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Truck crosses centerline; sends 2 to hospital

Two people were sent to the hospital Wednesday after a pickup truck and SUV collided on M-57 in front of Courtland Township Hall shortly before noon.

According to the Michigan State Police, a black pickup truck driven by an unnamed male was traveling eastbound on M-57 when he crossed the centerline and hit a Chevy Trailblazer head on.

Both the driver of the pickup truck, and the unnamed female driver of the SUV were sent to Butterworth Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Courtland Fire assisted at the scene.

No other information was available at press time.

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How the Au Sable River changed the world

Becoming an Outdoor Woman (B.O.W.) flyfishing the Ausable River in the Rain

By CASEY WARNER, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

With the opener of Michigan’s trout season right around the corner, anglers soon will be donning their waders and heading out to one of the thousands of cold, quality streams that make the state a nationally known trout-fishing destination.

Perhaps the most renowned place to cast a fly in Michigan – the Au Sable River, running 138 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula – is significant for much more than its outstanding trout fishing.

In 1959, 16 fishermen, united by their love of trout and the Au Sable River and concerned about the need for long-term conservation of Michigan’s cold-water streams, gathered at George Griffith’s home east of Grayling.

“For some time I and several others have been considering ways and means to protect and preserve trout and trout fishing, and have come up with the idea of forming an organization to be known as Trout, Unlimited,” wrote Griffith, a member of the Michigan Conservation Commission, in an invitation letter to a fellow angler in 1959.

“Such an organization could work with state and federal agencies now charged with that responsibility … it would help educate the public on the dire need of sound, practical, scientific trout management and regulations to protect the trout as well as satisfy fishermen.”

The sportsmen that responded to Griffith’s invitation to meet at his cabin on the Au Sable believed that better and more scientific habitat management would improve the environment as well as the state’s trout population and fishing.

Encouraged by the work of Trout Unlimited, groups like the Anglers of the Au Sable have undertaken habitat restoration projects on the river.

Nearly 60 years after that initial meeting, the organization those fishermen founded – Trout Unlimited – has become a national champion of fish habitat conservation.

Today, the organization has almost 300,000 members and supporters, with 30 offices nationwide, and sponsors the International Trout Congress.

The Michigan History Museum in Lansing is showcasing Trout Unlimited’s founding on the Au Sable in a special exhibition, “The River that Changed the World,” open through July 29.

“The Au Sable River has influenced – and continues to influence – people around the world,” said Mark Harvey, Michigan’s state archivist and the exhibition’s curator. “The stories in the exhibition demonstrate the innovative and unprecedented ways private citizens and state government worked together to conserve and protect the river and sustainably manage its fish populations.”

Harvey said that the idea for the exhibit stemmed from the Michigan History Center’s longstanding relationship with, and eventual donation of materials from, Art Neumann, one of the cofounders of Trout Unlimited and its executive director from 1962 to 1965.

“Instead of just focusing on the Trout Unlimited group, we took a wider view of the river that inspired these people to work for systemic change,” Harvey said.

The Wolverine fish car, a converted railroad car, carried milk cans of fingerlings (young fish) to lakes and rivers all over the state from 1914 to 1937. Photo courtesy of the Department of Conservation./

The exhibition features George Griffith’s 24-foot-long Au Sable river boat and a re-creation of Neumann’s Wanigas Rod Shop, where he made fly rods considered works of art and became known as a champion of conservation.

A “battery” of glass beakers from the Grayling fish hatchery, each of which held thousands of eggs, highlights the late 19th-century work of state conservationists and private citizens who tried to save the Arctic grayling.

An iconic cold-water fish that once dominated northern Michigan streams but was almost extinct by the beginning of the 20th century, Arctic grayling were native only to Michigan and Montana in the lower 48 states.

“When sportsmen first discovered the grayling in the Au Sable, it drew international attention,” Harvey said.

The current Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative now aims to restore self-sustaining populations of the fish within its historical range in Michigan.

