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Archive | May, 2013

Scammers capitalizing on tornado victims

From the Better Business Bureau

The Salvation Army released the following warning:

We received word from one of our National Advisory Board members about a robo-call from an organization (no name given) mounting an emergency appeal for funds for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma. The pitch included specific reference to American Red Cross and Salvation Army, with text along the lines of “The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are on site working, and we need more funds to keep help coming.” There was an option to press 1 to donate. The call came from phone number 888-981-6499.

Please be advised that this is NOT authorized fundraising of either The Salvation Army or the American Red Cross.  We ask that you please warn your territories and/or Board Members about this scam.”

BBB Serving Western Michigan offers the following basic wise giving tips:

1. Get the Charity’s exact name. With so many charities in existence, mistaken identity is a common problem. Thousands of charities have “cancer” in their name, for example, but no connection with one another.

2. Resist pressure to give on the spot, whether from a telemarketer, door-to-door solicitor or telephone call.

3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals. What matters is what the charity is doing to help.

4. Press for specifics. If the charity says it’s helping the homeless, for example, ask how and where it’s working.

5. Check websites for basics. A charity’s mission, program and finances should be available on its site. If not, check for a report at www.give.org.

6. Check with state charity officials. In many states, charities are required to register, usually with the office of the attorney general, before soliciting. Check http://www.nasconet.org/documents/u-s-charity-offices/ for the relevant office in your state.

7. Don’t assume that every soliciting organization is tax exempt as a charity. You can readily check an organization’s tax status at www.irs.gov/app/eos.



Posted in NewsComments Off on Scammers capitalizing on tornado victims


C-OBIT-Hanes-PrideMrs. Pride Hanes, age 80, of Sand Lake, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2013. She grew up just south of Howard City. Her father, Roy Brisbin was the editor of the Rockford Squire and the Cedar Springs Clipper. Pride was a 1950 graduate of Tri-County High School. Pride was a teacher and when Grant Hanes returned from the military, he met Pride, and they were married on October 9, 1953. Pride taught school until they were blessed with a family. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Ravenna. When her children were older, she became a teacher aide with the little children. Pride loved being at home, especially when her grandchildren were around. Both she and Grant enjoyed wintering in Zephyrhills, Florida. Pride loved garage sales and many beautiful pictures and accessories adorn her home. She was an excellent cook. Pride is survived by her husband, Grant; children, Mark and Kris Hanes, Mitchell Hanes, and Kevin Hanes; 11 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Michael Hanes, her daughter, Michelle Hanes, her brother, Roy Brisbin, and her sister, Joy Shellenberger. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Hospice of MI, 989 Spaulding Ave., SE., Ada, MI 49301. A family service had been held.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on PRIDE HANES


In Memory of


1937 – 1998


Gone but not forgotten,

Although we are apart.

Your spirit lives within us,

You’re forever in our hearts.



Your wife Mary Lou, Kids, Grandkids and Great-grandkids

Posted in MemorialComments Off on JAMES A. WELCH

Thank you!

Thank you to all the individuals and businesses that gave so generously to the recent En-Gedi Fundraiser Auction. Because of your support almost $22,000 was earned and will be used to strengthening the community through the building up of families. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Please know you have helped to make our community even better. Blessings on you!



The En-Gedi students, volunteers, and board members.

Posted in Thank YouComments Off on Thank you!

Through the Storm

Pastor Jim Howard

First Baptist Church




46 years ago, a tornado passed through our family farm.  I remember details that seem so vivid in my memory.  At the time I was only 8 and for me, this storm wasn’t something that I feared, but rather something that was very exciting.  Lots of rain, hail and wind.  I recall being hustled down into the basement and my grandmother opening a lot of windows in the house.  The thinking back then was that you opened the windows to relieve the pressure & lessen the potential damage.

The actual storm passed quite quickly and I remember the sun coming out almost immediately afterward.  We all went upstairs and outside.  The damage was relatively light with trees uprooted and farm equipment overturned.  The buildings were relatively unscathed.  The tornado only grazed us!

The events of late in Oklahoma remind us of how dangerous tornadoes can be!  Our hearts go out to those victimized by the storm and those who are dealing with the loss of loved ones.  Horatio Spafford penned the words to the song “It Is Well with My Soul” which expressed his heart and hope after the loss of his children in a shipwreck at sea. “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’”  I’ve often wondered how he could express such a perspective in the midst of extreme grief.

