2008: The year in news
As we wave goodbye to another year, “The Arenac County Independent” is taking a look back at some notable news stories that occurred throughout they year. Browse the following lists and pictures and see if you can remember when the news broke.
Casino opening rings in the New Year
The year 2008 got off to a spinning, ringing and cha-chinging start as the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe opened its doors to the public on Jan. 1 after allowing invites and their guests to actually start playing the slots on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m.
The opening of Standish Township’s largest attraction, the 32,0000 square foot Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino, was definitely an event several local people and out-of-towners were anticipating, as the days following its opening often saw folks waiting in line to get their chance to play.
Charges against former Standish doctor multiply
Dr. William Clay Sokoll, a Royal Oak doctor who once practiced in Standish, was arraigned in December 2007 on charges of two additional counts of controlled substance — inducing person to violate felony, a four-year and/or $2,000 penalty and two additional counts of controlled substance — obtaining by fraud, a four-year and/or $30,000 penalty, on top of other similar charges.
A seven-month investigation by the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Sokoll prescribed narcotics to patients who filled the prescriptions and then gave the drugs to Sokoll in exchange for money.
Before the brush with the law, Sokoll had practiced medicine at 529 East Cedar Street in Standish. He eventually plead guilty to a plea deal laid out by prosecution in April of this year.
Omer bids farewell to mayor, historian
The month of January also saw the passing of Floyd W. Holland II, who passed away Jan. 8 at St. Mary’s of Michigan Standish Hospital.
While many people in Arenac County knew Holland as the mayor of Michigan’s smallest city, many less knew about his background and accomplished life — one that included 21 years of teaching in Panama.
But when Holland moved to Arenac County in 1990, after calling it a career in Panama, he was better known for not letting history slide through the cracks and disappear.
“When he retired he was very active in the (Arenac County) Historical Society,” said Arenac County Clerk Ricky Rockwell. “Floyd loved history and loved the politics of local government.”
After the 73 year old Holland’s death, Alice Sproule took over as Omer’s mayor and continues to serve in that position.
Former paramedic found guilty of CSC
After four days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, a six-man and six-woman jury in Arenac County’s 23rd Circuit Court convicted a former Mobile Medical Response paramedic of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
David Paul Spresny, 42, of Standish, was convicted on the 15-year felony at 10:40 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31, but escaped conviction on three other charges of criminal sexual conduct involving penetration and/or touching.
The case involving Spresny was definitely one being watched by the whole county, as the courtroom was packed everyday the trial was in session.
Spresny was sentenced in March.
Board votes to raise building permit fees
The word wasn’t “official” yet in February, but the slowdown in construction, as evident by the Arenac County Building Department’s low revenue, forced the Board of Commissioners, in conjunction with the Building Department, to raise the cost of plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits from $30 to $90.
An administration fee of $50 also replaced an application fee of $30.
The raise in fees wasn’t the only step taken in 2008 to help maintain the building department, it would be switched to a part-time office later in the year.
Board considers banning phosphorous lawn fertilizers
February also saw the early consideration of banning lawn fertilizers containing phosphorous, which is shown to lead to invasive species and algae when it runs off into a body of water – in this case the Saginaw Bay.
The ban, which was heavily pushed by Commissioner Jane Danjin, who called it a mild resolution, never came to fruition, after a public hearing saw several residents, including members of the Arenac County Conservation District and Arenac County Farm Bureau, speak out against the ordinance. They cited reasons such as the difficulty in policing the ordinance and Arenac County not being the responsible party for the polluted condition of the Bay.
Commissioners eventually voted against the ban 3-2.
Fire destroys 250-year-old home in Omer
Before the month of February came to close, a fire on the 27th engulfed a home adjacent to the Omer City Hall.
The fire caused a detour off of US-23, around Omer’s south side, and may have destroyed the home, but its owner, Virginia Slater, didn’t let her spirit go down in flames with the house that she said was 250 years old.
“I am going to have a new house on that property,” Slater told the Independent.
No one was injured in the fire, which was fought by the Omer-Arenac Fire Department, Standish Area fire Authority, Twining-Mason-Turner Fire Department and the AuGres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department.
Conservation District selects Farm of the Year
At this year’s meeting of the Arenac County Conservation District on Feb. 20, Kenneth Stawowy, of Sterling, received a high honor from the District – “Conservation Farmer of the Year.”
