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Archive | August, 2012

Red Hawks crush Chips in season kickoff

The Cedar Springs freshmen boys got their season off to a great start last week, when they took on Chippewa Hills and beat them on their home turf.

The tone was set early with Keenan Gosselin returning the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. After showing a strong defensive presence, especially for game one of their high school careers, Cedar got the ball back, and pounded the ball down the field for another score. Going into half time, the game was still within reach for either team, but in the second half Cedar’s defense proved to be too much for Chippewa Hills. The Red Hawks worked on their ground game and clock management, and moved the ball up and down the field. The Red Hawks took home the win, 42-22.

Chippewa Hills filled a hole in the Red Hawks schedule, since Tri County didn’t have a freshmen team, and Coach Kirk Covey was glad to get the boys out on the field. “With two-a-days behind us, it was refreshing for everyone to get the season started, and start playing against other teams, besides ourselves.”

After a short week of practice, the Freshmen hosted Sparta Wednesday night at at Red Hawk Stadium. Check out next week’s Post for details of the game. Turn to page 7 for upcoming game info, and please come out and support your fellow Red Hawks!  With room to improve, watch out—this Freshmen group will only continue to improve and become a force to reckon with week after week!

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Town hall meeting cancelled

The Town Hall meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. about the Red Flannel trademark issue has been cancelled. See press release below from a consultant that organizer Steve McBride was using:

I was introduced to Steve McBride earlier this week. After hearing reports about a dispute between the Red Flannel Festival Board and Cedar Springs City Council he stuck his head in the middle of small town storm. For over 70 years the two parties worked together to host a Festival celebrating “red flannel” underwear. One thing led to another and now the two were arguing about the trademark, permits, and fees. Steve asked that I help facilitate a Town Hall meeting to help settle the dispute and allow citizens to air feelings.

In spending time with each party Steve and I realized the heated nature of this dispute is rooted in enmeshed relationships which are playing out in of all places, Facebook. Here, citizens and users of social networking are taking snippets of conversations and sound bites from media, coupled with historical accusations to leverage their own perspective. Both parties cited the cheap shots and inaccuracies of the public debate which is fodder for more of the same. The issues are personally debilitating because of the long history people have with one another. Members of the Festival Board and City have gone to high school together, kids have grown up together, and they’ve had good relationships with one another because “… we all know each other”. Now, for a myriad of reasons (namely a trademark issue) the two sides are at odds and the community is torn, and people are wondering about the future of the Festival and the identity of Cedar Springs.

From the Festival Board’s standpoint, “We feel the trademark issue has been resolved and look forward to fostering a flexible, reasonable and accommodating environment which will fertilize the roots of this tradition by working with the businesses and community.”

The City has something similar to say: “Aside from logos being removed from City property the community won’t see much different… we’ll remain supportive of the Festival Board and consider the Red Flannel Festival a part of our hometown pride.” explained Mayor Pro tem Christine Fahl. She continued, “Just in the last two days we have worked with the Festival Board to insure that the City (through the Cedar Springs Public Library) will continue to sell Queen Pageant Tickets and promote the “Read to Ride” program for the children of the community. In fact, the two sides are working together to host a fantastic Festival this year.

“The Festival volunteers need to focus on this year’s Festival, there are only 44 days remaining”, a board member commented. The City agrees.

In fact, the Red Flannel Festival was never in question – this October you can bring your family to Cedar Springs and expect a parade, a queen, great food, and bed races! You will see “red flannels” all over the city streets and the citizens can celebrate the logging tradition and underwear as it has for over 70 years.

