web analytics


EPSON scanner image

Mark Stephen Schupp, 54, of Howard City, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 26, 2015 while on a hiking trip with the youth group. Mark was born February 11, 1961 in Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Doris (Williams) Schupp III. He worked in maintenance at Rockford Public Schools since 1989. Surviving are his wife, Cynthia (Owen); children, Stephen, David, Luke, Isaac, and Jenna; brothers, Kevin and Joel; sister, Linda Thomas; mother-in-law, Joyce Owen; brothers-in-law, Howard and Mick; special uncle and aunt, Clarence (Nancy) Hamilton. He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law, Moses Ray Owen. At the age of 20, Mark gave his life to the Lord under the influence of his friend and mentor, Rich Steptoe. He accompanied Rich in his bus ministry, inner-city ministries, and visitation. Mark will be remembered for being kind and caring, intent on being a warrior for Christ. He lived to serve others with an intense passion and took special pleasure in serving his beloved wife, Cindy, and their five children. He made life fun, coaching their basketball teams, taking them on trips, and creating adventures around their home. Life with Mark was never dull, as his creativity filled their lives with pirates, caped heroes, Indians, cavemen, knights, dinosaurs, fireworks, bonfires, zip lines, forts, tea parties, science lessons, woodworking, wrestling/boxing, and so much more. Every birthday was marked with a special Mark-created cake. Mark proudly invested in his children’s interests by attending sporting events, plays/musicals, and recitals. After all the fun, he was a dad willing to listen, read, talk, and fill his children’s lives with the Word of God. Mark was a member of the First Baptist Church of Newaygo where he taught an adult Sunday school class and was an AWANA leader. In the past, Mark served as a VBS coordinator, visitation team member, youth leader, and basketball ministry helper. His dedication to God was evident in how he served his church and community. When Mark met Cindy, he was a city boy. He let himself be led to the woods of Michigan and never looked back. He assimilated himself into her world, and together they created a life for their family. He worked alongside Cindy to help care for their family members, their children, and their church family. It’s this Mark that will be greatly missed, but we celebrate that he is now enjoying being in the presence of his Lord. The family will greet friends Thursday from 5-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, in Cedar Springs. The celebration of life will be held Friday at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 233 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. Pastors Daryl Crawford, Danny Hicks, Mark Holman, Mike King, and Steve Mackey officiating. Interment at Algoma Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Pine Ridge Bible Camp Sports Discipleship Ministry or to an education fund for Mark’s children.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)


30C birth Dart

Christopher and Trisha Dart of Cedar Springs would like to announce the birth of their daughter, Kora Lucille Dart. Kora was born on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was 7 pounds, 15 ounces at birth and 19.5 inches. Kora was welcomed home by proud grandparents; Lee and Christine Mullennix of Cedar Springs, Michigan, and Ron and Carolyn Marr of Rodney, Michigan; great-grandparents Kay and Phil Hallock of Cedar Springs, Michigan, Marilyn Nance of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Diane and Dave Pollock of Pratts, Virginia and Mary Korreck of Palm Bay, Florida.

Posted in BirthsComments (0)

Kent County Youth Fair – August 10th – 15th

KCYF-logoDaily Events – Free fun all day long!

Chase’s Racing Pigs… shows at 1pm, 4pm & 7pm Daily; Saturday at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, & 7pm… by Draft Horse Tent

Ag Adventure… play and learn about livestock and agriculture… Foreman Building

Meijer Children’s Barnyard… petting zoo by Fair Entrance

Antique Tractors on Display… Foreman Bldg

Draft Horse & Tractor Shuttles… park & ride in fair style

Free Entertainment Tent… fantastic events everyday… near Midway

BINGO… 1pm-5pm; 6pm-10pm Daily… next to Free Entertainment Tent

Track Events… Pulls and more, evenings on the track!

Ron Wenger Memorial Tractor… play & learn on the tractor!… by Children’s Barnyard

Schedule of events

Friday, AUGUST 7TH

10am Dog Showmanship, Obedience & Rally… Klackle Orchards Pavilion

Saturday, AUGUST 8TH

10am-3pm Still Exhibit Judging… Free Ent Tent


2:30pm Explore Recognition… Free Ent Tent

4:30pm-6pm Pork Dinner… bbq pork or chicken ($6.50) or hot dog ($4)… Event Tent

6:30pm Opening Ceremonies & Royal Court Coronation… Free Ent Tent

7pm Goat Team Fitting… Reath Barn

8pm Horse Kick-Off Event… Practice Arena

Monday, AUGUST 10TH - Heroes’ day

Heroes’ park free! Active military, Veterans, Fire, Police and EMT’s show your ID at the gate for free parking and The Kent County Youth Fair thanks you for your service.

