Iris Herrera puts some serious pipes on display
Basketball is one of my favorite wintertime activities.
No, not playing. My last basketball experience was decades ago in my 40’s playing pickup ball in a local gym, an exercise in futility that led to a next day challenge of getting my socks on without help.
I’m speaking of local high school basketball and being able to cover it for N3 sports.
After writing up Friday’s Newaygo game I was compelled to add this:
And by the way, on a side note, anyone who is a fan of hearing a stirring rendition of our National Anthem needs to attend a Newaygo home game. Lion basketballer Iris Herrera stepped up in uniform to open the evening by belting out a truly memorable and inspirational Star Spangled Banner. Her take on the anthem caused many in attendance to turn and see where this compelling voice was coming from.
We were impressed.
Very impressed, as were the fans in attendance who responded with some appreciative applause.
And then she took her spot with the rest of her Lion teammates.
However, instead of an add-on to the story on the game we decided to pursue this a bit further and pose a few questions to this talented young songstress.
When did you start singing the anthem before games? How did this start?
I ‘ve done it a couple times in the past but this basketball season was the first time I have done it consistently. If it weren’t for the athletic director (Michael Allison) reaching out I probably would have never started.
Are you in choir or other music programs at school? Play an instrument?
I am sadly not in choir or music programs; however, I am in the process of learning how to play guitar!
Have you ever had voice lessons?
I actually have not had any legit voice lessons! I have a few musical family friends who give me tips and breathing exercises, but other than that no professional lessons.
Have you (or rather do you) perform in other venues or settings?
I have performed in local restaurants/ bars, at a few events and I also had the pleasure to go to LA this October and audition for American Idol!
How did you get started singing? Is music a family thing or did you discover it on your own?
I’ve always been drawn to music ever since I was a kid. My mom says that I used to sing my sentences! If I needed to remember things I would create little songs to help me, and I was always creating beats and rhythms in my head. Once I got into middle school, and after countless of my own shower concerts (laughter), is when I finally got comfortable to perform in front of large groups.
I’m going to assume you branch out from just doing anthems so…what music do you most like singing?
I love to sing any genre of music honestly! I think my favorite genre to perform, and the genre that pulls the most heart strings, is folk/ indie rock.
Who have been your mentors and what singers do you admire?
I would say that Chadwick Walenga, a family friend, and Gabe Schillman, a local artist, have been my “mentors.” My favorite artists are The Lumineers, Mt. Joy, Nirvana, Paramore, Alice In Chains, and the list goes on!
In terms of that, what's the first song on your playlist?
The first song to make it on my playlist was Ophelia by the Lumineers.
You put a lot of emotion into your singing. Can you share with us what singing means to you? How it feels and what you want people to know when you’re singing?
Singing to me is a euphoric experience. It’s really hard for me to describe exactly how I feel when I sing. Sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes angry, and sometimes I just feel content! It’s an escape from reality and a true serotonin booster! When I sing my heart feels truly whole and in it’s right place. It’s the way I can truly express who I am! Time and space don’t mean anything to me when I am in front of a mic. I also just love the way it makes others feel. Watching people react to my music just brings so much joy to my heart! People tell me all the time that I put a lot of emotions into my singing and most of the time I don’t even mean to! It’s just whatever I’m feeling in the moment Is projected into my singing!
Thank you Ms. Herrera and please, keep singing.
We look forward to seeing you open a few more games with your inspirational take on the SSB.
As well as watching you do battle on the court with your fellow Lions.
Watercolor Workshop, a Special Storytime, & More at Fremont Library
The Fremont Area District Library is planning to host several fun and educational events in February for the whole family. These events are FREE, as always.
Fun with Watercolor: Workshop with Lori McElrath Eslick will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP. Lori is a children’s book illustrator and Hallmark greeting card artist who will guide you through an easy step-by-step watercolor painting session. This FREE workshop is for adults at any skill level. Call 231-928-0256 to register.
The Winter Reading Challenge for all ages continues through February 28th. Children can sign up in the Children’s Department and teens and adults can sign up at the Reference Desk. Each age group will get a reading log with a challenge to complete, and when finished, you can bring it in for a prize. Children and teens will also be entered into grand prize drawings.
Storytimes run from January 19th-April 14th. Toddler Storytime, for babies and toddlers up to age 3, will be held on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., and Family Storytime for children up to age 5 will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. A special Saturday Storytime with Michelle Dubois, for children up to age 5 will be on February 12th at 11:00 a.m in the Community Room. Michelle recently published a book called Practice Makes Hard Things Easy, and she will read her book and be available to sign copies after. Masks are recommended at all Storytimes during this time. We’ll also be showing the Afternoon Movie Encanto on Thursday, February 24th at 3:30 p.m. Snacks will be served, and all are welcome.
