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Archive | May, 2018

Pedestrian dies in crash in Oakfield Township

Nicolaus Martin was hit while walking along the road Saturday evening, May 19. Photo from online obituary at Corey Funeral Home.

A man walking along Lincoln Lake Avenue was hit by a car and killed Saturday evening, May 19.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a 2003 Cavalier driven by a 17-year-old male from Greenville was traveling southbound on Lincoln Lake when it struck a man walking on the unlit roadway. A second vehicle then also struck the pedestrian but did not stop.

The pedestrian, identified as Nicolaus Martin, a 22-year-old male, from Evart, died of his injuries.

Assisting at the scene was Oakfield Township Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance. 

The crash is still under investigation.

According to his obituary at Corey Funeral Home, Nicolaus graduated from Evart High School in 2013 and had plans to join the U.S. Army. A Celebration of Life honoring him will be held Saturday, May 26 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Community Building at the Fairgrounds in Evart. Memorial contributions in Nick’s name may be directed to the Skate Park in the City of Evart.

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JV Red Hawks split double header


Clyde Dykhouse and Colton Moore getting ready in the field.

On May 17, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks JV baseball team traveled to Big Rapids to take on the Cardinals in a double header.  

In game one, Connor Ellison pitched a great game, striking out 7 while only walking 1. One costly error in the final inning cost the Red Hawks the victory as they lost 5-3. The Hawks scattered 7 hits throughout. Colton Moore, Willy Zain, Kyle Wise, Clyde Dykhouse, Dylan Greenland, Lucas Secord and Dylan Knauf each contributed.  

In game two Colton Moore and Dylan Knauf divided the pitching duties in the 7-5 victory. The Cardinals came out pounding the baseball, but the boys threw strikes and were able to keep them off balance. The defense made a few great plays as well. Knauf and Zain led the team at the plate with two hits apiece. Wise, Dykhouse, Jeremy Campione and Trenton Snoeyink each had hits as well.  

The JV are now 12-11-1 and will wrap up their season with a three game series with Greenville, followed by a conference tournament next week.

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Team wins Cherry Capital Cup championship

Pictured above: Bottom Row (Left to Right):  Avery Lake, Molly Wierstra, Madison Viau, Madison Reyburn, Ella Peck; Middle Row (Left to Right):  Kelsi Green, Stella Malon, Molly Perez, Sienna Wolfe, Reagan Viau, Madelyn Carnes, Gabrielle Christie, Olivia Williams, Adrianna Newhof; Back Row: Coaches Michael Viau, Steve Malon, Chad Lake

This past weekend (May 19-20) the CASSA Tri-Hawks U12 girls team participated in the Cherry Capital Cup Tournament in Traverse City in the Silver Division and came away winners.

The tournament bracket consisted of two pools. The champion from each pool goes onto the championship game. Two games were played on Saturday, where the girls came out with decisive 2-0 wins in both games and against Michigan Fire Juniors and TASC.  

Sunday started out just as successful with a 4-0 win over Cadillac Crush to set up a championship game with Michigan Legends FC from Brighton. The girls fought hard through a very physical game that was tied at the end of regulation, which leads to two 5-minute overtime periods. The Tri-Hawks scored early off a corner kick in the first 5-minute session, which led to the eventual final score of 1-0 to take home the championship.  

To go through four games in a tournament without giving up a single goal is an amazing accomplishment and can’t be done without great teamwork, effort, and soccer ability. The coaches and parents are very proud of this group that have many girls that have played together for 3-plus years from multiple schools in the area and have had continued success against increasing competition to build up to this achievement. We look forward to continue to see these girls on the pitch in the future! 



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MHSAA adopts revised transfer regulation at spring meeting



The adoption of major changes to the Michigan High School Athletic Association transfer regulation was among notable actions taken by the Representative Council during its annual Spring Meeting, May 6-7, in Gaylord.

The Spring Meeting of the 19-member legislative body of the Association’s more than 1,400 member schools is generally the busiest of its three sessions each year. The Council considered 29 committee proposals and dealt with a variety of eligibility rule, postseason tournament and operational issues.

The revised transfer regulation will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year, based on a student-athlete’s sports participation during 2018-19. The new transfer rule will make transferring student-athletes ineligible for one year in any sport played during the previous year at the previous school—unless that student-athlete’s situation fits one of the current 15 exceptions that allow for immediate eligibility. However, the revised transfer regulation also allows that transferring student-athlete immediate eligibility in any other MHSAA-sponsored sport not participated in during that previous year at the previous school.

