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Archive | February, 2017

Be the Referee

Recruiting Officials

One of the most challenging tasks for the MHSAA is the recruitment and retention of game officials and referees.

In many cases, the job of the referee can be a thankless one. It’s an avocation where others expect an official to be perfect on their very first day on the job, and then improve on that performance.

Officials must be fit, knowledgeable on the rules, decisive and most importantly, have good people skills in handling competitive situations with emotional players, coaches and fans. While this can be a great challenge, many of our officials find this experience to be incredibly rewarding.

There is no better feeling than to officiate a game where the rules are fairly enforced, judgment calls are made decisively and the teams involved determine the outcome of the game.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this great team, go to MHSAA.com to learn more about officiating and how to get started in this rewarding avocation.

Posted in SportsComments Off on Be the Referee

CS Youth wrestling at Meijer State Games 2017

Cedar Springs Youth wrestlers Logan Troupe, 3rd place and Carter Falan, 1st place 2004-2005 Open division, 105lb class at Meijer State Games 2017. Photo by J. Troupe

Cedar Springs Youth wrestlers Logan Troupe, 3rd place and Carter Falan, 1st place 2004-2005 Open division, 105lb class at Meijer State Games 2017. Photo by J. Troupe

By Jacquie Troupe

On Sunday, February 19, 21 wrestlers from the Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling Club competed at Sparta High School in the fourth annual Meijer State Games of Michigan-Winter Games. There were 91 teams and 623 wrestlers gathered to compete in a tournament that focuses on sportsmanship, participation, and healthy living. They finished the day 44-31, with 23 pins and 197 match points. They placed 2nd overall in pins, 12th in match points.

Coach Jake Marsman remarked on how proud he is of all of his wrestlers. “They’ve come a long way this year. We have a lot of beginning wrestlers who are out here every week competing against kids who have been wrestling for years. They are holding their own and even coming home with medals. They are helping rebuild this program from the bottom up with strong family involvement and great pride in their accomplishments. These kids are working hard for a sport they love,” he said.

In the 2010-2012 All division, 49lb-B class Tucker Crystal placed 1st after 3 matches. He had 3 pins in a total time of 1:56. In the 58lb class Chasyn Winchel placed 1st after 3 matches. He had 2 pins in 2:37, scoring 22 match points for the day.

In the 2008-2009 Open division, 64lb class Blake Falan placed 2nd after 4 matches. He had 2 pins in 3:11, scoring 12 match points for the day. In the 72lb class Jonathan Libera placed 4th after 4 matches. He had 1 pin in 2:46.

In the 2006-2007 Novice division, 75lb class Remington DeWeese placed 4th after 4 matches. He had 1 pin in 2:02. In the 110lb class Dakota Winchel placed 1st after 2 matches. He had 2 pins in 2:42. In the 130lb class David DeWeese placed 3rd after 3 matches. He had 1 pin in :43. In the Open Division, 80lb class Hudson Crystal placed 2nd after 6 matches. He had 2 pins in 3:34, scoring 29 match points for the day. In the 150lb class Wyatt Cooper placed 3rd after 2 matches.

In the 2004-2005 Novice Division, 75/80lb combined class Ricco Artecki placed 1st after 4 matches. He had 2 pins in 1:49, scoring 19 match points for the day. In the 100/105lb combined class Ben Brunner placed 1st after 3 matches. He had 3 pins in a total time of 2:22. In the Open Division, 105lb class Carter Falan placed 1st after 3 matches. He had 2 pins in 1:49, scoring 11 match points for the day. Logan Troupe placed 3rd after 3 matches, scoring 13 match points for the day.

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WMP at Meijer State Games

Pictured is Blake Hammer in the 11/12 Novice age group. He won his very first match last weekend, and his coaches and teammates are very proud of him. Photo by B. Chong.

Pictured is Blake Hammer in the 11/12 Novice age group. He won his very first match last weekend, and his coaches and teammates are very proud of him. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Sparta for the Meijer State Games and Indianapolis for the Indy Nationals last weekend.

Blake Peasley entered the 75 lb Intermediate division at the Indy Nationals. He battled thru tough competition and went 2-2 for the day, finishing 4th place overall.

WMP entered 14 grapplers to compete at the Meijer State Games and placed 13 in the top four. 55 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 7/8 age group, finished in 4th Place. 67 lb Chayson Eberspeaker, 7/8 age group, finished in 3rd Place.

In second place was 80 lb Blake Hammer, 11/12 Novice age group; 52 lb Kaleb Pautke, 7/8 age group; 52 lb Desmond Smith, 4/6 age group and 75 Isaiah Sostenes, 9/10 age group. Desmond went 4-1, battling his way back for a True Second.

