop’s storied career: from ABC and I’ll Be There to Beat It, Thriller, Rock With You, The Way You Make Me Feel. Call 616/454-9451 ext. 4 for ticket information. Complete information at http://grsymphony.org/concerts/dw-fresh-market-picnic-pops

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Algoma Christian School Soccer team receives All-Academic honors

The Algoma Christian School Varsity Girls soccer team received recognition All-Academic honors from the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association (MHSSCA) for the 2011 soccer season. Teams earn this recognition by maintaining combined GPA over 3.3 on a 4.0 scale for the season.
Individual senior players who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale also receive recognition from MHSSCA. Senior players from Algoma Christian School receiving All-Academic recognition for the 2011 soccer season are:  Amanda Succop, Anna Fales, Lianna Dykstra, Lisa Counts, and Caitlyn Bartell.
Senior player Caitlyn Bartell also received the honor of being named to the MHSSCA All-Regional Team and the All-State Honorable Mention Team for 2011.
The 2011 girls varsity soccer team was coached by Joel Bartell.
Algoma Christian School is located just outside Kent City, MI.

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Main Street

Roger on Main StreetDown with government?
No taxes, no government. This notion has taken hold in some circles. In my opinion, the idea has a few flaws.
If nobody in town had to pay taxes we’d have to do without water, sewer and roads. Not paying taxes would leave your budget with more money for steak and designer jeans, but, whoa – the street is off-limits for you, buddy, unless you pay a hefty toll fee to the private owner. If your house catches fire, better have your credit card handy because there would be a service call charge, an hourly charge for each fireman, mileage fees, water charges, and hose usage. That’s plan A. Your fire is out. But if you want the firemen to save people or pets from the building, you have to buy plan B from the owner of the fire department. (No taxes, though.)
Check the city budget. Try online for a summary of where the money goes. It’s clear to me that we need government. It’s the most cost-efficient way to get the things we need. Why government and not private providers? Because government doesn’t have to make a profit.
Taxes save us money. You read it here.
Be prepared
Two elderly women met for the first time since graduating from high school.  One said, “You were always so organized in school. Did you manage to live that way all your life?”
“Yes,” said her friend. “My first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; my third was to a preacher; and now I’m married to an undertaker.”
“I don’t get it,” said the other. “What do those marriages have to do with a well-planned life?”
“One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!”
Mom joke, No. 1
My mother and I were walking down the street when a man with a clipboard stopped us. “I’m taking a survey,” he said. “Do you think there is too much sex in movies?”
“I’m not sure,” replied my mother. “I’m usually too wrapped up in the film to notice what the rest of the audience is doing.”
Mom joke, No. 2
A young man finds his dream girl and asks her to marry him. He tells his mother he wants her to meet his fiancée. Wanting to make a bit of a game out of it, he says he’ll bring the girl over with two others and see if his mother can guess which is his choice. His mother agrees to the game.
That night, he shows up with three beautiful young ladies. They all sit down on the couch, and everyone has a wonderful evening talking and getting to know each other.
After the three have departed, the young man says, “Okay, Mom, which one was the girl I want to marry?”
Without any hesitation, his mother replies, “The one in the middle.”
The young man is astounded. “How in the world did you figure it out?”
“Easy,” she says. “I don’t like her.”

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Healthy summer eating made easy

Don’t take a vacation from eating right


Strawberry, Spinach and Cottage Cheese Salad

Family Features

Warm weather is synonymous with trips to the beach, baseball games and summer vacations. While enjoying these outings, you may find yourself tempted by hot dogs, ice cream and other summer indulgences. A busy schedule, combined with tempting summer treats, could throw off your healthy eating routine. Registered Dietitian Robin Kline, MS, RD, CCP, offers three simple tips for how to stay healthy throughout the season.

“Planning ahead is your best strategy to stay on track for great summertime eating,” said Kline. “Whether it’s visiting the farmers market for fresh, seasonal produce or packing healthy snacks for on-the-go, being prepared results in smart eating.”

Think Simple. No one wants to spend time in a hot kitchen preparing meals on a nice summer day. Finding quick, healthy meal options that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less will provide you with more time to spend outdoors enjoying the warm weather. A healthy salad that contains a rainbow of nutrients is easy to prepare and helps you avoid turning on the oven.

Think Fresh. Many delicious fruits are in season during the summer, including peaches, berries and melons. Fresh fruits are naturally sweet, a good source of vitamins and are easy for on-the-go eating. Eat them alone as a snack, blend into a smoothie or create a breakfast parfait with berries, granola and cottage cheese.

