INDUSTRIOUS… Bryce Priebe with some of the 200 plastic straps he produced on his 3D printer.
WHS student helping healthcare providers by creating part that makes mask-wear comfortable
By Annette Christie It started as a complaint from a family friend in nursing and has grown to one young man’s mission to help out community health care providers. Bryce Priebe, 16, was asked to help nurses to get the mask up off their ears. The long days of wearing a mask was making their ears so sore that some nurses were wearing tissues to cushion their ears. An innovative young man, Priebe researched designs and put his 3D printer expertise to work. He has relatively quickly made almost 200 straps and plans on more with an extra two donated machines and the next order of filament (the product used to make them). They can be ordered by going to https://forms.gle/qnUWNrXWzg6BDf9. Priebe is not charging healthcare workers. He first began his work with the printers as he built parts for drones. He is a drone racer whose goal was to build parts that he could print himself. His success was rewarded by being sponsored by Cyclone FPV Drone. He also manufactures drone parts for other drone pilots. Currently a sophomore at Watervliet High School, he would like to go to college at Texas A&M and major in electrical engineering. He is son of Chad and Nicki Priebe.
What are the warning signs that someone may become an animal kidnapper? A belief that animal mothers care for their offspring every minute of every day. A belief in the myth that animal mothers reject babies that have been touched by humans. An overwhelming urge to save a baby. An incomplete knowledge of wildlife biology and needs. Every spring nature centers and wildlife rehabilitators are overwhelmed by well-intentioned animal kidnappers. These kidnappers believe they are rescuing orphaned animal babies. However, most of the time these babies are not truly babies or not truly abandoned. An independent animal does not mean a fully-grown animal. Four-inch long rabbits and quarter-sized turtles are fully capable of caring for themselves… in the place they grew up in. Take them out of that area and they won’t know where food or shelter is. Many animal moms leave their young alone in nests or carefully chosen safe spots. They only visit them two or three times a day. The small amount of contact reduces the babies’ chances of acquiring a scent that a predator could discover. Take them away from their best teacher (mom) and they will have an exceptionally challenging time learning how to forage or hunt and survive. Don’t be an animal kidnapper! Call for help FIRST. You can find phone numbers for licensed wildlife rehabilitators on the State of Michigan website at https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/dlr/. Sarett Nature Center is not a licensed rehabilitation center and cannot take in animals.
Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages responsible recreation as it monitors COVID-19 risks at state parks and recreation areas. Word has spread that Allegan Dam on the Kalamazoo River is closed. To help slow the spread of the coronavirus and carry out Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, the DNR is closely monitoring visitor levels and adherence to social-distancing measures at Michigan state parks and recreation areas and other DNR-managed locations. Tippy Dam has seen a drastic increase in visitors, including people from all areas of the state. This type of nonessential travel could unintentionally increase the spread of COVID-19. To protect visitors, staff and nearby communities, the DNR has closed Tippy Dam Recreation Area, effective immediately, until further notice. The south side access, which is on land managed by Consumers Energy, also will be closed until further notice. Anyone entering Tippy Dam Recreation Area by vehicle, foot or bicycle may receive a civil infraction with fines up to $500. Know before you go. Anyone planning to visit any state-managed land is first encouraged to visit the DNR COVID-19 response page for updates on facility closures, changes in services and event/meeting cancellations. Follow Michigan.gov/DNRClosures for the latest information. In addition, the DNR has determined that charter and fishing guide operations that involve boats, canoes and other marine vessels are not currently permitted in accordance with Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the governor’s Executive Order 2020-21.
Fishing in the Tri-City area has been increasing and some nice catches of fish are being taken locally. The Ellinee Bait & Tackle shop on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported a brisk business with a lot of people fishing. The anglers are getting some nice catches of bluegill and crappie. The crappies are down deep but are biting on red worms and wax worms. Salmon are being taken out of the Paw Paw River at Watervliet and other places along the river. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports some single anglers have been on Lake Michigan and caught a few salmon and coho. Pier fishing has picked up as weather has allowed and anglers have been doing well on lake trout and a few coho. The water has been stirred up and is quite dirty, but using bright bait helps. Inland lake fishing is starting to pick up. The fish are still deep, but occasionally they come closer to shore for a time.
