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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016


Fall 2016- 100 Years Ago

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Fall 1916

A watermelon social was held at the Baptist church Tuesday evening which was greatly enjoyed by a large crowd.

     Frank Shelly, Mart Rohrer, Floyd Mellencamp, Harry Worden and Walter Clark motored to Detroit Wednesday and saw the great game between Detroit and Boston

Six teeter-boards and six swings have been added to the play-ground equipment on the school grounds. The grove resembles the “Midway” for an hour after school at night.

Will and Ben Maurer two young men from Clinton, have opened a garage in the Teuful shop just south of the News office and are finding lots of work to do. They are expert automobile men and expect to build in the early spring a new garage on the site of the old shop.

The modest editor of the Grass Lake News has some reason to be proud of his family just now. Two are members of President Wilson’s cabinet and one is managing a presidential campaign. Hon. Josephus Daniels, secretary of the navy; Hon. William C. Redfield, secretary of the department of commerce; and Hon. William R. Wilcox, chairman of the Republican national committee who has charge of the Hughes presidential campaign, are all relatives of Dr. C.B. Wilcox. Hon. Josephus Daniels opened the political campaign for the Democrats in Michigan, Monday evening at Kalamazoo and many from here went to hear him at Jackson, Tuesday evening.

To escape the “fuss and feathers” of a large wedding planned by relatives of the bride for Oct. 8, Miss Margaret Bell and Mr. Williard Rohrer quietly slipped out of town Monday morning and went to Blissfield where they were united in marriage at noon by Rev. H.R. Beatty.

Shrouded in deep mystery, a murder was discovered at 11 o’clock Tuesday forenoon when the body of Roy Bassett, a taxi driver, was found covered with grass by the road side between Michigan Center ad Jackson. There were two bullet wounds, showing that one shot had been fired from behind and one from in front. Not much is yet known except that Bassett had been hired by a man and a woman who had a steamer trunk to take them in the taxi to near Rives Junction for $8.00. They did not stop at Rives and the fact that the trunk is missing from the auto which was left standing in the road near the scene of the murder gives rise to the belief that the trunk contained evidence of another crime, a knowledge of which caused Bassett to be shot from the rear seat of the auto by the interested parties. Evidently they believed that a dead man tells no tales.

Waterloo—There will be a box social at the home of Fred Prince on Friday evening, Oct. 6, for the benefit of school district No. 7 of which Miss Vera Prince is teacher. Everyone is invited. The proceeds will be used to purchase a bell for the school house.

Francisco Village—Herman Bohne has purchased an Oakland touring car. The purchase was made in Jackson one day last week.

Sharon—David Raymond, J.E. Irwin, C.C. Dorr and Fred Lehman attended the reunion of the 20th Michigan at Lansing last Wednesday.

Prospect Hill—Miss Musa Mackey, who has been confined to her home for several weeks with a sprained ankle, was able to commence school this week.

Clare Bostedor, who has been with the party showing the herd from the Village Farm at the State fairs in many states, has returned home..

100 Years Ago is gathered by Linda Lockwood Hutchinson.

Why Recycle Electronics?

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Electronic recycling has gotten a pretty poor reputation.  Many electronic items can be recycled at no charge, however some items have a fee associated with their disposal, mostly those old tube-style televisions and computers.  These fees have caused more than a few electronics to be dumped in landfills and other unfavorable locations, left to leak their toxic components into the environment.  This is not a good situation for many reasons, and topping the list is the fact that those old style televisions and computer monitors contain a large glass Cathode Ray Tube, composed of lead and other toxic components.  Lead is a neurotoxin, meaning it impacts our nervous system as well as our brain development and functioning.  Newer electronics have their fair share of known toxic chemicals: laptops contain mercury and cadmium and cell phones contain lead and other heavy metals. When electronics like these are dumped in a landfill or abandoned in other locations, those toxic components break down, eventually ending up in our water.

