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Archive | July, 2012

Fun at the farmers market

Photo courtesy of Solon Farmers Market

Kids and adults alike found something to enjoy at the Solon Township Farmers market last Saturday. The Solon Township Fire Department had a truck there for kids to check out, and kids also had a chance to beat the heat by getting sprayed with the fire hose. The Farmers market also held a drawing for Rescue, the stuffed Dalmatian rescue dog.

This week at Farmers Market you can take a free class called Lavender 101. Learn how to grow and harvest lavender and the uses for lavender. Get a free plant and recipes, and sample lavender cookies!

The Solon Farmers Market is located at 15185 Algoma NE, Cedar Springs, and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays during the summer. For more info, call 696-1718.


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Banana splits all around!

Austin Cook, 5, finishes off his banana split.

He might look like a little guy, but it only took Austin Cook, 5, of Sparta, four minutes to finish off a banana split in the Sparta Tasty Treat’s banana split eating contest last Saturday.

The ice cream shop had a great turnout for their fourth annual event, held July 14. Forty-one people of all ages tried their best to be the first person in their age group to finish. The groups were divided into 7 and under, 8 to 15, and 16 and over. Entry into the contest was free.

Besides Austin, the other winners were Brandon Male, 14, of Sparta and Chris Carpenter, 42, also of Sparta.

Tasty Treat holds the contest every year during Sparta Town and Country Days, which also falls during National Ice Cream Month.

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Howard City couple arrested for fraud

Howard City’s new community alert system helped police find and arrest a man and woman last week wanted for stealing and using someone else’s Social Security Credit card.
On July 2, Howard City Police began to investigate the theft of the card, and 10 subsequent transactions, nine of which were with Howard City businesses.

Nikolaus Warren

The card was stolen out of a parked vehicle at a county park while the owner was swimming at the beach. Police recovered several store security videos of a male and female suspect using the stolen credit card to purchase over $500 in items.

On July 10, police posted some of the photos from the videos to their newly activated community alert/notification system (Nixle). By the next morning, tips had come in from residents who saw the alert, and police were able to identify, locate and arrest the suspects that same day, with the help of the Montcalm County Sheriff Department.

The suspects, Nikolaus Sabastian Warren, 21, and Marcia Ann Warren, 20, both of Howard City, were arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County Jail on felony counts involving theft and use of a financial transaction device.

Marcia Warren

Both were arraigned on Thursday, July 12, in Stanton District Court 64-B on two charges of stealing and retaining (a financial transaction device) without consent, and three counts of illegal sale or use of a financial transaction device. Bond was set at $15,000 cash/surety for Nikolaus, and $5,000 for Marcia.

They have a pre-trial conference on July 23 at 1 p.m. and a preliminary exam (if needed) on July 24 at 1 p.m.

To sign up for the new community alert system, visit www.howardcity.org.

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Nelson’s Speed Shop back up and running

Gail and Jack Nelson of Nelson’s Speed Shop.

Gail and Jack Nelson of Nelson’s Speed Shop.

Nelson’s Speed Shop is already back up and running, just a few weeks after suffering a horrific fire. They are doing business from their parking lot at 4566 South Greenville Road, in Greenville.

The fire was reported about 1:30 a.m. June 22, and 11 fire departments and about 75 firefighters fought the blaze. The ATF was called in to investigate, and the fire is still under investigation. The shop was also burned down in a fire in 2001, and three men were sentenced in that case.

The loss in the current fire was estimated at above $5,000,000. But Jack Nelson says he plans to rebuild by winter. And they are still planning their annual Sno-motion event to take place August 24-25.
Nelson’s is open for business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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Alert: breaking and entering suspects offering tree-cutting services

Howard City Police are advising people to be on the lookout for suspicious subjects offering tree-cutting services. They may be casing your home.
Police Chief Steven DeWitt said that breaking and entering suspects in the area have been approaching homes during the daytime. If the owner is home, they will often offer tree cutting service or some other suspicious excuse why they are there.

Police are looking for a grey passenger vehicle with possibly its trunk lid held down by a bungee cord.

