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Archive | October, 2011

Car rear ends school bus

A school bus loaded with 31 kids was rear-ended by another vehicle in Kent City last week.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred near the intersection of S. Main and E. Muskegon in the Village of Kent City. The bus driver, Paul Olson, 50, of Cedar Springs, had stopped at the four-way stop, when a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer ran into the back of the bus. The driver of them Trailblazer, Cassi Hansen, 30, of Comstock Park, told police she was reaching into the back seat to give her child a cup when the accident occurred. No one sustained any injuries. The driver was cited for failing to stop within assured clear distance.

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Break-in at Tinney Automotive

Seven new vehicles were broken into early Wednesday morning, October 19, at Tinney Automotive, 11249 West Carson City Road (M-57) in Greenville.
According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, suspects broke the rear down window of the vehicles to gain entry and disassembled the dashboard to steal the factory-installed radios and navigation systems. A Sheriffs Deputy Crime Technician responded to the scene to collect and process evidence. They estimate the damage at several thousand dollars.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Montcalm County Sheriff’s tip line at 989-831-7593.

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State police to conduct statewide sex offender sweep

From Oct. 17-28, law enforcement agencies across Michigan will join together to focus investigative efforts on finding individuals in violation of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (P A 295 of 1994). The effort, dubbed Operation Verify, is the states eighth annual statewide sex offender sweep.
This sweep occurs following the October quarterly verification period because that allows for a more accurate list of noncompliant offenders, stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). This means any registered offender who wants to spare themselves a visit from troopers should verify their address with law enforcement as soon as possible.
The Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act requires registered sex offenders to regularly report to their local law enforcement agency, sheriff’s office, or nearest state police post to verify their address. Tier 1 offenders must verify their address annually, during the first 15 days of January. Tier 2 offenders must verify their address semi-annually, during the first 15 days of January and July. Tier 3 offenders must verify their address quarterly, during the first 15 days of January, April, July and October. Failure to do so carries a penalty of up to two years of incarceration.
All registered sex offenders must also report a change of name, address, employment, campus enrollment, Internet identifiers and vehicle within three business days of any change. Failure to do so is four-year felony.
This statewide sweep comes on the heels of an effort over the past 12 months in which officers from 120 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted residence checks of compliant offenders at the registered residences of nearly 22,000 offenders. This effort resulted in 252 arrests and 981 requests for arrest warrants for violations of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (MCL 28.723 – 28.732).
In addition to Operation Verify, the MSP participates in several local and regional sweeps each year. The department also maintains a list of the most wanted sex offenders at www.michigan.gov/absconders. Fourteen most wanted offenders were arrested in 2010, and so far this year, three most wanted offenders have been located or arrested.
As of September, there were 39,930 offenders on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry; 37,321 offenders were in compliance with the registry’s requirements.

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The greatest among you

Pastor Kevin Reed
Grace Evangelical Free Church
4714 13 Mile Road, Rockford

“…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… …Just as the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:26,28 (NIV).
There is an old song that we used to sing in Sunday school, and the words went something like this, “If you wanna be great in God’s kingdom, you gotta be a servant of all…” It is a catchy tune and still all these years later I remember it.  But lately I have been asking myself the question, “Do I believe it?” It is easy to sing about being a servant, it is harder to become one. It’s easy to quote the Bible verses where Jesus tells us to be a servant, but it’s harder to live them. It’s easy to praise Jesus for his selfless act of becoming a servant as mentioned in Philippians 2:5-11 (take the time to read it), but it’s harder to follow his example as we are commanded to in the beginning of that passage.
To serve others is a great idea, and we all believe it needs to be done, but at the core of our being we would much rather be served than serve, and therein lies the dilemma. Our society tells us to do what makes us feel good, well that is to let others serve us, while our Savior tells us to do that which goes against everything we feel, and that is to forego our perceived “right” to be served and use our lives to serve others. As Children of the Most High, this is a crossroads that we are faced with everyday. Whom are we going to follow? Whom are we going to listen to today? After all, being a “servant” seems so dirty, so low, so unamazing. Why would anyone want to voluntarily do that?
I would like to encourage you today that in becoming a servant we have the privilege of showing other people Jesus, and shouldn’t that be our number one goal as children of God? You see, it was Jesus who came to this earth and deserved the “red-carpet” treatment. He deserved to be worshiped, but the Bible tells us that he chose to serve rather than be served. There are enough people (Christians and nonChristians alike) in this world who want to be served, but there are few true servants who have realized that only in serving others do I have the privilege of showing them the greatest servant of all, Jesus.  And friends, may I propose to you that the world needs to start seeing less of God’s children and more of Jesus! The only way we can accomplish this is by being a servant, because only in becoming a servant can we reflect to this world our Savior! Think about it—who can you show Jesus to today?

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Brinleigh Dawn Kelly

Brandon Kelly and Vanessa Hawley are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Brinleigh Dawn Kelly, born October 14, at 11:33 am at Spectrum Health United Memorial. She weighed 7 lbs., 8 oz. and was 20 ½ in. long. She is also welcomed by big brother Caden, grandparents Randy & Dawn Kelly, Nicky & Kris Hawley, uncles Ryan, Aaron, Adam Kelly and Trevor Hawley, aunt Prussia, cousins Chase, Cameron and Kyler Kelly.

