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Archive | November, 2016

Deputy’s car hit by impaired driver

 

A Kent County Sheriff Deputy was investigating a hit and run in Oakfield Township when his car was struck by another vehicle on Sunday, November 20.

The deputy, who was not named, was investigating a hit and run on Podunk, south of 14 Mile about 3:54 a.m. He was seated in his patrol car, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, when a 2005 Buick Lacrosse headed southbound ran the stop sign and struck the deputy’s vehicle.

The was transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries and released a short time later.

The driver of the Lacrosse, a 20-year-old Belding man, was also transported by Rockford Ambulance to Butterworth with non-life threatening injuries.

Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash.

The crash is under investigation by the Michigan State Police.

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State Police add extra patrols for Thanksgiving 

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

Operation C.A.R.E. traffic safety effort begins Wednesday 

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here and that means travel, food, family and football. As motorists prepare to hit the highways, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is gearing up for the annual Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative Nov. 23-27, 2016.

“We want every family to have a safe holiday and to enjoy time together,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “We urge you to drive safely this Thanksgiving weekend by wearing a seat belt, designating a sober driver and avoiding distractions like texting or talking on your phone while driving.”

Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes. In 2015, there were 11 fatalities, five of which were pedestrians, during the holiday period. In 2014 there were six traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the lowest number in more than 30 years.

Beginning Wednesday, troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. Extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Enforcement is supported by the Give thanks. Drive safely. public awareness campaign that includes a public service announcement available at www.youtube.com/michstatepolice.

With the arrival of winter weather, motorists are also encouraged to take extra precautions when driving in snowy and icy conditions and to place an emergency preparedness kit in their vehicles. To learn more about creating a kit, go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.

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Man arrested in stabbing

A Gowen man was arrested Monday, November 21, after he stabbed a male victim several times with a knife.

Michigan State Police from the Lakeview Post responded to the call on Colby Road, Evergreen Township, Montcalm County, at approximately 2:20 a.m. They said that a 19-year old male suspect from Gowen confronted an 18-year-old male victim with a knife at the residence and stabbed him several times.

The suspect was subdued at the scene by the victim’s family members until police arrived on scene and took him into custody.  The victim was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for his injuries.

The suspect was lodged in the Montcalm County Jail pending arraignment on charges of Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, and Home Invasion 1st Degree.

The names are being withheld pending formal charges and arraignment.

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Baby’s First Christmas

atlas-santa-beardWe want to give you the opportunity to celebrate your baby’s very first Christmas in a special way. The  Cedar Springs POST will be featuring area newborns in “Baby’s First Christmas,” a special feature for babies celebrating their first Christmas.

Photos will be run at no cost to our readers, but space is limited so get your photos in early. Deadline is Monday, December 19 by 5 p.m. and pictures with name and date of birth will appear in the December 22nd issue. We cannot guarantee return of photos. Show the community your precious gift!

Photos may be dropped off at the Cedar Springs POST – 36 E. Maple St., or mailed to Baby’s First Christmas, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319, or emailed to news@cedarspringspost.com. Please include baby’s name, and birth date, as well as a contact name and phone number.

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Tour of lights

 

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer!

Every year The Cedar Springs POST hosts a Tour of Lights giving area residents the scoop on where the hot spots for Christmas lights are glowing.

In order for us to make an accurate listing, one that includes YOUR house as a “drive-by” we need you to lead the way.

Simply mail your name and address to Tour of Lights, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. You can also email them to news@cedarspringspost.com or call the office at 616-696-3655 to let us know.

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Holiday happenings

 

Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.

CEDAR SPRINGS

2016 Cedar Springs Christmas Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 3: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Come make Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids crafts at the CS Historical Museum (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more (90 N. Main, corner of Maple and Main Street)

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main Street

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale and Hot Chocolate at the American Legion

5:15 p.m. Mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall (Photographs with Santa by Kristen Smith)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Make gingerbread houses at the library

Dec. 10: Come make gingerbread houses at the Cedar Springs Library on Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

2016 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 10: The 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

The Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 11: Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, we are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of our show this year.

GREENVILLE

Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 2: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 2. The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses 

Dec. 3: Shop local businesses and enjoy local events throughout the day on Saturday, December 3.

Picture of You & Your Pet with Santa– 12-1:30 p.m. Town & Country Animal Clinic-FREE

Holiday Craft Fair. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Greenville Area Community Center

John Berry Christmas Concert

Dec. 3: Ring in the Christmas season with country legend John Berry at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Hillcrest, Greenville, on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. This year marks Berry’s 20th holiday concert tour. He has big plans to celebrate and involve fans like never before! The John Berry concert benefits “Have Mercy,” helping our homeless get safe and warm, while working with them to rebuild their lives. Tickets are $25 at JohnBerry.com/tour OR pick up at the UPS store in Greenville.

