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Red Flannel Day 2018

Post photo by L. Allen.

It was the first Red Flannel Day for this cute little munchkin. Rylee Dines, just one-year-old, and her mom, Rita, had something special to celebrate—Rylee was born on Red Flannel Day last year! All dressed up in long johns and a granny cap, Rylee had a good time taking it all in. 

Although it was a little wet at times, thousands of people still descended on Main Street and the surrounding area for the day and had a great time visiting the many shops, booths, food vendors, marketplace, lumberjack show, carnival rides, playing games, watching the parades and much more. Click here to see more Red Flannel photos.



On last week’s front page, we ran a photo of a beautiful baby girl, one-year-old Rylee Dines, who was enjoying her first Red Flannel Day. We said that she and her mom, Rita, had something special to celebrate—Rylee was born on Red Flannel Day last year! And it was true, they did have something to celebrate, and she was born on Red Flannel Day last year. However, the woman in the photo, named Rita, was not Rylee’s mom, but her grandma! How were we to know? She looked young enough to be her mom. Has she discovered some type of miracle face cream that melts away the years? We want some of whatever she’s using! We might even invest in this miracle elixir. At any rate, we do apologize to Rita, and to Rylee’s parents—whose names we just learned—Kelly and Matt Dines. Thank you for sharing Rylee with us!

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The Post travels to the Netherlands

Last August, Herm and Rosemary Standhardt travelled to the Netherlands  and took a Post with them. They stayed several days in Amsterdam. 

One of the sites they visited was the Amsterdam Central Train Station, which they said is a huge station built in 1890s and handles over 200,00 travelers a day. 

“Next to this station are many, many bicycles,” said Herm. “People who commute per train from this station park their older bikes there.

They also visited the Rembrandt Plein or Rembrandt Square. “All the painted characters in Rembrandts most famous painting,

the Nachtwacht or the Nightwatch, were cast in bronze and posted three-dimensional,” he explained.

Sounds like you guys had a great time. Thanks so much 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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School PTO walkathon raises $44,000


The Cedar Springs Elementary schools held their PTO walkathon fundraiser last Friday, October 5, and raised over $44,000 to support students and teachers with various purchases throughout the year.

The PTO raised funds from local companies to sponsor t-shirts so that every student and staff member was given a free Red Hawk pride t-shirt. Students collected pledges from family and friends to try and beat classroom and building goals. Each grade had a winning classroom with the most pledges. 

Each Elementary building walked for about 45 minutes. K–6th grade participated. The kindergartners ended up having their walkathon in the building due to the rain.  The Red Flannel Court Members came and watched them parade around the building. The other grade levels held their walkathon outdoors.

All elementary buildings, along with the sponsors, raised over $44,000. Red Hawk raised $3,770.77; Cedar View raised $10,363.48; Beach raised $7,918.87; Cedar Trails  raised $10,318.71; and sponsors contributed $11,650.

This money will go towards supporting teachers and students through PTO funded technology, playground equipment, books, and other purchases throughout the year.

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Coral fungi and others

These large mushrooms were found growing in a fairy ring in Cam Teusink’s yard at Beech and Second Street last month. Ranger Steve thought they might be Lepista irina, but there are others that grow in fairy rings as well. Photo submitted by Ed Bremmer.

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Many interesting mushrooms popped up in the yard, woods and fields during the wet hot weather this fall. Colorful Amanitas with yellow spots on the red cap are beauties to behold but dangerous to eat. Many fungi are edible like puffballs but one needs to pay attention to details and be careful. 

My friend Donna Hickey had four sisters and a brother. Donna died in her 90’s in the 1990’s. When they were young girls, their mother sent them out to pick mushrooms with instructions not to eat any until she looked at each one. Her 5-year old sister ate one before her mother looked at them. She got sick and they sent for the doctor. It took him awhile to get there with horse and buggy because of a bridge washout. He could do nothing and she died from liver damage. Mushroom chemicals destroy liver function and death comes rapidly. 

It amazes me how many mushrooms are eaten by wildlife with no harmful effects. It would not surprise me to learn animals make deadly mistakes that we never discover.

When I taught at Brainerd Community College before moving here to become director of the Howard Christensen Nature Center, I worked with Rudy Hillig, who was director of the Northland Arboretum (then called Paul Bunyan Arboretum) in Brainerd, Minnesota. Rudy told me about a friend who was President of Minnesota Mycology (Mushroom) Society. His friend from the Twin Cities stopped in to visit Rudy in the morning and they made plans to meet for supper. His friend went mushroom collecting for the day. 

