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Archive | May, 2014

Makoto Kamekawa

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Makoto Kamekawa 81 of Sand Lake, passed away Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at his home. Makoto was born December 3, 1932 in Yokosuka, Japan the son of Yorozu and Toyo (Osada) Kamekawa. He graduated from Yokosuka Technical High School in Japan and had studied at Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School. He was an original member of the design team for Toyota Sports 800 and other Toyota cars. He had won numerous awards for all sorts of designs. Surviving are his wife, Fumiko whom he married on Nov. 3, 1956; daughter, Yuko Roberts; grandchildren, Amber, Matthew, Ariel, Melody, April and Noah Roberts; sister, Yoko Saito. Private family services will be held.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Daniel A. Marvin 57 went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, May 23, 2014. Daniel was born April 18, 1957 in Kalamazoo, Michigan the son of Donald and Ruth (Piper) Marvin. Surviving are his sons, Ben (Maryellen) Marvin, Steve (Patty) Marvin; father, Don (Linda) Marvin; brothers, Dave (Jeannie) Marvin, Tim (Bonnie) Marvin, Tom Marvin, Jon Marvin, Jody (Tina) Marvin; 2 grandchildren, James & EmmaLee; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Nichols. The family will greet friends Saturday, May 31 from 10:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 233 S. Main, Cedar Springs. Pastor Gene Hawkins officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to GLC Hope Ministries, 1015 E. Washington St., Greenville, MI 48838.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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C-obit-ZankDorothy A. Zank 90 of Cedar Springs, Michigan went home to be with Jesus Sunday, May 25, 2014. She was born October 3, 1923 in Solon Township, Michigan the daughter of Henry and Edith (Clemens) Zank. Dorothy lived most of her life in Cedar Springs. After graduation from high school, she worked in the factory at Wolverine World Wide supporting herself for over 44 years. This was an amazing feat considering she was legally blind from birth. Dorothy was a dedicated Christian from an early age. She loved to sing Gospel Music and was in several trios and quartets. She shared recently, that she sang at many, many funerals. Now she has joined heaven’s choir. Dorothy was a kind, generous, caring, loving person, and will be dearly missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Cole; sister-in-law, Dorothy T. Zank; several nieces, nephews and many dear friends. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brother, James Zank; sister, Delores Eldred; brothers-in-law, Preston Cole and Vernon Eldred; niece, Carol Eldred Tiede; and dear friend, Linnie Sickmiller. Visitation was held Thursday, May 29 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home Cedar Springs. The funeral service will be Friday, May 30 at 1:00 pm at Pilgrim Bible Church, 361 Pine St.,Cedar Springs. Pastor Michael Shiery officiating. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Pilgrim Bible Church, Hospice of Michigan or African Inland Mission in support of her great-niece, Tianne Cole now serving in Sudan. Please share memories and sign the online guest book at www.blisswitterspike.com

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Girls softball ties for third in conference

The 2014 senior girls played their last high school softball game. Photo by Robyn Coons

The 2014 senior girls played their last high school softball game. Photo by Robyn Coons

By Kendra Coons

The girls’ varsity softball team’s official season has come to a close. The team went 4-0 last week, finishing out their official record as 17-15 throughout the season, 7-8 in conference, and tied for third in conference overall.

Last week, the girls played their final conference games of the season against Forest Hills Northern and a non-conference game against Tri-County.

On Tuesday, May 20, the Huskies traveled to the Red Hawks field for a double header. In the first game, Cedar Springs defeated FHN 7-2. Junior pitcher Josi Whipple was the winning pitcher for that game striking out six batters, and only walking one. In the second game, the Red Hawks beat the Huskies once again, 4-1. Senior pitcher Michaela Kulak gained the win for this game striking out four batters, and walking five, and Whipple picked up a save for the Red Hawks. Leading hitters for Cedar Springs during this double header included junior shortstop Aubree Mouthaan, with four hits, including a double, single, and a homerun; senior second baseman Kendra Coons and senior first baseman Michaela Kulak also had four hits; and junior designated hitter Erin Johnson had three hits. This game was also senior night. Congratulations to all five seniors.

“Our seniors have worked hard and played some great softball for Cedar Springs. All five of them have started on the varsity team for three years. I’m proud of them,” commented head coach Bill VanHorn.

On Wednesday, May 21, the Red Hawks went up against the Vikings of Tri-County. The Red Hawks defeated the Vikings by mercying them 18-8 in the sixth inning. Whipple gained another win for Cedar Springs. Leading hitters for the Red Hawks during this game were senior right fielder Brittney Robinson, who went four for four, with two doubles, a single, a home run and five RBIs. Coons went three for four and had four RBIs and Mouthaan also had two doubles.

