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Traveling Zoo comes shows animal super powers


N-Zoo2Last week Wednesday, July 15, Rhiannon, an animal handler from the John Ball Zoo, put on a presentation for the library’s Summer Reading Program at Cedar Springs Middle School. She shared about some amazing animals and their super powers. And she brought along some live animals, including a screech owl, a tortoise, a king snake, and a chinchilla.

With the phrase, “Eyes on the side, born to hide. Eyes in the front, born to hunt,” she taught us an easy way to identify whether an animal is a hunter or a prey animal,” said Kelly Roach, of the Cedar Springs Public Library. “It was a really great opportunity for the community of

Cedar Springs to learn more about some of the animals that live in our backyard, as well as animals that come from different areas!”

For more info on summer reading programs, visit www.cedarspringslibrary.org or call 696-1910.

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Motorcycle accident sends one to hospital


Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron Kimbrough and Deputy Scott Abbatoy look at the motorcycle involved in the accident Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ron Kimbrough and Deputy Scott Abbatoy look at the motorcycle involved in the accident Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

A Gowen man was injured Monday when he dumped his motorcycle while traveling on the curve on 18 Mile, just south of Fieldstone Meadows.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Scott Abbatoy, the 58-year-old man was traveling toward Cedar Springs, on 18 Mile, when his foot got stuck under the brake, and he tipped the bike. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a head injury, as well as lacerations on his hands. He was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A man and woman who were out doing home inspections stopped at the scene when they saw the victim on his hands and knees, with his head bleeding. They let him sit in their vehicle to wait for police and the ambulance. “If you see someone like that, you can’t just drive by,” said the woman. “If it was my dad, I’d want to someone to stop.”

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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AC or windows down: secrets to better summer fuel economy


(BPT) – Summer is peak travel season for most Americans. Those hoping to spend less on fuel and more on fun can find ways to stretch their travel budgets with better vehicle care and use.

One hotly (pun intended) debated topic during summer driving season is whether it is more fuel efficient to use the air conditioner (AC) or roll down the windows and catch the breeze to stay cool.

To settle the AC versus windows question, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee compared the performance of a Ford Explorer and a Toyota Corolla. It’s probably no surprise that fuel consumption was the lowest when AC was off and the windows were up. But that’s not a great option on a 95-degree day.

When driving at speeds slower than 75 mph, researchers found it was more efficient to roll down the windows. At speeds faster than 75 mph, it was more efficient to run the AC in the Corolla, but not the Explorer, likely because the larger cabin was harder to cool.

Edmunds.com experts found similar results with a Toyota Tundra, which got almost ten percent better gas mileage at 65 mph with the windows down and AC off. In Consumer Reports tests with a Honda Accord, using air conditioning while driving at 65 mph reduced gas mileage by more than 3 mpg, while the effect of opening the windows at 65 mph was not measurable.

So deciding whether to choose AC or open windows depends on driving speed, wind speed, terrain, vehicle size and aerodynamics. Thankfully, other ways to improve fuel efficiency are less complicated.

Good vehicle maintenance is the best way to improve fuel economy, says Andrew Hamilton, technical services and quality manager for Cenex brand lubricants. “To maintain your vehicle’s top fuel efficiency, perform regular maintenance, including oil changes and replacing the air filter and spark plugs,” says Hamilton.

Use the manufacturer recommended engine oil to get the most from your engine. “Using the wrong oil viscosity can reduce fuel efficiency by five to ten percent,” says Hamilton. “Use the correct oil grade and choose an engine oil that contains friction modifiers, such as a full-synthetic oil like Cenex Maxtron.”

Finally, don’t forget tire care. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 1.25 billion gallons of gas are wasted every year by driving on underinflated tires. “Properly inflated tires last longer, reduce braking distance and improve fuel efficiency,” says Hamilton. The inflation guidelines can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door.

For more gas-saving tips and to nominate someone to win free fuel, visit Cenex.com.

