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Class treks to Utah for spring break DSU instructors, students to document ultimate adventure BY KEITH WOOD The Cleveland Current Senior Writer
Twelve DSU students and instructors Todd and Krista Davis will load up in a travel bus and trek west to Moab, Utah, on March 13 for a week of bicycle trail riding and rock climbing. The trip is part of DSU’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation program. Davis, a graduate of the University of Idaho, the Recreation Leadership Program Coordinator/Outdoor Recreation Director explained the details of the trip. “We took this trip last year, and I would like to make this an annual outing. This will be a 3,200 mile round-trip. It will take around 19 hours just to get there,” he said. “The
students will be monitoring their caloric intake and output and keeping records on how many miles they will bike per day. When we return, they will each create a PowerPoint presentation of their trip documenting what they did. Their wrist monitors can be directly uploaded into our computer program. They can even get satellite photos of where they traveled from Google Earth.” The students will each wear a wristband and heart rate monitor. “The watchbands will calculate their caloric burn, travel rate, distance, altitude, etc. Pretty much anything a GPS system will do,” said Davis. “The students will keep UTAH continued, PAGE A14
Matthew Wood/The Cleveland Current
The group will bike and climb their way across Utah for a week.
SALUTE FOR SERVICE: Post Commander Billy Fly and the VFW are integral components of the community. They not only aid current soldiers, they assist all in need.
VFW Patty Rice Post 4800 Veterans stick together for community service BY KEITH WOOD
and donate services and funds to many causes, like veterans assistance and the Mississippi Firefighters Burn Center. We are also assisted with the elderly at various nursing homes by the Lady’s Auxiliary.” Elsie Carrol of the Lady’s Auxiliary stated, “We have nursing home bingo parties on the second Sunday of every month. We have eight of them in the area and try to visit them all at least once per year. We take and serve refreshments and offer $50 prizes at the bingo games.” The VFW also sponsors and supports the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. “We have six Eagle Scouts in our troop that will be up for the honor court on March 7, 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Cleveland,” Fly said. Carrol added, “It’s so interesting and exciting to watch these young men grow. They started out here, and every year the VFW sponsors their ban-
The Cleveland Current Senior Writer
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, along with its Auxiliaries, have approximately 2.2 million members at 8,100 posts around the world. The VFW’s mission statement is to “honor the dead by helping the living.” They achieve this through veterans’ service, community service, a strong national defense and national security. Originally formed in the early 1900s by veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Phillipine Insurrection, local organizations were founded to help secure rights and benefits of servicemen. By 1915, VFW membership was 5,000, and by 1936, enrollment numbers reached almost 200,000. In Cleveland, the Patty Rice Post 4800, is headed currently by Post Commander Billy Fly. “At this time, we have approximately 100 members,” said Fly. “We are a charitable organization
Currently there are 2.2 million members across the country who are members of the VFW.
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Green thumbs offer helpful Spring tips Upcoming season has gardeners geared for planting BY KEITH WOOD The Cleveland Current Senior Writer
Those ready for spring planting should prepare for hard work.
It is fast approaching the time of the year when people like to work in their yard. To most of us, that means pulling the lawnmower or weed-eater out of the cobwebs and spending most of our time trying to get them started after their winter hibernation. Some are satisfied with just mowing and edging, while others like to add a bit of variety and color to their property. There are particular types of plants for different areas of sun and shade, as well as soil types. Jane Dunlap, one of Cleveland’s top-notch gardeners offered her advice. “There are hundreds of things one can learn that will help them with their plants,” she said. “First of all, you have got to want to garden. It is not an easy task some-
times and it will require your involvement quite a bit, because weeds and grass grow just as well or better than your plants. You need to know what types will grow in the summer and what types will grow in winter. There are also plants that thrive in the shade and others that like sunshine. Some plants need plenty of water, while others like to grow in fairly dry soil.” Soil selection is also important. The soil needs to be prepared wherever a person decides to plant. Some types of plants need alkaline soil and some require acidic soil. The first thing to decide is where to plant. Is it in a sunny section or is there shade? That will determine the types of plants that will grow well there. The second thing is to decide what to plant. Dunlap said, “There are different
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SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2010
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The Patty Rice Post 4800 has been honored with multiple achievements and awards for outstanding service to the community.
