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Rise Up Church holds grand opening

Pastor Jon Huizenga closes the service with a blessing. Courtesy photo.

The weather kept them guessing but Sunday, January 12 turned out to be a fine day for a grand opening of a new church in Cedar Springs named Rise Up Church.

Volunteer offers one more snack for the road. Courtesy photo.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Dave Van Harten, of Cedar Springs, a “launch team” participant who has been helping to develop the new church since early last year.

Rise Up Church has been holding weekly launch team gatherings, monthly invitation events, and monthly community engagement activities since early last year in order to invite people to get involved and to discern how they might join the city and the city’s people in helpful ways.

Launch team Dave Van Harten interacting with attendees. Courtesy photo.

Sunday’s grand opening at Cedar Springs Middle School at the corner 16 Mile and Northland Drive marked the beginning of every-Sunday worship services for the new church. Worship services will now be weekly at 10 a.m. at the school. Pastor Jon Huizenga invites Cedar Springs area residents to “come and help us become a community of love in the name of Jesus, in and with and among all the people of Cedar Springs.”

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Board of Ed selects officers

Cedar Springs Board of Education members include: back row (L to R): Matt Shoffner, Trent Gilmore and Jeff Rivard; middle row (L to R): Traci Slager and Mistie Bowser; and front row (L to R): Shannon Vanderhyde and Heidi Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education held their annual organizational meeting on Monday, January 13.

The board selected the same officers to serve this year as last year: President is Heidi Reed, Vice President is Matt Shoffner, Treasurer is Trent Gilmore, and Secretary is Traci Slager. Rounding out the board are trustees Jeff Rivard, Shannon Vanderhyde, and Mistie Bowser.

The remaining meeting dates for the 2019-20 school year are January 25,* February 8, 22,* March 8, 22,* April 12, 26*, May 10, June 14, 2*. *Dates are a work session.

Meetings are held at the Hilltop Community Building, 3rd Floor Board Room and all are open to the public. 

Regular meetings will begin at 6:45 p.m. unless otherwise noted and work sessions will begin at 6:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

To learn more about your Board of Education representatives, go to http://www.csredhawks.org/District/Board-of-Education/Meet-our-Board/index.html and on the left side, scroll down and click on their individual names.

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Michigan files lawsuit against 3M, DuPont and others for PFAS contamination

LANSING—Michigan  Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit this week in Washtenaw County Circuit Court against 17 defendants, including 3M and DuPont, for the damages and injury to the State of Michigan caused by contamination from toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS and often referred to as “forever chemicals.”

The lawsuit is the first legal action taken by the state against PFAS manufacturers and continues Michigan’s leadership in tackling the serious and widespread problem of PFAS contamination.

The State’s lawsuit asserts that the following 17 defendants deliberately concealed the dangers of PFAS and withheld scientific evidence, and intentionally, knowingly and recklessly sold, distributed, released, transported, supplied, arranged for disposal or treatment, and handled and used PFAS and PFAS-containing materials in Michigan in a way that they knew would contaminate natural resources and expose Michigan residents to harm:

*Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. a/k/a 3M;

*DuPont, including its historic corporate self/identity/entity, as well as its post-merger-and-spinoff self DuPont de Nemours Inc., a/k/a New DuPont;

The Chemours Co., a spinoff of DuPont, and its subsidiary (The Chemours Co. FC LLX);

*Corteva Inc., another DuPont spinoff that was part of Defendant Dow DuPont;

*Dyneon LLC;

*Archroma entities;

*Arkema entities;

*AGC Chemicals Americas Inc.;

*Daikin Industries entities;

*Solvay Specialty Polymers, USA LLC; and

*Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc.

“We bring this action today on behalf of the people of Michigan,” said Nessel. “It is our responsibility to protect our residents and our state’s natural resources and property by preventing and abating hazards to public health, safety, welfare and the environment, and by placing the responsibility for this massive undertaking with those responsible for creating the problem.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark joined Nessel to announce the litigation.

“Since taking office, I’ve been deliberate and focused on protecting our Great Lakes and cleaning up our drinking water,” said Whitmer. “Michigan has been established as a national leader in identifying, monitoring and addressing contamination caused by PFAS. As such, we must continue to protect communities all across our state from harmful PFAS chemicals by holding polluters accountable. Future generations of Michiganders are counting on us to get to work today.”

