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The Post travels to Washington


On June 2, George Allington and 60 other veterans and their helpers flew to Washington D.C. on an honor flight to visit all the monuments, such as WWII, Vietnam, Unknown soldier, etc. While there, they watched the changing of the guard. George was amazed with Arlington Cemetery, which is the final resting place for over 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families. It covers 624 acres.

George traveled with his daughter, Mary Coonen.

Thanks, George and Mary, 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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Solon barn sold at auction

The old Stout barn will soon be torn down. Photo by Len Allington.

The old Stout barn will soon be torn down. Photo by Len Allington.

By Judy Reed

The long-running campaign to save a Solon barn came to an end last week, when the barn was sold at auction for $300.

The barn, known as the Stout barn, is located on property that Solon Township bought in a foreclosure sale several years ago. It is located behind the Township hall, at 15185 Algoma Ave. It is one of several barns on the property.

The barn has been a bone of contention since the Township bought the property. They originally investigated putting money into it for the new township hall, but decided to build after finding out what needed to be done.

The barn has been used for the flea market portion of the Solon farmer and flea market in the past, and this past winter was used for storage of RVs.

In March, the Solon Township board voted to remove the barn, and have Supervisor Bob Ellick facilitate the removal as economically as possible.

Ellick said that the demolition could start as early as next week, and should only take a few days, according to the buyer, a Mr. Bonthuis, of Ravenna. Under the agreement, he has 120 days to complete the job, and gets everything, even the concrete.

The buyer has to show proof of liability and comprehensive insurance, and the payment has been put into escrow. “If they do something wrong, then we keep the money,” Ellick explained.

According to current drawings for the park to be built on the Solon property, it shows a barn in the spot where the old one is. Ellick said the idea is to relocate the other three barns on the property, although he didn’t know where they were going to be put. He also said it’s also possible they could build a new one, but the plans have not yet been completed.

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Who Belongs Behind Bars? 


Report Looks At Safely Reducing MI Prison Population

By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection

Reviewing the policies surrounding who belongs in prison and for how long could help the state save hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a new report from the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending.

Reviewing the policies surrounding who belongs in prison and for how long could help the state save hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a new report from the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending.

More people in prison doesn’t mean more crime, but it does mean the state needs to rethink its policies, according to a new report which looks at ways to reduce the state’s $2 billion annual prison spending.

Barbara Levine, associate director for research and policy for the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending, which put out the report, said crime rates have been falling steadily for several years, and yet the state’s incarceration rate keeps rising, with 44,000 Michiganders now in state prisons.

“Decades of longer sentences, lower parole rates and the elimination of any form of sentence-reduction credits for good conduct or program participation has put Michigan out of sync with the rest of the country,” Levine said.

While some critics believe adjusting sentencing guidelines would compromise public safety, Levine said research has shown that longer sentences do not have an impact on a convict’s likelihood to reoffend. She said the strategies outlined in the report would save the state $250 million per year and cut the number of prisoners by 10,000 over five years.

Levine said the money saved would allow the state to address some of the issues that prevent crime and improve the quality of life for all Michiganders.

“More re-entry support for parolees,” she said. “More access to treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. More access to jobs, education, transportation, and decent housing in high incarceration communities.”

The full report is online at SmartJusticeforMI.org.

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CASSA U12 boys win division

Back row:  Coach Dale Bray, Ethan Kober, Nate VanKampen, Max McCoy, Martin Yakes, Spencer Bray, Dan Cole and Coach Andy Kolekamp. Middle  row: Reece Priebe, Brock Hearth, Jaedon Kutzli, Preston Ricker, Tarik Jack, David Burger Front row: Jayden Kolekamp

Back row:  Coach Dale Bray, Ethan Kober, Nate VanKampen, Max McCoy, Martin Yakes, Spencer Bray, Dan Cole and Coach Andy Kolekamp. Middle  row: Reece Priebe, Brock Hearth, Jaedon Kutzli, Preston Ricker, Tarik Jack, David Burger. Front row: Jayden Kolekamp

The CASSA  U12 boys team won their division in the Portage Classic Tournament this past weekend. The won 5-0, 8-1 and 6-0 to take home the championship trophy. They ended their season 10-2-2, which included six tournament games. In the regular season, they were 5-1-2.

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Two students to compete in world’s largest rodeo

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory competing in Barrel Racing.

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory competing in Barrel Racing.

Ana Moreno competing in Pole Bending.

Ana Moreno competing in Pole Bending.