 The additions to the transfer rule received vast support from member schools in surveys leading up to the Council’s vote.

 “We are hopeful this ‘sport-specific’ transfer rule will be easier to understand, and therefore, more consistently enforced,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “This rule better addresses the changing landscape of transfers, hopefully dissuading those considering moving for athletic reasons while still allowing a full range of sports for those who do switch. It may seem like a punishment to some, but the new rule is actually more permissive for many transfer students, and we saw growing support for these changes from our schools since we began discussing this proposal a year ago.”

To read about other changes made at the spring meeting, read the entire article at https://www.mhsaa.com/News/Press-Releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7243/MHSAA-Representative-Council-Adopts-Revised-Transfer-Regulation-at-Spring-Meeting.

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Caution can help prevent human-caused wildfires

This stand of trees near Lake Superior was severely damaged during a wildfire.

By Kelsey Block, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

It was a snowy day near Grayling in March, 1990. A homeowner had recently cleared a section of land and planned to burn the resulting brush piles. Logs and branches were piled high, ignited and monitored. The large piles smoked and smoldered for a few weeks before putting themselves out. All seemed well.

A month later, the fires rekindled and, again, seemed to burn themselves out.

Three weeks later, a neighbor noticed the stubborn piles were burning again. In less than 20 minutes, the fire escaped into the surrounding forest.

Burning conditions can change very quickly in the spring. Consider composting as an alternative to burning, and, if you do decide to burn, never leave the fire unattended.

As it turns out, the fire had never gone out in the first place. It had been burning deep in the middle of the pile from mid-March to early May. On May 8, the wind picked up, bringing a new air supply to the pile’s interior and helping the fire to grow.

Crews contained the fire in less than two days. But, by the time it was all said and done—almost seven weeks after the first flame was sparked—nearly 6,000 acres had burned, $5.5 million in property had been lost and $700,000 in timber had been destroyed.

Firefighting equipment and techniques have continually evolved since that Stephan Bridge Road fire nearly 30 years ago, but one thing stubbornly remains the same: nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people.

“Almost all wildfires in Michigan start by accident,” said Jim Fisher, Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire program manager. “The wind picks up and a brush fire gets away or a campfire smolders and comes back to life.”

Approximately 600 wildfires are reported in Michigan each year, and out-of-control debris burning is the top cause. 

 The Stephan Bridge Road fire was a tough lesson to learn: even when precautions are taken, fires can still escape.

You can take some simple steps to fire-proof your property. Clean out your gutters, mow the lawn regularly and consider landscaping with plants that are fire-resistant. The driveway of this home acted as a fire buffer during the Duck Lake Fire in 2012.

It’s especially important to use caution with fire in the spring. March, April, May and June are Michigan’s busiest months for wildfires, claiming 83 percent of fires in 2017. 

The dead grass and leaves from the previous year dry very quickly as days become longer, temperatures begin to rise and humidity levels are often at their lowest points.

“In Michigan, the soils are sandy and don’t hold moisture. We usually get rain and then a low relative humidity when a weather front moves through. We can get a couple inches of rain and, in two days, have a 5,000-acre fire,” said Chris Peterson, fire and aviation staff officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

Fire activity also peaks on weekends. Last year, 48 percent of wildfires occurred between Saturday and Monday.

“Folks come up for the weekend and they burn and don’t put out their fire. Then it comes back to life on Monday,” Peterson said.

So far, 140 fires have burned 826 acres in Michigan this year.

What can you do to prevent it?

For starters, always check for a burn permit at www.michigan.gov/burnpermit or your local fire department before you burn yard debris and brush piles.

“Burning conditions can change very quickly, especially this time of year. The wind can switch suddenly, and the fire can get away from you,” Fisher said. “Never leave a fire unattended and always keep water nearby.”

You can also take some easy steps to protect your home from wildfires—especially important since 63 percent of fires start on private property.

“Fire-proof your property. Cut back trees and brush and plant vegetation that does not carry fire. Don’t park equipment, boats or trailers up next to burn piles or in thick vegetation,” Peterson said.

Examples of plants that are resistant to fire include those that retain moisture, like hostas and succulents.

Make sure your house number is easily visible and leave room for emergency responders to work in the event a fire does occur.

Bill Forbush, City of Alpena Fire Department chief, urges people not to be complacent about fire safety. It’s just as important to have working smoke detectors in vacation residences, cabins and campers as it is to have them in your permanent home, he said. 

“Some people say, ‘it can’t happen to me.’ People don’t anticipate that there will be a problem. That’s not always the case,” he said.

