Main Menu

May, 2016


Lady Warriors Softball Recap

Share Button

Sammy Niehaus

The Lady Warriors had quite the week of softball. They played 8 games in 5 days, and overcame many obstacles to show their determination, perseverance and trust in each other. Sophomore pitcher Hailey Roy did a phenomenal job in the circle for the Lady Warriors, and earned every bit of her weekend off.

On Monday, Grass Lake traveled to Manchester for a conference match up. The Lady Warriors won game 1 with a score of 21-2, and game 2’s score was 8-5. Justice Ruggles, Theresa Rankin, Abby Niehaus, and Ella Suliman lead the Warriors offensively. Hailey Roy hit a 2-run home run, and Maddie Turner hit well and was responsible for runs scored. Mckenze Thompson also added hits for Grass Lake in both games.

On Wednesday, Grass Lake welcomed Concord to town. Hailey Roy struck out 11 batters in game 1, while sophomore Justice Ruggles pitched game 2 and struck out 5. The Lady Warriors won both games for the sweep! Justice Ruggles hit a 3-run homerun after Mckenze Thompson hit a double followed by back-to-back singles from Ella Suliman and Abby Niehaus. Maddie Maynard, Maddie Turner, Theresa Rankin and Maddy Brunt also hit for the Warriors.

On Thursday, Cascades Conference rival, Napoleon visited town in front of a sellout crowd. The Pirates were too much offensively for the Warriors, who played great defense, but couldn’t recover with the right combination of enough hits and runs. Game 1 was a 14-0 shut out after Napoleon had 3 players hit home runs. In game 2, Napoleon jumped to an early lead, but Grass Lake fought back. The Lady Warriors started a great comeback but just fell short and dropped game 2 with the score of 6-7.

On Friday, Grass Lake, missing 4 starters, played Whitmore Lake. Grass Lake swept the visiting team. Freshman Abby Fullerton came up from the JV team to hit an inside the park home run that helped the Warriors offensively. Hailey Roy struck out 12 batters in the victories. Maddie Turner hit a grand slam and a triple, while Abby Niehaus also added a triple and a double. Hailey Roy also hit a double, as the team picked up 23 walks in both games.

The Lady Warriors are now 25-3 on the season and will play Morenci, and Vandercook Lake this week.

Meet the candidates- Thomas Brennan

Share Button

Raymond Tucker Cordani

There is an old saying that says if you want something done ask a busy man to do it.  First-term township trustee Thomas Brennan is a busy guy.  He owns Brennan Racing and Performance, a snowmobile repair shop, and is co-owner of the Apple Creek Campground with his mother, Mary Ann Brennan, on Orban Road.  Brennan, 35, hopes that Grass Lake voters will elect him to a second term as a trustee.   

This profile begins a series of articles centering on the eleven candidates running for office in the Grass Lake Township primary election on the second of August.  Former township supervisor and former Grass Lake Village president Bruce Maxson wants to resume his former position as township supervisor and is running against three-term incumbent James Stormont.  Four incumbent members of the board of trustees—Scott Bray, Brennan, Danny Hart, and John Lesinski—are challenged by Gregory Cagney, Sr., William Lester, and James Warbritton.  While not exactly a cage match the outcome of the elections will determine the degree of direction of commercial and residential growth and prosperity in the community, a balance of preserving Grass Lake’s rural character and moving into the future responsibly.      

Township clerk Cathy Zenz and treasurer Thomas Loveland, both incumbents, are running unopposed.  All office seekers are running on the Republican ticket.  The Grass Lake Times published a primary election overview in its May 19 edition.  Between now and mid-summer the Times will publish individual features on each candidate.

Tom Brennan is a man of character, energy, and conviction.  You might think that he would be difficult to pin down, with his job of maintaining the 125-acre campground, his racing franchise, his family, wife Katie and their 11-year-old daughter Katrina.  When does a man who works 60-100 hours a week  in-season have time to grant an interview to a reporter?  We are next-door neighbors.  As I write this I hear the sound of his Boss machine buzz-sawing up and down the dirt road leading toward the campground. Brennan not only went on record but also offered a tour of the tidy campsite, a crown jewel in the area, no less than the lake north of the village from which Grass Lake derives its name.

