Recently we did a story on the upcoming Poetry Slam, a project funded by the Fremont Area Community Foundation aimed at giving voice to the creative work of our young people.
Newaygo ELA instructor Donna Grodus serves as Project Coordinator and along with instructors from each of our 5 area high schools, has helped coach the young writers, eventually selecting a finalist from each school who will compete for the top prize, a cool $1,000. Each of the finalists have already received $100 for making it to the ‘final five’.
Kaitlyn Bergman, Keera Simon, Lona Richards, Gregory Hearth, and Taylor Pasch will be on the Grant Fine Arts Stage May 17th, performing their poetry to all in attendance.
Ms. Grodus: “These young poets have been so genuine, raw and authentic when sharing their flaws, struggles, and triumphs! I love the county-wide collaboration and support from the poets, educators and community members. These young high school poets have already captured our hearts and this opportunity to write, perform and publish poetry is what will unite our schools and communities in Newaygo County.”
Each poet is meeting with Sprout, also known as KFG. Sprout coached the Grand Rapids Slam Team for the National Poetry Slam for a few years and has been teaching with the Diatribe Organization. The poets will meet with Sprout for a one-hour virtual workshop at their own high school during the school day.
Each poet will also be creating a visual presentation that will run behind them as they perform their poem at the Grant Fine Arts Center on May 17 at 7 p.m. Any high school student from Fremont, Hesperia, Grant, Newaygo and White Cloud who submitted a poem for the competition will have the opportunity to have their poem published in an anthology which will be published after the Poetry Slam. Newaygo County Students, Educators and Community Members will be impressed and genuinely moved by the themes in the students' poems.
Or just a free check in
From our friends at Michigan DNR
Yard cleanup season has begun, and so has wildfire season. Before lighting a fire, remember you need to check for permission to burn, or a burn permit, for activities categorized as “open burning.” Open burning includes the burning of yard debris like brush, garden clippings and leaves. A burn permit is needed any time the ground is not snow-covered.
A modern burn permit isn’t a piece of paper saying you can burn, and there’s no cost to “getting the permit.” It’s really about checking burning conditions with the DNR or with local authorities.
The online burn permit system indicates by location whether burning is allowed. In most of the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, permission to burn is provided through the DNR’s online system at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit, or by calling 866-922-2876. In southern Michigan, burn permits are issued by local authorities. In all cases, know your local ordinances, which may be stricter than state or county rules.
Permits are issued based on weather conditions, so an “okay to burn” in the morning does not guarantee that burning will be allowed later that day if wind comes up or temperatures rise. If burning is not permitted, composting and chipping brush are ways to dispose of yard debris that don’t involve the use of fire.
Burning trash, plastic or electronics is always illegal, even when open burning is permitted. Responsibly dispose of these items by recycling or through municipal trash.
Contained campfires, burn barrels with screens and cooking fires are exempt from burn permit requirements, but always follow safe burning rules. Never burn on a windy day, always have a water source nearby and never leave a fire unattended, even for a minute. An individual can be held legally liable for setting a wildfire. The daily fire danger map can be used to check weather conditions in your area.
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/BurnPermit. Direct media inquiries to DNR fire prevention specialist Paul Rogers at 616-260-8406.
By Kristie Bulger
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” – Agnes Sligh Turnbull
This article is going to be a 2 part series about lost dogs and how to get them back home. But before starting at “lost", I’d like to make some suggestions on how to keep your beloved dog at home in the first place. The next article, in a couple of weeks, will be about how to recover your dog.
* The most important thing is to have your dog spayed/neutered. Pets that have been spayed/neutered are much less likely to wander off. Over 90% of the dogs that end up in our shelter are unaltered.
* Get your dog licensed and when outside keep his/her collar, with tags, on at all times. A license is the quickest, easiest way to get a dog back home. Here’s a link to Newaygo County license information.
