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Thursday, December 1st, 2016


Dollar General Update

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There has not been a lot of developments in this original story, however people are continually asking me what’s up with Dollar General.

Since their site plan was accepted by the Village of Grass Lake Planning Commission, they have resolved all the deficiencies except for one. They have yet to provide a DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) permit for changes to the wetlands.

The developers did not respond to requests for comment prior to deadline. The Grass Lake Times was unable to find any public hearings regarding this location, however the Freedom of Information Requests can take weeks to process.

The developers did submit an application for their building permits, however the permits cannot be issued until the DEQ permit is provided.

Dollar General separately submitted and received approval for their signs. The company that owns and leases the building does not handle the signs, that is handled separately by Dollar General. The street sign will be on the ground, similar to the signs and locations of the Simon Building Company and the Michigan Military Heritage Museum. There will be no signs on poles. An additional sign will be located on the building.

This is the latest rendering of the proposed Dollar General.

Teacher Feature- Mr. (Dylan) Chapman

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Today’s Teacher Feature is the first in a new series of columns featuring the local teachers at Grass Lake Community Schools. We hope to help the community to become more familiar with the teachers and administrators of the Grass Lake Community Schools.

Dylan Chapman began teaching U.S. History, Civics/Econ, and World History                         at Grass Lake High School this year. He grew up in a town similar to Grass Lake, Onsted. Mr. Chapman graduated from Onsted High School, went to Kalamazoo Community College then transferred to Eastern Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education. He is endorsed as highly qualified to teach 6th through 12th grade Social Studies (RX) comprehensive.

Mr. Chapman says that Grass Lake is exactly the type of district he was looking for. He has been welcomed by both the students and staff and he was lucky enough to get chosen to be the Sophomore class advisor!

In Mr. Chapman’s classes he focuses on getting his students to experience history while appealing to all personality types. He uses simulations to get students active and become the stories that they learn about. They do hands-on projects,  create artifacts and use song and art to learn. His classes are exciting and fun! Mr. Chapman is quick to add that he has found Grass Lake students to be both engaging and intellectual.

An example of using simulation and music is when they were studying the Great Depression. He writes “For the Great Depression we ran a soup kitchen simulation. I brought in a crock pot of soup, I had the students line up in the hall (the breadline) while in the hall I had other students peddling apples and others sleeping under Hoover blankets (newspapers). The students waited in line and then came in one by one to the music of Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Refugee playing in the background. Volunteers served each student soup and others cut bread. F.D.R. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, played by another student) made a surprise appearance and went around from table to table shaking hands and giving words of inspiration.”

Another example of using hands on and artifacts was also related to the Great Depression. “We also made artifacts during the Great Depression unit. I started a junk drive and sent students home with flyers asking them to bring in junk, not trash, so that we could re-purpose it for a project. I went around to lumberyards and local businesses collecting materials. The students had a choice of either making art or improvised instruments. We had some really neat stuff. One student made a purse out of electrical tape, one group made a double neck cigar box guitar that actually played, someone made a snow globe out of a mason jar some figurines and glitter and another a xylophone by cutting pringles cans to different lengths and taping them together.”

Mr. Chapman lives in Tecumseh with his wife, Karissa, and their 2 year old daughter, Zailya. He has two dogs, an American Bulldog who is going on thirteen named Lazer (like the American gladiator) and a Pug two years old named Paczki (like the pastry).

In the past, Mr. Chapman and his wife have owned a hair salon in Tecumseh for more than 10 years called Galxi Salon. He loves spending time with his family and friends as well as enjoying music, movies and vintage mopeds.

Community Wellness Initiative Wraps Up Year

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It was an eatin’ meetin’.  On a recent Monday night members Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative took a well-earned break at the Grass Lake Senior Center on Lakeside Drive in the Village.  It was a chance for staffers and volunteers to share their experiences and to encourage each other to continue the good work they do to help residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.

The Grass Lake enterprise is part of the Five Healthy Towns Initiative, also known by its acronym, 5HT, provides wellness programs in Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester, and Stockbridge.  The mission of the tax-exempt foundation is to cultivate improvements in personal and community wellness.

Formally known as the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation, the mission of 5HT involves the planning and funding of community wide wellness plans, the goal of which is to create the healthiest communities in the Midwest.  The program centers on four principals: eating better, moving more, connecting with others, and avoiding unhealthy substances.  Members continue to work together on wellness plans that incorporate existing programs and current health trends that impact community wellbeing.

