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Successful year for Master Angler program

Did you know there are fish this size in Cedar Springs? Richard Virkstis, of Walker, made the Master Angler list in 2011 when he caught this Northern pike in Lime Lake, just west of Cedar Springs. It was 44.5 inches long, and just under 20 lbs.

Did you know there are fish this size in Cedar Springs? Richard Virkstis, of Walker, made the Master Angler list in 2011 when he caught this Northern pike in Lime Lake, just west of Cedar Springs. It was 44.5 inches long, and just under 20 lbs.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the results from its 2014 Master Angler program—a program that has been in place since 1973 to recognize large fish caught by recreational anglers. This past year, 987 anglers representing 19 states and Canada submitted catches that were recognized as Master Angler fish. That is a decrease from the 1,208 fish recognized in 2013. Of the entries accepted, 327 were categorized as “catch and keep” and 660 were categorized as “catch and release.” The most popular 2014 Master Angler entries by species include:

84 smallmouth bass

76 bluegill

60 crappie

57 channel catfish

56 rainbow trout

54 rock bass

37 walleye

Master Angler entries for 2014 included five state records, including flathead catfish (52.0 pounds, caught on Barron Lake by Dale Blakley of Niles); white perch (1.93 pounds, caught on Muskegon Lake by Aaron Slagh of Holland); brown bullhead (3.77 pounds, caught on Alcona Pond by Jared Gusler of Fairview); black buffalo (41.25 pounds, caught on Bear Lake by Joshua Teunis of Grand Haven); and quillback carpsucker (8.25 pounds, caught on Hardy Dam Pond by Benjamin Frey of Grand Rapids).

Submissions for the 2015 Master Angler program are being accepted now through Jan. 10, 2016. To download an application, visit michigan.gov/masterangler. Anglers are encouraged to submit their applications as fish are caught, rather than holding submissions until the end of the year.

The DNR reminds anglers that it is now even easier to participate in the Master Angler program, since the weight requirement has been removed for catch-and-keep entries. Anglers will no longer need to find a commercial scale to weigh their fish, as both the catch-and-keep and catch-and-release categories will now be based only on length. However, anglers should keep in mind that state-record fish still will be determined by weight.
Dozens of photos showing a variety of Master Angler catches over the years are available on the DNR’s Facebook page in the Master Angler photo album.

Posted in Featured, OutdoorsComments (0)

Fire burns Harvard home

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This home on Harvard Avenue, between 15 and 16 Mile Roads, caught fire Tuesday. Post photo by J. Reed.

 

Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Oakfield Fire Department and four other departments battled both the elements and a structure fire Tuesday morning in the 13000 block of Harvard Avenue NE.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene shortly after 10 a.m. Flames were coming through the roof. According to Oakfield Fire Chief Sam Peterson, the wind and cold were problems, but an even bigger problem was that the fire had gotten into the attic, and that area was restrictive.

Peterson said the fire started in the bathroom, possibly from some wiring issues. He said a fire investigator would be investigating the scene.

They cleared the scene at about 2:30 p.m.

A mom was home with children at the time of the fire, but the family had gotten out safely, as did their cat. No one was injured at the scene.

Oakfield was assisted by Courtland, Spencer, Grattan, and Montcalm Fire Departments.

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Cedar Trails principal resigns

Longtime Cedar Trails Elementary principal Jennifer Harper with a student.

Longtime Cedar Trails Elementary principal Jennifer Harper with a student.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education approved a resolution Monday evening to enter into a separation agreement with longtime Cedar Trails Elementary principal Jennifer Harper.

Harper, who was co-principal with Mike Duffy, has been on paid administrative leave, and recently resigned. The reason for her paid leave and subsequent resignation has not been made public.

The Post has been contacted by concerned parents, who said she was there one day, and gone the next, with no explanation to staff or students and parents. “As a parent with students in the school I want to know what is going on,” wrote one parent. “This is crazy that the school district has said nothing to parents about this or anything that is going on. The kids are asking where she is.”

The Post spoke with the district office about the matter. “It’s been an ongoing personnel matter,” explained Superintendent Laura VanDuyn. “We can’t reveal the nature because it is a personnel matter. But I think it’s important to say that it’s not a matter that has to do with criminal conduct or the safety of students.”

Van Duyn said Harper was put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. “We have clearly followed our district’s legal counsel in the matter,” she said.

Harper was originally hired to run the Parents as Teachers program, and then became co-principal with David Cairy.  She continued on as a principal at Cedar Trails after Cairy moved to Assistant Superintendent. Andy Secor and Mike Duffy have served as co-principals with Harper. Secor currently is principal at Cedar View.

