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Archive | June, 2016

Officials registration underway

 

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registrations by mail and online for game officials for the 2016-17 school year.

The MHSAA annually receives registration by more than 10,000 officials, and had 10,043 during the 2015-16 school year. The highest total of officials registered for basketball, 4,265, with football, softball and baseball all with more than 2,000 registered officials during this school year.

For all new and returning officials, those who register online again will receive a $5 discount off their processing fees. A $15 fee is charged for each sport in which an official wishes to register, and the online processing fee is $35. Officials submitting registration forms by mail or on a walk-up basis will incur a $40 processing fee. Officials registered in 2015-16 will be assessed a late fee of $30 for registration after Aug. 1. The processing fee includes liability insurance coverage up to $1 million for officials while working contests involving MHSAA schools.

Online registration can be accessed by clicking “Officials” on the home page of the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com. Forms also are available online that can be printed and submitted by traditional mail or hand delivery to the MHSAA Office. More information about officials registration may be obtained by contacting the MHSAA at 1661 Ramblewood Drive, East Lansing, MI, 48823, by phone at (517) 332-5046 or by e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials’ registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year. The test consists of 45 questions derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, which also is available on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website. Additional 50-question exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Manuals for both sports also are available on the Officials page. New officials also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course, also available on the MHSAA Website.

Posted in SportsComments (0)

Birds and bridges: Falcons banded at two Upper Peninsula sites

 

As an angry adult falcon swoops in, from left, DNR wildlife technicians Caleb Eckloff and Brad Johnson and DNR biologist John Depue work to remove peregrine falcon chicks from a nest box on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on June 17. (MDOT photo)

As an angry adult falcon swoops in, from left, DNR wildlife technicians Caleb Eckloff and Brad Johnson and DNR biologist John Depue work to remove peregrine falcon chicks from a nest box on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on June 17. (MDOT photo)

It’s been a good season for Upper Peninsula bridges and their resident raptors, with peregrine falcons at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge successfully hatching three chicks and the Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock seeing four hatchlings this spring.

At the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) installed two nest boxes in 2012, one each on the north and south bridge towers. A pair of falcons discovered the nesting site the next spring and has raised a total of 10 chicks there.

MDOT took precautions to shield the lift bridge nesting boxes from construction work—an $8.4 million upgrade and preventive maintenance project started in late 2014 and just wrapped up this spring. Screens were placed to keep the falcons from seeing workers in the bridge machinery rooms and efforts were made to minimize disturbances in the nest area. During construction, a webcam, viewable at http://pasty.com/nestbox.html, was also installed in cooperation with the Copper Country Audubon Society to allow people to watch nesting activity.

As DNR wildlife technician Caleb Eckloff looks on, DNR wildlife technician Brad Johnson holds a peregrine falcon chick during the banding process at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on June 17. (MDOT photo)

As DNR wildlife technician Caleb Eckloff looks on, DNR wildlife technician Brad Johnson holds a peregrine falcon chick during the banding process at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge on June 17. (MDOT photo)

On the eastern end of the U.P., Karl Hansen, bridge engineer for the International Bridge Administration (IBA), reported that a pair of peregrine falcons successfully nested atop the bridge between the U.S. and Canada this spring, hatching three chicks.

The hatching is the culmination of an ongoing commitment by the IBA. Nest boxes for the peregrines have been installed since 2010 on both the U.S. and Canadian arches. Peregrines have been active at the International Bridge since 1999 but, before the nest boxes were installed, the falcons laid their eggs in gravel on the exposed pier top and there were unfortunate instances of eggs and chicks being blown off.

The same pair of adults has been returning to the U.S. side nest each year but, so far, none have taken up residence in the nest box at the Canadian arch. Hansen has counted 20 chicks hatched out of the nest boxes since they were installed.

The chicks at the Lift Bridge were banded by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) team on June 17, while the International Bridge birds were banded by a team on June 20. According to DNR wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar, color-coded bands attached to the legs of young birds allow scientists to track the movements, reproductive behavior and population growth of the falcons. DNR biologists have yet to confirm that birds banded at either bridge have gone on to breed elsewhere, but that’s not unusual.

