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Friday, May 27th, 2016

 

Lady Warriors Softball Recap

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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

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Raymond Tucker Cordani

rtc@thegrasslaketimes.com

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

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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

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Raymond Tucker Cordani

rtc@thegrasslaketimes.com

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!

kathy@thegrasslaketimes.com