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Check trees for Asian longhorned beetle

Adult Beetle—Large black beetles with white spots on wing covers; antennae have a white band at the base of each segment. Photo courtesy US Forest Service.

Adult Beetle—Large black beetles with white spots on wing covers; antennae have a white band at the base of each segment. Photo courtesy US Forest Service.

August is national tree check month, which makes it a great time for Michiganders and travelers alike to be on the lookout for invasive, destructive pests threatening the state’s forest landscape. The Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, along with the U.S Department of Agriculture, are asking people to take time out this month to examine trees for signs of Asian longhorned beetle, a highly destructive invasive pest.

Take just 10 minutes this month to check trees around homes for Asian longhorned beetle or any signs of the damage it causes. Out for a stroll? Look for signs around the neighborhood, at local parks and favorite recreation spots. Early detection and response are vital to protecting Michigan’s trees.

Dead Tree—Box elder killed by Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). Bark has fallen off, revealing larval galleries and exit holes. Photo courtesy US Forest Service.

Dead Tree—Box elder killed by Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). Bark has fallen off, revealing larval galleries and exit holes. Photo courtesy US Forest Service.

Adult Asian longhorned beetles are distinctively large, ranging from three-quarters of an inch to 1 and one-half inches in length, not including their long antennae. The beetles are shiny black, with random white blotches or spots, and their antennae have alternating black and white segments. They have six legs that can be black or partly blue, with blue coloration sometimes extending to their feet. The Asian longhorned beetle was first identified in the United States in 1996, likely transported from Asia in wood packing materials. Like the emerald ash borer, the Asian longhorned beetle spends most of its life cycle eating its way through the insides of trees. What makes ALB much more dangerous is that it feeds on a wide variety of tree species. Its first choice is maple, but it also will infest birch, elm, willow, buckeye, horse chestnut and other hardwoods. The damage caused by Asian longhorned beetles ultimately will destroy an infested tree. Adult beetles are active in late summer to early fall. During that brief window, beetles may be seen and some of the telltale signs of infestation may be more noticeable. Female beetles chew oval depressions in which they lay eggs. When larvae hatch, they burrow deep into the heartwood of the tree where insecticides can’t reach, creating large chambers in the wood. The next summer, fully formed adult beetles emerge from trees by boring perfectly round, three-eighths-inch-diameter exit holes. Sometimes a material resembling wood shavings can be seen at or below these holes or coming from cracks in an infested tree’s bark. Once a tree is infested, it must be removed. To date, there are no known infestations of Asian longhorned beetle in Michigan. However, the beetle has been found in areas of Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Ontario (Toronto). “Though the beetle does not move long distances on its own, it can be transported in firewood,” said John Bedford, Pest Response Program specialist at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “When traveling, leave your firewood at home. Buy it at your destination point and burn it there.”

Anyone observing an actual beetle or a tree that appears to be damaged is asked to report it. If possible, capture the beetle in a jar, take photos, record the location, and report it as soon as possible through the USDA’s Asian longhorned beetle website, www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com or contact MDARD at 800-292-3939 or MDA-info@michigan.gov.

MDARD’s Asian longhorned beetle Web page provides more information and photos to help identify the beetles and signs of the damage they cause to trees.

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How to attract the most colorful birds to your backyard

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(BPT) – Sparrows to doves, mockingbirds to magpies, every bird that visits your backyard this season will bring its unique brand of delight. Yet when a particularly colorful species shows up, you can’t help but feel a special thrill at the beauty of their plumage and song. You can take steps to draw the most colorful species to your feeder and fill your backyard with their vibrant, bright displays throughout the season.

First, research what types of birds live in your region. Some species may summer in your area and then winter elsewhere. Some may arrive in spring to breed and raise young, only to move on as fall approaches. Online resources such as the Audubon Society’s bird guide can help you identify the colorful species that may be found in your area this summer. Next, take action to make your backyard attractive to the birds you want to attract. Provide their preferred nesting habitat, plenty of fresh, clean water and a reliable supply of their favorite foods in a style feeder they favor.

The bird-feeding experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products offer some expert tips on common colorful birds found throughout North America and the types of bird feed they prefer:

*Cardinals: Among the best-known and most-loved backyard beauties, cardinals vary in hue from the brilliant red plumage of the males to the more subdued brownish red feathers of females. Both genders have black markings around the beak and darker feathers on the wings and back. Cardinals are seed eaters and are particularly fond of Safflower and Cole’s patented blend, “Hot Meats,” seed. They are attracted to the bitter taste of Safflower and go nuts for the spicy flavor of Hot Meats. Hot Meats are nutritious sunflower meats infused with fiery hot habanero chilies. A great no-waste, no-mess feed, it delivers more feed per pound, and no need for under-the-feeder cleanup. The chili peppers taste hot to mammals like squirrels, but birds do not feel the heat at all. Cardinals also appreciate suet, so be sure to serve this high-energy food in different varieties throughout your back yard.

