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Archive | February, 2014

Shoppers’ credit card data stolen at grocery store


If you’ve shopped at the Carson Village Market recently, you might want to pay special attention to your credit card bill.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and the Carson City Police Department reported Monday that they have received a large number of calls from shoppers who have found that their credit card information was fraudulently used to make purchases at retailers in southeast Michigan and the Detroit area. All of the victims reported making credit card purchases within the past few weeks at the Carson Village Market, 10715 E. Carson City Road, Bloomer Township.

The store, located west of Carson City, confirmed that their local server was compromised by hackers and that their IT service has stopped the unauthorized access. A store representative said that proper security measures have been put in place and customers are no longer at risk.

Deputies are working with the Carson City Police Department and the Michigan State Police to assist the victims and attempt to locate the unknown offenders. At this time, over a dozen victims have been identified, with at least eight reports being made to the Carson City Police Department, nine to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, and others to other area agencies. Any additional victims should report it to their financial institution, and the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office at 989-831-3500 or local police.

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C-obit-LovelessRalph D. Loveless, 92 of Rockford, went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Monday, February 24, 2014 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Ralph was born February 2, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the son of Richard and Irene (Axford) Loveless. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corp serving during World War II. Known as “Ralph the Entrepreneur”, he has successfully started six businesses. He was a Real Estate investor and developer, licensed builder, auto body – paint sprayer, advertising and sign painter, and an artist specializing in oil and sketching. He was rated #1 salesman in every position. Ralph competed in the Senior Olympics for five years winning numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Surviving are his wife, Marjorie (Olgetree) whom he married on May 22, 1945; children; Evelyn Bearss of Grand Rapids, Dave (Elaine) Loveless of Rockford; grandchildren, Mark (Jennifer) Loveless, Dawn (Wes) Thrasher, Ginger Schafer, Eric (Angela) Bearss; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Milton (Joann) Loveless of Florida. He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Thomas Bearss; brother, Neil Loveless. The family will greet friends Saturday from 11:00 am until time of service at 12 noon at Rockford Baptist Church, 221 Courtland Dr., Rockford. Pastor Garry Koon officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery in the spring. Military honors by the U.S. Army. Memorial contributions may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries, 225 Commerce Ave. SW. Grand Rapids, MI 49503.


Arrangements by Bliss Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Joel Stone

February 26


Happy 35th Birthday Joel.

We miss you!



Mom and Dad, Jake and family

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Shhh! Quietude

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta


This winter is truly one to be remembered; we have been given weather at record or near-record levels. But if we only remember this winter for snow, wind, ice and cold, we may be missing out on something even more unusual… quietude. Quietude is defined as “a state of stillness, calmness and quiet in a person or place.”

As I am writing this, there is a stillness in this room, away from the hustle and bustle of what I have become accustomed to as a normal day.  Yet outside, the wind and snow are anything but calm and still. The contrast between outdoors and indoors today leads me to believe that all too often I shortchange myself with all the commotion, noises and hubbub that I surround myself with in life.

I speak for myself today, but I am also confident that even though quietude is something we are generally uncomfortable with, it would certainly be a pleasant place to visit more often for everyone.  It is true that sounds can be a comfort, I’m thinking of the words we exchange in verbal communication, or the sounds of a wonderful piece of music being played, and the sounds of children playing. The prophet Isaiah wrote in God’s word, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:18; New International Version). This pretty well describes a desirable state to be in when we communicate with God.

That scripture paints an ideal place to be, but that isn’t something we will ever experience 24/7 in this life. This isn’t to imply that we can’t visit there occasionally. When we have a choice, we would choose quietude over noisiness when we want to have a conversation with someone we really want to hear from. It is God’s desire that we know he is with us, and if we desire his presence and assurance, we need to be where he speaks, that by avoiding distractions, we can confirm his voice.

While I look outdoors today, it certainly doesn’t appear to be a picture of quietude, and still here on the inside I am at peace, inside from the winter storm, but also inside myself even though life is still making quite a stir.

Some noise is imposed upon us, especially in public places, and yes there are times those noises can be enjoyable, even comforting as we are assured we are not alone. But we can also know that we are not alone in quietude. “He says, be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:10-11 NIV).

We should be about devoting ourselves regularly to times of seeking God in silence and quietude. “I say this because I know what I am planning for you, says the Lord, I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” (Jeremiah 29:11 The Inspirational Bible).

Did you hear that?

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All That Once Was Good

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

“Pitchers and Catchers report!” It’s as sure a sign of the coming spring as erupting dandelions. Yes, the return of baseball is a bellwether of warmer days, even if baseball itself should expect a somewhat chilly reception these days.