Original paneling and artifacts from the Wolverine fish car, which carried millions of fish by rail across Michigan, tell museum visitors the story of efforts to plant trout in the Au Sable.

Fred Westerman, one of the first employees of the Wolverine and former fisheries chief in the Michigan Department of Conservation, forerunner to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, once reported:

“Frequently… thirty cans of fish would be dropped off at some spooky junction – like in the jack pine at Au Sable-Oscoda with the cemetery across the tracks and the depot a mile from town – on the night run of the Detroit & Mackinac, to await the morning train going up the river branch.”

The exhibition also introduces the relationship between the Anishinabe (Odawa and Ojibwe people) and the Au Sable River and explores Grayling as a fishing and tourism hotspot since the mid-19th century. 

Current DNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter applauded the vision and passion of those who recognized the Au Sable’s promise as a premier fishing destination.

“As the name of the exhibit implies, the Au Sable is a world-class fishery resource attracting anglers from every corner of the earth,” Dexter said. “It’s one of the most stable groundwater-influenced watersheds in North America, and produces exceptional trout fishing.

“It wasn’t always that way, though. Without the creation of Trout Unlimited at the Au Sable River, by those who understood the potential of our cold-water resources, Michigan might not be home to one of the world’s greatest trout fisheries.”

Trout Unlimited’s work has also encouraged other groups like the Anglers of the Au Sable, who now lead the charge for preserving this unique, high-quality body of water. Dubbed the “river guardians,” the Anglers group has fought multiple environmental threats to river.

The exhibit and related events also offer opportunities for hands-on experiences.

Visitors can learn how to tie a fly and compare tied flies to real insects under a microscope or sit in a kayak and take a 360-degree virtual reality paddle down the Au Sable.

They can also explore the essence of the Au Sable without leaving mid-Michigan through a series of museum programs revolving around the exhibit.

“While the exhibit focuses on the wonderful stories, images and sounds of the river, we wanted to bring the Au Sable River to the capital region,” said Michigan History Center engagement director Tobi Voigt. “We designed a series of programs highlighting themes from the exhibit – like fly-fishing and kayaking – that can be enjoyed by a variety of age groups. We’re especially excited to showcase a fly-fishing star and host our first-ever kayak tour.”

Programs include a fly-casting workshop with noteworthy fly-tier and fly-fishermen Jeff “Bear” Andrews, a kayak tour on the Red Cedar River, and the Second Saturdays for Families series featuring hands-on activities like making a compass, a sundial or a miniature boat.

To learn more about “A River That Changed the World” and to find Michigan History Museum visitor information, go to  www.michigan.gov/museum.

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Offering a helping hand across the bridge

Flanked by fellow VFW Post members Larry Herrington, Robert Maier, Gary Opalewski and Richard Ringersma, VFW Post 3946 Quartermaster Fred Chambers presents Jane McGookey, Network Director of Feeding America West Michigan, with a check for $1,800. The money will be used by FAWM to provide 20,000 pounds of food for distribution to food insecure residents living in Marquette County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Members of C E Schumacher Rockford Memorial VFW Post 3946 recently joined hands with Feeding America West Michigan (FAWM) to help provide food for food insecure residents of Marquette County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  

Post 3946 donated $1,800 to FAWM which will use the funds to stock and deliver a mobile food pantry loaded with 20,000 pounds of food to Upper Peninsula residents. The food will be distributed in Marquette County later this spring by members of VFW Post 4573 from their post in Ishpeming.

“This is Post 3946’s first partnership with FAWM and Post members are excited about providing food to veterans and local residents in the cash strapped Upper Peninsula,” according to current Rockford Post Commander Vern Sall.

And according to Kenneth Estelle, President and CEO of FAWM, the organization couldn’t be more pleased with the donation.

“Food insecurity among both veterans and non-veterans is a huge problem in the Upper Peninsula,” said Estelle.  Finding sufficient funding to provide adequate food resources to residents of the Upper Peninsula is huge challenge for FAWM.” 

