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Archive | January, 2017

Kent County Board of Commissioners looks back, ahead 

 

KENT COUNTY – The Kent County Board of Commissioners accomplished a great deal during the last year. Board Chair Jim Saalfeld and County Administrator/Controller Daryl Delabbio recently took time to reflect on the major tasks achieved by the Board and County Staff during 2016. These include:

1. Dispatch: Approved an agreement with the City of Wyoming to contract for police and fire dispatch services, which started on July 1. The Board also approved a ballot question requesting a 70 cent per month increase in the dispatch surcharge (overwhelmingly approved by the voters in November).

2. Museum/Zoo Millage: The Grand Rapids Public Museum and the John Ball Zoo requested that the County place a 0.44 mill property tax increase on the November 2016 ballot. The Board approved placing the question on the ballot and the voters overwhelming approved it.

3. Implementation of the Space Needs Study: In response to Study findings, work on the Juvenile Detention facility, Correctional Facility (kitchen and intake), and new Circuit Court courtrooms is in process.

4. Lakeshore Regional Partnership: The County has been monitoring this process.

5. Collective Bargaining: Successfully negotiated the Corrections Officers and Court employee contracts in a timely manner.

6. 2017 Budget: Submitted, approved, and structurally balanced.

7. Land Bank: The Land Bank Authority Subcommittee has been meeting and expects to have a report and recommendations to the Board of Commissioners by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

8. Credit Rating: The County’s Triple-A credit rating and highest short-term credit ratings were affirmed by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s for the 18th consecutive year.

9. Airport: The transition from a County department to an Airport Authority was officially approved by the Federal Aviation Administration on July 1.

10. Agri-Business Work Group: Completed its work and submitted a report and recommendations to the Board of Commissioners.

11. Switch: Created the first Renaissance Zone in the County to enable the Switch development to take place in Gaines Charter Township.

12. Management Pay Plan Review: A MPP Review Subcommittee was formed which presented its final report and recommendations. Implementation of recommendations were completed by year end.

13. Lead Task Force: A community-wide Lead Task Force was created and has been reappointed to complete its work.

14. FOC Engagement Task Force: A Friend of the Court Engagement Task Force was created near the end of the year and was reappointed to continue its work into 2017.

Members can expect to tackle the additional issues outlined below in 2017:

1) Appointment of an Administrator/Controller: Daryl Delabbio will be retiring on July 1. This will be the first time since 1998 that the Board of Commissioners will be faced with the selection of a County Administrator/Controller. Chair Saalfeld has appointed a Subcommittee to determine the process to recruit and recommend the appointment of a new County Administrator/Controller.

2) Continued Space Needs Study Implementation: This will be an ongoing process and series of projects to ensure that (i) the County’s facilities are being maintained, and (ii) the most efficient and effective means are being used to enable our employees to deliver quality services to our community. We will be issuing an RFP for 82 Ionia and planning for the impact this potential sale would have on our facilities.

3) Collective Bargaining: Four Collective Bargaining agreements will be expiring at the end of 2017.

4) CAA/CDBG: A work session has been scheduled in February to discuss the potential merger of the Area Community Service and Employment Training (ACSET) Community Action Agency with the County’s Department of Community Development and Housing.

5) Standing Rules: Each odd-numbered year, the Board of Commissioners’ Standing Rules are reviewed and updated. Vice-Chair Mandy Bolter will be establishing a Subcommittee of the Legislative & Human Resources Committee to review the Rules and make recommendations for Board consideration. The Board must approve changes to the Rules by its second meeting in April.

6) 2018 Budget: The 2018 Budget will be a challenging one, including:

a. continued monitoring of State shared revenues and impact on the County’s revenue stream;

b. slow growth in the County’s State taxable value due to very modest increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI); and

c. balancing operational and capital needs.

“While there will certainly be other issues that we face during the course of a year, as you can see, it is already shaping up to be a very busy 2017,” said Board Chair James Saalfeld. “This Board remains committed to providing effective services to our residents while operating transparently and with a balanced budget. We look forward to great results in 2017.”

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FOUNTAIN – GATES

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Linsey Gates and Daniel Fountain were married September 10th at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Muskegon. The festivities continued at a reception on White Lake. Linsey graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2006 and Western Michigan University in 2010 and 2013. She works as a speech-language pathologist in Highland Park, Illinois. Daniel graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Pontiac in 2004, Western Michigan University in 2009 and Michigan State University in 2014. Daniel is a manager in the aerospace industry. Lindsey is the daughter of Craig and Sue Gates of Cedar Springs. Daniel is the son of Bud and Ann Fountain of Rochester. The couple reside in Chicago.

