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Deputy pulls driver from burning car

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron (Skip) Kimbrough

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron (Skip) Kimbrough

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron (Skip) Kimbrough was stuck in the southbound traffic backup on US131, just south of West River Drive on Tuesday, June 21, about 8:25 a.m., when another driver pulled up next to him and told him about a serious car crash 10-15 car lengths behind him. Deputy Kimbrough then turned his patrol car around and went in search of the crash.

He soon located the scene. A vehicle had struck the back of a small pickup truck , and the truck was on fire. The female driver was pinned in and unconscious. The other driver was able to exit her vehicle on her own and was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Three other motorists exited their vehicles and assisted the deputy by smashing the driver’s door window out. They pulled the driver out through the driver’s door window and laid her on the pavement away from the car.

Both vehicles were quickly engulfed in flames until the Plainfield Fire Department extinguished the fire.

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KDL hires new Director of Branch Services & Operations

Lindsey Dorfman is the new Director of Branch Services & Operations for KDL.

Lindsey Dorfman is the new Director of Branch Services & Operations for KDL.

Kent District Library has announced the selection of Lindsey Dorfman to serve as the new Director of Branch Services & Operations. Dorfman will oversee the happenings at all 18 KDL branches.

Dorfman has worked in libraries for over 18 years. Her first library job was as a student reference assistant at Western Michigan University’s Waldo Library. She has also worked as the Manager of Youth Services at the Forest Park Public Library just outside Chicago, as the Director of Youth Services at the Lisle Library District in the Chicagoland suburbs, and as Director of the Allegan District Library in West Michigan. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Western Michigan University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State University.

“My top professional priority is to establish and ensure outstanding and meaningful library services through innovative programing, authentic interactions and engaging customer service, said Dorfman. “I am excited to use my energy and expertise to help KDL enhance lives and transform communities by connecting people to the library services they need and value!”

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries. KDL serves nearly 400,000 residents of 27 governmental units, comprising most of Kent County, Michigan. KDL is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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Social Security sends out incorrect Medicare letter 

LANSING, Mich. – Michiganders who recently received a letter incorrectly saying their Medicare Part B premiums would no longer be subsidized need not worry about reductions in their Social Security checks due to this error.

A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services technical system error caused the Social Security Administration to erroneously send the letter to about 12,000 seniors and people with disabilities around the state who receive Medicare. They are among nearly 250,000 people in Michigan enrolled in the Medicare Savings Program, which helps pay Medicare premiums, coinsurance and deductibles.

“We want to make sure that people who received the incorrect letter understand that they won’t see a reduction in their Social Security checks because of this error,” said Chris Priest, deputy director of Medical Services for MDHHS. “We quickly corrected the mistake before any checks went out and are working now with our federal partners. MDHHS understands the worries that this faulty information caused seniors and other residents. We apologize for the confusion caused by the system error.”

MDHHS has implemented a technical correction and submitted updated information to the federal government. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working with the Social Security Administration to update the information. MDHHS is closely monitoring the situation and working to ensure Social Security checks are correct.

In addition to the 12,000 incorrect notices, about 3,000 people who are no longer eligible for the Medicare Savings Program were sent notices stating that they will no longer receive that benefit. These are notices MDHHS sends to anyone who is no longer eligible due to losing Medicaid eligibility or because changes in income or assets made them ineligible for the Medicare Savings Program. These individuals would have received a notice from both Social Security Administration and MDHHS. Individuals who incorrectly received notices would have been notified by the Social Security Administration only.

The Social Security Administration will be sending corrected notices to Medicare recipients affected by the error. There is no need for these individuals to take any action. Anyone who has questions can contact their MDHHS caseworker.

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MacGregor to hold office hours

State Senator Peter MacGregor will be holding office hours on Wednesday, June 29th from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

“I will be available to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have,” said MacGregor. “Office hours are a one-on-one meeting with constituents, and in order to see as many people as possible please keep the conversation to ten to fifteen minutes. If your question requires additional time, please contact my office to set up an appointment.”

For more information or to contact my office, please visit SenatorPeterMacGregor.com or call 1-855-347-8028.

