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Shelter reduces pet adoption fees through Thursday

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If you are thinking about adopting a cat or dog, the Kent County Animal Shelter will have reduced adoption fees from now until Thursday, July 2.

From now until Thursday July 2, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is lowering adoption prices in order to grant more of its pets the opportunity to pursue the American dream of having a home to call their own. People adopting dogs will automatically save $50, and rescuing an adult cat (over four months old) will cost nothing.

“This is a hectic time of the year for us,” says Carly Luttmann, program supervisor at KCAS. “We have many adoptable dogs who have been dropped off and we have been forced to take in additional strays. When you combine that with the fact that people do not normally adopt much this close to the Fourth of July Holiday, the shelter fills up pretty fast.”

Shelters across the country face similar issues in the summer but particularly around the Fourth of July, as many dogs will run away to escape the noise of fireworks. Often those dogs will be taken in as strays, potentially displacing other adoptable dogs.

“This is especially true if those dogs are not properly licensed or do not have a microchip.” said Luttmann. “We cannot stress enough the importance of having your dog licensed and chipped. If your pet does get away from you this is the quickest way to get them back. That means they spend less time here and that opens the doors for the other animals we have to serve.”

Cats are also breeding more actively in the spring and early summer months. “It is not uncommon for people to drop off litter after litter day in and day out this time of year,” said Luttmann.

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Adoption hours are 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-5:30p.m. The shelter is closed on weekends. You can see some of the pets available for adoption online at http://awos.petfinder.com/shelters/kcanimalshelter.html.

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Bear sightings in Algoma, Solon 

This bear, caught on camera in Algoma Township, is one of two bear sightings in the area in the last two weeks. Photo courtesy Luke Tonneberger.

This bear, caught on camera in Algoma Township, is one of two bear sightings in the area in the last two weeks. Photo courtesy Luke Tonneberger.

By Judy Reed

Bear sightings have continued in northern Kent County in the last two weeks.

The most recent sighting reported to the Post was last Saturday, June 20, at 19 Mile and Algoma, in Solon Township.

Russ DeBoer, of Solon Township, said he was traveling north on Algoma about 1:00 p.m. last Saturday, June 20, with his son, Nick, and grandson, Ethan, when a bear crossed the road at Algoma 19 Mile. He said it ran behind Solon Center Wesleyan Church, on Algoma, toward the Solon Fire Department to the west.

“I saw a lot of cars in the church parking lot, so I pulled in, and saw a playground in back, so I went inside and told people. They were having a baby shower, and they had young kids, so I wanted to tell them so the kids didn’t go out on the playground,” he explained.

DeBoer said that he thinks it was a younger bear because it was smaller. “It wasn’t a cub, but it wasn’t full grown,” he said.

The Post called the church to talk about the bear, and while talking with Kathy Mabie, she told us about a parishioner who had also recently caught footage of a bear on his game camera.

Luke Tonneberger, who lives on 13 Mile near the intersection of Algoma, said that they had been gone on Saturday, June 13, and when he came home, he found a note taped to his door that said a neighbor across the street had seen a bear cross his driveway.

“I think the bear headed toward 13 Mile, then went back along my fence, by my house, and by my garden and compost pile,” said Tonneberger. He also has woods behind his house with trail cams.

Friday, June 19, he decided to check his game cameras, and sure enough, there was the bear. “If I was standing there, it couldn’t have been any clearer that it was a bear,” he said.

Tonneberger said that he has seen evidence in the past—6 to 8 years ago—of bears on his property, but nothing recent. “I see pictures on my camera of other wildlife, such as deer, raccoon, skunk, etc., but it’s pretty cool to get pictures of a bear,” he remarked. “It’s pretty exciting.”

The DNR recommends removing birdfeeders and putting garbage cans inside to keep bears from visiting your yard to feed.

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LifeWalk raises over $13,000 for life

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Last Saturday, June 20, was a great day to celebrate life, as Alpha Family Center held its yearly fundraising event, LifeWalk.

