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Pet kennel goes up in flames

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The Holiday Pet Resort & Salon in Courtland Township caught fire last Friday, June 3. 

Smit family helps with dogs

(L to R) Hanco, Raymond, and Hannes Smit helping with dogs during the fire at the kennel.

Damages from a fire last week at a local kennel could be as high as $500,000.

The fire started shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the Holiday Pet Resort & Salon, on Northland Drive, between 13 and 14 Mile. Firefighters from Courtland, Algoma, Rockford, Cannon, Cedar Springs and Grattan were all on scene.

According to owner Mike Plesco, it may have been the crematorium that overheated and caught the rafters on fire. The crematorium is located in the back of the facility.

Courtland Fire Chief Mickey Davis said that the insurance company is investigating the cause, and determining damages. “I estimated $250,000, but they said it might be closer to $500,000,” said Davis. “The furnace itself is worth $80,000.”

The building has three wings—two on each side, one out the back, and offices in front. Davis said the back is where the crematorium was, and that section was destroyed, and the office would also probably need to be torn down and rebuilt.

Davis said that once they got the electric and the gas turned off (which was feeding the fire in the crematorium), things went smoothly. “We did a practice burn awhile back on a house and had all those same departments there. I think that helped a lot,” he said.

The fire started in the back and worked its way through the building. Post photo by J. Reed.

The fire started in the back and worked its way through the building. Post photo by J. Reed.

They cleared the scene at 5:14 p.m.

About a dozen animals were on site, when the fire broke out, including 11 dogs and one cat. They all got out safely.

According to the Smit family, they arrived at the pet resort just after 1 p.m. to drop off their black lab, Sasha, for the weekend. They were told by employees that they couldn’t take the dog because the building was on fire. “There weren’t any fire trucks here yet,” said Hanco Smit.

So parents Hannes and Heleen, and brothers  Hanco and Raymond helped employees with the animals by waiting outside while the employees brought dogs out to them to hold on to with leashes. Eventually other people stopped to help, and held on to the dogs while firefighters fought the blaze.

“I guess you are going camping with us this weekend,” Hannes told Sasha, and scratched her head. “It will be a treat.” He said he called the place they were camping in Traverse City and explained the situation, and they told him to bring her on up. “That was really nice.”

 

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Summer reading kicks off at library

Cindy Karafa, from Double K Farms, talks to the children about the animals.

Cindy Karafa, from Double K Farms, talks to the children about the animals.

Hundreds of people signed up for the summer reading program Monday.

Hundreds of people signed up for the summer reading program Monday.

It was a great day Monday, June 9, for the Cedar Springs Library’s Summer Reading Kick-off party! According to Library Director Donna Clark, over 500 people came to sign up, celebrate and participate in festivities, which included the Double K Petting Zoo, Kelly’s free ice cream, and the Friends of the Library Book Sale.

“People were pouring in from all over Cedar Springs,” remarked Clark. “564 have signed up for the Summer Reading Program so far and 372 of those registered on Opening Day!”

Local merchants, service organizations, school students and local families support the Library’s summer reading outreach. “Prizes, publicity, performers, crafts and supplies have been secured for what is to be the very best summer ever,” noted Clark. “Programs are for all ages, babies to adults. Family programs will be held at the Cedar Springs Middle School on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.”

If you didn’t get signed up yet, you can still sign up all month. The more you read, the more chances you get to win prizes to be given out at the

The Cedar Springs Fire Department made a guest appearance at the summer reading kick off party Monday.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department made a guest appearance at the summer reading kick off party Monday.

Reading Celebration Carnival, Wednesday, July 30, at Morley Park from 2-4 p.m.

Wednesday is the big day for family programs. Preschool story times are set for 11:15 at the library on the lawn, so bring a beach towel! The family programs are at the lovely Cedar Springs Middle School from 2-3pm. Two special programs with pizza are planned for the following groups: 4-6th graders, 7-12th graders and adults. Check the library’s new website at cedarspringslibrary.org to view all programs online.

