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Archive | September, 2019

Final Adopt-A-Highway cleanup of year starts Saturday

As summer gives way to fall, volunteers will soon fan out along Michigan state roadsides looking for trash during the year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup. Thousands of volunteers in the popular Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program will be picking up litter from Saturday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 29.

There are three scheduled Adopt-A-Highway pickups each year: one each in the spring, summer and fall. Volunteers in Michigan have been participating in the program since 1990. Every year, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect 65,000 to 70,000 bags of trash. The popular program has grown to involve nearly 2,800 groups cleaning 6,100 miles of highway.

Motorists should be on the lookout beginning Saturday for volunteers wearing high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Volunteers include members of civic groups, businesses and families. Crew-members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must include at least three people. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing group names are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

Sections of highway are available for adoption all over the state. Getting involved in the program is straightforward. Interested groups can get more information at www.Michigan.gov/AdoptAHighway.

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Recall: 5 lb bags Gold Medal unbleached all purpose flour

General Mills announced on September 16, 2019, a voluntary national recall of five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour with a better if used by date of September 6, 2020. The recall is being issued for the potential presence of E. coli O26, which was discovered during sampling of the five-pound bag product. This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care, as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product.

This recall only affects this one date code of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour five-pound bags. All other types of Gold Medal Flour are not affected by this recall.

Consumers are asked to check their pantries and dispose of the product affected by this recall. Consumers who have had to discard products covered by this recall may contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103. or visit www.generalmills.com/flour.

Guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to warn that consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour. E. coli O26 is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.

This voluntary recall includes the following code date currently in stores or consumers’ pantries:

Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose 5LB Flour

Package UPC: 016000 196100

Recalled Better if Used by Date: 06SEP2020KC

Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coli O26 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O26 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

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MDHHS reports four new cases of mosquito-borne disease

And two additional deaths in Southwest Michigan

photo credit: James Gathany CDC

LANSING, Mich. – State residents are being strongly advised by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect themselves from mosquito bites as four additional cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in Southwest Michigan—including two that were fatal.

MDHHS is taking further action to protect the public health as the mosquito-borne disease remains a threat that has now resulted in seven confirmed human cases of EEE in Michigan with onset dates in July. The new cases expand the geographic area affected by human EEE cases to include Barry, Cass and Van Buren counties, along with previously identified cases in Kalamazoo and Berrien counties. Two of these additional cases, in Cass and Van Buren counties, were fatal, as was an earlier case in Kalamazoo County.

MDHHS is encouraging local officials in the five Southwest Michigan counties that have been impacted by human EEE cases and St. Joseph, Genesee and Lapeer counties–which have had animal EEE cases–to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly activities that involve children. This would include events such as late evening sports practices or games or outdoor music practices.

The MDHHS recommendation is being made out of an abundance of caution to protect the public health and applies until the first hard frost of the year.

The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department also issued a recommendation to local municipalities and schools to consider cancelling outdoor events or moving them inside if they are scheduled at or after dusk.

“Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy

for health. “The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.”

All Michigan residents can stay healthy by following these steps to avoid mosquito bites:

• Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.

•  Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.

• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.

•  Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

Infections can occur even when mosquito bite numbers are low.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. People can be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection.

Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their physician’s office.

In addition to the human cases, as of Sept. 16, nine cases of EEE in horses had been confirmed in Barry, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, and St. Joseph counties. None of the horses were vaccinated against EEE and all animals have died. There is an EEE vaccine available for horses, but not for people. Also, five deer in Barry, Cass, Genesee, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties have been confirmed with EEE infection and were euthanized due to the severity of their disease symptoms.

For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

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Ban of flavored nicotine vaping products effective immediately


Retailers will have 14 days to comply with emergency rules

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Whitmer’s emergency rules banning flavored nicotine vaping products were released today. The flavored nicotine vaping ban was developed in response to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) finding of a public health emergency created by skyrocketing levels of youth vaping.

Michigan was the first state in the nation to announce a ban on the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products such as e-cigarettes. Whitmer announced her intention to issue these emergency rules Sept. 4, and they are effective immediately, although retailers and resellers—including online sellers—have 14 days to comply.

“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said. “For too long, companies have gotten our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends today. This bold action will protect our kids and our overall public health.”

Following Whitmer’s announcement of the flavored vaping product ban, the White House followed Michigan’s lead with a call for similar actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to move forward with flavored nicotine vaping product bans and the New York plans have been approved.