While collecting, an elderly gentleman asked him if he was concerned about picking a deadly mushroom. Irritated with that frequently asked question, Rudy’s friend said they are rare and he grabbed a mushroom and bit it to make his point. He immediately realized his error and asked the man to get him to the hospital. The man said he did not drive. Rudy’s friend did not show up for dinner. Rudy learned he died from his mistake.

Collecting edible mushrooms is a favorite outdoor activity many people enjoy. It adds delicious flavor to meals. Even the choice morels that people seek in aspen forests and near dead elms in spring have a look alike that  should not be eaten. Learn what to collect by studying mushroom details in their nature niches.

I am not a fan of mushroom taste but I enjoy looking at the tremendous variety that abounds when conditions are ideal. Warm falls with heavy rain are wonderful for producing great varieties to feed our eyes. I led a group at Ody Brook where we saw about three dozen mushrooms growing from the top of an old dead stump. The scene captured joyful attention of the hikers. That one event made the entire walk worthwhile. 

Seeing a large variety of mushrooms growing from tree bark to fairy rings sprouting from damp ground is enjoyable. The mycelium growing out of sight underground or under bark on dead trees remains hidden from view throughout the year. It secretes digestive enzymes that leave its body where it digests food that needs to be absorbed into the fungus. It is not the most efficient method of food capture but it works. When conditions are right, reproductive structures seem to rise into view overnight from the hidden mycelium. 

There are many varied types of beautiful fungi. The coral fungi look like they should be growing on a coral reef submerged in a shallow warm ocean. Instead they display reproductive coral-like growths with branching upright arms from soil here. Their colors include white, orange, and purple. Most are white and lure me outside to explore the varieties after a warm fall rain. The coral-like appearance is unmistakable. 

Major groups of fungi include the bracket fungi that protrude like shelves from trees. They have little pores on the bottom that expel spores. Gill mushrooms release spores from slits under the umbrella like roof and are sought by mushroom hunters to eat. A type of sac fungi displays beautiful little cups with bright red interiors. Enjoy the colors, shapes, and taste found in wild places. Fungi are essential for returning nutrients to the soil allowing plants healthy growth. Without fungi facilitating nutrient cycling, plants would cease and so would we. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Cedar Springs runs over Lowell

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks ran all over the field in their 50-0 win over Lowell last Friday. Courtesy photo.

Secures playoff bid

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team ran away with the win last Friday, October 6, on their way to a spot in the playoffs, when they hosted Lowell in their annual pink out game.

The Red Hawks tore up the field in their 50-0 win over the Red Arrows, raking up over 500 yards, with two players getting over 100 yards, and three other players getting 55-plus. Much of it was in the first half.

“As far as we can tell, the 473 yards rushing in the first half was a school record,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “It’s the second time we’ve two players o over 100 yards this season.”

Ryan Ringler set a record on defense when he broke the previous school record of 301 career tackles. At the end of the game he had 304 career tackles, spanning from the 2015 to 2018 seasons.

The first score of the game came with 10:47 left in the first quarter, when Sage Serbenta ran right for a two-yard touchdown. QB Kolby Swank then ran it in for the extra two points.

Serbenta scored again with 5:41 left in the first quarter when he ran for a 62-yard touchdown. Swank’s pass to Serbenta was no good.

Cedar Springs scored again with :56 seconds left in the first when Lucas Pienton ran left for a two-yard touchdown. Ethan West’s run in for the extra points was no good. The score at the end of the first quarter was Cedar Springs 20, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks scored again in the second quarter with 9:25 left on the clock when Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for an 85-yard touchdown. Pienton’s run in for the extra points was good.

The Red Hawks scored twice more in the second quarter. With 4:27 left, Zack Schmid ran right for a 10-yard touchdown, and Swank’s run into the end zone for extra points was good. They scored again with 1:16 left when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the half ended with the score Cedar Springs 42, Lowell 0.

Cedar Springs scored once more in the fourth quarter, with 10:20 left on the clock, when Ethan West ran 49-yards for a touchdown. West then passed to Justus Larsen on the two-point conversion attempt and it was good. The final score was Cedar Springs 50, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks rushed for 512 yards, netting 505 after penalties. Serbenta rushed for 130; Ringler 128; Shaw 73; West 72; Pienton 55; Landon Totten 24; Swank 19; and Schmid 13. Pienton also had an interception.

On defense, Gage Gardner had the most tackles with 8; followed by Zack Schmid and Xavier Anderson with 6 each; Ringler with 5; and several others with 3 or less.

 “I’m happy with our performance and I thought our guys played well and we were able to play a lot of our bench guys who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time this season,” said Coach Kapolka. 