Champions of the day were 61 lb Quinten Cassiday, 7/8 age group; 70 lb Carter Castillo, 11/12 age group; 63 lb Luke Egan, 9/10 age group; 67 lb Tyler Parmeter, 7/8 age group; 59 lb Josh Vasquez, 9/10 age group; 55 lb Kellen Weckesser, 7/8 age group and 49 lb Blake Werkema, 4/6 age group.

“It’s a proud moment yet heartening when two of my kids meet up in the Finals to square off. I have to sit back and watch them apply what I have taught them without coaching either one. These kids put on an entertaining match every time they step on the mat,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus.

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Tax tip: Itemize or choose the standard deduction


From IRS.gov

Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction when they file their federal tax return. However, some filers may be able to lower their tax bill by itemizing. Find out which way saves the most money by figuring taxes both ways.

The IRS offers the following six tips to help taxpayers decide:

1. Use IRS Free File. Most taxpayers qualify to use free, brand-name software to prepare and file their federal tax returns electronically. IRS Free File is the easiest way to file. Free File software helps taxpayers determine if they should itemize. It files the right tax forms based on the answers the taxpayer provides. Free File software does the math and allows the user to e-file the tax return – for free.

Taxpayers can check on other e-file options if they can’t use Free File.

2. Figure Your Itemized Deductions.  Taxpayers need to add up deductible expenses they paid during the year. These may include expenses such as:

  • Home mortgage interest
  • State and local income taxes or sales taxes (but not both)
  • Real estate and personal property taxes
  • Gifts to charities
  • Casualty or theft losses
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Unreimbursed employee business expenses

Special rules and limits apply. Visit IRS.gov and refer to Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, for more details.

3. Know The Standard Deduction. If a taxpayer doesn’t itemize, then the basic standard deduction for 2016 depends on their filing status. If the taxpayer is:

  • Single – $6,300
  • Married Filing Jointly – $12,600
  • Head of Household – $9,300
  • Married Filing Separately – $6,300
  • Qualifying Widow(er) – $12,600

If a taxpayer is 65 or older, or blind, the standard deduction is higher than the previous amounts. The deduction may be limited if the taxpayer can be claimed as a dependent.

4. Check the Exceptions. There are some situations where the law does not allow a person to claim the standard deduction. This rule applies if the taxpayer is married filing a separate return and their spouse itemizes. In this case, the taxpayer’s standard deduction is zero and they should itemize any deductions. See Publication 17 for more on these rules.

5. Use the IRS ITA Tool. Go to IRS.gov and use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool. It can help determine whether a taxpayer can use the standard deduction. It can also help a filer figure their eligibility for certain itemized deductions.

6. File the Right Forms.  For a taxpayer to itemize their deductions, they must file Form 1040 and Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Filers can take the standard deduction on Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return.  Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Posted in Tax TimeComments Off on Tax tip: Itemize or choose the standard deduction

Rev. Nurya Love Parish to join Belmont church as Priest-in-Charge


Rev. Nurya Love Parish

Rev. Nurya Love Parish

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Belmont is happy to announce that the Rev. Nurya Love Parish has joined the church as part-time Priest-in-Charge.

Mother Nurya’s other work is co-founding Plainsong Farm, a farm and ministry in Rockford that grows food for people and people for God. The farm completed its first growing season in 2016 and received a Mission Enterprise Zone grant from the Episcopal Church. Among its ministries is Grow Christians (www.growchristians.org) a website which encourages and inspires families in the practice of faith.

Holy Spirit’s congregation looks forward to the blessings that Mother Nurya will bring to the church as well as to the community. Everyone is invited to attend Sunday worship at 10 a.m. The church is located at 1200 Post Drive NE in Belmont, at the corner of Post and Pine Island drives.

Prior to her current ministry, Mother Nurya served St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, as their associate priest from 2011 to 2016. She has been in ministry since 1997, when she moved to Michigan as a church planter following graduation from Harvard Divinity School and ordination as a Christian pastor in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She later served Fountain Street Church in downtown Grand Rapids. A decade ago Mother Nurya left her prior denomination, joined the Episcopal Church, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2011.

Mother Nurya lives in Ada with her husband and children.

The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, and is comprised of 109 dioceses in 16 nations. The Anglican Communion is the gathering of Anglican and Episcopal churches from around the world. Today, the Anglican Communion comprises more than 80 million members in 44 regional and national member churches in more than 160 countries. The vibrancy of the Anglican Communion reflects the lives of its congregants and their commitment to God’s mission in the world.

