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Archive | February, 2015

Defeat drowsy driving dangers: Tips for staying awake at the wheel

CAR-Defeat-drowsy-driving

(BPT) – One in five fatal accidents in America involves a drowsy driver, according to a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Unfortunately, driving while fatigued is common in today’s business world. Yet the consequences of driving when you’re tired can be tragic.

“Drowsiness is similar to alcohol in how it compromises driving ability by reducing alertness and attentiveness, delaying reaction times, and hindering decision-making skills,” says Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and national spokesperson for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, which is raising awareness of the dangers of driving while fatigued. “Drowsy driving is deadly, but it can be prevented.”

The Healthy Sleep Project has issued a Drowsy Driving Health Advisory, which urges every driver to take responsibility for staying “Awake at the Wheel.” Drivers should make it a daily priority to get sufficient sleep, refuse to drive when sleep-deprived, recognize the signs of drowsiness, and pull off the road to a safe location when sleepy.

“Rolling down the windows or turning up the music will do little to increase your alertness while driving,” Watson says. “You can drink coffee for a short-term energy boost, but if you catch yourself drifting into other lanes or nodding off, it’s absolutely time to pull over and take a nap.”

Getting seven to nine hours of nightly sleep is the best way to prevent drowsy driving, according to the Healthy Sleep Project. Drivers should also avoid driving late at night or alone, and they should share the driving with another passenger on long trips.

How do you know if you’re too sleepy to drive? If you experience any of these warning signs, you should pull over or have another passenger take the wheel:

* You keep yawning or are unable to keep your eyes open.

* You catch yourself “nodding off” and have trouble keeping your head up.

* You can’t remember driving the last few miles.

* You end up too close to cars in front of you.

* You miss road signs or drive past your turn.

* You drift into the other lane of traffic.

* You drift onto the “rumble strip” or onto the shoulder of the road.

The Healthy Sleep Project also encourages transportation companies to promote public safety by adhering to hours-of-service regulations, scheduling work shifts based on sleep need and circadian timing, implementing an evidence-based fatigue management system, and screening commercial drivers for sleep diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea.

“There is no substitute for healthy sleep – it’s essential to promote personal safety and optimal alertness behind the wheel,” Watson says. “Evaluate your sleep habits, address potential problems with a board-certified sleep specialist, and make sleep a priority to protect yourself, your passengers and other drivers from avoidable, life-threatening accidents caused by drowsiness.”

For more information, visit projecthealthysleep.org.

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Red Hawk cheer finishes season at districts

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The Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer team took fifth out of 14 teams at Districts.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer team took fifth out of 14 teams at Districts.

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer traveled to Mona Shores this past weekend for the 2015 District Finals, with 14 schools competing for the Championship Title. Changes were made this week and three Junior Varsity teammates were brought up to compete in the Varsity Rounds. The Varsity line up has one senior, three juniors, six sophomores and six freshmen.

Cedar Springs took to the mat and earned a score of 208.10 after Round 1, placing them in 7th place. Round 2 gained an additional 199.02 points, bringing their sub total to 407.12, keeping them in 7th place. With the completion of Round 3, Cedar Springs earned an additional score of 300.70, taking 5th place overall, with a score of 707.82.

Mona Shores won the Championship with a score of 758.14, Kenowa Hills took second with a score of 745.28, Grand Rapids Christian took third with a score of 738.66, and Reeths-Puffer took fourth with a score of 736.72.

“We had an exciting season for such a young team,” said Head Coach Anne Olszewski. “We gained a lot of experience on and off the mat. Execution bonus points were earned for Round 3 at Districts. That’s the first time all season! Advancing to Regionals was lost to us by one placement. We need to gain some maturity and experience and that was starting to happen by the end of the season. The sky is the limit in the upcoming years,” she added.

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Middle School Wrestlers victorious

 

8th grader Cody McHenry at the Allendale invitational. Photo by Colleen White

8th grader Cody McHenry at the Allendale invitational. Photo by Colleen White

By Colleen White

On Thursday, Feb 19, Cedar Springs Middle School wrestlers were invited to the Allendale Dual Invitational Meet. Four teams were represented: Allendale, Thornapple Kellogg, Coopersville and Cedar Springs. Cedar Springs’ first opponent was Coopersville. The Red Hawks defeated Coopersville 42-12.

The second of the dual matches pitted Cedar Springs against Allendale, for the second time this season. While Allendale put up a good fight, the Red Hawks defeated them 46-29.