* Get your dog microchipped. Shelters and vet offices will scan found dogs/cats for a chip at no charge. There are stories of dogs that have been missing for years and then have found their way back home to their owners because they were chipped. It’s relatively inexpensive to have done. Bellwether Harbor in Fremont only charges $17.76 for cats and dogs. They’re having a microchip clinic on June 4th and will be having other clinics throughout the summer. You can get updates on their FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/BellwetherHarbor
* The very best way to keep your dog from becoming lost is to not let her/him outside off leash and unsupervised. The best containment option is a physical fence but even that is not a 100% guarantee. You have to know your dog and understand its breed. That cute little Doxie or JRT will probably not jump over your 4’ fence but they certainly will dig under it. Some of the herding breeds think climbing 6’ fences is no big deal and then there are huskies…..who just seem to be Houdini’s who can get out of any kind of fence.
It’s important to check your fence frequently to make sure your dog is not digging under it, that your gate is latching properly and that there are no trees leaning on it. People lose their dogs after winds/storms because they didn’t know their gate blew open or the fence was damaged.
Quite a few people are firm believers in underground fences and have great success keeping their dogs home. But there are dogs lost every day because their e-collars are not charged. Some breeds do better than others in underground fences. Once again, the huskies, with their thick fur and high prey drive, are notorious for running through electric fences. And what Beagle can ignore its nose? The other thing to remember is that while your underground fence may keep your dog in the yard, it won’t keep predators like coyotes and aggressive dogs out. Another containment option is a tie-out or cable. Once again, it’s important to check your tie-out to make sure it’s not getting weak or worn in places.
If you have more than 1 dog, never tie them out close enough to get entwined with each other. I personally know of a dog that was choked to death when she was playing with the other resident dog and the cable accidentally became wrapped around her neck.
Anyone who has been involved with rescue will start to see patterns in when/where/why dogs most frequently become lost. In my opinion there are 4 situations in a dog's life when they are most at risk for being lost. Let's look at these.
#1. When we ride in a vehicle we are required to wear seat belts and to make sure our children are also safely secured. But our dogs are just left loose to wander our vehicle. In a car accident, dogs are ejected out of the vehicle or are mistakenly let loose by the First Responders who arrive on scene. Every day FB has stories about terrified dogs that have gotten loose during an accident. There are lots of good options for canine seat belts and I highly recommend using one for your beloved dog. The info is readily available online.
#2. Many dogs go missing from their babysitters which is extra difficult because their owners may not be available to help look for them. Your dog may love to visit your parents/friends/neighbors/family so it’s perfectly understandable to ask those folks to babysit your dog while you’re away. But your dog knows that you’re not there with them and that they are not at home. This is another high risk time. When dogs are at a babysitter’s, it’s important for them to always have their tags on and to be on leash.
#3. Adopting a dog from a shelter or a rescue is a wonderful thing. While you may be instantly “in love” with your new pet, they may not be quite as sure. Dogs don’t know that they now belong to you. Their love develops more slowly. When a newly adopted dog gets away from a new owner, it can be especially difficult to get them back. These dogs do not know where they are or who they can trust. For the first few months, a newly adopted dog should be wearing tags and kept on leash at all times. Some people use martingale collars and slip leashes, at the same time, to make sure a new dog does not go missing.
#4. Unfortunately a lot of dogs go missing when they are quite old. Owners think that since they’ve been letting their sweet old dog out in the yard for 15 years that it’s ok to keep doing it. But dogs can suffer from senility and can get easily confused. They can get lost in their own backyards. Chances are your old dog is also suffering from some hearing/vision loss so they are even more vulnerable and difficult to find. It’s a myth that old dogs wander off to die. They do not. Here is a very good article about senility in dogs and cats. https://valevets.com/senility-faqs/.
I hope these suggestions help you to keep your dog safe at home. My next article will be about getting your lost dog back home where she/he belongs.
Here’s a link to our FB page "Friends of Newaygo County Shelter” where you can see all our available animals:
The adoption fee for dogs is $90.