9am Horse Judging: Showmanship… Horse Arena

9am-1pm Off Road Vehicle Safety Class… free, but please register at kcyf.org/off-road-vehicle-boating-saftey-classes… King Building

9:30am Goat Judging: Showmanship Breed and Market Classes; Costume Contest follows… Reath Barn

Noon-2pm Youth Talent Contest Registration… entry forms available at kcyf.org… North Entrance

1pm Cavy Breed & Showmanship… Rabbit Tent

2pm Horse Judging: Grand & Reserve Showmanship… Horse Arena

3pm Horse Explorers: Explorer Showmanship & Riding… Horse Arena

4pm-7pm Michigan Blood Center Blood Drive… Get on the bus! Please register at kcyf.org to make an appointment or stop by the bus.

5pm Rabbit Breed Judging… Rabbit Tent

5pm Antique Tractor Pull Weigh In… Track

5pm-Close Carnival Rides Open… Wristband Special: $14; Mega Pass Specials*: Any 5 days for $50, a savings of at least $33; Any 3 days for $36, a savings of at least $17! *Mega Passes *Non-transferable *No Rain Checks *No Refunds *Available at the Fair Business Office.

6pm Swine Showmanship… Reath Barn

6pm Horse Judging: Senior/Horsemasters Presentations… Horse Arena

6:30pm Youth Fashion Show… Free Ent Tent

7pm Antique Tractor Pull: Open Event… Track

7pm Youth Talent Contest… Open Event with Cash Prizes; see kcyf.org/entertainment for more details… Free Ent Tent

7:30pm Horse Judging: Contesting: Down & Back; Poles… Horse Arena

Tuesday, August 11th - reading for rides day

10am-8pm The college of veterinary medicine… Meijer Children’s Barnyard

8am Horse Judging: Jumping… Horse Arena

9am Poultry Judging… Poultry Barn

9am Swine Judging: Market Class; Explorer Showmanship Following… Reath Barn

9am-2pm Boating Safety Class… free, but please register at kcyf.org/off-road-vehicle-boating-saftey-classes… King Building

11:30pm Performing Arts Vocal & Instrumental: Registration… Free Ent Tent

Noon Performing Arts Vocal & Instrumental Judging… Free Ent Tent

Noon Horse Judging: Hunter Hack… Horse Arena

Noon-4pm Reading for Rides & Book Exchange… Kids ride carnival free with completed registration form!… Go to kcyf.org for registration form and complete rules… Midway

Noon-4pm Free blood Pressure Check… Event Tent

1:30pm Horse Judging: Hunt Seat Ground Poles… Horse Arena

2pm Cattle Fitting Clinic, Team Fitting Contest… Beef Arena

2pm-Close Carnival Rides Open… Wristband Special: $18; $3.00 off Carnival Coupon available at many locations in Kent County; Carnival coupon is good for Tuesday ONLY. Mega Pass Specials*: Any 5 days for $50, a savings of at least $33; Any 3 days for $36, a savings of at least $17!

3:30pm Horse Judging: Hunter Hack… Horse Arena

4pm Dog Agility Registration… Football Field

4pm Goat Trail Class… Reath Barn

4pm Horse Judging: Saddle Seat… Horse Arena

4:15pm The Illusionist, Tom Coverly… Free Ent Tent

4:30pm Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Construction… King Building

4:30pm Dog Agility Judging… Football Field

5pm Rabbit Judging: Showmanship… Rabbit Tent

5:30pm Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Parade… Midway to Horse Barns/Arena

7pm Horse Judging: Pleasure: Hunt Seat, Western… Horse Arena

7pm Club KCYF with the Mid-West Dueling Pianos… Free Ent Tent

Wednesday, August 12th – Community Day

Local non-profits join us at fair from 2pm to 7pm

8am Beef Steer Market Classes… Horse Arena

8am Horse Judging: Hunt Seat Equitation… Horse Arena

8:30am-10am Performing Arts: Storytelling, Puppetry & Theater Judging… Free Ent Tent