The award is given annually to a farmer, who exemplifies outstanding conservation efforts; youth leadership; and community service.
Stawowy mentioned some of his conservation efforts.
“We have planted 1,000’s of trees for reforestation and wildlife cover, have planted and maintained field strips. … (We) Practice reduced tillage and no-till when practical,” Kenneth said.
Kenneth, who owns 165 acres of land and rents another 160 acres, said he and his wife, Lynda, purchased the farm from Alex and Eleanor Stawowy in the 1970’s. Alex and Eleanor purchased it from Jakob and Catherine Stawowy in the 50’s, who purchased the farm in 1921 when it was only 30 acres.
Car parks inside (pic)
After going off US-23, this car narrowly avoided colliding with several cars in the Standish BP Gas Station Parking lot and slammed into the party store.
Shreddin’ into spring (pic)
Little schools hold strong in science competition
Science Olympiad teams from AuGres-Sims and Arenac Eastern Middle Schools represented the smallest of 15 schools at regional competition hosted by Delta Community College on Saturday, March 15, but turned in some of the biggest results.
Despite competing against the usual collection of Class A and B schools, AuGres-Sims won its third consecutive regional title to earn a trip to the state finals at Michigan State University in late April. Arenac Eastern, in just its second year of Science Olympiad competition, finished fourth in what was a very tight battle for the second-place spot that would have earned AE its first state finals trip.
The Wolverines took the regional title by posting 82 points (low score winning), while annual nemesis Cramer (of Essexville) took second with 104. Northeast (Midland) scored 105, Eastern followed with 107 and Handy (Bay City) was fifth with 134. Only one of the other schools in the competition, Carsonville Port Sanilac, was of Class D size.
Omer roars back with Sucker Derby
On April 5, Omer’s streets and riverbanks were crowded as the inaugural Omer Sucker Derby was held in an attempt to return the small city to its glory days of when it used to host the Omer Sucker Festival.
Children and adults enjoyed a day of fishing and visiting vendors during the one-day event, which featured a competition coordinated by CoolWater Angler.
In 2009, the Sucker Derby is scheduled to return on April 4.
Busy bridge shut down
In Deep River Township a long-term detour was established as the Melita Road Bridge was shut down on April 21.
A bridge replacement was underway, as SL & H, of Corunna, received the work from the Arenac County Road Commission to replace the bridge, which was deemed 50 percent deteriorated, qualifying it to receive critical bridge funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Locals were upset when the bridge closing forced them to take a long detour and grew even more upset when the project wrapped up at the end of September, approximately six weeks behind its scheduled completion date of Aug. 1.
Fishermen rescued by locals in AuGres
When Rich Moore and his friend Stan Mcload came up north and launched their fishing boat off of the Pine River boat launch, the mission was clear — catch fish, have fun, go home.
But Mother Nature and her high winds on Sunday, April 27 must have had something else in mind.
At approximately 10:15 a.m., about two miles off the dock, things started going wrong for Rich, of Otter Lake, and Mcload, of Otisville.
The waves overtook the small fishing boat, sinking it in the shallow waters where it was at, but Rich was lucky enough to save his electronic global positioning system and cell phone from the waters of Saginaw Bay.
He quickly phoned 911 and was put into contact with the U.S. Coast Guard post in Bay City.
And then the waiting game had to be played. Rich said that he and Mcload waited in the sunken boat in 52º F water for about one and a half hour before they were rescued.
“There were two young guys that came and rescued us on the Bay,” Rich said. “They heard it over their scanner.
“They did us good.”
The two young men were Nick Moore and Justin Champagne. Nick, a member of the AuGres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department said that he found out about the situation after his father contacted him.
“My dad’s on the fire department and he called to see if it was us in trouble,” Nick said, adding that he was then paged and told about the sinking boat’s location. “We started that way.”
“I didn’t really know how bad it was till we got there,” Champagne said.
Champagne and Nick, careful to not damage their boat in the shallow area, loaded up Rich and Mcload and transported them to the Point AuGres launch.
Not only people out on the Bay were taking action, though. As soon as the boat arrived at the dock, volunteers from the AuGres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department were waiting.