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory and Ana Moreno, of Rockford, have both earned their spot in the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) competition in July. They secured their spots after competing at the Michigan State Finals Rodeo in Ovid, MI last weekend, in Barrel Racing, Pole Bending and Goat Tying.

Both girls are members of the Michigan High School Rodeo Association (MiHSRA), whose intent is to promote high school rodeo at the state level and encourage eligible students to participate at MiHSRA rodeos. This association promotes the highest type of conduct and sportsmanship while at various rodeos, striving to keep Western Heritage alive and active. The MiHSRA encourages students to further their education after high school with an aggressive Scholarship Program. To compete at each rodeo, students must meet National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) grade and conduct qualifications.

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory

Linnay (Couturier) Mallory, 17, a senior, has been involved with MiHSRA for four years. Two years ago when she was preparing to leave for Nationals, Linnay suffered a severe injury to her foot and had to withdraw one week before competition, leaving her devastated. Now after three years of qualifying, Linnay and her Quarter Horse, Double Vision Time (aka Blaze) are finally heading out West to compete.  “When I had my injury, I felt as if my rodeo career was coming to an end.” said Linnay. “But when I qualified for Nationals again this year…it was a true blessing, and I’m excited for the opportunity to go out to Wyoming and represent Michigan in Barrel Racing. I’m ecstatic about this trip and plan to go out with a bang for my Senior year at Nationals.” Linnay has been a member of the Rockford Equestrian Team, Kent County 4H and is the reigning Barrel Champion of the Double JJ 2014 Rodeo Season.

Ana Moreno

Ana Moreno

Ana Moreno 17, will be a Senior next fall.  Ana has been an active member of MiHSRA for three years and will be competing in Pole Bending. “The opportunity to compete at nationals with my amazing horse is an honor,” says Ana,”It will be memorable and is even more special to me because I qualified last year but due to family commitments I was unable to go.” Ana is also on the Rockford High School Equestrian Team and assisted in taking her Team to the 2014-15 State Finals in Midland.  She has been training and honing the skills of her young Quarter Horse, Playboy’s Jeweled Doc, for the last 2-1/2 years and they are consistently improving each season.  She credits her trainer, Michelle Wolf, with encouragement and direction. Ana is also involved in 4H, and plays on the Rockford High School Basketball and Track teams.

The NHSFR is the World’s largest rodeo and features more than 1,500 contestants from 42 states, five Canadian Provinces and Australia. In addition to competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, NHSFR contestants will also be competing for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR National Champion. Events include Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Calf Roping, Breakaway Roping and Bull Riding.

If interested in wishing them luck, helping them travel across the country by making a donation or become a sponsor, please contact them thru: iny55@sbcglobal / 6226 Myers Lake Road, Rockford, MI 49341

For more information about MiHSRA please go to their website www.MiHSRA.com.

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Introductory camping experience 


At Newaygo State Park June 27-28


Newaygo State Park—Newaygo State Park’s Recreation 101: Intro to Camping program allows first-time campers to enjoy the park’s scenic views, diverse recreation opportunities and the entire camping experience with free equipment.

Newaygo State Park, in West Michigan (Newaygo County), will host a group campout experience for new campers Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28. Participants in the Recreation 101: Introduction to Camping program can borrow camping equipment at no cost from the Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation 101 trailer.

DNR staff will guide participants through making a reservation, checking in, setting up a tent and starting a campfire. Instruction on popular recreation activities such as archery and geocaching also are included.

Tents, chairs, cook stoves and flashlights will be provided, but participants must bring supplies such as bedding and food.

“Camping can be a little intimidating if you’re new to it,” said Elissa Buck, a DNR recreation programmer. “This program helps people try it out in a fun, social setting with all the gear, guides and good times included.”

Participants must register in advance to participate in the campout and to reserve camping equipment from the Rec 101 trailer. Regular camping rates apply ($13 per night and an $8 reservation fee) and a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Newaygo State Park.

For more information or to register for the program, please contact Elissa Buck at 989-313-0000 or bucke1@michigan.gov.

Newaygo State Park contains a 99-site rustic campground overlooking the Hardy Dam Pond, a 6-mile flooding of the Muskegon River. The park caters primarily to campers, anglers and recreational boaters. There are several picnic sites overlooking the reservoir for day users. The campground is nestled in oak and poplar forests and is noted for its large, private sites and scenic beauty. There is a 20- to 30-foot forested buffer between campsites, and each site is provided with a picnic table and a fire ring. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/newaygo.

The Recreation 101 trailer can be reserved for large group campouts at Michigan state parks by contacting Elissa Buck at bucke1@michigan.gov.