The complaint contends the defendants knew or should have known that:

*PFAS persist in the environment and do not degrade;

*PFAS would accumulate and build up in animals and humans exposed to PFAS;

*PFAS are potential or confirmed carcinogens; 

*and continued manufacture and use of PFAS would inevitably result in continued and increased levels of PFAS getting into the environment and into people’s bodies.

The state also contends the defendants knew PFAS are toxic and pose substantial health and environmental risks but hid this information from the state and its residents. Specifically, the companies neglected to tell people what was in the products, suppressed the scientific evidence that the chemicals were hazardous, discharged the chemicals into the environment and distributed the chemicals all over the world, including into Michigan, knowing that PFAS would contaminate natural resources and threaten public health,

“Chemical companies have known for decades that PFAS compounds don’t break down, build up in the human body, and exposures can lead to illness, yet they never warned Michigan consumers or manufacturers of the unintended consequences associated with using these “forever chemicals,” said Clark. “There is ample evidence that PFAS represents a clear and present danger to Michigan’s drinking water, our economy and our quality of life. Michigan deserves fair compensation from the chemical companies that profited from the sale of PFAS chemicals in our state.”

Exposure to PFAS is correlated with several harmful and serious health effects including but not limited to:

Decreased fertility; pregnancy induced hypertension and/or preeclampsia; liver damage; thyroid disease; problems with cholesterol levels; immune system problems; and increased likelihood of cancer, especially kidney and testicular cancers.

“Without widespread action to investigate, remediate and restore the resources in Michigan impacted by PFAS contamination, the presence and migration of PFAS in our state’s natural resources and property will continue unchecked and indefinitely, threatening natural resources, property and our residents,” concluded Nessel. “We are committed to ensuring that the companies responsible for unleashing PFAS on our state will stand up to their legal obligations and responsibilities. Their reprehensible conduct demands Gov. Whitmer and I take every legal and regulatory action necessary to protect the people and natural resources of our state.”

To see a copy of the lawsuit go to: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/Complaint_2020-01-14_final_678329_7.pdf

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The Post travels to Shipshewana

Rose and Jerry Bowman of Cedar Springs went to see the internationally known Irish tenor singer Danny O’Donnell in Shipshewana, Indiana over the Christmas holidays. 

“Danny put on a very thoughtful and long two part production of old time favorite songs and Christmas songs,” wrote Jerry. “After the end of the show Danny was very thoughtful to meet with us for a Post newspaper picture showing his warm personality with a kiss on my wife’s cheek!”

That sounds like a fun! Thank you for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Yule Ball at the library

Parents and kids danced the night away at Cedar Springs Public Library’s first ever Yule Ball last Friday, Jan. 10. Courtesy photo.

Yummy snacks were part of the fun at the Yule Ball. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Public Library had their first fancy Yule Ball event this past Friday, January 10.  Over 50 adults and children came to dance the evening away to the music of DJ Joey Shamoon of Midwest Entertainment.  

“Everyone had a ball!” said Librarian Donna Clark.

Youth attending also had fun playing “Minute-to-Win-It” games, eating snacks and dressing up to look their very best. The program was a success gauging by the smiles, laughs and memories made. 

The Library’s next family-friendly event is a PJ Movie Night on Friday, February 21, from 6-8 p.m.

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CWD identified in Newaygo County farmed deer

LANSING –The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural and Development (MDARD) has confirmed chronic wasting disease (CWD) in three white-tailed deer from a Newaygo County deer farm. All three deer were four-and-a-half years old. The samples were submitted for routine testing as part of the state’s CWD surveillance program for farmed deer.

To date, CWD has not been detected in free-ranging deer in Newaygo County. As part of MDARD’s disease response, an investigation will be conducted to rule out exposure of any other farmed deer.

“Chronic wasting disease is a serious disease affecting both farmed and free-ranging deer,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “MDARD and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources work together, in partnership with the state’s deer farmers, to ensure the protection of all of Michigan’s deer.”

