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Eagle Scout breaks ground on new pavilion

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By Judy Reed

Sixteen-year-old Kevin Galloway hit a new milestone in his Eagle Scout project last Friday, when he held a ceremonial ground breaking for the new 20×36 pavilion that will be built in Morley Park, behind the Cedar Springs Museum.

The sophomore at Cedar Springs High School has been working on the project for two years. He originally wanted to repair the gazebo that used to be in the park. However, it was deemed structurally unsafe, and torn down, so Galloway had to start from scratch. The community rallied around Galloway’s project, and he was able to raise $18,500 to fund the project. Several business people in the community are also working with Galloway on the project.

“I want to thank the City of Cedar Springs and the community for their encouragement and support,” remarked Galloway.

He said that the 20 x 36 pavilion would add endless possibilities of different uses in the park. “I can vision many family and community events here in the future. The pavilion, with its maintenance free design, handicap accessibility, and capacity to hold 10 picnic tables, should serve this community well,” he added.

Galloway said that the pavilion kit is on order, and should be here in six to eight weeks.

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The Post travels to Graceland

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Former Cedar Springs resident Val Palmer traveled recently to Memphis, Tennessee, where she visited Graceland, the home of the late Elvis Presley, as well as Loretta Lynn’s home. And she took a Post with her! Val traveled with Gary Tripp, Becky Evans, and Victor Evans. 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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Cedar Trails teacher wins “Cool Teacher” award

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

N-Cool-teacher-Graf2Mary Graf, a first grade teacher at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs, was named the latest teacher to receive the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award. WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23, which also happened to be Graf’s birthday. Graf has been teaching first graders for 37 of her 38 teaching years, all having been in Cedar Springs.

Cedar Trails Elementary Principal Mike Duffy, cited Graf as a “Master Teacher always growing, learning, and looking for ways to improve educational techniques for her students.”

Sienna Wolfe nominated her teacher, Mrs. Graf, for the award because “she is kind, caring, and makes learning fun! She even allows us to dance in the classroom as one way of expressing ideas.” Several other students from the class also submitted letters of support in naming her a “Cool Teacher.”

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

Bradley Gordon, WGVU Marketing and Special Events Coordinator noted, “We receive several hundred applications each month from our 2.1 million viewers, within 28 counties. A committee comprised of educators and other professionals from GVSU judge the nominees based on the students evidence of learning. Just 30 teachers, from grades kindergarten thru eighth, are selected each school year. Graf met all the criteria and had strong support from her students.”

Gordon and WGVU photographer Zack Limiewski video-recorded the celebration and various activities of Graf interacting with classroom students. A twice-a-day airing of this recording will begin around mid-May on WGVU TV 35 and TV 52 as well as on the website WGVU.org.

Graf and Wolfe were presented with four vouchers each from Amtrak for a trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago. On May 7, WGVU will host an Education Celebration with a dinner and award presentations to be held at the Eberhard Center honoring the 2014-15 winning “Cool Teachers.”

When Graf was asked what she enjoyed about teaching, she responded, “I love the enthusiasm that first graders have for learning. Every new lesson is a new adventure for them! First grade is such an amazing grade to teach because they are just discovering the incredible world of reading and writing. I feel so lucky to be part of this journey with them. To see the pleasure and joy on their faces after they read a great book or write a new story is so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have the best job in the world! I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

The “Cool Teacher Award” promotes the positive and good things that teachers are doing with our youth. This program is an example of WGVU’s mission to provide educational, informational, and entertaining programs and events to the West Michigan Community as a service of Grand Valley State University.

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Brewery begins site work

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N-Brewery2The Cedar Springs Brewing Company finally began site work at the southwest corner of Main and Maple Streets Monday. They encountered a delay, however, when, according to owner David Ringler, they discovered during the course of the work that the building next door, which houses Liquor Hut, has no foundation. He said they are taking care not to damage the building, and had their engineers out at the site Wednesday morning to work out the location before they begin to pour concrete.

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FFA celebrates busy winter

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By FFA Reporter Riley Ross

When most people think of farming and agriculture in winter, they envision downtime and “mending your harness.” But for members of the Cedar Springs FFA, winter is a busy time.  Leadership is a focus in the Cedar Springs FFA and the future belongs to those who prepare for it.

