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Solon township residents

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who poured countless hours into the victory at the polls on August 6, 2019, some on foot and some on the phone.

In addition to that, I would like to thank the people who cared enough to be informed of the truth and took the time to vote in an off-year election. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the truth and misinformation printed in advertising, but the truth prevailed.

Again, a special thank you to all the folks for their time, talents and money that were poured into the truth.

Thank you, R.L. Ellick, Solon Township Supervisor

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Blood Drive at Spectrum Health United Hospital August 20

One hour spent donating could save three lives. 

Greenville, Mich., Aug. 13, 2019 – Community members are welcome at a blood drive Tuesday, August 20 at Spectrum Health United Hospital. The blood drive is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Spectrum Health United Hospital conference center.  

Spectrum Health continues its partnership with Michigan Blood as their primary source of blood products in treating and saving patients’ lives. The entire donation process takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes and includes registration, a brief health screening, blood collection and time for post-donation refreshments. Each blood donation can save up to three lives.

Appointments are preferred and encouraged, but walk-ins are also accepted. To schedule an appointment, call Michigan Blood at 866.MIBLOOD (642.5663) or schedule online at Versiti.org/Michigan.

Three out of four people will need blood someday, yet only three out of every 100 people donate blood. Michigan Blood, also known as Versiti, are blood health innovators who serve Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Recently, there was a blood shortage and Michigan Blood encourages those who can, to donate. 

For donors unable to attend the blood drive August 20, Michigan Blood will be at Spectrum Health United Hospital on October 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additional information on donating lifesaving blood is also available at https://www.versiti.org/michigan. 

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Law enforcement encourages safe driving this Labor Day holiday

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign begins Aug. 14

During the 2019 Labor Day holiday weekend, police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are encouraging motorists to celebrate the end of summer safely and make smart driving decisions. Law enforcement will continue to show zero tolerance for drunk and drugged driving during the three-week enforcement period August 14-September 2. Increased messaging about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with increased enforcement on the roads, aim to drastically reduce serious injuries and deaths caused by impaired driving.

 “Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to enjoy the last days of summer,” said Michael Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning director.  “As always, officers will make zero exceptions for impaired driving. There are no excuses. Driving a vehicle while impaired is dangerous.”

Throughout the end of the summer Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period, officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Michigan has what is commonly referred to as a zero-tolerance drugged driving law.

In Michigan, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was approximately 11 times higher than fatalities in all crashes and the serious injury level was about six times higher. During last year’s Labor Day holiday, there were 12 fatal crashes, with six crashes involving alcohol.

On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, etc.

A new impaired driving ad is airing in August. It focuses on the role of first responders and what they see when responding to a crash with an impaired driver. A link can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V64xF3viMWE.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.

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Future son-in-law

Once there was a millionaire who collected live alligators. He kept them in the pool in back of his mansion. The millionaire also had a beautiful daughter who was single.
One day he decided to throw a huge party, and during the party he announced, “My dear guests, I have a proposition to every man here. I will give one million dollars or my daughter to the man who can swim across this pool full of alligators and emerge unharmed!”
As soon as he finished his last word, there was the sound of a large SPLASH! There was one guy in the pool swimming as fast as he could go. The crowd cheered him on as he kept stroking. Finally, he made it to the other side unharmed.
The millionaire was impressed. He said, “My boy, that was incredible! Fantastic! I didn’t think it could be done! Well I must keep my end of the bargain…which do you want, my daughter or the one million dollars?” 

“Listen,” said the man, “I don’t want your money! And I don’t want your daughter! I want the name of the person who pushed me in!”

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Tips for parents of children with disabilities

These things will help them to succeed in school

By Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president, Respectability.org

 As someone with a disability myself, and who also knows what it means to parent a child with multiple disabilities, I’ve become an advocate for my children on so many fronts, including their education. After all, when it comes to disability and inclusion, despite good intentions, many schools don’t even know what they don’t know. Also, only 61% of students with disabilities get a high school degree — so it is up to people with disabilities, and their loved ones, to educate and advocate for disability inclusion and success. This is especially true when enabling children with disabilities to have full access to education. While today on average only 1-in-3 working age adults with a disability have a job, studies show that 70% of young people with disabilities can get jobs and careers. But we have to do our part. Here are some tips I’ve used in the past that may be helpful to you:

1. Know you are not alone. 

Fully 1-in-5 Americans has a disability. While parenting a child with differences feels lonely at times, seek out other families with similar experiences. Peers can offer good advice, and may become your new best friends. They reside in your local community and online.