Posted in Church ConnectionComments Off on Rev. Nurya Love Parish to join Belmont church as Priest-in-Charge



Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs


At East Nelson UMC, the last 24 hours of Jesus Christ is our series of messages for Lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Jesus’ crucifixion (not counting the Sundays) and it’s a time of reflection. We are reflecting on how so much happened in that last 24 hours. From that last Thursday evening to Friday evening, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; shared his last supper; prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane; was betrayed; arrested; deserted; tried; convicted; sentenced to death; tortured; crucified; died; and buried. The season of Lent allows us the space to reflect, to meditate, to ponder, to ruminate over each of these profound events.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, treasured and pondered all of the events that led up to the momentous evening when the shepherds barged into the stable to “see this thing that has happened.” I love that Luke (2:19) shares her introspection. I believe it’s a beautiful example of how to hold a story close to our heart.  We have much to ponder also. The story of Jesus’ life on earth begins when Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” There’s the birth in the lowly stable, parable stories Jesus told, people of all walks of life who were healed. We can meditate on the words of the Sermon on the Mount, or the meals for hundreds made from a few fish and loaves of bread. And now, in Lent ,we can reflect on all that occurred to bring Jesus to the cross for us.

May we each find the space in our daily living over the next few weeks to ponder these things in our hearts.

Psalm118: 5-6, 13-14, 17 (NIV): 5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. 6 With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?

13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 

17 I shall not die, but I shall live and recount the deeds of the Lord.

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on Lent

Look Who’s 40!


Michael Sanderson Jr.

Happy 40th Birthday!

February 25th


Your wife Belinda and family

Posted in BirthdayComments Off on Look Who’s 40!



Happy 50th Birthday!

February 23rd

Looking Good!!


Davis Family

Posted in BirthdayComments Off on KATHY REED DAVIS



January 16, 1931 – February 22, 2010

It’s been seven years since you’ve left.

Sadly missed along life’s way.

Quietly remembered every day.

Your loving family

Posted in MemorialComments Off on REX MORRIS



October 21, 1930 – January 30, 2009

In loving memory of our mother and grandmother who passed away eight years ago.

We will always remember the happiness you brought to our lives.

Mike, Sarah, and Terry, Jane and Nick, Jenna, Brian, Luke, Jake and Molly

Posted in MemorialComments Off on MARY S. WELCH

60th Anniversary


 Bill and Pat  Campbell

Happy 60th wedding anniversary to Bill and Pat Campbell, of Big Rapids! Bill and Pat were married, on February 23, 1957 in Lepanto, Arkansas, and later moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Pat’s family had relocated. The couple lived in various areas around northern Kent County, including Sparta, and later moved to Big Rapids. They are an inspiration and have shown their family what true love looks like! They have three children, Judy (Steve) Reed, Tracey (Jeff) Price, and Steve (Kathy) Campbell; several grandchildren, Rachel (Josh) Hunt; Jessica (Joe) Williams, Steven Reed, Crystal Hunter, Holly Hunter, Donald Hunter, Sabrina Campbell, Emma Campbell, and Justin Campbell; and great-grandchildren Atlas Hunt, Landon Prater, Christian Prestridge, Caleb Prestridge, Amelia Hunter, and another baby Hunt expected soon! We all love you, and have a wonderful 60th anniversary!

Your family

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Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp

Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp

Elizabeth R. “Betty” Kemp, 86 of Cedar Springs, formerly of Kent City passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Wellspring Lutheran Services, Fairview. Betty was born August 19, 1930 in West Branch, Michigan the eldest of four children born to Harry and Enid (Merritt) Kenyon. Betty married Arthur “Dick” Kemp on October 21, 1950 who survives. Their marriage was blessed with six children, David (Martha) Kemp of Fenton, Tom (Denise) Kemp of Luzerne, Bob (Kristine) Kemp of Phoenix, Arizona, Jerry’s widow, Christine Kemp of Grant, Barbara Reed of Bristol, Wisconsin, Donna (Gary) Kagel of Greenville, South Carolina; 29 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren with two more on the way; brothers, H. Richard (Geri) Kenyon, Charlie (Ann) Kenyon; sister, Sally (Tom) Horton. She was preceded in death by her parents, son, Jerry; son-in-law, John Reed; grandson, Vaughn; and great-grandson, Derek. Cremation has taken place. The family will greet friends Saturday from 2:00 pm until time of memorial service at 3:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor David Kemp officiating. Interment in the spring at Idlewild Cemetery. Memorials to Victory World Missions International Ministries.  Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

Posted in Church Connection, ObituaryComments Off on ELIZABETH R. KEMP



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