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Fundraiser to help pastor’s leader dog

Pastor Darryl Miller with his leader dog, Rowdy.

Pastor Darryl Miller with his leader dog, Rowdy.

January 14 at Sand Lake United Methodist Church

by Judy Reed

When Darryl Miller decided to become a pastor 10 years ago, he knew it wouldn’t be an easy road to navigate. Being legally blind, he would need help from his family—including wife Shari, and daughters Heather and Kelli—and his congregation. But one of the most important helpers and companions to Darryl has been his leader dog, Rowdy, an 11-year-old beautiful black lab. And now Rowdy is facing his own health issues.

Rowdy has been helping Miller gets where he needs to go since 2007, which includes pastoring both Sand Lake United Methodist and South Ensley United Methodist Churches. “He’s been with me from the beginning. Rowdy’s been to seminary and through all of my pastoral training. He’s older now, and we are trying to retire him but he just won’t go,” said Miller with a chuckle.

“If I put my shoes on in my office, he’d hear it even though he’s on the couch in the other part of the house, and he would be there waiting to go out the door. He just wants to go. He still does his job.”

Rowdy has been through several surgeries to fix a fistula—a hole in the roof of his mouth that opens into his nose. Miller said the hole is about the size of a quarter, making it hard for the dog to eat and drink well.

According to PetMD, an oronasal fistula can be caused by injury, infection or disease. “It’s not terribly uncommon for a dog to get a hole in his mouth by running outside and running into a stick,” explained Miller. “But we don’t know how it happened. He did have an abscessed tooth, and we don’t know if that caused it or if it caused the abscessed tooth.”

Rowdy has undergone five surgeries to fix the problem, but every one has failed. And the costs keep piling up. “We recently found out the jawbone was infected as well, and that’s why the surgeries failed,” explained Miller. He said Rowdy was put on a 10-week course of heavy-duty antibiotics to clear it up. The veterinarian—Dr. Moore, in Spring Lake—will then attempt to repair the fistula again.

The Sand Lake United Methodist Women’s group would like to help Pastor Miller by doing some fundraising for Rowdy’s surgery. They will be holding a hot dog and chili lunch at Sand Lake United Methodist Church, 65 West Street, Sand Lake, on Saturday, January 14, at from 11-3.

For those who would like to donate, but cannot attend, you can make out a check to the Sand Lake UMC Women and put “Rowdy” in the memo line. Mail it to Sand Lake United Methodist Church, PO 97, Sand Lake, MI 49343.

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Crash sends three to hospital

Alcohol may have been a factor in this two-vehicle crash in Cannon Twp. last week.

Alcohol may have been a factor in this two-vehicle crash in Cannon Twp. last week.

Alcohol may be responsible for a crash in Cannon Township that sent three people to the hospital the night before New Year’s Eve.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Cannonsburg Road, east of Blakely, just after 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 30. Police said that a Dodge Ram truck was headed westbound on Cannonsburg Rd, and witnesses reported that it crossed the center line several times. It finally swerved all the way over the centerline into oncoming (eastbound) traffic and struck a 1996 GMC Sierra head on.

The driver of the Dodge Ram, Damion James Nelmark, 39, of Spencer Township, was taken to Spectrum Butterworth with by Rockford Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the GMC Sierra, Corbin Thomas Verdier, 19, of Grand Rapids, was also taken to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The passenger in the Sierra, Noah Nathaniel Bosse, 19, of Grand Rapids, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Spectrum Butterworth by Aeromed.

All those involved were wearing seatbelts. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.

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Time for winter fun

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It’s that time of year again, when kids of all ages love to play in the snow. It might be building a snowman, having a snowball fight, making snow angels, building a fort, going sledding, or just plain eating it! In this photo, Autumn Passage, 7, and her sister Meadow, 3, are playing in their backyard with the beautiful Cedar Creek glistening in the background. The photo was submitted by their mom, Stephanie Passage.

If you have winter photos you’d like us to consider for publication, email them to news@cedarspringspost.com with “winter fun” in the subject line. We publish them as space allows, and do not guarantee publication.