2. Research which schools in your area have real experience and success working with children with disabilities. 

While all public schools are required to accommodate students with disabilities, some schools may have magnet programs specifically for your child’s educational needs. In other cases, you may want to resist when your school district wants to bus your child across town to a school for other kids with disabilities, when accommodations can be easily made at his or her neighborhood school.

Call your local disability groups to see what resources and leads they can offer. Ask other parents of children with disabilities about their experiences with different schools.

Go online to look at the school’s website. Does it say they welcome and serve people with disabilities?

3. Write an “all about how to succeed with my child” letter. 

Yes, you should also prepare a file with your child’s Individualize Education Plan (IEP), including suggestions for success from any speech, physical, occupational, mental health or other therapists that works with your child. But don’t expect all teachers to be knowledgeable enough to understand some of the technical material. Your letter should be easy to read.

Provide a toolkit for working with your child. Put things into simple language with bullets of information that the school needs to know to make your child’s experience safe and successful.

Remember, as a parent, you have unique insights about your child that can help your child’s teacher understand his/her strengths and needs. Your candor, experience and advice will be much appreciated. Depending on the age of your child, you may want your child to help write the memo.

4. Request a meeting with your child’s teacher and team. 

Yes, everyone is busy. However, if you miss out on having a real substantive conversation, you may create a situation that turns your child off to school and learning.

Additionally, it is not enough to meet with the school principal. You need to sit face-to-face with teacher who will be in the classroom with your child, as well as the school leaders who support that teacher. If appropriate, bring your child’s therapists. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to bring them to this meeting.

Before the meeting, you should send your memo about your child to all the meeting participants. Bring copies of it to the meeting as well, and have your “elevator pitch” about your child ready to go. You may want to practice it in front of someone who can offer constructive criticism. It is important to get your points across quickly so they can ask questions. Teachers will really appreciate your efforts, resources and transparency.

Once the teachers learn about your child, the school may want to put an extra aid in the classroom to support your child’s needs. Alternatively, they may want to match your child with a different teacher who is more experienced. If so, do your “elevator pitch” and Q&A with that teacher as well. The school may benefit from having your child’s occupational or physical therapist meet with them, or join the class for a day, to give the teacher some tips.

5. Ask the teacher and team about their preferred method of communication.

Mutual respect and trust are important to all relationships. This includes the relationship you want to cultivate with your child’s teacher. That’s why it’s important to find out which method of communication suits them the best. Many prefer emails.

6. Be fully transparent with your child’s team.

If your child has tantrums, be sure the staff understands what causes the tantrums, and how to prevent them. If your child needs notification before a transition, or has a tick or expression that they use to indicate he or she is anxious, the team needs to know, so they can best serve your child. This is not the time to worry about privacy – you need to focus on safety and success.

7. Be upbeat. Teachers want proactive parents.

A positive relationship with your child’s teacher will help your child feel good about school. Before you hit “send,” look over emails, making sure they’re respectful of the teacher’s time and also of their efforts to help your child. It’s great for you to ask questions and make suggestions as long as your message conveys your trust that the teacher is performing her job ethically, responsibly and to the best of their ability. You want to be their partner. Remember that a teacher is a person first. Send thank you notes, volunteer, let them know when your child really enjoyed a particular lesson, and try to be considerate of their schedule; teachers have families too.

8. Share your enthusiasm for learning with your child.

Talk with your child about they will be learning during the year, and why it is important to you. Let your child know that you have confidence in their ability to master the content, and that you believe it will be a positive part of their life. Reinforce the natural progression of the learning process that occurs over the school year. Learning skills take time and repetition. Encourage your child to be patient, attentive, and positive.

9. Slow down and take the time to do it right.

Transitions are often difficult for children with disabilities. There will be a few bumps in the road. Your child will have a successful year at school in spite of difficulties. As we move into the first few weeks of school, stay calm and positive. Remember to take care of yourself. Know your limitations, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make sure your child has enough sleep, plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school.