“There are no records of where fledged birds from (the IBA) site have gone but that doesn’t mean they aren’t breeding someplace,” Sitar said of the IBA birds. “Oftentimes, birds aren’t uniquely identified at new sites for a few years.”

In addition to their leg bands, the peregrine chicks received names. Names are typically assigned by DNR and bridge staff involved in the banding. At the IBA, names were chosen to honor the struggles of current and former colleagues battling cancer. The males were called Jim and Cameron, while the lone female was named Cheryn. At the Lift Bridge, DNR and bridge staff chose to name the females Lynn and Spunky, while the males were dubbed Edgar and Scottie. The new peregrines at both bridges should be ready to leave the nest in another few weeks.

The peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal endangered species list, but is listed as an endangered species in Michigan, protected by state and federal law. Peregrines have adapted to city habitats, nesting on tall buildings, smokestacks and bridges around the world. Studies have found the birds in this region tend not to nest in the same area where they were hatched, but spread out across the Midwest.

Every nesting site is special. In 2015, there were only 34 active nest sites in the entire state, with 29 of them on artificial structures. Only two of the five natural sites were accessible for banding birds this year, so having boxes on accessible structures like the Lift Bridge and International Bridge helps the DNR follow the raptor’s comeback.

High-speed hunters capable of flying at 200 mph, the peregrines may help keep populations of nuisance pigeons under control. While researchers have found pigeons make up a relatively small portion of the falcon diet, the dangerous predators may play a role in frightening them away from bridges. Keeping pigeons away is seen as potentially saving MDOT and the IBA maintenance money down the line, as pigeon droppings can damage paint on metal bridge surfaces.

 

Fast facts:

  • A pair of peregrine falcons has successfully nested on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge again this year after completion of a major bridge repair project.
  • Another pair of the endangered falcons successfully nested on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, where the birds have been returning for years.
  • The DNR banded four chicks at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and three at the International Bridge.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Lost in the fog

 

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

A long exhausting flight was necessary for a mystery bird that followed the national park boat, Ranger III, in a fog. I led a tour for Michigan Audubon to Isle Royale National Park. We took the boat to the island archipelago in beautiful sunny weather. The trip takes about five hours from Houghton, Mich.

We spent five days hiking and exploring the wilderness on short and long hikes. Boat trips trip were taken to special islands where we discovered wondrous natural history. Also explored were the mining, fishing, and human history including how Native Americans sustained their economy using island natural resources.

We left the park in a thick, chilling fog. Participants spent most of the time in the cabin where I presented a Wilderness slide program. (Program brochures are available by e-mail).

Occasionally, people would go on deck to gaze into the fog. A bird was flying just above and behind the boat. I was requested to identify it. We could see a silhouette with a long tail and it was about the size of a skinny robin. I was puzzled. I returned several times during a three-hour period to look for identifying details.

Finally, about an hour before we docked, the bird must have tired enough that it decided to land high on the boat. It was still in the fog’s thickness and showed only its silhouette. Finally, I recognized it. It is a bird I seldom see. The species often remains hidden in shrubby areas or in thick forest.

It is famous because it eats fuzzy tent caterpillars or spiny caterpillars like the exotic Gypsy Moth caterpillar that many bird species reject. It was a Black-billed Cuckoo. As we approached the Keweenaw Peninsula, the fog thinned making details like its long thin bill and small crescent white patches on the tip of each long tail feather evident to confirm my identification. People came out to add one more species to the tour’s bird list. The Common Loon incubating eggs might have been a favorite for many but this lost bird was a favorite for me.

I say lost because I think it might have found itself over water and could hear the boat engines. It flew to the sound and was trapped with the boat being the only option for landing. It flew for hours and finally landed.

Once the fog cleared, the bird could determine where it was based on sun position, polarized light, and magnetic receptors in its head that are used to orient to the Earth’s poles. I suspect it fed heavily and headed back to its summer nesting territory. A long flight over Lake Superior is exhausting and could be deadly.

