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Archive | May, 2013

Child identification kits available

 

In conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Kent County Sheriff Department is distributing at-home child identification kits. These kits include an inkless fingerprint kit, a DNA Collection swab, and other emergency information.

You can pick one up locally at Algoma Township offices, 10531 Algoma Ave NE, Rockford.

FBI statistics indicate that in the United States, 800,000 children go missing every year.

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Miracle Field groundbreaking sets goal of three months to first game

Surprise donation will allow accessible playground

By Beth Altena

 

In memory of Nate—Children wield golden shovels for groundbreaking of the Miracle League Nate Hurwitz Field on Ten Mile Road. Nate, a fan of baseball who had Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and was a member of the West Michigan Miracle League Board of Directors, passed away in 2012 at the age of 16.

In memory of Nate—Children wield golden shovels for groundbreaking of the Miracle League Nate Hurwitz Field on Ten Mile Road. Nate, a fan of baseball who had Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and was a member of the West Michigan Miracle League Board of Directors, passed away in 2012 at the age of 16.

When Tony Comden, Director of the West Michigan Miracle League, spoke to the members of the board of directors of the West Michigan Sports Complex, he was asking them to give up considerable space in the new baseball complex planned for property off Ten Mile in Plainfield Township. He wanted the space to build a Miracle League ballfield for children with disabilities to play with able-bodied buddies. As a father of a son who uses a walker, Comden is a strong believer in the importance that all children, regardless of ability, be able to experience the joys of playing ball.

“After five minutes I had them in tears,” he said of his talk about his vision for the field. “After 15 minutes they said yes.” Dick VanderMullen, Chair of the West Michigan Sports Commission, followed Comden in speaking to a crowd during the complex groundbreaking held Wednesday, May 15.

“He didn’t have to talk for fifteen minutes to get us to agree,” he said. “He just couldn’t stop talking about it.”

A $50,000-dollar surprise—After stepping up to the plate to be the premier sponsor of the West Michigan Sports Commission complex, David VanEslander, son of Art Van’s founder, announced the donation of an additional $50,000 to help fund a handicap-accessible playground on the Miracle League ball field grounds. Pictured are Eslander and Tony Comden, Director of the West Michigan Miracle League.

A $50,000-dollar surprise—After stepping up to the plate to be the premier sponsor of the West Michigan Sports Commission complex, David VanEslander, son of Art Van’s founder, announced the donation of an additional $50,000 to help fund a handicap-accessible playground on the Miracle League ball field grounds. Pictured are Eslander and Tony Comden, Director of the West Michigan Miracle League.

The groundbreaking for the Miracle League ball field took place at the site off Ten Mile where the field will be built this summer, with play beginning in September. With room running out for parking, there was an extensive crowd, including classmates of Comden’s son Jed.

Comden talked about the importance of baseball to our country’s culture, and how his childhood, like so many others, included the memories of playing ball in the summer. “I cried if the game was rained out, I wanted to play so bad,” he said. “Tonight thousands of kids will play baseball with parents cheering for terrible playing.”

“Unfortunately for thousands of kids they never have that opportunity to play, they never get to high five their teammates, they never get to wear their jersey to school on game day, they never get to hear the cheers of their parents.”

The Miracle  Field will allow kids of all abilities to play baseball and softball, with a two-part solution to the limitations of kids with physical or mental disabilities. The surface of the field is a smooth rubberized field that will allow kids in wheelchairs and walkers or other mobility challenges to compete. In addition, each disabled child will partner with an able-bodied buddy who will do those things their partner can’t do—reach down to pick up a fallen ball, or reach down to catch a groundball.

“For kids in a wheelchair this is the only place they will have this opportunity,” Comden stated.

“As you might imagine, we did not get to where we are without the hard work of a lot of people,” Comden noted. “West Michigan has an amazing philanthropic spirit.” Comden said in just 18 months much of the funding has come in, although more is needed. He said the donations for the project are at $689,667.33, not including the checks donated that day. The Rockford Lions contributed $10,000.

Tony included among the philanthropic leaders in the area David VanEslander, whose father founded Art Van Furniture. The company is the majority donor for the entire West Michigan Sports Commission project after last year donating $1.8 million dollars and earning naming rights.

David was one of the attendees of the groundbreaking, who stood to make a surprise announcement of the donation of an additional $50,000 for a handicap accessible playground on the Miracle League property. He stood and spoke about the importance his father placed on being involved in the local community and doing good works. Referencing the Sports Commission’s theme of the complex, “Everyone wins,” VanEslander said, “This will truly be a place where every child, regardless of ability, will be able to win.” He talked about the inspiration for the field’s namesake, Nate Hurwitz, 16-years old West Michigan Sports Commission board member who was wheelchair-bound by Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and who died last year. “Give it up for Nate,” VanEslander said.

