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Archive | October, 2014

A Spooky snack and drink for Halloween

Monster Mash Float

Monster Mash Float

Family Features

If your family’s Halloween consists of pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and transforming your home into a haunted house, you’ll be happy to know that the “double, double, toil and trouble” doesn’t have to stop there. You can add a little extra hocus pocus to your season by brewing up these chillingly creative treats with the whole family.

The Monster Mash Float and Paranormal Pudding are two ghoulishly good treats that kids and adults alike will love, and they’re easy to make. The fun is all in the Limited Edition TruMoo Orange Scream milk. Inspired by an orange frozen pop with vanilla ice cream, this new creamy orange milk is so frightfully delicious, it’s sure to make you scream. Because it’s made with wholesome low-fat white milk, no artificial growth hormones or high fructose corn syrup, and is brought to you by your local trusted TruMoo dairy, you can feel great about serving it to your family.

TruMoo Orange Scream is delicious as an ingredient in your favorite Halloween treats or served by itself. Just make sure to drink it fast—it might disappear into the night like the headless horseman.

For more frightening fun visit www.TruMoo.com, www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk, www.twitter.com/TruMooMilk and www.pinterest.com/TruMooMilk.


Monster Mash Float

Servings: 1

1 cup TruMoo Orange Scream milk

1 large scoop low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream

1 cup chilled seltzer

In tall glass, pour in milk. Add scoop of frozen yogurt. Slowly add seltzer to create foamy, web-like effect on top of float.

Serve immediately.

Paranormal Pudding

Paranormal Pudding

Paranormal Pudding

Servings: 2

2 cups TruMoo Orange Scream milk

1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding and pie filling

1/2 cup low-fat granola

2 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Multicolored sprinkles

In large bowl, with wire whisk beat milk and instant pudding until well blended and thickened.

Spoon 1/3 of pudding mixture into two dessert or parfait glasses; sprinkle with some granola. Repeat layering two more times. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, top each with dollop of yogurt and Halloween-themed sprinkles.


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Pumpkin Coloring Contest Winners!

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Pumpkin Coloring Contest. Winners may pick up their prizes at the Cedar Springs Post office, located at 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs, on or after Friday, October 31, 2014 10am-5pm. Or call 616-696-3655 to make other arrangements.

Age Group 3-4 years Caylee Kidder, age 4, of Howard City

Age Group 3-4 years
Caylee Kidder, age 4, of Howard City

Age Group 5-7 years Lyssa Smith, age 7, of Rockford

Age Group 5-7 years
Lyssa Smith, age 7, of Rockford

Age Group 8-10 years Madalyn Houck, age 10, of Sand Lake

Age Group 8-10 years Madalyn Houck, age 10, of Sand Lake

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Red Hawks clinch sole possession of OK Bronze title

Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.

Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.


On Friday, October 24, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks went to battle on their home turf, against the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks. This game for the Red Hawks was a chance to take sole possession of the 2014 OK Bronze Conference title.

In the first quarter, Red Hawk quarterback, Colin Alvesteffer found the end zone twice for the home team. One run was from 69 yards out and one from the three-yard line. The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks were able to answer once during the quarter, with a sixty yard pass play to put them on the score board, with an extra point being added by their kicker. This left the Red Hawks up 12 to 7 going into the second quarter.

The first half ended with the Red Hawks leading 18 to 7, after a 15-yard run by MavRick Cotton.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

This game proved to be another pairing of opposite football philosophies, with the Red Hawk offense pounding the ground for 444 yards, averaging almost eight yards per carry, and the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks passing for 260 yards and running for nearly 100 yards. Their passing attack tested the Red Hawks’ secondary, but the defense held up by getting pressure on the quarterback and making plays in the secondary when it mattered most.

In the second half, the fog rolled in and things got spooky for the FHE Hawks as MavRick Cotton scored on a 20-yard run and Zach Wamser added two more touch downs, one from three yards out and the second from 71 yards. The final score was, Red Hawks 38 and the Eastern Hawks 14.