“That this downstate VFW Post is donating to support fellow veterans and residents in the Upper Peninsula is a testament to their generosity and commitment to providing food to those in need,” said Estelle.  “We are delighted to be partnering with them.”

Providing food to hungry people is nothing new for members of VFW Post 3946 which draws its membership from the greater north Kent County area as well as Rockford and Cedar Springs.

For over 17 years, members prepared and served monthly roast beef dinners at their Post on 13 Mile Road between Rockford and Cedar Springs. 

However, faced with ever increasing overhead costs on an aging building, members of the Post decided two years ago to sell their building and join with several other veterans groups sharing overhead and operating expenses at the Boat and Canoe Club in North Park.

“It was not an easy decision to shut down our building, but it was a good one,” according to Richard Ringersma, Post 3946 Service Officer.   “The move allowed us to spend less on maintaining bricks and mortar and more on community service and outreach.” 

Fred Chambers, past Post 3946 Commander, Kent County Veterans’ Services Officer, and lead chef for the roast beef dinners concurs.  According to Chambers, “Not only did the move free up more funds for charitable purposes and community outreach due to decreased overhead, the numbers at our monthly dinners have steadily increased since we moved to the Boat and Canoe Club. That means we have more money available for community service.”

Post 3946 uses proceeds from its monthly dinners to support a wide range of charitable activities, some specifically aiding veterans and their families, and others, such as their donation to FAWM, directed at helping the community at large. 

The Post’s charitable activities cover a broad spectrum from providing scholarships for disadvantage youth to Camp Trotter to financial support of the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids which offers a wide range of support services to veterans of foreign wars and their families. 

The Post serves roast beef dinners between 12 and 2 the third Sunday of each month at the Boat and Canoe Club in North Park.  The $10 all-you-can-eat dinners are open to the public and are available to eat in or carry-out.

“VFW Post 3946 is always open to new members,” according to Chambers.  The Post holds their monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Boat and Canoe Club. “Just come on in and join us.”

Membership in the VFW is open to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who has served in the armed forces “in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition, which service shall be recognized by the authorization or the issuance of a U.S. military campaign medal.” 

If you are interested in joining or would like more information, call Fred Chambers at 616-443-7630.

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Choirs Performed at District Choral Festival

The Charger Voices stand with poise following their performance.

On Friday, March 16, CTA choir students attended the District 7 Choral festival at Greenville High School. This year, both our middle school choir, Harmonic Chargers, and our high school choir, Charger Voices, attended. Although our our middle school students attended solely to receive comments this year, they really enjoyed their first festival experience and received helpful feedback from the festival adjudicators. The high school choir went for a rating this year for the first time. Last year, Charger Voices attended for comments only, so the stakes were higher this time around. We ended with a high II rating. Both choirs demonstrated great growth from the previous year, and the students really enjoyed the experience! Both groups were conducted by Mr. Jeremy Holtrop and accompanied by Mrs. Bethany Holtrop.

The Harmonic Chargers are proud of their first effort at the District Choral festival.

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Bald eagle overlooking Pine Lake

Recently we have received several photos of bald eagles in the area. This beautiful photo was taken by Tim Hindenach on April 4, when he spotted a bald eagle in the trees overlooking Pine Lake, in Nelson Township. Bald eagles tend to stay in areas where water is close by (fish is a favorite food), but will also prey on small rodents. They became rare in North America in the early to mid 1900s, and were added to the endangered species list in 1978. They were removed from that list in 2007.

To read about another bird that has made a dramatic comeback, go to our Outdoors section.

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The Post travels to Las Vegas

Photo by Clint Conley

The Conley family took the Post and flew into Las Vegas, Nevada over spring break. They then traveled the full length of Arizona and back. Pictured is Pam and Caelun Conley in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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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En Gedi holds auction; creates memorial scholarship

 

The En Gedi Auction is always a successful event.

