Mike’s Musings- Family wants to know how daughter died

July 12, 2013

Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

All they want to know is how, when and where their 13-year-old daughter died. It’s been nearly seven months, and the Ellis’s wake up each morning wondering what happened to the healthy, athletic, Farwell middle-schooler named Katlynn.

The autopsy states that Katlynn died of cardiac arrest. She had been taken to Mid-Michigan Clare’s emergency room because she was suffering from shortness of breath. She had asthma but her father, Thomas, said she seemed to be outgrowing it, occasionally using an inhaler, but also running track on the middle school team.

After giving her several breathing treatments, Clare determined she needed to be rushed to Covenant Hospital in Saginaw. Apparently a United Rescue ambulance was immediately available. She was placed in that ambulance and sent on her way to Saginaw. Somewhere between Clare and Saginaw, the poor little girl died.

It takes a lot for me to tear up, but when Thomas was retelling this horrible tragedy I did just that. I have an 11, soon to be 12-year-old son, and I couldn’t imagine losing him- let alone having him go in such a tragic way. This family, and rightfully so, continues to grieve and wonder what went wrong.

Thomas says the family is getting no answers. Hospital officials, he claims, won’t tell him much of anything and refer him to the Clare Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department said they had nothing to do with the death, and maybe he should call Midland County Sheriff’s, because Katlynn probably died in that county. Midland said it wasn’t their jurisdiction because a crime hadn’t been committed, and he should take it up with the hospital. Around and around, the family goes, with no one willing to provide any information.

To further complicate matters, United Rescue Service, went out of business shortly after this incident. The two paramedics that were responsible for getting Katlynn to Covenant, are not available, and getting any kind of answers or data from the ambulance service has been impossible to this point, said Thomas Ellis.

It is assumed no one wants to provide answers for fear of being sued. In talking to the Ellis’s that is not their motivation. All they want is closure. They want to know how, where and what time their daughter left this world.

Will someone please tell them? Put yourself in their shoes. For chrissakes it’s been over a half a year. Have some compassion, people. Let them know what their daughter experienced the last few minutes of her short life.

WHY IS THE DNR picking on McBain farmer, Mark Baker? The pig farmer was recently fined by the Michigan Attorney General the whopping sum of $700,000, or $10,000 per pig, for each heritage pig that he owns.

Baker’s story has been well documents in this newspaper, and others. The DNR has declared Baker’s Mangalista pigs are feral and therefore in violation of the DNR’s Invasive Species Order. There is a laundry list of DNR guidelines as to whether a pig is included in the ISO order or not, and it has been unclear from the get go, as to how to classify the Mangalista.

In 2012 the DNR ordered Baker to depopulate his pig stock. He voluntarily complied by slaughtering hundreds of Russian Boars. However he kept the Mangalistas. At some point the DNR said the Mangalistas were non-invasive, then later changed their minds.
Now Baker and the DNR are jousting in court. Baker has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the $700,000 will bankrupt his family. The DNR seeks summary dismissal claiming Baker forfeited his right to a jury trial, because he admitted to breaking the law by harboring outlawed pigs. The lawsuits are expected to be heard in Missaukee County Circuit Court today.

According to Baker, the DNR did offer an out-of-court settlement. Essentially they would remove the fine if Baker killed his pigs. They also added, according to Baker, the penalties were harsh if he persisted, including pursuit of felony charges which could possibly land Baker, his wife, his eldest children and his employees in federal prison.

I don’t know Baker. He couldn’t be the biggest jerk in the world, or he could be a great guy. It really doesn’t matter. I hate to see governmental units- like the DNR, who exist because we fund them from our pockets, sue and intimidate a country guy like Baker, who is simply trying to make a living for his family. I gotta believe there are bigger fish to fry, than this family.

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