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Enjoy springtime baby animal sightings  

 

Springtime brings sightings of baby animals, like this young fawn hidden in the tall grass. While fawns may seem abandoned, they almost certainly are not. Deer often leave fawns unattended for long periods to help prevent them from being detected by predators.

Springtime brings sightings of baby animals, like this young fawn hidden in the tall grass. While fawns may seem abandoned, they almost certainly are not. Deer often leave fawns unattended for long periods to help prevent them from being detected by predators.

But remember to leave wildlife in the wild

 

With the arrival of spring, wild animals are giving birth and hatching the next generation of Michigan’s wildlife. Baby red foxes appeared in dens during the last days of March and the first days of April. Young great-horned owls have already hatched and are growing up in stick nests high above the ground. Mourning doves have made nests, and some have already laid eggs. The first litters of cottontails will appear soon.

Springtime brings with it an increase in sightings of nestlings and baby animals. The Department of Natural Resources encourages Michigan residents to get outside and enjoy the experience of seeing wildlife raising its young, but reminds them that it is important to remain at a distance.

“These are magical moments to witness but, unfortunately, sometimes the story has a different ending when people take baby wild animals out of the wild,” said DNR wildlife technician Katie Keen. “Please resist the urge to try to help seemingly abandoned fawns or other baby animals this spring. Some people truly are trying to be helpful, while others think wild animals would make good pets, but in most cases neither of those situations ends well for the wildlife.”

“We appreciate the good intentions of those who want to help, but the animals are better off left alone than removed from the wild,” Keen added.

The animals most commonly rescued by well-intentioned citizens include white-tailed deer fawns and raccoons.

“Spring is the time for fawns,” said DNR wildlife technician Holly Vaughn.  “Remember a fawn’s best chance for survival is with its mother. Do not remove a fawn that is not injured from the wild.”

“Fawns rely on their camouflage coat to protect them from predators, while their mother stays off in the distance,” Vaughn added. “The mother will not return if people or dogs are present. If you find a fawn alone, do not touch it; just quickly leave it alone. After dark the mother deer will return for her fawn.”

It is not uncommon for deer to leave their fawns unattended for up to eight hours at a time. This behavior minimizes the scent of the mother left around the fawn and allows the fawn to go undetected from nearby predators. While fawns may seem abandoned, they almost certainly are not. All wild white-tailed deer begin life this way.

Most mammals have a keen sense of smell, and parents may abandon their young if humans have touched them. Other wildlife, such as birds, should not be handled either. Adult birds will continue to care for hatchlings that have fallen from their nest. If people move the hatchlings, the adults may not be able to locate and care for them.
The DNR advises:

It is illegal to possess a live wild animal, including deer, in Michigan. Every day an animal spends with humans makes it less likely to be able to survive in the wild.

Many baby animals will die if removed from their natural environment, and some have diseases or parasites that can be passed on to humans or pets.

Some “rescued” animals that do survive become habituated to people and are unable to revert back to life in the wild.

Eventually, habituated animals pose additional problems as they mature and develop adult animal behaviors. Habituated deer, especially bucks, can become aggressive as they mature, and raccoons are well-known for this too.

“If you find any baby animal, it should be left in the wild,” said Vaughn. “The only time a baby animal should be removed from the wild is when you know the parent is dead or the animal is injured. Please contact a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator before removing the animal.”
For a list of licensed rehabilitators visit www.michigandnr.com/dlr or call your local DNR office.

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What you need to know to control this silent killer

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(BPT) – Most people assume they only need to take their medication when they are sick, meaning when they experience symptoms. But in the case of hypertension, this type of thinking could kill you.

Patients who have hypertension are often completely asymptomatic – that’s the reason hypertension is often called the silent killer. The belief that symptoms such as headaches, nose bleeds, nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing are signals to take blood pressure medication is a myth.

Nonadherence to hypertension medication is a huge challenge. Research shows that one in three American adults suffer from high blood pressure, but only 47 percent effectively treat their disease to keep blood pressure levels under control.

Higher risk for heart attack, stroke

Express Scripts’ specialist pharmacist Ed Dannemiller recently spoke with a patient who was 40 days late to refill her blood pressure prescription.

“When I asked her about the delay, she said she only takes her medication when she feels stressed or has a headache. The problem with this is that patients with hypertension may feel perfectly fine before suffering a heart attack or stroke,” says Dannemiller.

