web analytics

Archive | Featured

Become a DNR conservation officer

The conservation officer academy recruits ran the first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Michigan.

The conservation officer academy recruits ran the first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division is actively seeking recruits for its next conservation officer academy, which begins July 16, 2017, at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Dimondale.

“The DNR, an equal opportunity employer, is seeking a diverse applicant pool, including military veterans,” said Sgt. Jason Wicklund, recruit school commander.

Certain criteria apply. All recruit applicants must:

  • Be able to lawfully possess a firearm in Michigan.
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be at least 21 years of age before graduation from the academy.
  • Become a resident of the state of Michigan by completion of the Probationary Training Program.
  • Possess a valid Michigan driver’s license.
  • Possess a satisfactory driving record.
  • Possess a clean criminal record absent of any felony convictions.
  • Submit to a thorough background investigation measuring the applicant’s suitability for law enforcement work.
  • Be able to pass the MCOLES physical fitness test. Go to http://www.michigan.gov/mcoles and click on “physical fitness test.”

To apply, for the job, complete the online application at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/michigan/jobs/1525399/conservation-officer-10-statewide.

Recruits spent time learning conservation law, including how to identify various features of game fish common to Michigan waters.

Recruits spent time learning conservation law, including how to identify various features of game fish common to Michigan waters.

When submitting an application, download and complete the Job Fit Questionnaire and Location Preference Sheet found in the “Additional Requirements and Information” section of the “Description” tab. Attach completed Job Fit Questionnaire, Location Preference Sheet, cover letter and resume to the application. Applicants not completing and submitting all requested materials will be screened from the process. The State of Michigan is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, disability or other factors prohibited by law.

Recruits are classified as State of Michigan employees during the academy and receive pay for their training. The 22-week academy culminates in graduation and is then followed by an additional 20 weeks of field training throughout the state while paired with experienced conservation officers.

At the completion of training, the new officers are assigned to one of the state’s 83 counties where they will work and live.

During ice safety training, recruits jumped into an ice hole and learned to use their issued ice picks to maneuver out of the hole. All safety precautions were taken during the exercise to ensure recruit safety

During ice safety training, recruits jumped into an ice hole and learned to use their issued ice picks to maneuver out of the hole. All safety precautions were taken during the exercise to ensure recruit safety

“DNR conservation officers serve a distinct role in Michigan’s law enforcement community,” Wicklund said. “They are certified police officers with the authority to enforce all Michigan’s laws.”

Conservation officers have unique training in a wide variety of areas related to the protection of Michigan’s citizens and natural resources. This includes extensive training in game, fish, and trapping enforcement and recreational safety and enforcement.

They also receive extensive training in firearms, precision and off-road driving and survival tactics.

Conservation officers also serve the public in life-saving capacities, including ice-rescue, search and rescue and first-aid. Often, and especially in rural communities, they are the first to respond to an emergency.

For more information on the application process and how to apply to the conservation officer academy, contact Sgt. John Meka at mekaj@michigan.gov or 517-284-6499. To learn more about the conservation officer hiring process, visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers and click on the link below the “Hiring Process” subheading.

Learn more about the academy by reading the 2016 Conservation Officer Academy blogs for Recruit School No. 7. Visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers and click on “Conservation Officer Academy” under the “Hiring Process” subheading to read about each week of training, view training photos and watch videos of recruits persevering.

Subscribe to the conservation officer academy blog, also posted on the Michigan DNR Facebook page, which follows these new officers during their challenges and accomplishments throughout field-training and beyond. Intermittent posts continue past graduation.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

MCC features inmate artists 

A variety of artwork by inmates in Michigan correctional facilities is included in Montcalm Community College’s “Art From the Inside Out” exhibit. Located in the Instruction North Building Art Gallery on the college’s Sidney campus, the exhibit may be viewed Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 12 through Oct. 27.

A variety of artwork by inmates in Michigan correctional facilities is included in Montcalm Community College’s “Art From the Inside Out” exhibit. Located in the Instruction North Building Art Gallery on the college’s Sidney campus, the exhibit may be viewed Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 12 through Oct. 27.