*Bluebirds: Don’t mistake the sassy blue jay for a bluebird. These brightly colored birds sport brilliant blue feathers on their heads, backs and the tops of their wings, and warm russet fading to white on their bellies. Bluebirds stand out not only for their beauty, but also for their taste in feed. Bluebirds love spice and suet, so try a feed with some kick, like Blazing Hot Blend. All natural and chemical free, this blend combines a patented habanero chili oil formula (which appeals to birds but keeps squirrels at bay) with the most-preferred types of seeds. Bluebirds love every form of suet, so serve up Hot Meats Suet cakes, or a specialty suet like Suet Kibbles. They also favor mealworms, so to avoid the “ick factor” of serving live mealworms, try Cole’s dried mealworm version.

BLOOM-Attract-birds2*Goldfinches: When one of these bright yellow and black birds visits your yard, it’s like a slice of sunshine has settled at your feeder. With vivid yellow bodies, black masks above their beaks and black and white striping on their wings, goldfinches are among the flashiest, most vivid visitors to backyards. Lure them with sunflower, and niger seeds, or try Finch Friends, which combines their two favorite seeds in one mix.

*Indigo bunting: Another beautiful blue bird, the indigo bunting is also known for its boisterous and lovely song. Indigo buntings favor seeds and berries, but will also eat insects. To beckon this bunting to your backyard, try serving White Millet, a favorite seed choice.

*Baltimore orioles: That blaze of brilliant orange, capped by black may herald the arrival of a Baltimore oriole in your backyard. Woo these flashy fellows by serving cut fruit and berries, as well as peanut butter and suet. Cole’s Natural Peanut Suet Cake delivers the peanut butter base that orioles and other songbirds prefer, paired with the energy benefits of nutrient-dense suet. An interesting fact is orioles will try and feed off of hummingbird feeders; they like the nectar!

To attract the maximum number and variety of colorful birds, be sure to provide a range of feed types served in a variety of feeder styles, including tubular feeders for seeds, bowl feeders for fruits, berries and nuts, and hummingbird feeders for nectar drinkers.

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Solon Market is putting on the dog 

ENT-Solon-market-pet-dazeThe third annual Dog Daze of Summer Pet Expo and Popular Pet Show, at Solon Market, is scheduled for Saturday, August 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  This year’s event features Trooper David Cardenas and his canine unit, Paws With a Cause, a petting zoo, and many related businesses.  Talk to trainers, groomers, sitters, rescues and massage therapists.  Bring your dog to Market for a free gift. Kids can enter the popular pet show, which begins at 11:00 a.m. Every entry receives a prize! Two grand prizes will be awarded for popular vote and monies donated for rescues. Please be sure to come early to register and sign in. Free pictures with your pet via Solon Market’s Facebook page.

Market hours are 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  To pre-register for the pet show or for more information, please contact Vicky at 616-696-4227. Solon Market is located at 15185 Algoma Ave. between 18 and 19 Mile Rds. Check out their FB page and “like” them for updates.

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Man dies in accident on M-57

Charles Finch will be remembered as a loving family man. Photo from his gofundme page.

Charles Finch will be remembered as a loving family man. Photo from his gofundme page.

The obituary of a Cedar Springs man, who was killed in a head-on crash Monday, in Oakfield Township, characterized him as a gentle soul who will be remembered most for the love of his family.

Charles Finch, 35, was reportedly on his way to work on a construction job in the Greenville area, when the accident occurred on 14 Mile Road, between Wabasis and Lappley, just before 6 a.m. on August 3. According to the Michigan State Police, a driver heading eastbound was attempting to pass other vehicles when she hit Finch’s westbound vehicle head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The female driver of the other vehicle was seriously injured, but her name has not yet been released, because the accident is still under investigation.

Charles Finch left behind a wife, Sarah, and three young children. A gofundme page was started for his family on Tuesday, with a goal of $5,000. Instead, donors to the cause raised $10,850 in 24 hours.

If you would like to donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/g8g8g89wu5n.

