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Archive | April, 2018

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28


The Michigan State Police (MSP) is urging residents to discard expired, unused and unwanted pills during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, one of two annual events held in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies.

MSP’s 30 posts will participate in the one-day Take-Back effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, by serving as drop-off points. All collected pills will be destroyed. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

“With opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses becoming all too common, I strongly urge Michiganders to use this opportunity to check what is in your medicine cabinet and then properly dispose of any medications you no longer need,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October. During the October 2017 effort, MSP posts collected roughly 802 pounds of prescription drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose safety and health hazards.

Find your closest MSP Post at www.michigan.gov/msp. Additional collection sites across the state can be found by going to www.dea.gov.

Anyone who is unable to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any MSP post, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

The City of Cedar Springs also collects unused prescription drugs daily Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

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Hunting Michigan morels with Mi-HUNT

Gathering morel mushrooms is a gratifying pursuit whether with friends and family or alone. This photo was taken during a 2015 morel mushroom hunt in Windsor Township in Eaton County.

By Andy Evans, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

It was early May, and a certain spring activity was on my mind—looking for some tasty morel mushrooms in the beautiful hardwood forests of northern Lower Michigan.

As that Friday’s work shift was drawing to a close, I thought about places on state-managed land that I might find a new “honey hole” – a spot covered with morels.

A new weekend adventure would soon be at hand, and an amazing forest with rolling hills awaited. We are quite fortunate here in Michigan, having over 4.6 million acres of state land to explore.

The next morning, I grabbed my compass, jackknife and mesh bags and then headed for the woods. That hunting spot I had in mind turned out to need one more warm rain, so no mushrooms had popped up that night. I did find a nice deer run, however.

Truth be told, every morel hunt is ultimately a success, as you always find plenty of fresh air and sunshine in Michigan’s great outdoors.

More than a handful of beautiful Michigan morel mushrooms.

Aiding the hunt

The key to putting me in the right area was an interactive map application maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called Mi-HUNT (www.mi.gov/mihunt).

I learned about Mi-HUNT through my work at the DNR’s customer service center in Gaylord, and I often recommend it to our customers. This mapping tool delivers a wealth of information right to your computer or mobile device.

When looking for morel mushrooms, I often target hilly areas covered in hardwoods, along with burn scars from recent forest fires. Mi-HUNT provides customized maps of state-managed land, showing ash and other upland deciduous tree cover types.

Mi-HUNT has topographic maps and maps that show what types of trees are on state-managed land, as well as aerial photography for any area you zoom in on. You can also find more DNR information to target morel mushrooms at Mi-MOREL.

The Mi-HUNT tool lets users include or exclude layers of information on the maps they view. These layers include recreational facilities, trails, hunting lands, cover types, township, range and sections.

Base maps include 7.5-minute topographic quadrangles and aerial photos depicting leaf-off conditions from 1998, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and 2009 leaf-on images from the National Aerial Imagery Program.

To help a user’s research, a guide on the left side of the Mi-HUNT page indicates how densely wooded a place will be, indicated by numerical value, and what type of trees dominate the area, shown with a color.

Mi-HUNT maps also show contour lines to help users find the hills and other elevation highs and lows. From viewing the Mi-HUNT map screen, I was able to locate hillsides with ash and other hardwoods.

Sliced morel mushrooms ready for the pan are shown.

A morel primer

If you have never tried morel mushrooms, you might want to explore their culinary power. Some people describe them as nutty, some say meaty – but most agree the morel truly is unique.

They can be added to many dishes, sauteed in butter and onions, or fried. You will be rewarded with a great dish to share with family and friends, from Michigan’s natural wild bounty.

If you have never collected morels before, here are some tips for the first-timer:

Remember to bring your compass or GPS unit, and plan a route that will bring you back to your vehicle. Remember to let someone know where you will be that day – let’s call that filing your “mushroomer plan” for safety.

Always cut or pinch the mushrooms off at ground level, to protect the lower portion of the fungus and ensure mushroom regrowth in future years. Pulling them out can do permanent damage. This is where a jackknife comes in handy.

For that same reason, and to maintain a good nourishing layer of leaf litter, you should never rake an area for morels or drive an off-road vehicle cross country. For more information on using ORVs in Michigan, you can visit  www.mi.gov/orvinfo.