Since 2008, CWD has been detected in four additional privately-owned cervid facilities from Kent, Mecosta, and Montcalm Counties. The deer farm in Newaygo County is the fifth Michigan farm in which CWD has been detected.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another, as well as indirectly through the environment. Infected animals may display abnormal behavior, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals. More information about CWD can be found at Michigan.gov/CWD.

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The battle in the kitchen and beyond

City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

From January through March, the Cedar Springs library hosts a 10-week Biggest Loser Weight Loss Competition, which is a friendly weight loss competition for its participants. Weekly weigh-ins hold participants accountable to those pesky New Year’s Resolutions and the library staff help put together information about healthy food and activities to distribute to users. The Library also works with the NKCE (formerly Parks and Rec) to give out information about all of the sports and activities that the NKCE facilitates through out those 10 weeks to help participants shed those pounds.  The Library’s Biggest Loser competition costs $10 to join and the “Biggest Loser” by percentage of body weight lost will win $100.

The goal of healthy weight and healthy lifestyle is something that can be worked on throughout the whole year in Cedar Springs and it is never a bad time to start that journey. We are blessed to have the White Pine Trail and North Country trails go right through downtown and we continue to work on fixing and adding new sidewalks throughout the community for walking and running. The Skinner field track is free and available to use by the public all year round; its perfect for those of us who don’t want to worry about other pedestrians on the sidewalks or cars on the roads. If you really want, you can run up and down the bleacher stairs at Skinner field too (don’t skip leg day!).  

Most all of the City’s parks have a grassy area to toss a ball around with a friend or two and the City is hoping to develop a nice basketball court in the near future for citizens to use. 

Cedar Springs Public Schools supports your effort to stay healthy as well. Red Hawk Elementary opens their doors to all community members who would like to walk the halls from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday when school is in session. If Cedar Springs Public Schools is closed due to inclement weather, holiday or no school scheduled, walking is canceled that day.

Of course, the school grounds are also a nice place to jog, after school is done for the day, and finishing up the hill to the Admin building is always good to get your lungs and hamstrings burning. All of the running might even lead you to do something you’ll regret like sign up for one of the established fun runs that occur each year in the City like the Red Flannel Run or the Run Michigan Cheap run.

However, as my friend the fitness guru always tells me, the weight loss battle is won in the kitchen. Or, more succinctly, you can’t outrun a bad diet. A positive trend over the last several years has been for restaurants to start providing more information related to the number of calories in their food items. But, even then, there is little to relate those calorie numbers to the real world in terms of numbers versus effort. So, some people have taken it a step further and have started equating the food item with the number of calories and then an exercise that would burn off those calories to help people understand what their food represents in exercise form. For example, a single 12 oz can of cola has about 140 calories in it, and it takes 1.6 miles or about 23 minutes of brisk walking for your body to use those calories. Four cans of a light beer equal just under 400 calories, that takes 32 minutes of jogging to burn off.  A venti sized caramel covered coffee drink can set you back 500 calories or 6 miles of walking. A half-pound beef hamburger with bacon can have as much as 1000 calories in it and require a 8.5 mile run.  Finally, that whole pizza with the works represents 2600+ calories and requires that you run a full 26.2-mile marathon to work off.

So, invite a friend to go for a walk, spend 30 minutes after work on the treadmill, choose 20 ounces of water instead of a soda and instead of “fitness this whole pizza in my mouth” go sign up for a 5k.

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State reports third vaping-related lung injury death

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is announcing the third death associated with the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries in the state.

MDHHS was notified about the death of an adult male on Dec. 19. No other information about the individual will be released due to confidentiality reasons.

“The tragic death of yet another Michigan resident is a reminder that this outbreak continues,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family. I urge people not to use THC-containing e-cigarettes or vaping products until the specific cause of these vaping-related severe lung injuries being reported nationwide has been identified. To help with this investigation, we remind health care providers to report patients who may have this condition to their local health department.”

Since August 2019, 65 confirmed and probable vaping-related lung injury cases have been reported in Michigan, including this death. All cases have been reported in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and most of the individuals have been hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. The age range is 15-67.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as of Jan. 7, 2,602 cases have been identified in 50 states, the District of Columbia and two territories. This includes 57 deaths in 27 states; this count does not include this third Michigan death. 

