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Hawks Nest moves to semifinals in Battle of the Fans

Cedar Springs is one of nine schools across the state competing to win the “Battle of the Fans.” Courtesy photo.

Every athlete knows that there is a member of the team that doesn’t play on the field or court with them, but they are part of the team just the same—and that’s the fans that cheer them on. Anyone who has been to a Cedar Springs Red Hawks sporting event knows that the student section—the Hawks Nest—is one of the best around. And now the student section has a chance to prove it.

Teacher and Coach Justin Harnden has been working with the Athletic Leadership Council at the school to create a culture that’s positive and supportive to all fans and teams—including the opposing ones. And Tuesday morning he saw some of the fruits of that labor when it was announced by the MHSAA that Cedar Springs was one of nine schools chosen to continue on to the semifinals in the “Battle of the Fans VII” contest.

The Battle of the Fans was organized by the MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council. Schools were invited throughout the fall to submit short videos, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action, with the deadline Jan. 13. Nine semifinalists were announced on Tuesday, January 16: Cedar Springs, Petoskey and Traverse City West from Class A; Boyne City, Buchanan and Charlotte from Class B; and Munising, Negaunee and Pellston from Class C/D. 

Instead of choosing five finalists as in past years, the Advisory Council selected nine semifinalists to accomplish a list of tasks showing off their sections over the next 12 days–and the Council will then select three finalists for MHSAA visits.

This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 23 and recognized March 23 at the Breslin Center.

Semifinalists are required to complete 10 challenges via their social media channels by 11 p.m. Jan. 27. Five mandatory challenges focus on contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and overall fun.

Five elective challenges (taken from a list of 15 opportunities) will allow semifinalists more opportunities to show the unique characteristics that make their sections elite. 

“Our Student Advisory Council wanted to keep more of these great student sections involved in Battle of the Fans longer, and also make sure our best sections were showing their best on more than just the days they applied and we visited,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “The ‘Challenge Round’ sets up a true competition as these nine schools watch and try to outdo each other’s best work over the next 12 days. We’re excited to watch them step up their games to answer the competition.”

Harnden was pleased that they had been chosen to head on to the semifinals. “We have a lot of work to do, but we are up for it,” he said.

A total of 19 schools applied for this year’s contest – seven from Class A schools, six from Class B, four from Class C and two from Class D. Three semifinalists each were selected from the Class A, Class B and Class C/D applicants.

The Student Advisory Council will select the finalists for announcement Jan. 29 on Second Half. MHSAA staff and Student Advisory Council members will visit all three finalists for home basketball games during the second half of this regular season, with coverage and video from those visits and the announcement of the winner all to be published on Second Half.

The winner will be selected by another Advisory Council vote based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites. All social media postings regarding Battle of the Fans VII should include the hashtag #BOTF. The MHSAA will share semifinalists’ challenge posts over the next two weeks on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites and Snapchat feed. The MHSAA also will post from the three finalists visits on those channels.

Cedar Springs will be using their social media sites on Facebook (CSHS Athletic Leadership Council) and Twitter (@CedarALC). Don’t forget to check them out and share their content!

To see the application video they put together, go to YouTube and search for CedarSpringsTV. Click on it, and then you will see their “Battle of the Fans” video listed.

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School board member resigns

by Judy Reed

Patricia Eary resigned from the Cedar Springs Board of Education Monday evening. Post file photo.

The Cedar Springs Board of Education is looking to fill another seat after another board member resigned Monday evening.

Patricia Eary, who served on the board for five years, resigned early in the meeting on Monday, January 15. After reading her resignation letter to the board and spectators, she then took a seat in the audience. “We have sold our home and moved out of the district due to location of employment so I must resign my position on the board of education,” Eary said.

She told the Post that she has been commuting to and from Lansing for work and that she and her husband would be moving closer to her job.

Eary also noted in her resignation letter that this will be the first time in more than 60 years that there will not be a member of the Eary family as either a teacher, a student, or a volunteer in Cedar Springs Public Schools. Eary dedicated countless hours to Marching Band and the Red Hawk band boosters over the last 16 years. She started when her son Sam was a sixth-grader in band, and continued until this past fall, even though her son had graduated in 2008.

Eary was elected to the school board in 2012 and held various positions, including secretary and board president.

“I appreciate the elected and appointed members of the current CSPS Board of Education who will advocate for the students of the district in every decision they make,” she said in her statement. “This Board will work well together as a cohesive unit.” She also thanked Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn for her guidance and leadership. You can read Eary’s entire resignation here.

