The Land Conservancy of West Michigan’s 2012 Annual Meeting will feature Dr. Gary Alt, a wildlife biologist currently residing in California. Dr. Alt’s career has included three decades of research, leading more than 50 photographic and natural history black bear tours, and service as vice president of the International Bears Association. Dr. Alt was honored in Time Magazine (Oct. 3, 2005) as a Conservation Innovator and his work has been published in a variety of professional journals and featured in People Magazine, National Geographic World, Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, National Wildlife, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, and many other journals and newspapers. The natural history, general ecology, and behavior of American black bears are beautifully illustrated in this educational and entertaining presentation. Dr. Alt will share many of his personal experiences and encounters with over 3,000 bears, which he has captured and followed in the past three decades. You will see rare photographs of cubs on their first day of life and learn the answers to many commonly asked questions: How dangerous are bears? How long do they live? Where do they den? What do they eat? Do bears really hibernate? What should I do if I encounter a bear in the wild? Join the Land Conservancy of West Michigan on Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. at Aquinas College Circle Theater/Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, to learn more about black bears, one of the largest land carnivores in the world. This free event is open to the public; limited space available. Early arrival is suggested, as there is no reserved seating. The presentation is suitable for adults and children ages 12 and up. To register or for more information, please visit the Land Conservancy online at www.naturenearby.org or call (616) 451-9476.
April 12 2012
Perspectives is a Complimentary Series of Conversations with the Spectrum Health Patient and Family Advisory Councils. The next session is titled “Emerging Technology and its Impact on Your Health.” Taking charge of your health means understanding how technology is changing the way people receive care, and its impact of positive health outcomes. Health care experts will share insights on apps and devices and how you can take a more proactive role in your health. The keynote speaker will be Daniel Kraft, MD, a national speaker who explores consumer demand, what is trending in technology and how this is change the way health care is delivered. He will be joined by members of the Patient and Family Advisory Councils for a roundtable discussion. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The presentation will be broadcast live at United Hospital in Greenville at the United Hospital Conference Center. This event is free to attend, but registration is required. Refreshments will be served. To register, call (616) 776-9626 or register online at perspectiveseries.eventbrite.com. For more information, call Shirley Hayes, director of patient and family experience for United and Kelsey Hospitals, at (616) 225-6981. Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which includes nine hospitals and 180 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, physician groups totaling more than 600 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 625,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with more than 17,700 employees. The organization provided $115.9 million in community benefit during its 2010 fiscal year.
Lisa Orchard’s debut novel was recently released from Astraea Press. It’s an e-book that is available at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. This story is a spine-tingling tale of three teenage girls who stumble upon the murdered body of a reclusive neighborhood woman. They are discovered at the crime scene and taken into custody. The lead detective believes they killed the “Cat Lady,” but has no evidence to support his theory, and he must release them. The girls fear that the detective will frame them for the murder, so they set out to find the real killer and bring him to justice. Orchard grew up loving books. She was an avid reader of the “Nancy Drew” series and the “Bobbsey Twins” series. By fifth grade she was writing and illustrating her own mysteries. She graduated from Central Michigan University and worked 13 years in the insurance industry. After making the decision to stay home with her kids, Orchard began her debut novel “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer.” The story evolved from some of her own exploits when she was a teenager. The book was released this month and has received rave reviews. One reviewer, Reviews Rmine, had this to say about the story: “Lisa Orchard writes a most descriptive story of the teenage girls’ adventures. This, my fellow readers, is the most exciting, fast paced, realistic, educational, emotional, ‘you just can’t put it down’ book! Truly a story to entice any aged reader. I absolutely loved it and I want to see more of these Super Spies. I give Lisa Orchard’s fabulous story 5 Sunflowers!” You can follow Orchard on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her website at www.LisaOrchard.com.
by RANDY GREGORY The nationally ranked Rockford varsity baseball team jumpstarted the 2012 season with a trio of games in Indiana last week. The Rams started things off on the right foot by routing Bedford-North Lawrence 14-3. They then topped Edgewood by a count of 8-1 before dropping the finale to Lawrence Central by a narrow 1-0 margin. “The first two games were probably closer than the final scores indicated,” said Rockford Coach Ian Hearn. “The Bedford-North Lawrence game was 1-0 going into the fourth inning and we pulled away late against Edgewood. The game against Lawrence Central was two very good teams going at each other and the only run was after an error we made in the very first inning. It was a pretty good weekend of baseball against some very good competition.” Ian Stankus was the winning pitcher in the opener despite a bout of wildness. Alex Hertel added a pair of scoreless innings in relief to cement the win. Rockford was paced offensively by several of their senior stalwarts. Drew Farmer and Tony Dileo had three hits apiece while Shain Showers and Max Crimp both had a pair. Jesse Edick chipped in with a double. The Rams erupted for nine runs in the fourth inning to pull away. Nick Street and Crimp went four and three innings respectively against Edgewood in Saturday’s opener. Street was rewarded with the win and Crimp the save for their efforts. Steven Powell was the offensive catalyst with a pair of doubles and five RBIs. Showers and Kory Young also contributed a pair of hits each. The final game of the trip was the most exciting as well as the most frustrating for Rockford. Save for the single run in the first inning, the two teams went back and forth with occasional chances but no ultimate rewards. Rockford threw sophomores Brent Showers and Reid Kelley, and they didn’t disappoint against elite competition while allowing only five hits. Rockford could manage only four of their own, however, and the lone tally stood up as the determining factor in the hotly contested game. “Lawrence Central played tremendous defense all game long,” said Hearn. “Their center fielder took away at least three doubles, but by the same token we […]
by RANDY GREGORY New Rockford varsity softball coach Troy Brown welcomes back a plethora of returnees to the 2012 squad, but still feels that the Rams are basically a young team in general. “We are in the great position of welcoming back quite a few players from last year’s team,” said Brown. “But at the same time, we don’t have an abundance of upperclassmen. If we can play solid defense on a daily basis, we will be pretty darn good. We already scrimmaged last year’s state champs [Mattawan] and held our own. I think we feel that if we can carry over that type of effort into every game then we will be a force. We are working really hard at becoming more consistent. This team is extremely talented, but when combined with our youth we will have to be careful to not lose focus.” There are only two seniors on the team, but both are returning All Conference players in Kayla Tykosky and Carmen Zeboor. Tykosky will hold down the fort at second base and Zeboor will become the primary pitcher for the Rams, while having to fill the large shoes of now Central Michigan University pitcher Tricia Graham. Rockford will also primarily feature only three juniors, Hannah Pattok (RF), Isabelle Mudgett (3B) and Rachel Feinauer (LF), as part of the regular rotation in the field. Meanwhile no fewer than four sophomores and a freshman have earned their way into starting positions. The sophomore contingent is comprised of Karlee Tykosky (CF), Jessi Ramos (C), Lexi Brown (1B) and Ashley Mengyen (P). Mackenzie Vallad is the lone freshman, and the talented infielder will be right in the forefront as the starting shortstop for last year’s OK Red runner-up. The OK Red is an absolute meat grinder in both the preseason rankings and historically. Grandville is ranked third and Hudsonville seventh in the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Division I preseason rankings. Rockford, Jenison and West Ottawa all currently reside in the honorable mention portion of the poll. No other league in the state has a collection of five teams rated so highly from an eight-team field. Brown previously spent two years as the varsity coach at Forest Hills Northern and two years as the […]