(pic) Leap of faith — Father James Falsey of St. Mark’s Catholic Church takes a leap of faith May 4, parachuting into an assembled crowd during the AuGres Christian Charities CROP Walk, a walk aimed to raise awareness and funds to help combat hunger. Funds raised during the event benefit the AuGres Christian Charities food panty and world hunger projects under the auspices of the Church World Services CROP.
Survivor visits Arenac Eastern, SSC
Michael Skupin, a contestant on “Survivor: Australian Outback,” now a motivational speaker, paid a visit to Arenac Eastern and Standish-Sterling on May 2.
Skupin, who was a favorite on the show before a freak incident left him burnt and sent him home, talked to students of several different grade and age levels about choices.
Fire rolls along tracks
In Sterling, grass along the railroad tracks on the West side of the Village was noticeably black throughout the month of May as a fire that occurred during the end of April, due to sparks from a train traveling along the tracks, stretched from the Northern Village Limits all the way to Moffatt Township’s Oasis Lake.
Sterling Fire Chief Kevin Kroczaleski estimated the fire stretched roughly five miles, leaving a trail of burnt grass all of May.
Church rolls to new location (pix)
This year, the over-100-year-old Maple Ridge Presbyterian Church was on the brink of being torn down, when it was saved an moved to a new location on the corner of Maple Ridge and Dobler roads in Clayton Township. It now sits next to the historical Berry School, which sits on the same corner. A new steeple was added to the church in July.
Tribe holds two-percent sharing gala
The Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe dished out over $378,543 to local units of government, schools and emergency response units in its first round of two-percent class-three gaming revenue sharing promise with Arenac and Northern Bay counties.
On May 22, several representatives from parties receiving funds gathered at the Saganing Tribal Center to collect checks fro various amounts from the Tribe, who shared profits from the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino.
The big winners in this round of sharing were the four schools near the casino, which received a combined $132,490.
City Manager, Treasurer exposed
A Standish City Council meeting on May 19 held some surprises for the public in attendance, as the last agenda item turned into a verbal sparring match between former City Manager Tori Kelly and City Council.
City Council had alleged that Kelly and City Treasurer Melissa McAllister had misappropriated city funds and done other things inside City Hall that would reflect negatively on the city and its employees.
Two days after the Council meeting, on May 21, Kelly and McAllister were suspended with pay. Both were eventually fired on Oct. 8 after an investigation brought several deeds of misconduct and to light and further exposed instances of misappropriating funds.
Yenior accepted into Naval Academy (pic)
U.S. Naval Academy Blue and Gold Officer Mike Meier recognizes David Yenior (left) with an appointment to the Naval Academy at the Standish-Sterling Central High School senior banquet on May 29.
Storms strike early and often
Mother Nature was relentless from June 7-9, leaving many trees uprooted and snapped and homes powerless in Arenac County.
In a series of updated releases from Consumer’s Energy that started at 10 p.m. on June 7, Consumer’s Energy alerted emergency warning services of the treacherous winds, pouring rain and dangerous lightning.
The 10 p.m. release said that there were approximately 130 homes in the Standish area without power, but a 7 a.m. news release on Sunday, June 8, showed the highest number of local homes without power when it stated that 600 homes in the Standish area were without electricity.
By 4 a.m. on Monday, June 9, the release showed some good news when it reported 200 customers without power.
But at 11 a.m. on Monday, the Consumer’s news release said the number had increased to 450 homes.
Adams Township unveils hall monument
An Adams Brand Leaning Road Grader Model 31 is said to be the oldest piece of road construction equipment in Adams Township. According to Hubert Fisk, Adams Township Supervisor, the grader is going to take a rest from its many years of tough work, to become part of a monument.
“I call it (the monument) a display of history,” said Hubert Fisk, adding, “Young folks don’t know this is how the roads began.”
The monument will consist of the century old grader, and six fiberglass horses, which were transported from Fiber Stock, Inc. of Buffalo, Minn. to Adams Township by Hubert. The pavilion that shelters the monument was constructed nearly two years ago.
The total cost of the monument was about $8,000. According to Hubert, the funds for the monument were generated in the past when 80 acres of red pines were forested and sold for $60,000 in the 1940’s.The Adams Township Board used part of the $60,000 to fund the construction of the monument.
Powwow comes to Standish Township (pic)
On June 28, the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe celebrated its annual Powwow in Standish Township on the Saganing reservation.
