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Boy Scouts donate time to Library

Boy Scouts Ben Barber and Derek Bordeaux donated their time at the Cedar Springs Community Library putting magnets on 100 bookends that were donated by a Lakeland Library and freshly painted by Bassett’s Auto to match the library’s new shelving. Way to go!

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Dangerous currents, waves and water safety week 

 

Important to be prepared in natural waters

On average, more than ten people die each year because of dangerous currents in the Great Lakes. While residents are encouraged to visit and enjoy Michigan beaches, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging everyone to learn about safe swimming and the signs of dangerous currents.

Dangerous currents develop when winds blow toward the shore, and waves are moderate to high (3 feet or higher). The Great Lakes produce structural currents, rip currents, outlet currents, longshore currents, and channel currents—all of which can cause serious danger to swimmers.

The eastern shore of Lake Michigan has the most current-related incidents of all the Great Lakes, and out of the 514 current-related incidents (rescues and drownings) that occurred on the Great Lakes from 2002-2016, more than 71 percent were on Lake Michigan.

The good news for beachgoers is that currents and high wave activity can be forecasted, and with the right information, you can help have a safe and enjoyable time in natural waters.

MDHHS encourages all residents to remember the following before planning a trip to the beach:

  • Everyone is encouraged to learn to swim and how to be safe in and around the water.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore).
  • It is never safe to swim near a structure such as a pier or break wall.
  • Never go swimming alone, and designate someone to watch people who are in the water.
  • Follow beach hazard statements and avoid the water when conditions are not safe for swimming.

While it is important to avoid currents altogether, it is equally important to know how to survive one.

If you find yourself in a rip current, flip on your back, float to conserve energy, and follow the safest path out of the water – which could be along the line of the current until it is less strong, or along the shoreline.

To learn more about drowning risks in natural water settings, visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowningrisks/ or the national weather service site at http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/ for information about rip currents.

To check Great Lakes beach hazards, visit http://www.weather.gov/greatlakes/beachhazards

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Red Hawk to Panther

Jordan Ringler commits to Davenport University

Jordan Ringler, a 2017 Cedar Springs High School graduate, has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the Davenport University Panthers this fall.

Jordan, son of Paul and Jane Ringler of Cedar Springs, has wrestled most of his life, beginning with freestyle when he was just a kindergartener. Jordan, a very tough competitor, has taken several awards over the years through the Michigan Youth and the Middle School/High School programs. He has participated on national teams, and he has been a consistent hard working leader, as described by teammates and coaches. Jordan plans to pursue the health care field for his BA and eventually hopes to obtain his doctorate of Physical Therapy. Congratulations Jordan!

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Help keep Michigan black bears at a distance

 

Bear bird feeder: Bears commonly are attracted to bird feeders for their access to easy protein and fat calories. Food can erode the natural fear of humans that bears have.

The Department of Natural Resources asks Michigan residents to help keep the state’s up-north icon a wild animal by keeping bears at a distance. With many people (whether they’re seasonal visitors or year-round residents) outdoors and enjoying northern Michigan in the summer months, removing bird feeders is an easy answer to bear problems.

“When situations occur concerning a bear, some form of food has usually attracted the bear into the area,” said DNR wildlife communications coordinator Katie Keen. “The common element is usually a bird feeder—seed, suet and even hummingbird feeders. The good news is a homeowner can choose to take control of the situation.”

Michigan’s bear range: Much of Michigan’s bear population can be found in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.

Michigan’s estimated black bear population is over 12,000 adult bears—2,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula and 10,000 across the Upper Peninsula. Typically, black bears are shy animals, but they have a great sense of smell and can remember a food source. As a result, a black bear will go places it normally wouldn’t if a food reward is available.

In addition to bird feeders, pet food, garbage, barbeque grills and beehives also can attract bears. Pet food should be stored indoors, as should garbage, until the time of pickup. Garbage that is set out the night before can attract bears and can have more of an impact than just an overturned garbage can.

“Bears are smart, so we have to be smarter,” said Keen. “They are wild animals that are unpredictable and can travel many miles. Your habits can affect those around you, and a bear that loses its natural fear of humans because food has been introduced can end up being bold or dangerous and may need to be put down.”

Michigan’s bear population generally is found in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula and across the Upper Peninsula. Bears eat most items found in the forest, including plants, berries, nuts, acorns, insects and, occasionally, small mammals. Because bears will eat most anything, their behavior and normal travel patterns will change if an easy food source is discovered.