While this season marks the fifth time that the Red Hawks have made it to the playoffs since 2000, this is the first time since 1978 that the Red Hawks have earned a conference title. That year they shared it with Sparta, in the Tri River Conference.

This Friday, October 31, the Red Hawks will play at home against Forest Hills Northern to begin their playoff run in the Division 3 pre-district game. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday at noon and can be purchased in the High School Main office. Tickets are $5. No passes will be allowed at this game. Please come out and cheer on your Conference Champs!


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Girls Cross Country takes first at regionals

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

The Red Hawk runners decided to follow the local gridiron heroes by extending their season. The boys and girls teams competed in the regional cross country meet in Traverse City last weekend.

The Cedar Springs Girls Cross Country Team placed first at regionals and will compete at the state finals November 1. Senior Kenzie Weiler led the pack of 100 girl competitors racing on the course at Grand Traverse Resort, with a finishing time of 18 minutes 15 seconds, 53 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Kenzie has held the title of Regional Champion all four years of high school. Senior Shayne Mann and junior Ellie Ovokaitys ran their personal best records finishing 8th and 9th with times of 19:46 and 19:50, respectfully. Teammates Hannah Heintzelman (sophomore) finished 22nd in 21:00, Tara Tepin (sophomore) 34th in 21:27, Allyson Marvel (junior) 56th in 22:44 and Myla Umphrey (freshman) 66th in 23:12.

Coach Covey said they were seeded to place third in the meet behind Whitehall and Sparta, but with the performance her team ran on Saturday they were able to take home the trophy by overcoming second place Whitehall by 8 points, 74-82. Gaylord is the third place team that will also be traveling to the State Finals.

“I am so excited to have this team win a big meet. We were very close to winning the conference title but we fell short of Forest Hills Northern at every conference meet. These girls deserved it!” Covey exclaimed. This is Covey’s first regional championship.

The boy’s team placed fifth and did not qualify for the state meet. However, senior Austin Sargent won the boys race and will represent Cedar this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.



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Be the referee


By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA


Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Uncatchable Pass 

Today we’re going to talk about one of the most misunderstood rules at the high school level, and that deals with the uncatchable pass.

All of us have sat in front of our televisions on Saturday or Sunday and seen the long pass get thrown, followed immediately by the throwing of the flag. As the officials discuss what happened, the referee invariably clicks on the microphone and announces that there is no foul for pass interference because the pass was uncatchable.

At the high school level, that is not a factor in deciding whether or not pass interference has occurred. The ball does not have to be catchable, and if the contact is ruled as pass interference, that foul stands, regardless of the quality of the pass.

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Farmer’s Almanac

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Farmers are an observant group. Their livelihood depends on paying attention to the natural world. It is necessary to understand events in nature to produce successful crops.

For thousands of years, people paid attention to weather’s annual cycle and crop responses. People documented weather and then determined climate. Climate is the combined long-term average of weather events. Weather is short-term and changes in less predictable ways. Some years we receive a killing frost in mid September. This year it was the third week of October. We also experienced an early spring warming a couple years ago that caused fruit growers to lose most of the crop. Apple trees flowered before the average flowering time and flowers were later killed when normal frost occurred.

The Farmer’s Almanac makes predictions based on decades of climate data and is used to predict weather events. Studies have shown predictions of weather events in the almanac are not particularly accurate but, because it is based on long time averages, the events are not too far off. Being close serves the general intended purpose for most almanac readers.

Almanac predictions are reasonably close because people have documented “Nature Niche” events for a long time. You will not see the almanac suggesting it safe to plant crops at the beginning of January or suggest we wait to harvest grapes until November.

The lives of plants and animals, including cultivated crops that sustain our food flow and economy, have DNA genetic codes linked to local climate conditions. This sometimes becomes a problem when we do not plant local genotypes of native species. Flowering Dogwood trees grow in Georgia and Michigan but their genetics have evolved and adjusted to each region’s local climate. When a southern dogwood is brought to Michigan and planted, its survival is less likely because its DNA genotype is programmed to start spring growth too early compared with Michigan’s native genotype populations.