Using a mesh bag (such as an onion bag) will allow your collected morels to stay drier, versus using a paper or plastic bag.

Most important of all, know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous.

Try to work with an experienced morel mushroom hunter. In addition, there is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. Note that the true morels are hollow when sliced open lengthwise, and that the bottom edges of their caps are attached to the stem.

More Mi-HUNT help

Are you new to using interactive maps, or are you new to Michigan? Mi-HUNT is ready to help you plan all kinds of outings.

The Mi-HUNT webpage has video tutorials to help users quickly get up to speed on using the application, whether they are mobile users or using a desktop or laptop computer.

The webpage also provides useful links to other information on wildlife viewing, public hunting land maps, game areas, waterfowl hunting, and downloadable geographic data.

For those looking to improve their chances while on the hunt, be it for morels, deer, fish, camping, hiking and more, a good place to start is Mi-HUNT.

Let this application help make your expedition for morels memorable, just like it helped me with my hunt.

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Vernal Cacophony

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Sit by a vernal pond that will dry by late summer to experience joyous ear pain during April. Listen to the massive cacophony of thousands of frogs vying for the chance to mate. Each species has a unique mating call.

Spring peepers make enough noise in the spring to cause ear pain.

Spring peepers have a single peep but when in mass with other peepers, the sound will generate enough volume to cause ear pain. When you are somewhat distant from a pond, the noise is a pleasant sign of spring. Western chorus frogs make a sound compared with running your thumb across the teeth of a comb. For some reason chorus frogs and their calls have become less abundant. Wood frogs are the third early spring species. They generate a duck-like quack. It seems wood frogs have the shortest period for making mating calls. 

The three early callers actively seek mates as soon as ice melt begins on ponds. They often do not wait for ice to clear the entire pond. If a warm rain arrives, the activity and volume maximize. 

The greatest activity is at night, but daytime choruses abound. Walk to a pond and, as you approach, all will become quiet. Sit quietly and remain still for a few minutes. Soon a brave peeper will venture its call. Another will follow with many soon joining. Continue to be quiet and move your hands slowly so you do not alarm the frogs. Cup your hands in front of your ears with palms facing back. Notice how greatly the sound is diminished when your hands block the sound. Rotate your cupped hands behind your ears. You will not be able to tolerate the volume for long. Cupped hands behind your ears catch the sound and direct too much volume to your ears. It will be necessary to remove your artificially enlarged ear pinnae because of physical pain.

Frogs instinctively grab a nearby frog and begin squeezing to force egg laying. As eggs come out, the males milt filled with sperm fertilizes an egg cluster. A jelly mass containing eggs soaks up water and will become larger than the frog that laid it. Anxious males often grab a nearby male by mistake. The grabbed male will protest with a unique trill that means let go. Listen and you should be able to recognize this sound. 

The egg masses are attached to twigs, vegetation, or debris in temporary spring ponds. Survival is extremely difficult for amphibian eggs. Best survival is in the temporary vernal ponds that dry by midsummer because fish are absent. This allows for eggs to develop without being eaten. Many insects will eat the eggs as well as some birds. Small vernal ponds are often filled or drained by people, but they are essential for frogs.

Counter shading helps hide the eggs. Find a cluster of eggs and lift it from the water. Notice the eggs are surrounded by jelly that protects the eggs. The top of each egg is dark. When a predator is peering into the pond, the dark blends with the bottom and helps camouflage the developing embryo. From beneath they are hidden from underwater predators by having a light or white coloration that blends with the sky above. Algae and cyanobacteria grow in the jelly making it green and they gradually digest it. By the time the polliwogs are ready to escape their protective gel, it is adequately decomposed to allow the young frogs to break loose and swim freely into the water. 

As water warms, larger frogs begin calling and mating activity. Gray tree frogs have a short loud trill that stops abruptly. They continue their calling well into summer even after they leave ponds. Leopard and pickerel frogs have a ratchet-like call that is compared with snoring. When the air temperature reaches 70ºF, American toads and bull frogs begin their calling. The American toad has a trill somewhat like the gray tree frog, but it continues for an excessively long time. 

