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Friday, October 21st, 2016


100 Years Ago

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October 1916

Mesdames Harriet Shaler, Jas. McColgan, P.S. Willis, A.W. Davis, M.G. Carlton, E.A. Croman, Minnie Clark, Delia Silkworth, W.W. Hobart, Germaine Foster, Lewis Watkins, W.A. Cutler, Sophia Askew, Miss Eleanor Clark, Mrs. W.B. Dibble of Lynn, Mass., and Mrs. J.F. Denslow of Muskegon, took a suburban car for Jackson last Friday afternoon and held a picnic at Loomis park.

NOTE:  The entire front and back pages of the August 17, 1916 issue of the GRASS LAKE NEWS were devoted to political ads for governor, sheriff, and congressional representatives, as well as the usual  business ads.

Mrs. Hall, mother of Mrs. Archie Davis, is suffering from a rather peculiar accident. Sometime while asleep at night she ran a threaded needle in her foot. The eye of the needle went in first so that it had to be cut out.

Last year ten hundred and eighty-six persons riding in automobiles lost their lives at grade crossings in the United States. To impress on all drivers the lesson on “Safety First,” “Stop, Look and Listen,” and “Take No Chances at All,” the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad has posted warnings in public and private garages, repair shops and other places along its line, in the hope that they will be more effective than the signs at the railway crossings.

Eleven automobiles, carrying nearly sixty members and friends of the Farmers’ Club, went to Lansing on Wednesday to attend the State Farmers’ Club picnic.

Burglars entered the house of Albert Wolpert Thursday and stole about $30 in cash. The man has been seen lurking about in the locality since.

As in the previous two weeks, many political ads cover the front and back pages of the paper.

     Domestic News: Public Heath Officials from 38 states, continuing their meeting with the federal public health service at Washington, drew up a code of regulations for combating further spread of infantile paralysis by interstate travel, and developing methods of co-operating in a study of causes and treatment of the disease.

Two guards at the German-American cement plant at LaSalle, Ill., were arrested as a result of the killing of a Polish worker, who was discovered prowling around the plant.

Two British submarines with a submarine depot slip and a British cruiser chased the submarine merchantman Deutschiand, after it passed out of the Virginia capes on its return to Germany, according to information received at New York from a source considered reliable.

Two attempts were made to blow up the wharf of the Pacific Coast Steamship company at Seattle, Wash.

100 Years Ago is gathered by Linda Lockwood Hutchinson.

GL School Board Appoints New Trustee

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Grass Lake School Board Appoints New Trustee

The Grass Lake School Board has a full roster after new trustee Aaron Cole was appointed last Monday to fill a vacancy.

The board interviewed seven candidates at the beginning of its October 10th meeting. Two hours into the meeting Cole was chosen and sworn in that night.  He took his seat on the board for the second half of the meeting.

“It was really cool to be sworn in,” Cole said.  “I’m happy to join their great team.”

He continued, “Our school board has done an incredible job over the past few years advancing our systems with several new programs and facilities that offer students opportunities that have placed us way ahead of the curve and have set us up for a very successful future.  I wanted to join the board to ensure we keep advancing in that direction.”

Cole said he learned of the vacancy on the board after former trustee Kristi Shoemaker resigned after moving out of the district.  Typically trustees are elected.

School Board Secretary Kimberly Seaburg said that she is “ very excited” that Cole has joined the board.  “We think he’s going to bring new perspective, which is always good and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Cole’s position will end on December 31, 2018.

Age 32, Cole graduated from Grass Lake High School in 2003.  He has deep roots in the community going back several generations, he said.  His father, Randy Cole, is the varsity football coach at Grass Lake High.   Cole’s brother Anthony Cole is the varsity football team’s offensive coordinator.

The new trustee said that he thinks it is important to advance and support initiatives currently in place and slowly contribute his vision for the district.  “I eventually would like to see 100 percent of our students involved in an extracurricular activity and continue to focus on providing opportunities to all students, including challenges for our advanced students, support for our at-risk students, and something for everyone in between,” he said.