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MSP 131st Trooper Recruit School Graduates 

 

Forty-one become State Police Troopers, debut new Campaign hats 

n-msp-grads-131-trooper-recruit-gradsForty-one new Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers reported for work at MSP posts across the state last week following graduation from the 131st Trooper Recruit School on December 22. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Lansing Center.

“As these new troopers travel home to be with their loved ones for the holidays, they can leave proud knowing they have what it takes to join the ranks of the elite Michigan Department of State Police,” stated graduation keynote speaker, Governor Rick Snyder. “We wish them safety each and every day and hope they enjoy long and rewarding careers serving and protecting the residents of our great state.”

Troopers are wearing MSP’s new Campaign hats, a nod to what enforcement members wore until the early 1920s.

Troopers are wearing MSP’s new Campaign hats, a nod to what enforcement members wore until the early 1920s.

Today’s graduation ceremony also marks the debut of MSP’s new Campaign hats, a nod to what enforcement members wore until the early 1920s. All active enforcement members were given the opportunity to vote on whether the department should make the uniform change for its 100th Anniversary, which will be celebrated across the state throughout 2017. All active enforcement members began wearing the hats on Dec. 22.

In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, “You have joined the MSP family at a very exciting time. As our newest troopers and the last recruit school to graduate in 2016, you are now part of our department’s history and you will help determine its future. I expect you to do what’s right, to do your best and to treat others the way you want to be treated. In everything you do, I ask that you provide ‘Service With a Purpose.’”

Tpr. Thomas Gladney III was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits and spoke on behalf of the graduating class at the ceremony. Other award recipients included Tpr. Brett Nichols, who received the Academic Achievement Award and Team Building Award; Tpr. Trevor Baesch, who received the Marksmanship Award; and Tpr. Antonio Palmer, who received the Outstanding Performance Award.

Troopers assigned to the Sixth District Rockford Post include Ross Crofoot, of Freeland; Aaron Damstra, of Byron Center; and Jared Orban, of Suttons Bay.

Troopers assigned to Lakeview include Paul Fry, of Roseville; Daniel Hickey, of Lake George; and Anthony Marcelin, of Queens, New York.

The 131st Trooper Recruit School began on July 17, when 50 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 23 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.

In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

As part of the department’s commitment to “Providing Service With A Purpose,” the recruits participated in community outreach projects in which they donated food to the City Rescue Mission of Lansing and packaged food for Capital Area Community Services.

The 131st Trooper Recruit School is the third of four trooper recruit schools this year, as well as a motor carrier officer recruit school. The

21st Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School started August 28, 2016 and will graduate January 6, 2017. The 132nd Trooper Recruit School started August 28, 2016; will graduate February 3, 2017.

The MSP is actively recruiting; interested candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply.

Including these troopers, there are currently 1,065 troopers assigned statewide.

 

 

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Free Radon test kits for residents

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The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is teaming up with the Grand Rapids Griffins to stop a silent killer—lung cancer caused by radon gas. This Friday, January 6, 2017, at Van Andel Arena when the Griffins take on the Charlotte Checkers at 7:00 p.m., KCHD staff will be there armed with thousands of radon test kits. They will be situated in the upper concourse near section 128, and will give the kits away while supplies last.

For those not attending the Griffins game, KCHD is offering free radon test kits to Kent County residents at all three of its locations until the supply runs out.

Colorless and odorless, radon gas kills more Americans annually than drunk driving and drowning combined according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says more than 20 thousand deaths are caused by radon each year making it the nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking.

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) recommends that all homes should be tested for radon every few years.

Testing is the only way to know if radon is present in your home.

“Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family,” says Sara Simmonds, Supervising Sanitarian with the Kent County Health Department. “The kit is easy to use. Simply hang a filter inside your house for a few days, then send it in a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope for testing.”

People using the kits will receive their results via email once the kit is received and tested. Residents can use the information when deciding on how best to pursue remediation. For help understanding the test results, please contact the KCHD Environmental Health Division at 616-632-6900.

Radon occurs naturally in the ground. It seeps into buildings through cracks or openings in foundations or floors. It occurs in both new and old homes. Radon has been found in houses built over a basement, over a crawlspace or built on slab-on-grade. The EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a map of risk zones for the United States. You can view the risk maps by clicking here. Kent County is typically categorized as having moderate to high levels of radon.