“A special thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who made this event run smoothly!” said Clark. “We are blessed by a generous community.”

 

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High School receives award

Cedar Springs High School recently received their MI HEARTSafe Schools award. Pictured (L to R) is Kyle Guerrant, Deputy Superintendent Administration and School Support Services for Michigan Department of Education; Tracy Zamarron, MSN RN, Supervisor, Community Nursing Education, School Health Advocacy Program and former Cedar Springs School Nurse; Raquel Ahern, RN Spectrum Health, Cedar Springs School Nurse; Ron Behrenwald, Cedar Springs High School Principal; James K Haveman, Director of Michigan Department of Community Health.

Cedar Springs High School recently received their MI HEARTSafe Schools award. Pictured (L to R) is Kyle Guerrant, Deputy Superintendent Administration and School Support Services for Michigan Department of Education; Tracy Zamarron, MSN RN, Supervisor, Community Nursing Education, School Health Advocacy Program and former Cedar Springs School Nurse; Raquel Ahern, RN Spectrum Health, Cedar Springs School Nurse; Ron Behrenwald, Cedar Springs High School Principal; James K Haveman, Director of Michigan Department of Community Health.

Cedar Springs High School is one of 40 schools from the state of Michigan and one of only five in Kent County to receive the new MI HEARTSafe Schools designation, which recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.

The Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH), Education (MDE), Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) and the American Heart Association (AHA) gave out the awards for the first time late last month. Between 1999 and 2009, there were 3,134 young individuals between 1 and 39 years of age who died of sudden cardiac death in Michigan. Of those, 246 were between 5 and 19 years of age.

Governor Rick Snyder, MDCH, MDE, MAP-SCDY, AHA, and many community partners are committed to reducing the number of sudden cardiac death in our youth. The recognition of the first MI HEARTSafe Schools is another forward step in the effort to do so.

Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools (grades kindergarten to 12) to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place by July 1, 2014. Michigan schools that already have an existing cardiac emergency response plan and have taken additional steps to be prepared for a cardiac emergency applied for the new MI HEARTSafe Schools designation beginning in November 2013. This designation recognizes those first 40 schools that have taken steps above and beyond to prepare to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency, and is awarded for a period of three years.

In order for a school to receive a MI HEARTSafe designation, it must perform at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year; have a written medical emergency response plan and team; have current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff; have accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Schools that meet all of the requirements will be able to apply for the MI HEARTSafe School designation each year.

Besides Cedar Springs, the other schools in Kent County that received the award were Innovation Central High School, Kent Career Technical Center, Kent Transition Center, and Kent Vocational Options, all in Grand Rapids.

For more information about the MI HEARTSafe Schools program, visit www.migrc.org/miheartsafe.

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Basil—The King of Herbs

DIG-Fresh-market-sweet-basil-plantFresh Market

By Vicky Babcock

 

Ah basil. Its heady aroma, its varied and intense flavors, its striking foliage.  How could one not love basil? Its popularity is world-wide, yet none more so than here, with our blend of cultures and cuisines. America’s love affair with basil most likely stems from its association with Italian cuisine, flavorful sauces and pesto. Yet basil was not always loved and it is not native to Italy.

Some sources suggest that basil derives its name from the terrifying basilisk—a creature in Greek mythology, half lizard, half dragon, whose stare could cause madness and death. Perhaps this is the source of the belief, first recorded by scribes dating pre-206 BCE that basil “exists only to drive men insane.” It is also the first known written record of basil in any context. Both the Greeks and the Romans associated basil with hatred. Western European lore claims that basil belongs to the devil and for basil to grow well, one must curse the ground it is planted in. The French idiom, “semer le basilica,” to sow the basil, is synonymous with going off on a rant. Nicholas Culpeper believed it was poisonous. He also adhered to the belief that basil could produce scorpions and that smelling too much basil could create a scorpion inside the brain. Conversely, basil is held by some to protect against scorpions and the herbalist, John Gerard, noted that those who ate of basil would feel no pain from a scorpion sting. There are as many advocates of basil as there are detractors.

