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The Post travels to the Ryder Cup

n-post-travels-to-ryder-cup-covell

Tim Covell and his son, Tyler, from Cedar Springs, recently attended the Ryder Cup in Chaska, Minnesota. Along with the golf tournament, they also went to South Dakota to visit The Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and the city of Deadwood.

While attending the Ryder Cup for two days, Tim and Tyler witnessed the United States secure victory over Europe.

Thanks so much to Tim and Tyler for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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CTA cross country awarded academic all-state

(L to R): Coach Danielle Davies, Collin Bishop, Dawson Ingersoll, Ethan Lehman, James Hofstra, Les Miner and Dawson Armstrong. Not pictured team member is Ken Roesner.

(L to R): Coach Danielle Davies, Collin Bishop, Dawson Ingersoll, Ethan Lehman, James Hofstra, Les Miner and Dawson Armstrong. Not pictured team member is Ken Roesner.

Creative Technologies Academy boys cross country team was awarded the Michigan Class D Cross Country Championship Team Academic All-State Award. Only the top five highest ranking combined GPA team averages are awarded “Team Academic All-State.” The Championship meet was held at Maple Creek Golf course in Shephard, Mich.

In order to be eligible, individual team members must have a 3.50 GPA or better, who finish in the top 25 percent of places overall in order to receive the honor. Athletes must be at least a sophomore and the GPA is based on a standard 4.0 grade scale with no weighted grades.

“The award is for all of the hard work, diligence and sacrifice the cross country athletes put forth in the classroom during the season,” said Coach Danielle Davies. “Fewer than 10 percent of all athletes in the Class D State Championship receive this team award. It is a high honor to have such a great team committed to both their education and cross country.”

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French Book Project

csps-french-ii-and-iii-students

The French II and III students at Cedar Springs High School made Christmas presents in the form of French children’s books for the children living at an orphanage in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Haiti is a French-speaking country with a very low literacy rate of 60%. Many children in Haiti do not have access to books. The Cedar Springs’ French students decided to create books to send to Haiti with the goal of encouraging literacy and creating a special Christmas memory for these children

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Porcupine and Cougar

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

Two North American porcupines in a tree in Quebec, Canada. Photo by Wikipedia user Mattnad.

Two North American porcupines in a tree in Quebec, Canada. Photo by Wikipedia user Mattnad.

By Ranger Steve Mueller

When working as a ranger at Bryce Canyon National Parks, I conducted field research on the mountain lions (cougars) in the park. During the summer months, the highest plateaus in North America were home to the lions, porcupines, and me. At 9000 feet elevation, I found tracks in one of the few areas with a surface water pond on limestone bedrock. It was a rare drinking hole for deer, lions, and other wildlife.

During the seven years I worked there, I never heard of unattended cows being taken by a lion in the national forest where ranchers grazed cows in summer. Come fall the ranchers drove cows to 6000 feet elevation. Deep snow, lack of food, and excessive cold would leave cows high, dry, and dead in winter on plateau tops.

South from the park’s Yovimpa Point one can see 80 air miles across a near wilderness to the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park. One paved road crosses the south expanse and unpaved trails zigzag the terrain. It is precarious and unknown whether a vehicle other than those with four-wheel drive and high clearance will safely succeed.

Lions follow deer south into the wilderness, or they move east off the Paunsegunt Plateau or neighboring Aquarius Plateau (10,000 feet) into Tropic Valley. Lions have legal protection but poaching occurs by ranchers who think laws do not apply to them. Lions heading east have a better chance of being poached but those heading south have better poaching avoidance. Energy companies desired to strip mine coal to the south of the park for more than 50 years instead of developing alternative energy sources. Coal proposals have been blocked but renewed pressure to strip mine is expected. Coal strip mines could eliminate lions from Bryce Canyon.

Life is difficult for predators in nature niches where they need adequate food, accessible water in an arid landscape, and places to hide. People have fears that have some justification but dangers from predators are unlikely compared to other health threats. Driving, falling from a ladder, and other threats are more likely.