Critics say the games are too long and tedious. Smart, run-scoring strategy has been replaced by brutish free-swinging for the cheap seats, say baseball’s purists. And don’t even get tongues wagging about that Yankee third baseman.

For my own part, I’ve had a suspicion about the game for some time. After the players’ strike of the mid 1990s I lost faith. The more recent scandals involving performance enhancing drugs and the obscene amounts of money paid to mere mortals for throwing and striking a rawhide ball have done nothing to reclaim my confidence. And have you taken your kids to a game lately? To park, $30. For tickets, $75, $60 for sodas and snacks. And forget the souvenirs. I can’t swing that kind of cash.

What makes all of this so difficult to take is the fact that some of my fondest memories center on baseball. Some of my fondest memories were also made at church; in the little “church in the wildwood” of my formative years.

The pew bottoms were made of wooden slats that creaked and groaned during the service, pinching this little boy’s behind and picking holes in my mother’s pantyhose. On August nights I can recall the fiery summer revivals in that old house of worship – fiery in preaching and temperature – as I struggled to understand all that was going on.

Was this church “better” than what I have experienced as an adult? Probably not. Was it simpler, more sincere? Probably so. Major League Baseball and much of the church in America have arrived at the same place. Both are more driven by market and commercial forces than by a true sense of what they are. We are all the worse for it.

Terence Mann in “Field of Dreams,” may have captured the sentiment best. Standing in that enchanted cornfield-turned-baseball-diamond, he says, “They’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon…along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes…This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good; and it could be again.” May it be so.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


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Medicare is the best care if you are age 65 or older


Vonda VanTil

Vonda VanTil

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

If you are age 65 or older and haven’t signed up for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), now is the time to consider doing so. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, we want to share some important information.

Remember: Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B when they become eligible. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, you may have to wait until the general enrollment period, which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. At that time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium.

Most people first become eligible at age 65, and there is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2014, the premium for most people is $104.90, the same as it was in 2013. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There is a Medicare Part B deductible of $147 in 2014.

You can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. You can sign up for Medicare Part B without paying higher premiums.

For more information about Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, visit www.medicare.gov or read our publication on Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Information about Medicare changes for 2014 is available at www.medicare.gov.

Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov


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Red Hawks lose to Greenville, Northview

Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Cedar Springs boys varsity basketball suffered two tough losses last week. On Tuesday, February 18, the boys took on the Yellow Jackets of Greenville high school. Last time the boys played Greenville the Red Hawks defeated the Yellow Jackets 88-55. This time around, the tables were turned and Greenville took home the win 61-55.

“We didn’t play well defensively for 32 minutes, which is our goal, and that ended up being our eventual downfall,” commented head Coach Jeff Patin.

The lead changed a total of 9 times throughout the game and was tied a total of 6 times. In the first half, Greenville led Cedar Springs 35-32. And then in the second half, Cedar Springs added on 23 more points making their final score 55. But it wasn’t enough because Greenville came back and added on 26 more points making the final score 61-55.

Junior Brad Brechting led the team in total points coming in at 25 for the game. Brechting went 9 for 14 on his shots. Senior Cameron Link also contributed to the Red Hawks score by scoring 9 points for the game, making 2 of 6 on shots. Also scoring for the Red Hawks was senior Austin Hilyer with 6 points, senior Aaron Mabie with 5 points, and sophomore Taylor VanDyke with 4 points.

“Our defensives lapses put more pressure to score on each offensive possession.  We were able to cut our deficit to 2 points on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t get the big stop to get us over the top,” stated Coach Patin.

Also the Red Hawks took on the Wildcats of Northview. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, February 21, but due to the weather the game was moved to Saturday February 22. The first time the Red Hawks played the Wildcats, Northview defeated Cedar Springs 66-49. And the same outcome happened once again with Northview beating Cedar Springs 65-36.

“Northview came out defensively this game and really pressured the ball.  We allowed the pressure to take us out of what we wanted to do offensively,” said Coach Patin.

In the first half, Northview scored a total of 37 points while Cedar Springs scored 21. Then in the second half, Northview took hold of the lead even more by adding 28 more points while Cedar Springs scored 15. Northview took home the win by defeating Cedar Springs 65-36.

“It was disappointing. We didn’t come out and play anywhere near our best.  We have to put it behind us and get ourselves ready for the remainder of the season,” exclaimed Coach Patin.

Senior Cameron Link led the team in points coming in at a total of 14. Link went 3 for 4 on his free throws and had a shooting percentage of 62.5% for the game. Junior Brad Brechting also scored 9 points for the Red Hawks. Brechting went 3 for 5 on his free throws and had a shooting percentage of 42.9%. Also scoring for the Red Hawks was senior Dakota Bekins with 4 points, Mitchell Kooiman with 4 points, and Nate Sorenson with 2 points.