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Hawks claim second consecutive victory


By Shae Brophy

The West Michigan Hawks hosted archrival Grand Rapids Thunder, on Saturday, at Skinner Field. In what was the most anticipated game of the season for both teams, there was a definite buzz among the players as the game began. The Hawks received the opening kickoff, and we were underway, at least momentarily. The Hawks took the ball deep into Thunder territory after quarterback Jeff Krebs completed a pass to receiver Darwin Mathis, which Mathis ran all the way down to the three yard line. Upon the completion of the play, the referees called for a break in the action due to lightning. This came at 2:58 into the game, and lasted for approximately 45 minutes. When the game resumed, the Hawks were unable to punch the ball in on four consecutive plays, allowing the Thunder to take over at the two-yard line. On the first Thunder play, Hawks linebacker Jeremy Watson met the running back in the end zone, forcing a fumble and recovering it for a Hawks touchdown.

With the Hawks leading 7-0, they scored another touchdown in the first quarter. Krebs completed a pass over the middle to tight end Stan Scott, who rumbled his way down the field, blowing past the Thunder backfield, for a 61-yard touchdown. Dontae Ensley’s extra point made the score 14-0, which held until the end of the first quarter.

The Thunder dominated the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns, and would lead 15-14 at halftime.

The Hawks were re-motivated at the half, however. With a large portion of members from the Hawks having played for the Thunder last season, it was obvious how badly they wanted to come out on top in this game, and you could tell by how they played in the second half.

With their team trailing, Krebs and Scott connected for another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, with the two point conversion failing, making the score 20-15. For Scott, they were his first two touchdowns of the season, while Krebs threw for three for the game, and now has 12 on the season.

The Hawks were able to force another turnover on downs with less than a minute to go, forcing an incomplete pass while the Thunder were in the red zone. Cornerback Omar Haynes swatted down the last gasp for the Thunder on fourth down, and the victory celebration was on. This was the first game of the season for the Hawks with no interceptions, but they still managed to force five turnovers (Watson fumble recovery for a touchdown, fumble recovered by free safety Craig Marquardt, and three turnovers on downs.) This brings their overall record to 2-4 on the season.

“It was a very intense game. We had moments where the momentum dropped, but we powered through in the end,” said Scott. “Even mother nature couldn’t stop the Hawks from soaring tonight.”

Head coach David Lange added: “At the beginning of the season, we were projected to lose every game we played, due to the fact that this is a first year team. We have proven that prediction to be wrong, twice now! We came out hot against our biggest rivals, and even though we lost that intensity going into the half, we were able to rally around each other to get the win. I’m very proud of these men, and proud to be the coach of this football team.”

With the victory, the Hawks have now qualified for the Crossroads Tournament, played at the end of the year. This is tournament for the top team from each division that does not qualify for the playoffs. With a victory in either of their last two games, the Hawks will clinch home field advantage in the first round of the tournament.

The Hawks will be playing at home again on Saturday against the Michigan Vipers. Tickets will be $5 at the gate, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6.

Be sure to follow the team on Facebook for more details on the upcoming schedule, as well as the scheduling of the Crossroads Tournament!

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DNR reports 2014 deer hunting harvest down across Michigan


Several factors added to decline; wildlife managers working on improvements


Several factors contributed to a lower deer hunting harvest in 2014.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently issued a Michigan Deer Harvest Survey Report on the 2014 hunting seasons indicating that roughly 615,000 hunters statewide harvested a total of roughly 329,000 deer. The harvest represents a drop of 15 percent from 2013.
Wildlife managers report that regional declines in deer harvest were greatest in the Upper Peninsula, where the overall harvest was down by nearly 36 percent.
The DNR said several factors—including back-to-back years of severe winter weather that depleted the deer population in some parts of the state—contributed to the decline.

Snow, snow and more snow

“In the Upper Peninsula, winter started early with more than three feet of snow on the ground in some areas before the Nov. 15 opening of firearm deer season,” said DNR wildlife biologist Brian Frawley. “Though not as severe as the previous season, this marked the third consecutive rough winter for the deer population in the U.P.” Frawley said that much of the region’s drop in deer harvest could be explained by those conditions. The heavy U.P. snowfall, for example, made it challenging—sometimes impossible—for some firearm deer hunters to get to their camps. Given the conditions, many decided not to hunt; others, after experiencing the effects of the two previous winters, decided not to buy licenses.
“When the number of hunters is reduced in a given year, the deer harvest potential naturally is reduced, too,” Frawley said.

 Michigan deer hunters spent 8.8 million days afield last year.