“We sponsor healthy communities, school districts, and look at data from state and local resources,” said Matt Pegouskie, community investment manager at 5HT.  “How can we best address issues like kids not moving enough or depression among the elderly?”

Pegouskie has been working for 5HT for about six years.  His background is in municipal health and wellness.  In addition to Pegouskie and other staffers that work at the headquarters in Chelsea, more than 150 volunteers offer assistance and expertise in the communities that 5HT serves.

Pegouskie said that similar programs exist in Michigan, “however, we were the first in Michigan to take this community-wide approach, going across county lines.  We’re very much a unique program.”  The municipalities that HT serves are in Jackson, Washtenaw, and Ingham counties.

Members of the movement, yesterday, today, and tomorrow are in it for the long fall and have the funds to take their initiatives into the future.  Funding comes from Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Chelsea that set aside $25,000 as perpetual funding for the areas it serves.        

Those who attended the social at Township Hall celebrated the hard work accomplished this year, including grant writing, proposals, and research.  The group, which meets monthly, will not be meeting in December but  members are eager to prepare for the challenges in 2017.

“Get back to business,” Pegouskie said. “We want to make Grass Lake a great place to live and a healthier place to live.”

6th Annual Festival of Lights is Saturday

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The annual Festival of Lights is set to brighten The Village of Grass Lake this Saturday.

The 6th annual event kicks off at 8 a.m. with breakfast with Santa Claus at the Grass Lake Charter Township Fire Department on E Michigan Ave and concludes with the lighting of the Village Christmas tree downtown at the Whistlestop Park at 7:15 Saturday night.

The festival began in 2010 as a way to bring out holiday turnout and showcase area businesses that participate in the event each year, which includes a cookie tour, and horse-drawn carriage rides, and a parade prior to the tree lighting.

The centerpiece of Saturday is the Around the World Cookie Tour.

“We’re having cookies from around the world,” said Susan Cobb-Starrett, who is coordinating the Festival of Lights this year with Cindy Caro.  “There’s nothing like fresh-baked cookies during the holidays,” Cobb-Starrett added.

Planning for Saturday’s events began in October; this is the first year that Cobb-Starrett and Caro have organized the event.   

Each ‘traveler’ picks up a passport and bakery bag from the Whistlestop Depot and other participating destinations in the village.  The passport takes the traveler to each stop marked on a map where participants have their passports stamped and receive cookies.

Participating businesses—there are 16 this year— agree to be open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and collectively provide a minimum of 350 cookies to give to travelers.    

Additional events include:

10 am to 1 p.m. visit Santa Claus at the Whistlestop Depot and drop your letter to Santa in the North Pole mailbox.

Visit Christmas Past at the Coe House Museum.

6:30 p.m. Around the Town Joy to the World Christmas parade from Buddy’s to the traffic light at Lake Street.

Hot chocolate provided by the Lion Club.

For more information see Page 11 of todays’ edition of The Grass Lake Times or online at the Grass Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce website at

See Page 11 for the events

See Page 10 for the Cookie Passport locations.

2016 Christmas Coloring Contest

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The Grass Lake Times is bringing you the first of what Karla and I  hope will be an annual Christmas coloring contest.

Each week for the next 3 weeks, there will be a picture that can be cut out and colored from The Grass Lake Times. The pictures will all be displayed in the windows downtown at Grass Lake Community Pharmacy and Reed Barbering.

Entries can be mailed to The Grass Lake Times or dropped off at our Christmas coloring dropbox inside Reed Barbering.

Only original copies of The Grass Lake Times can be used.

We will be drawing from each week’s entries for a $25 gift card to a local business of the winner’s choice. The drawings for all 3 weeks will be held on December 18th. Kids are welcome to color a picture for each week.

Even if you don’t have kids or grandkids, feel free to stop in downtown and take a look at all the neat pictures.

Adults are welcome to color pictures as well, I personally love coloring, however they will not be entered into the drawing.

Pictures can be mailed to The Grass Lake Times at PO BOX 189 Grass Lake, MI 49240.

The following locations sell The Grass Lake Times

  • Coppernoll Hardware
  • Designs by Judy
  • Frank’s Shop-Rite
  • Ryan’s Restaurant
  • Grass Lake Community Pharmacy
  • The Copper Nail
  • Barney’s Family Diner
  • Kelly Express
  • Buddy’s
  • Mugg & Bopps
  • The Clear Lake Marathon