A NEW HOME FOR MAN’S BEST FRIEND
County to review proposals for new animal shelter Wednesday
By Kyle LeppekPioneer Staff Writer BIG RAPIDS — In the months to come, sheltered animals inecosta County will not only have new caretakers, but likely a newlace to call home.The Mecosta County Board of Commissioners is acceptingroposals for new management to operate a county animal shelter.he board will review the proposals during the Sheriff and Jailommittee meeting on Wednesday.Ken and Susan DeVries, who have operated their privately-wned shelter for 22 years, announced they would retire their ervice effective July 1.“The DeVries have done a wonderful job providing services to thenimals and pet owners in our county,” said Paul Bullock, Mecostaounty administrator. “They care very much about dogs and there’seen a lot of, I believe, their heart and soul placed into what theyo.”The county is now looking for a successor. An individual,orporation or nonproﬁt group will be able to present its idea for new shelter at the committee meeting. With the retirement dateooming, the board hopes to expedite the process as much asossible, Bullock said. Although the current shelter only provides services for dogs,he new provider also will accept cats. In addition, the shelter hould operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day and be openo the public a minimum of ﬁve days a week for three hours withppointments available in the evening. All materials necessary toperate the shelter will be provided by the new management. Also,perators will only use lethal injection as the means of euthanasiand no animals will be transferred to a Class B dealer for testing.Unclaimed spay and neutered deposits and dog licensing feesill be transferred to the county. Boarding, adoption, disposal andurrender fees will be retained by the shelter.Proposals also should include a liability insurance policy of noess than $300,000 for the county, the site and a drawing of theroposed or existing building, proposed hours of operation and thennual ﬁnancial support required from the county.The DeVries have indicated they would consider selling their helter and property to the new management.Proposals that don’t meet the criteria will not be considered,ullock said. Although the county has contracted with a shelter in the past, it isot a service the county is required to have by law.“For most governmental units, there are things they areonstitutionally obligated to do … and there are things that your itizens expect you to do,” Bullock said. “(An animal shelter) wouldeﬁnitely fall, I believe, into one of those where the majority of our itizens would expect us to participate in.”Bullock has received a number of phone calls inquiring into theequest. Deb Szot, founder of the Riley MacKenzie Fund, and Caterroe, of the Mecosta County Residents for Shelter Pets group,ave also expressed interest in operating a new shelter.If the board signs a ﬁve-year contract with new management, itwill consider allocating funds to purchase or build a new shelter asell as yearly support if proposed.“Exactly what the level of participation will be determined once(the board) looks at a proposal,” Bullock said. “(The board will) say,We really like this proposal. Now we’ll talk dollars and cents.’ Willhey consider the possibility of up-front money? If it’s proposed thent will be considered in whatever the proposal is.” At this point it is the county’s position to contract with an entityo run and operate a shelter like the DeVries did. At the end of theontract, the board will consider signing a contract again with thehelter.“The board has been supporting animal shelters for many yearsnd I’m not aware of any intention to phase out that support (in thefuture),” Bullock said.However, if the new management cannot continue to operate theshelter, the county will need to look at new proposals again.“The ultimate safety net is always redundancy,” Bullock said. “Arewe going to have two shelters? No. Not unless someone else startsone, and it is highly unlikely that that would be supported if we arelready contracting.”The board’s intent is to deal with one entity at the moment.However, if two or more shelters proposed splitting duties at a later date, it is something the county would consider, Bullock said.Proposals will be presented to the committee between 10:30a.m. and noon on Wednesday in room 202 at the Mecosta Countyuilding, located at 400 Elm St. in Big Rapids. To schedule aresentation appointment, contact Bullock at (231) 796-2505 by 4.m. on Monday.For more information, contact Bullock by phone or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTION CONTROL:THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS
(NewsUSA) - The rigors of appearing on the reality TV show TheBiggest Loser led Lisa Mosley to the emotional breakthrough thatempowered her to lose almost 100 pounds. But it was portion controlthat kept her losing weight when she returned home from the set.“I live on the motto “Moderation not deprivation,” she says. “Assoon as I got home from the ranch, I started using a small plateinstead of big dinner plates. It has been extremely successful for me.”Mosley didn’t start gaining weight until she was about 20, whenshe began taking medication for a chronic anxiety disorder. Themedication made her feel like a new person, but within six monthsshe began to gain weight. Over the next 10 years she gained about120 pounds.By 2010, Lisa had suffered several personal setbacks. She hadbeen laid off from her job, had lost her home and had no prospectsto ﬁnd work. The deﬁning moment in her struggle to lose weightcame when she discovered that her daughter had stopped eatingand drinking because she didn’t want to be heavy like her mom.That spurred Lisa to take action, including her willingness to bareher soul on The Biggest Loser.When Lisa left the show, she had dropped 60 pounds. But shecontinued to lose weight, dropping another 37 pounds at home after she learned to control the size of her portions.She recently became the national spokeswoman for Yum YumDishes, sets of hand-painted 4-ounce ceramic bowls. Tracy Adler,mother of two and former restaurant owner, created the bowls tohelp parents and kids control the size of their snacks.“The idea for these dishes is what got me through this,” Mosleysays. “A lot of times when I have entered into diets in the past, I wentinto it thinking I am never going to get a cookie, ice cream, or a pieceof cake again. I was never successful with that,” she adds. “Thesedishes remind you that your life isn’t over and you are not going tobe missing out.”Today Mosley works as a ﬁtness boot camp instructor andpersonal trainer. She weighs about 190 pounds, wears a size 12and is happy with herself.“I am literally a different person,” she says, “not just in how I feelphysically but also how I feel mentally and emotionally.”For more information, visit www.yumyumdishes.com.