Originally from the Land of Lincoln, Brennan moved to Michigan in 2001 where his family purchased the campground. Upon his father’s passing in 2005, Brennan inherited 50% ownership.

In college he studied mechanical engineering and he divides his time between his racing business and preparing the campground for Memorial Day and the summer season.  “I don’t think I could sit at a desk all day,” he says.  He describes the popular campground as “family friendly, not a party camp.  It’s kid-based with an ‘up north feeling’ but closer to home.”

Brennan is unassuming, doesn’t see incumbency as a guarantee for reelection.  “There are some pretty big names on the ballot,” he says.  “But I hope that everybody gets out and votes (in August).”

“You’re vote is powerful,” he continues.  “The smaller the town the more powerful the vote.”  Brennan also serves on the election commission with Zenz and fellow trustee Lesinski.

The campground owner ran for the position on the board of trustees in 2012 because it was “begging for fresh blood,” says the fiscal conservative.  “I don’t support raising taxes—I grit my teeth when I think of them,” though he did vote for the May 3rd ballot initiative to raise the surcharge increase to improve Jackson County’s 911 services.  The vote passed, enabling the sheriff to increase the number of 911 staffers and upgrade communication equipment.  Brennan wasn’t thinking so much with his wallet as he was the safety of his family and the welfare of Jackson County residents.     

In January of 2015 Brennan gained a new lease on life after suffering severe injuries from a snowmobile crash.  The accident, he says, “really laid me up.”  He suffered multiple fractures when his machine slammed into a tree at 99 mph.  “It was a pivotal moment in my life,” he says.  “I don’t take it for granted—I just about died.”   

As a trustee Brennan welcomes growth but says there must be a balance between commercial and residential development.  “I support people moving to Grass Lake and without new businesses we can only go so far.”

Brennan has a bright future as a business owner and a servant in the family friendly community of the Township of Grass Lake.

Hundreds Bike to School

Share Button

Aubrey Martinson

Over 75 children and their families rode their bikes to George Long Elementary School on Wednesday, May 18 in celebration of Bike to School Day.  According to an email sent to families from George Long Elementary, Bike to School Day was established after the overwhelming success of Walk to School Day, which has been an annual international event since 1997.

All 3 schools participated in Bike to School Day.

Students that live too far to bike met up at the Grass Lake Methodist Church Parking Lot as well as the Grass Lake Baptist Church on Michigan Avenue.

Once students parked their bicycles, they were then directed inside to see JoAnn Karle, health/sciences teacher at George Long Elementary and Michelle Clark, principal of George Long Elementary to enter their name in a drawing to win one of several bike helmets.  The helmets were provided by Bell products and the Safe Kids Coalition.  The grant for these helmets was procured by a Health Educator from the University of Michigan Pediatric Trauma/Injury Prevention Department.

Meet the GL Times Staff

Share Button

Raymond Tucker Cordani

Here we grow again.  The Grass Lake Times has hired Kathleen Dulac as the newspaper’s advertising account manager, bringing the number of members on the staff to four.  Publisher Scott Bray and his wife Karla purchased the Times from former publisher Alex Weddon in March.  Since then the staff has doubled, hiring Kathy to sell ad space and me to write news and feature stories.  Kathy and I began our jobs two weeks ago.  The possibilities in the newsroom and the advertising office are endless.

Kathy and I met over iced tea at the Clear Lake Grill on Friday not far from her home in Waterloo Township.  We shared our experiences in our respective disciplines.  During our hour-long conversation she conveyed to me her personal and professional background.  In last week’s edition I wrote my own rap sheet to introduce myself to the community.  Now it’s her turn.

Kathy was born in Detroit but moved around a bit until she returned to Michigan to raise her family.  Her career was in sales and management in the consumer product industry.  She describes her career as “self-directed” but she does thrive on collaboration.  After the interview she emailed me a story tip.  Talk about a team player.  Depth and versatility is an asset in every enterprise.    

Her ethos regarding her industry is realistic and shrewd.  “If you’re not out there making friends you may become an order-taker but you’ll never become a salesperson.  This applies to any sales, such as my new position at the Grass Lake Times.” She intends to be the “point person for ads by juggling things around, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and following potential accounts.” In that case, the advertising and editorial departments are on the same page.        