This fee includes spay/neuter, deworming, heartworm test, rabies & DHLPP shots, flea & tick treatment and license.
The adoption fee for cats is $65
This fee includes spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, feline distemper combo vaccine, FIV/FELV testing, deworming and flea/tick treatment.
Newaygo County Animal Shelter
78 N. Webster
White Cloud, MI 49349
Monday - Friday 11-1
Appointments welcome and available upon request
It’s way, way early but Tiger season looking up
“We’re going to reestablish ourselves as a winning franchise and develop a winning culture. If you want to be a part of it then you’ll come. If you don’t then we’ll beat you.”- Tiger manager A.J. Hinch
By Ken DeLaat
Granted I was feeling a little elated after that stirring Opening Day come-from-behind victory the Tigers hammered out. With the above photo added to a social media post declaring “Undefeated!” it didn’t take long for the word to become obsolete when they fell short in the second game of the series against the White Sox who are the presumptive choice to win the AL Central. I’m writing this on Saturday so given the way baseball goes it's not unlikely they could drop Sunday’s series finale as well.
But I’m an optimist when it comes to this team and Saturday’s loss was nothing more than more evidence to this aging fan’s eyes that this team is going to be fun to watch and will win their share of games. In the loss they scraped, clawed and grinded away at the Sox as they did in the comeback win. A couple things went against them and in a few situations they failed to get the key hit but they were in this one until the end.
Also they have awakened the best fanbase in sports as the stadium, while not as packed as the previous day, had a huge crowd for a frigid day for baseball. Fans that were getting into the game in a way not seen at 2100 Woodward Ave in quite a few years.
It’s a long season to be sure and while the chances of getting off to a 35-5 start ala the epic ‘84 team range from improbable to ‘are you kidding?’ this is a team that will win their share of games before all is said and done.
Last season the Tig’s took their first 2 games and I joked about them being in first place with a magic number of 161. They didn’t seem to be terrible but truthfully there wasn’t a lot to get excited about other than the emergence of Akil Badoo.
Then they followed up that modest 2 game streak to start the season by winning just 7 times in the next 31 games. This exercise in futility included a 4 game losing streak, two 5 game skids and even a 6 game run of losses without a win. In one of those games they gave up 15 runs.
The throwers getting hammered that day were Jose Urena, Buck Farmer, Derek Holland and Bryan Garcia (minors).
None of them are currently on the team. In fact utility player Harold Castro finished the game tossing a scoreless inning, mind you.
This is a team that was built to not just compete but to win. They spent some money to bring in some quality players and are beginning to enjoy the riches of what has been a robust minor league system. Even without the phenom in waiting Riley Greene (injury, out for a month or two) they pose a frightening lineup of hitters and adding Austin Meadows in a trade just before the season is a move that is going to pay off big time as will the promotion of likely future star Spencer Torkelson.
I’m sure they will stumble along the way, maybe even fall victim to a lengthy losing streak or two.
However, they’ve transformed into a good team. A really nice mixture of youth and veterans possessing multiple weapons with a relentless drive for success and a manager that knows how to get the most out of his players.
So yes I’m optimistic.
Mostly from watching the fans.
Having spent the better part of the last six decades or so in a multitude of baseball stadiums I find Detroit fans to be the most knowledgeable of the lot. Second only perhaps to the regulars who fill Fenway.
Tiger fans are quick to pick up on it when a team is a contender and, most assuredly, when it's a pretender. They will fill the seats for a good team and attend for the love of the game (albeit much less frequently) when the team is sub par. They know their baseball and they know when they have a hold of a winner.
And while it's been just the first weekend my bet is you’ll find more fannies in the seats this season than CoPa has seen since they were collecting AL Central crowns a few years back.
As I said earlier this team will be a lot of fun. And while known to have a tendency to be a bit too sanguine regarding the Tigers I hold no illusionary ideas of postseason miracles even with the expanded playoff picture adding more teams.