Each fall kicks off with a Big Buck contest. Everyone in the high school is invited to enter. Trophies are given, and this year’s winners are John Shaw and Zack Cardinal. Congratulations!

After the first of the year, Nate Schoen organized and led the FFA fishing tournament. Members gathered at Bass Lake and fished all day. Winners were determined by dividing fish weight by length. This year’s winners were Kevin Galloway and Dylan Tanis.

N-FFA2-kids-on-stairs-webSeveral members showed their leadership skills by earning honors and participating in Leadership Contests. There are levels of competition that have to be achieved to advance. First level is Districts, then Regions, then on to the State level.

Cedar hosted six schools in their districts and Nicole Kaupa and Justin Davis competed in the Job Interview contest. Kaupa earned the Silver Award. Justin Davis earned the right to compete at Regionals with a Gold Award. Also polishing their leadership skills were Adam Parker and Ian Savickas who competed in the Demonstration Contest. Parker and Savickas earned gold at the regional event in Lowell competing against the winners from the 3 districts.  The pair went all the way to the State finals to compete against the 11 other winners from around the state earning a silver award. Congratulations to all of our FFA members for a job well done.

Leadership is not just leading a group of followers. It is helping your fellow classmates to learn how to make a difference in our world—by giving direction, a helping hand, and learning with others how to be the leaders of tomorrow. The FFA motto is “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve.”

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Road becomes runway

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Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies briefly closed M66 in Montcalm County last Friday, April 24, between Lake Montcalm Road and Cannonsville Road so an airplane could take off.

The crop duster, owned by Heritage AG Aerial Application from Lakeview, had to make an emergency landing on M66 on April 7 due to engine troubles. The plane had been parked at a nearby apple orchard, while repairs were made to the engine.

The pilot was able to make a successful take off and M-66 was then reopened to traffic.

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DNR collects walleye eggs for hatchery program

DNR fisheries technician supervisor Ed Pearce flips a walleye into a holding tank on the electro-fishing boat.

DNR fisheries technician supervisor Ed Pearce flips a walleye into a holding tank on the electro-fishing boat.

Volunteer Dick Callen hoists a walleye, to be used for spawning, from a holding pen.

Volunteer Dick Callen hoists a walleye, to be used for spawning, from a holding pen.

As many anglers know, much of Michigan’s inland-waters walleye fishery is supported by hatchery-raised fish. What many don’t know is that the source of those fish—the Muskegon River, below Croton Dam—is supported by hatchery-raised fish, too.

“There’s not a lot of natural reproduction in the system,” said Rich O’Neal, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist who oversees the Muskegon River watershed. “We’re getting very low production in the river. We’re not sure why, but we think water velocity or water temperature could have something to do with it. We know we get good natural reproduction further upstream.

“There are 3 to 4 billion eggs laid here when they’re spawning, but we’re just not getting fry production.”

It took a stocking effort to rebuild the Muskegon River population after it collapsed in the 1960s. O’Neal said sea lamprey predation—the preying of one animal on another—on adult walleyes was part of the problem, but alewife predation on juveniles also was a factor. “We saw that all over the Great Lakes,” he said.

O’Neal estimates the population of the Muskegon River spawning run at 40,000 fish, about 18,000 females. Most are migrants.

“There’s about two fish per acre that remain in the river,” he said. “The rest move down to Muskegon Lake or out into Lake Michigan, as far north as Bay de Noc and down to Indiana. It’s been that way since the earliest tagging studies in the 1950s.”

Muskegon River walleyes spawn over a period of three weeks to a month with most of the activity taking place in a 12- to 14-day period, O’Neal said.

“Water temperature is the key,” he said. “They start at 37 to 38 degrees, by 40 they’re really starting to move, and around 45 degrees is peak spawning.”

It took a three-man electro-fishing crew, led by Ed Pearce, the fisheries technician supervisor out of the DNR’s Plainwell office, a total of five trips to the river to capture the necessary brood stock. The first attempt, in late March, turned up too many fish that weren’t ready to go. But by the end of the month, the fish had ripened and the crew spent four days spread over a period of about a week to collect the eggs.