Michigan deer hunters spent 8.8 million days afield last year.

Across all hunting seasons, 84,099 people hunted deer in the U.P. in 2014, down about 19 percent from 2013.
Natural cyclical movement

DNR Director Keith Creagh said that like Michigan’s deer population, the state’s deer harvest numbers have risen and fallen in an ebb-and-flow pattern since the early 1960s.

“The number of deer harvested hit a low in the early 1970s at below 100,000 statewide,” Creagh said. “With mild winters and changing forest conditions, deer populations then rose and hunter harvest climbed to more than 400,000 by the late 1980s.”

After tough back-to-back winters in the mid-1990s, the harvest followed the population steeply downhill, but rebounded again to nearly 600,000 by the end of the decade. Since then, deer harvest has remained below 500,000 since the early 2000s.

Other population indicators

DNR deer program biologist Ashley Autenrieth said U.P. deer-vehicle collisions tallied 2,961, down 22 percent from 2013. Crop damage permit kills were down to 1,664 in 2014 from 1,745 the previous year. “These two factors indicate a drop in the overall deer population,” Autenrieth said. The winter severity index, crop damage permits and deer-vehicle accidents also were down in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Pockets of success

In northern parts of the U.P., firearm deer hunters who did get to their camps and blinds found the snowy conditions had put many deer on southward seasonal migration paths early. Hunters who altered their strategies to follow those paths fared better. Despite the challenging conditions, firearm deer hunters in the U.P. harvested 14,734 antlered bucks, with 41,415 taken in the northern Lower Peninsula and 49,110 in the southern Lower Peninsula.
Across all 2014 deer hunting seasons, nearly a fourth of hunters in the western U.P., and 14.6 percent in the eastern U.P., harvested at least one antlered buck. Statewide, the percentage jumped to 26.9 percent.

Overall deer harvest, hunter satisfaction

Statewide, 41 percent of hunters harvested a deer in 2014, compared to 43 percent in 2013. Roughly 11 percent of deer hunters harvested two or more deer of any type. Less than 4 percent of hunters took two antlered bucks.
About 20 percent of deer hunters harvested an antlerless deer and 27 percent took an antlered buck. “Across Michigan, 39 percent of hunters said they were satisfied with their overall hunting experience, with the highest satisfaction in the Lower Peninsula,” Frawley said. “Those are numbers we want to build on as we work to provide a positive experience for hunters in every part of the state.”

Other population, harvest factors

Michigan deer hunters spent 8.8 million days afield last year. DNR efforts to improve the deer population affected the harvest numbers as well. Those actions include:

To protect more does in the U.P., the Michigan Natural Resources Commission restricted the number of deer management units open to antlerless deer hunting to three areas in the southern part of the region.

Recently, at the urging of hunters, the NRC decided to remove for this fall the ability of hunters in the U.P. to tag antlerless deer during the archery season with a single or combination deer license.

For the long-term, DNR and hunter efforts continue to improve deer habitat:

A U.P. Habitat Workgroup reconvened in January, focused on improving and conserving critical winter deer habitat, offering technical assistance and incentives to private landowners.

A Mississippi State University multiyear study on the role of predators, winter weather and habitat on white-tailed deer fawn survival in the U.P. is continuing, aided by the DNR and Safari Club International.

Reasons for optimism

Although the overall number of license buyers was down from 10 years ago, an increased number of people younger than 14 years old and people older than 50 bought a hunting license last year. Overall, 12 percent of license buyers were younger than 17 years old.
The DNR continues efforts to meet changing hunter demographics by promoting hunting to younger hunters and female hunters, whose numbers are rising.
Across Michigan, about 57 percent of hunters supported antler point restrictions on buck harvest that were implemented for the U.P. and about 63 percent of the hunters who preferred to hunt in the U.P. supported the antler point restrictions.

The DNR offered all deer hunters the option to voluntarily report information about their deer hunt via the Internet. More than 4,200 hunters responded. Next, a questionnaire was sent to 58,857 randomly selected individuals who had bought a hunting license, but had not reported harvest information online. Respondents who promptly responded became eligible to win a firearm or a bow.
Questionnaires were returned by 29,035 hunters (a 51-percent response rate), providing additional valuable harvest and experience data.

