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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.

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Red Hawk cheer finishes season at districts

S-Cheer1

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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Snowmobile drag racing comes to town

N-Snowmobile1-at-Sand-Lake

If you’d like to get out and find something fun to do in this winter weather, you might want to check out the snowmobile drag races next weekend.

The Cedar Springs 500’ Snowmobile Drag Races will premier Saturday, February 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Cedar Springs Drag Way, located at 13540 West Street, Cedar Springs. “This event will feature four at a time Snowmobile Drag Racing, with teams from all across the U.S. and Canada racing snowmobiles, with engines producing over 600 horse power, and delivering speeds in excess of 125 mph, in a distance of 500’ and that’s hauling the mail,” said organizer Jimmy McHugh.

On Saturday, February 28, at 4 p.m., the Cedar Springs 500’ will feature “The Stud Boy KING of the SNOW championship” event. This race will feature all the chrome plated 600 horse power go fast snowmobiles, in a shoot out battle for the Stud Boy King of the Snow championship crown.

A similar snowmobile drag racing event was held a few years ago in Sand Lake.

A similar snowmobile drag racing event was held a few years ago in Sand Lake.

“The Cedar Springs 500’ Snowmobile Drag Races are not just limited to pro drag teams,” explained McHugh. “The average trail riding snowmobiler can participate also. The event is located right next to the White Pine snowmobile trail #5, so you can ride or trailer your snowmobile to the event and race your snowmobile just like the pro teams do, without having to own a pure Drag Racing Snowmobile. All trail Snowmobiles are welcome to participate. The cost to race your Snowmobile is $20 per Snowmobile, which allows you to make as many passes down the track as you like.

Spectator admission is $10 per person. Kids 12 and under are free.

For more information on the Cedar Springs 500’ Snowmobile Drag Races please contact Jimmy McHugh @ 616-260-4382 between 8am and 8pm EST.

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JV Cheer takes conference championship

Cedar Springs JV Cheer took the conference championship.

Cedar Springs JV Cheer took the conference championship.

Varsity finishes fourth

Cedar Springs hosted the 2015 OK Bronze/White Conference High School Championship on Wednesday, February 11. There were four teams competing in the JV division—Cedar Springs, Forest Hills, Jenison and Caledonia.

Cedar Springs took the lead in Round 1 with a score of 176.70. After Round 2, an additional score of 159.34 brought their subtotal to 336.04. The completion of Round 3 gained an additional score of 218.4, bringing their overall score to 554.44, making them OK Bronze /White Conference Championship for 2015.

Forest Hills finished taking 2nd with a score of 541.46, Jenison took 3rd with a score of 528.06 and Caledonia took 4thwith a score of 508.9.

“Going into the Conference Finals knowing we were tied for first place was both exciting and nerve racking,” said Head Coach Katy Baird. “Adding to the excitement, we had an injury occur (at home) the night before finals. Two hours prior to competition, I had to replace a girl in all 3 rounds!”

“The girls did such a stand up job. They really do work best under pressure,” continued Baird. “Round 1 was the best I have witnessed in weeks. Round 2 and 3 both had minor mistakes, but were clean. I couldn’t be more proud of these girls! With this being my first season with Cedar Springs, and literally jumping in feet first from day one, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls and outcome! They should all be proud of where they come from.”

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer took fourth place in the conference championship.

Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer took fourth place in the conference championship.

The Varsity Division had eight teams competing for the Championship title. Cedar Springs earned a score of 207.70 after Round 1, taking 6th Place. After Round 2 an additional 208.84 points were gained bringing their subtotal to 416.54, placing them in 4th. With the completion of Round 3, an additional 273.6 points were gained bringing their overall score to 690.14 points taking 4th place overall. Forest Hills won the Championship with a score of 758.50, Jenison took 2nd with a score of 741 and Grand Rapids Christian took 3rd with a score of 725.68.

“This is the youngest team I have ever coached at this level,” said Head Coach Anne Olszewski. “They are learning every day about how tight it is to compete at the Varsity level. The room for error is very small. Tiny bobbles and break in form cost us big points and those things add up! We are young but very talented. Tumbling and gymnastics are a huge part of this sport and we are working on this every day. We have 10 solid standing tucks in Round 2 and they really showed that last night—labeled as best tucks of the night by all of the teams!”

“We have had to make some big changes in Round 1 and 3 due to illness, injury and we lost a lot of practice time with many of the girls being involved with the High School musical Beauty and the Beast,” she explained. “These girls did a great job juggling two very large commitments. There were times that it was very difficult having three flyers in the play and gone from practice. They have that successful accomplishment under their belt now and we are moving forward to make the most out of our season.”

Please continue to support Cedar Springs Cheer. District competition is Saturday, February 21 at Mona Shores. The Top 4 teams move on to Regionals, which will be at Thornapple Kellogg High School the week of February 28.

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Middle School Grapplers Undefeated

The photo is 7th grader Fred White in his first match against FHE, where he won by a pin.

The photo is 7th grader Fred White in his first match against FHE, where he won by a pin.

The Middle School Wrestling Team is off to a solid start this season with a record of 3-0. They dominated Forest Hills Eastern 66-0, beat Allendale 58-33, and won the match against Wyoming Park 48-15.

The team has many strong leaders in returning 8th graders, with a number of up and coming 7th graders. In the next few weeks, they will face some of their strongest competition, and bring their A-game to the mat.

Please come show your Red Hawk Pride on Tuesday March 10 at the Middle School, when our Red Hawks take on the Wildcats of Northview.

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Five tips to save money and time 

PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Monkey Business - Fotolia.com

PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Monkey Business – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) There are two things most small business owners have in common: limited time and limited finances. If you’re an entrepreneur, finding ways to make the most of both is crucial for your sanity and success.

The key to becoming more efficient with these two key resources is organization, says “SmallBizLady” Melinda Emerson, small business expert and author of the bestselling book “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.” She has teamed up with Sam’s Club to help small business owners save time, money and energy as they tackle their day-to-day tasks. Here are some of her top tips:

• Stop creating never-ending to do lists. Focus on completing only five things before 11 a.m. each day. By selecting your top priorities at the end of each day, you will become much more selective and effective with your time.

• Focus on a niche target customer. You have limited time and resources for your marketing efforts. It is best if you pick a niche target customer you can actually reach; don’t just chase any customer that you think has money. Remember, if everyone can use your product or service, no one will.

• Look for one-stop shopping for supplies and services. For example, a Sam’s Club Business Membership not only saves you money on business and restaurant supplies, it also provides members-only savings on a suite of business services that can save you time. Services include solutions for human resources, payroll, payment processing, and legal needs. Sam’s Club has joined forces with such trusted brands as First Data, LegalZoom and Execupay to provide members-only savings. You can find more information at www.SamsClub.com/services.

• Use a timer when you are on social media. Facebook and many other social media sites can be a huge time suck if you are not strategic. Focus your efforts on just one social site to build your online brand.

• Organize your files.  You can waste a lot of time looking for things on your laptop if you’re disorganized. Don’t store everything on your computer desktop. Create files by category and year, such as “2015 Contracts,” to find things quickly. You should also use a cloud storage backup system. This way, you can work from anywhere and your files will be safe if something happens to your computer.

Running a small business is a full time job and then some. If you are your own boss, take easy steps to maximize your resources and make certain tasks less time consuming.

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