This week the boys varsity basketball team take on their last conference game of the season. On Friday, February 28, the boys go up against Forest Hills Northern. The boys are looking to defeat the Huskies once again. Also, the boys first district game is on Monday, March 3, at Cedar Springs High School against Rockford High School. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. for both games so come on out and support your Red Hawks!

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Young wrestlers battle at Sparta

Brocke Fisher

Brocke Fisher

This week’s MYWA Western Region tournament was hosted by Sparta. West Michigan Pursuit brought twenty grapplers to compete, half entering Novice and the other half entering the Open division. Our team battled 59 times with 30 ending in victory. This past weekend placed 14 of our young competitors in the top 4.

“I challenged my kids to beat their personal fastest pin for this season and six rose to the challenge. I now owe six King Sized Candy Bars! These kids have heart and a competitive drive to be the best,” said Owner and Head Coach, Dave Andrus. This week’s placements are as follows:

4th Place Medalists include Hunter Chilcote in the 11/12 Novice age group in the 95 lb wt class and Zak Schmid in 11/12 Open age group in the 112/119 lb wt class.

3rd Place Medalists include Blake Longcore in the 13/14 Novice age group in the 107/114 lb wt class and Kaden Schmid in the 9/10 Novice age group in the 71 lb wt class.

2nd Place Medalist include Derek Egan in the 11/12 Novice age group in the 80/85 lb wt class, Brocke Fisher in the 11/12 Open age group in the 65/70 lb wt class, Lucus Pienton in the 13/14 Open age group in the 122/130 lb wt class, Colton Schmid in the 7/8 Novice age group in the 61 lb wt class and Maston Wood in the 9/10 Open age group in the 95/100 lb wt class.

Champions are Luke Egan in the 4/5/6 Novice age group in the 49 lb wt class, Cameron Fess in the 11/12 Open age group in the 85 lb wt class, Jayden Marcano-Cruz in the 4/5/6 Novice age group in the 43 lb wt class, Cody McHenry in the 13/14 Novice age group in the 155/170 lb wt class and Blake Peasley in the 4/5/6 Open age group in the 49/52/58 lb wt class. Blake still remains undefeated.

Congratulations to all of you grapplers for stepping out on the mat and working as hard as you do. You truly are The Pursuit of Champions!

We somehow missed Brocke Fisher from last week’s Champions. He also took 1st Place at the Tri County tournament in the 11/12 Open age group in the 65 lb wt class. Way to go!

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Rams Hockey invites kids to try hockey for free

Event from last December. “We have a great time at Try Hockey for Free!”

Event from last December. “We have a great time at Try Hockey for Free!”

On Saturday, March 1 Rams Hockey will host their third Try Hockey for Free event this season. Rams invites boys and girls ages four to nine years old to Cedar Rock Sports Plex for a free clinic to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basics of the sport in a fun, safe environment.

The Try Hockey for Free clinic is part of USA Hockey’s seventh annual Hockey Weekend Across America celebration, which runs nationwide Feb. 28- March 2. This program, designed to provide youth hockey associations a national platform to introduce new kids to the sport, is a joint-effort between USA Hockey, the National Hockey League, and NHL member clubs.

“We look forward to introducing new families to our sport,” said Dave Bina, Rams Hockey President. “To help keep costs reasonable for parents, we’ve discounted our introductory programs to provide first-time players with a cost effective way to join us for the weeks after the event and learn even more about the game.”

For this event there will be equipment available for use, and many helpers on hand.  Please join us from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 1 at Cedar Rock Sports Plex and give hockey a try.  To register for Try Hockey for Free visit www.TryHockeyForFree.com or find more information at www.ramshockey.org



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Avoiding air bag fraud

It’s a good idea to check any used car for properly functioning air bags.

It’s a good idea to check any used car for properly functioning air bags.

(NAPS)—The next time you’re thinking of buying a used car, remember, what you don’t see can hurt you.

We’re talking about air bags. Be sure they’re present and working properly.

As many as 250,000 counterfeit air bags may have been used to replace deployed ones, according to the federal government. But that’s not all.

Air bag fraud also can involve:

• Stuffing things in the air bag compartment (newspaper, packing peanuts)

• Air bags found in junkyards

• Stolen air bags

• No air bags at all.

What To Do

Start by simply turning the ignition. If the air bag indicator doesn’t come on at all or stays on, there may be a problem.

Also, check Carfax for reported accidents and air bag deployments, and get a mechanic’s inspection.

Learn More

For further facts and reports, visit www.carfax.com.


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