Circuit Court Judge race gets heated
July welcomed not only hot temperatures, but hot candidates for the 23rd Circuit Court Judge race, as incumbents Judge Ronald Bergeron and Judge William Myles began a seesaw match with challenger Christopher Martin, a Tawas attorney, over whom belonged on the ballot this November.
Martin ended up having to run as a write-in, and was unsuccessful, but who could convey the candidates’ feelings better than themselves? The following quotes were taken from Bergeron and Martin for an “Arenac County Independent” article in July.
“Mr. Martin filed a lawsuit and ended up with this injunctive order to put him on the ballot. … It’s Judge Myles and my position that he can’t,” Bergeron said. “We’ll have to see who the appellate courts (Supreme Court) agree with. … Judge Myles and I believe the election law has to be applied.
“If this order holds, the Michigan election law will be in mass chaos because it’ll be a horrible precedent to set. … I don’t think we want to go there.”
“That (lack of signatures) doesn’t give them an interest in this case. … This was between me and the Secretary of State. No court told them that they had standing in this case,” Martin said. “The only real fact that that the two judges put forth as to not wanting me on the ballot is so that they don’t have to go out and campaign.
“It would be too burdensome for them. That’s what they’re saying their interest is,” Martin added.
“I would not want to be stuck to the coattails of either one of those guys. … When you have the two highest words as to what is right in four counties hiding and manipulating, there is something wrong,” Martin also said.
Festivals, good times abound
Even though things were getting nasty on the campaign trail, Arenac County had its fair share of fun in the month of July. There was the Arenac County Fair, which allowed several kids to sell livestock and animals; and the AuGres Cruisers Car Club Cruise and Car Show, which attracted hundreds and hundreds of people as it packed the City of AuGres.
MediLodge CNA gets prestigious award
On Monday, July 21, Sheila Hunt, MediLodge Certified Nurse’s Assistant, was announced CNA of the year by the Health Care Association of Michigan.
“She (Hunt) is so humble,” said MediLodge Administrator Dean Rumsey. “She carries herself with grace.” Rumsey says Hunt cares for her residents so much she can be seen at MediLodge almost everyday.
“Shelia has not called in sick in the last year,” Rumsey said. “Shelia comes in on her days off.”
Rumsey attributes her love for the residents and her dedication to them as honorable qualities that contributed to her achievement.
A ceremony honoring Hunt was held at MediLodge in August.
Pirate Festival commandeers AuGres (pics)
Aug. 2 saw the peaceful little city of AuGres infiltrated by rum-drinking sword-fighting pirates during the AuGres Pirate Festival, an annual event hosted every summer by the non-profit group the Riff-Raff Crew.
Relay for Life
The same weekend as the Pirate Festival, on the Western end of the county, Relay for Lifers battled for a cure for cancer as they constantly circled the Arenac County Fairgrounds to work with the American Cancer Society in order to raise funds to fight for a cure.
Let’s get ready to vote
Even though August started out with feel-good events like Relay for Life and the Pirate Festival, the election still made its way to the forefront, as Aug. 5 saw local voters heading to the polls to cast their votes in the county primary.
Some of the memorable results of the August primary were former Sheriff, and now Sheriff-elect James Mosciski garnering more votes than his opponent on the Republican side Robert Fitzgerald, a former UnderSheriff of Sheriff Ronald Bouldin and Mosciski; and Democratic challenger Gary Foco beating Bouldin in the primary, ensuring a new sheriff in the year 2009.
Also, County Commissioner Jan Stressman was defeated in the primary by fellow Democrat Mike Snyder, making Snyder one of two new commissioners for next year.
Tragedy strikes as August nears its end
Many of the good times in August were negated, especially in the AuGres area, when AuGres-Sims senior Ashley Irwin was killed in a fata car crash on US-23.
“Everything in her world was just turning perfect and this happened,” said Ashley’s aunt Shirley Wegener, of Kawkawlin. “The coach just made her captain of the volleyball team. … She took some awards in the (Ogemaw County) fair.”
Cindy Irwin, Ashley’s mother, a Mary Kay sales distributor, Ashley shared an enormous interest in Cindy’s work.
“She was my little Mary Kay girl,” Cindy said, adding she would often bring home boxes of products which Ashley loved rummaging through. “Next thing I knew I’d have an empty box. … She loved hanging out with me and doing Mary Kay.”