Yes, issues remain and will always need to be discussed. No one has an unlimited budget and both have to work together to ensure the Red Flannel Festival continues for another 70 years. Steve has put into focus the necessity of working issues out before they go to this public space on Facebook. We are not citizens of the Middle East trying to force a regime change toward democracy. We have a democracy and if citizens have an issue with how the elected officials have handled public money then there are vehicles to have questions addressed. Namely, talk to Charlie Watson (616-437-9839) or Christine Fahl (616-262-8693) or stop by City Hall anytime. Similarly, if citizens don’t like how the volunteer Festival Board has handled the trademark issue, stop by the office at 21 Maple in Cedar Springs or give them a call (616-696-2662) – they’re always looking for volunteers, too! My experience is that both groups have hard working people dedicated to the Red Flannel Festival. Yet, actually talking and listening to someone is a more cumbersome vehicle to express citizen concern. People would actually have to pick up the phone or go to a meeting and listen to the facts in their entirety. It takes about seven seconds to lob a bomb online – but what has that done for the people of Cedar Springs?

In fact, both the City and the Festival Board are working (likely at this very moment) to host a great Red Flannel Festival come October 6th. They could use a hand. So take some of that “energy” from the sideline and dig in to make it better – just like Steve did, saying, “After reflecting on the meetings with the City and Festival Board I’m now more hopeful that we can begin to heal and work toward a great Red Flannel Festival.”

While both the City Council and Festival Board were willing to participate in a Town Hall meeting this Friday, the logistics of facilitating such a meeting was proving too complex to figure out in this short time. Steve has done what a Town Hall was intended to do; get the two sides back on track and working together to have a great Festival. There won’t be a Town Hall meeting this Friday. Instead let’s all go to the Football game and get ready for the 73rd Red Flannel Festival this October 6, 2012.
Mike Schuler, Ph.D.
mike@mikeschulerconsulting.com

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West Nile virus found in five adults in Kent County

CDC reports largest outbreak ever across U.S.

The Kent County Health Department is urging people to protect themselves from mosquitoes in the wake of several cases of West Nile Virus in the county, and record numbers across the U.S.

The KCHD announced Wednesday that they have confirmed five cases of West Nile Virus (WNV), and that about a dozen other individuals showing WNV symptoms in Kent County are awaiting preliminary test results. Several were hospitalized.

“We are very concerned about West Nile Virus after a mild winter and hot summer,” said Cathy Raevsky, the Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “The disease can have severe complications in people over the age of fifty or in those who are already suffering from other medical conditions.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47 states have reported WNV infections in 2012 so far. A total of 1,118 cases of West Nile Virus disease have been confirmed in people, including 41 deaths, through the third week in August, 2012—the highest number of WNV disease cases reported to CDC (over the same period) since the virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Of these, 629 (56 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 489 (44 percent) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. Approximately 75 percent of the cases have been reported from 5 states (Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma) and almost half of all cases have been reported from Texas.

Michigan has reported 30 cases of the human virus over 9 counties: Allegan 1, Ingham 1, Kent 5, Lapeer 1, Macomb 7, Muskegon 1, Oakland 5, Washtenaw 1, and Wayne 8. There are also reports of animals in Michigan with West Nile, including a horse in Montcalm County (see story on Outdoor page ??).

The Kent County Health Department recommends the following:

Use insect repellent when outdoors. Apply repellent to clothing and exposed skin, and follow directions on the product label.

Don’t apply repellent under clothing, or on cuts, wounds or irritated skin. You should not apply repellent around the eyes or mouth, and if using spray, apply spray to your hands first, and then apply to face.

Repellent should not be used on infants under 2 months old at all. KCHD recommends putting netting over the infant’s stroller. DEET-containing products should be avoided for children 24 months of age or younger, and those containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not to be used on children under three years of age.

When using repellent on children, put it on your hands first, then on the child. Children tend to put their hands in or near their mouths, so don’t apply repellent to a child’s hands.

After you and your children get back indoors, wash off the repellent with soap and water, and wash treated clothing before wearing again.

At home, be sure you are not making it easy for mosquitoes to breed. Make sure to eliminate any standing water. Twice a week, empty water from birdbaths, flower pots, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans. Make sure rain gutters are clear of debris. Throw out old tires and other items that could collect water.

Avoid areas where mosquitoes are likely to be, such as wooded areas or swampy land.