Think Healthy. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the amount of protein needed in the average American diet depends on gender, age and level of physical activity, but recommends selecting a variety of lean sources of protein. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are a good lean protein source, while cottage cheese and legumes are great options for adding variety. Cottage cheese is a versatile option that can be incorporated into a number of different recipes. Daisy Brand Low Fat Cottage Cheese is 100 percent natural with only four ingredients, a good source of calcium, lower in sodium than many other brands and an excellent source of protein with 14 grams per half-cup serving.

By following these few easy tips, you can enjoy summer with the peace of mind that you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The following recipes are great starters for summertime foods. Visit www.DaisyBrand.com/CottageCheese for more information and recipe ideas.

Strawberry Banana Parfait

Strawberry Banana Parfait
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4
1     banana, cut in chunks
1     tablespoon lime juice
1     cup strawberries, quartered
1/4     cup honey
1/4     cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2     cups Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
Toss banana with lime juice in a small bowl. Mix bananas with strawberries, honey and walnuts. Spoon mixture into parfait glasses. Top each glass with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.

Strawberry, Spinach and Cottage Cheese Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
6     ounces baby spinach
1/4     cup green onions, sliced
1/2     cup light raspberry vinaigrette
1     cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4     cup walnuts, chopped
2     cups Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
Toss spinach and green onions with vinaigrette; divide evenly onto 4 salad plates. Top each salad with strawberries and walnuts. Spoon cottage cheese over spinach mixture and serve.

Black Bean Nachos

Black Bean Nachos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8
1     cup Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
1/4     cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
3     dashes hot sauce to taste
1/2     teaspoon cumin
4     cups pita chips
1     15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1     cup reduced fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2     cup green onions, chopped
1     medium tomato, chopped
Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, hot sauce and cumin in small bowl; set aside. Layer pita chips evenly on 2 large microwave-safe plates. Top each plate with half of the beans and shredded cheese. Microwave 1 plate on high for 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Drop half of cottage cheese mixture by spoonfuls over melted cheese on nachos. Top with half of chopped green onions and tomato. Repeat with second plate.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools Honor Roll

3rd Tri-mester Honor Roll 2010-2011

CSPS Honor Roll

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Police chief, deputy cleared in fatal shooting

Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause announced last week that Howard City Police Chief Steven DeWitt and Montcalm Sheriff Deputy Clay Thomas both acted in self-defense in the fatal shooting of Gulf war veteran Matthew Speese, 47, of Reynolds Township, earlier this month.

Montcalm County dispatch received a call on June 1, about 5:45 p.m., from the Veterans Crisis line requesting a well-being check on Matthew Speese, 20585 Gates Rd, because he was threatening to kill himself. They also said that Speese said he would shoot police officers if they responded.

Michigan State Police Troopers Delyn Rice and Corey Zimmerman were the first officers on scene. Trooper Rice was about 80-100 yards from the residence when Speese came out on to the porch with a long gun. She attempted to make contact through the PA system on her car, but he did not respond. She relayed information to dispatch that there was a barricaded gunman situation and more officers responded.

A perimeter was soon set up around the residence. Troopers Rice and Zimmerman backed up towards the road after seeing the gun, and because the driveway dog-legged to the left, they could not see the residence. Howard City Police Chief Steven DeWitt and Officer McQueen were on the east side of the residence, and Trooper Jason Medley and Deputy Clay Thomas were on the west side.

When Chief DeWitt first arrived, he saw Speese come out of the residence onto the front porch and start yelling and screaming in his direction. He heard Speese say he had a high-powered rifle and he was going to shoot them. Speese then retreated into the residence.

While still in the driveway Chief DeWitt noticed a second story window open and an object protrude out that appeared to be a gun.  At that same time he heard via radio from Central Dispatch that Speese was on the phone with Dispatch and told them he had “a superior firing position on them and was going to shoot us (police).”

Trooper Gary Wilson, a trained negotiator, made contact with Speese over the phone. He was reportedly belligerent. Speese advised, “It will be dark soon and I have my camo on, I’m going to be hunting cops soon, and no one knows these woods like I do.”  He also said he was “a real Marine, not a 4-year Marine in basic training.” He also said he had “a bead on everyone” and that they were the enemy. Dispatch also contacted Speese and asked him to exit the residence but he refused.

Central Dispatch later advised that Speese would only talk to the Howard City Police Chief.  Chief DeWitt advised Central Dispatch to tell him that he would talk to him but he had to come out of the residence unarmed, and that they were not there to arrest him or hurt him. Speese failed to comply.