9am Goat Milking Contest… Goat Barn

9am Dairy Market Judging: Showmanship, Market, Explorer… Reath Barn

9am Horse Judging: Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat, and Western Riding Patterns… Horse Arena

10am-8pm The college of veterinary medicine… Meijer Children’s Barnyard

10:30am-Noon Performing Arts: Dance and other evaluations… Free Ent Tent

12:30pm-2pm Performing Arts: Clown Judging… Free Ent Tent

1pm-5pm Michigan Blood Center Blood Drive… North Entrance

1pm Feeder Beef Judging & Beef Breed Heifer Show (time approx. following lunch break)… Beef Arena

2pm Rabbit & Cavy Individual Quiz Bowl and Breed Identification… Rabbit Tent

2pm-7pm Visit Local Kid-Oriented Non-Profit Organizations… Midway

2pm-Close Carnival Rides Open… Wristband Special: $18; Mega Pass Specials*; Any 3 days for $36, a savings of at least $17

4pm Horse Judging: Reining and Bareback… Horse Arena

4pm Sheep Judging: Market, Showmanship & Breed… Reath Barn

5pm Dodge Ball Tournament… Teams of 5 will work their way to the top! Get rules & entry form at kcyf.org/dodgeball… Football Field

5pm Alpaca Obstacle Course… Football Field

6pm Rabbit & Cavy Costume Class & Adult Showmanship… Rabbit Tent

6:30pm Horse Explorers: Explorer Stick Horse Reining Event…

Practice Arena

6:30pm Horse Judging: Contesting: Speed & Action and Keyhole… Horse Arena

7pm Draft Horse Pull… Using Barnyard Rules. Track

7pm Kari Lynch Band… Free Ent Tent

Thursday, August 13th – Agricultural Day

8am Horse Judging: Dressage Tests… Horse Arena

8am Beef Showmanship… Beef Arena

9am-11am Goat Quiz Bowl… Free Ent Tent

10am Rabbit & Cavy Explorer…Rabbit Tent

10am-2pm The college of veterinary medicine… Meijer Children’s Barnyard

Noon Horse Judging: Equitation: Dressage Seat; Western; Gymkhana… Horse Arena

Noon Livestock Auction begins… Small Animals Sale Order: Rabbit, Poultry, Goats followed by the Sale of Champions; Large Animals Sale approximately 2pm. Sale Order: Swine, Sheep, Feeder Calf, Gallon of Milk, Beef followed by the Sale of Champions… Reath Barn

1pm-3pm Youth Variety Show… Free Ent Tent

2pm-Close Carnival Rides Open… Wristband Special: $18; Mega Pass Specials*; Any 3 days for $36, a savings of at least $17

6pm Tractor Games Check-In… Bring your tractor and compete in various timed events… Track

6:30pm Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Contesting Event… Practice Arena

6:30pm Horse Judging: Contesting: Flag and Cloverleaf… Horse Arena

7pm Extrication Demonstration… Near Foreman Bldg

7pm Tractor Games… Track

7pm-9:45pm West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association Presents Steam Powered BlueGrass & Out of the Blue… Free Ent Tent

Friday, August 14th – Handi-capable Day

8am Horse Judging: Trail… Horse Arena

10am Dairy Showmanship Classes: Dairy Type Classes immediately following… Reath Barn

11am Rabbit Agility & Cavy Obstacle Course…Rabbit Tent

11am-2pm Carnival Rides & Luncheon for Special Needs Individuals… Lunch is 11am-1pm, rides from noon-2pm… King Building/Midway, attending is free but please register at kcyf.org/handi-capable-day

Noon Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Trail Event… Horse Arena

1pm Horse Judging: Grand & Reserve Equitation… Horse Arena

2pm-Close Carnival Rides Open… Wristband Special: $18 6pm Cow Pie Bingo Ticket Sales… Beef Barn

2pm Goat Parent “Fun bowl” Class… Rabbit Tent

2pm-4pm Teen Leadership Judging… Event Tent

2:30pm Tractor Driving Judging… Track

3pm Alpaca Showmanship (including Explorers)… Reath Barn

3pm Horse Judging: Versatility… Horse Arena

6pm Horse Explorers: Stick Horse Team Games… Horse Arena

6:30pm Horse Judging: Team Performance Games… Horse Arena

6:30-10:30pm Country Karaoke with Diva Productions… Free Ent Tent

7pm Extrication Demonstration… Presented by Lowell Fire Dept.

