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Archive | June, 2015

A tail of another color

 

Ron Parker sent us this photo of an unusual looking squirrel.

Ron Parker sent us this photo of an unusual looking squirrel.

Last summer the Post printed several photos sent in my readers that showed black squirrels with a white tail, or white markings on their tails. Recently, we received this photo from Ron Parker, of Courtland Township, that showed this black squirrel, with a reddish-brown tail.

“We get about one squirrel each year that visits our bird feeders, and today was the day,” said Ron. “Most of the time they are not note worthy but, in this case, I thought I should share this picture with you. If I didn’t know any better, I might suggest that this black squirrel’s momma had some explaining to do to her mate when this guy was born. Since we seldom see squirrels in our yard, I feel blessed to have seen such an unusually colored squirrel, and hope to see him or her again.”

When we ran the story last year about the black squirrels with a white tail, Ranger Steve Mueller explained that they were genetic mutations. But, like the deer with the white face, we still like to see unusual animals!

Thanks, Ron, for sending us your photo!

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 to the Post. Send by email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or by mail to PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Man honored for saving boy’s life

Tpr Tim Cruttenden (Lakeview Post – Investigating Officer), Mr. Drew Trudell (employee of Mr. Hansen’s) Mr. Kenneth Hansen, Mr. Brian Hansen (employee of Mr. Hansen and brother to Kenneth)  and F/Lt Kevin Sweeney (Lakeview Post Commander).

Tpr Tim Cruttenden (Lakeview Post – Investigating Officer), Mr. Drew Trudell (employee of Mr. Hansen’s) Mr. Kenneth Hansen, Mr. Brian Hansen (employee of Mr. Hansen and brother to Kenneth) and F/Lt Kevin Sweeney (Lakeview Post Commander).

On June 3, 2015, the Michigan State Police (MSP) recognized Mr. Kenneth Hansen, of Crystal, with a Distinguished Citizen award for his heroic actions in saving the life of a child during a dog attack.

On May 4, 2015, while working at a construction site in Seville Township, about 5:10 p.m., Mr. Hansen and his work crew heard the screams of a child at a nearby residence.

The child, an 8-year-old boy, went over to visit his step-grandmother. He was familiar with the dogs there, four rottweilers, which were in a fenced in back yard of the residence. As the child walked into the back yard, one dog began barking at him. Another dog knocked the child down and the four dogs attacked him.

It was then that Hansen heard the screams, and saw the four dogs attacking the boy. He jumped over the fence and carried the child to safety inside the house, even with the dogs continuing to bite at the child. The boy suffered 22 bite wounds, and was treated at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and released that evening.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the actions of Mr. Hansen saved the life of this child,” stated F/Lt Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post. “Mr. Hansen knowingly, and without hesitation, put himself in harm’s way to save the life of another.”

The recognition was given to him in front of his work crew, at a job site in Oakfield Township.

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Student charged in bomb threats

 

A 16-year-old from the Belmont area is being charged with making a bomb threat against Rockford High School.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Rockford Public Schools and several employees have been the target of harassing and threatening telephone calls since October 2014.

A joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kent County Sheriff Department, and Rockford Department of Public Safety, identified the local student as one of several people involved.

On June 17, 2015, the evidence involving the student was reviewed by the Kent County

Prosecutor’s Office, resulting in the 16-year-old male being charged with False Report or Threat of Terrorism (a 20 year felony). The Kent County Sheriff Department said they would be requesting restitution in this investigation.

There are additional suspects that are from outside of Michigan or in another country. They are not releasing details on any of the other suspects at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

The Sheriff Department said that law enforcement and the Rockford Public Schools worked closely to ensure the students were safe at all times. “We want to thank the parents, students, staff, and community for their patience and support during this very time-consuming and meticulous investigation,” said Detective William Marks.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6357 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Solon seeks public input on proposed park plan

 

Solon Township will conduct a public input session for the Township’s 5-year Parks and Recreation Plan on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Solon Township Hall.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather input from the township residents concerning current and future opportunities for parks, recreation, and trails in the community. The comments and ideas received from this meeting will be used to develop the 2015 Parks and Recreation Plan Update.

Watch for information on future sessions on the Solon Township website and facebook page.

The final public presentation of the Solon Township Parks Master Plan will be held on Wednesday, July 1 at 11:00 am at the Solon Township Hall. This presentation will be attended by the Township Board and is open to the public for viewing and comment.

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Sheriff announces new Chief Deputy

Kevin Kelley was promoted to Chief Deputy

Kevin Kelley was promoted to Chief Deputy

Sheriff Lawrence Stelma announced that Kevin Kelley was promoted to Chief Deputy effective Monday, June 8, 2015.

He replaces Michelle LaJoye-Young, who was recently promoted to Undersheriff, after Jon Hess retired.