Lions have few threats from animals except people but starvation and dehydration are dangerous. Ranch water impoundments can be valuable but bring lions close to people. They tend to seek water in night stillness.

While tracking a lion, I found scat and broke it apart to discover what it had been eating. Porcupine quills were present. Literature reports lions prey on porcupines and I had found physical evidence. They avoid quills by eating from the belly where no quills are present. First the lion must kill the porcupine while trying to avoid being struck by a tail swing or quills raised high on the back. Quills cannot be thrown but they dislodge easily.

Porcupines move slowly but their armor helps protects them. When quills enter skin, mouth, or tongue, the quills puff up like a balloon because air sealed inside cannot escape. Pressure from the quill’s squeezed end in the skin causes quill swelling. The sharp end that entered the skin is covered with scales like shingles on a roof that face away from the quill point. Those scales prevent easy removal because the shingles hold it fast.

To remove quills, clip them to release air pressure and pull with pliers. Do not try this with a lion because you might not survive. Pets do not seem to learn to avoid porcupines. Every dog in our family has gotten quills at least once. Ody Brook, who the sanctuary is named after, bit one in our yard one night in Bemidji, Minnesota. I did not notice until he came into the house. It is important to remove them soon. The delay allowed quills to work deep and were difficult to remove. One in his gum worked too deep to remove. One year later, I noticed something sticking out of his eyelid. A close look revealed it was the gum quill emerging. I pulled it despite Ody’s objection. That story ended well without it entering his eyeball.

I read some quills migrated into a lion’s heart and were deemed a likely cause for its death. Porcupines are moving south as forests reclaim this region. One has been seen at Ody Brook and some are resident at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. More than one has been killed on Red Pine Drive. Walk the forests at HCNC with attention to the conifers or aspens where you might see the dark lump of a porcupine.

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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Santa Claus is coming to town

 

Santa parade, tree lighting and more next Saturday, December 3 

n-mingle-with-kris-kringleAre you ready to have yourself a merry Christmas Cedar Springs-style? Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 3, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will start at 10 a.m. with families able to make and take Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10-1, then do kids crafts at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum from 1-3 p.m. You can also enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more, all before the mini-parade that brings Santa to the corner of Main and Ash Street at about 4:30-4:45.

Following the parade will be a live nativity scene, tree lighting, caroling, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall.

Bring the whole family out on Saturday, December 3, for a fun, community Christmas celebration! See the Chamber advertisement here for complete details on times and locations.

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Cedar Springs teacher wins Excellence in Education Award

Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Kent County educator known for his dedication to helping students improve their math skills and for using technology and current events to help them grasp concepts and increase their understanding has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Brett Burns, teaches mathematics at Cedar Springs Middle School, part of the Cedar Springs Public Schools district. He also serves as the basketball coach for the eighth grade teams.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Burns aired Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and will air Thursday in Detroit.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, who recently presented Burns with the award at the Breslin Center.

Burns said he was attracted to a career in education because “it gives me the opportunity to make a difference every day. When I first started teaching math, I had a lot to learn about how to educate middle school students. I have grown and perfected my craft, but I’ve never stopped learning. Every year, I have to change with the new group of students that enters my classroom.

“As I look back, I remember how I used to assign 20 to 30 math problems as homework each night that didn’t require much thinking from students about the how and the why of solving the problems. Now my assignments are much shorter, but incorporate deep thinking and exploration,” he said. “Math is one of the most difficult subjects for middle school students, so my goal every year is to change their mindset about math. By the end of the year, I want them to see that they can do math and can be successful. That’s not an easy job, but I love the challenge and look forward to it each and every year.

“I am willing to grow and change and learn who my students are as people first, before I ever teach them a math lesson. I make that a priority and my mission is to earn their trust and show them that I care about them as people. This creates a mutual respect between myself and my students and helps me to be more effective as a teacher. The students know that I truly care about them.”