VanDuyn said that Duffy would continue as principal at Cedar Trails and Harper would not be replaced.

While Harper said she could not discuss the terms of her resignation, she did have a statement for parents, staff and students.

“I have gladly dedicated my heart and soul to the students, staff and families of the Cedar Trails Community for the last 17 years. I have loved working with the staff, mentoring your young children, and have always supported high expectations for all. I wish only the best for CSPS and I pray for its continued success,” she said.

The Post submitted a request through the Freedom of Information Act on Monday, asking for any emails, documents, and minutes referencing the resignation of Jennifer Harper.

Harper is the second administrator to resign since the beginning of the school year. Assistant Superintendent Steve Seward resigned earlier this year.

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Chamber to hold auditions for Renaissance royalty

Chamber members in royal attire at last year’s festival.

Chamber members in royal attire at last year’s festival.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is planning their second annual Renaissance-themed summer celebration to kick off the summer during the second week of June. The celebration will take place from 18 Mile south to Morley Park in downtown Cedar Springs.

“This will be a great time to dress up as your favorite Renaissance character like Robin Hood, King Arthur, Merlin, Sir Lancelot, Gypsies, Pirates, Woodland Elves, Fairies, etc.,” said Chamber president Perry Hopkins. “This is a family event so kids of all ages can participate (adults can be kids too). We will have an outdoor movie in the park on Friday and have a variety of entertainers and vendors on Saturday and Sunday!”

Any individual or group who would like to participate in this event (vendors, volunteers, performers, etc) can contact Perry at 616-439-0890 or email kinofhope@yahoo.com. “We are looking to have as much of the community involved as possible,” he said.

 Mandy Stephenson, of Kalamazoo, will reign as Queen Victoria of Morleyshire, at this year’s Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire, put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mandy Stephenson, of Kalamazoo, will reign as Queen Victoria of Morleyshire, at this year’s Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire, put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire’s Theme is Robin Hood.

Most Renaissance Faires have a royal court that is a part of the event. We would like to announce our Queen Victoria of “Morleyshire” for this year’s Cedar Springs Renaissance Fair—Mandy Stephenson, from Kalamazoo. “She was chosen by the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire Committee for her for her experience with Renaissance Faires, her dress experience, language and knowledge,” explained Hopkins. He said she has been royalty at many Renaissance Faires, and has 13 years of experience in improvisational acting.

The Committee for the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire will also be holding auditions for the rest of the royal court. We are auditioning for Prince, Princess, Duke, Dutchess, Lords,and Ladies, towns people and rogues (possibly other roles too).

Auditions will be held on Saturday March 28 at 4:30 p.m. at 90 North Main Street, Cedar Springs, in the dance studio on the second floor. Those interested in auditioning need to come dressed to part. For more details please call Perry at (855) 627-2262 ext. 103 or 616-439-0890

You can find more information on our face book page Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire. The CSACoC also has an event page on face book for the event The Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire  https://www.facebook.com/events/348962938597221/

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Are your car seat fears founded?

CAR-Car-seat-fears

(BPT) – Driving your newborn home from the hospital is when you know your life has changed. Car safety before kids is relatively simple, but after your first child is born, it becomes more complicated, especially when it comes to proper car seat installation.

More than 50 percent of new fathers and 40 percent of new mothers expressed concern over mastering the proper car seat installation as one of their top fears when bringing home a newborn from the hospital, according to research from Cars.com and Toluna QuickSurveys.

Since the majority of newborns spend multiple hours in the car, knowing how to properly install a car seat is essential, and all too often done incorrectly. Seventy-five percent of children ride in car seats that aren’t properly installed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although car seats (and the children in them) are all unique, Cars.com editor and expert mom Jennifer Newman offers these simple steps that are generally applicable to most car seat installations:

* Once you purchase a car seat, perform a car seat check in your own vehicle to see if your new car seat and car are compatible. Some stores will even let you try it out in your car before you buy.

* Make sure you’re using a car seat that meets the latest federal safety requirements and the height and weight of your child.

* Read both the car seat’s owner’s manual and your car’s owner’s manual to make sure you’re following the recommendations regarding installation.

* Locate your local child car seat inspection station, offered throughout the country to teach parents, both new and experienced, how to properly install any car seat.

* Car seats can be installed with either the latch system – the lower latch and tether anchors often found in the backseat – or with the seat belt. Use whichever is easier for you but never use both at the same time – this setup hasn’t been crash-tested and it could put too much stress on the car seat.