The kits are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the:

Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids.

KCHD North County Clinic at 4388 14 Mile Road NE, Rockford.

KCHD South Clinic at 4700 Kalamazoo SE, Kentwood.

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New Year, New You: Resources to help you keep your resolutions

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(StatePoint) Making and keeping resolutions is difficult without direction or the advice of experts. Luckily, there are plenty of great resources to help, no matter what you are trying to accomplish.

Here are four books that can help you stick to your goals throughout the year.

Clean Eating

From quinoa and chia seeds to spinach and pomegranate, “Super Clean Super Foods” is a colorfully illustrated, comprehensive guide that shows readers how to incorporate unfamiliar ingredients into everyday dishes. The book explores the incredible health properties of each super food and includes tips on how to maximize its health benefits, allowing readers to work toward specific goals. For instance, you can create a food plan to boost energy, have a healthier pregnancy, limit jetlag, reduce aging, and more.

Achieve More

Whether you are seeking improvement in your career, relationships, or in your overall performance, “Success: The Psychology of Achievement,” can help equip you with the tools you need to drive yourself toward success using proven psychological strategies and expert advice. From positive thinking to work-life balance to learning how to say “no,” the lessons in this dynamic infographic guide, authored by an organizational psychologist, are tailored to your personal situation through questionnaires and self-analysis exercises.

Smart Meals

Bowls are a delicious way to lose weight and eat healthy, but they can also be laden with hidden calories. Inspired by the very latest bowl food trend, “100 Weight Loss Bowls,” features color-coded recipes engineered to come in at under 400, 500, or 600 calories, allowing you to easily build a nutritious meal plan that meets your daily target for gradual and sustained weight loss.

Workout Buddy

The first full-color fitness book that teaches you how to actively engage a partner in your workout routine, “Partner Workouts” features bodyweight exercises, yoga positions, cardio and more. Three long-term, comprehensive exercise programs provide regimens so you and your partner can motivate each other to achieve your fitness goals over a period of time. From choosing your partner and setting your goals to tracking your progress and nutrition, this guide doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive fitness equipment.

Start 2017 off on the right foot. Relying on books, tools and other resources can help you achieve your goals.

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Greenville Dual and Grandville Invite

Red Hawk Jacob Galinis trying to pin his opponent.

Red Hawk Jacob Galinis trying to pin his opponent.

Red Hawk Jordan Ringler was undefeated last week.

Red Hawk Jordan Ringler was undefeated last week.

On Wednesday, December 21, Cedar Springs High School wrestling traveled to Greenville for an OK White conference dual. The matches were close but the Red Hawks took a loss with a final score of 31-35. 112 lb Nathan Male, 119 lb Logan Hull, 140 lb Jordan Ringler, 160 lb Lucus Pienton, 215 Ryan Ringler and Heavy Weight Patrick Depiazza won their matches. On JV, 125 lb Kaedrian Dines won a match.

The team traveled to Grandville on Wednesday, December 28 for their annual Invite. The tournament attracted several D1 schools and tough competition. The Red Hawks started the day with a loss against Grandville, 39-27. The team rallied and started a winning streak against Jenison, 46-27. Comstock Park was next to fall to the Red Hawks 40-31. Cedar Springs finished the day against Saline with another win and big lead, 44-23. Out of the thirteen teams competing, Cedar Springs finished the day in 5th place. Last year they finished in 7th place at this same competition. Davison took the Championship, Grandville 2nd Place, Bedford 3rd Place and Tri County 4th Place.

The individual records are as follows: Heavy Weight Patrick Depiazza, 171/189 lb Ryan Ringler, and 140 lb Jordan Ringler went undefeated, 4-0; 119 lb Logan Hull, 145/152 lb Jacob Galinis and 171/189 lb Nate Patin had 3 wins each; 125 lb Patrick Fliearman, 135/140 lb Jordan Andrus and 152/160 lb Lucus Pienton had 2 wins each; and 112 lb Nathan Male, 130 lb Aaron Smith and 135 lb Anthony Brew had one win each.