“Art From the Inside Out” exhibit Sept. 12-Oct. 27

SIDNEY—Montcalm Community College’s “Art From the Inside Out” exhibit features artwork created by inmates in Michigan correctional facilities.

Located in MCC’s Instruction North Building Art Gallery on the college’s Sidney campus, the display is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 12 through Oct. 27.

This is the third time MCC has held an exhibit like this. The idea originally came from the University of Michigan’s annual exhibit of prisoner art.

“It is an excellent way for the MCC community to see artwork they wouldn’t usually be able to view,” said MCC Visual Arts Coordinator Carolyn Johnson. “At MCC, part of our mission is to allow our students to experience different ideas and expressions. Our art students critique and analyze the artworks and expand their perspective by observing work from people who have very different life experiences from the average college student.

“We have received responses from community members, as well as from our students, expressing how enlightening it is to see artwork created by a marginalized population,” she added. “Art is very personal. How we engage with art is very personal. It helps us to see through the eyes of people who live differently from us, as well as people throughout history and across cultures. Art helps us expand our ideas. The more we know about others, the more empathetic and understanding we are toward others.”

MCC expects more than 100 artworks in 2D and 3D from approximately 75 artists from four area institutions.

“It amazes me to see how strong the creative impulse is in humans,” Johnson said. “From picking up charcoal to adorn prehistoric cave walls, to kids building sand castles, there is an innate urge to make things of beauty.

“Many of the people taking part in this exhibit have never had any art education and only started to express themselves visually since being incarcerated,” she added. “Many of the artworks express ideas of remorse and sadness. Art is a safe way to explore the entire range of human emotions.”

MCC Art Instructor Debbie Bell said this art show is meant to educate and challenge students.

“This art is very psychological and has intense emotion within it, so most pieces hold a lot of meaning and pent up emotions,” Bell said. “This art show gives viewers a connection with people who they are unable to have contact with as they would with others in society.”

Johnson said it is important to realize that most of the people in prison will one day be released.

“When someone has paid their debt to society, we need to find ways for them to fit back into the outside world. Art can help them do just that. If these artists don’t have a creative outlet or positive way to interact with the outside world, they may revert to the behavior that got them incarcerated.”

Bell said all MCC art instructors have their students observe the art, write reflection papers on the artwork and discuss what materials were used.

“Some of the participating prison artists have family members in our community,” Johnson said. “Many people in our area are employed at area prisons. How much safer might their jobs be when prisoners have a safe outlet to express their emotions?”

Most of the artwork is available for sale. The prices range from $5 to $500, based on the piece’s size and the artist’s experience. Once a piece is taken out of the prison, it cannot be returned to the artist.

Visit MCC’s Instruction North Art Gallery on the college’s Sidney campus to view and/or purchase pieces. A ballot box in the Art Gallery allows visitors to vote for their favorite artwork and People’s Choice Awards will be given to the artists receiving the most votes at the end of the show.

Contact MCC Visual Arts Coordinator Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@montcalm.edu or 989-328-1248 for more information.

 

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, FeaturedComments (0)

SUV hits motorcycle

This SUV rear-ended a motorcycle Monday, in Solon Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

This SUV rear-ended a motorcycle Monday, in Solon Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

 

A Newaygo man was sent to the hospital on Monday afternoon, August 29, after the motorcycle he was driving was hit from behind.

The crash occurred on 17 Mile, just east of Pine Island. According to Deputy Lecuru, a SUV rear-ended the motorcycle. Both vehicles appeared to be eastbound.

The driver of the motorcycle, a 28-year-old Newaygo man, was not wearing a helmet. Deputy Fire Chief Chris Paige, with Solon Township Fire and Rescue, said that the man was alert and talking, and showed no obvious signs of severe trauma. He was transported to the hospital by Rockford ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries—mainly bumps and bruises.

The driver of the SUV, a 54-year-old woman from Casnovia, was not injured in the crash.

Deputy Lecuru said that alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash. The crash is still under investigation.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (4)

Red Hawks battle it out with Zeeland West

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer runs with the ball.