When faith in Christ is a way of life, we find that the peace of God is most certainly unexplainable (Philippians 4:7),  This does not mean that we do not hurt or grieve or feel a sense of profound loss.  It does mean that through the midst of the traumas and tribulations, that we have an incredible sense that we are not alone (Heb. 13:5), and that God will take care of our needs (Philippians 4:19).  Life will be full of storms that at times threaten to swamp our boat and overwhelm us.  As we go through those storms, remember that God has promised to see us through them.  If the storm results in our death, we have the confidence of knowing that our next breath will be heavenly! (2 Corinthians 5:8)

I remember that after the tornado had passed through our farm, we went outside into warm sunshine and clearing skies.  The air was incredibly fresh and calm.  It would take us many weeks to clean up after that storm.  The appearance of the farm changed, just as life changed, but life moved on.  When the storms of life prevail, they will pass!  We will endure and persevere!

How could Spafford express such words in his song?  Because of an eternal hope!  “And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll, The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, ‘Even so’ – it is well with my soul.”

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on Through the Storm

Balczak records runner-up finish in NCAA decathlon

info from Lake Superior State University

Justin Balczak (left) placed second in NCAA decathlon.

Justin Balczak (left) placed second in NCAA decathlon.


Lake Superior State sophomore Justin Balczak, of Cedar Springs, made another impressive showing on a national stage by placing second in the men’s decathlon at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Colorado State University.

Balczak, who was also the heptathlon runner-up during the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, improved upon last season’s third-place outdoor decathlon finish. Defending outdoor champion J Patrick Smith of Chico State won the 2013 decathlon title with 7,612 points, while Balczak placed second and earned All-America honors with a school-record 7,387 points. NCAA indoor champion Brent Vogel of Central Missouri State was third with 3,384 points. Saginaw Valley State’s Tyler Grob took fourth with 7,230 points.

S-Balczak-takes-second2Smith opened the competition with wins in the 100-meter dash and long jump, and finished no worse than third in five other events. Balczak’s lone victory came in his specialty, the 110-meter hurdles, where he clocked a :14.34.

During Thursday’s opening day of competition, Balczak placed 11th in the 100-meter dash (:11.21), second in the long jump (7.23 meters) and shot put (13.37 meters), third in the high jump (1.96 meters), and sixth in the 400-meter dash (:49.80). On Friday, after winning the hurdles, he was 12th in the discus throw (33.84 meters), fifth in the pole vault (4.40 meters) and javelin throw (54.61 meters), and seventh in the 1,500-meter run (4:59.41).

Also on Friday, Balczak finished 15th in the 110-meter hurdles individual race with a time of 0:14.27.

Balczak is a 2011 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. While in high school, he was a state champion in the 110m high hurdles and broke school records in the high hurdles, 300m low hurdles, and the 800m relay. He is the son of Mark and Ann Balczak of Cedar Springs.


Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Balczak records runner-up finish in NCAA decathlon

Red Hawks place in Pioneer Classic


The Lady Red Hawks Track team traveled to Ferris State University in Big Rapids to compete in the non-scoring Pioneer Classic All Star Meet. The team earned two first-place finishes. Katie Weiler won the 1600 meter run and the 1600-meter relay team of Emily Shaft, Christina Dean, Ellie Ovokaitys and Katie Weiler closed out the night with the teams other first place of the night.

Marissa Oakes placed second in the long jump with a season best jump of 16’ 7 ¼”. The 3200-meter relay team of Caitlin McClurken, Ellie Ovokaitys, Maddie Pekrul and Katie Weiler and the 400 meter relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Abby VanDusen and Olivia Finch also earned second place finishes.

Abby VanDusen earned two third-place finishes. Abby placed third in the long jump and a season best jump of 8 feet in the pole vault earned Abby third place. Maddie Pekrul placed third in the 3200-meter run to go along with her fourth place in the 1600 meter run. Also placing third was the 800 meter relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Abby VanDusen and Olivia Finch.

Ellie Ovokaitys placed fifth in the 800 meter run. Jeanette Sukstas placed sixth in the shot put. Shayne Mann earned two sixth places in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. Shayne took ten seconds off her best time in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:50.9. Briana Pierson place sixth in the pole vault. Senior Christina Dean took 18 seconds off her year’s best time in the 1600-meter run to place seventh in the event with a time of 5:53.9.


Posted in SportsComments Off on Red Hawks place in Pioneer Classic

Middle School girls track 5-1

CSMS girls track are 8th grade conference champs.

CSMS girls track are 8th grade conference champs.

The Cedar Springs Middle School Girls 400 relay team set a school record.

The Cedar Springs Middle School Girls 400 relay team set a school record.

The girls track team completed an amazing season with a 5-1 record, with the one loss only being by two points. Even though practice started inside because of the weather, everyone of these girls were able to rise above and run, jump and throw their best.