“The boys have made a lot of progress this season but we still have a long way to go until we get where we want to be. There’s a lot of community support pulling for us and we don’t want to let them down,” said Head Coach Nick Emery.

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Trust Fund finances important projects, big and small

 

From land acquisitions to local outdoor recreation projects

Bond Falls in Ontonagon County is one site of a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund project to construct all access walkways and other features.

Bond Falls in Ontonagon County is one site of a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund project to construct all access walkways and other features.

As 2016 winds down, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources concludes its year-long celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Since its inception in 1976, the Trust Fund has bankrolled more than 2,000 projects, providing funding to local units of government and the DNR to purchase land and land rights or developing outdoor recreation projects. The fund is administered by the DNR.

The program was initially funded with state proceeds from royalties derived the sale of oil, gas and minerals and from leases. Today, recreation projects and land acquisitions are financed from investment income generated from the fund.

So far, more than $1 billion has been granted to local units of government and the DNR for land purchases or recreation projects—big and small—in all 83 Michigan counties.

DNR officials say they are just as proud of the numerous small and local grants they’ve awarded as the bigger, headline-generating, multi-million-dollar land acquisitions.

The DNR Pocket Park in Escanaba in Delta County was funded with Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars, providing outreach and education to the public.

The DNR Pocket Park in Escanaba in Delta County was funded with Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars, providing outreach and education to the public.

“All grant applications are scored on the same criteria,” said Steve DeBrabander, manager of the DNR’s grants management section. “The need for the project, the quality of the project, the recreational opportunity the project provides—there’s a long list of criteria and it doesn’t matter if it’s large or small.”

In fact, the Trust Fund Board several years ago created two initiatives—the small acquisition grant initiative and the small development grant initiative for small projects—$100,000 or less for acquisition and $50,000 or less for development.

“For several years in a row, the Trust Fund Board chose to fund all applications under those initiatives,” DeBrabander said.

Local projects make up a significant portion of Trust Fund grants annually.

DeBrabander said even a small project, like new restroom facilities in a local park, can make a big difference.

A 2014 grant to the city of Wakefield in Gogebic County, for work at Eddy Park on Sunday Lake, is a prime example. The grant funded rebuilding and remodeling the park restroom as well making the pier at the lake and the restrooms accessible to all.

“We’re very happy to have the improvements to the park,” said Wakefield city manager Richard Brackney. “It was necessary to do these things and it’s really made a difference. We have had a great increase in visitors into the park.”

In Republic in Marquette County, Republic Township supervisor John Ulrich said the money from the Trust Fund enabled the township to develop a new campground on land the township bought in 2004, but had been sitting vacant for a decade.

The township purchased pit toilets for the site, installed an RV dump station, and helped build the water system with its grant.

The township, which has been economically challenged since the Republic Mine closed in the 1990s, hopes the campground will help reinvigorate the community.

“I think it’s very important to the township and will over time be a driver for drawing people from M-95 into the park,” Ulrich said. “There’s a campground 20 miles south of us and one on Lake Michigamme, but those are the two closest modern campgrounds.”

Ulrich said the campground will attract vacationers and tourists; people who want to hike the Iron Ore Heritage Trail or view the old mining site as well as those who come to fish in the Michigamme River Basin or even visit the beach.

“It’s not quite complete yet,” Ulrich said. “We haven’t had any campers yet, but we do have some reservations for next year. We expect campers in May.”

Of course, not all local Trust Fund grants are small. Clark Lambros Park in Marquette – the dream of a late, successful businessman – would not have become a reality without the grant, said Michele Butler.

Butler, Lambros’ significant other, said he had a piece of land on Lake Superior valued at $1.1 million that he wanted to donate to the city for a park, but the city couldn’t afford to develop it.

So after Lambros died, Butler approached the Trust Fund with a proposal – to sell the land to the city for $812,000, which the Trust Fund provided, with the difference in the value to serve as the local match.

Butler then donated the proceeds from the sale for development of the park.

“Clark was an immigrant from Greece – he loved Marquette and wanted to give back to the community,” Butler said. “If we just donated the land without the Trust Fund money, the city wouldn’t have been able to get it done. The Trust Fund Board was so surprised that we were going to donate the funds back to build the park they wanted to hear it a couple of times.”