“Everyone who walked received a “Walk in Love” T-shirt that relays the message that we care about the unborn babies we are walking for,” said Lorrie Shelton, former Executive Director.

The day began with 18 runners taking part in Alpha’s second annual 5 K LifeRun. Chris Anton, youth pastor at The Springs Church, awarded the trophies and medals to top runners. LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. A crowd of over 174 walkers followed behind the Lifewalk banner for the 2 mile walk down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for our community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. This year the walk route included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center that emphasizes life as precious at all stages.

The walkers returned to the park for a time of refreshment, door prizes, face painting, a clown for kids, and a report that included the total amount raised this year, which was over $13,000. LifeWalk covers a huge portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as they assist over 100 families per month, and give away over 18,000 baby and maternity items per year.  Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, support for abuse, miscarriage, post-abortion and sexual integrity classes.

Teresa Hathaway, LifeWalk Coordinator and new interim Executive Director presented the awards for top walker and coloring contest winners.  Lorrie Shelton was honored as she retires from Alpha after twenty plus years of service. “I have enjoyed being a part of this amazing pro-life ministry and thank the community for all the support throughout the years,” she said.

LifeWalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the 54,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.

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Concerts in park kick off summer

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last Thursday night. Post photo by J. Reed.

Roosevelt Diggs performed at Morley Park last Thursday night. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation kicked off their summer series of concerts at Morley Park last Thursday, June 18, with local band Roosevelt Diggs.

The band’s unique mix of country, folk, bluegrass and blues was a feast for the ears, and it was a beautiful summer evening to sit and relax with friends and family.

There were concessions on site, and free raffle tickets gave concert-goers a chance to win prizes from area businesses.

Check out Roosevelt Diggs on YouTube, or their website rooseveltdigs.com to see where they perform next. Their album “Songs from the Shed” is available on their website or at Amazon.com.

The next concert in the park is July 16 with Don Middlebrook. The Sea Cruisers will perform on August 20. Be sure to bring a lawn chair. Concerts start at 7 p.m.

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Summer reading programs flying high

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Summer readers are off to a great start at the Cedar Springs Public Library! Since the big kick-off day on June 8, where over 800 came to get signed up and get their reading logs, 5 programs have hit their mark, as of Tuesday, June 23, with 203 in attendance! The biggest program was with Master Magician Thomas Plunkard, who pulled out every trick in the book before 139 delighted and mystified Cedar Springs spectators.

They have also hosted a geocaching treasure hunt, a preschool “Nature Dancing” morning with teacher and dancer Kathy Burch, an adult sunrise stretch with Christine Holman of Curves, and a teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament with the Library’s youth services manager Kelly Roach, all within a week and a half. Wednesday programs for families are at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Springs Middle School.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Today (Thursday, June 25) if you hurry, you could catch the teen workshop with Valarie Roach, artist from Kalamazoo, and learn “How to Draw Superheroes” from 1:30 to 3:30pm at the library  or the adult program with author and long-time fraud examiner/police investigator Joe Koenig  from 7-8:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in their fellowship hall.

Check our website: cedarspringslibrary.org for a full listing of our fantastic programs and the generous local businesses and service organizations who bought them for your enjoyment.

We’re looking forward to such programs as a Theater Workshop, Zeemo and his Zany Science show, the John Ball Traveling Zoo, Wolverine Skyhawks Air Show and our very own Sgt. Jason Kelly showing off a local police car, radio, and all those gadgets he carries around on his belt and more.

Read for fun and prizes—all ages from babies to senior citizens. Sign up today, get a card, get a log, get a book. Finish all of your reading coupons and start on the finisher coupons for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a bike or a refurbished Xbox 360.

The Cedar Springs Library is going full speed ahead. Someday, in the near future, they will begin building a new library facility, five times bigger than the one they have now–9,998 sq. ft. They have around $600,000 now, other monies pledged and a goal, with the help of the Community Building Development Team, to build a library that is debt-free.