Whether you’re burning brush or lighting a campfire, be absolutely sure your fire is out before leaving it unattended.

“One bucket (of water) isn’t going to do it. Turn the coals over and wet it down thoroughly,” Forbush said.

In the event your fire does escape, call 9-1-1, and don’t try to put it out yourself. 

For more information on wildfires and fire safety, go to www.michigan.gov/firemanagement.


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Science and Emotion

Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche


I am told as a biologist I cannot be emotional. Yet everything I live for, strive for, and believe in is in the dirt outside my door. The dirt outside my door is being carried away and someone says I have not the right to be emotional because I’m a scientist?—Ranger Steve Mueller 7 October 1974

In May 1973 I fell completely in love with Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park and was fortunate to become employed as a ranger there in 1974. My daughter was born there in 1980, my career and family took us in new directions but my heart and soul remained scientifically and emotionally true to that remnant of Eden.

I began working for the creation of Grand Staircase wilderness that lies between Bryce Canyon NP and Grand Canyon NP. The fragile desolate area stretches 80 miles north to south and 150 miles east to west. People recognized the uniqueness and fragility of the area. Focus groups worked for suitable protection.

Competing interests differed. Since the 1920’s, compromises developed. In the 1990’s President Clinton used the Antiquities Act to established Grand Staircase National Monument on public land. It did not meet some of my desires for protecting part of Eden that remains on Earth. It did not meet the desires of others wanting to exploit its cultural and natural resources for short term personal gain. Difficult compromises developed. 

States are granted school land sections as a process of deeding when States are established. Utah wanted compensation for state lands within what became Grand Staircase Nat’l Monument. The federal government deeded other federal lands richer in oil, natural gas, and coal to compensate Utah. 

The establishment of Grand Staircase NM became a long term economic boost for small towns. Recreation increased along with rapid growth of sustainable businesses during the past twenty years. Mining, pollution, and landscape destruction are not compatible with fragility of the arid environment and unique ecosystem species. 

Dr. Dave Warners, Calvin College biologist stated, we’re not heading in a good direction on our current path with the relationship between global temperature, CO2 levels, human population and the prevalence of species extinction that approximates 50,000 species going extinct annually. He suggests:

Preservation—setting aside natural, protected areas, such as national parks

Conservation Biology—Managing those preserved areas

Restoration ecology—Improving degraded areas

Reconciliation—the process of deliberately sharing our habitats with other species.

Compromises developed for establishing Grand Staircase NM. Congress has sole authority to make adjustments. President Trump does not agree with our laws and claims he can dictatorially exempt designated laws protecting the monuments, environment, and private property like those along the Mexican border. He is taking public and private land without due process of law.

Wilderness Society president said, “The Trump administration is ignoring local communities and undoing the thoughtful participation of countless individuals that led to the creation of these national monuments.” She added the Wilderness Society will stand up against the Trump Administration’s illegal actions in court where the facts are on our side. Allies in eight national conservation groups, the $887 billion outdoor recreation industry, and five Native American Nations have sued to restore the protections of Grand Staircase and Bears Ears National Monuments that were established through public involvement and compromise. 

Bill Spalding, business owner by Grand Staircase said, “Without the monument, our business wouldn’t exist.”

I continue scientific nature niche research in the region and emotionally recognize remnants of Eden need protection. I encourage influencing your representative and senators to protect Grand Staircase and due process of law from illegal dictatorial exemption. Rep. Amash has not been favorable toward monument protection.

I have spent scientific and emotional energy for over 40 years with the specific mission to protect the Grand Staircase ecological integrity. Compromise was reached. An illegal dictatorial decision by the Trump administration has negated my life’s work and a reader in January told me I do not have the right to be emotional – stick to science. Other readers have applauded my efforts in defense of creation care. 

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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Toni R. (Felix) Barnhill age 59 of Cedar Springs, passed away Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at her home. She was born November 15, 1958 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Earle and Della (Kloostra) Felix. She was a very loving wife and sister. Toni enjoyed playing games and knitting. She is survived by her husband, Larry Martin Barnhill; children, Tia K. (Curtis) LaCombe, Taylor L. Barnhill; grandchildren, Brant, Laurin, Alexander LaCombe and Diesel Jones; siblings, Mary Felix, Corinne (Lyle) Streeter, Charles (Julie) Wiersma; mother-in-law, Caroline Barnhill; brothers and sisters-in-law, William Barnhill (Levi), Mary (Jim) Reimert, Edward Barnhill and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Karen Puite, Frank Felix and Sally Heald. The family greeted friends Saturday, May 19 at Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. There was no funeral service. Memorial contributions to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