7pm Cow Pie Bingo, Silent Auction…Beef Arena

8pm-11pm Family Line Dance with Lia’s Line Dancing & Dance Moves… Reath Barn

Saturday, August 15th – Meijer Kids’ Day

9am-Noon $1 parking with 3 or more non-perishable food items. All food items will be donated to the food pantry at F.R.O.M.

All Day Scavenger Hunt… Get your scavenger hunt page at guest services or print at kcyf.org/kids-day. All who complete the hunt will be put into a drawing to win one of several bicycles… Fairgrounds

8:30am Showmanship Sweepstakes… Reath Barn

9am Horse Awards Ceremony… Free Ent Tent

10am Little Britches Rodeo- Slack… Horse Arena

Noon-5pm Live & Local… local youth bands… Free Ent Tent

Noon-6pm Carnival Rides Open… BOGO FREE Ride Armbands: Noon-2; Use your $2 off food coupon from Reading for Rides for some great food!

2pm Alpaca Costume Classes… Reath Barn

2pm Little Britches Rodeo… Rodeo fun for everyone!… Horse Arena

2pm Ice Cream Social hosted by the Milky Way 4-H Club… Free, while supplies last… Midway

3pm Princess Tea Party… King Building

3pm Puff the Dragon Pedal Pull: Youth Classes… Midway

5pm-8pm Release of Horses

6pm Little Britches Rodeo… Main Event. No cover charge… Horse Arena

7pm Truck Stop Cobras… Free Ent Tent

9pm Release of Breeding Stock & Still Exhibits

10pm Release of Market Animals

11pm Kent County Youth Fair Closes for 2015.

Release of all other Exhibits

See you in 2016!

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments (0)

Hawks drop close game to Vipers


By Shae Brophy

Saturday evening, the West Michigan Hawks hosted the #7 ranked Michigan Vipers. In what was a very close game, the Hawks were unable to finish their attempt at a comeback, and fell short by a final score of 20-13.

Things did not go according to plan for the Hawks as the game began. The Vipers were able to score three touchdowns in the first quarter, and take a 20-0 lead going in to the second quarter. From that point on, the Hawks defense took over, and the offense did the same.

Hawks wide receiver Dontae Ensley scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, giving the Hawks some much needed momentum going into the halftime break, with the score being 20-13. The Hawks defense came out firing in the third quarter, as well. Cornerback Omar Haynes had an interception, and the defense forced two turnovers on fourth down in the third quarter, giving the Hawks offense a chance to get back on track. After a couple of attempts from the Vipers side of the field, the Hawks were unable to find the end zone.

In the fourth quarter, with the score still 20-13 and four minutes remaining on the clock, the Hawks were given their biggest chance to get back in the game. Cornerback Joel Paasch intercepted the ball at the Hawks’ goal line, and returned it all the way back to the Vipers’ 40. The Hawks proceeded to get into the red zone, but with 1:06 left on the clock, a Vipers interception put the game away.

“The Vipers started out firing on all cylinders. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead really early but it didn’t bother us like it has in past games. We made them play our game from that point on, and we started to wear them down,” said Ensley. “After we made the score 20-13, we had all the hope in the world that we could shock not just the Vipers, but the entire league. It was a very hard fought game, but we came up just short in the end.”

Added head coach David Lange, “I thought we started the game a little flat footed, but we were able to pick it up. We played a heck of a game for the last three quarters, and our guys put it all on the line, it just didn’t work out for us in the end. The guys on our team have really come together more than ever the last couple of weeks, and it is really showing by how we are playing. This week, we play for home field advantage in the post-season. That is where our minds will be for the entire week.”

For details on the Hawks game this weekend in Detroit against the Motor City Jaguars, be sure to follow the West Michigan Hawks on Facebook!

Posted in Featured, SportsComments (0)

Meet the Hawks: Austin Garza


By Shae Brophy

Meet #32, linebacker/tight end Austin Garza. The youngest member of the West Michigan Hawks, at 18 years old, Garza has played an essential role with the team. While playing football in high school, Austin also ran track and power-lifted. He was selected to be in the all star game for football during his senior year. It has been very obvious that there was no gap between his playing time, as he went straight from the high school gridiron onto the semi-pro stage.

