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Make traffic safety a priority for Memorial Day Weekend 

Michigan State Police make a traffic stop. Photo courtesy of MSP.

As Michiganders take to the roads to get to their Memorial Day weekend destination, Michigan State Police troopers will be on patrol to encourage safe and responsible driving.

Again this year, MSP troopers are joining their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts (C.A.R.E.) to promote traffic safety during this busy travel period.

“Our troopers will be on patrol as part of Operation C.A.R.E. and the statewide Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization throughout the holiday weekend,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “In addition to looking for safety belt and child restraint violations, troopers will pay special attention to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs or are driving in a reckless and unsafe manner.”

Last year, there were five fatal traffic crashes that resulted in six deaths over the Memorial Day weekend.

Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police, and is one of the nation’s longest-running traffic safety initiatives. It focuses on deterring the three main causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.

State police and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Quebec Police Force and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be participating in this lifesaving traffic safety initiative. Beginning this year, Operation C.A.R.E. includes participation from police agencies affiliated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as well.

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BETTY MAGUIRE

 

Betty Jane (Orr) Maguire of Cedar Springs, Michigan, (formerly of Coral, Michigan), age 94, passed away on Saturday, May 20, 2017. She was born to Patrick and Isabel (Visner) Byrne on December 31, 1922. Betty retired from Lear Siegler Corporation after working there for 30 years. She was a member of the Tri County Eagles Aeire 4467. Betty is survived by her children Victoria Lee and Carroll Matulis; step children Pauline (Fred) TenEyck and Mark Maguire; grandchildren Victor (Terri) Matulis, and other grandchildren by marriage; many great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her late husbands Victor Orr and Frank Maguire; and several brothers and sisters. There was a time of visitation on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The Mass of Christian Burial for Betty was held on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 17 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Fr. Lam Le presided. In Lieu of flowers, those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy may make a memorial contribution to Emmanuel Hospice, 2161 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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DONALD W. REED, SR.

 

Donald W. Reed, Sr. age 88, of Sparta, passed away peacefully at his home, on Thursday, May 18, 2017 with family at his side. He served his country during Korea, in the U.S. Army. He was a life member of the Sparta American Legion Post 107, which he served as president, service officer, commander, sergeant at arms, as well as served in the color guard. Don was a founding member of the Sparta Hunting and Fishing Club, where he served as president, was a lifetime board member, and was the master chef for the turkey shoots. He was one of the Dirty Dingus gang members and was honored in 2014 to be the Grand Marshal of the Sparta Town and Country Parade. He was a coach, trail boss, friend, dad and husband. He loved snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, camping, traveling, racing, music, being with family and friends, and going to the casino with his wife, Barb. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 35 years, Artha A. Reed; brother, Richard “Dick” and Joan Reed; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Tobey, and Donald Davis. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Barbara J. Reed; his children, Cynthia Reed, Vicki and Chuck Myers, Jacalyn Barbour, Robin Moore, Brenda and Joe Nichols, Donald “Buck” Reed, John and Ana Endres, Janice Reed; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Jeanette Tobey; in laws, Lynn and Joyce Lewis, Gerri and Ron Urbanski, Jill Davis, Alan and Winnie Spencer; his best friend and hunting buddy, Robert “Bob” Anderson; many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank God, prayer, the medical teams, Heartland Hospice, and all the friends and family who helped us through this journey. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 23, 12:00 p.m. at the Sparta United Methodist Church with Rev. Lou Grettenberger officiating. Military Honors by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Sparta Hunting and Fishing Club, in which he took special pride.

Arrangements by Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home, Sparta

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ALICE “KAY” HALLOCK

 

Alice “Kay” Hallock, age 74, of Cedar Springs passed away unexpectedly Friday, May 19, 2017. Alice was born February 15, 1943 in Comstock Park, Michigan to Stephen and Alice (McKrill) Burns. She is survived by her loving husband of 48 years Phil; children, David Korreck, Christine (Leland) Mullennix, Timothy John Korreck, Holly (Daniel) Metzger, and Mandy Menefee; grandchildren, Joshua Korreck, Trisha Dart, Jeffrey Alverson, Jamie Taylor, and Morgen Menefee; great-grandchildren, Joshua Jr., Hezekiah, Kora, and Zola who is coming soon; sisters, Bernice Schneider, Barbara Skelonc, and Janet (Paul) Harris; and brother Dan (Nancy) Burns. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Bertha Kent and Ruth Middleton; brothers, Stephen, Frank, and Robert Burns; and grandson Eric Mullennix. The family greeted friends Tuesday, May 23, at Bliss-Witters and Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Funeral service was Wednesday, May 24, at the funeral home with a gathering one hour prior to service, Fr. Lam Le, officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association or to American Heart Association.