Cedar Springs is now 4-0 in conference, and 6-1 overall. They are in first place in the OK-White, with Northview a close second (4-1, 5-2). There are two weeks left in the regular season. The Red Hawks travel to Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (0-5, 1-6) this Friday, October 12, and then host Forest Hills Northern (2-2, 4-3) on October 19. Come out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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New royalty reigns

Court members Harlow Hovarter (L) and Alyssa Washington (R) with Red Flannel Queen Zoe Castor (Center). Photo by Megan Rosenberger.

According to Zoe’s dad, Dave Castor, her Aunt Anna made this Red Flannel Queen costume when she was not quite 2. “Her mom Terrie and I never guessed that she would be Queen,” he said. Courtesy photo.

The 74th annual Red Flannel Queen’s Scholarship Pageant took place this past Saturday, September 29, at Cedar Springs High School, where seven young ladies competed to be the next Red Flannel Queen. 

Judges for the evening chose Zoe Castor, daughter of David and Terrie Castor as the 2018 Red Flannel Queen, and her two court members are Harlow Hovarter, daughter of Will Hovarter and Raelene Davis, and Alyssa Washington, daughter of Steve and Joy Washington. Castor was also voted as Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.

The circus-themed event was started with an exciting opening number that included flips, light up hula hoops, ribbons, and confetti, which was thrown by the “ringmaster” for the evening, the returning Master of Ceremonies, David Stuart Jr., a teacher at Cedar Springs High School. Assisting him for the evening was the 2008 Red Flannel Queen Breeann Ovokaitys Gibson. 

From L to R: Larissa Fettig, Harlow Hovarter, Paige Pierson, Zoe Castor, MC David Stuart Jr, Kalli Green, Alyssa Washington, and Rileigh Warner. Photo by Megan Rosenberger.

The seven talented contestants competed in a one-on-one interview with the judges before the pageant, and onstage they answered a question about the Red Flannel Festival in a business outfit of their choice as well as having a spontaneous conversation with the MC while wearing a lovely evening dress. Another highlight of the evening was when hostess Breeann Ovokaitys Gibson interviewed the 2018 Grand Marshals, Bob and Betty Truesdale. 

“I am so happy with how this year’s pageant went,” remarked Pageant Director Kaleigh Goehler. “Every year we have a great group of contestants participate in the pageant but the seven young ladies this year were an exceptional group! They worked hard and had fun doing it. More than ever I am so thankful I’m not a judge because choosing three of these seven was no easy task. I am so excited for our new Queen and Court. They are going to have a phenomenal year! The parents of all of our contestants should be very proud.” 

Queen Zoe Castor with her mom and dad, Dave and Terrie Castor. Courtesy photo.

Next year will mark the 75th Queen’s pageant and will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2018. 

If you have not yet donated to the Queen scholarship fund, there is still time. 

The Scholarship Committee’s goal is to raise $5,000 for the Queen, and $2,500 for each of the two court members. If you would like to contribute, you can donate online through Paypal at redflannelfestival.org, or you can send a check or money order to Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Fund, PO box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Every contribution helps! Donations of $100 or more earns the donor two free passes to the Red Flannel Queen pageant. Donations are accepted through June 30, 2019 for the 2018 Queen and court. All contributions are tax deductible.

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Solon Fire goes pink

Shirts must be ordered by this Friday, Oct. 5

Would you like to show your support of the Solon Fire Department and breast cancer awareness at the same time? You’ll need to act fast to get in on it.

Solon Fire Department is wearing pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Shirts are being sold for $15.00 each with $7.00 per shirt to be donated to the Susan G Komen foundation.

Orders with payment (cash only) can be placed at the Solon Fire station thru October 5, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 2305 Nineteen Mile Road NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Shirts can be picked up at the station after 10-12-18.

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State-record hybrid sunfish caught in southwest Michigan

Joel Heeringa of St. Joseph, Michigan, caught a new state-record hybrid sunfish July 9, 2018, on Lake Anne at Grand Mere State Park (Berrien County). The fish (confirmed as a hybrid sunfish by University of Michigan fish experts) weighed 1.8 pounds and measured 11.7 inches.

Michigan has a new state-record hybrid sunfish, out of Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park in Berrien County. Joel Heeringa, of St. Joseph, Michigan, caught the fish July 9, while still fishing with a crawler. The record fish weighed 1.8 pounds and measured 11.7 inches.

Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries unit manager for southern Lake Michigan, verified the record. Because the fish was believed to be a hybrid, additional identification was required, delaying final confirmation. University of Michigan fisheries experts also examined the fish and confirmed it was indeed a hybrid sunfish. 

