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Archive | August, 2010

Cedar Springs man drowns in lake

A Cedar Springs man drowned last week, in a Montcalm County lake.

According to the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview, they responded to the scene at Winfield Lake at 6:12 p.m. August 19, on a report of a possible drowning. Initial attempts to locate the victim were unsuccessful, and he was later located about 30 feet from shore by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office dive team. The Howard City Police Department, Alpha 8 and Rescue 29 also assisted at the scene.

The victim was Bruce Parks, 36, from Cedar Springs. Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident, but the autopsy results had not been released at press time.

Parks is survived by his children, Justin Parks, Corey Parks, David Kindle, Eathen Kindle, Thomas Kindle, and Dillon Tinkham; and several other relatives. Memorial services will be held at the Pederson Funeral Home on Thursday, August 26, at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

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Have some fun at the Trufant Jubilee

Trufant, known as “Stump Fence Capital, USA,” has many decorative stumps left in their yards from the years when they were used as fences, after loggers cut down the trees, and farmers pulled out the stumps to clear the land for farming. They changed the name of their annual festival from “Stump Fence Festival” to “Trufant Jubilee” several years ago.

Looking for something to do on Labor Day weekend? Check out the Trufant Jubilee, a fun-filled festival in the town of Trufant, about 15 miles northeast of Cedar Springs. They have a Queen Pageant, three parades, fireworks, a beer tent, Bingo tent, Danish Aebliskiver breakfast, Chicken B-B-Q, horseshoe and softball tournaments, Car and Bike show, pancake breakfast, Frog Jumping contest, midway and music. There is something for everyone! For more information, call (616) 984-2555.

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Bluegrass Music Festival

Join us for the Fallfest Bluegrass Music Festival September 17 through 19, 2010 at the Kent County Youth Fairgrounds, Lowell MI.

We have two great headliners this year. They are Rick Prater and The Midnight Travelers and The Williams Family. Bluegrass doesn’t get any better than these two great bands. Be sure to bring lawnchairs/blankets for the concert under our all weathre canopy. It’s Bluegrass music, come rain or shine.

Friday night the Thunder Floor Cloggers, The Williams Family, Cedar Ridge and Jonas Ridge, will entertain you from 6:00-10:00 pm. Friday admission is just $10.00.

Saturday it’s great music from noon until 10:00 pm. Rick Prater and The Midnight Travelers perform at 4:00 pm and 8:35 pm. In addition, there will be The Thunder Floor Cloggers, Deadwood, Bobby Hutch and Grand Ole Country and Free Wheelin’. Saturday’s price is only $15.00 for the entire day’s events.

Sunday at 10:00 am enjoy the gospel sounds of The Williams Family along with our audition bands and a chance to win $100. Sunday admission is $5.00. Save money and come for the whole weekend for $20.00 advance ticket or $25.00 at the gate. For advance tickets, send your check payable to WMBMA and a SASE to Norma Noall, 12530 Heim, Lowell, MI 49331. Children 15 and under are admitted free with parent(s) admission. Campsites are available.

Fallfest 2010 is sponsored/produced by the West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association. For more information call WMBMA President Dave Simmonds at (616) 897-6220 or visit our website at www.wmbma.org.

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Check your heart health

In the dark about your heart health? The first step to heart health is knowing and understanding your status. The Kent County Health Department provides cholesterol and blood pressure screenings that include risk assessment, immediate results, and detailed wellness reports.

They will hold a screening on Thursday, September 2. The cost is $15-$25 per person. Call (616) 632-7290 to schedule your appointment or to get more information.

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Hospice of Michigan Launches storiesatsunset.org

Website captures and shares stories from the end of life

Hospice of Michigan, one of Michigan’s leading providers of hospice and palliative care, has launched a website featuring stories told about the end of life. The website is part of a 52-week campaign to share and honor the important “final chapter” of life.

Called “Stories at Sunset,” the awareness campaign features one new story each week for 52 weeks. They air on local radio stations once per week in the evening drive time, and then are posted on the website: www.storiesatsunset.org, and are also posted on Hospice of Michigan’s Facebook page.

The stories are brief, fewer than 160 words, but tell the moving stories from husbands, wives, nurses, children—the people who are there for others at the end of life. Collected from Hospice of Michigan’s employees, volunteers and supporters, each story shows a unique perspective on the end-of-life experience.

“When it comes to the discussion of death and hospice, there is an information gap,” said Dottie Deremo, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan. “If they have never had a hospice experience, they don’t know what to expect, and they may not realize the rich, warm, life-affirming experience that hospice can create for patients and families. These stories reveal and honor the hospice experience.”