The MDHHS Bureau of Health and Wellness filed the Protection of Youth from Nicotine Product Addiction Emergency Rules with the Secretary of State.

“Today’s filing is necessary to protect the public health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “Youth vaping is a public health emergency and has been declared an epidemic by the U.S. surgeon general. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains and has dangerous long-term health consequences such as heart disease and cancer.”

The rules are effective for 180 days and can be extended for six months. MDHHS has also filed a Request for Rulemaking, which will allow the department to promulgate permanent rules to keep Michiganders safe from the harmful effects of addiction to nicotine.

On June 4, Whitmer signed Senate Bills 106 and 155, which prohibit the sale of ecigarettes and other non-traditional nicotine products to minors. In her signing message to the Legislature, the governor criticized the legislation for not going far enough to protect Michigan’s kids from nicotine addiction, calling the marketing, packaging, and taste of e-cigarettes a “bait-and-switch” engineered to “create new nicotine addicts.”

Nationwide, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students increased 900 percent from 2011-2015. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use spiked 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, were regular users.

The rules and other information about Michigan’s flavored e-cigarette ban can be found at www.michigan.gov/e-cigarettes.

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Richard James Frey Sr., age 86, of Sand Lake, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 16, 2019 with his loving family at his side. Born September 3, 1933, he learned the value of hard work helping with the family fruit orchards and dairy farm. He married Eleanor Patin on April 16, 1955 at St. Mary’s Parish in Sand Lake. They have two sons: Richard and David; and three daughters: Mary, Margaret, and Catherine. Richard served his country in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, stationed in Fort Benning, GA and Colorado Springs, CO. He was a group leader at Rowe AMI in Grand Rapids, where he worked for 41 years. Richard was a true family man who was always there to love, support, and encourage his large family. He never missed a birthday or family function, and he rarely missed sporting events. His love for sports was undeniable as he cheered on all University of Michigan teams. True to his competitive nature, he played softball until age 80. In recent years he also enjoyed watching his sons’ softball games. He lived in Sand Lake his whole life but made friends everywhere he went. Richard joins his parents Harry and Blanche (Verberg) Frey; mother-in-law and father-in-law Aloysius and Dorothy (Rouse) Patin; sister Jean, brothers Donald (Betty), John, William (Evelyn), George; sister-in-law Vera Frey, brothers-in-law Eugene Smith, Rod Misner, and Clarence Miller. He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 64 years, Eleanor; siblings and siblings-in-law Robert, Maynard Smith, Rosemary (Patin) Frey, Mary Ann Misner and special friend John Cornell, Maxine (Frey) Miller, Jim and Sharon Frey, Dorothy Smith, Virginia Patin, Bernadette Thomas and Larry Deane, Mary Anne Patin; children Richard (Jennifer), Mary (Jeffrey Perrin) Frey, Margaret (Mark) Jackson, Catherine (Douglas) Huizinga, and David; grandchildren Michael (Jill), Theresa (Josh), Catherine (Ryan), Paul, Emily, Jennifer (Lester), Jeremy (Grace), Megan (Bryan), Christopher, Abigail, Ryker (Rosie), Rachel, Caleb; great-grandchildren Henry, Vivian, Donovan, Benjamin, Alayna, Catherine, Jana, Benjamin, and Caleb. He had countless very special nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors. He will be missed by all. The family will greet friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday 11:00 a.m. at Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of donor’s choice. 

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

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Man wanted in bank fraud case

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Post in Rockford are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect in a bank fraud case.

Police said the suspect used bank cards from a victim’s wallet to withdraw over $300 in cash from the Chemical Bank in Belmont, and then purchased nearly $400 worth of items at the Walmart store in Greenville.

The suspect is a white male with tattoos on his left arm and may be driving a silver two-door vehicle, possibly a Ford Mustang. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to please contact D/Sgt. Denise Bentley or Tpr. Jordan Tromp of the MSP Rockford Post at 616-866-4411.