Moving forward, the DNR and the NRC will continue to talk with the public regarding their ideas on more measures that potentially could be taken to further improve deer hunting in Michigan.

For more information on the 2014 deer harvest report, visit www.michigan.gov/deer.

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Eight tips for a healthy pregnancy


(BPT) – Did you know that every single minute in the United States a baby is born too early? That’s approximately 450,000 born too early each year. A pregnant woman’s good health, both physical and emotional, is essential to the health of her baby. You can boost your own chances of having a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby by following a few tips and by learning more about the important development of your baby, even during the final weeks of a full-term pregnancy.

1. Get early prenatal care

Early prenatal care is important for you and your baby. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, contact your health care provider to schedule your first prenatal visit. During that appointment you’ll get advice for a healthy pregnancy and be screened for risk factors associated with preterm birth.You can also visit GrowthYouCantSee.com for a checklist of risk factors and example questions to bring with you to help guide the conversation with your health care provider.

2. Make every bite count 

What you eat is a key part of pregnancy health. Your baby absorbs everything you eat, so good nutrition is not only essential for your own good health but also for your baby’s growth and development. Make sure you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids to help ensure both your good health and your baby’s.

3. Manage stress

Bringing a baby into the world is no easy task. Pregnancy can be nerve-wracking and it’s normal to feel stressed. However, too much stress can cause health problems and increase a woman’s chances for preterm birth – delivering a baby before 37 weeks or more than three weeks prior to the due date. Taking care of your emotional health by learning to manage stress makes for a healthier pregnancy and is an essential part of taking care of your baby.

4. Exercise regularly

Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy is important for your general health and can help you prepare for labor. Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and help you feel your best. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication. Talk to your health care provider about your fitness routine during pregnancy to keep you and your baby safe.

5. Get plenty of rest

When you’re pregnant, discomfort can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress can all help improve sleep during pregnancy. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga or a warm bath before bed, may also help you fall asleep. If you’re unable to sleep well at night, try resting more during the day.

6. Change your habits

Healthy lifestyle choices directly impact the health of a growing baby and certain habits can cause lifelong health problems for your baby. In particular, smoking, drinking alcohol and using street drugs (also called illegal or illicit drugs) can restrict a baby’s growth and increase the chances for preterm birth. Avoiding substances such as nicotine, alcohol and other street drugs during pregnancy gives your baby the time he or she needs to grow and develop. If you need help to quit, talk with your doctor.

7. Learn about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor 

Help protect your baby by familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of preterm labor, which can lead to preterm birth, so you can proactively discuss them with your health care provider. Visit GrowthYouCantSee.com to learn more.

8. Enjoy this special time 

Forty weeks sounds like a long time, but you won’t be pregnant for forever. Enjoy this special time in your life with family and friends.

There’s a lot of growth that happens in your baby, even in the last few weeks of pregnancy leading up to your due date.

For more information on the risks of preterm birth and the benefits of a full-term pregnancy, visit GrowthYouCantSee.com.

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BEE One in a Million


BLOOM-Bee-one-in-a-million-logoResidents have a chance to become part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC), a nationwide call to action to create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America.

The challenge was launched by The National Pollinator Garden Network, which collectively represents nearly one million active gardeners and 15,000 schoolyard gardens. The Network is challenging the nation to reach the goal of one million additional pollinator gardens by the end of 2016. The Network will work to provide resources for individuals, community groups, government agencies and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices and conservation efforts.

They hope to move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and the healthy food people eat.

Any individual can contribute by planting for pollinators and joining this effort to provide a million pollinator gardens across the United States. Every habitat of every size counts, from window boxes and garden plots to farm borders, golf courses, school gardens, corporate and university campuses. Everywhere we live, work, play and worship can, with small improvements, offer essential food and shelter for pollinators.

“If we all work together—individuals, communities, farmers, land managers, and local, state, and federal agencies—we can ensure that every American child has a chance to enjoy the beauty of creatures like bees, monarch butterflies, and hummingbirds,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife

Federation. “By joining forces with the National Pollinator Garden Network on the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the National Wildlife Federation and our affiliates are amplifying these collective efforts to address the growing threats affecting so much of America’s treasured wildlife.”