“I like to be busy,” Kathy says.  “I wasn’t busy enough in retirement.  So I sought a close-by opportunity and landed with this newspaper.”  In that regard our joining the Times seems to have been fate’s hand.  We both made random inquiries to the Brays relative to our area of expertise: Kathy in selling ads and me putting words on paper to illustrate the spirit and character of Grass Lake.

Though Kathy originally came from the Motor City she describes herself as “not ever having been a city girl.  I prefer the small-town atmosphere and local independent business.  Working ‘Mom and Pop’ is preferable to a large company because of the direct communication with and without the red tape.  I’m afforded some autonomy and this is where I live.  A new adventure is happily before me.”

Advertising space with the Times is first-come-first-serve and Kathy is looking to grow the venture.

Human beings are not meant to sit still.  Following retirement Kathy volunteered at her church once a week while donating her time to other organizations in the area and plying her avocation as a photographer.

Area businesses can look forward to hearing from the Times’s new advertising account manager to discuss your publicity needs.  The city girl with the country girl heart would like to hear from you

Welcome aboard, Kathy!

Busier Than Normal Week for GL Veterans

Share Button

Scott Bray

Grass Lake Veterans from American Legion Post 252  and VFW Post 10194 worked together Monday evening to install a new memorial, the Soldier’s Cross  at the Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Grass Lake.

The Soldier’s Cross will be dedicated during the Memorial Day Remembrances on Monday at 10:00 am.

The Soldier’s Cross, or Battlefield Cross is a visible reminder of the fallen soldier. The helmet and identification tags signify the fallen soldier, their names never to be forgotten. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer, a break in the action to pay tribute to our friend. The combat boots, worn and dirty, represents the final march of the soldier’s last battle.

More than a dozen veterans and spectators were present as the Soldier’s Cross was meticulously placed on Monday. The 600+ lb of marble was lifted to the edge by Paul Lammers using the Village’s small tractor with forks attached. Once it was close enough, it was muscled into place, then measured, adjusted, muscled over and over until it was precisely placed. There were plenty of advice being offered on the best way to move it, or how much it needed to go this way or that. All in good humor, when one veteran said that was close enough, Skip Freysinger replied “Close enough for Navy.” while continuing to measure.

The marble, measuring 20x22x15 was brought back from Grand Rapids by Chris Sherwood where the statutues had been taken so the holes could be measured precisely.

This project began about 6 months ago when the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus approached the VFW and Americal Legion. The Knights of Columbus will be present for Monday’s dedication. The Veterns needed to raise approximately $8,000 to cover the cost of the marble, the plaque, the statue and the necessary supplies.

Rex Murock, retired Navy has done a lot of restoration and clean-up to the Veteran’s Memorial, power washing multiple times, wire brushing and repainting the steps and trim, cleaning up the Honor Roll signs and much more.

Monday’s Memorial Day Remembrance includes the statue dedication and will be followed by a procession to the Maple Grove Cemetery on the west side of town (along Wolf Lake Rd).

Veterans placed over 400 American Flags at the graves of veteran’s in the Grass Lake cemetaries this year.

According to proper flag etiquette “At the moment the flag passes in a parade or procession, all persons should show respect by standing at attention facing the flag with their right hand over their hearts. Military personnel or veterans should face the flag and render their formal salute. During a parade it is appropriate to salute only the first US Flag.”

While it’s ok for the ladies, men and boys should remove their hats, too.

Previous related article: Soldier’s Cross

Annual Charity Golf Outing Supporting Youth Recreation

Share Button

The 9th annual Grass Lake Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing is slated for Friday, June 10th, 2016 at beautiful Calderone Golf Club in Grass Lake. The 4-person scramble has been a great success over the years, raising over $45k for youth recreation. Almost all of that has been used by Grass Lake Summer Youth League and American Youth Soccer Organization for the continued development of the Grass Lake Community Sports & Trails Park on Willis Rd. The funds have helped level fields, buy equipment, install fencing and much more. Hundreds of children ages 3 and up use this park on a daily basis.

The golf outing includes golf, cart rental, steak dinner and t-shirt, all for $320 per team. Thats only $80 per person. Golfers return year after year for this great event. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th and 20th place plus closest to the Pin, Skins and Player’s Pool.

Space for teams is limited to the first 32 teams, so sign-up early. Click here to download an entry form: 2016 Team Golf Outing Entry.