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Gerald “Jerry” William Mahlich, age 84, of Cedar Springs, MI, passed away Saturday, September 14, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Phyllis (Butler) Mahlich in 2016, his parents and six siblings. Jerry is survived by his children, Karen (Curt) Tackmann and Tim (Laura) Mahlich; grandchildren; Damian (Lindsay) Mahlich; Jeffrey (Nicole) Tackmann, Rebecca (Phil) Cronin, Alex Tackmann, Logan Tackmann, Adam (Destiny) Villalobos, Cole Villalobos, and Mark Villalobos; great-grandchildren, Mason, Maddy, Silas, Martin, and Mari; brothers-in-law; Gene Butler and Jim Butler; sister-in-law; Nancy Mumah; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019 with visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Rockford United Methodist Church, 59 Maple Street, Rockford, MI 49341. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Cedar Springs Education Foundation, 204 E Muskegon Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Arrangements by Pederson 

Funeral Home, Rockford

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Betty Sue Parcher, age 78, of Cedar Springs, Michigan passed away on September 12, 2019 at her home. She was born on July 9, 1941 the daughter of Chester and Lucy Galehouse. Betty was raised in St. Louis, Michigan and attended school there before graduating from Cedar Springs High School. Betty married Francis Parcher in 1972. She was employed by Gibsons and as an RN at Belding Hospital. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, knitting, reading, especially loved stories and watching Blue Bloods, In the Heat of the Night and Murder She Wrote on TV. Betty is survived by her son, Joseph “CJ” “Joe” Dittenber (Amy Gwen Martin) of Cedar Springs; her daughter, Violet (Brian) Bissell of Muskegon; grandchildren, Nicole Martin, Connor Martin, CJ Dittenber II; sisters, Pam Heiss, Ruth Galehouse; brother, Jay Galehouse; and a nephew, Bruce Heiss. She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis Parcher in 1981; her parents, Chester and Lucy Galehouse; and her brothers and sister, Fred, Larry and Fern Galehouse. A memorial service for Betty will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019 at Brigham Funeral Chapel in Edmore. The Family will greet friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Condolences to the family may be made utilizing the guestbook at www.brighamfuneralchapel.com 

Arrangements by Brigham Funeral 

Chapel, Edmore 

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An amazing and wonderful woman known also as ‘Jackie’ passed away on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Jesus provided great comfort and mercy to her always. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Eddie Stinson.

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on JACQUELYN LEE STINSON


February 9, 1963 – September 21, 2017

Missed so much by your mom, Noreen 

Sisters, Kathy Goodin and Jan Drach 

Brother, Michael.

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Family Promise: Ending homelessness one family at a time

Rev. Bill Johnson

Cedar Springs United Methodist

140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI  49319

Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food in your cupboards and refrigerator? Do you go to school with enough money to buy your lunch? Does your child have a backpack that is equipped with everything she needs to complete her schoolwork? 

If you can answer yes to most if not all these questions, you are among the blessed. My guess is that you probably know that, and you no doubt give thanks each day for your good fortune. You may even believe your good fortune is God’s doing. 

Yet, sometimes all the faith in the world isn’t enough to prevent homelessness. It may be a medical crisis, sudden job loss, or just one setback after another causing families to lose their homes. Unfortunately, this can often mean that the only solution is to split up a family to find shelter in different locations for the family members. Ironically, 80 percent of these homeless families have employment; some are college educated and some have worked their whole adult life. Even so, their income is inadequate to cover rental costs, let alone a mortgage. 

In 1997 a ray of hope appeared: Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), now called Family Promise was born. But did you know there are still 3000 homeless children in Kent County, and that family homelessness is the fastest growing homeless population? 

This fall, after much prayer, recruitment, planning, organizing, and no small amount of fundraising, Family Promise is coming to Northern Kent County. Area churches are bonding together across denominational lines, to provide host sites—churches that will provide temporary shelter, one week at a time, year-round, for families who are caught in crisis. 

You can help. In addition to financial gifts, volunteers are needed to make a meal, sleep overnight in a host site, play with kids, read books to children, host family activities, and help a family move. You can donate hygiene products: Soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. Baby products: formula, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, etc. Clothing: Socks, undergarments, t-shirts, bus tickets or gas cards, Gift cards for Walmart, Meijer, Family Dollar; new or gently used furniture and household products. 

Perhaps you know the story of a poor family that once needed temporary shelter. They were taken-in by an innkeeper who housed them in a stable (Luke 2:4-7). People of faith have been doing that ever since. Now it has a name.  

If you or your church wish to join get in on this phenomenal mission called Family Promise: Interfaith Hospitality Network, contact North Kent Connect, 616-866-3478 or visit www.FamilyPromiseGR.org/donate. 

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Red Hawks roll over Northview 50-15

Aiden Brunin (28) and Miles Cartwright (4) celebrate in the end zone after Cartwright picks up a fumble and runs 65 yards for a touchdown against Northview. 
Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks knew going into last Friday’s OK-White conference game against Northview that if they were going to have any chance at winning the game, they were going to have stop the Wild Cats’ explosive running back, Ja’kaurie Kirkland. 