Junk Journaling for ages 10 and up will take place on February 10th anytime between 3:00-5:00. This is a scrapbooking and journal hybrid. Use up what you have and supplement with found, recycled, repurposed and thrifted items. Materials provided.
We’ll be showing a couple movies at our Movie Mondays—this month in honor of Black History Month. Respect, the movie about Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson will start at 2:00 p.m. on Feb. 14th (PG-13; 145 min). Just Mercy will be showing in our Community Room on Monday, Feb. 28th at 2:00 p.m. This true story follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice (PG-13; 137 min). These movies are FREE and snacks are provided.
The Wednesday Readers Book Group will meet on Monday, February 14th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev, and the Daytime Book Group will meet on Thursday, February 24th at 12:30 p.m. (title TBD). Anyone is welcome to join these book groups. Books for these groups are available at the library’s front desk ahead of the meeting if you’d like to check out a copy and join the group.
For more information about any of these events, please contact the library at 231-924-3480 or visit www.fremontlibrary.net.
2022 Black Lake sturgeon season begins Feb. 5
Michigan's 2022 lake sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. All anglers must register online by Feb. 4 to participate in the fishing season.
The harvest limit for the 2022 season on Black Lake is six lake sturgeon. To prevent overfishing, Department of Natural Resources officials will close the season when one of two scenarios occurs:
Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the season. The season will end either at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified via text message and on the ice by DNR personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.
Anglers must register for the season, and those 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license. This year, anglers must register online by Feb. 4 to participate. Get more registration information at Michigan.gov/Sturgeon.
Participating anglers must bring their own 1-foot-diameter or larger bright red flag to hang on their fishing shanty to help DNR personnel identify those who are sturgeon fishing. Anglers are asked to hang one or more of these in highly visible locations on their shanty.
Anyone harvesting a lake sturgeon must immediately contact DNR personnel on the ice to register the fish. Official registration of harvested fish will be at the Onaway DNR Field Office 1 mile south of Onaway State Park. Harvest registration may include an examination of internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis or aging.
Lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in Black Lake over the last two decades have been a successful collaborative effort between the Michigan DNR, Sturgeon for Tomorrow, tribal agencies, Michigan State University and Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership. This population has increased in the past 20 years due to rearing and stocking efforts, research, and protection of spawning adults, and this trend is expected to continue.
Anglers should be aware of marginal ice conditions on regional lakes so far this year and use extreme caution if fishing. Visit Michigan.gov/IceSafety for tips to stay safe on the ice.
The award-winning January Series of Calvin University is once again coming to Newaygo County! From January 10 through January 28, the Dogwood Center will be one of 60 remote webcast locations worldwide to broadcast the live lecture and cultural arts series.
Each lecture will be shown through live feed from Calvin University from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will cover topics ranging from cybersecurity, prison reform, social media, travel as global citizens, the importance of empathy, the power of story and so much more by top experts in their fields.
Dogwood Center is one of more than 50 remote webcast sites across the continent, joining a daily audience of about 6,000 people a day. Don’t miss out on this chance to hear fabulous lectures and experience a piece of Calvin University right here in Newaygo County!
This is a great opportunity to listen to nationally acclaimed speakers surrounding a variety of interesting topics. The Dogwood Center is supported in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, and is pleased to bring the Calvin University's January Series to Newaygo County for the twelfth year! In past years, the Dogwood Center has been among the highest attended remote sites in the nation.
The January Series lectures will be video streamed live at the Dogwood Center, 4734 S. Campus Court, Fremont, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, January 10 - 28. The lectures are free and open to the public. Both the Black Box and Main Stage areas will be available for seating. Attendees may bring their own lunch when seated in the Black Box. View the speaker schedule at www.dogwoodcenter.com.
Or: Will a lifetime quest fraught with frustration finally come to fruition at HCNC?
By Ken De Laat
Photos courtesy of NorthernIslander News & Beaver Beacon
I have had this thing about owls for as long as I can remember.
Granted, there are days when what I had for breakfast seems beyond ‘as long as I can remember’ yet fortunately when it comes to certain areas my Hippocampus comes through with frightening regularity,
But I digress. Back to owls.
We recently received a press release from our friends at Howard Christensen Nature Center, a very cool place if you’ve never been, about a program they call Owl Prowl.
This was hugely coincidental (or perhaps not) since I have been suffering through a recent severe bout of owl envy.
You see, though I’ve been on this earth since Truman was president I have never seen an owl.
At least not in the wild.
Oh I’ve encountered them at zoos and such but never have I met one in the wild. I recall as a kid on summer vacation everyone at the Paradise Hollow resort saw the owl that was hanging around.
Except me. Try as I might to prowl the spotting area after dark I never caught a glimpse of the elusive member of the strigiform family.