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, but consistent levels above 140/90 require medical attention. Simply keeping a patient’s blood pressure under control decreases the risk of heart attack by 25 percent, stroke by 33 percent and heart failure by 50 percent.

But the only way to have a precise measurement is through a blood pressure reading.

Become an engaged patient

“I encourage patients to become engaged in their own health and keep track of their blood pressure readings, which can help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations or ER visits,” Dannemiller explains.

For patients with white-coat hypertension – those whose blood pressure rises from stress in the doctor’s office – a home blood pressure monitor is a good option.

Dannemiller offers these useful tips for patients monitoring their pressure at home:

* Take blood pressure readings in a seated position with arm at the heart level

* To regulate the monitor, discard the first reading

* Keep a record of your blood pressure levels to bring to your doctor’s appointment

This additional data will help your physician better understand your condition and make better medical decisions to ensure healthier outcomes.

Lifestyle changes can help

In addition to staying adherent to blood pressure medication, regardless of symptoms, the following lifestyle modifications also can improve cardiovascular health:

* Consume a heart-healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in salt, fat and cholesterol

* Engage in regular aerobic physical activity

* Manage your weight, limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke

Value of specialized understanding

“Even with lifestyle modifications, most patients need at least two medications to reach their blood pressure goal,” says Dannemiller.

Intervention and education from specialist pharmacists provide an important resource to improve medication adherence. When patients understand the value of their treatment and embrace good cardiovascular health, they bring a little more noise to this silent killer. For more information, visit lab.express-scripts.com.

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Civil War presentation celebrates local soldiers

This photo shows a group of Civil War vets meeting here in Cedar Springs, around 1906, 41 years after the war was over. Not many vets were left at that time. Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

This photo shows a group of Civil War vets meeting here in Cedar Springs, around 1906, 41 years after the war was over. Not many vets were left at that time. Photo courtesy of Cedar Springs Historical Society.

N-Civil-War2-presentation-Rosencrans-webSaturday, April 4, at 1 p.m. at Cedar Springs Museum

Did you know that it was men from Northern Kent County that received the Confederate flag of surrender from General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox? That story is little known in Michigan, according to Cedar Springs native and author Bobbie Robertson Rosencrans, author of The Comrades, 6th Michigan Cavalry, Co. F.

This unit, comprised mostly of men from Northern Kent County, was critical in bringing the war to a close, she said. Even more amazing is that earlier they had been crucial to keeping the Union from possibly losing the war at the Battle of Gettysburg. Why is this amazing bit of American history not well known here in the very place where so many of these heroes returned after the war?

“The reason is that like so many of our veterans today, it was painful to remember and too horrific to tell without causing new emotional pain and grief,” said Rosencrans. “They had won, true enough, but they’d also lost a great deal.”

April 9, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox Court House, and Rosencrans will tell the story of the 6th Michigan Calvary, Co F, at a special presentation at the Cedar Springs Museum at 1 p.m. April 4. Find out why their story is a classic “Hero’s Journey,” similar to mythological hero stories from around the world.

The company was raised mainly in northern Kent and rural Washtenaw Counties during the summer of 1862. They arrived for training on rafts hauling cedar shingles down the Grand River and up the river on steamers from Spring Lake and Grand Haven. They came on foot from Sparta and Laphamville (Rockford) and the rural townships. Those from eastern communities often came by train or stagecoach.

Basic training camp was on Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids. These were committed men raised on tales of the American Revolution, and knew their family’s rebellious history. One man’s grandfather had served on George Washington’s staff; others were descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They eventually numbered to 1000 members. At Gettysburg, these green troopers served under General George Custer, and helped hold off a mass Confederate cavalry attack on the rear of the Union line, in the largest battle ever in North American history. That was followed by continual battles for two years, until finally, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, they ferociously attacked the rear of Lee’s army and blocked any further progress.

General Robert E. Lee sent the flag of surrender to Custer and all of his Michigan command. And so it was that men from places like Solon Center, Ionia, and Cedar Springs witnessed the end of the Civil War.

Count Phelps, the great-great-grandfather of Sharon Jett, served in Company A.

Count Phelps, the great-great-grandfather of Sharon Jett, served in Company A.

Rosencrans’ book, The Comrades, contains the stories of 150 men who served in Company F, and mentions some from other companies as well. One of them is Count Phelps, great-great-grandfather to Sharon Jett, of the Cedar Springs Historical Society. He served in Company A. He came to Cedar Springs in 1850 as a young lumberman and lived his entire life here.