To properly recycle electronics, they must be disassembled, categorized by material and, depending on the quality of the recycler, they can be broken and cleaned to get to the four basic commodities: glass, plastic, metals and hazardous parts/chemicals. There are two main methods of recycling electronics:

• Demanufacturing: manually dismantling product to market the recyclable materials in the product

• Shredding: large shredding equipment recovers the maximum value of recyclable materials

So why is there a cost associated with recycling some electronics?  Currently, about 10-15% of consumer electronic scrap has resale value.  This means that the majority of the electronic parts being recycled have little, if any, monetary value, which makes the cost of recycling these products higher.  The folks who disassemble the electronic appliances have to consider the cost versus the value of the breakdown for each item.  In addition, the process to ‘depollute’, or remove hazardous components during the recycling process, is very time-consuming and difficult.  This is also drives up the cost of electronic disposal.  It costs a lot of money to remove the lead from those old televisions!  Some of the components of electronics can be removed and re-processed into new  electronics.  What isn’t reusable, or doesn’t have resale value, will be de-toxified and disposed of in a landfill.

It is critical that you take you electronics to an electronic disposal location so they can be broken down by safe and proper methods by professionals.  Many places where you buy electronics, such as Best Buy, have the capabilities to take back your unwanted electronics.  You can also take unwanted items to Recycling Jackson, located at 1401 N. Brown St.  They are open the first Saturday of every month from 9-1.  Visit for a list of accepted items and any associated fees.  Also, please visit the Jackson County Conservation District’s brand new recycling website, for more information.  As always, contact us with questions and comments.

Village Water and Sewer Rate Changes

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The Village of Grass Lake finalized their Water and Sewer rates which became effective October 1, 2016.

The new rates include a meter replacement fee and a water tower maintenance fee.

Water meters need to be replaced every 10 years.

In addition to the new water rates, sewer rates were raised to $44 a month.

Starting in 2017, water bills will be sent monthly. Currently they are billed quarterly, with the exception of the new meter replacement fee and the water tower maintenance fee, which are being billed monthly along with the sewer bills.

While the Village Council was not happy with raising rates, it was necessary to cover the costs that are being incurred so that they can maintain a balanced fund balance. The last time the Village adjusted the sewer rates was 1996 according to Village Manager Tom Nolte. “We actually lowered them in 1996 to the current rates. The residents of the Village have benefited from some very low prices for a very long time.”

Of the $44 for sewer rates, $21 goes directly to Leoni Township for the treatment of the waste water. $4 goes into the capital improvement fund and the remaining is used for operations and maintenance.

The village has 599 sewer customers and approximately 520 water customers.


Festival of Tables a Huge Success

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Over 300 people gathered this past Saturday at Grass Lake High School for the 6th annual Festival of Tables fund raiser. This annual event funds the Grass Lake Educational Foundation, a separate group from the Grass Lake Board of Education and the Grass Lake Community Schools. This non-profit group exists to provide additional sources of support for the students and staff of the Grass Lake Community Schools.

President Ben Dandrow said the  foundation exists “to provide additional funding for projects and needs that are not budgeted for by the schools.”

The Festival of Tables included a table decorating contest, won by the Copper Nail table, a great dinner catered by the Grass Lake School’s Food Services Department, a silent auction with hundreds of items to bid on as well as a live auction.

Dandrow said the goals was to raise between $20k and $30k.

The money raised will go to Senior Scholarships as well as several mini grants. Mini grants are smaller grants given to teachers or groups to accomplish specific tasks or projects. Some examples of these mini grants was a recent $2k funding of the robotics club, the purchase of a full size skeleton model for Mrs. Hoppes biology lab ($535) or funding for STEM.

Dandrow said the event “went really well. We are really happy to have the support of the community and the businesses.” They really appreciate all the donations from the businesses which make it all possible

For more information check them out online:

Photos by Scott Bray

In the Spotlight- Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame

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“If you build it, he will come.”  That’s the famous line from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner and Hollywood icon Richard Burton. Despite all odds and protestations of family the protagonist, Ray Kinsella, builds a baseball ball field in the cornfield behind his Iowa farmhouse despite the reservations of his family.  How do I know this when I never saw the film?  Because the phrase “if you build it he will come” is as iconic as “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“I built this place because of that movie,” said Craig Calderone, owner of the Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame and the Museum of Early Hay Tools on Willis Road in Grass Lake Township.