SMARTPHONES FEED NEWPARENTAL FEARS
(NewsUSA) - The kids are in school, which means they spendmost of their day without parental supervision. The days whenparents only had to worry about their kids skipping class and gettingbullied for lunch money are gone. Now, new threats have emergedaround cell phone use. According to a survey performed by Internet monitoring softwarecompany SpectorSoft, sexting is parents’ primary concern duringthe school season.“Absolutely,” said Rebecca Hagelin, a parent who usesSpectorSoft to track her three teenagers. “It’s allowed my childrento enjoy all the beneﬁts the latest technology has to offer them, andit’s allowed me to protect them from the dangers of some of the newtechnology,” she said. “It’s a win-win.”Smartphones with advanced Internet capabilities have greatlyincreased parental fears about cyberbullies, online predators,sexting and the exchange of inappropriate messages and pictures.SpectorSoft reports that 82 percent of all families surveyedcontain at least one child who has a smartphone. Even if teachersand school faculty can keep students off their phones during schoolhours, who protects them after school?Bryan Bowers, author of “Keep Your Family Safe Online,” said thatthe survey proves parents are starting to gain greater awareness of what their children are actually up to on their phones and online.“So many children have smartphones, and this tells me parentsare starting to get the idea that these devices can be a problem for children,” Bowers said. “They are starting to see the reality of whatis out there.”SpectorSoft, focused on monitoring products for children sinctheir inception in 1998, has released eBlaster Mobile for Androidand BlackBerry phones. This software keeps track of all activity onthese smartphones by monitoring and recording text messages,calls and Internet activity and then sending that information to thparent. It also has Geofencing capabilities to enable parents tbetter understand the whereabouts of their children through theimobile devices. Parents can create electronic location boundaries-- or fences -- that trigger an alert notiﬁcation when their child entersor exits a pre-deﬁned area with their mobile device.eBlaster is designed for maximum parental convenience andchild safety. The software can be downloaded from its website,www.spectorsoft.com, and then managed from any remote location.Plus, it has a GPS function reporting the exact location of the phonin the event of emergencies.
ARE TEENS PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE?
(NewsUSA) - Among the latest tech gadgets, cell phones andsocial media sites, today’s teen is more connected than ever. Although teens are surrounded by a ﬂurry of electronics and digitalmedia, are they gaining the skills needed to succeed in a technology-driven world? According to the Department of Commerce, students educatedin science, technology, engineering and math at any level make 2percent more money overall than counterparts who have studied inother ﬁelds.Several non-proﬁts and corporations have rallied together thighlight the importance of teaching young people critical digitalliteracy skills.“The access to technology kids get outside of school is oftenan important complement to the learning that happens in thclassrooms,” said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology programat Boys & Girls Clubs of America.Boys & Girls Clubs has a long history of providing educationaland developmental programs for youth in communities nationwide.Through a national partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, its CluTech program provides free software and access to technologlessons to youth of all ages. In 2010 alone, the program reachedover 850,000 kids who learned how to design posters, collaboraton ﬁlm projects and make their own music.Daniel Flores, 16, has participated in Club Tech for two years aBoys & Girls Club of Greater Holland, Mich. He believes the skills his acquiring in graphic design will help him get into an art college andpursue a career one day. In fact, he’s started his own small businesoffering Web and graphic design services.“I wanted to create a business that helps other companies markeand promote their ideas by developing websites, logos and prinmaking,” Flores said. According to a recent study, teens like Flores who participate inafter-school technology programs exhibit a more positive outlook ontheir future. Many also become more positive about ﬁnishing highschool and attending college.“Club Tech is more than just providing computers. We give kidsand teens an opportunity to express themselves artistically andengage with technology in a way that builds conﬁdence and real-world skills,” added Rauzi.
DIGITAL REVOLUTION YIELDS NEWOPPORTUNITY FOR FILMS
(NewsUSA) - Digital distribution revolutionized the music industryto such an extent that it’s still reeling from the transformative poweof mass downloading. As the music industry adjusts to the rockingchanges of the digital wave, the ﬁlm industry is going through its ownset of uncharted waters.Though not without hiccups, digital distribution met widespreadsuccess in the music industry. The digital revolution, however, hasnow shifted focus to the ﬁlm industry with the dawn of Netﬂix, digitalstreaming and video-on-demand.“There’s never been a better time to be in the movie industry,”says Peter Hoffman, CEO of Seven Arts Pictures. “Large studios ar relying on big-budget pictures like 3D titles, but that opens up spacfor independent studios to work on small-budget ﬁlms and capitalizon digital distribution.”Seven Arts embraced the opportunity afforded by digital distributionand staged a digital release for their most recent comedy, “The Pool
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