Pollinators Gardens should do the following:

• use plants that provide nectar and pollen sources

• provide a water source

• be situated in sunny areas with wind breaks

• create large “pollinator targets” of native or non-invasive plants

• establish continuous bloom throughout the growing season

• eliminate or minimize the impact of pesticides.

Learn more at www.millionpollinatorgardens.org and join the discussion on Twitter through the hashtag #PolliNation.

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Three-vehicle crash injures two


A three-vehicle crash in Montcalm County involving a car, a pick up, and a semi, sent two people to the hospital Friday morning, July 10.

According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, Mark Steven Williams, 58, of Leroy, Mich., was traveling northbound on S. Sheridan Road (M66) about 3:42 p.m., in a 2004 Ford F350, while pulling a farm implement, and ran a red light at the intersection of M57 (Carson City Road). His vehicle struck a 2012 Volkswagon Jetta driven by Nichole Nielsen, 35, of Spring Lake, who was westbound on M57. The two vehicles then slid into a 2007 Kenworth semi, owned by J&H Oil, which was facing south on M66, and waiting to turn right on M57.

A passenger in the pickup, Rocky Allen Lockhart, 55, of Leroy, was taken by AeroMed to Butterworth Hospital for his injuries. Nielsen, the driver of the Jetta, was taken to Sheridan Hospital by Montcalm County EMS, with non-life threatening injuries.

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Sgt. Kelley named Deputy of the Year


Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.

Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.

By Judy Reed

Sgt. Jason Kelley, supervisor of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, was named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement, by the Kent County Sheriff Department. He was recognized in a special awards ceremony last Thursday, July 9.

“It’s a humbling experience,” remarked Kelley. “A lot of people are deserving of this, so I am humbled by it.”

According to info supplied by the Sheriff Department, Kelley began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as a County Patrol Officer in January 2003, and assigned to the Detective Bureau in September 2008. As a detective, he received commendations for his tenacity, investigative skills, and compassion dealing with robberies, an abduction, white collar crime, and death investigations.

In June 2013, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant within the Law Enforcement Division. Sgt. Kelley was assigned as the Central/North D squad supervisor in 2014.

“Sgt. Kelley’s attitude, work ethic and dedication to his job is impeccable,” wrote Sheriff Lawrence Stelma, in a news release about the award. “His positive leadership qualities are something we all strive for. He is personable with his officers and offers constant assistance and support while being highly effective.” He also noted that he is an effective communicator and is highly respected by his officers, fellow sergeants and command staff.

Last fall the Cedar Springs City Council voted to dissolve the Cedar Springs Police Department, and contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for law enforcement beginning in November 2014. Sgt. Kelley oversaw the transition and still supervises the unit.

“Due to his outstanding performance, enthusiasm and work ethic, Sgt. Kelley was selected to be the Cedar Springs Unit supervisor and was instrumental in making this ‘Change of Command’ transition a huge success,” wrote Stelma. “Sgt. Jason Kelley has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise. Along with your fellow officers, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Jason for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement.”

Sgt. Kelley said that things have been going great in the Cedar Springs Unit. “All the officers continue to do a great job. The Cedar Springs officers (that transferred) do an outstanding job providing police services, and have been well received by other deputies in the department. Businesses and citizens have given us a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “We definitely appreciate the welcome we’ve received and have really enjoyed the transition.”

The deputies have been active at community events, and will be at the Library’s summer reading carnival August 5, at Morley Park, from 2-5 p.m., where kids can meet deputies and get some hands-on time with police equipment. “Kids can sit in cruisers, and anything that’s safe, they can touch,” explained Sgt. Kelley.

Several other people were also given awards the same night as Sgt. Kelley. Watch for those in next week’s Post.

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Post travels to visit Hometown Hero

N-Post-travels-Connecticut-BrooksThe Post recently traveled to Connecticut and Rhode Island with Rob and Julie Brooks, and their granddaughter Myla Johnson. The ship in the background is the retired submarine USS Nautilus at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut.The trip was to visit their son, local hometown hero, Aaron Brooks. Aaron, a 2012 graduate of Cedar Springs, has been stationed in Connecticut for a little over two years, and is ranked as machinist mate second class. He is currently serving on the USS Toledo SSN 769. They are set to deploy this fall.

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