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

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Gertrude Maria Dudley, 89, of Riley Township entered eternal life Wednesday, May 16, 2018. She was born on October 5, 1928 in Gresten, Austria to the late Maria Magdalena Pfaffenbichler. She met her husband, Charles Marion Dudley, Sr. in Austria while he was stationed there during World War II. They were married in the fall of 1948 in Freemont, Ohio and enjoyed 20 years of happy marriage until his passing on August 7, 1968. Gertrude attended school in Austria for Pharmacy. She would then go on to work for Awrey Bakery for 14 years. When she wasn’t working, Gertrude had a passion for cooking and loved working in her flower garden. She also enjoyed going for long drives. Most of all she was devoted to her family. Gertrude is survived by her daughter, Rose Mary (Gary) Fisk of Pierson; her son, Charles (Cheryl) Dudley of Riley Township; seven grandchildren, Tina Marie (Micky) Rish, Christina Dudley, Angela Weber, Frank (Melisa) Davidson, Charles Dudley Jr., Chad (Jessica) Dudley, and Christopher Dudley; 16 great-grandchildren; a sister, Gertrude; and several nieces and nephews all of Austria. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles. A funeral service was held on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. with visitation being held from 2:00 p.m. until the time of service in the Kammeraad-Merchant Funeral Home, Memphis. To send condolences, visit: www.kammeraad-merchant.com.

Arrangements by Kammeraad-Merchant Funeral Home, Memphis

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On April 2, 2018, Richard F. Dodd D.D.S., aged 84 years and 11 months, passed from his life on earth into the loving, healing arms of his Savior. He was born to Guy and Genevieve Dodd in Ludington Michigan on May 3, 1933. Following graduation from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Richard was commissioned in the USAF and served as Captain in the Air Defense Command. After active service in the Air Force, he established a private practice in Kent County Michigan. He served as a dentist in Cedar Springs for many years. During his professional life he also served the community as a member of the school board and in township government. At the age of forty, Dick began “an affair with the violin” that presented him with ample challenges for the rest of his life. At the age of 71 he moved with his wife of 55 years to Kalamazoo, Michigan and again three years later to Hartselle, Alabama, where they have lived since. He was an active member of First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs, Algoma Baptist, The Journey Church, First United Baptist Church of Kalamazoo and the First Baptist Church of Hartselle. Richard is survived by his loving wife, Rebecca; daughters, Julea (Kevin) Moats of Decatur, Alabama, Al and Amelia Denslow of Hartselle, Alabama; two grandchildren, Steven Dodd Denslow of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Victoria Denslow of Birmingham, Alabama; his brother Larry (Donna) Dodd of Traverse City, Michigan; brother-in-law Karl (Angie) DeVries of Grayling, Michigan; sisters-in-law Martha (Ray) Vandee Panne of Cedar Springs, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews, who all loved their “UncaDick”. He is interred at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Alabama.

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Start Here

Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church 

135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs


Jesus said this in John 15:14-16 (NIV): “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 

Three verses. A person could find a lot to think about in any of the three: The analogy of servants and masters. The idea that I could actually be God’s friend! The pregnant possibilities in the statement that “…whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” So many directions you could go. But instead, let’s hold these thoughts all together and see what happens.

Friends of God are people who are already in the process of doing what God has asked them to do. Because of this, they are not only doing but being something very different in comparison to other people. If I’m reading my Bible clearly—both following its threads from the front cover to the back and noticing the details in this book and chapter—I  think that much of the “everything” that Jesus was learning from His Father had to do with both being and doing.

Who was being honored in every moment? Jesus always found His purpose and His identity in His Father. Where was the next leg of His mission going to take place? Jesus was always present with people, and yet was always on His way somewhere. Who was the next person or group of people who needed to hear a fully-dressed Good News? Who was the next person or group of people who needed desperately to experience the presence of the living God? These, I believe, were the preoccupations of Jesus, and so He told those closest to Him “…go, and bear fruit…

But He also made sure they understood that they were supposed to pursue “fruit that will last.” How many of the things you’re doing today will actually last? If you’re not sure many of them will, it seems to me that you need to find a stopping point in your busyness to reorganize your priorities.

Jesus has already done everything necessary to make you a friend of God. Are you prepared to do everything He asks of you? God’s Spirit is very interested, willing, able, and present to guide you in doing things with your life that will have permanent significance. There is a Bible with God’s words recorded in it that will give you structure and insight into how all this works. And there are churches full of God’s friends all around you, trying to do these same things. Are you wondering where to start with God? Start here.

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