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“Super” Summer reading program goes out with a bang

The Cedar Springs Fire Department sprayed down a horde of giggling kiddos at the library’s summer reading celebration in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed. The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department sprayed down a horde of giggling kiddos at the library’s summer reading celebration in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Kent County Sheriff Department Expo was a big hit with the kids. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs Public Library held a super celebration Wednesday in Morley Park that was worthy of the super heroes they’ve been celebrating all summer long.

More than 700 people attended the finale to this summer’s reading program. “It was an awesome turn out,” said Library Director Donna Clark.

The celebration featured an expo by our local super heroes in the Kent County Sheriff Department, who brought in the mobile command center, boat, mounted unit, a motorcycle, a car, a tank, a remote-controlled robot, and other tactical items. They also had a raffle for four bikes. The expo was a big hit with both parents and kids.

Another set of local super heroes were on hand from the Cedar Springs Fire Department to cool kids off with the fire hose. They have been part of the event for many years and kids always look forward to a chance to get doused.

Kids also had a riot playing games, tackling the obstacle course, jumping in the bounce houses, slippin’ and slidin’ on the water slide, getting their face painted, munching on popcorn, grooving to the music, and cooling off with ice cream and ice water.

The kids who won prizes also picked them up at the event.

“We couldn’t have done this without all our sponsors and volunteers,” said Clark.

Turn to page 9 for a thank you ad from the library, and for more photos.

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Post travels to Texas and Ontario

Pictured are (L-R) Caden, Taryn and Logan Troupe with a Post in Galveston, Texas.

Pictured are (L-R) Caden, Taryn and Logan Troupe with a Post in Galveston, Texas.

 The Post traveled to Ontario, Canada with the Troupe family for the Bremmer family reunion, which also included some Bremmers from Cedar Springs.

The Post traveled to Ontario, Canada with the Troupe family for the Bremmer family reunion, which also included some Bremmers from Cedar Springs.

The Troupe recently traveled to the Houston, Texas area for a family wedding. They spent time at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, explored the city of Richmond, experienced some of the torrential rain that caused parts of the Brazos River to flood and relaxed on their last day in Galveston, where the kids took a photo with the Post.

This same Post then traveled to Klotz Lake in Longlac, Ontario on the annual Bremmer Family Fishing Trip less than 2 weeks later. “We spent our days catching pike, walleye and a few perch, drove to the Thunder Bay area to mine amethysts and enjoyed the amazing beauty of Canada,” said Jacquie Troupe. “Over 3,800 miles by one little Post in less than a month! Whew!”

Thanks so much to the Troupe family 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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Second Green Team works to improve Rogue River

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The Plaster Creek Green Team came up to Cedar Springs to help their Rogue River counterparts plant a rain garden at CS Tool Engineering.

 

This summer, Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project employed a “Green Team” of eight high school students from all over the watershed to install and maintain green infrastructure practices, such as rain gardens, bioswales, and vegetated buffers. These practices use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to control storm water runoff, the leading source of water pollution in West Michigan, to create healthier urban environments.

The “Green Team,” funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a replication of a successful program of the Plaster Creek Stewards, a part of Calvin College. The addition of the Rogue River Green Team, working in an upstream community, in a much higher quality watershed than Plaster Creek, exposed the students to matters of environmental injustice and the importance of the upstream-downstream relationship.

Bridget Flanery from Sparta, Cassidy Freeman and MaKayla Plekes from Rockford, and Troy Wilde from Kent City, made up the July team, led by local artist, landscaper and native plant specialist Georgia Donovan. Over the course of four weeks, the students implemented new projects, with Trout Unlimited, and helped local businesses and schools maintain their existing projects. The “Green Team” planted a stream buffer on Rum Creek for a Rockford homeowner, expanded a rain garden at CS Tool Engineering in Cedar Springs, and helped Sparta teacher Sue Blackall plant a native flower garden at the entrance of Sparta High School. They even visited Grand Rapids for a day to tour Catalyst Partner’s LEED Certified facilities and worked on their native gardens.

A major advantage of the partnership with Calvin College is the opportunity to expose the high school students to a college campus and demystify the experience, making them more likely to attend college when they graduate. The students took college courses with biology professor Dave Warners and they helped Calvin students carry out their summer research projects. The combination of classroom teaching, with hands-on fieldwork, has provided the Green Team participants with unique job training and exposure to many different careers in the environmental field. But more than that, the students got a once in a lifetime experience to expand their knowledge and make a difference in their community.

Bridget, a student at Wellspring Preparatory, said about her summer, “Being a part of the Green Team has been one of the most rewarding experiences; not only for myself but for the environment around me.”