The family of Marilyn Magnuson was on hand to share stories about her at the En Gedi Auction. From L to R: Craig Carter, Michelle (Magnuson) Carter, and Matt Magnuson.

The 2018 En Gedi Auction held at the Cedar Springs High School on Friday, March 23 was another successful event. Numerous donations from area businesses including furniture, wood pellets, tools, home furnishings, food and entertainment certificates, and collective sports memorabilia were some of the items included in the silent and live auctions. En Gedi is a Cedar Springs non-profit Christ-centered organization focused on building community and providing our young people with a safe and fun place to hang out. 

“Our community continues to support the En Gedi Mission, which the entire team is very grateful for,” commented John Huffman, Chairman of this year’s event. “We want to thank all those who participated and especially CS Manufacturing for their leadership and matching donation.”

The Silent Auction helps fund En Gedi throughout the year.

Appetizers from Red Rock Grill were served and games were available to play prior to the live auction.  

En Gedi announced the creation of the Marilyn Magnuson Memorial Scholarship. Magnuson was a founding member of En Gedi in 2009 and continued to serve both at the youth center and on the board until health issues forced her to resign. Some of the Magnuson Family were on hand to share stories of the late Marilyn Magnuson and her passion for introducing Jesus to young people. Magnuson was an art teacher and evangelist with a special heart for the youth. Memorial donations were requested to be made to En Gedi along with funds earned from her various art featured at the 2018 auction. The scholarships will be awarded to young people needing funding assistance to attend a Christ-centered camp, mission trip, or conference in varying amounts. Applications can be obtained from Pastor Craig Owens, the En Gedi Youth Center Executive Director or from Randy Badge, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee. 

The Men and Ladies of Honor directors presented information about their programs as they continue to work with En Gedi. This program offers students the opportunity to deepen their faith and build meaning relationships with other young people on their faith journey.

Along with providing a free after-school youth center for 6-8th graders at Red Hawk Elementary, En Gedi will be showing the movie God’s Not Dead 2 on Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m., and then God’s Not Dead 3, if available, on June 11 and 12 at Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. All movies will be provided free of charge. A summer concert featuring the group Out of Darkness is also planned for Thursday, July 26. Watch the Cedar Springs Post for more details.

The En Gedi youth center continues to look for community members willing to share their hobby, interest, or skill with our young people. Past presenters included teaching wood carving, guitar, various art forms, and sail boat building. Please contact Pastor Craig Owens at EnGediYouthCenter@gmail.com or at www.EnGediYouthCenter.com if you can share a few hours of your time.

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Michigan DNR lauds federal announcement on comeback of Kirtland’s warbler

Cutline: The Kirtland’s warbler, which lives in northern Michigan’s jack pine forests, is one of our state’s biggest wildlife conservation success stories. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in early April 2018 to remove the songbird from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes removing the bird from the Endangered Species list

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources applauded the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to potentially remove the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The proposed delisting now enters a 90-day public comment period. A final decision is expected within a year. 

“This is a great day for conservation and for Michigan,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “This decision recognizes over 50 years of dedication and commitment to Kirtland’s warbler conservation by many agencies, organizations, industries, and individuals in our state and beyond. Together we have been able to benefit local economies while at the same time providing necessary nesting grounds for this species. The decision by our federal partners marks a significant wildlife success story.” The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today applauded the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to potentially remove the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The proposed delisting now enters a 90-day public comment period. A final decision is expected within a year. 

“This is a great day for conservation and for Michigan,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “This decision recognizes over 50 years of dedication and commitment to Kirtland’s warbler conservation by many agencies, organizations, industries, and individuals in our state and beyond. Together we have been able to benefit local economies while at the same time providing necessary nesting grounds for this species. The decision by our federal partners marks a significant wildlife success story.”