Local businesses have been huge supporters of this annual event. To help sponsor this great event or donate an item to our silent auction, click here: 2016 Golf Outing Sponsorship.

AYSO Region 610

Grass Lake Summer Youth League

Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors:

Event Sponsor

St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea

Dinner Sponsor

Grass Lake Downtown Development Authority

Beverage Cart Sponsor

Lester Brothers Excavating and Trucking • Kelly Fuels

T-Shirt Sponsors

Commonwealth Associates, Inc • Jason Bruneel- Edward Jones

Grass Lake Chevrolet • Rave Associates • Orban Farms

Hydration Sponsors

Grass Lake Wellness Foundation

Hole Sponsors

Chelsea State Bank • Reed Barbering • Hopp Electric, Inc

Willis & Jurasek P.C. • Holiday Campground • R-n-D Dirtworks

Chelsea Comfort Inn • Chelsea State Bank • Ripstra & Scheppelman

Clear Lake Grille • Bungies Downtown • Stoker Tax & Accounting

Grass Lake Dental Center • Artisan Electric • Waterloo Hunt Club

Coppernolls Hardware • Kelly Fuels • Holiday Campground

OMM Engineering • Mazur Family • B & G Landscape

Bray Family • Stanley Family • IVS Communications

The UPS Store • Designs by Judy

Closest to the Hole Sponsor

Grass Lake Chevrolet

100 Years Ago- May 1916

Share Button

May 1916

Francisco—Martha Riemenschneider fell last Thursday and broke her limb near the ankle.  Joseph Walz, wife and daughter of Root Station, Carl Walz and wife of near Jackson spent Sunday with Henry Lehman and family. The Cavanaugh Lake Grange will meet with Henry Musbach and wife Tuesday evening, May 16.

Waterloo—Carpenters and painters are at work remodeling and painting the John Croman house owned by O. Beeman.

During the electric storm Wednesday morning Porter Shaw was hit by lightning and his clothing burned and his back blistered. The lightning seemed to come in on the telephone wire and pass to the water pipe connecting with the sink near which he was sitting.

Mrs. John Ashful was pleasantly surprised last Saturday evening when fifty friends and neighbors gathered at her home to remind her of her birthday. Cards were played, the ace prizes going to Mrs. John Horning and Charles Eschelbach and the consolation to Miss Myrtie Sager and Herman Ashfal. A pretty gift was presented to Mrs. Ashfal and later a delicious lunch was served.

The dwelling situated on the north side of Main street owned by M.B. Carleton and occupied by Neal Green caught fire in the roof about 6 a.m. Tuesday and before it was discovered had gained such headway that it was beyond control when the firemen arrived and burned to its foundation. By prompt action and the help of many hands the household goods were safely removed and placed across the street. The loss was $1650 partially covered by insurance.

In a recent letter from Mrs. Fred Palmer of Redlands, Cal., to Mrs. E.A. Croman, she says: “I notice that Ed is agent for the Studebaker Six. We have a Studebaker Six and it sure has given us great satisfaction and it sure has been well tested. We have driven through the deserts and over the mountains of Arizona and through the mammoth Wash., five miles of drifting sand, over mountain roads about here and into and out of Yosemite and never a protest. Fred swears by the Studebaker.”

Commodore Hamill and family are moving into the Mrs. Beaman’s apartments where they will have more room.

Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Hookway motored to Stockbridge Sunday and visited Mrs. Eunice Fielding, the mother of Mrs. Hookway. Mr. and Mrs. F.J. Boyd and their daughter, Thelma, motored to North Adams Sunday where they spent the day with friends.

At the communion services at the Congregational church Sunday morning fifteen new members were received into the church.

Quite a large number from this vicinity attended the great film play “The Birth of a Nation” at the Majestic theater in Jackson.

The first real summer day dawned bright and warm Sunday morning. It was greatly appreciated by all who could spend the day out in the sunshine.

Remember that Mothers Day is Sunday, May 14. Wear a white flower.

C.E. Lantis has installed electric lights in his residence on Clark street.

The Clinton band of 22 pieces will come to Grass Lake Decoration Day. At close of exercises at M.E. church they will give a band concert.

100 Years Ago is gathered by Linda Lockwood Hutchinson.