Anyone interested in being appointed to fill Eary’s position must submit a letter expressing interest in a board position and their qualifications for the position to the superintendent no later than 4 p.m. on January 22, 2018. Those selected to be interviewed should plan to attend a special Board of Education meeting on January 23, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. to be interviewed.

The person chosen at the board meeting to fill Eary’s seat will serve out this year’s term. The seat will then be one of four seats up for election this fall.

Two other board members, Ted Sabinas and Michelle Bayink, resigned last month. Tim Bauer and Traci Slager were chosen to fill those seats.

 

 

 

 

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The Post travels to Empire snowmobile races

Charlie and Kathy Prahl and daughter, Katia Corwin, recently took the Cedar Springs Post to the Empire Airport Roy Taghon Memorial Snowmobile Races. It was a cold 15-degree day but they enjoyed watching the sleds race, visiting family and friends, and celebrating many memories of Roy (Kathy’s brother) who went to be with the Lord on January 20, 2008. 

Thank you to the Prahl family for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

 

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School board votes in new president

 

Heidi Reed

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education will have a new president to lead the board in 2018.

The board voted in Heidi Reed 6-0, at its annual reorganization meeting Monday evening, January 15. She was nominated by Brook Nichols.

“I am humbled and honored by the support of the entire board of education team to lead this year as President,” said Reed, who is just starting her second year on the board.

“Our CSPS administration and staff are doing great things, on so many levels. I’m grateful for all their committed work for our students! [I am] excited this year to continue the visionary, governance and policy work for the district, [and] honored to serve.”

Matthew Shoffner, who was previously president, was voted in as Vice President, 6-0. In his remarks during the “gratitudes” section of the meeting, he noted that the board had been through quite a bit and he would miss the board members that had left, but was grateful to those that had stayed. 

Brook Nichols was voted in as secretary, 6-0, and Shannon Vanderhyde was voted in as treasurer, also 6-0.

The board will meet again next week, Tuesday, January 23, at 6 p.m. to interview candidates to fill the seventh seat on the board, which was previously held by Patricia Eary, who resigned at the beginning of Monday night’s meeting. (See story here).

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Norovirus in both Kent and Ottawa Counties

The Post was notified Wednesday by both Kent and Ottawa County Health Departments that they are seeing the spread of a norovirus-like illness.

Norovirus-like illness (stomach bug) spreads very easily and quickly person to person and by touching surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool. Common norovirus outbreak settings are in enclosed places like nursing homes, daycare centers, schools and cruise ships. It is also a major cause of outbreaks in restaurants and catered-meal settings if contaminated food is served or people handling food are ill. Anyone can get norovirus and can have it more than once. 

“We are receiving an increase in stomach virus reporting. Primary outbreaks are within school and childcare settings. To reduce the risk of illness in our community, people need to take preventive measures to stay healthy,” said Marcia Mansaray, epidemiologist, with the Ottawa County Health Department.

In Kent County, The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is working with Davenport University to investigate a large outbreak of Norovirus-like illness at the W.A. Lettinga Campus located at 6191 Kraft Ave. SE, in Grand Rapids. 

University officials became aware of widespread illness among students and staff Sunday Jan. 14, 2018. Since then more than 100 students, faculty and staff have complained of being ill. Because of the rapid rise in the number of cases the Kent County Health Department sent staff members to the campus on Tuesday Jan.16. KCHD employees worked to collect stool samples to confirm Norovirus. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will test the samples. Results should be available by the end of the week.

Because Norovirus spreads very quickly and very easily person to person and by touching surfaces that are contaminated with vomit or stool, KCHD has made the following recommendations to Davenport University to slow the progress of the infection: 

  • Isolate all ill individuals in their rooms from onset of symptoms until 48 hours after symptoms cease.
  • Provide in room food service for these individuals and provide appropriate cleaning agents andinstructions for cleaning shared areas (such as dorm bathrooms).
  •  Have appropriate cleaning supplies available for all students as a preventive measure.
  • Shut down or limit food service (i.e. provide box lunches) to allow for a thorough cleaning of the foodservice area (kitchen and seating areas).

The most common symptoms of Norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. A person may also have a fever, headache or body aches. Symptoms usually develop 12-48 hours after being exposed and most people will get better within 1- 3 days. 

A person infected may feel extremely ill. They may vomit or have diarrhea several times a day. This may lead to dehydration especially in young children, older adults and people with other illnesses. 

It is important to take in additional fluids if you notice a decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat or feel dizzy when standing up. 

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a person will get norovirus about five times during their lifetime. Norovirus outbreaks occur throughout the year, but more than eighty percent of reported outbreaks occur from November to April.