If you want to help raise an additional $800,000, or if you want to donate, contact the library at 616-696-1910 or the Community Building Development Team at CSCommunityCenter.org.  Meetings for the Library Board are the 4th Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Library, and for the CBDT the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m. on the top floor of the Cedar Springs Schools District Office building (Hilltop).

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Man honored for saving boy’s life

Tpr Tim Cruttenden (Lakeview Post – Investigating Officer), Mr. Drew Trudell (employee of Mr. Hansen’s) Mr. Kenneth Hansen, Mr. Brian Hansen (employee of Mr. Hansen and brother to Kenneth)  and F/Lt Kevin Sweeney (Lakeview Post Commander).

Tpr Tim Cruttenden (Lakeview Post – Investigating Officer), Mr. Drew Trudell (employee of Mr. Hansen’s) Mr. Kenneth Hansen, Mr. Brian Hansen (employee of Mr. Hansen and brother to Kenneth) and F/Lt Kevin Sweeney (Lakeview Post Commander).

On June 3, 2015, the Michigan State Police (MSP) recognized Mr. Kenneth Hansen, of Crystal, with a Distinguished Citizen award for his heroic actions in saving the life of a child during a dog attack.

On May 4, 2015, while working at a construction site in Seville Township, about 5:10 p.m., Mr. Hansen and his work crew heard the screams of a child at a nearby residence.

The child, an 8-year-old boy, went over to visit his step-grandmother. He was familiar with the dogs there, four rottweilers, which were in a fenced in back yard of the residence. As the child walked into the back yard, one dog began barking at him. Another dog knocked the child down and the four dogs attacked him.

It was then that Hansen heard the screams, and saw the four dogs attacking the boy. He jumped over the fence and carried the child to safety inside the house, even with the dogs continuing to bite at the child. The boy suffered 22 bite wounds, and was treated at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and released that evening.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the actions of Mr. Hansen saved the life of this child,” stated F/Lt Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post. “Mr. Hansen knowingly, and without hesitation, put himself in harm’s way to save the life of another.”

The recognition was given to him in front of his work crew, at a job site in Oakfield Township.

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Parents play a big role in keeping teen drivers safe

 

(c) National Safety Council

(c) National Safety Council

(StatePoint) For teens, getting behind a wheel can seem like an exciting taste of freedom. But too much leeway too soon can have dangerous results. Car crashes are the number one killer of teens, and half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school, reports the National Safety Council (NSC).

Luckily, states with a Teen Safe Driving Coalition are helping change the game. The Coalitions — comprised of state and local government, law enforcement, public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia, businesses, teens, parents and crash survivors — were established by NSC and The Allstate Foundation. They have worked at the grassroots level for the last four years to educate parents and teens about the risks of teen driving. Coalitions exist in California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas to offer solutions for parents to help teens be safer.

The results have been effective. Crashes involving 15- to 17- year-old drivers in Coalition states have dropped nearly 34 percent since the Coalitions were established four years ago, whereas non-coalition states have experienced just a 19.5 percent drop, according to NSC analysis of federal fatality data.

The Coalitions’ success is in part because they promote a program that indisputably saves lives. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a proven method of reducing teen drivers’ crash risk by 20 to 40 percent, works by maximizing experience while minimizing common driving risks teens face, such as nighttime driving and carrying teen passengers. This allows new drivers to gain experience with less exposure to high-risk scenarios. All 50 states and D.C. have implemented some form of GDL.

“Beyond legislation, parents have a role to play as well,” says Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives, NSC. “As the number one resource when it comes to teaching teens to drive, parents should stay involved well after teens get their licenses.”

With that in mind, Bernstein is offering some life-saving tips to families with new drivers:

  • Parents should drive with teens regularly even after they receive their license. A minimum of 30 minutes weekly can help ensure that safe driving skills are being employed.
  • Talk with teens about managing distractions, such as phones — both handheld and hands-free — the radio, other young passengers, and even beautiful roadside scenery. When teens are driving, they must stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Mile for mile, 16 and 17 year-old drivers are about three times as likely​ to be involved in a fatal car crash at night than during the day, according to “Injury Prevention,” a peer review journal. Parents should give teens opportunities to learn nighttime driving skills with an adult supervisor in the car.
  • One of the best ways for teens to learn to drive is by example. So practice safe habits always.
  • Visit the Drive it Home site at www.DriveitHome.org for resources, such as weekly driving lessons and the New Driver Deal, a contract which parents and teens can create together that outlines household driving rules and the consequences for breaking them.

