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REX MORRIS

C-mem-Morris

January 16, 1931 – February 22, 2010

It’s been seven years since you’ve left.

Sadly missed along life’s way.

Quietly remembered every day.

Your loving family

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MARY S. WELCH

C-mem-Welch-copy

October 21, 1930 – January 30, 2009

In loving memory of our mother and grandmother who passed away eight years ago.

We will always remember the happiness you brought to our lives.

Mike, Sarah, and Terry, Jane and Nick, Jenna, Brian, Luke, Jake and Molly

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60th Anniversary

C-60th-anniversary-Campbell

 Bill and Pat  Campbell

Happy 60th wedding anniversary to Bill and Pat Campbell, of Big Rapids! Bill and Pat were married, on February 23, 1957 in Lepanto, Arkansas, and later moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Pat’s family had relocated. The couple lived in various areas around northern Kent County, including Sparta, and later moved to Big Rapids. They are an inspiration and have shown their family what true love looks like! They have three children, Judy (Steve) Reed, Tracey (Jeff) Price, and Steve (Kathy) Campbell; several grandchildren, Rachel (Josh) Hunt; Jessica (Joe) Williams, Steven Reed, Crystal Hunter, Holly Hunter, Donald Hunter, Sabrina Campbell, Emma Campbell, and Justin Campbell; and great-grandchildren Atlas Hunt, Landon Prater, Christian Prestridge, Caleb Prestridge, Amelia Hunter, and another baby Hunt expected soon! We all love you, and have a wonderful 60th anniversary!

Your family

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ELIZABETH R. KEMP

Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp

Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp

Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp, 86 of Cedar Springs, formerly of Kent City passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Wellspring Lutheran Services, Fairview. Betty was born August 19, 1930 in West Branch, Michigan the eldest of four children born to Harry and Enid (Merritt) Kenyon. Betty married Arthur “Dick” Kemp on October 21, 1950 who survives. Their marriage was blessed with six children, David (Martha) Kemp of Fenton, Tom (Denise) Kemp of Luzerne, Bob (Kristine) Kemp of Phoenix, Arizona, Jerry’s widow, Christine Kemp of Grant, Barbara Reed of Bristol, Wisconsin, Donna (Gary) Kagel of Greenville, South Carolina; 29 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren with two more on the way; brothers, H. Richard (Geri) Kenyon, Charlie (Ann) Kenyon; sister, Sally (Tom) Horton. She was preceded in death by her parents, son, Jerry; son-in-law, John Reed; grandson, Vaughn; and great-grandson, Derek. Cremation has taken place. The family will greet friends Saturday from 2:00 pm until time of memorial service at 3:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor David Kemp officiating. Interment in the spring at Idlewild Cemetery. Memorials to Victory World Missions International Ministries.  Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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LOIS KATHLEEN BLANDING

Lois Kathleen Blanding

Lois Kathleen Blanding

Lois Kathleen Blanding, age 97 of Cedar Springs, passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community, Rockford. Mrs. Blanding was born September 3, 1919 in Columbia City, Indiana the daughter of Neil and Blanche (Briggs) Estlick. She attended the International College of Business in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She unselfishly donated much of her time for the benefit of a great many individuals. She received the Certificate of Merit Award in 1989 from the Cedar Springs Rotary Club for her outstanding service to the community. She was a devout Christian and actively involved in the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, including, Vice President of Missions, Secretary for the United Methodist Women, and teaching Sunday School. Lois married Orval Riley Secor and he preceded her on December 3, 1953. She married Kenneth Blanding on December 16, 1960 and he passed away on July 3, 1996. She was also preceded in death by a son Dennis Secor in 2009, brother, Robert Estlick; sister, Dorothy Wiltrout. Surviving are her children, David (Jenny) Secor, Douglas (Lois) Secor, Keith (Terese) Blanding, Karl (Ruth) Blanding; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. The family received friends Tuesday, February 21st at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Wednesday at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment in Palestine Cemetery, Palestine, Indiana. Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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What’s “bugging” you in our streams?: Volunteers needed for insect monitoring

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, May 6 at the Rockford Community Cabin.

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, May 6 at the Rockford Community Cabin.

In many cases we think bugs are a nuisance, but bugs in a stream can be very useful.  Stream insects are a good measure of water quality.  Unlike fish, stream insects cannot move around much so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality. Stream insects can also be easily identified.

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin – 220 North Monroe Street in Rockford. Volunteers will be assigned to a monitoring group with a team leader. Each group will collect and identify insects from different stream sites in the Rogue River watershed. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

What will you need?  Please RSVP to Jamie Vaughan at jvaughan@tu.org or 312-391-4760 if you would like to attend.  Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.  Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions. Children under 16 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.

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Volunteers needed for frog and toad survey

Fowler’s toad is one of the species in decline in Michigan.

Fowler’s toad is one of the species in decline in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers throughout the state to assist with its annual frog and toad survey.
Declining populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection.

Michigan’s annual survey efforts help biologists monitor frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

“Fowler’s toads and mink frogs have a limited range in Michigan, unlike most other species that occur statewide,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s frog and toad survey coordinator. “Over the past 20 years, through analyzing the survey data collected, we’ve noticed a decline in these two species in Michigan.”

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites. These sites are visited three times during spring, when frogs and toads are actively breeding. Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.