“Coach VanHam and I are very proud of tonight’s wrestling,” remarked Assistant Coach Brandon Wood. “We watched you all step up your game tonight. Way to go Hawks!”

This week the Red Hawks face Greenville and Wayland. Both are away meets. Mark your calendars for our final home meet on March 10 at the Middle School. Start time is 4:15 p.m. Wear your red to show your Red Hawk Pride and come cheer our young grapplers, as they face Northview.

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WMP at Meijer State Games and Big Rapids

Maston Wood was a champion in the 9/10 age group in the 130 lb wt class.

Maston Wood was a champion in the 9/10 age group in the 130 lb wt class.

Last weekend, West Michigan Pursuit took 13 grapplers to the Meijer State Games, which was hosted by Northview, and two others entered into the North Region’s Big Rapids tournament. Out of the 15 grapplers to enter, 10 placed in the top three. The team battled 41 times and 23 ended in victory.

“When you have strong determination accompanied by strong action, it is not impossible to reach your destination. These grapplers train hard in their pursuit of becoming a Champion at this year’s State Finals,” said Owner and Head Coach, Dave Andrus. Results are as follows:

3rd Place Medalist include Kameron Ogden in the 7/8 Novice age group in the 49/52 lb wt class.

2nd Place Medalists include Casey Eberspeaker in the 7/8 Open age group in the 64/67 lb wt class and Caleigh Wood in the 4/5/6 Novice age group in the 37/40 lb wt class.

Champions are Gage Bowen in the 7/8 Open age group in the 82/97 lb wt class, Xavier Contreras in the 9/10 (Big Rapids) age group in the 75 lb wt class, Chayson Eberspeaker in the 4/5/6 Novice age group in the 55/58 lb wt class, Jayden Marcano-Cruz in the 4/5/6 Novice age group in the 46 lb wt class, Josh Vasquez in the 7/8 Open age group in the 52 lb wt class, Brandson Wood in the 7/8 Open age group in the 43/46/49 lb wt class and Maston Wood in the 9/10 Open age group in the 130 lb wt class.

 

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Student teaches kids how to survive falling through ice

Zachary Winzer developed a “Water Safety” course that emphasizes ice safety.

Zachary Winzer developed a “Water Safety” course that emphasizes ice safety.

Over the next several weeks, the lakes, ponds and streams of West Michigan, currently covered in ice, will begin to thaw, creating some potentially hazardous conditions. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 3,500 people die from drowning and 1 in 5 of those deaths are children 14 and under. Many of those deaths are actually caused by the fatal effects of cold water and not the fatal effects of water filled lungs, which is why it is important for kids to know what to do if they fall through the ice.

Zachary Winzer, the grandson of Richard and Mary Winzer, of Cedar Springs, and a senior at Muskegon Catholic Central High School, is a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and recently developed a “Water Safety” course that emphasizes ice safety and the steps to take to survive falling through the ice.

“What many people don’t realize is that when you plunge into the freezing water, your body experiences ‘Cold Shock,’ a condition characterized by uncontrolled rapid breathing and gasping, which leads to water inhalation,” explained Winzer.   “If I can teach kids how to control their breathing and not panic until the cold shock dissipates, it will increase their chances of survival.”

At the end of the presentation, participants know exactly what to do if they fall through the ice and what to do if they see someone else fall through the ice. In addition, the course teaches water safety tips for surviving the rip currents that occur every day on the shores of Lake Michigan as well as important boating safety tips for kids.  The presentation takes about 45 minutes and includes a fun game at the end that tests the newly acquired knowledge of the participants.

On Friday, February 6th, Winzer presented the course to the 3rd & 4th grade classes at Muskegon Catholic Central elementary school, and the 3rd & 4th grades of St. Mary’s elementary in Spring Lake.  The students had fun while learning the water safety tips and really enjoyed the Water Safety Challenge, a game Winzer developed, that tested their knowledge. They all were rewarded with life preserver cookies by Goobers Bakery, and the USCG Auxiliary also provided water safety coloring books to each of the students to reinforce the lessons taught in the presentation.

Winzer joined the USCG Auxiliary in the spring of his junior year and has been working toward earning his certified Boating Safety Instructor credentials as part of his senior year community service project.  This has required countless hours of study and several steps of accreditation. Winzer balanced the time demands of college prep coursework and working toward his USCG Auxiliary credentials with being the starting safety and slot receiver for the back to back football State Champion Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders, where he received 1st Team All Area honors as a defensive back. He is also an All State center fielder for the Crusaders and training hard to help his team make a run at a baseball state title. Winzer is being recruited to play baseball for the United States Merchant Marine Academy, one of the five national service academies, and just received the honor of a congressional nomination from both Senator Stabenow and Congressman Huizenga.