It was challenging, Pearce said.

“Last year the river was at flood level, but this year we’re bumping bottom,” said Pearce, who led the crew in a 17-and-a-half-foot johnboat with a 115-horsepower jet drive outboard that can run in mere inches of water. “We couldn’t fill the live well with water, so we couldn’t haul as many fish as we’d like.”

The crew runs a generator that creates direct current sent between the booms on the front of the boat, stunning the fish, which are netted by DNR fisheries personnel standing on the bow.

“It makes the fish twitch,” Pearce said. “It draws them to it. We can shock down to about 6 feet within a 10-foot radius of the booms.”

How the fish react varies, Pearce said.

“Some will be completely knocked out for 10 minutes. Others are just tickled and they take off.”

When a tub of fish is collected, the boat crew brings them to the bank, where a five-person crew from the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery takes over.

Fisheries biologist Matt Hughes leads the operation. The fish are divided by sex, and then paired off for spawning.

Two workers strip the females’ eggs into pans by pushing on the fish’s bellies, while another massages the male to get it to release milt. The milt is collected in a bottle of water, is circulated, and is dumped into the pan of eggs. Fertilization is almost instantaneous.

Males and females are matched one-to-one in order to promote maximum genetic diversity, Hughes said.

After the eggs are fertilized, they’re transferred into a 5-gallon bucket—along with other fertilized eggs—that is filled with river water and a fine clay particulate to keep the naturally adhesive eggs from clumping together. Every five pans, the bucket is dumped into a fine-mesh holding pen in the river to allow the eggs to harden. After 60 to 90 minutes, the eggs are put into the transport trailer, which is filled with water from the hatchery, and they’re disinfected with iodine to make sure contaminants aren’t introduced into the hatchery.

“The goal this year was 50 million eggs,” Hughes said. “We go through about 250 pairs of walleyes to collect them. We go until we get our target. We can usually get them in four days, but you don’t want all the fish coming at the same time. We don’t have enough room in the hatchery to take them all at once. We can only hold around 10 million fry at one time.”

Some of the fertilized eggs are sent directly to the Platte River State Fishery, where they’ll be hatched out and sent to northern Michigan rearing ponds. Others go to a tribal facility. The rest go to Wolf Lake, where they’ll be hatched and reared. Some will be directly stocked into bodies of water while the majority will go to rearing ponds, where they’ll grow to fingerling size before they’re stocked.

“We typically get around 70 to 80 percent fertilization,” Hughes said. “Our goal is to produce 12 million fry for rearing ponds and direct plants. Eggs take 17 to 21 days to hatch. Fry are held one to five days. We start putting fry out to ponds by the third week of April, and we’re finished by the second week of May.”

The fish are stocked in lakes and streams in the southern two-thirds of Michigan. (Walleyes for northern Michigan stocking projects come from similar egg-takes at Little Bay de Noc.) Among the waters stocked is the Muskegon River, where, after a few years, those walleyes will be collected to serve as brood stock for that year’s egg-take.

For more information on Michigan fisheries, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

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Late freeze impacting spring lawn care

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DIG-Late-freeze-impacting-spring-lawn-care(Family Features) Despite the official start of spring, much of the northeast remains covered with snow from the harsh, record breaking winter storms. In addition to being frustrating, late freezing can actually cause extensive damage to your lawn.

The lawn care experts with TruGreen know the proper techniques that must be taken to keep your lawn away from freeze damage. Here are some tips to help yard owners do what they can to help their lawns recover and have a green spring and summer.

Watch for snow mold: Extended periods of snow cover create ideal conditions for snow mold to develop and spread. The damage can be most severe in areas where snow had been piled or accumulated due to drift. Snow mold symptoms begin as small spots 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Grasses are generally matted within the patches. In some cases, small brown or black fungus may be visible on the grass blades. There are different varieties of snow mold; gray snow mold has a slimy appearance and may expand up to 2 feet with a gray-white halo, and pink snow mold patches are typically reddish-brown and then tan. Fortunately, even when damage appears widespread, your lawn can usually recover quickly from gray snow mold with a few practical steps. However, pink snow mold can cause more serious and long-lasting injury to grass roots and may require more homeowner intervention, especially if cool, wet weather continues in the spring.