West Nile Virus can produce a range of symptoms in humans. According to the CDC, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms, though up to 20% may develop mild illness with symptoms including: fever, headache, body aches, rash and swollen lymph glands. Approximately one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness that may be characterized by severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and rarely, death. Persons 55 and over have the highest risk of severe disease.

The Michigan West Nile Virus website (www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus) includes more about transmission, symptoms and prevention.

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Get ready for some football

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks and Howard City-Tri County Vikings face off Friday night at 7 p.m. in the opening game of the football season at Red Hawk Stadium.

This is the third year in a row the rivals will face each other, after not competing against each other since 1983. The Red Hawks won both games and hope to keep the streak alive this year. In 2010 they won 33-6, and in 2011 the score was 35-14.

Missing from this year’s event will be the running of the ball down the White Pine Trail from Tri County to Cedar Springs by the cross country team. “It didn’t fit in to their cross country team’s schedule this year,” explained Jen Kahler, Red Hawk girls cross country coach.

The game against Tri County is a non-conference game. Tri County is a member of the Lake 8 Activities Conference, and Cedar Springs has been assigned to a new conference designated the OK Bronze. Every few years the OK conference is realigned, based on population and geography. This new conference is made up of four former OK Blue teams, two from the OK White, and one from the OK Gold. Besides the Red Hawks, teams in the conference include West Catholic, Northview, Greenville, Forest Hills Northern, and Forest Hills Eastern.

Cedar will face long time rival Sparta on the Spartans’ home turf next Thursday evening, August 30, prior to Labor Day weekend. Check out next week’s Post for a full schedule of all the Red Hawk fall sports.

 

Get ready for some footballThe Cedar Springs Red Hawks and Howard City-Tri County Vikings face off Friday night at 7 p.m. in the opening game of the football season at Red Hawk Stadium.This is the third year in a row the rivals will face each other, after not competing against each other since 1983. The Red Hawks won both games and hope to keep the streak alive this year. In 2010 they won 33-6, and in 2011 the score was 35-14.Missing from this year’s event will be the running of the ball down the White Pine Trail from Tri County to Cedar Springs by the cross country team. “It didn’t fit in to their cross country team’s schedule this year,” explained Jen Kahler, Red Hawk girls cross country coach.The game against Tri County is a non-conference game. Tri County is a member of the Lake 8 Activities Conference, and Cedar Springs has been assigned to a new conference designated the OK Bronze. Every few years the OK conference is realigned, based on population and geography. This new conference is made up of four former OK Blue teams, two from the OK White, and one from the OK Gold. Besides the Red Hawks, teams in the conference include West Catholic, Northview, Greenville, Forest Hills Northern, and Forest Hills Eastern.Cedar will face long time rival Sparta on the Spartans’ home turf next Thursday evening, August 30, prior to Labor Day weekend. Check out next week’s Post for a full schedule of all the Red Hawk fall sports.

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Gas prices drop

Average retail gasoline prices in Grand Rapids have fallen 13.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.82/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.70/g, according to gasoline price website GrandRapidsGasPrices.com.

Here in Cedar Springs, gas is at $3.73 per gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Grand Rapids during the past week, prices yesterday were 19.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 24.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 21.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 11.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“The national average has finally begun to cool off after rising nearly every day since the start of July,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “As the West Coast and Great Lakes see refining issues in the rear view mirror, as well as the end of the summer driving season approaching, we may see a new downward pattern develop which could see average prices falling, especially after midSeptember, a pattern that could dominate the gas pump until the holiday season,” DeHaan said.

You can always find the lowest gas prices in our area by visiting our website at www.cedarspringspost.com and clicking on “current gas prices” at the top of the page.

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Hometown Hero

SPC James Dahms, of the City of Cedar Springs, was promoted to specialist August 17. He is with the Delta 1-126 Cavalry Regiment out of Grand Rapids. James finished basic training and AIT in June of 2011 and was home 2-1/2 months before being mobilized on September 8, 2011. He has been in Afghanistan since January 2012. James has been soldier of the month and soldier of the week since being in Afghanistan.