10. Familiarize yourself with the other professionals.

Make an effort to find out who it is in the school who can be a resource for you and your child. Learn their roles and how best to access their help if you need them. This can include the principal, cleaning and kitchen crew, front office personnel and others who may work with kids with disabilities on a daily basis.

11. Reinforce your child’s ability to cope.

Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own, but encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if problems persist. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.

12. Help your child make at least one real friend there.

Arrange play dates. Try to arrange get-togethers with some of your child’s classmates during the first weeks of school to help your child establish positive social relationships with peers. Go to holiday events with other children and help facilitate actual friendships for your child. Parents of other children both with and without disabilities who are friends with your child can become your new best friends as well.

13. Listen to Your Child’s Feelings.

When your child shows any anxiety about going back to school, the worst thing you can do is brush it off with a “don’t worry about it” response. Listen and be responsive to your own child and empower them to advocate for themselves as well. Show them your love. Sometimes you need to take a little step back in order to move forward.

14. Enjoy their childhood.

It goes way too fast!

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments (0)

Achieving Product/Market Fit For Your Small Business

AFor any startup to succeed, achieving product/market fit is among the most vital of goals. But verifying that your product meets a strong market need and can stand up to competitors is not an exact science, nor does it typically happen in one grand a-ha moment. Likewise, building momentum in a market requires patience and comes with no guarantees as customers’ needs, regulatory landscapes, and competitive pressures change over time.

Consider that your business will only succeed if it adds real value for the user. In this case ‘value’ means that businesses or individuals will understand they need or want it enough to pay you a price that will give you profit and success. Start by understanding your target market’s need and then whether you will be a better solution than your competition.

Despite the uncertainty and risk you face when starting a business, there are some actions you can take to increase your success in accomplishing product/market fit:

Do your homework to understand your customers’ current needs and anticipate what they’ll need in the future. Research your target demographic by spending time with prospective customers, read industry blogs and print publications, attend industry tradeshows and webinars, and seek out a professional in your industry who might serve as a mentor to you as you develop your products and services. 

Focus on one primary and critical value proposition. It’s impossible to be all things to all customers. By homing in on what’s most important to your target customers, analyzing significant trends in your industry, and identifying where competitors are falling short in solving customers’ problems, you can deliver value out of the gate. If you’re solving a pain point for your customers from the start, they will be more patient in waiting for you to add other features and options.

Listen. Learn. Adapt.

Have a business plan, but be open to change as you listen to feedback and ideas from your early customers. Learn from what they’re telling you can improve your products or services. And be prepared to adapt your systems and processes to make your business more viable and sustainable.  

Good planning and research will pay off in money/costs avoided and a far better marketing strategy and tactics that will resound in your customers’ minds. It is not ‘how’ you bring your product or service but rather what the benefits are in the language the customer understands. 

Further advice on doing business with your new small business is available from SCORE, a nonprofit association offering a wealth of information resources, training, and free counseling designed to help entrepreneurs nationwide build productive, profitable businesses. 

A SCORE Counselor can serve as a sounding board and will provide valuable unbiased feedback on how to improve things. The SCORE Counselor can also look at the business from the perspective of a bank or other investor, and raise questions you may have overlooked.

All SCORE counseling is offered as a free and confidential community service. There are 30 counselors in the Grand Rapids office of SCORE. Call 616-771-0305 for an appointment with a knowledgeable counselor or e-mail us at score@grandrapids.org.  

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Nonno’s Homestyle Italian & Pizzeria

If you are yearning to try a new Italian restaurant, check out Nonno’s Homestyle Italian & Pizzeria, located at 4025 17 Mile Rd, in the strip mall next to Tractor Supply. Owners Roberto and Courtney LaFranca opened the restaurant earlier this summer, in the spaces formerly occupied by Riccardi’s and a hair salon.

Nonno’s is family-owned and operated, and all of their recipes have been passed down through the generations. They serve homestyle Sicilian/Italian food and pizza. All of their sauces, dough, meatballs, and a variety of entrees are house-made from scratch using old family recipes.