Kelley began his career at the Sheriff Department on June 5, 1989 as a County Patrol Officer. He was promoted to Sergeant on the Road on January 13, 2003, and promoted to Road Patrol Lieutenant on February 19, 2007. On January 3, 2011, he was promoted to Captain assigned to the Road Patrol and, in August 2012, he was put in charge of the Detective Bureau, Road Patrol, and Vice Unit.

Kelley graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School. He obtained his Associates in Arts from Grand Rapids Community College and attended Grand Valley State University. Kevin graduated from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in November 2012.

“Please join us in congratulating Kevin on his promotion to Chief Deputy,” said Sheriff Stelma.

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Don’t forget to replace your vehicle’s brake hardware

For a few extra dollars, car owners can enhance vehicle safety and protect their investment in brake pads and shoes by replacing their vehicle’s brake hardware.

For a few extra dollars, car owners can enhance vehicle safety and protect their investment in brake pads and shoes by replacing their vehicle’s brake hardware.

(NAPS)—Brakes are a critical component for maintaining vehicle safety. Whether it’s trying to stop your vehicle on an icy, snow-packed road or slowing down on a rain-soaked highway, properly functioning brakes are key to maintaining control of the vehicle.

However, brake wear can compromise vehicle performance and, ultimately, threaten vehicle safety. AAA encourages motorists to have a certified technician inspect their brakes to ensure they are ready for whatever Mother Nature has to offer.

In an article featured on theautochannel.com, John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Repair and Buying Services, noted that there are several warning signs that motorists should closely monitor to identify and resolve brake wear before it can impact vehicle safety.

“Often, the first sign of worn brakes is a brake pedal that seems to require more pressure to stop the vehicle. Scraping, squeaking or chirping noises that come from the wheels when the brakes are applied are other signs of potentially excessive brake wear. A car that pulls to the left or right when the brakes are applied could also mean trouble,” Nielsen said.

He further advises consumers to ask for an annual brake inspection when taking their vehicle into an auto repair shop for service.

Complete Brake Inspection Includes Hardware

According to Chris Miller, Product Development Engineer, of International Brake Industries (IBI), consumers should ask their technician to also inspect their vehicle’s brake hardware in order to ensure that their vehicle receives a complete brake job.

Miller explained that brake noise is the No. 1 cause of dissatisfaction and complaints about brake systems. Brake noise is usually caused by the vibration of components that are not properly installed and secured—typically, it’s not the fault of brake pads or shoes, but it can more likely be caused by worn-out brake hardware.

He added that, like most mechanical parts, brake hardware will wear out over time and can’t function if the parts are corroded or stretched. If brake hardware is worn, it can even cause newly installed brake pads to wear out prematurely, reducing the life span of the pads and shoes.

Brake hardware—including clips, bolts, rubber bushings, rubber seals and springs—is integral to the proper operation of the vehicle’s entire braking system.

“It’s very common for drivers to leave an auto repair shop with newly replaced pads and shoes, but still experience brake noise because their brake hardware was not replaced,” Miller said. “We have a simple message for consumers: For a few extra dollars, you can protect your investment in brake pads and shoes and ensure optimum performance by also replacing your vehicle’s brake hardware.”

Superior Brake Performance

To reduce brake noise and drag (that is, brake pad friction, which can affect fuel economy), IBI recently introduced the new line of QuietGlide® brake clips. QuietGlide brake clips feature a coating of vulcanized rubber on one side to reduce brake noise and a low-friction PTFE coating on the other side of the clip to reduce drag.

By installing new QuietGlide brake clips, consumers are truly receiving a complete brake job—ensuring smoother, quieter riding brakes and extending the life of their brake pads and shoes.

For more information, visit www.completebrakejob.com.

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Parents play a big role in keeping teen drivers safe

 

(c) National Safety Council

(c) National Safety Council

(StatePoint) For teens, getting behind a wheel can seem like an exciting taste of freedom. But too much leeway too soon can have dangerous results. Car crashes are the number one killer of teens, and half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school, reports the National Safety Council (NSC).

Luckily, states with a Teen Safe Driving Coalition are helping change the game. The Coalitions — comprised of state and local government, law enforcement, public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia, businesses, teens, parents and crash survivors — were established by NSC and The Allstate Foundation. They have worked at the grassroots level for the last four years to educate parents and teens about the risks of teen driving. Coalitions exist in California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas to offer solutions for parents to help teens be safer.

The results have been effective. Crashes involving 15- to 17- year-old drivers in Coalition states have dropped nearly 34 percent since the Coalitions were established four years ago, whereas non-coalition states have experienced just a 19.5 percent drop, according to NSC analysis of federal fatality data.