“This has been a very demanding senior year, but I am very proud to have had the chance to serve both my community and country with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. This presentation can help save lives so the time developing it was well worth it,” said Winzer.

Winzer is hopeful that other schools and organizations will request the presentation and is eager to continue to serve his community. If your school or civic organization is interested in having the presentation conducted for your students, please contact the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 31-5 at the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station.

The USCG Aux is a volunteer branch of the Coast Guard that was founded in 1939 and is known as America’s Volunteer Lifesavers.  The members of the Auxiliary conduct Safe Boating Courses, Vessel Safety Checks, Harbor Patrols, Search and Rescue Missions as well as Marine Environmental Protection.

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North and South Facing Slopes

 

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

The sun is rising higher in sky, moving farther north and shines in our east facing bedroom window. I speak of appearances instead of accurate occurrences. For most of human history, it was thought that appearances were how things worked in nature niches. We thought the sun rose instead of the Earth rotating to make it appear the sun rises. In the 16th century, Copernicus shared that Earth was not center of universe, and he was placed on house arrest for life unless he recanted and stated his scientific discovery was false. He did not recant his scientific discovery.

An event of great significance for plants and animals is the angle the sun strikes the landscape. Though it is easily observable, many of us have not consciously noticed or considered its importance. Our noses may have noticed skunks begin venturing out in February when days are longer. Day light has been lengthening for two months, even though we receive some of our coldest air at this time of year. We experienced -15 F in mid February.

Cold arctic air masses alternate with warmer southerly air masses sweeping over the region. When clouds are not blocking the sun, higher angle sunrays make more direct contact with the landscape. They warm south facing slopes, melt its snow, and warm the ground to kick-start spring growing conditions earlier than occurs on north facing slopes, where sunlight skims over the slope. Sunray energy concentrates in a smaller area when it strikes south facing slopes perpendicularly. On north-facing slopes, the same amount of energy is obliquely spread widely over a larger area and results in less warming of ground, plants, over wintering insects and other creatures.

Growing seasons on north and south-facing slopes vary depending on the amount of energy they absorb and it creates unique plant and animal microhabitats. As March approaches, notice the variations. The north side of Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary’s big field has exposed bare ground earliest when warm rays reflect infrared heat off forest trees. The middle of the field is slower to lose snow and frozen ground. The south edge of the field is slowest to warm and lose snow because naked winter tree trunks and branches filter light energy and prevent some rays from reaching that edge of the field.

Energy captured by dormant winter trees warms the bark and begins sap flow in February. Look closely at tree buds to notice they swell in advance of spring. It is easier to see changes in trees and shrubs than changes in field plants on north and south-facing slopes. Herbaceous plants have dead vegetation above ground but the warming Earth stimulates unobserved root activity. When spring growth emerges, plants on south-facing slopes bloom earlier than the same species growing on north-facing slopes.

Unfortunately, people often reject science evidence for political or religious reasons as happened with Copernicus. Concerns might stem from human fear of the unknown when we consider changing how to use Earth’s resources. Some people are willing to change behavior to sustain future generations, in addition to caring for our present population, while others focus only on the present. When asked, it appears people are interested in our children’s, grandchildren’s, and succeeding generations sustainability. However, actions are more important than talk, when addressing how we live and strive to sustain a healthy Earth for present and future human generations. It is important that we do not ignore accumulating scientific evidence for how things like the Keystone pipeline or human-caused climate change impact the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Present and future generations depend on healthy functioning ecosystems. In present day society many are unwilling to accept scientific evidence, much like political and religious leaders were unwilling to accept Copernicus’s discoveries.

Go beyond appearances to discover and understand the importance of evidence-based occurrences.

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 or call 616-696-1753.

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Nutrition choices made easy in the grocery aisle

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

(BPT) – Should you buy eggs instead of cereal? Popcorn in place of pretzels? For consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods at the grocery store, these types of decisions can feel overwhelming, and for some, time-consuming.

With the help of the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, making healthier decisions at store shelves becomes easier and quicker. Developed by a team of recognized experts, led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System was created as a direct response to America’s rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both adult and child populations. This team advocated the development of an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system to help improve public health.