The final speaker was Dan Hurwitz, Nate’s father, who spoke haltingly about how important the Miracle Field will be to children. “It has been eight months since we lost Nate,” he said. “He believed every kid should hear their name announced over the loudspeaker. He won’t be here to see the first game. But the Nate Hurwitz Miracle Field—what an amazing tribute for an amazing son.”

Comden wrapped up the event telling how in Nate’s obituary, he had wanted people to donate to this cause. He recalled the emotions the day Nate was laid to rest. “As people were saying goodbye to Nate, Dan came up to me and slapped me on the back—pretty hard—and said, ‘We have to get this done.’”

Comden said he couldn’t help but compare this ball field to the one in the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. He said he was on the site well before the scheduled time of the groundbreaking, and couldn’t help to be apprehensive about the turnout for a project he believes in so strongly. He said as the time neared, he saw car after car turn in and drive down the long road to the site.

“How many kids are going to play on this field? I can’t tell you.” He said the long line of cars heading up the road to the groundbreaking for the Nate Hurwitz Miracle Field gave him the same haunting feeling as the final scenes in the movie with James Earl Jones telling Costner, “If you build it, they will come. People most definitely will come.” Speaking with difficulty, Comden stated, “I thought about that today as I saw all those cars.”

 

 

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Boys clean up trash

N-Trash-pickup1 N-Trash-pickup2

 

When Patty Misner recently took her two boys, Montgomery, 9, and Jackson, 6, to the field at North Park to fly their kites, she was surprised by what she saw.

“I was appalled at the incredible amount of trash,” she said.

So Patty and the boys went back the next day. “They were quite happy to help. My oldest son, Montgomery, stated he wanted to help because ‘trash isn’t good for the environment,’” she explained.

They picked up trash in the area between the parking lot of Dollar General and the Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, coming up with at least nine bags, as shown in the photo.

Great job, guys!

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Grill a Better, Healthier Burger

HEA-grill-better-burger(Family Features) Now that summer is here, it’s time to fire up the grill. For many, a cookout isn’t complete without a juicy, delicious hamburger. Even those trying to follow a healthier, natural diet can enjoy this classic summer favorite by using the right ingredients.

Mitzi Dulan, a nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert and team sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals, understands the importance of building a better burger using leaner, healthier ingredients that benefit the body.

“Lean beef is an integral part of a wholesome burger as it provides essential nutrients and protein to keep you trim and energized,” Dulan said. “In addition to choosing nutritious ingredients, exercise portion control and practice moderation to create an even healthier burger.”

Dulan recommends considering these tips for building a better burger:

Simple substitutions, such as using lean ground beef, can create a protein-packed burger that is low-fat and has fewer calories. Consider using natural brands, such as Laura’s Lean Beef, to kick start a delicious, healthy burger.

Keep in mind that lean beef cooks in 1/3 less time than regular beef since it has less fat. So, adjust the cooking time to match your method of grilling. To make the grilling process as healthy as possible, substitute natural charcoal. Products such as Big Green Egg Organic Lump Charcoal, use organic hardwoods and burn more efficiently without harsh chemicals or odors.

Try new, healthier toppings that add a unique twist of flavor to your burger. Instead of ketchup, which can be loaded with excess sugar and sodium, consider fresh salsa. Replace mayonnaise with sliced avocado, which is a creamy, heart-healthy alternative.

Use whole grain buns in place of white buns. Whole-grains are absorbed slower by the body, meaning they do not raise sugar levels as quickly and keep you feeling full longer. This reduces the urge to eat larger portions or snack after a meal.

For more tips, recipes and to enter Laura’s Lean Beef’s Summer Grilling Sweepstakes, visit www.facebook.com/laurasleanbeef starting May 27, 2013.

 

Laura’s Lean Beef Stuffed Cheeseburgers

Prep time: About 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 minutes
Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Laura’s Lean Beef 96% Lean Ground Sirloin
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 ounces reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 4 even 1/2-ounce pieces
4 slices reduced calorie oatmeal bread
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 lettuce leaves

 

Directions:

1. Mix beef with onion and parsley. Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Divide each individual portion in half so you have 8 equal portions.

2. Flatten 4 portions into rounds. Place a 1/2-ounce piece of cheese on top of each round. Flatten the remaining 4 portions of beef into rounds, place on top of cheese then seal edges of rounds together, sealing cheese in.

3. Grill (covered with grill lid) at 400-450°F about 5-7 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.

4. To serve, place each burger on top of one slice of reduced calorie (45 calories per slice) bread. Top each burger with lettuce and sliced tomatoes and serve immediately.