The public is invited to share their personal experiences and stories related to end of life on the website. Go to www.storiesatsunset.org and click on the link to “Tell us Your Story.”

Though hospice care has been available in Michigan for 30 years, it is still not widely understood. Only 30 percent of eligible patients access hospice services at the end of life. Hospice of Michigan believes that its “Stories at Sunset” campaign will help explain the benefits of hospice care, encouraging it as a widely-accepted healthcare service that addresses the emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs of the patient and their loved ones.

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Metron’s alzheimer’s education series

The Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring a community education seminar this coming August and September, at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, located at 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs. Family members and professional caregivers working with persons with dementia, or anyone else affected by dementia are welcome to attend.

The schedule for the seminars is as follows:

Tuesday, August 31, 7- 9 p.m. Understanding alzheimer’s disease & other dementias Tuesday, September 7, 7- 9 p.m. Legal & financial issues

Tuesday, September 14, 7- 9 p.m. Strategies for navigating the dementia journey.

A donation of $10 per person (or family ) per session is suggested. Please call 800-272-3900 to reserve your seat or for more information.

These seminars are provided with Financial Support from Older Americans Act National Family Caregiver Support Funds ,administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Inc. Refreshments provided by Metron of Cedar Springs.

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Law requires vaccines for all students

With the new school year rapidly approaching, the Kent County Health Department wishes to remind parents to be sure that their children have all the required school immunizations. Michigan law requires that all children entering school be fully immunized.

Changes for this fall include all kindergartners must have two Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines or a documented history of chickenpox; and all 6th graders, 11 years of age ,and anyone 11-18 years of age who is changing school districts, needs to have two Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines, one Meningococcal vaccine, and one Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis vaccine.

“Childhood immunization continues to be one of the most successful and cost-effective means of preventing morbidity and mortality in children,” said Bill Anstey, Deputy Health Officer at the Kent County Health Department.

He noted that vaccines are not just for babies. In addition to the above school requirements, there are other recommended vaccines such as the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine for girls at 11-12 years of age. HPV can also be given to boys. In addition, everyone should receive seasonal flu vaccine each year starting at 6 months of age.

Additionally, several universities and colleges are now recommending or requiring meningitis vaccination for their students, especially those who are entering college for the first time. Students who have not been fully immunized may not be able to attend college until all the vaccination requirements are met.

While many school districts will enroll children who have not been fully immunized and allow them to attend classes, these children may eventually face being excluded from school if their immunizations are not brought up to date in accordance with Michigan Law. Parents are encouraged to call the children’s school for more information about the school’s or district’s policy regarding immunizations.

The Kent County Health Department provides all recommended childhood and required school entry immunizations. Routine immunizations are free to those who qualify. Vaccine administration fees are calculated on a sliding fee scale based on family size and income for individuals qualifying for free vaccine. All others pay a single fee which includes the vaccine administration fee. The Kent County Health Department has a limited amount of free vaccine for insured individuals with high co-pays or deductibles to help minimize costs for parents.

To schedule anappointment at any of the six Kent County Health Department locations, please call (616) 632-7200.

For more information about school entry immunizations, the childhood immunization schedule, or the location and hours of the Kent County Health Department, people may call the Health Department at (616) 632-7200 visit the Kent County Health Department web page at www.accesskent.com/immunizations.

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We received photos of two giant sunflowers this week!

“My husband took this picture of me standing on a 5 gallon pail on our deck and holding on to the sunflower I planted in April,” wrote Patsy Ladermann, of Sand Lake. “It is 11feet tall and the flower is 14 inches in diameter. I planted several but this is the largest!”

Paul Fankhauser, 9, the son of Mark and Kristy Fankhauser, of Cedar Springs has also watched the sunflowers he planted grow quite large. “This one is 11 feet tall, but it’s curved over,” he explained. Mom said the flower is 12 inches by 9 inches. And they have another one that’s even bigger. The soon-to-be fourth grader is showing a bit of a green thumb—besides the sunflowers he also planted cucumbers and tomatoes in the family garden, and helps to pick them as well.

Do you have sunflowers you’d like to show us? Send photos to postnews@charter.net and give us some information about them.

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Help count Trumpeter Swans


The DNRE is asking the public the help count the Trumpeter Swan. The picture shows a Trumpeter Swan and her brood. Photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

It only happens once every five years, and The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is asking the public to help count trumpeter swans for a continent-wide census.

“To obtain the best coverage, we are asking the public to report observations of these birds during August and September,” said Christopher Hoving, endangered species coordinator with the DNRE’s Wildlife Division.