Roberto’s family came here from Sicily, and many of their recipes came from his parents and grandparents. Roberto and Courtney said they have been in the restaurant business over 20 years. 

“We and our children live in the community and all work to make our restaurant a family-friendly place to enjoy delicious meals from our family to yours,” they said. 

In the future, they may apply to purchase a tavern license to serve beer and wine with their delicious pizza and pasta.

Nonno’s is open Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for inside dining, and until 10 p.m. for take out. They are open Friday/Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for inside dining, and until 11 p.m. for take out. On Sunday they are open from 11 a.m. to 8 .m. for inside dining, and until 9 p.m. for take out. They are closed on Monday. 

You can find their menu on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NonnosHomestyleItalian/. Call them at 696-0999 for more information.

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Mid and late summer flowers

RBy Ranger Steve Mueller

The progression of flower blooms advances faster than I can keep record or even identify. Grasses and sedges bloom with cryptic flowers. Many are fairly easy to identify but it takes practice. I should have taken a course to become more proficient. Biodiversity is massive and more than any one person can master. 

I recently presented study results on the moths and butterflies of the Bryce Canyon Ecosystem – Utah at the U of California Davis campus for scientists from around the world. I identified myself as “competently incompetent.” Scientists focus their life’s work on a narrow group of species to become competent with details of anatomy, physiology, DNA/RNA, and ecology of a particular group. 

College professors encouraged me to focus work on a small group if I hoped to make significant scientific contributions and become employable. I remained focused on broad spectrum biodiversity. It was beneficial for the career I selected as a nature center naturalist. I was able to assist visitors with discovery of species and ecological niches for most taxonomic groups. I did not become proficient with any one group, including plants. 

As spring burst upon us, many showy flowers captured our attention and enthusiasm. We became anxious to spend time outdoors in refreshingly warm weather. Some collect spring morels, others seeks edible leaves, flowers, and fruits, while many focus enjoyment on the pageant of beauty. Early summer flowers replace spring’s large flowers with smaller yet still showy flowers. 

We become engrossed in yard maintenance, summer family activities, and focus drifts away from the plants living in our yards. We could become enthralled with the insects that visit flowers for nectar. Any one plant has a cadre of insects that visit for preferred nectar. Predatory insects and spiders take residence among flowers where they wait for a meal to come to them. Some insects and predators focus lives among the vegetation. 

Ecological niche adaptations require a narrow focus of activities for survival and reproduction. Set a portable stool by early summer flowers to see what insects utilize particular plants. Some have strict use behaviors for a species or plant family while others will visit a variety of blooms. By observing areas with several species blooming, one can note different insects associated with plants. Adult insects are often generalists when seeking nectar but are specific when selecting host plants for egg laying and young development.

Some flowers have a shape that limits access to particular insects and it enhances pollination success. When insects visit many species of plants, they spread the incorrect pollen to the pistil and ovary. Plants with structures that require a specific insect increases reproductive success. Massive flowering increases success.

Flower timing is seasonal and so are attending insect species. Relax near early summer flowers to see what insects visit. Do the same with late summer flowers and insects. You will notice some insects are present during both flowering periods and some are restricted to one or the other. 

Some flowers attract a broad variety of pollinators. Many ornamental garden flowers have been bred for beautiful appearance but have lost the ability to serve insect pollinators. Use of native plants helps preserve local biodiversity. Another advantage for using native plants in gardens is it will save money. They have adaptations to local climate and require less watering, fertilizer, and pesticides. Chemicals reduce biodiversity.

Late summer blooms replace mid-summer blooms and different beautiful insects grace our yards. You might not recognize insects by name but that is not important. Enjoy their variety along with the variety of flowers. If you are like me, many flowers evade identification but that does not stop us enjoying them.

I have been seeing about 15 species of butterflies daily as mid and late summer flowers bloom at Ody Brook. Enhancing biodiversity for native plants enhances insect, bird, mammal and other organism survival.

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 49319of  or call 616-696-1753.

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Man dies after hit and run crash

Derrick Powers

A Sand Lake man died last weekend of injuries he received during a  hit and run crash Thursday evening, August 8.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, Troopers responded to a report on Thursday, August 8, abut 11:22 p.m., of an unresponsive male who was severely injured and lying in a ditch on Youngman Rd. near Roy Dr. in Eureka Township, in Montcalm County.