After approximately 1-½ hours from the time of the original call, Chief DeWitt saw Speese exit the residence, and march down the driveway like he was on a mission, in the direction of Troopers Rice and Zimmerman.  He had what looked like an assault rifle in his hands and was holding it at waist level pointed straight ahead down the driveway.  He was yelling something about shooting the cops.  Chief DeWitt starting yelling, “Police Officer, drop your gun!  Drop your gun! Drop your gun!” Chief DeWitt repeatedly yelled for Speese to drop his gun; however Speese kept marching down the driveway toward the other officers who could not see Speese or hear what was going on. Speese did look at Chief DeWitt, who kept repeating his commands to drop the gun, but Speese did not stop and kept walking with gun held in both hands leveled waist high.

Based on his observations, training, and experience, Chief DeWitt knew what Speese was going to do based on his demeanor. He also realized that he would soon lose sight of Speese due to the narrowing of the driveway and heavy wooded coverage on both sides, so he fired one round at Speese from his department issued .223 rifle. It is unclear whether that round hit Speese or not. Speese immediately took cover behind a tree with his rifle now pointed in the direction of Chief DeWitt.

Chief DeWitt continued to yell at Speese. He said, “Matthew, it doesn’t have to be like this. We’re not here to hurt you. Just put the gun down.” Speese replied, “I’m not going to put the &*%$ gun down.”  He also started yelling about shooting or killing the police again. He then leveled the gun from around the tree toward Chief DeWitt.

At this time Deputy Thomas had made his way to the southwest corner of a pole building that was just north of the residence. He saw Speese crouched down behind the tree with his long gun pointed in the direction of Chief DeWitt. Deputy Thomas immediately shouted “Sheriff’s Department, drop the weapon.” Deputy Thomas was approximately 40 feet away from Speese at this time. Speese dropped his head and cursed. In one quick motion, Speese stood up turning toward Deputy Thomas and threw his long gun toward Deputy Thomas and then began to reach toward his waistband. Deputy Thomas saw a silver and black object in Speese’s left hand, which he believed to be a weapon. Speese continued to reach toward his waistband and Deputy Thomas thought he was reaching for another weapon. In fear for his life, Deputy Thomas fired once from his AR 15, departmental issued rifle. Speese continued to reach for his waistband so Deputy Thomas fired two additional rounds. Speese then fell to the ground. Deputy Thomas heard Chief DeWitt yell that Speese had a handgun as well.

Chief DeWitt also fired two additional shots toward Speese after he saw Speese stand up and point the long gun at the other officer.

While down on the ground, Speese continued to have his right hand near his waistband. Both Chief DeWitt and Deputy Thomas commanded Speese several times to take his right hand away from his side. He was alive but would not comply. Several more Officers approached Speese while he was down on the ground. An object was removed from his hand that turned out to be a large Gerber black and silver folding knife. The long gun that Speese had been carrying was a black .22 caliber/.410 gauge over/under rifle/shotgun. It was fully loaded with two live rounds, one .22 caliber and the other was a .410 slug.  In the butt of the gun were additional live rounds of .22 caliber rounds and .410 slugs.
EMS, who had staged nearby, was called to the scene and Speese was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth where he was pronounced dead. Dr. Stephen Cohle performed an autopsy at Spectrum-Blodgett on June 2, 2011. He concluded that Speese died as a result of the gunshot wound to the left side of his head.

“Based upon a review of the facts and the law, it is clear that Mr. Speese presented an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm to Deputy Thomas and/or Chief DeWitt and/or the officers at the end of the driveway.  As such both Deputy Thomas and Chief DeWitt acted properly in self-defense,” said Montcalm Prosecuting attorney Andrea Krause.

“Rather than comply with police commands, Speese escalated the situation by continuing to be actively aggressive even when face to face with the barrel of Deputy Thomas’ rifle,” explained Krause. “Even when down on the ground he still refused to take his hand away from his waistband where another potential weapon was stored. Under these circumstances, Deputy Thomas and Chief DeWitt were justified in using deadly force against what would be perceived by any reasonable person as an imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”

This was not the first time Speese had threatened suicide. He also had an incident last year while camping where he became irrational and mentioned killing himself and committing suicide by cop. He later spent time in the VA Hospital.

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Local dog wins national pet competition

By Judy Reed

Madeline and Labrador Retriever Lucy

Madeline Sagorski and two-year-old Labrador Retriever, Lucy, winner of the 28-day challenge.

When Madeline Sagorski, of Solon Township, found out that her dog, Lucy, a golden Labrador Retriever, had been chosen Challenge Champion in the Eukanuba 28-day Challenge Champion contest, she was bursting to share the news. “I was very excited, and it was hard to keep it a secret,” she said, noting that she had to wait just a bit to share it until it was announced publicly.