When the Red Hawks took the field at Red Hawk stadium, they meant business. And it showed in the way they executed their game plan.

“We had a great week of preparation for the game, and we were really focused,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We wanted to limit their run game, establish our run game, and play inspired special teams—and we did all three of those things on Friday night.”

Cedar Springs kicked off to Northview to start the game, and after losing yardage in their first possession, Northview punted to Cedar Springs. They took possession on the Northview 47-yard line, and on the first play, with 9:54 on the clock, Red Hawk Nathan Elliston ran 47-yards for a touchdown. He also ran in the two-point conversion, to make the score 8-0 Cedar Springs.

The Wild Cats came back just a few minutes later to score when Daniel Frey passed to Kaden Boucher for a 6-yard touchdown. Kolbe Vandenberg then passed to Kinji Black for the two-point conversion and the score was now 8-8, with 6:18 left in the quarter.

Cedar Springs scored again on their next drive, when Ben Shaw ran for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:24 left on the clock in the first. Nathan Elliston ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-8, Cedar Springs.

Northview failed to get a first down on their next drive, and tried a fake punt on fourth down. That resulted in Cedar Springs taking over on the Northview 36-yard line, with 2:57 left in the first. They worked their way down to the 10-yard line, where Aiden Brunin ran the ball in for a touchdown with 13 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 22, Northview 8.

Both teams scored again in the second quarter. Northview scored with 7:31 left on the clock on a pass from Daniel Frey to Kaden Boucher for a 9-yard touchdown. Eric Mendez then kicked the extra point. The score was now 22-15, Cedar Springs.

Then, with 2:42 left on the clock in the second, Northview’s Frey passed the ball to Boucher, who ran 3-yards and fumbled it. The ball was recovered on the CS 35-yard line by Red Hawk Miles Cartwright, who ran 65-yards for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good. The score was now CS 28, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs then kicked off to Northview, and on 3rd and 11, Frey passed to Prade Horling but it was intercepted by Red Hawk Aiden Brunin at the Northview 50. Cedar Springs then took over, and after several plays, they scored on a 23-yard pass from QB Jeremy Campione to Brunin. Ben Shaw then ran in the 2-point conversion. With just 13 seconds left in the half, the score was now CS 36, Northview 15.

When the 3rd quarter rolled around, Cedar Springs still had not run out of steam. Northview kicked off to the Red Hawks, and they started their drive on the Cedar Springs 35. Brunin ran for 10 yards on the first play, and then ran 55-yards for the touchdown. Campione then passed to Da’Montae Barnett for the two-point conversion. With 11:05 left on the clock in the third, it was now CS 44, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs scored again at the end of the 3rd quarter with 1:12 left on the clock. Northview’s Frey attempted to pass to Kyle Vanderjagt but Red Hawk Miles Cartwright intercepted it at the CS 25, and returned it to the Northview 49. That set up the next play, when Zack Schmid ran 49 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 50, Northview 15, with one quarter left to play. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

How important does Kapolka think the turnovers were for their team? “Turnovers are always really big, but when you can covert turnovers to points like Miles’ fumble return for a touchdown, it breaks the back of your opponent,” he explained.

The Red Hawks garnered 367 yards rushing, with at least 10 different players each having a piece of it, and 9 of them had yardage in the double digits. Brunin led the pack with 98; Schmid had 69; Elliston 54; Shaw 34; Barnett 29; Jeff Clark 27; Campione 24; Nathan Male 15; Dylan Greenland 11; and Logan Petty 6.

Campione completed two passes on two attempts for 32 yards, to Brunin (23 yards) and Kaden Liggett (9 yards).

The Red Hawks limited Northview to a total of 120 yards rushing. Half of that was Kirkland, who had 63 yards; Frey had 28; and Gavin Jones 20.

Frey completed 13 passes on 24 attempts for 170 yards in the air. Receivers included Boucher, Vanderjagt, Kirkland, Horling, and Jailen Tatum.

On Friday, September 20, the Red Hawks will travel to Greenville to take on the Yellow Jackets in a long-standing rivalry between conference foes. What does Kapolka think they need to do to win?

“We need to continue our improvement on the offensive and defensive fronts in order to beat Greenville,” he said. “This is a rivalry game for us, and we look forward to the challenge that the Yellow Jackets pose.”

Cedar Springs is now 1-0 in conference, and 2-1 overall. Greenville is 0-1 in conference, and 0-3 overall. They lost last Friday to Lowell in conference play, 40-0.

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