Rosencrans donated her files on these men to the Cedar Springs Historical Society, along with her Civil war books. She compiled the information through many trips to the National Archives and ten years of research.

Come to the Cedar Springs Museum on Saturday, April 4, at 1 p.m., and hear more of the tale of the 6th Michigan Cavalry, Company F. Her book is available at the museum.

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Crash splits car in half

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A driver ran off the road in Solon Township last week Wednesday and struck a tree so hard that it split the car into two pieces.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, the accident occurred about 4 a.m. March 29, in the 17600 block of Albrecht, which is north of 21 Mile Road.

“This car was literally split in half behind the fire wall/dashboard, as a result of the impact, on the passenger side, with the massive tree,” remarked Drake. He noted that the remaining passenger compartment flipped over, and rested upside down.

N-Crash2Sgt. Corey Luce, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, identified the driver as Brett Jarrett Lanakila Slocum, 33 of Pierson. He was reportedly driving southbound at the time of the crash.

Both Luce and Drake confirmed that the driver was severely injured, but refused treatment at the scene. Instead, he was transported to a hospital in Big Rapids by a family member. As of Thursday, April 2, Luce said the driver was still in the hospital.

The crash is still under investigation, and no further information is available at this time.

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Eggs, eggs, everywhere

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The Mike Cook home, at 3240 17 Mile, Solon Township, sports a sea of pastel colors at Easter time each year. The Cooks have been decorating their yard with these colorful eggs for the past nine years. Take a drive by and see for yourself!

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The Post cruises to the South Caribbean

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen and Myrna and Bruce Chapman pose with The POST.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen and Myrna and Bruce Chapman pose with The POST.

Bruce and Myrna Chapman pose with The Post aboard the Legend of the Seas.

Bruce and Myrna Chapman pose with The Post aboard the Legend of the Seas.

The Post recently visited the South Caribbean with Bruce and Myrna Chapman, of Sand Lake, their grandsons Troy Vermeulen and his wife Jenni, of Greenville, and Rich Chapman, formerly of Cedar Springs. They went on a 10-night South Caribbean cruise aboard the Legend of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. They boarded the ship on February 27 at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and sailed to  Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Roseau, Dominica; St. Johns, Antigua; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and returned to Ft. Lauderdale on March 9, 2015.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen, Bruce and Myrna Chapman, and Rich Chapman pose for a pic as they board the Legend of the Seas cruise ship.

Troy and Jenni Vermeulen, Bruce and Myrna Chapman, and Rich Chapman pose for a pic as they board the Legend of the Seas cruise ship.

This was Bruce and Myrna’s 30th cruise. They went on their first cruise in February of 1986 for their 25th anniversary and have taken a cruise once a year ever since, except for one year they went twice! They are experienced cruisers and enjoyed having some of their adult grandchildren join them this year. In 1998 they took a big group of their family (children, spouses, grandchildren) that were able to go on a 7-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Troy and Rich were just tweens then, so it was fun for them to go on another cruise as adults. Troy and Rich played volleyball in the pool on the ship and were reigning champions. They went cliff diving at Ti Tou Gorge in Dominica (where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest were filmed). They also entered the sexiest man on the ship contest, Troy won the contest and gained the nickname “Shaggy,” making him a celebrity on the ship.  Bruce and Myrna enjoyed these special moments with their grandchildren and the Post was there with them.

Thanks to the Chapmans for taking us with you on your many adventures!

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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Cedar Springs Community Night: fun for everyone

A visitor to Community Night 2014 admires a Cheshire Cat created by a Cedar Springs student. Community Night is a chance to try out something new and meet the people who live, work and play in our community. Post photos by J. Reed.

A visitor to Community Night 2014 admires a Cheshire Cat created by a Cedar Springs student. Community Night is a chance to try out something new and meet the people who live, work and play in our community. Post photos by J. Reed.

April 16 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to ONE spot and shop for a place to get your hair done, check out a church you’ve been thinking about attending, buy some jewelry, win a door prize, find a new insurance agent, listen to some great jazz music, check out educational opportunities, meet others in the community, and be entertained all at the same time? You can! Just come to the annual Cedar Springs Community Night, on Thursday, April 16, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Cedar Springs High School. Admission is free.

The event, put on annually by the Community Action Network, has become a tradition for many businesses, organizations, churches, and school groups to show the community what they have to offer. And each year, hundreds of visitors visit the 100-plus booths set up throughout the school.