DeWitt asked the public to be aware of suspicious subjects and attempt to obtain their vehicle registrations and descriptions only if it is safe to do so. Then contact 911.
“Trust your first impression and contact police,” said DeWitt.

He reminded everyone to keep doors and windows closed and locked when not at home, including garages and vehicles. He also noted that residents might want to consider a low cost video system to record movement when they are not home.

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Grow beautiful landscapes with less water

(ARA) – Hot and dry weather provides reason enough to think about simple ways to save water while still enjoying beautiful yards and gardens. You may even find that your efforts to be water smart may improve the health and appearance of your plants.

During the summer, an estimated 30 to 70 percent of household water use takes place outdoors, depending on your local climate. Up to half of the water used to irrigate yards and gardens is unnecessarily lost due to evaporation, wind drift, watering non-plant areas due to poorly aligned sprinklers and simply overwatering.

With some easy steps, you can reduce your water bill, foster attractive spaces for you and others to enjoy and help protect water supplies for future generations. Do something good for your bank account, your yard and your planet by following these smart tips.

Plant smart

* Landscape to suit your lot and your climate. Choose grass or plants with low water requirements that will thrive in your local climate. Consider sun and shade areas, slopes and plant sizes for optimum growth. Group plants with similar water needs close together and separate lawn areas from planting beds.

* Keep soil healthy. Aeration helps improve water penetration and adding compost or fertilizer maintains plant health so they use water more efficiently. Mulch well around plants, bushes and trees. Two to 4 inches of mulch reduces evaporation, moderates soil temperatures and helps control weeds that compete for water.

* Maintain your yard regularly. Weed, prune and mow as needed. A well-maintained yard uses water more effectively.
Water wisely

* Set sprinklers to only water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or other hardscapes.

* Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day causes high evaporation loss. Watering early in the morning when winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent.

* Adapt watering to the season. Adjust how much you water based on seasonal weather and changing conditions. Weather-based timers are available and can make such adjustments automatically.
Maintain and upgrade automatic irrigation systems

* Inspect the system regularly. Check for leaks that can waste water and cause other problems. Also look for broken or clogged sprinklers that no longer operate efficiently.

* Check the pressure. Proper water pressure encourages more uniform water distribution and better sprinkler operation. Fixed spray-type sprinklers work well around 25 to 30 psi while sprinklers with moving streams of water work well at 40 to 45 psi. Water pressure regulation devices are easily added to valves to control a whole irrigation zone or can be part of individual sprinklers.

* Install a rain shutoff device. Rain sensors prevent irrigation systems from running when irrigation is unnecessary. These devices can reduce irrigation water usage by up to 35 percent and help extend irrigation system life. Sprinkler systems should never run in the rain and rain sensors can put an end to those wasteful situations.

* Utilize “smart” technology. Climate or soil moisture sensors and controllers evaluate weather or soil moisture conditions and automatically adjust the irrigation schedule so your landscape always receives the appropriate amount of water. The water savings can be significant and the convenience of these self-adjusting controllers is another great benefit.

* Consider drip or micro-irrigation for shrubs and ground covers. Rather than spray large areas with above-ground sprinklers, drip irrigation utilizes emission devices to deliver desired volumes of water to particular locations at or near plant root zones. Water drips slowly from emitters either onto the soil surface or below ground. Less water is lost due to wind and evaporation as a result, and weeds can also be reduced.

* Look for rebates. Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before upgrading your system, check with your local water provider for opportunities for free and discounted products.
Consider an irrigation professional

* Have your irrigation system audited. Hire a qualified professional to conduct a system review and uniformity test to ensure areas are being watered evenly and appropriately, and make necessary adjustments. Certified irrigation professionals have the training and skills to offer insight into unique watering challenges and can be located at www.irrigation.org/Certification/Find_a_Certified_Professional.aspx.

* Upgrade or invest in a new irrigation system. A water-efficient system requires a good design, quality components, proper installation and maintenance. Licensed and certified professionals can offer expert advice and services.