* After connecting the seat, using either method, make sure to push down on the seat as you tighten the latch straps or seat belt. The seat shouldn’t move more than an inch at the belt path.

* Register your car seat with the manufacturer and sign up for recall emails to ensure your child is not riding in a defective car seat.

* Visit Cars.com to learn more tips on child driving safety.

“Even seasoned parents should take some time to learn how to properly install the new car seats on the market. This will lower the risk of any injuries and will help keep your child protected if you ever get into a car crash,” Newman says.

Although many precautions should be taken by any parent before driving with a child, new parents should not be worried to take their child for a ride. By taking the proper steps parents should feel comfortable and confident while driving with their newborn so they can focus on the road and keep their child protected.

Posted in Auto Life, FeaturedComments (0)

Red Hawk cheer finishes season at districts

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The Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer team took fifth out of 14 teams at Districts.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer team took fifth out of 14 teams at Districts.

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer traveled to Mona Shores this past weekend for the 2015 District Finals, with 14 schools competing for the Championship Title. Changes were made this week and three Junior Varsity teammates were brought up to compete in the Varsity Rounds. The Varsity line up has one senior, three juniors, six sophomores and six freshmen.

Cedar Springs took to the mat and earned a score of 208.10 after Round 1, placing them in 7th place. Round 2 gained an additional 199.02 points, bringing their sub total to 407.12, keeping them in 7th place. With the completion of Round 3, Cedar Springs earned an additional score of 300.70, taking 5th place overall, with a score of 707.82.

Mona Shores won the Championship with a score of 758.14, Kenowa Hills took second with a score of 745.28, Grand Rapids Christian took third with a score of 738.66, and Reeths-Puffer took fourth with a score of 736.72.

“We had an exciting season for such a young team,” said Head Coach Anne Olszewski. “We gained a lot of experience on and off the mat. Execution bonus points were earned for Round 3 at Districts. That’s the first time all season! Advancing to Regionals was lost to us by one placement. We need to gain some maturity and experience and that was starting to happen by the end of the season. The sky is the limit in the upcoming years,” she added.

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Nutrition choices made easy in the grocery aisle

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

(BPT) – Should you buy eggs instead of cereal? Popcorn in place of pretzels? For consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods at the grocery store, these types of decisions can feel overwhelming, and for some, time-consuming.

With the help of the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, making healthier decisions at store shelves becomes easier and quicker. Developed by a team of recognized experts, led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System was created as a direct response to America’s rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both adult and child populations. This team advocated the development of an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system to help improve public health.

The easy-to-use NuVal Nutritional Scoring System provides foods throughout participating grocery stores with a score of one to 100, 100 being the most nutritious. Scores are determined by an independent team of nutrition and medical experts who analyze more than 30 nutrition factors such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fat and calories. The experts do the research, so consumers can feel better about their food choices.

“Choosing the right foods at the grocery store can make or break your healthy meal plan for the week,” says registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames. “When walking the aisles, pick up wholesome foods that are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. For example, Eggland’s Best eggs are the highest-scoring egg on the NuVal scale and the only egg I recommend to my clients and serve my family due to their superior nutrition!”

Check out the foods Tammy recommends for your shopping cart next time you hit the grocery store:

* Fruits and vegetables top the list

With a score of 100, vegetables like broccoli and asparagus receive a perfect score due to their nutritional benefits. They provide important nutrients including vitamin A, which helps protect against infections, dietary fiber which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, and folate, which helps the body form red blood cells.

* Seafood catches top scores

Fishing for healthy foods? Try wild Atlantic salmon filets, which have a score of 96 on the NuVal scale. This fish selection offers calcium, which helps build strong bones, and phosphorus, which helps with digestion. Fish is also a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

* Eggs crack the NuVal Code

Eggs are a complete protein that keeps you full to prevent snacking and also include important nutrients your body needs throughout the day. Out of 56 brands of eggs reviewed, Eggland’s Best eggs scored the highest at 85. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega 3s.

Find fresh and nutritious recipe ideas, including this Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus, at www.egglandsbest.com or www.pinterest.com/egglandsbest.

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Ingredients:

8 Eggland’s Best Egg, large

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed

1/2 cup chicken broth

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

4 large slices from round loaf of crusty Italian bread, toasted (3/4-inch thick)

4 ounces very thinly sliced Serrano ham

1/4 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Ground Spanish paprika

Directions:

In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute or until very lightly browned. Remove garlic with slotted spoon; reserve for later use. Add asparagus and broth to hot oil; simmer 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning asparagus occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add white vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Break Eggland’s Best eggs into custard cups, one at a time. Gently slide eggs into hot water, in 2 to 3 batches. Poach eggs 3 to 4 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks are slightly thickened. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.