Originally from Grant, Garza enjoys restoring cars and tractors, hunting and fishing, and hanging out with his friends and teammates. His idols include (former Detroit Lions running back) Barry Sanders, (former Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis, and (current Green Bay Packers linebacker) Clay Matthews.

To this point on the season, Garza has shown the tendancy to be in the right place at the right time to make important tackles, as well as showing some versatility by taking some reps at the tight end position.

“I wanted to join the Hawks because it was a chance to play football at the next level,” said Garza. “It sounded like fun to join a team that has just become established.”

Owner/head coach David Lange added: “Austin has a love of this game, no doubt about it! He is an amazing athlete, and is strong as an ox. He doesn’t let size intimidate him. He gives every play 110 percent and I can’t ask for more than that. He is a huge asset to this team!”

The Hawks will be making the journey to Detroit this weekend to take on the Motor City Jaguars to close out the regular season. With a victory in this game, the Hawks will earn home field advantage in the Crossroads Tournament. You are welcome to join the team as they travel to enemy territory. We would love to see you there!

Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations for the West Michigan Hawks.

Posted in SportsComments (0)

Human Health and Insect Surveys


OUT-Nature-niche-Swamp-milkweed-monarchSome people might wonder why the Monarch butterfly is currently proposed for Federal Endangered Species status. Monarch numbers have declined significantly during this new millennium and there are several contributing factors. One concern is the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMO crops have been genetically altered to be herbicide resistant so more chemicals can be used on crops, allowing higher yield to support our growing human population.

It is difficult for farmers to purchase seeds that are not genetically modified. The increased use of chemicals in farm fields has eliminated many of the milkweeds that Monarch butterflies require to successfully migrate from Mexico to Michigan.

Lincoln Brower conducted studies in the 1960’s to gain understanding about how Monarchs acquire chemicals from milkweeds that protect them from bird predators. Milkweeds developed chemical protections through natural selection that protected them from most insects trying to feed on them. Most insects cannot feed on milkweeds because of the plant’s poisons. Monarchs, milkweeds bugs, milkweed longhorned beetles and some others have developed the ability to feed on the plant and have developed ways to isolate the poisons without being killed.

Brower fed Monarchs to blue jays and the birds became ill, vomited, and had an irregular heartbeat. The birds learned to not eat Monarchs or other orange insects.

Later other scientists studied cardiac glucocides ingested by monarch’s from the milkweeds to learn how they affect the heart. It was discovered that if a person has an irregular heartbeat, the chemical could be used to help correct the heartbeat. After learning its medical value, the chemical has been manufactured in the laboratory and used to save human lives.

If monarchs were allowed to become extinct before the study, we might never have made the life saving discovery. Many, if not most, medicines first come from studying plants, fungi, and other organisms to understand their role in nature niches. Scientists do not just throw chemicals together and test them to see how they might be useful. They look to the natural world.

Butterfly and other insect surveys conducted by citizen scientists aid in monitoring the abundance and distribution of insects. Similar surveys for birds, mammals, and plants help us understand trends for various species populations. Most species have not been studied for their value to humans. The value of many has been lost to extinction and will never reveal their life saving secrets. What if the chemical in milkweeds and Monarchs was lost before the life saving use was discovered?

The recent local butterfly survey conducted by citizens like you has value for fun and learning about local nature niche relationships. It also is important in tracking population changes. The information can be used to preserve species that save human lives. Some people require a known human use before they are willing to support saving a species from extinction. It is impossible to know the value of each species. It is estimated that between five and fifteen million species live on Earth and possibly 30 million. We have named about 1.5 million so far and, for most of those, we know little about their value for us.

Insects that live in your yard might be human life saving organisms provided we do not eliminate them with pesticide and herbicide use. You have life saving control that is important for future generations. If we eliminate species, their value disappears with them. Encourage people to live in harmony with nature rather than trying to dominate it.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net, or mail Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. 616-696-1753.

Posted in Featured, Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments (0)

Volunteers needed for state park workdays


Residents are invited to get outdoors this summer and join the effort to restore high-quality, unique ecosystems at several Michigan state parks. The Department of Natural Resources today announced the August schedule of DNR volunteer stewardship activities at state parks throughout southwest and southeast Michigan.

Volunteers will pull invasive, non-native weeds from prairies and remove invasive, non-native shrubs like glossy buckthorn, autumn olive, multi-flora rose and others.