Make a trilling sound yourself by vibrating your tongue behind your teeth and try to continue until you are out of breath. That will be about how long the toad sings. Frogs pass air back and forth between their lungs and mouth when calling and do not expel air like we do when making sounds. Each frog species call is unique for its mating nature niche. Most depend on temporary ponds. Green frog and bull frog tadpoles require more than one year to develop so they require permanent ponds. Spend time enjoying the vernal cacophony.

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.

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JV Baseball battles weather to complete games

Dylan Knauf got the win against the Red Arrows in game one of a doubleheader last week.

The JV baseball team was able to get two games in on April 11 before Mother Nature decided to play a joke on us with another touch of snow and ice over the weekend.

On Wednesday April 11, the Red Hawks played a double header against the undefeated Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. In the first game, Connor Ellison pitched a great game, striking out 3 and walking none. He allowed 6 hits over his six-inning outing. His defense didn’t help him much, committing 7 total errors. In the 10-3 loss, only 2 of the Forest Hills runs were earned.

At the plate, Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Knauf, Lucas Secord, Jeremy Campione and Caden Vandenberg all recorded a hit. As a whole, the Red Hawks left a dozen runners on base and weren’t able to get hits when they needed them.  

In the second game, Kyle Wise struggled throwing strikes, walking 7 and hitting one batter, while allowing 6 runs. Colton Moore was able to hold the Huskies to just one run in his two innings of relief.  Offensively, the Red Hawks were able to draw several walks, which were brought around to score with hits from Connor Ellison, Lucas Secord and a big double from Caden Vandenberg. With aggressive baserunning and these timely hits the score was tied at 7-7 when the sun went down and the game was called due to darkness.  

Last week the JV baseball team played a three-day set against the Red Arrows of Lowell.  

On April 19, they played a doubleheader. In game one, the Red Hawks were led on the mound by Dylan Knauf. In six innings of work, he allowed 4 runs on just three hits, while walking one. Trenton Snoeyink pitched the seventh inning to earn his second save of the season in the 7-4 victory. 

At the plate, Jeremy Campione had a pair of hits. Dylan Greenland, Willy Zain, Trenton Snoeyink, Caden Vandenberg, Dylan Knauf and Gage Haywood each had a hit as well.

In game two, Sophomore Colton Moore struggled throwing strikes on the mound, and allowed 8 runs, though only 3 of them were earned. The defense also committed several errors that sunk a few innings. Dylan Knauf had two doulbles batting in the leadoff spot. Willy Zain had a pair of hits as well, one of them a double. Lucas Secord hit a double as well. Trenton Snoeyink and Clyde Dykhouse each added a hit. The game 2 final was 12-5.

In game three, on April 20, our boys ran into a tough pitcher from Lowell and were only able to scrape together one hit each from Willy Zain and Jeremy Campione. Defensively they committed six errors as a team in the 10-0 loss.

The JV team is 4-4-1 overall. This week they are scheduled to play a trio of games against Ottawa Hills and a double header against Fremont.

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“Bill” William Nelson Gates age 86 passed to God’s arms April 24, 2018 at Butterworth Hospital. He was preceded in death by Patsy Ann, his wife; parents John and Rose Gates; brothers, and daughter, Mary Carson (Gates). Surviving children, Julie Wilbur, Bonnie Gates, Jim Gates and Kathy Jones. He was loved by his many grandchildren here and in S. Florida. He loved his birds, cared for his family and loved God. Services will be at First Baptist, Main Street, Cedar Springs on Saturday, April 28th at 1 p.m. Flowers appreciated.

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Jerry R. Mourer age 74 of Pierson passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at home. He was born in Rockford, Michigan on March 18, 1944, the son of Clyde and Laura (Phillips) Mourer. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. He is survived by his loving companion of 34 years, Corinne Trader; children, Deborah Alonso, Laurie Ickowski, Michael Mourer, Tina Mourer; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Bill & Sal Brooms; 6 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Earl, Walter, Melvin and Ruby Mourer. The family met with friends 11 a.m. Monday with the funeral service following at 12 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Noah Joseph Salak passed away unexpectedly on Friday, April 13, 2018. He is survived by his father, Joe E. Salak; his beloved son, Joseph Michael Salak; his son’s mother, Jacqelynn Rogers; and his loving girlfriend of 10 years, Melanie Musshorn. Noah was amazingly talented in many areas and, “too smart for his own good,” or extremely smart. He was a huge advocate for fighting for our American rights whenever possible and an advocate for his people. He was a loving, giving, honest man who some didn’t understand, but this did not deter Noah’s strong and outgoing personality. He was the life of the party and protected the weak. One of his greatest accomplishments was his son, of whom he was very proud. Noah will be severely missed by his girlfriend Melanie and his son Joey, and the people and friends that he touched with his wonderful heart throughout the years, and will NEVER be forgotten.