On Thursday, May 22, Cedar Springs faced Forest Hills Northern once again, this time at their place and for a single game. Cedar Springs mercied Forest Hills Northern 11-1 in the sixth inning. The Red Hawks won their first series 3-0 against the Huskies. Junior pitcher Allyson Arnold gained the win for Cedar Springs. Arnold struck out four and did not have any walks. The leading hitters for this game were Mouthaan with three hits and two RBI’s and also hit her tenth home run of the year; junior third baseman Alexis Lucarelli had three hits and three RBI’s; senior catcher Taylor Baker and Robinson also had two hits.

“The team had timely hitting and great pitching from Allyson, Josi and Michaela. I like that the whole team is starting to hit well,” stated VanHorn.

Cedar Springs finished off their season 17-15. On Tuesday May 27, the Red Hawks matched up against the Panthers of Comstock Park for Pre-Districts at Belding High School. They lost the game 6-5, ending their season.

Congratulations to Cedar Springs on their successful season and good luck to the seniors in their future!

VanHorn concludes, “I’m proud of this team because they have continued to improve all year. They also beat West Catholic and Northview. These wins were the first against these teams in a long time.”


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Weiler sets new record in 3200m run

Shayne Mann in the 3200 meter run

Shayne Mann in the 3200 meter run

The Girls track team traveled to Ferris State University for the Pioneer Classic. All four relay teams took first place. Individual winners were Allyson Marvel in the pole vault and Kenzie Weiler set a new meet record in the 3200 meter run, while winning the event. Aly Hamilton placed second in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Other Second place winners were Marissa Oakes in the long jump and Tara Tepin in the 300 meter hurdles.

Other Placers:

Aly Hamilton in the 800 meter relay.

Aly Hamilton in the 800 meter relay.

Winning Relay teams: 3200 relay team of Hannah Heintzelman, Shayne Mann, Maddie Pekrul and Kenzie Weiler; 800 relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Olivia Finch and Aly Hamilton; 400 relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Abby Olszewski and Aly Hamilton; 1600 relay team of Aaliyah Sargent, Hannah Heintzelman, Kenzie Weiler and Tara Tepin.

3rd place: Allyson Marvel 100 meter hurdles; Aaliyah Sargent 400 meter dash; Hannah Heintzelman 800 meter run; Maddie Pekrul 3200 meter run.

4th place: Taylor Vanlangen long jump; Brittany Todd shot put; Abby Olszewski pole vault; Allyson Marvel 300 hurdles; Shayne Mann 3200 meter run; Marissa Oakes 100 hurdles.

5th Place: Maddie Pekrul 3200 meter run.

6th Place: Tara Tepin 100 meter dash; Emily Shaft 400 meter dash.

On Monday May 19 the team traveled to Belding for the 9-10 invite. They placed seventh out of 10 teams. The 400 meter relay team of Allison Hall, Aaliyah Sargent, Allyson Marvel and Tara Tepin placed second.

Also Placing:

3rd: 3200 meter relay team of Aaliyah Sargent, Jenna Heintzelman, Ellie Ovokaitys, and Hannah Heintzelman; 1600 meter relay team of Aaliyah Sargent, Hannah Heintzelman, Jenna Heintzelman and Tara Tepin.

4th place: Tara Tepin high jump; Allyson Marvel pole vault; Aaliyah Sargent 400 meter dash.

5th place: Allyson Marvel 100 meter hurdles; Hannah Heintzelman 1600 meter run.


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Cotten named MVP of Pioneer Classic

Three headed to state finals

Last Friday, the boys track and field team competed at the Pioneer Classic, a qualifying meet, that takes the northern areas top eight sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams, as well as the top 12 in field events and distance. Individuals from Cedar Springs, Evart, Reed City, Big Rapids, Manistee, Baldwin, Chippewa Hills, Tri-County, Morley Stanwood and Kent City made up the field.

Opening in field events, Jordan Johnson won the discus with a toss of 141’4”. MavRick Cotten jumped 20’5” to place second in the long jump. Brandon Sipka was third in the 100m dash and won the 400m dash with a time of 50.98 (fastest 400m time posted on the team since 2002). Caden Burrows was second in the shot put and third in the discus. State qualifier Cotten also won the 110m and 300m hurdles. Another state qualifier, Austin Sargent, won the 1600m relay with a time of 4:14. Cedar’s third state qualifier, Justin Jones won the 800m run.

MavRick was selected by the Pioneer Group as the male athlete of the meet by winning two events and placing second in the long jump.

“I am impressed that our performances continue to improve each week.  Our guys continue to set reachable goals and achieve them,” commented Coach Myers.