Maybe its nesting season was complete and it was beginning its migration south in early July. Some birds, like shorebirds, begin southerly migration in July from the high arctic. It does not seem likely for the cuckoo for three reasons. I see cuckoos later in the season at Ody Brook. I know they typically migrate at night like many forest, shrubland, and field birds. I also question it using a migration route over Lake Superior.

We know so little about bird movements. I wonder if most fly the much shorter distance north to Minnesota and then follow the shoreline to Duluth before working their way south to wintering areas in South America.

It is wonderful to be a broad spectrum naturalist who knows a considerable amount about nature but I am aware of how little I know about any specialty group. I have friends that would have quickly recognized the cuckoo flying in thick fog. I should have recognized it sooner. One friend said he dares not study butterflies, my specialty, because the learning curve would be difficult to become proficient and he would not be able to maintain bird study adequately. I depend on experts to help me with plants, Fungi, invertebrates, vertebrates, astronomy, geology and anything about nature niches. For most of us, help from scientists is great and provides knowledge so we can learn to live with nature most effectively. Being generalists prevents us from becoming true experts in one subject. Request an e-mail program brochure and invite me to present for your organization.

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

Posted in Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments (0)

Host families needed for Chinese students

ENT-HostFamiliesNeeded

Are you looking to go to China, but cannot afford it? If so, then let a local organization bring China to you. For the third summer in a row, Network 153, a local non-profit ministry, is teaming up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp in Cedar Springs to host an English Immersion camp. Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, have years of experience working with foreign exchange students. Their experience has given them a Christian heart of love for the nations.

On July 19 thru August 8, 67 high school students and 6 adult chaperones will be coming to our area from Lu He International High School in Beijing, China. The Chinese students will spend the first two weeks in host families where they will attend ESL classes at Cedar Springs Middle School, as well as experiencing some local attractions. During the third week the students will enjoy what many American children do at a typical summer camp. Pine Ridge Bible Camp is looking for American middle and high school students to come join the Chinese students the week of August 1-6 for “Teen Culture Explosion” week. It’s a great way to experience another culture in your own backyard.

If you are interested in becoming a host family, contact Tim or Shelley Bauer at (616) 799-4935 or email them at network153usa@gmail.com. Also, contact Kevin Grifhorst, Director of Pine Ridge Bible Camp, at (616) 696-8675 if your children are interested in experiencing a summer mission trip right in our own backyard.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments (0)

FRCP presents “Young Frankenstein”

 

By Deb Dieckman 

Back in the “Dark Ages” when I was a junior in college at CMU, some friends and I went to see a new movie at one of the downtown theaters.  It was the old kind of movie house, only one screen, and no one taking tickets or making sure everyone left when the show was over. The movie proved to be so hilarious, so cool and different, my friends and I stayed and watched it a second time that night without paying again. Whoops! What movie was so amazing, you ask? It was “Young Frankenstein,” the now-classic flick by the brilliant Mel Brooks, starring the great Gene Wilder, brilliant Madelyn Kahn, and gorgeously silly Terri Garr.

Fast-forward a few decades, and Brooks, with help from writer Thomas Meehan has created a stage musical version of “Young Frank,” produced here in Greenville this summer by our own Flat River Community Players. Largely in the tradition of his earlier smash musical “The Producers,” Brooks sticks to that Vaudeville-like recipe of splashy numbers full of giggles, bawdy double-entendres, and plenty of goofy dance breaks.

The storyline follows the 1974 film pretty closely; it’s essentially the tale of a brilliant American doctor who finds his heart (among other body parts) in Transylvania. Many of the movie’s best gags have been transplanted directly into the play.

Players starring in the musical are Whitney Codling as Elizabeth Benning, Frederick’s fiancee from the U.S.; Ryan Garlick as Inspector Hans Kemp, who investigates local mysterious goings-on; Ric Davenport as the Hermit, a blind man who befriends the monster; Cynthia Ranae Karaba as Ziggy and Raymond Koren as Herald.  The chorus, playing villagers and ancestors, includes Shawn Jansma, Mackenzee Thompson, Kevin Klutman, Sawyer Klutman, Sydney Klutman, Macy Risch, Hallie Sage, Samantha Shaw, Karaba, Harris, and Davenport.