I’ll see you again Bubbie my love! I miss you so much, Melanie.

Private services will be held.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Thank you

Our heart and soul went into the house that was lost on Friday the 13th. But, it was made a little more bearable by the out pouring of support and effort made by our local brave men and women of our local fire departments. As the Supervisor of Nelson township I didn’t fully understand the sacrifice that these men and women make doing this job until 11:20 pm on Friday night. Knowing my house was going to be a complete loss – they did everything they could to save my neighbors and they did. And for this I’m beyond grateful.

Thank you – Sand Lake Fire Department, Cedar Springs Fire Department, Spencer Fire Department, Courtland Fire Department and Oakfield Fire Department.

The Britton Family

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The Torn Veil 

Pastor David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church 

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341


Imagine with me a curtain, 60 feet high, by 30 feet wide. That is the height of a six-story building. It was reported that the curtain was as thick as a man’s hand breath, and so heavy that 300 priests would be employed to move and care for it. The historian Josephus writes (Wars 5,5,4) “It was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful.” 

This impressive curtain was in the Jewish temple at the time of the death of Jesus Christ. It separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, did the High Priest move the veil, and enter the Holy of Holies, and not without blood from the sacrifice that occurred in the court yard. And so the Israelite people learned from God how He was to be approached in worship. He was holy. There had to be a mediator with blood to enter His presence. 

But at the moment Jesus died, God tore the veil from the top to the bottom. Imagine what a noise that made. What did the High Priest think when he looked upon that great curtain, now in two pieces? 

But the crucial question is: “What did all this mean?” Why did God tear the veil—th very veil that God instructed the Israelites to construct, to separate His holiness from them, he suddenly destroys. Why? There are several answer and they are all great! 

In the Bible, Hebrews 9 teaches us that we have a new High Priest, Jesus the Christ. He is better than the old High Priest because He brings His own blood as our eternal sacrifice, and He does not need to enter, year after year, but only once. And this same High Priest, Jesus Christ, now lives in Heaven to pray for us. He is not in a building made by human hands, but rather in the heavens, seated at the right hand of God. And here is further good news, we can enter into His Holy presence, in the name of Jesus Christ, to speak personally with our Father. 

And, on top of all this, comes another important truth. God no longer resides in a temple, in a particular geographical location, but now He lives in the church. I Cor 3 says: 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (ESV) 

So, two great pictures for us to consider are displayed at the tearing of the veil. God invites us in because He is satisfied with the sacrifice of Christ. And two, God, by the power of His Spirit, has come out to be with us. I am so glad God tore the veil. This is great news. This is the gospel. Come, turn from any, and all sin, and enter into the Holy presence of God, and be prepared for Him to come into you. There is no longer any need to stay out, we are called to come in. AMEN! 

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Cranbrook Institute of Science bus trip


Join Montcalm Community College’s Lifelong Learners on a one-day trip to the Cranbrook Institute of Science, Michigan’s Museum of Natural History, in Bloomfield Hills on June 15. Buses leave MCC’s Greenville campus for MCC’s Sidney campus at 8 a.m., depart from MCC’s Sidney campus at 8:30 a.m., and return to MCC’s Sidney campus at 7:30 p.m. and MCC’s Greenville campus at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11.53 per person. The ticket covers the cost of transportation and a lunch, but if you have any special dietary needs, you may want to bring or plan to purchase your own lunch. Visit www.montcalm.edu/cranbrook-trip for more information and a link to register online. The registration deadline is June 13 at noon. Children ages 12 to 17 may attend with an adult. Children younger than 12 are not permitted to attend. Participants have time to visit several attractions during the trip, including the “Rome: Age of the Caesars” exhibit, the observatory, the planetarium (featuring “Sidney Skies”) and the Erb Family Science Garden. The tours also will cover a wide variety of educational disciplines as well as exciting and diverse ways to experience the information provided. For more information, email karen.maxfield@montcalm.edu or call (989) 328-1065.

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Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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