Although July is officially designated Smart Irrigation Month by the Irrigation Association and a number of states, it makes sense to promote smart irrigation every month of the year. Each individual effort makes a difference that results in more beautiful, productive and water-efficient landscapes for everyone to enjoy while conserving one of our most precious natural resources.

For more information and helpful tips, visit www.smartirrigationmonth.org.

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What’s in a thorn? Grace!

When I was a teenager, I had a good friend and neighbor who taught me how to work on cars. He always seemed to have something going on in his life, and, most of the time, it wasn’t anything good. He would always look at us with a funny smile, then sigh and say: “If it isn’t one thing, it’s three!” Then he’d laugh and go on about life.

I’ve always remembered that saying, but more importantly, the attitude. Paul writes in II Corinthians 12 about a thorn in his flesh that he asked the Lord to remove, and in verse 9 we see God’s reply and Paul’s reaction.

“9 He said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.’ So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.” (Common English translation)

Most of us have something in our lives that annoys us. Many of us are blessed with a multitude of them! But what good are they? I discovered at a young age that some people feel that no one without the same issues as they experience can understand them. So believe it or not, if you have an issue, it may turn out to be a ministry tool. I am blind, and no one who is blind can say: “you just don’t understand what my life is like” because I do! And this helps me to establish a connection that others may not be able to. I have a good friend with cancer who ministers to the people who are having treatments at the same time. Again, a door is open through a common link. God’s presence truly becomes strong in our weaknesses.

And what if you are blessed to be without these kinds of issues? God will use you in other ways! Everyone has been given a job to do, to spread God’s word to the world. The best way to do this was given us by St. Francis: “Preach the gospel daily, and if necessary, use words.”  The best way to show God’s love is through action.

Often on Sundays, someone comments that they couldn’t get up in front of people and talk like I do. The truth is God doesn’t call everyone to show God’s love in the same way. How we do that is going to be different for all of us. You don’t need to preach. Giving a neighbor a ride or checking in on someone on a hot day; leaving a bag of groceries on a struggling family’s porch; or reading the mail to a person who can’t; all these show God’s love. Again, our weakness will be used by God for good by showing us other ways to serve His people. And the best part?  People I talk to who reach out to do God’s work, even if they weren’t comfortable, felt far more blessed than they ever expected, but then, that’s God for you!

Pastor Darryl Miller

Sand Lake UMC,
65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC,
13600 Cypress, Sand Lake

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James Henry Porter

James Henry Porter, 60 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at his home. Jim was born March 27, 1952 in Muskegon, MI the son of Henry and Winifred Jean (Brown) Porter. He was employed at Dematic for 20 years. He was an outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing and spending time with his family. Surviving are his wife, Susan; children, Sarah (Rudy) Gonzalez, Matthew Porter, Rachel (Scott) Peterlein, Jacob Porter, Henry Porter; 8 grandchildren; brother, Stan Porter; parents-in-law, James (Kathryn) Batema. The family will greet friends Friday from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. There will be a celebration of his life later in the fall. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs Athletic Boosters. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Raymond R. Palmer

Mr. Raymond R. Palmer, age 79, of Cedar Springs, passed away on Saturday, July 14, 2012. He worked for Wolverine World Wide. Raymond loved trips to the casino and fishing, but most of all he loved spending time with his family. Raymond is survived by his wife, Arvella; children, Toni and Dave McKeller, Steven and Ellen Palmer, Lula and Matt Milnickle, Terri and Leonard Krenke, Bobbie and Dan Duram, David Norton, Victor Grinwis, Steven and Gina Grinwis, Becky Evans and Gary Tripp, Jeff and Tina Schoonmaker, Karen and Junior Mendez, Garrett Evans and Victor Evans, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his son, Raymond R. Palmer, and his former wife, Francis. The service for Mr. Palmer was held on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at the Pederson Funeral Home. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the needs of the family.  Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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50th Anniversary

Bill & Kathy Cole



Bill & Kathy (Newland) Cole will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married on July 20, 1962. Their children are Micthcell & Beth Cole and Michelle Oakes & Ed Shuart. Their granchildren are Tyler Travis and Marissa Oakes. Cards can be sent to: 17191 Meddler Ave., Sand Lake, MI 49319

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