“Remember, it’s not whether teens are ‘good kids’ or ‘responsible.’ New drivers share one thing in common — lack of experience,” says Bernstein. “The more practice driving teens get, the better.”

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Two state-record fish caught in West Michigan

White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.



White Perch Record: This 2-pound white perch was caught by Cindy Lou Cordo, of North Muskegon, on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) this spring.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed two new state-record fish for black buffalo and white perch. This marks the second and third state-record fish caught in 2015.

The state record for black buffalo was broken by a fish caught by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon on the Grand River in Ottawa County Sunday, April 12, at 1 a.m. Colegrove was bowfishing. The fish weighed 44.54 pounds and measured 38.50 inches.

The record was verified by Rich O’Neal, a DNR fisheries biologist in Muskegon.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Black Buffalo Record: Sage Colegrove (right) holds on to his new state-record black buffalo, with help from friend Richard Laing (left). The 44.54-pounder was caught on the Grand River in Ottawa County.

The previous state-record black buffalo was caught by Joshua Teunis on Bear Lake (Muskegon County) June 15, 2014. That fish weighed 41.25 pounds and measured 38.25 inches.

The state record for white perch was broken by a fish caught by Cindy Lou Cordo of North Muskegon on Bear Lake in Muskegon County Saturday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. Cordo was baitcasting with a spinner. The fish weighed 2.0 pounds and measured 13.57 inches.

The record again was verified by Rich O’Neal.

The previous state-record white perch was caught by Aaron Slagh on Muskegon Lake (Muskegon County) Jan. 21, 2014. That fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

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.

For more information on fishing in Michigan – including a roster of state-record catches, visit Michigan.gov/fishing.

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Mulching Can Keep Your Lawn Healthy

BLOOM-Mulching

(StatePoint) When working in the yard, you may be tempted to simply bag your yard clippings and set them out to the curb for pick-up. But experts say that mulching grass clippings is a much better alternative for the health of your lawn and the health of the planet.

“Mulching is hands down one of the best ways to maintain a beautiful, low-maintenance lawn,” says Daryn Walters, at Exmark Manufacturing, a manufacturer of turf care equipment. “It’s free and it’s great for lawn health.”

Furthermore, mulching can help you greatly reduce your family’s contribution to landfill waste, points out Walters. Of all the municipal solid waste collected in the United States, 13.5 percent of it is comprised of yard trimmings, according to the EPA.

For best results, try these lawn care tips:

• Practice the 1/3rd Rule: Never cut more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade when mowing, to avoid clippings accumulating on the surface and making your lawn susceptible to disease. Additionally, this will improve the productivity of your mower, as cutting more than that can bog it down with clippings.

• Use a Mulching Mower: Consider investing in a commercial mower to regain productivity that can decrease when mulching. Manufacturers such as Exmark offer mulching-specific blades on both their walk-behind and zero-turn riding mowers, designed to deliver maximum productivity and cut-quality when mulching.

• Ditch the Chemicals: There’s no need to pay for chemical fertilizers to give your lawn what it needs to thrive. Mulching feeds the lawn nutrients and organic material, and can even help with moisture retention — which can significantly reduce the time and expense you spend on watering the lawn.

More information about mulching, lawn care and mowers can be found at www.Exmark.com.

“Your yard trimmings are not trash — they are an effective, natural and free fertilizer,” says Walters. “For a healthy lawn, drop the bag and let the mulch do more for you.”