I’ve been camping when owls were spotted by others, as well having similar experiences in the suburban area we lived when our kids were younger and then lakeside the past couple of decades. People mention seeing them and I try going to the spot later only to experience disappointment once again.
Then after not really thinking about it much in recent years, this past several weeks the folks on the Newaygo County Bird Watching site (another cool place) began posting pix of snowy owls and bringing back my thoughts of the yet to be attained bucket list item.
And a few days later, as if Anthus himself was perpetuating my owl angst, my son and even my grandchildren witnessed the arrival of a Snowy near their Beaver Island home. The island news source, the NorthernIslander News & Beaver Beacon began pictorially chronicling the visit by this winged and wise beauty. I often miss the island and relish our trips there but these photos made me pine for a quick return.
But alas there are responsibilities and commitments keeping me on the mainland for the near future.
Then I heard about the HCNC program.
Friday January 21st.
Here’s the skinny.
Owl Prowl 2022 is coming January 21st at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. Naturalist Greg Swanson will introduce you to owl biology, starting indoors at 6pm with a presentation on owls and then heading outdoors to see if he can call one in to say hello.
The outdoor portion is for ages 10 and up. There will be free child care and crafts indoors for the younger set.
There is a cost for both members and nonmembers of Howard Christensen Nature Center. Members are $3 per person or $10 for a family of 4 or more. Non-members are $5 per person or $15 for a family of 4 or more.
Please check out the website for additional information -www.howardchristensen.org
Now given the apparent propensity these winged wonders have for avoiding me I will have to ponder whether to risk attending and putting a jinx on Mr. Swanson’s efforts to call one in. After all, I am certain there will be kids there with their families and all.
But with such an opportunity awaiting, I gotta tell you…
I’m leaning toward going.
“Perhaps he does not want to be friends with you until he knows what you are like. With owls, it is never easy-come-easy-go.”- T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone
Book Review: Pretty Things
By Alexis Mercer
Last year sometime I pared down my subscriptions to things I wasn’t using all that often. Random apps that were a few dollars here, a few more there. It felt really great to be reclaiming some of the money that I had apparently been letting slip out of my electronic wallet.
One of those subscriptions was to Audible. I did listen occasionally to books through the app, but not enough to justify the monthly cost. And I had acquired quite a few “freebies” in the time I had been a member, so I decided I would cash in on all those tokens, stock my library, and end the payments.
Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown, must have been one of those “if you liked ‘x’, you’ll love THIS book” because I truly have no idea how I came to choose it. But this past September when I was in the thick of training for the half marathon I was going to run in November, I decided to switch up my listening from music or podcasts and try a book.
From the minute I started listening, Pretty Things had me hooked. The prologue includes a quote about not being able to dislike someone, even if he has wronged you, after knowing who he is. This idea has always rung true to me, and being that Brown used it to anchor the reader at the beginning, I was really hoping the rest of the book would live up to my expectations.
Did it ever.
In fact, it so far exceeded them that I had a hard time not listening to it when I wasn’t running. A few mornings I allowed myself the extra time listening in the car on my way to work when my kids weren’t with me (definitely don’t plan on listening to it around little ears). But other than that, I stuck to just while running so I wouldn’t run out of book too soon.
Nina Ross is a college graduate living in New York City turned con artist living with her ailing mother in Los Angeles. She learned the trade from her mother, but keeps the secret from her so as to protect her mom from knowing where the money for her treatments are coming from. Lachlan, Nina’s boyfriend, is also a con artist. Together they scam the rich and famous: those too wealthy to be much affected by their losses.
Vanessa Liebling is a privileged heiress who grew up with absolutely everything and anything she could want. Or did she? Her sheltered life is shattered when her brother and mother both struggle with mental illness, but Vanessa forges on with her social media influencer life, outwardly projecting perfection.
Nina, Lachlan and Vanessa’s lives come crashing together in an unexpected and intriguing way at Lake Tahoe. The twists and turns of the tale kept me guessing until the very end.
There was 1 hour, 49 minutes left on the audible track as of this morning. The suspense had been building and I knew that I was going to run until I finished the last chapter. So off I went on a trail run in the snow, anxiously awaiting the outcome of the story.
At one point late in the book I audibly gasped and then started laughing at the unexpected change of events (yes, while running….alone….I’m sure the squirrels were amused). It was that good.
Now I find myself wondering if I’ll subscribe to Audible for another month or two so I can purchase more of Janelle Brown’s books. The fact that I could run for actual hours to hear more of her tale leads me to believe another of her books would be worth the renewed subscription.
Just so long as I remember to cancel again after I purchase. Or I’ll be back where I started, though undoubtedly better off for having enjoyed this novel.
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