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer runs with the ball.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team showed everyone last Thursday night that they won’t back down from a challenge. They needed someone to play the first week, and state champion Zeeland West needed an opponent. So they said yes. And come game time, they surprised a lot of people with how well they kept the Dux at bay. In fact, the Red Hawks did something no other team has done in two years—they kept them scoreless in the first half, and only allowed 14 points the whole game. And that’s on a team that generally scores 30-70 points each game. The Red Hawks went into half leading 3-0, but ultimately lost the game 14-9.

“I couldn’t be happier with the effort of our team, but obviously we are disappointed in the result,” said Head Coach Gus Kapolka. “We had opportunities to win the game and just came up a little short. This game will make us stronger moving forward, and we will be a better team for having played a team the caliber of Zeeland West.”

Click here for an article on the game by student reporter Maddie Nichols.

Posted in Featured, News, SportsComments (0)

Hit and run driver charged in bicyclist’s death

Charles Driggers died Friday August 26, nine days after being struck in a hit and run crash.

Charles Driggers died Friday August 26, nine days after being struck in a hit and run crash.

A Grand Rapids man that struck a bicyclist on August 19 and then left the scene, is now being charged in the man’s death.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Benjamin VanderPloeg, of Grand Rapids, was traveling westbound on Cannonsburg Road, east of Chauncey Avenue on August 17, about 8:19 p.m., when he struck bicyclist Charles Driggers, 66, from behind. The driver then left the scene.

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

VanderPloeg was later arrested and charged with driving while license suspended causing serious injury, and failing to stop at a serious injury accident in relation to this incident. However, the victim died on August 26 of his injuries, and two new charges were added Wednesday, August 31: driving while license suspended causing death; and failing to stop at a serious injury accident causing death.

Bond was set at $200,000. The suspect is still in custody.

Driggers was reportedly training for an Iron man competition when the crash occurred.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Act of kindness overwhelms family

The Comstock Park Varsity Soccer team showed solidarity with the Cedar Springs Soccer team by giving each one of them a shirt showing their support for a cure for Brison Ricker.

The Comstock Park Varsity Soccer team showed solidarity with the Cedar Springs Soccer team by giving each one of them a shirt showing their support for a cure for Brison Ricker.

Back row (L to R): Comstock Park coach Jamie Bogart, Kim Ricker, Brian Ricker, Cedar Springs coach Kyle Avink. Front: Brison Ricker.

Back row (L to R): Comstock Park coach Jamie Bogart, Kim Ricker, Brian Ricker, Cedar Springs coach Kyle Avink. Front: Brison Ricker.

A year ago, 15-year-old Brison Ricker was playing on the Cedar Springs Red Hawk Varsity soccer team as a freshman. Just a few short months after the season ended, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been fighting for his life ever since.

This year, Brison and his family traveled to Comstock Park to watch and support the Varsity Soccer team for their first game on August 24 against Comstock Park. But what happened at the game was something unexpected.

“It was tear-filled start to the night as the ‘opposing team’ showed our family amazing support, with a t-shirt for Brison and all the players on the CS team, a signed game ball and a donation to our family,” wrote Kim Ricker on her Facebook page. “Over $800 was raised from this team who does not even know our family personally. This shows incredible sportsmanship and what a great coach and team they are! Tonight was so much more than a game, and we are so grateful to coach Jamie Bogart and the Comstock Park Varsity Team!”

The t-shirts given to the team and to Brison had a number one on the front with Cedar Springs vs Comstock Park 8/24/2016 over it, and on the back it read: Opponents on the field; teammates for a cure. #Rickerstrong

Thank you for sharing that wonderful act of kindness!

Do you have an act of kindness you’d like to share with our readers? Shoot us an email telling us the details of what happened, along with a photo (if you have it) and your contact info, and we’ll print it as space allows.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

What’s “bugging” you in our streams?

 

N-Stream-insect-monitoring-volunteersIn many cases we think bugs are a nuisance, but bugs in a stream can be very useful.  Stream insects are a good measure of water quality.  Unlike fish, stream insects cannot move around much so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality. Stream insects can also be easily identified.