Following is a list of workday dates, locations (counties) and times:

Southwest Michigan

Saturday, Aug. 1: Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday Aug. 2: Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry), 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 8: Muskegon State Park (Muskegon), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 9: Grand Mere State Park (Berrien), 1-4 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 16: Ludington State Park (Mason), 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 22: Ionia State Recreation Area (Ionia), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 23: Warren Woods State Park (Berrien), 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 30: Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan), 1-4 p.m.

Southeast Michigan

Saturday, Aug. 1: Highland Recreation Area (Oakland), 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 8: Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland), 9 a.m.-noon

Sunday, Aug. 9: Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 15: Belle Isle Park (Wayne), 9 a.m.-noon

Sunday, Aug. 16: Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 22: Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 23: Highland Recreation Area (Oakland), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29: Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.


For more detail on the DNR volunteer steward activities, including meeting locations and activity descriptions, please visit www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and click on the link for the Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.
Volunteers should bring work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work (including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes). For spotted knapweed pulling, long sleeves also are recommended, as some people are sensitive to the plant. All volunteers are asked to register using the form available on the DNR website or via email.
For more on southwest Michigan workdays, contact Heidi Frei at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov.

For more information about southeast Michigan workdays, contact Laurel Malvitz-Draper at 517-719-2285 or malvitzl@michigan.gov.

On stewardship workdays, volunteers can enter Michigan state parks without a Recreation Passport.

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Weekly Fishing Tip


A technique for targeting muskellunge in hot weather


OUT-WeeklyFishingTipIn the thick of summer, it can be hard to encourage muskellunge into taking your lure or bait. Already a wary predator, this “fish of 10,000 casts” is very particular and often retreats to deeper water during this time of year. But there is a technique you can implement that will, on occasion, produce outstanding catch results.The idea is to use a large rod, at least eight feet in length, with quite a bit of line and to cast as far as you possibly can. Use the length of the cast to engage in an aggressive retrieve that gives your lure/bait bursts of energy and then slowing the speed every 10 feet or so.
Be patient as you use this technique for an extended period of time, and be encouraged if you obtain several “follows” as a result (those who avidly seek out muskellunge will know what that means!).

Want even more advice for targeting this unique sportfish? Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and then click on Fishing, and then Michigan Fish and How to Catch them, and then Muskellunge.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.  


Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

Coverage of recently adopted service agreement left out a few vital details

The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.


Dear Editor,

If it’s true that “any town’s history is only as good as its local newspaper,” then that newspaper has the responsibility to be totally neutral, complete and factual in its reporting. Coverage of a recently adopted service agreement between the City and the Red Flannel Festival left out a few vital details that could negatively impact taxpayers.

Potential legal ramifications to the City:

1. References to a prior agreement in the document have not being properly identified,

2. City services that will be provided have not been clearly specified,

3. No cost containment provisions for what the city could be required to spend for future festivals are included, 

4. The terms of nullifying the agreement are nearly impossible to meet and possibly unenforceable,

5. The Council ignored legal council’s concerns about these issues,

6. The Council ignored the Manager’s recommendations to follow legal council’s advice.


1. The City was forced to remove all Red Flannel logos by the Festival Board,

2. The cost to taxpayers for this dispute has been thousands of dollars,

3. The former Council had no choice but to create an individual and unique logo for the city to use on its vehicles, letterhead, etc.

4. Use of the Red Flannel Festival’s logo benefits and promotes one nonprofit over other local nonprofits,

5. It is not the city’s job to provide “long term sustainability” for festivals, rather, it is the Chamber of Commerce’s job to promote the city and all of its businesses.

The last local election vividly demonstrated the electorate’s lack of awareness of the true story surrounding the logo, the ousting of good public servants and the personal agenda mindset of the current council. Cedar Springs is more than a logo and with several new businesses coming to town we are moving forward. Just because a person challenges the actions of the RFF doesn’t mean they hate our red flannel history but that is the divisive message that has been promoted the last few years; it needs to stop!  Congratulations to Councilor Perry Hopkins for voting against the service agreement.  It takes a strong person to do the right thing in the face of such irresponsible behavior.

Kathryn A. Bremmer, City of Cedar Springs

Posted in Post ScriptsComments (0)

All the veil reveals: A choice without compromise


By Katrina Marks, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Katrina Marks, of Kent City wrote this account of her time in Zanzibar teaching Muslim children, as a volunteer for America’s Unofficial Ambassadors program. She is a 2012 graduate of West Catholic High School, and a current student at Villanova University.