The sojourner pulls into the gravel lot bordering the first hole of the Calderone Farms Golf Club on Willis Road, separated by a net attached to quebracho trees staked in the rough.  Still, golf balls shanked into the rough unnerve the herd of deer in the enclosure west of the tee.

A pure white doe rose and stared at the bipedal as tall as the doe is long, the buck with impressive antlers, protector of the herd stared intently at the intruder sticking his fingers through the fence.  She licked my palm, smudged my notes.  It was love at first sight.  I wanted to take one home.     

The Hall of Fame is managed, owned, and operated by Craig Calderone, no relation or affiliation with the golf course.  Standing six feet five inches tall Calderone is himself a force of nature.  Age 56, he works a full time job, coaches tennis for the Lumen Christi High School tennis team in Jackson, and serves as curator at the Hall of Fame and the Museum of Early Hay Tools.

Over the years Calderone has searched more than 1,100 barns across the Midwest looking for nineteenth-century farming artifacts.  Like Indiana Jones minus the whip and the fedora Calderone has traversed the amber waves of grain to collect and preserve early farming tools for his impressive collection stored in his barn in Grass Lake.

The result of Calderone’s agricultural adventures has yielded a massive exhibit of vintage hay-storage and harvesting tools in a 1,600 square foot barn behind the deer exhibit.

“I got fascinated by it all,” Calderone said.  “Ladies like the chain saws.  I do, too.  They’re old and hard to come by.  I kind of get carried away.”

What do herds of dear and ancient farm equipment have in common?  Not much, because deer don’t watch Duck Dynasty or any reality TV show centering on power tools, but Calderone packages them in a unique environment that appears to have no equal in the Grass Lake environs.

Grass Lake does, however, have the distinction as the location in the Great Lake State where two of the largest deer in the state were killed in 1986 and 1996 not far from where the Whitetail Hall of Fame sits on a bluff overlooking the interstate.  Troy Stevens shot one in 1996.  “I’m the other guy,” said Calderone, who shot his prize buck in November 1986 on his twenty-seventh birthday.  The beast’s bust hangs on the wall in the museum next to a photograph snapped after the kill.  The deer that Calderone shot tipped at scales at one half pound less than 200 pounds.

Calderone’s exhibit receives “thousands” of visitors each year, including day-trippers from the Lake Huron region and Chicago.  “People want to see live dear, not trophies, though we’ve got plenty here also.”

Yeah, they do.  To reach the early hay tools exhibit visitor’s pass the Whitetail Hall of Fame, plunk down five dollar bills or ‘one buck’ for children, and view the impressive collection of rare and common creatures past hanging on the walls or posed in natural positions, the marauding black bear, the timber wolf crouched to pounce, and the focalized skull of an American lion, a species that died out at the end of the final ice age, and the skull of a saber-toothed tiger excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits in what is now La Jolla, California.

The entire exhibition, the ghosts of creatures past and the early hay equipment remind the visitor that life existed prior to Wi-Fi and the cable news networks.  Museums don’t highlight who we were so much as where we came from and who we are as a society today.

Toward the south side of the exhibition is the open dear paddock where bucks and does roam like housecats across the carpet and the furniture, basically a petty zoo full of animals that run from humans in wild.

The star attraction of the Hall of Fame is Ronan, a three-year-old fifty-seven point buck. Ronan is a big boy, about 200 pounds, and reticent of his prowess and star power.  He shied away from the camera yet left his autograph on my palm.  I pointed to a pile of graying antlers by the barn.  Calderone explained that bucks shed their antlers each winter and grow them back in the spring.  Ronan’s antlers are so big I wondered whether the poor deer needed a chiropractor off-season to steady his bull neck before he sprouted his knotty headset again come April.

“Doesn’t the noise from the interstate freak them out?” I asked Calderone.

“Not at all,” he responded.  “Most deer get killed by hitting cars or by other bucks.”

Buck on Buck homicide.             

I‘m not a hunter, fired a gun twice in my life, a pistol handed to me by an uncle in Florida when I was ten, shot a bullet into the compost, and a shotgun blast in high school that nearly broke my shoulder.  But hunting goes back to the dawn of time, as does agriculture as we know it, since the Neolithic era, 500,000 years ago.