Protect Yourself and Others from Norovirus

  • Wash hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers – and always before eating or preparing food. Hand sanitizers are generally not effective for norovirus.
  • Handle and prepare food safely. People with norovirus illness should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for at least two days after they recover from their illness.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces (such as toilets, counters and doorknobs). Always clean up the entire area immediately after someone with norovirus vomits or has diarrhea. Put on disposable gloves and disinfect contaminated surfaces using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label or with a solution of five tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly. Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool. Handle soiled items carefully – try not to shake them – to avoid spreading the virus. If available, wear disposable gloves while handling soiled clothing or linens and wash your hands after handling. 
  • Stay home if sick for at least 24 hours after symptoms end to avoid spreading the illness to others. 

How You Get Norovirus

Having direct physical contact with a person who is infected, such as caring for or shaking hands with a sick person and then touching your hands to your mouth.

Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus.

Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus on them and then putting your hands in your mouth.

People with norovirus illness are most contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill and for the first few days after they recover. Some people may be contagious for even longer.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus.

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How and when to seek care for Flu 

 

From the Kent County Health Department and area hospitals

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports flu is now widespread throughout Michigan and many surrounding states. Area hospitals, urgent care facilities and doctor offices are experiencing an increase in the number of people presenting with flu and flu-like symptoms. They give tips below on preventing it and caring for yourself if you get it. Also note, in order to help limit exposure to flu, area hospitals and clinics are also limiting the number of visitors patients can have visit them or accompany them. All the info is below.

It is important for our community to know how to prevent flu, when to seek care and where to seek care. Although the flu shot does not always prevent the flu, it can lessen the severity and duration. There is still time to get the flu shot if you have not done so already. 

WHAT IS FLU:

Influenza is a respiratory illness. It is especially harmful to children, people over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. Common symptoms include: 

  • Fever (but not everyone will have fever)
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny or stuffy nose 
  • Body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Chills 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting 

PREVENTING FLU: 

Area health care providers and the CDC recommend the following to avoid flu: 

  • Get a flu shot. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 
  • If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever/symptoms are gone and you have stopped taking fever reducers. 
  • Take extra precautions to stay away from children, people over 65 years of age, 
  • pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away after it has been used and wash your hands. 

WHEN TO SEEK CARE:

Most people with flu will have a mild illness and can treat symptoms by staying home and avoiding contact with others. 

If you have flu-like symptoms and are in a high risk group or are very sick, contact your health care provider, such as a doctor, physician assistant or nurse. 

If you are in a high risk group, contact your health care provider early in your illness. 

Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience emergency warning signs, such as: 

In children 

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing 
  • Bluish skin color 
  • Not drinking enough fluids 
  • Not waking up or not interacting 
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held 
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 
  • Fever with a rash 

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs: 

  • Being unable to eat 
  • Has trouble breathing 
  • Has no tears when crying 
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal 

In adults 

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen 
  • Sudden dizziness 
  • Confusion 
  • Severe or persistent vomiting 
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough 

WHERE TO SEEK CARE:

Try to treat your illness at home with over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, cough medicine and other products. If you are in a high-risk group or cannot control symptoms, seek non-emergency care through one of the following: 

  • Primary care provider office 
  • Urgent care 

If you or a loved one experiences the emergency warning signs above, seek immediate care at a hospital emergency room. 

EMERGENCY SERVICES: 

If you are experiencing shortness of breath, numbness, facial or arm paralysis, slurred speech or other heart attack or stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical care. 

LIMITING EXPOSURE BY LIMITING VISITORS

Grand Rapids area hospitals are working to meet the challenge of caring for our community during this CDC-declared flu epidemic. One of the most important tools in fighting the transmission of flu is limiting exposure. 

The flu can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly. For the safety of patients and staff, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of  Michigan Health, Mary Free Bed and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services are limiting visitation to their hospitals. In addition, they are asking patients to limit the number of people who accompany them to office and clinic visits. 

Visitors are asked to respect the following restrictions: 

  • If you are ill or have been exposed to someone who is ill, please refrain from visiting the hospital. 

All visitors are expected to be healthy and the hospitals are taking active steps to protect patients, staff and visitors. A healthy visitor is someone who does not have the following symptoms: 

  • Fever, greater than 100.4 F 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose or congestion 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Rash or draining sores 
  • Only healthy visitors should visit patients in the hospitals or outpatient clinics 
  • Hospitals strongly recommend only two visitors or family members visit a patient at a time in order to limit exposure to patients, visitors and family members. 

These conditions apply to visitors at all Grand Rapids area hospitals and at all Spectrum Health hospitals outside of Grand Rapids and are effective until further notice. These measures are designed to protect vulnerable patients. 