“It’s not your culture.”

“Oh, girls, you look beautiful!”

“It’s too hot for that, there’s no need.”

“Are you fasting?”

“You’ve become a regular Arab woman!”

“Don’t do that.”

I leave the apartment in the early morning, my computer bag slung over my shoulder, lifting my skirt to avoid the puddles on the pavement. My hijab shifts in the breeze blowing down the alley. I rearrange it clumsily, self conscious of the shopkeepers watching me. It’s the first day I’ve worn the scarf. The canons on the harbor fired three hours earlier, signaling to all of Stone Town that the holy month of Ramadan has officially begun.

Having never visited a Muslim culture before, I am extremely aware of all I do not know—and that’s pretty much everything. Of course, I prepared before I came, researching the rules and recommendations, talking to friends with previous experiences, looking up hijab instructions on Youtube. They all say that wearing the hijab during Ramadan is a gesture of respect for the culture. It’s not something all or even most of the tourists do, but for foreign female residents who are diving into a lifestyle inscribed by Muslim practices, it’s a way of communicating that connection. So I hear.

For more info on America’s Unofficial Ambassador’s program, visit http://unofficialambassadors.com,

But the complexities of Islam and the culture centered on it are not things you can Google. And, as I have discovered, the experiences of one American abroad are rarely if ever consistent with general advice.

In the first few weeks of my stay, before Ramadan, I saw the various tourists wandering through town. Some wear shorts and tank tops, others loose pants and t-shirts. The majority of them make an effort, covering knees and shoulders. Only a few wear veils, and when they do they wear them loosely draped over the back of the head. Passing these few, although I’ve done the reading and understand the purpose, I can’t help but think they look out of place. As far as I can tell, locals are used to the variety. They understand that tourists are largely clueless, new to the place and there for only a short while. They don’t expect veiling of mzungus. And for the life of me I can’t tell what they think of those that do.

As my Youtube tutorials have demonstrated, there is a fashionable component to the hijab. There are thousands of styles to choose from, millions of patterns and shapes and colors of scarves. Like other pieces of clothing, the veil can express the personality of the person. But it is not a fashion statement. You do not put on a headscarf like you put on a headband or a bandana. The choice is complicated, specific to each culture in each place, and it weaves through many facets of life: religion, social structures, gender roles, culture, safety—the list goes on. Too often, I think, travelers see it as exotic, a new trend to try out. That thinking trivializes the gravity of the choice, and comes off as insensitive to those who wear it intentionally.

However, I am not here as only a tourist. I am, at least temporarily, a resident getting to know the local life. And so I am expected to respect the culture of that life. I want to respect the culture of that life. I’m just not sure what the best way is to do that.

I am caught in a place with no clear answer and no neutral ground. If I wear the hijab, people may find me respectful, may tell me that I look beautiful and they are happy I have come to Zanzibar during Ramadan. But they may also find me insensitive, disrespectful of the religious nature of the choice. They may even assume that I have converted to Islam, and take even deeper offence when they learn that is not true. At the same time, if I do not wear the hijab, I resign myself to being seen as a tourist only.

People may accept me for what I am—a clueless foreigner—and act as friendly toward me as always. Or they may recognize me as a resident, and question why I deliberately do not change. Whatever choice I make, I offend half the population.

So, I try to find a balance.

I wear the scarf to work, where my coworkers are all Muslim women. They compliment me, clearly happy with my choice. They say I am beautiful and wish me Ramadan kareem. I feel accepted here, and no longer fear offending these people. But on the walk home I get mixed reactions. Some people look twice, squint their eyes and remain silent. Others greet me with larger smiles than usual. Another woman, a stranger, tells me I look beautiful. In the evening, when I wear it to dinner, I get more odd looks from both locals and foreigners. There are fewer smiles in the places where people expect tourists, where people probably assume I am a tourist.

So I split my day, wearing it in the morning and removing it in the evening. The change itself risks being disrespectful, as people who see me at both times probably find me more insincere than ever. But it is a balance I can keep.

My local friends, most Christians, offer me the most criticism. They explain that people don’t expect it of me, that they know it’s not my religion, not my culture.

I know it’s not my culture. But it’s the culture I’m in.

It’s the culture I want to know better.

Posted in Voices and ViewsComments (0)