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Tag Archive | "labor day"

Post travels across Mackinac Bridge


On Labor Day, September 7, 2015, the Post walked across the Mackinac Bridge with Rose Hankins, her daughter Vickie Totten, and great-granddaughter, Addy Rose.

Great job to all of you, and thanks 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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More than 300 arrested for drunk driving 


Officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and Michigan State Police posts across the state arrested 351 drunk drivers and issued 2,630 seat belt and child restraint citations during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown. The stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement began Aug. 21 and ran through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“To enhance safety and reduce traffic fatalities, Michigan law enforcement officers have zero tolerance for motorists who fail to wear a seat belt, and they are experts at finding drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Motorists were warned to drive sober or get pulled over, and more than 300 drivers failed to heed that advice.”

Preliminary reports also indicate officers made 152 drug arrests and 41 felony arrests during the nearly three-week effort. Of the 351 arrests for drunk driving, 57 persons had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 percent or higher.

Law enforcement officers in Branch County stopped a vehicle for motorist seat belt violation and found the passengers had open intoxicants as well as outstanding arrest warrants.  A driver stopped for not wearing a seat belt in Wayne County had a BAC of .21. A motorcyclist arrested for operating while intoxicated in Clinton County had 11 prior drunk driving arrests.

According to preliminary reports, there were 13 traffic fatalities during the 2015 Labor Day holiday period. Three of those deaths involved alcohol and five vehicle occupants were not buckled up. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, five of the six fatal traffic crashes involved alcohol.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired.  Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign was supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP.  Grant-funded impaired driving and seat belt enforcement are part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.


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Social Security tips


By Stephanie Holland, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Labor Day isn’t your only reward for hard work

On Labor Day, many Americans enjoy a long weekend to commemorate the hard work they do the rest of the year, as well as those who support working people. With barbecues and ballgames, beach trips and fireworks, this annual holiday often marks the unofficial end of summer. Established in 1882, Labor Day has become a timeless American tradition that many look forward to all summer.

Labor Day also reminds us that all our hard work is paying off in more ways than one. If you work 10 years, and receive four credits each year for a total of 40 credits, you’ll enjoy the security of Social Security retirement benefits. Remember, those years don’t have to be consecutive. You can check your Social Security Statement and make sure you have enough credits by opening a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

The best way to see what those benefits might be is to visit Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. The Estimator uses your actual earnings history to compute a benefit estimate.

In the past, applying for benefits could be laborious, requiring you to drive to a Social Security office, wait, and fill out paperwork. Now, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline to apply online for retirement benefits.

In most cases, after you submit your online application electronically, that’s it. There are no additional forms to sign or paperwork to complete. In rare cases, we’ll need additional information, and a representative will contact you.

Labor Day might mean something a little different once you’re retired. Spend a few moments considering what your hard work has earned in the form of Social Security protection for you, your family, and working people everywhere.

Stephanie Holland is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 455 Bond St, Benton Harbor MI 49022 or via email at stephanie.holland@ssa.gov

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Fatalities down over holiday weekend

The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that preliminary reports indicate four people lost their lives in three separate traffic crashes during the 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend. In comparison, eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend.

Of the four fatalities, two persons were known to have used restraints. Alcohol was a factor in one crash. One crash involved a bicyclist struck by a car, and another crash involved an unhelmeted motorcyclists.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013,” stated Capt. Kari Kusmierz, commander of the MSP Training Division. “The preliminary numbers show a decrease in fatalities from this same holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drink and drive, to always use proper restraints and to drive safely at all times.”

The 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, through 11:59 p.m., on  Monday, September 2.

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Safety tips for Labor Day weekend

OUT-Red-Cross-logoFrom the American Red Cross


Many people view Labor Day as the end of summer and their last chance to travel, hit the beach, and fire up the grill. The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

“While many people will spend the Labor Day weekend traveling and spending time with family and friends, no one should take a vacation from safety,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “It’s still important that people work to remain vigilant on the road, at the beach, and at cookouts.”

Tips for Safe Travel 

Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

Buckle up and observe speed limits.

Don’t drink and drive.

Tips for Safe Swimming 

Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.

Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.

Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.

Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling 

Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Keep children and pets away from the grill.

Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

For more information on emergency preparedness, go to redcross.org. Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafety.

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Let your soul catch up

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

The first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City in 1882. It was a movement to honor “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Not many years later, it became evident that the American worker was such an exceptional and efficient creature, that work hours would soon be reduced to mere shadows of their former oppression.

For example, economist John Mayhard Keynes, in the teeth of the Great Depression, predicted that technological advancements would soon lead to a 15-hour work week. In the mid-1960s, congressional leaders boldly predicted a two-day work week by the year 2000. That prediction has apparently only rung true for congressional leaders, as the average time workers spend on the job has ballooned over the years to nearly 50 hours per week. The predictions of “less work more rest,” is a farce for today’s laborers.

In the book of Genesis, the ancient writer says that on that final day of the first week, God rested. The word for rest means “to enhance one’s soul,” or “to renew the spirit.” When we imitate God in this way, it is an act of worship.

Lettie Cowman, a devotional writer from a century ago, illustrates this with one of her stories from Africa. She wrote about an Englishman who was exploring the deepest jungles of the continent, traveling like British royalty. He had brought with him fine wines, his favorite foods, tons of books and parchments, furniture and clothing.

He had so much that he had to hire an army of strong men from the local villages to portage all this material through the jungle. On the first day of his grand safari he pushed the laborers at an exhausting, God-forsaken pace. But on the second morning, the hired Africans refused to move.

Finally, one of the young men explained that they were not especially tired. Rather, they had gone too far and too fast on the first day, and they had to “wait for their souls to catch up with their bodies.”

Ms. Cowman concluded her story (and I remind you, her words are a century old): “This whirling, rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor tribesmen. But here is the difference: They knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.” Amen.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


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Gas prices to remain stable for Labor Day

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

An estimated 1.4 million Michiganians will travel during the 2009 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, a full week after last year, at a time when many families are preparing for school opening. Nationally, Labor Day travel is anticipated to be down 13 percent from last year.

“However, lower gas prices, combined with end of summer discounts and deals offered by travel providers, are encouraging travelers to enjoy summer’s last hurrah,” said Claire Lockley, vice president of Travel for The Auto Club Group. Most Labor Day travelers will go by auto (84 percent), while air travel will account for only four percent. Twelve percent will go by train, bus, RV, motorcycle or personal watercraft.

Holiday auto travelers will find gas prices in Michigan averaging $2.59 for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, $1.23 lower than last year. The price in Cedar Springs, as of Wednesday, was $2.52 per gallon.

This year, the official 78-hour Labor Day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4), and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday (Sept. 7).

During last year’s holiday period, 12 people died in 12 fatal crashes on roads across the state. Four of last year’s deaths were alcohol-related.  Of the persons killed, three were not belted and four did not have seat belts available, as they were cycle related.  Two of those were not wearing helmets, one was and one was unknown.

To help make this year’s Labor Day holiday period a safe one, AAA Michigan will once again partner with the Michigan State Police (MSP) in supporting Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). Bright banners will be posted at rest areas statewide, with most sites offering complimentary coffee and refreshments. In addition to free coffee, Operation C.A.R.E. volunteers will provide information about some of the major causes of deadly crashes and how to avoid them.

Local law enforcement here in Cedar Springs and across the state will also continue extra patrols until Labor Day, under the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest program, in conjunction with the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

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