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

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VERTA E. GIDDINGS

 

Verta E. Giddings, 92 of Sand Lake, was called home by her Lord on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at her home. Mrs. Giddings was born September 27, 1924 in Traverse City, Michigan the daughter of Alva and Laura (McDonald) Kibbe. She was the Pastor for over 60 years at the Church of the Full Gospel, Sand Lake. She was a gifted teacher and had a heart for reaching children through J O Y Club and VBS. Sister Verta was a great listener and was considered a mother to many. Surviving are her children, Beth (Peter) Lenau, John (Michelle) Giddings, Gary (Lela) Giddings; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jonas Rex in 1999; brother, Don Kibbe; sisters, Ruth Shutts, Wava Robinson, and Vera McLeod. The family greeted friends Sunday, May 21st at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Monday, May 22nd. Ministers Dann Clock and Phil Wainright officiating. Interment Sand Lake Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Gideons International or the Church of the Full Gospel.

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

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The Ascension is our Exaltation

Father Lam T. Le 

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Roman Missal, The Collect of the Mass of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ).

On this Solemnity of the Ascension we give thanks to God for the Ascension of Christ is our exaltation! Why is the Ascension our exaltation? St. Augustine has a wonderful explanation:  in the incarnation, the Son of God assumed our humanity so that he could die on the Cross to be in solidarity with the human family who, as a consequence of sin, suffers death. He triumphantly rose from the dead to give us hope and 40 days later returned to God the Father. Jesus brought the human flesh representing our humanity into the mystery of God, something that did not exist prior to the incarnation. God gains nothing from this, but we gain so much. In other words, in the Ascension, we give glory to God because Jesus brought humanity into God. Salvation is not only the forgiveness of sins but brings us into the very mystery of God and the fullness of life.

To truly be the people who believe that the Ascension of the Lord is our Exaltation, one must proclaim this good news of salvation to all men and women. We cannot keep our mouths shut regarding such great news! Jesus has saved the human family not only from sin and death, but has given us the gift of eternal life. We in turn, join the Apostles to be Jesus’ “witnesses to the ends of the earth.” Let’s begin that witness at our dining room tables with our friends and relatives and share the joy that Christ’s Ascension is our exaltation. Let everything that we do and say reflect the fact that we are the children of the heavenly kingdom because the Ascension of Christ is our exaltation.

Thanks be to God for our salvation in Christ.  Amen.

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State record broken by same angler nearly nine years later

Roy Beasley of Madison Heights has the distinction of holding two state records for the same species of fish, first in 2008 and again in 2017. Here he is with his recent record-setting bigmouth buffalo catch from the River Raisin in Monroe County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed a new state-record fish for bigmouth buffalo. This marks the first state-record fish caught in 2017—and it was caught by an angler who held the previous state record for bigmouth buffalo from 2008.

The new record fish was caught by Roy Beasley of Madison Heights, Michigan, in the River Raisin (Monroe County) Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m. Beasley was bowfishing. The fish weighed 27 pounds and measured 35.25 inches.

The record was verified by Todd Wills, a DNR fisheries research manager on Lake St. Clair.

Beasley held the previous state-record bigmouth buffalo—this one caught on the Detroit River—from August 2008. That fish weighed 24.74 pounds and measured 34.50 inches.

“More and more people are enjoying the sport of bowfishing and recognizing the thrill it can offer those who pursue it,” said Sara Thomas, the DNR’s Lake Erie Management Unit manager. “The river system in Southeast Michigan offers ample opportunity to catch rather large fish. A huge congrats to Mr. Beasley for having broken this record twice.”

The DNR reminds anglers who bowfish to properly dispose of all specimens they harvest.

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

To view a current list of Michigan state fish records, visit michigan.gov/staterecordfish.