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25C--obit-nielsenAlger James Nielsen, 91, of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Mr. Nielsen was born November 12, 1924 in Maple Valley Township, Michigan, the son of Carl and Belva (White) Nielsen. He graduated from Maple Valley Township High School in 1942 and Central Michigan University in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II. Mr. Nielsen was a high school teacher and respected coach at Ashley Public Schools from 1949 – 1956 and Cedar Springs Public Schools from 1956 – 1984. “Coach” wintered in Alamo, Texas (Rio Grande Valley) for 30 years. He was a member of St. Clara Catholic Church, was a devoted family man, and had a love of all sports. He married June Krebs in 1947 and she preceded him in death in 1999. Surviving are his wife Nancy (Kehoe) whom he married in 2001; children, James (Victoria) Nielsen, Peggy (Gary) Hansen, Suzy (Gary) Levy, Debby (James) Gingrich, Ellie (Ric, dec’d) Bohms, Richard (Mary Ellen) Nielsen, Lori (Kevin) Goodyke, Patrick (Tresa) Nielsen; 29 grandchildren: 21 great-grandchildren; siblings, Agnes Skorka, Belva Stout, Margaret Krebs, and John (Jean) Nielsen. He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Marilyn Dunn in 1971; siblings, Lloyd Nielsen, Kenneth Nielsen, Frieda Kaiser, and Carl Nielsen. The family will greet friends Friday from 4-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where a Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 pm with community sharing to follow. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday 10:30 am at Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment with military honors at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sand Lake. Memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs Education Foundation.

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

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25C--obit-clarkFCJack L. Clark, 90, of Solon Township died Thursday, June 16, 2016 in the presence of his family. Jack was born August 30, 1925 in Cedar Springs, Michigan, the son of Lyle and Cora (Smith) Clark. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1943 and MSU in 1950. He was a veteran of the Army Air Corp 8th Division, serving during World War II. He was in banking for 36 years, working for the Cedar Springs State Bank, Union Bank and NBD. He was a member of the Cedar Springs Rotary Club, having perfect attendance for 59 years and was a Paul Harris Fellow + 8. He was a member of the Cedar Springs Community Players, Cedar Springs Education Foundation, Red Flannel Acres Treasurer, Solon Township Board for 37 years, serving as Supervisor and Trustee. He was honored to be the 1992 Red Flannel Parade Grand Marshall and the Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1986 and recognized as a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation. He enjoyed bowling and golfing and was in a weekly bowling league for over 60 years. Jack was an active member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church for many years and recently worshipped with the East Nelson United Methodist congregation. His greatest passion was spending time with his wife and family. Surviving are his wife, Marjorie (Woodworth) whom he married on June 21, 1946; children, Marilyn Higley, Nancy (COL RET Tom) Noreen, Dr. Mark (Sue) Clark, Barbara (Gene) Waller; grandchildren, Megan (CPT Brian) Szczepanek, Kate (Dr. Jeff) Brakenhoff, Krista (Dr. Eli) Horn, Andrea Edrington, Amy (Adam) Hutchinson, Dr. Karen Noreen, CPT Sarah (Ben) Smith, CPT Janet (Russell) Scott, LT Peter Noreen; great-grandchildren, Emily, Connor and Chloe Szczepanek, Taylor and Trey Brakenhoff, Caleb, Kai, and Asa Horn, Brody Edrington, Melanie Hutchinson, Evelyn and Noah Scott; sister-in-law, Olivemae Woodworth. He was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, David Woodworth. The family greeted friends Tuesday, June 21 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Wednesday at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastors Steve Lindeman and Herb VanderBilt officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cedar Springs or East Nelson United Methodist Churches, the Cedar Springs Education Foundation or the Cedar Springs Rotary Foundation.