The trumpeter swan’s recovery represents another success in endangered species recovery. Historically, trumpeter swans nested in wetlands across much of the continental United States, including Michigan. By 1885, unregulated shooting and wetland destruction had eliminated the population from the state. By 1900, the species was considered extinct. Decades later, two previously unknown populations were discovered in the Rocky Mountains and Alaska.

Efforts to restore the species to Michigan began in the late 1980s. In 1989, 1990 and 1991, trumpeter swan eggs were collected from pairs maintained by zoos and from wild pairs in Alaska. The eggs were hatched and young were reared in captivity for two years at the Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station. Initial releases in Michigan occurred at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Rifle River Recreation Area and MSU Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. In 1992, released birds began to nest successfully and rear offspring, representing the first natural reproduction of the species in Michigan in more than 100 years. Since then, additional birds have been released and the population has grown dramatically. In 2004, 655 trumpeter swans were counted during the late-summer survey.

The highest concentration of the birds can be found in the eastern Upper Peninsula (UP), with additional groups found in the Northeastern Lower Peninsula (NLP) and Southwestern Lower Peninsula (SLP). Trumpeter swans now occur in other areas, including Gogebic and Ontonagon counties in the Western UP, Manistee and Mason counties in the NLP and Washtenaw County in the SLP.

“With oil spills and invasive species like Asian carp and feral swine threatening Michigan wildlife, I sometimes feel discouraged,” said Tom Funke, director of conservation for the Michigan Audubon Society.  “Then I remember that the trumpeter swan was gone from Michigan for 100 years, and yet their song can again be heard over Michigan waters. That gives me hope.”

Although the population is doing well, the trumpeter swan remains protected as a state threatened species, due to the young age of the population and its somewhat limited distribution within the state.

Mute Swans are considered an invasive species and should not be counted.

Both trumpeter swans and mute swans occur in Michigan. Mute swans, which are not native and can be quite aggressive as well as destructive to wetland systems, will not be counted. Citizens making trumpeter swan reports should familiarize themselves with the differences between the two species:

Bill and head: Trumpeters have a black bill with a thin red line on the upper edge of the lower bill, and the head is wedge-shaped. Mute swans have a bright orange bill and a distinctive black knob on the forehead.

Neck shape: Trumpeter swan necks are kinked at the base and often form a ‘C’ curve.  Mute swans tend to hold their necks in an S curve with their bills pointing down.

Voice/Call: Trumpeter swans have a loud, resonant, trumpet-like call.  Mutes are generally silent but can issue a variety of grunts, snorts and whistles.  Photos and additional information on trumpeter and mute swans can be found on the DNRE website at http://www.michigan.gov/dnrewww.michigan.gov/dnre.

Observers should submit reports online at http://www.michigan.gov/wildlifewww.michigan.gov/wildlife under Report Wildlife Observations or by calling 517-373-1263.  Those submitting reports should be prepared to provide the specific location and date of observation. Information on single swans, pairs, pairs with young and flocks with three or more swans will be useful. Only observations made after Aug. 15 should be reported.

“More people have participated in each survey,” said Hoving. “Michigan citizens need to act fast because this opportunity only comes every five years.”

This project is being funded by the Nongame Wildlife Fund, which is supported by citizen contributions. You can support additional work for endangered and threatened wildlife in Michigan through purchase of a “Critical Wildlife Conservation” vehicle registration plate or through a direct contribution to the Nongame Wildlife Fund by sending a check to: Natural Heritage Unit, Wildlife Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909.

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Pigeon update

Last week we asked if you knew this pigeon. It has been a frequent visitor to the home of Trevor and Sallie Robinson on Becker Avenue. We don’t know who it belongs to, but at least now we might know what the bands on its legs are for.

Melanie Dubart, 14, of Cedar Springs, called and said she thinks it might be a racing pigeon. “Clubs breed them and race them to fly back to where they live,” she explained. “They might take them to Kentucky or somewhere, and then some don’t make it home, and take up with a flock of wild pigeons.” She said while she or her family doesn’t race them, they just bought some pigeons with bands on their legs. She noted that the bands cannot be removed, and that many times an owner won’t want a pigeon back if they can’t find their way home.

According to the American Racing Pigeon Union, pigeons will sometimes continue on home, after they’ve had some time to rest. If not, they can be traced to their owner from the number on the band on their leg. The first two letters tell what pigeon racing union they are with:

AU—American Racing Pigeon Union
IF—Internation Federation
C.U.—Canadian Racing Pigeon Union

For more info on how to care for lost racing homing pigeons, or how to find its owner, visit www.pigeon.org.

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