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Varsity wrestlers headed to state

Senior heavyweight Patrick Depiazza, who is ranked #2 in the state, wrestled the #1 ranked wrestler in the state, Chase Beard, of Allegan, at regionals last week.

Senior heavyweight Patrick Depiazza, who is ranked #2 in the state, wrestled the #1 ranked wrestler in the state, Chase Beard, of Allegan, at regionals last week.

For the second year in a row, four Cedar Springs Varsity wrestlers are headed to the individual state finals at the Palace at Auburn Hills March 2-4. The four include senior heavyweight Patrick Depiazza, who remains unbeaten at 44-0 and is ranked at #2 in the state; sophomore Ryan Ringler 171 lb, who is 45-1 and ranked #2; senior Jordan Ringler, 135 lbs, 38-8 and ranked #6; and sophomore Lucus Pienton, 145 lbs, 33-8, and ranked #8. To find out more, read the story here.

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Pastor’s leader dog passes away

Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy.

Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy.

By Judy Reed

In early January, we did a story about Pastor Darryl Miller and his leader dog, Rowdy. Miller, who is legally blind, is pastor at both South Ensley United Methodist Church and Sand Lake United Methodist. Rowdy, an 11-year-old black lab who was Miller’s faithful companion and seeing eye dog, needed surgery to fix a fistula—a hole in the roof of his mouth—and the Sand Lake United Methodist women was holding a fundraising event on January 14 to help pay the mounting medical bills. He had already undergone five surgeries, but the hole had not healed due to an infection in his jawbone. Once they discovered it, he was put on antibiotics, and they hoped the next surgery would help the dog to finally heal.

Unfortunately, Rowdy did not survive the surgery, and died on January 30.

“Rowdy had been on heavy duty antibiotics for nearly three months trying to get the infection which had prevented the previous surgeries from being successful under control,” explained Miller. “During the last week before the surgery he had a hard time trying to eat and he got weak. He did not make it through the surgery, and it was probably a blessing, as we discovered that the infection had spread into the skull around his left eye socket.”

Rowdy’s death has been hard on Miller. “Even three weeks later I find myself reaching down beside my chair both at home and at the churches to pet him,” he said. “We were together the last nine years and only were separated for about ten days.”

But he is not the only one who misses him. “It has been truly amazing to see how many lives he touched,” remarked Miller. “From young people who knew him from district youth group eight or nine years ago, to the newest members of our churches. We all miss him a lot.”

The Post asked Miller what his plans for the future were. Since he had relied on Rowdy to help get him where he needed to go, would he get another dog? “At first I didn’t plan to get another dog. It was very hard watching such a close friend struggle for the past eight months,” he explained. “But after a couple weeks, I realized just how much I depended on him and have decided to begin the process to get another leader dog.”

Rowdy was trained at the Leader dog school in Rochester, Michigan—a school founded by the Lions Club, and that’s where Miller will apply for another dog. There is no charge for the guide dog.

Miller is grateful to all those who have supported him during this time. “Thank you so much for all your prayers and donations for my Leader Dog Rowdy. My family and I along with our church families want to thank you for your love and help,” he said.

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Snowmobile races cancelled

This photo shows a previous snowmobile event. From the Michigan Winter Fest Facebook page.

This photo shows a previous snowmobile event. From the Michigan Winter Fest Facebook page.

While many residents are enjoying the warm, spring-like temperatures we have experienced over the last week, some of the area events have suffered. The 2017 Michigan Winter Fest “SNOW” extravaganza, which was to take place on West Street in Cedar Springs last weekend, February 17-18, was cancelled due to the lack of snow. The event, billed as Michigan’s largest snow festival, would’ve included snowmobile sno-cross, cross country, and drag racing. It is the second year in a row the event was cancelled due to weather.

Last weekend was also the DNR’s free ice fishing weekend. However, the ice was thin on most lakes, and there were 9-1-1 calls of ATV’s or people falling through the ice. Please be safe out there and stay off the ice!

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Animal Shelter staff heads to stable for some horse sense 

N-Animal-Shelter1

When you think of the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) you may think of dogs and cats but Animal Control Officers (ACOs) often respond to calls regarding horses. Successful outcomes in these incidents are not possible without proper training. Animal professionals may be working to ascertain the health of multiple animals or they may need to help round up, corral and transport horses that have managed to escape their enclosures. In all cases, the safety of the public, the animal and first responders may hinge on proper training.

Kent County Animal Shelter staff got some training with horses last week. Photos courtesy of the Kent County Health Department.

Kent County Animal Shelter staff got some training with horses last week. Photos courtesy of the Kent County Health Department.

On Thursday February 16, 2017, KCAS staff got the opportunity to expand their skills by working with live horses. Staff learned more about capturing and securing horses and how to make better judgements regarding a horse’s health based on its physical appearance.

Members of the executive committee working to form an Equine Response Team (ERT) also participated in the training. The ERT will be a group of volunteers who are equine professionals in Kent County. The ERT will act as a liaison between KCAS staff and individuals or groups who, for example, may have access to care, boarding facilities or trailers to move horses. KCAS staff can contact the ERT as situations warrant.

“Once the ERT is finalized, it will allow our staff to concentrate on securing a scene,” says Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at the Kent County Animal Shelter. “Animal Control Supervisors and Officers will have the peace of mind that a volunteer is contacting and securing the necessary resources while they take care of more immediate concerns.”

The Kent County Animal Shelter continues to work to finalize the formation of the Equine Response Team and hopes to have all volunteers, resources and procedures established by mid-summer of 2017.