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Clair Middleton

who passed away 12 years ago, October 27, 1999

You did so many things for us
Your heart was kind and true,
And when we needed someone
We could always count on you.
The special years will not
Return when we were all together,
But with the love within our hearts
You will be with us forever.

Loved and sadly missed by your family

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Kristen E. Galle

Mrs. Kristen “Kris” E. Galle, age 70, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, October 22, 2011. She was a 1959 graduate of El Segundo High School where she participated in the drill team. While on a family vacation, Kris visited a dude ranch while dressed in her new boots and cow girl hat. When she saw this dude who greeted her family with graciousness, it was love at first sight. Kris returned to the ranch every few months and flirted with this dude. His name was Bob. After being invited to Kris’ home, they had a loving courtship and were married in Palos Verdes, California. In 1961 they moved to the Cedar Springs area where she began working at Gebhardt Plumbing and Heating and then was a medical assistant in a doctor’s office. At that time she and Bob were also raising their children and were members of Cedar Springs United Methodist Church.  She was a world traveler and visited many places such as Europe, Israel, China, and Australia. Kris was a loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother. She was a great cook, and each year she invited the birthday person to her home so she could prepare a birthday meal. Kris taught her children about integrity, tolerance, honesty, laughter, and the meaning of having a strong family unit. Her hobby was keeping up with her grandchildren in sports. She attended nearly every event for her six grandchildren. Her greatest achievement was raising her children to be responsible adults who contributed to society. She was a lovely lady who smiled and laughed a lot. Kris also helped to organize the Well Child Clinic in Cedar Springs. She is survived by her loving husband, Bob; children, Eric and Caroline Galle of Cedar Springs, Lisa and Steve Kidder of Pierson, and Judd and Amy Galle of Cedar Springs; her grandchildren, Ethan Galle, Evan Galle, Nathan Kidder, Sammantha Kidder, Glenn Galle, and Lindsey Galle; sisters, Sidney Prater, and Jane Wade; nieces and nephews; birth mother, Mrs. Vera Knudson and sisters, Linda Layton and Binni Zink. The service for Mrs. Galle was Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church with Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider St. Judes Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Spectrum Health Hospice, 4500 Breton Rd., SE, Grand Rapids, MI. Relatives and friends met with the family at the Pederson Funeral Home on Monday. Arrangements by The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Main Street

Credit the Irish  
The Irish tend to seize any excuse for a celebration. What we call Halloween goes back to an ancient Celtic festival that observed a supposed overlapping of the worlds of the living and the dead. The name of the festival, Samhain, derives from Old Irish and means, roughly, “summer’s end.”
Carve those veggies
The folks in old Ireland and Scotland must have had a surplus of turnips in the fall. They carved them into lanterns as a way of remembering souls held in purgatory. Immigrants to North America started using the native pumpkin instead. That’s good. They’re easier to carve and, in my opinion, a whole lot cuter.
It was only in America (in about 1837) that carved vegetables became associated with Halloween.
Black and Orange
Trick or treating? Costumes? These are later additions that have made the holiday such a hit with kids. Such a deal—dressing up and walking around the neighborhood scoring free candy.
The imagery of Halloween includes harvest themes combined with elements from the original festival featuring death. Aha! Black for death (scary) and orange for fall colors (pretty).
It has evolved into a memorable holiday. Happy Halloween, everybody!
Too old?
You know you’re too old for trick or treating when…
• You have to carefully choose a costume that doesn’t dislodge your hairpiece.
• You’re the only superhero in the neighborhood using a walker.
• The door opens and you yell, “Trick or…” and can’t remember the rest.
Just for laughs
A couple was walking home after a Halloween party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs.
Right in the middle of the cemetery they heard a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Clutching each other and trembling, they approached. An old man with a hammer and chisel was chipping away at the one of the headstones.
“Holy cow, Mister,” said the man after catching his breath. “You scared us half to death. We thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working out here so late?”
“Those fools!” grumbled the old man. “They misspelled my name!”
Dirty trick
Outside a drug store on a busy street, a man clutched a pole for dear life, hardly breathing, not moving, not even twitching a muscle, just standing there, frozen.
The pharmacist noticed this strange sight out in front and asked his assistant, “Wasn’t that guy in here earlier? What’s the matter with him?”
“Yes, he was here,” said the assistant. “He had a terrible cough and none of my prescriptions seemed to help.”
“He’s not coughing now,” observed the pharmacist.
“I finally gave him a box of the strongest laxatives on the market,” said the assistant. “He doesn’t dare.”
Final words
Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road?
It didn’t have any guts.