Until the invention of the internal combustion engine replaced the horse, hay was as vital to Midwestern farmer as fossil fuels are today.  When the world was young humans and animals communicated with each other and each knew their place, the bipedal and the four-legged beasts of the forest.  The earth was not made for man; man was made from the earth.  Animals know this more than we think they do.

Calderone took a risk in opening the Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame, together with the Museum of Early Hay tools.  He built a unique location to appreciate Michigan’s agricultural heritage but reached into the land before time began. The present is predicated on the past.  Build it and he will come.        

The Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame Museum and the Museum of Early Hay tools is located at 4220 Willis Road in the Village of Grass Lake.  Entrance fee is five dollars for adults and ‘one buck’ for children.       

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Veterans Day Salute

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Today our flag flies not at half-staff, rather tall and proud, in honor of our veterans. Today is Veteran¹s Day.

Very simply stated, Veteran’s Day is the day we set aside to thank and honor living veterans who honorably served in the military, whether during peacetime or wartime.

Regardless of one’s political views or opinions, our veterans deserve to be honored and thanked for the never-ending job they do. The men and women of the armed services are serving the United States of America because they chose this noble task. They choose to protect the interests of all Americans, regardless of each individual’s choice to serve or not, each individual’s opinions and political views so that we can continue to have the right to hold those views, opinions and choices.

This week, our nation pays tribute to those veterans, who have risked their lives for our freedom, over 25 million veterans who have worn or still wear the uniform of the United States of America.

Through the generations, they have humbled dictators and liberated continents and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world.

   While we also remember those who left our shores in that great tradition of serving our nation, never to return again to be thanked, we set aside Memorial Day to honor those veterans.

I want to personally thank my family members and friends for their service and sacrifice;  My dad, Jerry Bray United States Army, my cousins Don Hicks, US Army, John Klix, US Navy, Daryl King, US Air Force, Brent Fullerton, US Army.  My friends: Steve Bisard and Ray Putnam, United States Marine Corps, Joseph DeBoe US Army, Chris Price, US Army Rangers and those currently serving; my cousins Patrick Klix and Ryan Klix US Navy, friends Stephen Mayville and Gregg Shafer US Army.

History of Veterans Day

The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act, approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Warriors Fall to Napoleon in District

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The Warriors football season came to an end last Friday night with a hard fought loss to the Napoleon Pirates. The final score of 42-21 does not accurately reflect the intensity of the game.

Joe Bechtel Athletic Complex was packed to the brim Friday night for the District Title Game. It was truly standing room only as both Warrior and Pirates fans filled the seats and lined the fencing around the field.

Grass Lake was able to keep the score close most of the game. The score at half time was 20-14 in favor of the Pirates. Grass Lake came out after the half and drove for the go ahead touchdown to take the lead 21-20.

By the forth quarter the Pirate rush was on as Napoleon banged in 22 unanswered points. The Warriors were stonewalled by the swarming defense of the Pirates and had no answers. Ending the season 9-2.

The 2016 season will go down into the books as one to remember. Our boys of fall clamed the Cascade Conference championship and the Big Eight Crossover championship trophies this year. Additionally, 9 Warriors were named to the all conference team.

Some of the individual stats for the season that helped the team succeed:

Jonathan Lutchka had 126 completions, 1813 yards and 20 TD’s

Jarrod Henry had 40 receptions for 614 yards and 10 TD’s,

Haden Cockream had 24 receptions for 544 yards with 7 TD’s.

Luke Coppernoll had 186 rushes for 1051 years for 16 TD’s

Danny Vucolo added 569 yards on the ground and 5 TD’s

On defense the Warriors were lead by:

Zach Forman with 135 total tackles.

Brent Lockridge tacked on another 96 tackles.

Mike Moletz totaled up 15 quarterback sacks.

As always the Boys in Blue made all of Grass Lake proud to be Warriors and helped make our Friday nights under the lights special. In a world that continually changing and getting more and more complicated it sure is nice to still have small town Friday night football to help bring people together.  Thank you for the thrills boys. Until next time……… GO WARRIORS!!!

Photos by Scott Bray