Butler, who is active in the Lambros family business – Vango’s Pizza and Lounge, the oldest restaurant in Marquette – said she’s delighted in how things turned out.

“The most rewarding part is the universal access,” she said. “It’s the only place around where people who have kids with wheelchairs can get to the beach. We feel like we did the right thing here.”

Gov. Rick Snyder visited the park this past summer and commemorated the Trust Fund 40th anniversary there, touring the site with Butler and members of her family.

Mindy Milos-Dale, director of the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Department in Oakland County, said much of the 15-park system, begun in the 1970s, is “funded in good part with Trust Fund money.”

“Many of those acres are the result of Trust Fund grants and some of the development was funded by the Trust Fund,” she said. “We’ve had four acquisition grants and three development grants.

“We’re big, big fans of the Trust Fund. It’s just the most wonderful thing to see them putting up the money to preserve these lands. I’m just so proud to be a resident of Michigan.”

Local projects can have an impact on people statewide.

Josh Zuiderveen, who was a consultant for Algoma Township, just north of Grand Rapids, said the West Michigan Archery Center, an archery education and practice facility, is bringing in visitors from all over the state.

The center, which is a Junior Olympics development facility, attracts “a lot of out-of-town visitors to our tournaments and coach certification classes,” Zuiderveen said. “And with a national tournament now on the schedule of events, it’ll bring people in from out-of-state as well.”

Zuiderveen said the project was a collaborative effort on the part of “a bunch of people.”

“It was the better part of a million dollars and the Trust Fund did most of the heavy lifting,” he said.

Although some local projects spur economic growth, many simply improve the local quality of life.

Ralph Reznick, the village president at Dimondale in Eaton County, said a Trust Fund grant turned a vacant piece of land on the Grand River where folks walked their dogs into Danford Island Park, which is a center of activity.

The village used grant money to build a bridge to the island across the river, create better access to the area, and install a universally accessible canoe/kayak ramp.

“The use that area is getting just jumped exponentially,” Reznick said. “Dog walking has increased so much that we’re trying to develop a dog park. People from the state office building go there to eat their lunch. It’s not uncommon to see people taking graduation pictures there, wedding pictures there – it is getting tremendous use.

“Now it’s a destination on the Grand River for kayakers and canoers, where people are putting in and taking out.”

Reznick said the community had been trying to raise money to develop the park, but, because of the Trust Fund, all they needed to raise was the 25-percent match.

“This thing,” Reznick concluded, “is huge.”

Get more information on the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, including project and acquisition lists, upcoming deadlines and more at www.michigan.gov/mnrtf.

 

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High School French Book Project

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Elise Beutlick, French Teacher

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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Kent District Library Homebrew Competition: Book-Inspired Brewing

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Kent District Library is proud to present the second annual “Book-Inspired Brewing” home brew contest as part of the KDaLe series. In collaboration with Gravel Bottom Brewing and Railtown Brewing, KDL is calling on home brewers to enter this unique competition: creating a beer inspired by their favorite title or author.  The winning beer will be brewed in a professional brewery, Gravel Bottom Brewing, and will be released at the KDaLe Wrap-Up Party scheduled for April 15. The winner’s name will be engraved on the KDaLe homebrew trophy and the top three finalists will receive a home brewer’s prize basket.

The deadline to sign up is January 7, 2017; 50 submissions will be accepted. Entrants must deliver three 12-ounce bottles of their brew to Gravel Bottom Brewing by February 15, 2017. They must also include the recipe and a brief statement about how the beer fits the theme of “Book-Inspired Brewing.” In addition to being judged on flavor, aroma, mouth-feel and appearance, your beer will be rated based on how well it fits the theme and the story behind it.

Primary judging will be done with a panel of Gravel Bottom, Railtown and KDL staff, along with local home brewers and other industry professionals. Secondary judging will be done by professional brewers and local cicerones. Winners will be announced on February 24.

For more information or to register, please visit http://www.kdl.org/events/kdale.

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries. KDL serves nearly 400,000 residents of 27 governmental units, comprising most of Kent County, Michigan. KDL is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations.

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