To avoid getting influenza, Kent County area physicians recommend: 

  • Get your seasonal influenza vaccine 
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly 
  • Avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms 
  • Get plenty of rest 
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet 

Influenza Facts 

  • Most symptoms can and should be treated at home. Only the most severe illnesses require a visit to an urgent care location or emergency department. 
  • It will take anywhere from five to 10 days for the illness to run its course 
  • Most people who contract influenza should try to stay home, rest, drink plenty of liquids and take acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory medicine.

For more info go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

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Beware IRS impersonation scams 


As tax season begins, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is receiving numerous reports of telephone calls from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. Although these scams take many different forms, the most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. They may try to steal your identity too. 

Be wary if you get an out-of-the-blue phone call or automated message from someone who claims to be from the IRS. Sometimes they say you owe money and must pay right away. Other times they say you are owed a refund and ask for your bank account information over the phone. Don’t fall for it. Here are several tips that will help you avoid becoming a scam victim. 

The real IRS will NOT: 

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail. 
  • Demand tax payment and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe. 
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, demand that you pay with a prepaid debit card. 
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone. 
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest you without paying. 
  • Threaten you with a lawsuit. 

If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do: 

  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident. 
  • You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report. 

If you think you may owe taxes: 

  • Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number. 
  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you. 

Email Scams: 

In most cases, an IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to come from the IRS. These scams often use fake refunds, phony tax bills, or threats of an audit. Many scammers even use what appears to be an official IRS logo at the top of their email. Some emails link to sham websites that look real. Don’t be fooled! The scammer’s goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they get what they’re after, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity. 

If you get a phishing email, the IRS offers this advice: 

  • Don’t reply to the message. 
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information. 
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it. 

Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer. 

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Man killed in Tyrone Township crash

David Keith Verduin

A man died Sunday after his car left the road and hit a tree in Tyrone Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 5:37 p.m. Sunday, January 14. The investigation showed that David Keith Verduin, 49, of Tyrone Township, was eastbound on 18 Mile Road, just west of Tyrone Avenue, when his 1997 Honda Civic left the roadway, struck a ditch, and then a large tree.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police believe alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash. They do not know if he was wearing his seatbelt.

Assisting at the scene was Kent City Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

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Young Marine dies in M-57 crash

Joel Kinsey, a 2016 Tri County graduate, was killed in a traffic crash on 14 Mile Rd on Jan. 4.

Several people were injured and one person died in a crash on 14 Mile Rd, in Oakfield Township, last week Thursday.

According to the Michigan State Police, the crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, January 4, west of Wabasis Ave. The investigation showed that an eastbound vehicle driven by Joseph Hanna, 39, of Sparta, tried to pass a vehicle driven by Jerry Kinsey, 48, of Sand Lake, and the two vehicles collided. The collision resulted in both vehicles losing control and Kinsey’s vehicle spinning into the westbound lane, where it was struck by a van driven by Gail Gansmiller, 48, of Sheridan. The passenger in Kinsey’s vehicle, his 20-year-old son, Joel Kinsey, of Sand Lake, was killed, and Jerry Kinsey was transported to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids in critical condition.  

Hanna and Gansmiller were treated for minor injuries. 

Police said that speed and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash.  

Assisting at the scene was Oakfield Township Fire, Courtland Township Fire, the Kent County Sheriff Department, and Rockford Ambulance.

Joel Kinsey was a 2016 graduate of Tri-County High School and was presently serving as a LCpl in the U.S. Marines. He is the son of Jerry Kinsey and Nicole (Fernando Bernal) Kinsey.

Click here to see his obituary.

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Solon man dies in crash

Aaron Dault, 23, died early Sunday, when the car he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. Facebook photo.

 

Aaron Dault takes the ball upfield for Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer in 2010. Post file photo.

A 23-year-old Solon Township man died early Sunday morning in a one-car crash on White Creek Avenue.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning on White Creek Avenue, between 18 Mile and Wiersma, when the car that Aaron Lee Dault was driving veered off the roadway and struck a tree. Police reported that he died instantly. 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor.

Aaron Dault, 23. Facebook photo.

Aaron is the son of Dean and Kara (Wiles) Dault, of Solon Township.

Aaron graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2013, where he played varsity soccer and track. He was currently finishing his bachelor’s degree at Ferris State University. Aaron was also involved at his church, St. John Paul II Catholic Church here in Cedar Springs. According to his obituary, “he was adored by the parishioners and everyone he met. He will be remembered for his million dollar smile, holding the door open, and saying ‘hi’ to the people as they came for Mass.”

Click here to see Aaron’s obituary.

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