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Happy 88th Birthday!

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DONALD REED

January, 30, 1929

Happy 88th Birthday Donald Reed of Sparta!

Love Barb & your 7 kids

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FREDERICK JOSEPH STICKLER

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Mr. Frederick Joseph Stickler of Cedar Springs, Michigan, age 74, entered into eternal life in the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Fred was born to Floyd and Frances (Kelly) Stickler in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Tuesday, March 17, 1942. Fred had the greatest of dispositions, always loving life and his family without measure. One of Fred’s greatest joys was his care and love of horses— he was a true gentleman farmer. He also enjoyed leatherwork, as well as fixing bridles and saddles. Fred is survived by his beloved sister Loretta (Jonathan B.) Gamm; loving nieces and nephews, Jonathan M. (Kathleen) Gamm, David (Marilyn) Gamm, Brian (Jodie) Gamm, and Sarah (Eric) Matwiejczyk; adored great nieces and nephews, Erik, Emily, Anna, Joseph, Lee, Claire, Mary, Sophia, Elise, and Matthew; and other beloved members of the Stickler, Kelly, and Gamm families. A time of visitation was held from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2017, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. A scripture service was offered immediately following visitation at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Terrence L. Stewart at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at Holy Family Parish, 425 S. State Street, Sparta, MI 49345. A time of visitation was held at church, one hour prior to Mass. Fred will be laid to rest in Rosedale Memorial Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, 3777 Rector Avenue NE, Rockford, MI 49341.

Arrangements by Pederson Fuenral Home, Rockford

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Thank You

We would like to extend our gratitude and thankfulness to all who participated in the fundraiser for my Leader Dog, Rowdy. The response was overwhelming and so heartwarming. Our small communities are such special places to live and worship. A very special thanks to the United Methodist Women of the Sand Lake United Methodist church as well. We are blessed and humbled by your love.

Thank You, Pastor Darryl Miller, Rowdy & Family.

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New year—new beginnings

Pastor Ryan Black

Cedar Springs Christian Church

340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs

 

The start of a New Year gives us the feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning, and new opportunities. It is a time when people feel that they can begin anew with their lives. Common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and eat healthier; or to spend more time with family. Still others include managing money better and being more organized.

Although there is nothing in the Bible or notable in Christian tradition about New Year’s resolutions, many good stewards take advantage of this time of year to become closer to the Lord. They may re-commit themselves to pray more, to read the Bible, or to attend Church more regularly. If you are looking for some helps in your New Year’s resolutions, here are a few ideas to get you started:

Practice gratitude. Cultivating a grateful heart is the hallmark of a Christian steward. Every day, express thankfulness to the Lord and to others. Seeing the good in your life will allow you to keep your heart compassionate and loving.

Encounter the Lord each day. Find time to be with the Lord each day, whether it is for an hour or ten minutes. Have a conversation with the Lord. Give your joys and worries to Him as well. Allow God’s love to transform them. Our encounters will keep our eyes and ears open to the presence of Christ in our midst.

Nurture friendships. Our friends are those we choose to be with, those with whom we spend our evenings, with whom we vacation, to whom we go to for advice. Friends are gifts from God who give us a greater appreciation of God’s love for us. Friends need our time and love.

Make a difference in your Church community. Believe it or not, your Church community can use your talents.  Offering your talents to your faith community is one of the most effective ways to feel useful and connected to others.

Consider living more simply. We cannot find fulfillment in possessions. They add nothing to our self-worth. Jesus blessed the “poor in spirit” in his Sermon on the Mount.

Get healthy. Studies show that most people in North America are accelerating their own decline into premature old age, owing to poor diet and lack of physical activity. Be a good steward of your body. Plan a complete overhaul of your diet and exercise habits.

Don’t give up. People give up their New Year’s resolutions because of perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. Remember, take it slow, be kind to yourself and keep trying. Resist the urge to throw your hands up and quit. You succeed through small, manageable changes over time.

Turn to the Lord. Ask the Lord for guidance, strength and perseverance in achieving your resolutions. In his letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul writes: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13). If God is the center of our New Year’s resolutions, they have a better chance for success.

These are a few recommendations that may help get one started in the right direction at the beginning of this new year.

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Ever wonder what it means to pray and move mountains? 