Dec 4: Gingerbread House Decorating 1-3pm at Greenville Area Community Center $10(registration) 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.

Dec. 4: MCC’s Holiday Celebration 1-4pm at Sidney Campus-Free

Dec 5: High School Band/Orchestra Concert 7:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 6: Middle School Holiday Orchestra Concert 7pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 7: Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops 7:30 pm at GHS. 

Dec 10: High School Holiday Choir Concert 7:30 pm at GHS; FREE tickets are required

Dec. 10: Holiday Flea Market at the Greenville Area Community Center – 754-9163.

Dec 11: MCC’s Alumni & Friends Holiday Choir Concert 3-4:30 p.m. at Sidney Campus. Admission is free.

Dec 12: Middle School Holiday Choir Concert 6:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 13: Lincoln Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 14: Cedar Crest Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 15: Walnut Hills Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS – FREE!

Business After Hours @ The Daily News Stafford Room 5 p.m. Food & refreshments $3. 754-5697

Dec 19: Baldwin Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS-Free.

NEWAYGO

December 11:  Newaygo Community Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Grant High School Fine Arts Center 331 E. State Rd, Grant. Come and enjoy the sounds of the Christmas Season. Admission is free.

ROCKFORD

Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 2: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion from 6-8 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 3: Join us for Rockford’s 73rd Annual Santa Parade on December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Rockford community holiday concert

Dec. 4: Enjoy the delightful sounds of the season as the Rockford Community Band and Rockford Community Orchestra present their annual holiday concert at Rockford High School Fine arts auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. They will be playing all of your seasonal favorites and snacks will be served after the concert. Come and be a part of a Rockford tradition! Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 7: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Square.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 8-9: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones. Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Squar.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 14: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 15-16: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

SAND LAKE

Sand Lake Tree Lighting & Carols

Nov. 27: There will be a Tree Lighting and carols in Sand Lake at Salisbury Park on Sunday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the tree on the southeast corner of the park. Special music from Resurrection Lutheran Church Preschoolers.

Indoor Live Nativity

Dec. 2-3: Sand Lake United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall is transformed into the city of Bethlehem for an indoor live Nativity on Friday, December 2nd from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 1 to 3 pm. See the baby in the manger and listen to the angels sing. Our free gift to you this Christmas.

SPARTA

‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 24: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 9:00 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 26: 4th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, registration at 8:30 a.m., race at 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 3: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 6: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 8: Pet night with Santa at the Santa House 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 10: Visit Santa in the Santa house 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 11: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church.

Dec. 12: Holiday fun at the Sparta Library, 80 N. Union at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus has been invited to come and read a story at our library. We will have cookie decorating and a fun craft for the kids to make. Bring your cameras for a fun holiday photo!

Dec. 13: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-2 p.m. Horse drawn wagon rides.

Dec. 20: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 22: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

hol-shipping

Approximately 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages to be delivered this holiday season

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Postal Service announced it is ready to deliver a lot of cheer—in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages—this holiday season.

The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.

“Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “With the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and expanded 7-day a week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that’s exactly what we’ll do this holiday season.”

Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. While the Postal Service already delivers packages on Sunday in most major cities, following the success of past holiday seasons, it will expand Sunday delivery operations to all locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Dec. 19 will also be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier.

2016 Christmas Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Nov. 7 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 9 –APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 20 – First Class Mail

Dec. 21 – Priority Mail

Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Five tips for good gut health during the holidays

Both the stress and the fun of the holiday season can take a toll on gut health. Take extra steps this season and beyond to feel your best. Photo (c) Revelant - Fotolia.com

Both the stress and the fun of the holiday season can take a toll on gut health. Take extra steps this season and beyond to feel your best. Photo (c) Revelant – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) The holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year and you may have noticed you’re more prone to colds and upset stomach when you’re stressed. Stress tends to slow the digestive process. What’s more, 70 percent of the immune system lies in the digestive system, according to findings reported in “Clinical & Experimental Immunology.”

Unfortunately, one of the most stressful seasons coincides with one of the most indulgent. To help, Vincent Pedre, MD, author of the new book, “Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain,” is offering useful tips to lessen digestive upset and keep your gut healthy over the holidays.

• Pack healthful snacks. When traveling, people tend to grab unhealthy foods for convenience. Pack nutritious foods like carrots, apples, almonds and frozen yogurt to keep the body strong. Foods like yogurt, which contain probiotics, not only address digestive issues, but are said to help stave off colds. One study found that those who took a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a type of healthy probiotic bacteria, recovered earlier and reported less severe symptoms.