 

Nutrition Information per Serving:

(1 cheeseburger with tomatoes and lettuce on 1 slice reduced calorie bread)
Calories 244; Calories from Fat 74 (30% from Fat); Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 4g; Cholesterol 69mg; Sodium 258mg; Carbohydrates 13g; Fiber 1g; Protein 30g; Vitamin A 14% ; Vitamin C 17%; Calcium 14%; Iron 21%

 

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Infant Stress Linked to Behavior Problems Later in Life

Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while they sleep. Things like domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence a person’s behavior later in life - even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while they sleep. Things like domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence a person’s behavior later in life – even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

Rob South

LANSING, Mich. – Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while babies sleep.

Things such as domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence people’s behavior later in life – even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

University of Michigan researcher and infant mental health specialist Julie Ribaudo says so-called “toxic stresses” can result in many different problems, including attention and learning problems, depression and anxiety, and even mood and anger regulation.

“It’s sort of like the best kept secret of why I think America is so violent,” she says. “It’s because we really don’t take good care of our children at a policy, national level.”

Ribaudo says the problem is especially serious with families in poverty that experience economic and other social stresses every day.

The Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is calling on state legislators to pass Medicaid expansion and increase access to childhood mental health programs.

Ribaudo says the first step in solving the problem is acknowledging that the problem exists.

“So, if we can first admit as a society that infants and toddlers are adversely effected by their experiences,” she says, “and sort of not protect ourselves from the pain of that, then we can begin to look at public policy, funding and training that can alter the course.”

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TOPS honors members for accomplishments

TOPS Chapter 1229 Sand Lake honored some of their members for their accomplishments in losing the most weight in their divisions in 2012.

Division 1 Doug Allen; Division 2 Sandra Fisk; Division 3 Karen Heiss; Division 4 Barbara Lloyd-Trietch; and alternate is Tina Hansen. Martha Bobb was honored for reaching her goal to become a KOPS. The chapter honored Amber Allen for losing the most weight in 2012.

The chapter welcomes Tina Hansen to her new role as the secretary and Barbara Lloyd-Trietch as the co-leader and the contact for information if you are interested in visiting the chapter (616-696-8049). They have room for new members, men and women alike.

 

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Weiler qualifies for state meet

The Lady Red Hawks Track team traveled to Houseman Field in Grand Rapids, on Friday, May 19, to compete in the 14-team MHSAA Regional track meet.  The team scored 31 points and placed seventh in the meet. Senior Katie Weiler was the loan Red Hawk to qualify for the MHSAA State Finals. Katie qualified for the fourth year in a row. Katie will compete at the State meet in the 1600 meter run and the 3200 meter run. She was regional champion in the 3200 meter run with a season best time of 11:06.22. Katie also ran a season best in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:08.8 to place second.

Junior Kayla Bohy placed 6th in the discus with a throw of 92’ 6”.  Her throw was 10 feet improvement on her best throw of the year. Sophomore Marissa Oakes placed sixth in the long jump with a jump of 15’ 6 ½”. Senior Jeanette Sukstas had her best throws of the year in the shot put and discus of 30’ 1” and 87”. Both earned Jeanette seventh places. The 3200-meter relay team of Caitlin McClurken, Ellie Ovokaitys, Allie Veltkamp and Christina Dean placed seventh with a time of 10:47.89.

The team next competes in the Pioneer Classic on Friday May 24 at Ferris State University and then in the Daily News All-Star meet in Greenville on Tuesday May 28.

JV Conference

The Lady Red Hawks Track team competed in the non-scoring OK Bronze JV Conference meet at Greenville on Tuesday May 14. With only four girls competing the team took 4 first places. Ellie Ovokaitys was a double winner. Ellie took 22 seconds off her best time in the 1600 meter run winning in a time of 5:51.9. Ellie also won the 800-meter run. Alison Hall won the long jump with her best jump of the year of 13’ 8 ¼”. Alison also was second in the 400-meter dash and sixth in the 2oo meter dash. Ali Colley won the shot put and placed third in the discus with a season best throw of 64’ 4”. Vana Havens also set season best times in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash.

 

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CASSA U9 team competes in championship

The Cedar Springs Area Select Soccer Association U9 team competed in the Cherry Capital Cup for the first time last weekend and made it to the championship game.

The Cedar Springs Area Select Soccer Association U9 team competed in the Cherry Capital Cup for the first time last weekend and made it to the championship game.

The annual Cherry Capital Cup took place this weekend in Traverse City CASSA teams from Cedar Springs ages 8-18 competed in the tournament. The Cherry Capital Cup is one of the biggest soccer tournaments of the year. Teams from all over Michigan travel every year to compete in the tournament. This year CASSA U9 competed in the tournament for the first time. The team responded to the pressure by being the only CASSA team to qualify for the championship by putting on their best performance of the year thus far. The team reeled off 3 consecutive victories by scores of 3-1, 4-0 and 3-0 by playing fast aggressive offense and had great passing, setting up goals from Alexis Carlson, Makenna Outwin, Mia Joppich, Lillian Briggs and Darrah Miller. The team also played shutdown defense led by Andrea Rios and Loren Riddle, and had great goalkeeping from Alexis Carlson and Elizabeth Fetting. Although the team came up short in the championship, losing to 5-0 to the Copathia Kickers, the team fought hard until the end and learned a lot from the defeat.