Forty years ago, the Kirtland’s warbler was on the brink of extinction. Today, the yellow-breasted songbird, which lives in northern Michigan’s jack pine forests, has made a comeback. The bird rebounded from a population low of about 350 in 1987 to more than 4,000 today. The Kirtland’s warbler population continues to grow and has for the past 16 years exceeded population recovery goals. Once thought confined to northern Michigan, the bird species has since been found in Wisconsin and Canada. 

“Kirtland’s warblers were one of America’s rarest birds, but today they represent the power of partnership to recover imperiled wildlife,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The Kirtland’s warbler was among the first animals to gain federal protection in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act, a precursor to the Endangered Species Act. The species started to rebound once agencies and their partners began to implement long-term efforts to conserve young jack pine. Large areas of jack pine of a certain age class are essential for Kirtland’s warbler nesting. Also essential to a thriving Kirtland’s warbler population is control of brown-headed cowbirds. The brown-headed cowbird is a nest parasite that knocks eggs out of Kirtland’s warbler nests and replaces them with its own. 

The Kirtland’s Warbler Breeding Range Conservation Plan was developed in 2015 by the Michigan DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The plan is now the guiding management strategy for the species. Additionally, funding and other commitments to habitat management and cowbird control are in place to ensure continuation of conservation actions in the absence of Endangered Species Act protections. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will receive comments on the proposed delisting through July 11, 2018. 

To submit comments electronically visit www.regulations.gov (available starting Thursday, April 12) and enter FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005 in the search box. To submit a hard copy, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

More information about the Kirtland’s warbler and the proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections is available at:  https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/Kirtland/index.html

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WMP wrestlers earn All American status at Nationals

Two West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers became NUWAY National Champions last weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Lansing for the 2018 NUWAY Nationals. WMP entered 12 grapplers to compete and 8 earned All American Status.

Tatianna Castillo entered the All Girls event in the 9U, 52 lb wt class. Castillo battled her way into the Championship but came up short taking the runner up spot. She ended her season with a 37-22 record.

65 lb Hunter Eeck, D3 division finished 8th. Eck finished his season with a record of 30-24. 

59 lb Kellen Weckesser, D3 division finished 6th. Weckesser finished his season with a 38-21 record. 

58 lb Tanner Cowles, D2 division finished 4th. Cowles finished his season with a 40-15 record. 

86 lb Blake Peasley, D3 division and 66 lb Josh Vasquez, D4 division both finished 3rd. Peasley finished his season with a 53-8 record and Vasquez ended his season with a 50-10 record. 

2018 NUWAY National Champions are 65 lb Quinten Cassiday, D3 division and 64 lb Drew Moro, D2 division. Cassiday finished his season with a 57-11 record and Moro ended his season with a 62-5 record. 

“From the beginning of season, my expectations were set high,” said head coach Dave Andrus. “I was very pleased they were met and some were exceeded. I’m so very proud of all my kids. It’s the greatest feeling as a coach to have your athletes jump into your arms after they accomplish what they work so hard for.” 

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Red Hawk Odyssey of the Mind team to go to World Finals

Odyssey of the Mind held State Finals on March 17, the second step for creative teams competing their way to the World Finals. State Finals hosts the best teams from the entire state of Michigan and Cedar Springs sent two teams this year. The teams, made up of up to seven members, choose a challenging, open ended “problem” to solve and then test their solution against other teams in the same age division. Teams must use their creativity, ingenuity, acting, artistic talents and recycle, rework, and create, using teamwork and solving solutions on the spot to advance. 

Life skills are learned in abundance here.

To earn the right to advance, teams must place first or second against the best, most creative kids in Michigan.

Placing in second and earning the right to advance to world finals is our team from Red Hawk Elementary coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager.

Team members are: Aiden Lake, Brielle Sarniak, Jade Yowtz, Nate Slager, Annalise Elliot and Coryn Wiles.

The team is busy now creatively fundraising for their upcoming trip. At world finals over 16 countries and more than 35 states have teams competing! It will be an amazing memory maker for this creative team! Good Luck to you! 

If you would like to donate, you can visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/om-world-finals.

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