Sargent, Jones and Cotten will compete this weekend at the MHSAA state finals at GR Houseman Field.

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Fresh Market: Rhubarb

By Vicky Babcock


It is January. In an old shed near Wakefield England, a group of men move carefully among the rows of rhubarb, plucking the pink stems by candlelight.  Most of the shed is in darkness and the atmosphere is hushed.  There is an air of reverence here, as if some rude cathedral.  If one listens quietly, states the farmer, Janet Oldroyd-Hume, one can hear the rhubarb grow.  Is this some sacred rite from pagan days gone by—some obscure celebration of the solstice?  No.  It is the harvest of the forced winter crop, cast in darkness to encourage rapid growth.  Oldroyd-Hume relates the tale that led to this remarkable scene.  In 1817 or thereabouts, the legend goes, workers digging a trench in Chelsea inadvertently covered some rhubarb roots with soil. Upon removing the soil, they discovered that the rhubarb, seeking daylight, had grown long pink stems. “Luckily, it was Chelsea,” Oldroyd-Hume quips, “so they tasted them.”   Ian Jack-the Guardian, January 2008.

Welcome to the Rhubarb Triangle—a 9 square mile area between Rothwell, Morley and Wakefield famous for its forced rhubarb.

Most rhubarb, as is Michigan’s crop, is grown naturally and harvested in the early to late Spring.  The bright red stalks, native to China and dating back over 5,000 years, add a festive look to pies and jams and its tart distinctive flavor makes it an excellent choice for sugared desserts. Rhubarb was given the sobriquet, “pie plant” as it is a vegetable, but is treated as a fruit.

Before sugar’s introduction to the world, rhubarb was treated primarily as a medicinal plant—its roots are a powerful laxative that is still used today.  As sugar became more available and popular to Europeans, so too did rhubarb.   The vegetable lost favor during wartime sugar shortages—people grew tired of eating the plant with little or no sugar and so turned to other more costly fruits to round out their diets. It’s been reported that, for a brief time during WWI*, it was advised to use rhubarb greens as a food source in Briton—this was quickly rescinded as it became abundantly clear that the leaves are toxic to both humans and animals.

Ben Franklin was said to be responsible for the introduction of rhubarb to North America in 1772.  And Marco Polo wrote extensively about this medicinal herb.  In the late 1800’s, Russians brought the stalks to Alaska to treat scurvy as the plant is rich in vitamin C. Rhubarb is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a highly desirable plant for our diet as is.  However, few of us can tolerate the bitter stems without a touch of sugar.

*Note:  Although many sources state WWI, others state WWII.  I even found a reference to Americans being advised to eat the leaves as opposed to the British.  One of the sources that I would have trusted most contradicted itself within the same article.

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

3 cups bread cubes

3 cups chopped rhubarb

1 ½ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

3 eggs, beaten

1 stick melted butter or margarine

Combine—spoon mixture into 8×8-inch pan.  Bake at 375º 40 minutes.  This is delicious warm from the oven, but can be reheated or eaten cold.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.


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Warblers Come and Go

By Ranger Steve Mueller

American Redstart

American Redstart

Most warblers pass through our yards unnoticed during April and May, and again in August and September. Some stay to raise a family. As a group, they are the most colorful of the birds. They work in shrubs and trees feeding on insects. Insects are essential for them to increase weight rapidly to survive their long migration.

A Chestnut-sided Warbler is setting up summer residence in the yard among shrubs near the pond (Picture 1). It is one of the most colorful with a bright yellow cap and wonderful contrasting patterns of white and black throughout the body. Scattered yellow-green is present on the wings and rump. Varying amounts of rich chestnut orange-red patches line it sides. Adult males have extensive chestnut feathers on the sides and younger birds have shorter bands of color.

Chestnut sided Warbler

Chestnut sided Warbler

When looking for warblers, most people locate them by listening for songs and search the branches for their small presence. The warbler described above is only 4 inches long and weighs less than one half ounce. To identify birds remember GISSS. First acquire a general impression (GI). Is it sparrow, robin, or crow size and does it stand tall and upright or more horizontal. Habitat will help with general impression. Expect some birds high in forest trees, others near the ground in shrubs, or some in wetlands. Most people know to think Great Blue Heron along stream or water, robins in lawns, and Red-winged Blackbirds in marshes. Each warbler has a preferred habitat.

After acquiring a general impression, focus on size, color, and shape to help identify it. Behavior will help. A Black-and-white Warbler will climb on tree trunks like a nuthatch; Chestnut-sided Warblers will be among the shrubbery as will American Redstart (Picture 2). Some warblers just pass through so expect them only in spring and fall. Others will stay for the summer. Very few stay during the winter but the Yellow-rumped Warbler is sometimes found in the cold months. The SSS in GISSS refers to the size, shape, and seasonality. Add another S if you use sound like many birders to identify a warbler. I am not good at separating species by sound. I consider myself at best 80 percent proficient so I do not document presence based on song.