“Don’t wait for the first time a bear knocks down your bird feeder or garbage can; be proactive and don’t let a habit form,” said Keen.

Learn more about living with bears and ways to avoid attracting bears to your property with the DNR’s “The Bear Essentials” video on Michigan.gov/wildlife.

Bear population and distribution are managed through regulated bear hunting. Michigan’s bear hunting seasons vary by bear management unit, with the first 2017 season starting Sept. 8. A total of 7,140 bear hunting licenses will be available this fall. Bear hunting licenses are distributed through a preference point system.

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Car center celebrates with car show

The Car Center celebrated its first year of business in the Cedar Springs area with a grand reopening car show at their location on 13399 White Creek Avenue. There were lots of door prizes—a variety of antique, late model, and sports cars and free food and drinks. Car Center Cedar Springs—offering collision services—is the newest location of Car Center in Greenville, which  provides both collision and mechanical.

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It’s time to celebrate!

Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. Lalone

CSHS Valedictorian, Tara Tepin

CTA graduates. Courtesy photo.

Congratulations Class of 2017

Hundreds of students stepped out into a brand new world over the last couple of weeks as they graduated high school and now celebrate what lies ahead. Here in our area, students graduated from Cedar Springs High School, New Beginnings High School, Creative Technologies Academy, Algoma Christian School, and Tri County High School.

To see photos of all the top honors students in our area and class photos, click link to download our keepsake 2017 graduation feature.

Also, Cedar Springs Public Schools has several people retiring this year: Dave Swanson, Larry Reyburn, Cindy Barnard, Mark Schumann, Jerry Gavin, Mike Duffy, Steve Banagis, and Louise Amash. A big thank you to each one of you for your years of service to Cedar Springs kids!

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Distribution wire burns, causes power outage

Scorched pavement in the Family Farm and Home parking lot.

Burn damage to the concrete from the downed electrical wire.

Yellow tape reading “high voltage” cordoning off the scene.

By Judy Reed

Arcing and sparking. Burned wire. Scorched concrete and asphalt. Yellow tape reading “high voltage” cordoning off the scene. That was the scene at Family Farm Home on Tuesday morning after a power line came down in the parking lot at 11:20 a.m. in front of the store and knocked out power to almost 5,600 customers in the greater Cedar Springs area.

A couple of readers said it looked like a fireworks display. Kent County Sheriff Deputy Todd Frank said it sounded like someone welding. He was sitting in his patrol car typing up a crash report that had occurred on 17 Mile near Independent Bank when he heard the sound. “I thought, ‘who the heck would be welding over there?’” he said. “I quickly drove over and saw the arcing and sparking, and the wire falling down.”

Deputy Frank said that the wire came down into the plants in the front of the building and burned holes in the concrete.

“It’s lucky no one got hurt. There were people coming out of the store,” he explained. “It’s a good thing I was here. Some people wanted to drive over the wires to leave. We had people exit through the back of the store.”

Both the CS Fire Department and Consumers Energy responded to the scene.

According to Roger Morgenstern, with Consumers Energy, a distribution wire came down and burned up. “The substation knew something was wrong and did its job and tripped off,” he explained. “We’re still investigating but it may have been the improper operation of equipment connecting the (higher voltage) substation to the downstream distribution wires that you saw burned up,” he told the Post.

Morgenstern said that 4,121 customers were restored at 12:59 p.m. after the problem was found. The remaining 1,472 customers, mostly west of White Creek, were restored by 2:09 p.m., after a new wire was put up.

This was the third widespread power outage in the area since March that was not due to a storm. On March 6, a turkey flew into a power line near Algoma Ave, and in the beginning of May, a squirrel got into the Cedar Springs substation and caused an outage.

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Welcome signs to get facelift

Patrick Ensley (left) and City Manager Mike Womack painting the wooden post where one of the welcome signs normally sits.

Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall (left) and Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack touching up one of the city’s welcome signs.

Signs along the roadway welcoming people to Cedar Springs are an important part of the city’s image. With that in mind, a small group has started the process of refurbishing the signs. And if you saw these people out working on them, you will have noticed that they aren’t DPW workers.

City Manager Mike Womack, Mayor Gerald Hall, and local realtors Patrick and Laura Ensley, began the project last weekend by doing some touch up on one of the signs, and also by scraping, cleaning and painting the white posts. They will be working on all three signs over the next month.

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Dan George honored by NCCAA

Dan George with Ben Belleman, NCCAA Director of Member Relations.