According to Eukanuba, it was a close race, but her unique and inspiring story was chosen among many notable canines, including the four other contest finalists, Holly (Sheltand Sheepdog) of Magna, Utah, Chloe (Shih Tzu) of Yardley, Pa., Gunner (Australian Shepherd) of Bloomingburg N.Y. and Alex (Dalmatian) of Beverly, Mass.
Dog owners across the country who took the 28-day challenge between February 15 and April 30 were invited to submit in 100 words or less their dog’s transformation from good to extraordinary, while eating Eukanuba for 28 days.

Madeline decided to enter Lucy in the contest after trying Eukanuba. “She’s a very active dog. We have a lot of property (40 acres and a 20-acre lake) and she does a lot of running. We had been buying the cheaper dog food at the grocery store, and we noticed that Lucy was gaining weight, even though she was so active,” said Madeline. “She also didn’t have the muscle tone we’d expect, so we decided to try some other brands.”

Madeline said they tried several brands before trying Eukanuba, which can only be found in pet or feed stores. After they switched, Madeline said they noticed her coat was softer, her digestion was better, she was leaner and had more muscle tone. “Overall she was healthier,” said Madeline. “She had more energy and stamina.” That energy helps her enjoy some of her favorite things, such as swimming in the lake, retrieving and duck hunting.

Eukanuba liked what they saw in Lucy’s results. “The goal of the contest was to find the best example of a dog going from good to extraordinary as a result of our premium nutrition,” said Manuel Miyar, associate marketing director, Eukanuba. “Lucy is a fantastic example of a beautiful dog who with the right nutrition flourished in just 28 days. We’re very proud to name Lucy a Eukanuba dog and look forward to sharing her advertising and magazine debut with America in the coming months.”

As a finalist, Lucy won free dog food for a year, and a subscription to Dog Fancy magazine. For her grand prize, Eukanuba gave Lucy the “pink carpet” treatment.  She won a Hollywood-style photo shoot with Eukanuba and Dog Fancy magazine, which they did at Madeline’s parents’ home on Ware Lake in Sand Lake earlier this month. According to Madeline, they brought lunch, all kinds of toys and treats for Lucy, a collar, leash, medal, dog trainer, groomer, photographers, etc. “She really did get the pink carpet treatment,” said Madeline.

As a result of the photo shoot, Lucy will appear in both the September issue of Dog Fancy magazine and a Eukanuba print advertisement.

But that’s not all. On Tuesday, they did an interview with “The 1-7,” the local FOX-17 talk show. “She’s like a celebrity,” said Madeline with a laugh.

Eukanuba also gave Madeline a pink polo that says “Proud parent of a Eukanuba Champion.” And is she proud? You bet.

“I saw great results, so it’s awesome that she gets to represent a dog food we really like will continue to use,” said Madeline.

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Fire training a reminder to be safe on the road

by Beth Altena

Jaws of Life

TOYS OF THE TRADE—Fire fighters use the Jaws of Life to open the side of a car. Among tips firefighters learned was to be careful to put the jaws against the solid components of the vehicle. If they only engage the body of the car the door is torn apart but the structure remains unaffected. Photo by B. Altena.

Courtland Township Fire Chief Mickey Davis used a training practice as a chance to remind the public that cars are not a mobile shield of armor and to always be vigilant about safety while driving. On Thursday, May 26, Courtland and Montcalm fire fighters used a car donated to the department to practice techniques to release people trapped in cars. The practice took place in the parking lot of Courtland Township Hall, on 14 Mile Road (M-57).

Davis described to the other firefighters the importance of disconnecting the car’s battery during a rescue. He said making sure the airbags don’t deploy during the extraction is important and he advised putting a blanket over victims before breaking glass or if they are in a position to be injured by the rescue process. Davis was especially happy to work with a new cutting tool, with the flexibility to turn in tight places. That piece of equipment normally costs $4,000 new, but the department was able to obtain a demo for considerably less.

firefighters breaking glass

BREAKING GLASS—Before breaking a vehicle’s window, firefighters would have placed a blanket over any victim likely to be sprayed by the debris. Photo by B. Altena.

Another new piece of equipment for the department is a new electronic light system that can be activated either from the fire station or the Rockford Ambulance substation located next door. When a call for service comes in, firefighters or paramedics are able to activate a signboard on the road, warning drivers that rescue vehicles are entering the roadway. According to Davis, it is another safety factor for the first responders and was purchased and installed by the Kent County Road Commission.

After the demolition, which included opening all four doors, breaking all the windows and taking the roof off the car, Davis had it displayed in front of the township’s sign with the message “Your Safety First.” Davis said he also plans to have a message warning drivers not to text while behind the wheel. He said texting while driving has become a major problem in recent years.

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