Directing “Young Frankenstein” for the FRCP is Amanda Hall with music direction by Bryan Felt. Stage Management is by Karin Wahlfeldt, while Brittany Bassett takes on tech direction.  Greg VanderMark provides vocal coaching, Jessica Gilbertson is creating the costumes, and Tammy Hollinshead designed the set.  Kent “Skip” Schuster serves as producer.

Five performances of “YF” will show at the Greenville Area Community Center.  Opening on Friday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m., the show continues on July 9, 15, and 16, also at 7:30 p.m.  A 2:00 p.m. matinee will be on Sunday, July 10. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students under 18, and $11 for senior citizens over 60. They may be purchased with MasterCard or VISA online at Showclix (http://www.flatriver.showclix.com/www.flatriver.showclix.com) or by phone at 1-888-71-TICKETS. Tickets should also be available at the door before performances. Please note, this show includes adult humor and situations.  Parental discretion is advised.

In commenting on the audience’s reaction to the musical, Mel Brooks has said, “I love what they do. The audience knows Young Frankenstein the movie; they didn’t know The Producers. They all neigh when anyone on stage says ‘Frau Blucher.’ And they can’t wait for the Blind Hermit to spill the hot soup on the monster’s lap. It’s great to see the audience play ping-pong with the actors.”

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How to get to heaven

 

A teacher was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

She asked them, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?”

“No!” the children answered.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?”

Again, the answer was, “No!”

Now she was smiling. Hey, they’re getting it, she thought! “Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?” she asked.

Again, they all answered, “No!”

She was just bursting with pride for them. “Well,” she continued, “then how can I get into Heaven?”

A five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”

Posted in Joke of the WeekComments (0)

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.

Red, White & Blue Book Sale

June 30-July2: The Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St., will be having a Red, White & Blue Book Sale on Thursday, June 30th from 10 am to 7 pm, Friday, July 1st from 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday, July 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm. #26

Patriotic Hymn Sing & Music

July 3: On Sunday, July 3rd the Sand Lake Village Churches will present a Patriotic Hymn Sing at the downtown street stage at 5:30 pm and a Christian performance by “Gained Access” at 7 pm. Join us for an evening of celebrating our faith in God and Country. #26

Cooking Matters for Families Workshop

July 7: Cooking Matters for Families Workshop encourages families to work together to make healthy meals that everyone will enjoy. Cooking Matters encourages participants to select nutritious foods, prepare and cook healthy foods side by side, and choose budget-friendly healthy ingredients that the whole family will enjoy. This is a FREE 6 week workshop for adults and youth (10yrs and up). Limited space available. Begins on July 7 from 9-11 am at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave, Cedar Springs. This workshop is offered by MSU Extension with the food pantry at Solon Center Wesleyan Church. Please contact Terry Gafurovic to register at 616.696.3229 or terrygaf79@gmail.com. #24-26

Recycle Your Reads at KDL

July 7: Turn well-loved books into hand-crafted treasures! Decorate your home with book birdhouses and folded book hearts, or create a star wreath and decorate a mini paper lantern. Bring your own titles or use ours. For Adults. Thursday, July 7th at 6 p.m., Spencer Twp. KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #26

Curious George’s 7th Anniversary

July 8: Celebrate Curious George’s 75th Anniversary with a Day of Discovery. Make a yellow hat to wear as you learn about space, rainbows, the senses, the sun and the ocean through various crafts and hands-on activities. Note that while we celebrate his character, Curious George will not be in attendance.  Friday, July 8th at 1:30 p.m., Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #26

Flat River Community Players present “Young Frankenstein”

July 8-16: The Flat River Community Players present the Mel Brooks musical “Young Frankenstein” at 7:30 pm on July 8, 9, 15 & 16 and at 2 pm on July 10th at the Greenville Area Community Centre. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 students and senior citizens. Reserve tickets with VISA or MasterCard at www.flatrivershowclix.com or by calling 888-71-TICKETS (8425387). Tickets will also be available at the door. #26

Going for Gold!