 

 

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Varsity Cheer headed to regionals

The Cedar Springs Varsity Competitive Cheer team is headed to regionals after their fourth place win at districts last weekend.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Competitive Cheer team is headed to regionals after their fourth place win at districts last weekend.

Cedar Springs Varsity competitive cheer team is headed to regionals and one step closer to their goal of making it to the State Finals!

On Saturday, February 18, the team traveled to Kenowa Hills to compete in the District finals.

With sickness hitting the team hard last week, these ladies had to give it all they had and prove their ability to come out on top, even with the odds stacked against them.

Fifteen teams competed for the top four spots and a chance to move on to Regionals.

In Round 1 they earned a score of 217.5, putting them in 6th place. Round 2 gained them an additional 219.46 points, a subtotal score of 436.96 and moving them up to third place. The completion of round 3 earned an additional 291.3, a total score of 728.26, and a fourth place finish securing their spot in regionals.

Mona Shores took first place, followed by Kenowa Hills in second, and Reeths Puffer in third.

Next stop for the Lady Red Hawks will be Saturday, February 25, at 10:00 am to compete in MHSAA Regional Finals at Mona Shores high school.

The top four placing teams at regionals will then move on to the State finals at the Delta Plex on Saturday, March 4.

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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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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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Solon spaghetti dinner raises funds for township park

A spaghetti dinner and dessert auction last weekend raised over $1,000 for Solon Township’s Velzy Park.

A spaghetti dinner and dessert auction last weekend raised over $1,000 for Solon Township’s Velzy Park.

By Vicky Babcock

The mood was warm and festive, the company, in turns, warmly supportive and fiercely competitive. It was a gathering of friends, family and community motivated by a common cause—to eat—and to aid in the culmination of a dream. It was Solon’s second annual spaghetti dinner/dessert auction fundraiser for Velzy Park.

The community came together in support of Velzy Park. With mood music created by Courtney King and tables dressed in Valentine splendor, about 80 area residents sat down to a buffet style supper of spaghetti, garlic bread and salad cooked in house by our own Annette Ellick.

The atmosphere changed when the first desserts were brought out to be auctioned, however.  Friends and neighbors vied for their choices of desserts from the huge array of donated items. It was good-natured rivalry, with some desserts reaching upwards of $50. Many of the desserts were shared table to table and there was plenty left to take home for later. Desserts ruled, but they were not the only choice for bidding as a growler fill and tee shirts donated by David Ringler also shared the auction table.

The event was made possible by the Park Committee, its many volunteers, both in service and donated desserts and other related items. It was a community effort enjoyed by the community.  The event brought in over $1,350 with about $1000 for the park realized after expenses.

The creation of the park will help fill a gap in the Township’s infrastructure. While Long Lake Park—a County Park—is located within its boundaries, Solon has no structured parks of its own. The Township envisions a green area with a soccer field, baseball diamond and playground area, as well as picnic tables and a walking trail. With the North Country Trail planning a route through the park, it will become an important pit stop from the West as it makes its way into Cedar Springs.

Velzy Park is the collective dream of a number of citizens, an area where the community can come together for social events and play, both structured and unstructured. The park will be open to everyone and will not rely on tax dollars. Look for groundbreaking on the trail this spring or summer as the committee continues fundraising efforts. For more information or to donate or volunteer, please call the township office at 616-696-1718.

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Two Red Hawks wrestlers district champs

Head Coach Nick Emery (far left) with the six Cedar Springs wrestlers that will be moving on to Regionals.

Head Coach Nick Emery (far left) with the six Cedar Springs wrestlers that will be moving on to Regionals.

Two others placed second, and two more finished third

On Wednesday, February 8, Cedar Springs High School Wrestling hosted team Districts. Unfortunately, the Red Hawks fell short to Sparta with a final score, 33-38. Heavy Weight Patrick Depiazza, 125 Aaron Smith, 135 lb Jordan Andrus, 140 lb Jordan Ringler, 171 lb Xavier Anderson and 189 lb Ryan Ringler won their matches.

On Saturday, February 11, the Red Hawks traveled to Lowell for Individual Districts. District Champions are Heavy Weight Patrick Depiazza (41-0) and 171 lb Ryan Ringler (42-1). 135 lb Jordan Ringler (36-7) and 145 lb Lucus Pienton (31-7) finished in 2nd Place. 125 lb Aaron Smith (35-11) and 160 lb Nate Patin (25-13) finished in 3rd Place. Congratulations to these six individuals who will continue on to Regionals and the chance to compete at the State Finals.

The following individuals ended their season with Varsity wins as listed: 112 lb Nate Male, 18 wins; 119 lb Logan Hull, 26 wins; 125 lb Patrick Fliearman, 21 wins; 130 Jordan Andrus, 27 wins; 140 Anthony Brew, 14 wins; 140 Jacob Galinis, 24 wins; 152 lb Zak Schmid, 10 wins and 189 lb Chris Shaffer, 13 wins. Regionals will be held at Byron Center, Saturday, Feb. 18 if you would like to continue supporting your Red Hawks.

“The boys put together a memorable season,” said Head Coach Nick Emery.

“We came up just a hair short of our team goals but the heart and effort was there. We graduate two fantastic seniors, Patrick Fliearman and Jordan Andrus, who I will miss in the room everyday. But we will have six regional qualifiers returning. Now it’s time for the remaining wrestlers to focus on the Individual State Championship and bring home some medals.”

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