MDHHS is working closely with the CDC and the federal Food and Drug Administration to get additional information that can help identify the ingredients in the vape materials that are making people sick.

So far, no specific brand of device or e-liquid has been identified. The CDC identified vitamin E acetate as closely associated with vaping-related lung injuries. Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in THC-containing vaping products.

E-cigarette and/or vaping users should immediately seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever and/or nausea and vomiting.

MDHHS recommends the following:

People should not use THC-containing e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly from informal sources such as friends, family or in-person or online sellers.

E-cigarette and/or vaping products should never be used by youth, young adults or women who are pregnant.

Individuals who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette or vaping products.

Vitamin E acetate should not be added to e-cigarette or vaping products. Additionally, people should not add any other substances not intended by the manufacturer to products, including products purchased through retail establishments.

While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with these lung injury cases, there are many different substances and product sources that are being investigated, and there may be more than one cause. Therefore, the best way for people to ensure that they are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette and vaping products.

Adults who continue to use e-cigarette or vaping products should carefully monitor themselves for symptoms, such as such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever and/or nausea and vomiting, and see a healthcare provider immediately if they develop symptoms like those reported in this outbreak.

Adults using e-cigarettes or vaping products as an alternative to cigarettes should not go back to smoking; they should weigh all available information and consider using FDA-approved cessation medications. They should contact their healthcare provider if they need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not FDA approved as a smoking cessation device.

The following free help is available for individuals who are interested in quitting tobacco:

Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for adults. MyLifeMyQuit for youth under age 18.

Information about the vaping-related lung injury for the public is posted at Michigan.gov/vapelung.

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Pediatric flu deaths confirmed in Michigan

First two of the 2019-2020 season

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric deaths of the 2019-2020 flu season in Michigan. Influenza claims the lives of children every year across the United States. MDHHS is urging residents to get vaccinated for protection this season.

The reported deaths involve children from Shiawassee and Wayne counties who were infected with Influenza B. Nationally, there have been 32 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the 2019-2020 flu season. Additional possible cases will continue to be investigated by state and local public health agencies.

“These tragic deaths are a reminder of how serious influenza can be,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “I urge all Michiganders ages 6 months and older to get their flu shots if they have not already done so this season. It is not too late.”

Flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of the influenza virus and can result in mild to severe illness. Michigan has experienced widespread flu activity over the past few weeks. A majority of the positive influenza specimens confirmed by MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories this flu season have been Influenza B virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during last year’s flu season there were an estimated 34,200 deaths from influenza. In Michigan, four children died last year due to flu-related complications, while nationally there were 136 flu-related deaths among children.

MDHHS strongly recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal fluvaccine. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent against getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness. During the 2018-2019 flu season, only 46.1 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, below the national rate of 49.2 percent.

Vaccines are especially important for people at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, childcare workers and healthcare personnel. It takes up to two weeks after the vaccine is administered before the body builds up enough immunity to prevent the flu, so Michigan residents should get vaccinated now to protect themselves before flu activity increases in Michigan. The flu shot is made with inactivated or killed viruses and cannot give you influenza.

There is still plenty of flu vaccine available. To find flu vaccine near you, call your healthcare provider, local health department or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at Flushot.healthmap.org. For more information about the flu, visit Michigan.gov/flu.

To learn more about the influenza vaccine and other vaccines, visit IVaccinate.org.

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New addition to Veteran’s Park

This is the new addition to Veteran’s Memorial Park at the corner of Main and Oak St. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

If you’ve driven down Main Street just north of the library, you may have noticed a set of flagpoles on the east side of the road, just north of Cedar Creek. This piece of property is an addition to Veteran’s Memorial Park, located on Oak Street, on the south side of the creek.

The park was created and dedicated in 2008 to honor all who have served their country, and many of those who died doing it. Dan Brown, uncle to Spc. Timothy Brown, who died in combat in 2005 in Iraq, was a driving force behind the project. And it was the Brown family who bought the piece of property north of the creek and donated it to the city for an extension of the park.

That part of the park is still a work in progress. Flagpoles have recently been installed in the new addition, along with flags representing every branch of military service, and new light poles as well. They hope to put in some other type of monument or structure, possibly a tank, but don’t have those details finalized.

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