A reader asked if the height of a Bald-faced hornet nest in trees could be used to predict snow depth for the coming winter. Plants and animals are unable to read the future but many “Old Wives’ Tales” lead people to think it possible. Nest building behavior is based on general circumstances that allow survival. A queen hornet will start a nest in a location that appears suitable. If she fails, we will not notice. If successful, we might notice the nest when it becomes large. When fall arrives the queen hibernates in a hollow log, under tree bark, or some other protected location. The rest of the colony freezes.

People often use the width of the orange band on woollybear caterpillars to predict the severity of winter. The bandwidth is related to the age of the caterpillar instead of future weather conditions. Science has helped document many details in nature that are used to make reasonably accurate predictions. There are still many discoveries to be made. Spend time outside observing, record the observations in a journal and of course remember to enjoy the magical experiences witnessed in the yard.

I have kept observation journals since 1969. Now I have a reasonable ability to predict when certain wildflowers will bloom, particular butterflies will appear, particular bird species move through, and when fall colors will peak. Outdoor activity is healthy physically and mentally. Sharpen your mind and thinking abilities by thinking about occurrences observed in nature. Many hunters know when to expect the deer rut scrape on saplings, what size trees are used and how high above ground the tree is scraped. Follow your own interests whether you are farmer, hunter, or outdoor explorer. Look to the Farmer’s Almanac for a general idea of event occurrences but use own your observations to discover the natural world.

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


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Latest Asian carp eDNA sampling produces negative results


The Department of Natural Resources announced that the latest round of Asian carp environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling on the lower Kalamazoo River in Allegan County produced all negative results. Earlier this month, the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a single positive eDNA result for silver carp—a species of Asian carp—within the river, discovered during water sampling efforts conducted this summer.
Immediately after the DNR learned of the positive sample, the agency worked with USFWS to conduct this third eDNA surveillance effort. The two agencies collected 200 additional water samples on the lower Kalamazoo River Oct. 7 and 8. In addition to sampling, the DNR increased the presence of staff along the river to enlist anglers as part of surveillance efforts.
The previous positive result indicated the presence of genetic material of silver carp, such as scales, excrement or mucous. However, there is no evidence a population of silver carp is established in the Kalamazoo River. In addition to live fish, genetic material can enter water bodies via boats, fishing gear and the droppings of fish-eating birds.
“We greatly appreciate the quick work by USFWS to collect and evaluate these latest samples,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “We are pleased these samples were negative, but that doesn’t mean our efforts to keep Asian carp out of Michigan’s waters are over.”

The DNR will continue to take action in response to the previous positive result. Those actions will include:
• Conducting additional sampling efforts in the spring with USFWS to continue monitoring the river.
• Enhancing DNR fishery survey efforts, including expanding our outreach to anglers.
• Continuing public education efforts about all aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp, to increase general understanding of this significant threat to Michigan’s waterways.
Anglers and boaters are a first line of defense in the fight against aquatic invasive species. Anglers are urged to become familiar with the identification of Asian carp, including adults and juveniles, as the spread of juvenile Asian carp through the use of live bait buckets has been identified as a potential point of entry into Great Lakes waters.

Anglers and boaters are strongly encouraged to drain all water from their boats and to clean boats and gear after each trip. Invasive species and eDNA are known to “hitchhike” within live wells and attach to boat trails, anchors and fishing gear.
For even more information on Asian carp, visit www.michigan.gov/asiancarp.


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Some Thoughts on Governing 


By Lee H. Hamilton


I have been working in or around government for over 50 years, and if you asked me to boil down what I’ve learned to one sentence, it is this: Governing is much harder work than most people imagine. This doesn’t excuse its lapses or sluggish rate of progress, but it does help explain them.

Why is it so hard? Partly it’s the country we live in. There were 130 million Americans when I was in high school. Now we number over 300 million, with a diversity and cultural complexity that were impossible to imagine when I started out. Finding common ground, meeting complex needs, answering to an overwhelming diversity of interests — this is not work for the faint of heart.

The structure we do this with makes it even tougher. We have governments at the federal, state, and local levels, and they in turn have branches — executive, legislative and judicial — and a cornucopia of massive agencies. To solve a problem you have to navigate a slow, complex, untidy system whose transparency and accountability are always less than they should be.