Pine Warblers are considered to have a stable population of 13,000,000. This sounds large but when compared to 200,000,000 European Starlings in the US it is not. Even starlings are not a numerous as humans in the US where we number about 350,000,000. Everyone’s yard can be critical habitat in a shrinking natural world. Encourage family and others to return portions of yards to native habitat to help warblers survive.

Compare the difference between the two warblers pictured. The redstart has an all black head with white only on the belly and not mixed among the body feathers. There is bright orange on the sides instead of chestnut and it has orange in the wings and tail. Nature niches are more interesting when we get to know our wild neighbors. Warblers will come when yard habitats include native wild plants for insects and birds. Horticultural and non-native plants usually do not support insect populations needed by warblers.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.  616-696-1753.


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Deadly encounters


It was the first camping experience for Jed.

As soon as he had pitched his tent, he went for a hike in the woods. In about fifteen minutes he rushed back into camp, bleeding and dishevelled.

“What happened?” asked a fellow camper.

“I was chased by a black snake!” cried the frightened Jed.

The camper laughed and retorted, “A black snake isn’t deadly.”

“Listen,” groaned Jed, “If he can make you jump off a fifty-foot cliff, he’s deadly!”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

A Thanksgiving Mass at St. John Paul II

May 31: St. John Paul II Parish will host a Thanksgiving Mass on Saturday, May 31 at 5:30 pm. The parish will thank the Lord for the historical canonization of the parish patron and express gratitude to God for all the blessings upon the parish within the first year. After the Mass, pilgrims will share their photos of the canonization with the public. All are welcome to attend. St. John Paul II Parish located 3110 – 17 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs. #22


Free meal at OLC Family Center

June 5,19: God’s Kitchen North welcomes Northern Kent County families to join us for an evening meal on Thursday, June 5th and June 19th. No charge – No registration required. Served from 6-7 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Family Center, 4865 11 Mile Rd. NE in Rockford. #22


Help Promote Literacy

June 5: The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled an information session on Thursday, June 5 for prospective volunteer tutors. This session is held at 6:30 pm and lasts one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to fund out more about the Center and its literacy programs. At the end of the session there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one on one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The Center is locat4ed at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 616-459-5151 (ext. 10) to register. #22


Vacation Bible School @ Solon Center Wesleyan Church

June 8: Hey kids! Come for “Jus’ Float My Boat” at Solon Center Wesleyan Church beginning Sunday, June 8th from 6:30 – 8 PM. It’s family Night with a gigantic Noah’s Ark bounce house and a hot dog roast for the whole family. VBS continues through Thursday, June 12th where you’ll make new friends, sing great songs, learn all about Noah’s journey with God in the ark and have hands on with the animals. “Jus’ Float My Boat” is for children 4 years old through the 5th grade. Please pre-register by calling the church office @ 696-3229 or online at scwchurch.org.  The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road. All children welcome! #21-23b


Sounds a Little Fishy to Me

June 8: Have you always wanted to teach your kids to fish but never had the opportunity? This event is for participants between the ages of 5 and 100 who would like to go fishing and those who want to learn more about how to fish. Kids and adults will learn about things like casting, baiting a hook, fish handling, and more. Then they will get to practice their new skills while fishing on our own small lake that is filled with catfish! Ages: pre-K through 100 years old. Donation of $4.50/ person. Limited to 25 participants (sign up quickly). No license needed (free fishing weekend). Bring a brown bag lunch – bring your own fishing pole – Howard Christensen Nature Center will provide the worms. Sunday, June 8, from 2 – 4 pm. 16190 Red Pine Dr. Kent City, 616-675-3158. #22


Sign Ups for Rocket Cheer Camp

June 10:  Sign ups for Rocket Cheer Camp and Flag and Rocket Cheer Season are being held every Tuesday until June 10th from 6 to 7 pm at the Shaner Ave. Ball Field. Rocket Cheer camp is Saturday, June 21st from 9 am to noon at Cedar Springs Middle School for grades Kindergarten thru 8th grand. Flag Cheer – Ages K thru 2 nd grade. Season is the month of July. Rocket Cheer – ages 3rd thru 8th grade begins in August. Go to www.springsyouthcheerleading.com to download registration forms and for more details. #21,22p


Radical Reptiles

June 10: Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary engages young minds with fascinating facts and real-life encounters with snakes, alligators and turtles. Tuesday, June 10 at 4 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler, Gowen. #22


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