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Feeling short of breath? It could be something serious

Pete Mulliner, PFF Patient Ambassador

Pete Mulliner, PFF Patient Ambassador

Pete Mulliner at eight months with his grandparents

Pete Mulliner at eight months with his grandparents

(BPT) – Unlike many Americans, Pete Mulliner knew of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) long before he was actually diagnosed with it. His grandfather died from pulmonary fibrosis the year Mulliner was married. “Granddad was the go-to guy in my world,” Mulliner says. “He taught me how to use tools, renovate houses, how to think clearly and logically and how to approach life.”

Three years after his grandfather’s death, Mulliner lost his great-aunt to pulmonary fibrosis. He didn’t know it at the time, but his own diagnosis of this deadly disease would come much later.

A Certificated Flight Instructor who teaches pilots to respond safely no matter what, Mulliner first began to question whether something was wrong with him in the summer of 2012. “My wife and I live on a small farm near my hometown,” he says. “I noticed that when I took a walk outdoors, I’d get out of breath. I figured I was out of shape and that I needed to walk more.”

But his concerns worsened after a common cold left him with a barking cough. He sought treatment at an urgent care center but the medications he was prescribed had little effect. They were meant to treat a cold, not IPF.

According to Dr. Gregory Cosgrove, chief medical officer of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), misdiagnoses of the disease are common. “The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are non-specific and shared by many other and more common lung diseases,” he says. “As a result, patients are often misdiagnosed initially and an accurate diagnosis may be delayed by months or even years.”

Weeks after Mulliner’s first symptoms, he found himself in the ER with chest pains and an inability to breathe. “My coughing was so violent that I was pulling muscles in my chest,” he remembers. Additional physician visits and a CT scan discerned he had a lung disease but Mulliner wouldn’t learn he had IPF until he visited a pulmonologist.

He was at his daughter’s home, playing with his grandchildren, when his doctor first called and told him he had IPF. “It was like a kick in the gut,” Mulliner remembers. “I felt very alone. Then I realized I wasn’t the only one suffering from this.”

In this dark moment, Mulliner thought back to his pilot’s training. “You can’t take the pilot’s seat to wonder ‘what-if’ and ‘why me’ so I didn’t allow myself to do it then.” He went looking for support groups and found the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. “It was comforting to know that there was an advocate out there – that there was a voice speaking that much louder about the need to find a cure for this disease,” Mulliner says. “I wanted to add my voice to it. I signed up on the PFF’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages and felt an immediate sense of connection. I wasn’t so alone after all.”

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) may occur as the result of more than 200 different interstitial lung diseases. Dr. Cosgrove says one of the biggest ways the PFF can help patients is by sorting through the confusion that exists around PF. “With education and a better understanding of the different diseases that may cause PF, patients, family members and physicians not familiar with PF are often empowered,” he says.

Mulliner has felt the benefits of the support of PFF and he’s taking his battle with IPF one day at a time. “It has put finiteness to it,” he says of how IPF has affected his life, understanding that most people with IPF die only 2-3 years after diagnosis. “I am aware there is an end coming; I’m just trying to extend it. At this point in time, if I didn’t know I had IPF, I wouldn’t know I had IPF.”

And while Mulliner lives his life, others are working to save it.

In January, the PFF announced the expansion of its PFF Care Center Network, which is comprised of medical centers with specific expertise in treating PF and IPF, collectively utilizing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to patient care and providing access to resources and support for both patients and caregivers. With the addition of 12 more sites to the Network, there are now 21 leading medical centers in 20 states. The PFF will further expand the PFF Care Center Network as funding permits, with the intention of adding additional sites to the Network later this year.

“As a leading advocate for the pulmonary fibrosis community, we are dedicated to advancing the care of people living with this deadly disease, and this starts with providing greater access to experienced care teams. The PFF Care Center Network fosters collaboration between sites and the sharing of best practices,” Dr. Cosgrove says. The PFF offers up-to-date information online as part of the PFF Patient Communication Center and in print, guidance on where to find treatment and support and information on regional and national events.

To learn more about the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, the PFF Care Center Network and the facilities involved, visit PulmonaryFibrosis.org.

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