This is magnified by an American public that, these days especially, wants mutually contradictory things. We want to rein in Wall Street excess, but we don’t support the regulatory structure to do it. We want affordable health care but don’t like Washington’s involvement in the health-care system. We want to shrink the deficit without any cuts in defense spending or entitlements.

Our diversity, complex structure, and difficulty settling on coherent policies make the hardest part of governing even harder. Building a consensus is the most important and most difficult part of political leadership. If politics is ultimately about the search for a remedy — I know, for many politicians it’s about ego or power or money, but I’m interested in the ideal — then you have to be able to get a consensus around that remedy. You need a majority in the U.S. House, 60 votes in the Senate, and the President’s approval. This country cannot be governed without compromise, dialogue and accommodation, and it comes apart at the seams when we go too long without them.

We often have disagreements in politics, but good politicians know that we have no choice but to work through them. The best want to bring different groups of people together, not pull them apart. They understand that not all the good ideas come from one source, and they reject the idea of constant conflict and permanent gridlock. In a divided country with a government specifically set up to divide powers, we need to follow this process — not because we want to but because we have to.

They know, too, that you have to treat every person with dignity and respect, even though the clashes may be hard. I used to watch Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill engage in tough, hard-hitting dialogue over the issues of the day, but for both of them the underlying premise was that they had to reach an agreement and move ahead. They knew civility had to be the rule — and always ended by trying to top each other with a good Irish story, doing their best to leave everyone in the room in an upbeat frame of mind.

Don’t get me wrong. The clash of ideas is important. In a dynamic system, with competing power centers and a panoply of interests trying to use their power to achieve their objectives, better policy — a policy that more nearly reflects the will of the American people — can emerge from this debate. Playing one side against the other, or merely stating the problem in order to rile up listeners — these are easy. Moving ahead to reach a solution: that’s the hard part.

Which is why our system works so slowly. It’s unwieldy, messy, and often very noisy, but most of the time, it gets there.

Yet there are no guarantees. Our system is not self-perpetuating. There is no automatic pilot. The question Abraham Lincoln asked at Gettysburg 151 years ago is as fresh today as it was then: Can a nation so conceived and so dedicated long endure? We’re still finding out, but we know one thing: It will take hard work.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

For information about our educational resources and programs, visit our website at www.centeroncongress.org. Go to Facebook to share your thoughts about Congress, civic education, and the citizen’s role in representative democracy. “Like” us on Facebook at “Center on Congress at Indiana University.”

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Way of the wolf


November 7-8 at The Kent Theatre

Actors del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan will be presenting “Way of The Wolf,” at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, in Cedar Springs, on November 7 and 8.

If you like fantasy/adventure, this is the story for you. It is similar to “Lord of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. You will be rooting for the heroes who have vowed to save the Kingdom of Vasilki from corruption. It’s a show for the whole family and a great way to start the holiday season.

Showtimes are Friday, November 7 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, November 8, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets at the door. Adults are $10, students $4, and seniors $8.

For more details call 874-5264.


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Fall back: be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists


Time change this weekend

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) reminds motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians that it will be getting darker one hour earlier with the end of daylight saving time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2. It will be important for motorists to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists on the drive home, as they will be much less visible. Pedestrians and bicyclists should wear bright, reflective clothing in order to be seen more easily.

“Driving becomes more challenging for motorists during the first week of the time change, especially in school zones” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Drivers need to pay close attention and eliminate distractions while driving, and pedestrians and bicyclists should take every precaution to make themselves as visible as possible. We want everyone to make it home every night.”

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) says that pedestrians are more at risk of serious injury from a motor vehicle crash in the weeks following the return to standard time. The most dangerous time is the first hour after darkness.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2012, while an estimated 76,000 were injured (with 14,000 of those injured being children 15 and younger). The majority of pedestrian fatalities (70 percent) occur during dark conditions between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

Motorists are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in Michigan. Bicyclists are reminded that, as legal roadway users, they are required to obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.

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