 

Life is full of opportunities and here is a prime opportunity to learn about prayer and what the Bible has to say about moving mountains. Pastor Rex Webb will be teaching on prayer at Hillcrest Community Church, 5994 18 Mile Rd., on Friday, February 10, from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, February 11 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. A light lunch will be provided.

Founder/Minister at the Alma House of Prayer, Pastor Rex will be the guest speaker during a two day prayer summit at Hillcrest Community Church. Accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior at the age of 10, Pastor Rex has worked in ministry most of his life. He has established churches in the Philippine Islands, India, Argentina and Haiti, and is called to encourage believers to become a House of Prayer.

When Pastor Rex was asked what he will be speaking on, he said, “moving mountains” (found in the Bible in Mark 11:22-24). Prayer is a strong theme in the life of Pastor Rex. He teaches that “Worship based prayer is a must for this final hour before our Lord returns.”

Hillcrest Community Church Senior Pastor Kristi J Rhodes said, “We are so excited to welcome Pastor Rex back for another power weekend. He is a servant of God.”

For additional information, visit the Hillcrest Community Church of God website at https://hillcrestcommunitychurch.blogspot.com

Hillcrest Community Church has been a part of the Cedar Springs community since 1951. In a time where churches are on the decline, Hillcrest has hopes of growing the church one family at a time and has declared 2017 PRIME—a year of excellence.

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Four mindful strategies for a healthy 2017

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(BPT) – Losing weight and increasing exercise commonly make the top of New Year’s resolution lists. Yet many people fall short of their wellness goals each year. What can you do differently in 2017 to ensure you’re among those who succeed?

“Mental health and taking time for yourself can greatly improve your chances of achieving your health and wellness goals,” says the Mayo Clinic. “It’s important to realize that changing any behavior is often a complex process that requires you to address the mental as well as physical aspects of the change you want to achieve.”

Below are helpful strategies from the wellness professionals at Mayo Clinic to assist you in achieving your goals this year:

Be on your mental game

Weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution goal, but to achieve it, you’ll likely need to do more than simply change your eating habits. Behaviors, thoughts and emotions may be playing a role in keeping you from shedding pounds. For example, not getting enough sleep can thwart better eating and exercise habits. Sleep deprivation can hinder your ability to control your emotions, interfere with positive thought processes and make you too tired to exercise regularly.

Being aware of factors that contribute to negative habits not only can help you succeed, it can also help you sustain the changes.

Be aware of self-talk

Everyone has an integral dialogue, and it’s the voice we all believe the most. Is yours negative or positive? The voice of your self-talk can greatly affect your confidence level. Pay attention to your self-talk and evaluate if what you’re telling yourself is actually true.

When self-talk turns negative, try to challenge it and find a more positive way to look at the situation. For example, turn “I always fail at losing weight because I eat too much” into “I enjoy eating fruits and vegetables and can easily eat three servings a day.”

It will take time and practice to learn how to turn negative self-talk into positive, so be patient with yourself.

Fight boredom with fun and creativity 

People fail at wellness goals for many reasons, including boredom. Approaching your goals with a creative and fun attitude can help keep them fresh and exciting and keep you on track!

Try learning something new or vary your routine. For example, try a new recipe or modify your usual food choices. Learn to use a new piece of equipment at the gym, or take an exercise class to learn something you’ve always wanted to do.

Dance around the house, take a healthy cooking class, read a book, travel, check an item off your bucket list or create a list if you don’t have one. However you define “fun,” if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to want to keep doing it.

Prepare to overcome setbacks

No matter how committed you are to a goal, setbacks are normal. Don’t let them derail you. Planning for setbacks and how you’ll overcome them can help you stay on track for the long term.

When planning how you’ll reach a desired behavior change, try including some what-if scenarios. For example, if your fitness routine includes a yoga class after work and you get delayed, think about what you could do to still meet your exercise goal. You might be able to substitute another class or use body weight exercises at home. Having a back-up plan in case your original goal doesn’t work out can help you avoid “all-or-nothing” thinking.

If you experience a setback, be compassionate with yourself; change is rarely easy. Giving yourself a break will help you dust yourself off and get back on track.

By taking a mindful and proactive approach to your health, you’ll be on the way towards achieving your wellness goals through 2017 and beyond. To learn more about healthy living, visit www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle. For more information on customized wellness programs at Mayo Clinic, view our Healthy Living Program.

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Make Zika virus precautions a part of your winter travel plans

 

MDHHS confirms 69 cases of Zika virus among Michigan travelers 

For many Michigan residents, the winter months often include travel to warmer climates. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging travelers to protect themselves from Zika virus while travelling to places with active Zika transmission. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which have not been found in Michigan, but are common in tropical areas and some parts of the United States.