According to Gunderman, Michigan has several sunfish species in Michigan that can hybridize with each other. This group includes native species such as bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, and warmouth. It also includes redear sunfish (native to the southern United States), which he said were stocked in a number of lakes in southern Michigan during the 1990s-early 2000s. 

“Hybrid sunfish commonly occur in nature, and we catch hybrids during most of our lake surveys in this region of the state,” he explained. “Hybrid sunfish (usually male bluegill and green sunfish female crosses) also are produced in private fish hatcheries for stocking in ponds. There is a common misconception that hybrid sunfish are infertile. Hybrid sunfish are fertile. However, about 80-90 percent of hybrid sunfish are males, so it is rare for two hybrids to mate with each other. They are more likely to spawn with a purebred of one of their parent species.”

Gunderman said the new state record definitely was a hybrid sunfish, but it is not possible to conclusively identify the parent species without genetic testing. “The external characteristics were consistent with a bluegill/green sunfish hybrid. For the purposes of our State Record and Master Angler programs, all types of hybrid sunfish are lumped into one category.”

The previous hybrid sunfish state record actually was a tie between two fish: one caught May 28, 1988, by Daniel Manville on Arbutus Lake in Grand Traverse County and one caught June 1, 1988, by Lloyd Jarman, Jr. on Doan’s Lake in Allegan County. Both fish weighed 1.44 pounds.

State records in Michigan are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

For more information, visit michigan.gov/masterangler or contact Brian Gunderman at 269-685-6851, ext. 145.

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Red Hawks pull off big win over FHC

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks earned their fifth straight victory last Friday, September 28, when they took the win over Forest Hills Central at the Rangers’ homecoming. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks kept their winning streak alive last Friday, September 28, when they upset Forest Hills Central 24-14, on the Rangers’ home turf. However, it was a bit of a nail biter for Red Hawk fans, when the Rangers defense did something no other teams’ defense has been able to do this year: they kept the Red Hawks scoreless in the first half.

“This was a big win for us,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “Being down at the half and fighting our way back really makes me proud as a coach. Our guys hung tough together and found a way to get it done.”  

The first score of the game came with :36 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter, when Forest Hills Central’s Cameron Deines ran right for a 4-yard touchdown, and the extra point kick was good. So Cedar Springs went into the locker room at half down 0-7.

The Red Hawks came out with renewed vigor in the second half, and scored with 7:08 left in the second quarter, when QB Kolby Swank passed to Kaden Liggett for a 10-yard touchdown, and then passed again to Sage Serbenta for another two. They led 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Red Hawks scored again in the fourth, with 8:28 left, when Serbenta ran to the right for a 5-yard touchdown, and then he ran it into the end zone again for the extra two points. 

The Rangers hit the scoreboard again just a couple of minutes later (6:53 left) when Cameron Deines ran to the left for a 19-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was good. The score was now 16-14, Red Hawks, and plenty of time for it to go either way.

Cedar Springs sealed the win with 2:04 left on the clock when Lucas Pienton ran left for a 1-yard touchdown, and then Swank passed to Serbenta for the extra two points.

“We really controlled time of possession in the second half (20 minutes – 4 minutes), and we converted all three of our two-point conversions in the second half,” noted Kapolka. “I felt that was the difference in the game.”

The Red Hawks rushed for a net total of 295 yards, with Serbenta running for 99 on 14 carries; Pienton had 89 on 17 carries; Ringler 77 on 19 carries; and Swank had 23 on 5 carries. Ethan West and Zach Schmid also contributed. 

Cedar Springs also garnered some passing yardage, with Swank completing 5 out of 8 passes for 47 yards. Receivers included Pienton, Serbenta, West, Liggett, and Nate Webb.

FHC had a total of 75 yards rushing, with Deines getting 39 yards on 7 carries; and Jimmy Scholler 30 yards on 12 carries. 

Ranger QB Jimmy Scholler racked up 148 yards on 14 of 20 passes. 

On defense, Ryan Ringler led with 8 tackles; Pienton had 7; Schmid had 6; Gage Gardner and Xavier Anderson both had 5. Pienton also had an interception. 

The Red Hawks lead the OK White Conference with a record of 3-0 in conference and 5-1 overall. One more win will guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. On Friday, the Red Hawks will host Lowell (1-2, 1-5 overall) in their annual pink game at Red Hawk Stadium at 7 p.m. 

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Red Hawk visit

Red Hawk visits Cedar Trails Elementary to welcome the kindergarten class to Cedar Springs Public Schools.

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