Cindy added Ashley was waiting anxiously to turn 18 so she too could sell Mary Kay and she also planned on attending Michigan State University to become a veterinarian.
And while Ashley’s family, including her father, Daryl Irwin; siblings, Emily, Chelsea and James; grandparents, Herman and Mable Meyer; and uncle, Bob Wegener (Shirley’s husband) mourn the loss of a sister, daughter, granddaughter and niece, AuGres-Sims High School (AGS) students are also dealing with the shock of returning to school with one less classmate.
“It’s a horrible, horrible thing that happened,” said AGS Superintendent Gary Marchel. “It’s been tough in particular for the seniors and the high schoolers on the volleyball team.”
The Aug. 28 accident, which occurred on US-23 at approximately 11 a.m. also involved two other drivers and vehicles. According to a press release from the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department, a semi truck in the northbound lane, the same lane Ashley was driving in, driven by John Steyma (age and location unavailable) was also involved. Sheriff Ronald Bouldin says to avoid hitting the semi truck, Ashley veered across the centerline and collided with a van driven by Jeheova Calleja, of Turner.
DNR bans baiting and feeding
Probably one of the most controversial moves made all year was by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
On Aug. 26 the DNR imposed a Lower Peninsula ban on feeding or baiting deer due to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive deer in Kent County.
And in Arenac County, a county with several deer feed vendors, a county where nearly all gas stations sell bags of carrots and sugar beets during the autumn months, the ban isn’t being viewed positively.
“It’s going to hurt us bad,” said Mark Foster , owner of Dean’s Bait and Hunting Supplies of Alger. “In our fall business, I’d say it’s (feed sales) 35 to 40 percent. … I’ve been in business for 20 years on my own and this is the worst year with this economy and then this comes along.”
State Rep. Tim Moore (R-Farwell) also voiced displeasure with the ban, saying he met with a feed vendor who spent $50,000 to stock up on feed for hunting season.
“For the DNR to come out a month before he can actually start selling it and say ‘you can’t do this,’ he’s going to be out $50,000,” Moore said. “I just feel bad for these people.”
But not only feed vendors will feel the sting, according to Foster. He says the sugar beet farmer he purchases beets from will also feel the pain of the ban, since the farmer is contracted to sell only a certain amount of sugar beets to the Michigan Sugar Beet Company per year.
Middle School gets fishy
In September, it started to be reported that Standish-Sterling Middle School classrooms would be welcoming some new friends – salmon eggs.
Tanks, chillers, pumps and filters were installed in two classrooms, and later eggs were brought in so the students could monitor the growth and development of the fish, which the classes are planning to release into the Rifle River.
Board makes motion to fire Emergency Management Coordinator
In late 2007, Ed Rohn, Arenac County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, was recognized at a state conference as the Local Coordinator of the Year in a community with less than 60,000 people.
Less than a year later, Rohn could be looking at losing his position altogether after a motion made on Sept. 23 by Arenac County Commissioner Jan Stressman attempted to remove Rohn and replace him with current Arenac County Sheriff Ronald Bouldin.
Stressman’s motion was seconded, but later tabled.
In October, Rohn appeared before the board, and with several supporters behind him, the Commissioners turned down the motion to fire him.
Consolidation talks begin
The current AuGres-Sims School District (AGS) K-12 building has been welcoming AuGres area students since 1948. Arenac-Eastern School District’s (AE) K-12 building was built somewhere around 1946 – a combined 122 years of history.
But after an Oct. 13 AGS Board of Education meeting, the prospect of the two districts consolidating is growing.
AGS Superintendent Ga-ry Marchel says since he plans on retiring on June 30, 2009, the board was originally planning on contacting AE regarding a dual superintendency.
But a comment from a citizen in attendance lead to a discussion about the possibility of a closer partnership.
According to Marchel, said citizen asked “Why don’t we just consolidate the districts?” From there, he says the board had a serious discussion regarding the issue.
Next, Marchel says he contacted AE Superintendent Rocky Aldrich about the possibility of combining the districts. Aldrich passed the word along to the AE Board of Education.
“I contacted my board last week and let them know AuGres was interested in meeting with our board and doing this,” Aldrich said, adding the talks of consolidation are really nothing new. “These talks have been going on [since] before I got here four years ago.”
However, four years ago, the districts weren’t as financially strapped as now. Also, AGS wasn’t short of a Spanish teacher, principal and art teacher. AE is also missing an administrator that took a position at a different district this year.