• Eat mindfully. Eating in a hurry is a major no-no for good gut health, and makes you more likely to overeat, since it takes the brain about 20 minutes to recognize when you’re full. Plus, eating quickly can cause gas, acid indigestion and bloating.

“When we stop and really enjoy what we’re eating we’re less likely to overdo it, and we’ll avoid issues like emotional eating,” says Dr. Pedre.

• Relieve stress. Take some “me time.” Maintaining an exercise routine and practicing deep breathing relaxation techniques can do wonders for mental and digestive health, and help alleviate stress’ negative effects on the digestive system, such as gas, acid reflux and stomach cramps.

• Maintain a sleep routine. Get an adequate night’s rest of at least eight hours nightly. Your body and gut like predictability. Plus, staying up late could make you more likely to visit the fridge and eat that piece of chocolate cake that’ll lead to an upset stomach.

• Help your body naturally. Overeating or drinking is easy to do this time of year, but it can cause stomach distress. Check out local natural product retailers, which offer homoeopathic medicines like Nux vomica to relieve nausea, heartburn, acid indigestion or fullness associated with overindulgence of food or drink. While these uses have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for efficacy, Nux vomica is one of the most popular homeopathic medicines. It’s also easy to take. The pellets are quickly absorbed under the tongue without water, as opposed to being absorbed through the stomach, which may not be functioning at its peak. As a homeopathic medicine, it has no known side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, gas or drowsiness.

To learn about relieving a variety of acute stomach issues, explore the Boiron Medicine Finder app. This free resource, available on Android and iOS devices, allows users to find the right homeopathic medicine for many everyday conditions.

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“Thanks for Giving” Campaign Begins

 

One hour, one gift, three lives

During a time of year where many give thanks, Michigan Blood is showing its appreciation for blood donors with a gift of gratitude. An hour of one person’s time means not only the gift of life for three Michiganders, but a gift for the donor, as well.

Starting November 23, the non-profit will give blood donors a freshly baked pumpkin pie, courtesy of Family Fare.

After closing for Thanksgiving Day, blood centers will reopen Friday, November 25, to give thanks to donors with Target or Amazon gift cards. This continues through #GivingTuesday, November 29. On that day, Michigan Blood will also be collecting donations of new school supplies for schools in need in the community.

“We’re inviting blood donors to double their impact—helping people isn’t only limited to blood donation,” said Carleen Crawford, Director of Community Relations and Marketing for Michigan Blood. “Donating school supplies for our area schools in need is just one small way that we can give back to our local communities. We can all contribute.”

Dates and times for the event vary by location. Here are hours for “Thanks for Giving” blood drives in the Grand Rapids Area:

Grand Rapids Area Donor Center

1036 Fuller Ave NE

Wednesday, 11/23: 8am – 7pm
Friday, 11/25: 6am – 4pm
Saturday, 11/26: 7am – 2pm
Sunday, 11/27: 7am – 2pm
Monday, 11/28: 8am – 7pm
Tuesday, 11/29: 8am – 7pm

More information can be found at MIBloodGift.org

Michigan Blood is the sole provider of blood and blood products for more than 60 hospitals in Michigan, including Spectrum Health, Metro Health, and Mercy Health St. Mary’s. Donations given outside of Michigan Blood do not have direct local impact. Donating blood with Michigan Blood helps save the lives of patients in Michigan hospitals. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 112 pounds may be eligible to donate, although females age 18 and under must weigh 120 pounds or more. Blood donors should bring photo ID. We are currently in urgent need of O-Negative blood donations. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) or schedule online at https://donate.miblood.org.

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Thanksgiving and wild game go together

Gourmet Gone Wild executive chef Dan Nelson begins to pluck feathers from a wild turkey. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Gourmet Gone Wild executive chef Dan Nelson begins to pluck feathers from a wild turkey. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A wild turkey is shown in fall in Michigan. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A wild turkey is shown in fall in Michigan. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Reports of the first Thanksgiving dinner indicate that the Pilgrims and indigenous peoples certainly feasted on venison and wild fowl, but whether that fowl was wild turkey is a matter of conjecture.

Though wild turkeys were known to exist in the area and have been mentioned as hunters’ quarry in other accounts of early American life, it is just as likely the fowl at that celebratory feast were ducks, geese, swans and/or the now extinct passenger pigeons.

In any case, wild game was certainly at the center of the first Thanksgiving.