Place toast on 4 serving plates. Top each evenly with Serrano ham, asparagus spears, asparagus broth and 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and reserved garlic. Drizzle plates evenly with remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

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Driver slides into freight train

This Pontiac Sunfire is towed away after sliding into the path of a freight train near Sparta. Photo courtesy of WOODTV.com.

This Pontiac Sunfire is towed away after sliding into the path of a freight train near Sparta. Photo courtesy of WOODTV.com.

A teenaged driver reportedly couldn’t stop on a slippery road last Sunday, February 15, and slid into the path of a freight train.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jessica Poirier, 16, of Sparta, was traveling west on Schultz Avenue, just east of Alpine Avenue, about 2:42 p.m., when the accident occurred. She reported that the lights activated at the crossing, but she was not able to stop due to icy road conditions. As she continued westbound across the tracks, her Pontiac Sunfire was struck by the freight train and pushed to the east. She was treated for minor injuries at the scene. She was the sole occupant of the Sunfire.

The train engineer, Sean Woolworth, 43, of Sparta, was not injured.

The accident is still under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

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Large donation made to local non-profit

An anonymous donation of $170,000 was made to the Community Building Development Team. Treasurer Betty Truesdale holds a sign announcing the donation.

An anonymous donation of $170,000 was made to the Community Building Development Team. Treasurer Betty Truesdale holds a sign announcing the donation.

A Cedar Springs-based non-profit is gaining steam in its efforts to make the community a better place to be.

Betty Truesdale, treasurer of the Community Building Development Team, reported at the February meeting that the group received an anonymous donation of $170,000.

“This entire community has been extremely supportive of the CBDT’s goals and efforts,” remarked Truesdale. “All of the money donated has been done in a spirit of hope and commitment to our community and without an ‘ask’ or official fund raising effort. It is heart-warming and encouraging, as well as a testimony of the type of people living in our community.”

The non-profit organization was created two years ago, with a focus on constructing buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, and family/community events.

The group has been working closely with various local, state, and federal organizations in securing a wide range of grants and improvements for Cedar Springs. The CBDT, in cooperation with the City of Cedar Springs Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Trout Unlimited, and CS Tool and Die, recently installed a rain garden and stream buffer on the banks of Cedar Creek on the corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets. There are other proposed rain gardens and ponds to be created in support of the unique trout habitat in Cedar Creek, a major contributor to the Rogue River, a designated Michigan trout stream.

Other projects include a partnership with the Friends of the White Pine Trail, which allowed a recent clean-up along the trail within the city limits. They said great progress is being made in naming Cedar Springs a North Country Trail Town, with an official declaration to be announced soon. The group purchased the Coxon property, which adjoins other properties along the White Pine Trail and the city lot on the northwest corner of Maple and Main Streets.

The CBDT continues to support the efforts of the Cedar Springs Library Board by funding site evaluations, environmental studies, and soil preparations for the future library building. City Councilors are working in partnership with the CBDT’s efforts of building an amphitheater tentatively scheduled to begin this summer.

“The CBDT currently has about 40 members on the team but is seeking additional volunteers to lead the efforts of making the Cedar Springs Community one of the best small towns in America,” said Kurt Mabie, President of the CBDT Board. “We hope more will join in to share their ideas, time, and talents and help to shape the future of our community.”

The CBDT meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm in the school board meeting room at Hilltop School. More information can be found on the newly designed website at www.CSCommunityCenter.org as well as updates on the Facebook page under Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team. Or, contact any CBTD board member Kurt Mabie, Tom Mabie, Betty Truesdale, Carolee Cole, Tom Holloway, Dale Larson, Sally Howland, Nick Andres, or Sue Wolfe.

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The Post travels to Flagstaff 

Dean and Kris Anderson and their son, Austin, recently traveled with the Post to Flagstaff, Arizona to visit both the San Francisco Peaks and the Grand Canyon.

“What beautiful places,” said Dean. “The drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff up I-17 is one of the most beautiful drives you can ever make. Gaining more than a mile in altitude, in about a 150-mile span. Gorgeous! Then to top it off the next day, on a visit to one of the World’s 7 natural wonders (Grand Canyon) the was icing on the cake,” remarked Dean. “I would also highly recommend dinner at Black Carts Steakhouse Saloon and Musical Revue. Great Steak and very entertaining.”

Thank you, Dean and Kris, 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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