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

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25C--obit-DavisKathleen Marie Davis, 96, died peacefully Monday evening, June 20, 2016 at Green Acres Retirement Living. Kathleen was born in Cedar Springs, Michigan on October 6, 1919. She was active in 4-H for nine years, and graduated from Cedar Springs High School. Following high school, she graduated with a home economics degree from Michigan State College (University) and taught high school home economics in Onekama, Michigan. Kathleen married Alan G. Davis on November 23, 1944. After finishing the school year, she joined Alan in Port Townsend, Washington, where he was stationed at Fort Warden. After the war was over, they moved back to Lansing, Michigan, and eventually moved to Greenville where Kathleen has lived ever since. In Greenville, she was known as Kay and was very involved in the community throughout her life. She taught Bishop-method sewing in the Greenville Community Education Program, volunteered as a Gray Lady at United Memorial Hospital, led Girl Scout troops for many years, and was involved in the PTA and other school activities. As a member of Greenville First United Methodist Church, she was a regular in the Homemakers group, the United Methodist Women, and the choir. Kay loved to sew and do special projects for family and friends. She looked forward to the annual church holiday bazaar and the room that she and her friends filled with hand-made goods. Their room became quite popular. She also had a booth one summer at the Danish Festival, filled with unique stuffed animals and other hand-made treasures. Kay especially loved to cook. Her cookies, pies, bread, and holiday candy became her trademark. It would be hard to estimate how many tasty treats came out of her kitchen, but there was always a smell in the air of fresh baked cookies or loaves of bread. Kathleen has touched many lives over the years and will be remembered for her cheerful spirit, hard work, positive attitude, and kindness. She loved helping others and was selfless with her time and talents. She lived by a few simple words: “A great day ending and a new day beginning.” She will be missed. Kathleen is survived by her two daughters, Karen Davis of New Boston, New Hampshire and Denise (Craig) Whitlow of Cary, North Carolina. She leaves a granddaughter, Dyan (Derek Underhill) Whitlow Underhill of Minot, North Dakota; two great-grandchildren, Davis Underhill and Mae Underhill; and a niece, Jean Benjamin and nephews, Fay Benjamin and Dan Davis, all of Cedar Springs. Her husband, Alan Davis, and her brother, Warren Benjamin, predeceased her. A funeral service in celebration of her life and faith will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Greenville First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Don Spachman officiating. Interment will be in East Nelson Cemetery, with a luncheon to follow at East Nelson United Methodist Church. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville. Memorial contributions may be given to Greenville First United Methodist Church or East Nelson United Methodist Church, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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25C--obit-sickmillerFCRev. D. Robert Sickmiller, 97, went to be with His Lord on Thursday, June 16, 2016. He was born February 5, 1919 in Williams Center, Ohio, the son of Elmer and Nettie (Stoll) Sickmiller. Bob enlisted in the US Marines in 1940, serving six years in the Pacific Theater and Guadalcanal. His life was forever changed when he became a Christian at the age of 28 and prepared for the ministry at Greenville College in Illinois, attending through the GI Bill. In 1949, he married Marilyn Maxine DeVoll, and together they spent 57 years in the ministry, serving 40 years at Pilgrim Bible Church in Cedar Springs, Michigan. During this time, he started a K12 Christian school, instituted an annual family camp, hosted a radio program on WFUR, and began a mission program in Haiti. He was an excellent speaker, continuing his ministry even after retirement in 1998. He preached his last sermon at the age of 92. Bob was an outstanding shortstop on his college baseball team and was an avid Buckeye. He loved music; he taught himself to chord on an old pump organ, sang in a college male quartet, and directed the church choir, often writing the programs. He was a people person. He could strike up a conversation with anyone of any age, often turning the conversation to spiritual matters. He was a mentor and encourager to many young preachers. Bob was a magnet for children and young people loved to talk sports with him and listen to his war stories. He dearly loved his wife and daughters, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of his life. They will always remember his famous treasure hunts with the rhyming clues, the Snickers in his pockets, and spellbinding stories. He was preceded in death by his five brothers and daughter Becky. He is survived by his beloved wife Marilyn Maxine; daughters Robbie (Don) Coxon, Cheryl (Glenn) Hemrick; grandchildren Cara (Jamey) Gremillion, Kevin (Elizabeth) Coxon, Ona and Gina Hemrick; great-grandchildren Cameron, Cade, Kelcie and Karis Gremillion, Macy and Declan Coxon; sister Betty Sharp; brother-in-law Gene (Linda) DeVoll, sister in law Mary Belle DeVoll; and several nieces and nephews. Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Funeral services were conducted on Monday at the Pilgrim Bible Church. Pastors Mike Shiery and James Durr officiating. Visitation was held Sunday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Burial took place in Elmwood Cemetery. The family wishes to express special thanks to Jessica, his wonderful hospice nurse. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice and Palliative Care.