Trout Unlimited and the Plaster Creek Stewards have EPA funding for two Green Teams next year as well, reaching 32 students in just two summers.

The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project is funded by the Frey Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Wolverine World Wide Foundation, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.

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Work begins on pavilion

A new 20 x 36-foot pavilion will soon fill this spot in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

A new 20 x 36-foot pavilion will soon fill this spot in Morley Park. Post photo by J. Reed.

Visitors to Morley Park may have noticed something unusual: a large area of dirt behind the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

That’s because excavation started on the new pavilion being built there, and fill was recently brought in.

The pavilion is the Eagle Scout project headed up by Scout Kevin Galloway, who will be a junior at Cedar Springs High School this year. He originally wanted to repair the gazebo in Morley Park, but when that one was deemed structurally unsafe, he came up with the idea to build a new one.

His goal is to build a 20 x 36 pavilion that will be maintenance free and fit 8-10 picnic tables. Over $18,000 was raised for the project. A groundbreaking was held in April.

According to Brenda Galloway, Kevin’s mother, contractors are fitting Kevin’s job in between others, but they hope to have the concrete laid soon.

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Get your outdoor space in shape six ways

Don’t let insects bug you when you are enjoying your backyard.

Don’t let insects bug you when you are enjoying your backyard.

(NAPS)—Here’s the buzz when it comes to backyard fun: Before you plan those barbecues, pool parties and bonfires, you need to transform your outdoors into a great entertaining environment and stop insects from making themselves at home.

To keep your backyard looking its best this season, try these six tips:

1. Good gardening: Choose a lively combination of colorful plants and flowers to brighten your outdoor spaces during the day and light them at night to add drama. Try citronella plants and marigolds to naturally repel mosquito populations and be sure to eliminate standing water as it attracts mosquitoes.

2. Check your equipment: Make sure the lawn mower, weed-whacker and the like are primed and ready, blades sharpened, tank refilled and so on.

3. Rake it in. Get rid of last year’s dead leaves and twigs that can keep your lawn from soaking up the sun. Consider composting the debris.

4. Beating the pests: Fortunately, protecting your yard against insect-borne diseases such as chikungunya, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) does not have to be a challenge, nor does it have to involve chemical sprays. Instead, you can use environmentally friendly solutions to keep bugs at bay while enjoying the outdoors.

For example, Dynatrap insect traps can provide relief from mosquitoes, biting flies and other flying bugs without pesticides. Since they come in a variety of styles and finishes, you can even find one to match your deck decor.

5. Grilling idea: Clean the grill after each use to save yourself time and trouble when you want to fire it up for your next get-together. That will also help keep bugs from hovering on the deck.

6. Deck design: Your outdoor space can make or break your backyard, so be sure it reflects your style and makes a statement. Keep in mind the primary use of your outdoor space and remember to think about mosquito control as it relates to the size of your yard. Position the insect trap where it will draw bugs away from where you spend most of your time.

Learn More

For further facts, visit www.dynatrap.com, Frontgate and other retailers, or on Facebook, Twitter@Dynatrap or Pinterest.

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Sewer and water construction begins

Work began late last week to replace old sewer lines in the City of Cedar Springs. This photo shows construction on E. Cherry Street. Post photo by J. Reed.

Work began late last week to replace old sewer lines in the City of Cedar Springs. This photo shows construction on E. Cherry Street. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Area residents driving through the east side of the City of Cedar Springs probably couldn’t help but notice that the city’s utility reconstruction work has begun.

The city is replacing antiquated sewer lines and will construct a new water main on Muskegon Street.

Phase one of the project started with E. Cherry Street, and runs to just east of Park Street, and then south on Park to Ash Street. Asphalt was removed from those streets late last week, and work began in earnest this week on Cherry Street.

Phases 1 and 2 will include removing the existing road surface, aggregate base and sub-base, and installing new sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main and reconnection of sewer and water services.

Phase 2 of the project will include reconstruction of Ash Street, from Park Street to Ann Street, Ann Street from Ash to Beech Street, and Linda Street from the Beech Street intersection.

Phase 3 will be water main construction along Muskegon Street from Red Hawk Drive to the well fields.

Phase 4 will include sanitary sewer lining and spot repairs around the city.

During phase 1 and 2, residents will be able to get in and out, even when the road is torn up. “Dean’s Excavating (who is doing the work) has to provide access at all times,” explained DPW Director Tom Stressman. “At least one side will be passable.”

The United States Post Office on Cherry Street is still open. You can access it by parking behind the Kent Theatre and walking across the street; parking in the alley behind the Post Office; or parking in their lot off First Street.

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