Arenac County, meet Tyler Adams
On what was supposed to be a normal boating trip this past August, 13-year-old Sterling native Tyler Adams’ life would change forever.
While tubing with his father, Scott Adams, on Sage Lake in West Branch, the knot connecting the tube to the boat started to loosen. Trying to fix the knot, the rope tightened around Tyler’s left leg, picking him up and tossing him some 15 feet in the air. Immediately, Scott stopped the boat and rushed to Tyler’s side.
“He said ‘Dad, I think my leg’s broke,’” Scott said. “I looked at his leg and it didn’t look good.”
Not being able to receive a signal on his cell phone, Scott says he proceeded to rush Tyler to the West Branch Regional Medical Center where he was then airlifted to a Detroit children’s hospital. Doctors worked on Tyler’s leg for two days and tried to get the blood flowing again. In the end though, there was nothing doctors could do to save it and notified Scott and Tyler the leg would need to be amputated below the knee.
According to Scott, Tyler was strong throughout the process and almost unphased.
“As soon as we got the news I started to cry,” Scott said. “Tyler reached over, put a hand on my back and told me it would be okay.
“The first question he had for the doctor was ‘Can I have a steel foot?’”
Tyler, an eighth grade student at Standish-Sterling Middle School (SSMS), says that a higher power and those around him have kept him strong. His family which serves as his support system, consists of Scott, dad; Janet, stepmother; Jolene, mother; Joseph and Scott, brothers; Taylor, Morgan and Hilary, sisters; and grandparents, Neil/Maryann Adams and Leonard/Louise Chaltraw.
“God’s been a big part helping me through this,” Tyler said. “My family and friends have been there too.”
According to Scott, Tyler has a strong faith and recently said maybe this was God’s Plan for him as a way to help others through his faith.
Tyler says fellow students in school have helped any way possible, too.
“I have people that carry my books for me,” Tyler said. “At lunch I get to get out early too.”
Tyler says he liked to play basketball and baseball and enjoyed outdoor recreational activities before the accident.
“I like to hunt and fish and go boating,” Tyler said. “I can’t play basketball or baseball anymore though.”
But Tyler’s love of the outdoors hasn’t been hampered, since the SSMS student was featured in the Oct. 8 issue of “The Arenac County Independent” with a picture of a deer he shot during the statewide youth hunt.
All about the election
Nov. 5 was a historic day nationally as the first President of African-American descent was elected in the U.S. Democratic candidate Barack Obama more than doubled the amount of electoral votes garnered by his opponent, Republican Senator John McCain. Obama takes office Jan. 20.
Locally, a new sheriff, James Mosciski; Drain Commissioner, Larry Davis; and Road Commissioner, David Robinson, were elected.
Gas prices bring relief
The front page of the Nov. 12 edition of “The Arenac County Independent” had a welcome sight, as it showed gas prices dropping under $2 for the first time approximately two years. Gas prices peaked this summer, with local prices exceeding $4 at times.
The Standish-Sterling Panthers’ dream season came to a halt in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division Five football semifinals, but in the community pride flourished for over three months as the Panthers racked up a perfect regular season and brought home the school’s first-ever Regional Championship. Winning the Regional Championship was also no small feat, as the Panthers made an improbable comeback against Gladstone in the third round of the playoffs.
Showing the money again
November closed with a second round of two-percent sharing courtesy the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, as over $700,000 was distributed this time.
SSMS students give the gift of warmth
After reading about an athlete’s generosity, Standish-Sterling Middle School students in the fifth grade decided they wanted to help out others during the holidays. All fifth graders played a part in making lap blankets to be delivered to elderly people at St. Mary’s Skilled Nursing Facility in Standish and MediLodge of Sterling.
Local farmer honored by Farm Bureau
Clayton Township farmer Victor Daniels Jr. was honored by the Michigan Farm Bureau for his innovative thinking in creating the cow hip-lift swivel, which assists in up-righting and moving cows with injuries.
Hale Road easement deemed public
On Dec. 17, 23rd Circuit Court Judge William Myles had the final say on whether or not an easement used by fishermen and hunters for decades at the South end of Hale Road in Arenac Township was public or private land. Ultimately, after visiting the area, Myles ordered the land public and told defendants who had placed barriers at its entrance to remove the blockade.