The Coalitions’ success is in part because they promote a program that indisputably saves lives. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a proven method of reducing teen drivers’ crash risk by 20 to 40 percent, works by maximizing experience while minimizing common driving risks teens face, such as nighttime driving and carrying teen passengers. This allows new drivers to gain experience with less exposure to high-risk scenarios. All 50 states and D.C. have implemented some form of GDL.

“Beyond legislation, parents have a role to play as well,” says Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives, NSC. “As the number one resource when it comes to teaching teens to drive, parents should stay involved well after teens get their licenses.”

With that in mind, Bernstein is offering some life-saving tips to families with new drivers:

  • Parents should drive with teens regularly even after they receive their license. A minimum of 30 minutes weekly can help ensure that safe driving skills are being employed.
  • Talk with teens about managing distractions, such as phones — both handheld and hands-free — the radio, other young passengers, and even beautiful roadside scenery. When teens are driving, they must stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Mile for mile, 16 and 17 year-old drivers are about three times as likely​ to be involved in a fatal car crash at night than during the day, according to “Injury Prevention,” a peer review journal. Parents should give teens opportunities to learn nighttime driving skills with an adult supervisor in the car.
  • One of the best ways for teens to learn to drive is by example. So practice safe habits always.
  • Visit the Drive it Home site at www.DriveitHome.org for resources, such as weekly driving lessons and the New Driver Deal, a contract which parents and teens can create together that outlines household driving rules and the consequences for breaking them.

“Remember, it’s not whether teens are ‘good kids’ or ‘responsible.’ New drivers share one thing in common — lack of experience,” says Bernstein. “The more practice driving teens get, the better.”

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Meet the Hawks: Ryan Bell

S-Meet-the-Hawks-Ryan-Bell-web

By Shae Brophy

Meet wide receiver Ryan Bell. Originally from Howard City, Michigan, Bell is currently leading the Hawks in touchdowns, with two receiving touchdowns through three games. He has been involved with football since his days in high school, where he won numerous awards. Some of those awards included a four-year player award, a captain’s award, as well as the Hammer Award, for the hardest hit of the season. Bell is a veteran in the league, having played for the Grand Rapids Thunder last season. He holds the league record for most tackles in a season, with 103 total tackles last year—a year in which he was also chosen as the third overall draft selection in the league all star game.

Some of Ryan’s hobbies other than football include going to church and carpentry. Bell also dedicates a significant amount of free time to the Grand Rapids Recovery Committee, which is an organization designed to help those with drug addictions. A few of Bell’s idols include Tim Tebow, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and author James Patterson’s fictional character Dr. Alex Cross.

When asked why he chose to be a member of the Hawks, Bell had a very specific answer. “2014 was a rough rookie year (with the Thunder) having not won a game all year, and not to mention never being given a real chance to show my versatility and play offense, despite accumulating 110 yards and a touchdown in the final two games of the season. The Hawks gave me a fresh start and a chance to be an integral part in building a successful franchise from the ground up.”

Owner/head coach David Lange had this to say about Bell: “Ryan is a leader, point blank. He knows the game and does an awesome job with making sure everyone is on the same page. Ryan is what I consider our possession receiver. Though he may not be the fastest, he is definitely one that can always find a way to come down with the ball when it is sent his way.”

Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.

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Hawks game rescheduled

 

The game between the West Michigan Hawks and the Motor City Jaguars, which was scheduled to be played in Detroit last weekend, was postponed until August 1, because of issues with the scheduling of the field.

But the Hawks will be in action at home this weekend, when they host the Wayne County Bengals, in a divisional matchup. The game will be held at Skinner Field on Saturday, June 27, with the doors opening at 6 p.m., and kickoff slated for 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 a piece, and can be purchased at the door. Hope to see you there!

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Two state-record fish caught in West Michigan

White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.



White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed two new state-record fish for black buffalo and white perch. This marks the second and third state-record fish caught in 2015.

The state record for black buffalo was broken by a fish caught by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon on the Grand River in Ottawa County Sunday, April 12, at 1 a.m. Colegrove was bowfishing. The fish weighed 44.54 pounds and measured 38.50 inches.

The record was verified by Rich O’Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist in Muskegon.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

The previous state-record black buffalo was caught by Joshua Teunis on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) June 15, 2014. That fish weighed 41.25 pounds and measured 38.25 inches.

The state record for white perch was broken by a fish caught by Cindy Lou Cordo of North Muskegon on Bear Lake in Muskegon County Saturday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. Cordo was baitcasting with a spinner. The fish weighed 2.0 pounds and measured 13.57 inches.

The record again was verified by Rich O’Neal.

The previous state-record white perch was caught by Aaron Slagh on Muskegon Lake (Muskegon County) Jan. 21, 2014. That fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information on fishing in Michigan – including a roster of state-record catches, visit Michigan.gov/fishing.

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