Two school records were broken—Tara Tepin in the 200m dash and the 400 relay of Tara Tepin, Maddie Vandusen, Bailey Lachniet and Sienna Wight.

The 7th grade track team finished 5th at their conference meet, with very few points separating 2nd through 6th place.

For the second year in a row, the 8th grade track team finished as conference champions, making school history as the first time a girls track team has won back to back championships.

Coaches Weiler and Weiler are very proud of how all these girls ran, competed and the sportsmanship they portrayed. “It was an honor to coach this group of young ladies,” they said.

Placing and scoring points at the conference meets were:

7th grade:

Leah Kuzma-70m dash, 100m dash, 1600 relay

Rachel Crystal-200m dash, 1600 relay

Sydney Plummer -400m dash 1600 relay

Rachel Bowers-1600 relay

Myla Umphrey-1600 and 3200m runs

Grace Dault-55 hurdles and 1st in long jump

Hailey Luccarelli-shot put

Cece Brandt-shot put

Nicole Mosher-high jmp

400 relay of Erica Larsen, Grace Dault, Abby Hall and Nicole Mosher

800 relay of Montana Whitmore, CeCe Brandt, Hailey Arnold, Brooklyn  Andres

8th grade (all 4 relays were conference champs)

Maddie VanDusen-1st in long jump, 1st in 70m dash, 400 relay

Taylor Pasley- 70 m dash, 100m dash, 1600 relay

Tara Tepin-100m dash, high jump, 400 relay

Jenna Zoerman-100m dash, long jump, 800 relay

Brooke Morris-400m dash, 800 relay, 1600 relay

Sammie Terhorst-400m dash, 800 relay

Clarissa Jackson-400m dash

Jenna Heintzelman-800m run, 1600 relay, 3200m relay

Hannah Heinzelman-3200m run and 3200m relay

Lisa Heintzelman-55hurdles, 200 hurdles and 3200m relay

Bailey Lachniet-1st shot put, 400 relay

Mikayla Williams-high jump

Aaliyah Sargent-1600 relay, 3200 relay

Sienna Wight-400 relay, 800 relay

Posted in SportsComments Off on Middle School girls track 5-1

Notes from the field: A lucky day

Wildlife biologists collar three bears in Newaygo

A female black bear crossing in front of wildlife biologist Pete Kailing’s truck.

A female black bear crossing in front of wildlife biologist Pete Kailing’s truck.

DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing recently had one of those days at work that he’ll never forget. “I couldn’t believe the luck we had that day,” Kailing said. “Sometimes it just feels like everything is working against you, but days like this are magic.”

Kailing is the wildlife biologist out of Big Rapids, who covers Oceana, Newaygo and Mecosta counties.

The Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University are currently conducting a research project studying southern Michigan bear movements. Getting radio collars on bears is crucial to this study. This sounds much easier than it actually is. However, everything was in the right place recently, at the right time in northern Newaygo County.

Dwayne Etter, lead DNR research biologist out of Rose Lake, and his crew had just finished up trapping and radio-collaring a small bear nearby. Kailing had been on hand to assist in the effort, and everyone was wrapping up the successful collaring effort and headed in their own directions, when Kailing came around a curve and saw a female bear and her cub feeding in the open area.

“The two bears ran for the woods, and conveniently the cub ran up a tree,” Kailing said. “This was the perfect scenario. I quickly called Etter to tell him where I was and to get here fast.”

Trapping bears can be time-consuming—finding a good trap location, baiting the trap frequently, checking traps daily if not twice a day, and still you may not get the bear. Having a treed cub, with the sow nearby and DNR staff in the immediate area, is stroke of luck.

Kailing waited in his truck for Etter to arrive. Meanwhile, the female bear circled Kailing in his truck, and finally went up the tree with the cub.

When Etter arrived, the two were able to tranquilize the two bears, attach radio collars and gather other important information needed for the bear research project.

“In one day we had three bears collared—it was a great day,” said Kailing.

To learn more about Michigan’s bear populations, visit www.michigan.gov/bear.


Posted in OutdoorsComments Off on Notes from the field: A lucky day

Learn how to shoot trap and skeet

Learn how to shoot trap and skeet at the Flat River Conservation Club this summer.

Montcalm Community College offers “Introduction to Trap & Skeet,” which is taught by club members who are certified coaches, instructors or competitors in the disciplines of range safety, equipment needed and successful techniques to break clay targets. Hands-on instruction is provided in these disciplines. Participants are responsible for the cost of ammunition and eye and ear protection.

The cost is $5 per person. Call 616-754-7706 or 877-328-2111, Ext. 610, to register and schedule the dates and times for your course. The Flat River Conservation Club is eight miles north of Greenville on M-91.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off on Learn how to shoot trap and skeet

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