A colleague nominated Burns for the Excellence in Education award, saying: “High energy, integrity, collaboration, leadership and high relationship are just a few words that describe Brett Burns.

“Every day, he arrives at school at about 4:30 a.m. and works diligently to review student work and prepare quality lessons. Setting aside this time allows him maximum efficiency, so when students arrive, he is totally focused on them. Mr. Burns can be seen fist bumping, joking, complimenting, and welcoming the students each day. The students form a huddle around him, smiles all-around.

“Mr. Burns has dedicated many hours to improving math achievement at Cedar Springs Middle School. He has collaborated with a vertical team of sixth grade through 12th grade teachers to align instruction with the Common Core standards and the latest research on thinking mathematically. He also works to incorporate technology and current events into instruction to deepen engagement and conceptual understanding,” the nomination said.

“Mr. Burns breaks his groups down in collaborative teams, working in small groups with them to question, prompt, and cue them, not give them answers and direction with their struggles. Frequent emails to parents keep them informed of student opportunities to improve their mastery of the standards.

“Outside of the classroom, Mr. Burns pours his energy into coaching basketball for the eighth grade students. He continues to inspire and build relationships with students, encouraging them to break through barriers in their thinking that stop them from exceeding their own goals.

“His dedication to the students, staff, parents, colleagues, and community inspires everyone to be selfless in their work.”

Burns earned a bachelor of arts degree from Sienna Heights College and has been an educator for nearly 20 years, all with the Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.

Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.

Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.

Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts

Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.

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The Post travels to China

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Almost 70 Chinese high school students visited Cedar Springs last summer and took a little bit of Red Flannel Town home with them.

Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, a local nonprofit organization, teamed up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp for the third summer in a row, worked with Lu He Cultural Training Center in Beijing to bring the students here for a three-week English immersion program. They spent two weeks with host families and one week having fun at camp.

When the students left, they each took a copy of the Post back to Beijing, and took a group photo.

Thanks so much to the Chinese students for visiting, and then taking us home with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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State Police add extra patrols for Thanksgiving 

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

More Michigan State Troopers will be patrolling the highways over Thanksgiving to help prevent crashes and injuries during the second deadliest time of the year for traffic crashes. Photo courtesy of Michigan State Police.

Operation C.A.R.E. traffic safety effort begins Wednesday 

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here and that means travel, food, family and football. As motorists prepare to hit the highways, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is gearing up for the annual Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative Nov. 23-27, 2016.

“We want every family to have a safe holiday and to enjoy time together,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “We urge you to drive safely this Thanksgiving weekend by wearing a seat belt, designating a sober driver and avoiding distractions like texting or talking on your phone while driving.”

Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes. In 2015, there were 11 fatalities, five of which were pedestrians, during the holiday period. In 2014 there were six traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the lowest number in more than 30 years.

Beginning Wednesday, troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. Extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Enforcement is supported by the Give thanks. Drive safely. public awareness campaign that includes a public service announcement available at www.youtube.com/michstatepolice.

With the arrival of winter weather, motorists are also encouraged to take extra precautions when driving in snowy and icy conditions and to place an emergency preparedness kit in their vehicles. To learn more about creating a kit, go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.

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Holiday happenings

 

Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.

CEDAR SPRINGS

2016 Cedar Springs Christmas Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 3: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Come make Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids crafts at the CS Historical Museum (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more (90 N. Main, corner of Maple and Main Street)

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main Street

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale and Hot Chocolate at the American Legion

5:15 p.m. Mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall (Photographs with Santa by Kristen Smith)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Make gingerbread houses at the library

Dec. 10: Come make gingerbread houses at the Cedar Springs Library on Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

2016 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 10: The 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

The Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 11: Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, we are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of our show this year.

GREENVILLE

Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 2: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 2. The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses 

Dec. 3: Shop local businesses and enjoy local events throughout the day on Saturday, December 3.