James and his wife, Terra, have four children.

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Christmas in July at Solon Farm Market

Christmas came early this year in Solon Township. Santa appeared last Saturday, August 18, at Solon Township’s Farmer’s, Crafts and Flea Market. Also on hand was market favorite Rich Straub and his equine pair, Ford and Chevy. The horses dressed for the occasion, with sleigh bells ringing, and provided hours of entertainment for children both young and young at heart.

Children enjoyed flavor ice and candy, played games and colored ornaments to decorate the tree for a drawing.  Saturday’s event drew vendors from as far as Allendale, as well as local merchants from Solon and Cedar Springs.

Solon’s Market is developing a core of craft, produce and flea market vendors who provide a plethora of products for the public—yes, we even have the kitchen sink. Watch the Post or check us out on Facebook for up-coming events. This week’s scheduled event is free Zumba with Monica Sanders from 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Call 616-696-4227 for information on events.

 

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High school students experience trooper training

Two youth from our area, Dalton Forman, of Sand Lake, and Jake Hiaeshutter, of Sparta, took part in the Student Trooper training.

Two youth from our area, Dalton Forman, of Sand Lake, and Jake Hiaeshutter, of Sparta, took part in the Student Trooper training.

Earlier this month, 28 high school students experienced what it takes to become Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers through the American Legion Student Trooper Program. The program began on August 5 at the MSP Training Academy in Lansing and ended with a graduation ceremony on August 10.

The week-long program, funded by the American Legion, is conducted by the MSP with assistance from deputies and local officers of Michigan police agencies. The program is designed for highly motivated young men and women who are seriously interested in careers in law enforcement. In order to attend, each student is responsible for securing his/her own sponsorship from one of the American Legion offices located throughout the state.

The program, which is patterned after a regular MSP trooper recruit school, promotes an educational experience for building teamwork while learning about law enforcement fundamentals. Between physical training at 5:30 a.m. and lights-out at 10 p.m., the students learn about traffic and criminal law, defensive tactics, firearms and marksmanship fundamentals, first-aid, water safety, patrol tactics, crash investigations, law enforcement career opportunities, forensic science, conservation law, narcotics, and underwater recovery.

“Each student had the opportunity to get a taste of what it takes to become Michigan State Police troopers,” said Capt. Kari Kusmierz, commander of the MSP Training Academy. “The Michigan American Legion Student Trooper Program promotes the importance of education and helps build teamwork while learning about law enforcement fundamentals. The students also learn the importance of leadership and respect in order to serve as positive role models to others in their community.”

Congratulations to two youth from our area, Dalton Forman, of Sand Lake, and Jake Hiaeshutter, of Sparta, who graduated from the Student Trooper program!

 

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Solon appoints interim fire chief

Solon Township appointed Deputy Fire Chief Brian Vander Laan to interim Fire Chief at the Solon Township board meeting last week.

The township has been taking applications for the Chief position, and has six applicants that they will interview on September 4, 5, and 6. Four are from within the township, and two from outside, but live nearby.

Chief Joyce VanderMey resigned her position June 12 for personal reasons, and will leave the department in November. She is staying on as consultant until then.

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New canine assigned to State Police Lakeview Post

A new canine unit has been assigned to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post. Trooper Joe Bozek and his partner Yaro, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, began their assignment at the Lakeview Post on Monday, August 20.

Trooper Bozek was chosen to be a canine handler after successfully completing a rigorous selection process that included a demanding run through rough terrain. He then went to MSP’s canine school, where he selected and named Yaro. The two went through 14 weeks of training together and graduated from the 2012 MSP Canine School on August 17, along with four other new canine handlers.

Yaro is trained in tracking and narcotics detection. Trooper Bozek is a member of the 121st Trooper Recruit School and has served at the former Newaygo Post and at the Hart Post. He received a lifesaving award earlier this year.

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