But this season, while maybe just a preview of what is yet to come, looks to be a rollicking ride.
So I’m getting my seat on the bandwagon early.
By Ken DeLaat
We understand a month-long Karaoke Competition is going on at the Sportsman's Club in Croton and began this past Friday.
There’s been a long time personal interest in Karaoke but not as a participant or even a fan. Back when it’s popularity was soaring years ago I remember telling a group of friends who had gathered about one weekend night for socialization and refreshments that I wanted to let them know about a business idea I had.
A couple people groaned and I thought I heard someone whisper ‘Amway?’, but I assured them it was nothing like that then went on to describe my idea. It involved drive thru Karaoke stands where folks could cruise up to a window and for a nominal fee pick out a song and belt it out to an attentive attendant who would applause at the end. After adding the part about how I felt it would be a great stress reliever for folks I finished up and took in the crowd of friends and acquaintances
The reaction was priceless and ranged from truly puzzled and sympathetic looks to the shaking heads of those who knew me best. For years after that party my idea would come up in situations when someone in the group came up with something the others felt was boneheaded or simply stupid.
“That’s as asinine as DeLaat’s Drive-thru Karaoke plan” became embraced as almost part of the group jargon, an accomplishment that honors me to this day.
But I digress.
We know nothing about this competition but are admittedly intrigued. Apparently the winners from the 5 April Friday night showdowns will compete on Saturday the 30th. First place $250 Second place $100 and Third place $50.
Entry fee is a ten spot which is good because this should limit the entries to those who might have a chance.
Or, based on past contact with the whole Karaoke experience…
Another event that piques my interest is being held April 11th at the Fremont Library.
Now granted, I watched the first season of Bridgerton and found it entertaining. However others have taken to the series with all the fervor shows like Downton Abbey or (dating myself) Dallas drew during their memorable runs.
I recall watching Twin Peaks while several people I worked with were equally enticed by it. This led to a morning-after ritual of picking apart the show and discussing what this or that meant. It was a fun way to keep in touch with the show.
But it was weekly. In these days of streaming I would be willing to bet that the true fans of Bridgerton finished the second season within about 24-36 hours after it was released on Friday March 25th.
Thus, this invitation has been sent out via social media:
Dearest Gentle Reader,
As an esteemed member of the Ton, you are cordially invited to this season's most promising event yet: Spilling the Tea with Fans of Bridgerton. Come to enjoy tea and biscuits while discussing the Bridgerton televised storyline. Do be certain you have seen Season 2 in its entirety, for spoilers you do not wish to receive.
Spilling the Tea with Fans of Bridgerton
Fremont Area District Library
April 11th from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Please RSVP by telephoning: 231-928-0256
This would be a veritable banquet of Bridgerton for the true fans who have taken heartedly to the innovative show,
But take heed.
If you have to ask what the Ton is, you’re not ready to attend.
Speaking of TV and streaming…
I admittedly am a latecomer to Mrs. Maisel.
Having recently discovered this gem via adding Amazon Prime to the burgeoning streaming options at N3 World Headquarters & Kayak Dockage, I now see why the show has accumulated so many awards. From top notch performances led by the near perfect pairing of Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein and the sublime support of Marin Hinkles and Tony Shaloub to the crisp and creative writing that delivers a rollicking romp through each episode this show is an absolute feast from start to finish.
The best comedy I’ve seen on television since I was charmed by Cheers and buoyed by Barney Miller.
Warning: It’s 2022 not the 70’s (Barney) or 80’s (Cheers) or even 90's (Seinfeld) so this is not your mother’s sit-com. If the occasional curse causes consternation, if sexual references or a splash of nudity tickle your tsk-tsk toggle, and if your sense of humor begins and ends with ‘good clean fun’...?
This is not likely to be your cup of tea.
But if you want to see comedic genius on many levels and are perhaps a bit less, uh, sensitive about such things give Mrs. Maisel a peek.
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