Dan George, Cedar Springs resident and Associate Head Coach for the Grace Bible College men’s basketball team, was honored with the NCCAA Game Plan 4 Life Award this past week in Louisville, KY. This is the highest honor given to an athletics staff member in the NCCAA at the end of each year. Here he is shown with Grace Head Coach Gary Bailey.

Dan George, Grace Bible College’s Associate Head Coach for men’s basketball, was honored Thursday night, June 1, at the National Christian College Athletic Association’s National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, with the “Game Plan for Life Athletic Staff Character Award.” It is the highest honor given by the NCCAA to athletic staff and is awarded to one male and one female athletic staff member in the nation each year. Dan is the only assistant coach to receive the award in its history. The purpose of the award is to honor athletic staff members who epitomize the Christian character qualities of Love, Integrity, Faith, and Excellence. Dan has served Grace with Head Coach Gary Bailey in a program that has won 10 regional championships and 5 national championships during that time. But the GP4L award is prestigious because of its emphasis on more than winning games. It honors those who have a lasting impact on people they serve.

In nominating Coach George for this award, Coach Bailey said, “Dan agreed to be an assistant coach for a year in which I took the job for one season to help them [Grace] out while they looked for their full time coach. That one year has turned into 12 (and going) and Dan has come along side each and every year in leadership of this team.  He is the only assistant coach in the Grace Athletic Hall of Fame. Dan has invested in kids and students’ lives for over 40 years working in either college or K-12 school settings. He currently is the Superintendent at a local charter school [Creative Technologies Academy]. He has served on numerous boards including his home church and Pineview Homes, a home for abused, neglected and delinquent boys for 42 years.  A year ago Dan started a chapter of Polestar Outdoors in west Michigan, a national organization that mentors youth in the outdoors. He is very active in other community service projects in and around his home town of Cedar Springs, Michigan.”

Dan is also a good role model for the players. “He is the ultimate ‘lead by example’ man,” said former player Caleb Combs. “Although many coaches and teachers will often get caught in the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality, Dan walks the walk. This is evident not only while he is on the court, but more importantly, off the court.”

Grace President Ken Kemper spoke about the difference that Dan has made. “Dan has full time employment elsewhere, and volunteers an enormous amount of time to mentor and work with the young men on our campus. His love for the game, and even more so, his love for ministering to young men through the game of basketball has made a huge impact on many young men and their families.”

Finally, long time coaching rival and NCCAA National Chair for men’s basketball, Jon Mack, whose University of Valley Forge teams lost in three national championship games to Gary Bailey and the Grace Tigers, had this to say about Dan George:  “I have been privileged to compete against Dan George and the Grace Bible College Men’s Basketball team over the past decade. Many of those competitions were for NCCAA national and regional championships. Although we have been winless in postseason competition against Grace Bible College, I have personally experienced great spiritual victories that have shaped my faith and purpose with God through the direct and indirect influence from Coach Dan George. Coach George has reflected love, integrity, faith, and excellence regardless of the result. It is very evident that the central focus of his heart is Christ and it’s reflected in how he influences people. I have personally experienced his love for me by his encouraging words during discouraging moments in my life over the past years, including the present. I am forever grateful to Coach George for his eternal investment in my life through the game we call basketball.”

Congratulations, Dan, and thank you for the impact you make on the community around you!

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Create an emergency kit for pets 

 

June is National Pet Preparedness Month 

In honor of June as National Pet Preparedness Month, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to create an emergency preparedness kit for their pets to ensure complete family readiness during an emergency or disaster.

“Pet Preparedness Month is the time of year to make sure you and your pets are ready for emergencies and disasters,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Pets are often overlooked when creating an emergency plan. This month, take a few moments to consider what you will do and where you will go with your pets during an incident.”

More than half of households in the United States include pets, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The human-animal bond Michiganders have with their pets is very strong. In fact, most pets are considered family members,” said Dr. James Averill, State Veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “So, when you are planning for how to protect your family in the event of an emergency, be sure to include the health and care of your family pets. Planning now will help protect your pet’s life and health for many more years of happiness.”

To create a pet preparedness kit, ensure the following items are readily available in a safe location:

  • Food (your pet’s regular food)
  • Water
  • Leash and collar
  • Bowls
  • Photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet
  • Medications your pet needs
  • Immunization and vet records (keep both updated)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family
  • Toys, rope, and sanitation bags
  • Pet carrier

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

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