Though domesticated turkey has assumed the role of main course in the intervening years, wild game – often venison – is on the menu at many homes during Thanksgiving – and why not? Thanksgiving occurs during deer hunting season.

Wild game offers challenges for cooks. For the most part, it has less fat than domesticated meat and the fat is located differently in the body. Cooks must refine their techniques to get the most out of wild game.

That’s the view of Dan Nelson, a restaurant chef, who also serves as the main man in the kitchen at Gourmet Gone Wild events in Michigan.

Gourmet Gone Wild is an outreach program sponsored by several entities, including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The program highlights to young professionals and families, in urban to suburban environments, the health benefits of eating wild game, while also emphasizing its connection to environmental stewardship, sustainability and conservation.

Nelson, a 35-year-old lifelong sportsman/cook, says overcooking is the biggest mistake most beginners make when tackling game.

“Wild game is not as fatty as domesticated meat and most of the fat that’s stored in wild game is in quick-access areas,” said Nelson, who puts on a dozen Gourmet Gone Wild events each year. “The intermuscular fat we see in beef and pork is fat that is long-term storage. Quick-access fat is just below the skin and the centerline—close to the backbone and within the gut. Those are all fats that game animals can turn to on a daily basis as a constant energy source.

“In processing, you remove most of that fat from the game itself. That means you either have to put fat back into it or cook it in ways that accommodate that lack of fat.”

Nelson said he prefers to accommodate and that means serving most wild game rare.

“Every degree of temperature you add to the muscle causes muscle fibers to constrict,” Nelson said. “When a steak hits the grill you see the steak constrict – the muscle fibers pull in reaction to the heat. That’s why a hamburger gets smaller when you cook it.

“All that constriction drives fluid out of the meat. That’s why I have a very accurate meat thermometer. I don’t like to go a degree past where I need to go. If I’m looking to cook something rare or mid-rare, I know the exact temperature I want to go to.”

Although rare is the option for dark meats, wild turkey – which has both white and dark meat – offers a different complexity.

“Wild turkey is something that should be cooked more well-done because of the possible pathogens that are found in poultry,” Nelson said. “That only changes the temperature, but it doesn’t change the fact that you don’t want to go over the temperature you’re aiming for.”

What is that temperature?

For white meat, shoot for 165 degrees, for dark meat, 180 degrees, Nelson said. You want to cook the dark meat (i.e., the drumsticks) longer because the meat is tougher.

“Wild turkey is extremely difficult to roast,” Nelson said. “To make use of the skin, you have to pluck it very thoroughly and clean it very thoroughly. And with toms, that readily accessible fat is in the sponge and it’s not delicious at all.

“Wild turkey lends itself to being cooked in pieces. You can cook the legs and the wings/breast separately. And I would cook the breast separate from everything else – it’s helpful to have them in the same pan so you have the juices to make gravy, but have them cut up in such a way as you can remove pieces as they reach ideal temperature. You want to bake it in a way in which you’re starting the dark meat first. Don’t overcook it.”

Another key to wild turkey is to slice it thin, across the grain, Nelson said.

“Wild turkey breast is extremely low in fat and has extremely long grain to it. There’s just no fat to keep your mouth moist while chewing,” Nelson said. “Eliminating the length of chew is the most crucial part of having delicious wild turkey breast.”

Cooks preparing waterfowl should either cook in a manner that preserves moisture or add fat.

“There’s no better fat than goose or dabbling ducks,” Nelson said. “That’s liquid gold. Way too many hunters are breasting their birds and not taking advantage of the rest of it.

“Besides a lot of valuable meat on the carcass, there’s a lot of extremely valuable fat on the carcass. Either marinate with it or add it to stock. And if you’re sauteing, that would be the fat you would use in the pan.”

Any game should “rest” after it’s out of the oven before it’s served, Nelson said.

“Every piece of meat you cook you should rest for about as long as it took you to cook it,” Nelson said. “If there is still built up heat and you didn’t let it rest, that tension that is in there is going to squeeze all the moisture out. Make a little tin foil hut and let it sit there – the top of the oven is going to be warm because you’ve had your oven on.”

That’s especially true for venison, Nelson said.

“If you’re eating something that has venison fat in it, it coagulates as soon as you put it in your mouth,” he said. “It’s not that it tastes terrible, it’s just that it coats your mouth. After it’s sliced, hit it with some heat to raise the temperature of the fat. Take a platter of meat, pop it in a high-temperature oven for a couple of minutes to warm the fat up, and warm the serving platter up to hold the heat.

“And serve a good red wine with it,” he said. “That’ll cut the fat out of your mouth right away, too. The bolder, the more tannic your red wines, the better they are at cutting the fat.”

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