The man was identified as Derrick Powers, 27, of Sand Lake. He was transported to United Memorial Hospital in Greenville, and then was airlifted to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, with severe injuries. He died on Saturday, August 10.

Police said the man appears to have been struck by a northbound motor vehicle that fled the scene. A passerby found the man and contacted 911. Based on the victim’s injuries, police said it appeared that he may have been struck by an SUV or pickup truck. 

According to the Greenville Daily News, police identified and interviewed two suspects. The hit and run remains under investigation.  

The Greenville Department of Public Safety, Montcalm County EMS, Aero Med, and Montcalm County Central Dispatch assisted state Police at the scene.

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

theTable at The Springs Church

Aug. 15,22,29: Meals are served every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Springs Church on the corner of Oak and Grant. All are welcome to theTable to enjoy this meal that is being shared with us! #tfn

Celebrate Recovery

Aug. 15,22,29: City Impact, 288 N. Main St. will be holding meetings every Thursday to Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, habits or hangups of any kind. 6-6:30 pm – Meet & Greet, 6:30-8pm Celebrate Recovery. For more information call 616-843-2438. #tfn

Keeler Brass Reunion

Aug. 20: The Keeler Brass Reunion will be held on Tuesday, August 20th at 11 am at the Resurrection Lutheran Chruch, 180 South 3rd St., Sand Lake. Bring a dish to pass. Contackt Linda at 616-636-5342 for more information. #32,33p

Michigan Blood Drive

Aug. 20: The Michigan Blood Drive will be held on Tuesday, August 20th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church located at 140 S. Main Cedar Springs. The drive is will go from 12:30pm until 7pm. To schedule an appointment visit https://donate.miblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/103965. A member of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club will be grilling hot dogs, passing out chips and drinks after each attempted donation! #33

Senior Lunch at Pine Grove Community Church  

Aug. 21: Senior friends age 60 or more. Don’t get caught short and miss it, Senior Café is at Noon the 21st of August, on the Northwest corner of M-82 and Beech. #33

Senior Fitness Classes

Sept. 10: One out of three older adults fall each year and these falls are the leading cause of emergency department admissions. Falls can be a significant obstacle to healthy aging. There’s good news, too: physical activity has proven to help prevent falls. Senior Neighbors is pleased to be partnering with Cedar Springs Public Schools in offering a new fitness class in Cedar Springs! Open to anyone age 60 or older, these classes will focus on endurance, flexibility, strengthening, balance, and having fun. Classes begin Tuesday, September 10th and will be offered each Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am in the board room at the Cedar Springs Public Schools hilltop building. Come when you can, do what you can do! Pre-registration is not required. These classes are available through the Kent County Senior Millage- donations are accepted, or use your Silver&Fit benefit! Call Julie Lake, Health and Wellness Coordinator at 616-233-0283 for more information. #33-42p

Red Flannel Golf Fundraiser

Sept. 14: The Red Flannel Golf Fundraiser will be held at North Kent Golf Course on Saturday, September 14th with a shotgun start at 9 am. This 18 hole – 4 person scramble is $65 per person ($260 per team). Payment due per foursome at sign up! Includes golf, prizes and lunch. Proceeds go to the Red Flannel Queen Scholarship. Stop in at North Kent Golf Course or call 616-866-2659 to sign up. #33-35b

CSHS Senior All Night Party Golf Outing

Sept. 28: The Cedar Springs Senior Class of 2020 All Night Party Committee would like to invite you to a really fun upcoming event. This will help raise funds to give our graduating seniors a fun, safe night with their classmates to celebrate them finishing their High School career. Gather your friends, family and co-workers and enjoy some fun golf while supporting the class of 2020. “Tee it Up” 4 person golf scramble at North Kent Golf Course. Golf and prizes. $200 per team, lunch included. Fun for all ages. Get your team registered soon. $100 for hole sponsorship. Check out our website for contact info and forms, cs-sanp2020.weebly.com. Look for this event on Facebook or contact: cssanp20@gmail.com for more information. #33,34p

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