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quet. A $5,000 scholarship is awarded each year to the Scout of the Year. The VFW also contributes funds to local baseball and bowling teams.” Operation Uplink is one of the programs the VFW is currently involved in. “In 1996, the VFW began the program, which provides free phone time to activeduty military personnel and hospitalized veterans,” Fly explained. According to VFW information, the program originally provided calling cards to deployed and hospitalized troops. Due to the popularity of the program, on Mother’s Day, 2006, the program was able to begin hosting “Free Call Days,” with help from corporate sponsors like Sport Clips and the United Auto Workers-General Motors. Once per month, on a designated day, deployed service members placing calls to the U.S. from their local Morale Welfare and Recreation Center are greeted by a recording that informs them that their calls will be free courtesy of Operation Uplink. Currently, the program is of-
fered at over 866 locations. In 2008, the VFW got the GI Bill for the 21st Century passed. This bill expanded educational benefits to active-duty service members and members of the National Guard and reserves who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We also are involved in sponsoring the Voice of Democracy competition,” Fly said. “It is an audio essay competition that is held every year. It covers students from grades 9-12, with the first place winner receiving a $30,000 scholarship. Also, there is the Patriot’s Pen competition, which is annually awarded to 7th and 8th graders in a written essay contest. The first place winner for that event receives a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond.” Other programs supported by the VFW include the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service, which annually donates over one million hours of service at VA medical facilities. They also average a donation of $100,000 to the March of Dimes. The Military Assistance Program (MAP) receives benefit information, family assistance and employment guidance from VFW National Headquar-
ters. “We also are involved with the Buddy Poppy Program,” Fly commented. “It began as disabled veterans assembling the artificial red flowers, then the flowers were distributed, with a suggested donation price of $1. The funds are designated for Post relief funds to help veterans in need and to help maintain the VFW National Home for Children, which is located in Michigan.” VFW statistics show that since 1922, the Buddy Poppy Program has distributed over 1 billion flowers. “We just want the community to know that we are here to support our veterans,” Fly continued. “We may be able to assist them or their families in ways that they may not know about. All they need to do is contact us, and we will give them any aid that we can.” Freedom is not free, nor is the task of taking care of service personnel. The next time you see a VFW sponsored event, or any event concerning our military members, please remember that the money you make is made possible only from the services of our current and former veterans that keep America free.
needs for different people. Are they trying to grow vegetables to eat? Do they want colorful plants to improve their landscape appearance? Will they want plants that can be cut and used for flower arrangements? All of these things need to be taken into consideration.” Bob Wilbanks, who arranges flowers for Neysa’s Fireside Shop, offered these suggestions, “Use a raised bed for planting. A raised bed is when a space is prepared by placing old railroad ties or lumber around the space, laying down a protective cover, then putting
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logs of all their statistics during the week and will be able to show just how much caloric burn/intake they need to function when riding the trails or climbing rocks.” The group will also monitor the types of food they eat. “My wife, Krista is in the Nutrition/Dietetic Program, and we will cook our own food. The point is to avoid junk food and provide healthy nutrition that not only will provide the energy needed, but taste good, too. The point is to show them that exercise can come in a variety of forms, not necessarily a treadmill or weight room,” he noted. The group will carry all the equipment needed for the trip with them. “We have our own mountain bikes, maintenance equipment and rock climbing gear which is provided by DSU. We will instruct them on proper maintenance procedures for the bikes. How to change a
THE CLEVELAND CURRENT soil in so that the soil area is around six inches above the rest of the yard. A raised bed allows you to control the amount of water for the plants, and also will aid in keeping the weeds from invading your garden,” he said. He also noted that a raised bed garden is good for vegetables. “Tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons grow well in this type of environment. They are very moisture sensitive. If they receive too much water, they will begin to rot. And, of course, too little water and they will wither,” said Wilbanks. Those in the business of lawn maintenance and landscaping are prepared
for the season’s arrival. Josh Mitchell of The Joshua Tree Lawn & Garden offered this advice on getting any landscaping or lawn maintenance done. “People forget to sharpen their mower blades. When they don’t need it anymore they just put it up and forget about it. The next year they begin mowing with a dull blade. That is one of the worst ways to care for your grass. A dull blade can cause tearing at the root level, causing grass to die. In addition, the lawn is more susceptible to insects and diseases when it does not have a good cut on it.”
flat tire, or repair a broken chain, fix the brakes, all of these are things they will need to know. Some may already be more educated than others, but everyone will be shown what to do and how to do it,” Davis said. Lodging will be done at a campground. “We will carry enough tents and sleeping bags for everyone,” said Davis. “In the evenings we will sit around and discuss the day’s events and the upcoming day’s itinerary. If the weather is bad or becomes very cold, cabins are available to us.” “We will be showing how to utilize the ‘Leave No Trace’ method. All containers will have to be either recycled locally or rinsed and reused throughout the trip. As a matter of fact, we are allowed only one large garbage bag for the whole group during the entire trip. We want them to realize the importance of leaving the environment the way we found it, so that others may enjoy it as
well. For example, if they buy a soft drink in a container, they will be keeping it with them for the whole trip and reusing it, if possible. Food wrappers and other waste products will have to be treated accordingly. The point is to get as much out of the trip as they can while using as little as possible,” detailed Davis. The students will receive three credit hours for the trip, and the price is approximately $375 per student. “That amount will cover food, fuel and any other expenses during the trip. Really, its cheaper than going through a travel agency,” Davis stated. The HPER program will also be offering a Mississippi River Canoe Expedition during the upcoming Easter Break, as well as a rock-climbing trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in May. For more info on the HPER program, contact Todd Davis at (662) 846-4570 or visit DSU’s Web site, www.deltastate.edu.