Grass Lake’s 1:1 Technology Initiative, which provides students from kindergarten through 12th grade with a computer device, is a program that Cole said he would like to see grow.

“I think the 1:1 initiative is brilliant and will greatly improve the ability of all students to do research, complete homework, and connect with their teachers,” he said.

Cole, who earned a Master’s degree in speech language pathology from Eastern Michigan University, works as a speech therapist at the Ingham County Medical Center where he serves as director of outpatient services.  His wife Shelly works at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson in the mother-baby unit, a special care nursery.  “Shelly and I have been looking for a way to get move involved with the community,” he said.   

The Coles have a two-year-old son, Easton, “and another future warrior on the way.”

GL Fire Department Report

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Fire Chief Greg Jones presented the Township Board with his monthly report for September 2016 at the Grass Lake Charter Township Meeting.

Medical Calls:

19 including 2 heroin overdoses

Structure Fires: 1

Vehicle Accidents: 0

Fire Alarms: 1

Vehicle Fires: 1

Open Burning: 1

Weather Alert: 1

Total of 24 calls within Grass Lake Charter Township

The average response time was 8:58 minutes and the average miles from the fire station was 2.8 miles.

No Mutual Aid was needed

Calls by Shift:

1st shift: 15

2nd shift: 0

3rd shift: 9

Sheriff’s Department Report

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Deputy DeLand reported patrolling 1,472 miles during the month of September. That brings the yearly total to 16,157 miles. These numbers only include miles and incidents by Deputy DeLand. The Village and the Township share a contract with the Sheriff’s Department for a full-time deputy in Grass Lake.

Activity: This month/YTD

Complaints Dispatched: 23/178

Incident Reports: 10/74

Arrests: 1/6

Appearance Citations: 0/0

Ordinance Complaints: 1/5

Traffic Citations: 3/35

Verbal Warnings: 10/106

Liquor Inspections: 0/2

Motorist Assists: 0/8

Vehicles Inspected: 10/112

Persons Investigated: 33/342

Assists to Other Departments: 1/19

Property Inspections: 30/270

Process Service: 0/0

Deputy DeLand reported that a man approached a Grass Lake High School student in downtown Grass Lake with the intent to pick them up. The student did not get into the car. Citizens took pictures of the car and license plate, spread the word through social media and reported it to the police. With help from the public, Deputy DeLand was able to determine where the man was working. The plates on the car were stolen and the man had no identification. He was arrested and his car impounded. This would not have been possible without the help of the public.

Deputy DeLand previously indicated that anyone that he pulls over, talks with, or answers a complaint that he does not know is run through the system which accounts for the persons investigated numbers.

Meet the Candidates: Gina Lammers (challenger)

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“You can’t get far until you start doing something for somebody else.”

That statement belongs to Melvin Jones, founder of Lions International commonly known as the Lion’s Club.  Grass Lake Village Board of Trustees challenger Gina Lammers is a member of the local Lion’s Club with her husband Paul.  The local chapter is on West Michigan Avenue in the Village of Grass Lake.  The Lammers are active members in good standing and have a long history of community service.  That means helping to give sight to the blind, the hearing impaired, and those with developmental disabled.  In a word: humanism, caring for ‘these least brethren of mine.’

The General Election for the Grass Lake Village Trustee Board is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 8, a few weeks of this writing.  Three member terms expire this year: Esther Fearer, Carolyn Reese, and Cheryl Vicory.  Fearer resigned her post earlier this year.  Challengers Lammers and dark horse candidate Joel Grimm are running to unseat the incumbents.  The four candidates are as different as they are alike.  Community growth is the hot-button issue, as are the means of supporting antiquated municipal equipment of public services in the Village.

Gina Lammers embodies the American story.

Age 51, Lammers is a career educator.  She works for the Jackson Intermediate School District, specializes as a teacher consultant with students with learning disabilities.  Not an easy assignment but she carries it out with   aplomb.

A talented educator, she serves at Grass Lake Schools to help students with disabilities excel at the pace of their classmates.