This year, the CDC is making it possible for you to get travel updates about the Zika virus on the go. By texting PLAN to 855-255-5606, you’ll receive helpful tips on how to:

  • Pack and plan for your trip.
  • Stay protected on your trip.
  • Stay healthy when you return home.

“Before you travel, find out if Zika virus is a risk at your planned destination,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Pregnant women and couples who are planning to conceive in the near future should avoid nonessential travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission because infection during pregnancy is linked to serious birth defects and miscarriage. Travelers can prevent Zika virus infection by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”

People who travel to an area with Zika should:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay and sleep in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
  • If your plans include travel to more remote areas, take along a permethrin-treated bed net to use while sleeping.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

To date, Michigan has confirmed 69 cases of Zika virus disease in travelers, including three pregnant women. In the U.S., over 1,200 pregnant women have been identified with possible Zika infection, resulting in 41 Zika-affected infants to date. MDHHS is participating in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry, an effort to learn more about the effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

All of the Zika cases in Michigan are travel related. While the virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, it’s important that residents of reproductive age are aware of the risks associated with sexual transmission of Zika virus. Zika can be spread through sex without a condom. Most cases of sexual transmission have involved people who had symptoms of Zika virus infection. However, recent evidence suggests that asymptomatic males may be capable of transmitting Zika virus to their sex partners.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

Zika virus illness is typically mild. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes) lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an uncommon condition of the nervous system following infections.

Zika virus is an emerging disease and recommendations are changing as new information becomes available. The CDC currently recommends the following for travelers:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission. If they must travel, they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
  • For non-pregnant women who travel to areas with active Zika transmission, it is recommended they prevent pregnancy for at least eight weeks from symptom onset (if ill) or last possible exposure (if illness does not develop).
  • For men who return from travel, it is recommended they use condoms and avoid conception for at least six months, regardless of whether they develop an illness consistent with Zika virus disease.
  • Men who have been in an area with active Zika virus transmission and have a pregnant partner should either use condoms the right way every time they have sex, or not have sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

MDHHS is working closely with the CDC to find additional Zika cases in returning travelers or their partners, and is coordinating with local health departments to enhance mosquito surveillance programs.

Additionally, the MDHHS laboratory has added capacity to test for Zika infection to help improve public health response time. For the most current information about Zika, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

Statewide case counts and Michigan-specific information can be found on the MDHHS Zika webpage www.michigan.gov/zika. MDHHS will provide updates on the total number of cases statewide, including the number of pregnant women. Additional information about the cases will not be made available due to health privacy concerns.

National statistics about pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes are available on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/pregnancy-outcomes.html.

For information about Zika in a specific Michigan county, contact the local health department.

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MDHHS reporting an  increase in pertussis, recommends vaccination

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is supporting the Oakland County Health Division following an increase in the number of identified pertussis cases, commonly referred to as whooping cough.

“Pertussis is a contagious disease that easily spreads between people and can be difficult to diagnose,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the MDHHS. “We support the proactive efforts of the Oakland County Health Division in ensuring residents are aware of this increase and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their children.”

Anyone exposed to pertussis and displaying symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor to determine if antibiotics are needed. Infants younger than 12 months are at greatest risk. Infants and children who have not been fully vaccinated against pertussis are at a higher risk of developing severe illness. To be fully immunized, doses are given at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months. The last dose is given at 4 years old.

Pertussis is a very contagious disease that usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. After 1 to 2 weeks, severe coughing can begin. Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and people are forced to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound. In infants, the cough can be minimal or not even there. Other symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Mild fever
  • Dry cough
  • Vomiting after coughing fits

People infected with pertussis can spread the disease by coughing or sneezing in close contact with others who breathe in the bacteria. Pertussis is most contagious during the first two weeks of illness.

Infants are at highest risk of severe disease and death; older siblings and adults often are the source.

Infants and children should receive pertussis vaccine series (DTaP) as per the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule. All doses should be given as close to the recommended ages as possible. A pertussis vaccine booster dose (Tdap) is recommended for adolescents and adults, and is especially important for those in contact with infants. Current recommendations call for a single lifetime Tdap booster dose with the following exception: a dose of Tdap is recommended for pregnant females in each pregnancy between weeks 27 and 36.

For more information about pertussis, visit www.cdc.gov/pertussis.

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