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How to moderate the power of lobbyists

By Lee H. Hamilton

There is a fundamental question raised by lobbying of the Congress. It is this: Can we temper its excesses without destroying its usefulness as a valued component of the system?
There are roughly 13,000 registered lobbyists in Washington at the moment, and they spend huge sums of money on their work — $3.5 billion last year, according to the Center on Responsive Politics. This money has a direct impact not only on how members of Congress look at issues, but also on what issues they decide to look at in the first place. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it can skew what takes place on Capitol Hill toward the interests of those who can provide the money, and away from those who cannot.
Yet lobbyists are also indispensable to lawmaking. When done well, lobbying helps the governing process work. The best of its practitioners know that what lawmakers need is information — straightforward, understandable, and accurate. Lobbyists help members of Congress understand the issues before them and gauge how legislation will affect the various constituencies affected by it.
So as a nation, we are left with a challenge. How do we counter-balance the impact of all the money that lobbyists wield, so that Congress pays attention to the voices of ordinary Americans and serves the country’s best interests?
This is by no means impossible. One important measure would be complete, real-time disclosure of lobbying contacts with legislators and regulators. I’d even go further: I favor the fairly radical steps of prohibiting members of Congress from accepting contributions from firms that lobby them, and banning lobbyists from contributing to members they lobby. As reformers argue, it’s fine for lobbyists to plead their case, but they shouldn’t be able to pay off the jury.
It also makes sense to slow the revolving door between Capitol Hill and the offices of the lobby corps, and to create an institution, similar to the Congressional Budget Office, to give Congress unbiased and unvarnished analysis of pending issues each week.
Finally, I believe a big part of the answer lies with both individual members of Congress and with the American people. Members have the ultimate responsibility to assess and judge a lobbyist: where he comes from, for whom he speaks, what his interests are. They also need to ask themselves how much they’re influenced by the campaign contributions they receive and whether they are giving equal consideration to all sides on any given policy question, including how the policy might affect ordinary Americans.
Similarly, we all have to step up as Americans and engage actively with our legislators. The more vigorous the conversation between our elected representatives and their constituents the less of a hold lobbyists will enjoy.
Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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CTA girls cross country take 2nd at state

Boys finish 13th out of 40; two runners earn all-state honors

The CTA girls cross country team took second place in Class “D” Cross Country Coaches Association Championships last Saturday. Standing (L to R): Coach Aaron Kenemer, Dani George, Esther Hubbard, Olivia Wortz, Grace VanEnk, Alicia Beck, Mikayla Tomandl, Hannah Hubbard, Coach Gerry Verwey. Kneeling (L to R): Michaela Smith, Erin Munger.

Going into Saturday’s Class “D” Cross Country Coaches Association Championships, the cross country teams at Creative Technologies Academy had one goal in mind: a top-10 finish. The Lady Chargers stepped onto Maple Creek Golf Course in Shepherd, Michigan and blew that goal away, earning an exciting runner-up trophy in a race that featured 34 schools. CTA’s previous highest place at the state championships was a 12th place finish last year. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart took home the first place title in both the girls and boys events.
CTA’s coaches attributed this year’s success to a dedicated group of runners who understood the importance of running as a team. “The key to our success was pack running,” commented head coach Gerry Verwey. “About half-way through the season we were able to get our 2nd-5th runners to link up and start training and racing as a group.  Not only did this improve the quality of our practices, but our times as a whole began dropping, and our team scores at meets began improving as a result.”
It wasn’t just the pack of Chargers that made the difference. Sophomore Erin Munger continued to lead CTA, as she has all season, with a new personal record of 20:09, breaking her previous school record mark. Her fifth place finish earned her “All-State” honors and was significant to outdistancing CTA from the third through fifth place teams.  Alicia Beck (22:25), Grace VanEnk (22:30), Michaela Smith (22:41), and Hannah Hubbard (22:42) rounded out the scoring for the Chargers.  Also turning in solid runs were Dani George and Mikayla Tomandl.  “Dani and Mikayla were aware at the start that any chances of placing well might come down to our 6th and 7th runners.  They brought their best races ever to help secure our trophy,” added Verwey.
How well they placed surprised even Verwey. “This was an awesome day for CTA.  I have to admit that I didn’t believe the girls when they first told me the team scores. I knew we ran well, but the thought of winning a trophy at State hadn’t ever crossed my mind. We had two goals left this season: winning a trophy and a top-ten placing at State. I didn’t expect us to achieve both at the same time,” he explained.
The performance of a boys team that placed 13th out of 40 schools should not go over looked either. Sophomore Aaron Nutt smashed the school record, leading the team with a time of 17:36, and placing high enough to earn “All-State” honors.  Jeremiah Wortz (18:34), Benett Tomandl (18:56), Steve VanEnk (19:17), and Venus Ceballos (20:37) all stepped up at a time when the Chargers needed them most. “The boys ran their hearts out,” according to assistant coach Aaron Kenemer.  “They knew what needed to be done and left it all on the course.  It was great to see the aggressiveness, especially in the last mile of the race.”
Verwey is happy with the results of both teams. “We as coaches are so incredibly proud of both the girls and boys teams.  They’ve been working hard since August and learned that good things don’t come easily, but when they do, it’s worth the work!”
CTA will conclude its season at the Michigan Independent High School Championships in Allendale next Saturday, October 29.

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