I interviewed her on a recent afternoon at Grass Lake High School.  She led me through the cavernous halls where students slammed locker doors between periods.  A student with a pack on his back listened to indecipherable music pumping into his ears with outsized headphones strapped to his ears.  Lammers issued a directive but the student continued down the hall without a beat.  The veteran teacher has learned to not sweat the small stuff.  Boys will be boys.

Lammers is married to Paul Lammers, who is the director of the Grass Lake Department of Public works.  They have been married for more than 30 years.  They have two children, Paige, 23, and Gage, 20, a student at Western Michigan University.

While not technically lifelong Grass Lakers, Gina and Paul have lived in Grass Lake since the mid-to-late 60s.  Paige and Gage, their children, went through Grass Lake Schools from kindergarten to high school.  The Lammers have deep roots in the Grass Lake Community.

“I appreciate the community,” Gina Lammers says.  “I feel blessed to live here and now that my children are older I have more time to devote to community service.”

Lammers confesses to be somewhat of a homebody. In her spare time she cooks, gardens, and refurbishes furniture.  On pleasant days of the year Gina and Paul mount their 1970 Ford Torino and hit the road.  Camping trips with the family are an integral part of the Lammers’ story.  Their adventures include Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and a family reunion in Washington State.

Lammers’ love of the poor of spirit happened long ago, when she was in high school and college.  She worked at the Saint Louis Center in Chelsea starting at age 16, focusing on special education from high school into college.  Lammers saw the growth center of the juggernaut that is the Saint Louis Center, a paragon of mission to the poor of spirit mind, heart, and soul.     

Lammers says that her priority as a candidate for the Grass lake Village Board of Trustees is to maintain safety in the village and the township, “to make Grass Lake feeling safe, smiles on people’s faces.”

Were Lammers to be elected, she would want to see smart growth for the community and ensure that Grass Lake Village would remain strong while allowing for the prudent growth necessary to sustain the tax base.   

Warriors Lose First Game on Last Second Field Goal

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The last game of conference play turned out to be a cliffhanger for the Warriors. Grass Lake (7-0) was on the road playing Michigan Center (4-3). The Cardinals were in a must win situation if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive. With a win the Warriors would claim the Cascade Conference title out right, with a loss the title would be shared with the Napoleon Pirates.

The Cardinals came out in the first quarter firing on all cylinders and held the Warrior offense down. The score was 7 -0 in favor of Michigan Center at the end of the first-quarter.

Grass Lake bounced back in the second quarter with back to back touchdowns. First a 2 yard run from Coppernoll and then a 25 yard pass play from Lutchka to Cochream. Sherwood with both of the PAT kicks, going into halftime the score was 14 -7 in favor of the Lakers.

Michigan Center scored first the second-half notching up the score to 14 apiece.  Then with 5:43 left to play in the game Michigan Center took the lead on the longest play of the game with the 78 yard run. With their backs against the wall the Grass Lake offense took possession and drove the ball down the field using a trio of running backs and finally scoring a touchdown with just two minutes left in the game the Warriors decided to go for the two point when Luke Coppernoll surged into the end zone to take the lead 22-21.

With less than two minutes to go on the clock and down by only one point the Cardinals stormed down the field trying to get into field-goal range. With only 0:02 seconds left on the clock MC split the upright on a 27 yard kick and took the win away from the Warriors 22-24.

This week Grass Lake travels to Springport to do battle for the Big Eight vs. Cascade Conference Crossover Championship trophy.

As Always GO Warriors!!

Saint Louis Center Begins Expansion

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The Saint Louis Center, a residential care facility for people with developmental disabilities, continues to grow.

What began in 1960 as a school for boys with low IQs has grown to house more than 70 people with developmental disabilities. Priests and nuns care for children and adults, ages five through 74, most from Michigan but many from other parts of the country and Canada.

The Center admits residents with borderline personality disorder, and those with mild and severe forms of developmental disability. Some are admitted to a day program while others live there full-time.