Sargent said new volunteers are needed in all parts of the state, and the continued success of the survey is dependent on strong volunteer support. Those interested in volunteering should contact Lori Sargent at 517-284-6216 or SargentL@michigan.gov.

Michigan has the second-longest-running such survey in the country, after Wisconsin.

More information on the frog and toad survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available at mi.gov/wildlife

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Long-shadowed forest speaks silently

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

The groundhog saw his shadow if he woke from hibernation in 34-degrees fahrenheit temperatures. Instead, I expect it continued its chilly winter’s sleep with a body temperature of about 40F. Unconscious to the world above, it does not even wake to poop. Instead it remains in a shadow free subterranean cavity feeding on its plump body’s stored fat.

Cold mid-teen temperatures swept in from the northwest as high pressure brought dense air and clear skies during the night in early February.

The following day remained cloudless and sunny. The late afternoon beauty was too compelling to resist. Unlike the groundhog, I was conscious and drawn to venture into the big woods.

Wild Turkeys left trails with a center toe drag mark between steps. Two side toes glided over the four-inch deep snow without touching. The fourth, rear toe, did not leave a trace except when placed on the ground. Within the track imprint was a gray shadow protected from direct sunlight by the day’s late low-angled light. The un-shadowed snow surface glistened white from the falling sun in the western sky.

The cold following the recent snow kept it fresh, light, and unconsolidated. Wind could move it crystal by crystal. It was not cold enough for the snow to squeak under my footsteps. Instead the lowering sun on the horizon was making trees tell me they were taller than they are. By casting their long silent shadows great distances on a clean white snow palate, trees boasted a tall stature that did not exist.

Turkeys and trees were not the only painters marking the palate. A fox walked nearly straight lines with diversions to investigate brushy areas where cottontail rabbits sought shelter. Deer mice left four footprints and a tail drag mark on the fluffy snow surface. The fox was not fooled into wasting energy following mice tracks that would not provide a meal.

The mouse traveled about 150 feet before its light weight and tiny tracks that barely penetrated the snow surface disappeared through a small hole in the snow near a tree trunk. In a few places, it appeared a minor earthquake broke the flat snow surface and raised the ground cover leaving one long crack with several radiating fissures to the sides. I was unable to decipher what had moved beneath the snow to leave its silent telltale mark.

Fallen trees provide short shadows from horizontal trunks. Squirrels bounded between standing tree trunks to prostrate logs where tracks disappeared at one end and reappeared at the far end. Rabbit tracks looked much like squirrel tracks but circumvented logs to stay on the ground. They went around erect trees unlike squirrel tracks that disappeared at the base of standing trees.

Squirrel leaf nests high in trees blocked sun passage and showed dark balled shadows among the intricate gray branch shadows cast to the ground. Though it was quiet, the long shadowed forest was speaking loudly of its inhabitants.

I returned to my comfortable nest with a west-facing window to put pen to paper as the sun filtered light through pine trees during the last moments of day. Birds had quit feeding at feeders and darkness of night would soon replace the long shadowed forest with an even blackness. In a couple weeks, a full moon will cast shadows during the night when I will be compelled to take a night hike in a same yet different long-shadowed forest. Lighted by moon instead of sun, it will be a different world. Perhaps then I will hear the audible hoots of the Great Horned Owl.

For now, pine branch shadows lighted from behind by the setting sun cast shadows on my face to remind me I am a part of the pine’s nature niche.

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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Cedar Springs Cheer are OK White champions!

The Varsity Cheer team after winning the OK White conference title last week.

The Varsity Cheer team after winning the OK White conference title last week.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Competitive Cheer team has been District Champs. They have even been Regional Champs. But the closest they have ever been to Conference champs is second place—until last week. The Lady Red Hawks left it all on the mat last Wednesday, February 8, at Northview High School and walked away as OK White conference champs—their first conference title in school history. Way to go! They head to Districts this weekend at Kenowa Hills High School. For more on their win, click here.

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New left turn signals at 17 Mile and White Creek

 

This photo shows a new left-hand turn signal for westbound traffic at 17 Mile and White Creek. There is also a signal on the other side for eastbound traffic turning left. Photo by J. Reed.

This photo shows a new left-hand turn signal for westbound traffic at 17 Mile and White Creek. There is also a signal on the other side for eastbound traffic turning left. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Kent County recently installed two new traffic signals at White Creek and 17 Mile Road that will hopefully cut down on crashes in that intersection. Drivers that travel eastbound on 17 Mile and wish to turn left (north) on White Creek and those traveling westbound who wish to turn left (south) on White Creek now have a left-hand turn signal to help time their turn.

“Our Traffic and Safety Division had received a number of concerns regarding the intersection and had been monitoring the location,” explained Maura Lamoreaux, communications spokesman for the Kent County Road Commission. “Integral to the decision to install the signal was data that included the types of crashes occurring and the volume of traffic at the intersection, particularly the volume of eastbound left turns coupled with the lack of gaps in opposing westbound traffic.”

Lamoreaux said that the most recent 24-hour count showed approximately 19,000 vehicles travel through that intersection every day.

People might also be happy to know that another busy intersection in the area will get a stop and go signal later this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation will put in the signal at M-57 (14 Mile) and Myers Lake Avenue. “The traffic signal study showed significant delays on Myers Lake Rd, high enough traffic volumes, and a lack of gaps in the M-57 traffic stream,” explained John Richard, with MDOT. He said the signal will be installed sometime in their 2017 fiscal year, which means by or before September 30, 2017.

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