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DNR creel clerks to collect angler information 

Anglers may encounter DNR creel clerks, as pictured here, this summer at certain Great Lakes ports and inland waterbodies. These individuals may ask you a few questions about your fishing effort that day and potentially collect data on the fish you caught.

As this year’s open-water fishing season gets under way, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that Fisheries Division personnel are at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports collecting fishing data from anglers.

DNR creel clerks will be stationed at boat launches and piers around the state asking anglers questions as they return from fishing trips. Information will be requested on trip length, target species and number and type of fish caught. In some cases, creel clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and to take scale or other body parts for aging. These data are key information in the DNR’s management of the state’s fisheries resource.

“The DNR appreciates anglers’ cooperation with these interviews, and it will only take a couple of minutes to answer the questions,” said DNR fisheries biologist Tracy Kolb. “This program helps us gather information that is critical in managing the state’s fisheries and is used in every aspect of our management efforts.”

These efforts are part of the DNR’s Statewide Angler Survey Program, a long-term monitoring program that tracks recreational fisheries and harvest across Michigan’s waters. This is one of the most comprehensive angler survey programs in the country, with DNR creel clerks interviewing upwards of 50,000 anglers in most years.

Information about where creel clerks are stationed and the data they collect is available online. Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on fishing, then fishing in Michigan, then under tools for going fishing in Michigan, click on creel clerks.

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Migration Stopover

 

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

White-throated sparrow Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. Photo By Cephas, Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15086427

White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows stopover on their way to northern breeding grounds. If you have feeders in your yard, expect these interestingly marked sparrows to feed on the ground. They salvage seeds that fall when Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches and others get seeds from the feeder. Mourning Doves will also be feeding on the ground.

The White-throated Sparrow has a beautiful distinctive song people describe with words to help remember it. It sings “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” or our friends to the north like to describe it as “My Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.” It is a refreshing sound to enjoy for a few weeks as the birds work their way to Canada and northern Michigan breeding grounds. Google the species by name to get pictures and song.

Look for the white throat under the bill. The breast is gray with some streaking so its white throat stands out well. Between the eye and bill is a bright yellow patch. It is easy to miss if one does not look closely. When light is bright, the yellow patch shows best but in shade it is subdued. Above the eye and behind the yellow patch are white or tan stripes between darker stripes that run the length of the head. Attention to head details is helpful for identifying many sparrows.

Some might think “a sparrow is a sparrow” but attention to details reveals a beauty missed by those that do not take a few moments for a close look. House Sparrows are common in town, on farms, and in area of heavy human use like grocery store parking lots. The White-throated is not likely to be found in grocery parking lots but your yard can be a good stopover location. Do not assume all are House Sparrows.

White-crowned Sparrows superficially look similar to White-throated Sparrows but head details separate them. I saw both species together recently. The White-crowned is slightly smaller but that is a difficult character to recognize when the species are not together. The White-crowned has a plain gray throat and cheek below the eye and bill. The breast is a plain gray with no streaking like that present on the White-throated. On the head are alternating white and black stripes running from front to back. The stripes are more brilliant than those on the White-throated. No yellow is present at the base of the bill.

Young birds from last year’s brood can make identification difficult because alternating light stripes are tan instead of white and the dark ones are rusty brown instead of black. Don’t get frustrated with variations. Concentrate on the typical.

About 10 species of sparrows can be expected in or near our neighborhoods in spring. Those present will be associated with unique nature niche requirements. The two-species described like shrubby areas with some conifer trees nearby. I find the White-crowned Sparrow in more open areas than the White-throated. Sparrow recognition can be difficult but these two separate easily when one looks at head details.

Familiarize yourself with the natural world we share with a multitude of life. Start with the two stopover sparrows and then learn the Song Sparrow, Field Sparrow, and Chipping Sparrow that stay for the summer to raise young. Be a good neighbor by providing suitable nesting and feeding habitat where you live. Though sparrows are often considered seedeaters, they depend on insects especially during young rearing. Avoid sterilizing your yard and garden with pesticides. Allow life.

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

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Hill to play basketball at Grace Bible next year

Cedar Springs Red Hawk senior Thomas Hill signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Grace Bible College next year. Thomas is pictured with his mom, Latrice Russell, and Grace Bible College Coach and Athletic Director, Gary Bailey.

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