*N-Community night2 2014Last year the Cedar Springs Public Schools Fine Arts Department decided to merge their Fine Arts Night with Community Night.

What does this mean? It means music in the auditorium, art on the walls, and improv drama groups mingling with attendees throughout the building. It means more activities and more fun!

So come out and browse, shop, check out the zumba and martial arts demonstrations, listen to some good music, and grab a bite to eat from the music boosters’ concession stand. See what’s available right here in Cedar Springs!

For any business or non-profit looking to rent a table, visit www.csaparksandrec.com and find the registration under “forms.”

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Pi Day at Red Hawk Elementary

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Pi Day was celebrated at Red Hawk Elementary with a day of math games, contests, computations, memorizations, calculations, recitations, celebrations, creative Pi shirts, and eating of pie! In Mr. Verwys’s Advanced Math, three students earned certificates for memorizing the most digits in Pi. Taking 3rd place was Emma Earnest with 104 Digits, 2nd place was Hailey Begeman with 136 digits, and in 1st place was Logan Douglas with an amazing 163 digits! The top school winner was a student in Mr. Gariepy’s Advanced Math class. Daniel Vaugn memorized an astounding 171 digits beyond the decimal point in Pi! Congratulations to our students for going above and beyond in their learning.

How better to conclude a day of Pi than with fresh pie? Parents were asked to bring in fruit pies as part of the celebration. Forty-five delicious pies were brought in and our Student Leadership Council served slices to students, staff, and the parent volunteers who helped throughout the day.

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Red Hawk football team to play in new GRidiron Classic

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will host the Comstock Park Panthers in the new GRidiron Classic at Grand Valley State University on August 29. The photo shows Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer being tackled by a Panther during last fall’s win over Comstock Park.

West Michigan Sports Commission launches High School Football kickoff event 

The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) has partnered with Grand Valley State University and the OK Conference in the promotion of a newly created high school football showcase, the GRidiron Classic.

The event will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Lubbers Stadium on the main campus of GVSU. The GRidiron Classic will include three highly competitive high school games beginning at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 7:00 pm respectively. Each purchased ticket entitles the bearer to attend all three scheduled games. Pre-sale tickets will be available at each host school (listed below) beginning in May, at a cost of $8 Adults / $6 Students. Tickets purchased on the day of the event will be sold for $10 Adults / $8 Students.

Games are Saturday, August 29, 2015 Lubbers Stadium – GVSU

1:00 p.m. Hamtramck vs. NorthPointe Christian (host)

4:00 p.m. Comstock Park vs. Cedar Springs (host)

7:00 p.m. Oak Park vs. Zeeland West (host)

“West Michigan prides itself in our high school football and this event will highlight the start of the season with some great matchups at a superb facility,” stated Mike Guswiler, President of the WMSC.

“Our hope moving forward is to partner with the Detroit Sports Commission, which has hosted a Prep Kickoff Classic for over 10 years at Wayne State University, to make this an annual event, pairing the top football teams from East Michigan against the top teams from West Michigan,” added Guswiler.

More details are being developed including sponsorship opportunities and other activities surrounding the games.

Follow them on Twitter at @WMSCKickoff, and like their Facebook page: GRidiron Classic.

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Middleville angler breaks freshwater drum state record 

This fish, caught on Gun Lake, by Mark Leep of Middleville, set a new state record for freshwater drum, weighing in at more than 28 pounds.

This fish, caught on Gun Lake, by Mark Leep of Middleville, set a new state record for freshwater drum, weighing in at more than 28 pounds.

The Department of Natural Resources confirmed a new state record last month for freshwater drum. This record marks the first one caught in 2015.

A fish caught by Mark Leep of Middleville, Michigan, on Gun Lake in Barry County Saturday, Jan. 24, at 4:30 p.m. beat the state record for freshwater drum. Leep was spearing. The fish weighed 28.61 pounds and measured 34.02 inches. Kregg Smith, a DNR fisheries biologist in Plainwell, verified the record.
James Black caught the previous state-record freshwater drum, weighing 26 pounds and measuring 37.5 inches, on Muskegon Lake May 28, 1973.

In Michigan, freshwater drum typically inhabit the Great Lakes or their tributaries. Based on the size of this fish, it found its way to Gun Lake several years ago, perhaps through illegal stocking, as there are limited connections to a large river system. Anglers are reminded that transferring fish from one water body to another is prohibited without an approved permit, because such transfers can disrupt the fish community in the receiving water through predation, competition with native species or introduction of new disease-causing organisms.

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

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