Recreation 101 is a series of free, introductory programs at Michigan state parks, taught by DNR staff and expert volunteers. Learn more and find a Rec 101 program near you at www.michigan.gov/rec101.

Inside Michigan’s Great Outdoors subscribers are always the first to know about reservation opportunities, state park events and other outdoor happenings. Visit www.michigan.gov/dnr to subscribe now.

A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks and local outdoor recreation opportunities at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

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Old fuel can be hard on lawn mowers


(BPT) – Nothing says summer like neighborhoods coming alive with the sounds of lawn mowers and the smell of fresh-cut grass. But getting the lawn mower out of the shed and running properly can be a struggle early in the season.  You turn the key and the riding lawn mower roars to life. Then the engine promptly sputters and dies. Before tearing apart the engine or calling a mechanic, look inside the gas tank.

“Every spring, we see issues with mowers caused by homeowners using gasoline left over from the year before,” says Dwight Grosz, a small engine mechanic near Bismarck, N.D. “Over time, untreated fuel begins to break down, which leads to hard starting, poor performance or an engine that won’t start at all.”

Why gasoline goes bad                                                                                          

What causes gasoline to break down? The first thing to go is gasoline’s volatility. The lightest chemicals evaporate first, leaving a heavier gasoline that doesn’t combust properly. The engine will probably still run, just not as well.

“A more serious problem is oxidization,” says Paul Herskind, a refined fuels expert at CHS, which refines and sells Cenex-brand fuels at more than 1,400 fueling locations. “When inspecting fuel that has sat unused over the winter, watch for signs that it is darker in color and smells sour. It might have small pieces of gum floating in it. These are all signs the fuel has oxidized. You don’t want that in your engine.”

Oxidization is the result of hydrocarbons in the fuel reacting with oxygen to produce new compounds, explains Herskind. This results in gum, which can clog gas lines and filters and create deposits in the fuel system. Gummed-up carburetors can be expensive to fix and may not run properly until deposits are removed.

“Finally, there’s the issue of water contamination,” adds Herskind. Water usually finds its way into fuel tanks through condensation caused by fluctuating temperatures. Water in your engine will lead to hard starting and sputtering.

How to fix it

If your mower won’t start because you’ve been using old gasoline, you’ll need to remove the old fuel and any built-up residue in the engine. Begin by referring to the owner’s manual for service procedures.

Next, siphon out the old gasoline into a container for proper disposal. Then, if the lawn mower runs for a few seconds and dies, the carburetor might be clogged or have old fuel in the float bowl.

“When the volatile ingredients in fuel evaporate, it leaves a sticky, varnish-like substance that clogs the small jets in carburetors,” says Grosz. “Once that happens, the only solution is to use a carburetor cleaner to remove varnish deposits.”

After cleaning the carburetor, add fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to help keep the system clean.

After treating the fuel

Grosz advises going through a quick checklist to ensure your mower’s ready for the season. Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance recommendations.

First, change the oil to remove contaminants, sludge and acids. Drain the old oil out and refill the crankcase. Grosz recommends using oil manufactured specifically for smaller engines and lawn mowers, such as Cenex 2-Cycle Oil. Consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations.

Next, replace the air filter. Last, don’t forget to sharpen the mower blade and remove any grass that’s caked to the underside of the motor deck.

How to avoid future issues

“To avoid future issues with stale fuel, try not to store gasoline in tanks or containers for more than two months,” says Herskind. “If you know gasoline will be sitting for longer than that, add a fuel stabilizer. This will help prevent oxidization.” At the end of the season, use a fuel stabilizer rather than draining the gas tank, which exposes carburetors and fuel lines to water and air.

“A quality fuel stabilizer can keep gas fresh for as long as 12 to 15 months. But the stabilizer needs to be added to new gasoline,” says Herskind. “It won’t bring stale fuel back to life.”

For more helpful information, Herskind recommends reading the blog on cenex.com. “Readers are also given an opportunity to nominate someone they know for free fuel,” adds Herskind. “It is always easier to get the lawn mower started with a fresh tank of gasoline, especially if it’s free.”

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Celebrate Dad with grilling and golf


Family Features

This year for Father’s Day, skip the tacky tie and give dad something he truly wants – quality time with the kids who gave him such an honorable title. Plan an intimate family gathering with all his favorite foods and a few special touches that reflect his other passions in life, such as golf.

Let dad savor some grilled goodness (and a healthy dose of antioxidants) with colorful fruit and veggie kabobs. Healthy, hydrating watermelon is the star ingredient of these colorful skewers, which also include marinated chunks of pork.