Hunting The DNR reported that many have been asking about the status of Michigan’s spring turkey season, considering Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order. Spring turkey hunting seasons are open, and licenses are available. The DNR encourages hunters to remember the following tips when planning their hunt. Practice social distancing, follow proper safety precautions, including washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and most important, hunt close to home and avoid traveling long distances for your turkey hunt. Leftover licenses for the spring season (April 18-June 7) are now available. To check drawing results and purchase a license, visit Michigan.gov/Turkey. Detailed information about spring turkey regulations, management units, hunting hours and more can be found in the Spring Turkey Digest. For a full list of regulations and legal descriptions see the Wildlife Conservation Order. The Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order April 2 that sets a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for not complying with executive orders banning gatherings and nonessential businesses, including social distancing (not keeping at least six feet between individuals) and a process for referral to licensing agencies for violations of Executive Orders 2020-11, 2020-20 and 2020-21. Criminal penalties for violation will remain an option for prosecutors. Residents need to be aware that permits for open burning have been suspended until further notice across the state aimed at further protecting the public health and safety. Burn permits in the southern Lower Peninsula are issued by local fire departments and governmental offices. Please check with your local department or office for the status in your area.
Churches meet challenge of hosting Easter in the
time of coronavirus
By Teresa Smithers Although the Apostle Paul’s words are often preached from the pulpit today, when the Christian Church began, early converts did not have the luxury of church buildings to worship in and they could not always even assemble together. Paul wrote many of his letters to them, alone in his jail cell. Now, in these days of isolation, Christians are harkening back to those first hard years and finding hope in them. In these days of dread and uncertainty, as churches have been forced to close their doors to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, Christians have been forced to search within themselves for the reality of their beliefs, just as the early Christians did… and they have found it. As a result, Easter has NOT been canceled as churches find new and creative ways to celebrate the message of Easter.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ offers daily devotionals St. Paul’s United Church of Christ on Bainbridge Road, Watervliet is offering daily devotionals on their Facebook page (St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Watervliet) and has weekly services there as well.
Many churches gather on Facebook Live “We are practicing our social distancing,” Pastor Ed Richcreek of Central Assembly of God, 6801 Ryno Rd., Coloma says, “but we are still available by phone (269-468-8422) and on Facebook (Central Assembly of God. Coloma MI).” An Easter play will be presented live on Facebook by Central Assembly on Easter Sunday morning at 10:30. Salem Lutheran Church will be streaming their Easter Sunday service on Facebook Live at 9:00 on Easter morning. To access the stream, people can visit their Facebook page (salemcoloma). Freshwater Church will be streaming their Easter Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. on Facebook Live. This service will feature the band, creative video elements and involvement from kids via video and livestream. “Additionally, we will ask our church members only to dress up and invite them to our new property in Coloma for a family photo (weather permitting),” says Pastor Justin VanFerrari. “Because of the stay-at-home order, this is only for church members and there will be a sign-up sheet, so they will come by appointment only… so as not to encourage congregating.”
New Freedom Church to hold drive-in Easter service “We have been awakened as to what the church is,” stated Pastor Wade Blankenship of New Freedom Church, 6210 Mountain Road, Coloma. “The church is not the building, but the born-again believers. It’s not dead just because the physical doors aren’t open.” Instead, New Freedom has made church more personal as the ministry reaches out to the elderly and needy of their congregation during this time. And although their mobile food truck has had to be placed on hold, their food pantry is still stocked and ready to help with call-in needs. New Freedom will be having a drive-in church service on Easter Sunday at 2:00. There will be an Easter message, songs and prayers. “We’ll all be staying in our cars,” stated Blankenship, “and honking our horns, instead of saying ‘amen’.”
St. Joseph Catholic offers “Drive around Way of the Cross” St. Joseph Catholic in Watervliet also proclaims hope for Easter. They are live-streaming Easter services from Saints John and Bernard Parish in Benton Harbor with all collaborative priests participating. Service times are: Thursday at 6:00 p.m., Friday at noon, and the Saturday Easter Vigil at 9:00 p.m. Access services at facebook.com/saintsjohnandbernard/life. (You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the videos.) In addition, St. Joseph Catholic Parish would like to invite everyone to experience a church community event for Good Friday. In an effort to practice social distancing and not to congregate in large numbers, several parish members and a few other faithful friends teamed up to create a ‘Drive around Way of the Cross’ to commemorate the Passion. Anyone wishing to participate can do so. Start with the first station at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 157 Lucinda Lane, Watervliet, on Good Friday, 10 a.m. until sunset. You will find two boxes on the office porch in front of the administration building, one containing a map and the other a copy of the stations’ prayers that you can use as you visit each creation and relive the ‘Way of the Cross’. “Do not give in to fear or despair,” Father Patrick Craig urges. “As St. Thomas Moore once said, ‘Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.’ Until the day we can reunite in the house of the Lord before His altar of sacrifice to worship Him again, know that you are all in my daily prayers and intentions as I continue to offer the Mass on your behalf.”
Conclusion Easter’s traditional meaning of hope and renewal rings especially true in this difficult year. Be sure to check out your preferred place of worship for their Easter plans. Pastor Blankenship summed it up well: “We’ve learned not to take our church services for granted anymore,” he stated. “When this lockdown is over, there will be a great celebration.”
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