Trout Unlimited National and Michigan Trout Unlimited will be holding a Stream Insect Monitoring Event on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin – 220 North Monroe Street in Rockford. Volunteers will be assigned to a monitoring group with a team leader. Each group will collect and identify insects from different stream sites in the Rogue River watershed. You don’t need any experience with stream insects to participate and all ages are welcome.

What will you need?  Please RSVP to Jamie Vaughan at jvaughan@tu.org or 312-391-4760 if you would like to attend.  Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.  Please bring waders if you have them and dress for the weather conditions. Children under 16 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

School Bus Safety

BACK-Bus-safety-1

School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Riding in a school bus is safer than walking, riding a bicycle, or being driven to school in private vehicles.

Today’s school buses are built with safety in mind. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are protected in large school buses by compartmentalization, a passive occupant protection system. This provides a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing padded seat backs that help to distribute and reduce crash forces. Compartmentalization is most effective when occupants are fully seated within the bus seat. Seating should be provided that will allow each occupant to sit on a school bus seat without any part of his or her body extending into the aisle.

The majority of bus-related deaths and injuries involve pedestrians-mostly children-who are struck by a bus or injured when they are exiting the bus to cross traffic.

School bus safety tips for drivers:

  • Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing
  • Stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway
  • Slow down in or near school and residential areas
  • Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area
  • Watch for children between parked cars and other objects

School buses are like traffic signals

  • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
  • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
  • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution

School bus safety tips for students:

  • Always stay in sight of the bus driver
  • Don’t hurry off the bus; check traffic first
  • Don’t go back to the bus after exitingBACK-Bus-safety-2

Posted in Back 2 School, FeaturedComments (0)

Red Hawks lose close game to Zeeland West

Red Hawks take down the Zeeland West ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

Red Hawks take down the Zeeland West ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

By Maddie Nichols

This past Thursday, August 25 , the Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team traveled from Cedar Springs to Zeeland West to compete with the Dux for their first game of the season. The intensity, offensively and defensively, from both sides stayed consistent throughout the whole game. However, in the end, the Red Hawks fell short with a final score of 14-9.

The first quarter may have finished without scoring from either side, but senior Collin Alvesteffer had some major tackles that led to shutting down the Dux’s offense. Going into the second quarter, the combination of tackling from Alvesteffer and Junior John Todd took Zeeland down. With two minutes left of the first half, senior Dustin Shaw had a successful 22-yard field goal attempt, concluding the second quarter with the Red Hawks up 3-0.

After a long 10 minute drive from Zeeland West in the third quarter, the Red Hawks were left to hold the Dux at the 1-yard line. The Hawks give up the touchdown after a second attempt making them fall behind 8-3.

Right away in the fourth quarter, Collin Alvesteffer made a 34-yard touchdown to up the score 9-8. Both teams fought hard during the rest of the game. Great tackles from senior Austin Basso held back the Dux until the Red Hawks lost them defensively and the Dux got a touchdown after their fourth attempt, with 1 minute and 43 seconds left of the game. After a failed two-point conversion, the score was 14-9, Dux up by 5.

The Red Hawks came back with a strong offensive drive. With great efforts from John Todd, Collin Alvesteffer, and sophomore Ryan Ringler, the Hawks kept possession of the ball and got to the Dux 18-yard line. A 5-yard penalty against the Dux gave Cedar Springs more hope towards getting into the end zone. With only 2.8 seconds left on the clock, the Red Hawks fell short with an incomplete pass, concluding the game with a Hawk loss, 14-9.

Tonight, Thursday, September 1, the Red Hawks travel to Sparta to take on the Spartans at 7 p.m. Next week Friday, September 9, they travel to Greenville.

Posted in Featured, SportsComments (0)

Catch of the Week

OUT-Catch-of-week-AbbottGrace Abbott, 10, daughter of Bob and Mindy Abbott of Cedar Springs, caught this whopper 28-inch pike on Rainbow Lake in Trufant, while visiting a family friend’s cottage. Way to go, Grace! You just made the Post Catch of the Week!

Posted in Catch of the Week, Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)