Native to India, the word stems from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king.” Jewish folklore suggests that it adds strength while fasting. It is sacred to the god Vishnu in its native country and the goddess of love in Haiti. In Hindu, holy basil, or “Tulsi,” is a symbol of love, fidelity, eternal life, purification and protection.

Basil is a member of the mint family. Its essential oils show both antifungal and insect repelling properties and components of the plant have been proven to be toxic to mosquitoes. The herb is an excellent source of Vitamin K and manganese, and a good source of Vitamins A and C. It is heart healthy, being a good source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and also prevents free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the bloodstream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls. Because free radical damage is a contributing factor in other conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, basil may help to lessen the progression of these conditions as well. Studies have shown that components of the oil can act as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting an enzyme called “cyclooxygenase.” Many common over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen work by inhibiting this same enzyme.

Basil is best consumed fresh, as drying changes the flavor. For cooked dishes, add this herb at the end of the heating process to maintain flavor and nutrition. For future use, try freezing basil in ice cube trays with water for soups and sauces. Or try our recipe for pesto below.

 

Pesto 

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, (about 2 cups, packed) washed and dried

3 medium cloves of garlic, peeled

1/3 cup raw pine nuts

¾ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

In a food processor, pulse basil, garlic and pine nuts briefly—do not over process.  Add cheese and pulse a bit more.  Blend in olive oil and add salt to taste.

Great on sandwiches or over pasta.  Refrigerate.

Makes about 1 cup.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718. Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

 

 

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Red Hawk Varsity tennis wraps up season

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The Lady Red Hawks tennis team won the Sparta invitational by the score of Cedar Springs 13, Sparta 8, Fremont 5, and G.R. Union 2.

In OK Bronze conference play, Cedar Springs won one over Greenville, tied with West Catholic, and lost to Forest Hills Eastern, Forest Hills Northern, and Northview.

In regional competition, Cedar Springs had four players advance to the second round: #2 double Kellsie Rypma and Jordan Ackerman; #3 singles Katie Schumann; and #4 singles Rebecca Williams.

Competing in singles for the Red Hawks this year was #1 Shannon Leal; #2 Megan Brunett; #3 Katie Schumann; and #4 Rebecca Williams. Competing in doubles play was #1 Emma Schut and Julie Schut; #2 Kellsie Rypma and Jordan Ackerman; #3 Kat Scrivner and Jessica Brunett; and #4 Anna Behrenwald and Mariah Rios.

The Red Hawks graduated two seniors this year, Shannon Leal and Megan Brunett.

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Sandhill Cranes in your Community

Photo by Beth Olson

Photo by Beth Olson

Photo by Brian Stalter

Photo by Brian Stalter

Breeding season for Sandhill Cranes is well underway in Michigan and chances are you have observed these birds in your community. Standing almost four feet tall cranes are easy to notice and entertaining to observe, but Michigan Audubon wants to remind Michiganders to maintain a safe viewing distance and let wildlife be wild. Here are few tips to help you live comfortably together with the Sandhill Cranes in your community.

Give cranes ample space. Sandhill Cranes are large and require a big area in order to take flight. Many people have seen cranes walking across roads, through neighborhoods, and on golf courses. If you encounter cranes while driving a vehicle, garden tractor, or golf cart, make sure to give the birds a wide berth. Sandhill Cranes may not always take flight, especially if they are escorting juvenile cranes called “colts.” Please slow down and let the cranes get to a safe place.