Picture of You & Your Pet with Santa– 12-1:30 p.m. Town & Country Animal Clinic-FREE

Holiday Craft Fair. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Greenville Area Community Center

John Berry Christmas Concert

Dec. 3: Ring in the Christmas season with country legend John Berry at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Hillcrest, Greenville, on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. This year marks Berry’s 20th holiday concert tour. He has big plans to celebrate and involve fans like never before! The John Berry concert benefits “Have Mercy,” helping our homeless get safe and warm, while working with them to rebuild their lives. Tickets are $25 at JohnBerry.com/tour OR pick up at the UPS store in Greenville.

Dec 4: Gingerbread House Decorating 1-3pm at Greenville Area Community Center $10(registration) 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.

Dec. 4: MCC’s Holiday Celebration 1-4pm at Sidney Campus-Free

Dec 5: High School Band/Orchestra Concert 7:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 6: Middle School Holiday Orchestra Concert 7pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 7: Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops 7:30 pm at GHS. 

Dec 10: High School Holiday Choir Concert 7:30 pm at GHS; FREE tickets are required

Dec. 10: Holiday Flea Market at the Greenville Area Community Center – 754-9163.

Dec 11: MCC’s Alumni & Friends Holiday Choir Concert 3-4:30 p.m. at Sidney Campus. Admission is free.

Dec 12: Middle School Holiday Choir Concert 6:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 13: Lincoln Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 14: Cedar Crest Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 15: Walnut Hills Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS – FREE!

Business After Hours @ The Daily News Stafford Room 5 p.m. Food & refreshments $3. 754-5697

Dec 19: Baldwin Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS-Free.

NEWAYGO

December 11:  Newaygo Community Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Grant High School Fine Arts Center 331 E. State Rd, Grant. Come and enjoy the sounds of the Christmas Season. Admission is free.

ROCKFORD

Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 2: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion from 6-8 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 3: Join us for Rockford’s 73rd Annual Santa Parade on December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Rockford community holiday concert

Dec. 4: Enjoy the delightful sounds of the season as the Rockford Community Band and Rockford Community Orchestra present their annual holiday concert at Rockford High School Fine arts auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. They will be playing all of your seasonal favorites and snacks will be served after the concert. Come and be a part of a Rockford tradition! Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 7: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Square.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 8-9: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones. Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Squar.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 14: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 15-16: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

SAND LAKE

Sand Lake Tree Lighting & Carols

Nov. 27: There will be a Tree Lighting and carols in Sand Lake at Salisbury Park on Sunday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the tree on the southeast corner of the park. Special music from Resurrection Lutheran Church Preschoolers.

Indoor Live Nativity

Dec. 2-3: Sand Lake United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall is transformed into the city of Bethlehem for an indoor live Nativity on Friday, December 2nd from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 1 to 3 pm. See the baby in the manger and listen to the angels sing. Our free gift to you this Christmas.

SPARTA

‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 24: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 9:00 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 26: 4th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, registration at 8:30 a.m., race at 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 3: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 6: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 8: Pet night with Santa at the Santa House 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 10: Visit Santa in the Santa house 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 11: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church.

Dec. 12: Holiday fun at the Sparta Library, 80 N. Union at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus has been invited to come and read a story at our library. We will have cookie decorating and a fun craft for the kids to make. Bring your cameras for a fun holiday photo!

Dec. 13: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-2 p.m. Horse drawn wagon rides.

Dec. 20: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 22: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

hol-shipping

Approximately 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages to be delivered this holiday season

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Postal Service announced it is ready to deliver a lot of cheer—in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages—this holiday season.

The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.

“Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “With the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and expanded 7-day a week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that’s exactly what we’ll do this holiday season.”

Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. While the Postal Service already delivers packages on Sunday in most major cities, following the success of past holiday seasons, it will expand Sunday delivery operations to all locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Dec. 19 will also be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier.

2016 Christmas Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Nov. 7 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 9 –APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 20 – First Class Mail

Dec. 21 – Priority Mail

Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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