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

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PTSD: Not Just a Veteran’s Illness

HEA-PTSD-despairBy Mary Kuhlman, The Michigan News Connection

LANSING, Mich. Almost 25 million people in the United States are living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the support group PTSD United. That includes thousands of Michiganders who have suffered a traumatic event, from crimes or natural disasters to events surrounding military service.

The diagnosis is only part of seeking help, said Dr. Matthew Friedman, senior adviser at the Veterans Administration’s National Center for PTSD.

“On the one hand, there are resilient people who meet the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD, but they can cope with the symptoms,” he said. “Then, there are other people for whom PTSD is completely debilitating.”

Friedman said treatment has advanced to include cognitive behavior therapy and medication that can help people work through their illness. While it’s normal to experience stress after a traumatic event, Friedman said you should seek professional help if it lasts longer than three months, disrupts home or work life, or you find yourself reliving the event frequently and experiencing flashbacks.

“We really want people to recognize that they’ve got PTSD and, if they’re not sure, they should see a professional who can help them sort that out—and if they do, then we have treatments that work,” he said. “People who think they have PTSD, or their loved one has PTSD, should seek treatment.”

The annual cost of anxiety disorders to society is estimated to be significantly more than $42 billion, often due to misdiagnosis and undertreatment. This includes the costs of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medical treatment and prescription drugs, plus indirect workplace costs and mortality costs.

More information is online at ptsd.va.gov.

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State confirms case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever 

Residents reminded to protect against all tick-borne illness 

LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed a case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in a child in Cass County. This is the first confirmed case of RMSF contracted in Michigan since 2009.

RMSF is a tick-borne disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people. Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A characteristic rash may develop a few days later. The rash typically consists of small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots on the wrists, forearms, and ankles that spreads to include the trunk, and sometimes the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. However, some people never develop the rash, or the rash may have an atypical appearance.

“Like all tick-borne illnesses, the best way to protect yourself against Rocky Mountain spotted fever is to prevent tick bites,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the MDHHS. “Let your doctor know right away if you develop signs of illness such as fever, rash, or body aches in the days after a tick bite or potential exposure. Early detection and treatment are essential to preventing serious health complications.”

RMSF can be challenging to diagnose because it can mimic other common diseases. Early treatment is essential to preventing serious complications, including death. If RMSF if suspected, the antibiotic doxycycline is the first line treatment for both adults and children, and should be initiated immediately.

There are a number of ticks in the United States that can transmit RMSF including the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, which is the most common tick encountered in Michigan. Other ticks that transmit the disease outside of Michigan are the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, and the brown dog tick, Rhipecephalus sanguineus.

Residents can protect themselves by using the following tips to prevent tick bites:

• Avoiding tick-infested areas. This is especially important in the spring and summer in Michigan. If you are in tick infested areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges. Dogs and cats can come into contact with ticks outdoors and bring them into the home, so using tick prevention products on pets is recommended.

• Using insect repellent. Apply repellent containing DEET (20-30 percent) or Picaridin on exposed skin. You can also treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Permethrin can also be used on tents and some RMSF Michigan Case camping gear. Do not use permethrin directly on skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying any repellents.

• Bathing or showering. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Ticks can get a ride indoors on your clothes. After being outdoors, dry clothing should be tumble-dried in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. The clothes should be warm and completely dry when finished.

• Performing daily tick checks. Always check for ticks on yourself and your animals after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Inspect all body surfaces carefully, and remove attached ticks with tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.

For more information about RMSF, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/index.html. Additional tips on tick bite prevention can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html.

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