Get raking: Homeowners need to take action as soon as snows melt and the ground begins to warm to prevent snow mold from causing permanent damage. Use a simple leaf rake to rough up the matted grasses around the snow mold patches. This will improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth. The recovery should be fairly quick and routine lawn care should be all that’s needed to bring a lawn back to good health. In some cases, applying a fertilizer can accelerate the recovery.

Lower mower on first run: Once the snow is clear and you can mow your grass, try lowering your lawn mower blades for a closer cut for the first mowing of the season. This can help to improve air circulation and stimulate new grass growth.

Plan ahead: It’s never too early to plan ahead for future lawn care. Yard owners can take precautions in the fall to prevent a reoccurrence of snow mold next spring. The fact is, snow mold damage is likely to reoccur if not managed. Practice proper mowing practices throughout the season and keep mowing until the turf stops growing. Going into winter, tall or improperly mown turf grass provides the ideal climate for snow mold development. It is also important to clean up leaves in the fall and manage thatch accumulation with aeration if necessary.

In addition to these tips, remember that you should never apply any lawn care product to your grass, shrubs or trees until you determine if it’s the right treatment for your yard’s specific needs. Once you do, you’ll be ready to enjoy the fun of living life outside with your family and friends all season long.

For more tips for a better lawn, visit www.trugreen.com.

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Community Night reels in residents

The Red Flannel Queen and Court and the Cedar Springs Fire Department  were both present at Community Night last week.

The Red Flannel Queen and Court and the Cedar Springs Fire Department were both present at Community Night last week.

There was a lot to see last Thursday, April 16, at the annual Community Night, sponsored by the Community Action Network. Their partnership with the school to also make it a Fine Arts night has added another dimension to exploring what the Cedar Springs area has to offer.

Amanda Gerhardt, of CAN, estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people visited the event. “We felt like it was a great turnout, especially going at the same time as the Hazel Soccer game,” she said, referring to the purple game played in memory of former teacher and coach Scott Hazel.

A martial arts demonstration was performed by students of American Martial Arts.

A martial arts demonstration was performed by students of American Martial Arts.

Community Night featured various businesses, churches, and other non-profits in the community, demonstrations of martial arts and Zumba, music and artwork of Cedar Springs students, face painting, the Cedar Springs Fire Department, Red Flannel Queen and Court and more.

N-Community-night3If you missed it, be sure to join us next year!

 

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Library building fund growing

Woman’s Life Cedar Springs Chapter 841 recently made a contribution toward the new Library Building Fund with proceeds from the recent quilt show.

Woman’s Life Cedar Springs Chapter 841 recently made a contribution toward the new Library Building Fund with proceeds from the recent quilt show.

Fundraising efforts are stepping up and excitement is growing as the Cedar Springs Public Library recently received their new plans for a new library building and a site plan from their newly-hired architect, Robert Andrus of Andrus Architecture.

The Library’s Building Fund has grown to around $600,000, and the Community Building Development Team has offered $100,000 to pay for the development of the site, on the northwest corner of Main and Maple Streets, near Cedar Creek.

Woman’s Life Cedar Springs Chapter 841 Vice-President Dena Wever presented Friends President Louise King, Library Board President Bob Ellick, and Secretary Tony Owen a check for $1,133 at the Library’s Booth at Community Night, April 16. The Friends 3rd Annual Quilt Show/Fundraiser partnered with Woman’s Life to raise a total of $2,500, all for the new library facility to be built in Cedar Springs in the near future.

Woman’s Life Headquarters offered to match up to $500 if members of their Cedar Springs Chapter 841 could raise the first $500. Almost half of the day’s profits were realized from the efforts of Chairperson Dena Wever and others of her Chapter who made gift baskets for a Silent Auction the day of the Quilt Show. The Silent Auction was a real success, bringing in $633, plus the $500 match.

If you would like to get involved with Friends of the Library or help with fundraising, find the Friends on facebook or attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Library on the 4th Tuesday of most months. Websites for the Library and the Community Building Development Team are

cedarspringslibrary.org and CSCommunityCenter.org.

All donations are tax deductible and made out to the Cedar Springs Public Library, 43 W. Cherry Street, 49319.

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