Do not intentionally feed cranes. Michigan Audubon receives reports of Sandhill Cranes taking advantage of backyard bird feeding stations and even cases where cranes are pecking at patio windows. If cranes become regular visitors at a home feeding station, we encourage property owners to take down feeders for a few days and allow the cranes to find natural food on their own. Bringing cranes to your feeding station can put the birds in contact with more potential predators such as domestic dogs, raccoons, foxes and other urban wildlife.

Learn more about cranes. Sandhill Cranes have made a tremendous comeback in Michigan, thanks to a variety of conservation measures. Cranes are regularly observed during spring migration at places like Whitefish Point and Brockway Mountain in the Upper Peninsula. Breeding cranes and adults with young are widely observed throughout Michigan, and because of their size do not even require binoculars to be fully appreciated. This fall Michigan Audubon encourages Michiganders to visit one of the numerous sites in the southern Lower Peninsula where cranes will be staging for migration. The 20th Annual Sandhill Crane & Art Festival, also known simply as “CraneFest,” will take place October 11 and 12 in Calhoun County and includes crane-viewing, special presentations, 25 Michigan artists, and activities for kids. Visit www.cranefest.org for more information.

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Cedar View Students are giving back! The Leadership Teams are on a mission!

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When the 4th grade Student Leadership Team contemplated how they wanted to improve their school this year, they decided they were going to look outside of the school walls and into their own community.  By starting a “Penny War” between classrooms, they managed to raise more than $840 dollars to which they donated to the North Kent Service Center!  Each classroom had a jar and students from their home classrooms could fill the jar with pennies.  However, students from other classrooms could offset the amount of pennies by contributing quarters, nickels, and dimes.  The only way to make up the difference was to add more pennies!  Fun was had by all and best of all, they were able to contribute to a great program!  Awesome job, 4th graders!

The 5th grade Student Leadership Team was not far behind with their own idea of having a food and clothing collection for those in need.  During a two week period, they managed to collect five totes of clothing and a large amount of food!  Donations will be delivered to Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids, where the team will spend some time during the dinner hour helping out and meeting some of the staff and clients.

We are very proud of our Leadership Teams and their dedication to helping others!

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Building bonds between Dads and kids

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features)

For many adults, the times spent with their fathers are among their most treasured memories. However, today as many as one in three children in America live in a home where a biological father is not present.

The reasons for paternal absence can vary. For example, fathers may stay distant from a child out of fear of being inadequate or failing the child. Despite difficult circumstances, in many cases there are solutions that allow fathers to maintain an important presence in their children’s lives.

The following are many of the common reasons for fathers’ absences along with guidance on how to help resolve the situation, provided by Dr. Janet Taylor, an author and community psychiatrist.

Guilt

Many fathers have guilt for not having the financial means to buy things for their kids. Fathers need to understand their children love them because they are their father and not because of the “things” they give them.

“A father’s time and involvement in a child’s life is a true gift,” Dr. Taylor says. “Give the gift of your time and it will mean the world to them.”

Family Conflict

Disputes among family members may also keep a father away. When conflicts arise with a mother, grandparents or other family members, a child should know he or she is not the problem, Dr. Taylor cautions.

Doubts about paternity can be an especially trying source of family conflict. A paternity test can help eliminate this uncertainty. To help address paternity questions, Identigene offers an affordable DNA paternity test kit that is sold in drug stores and supercenters and is 100 percent accurate.

Dr. Taylor advocates for fathers to make an effort to spend time with their children in the midst of conflict, even if circumstances dictate that time together is in a group setting rather than one-on-one.

Failed Personal Connections 

Another reason a father might stay away is the result of a lack of a father figure in his own life. Dr. Taylor calls parenting the ultimate “on the job training.” She recommends working to make a connection to break the cycle from repeating in the next generation.

Fathers Have Value

“Fathers also need to recognize their value in their kids’ lives,” Dr. Taylor says. A recent survey sponsored by Identigene found that most Americans who are looking to address a paternity issue understand there are many benefits of having a biological father in a child’s life, including providing the child with a sense of family and self (73%), enhancing the child’s self-esteem (70%) and offering the child with a masculine parental figure (69%). According to Fatherhood.org, children who do not have a father figure in their life are more likely to endure financial hardship, use drugs, quit school or engage in criminal behavior.