July 9: Check in at the athlete registration table and dive in! Participate in Olympic-inspired games, then exercise your brain with themed crafts to become a medalist. Saturday, July 9th at 1:30 p.m., Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #26

Crazy in the Kitchen with Mandy Thompson

July 11: Teens can learn kitchen basics while discovering new tastes and smells. They will create fun snacks or dishes that they will be able to eat. Pre-registration is required. 616-784-2007. Monday, July 11th at 1:30 p.m., Nelson Twp./ Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #26

VBS at First Baptist Church

July 13: First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs, 233 S. Main Street is hosting Vacation Bible School for kids age 3 through entering 6th grade, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday nights starting July 13th and ending August 10th. “Ready, Set, Climb!” takes students on a hiking adventure where they will study word pictures from the book of John and discover what it looks like to follow Jesus every step of the way. For more information, contact the church office at office@csfbc.com or 616-696-1630. #26

Hosts Needed for Chinese Students

July 19: Looking to go to China, but can’t afford it? We’ll bring China to you. Network 153 and Pine Ridge Bible Camp are hosting 73 Chinese students from Lu He International High School in Beijing July 19 thru August 8. They’re traveling to Grand Rapids to be immersed in English, while attending Pine Ridge Bible Camp August 1-6. We’re looking for host families who would open up their hearts and homes. A $150 stipend, will be given to each family per student hosted to help defray costs. Contact Tim Bauer for more information at (616) 799-4935 or at network153usa@gmail.com. #25-28p

Posted in Hometown HappeningsComments (0)

Sand Lake 4th of July Celebration

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom and Sand Lake has all the activities and events for a fun filled family weekend. Starting Thursday, June 30th through Monday, July 4th, 2016 come out and enjoy some of the great events including the Firemen’s Parade of Lights, Kiddies Day “The Spirit of Freedom” with Kids parade and activities, book sales, carnival rides, live music, die cast car races, a greased pig contest, antique car and tractor show, Grand Parade, demolition derby, bingo, FIREWORKS and MORE…

AmericanFlag-hometownhero

Download the Sand Lake 4th of July Celebration schedule below…

SandLake4thCelebration.pdf

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Featured, NewsComments (0)

Cedar Springs Public Schools 2ND Semester Honor roll 2015-2016

Red-Hawk-art-webCalling all proud parents and grandparents! The Cedar Springs Public Schools 2nd Semester Honor Roll is available for download. It includes Middle School 7th and 8th grades and High School 9th – 12th grades. Just click the link below and find your Honor Roll student’s name, print it out and keep it as a keepsake.

CSPSHonorRoll2516.pdf

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, NewsComments (0)

Cedar Springs chooses new city manager

Michael Womack

Michael Womack

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council met Friday, June 17, to interview candidates for the City Manager position.

They chose Michael Womack, Executive Intern, for the Village of Lake Orion, Michigan, which is located on the east side of the state.

Womack is also currently a Graduate Assistant, in the City Manager’s office in the City of Eastpointe, Michigan; and an Attorney at Womack & Womack P.C., in Shelby Township.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Oakland University; his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and his Masters of Public Administration from Central Michigan University.

The vote was 6-1, with Councilmember Dan Clark dissenting.

So how does Womack feel about relocating to the west side of the state?

“I am very excited for the opportunity to come to Cedar Springs and contribute to the community,” he told the Post. “I grew up vacationing on the west side of the state and I spent many summers in the area when I was younger. I look forward to reacquainting myself with the area and the chance to help Cedar Springs grow and improve. I hope to make many new friends and good working relationships in the next several months and hope to provide the skills and energy needed in the city managers chair.”

The Michigan Municipal League has been in charge of the interview process, and they are currently doing a background check on Womack. No start date has yet been set.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

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