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Middle school boys track team finishes undefeated

The Cedar Springs Middle School boys track team continued their strong tradition with an eighth consecutive undefeated season at 5 wins and 0 losses. In the past 19 years, the boys have posted 16 undefeated seasons.

The team ended their season by splitting into separate grade level teams to compete in two conference championship invitationals. The 7th grade team placed first at their conference meet, earning championship honors with 155 points. The teams’ nearest competitor was Belding, who finished second with 116 points. The 8th grade team finished in second place, 21 points behind Sparta.

The following is a list of 1st place Conference Champions and their events:

7th GRADE

John Todd………………………55 Hurdles, 200 Hurdles, High Jump

George Gonzales……………800 Run, Shot Put

Alex Merlington………………70 Dash, Pole Vault

Dallas Mora…………………3200 Run

8th GRADE

Jacob Hooker…………………200 Hurdles

Troy Patin, Christian Twitchell, Jameson Pavelka, Austin Basso……..3200 Relay

Dustin Shaw, Jake Mead, Austin Ellis, Collin Alvesteffer…………………400 Relay

The guys enjoyed a great season due to their hard work, dedication and commitment to individually do what was necessary to make the team a success. Coach Martens and Coach Banagis would like to congratulate all team members on a fantastic season. A special “thank you” to all parents, staff members, high school coaches and athletes for always cheering our team on and for running great home meets.

 

 

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Best crappie fishing of the year

Jack Payne with a large crappie caught on an action tail.

Jack Payne with a large crappie caught on an action tail.

by Jack Payne

 

Tap, tap and down went the rod tip. Another crappie fallen to the Mr. Twister tail. We use the Mr. Twister tail, the Charlie Brewer Crappie Grub or the Beatle spins two ways. First is straight out of the package, spinner and all. The second way we remove the jig head and action tail from the spinner.

Before the spawn (which is now) and during the spawn (which might be next week or the following week), the jig head and action tails works best for us. Just after the spawn, when the crappie are cruising the weed lines, the addition of the spinner is huge.

Right now most of the crappies will be near their prime spawning grounds. On most lakes this means new cabbage weed beds or reed beds. The best way to find a cabbage patch is with your eyes.

Broadleaf cabbage have large leafs. A mature stand of weeds will often reach the surface during the summer. Right now a good patch might be two or three foot tall at best. A marl bottom area is often found with cabbage weeds.

A reed bed or a rice field is usually found in sandier soils and in shallower water. Most often this will be in a depth between 1-4 feet. The reeds will stick out of the water and are easily spotted.

Fishing the reeds means being stealth or making long casts and slowly working your lure back. Fishing this shallow water structure is best with a Carlisle Float and then the jig and action tail. Set the depth at two feet and work it in slowly.

Another option in the reeds is a long rod and fishing the jig vertically around each stand of reeds. We use rods between 12 and 14 feet so we can slide in quietly. Work slowly and patiently.

Cabbage weeds can be fished in the same manner but I love casting the jig out and retrieving it in slowly. Cast out and count down maybe to four. Then slowly reel in. If this fails then cast out, let it sink to the bottom and then start reeling in slowly.

Any crappie present will hit a slowly moving jig and action tail. Best colors, well I hate to say it, we use two colors 95% of the time. Yellow or chartreuse just pound the crappie. Some day’s one color is better than the other, but one of these two will work. Two anglers should each work a different color.

The best weight is a one sixteenth ounce followed by a one eighth ounce and then a one thirty second ounce head. The one sixteenth is hands down the best overall jig size. The Mr. Twister Tail is a high action tail. The Charlie Brewer is less aggressive, much like a minnow gliding through the water. Both are our favorites and we switch back and forth throughout the day.

Memorial Day weekend is normally pushing the envelope around our area for spawning fish. The crappie will pull out the weed edge gouging on new minnows. This is when the spinner really shines.

Cast the spinner out and count down to half of the depth. In ten feet of water count down to five, then start reeling in slowly. Sometimes you will feel a tap tap; other times just heaviness on your line. No need for a power hook set, just a snap of the wrist and the battle is on.

The Beatle Spin is a great search lure and deadly on active fish. When the fish are less aggressive or when sitting tight to a bed, then the jig head is best. Once the water hits the high fifties and into the low seventies the crappie will be found near cabbage weeds and most often around the reed and rice beds.

 

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