Members of the Servants of Charity, an international community of priests, and the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence sisters, based in Chicago, serve the Center. Over the years, the St. Louis Center has expanded in ways its founders couldn’t imagine 56 years ago.

In September the live-in care facility held a groundbreaking ceremony for the next phase of its expansion, the Saint Louis Guanella Village, named after the Italian Aaint whose followers have carried on with Guanella’s legacy of charity to the marginalized and the poor.  More than 250 supporters and benefactors turned out for the event, which included a catered dinner and a jazz ensemble from the University of Michigan.  Saint Louis staff members and guests turned spades of soil to initiate the beginning of the new project.  Four children’s homes are planned for construction next year as the first phase of the development.    

The St. Louis Guanella Village will be a new residential community built on the grounds of the existing St. Louis Center.  The Village will allow for a full continuum of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages.  It will also include housing opportunities for families caring for their loved ones with I/DD.  The St. Louis Guanella Village will be built in phases.

In 2010, St. Louis Center made the decision to launch the Legacy Project in order to ensure that the Center will be here for many decades to come and to meet the changing 21st century needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In 1958, Detroit Cardinal John Dearden assigned the Servants of Charity to oversee a new school in Chelsea for 60 boys with various disabilities. St. Louis School was dedicated in 1961 and began its educational program with four priests, four Holy Family sisters, and five special education teachers. Today the Center employs 65 workers including two nurses.

Michigan’s Mandatory Special Education Act of 1971 became law in 1973. Residents attended public schools in Chelsea and Ann Arbor. St. Louis School became the St. Louis Center and entered a new phase of providing residential care and life skill training for its residents. St. Joseph Hall was opened in 1984 to provide young men more opportunities to develop their independent living skills. Major renovations of the building took place in 1987 and the center continued to grow beyond the expectations of the staff and supporters.

The following year, the Center opened the Father Guanella Hall as a resident for adolescents. In 2002, the Servants of Charity converted it into a woman’s residence named Our Lady of Providence.

“The St. Louis Center continues the legacy of what Fr. Guanella left the world, which is charity and love for the poor,” said Fr. Enzo Addari, the facility’s administrator.

St. Louis Guanella (1842-1915) founded the Servants of Charity, a religious congregation of priests and brothers, to carry out his mission of serving the needs of the poor throughout the world. On March 24, 1908, Guanella and other priests professed their vows before Pope Pius X who promised Guanella that he, too, would offer his prayers for the proliferation of the priest’s ministry.

During most of Guanella’s lifetime Italy was in a state of political and social unrest. The industrial revolution, the unification of Italy, and the onset of World War I, resulted in the abandonment of many — the elderly, the sick, and people with disabilities who were left to fend for themselves. Guanella took them in, established homes and founded the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Servants of Charity.

Today the Servants of Charity serve in 25 countries on five continents. In keeping with the apostolate of Guanella, its members seek to care for those in need, offering hope, dignity and love.

Supporters of the St. Louis Center have been busy raising funds for the construction of the St. Louis Guanella Village.  So far, the community has raised more than 60 percent of its goal of $10 million. The “Golf and Glory” outing held each year at the University of Michigan Golf Course draws 150 golfers with teams playing with members of the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Tigers. Three more golf outings and sundry fundraisers provide the center with the capital it needs for upgrades.

“The community wants to provide for the order’s mission,” said Joe Yekulis, public relations director at the St. Louis Center.

In June, members of the Divine Providence of the Servants of Charity gathered to bless the ground where the new village will be constructed. Seven priests, 12 residents, and several staffers witnessed the benediction delivered by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, provincial superior of the Servants of Charity. The village will allow some residents to live more independently.

“We are offering this ground as a citadel of charity,” Rathinam said. Then he blessed the ground with holy water and the service concluded with the Our Father.   

At the ground blessing, Addari quoted St. Paul who wrote: “Like a wise master builder I laid a foundation and another building on it. But none can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.”

The Saint Louis Center is located at 16195 Old U.S. 12 in Chelsea. Staff can be reached at 734-475-8430 and on the web at