“This data serves as a testament that a father’s active participation does make a difference,” Dr. Taylor says. “Hopefully it encourages those fathers who have not had a role in their child’s life to develop a bond that can truly re-shape a young person’s entire childhood.”

For more information, visit www.DNAtesting.com.

 

 

 

 

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The burning truth about tanning

HEA-Burning-truth-girl-getting-tan

As more people begin to head outside to enjoy the weather, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote the Burning Truth campaign urging residents to protect themselves from the dangers of tanning and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Science has shown that no matter the source, sunlight or tanning bed, exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

“There is a misconception that indoor tanning is somehow safe or safer than exposure to sunlight, but the truth is that tanning bed related injuries send thousands of people to the hospital each year,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “Tanning beds pose immediate risk and have long-term effects on your skin and overall health.”

People who tan indoor damage their skin, which can lead to wrinkles, warts, rashes, and dark spots. The most serious concern is the risk of causing the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and rates are climbing. Teen girls and young women need to be especially careful, as it is the second most common cancer in women between 20 and 29 years of age.

Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently came out with new requirements for sunlamp products that reinforce the risk, especially to minors. These requirements include reclassifying sunlamp products and UV lamps as moderate-risk, up from low-risk, and additional warning and safety labeling regarding minors under the age of 18 and skin cancer screenings.

The CDC’s Burning Truth initiative encourages residents to keep their skin healthy by protecting themselves from UV rays from the sun and tanning beds and learning about the myths associated with tanning of any kind, including:

• A base tan is not a safe tan. There is a common misconception that a tan acts as the body’s natural protection against sunburn. The truth is that a tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays, showing that damage has been done. A “base tan” only provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 3 or less, which does little to protect your skin.

• Tanned skin is not healthy skin. Some people believe the tanning bed gives them a “healthy glow.” The truth is that whether tanning or burning, you are exposing yourself to harmful UV rays that damage your skin, and every time you tan, you increase your risk of melanoma. The truly healthy glow is your natural skin color.

• Controlled tanning is not safe tanning. People may have heard that indoor tanning is the safer way to tan because you can control your level of exposure to UV rays. When in reality indoor tanning exposes you to intense UV rays, increasing your risk of melanoma.

Avoiding indoor tanning and protecting yourself from the sun when outdoors are the best ways to reduce your chance of getting skin cancer. For more information about the truth of tanning, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/burningtruth. For more information about the FDA’s recent sunlamp requirement changes, visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm399222.htm.

 

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Concert in the park next Thursday

ENT-Concert-in-park-Roosevelt-DiggsRoosevelt Diggs June 19 at Morley Park

 

The Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Department is bringing music back for the 8th summer in Morley Park. Some great bands are scheduled for the 3rd Thursday of June, July and August. The first band, Roosevelt Diggs, will appear next Thursday, June 19. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the park, right off Cedar Street. You can listen to some of their music at www.rooseveltdiggs.com.

The event is free to the public and will include a free raffle of door prizes during the band’s intermission. The door prizes are donated by local businesses. The concerts’ main sponsor, Independent Bank, is celebrating its 150th year, and will be giving away a $100 gift card at each concert to someone 18 or older.

Bring lawn chairs or a blanket, pack up the kids, and head out for a relaxing evening with friends and neighbors and hear some great music!

In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be made by 4 p.m. on whether to cancel the concert. They will broadcast their decision through text alerts and on their facebook page. You can sign up for text alerts by going to their website at www.csaparksandrec.com and clicking on text alerts in the right hand column, or visit their facebook page by searching for Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation.

The other bands scheduled for this summer include Cross Creek on July 17, and Don Middlebrook on August 21.

 

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