The easy-to-use NuVal Nutritional Scoring System provides foods throughout participating grocery stores with a score of one to 100, 100 being the most nutritious. Scores are determined by an independent team of nutrition and medical experts who analyze more than 30 nutrition factors such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fat and calories. The experts do the research, so consumers can feel better about their food choices.

“Choosing the right foods at the grocery store can make or break your healthy meal plan for the week,” says registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames. “When walking the aisles, pick up wholesome foods that are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. For example, Eggland’s Best eggs are the highest-scoring egg on the NuVal scale and the only egg I recommend to my clients and serve my family due to their superior nutrition!”

Check out the foods Tammy recommends for your shopping cart next time you hit the grocery store:

* Fruits and vegetables top the list

With a score of 100, vegetables like broccoli and asparagus receive a perfect score due to their nutritional benefits. They provide important nutrients including vitamin A, which helps protect against infections, dietary fiber which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, and folate, which helps the body form red blood cells.

* Seafood catches top scores

Fishing for healthy foods? Try wild Atlantic salmon filets, which have a score of 96 on the NuVal scale. This fish selection offers calcium, which helps build strong bones, and phosphorus, which helps with digestion. Fish is also a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

* Eggs crack the NuVal Code

Eggs are a complete protein that keeps you full to prevent snacking and also include important nutrients your body needs throughout the day. Out of 56 brands of eggs reviewed, Eggland’s Best eggs scored the highest at 85. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega 3s.

Find fresh and nutritious recipe ideas, including this Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus, at www.egglandsbest.com or www.pinterest.com/egglandsbest.

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Ingredients:

8 Eggland’s Best Egg, large

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed

1/2 cup chicken broth

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

4 large slices from round loaf of crusty Italian bread, toasted (3/4-inch thick)

4 ounces very thinly sliced Serrano ham

1/4 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Ground Spanish paprika

Directions:

In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute or until very lightly browned. Remove garlic with slotted spoon; reserve for later use. Add asparagus and broth to hot oil; simmer 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning asparagus occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add white vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Break Eggland’s Best eggs into custard cups, one at a time. Gently slide eggs into hot water, in 2 to 3 batches. Poach eggs 3 to 4 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks are slightly thickened. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.

Place toast on 4 serving plates. Top each evenly with Serrano ham, asparagus spears, asparagus broth and 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and reserved garlic. Drizzle plates evenly with remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

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Child tested negative for measles

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The Kent County Health Department reported last Friday that an infant in Kent was being tested measles. The Michigan Department of Community Health reported Monday, February 23, that preliminary test results were negative for the disease. A child was also tested in Allegan County, and that also came back negative.

The KCHD reported that clinical information received from the treating physicians, for the Kent County child, was consistent with a rash illness, but not fully consistent with measles. Parents self-isolated the child based on CDC recommendations as a precaution.

“There are inconsistencies in the child’s symptoms compared to the case definition of measles. Still, this situation should remind all of us that community-based vaccination programs provide important protection for babies that are too young to receive the vaccine themselves,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department.

“All residents should make sure they are up-to-date on their MMR (Measles–Mumps–Rubella) vaccines and boosters. Contact your health care provider if you have questions/concerns.”

Measles was confirmed in an Oakland County adult late January, which may have been related to a recent Disneyland outbreak in California. “As we are seeing with the recent outbreak in California, measles is a highly communicable disease that can affect both children and adults,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “The best way to protect our families and communities against measles is to get vaccinated.”

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Because measles is highly communicable, vaccination is the best line of defense, and successful prevention and control requires high levels of immunity in all communities.

Last year, there were a total of five measles cases in Michigan. From 2001–2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. According to the CDC, last year there were 644 cases in the United States, and the vast majority of cases were among persons who had no history of vaccination against measles. Between January 1 and February 20, 2015, there have been 154 cases reported in 17 states and Washington DC.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

For more info, visit www.cdc.gov.

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Atlas Reed Hunt

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Rachel and Joshua Hunt, of Grand Rapids, are happy to announce the birth of their son, Atlas Reed Hunt, born on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 9:43 p.m., at Butterworth Hospital, in Grand Rapids.

Atlas is welcomed home by proud grandparents Steve and Judy Reed, of Cedar Springs, and David and Julie Hunt, of Plainwell; and great-grandparents Bill and Pat Campbell, of Big Rapids, and Les and Jean Green, of Delton.

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Happy 21st Birthday!

C-B-day-Thomas-webBRITTNEY & COURTNEY THOMAS

Happy 21st Birthday!

If you see them wish them a Happy Birthday!

Love you,

Mom & Bob

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