Add a low-calorie, fat-free side by serving watermelon balls in a fun golf ball-shaped vessel carved from a watermelon rind.

For more recipes and carving ideas using versatile watermelon, visit www.watermelon.org.

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Servings: 8

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons diced red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

Pepper to taste

1 pound boned, lean pork chop, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 38-40 pieces)

32 cubes watermelon (1 inch each), plus extra for garnish if desired

16-24 zucchini rounds (1/2 inch)

16 pineapple chunks, fresh or canned (1 inch each)

24 yellow or orange peppers chunks (1 inch each, approximately 3-4 peppers total)

Cooking spray

Sesame seeds for garnish

Combine sugar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme and pepper in mixing bowl. Pour into resealable bag and add pork pieces. Seal bag, mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning bag periodically.

Remove pork from bag and reserve marinade. Thread 5 pork pieces, 4 watermelon cubes, 2-3 zucchini rounds, 2 pineapple chunks and 3 peppers on each of 8 skewers, alternating the order.

Spray cooking surface on heated grill and place kebobs on grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes, or until done, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Garnish with sesame seeds and chunks of watermelon.

Golf Ball Serving Bowl

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on side and cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from stem end, being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. This will provide sturdy base.

Using paring knife, cut a 3- to 4-inch round circle in top of watermelon.

Use melon baller to make shallow round divots into rind of watermelon to mimic dimples in golf ball. Next, use kitchen knife to peel thin layers of rind off to expose white underneath, being careful not to cut too deep or red flesh will be exposed. Try to get as much of green rind off so it will resemble a white golf ball.

Hollow out watermelon with spoon or scoop. Place on tray and add watermelon balls to serve.

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Man ejected in crash

N-Accident2 N-Accident1

Two people were injured Wednesday afternoon, shortly before 4 p.m., June 10, when a vehicle disregarded the red light at the intersection of White Creek and 17 Mile Road.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, witnesses at the scene said that a woman driving a white pickup truck was driving eastbound on 17 Mile, when she disregarded the stoplight, and struck a red Blazer that was southbound on White Creek. The truck then careened off the roadway to the right and drove down the hill into the BP gas station lot.

The driver of the Blazer, a Sparta man, was ejected.  His front seat passenger, a woman was also injured. Both were sent to the hospital by ambulance, with unknown injuries.

The driver of the pickup, a woman from Sand Lake, was not transported.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department assisted at the scene.

No other details were available at press time.

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Unique whitetail deer draws world-wide attention

Dragon, a pie-bald deer, was rejected at birth by his mother.

Dragon, a pie-bald deer, was rejected at birth by his mother.

By Beth Altena

A Dragon in the wild wouldn’t stand much of a chance. Even under the close supervision of Deer Tracks Junction ranch, in Courtland Township, on Fourteen Mile Road (M-57), it was a close call. Dragon is a rare pie-bald whitetail deer born three weeks ago with coloration so startling that his mother would have killed him if Kelly and Hillary Powell had not removed him shortly after his birth.

Although the deer are bred and raised in captivity, their natural instincts remain. “If they think there is a problem they won’t waste their time on them. They abandon them or stomp on them,” said Hillary.

Luckily for Dragon, who is the offspring of a mother who also sports white coloration, he was able to spend his first days in the Powell home and is now penned nearby with others of this year’s new fawns. Hillary posted pictures of Dragon on the Deer Tracks Junction webpage, like they do of all new animals on the wildlife ranch, and received a surprising amount of attention.

N-Deer2Dragon appeared as a news clip on AOL, and the national coverage on CNN and the Huffington Post was not as far as Dragon’s fame spread. Hillary said a journalist from England called asking for a link to the drop box where Hillary posted Dragon’s newborn photos. A cousin of Kelly Powell also called to say he’d heard about the special white fawn in his hometown news—in Germany.

Hillary said the news coverage has brought plenty of people out to see Dragon, as well as the other deer, elk and assorted farm animals at the ranch. One woman said she had to have Dragon at any price, but was told he is not for sale.

Visitors are welcome to snap their own pictures of Dragon, when they see him on the evening wildlife tours. He is not available during the ranch’s day hours, however.

At three weeks old, Dragon is slowly being accepted by the other animals in his pasture, including another yearling pie-bald deer, and his own mother, who is happy with Dragon’s twin, who is normal colored. The older pie-bald deer, whose markings are extremely similar to Dragon, was born last year but garnered no fame, much less news coverage across America and overseas. Hillary said she isn’t sure what makes Dragon different, besides the fact that he is so pretty. Perhaps he is magical.

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