2012 Year in Review

January 3, 2013

2012 – The year in ‘Review’


January 6:

Mountain named after local man

Imagine you just found out that there’s a mountain in Antarctica named after you…That is exactly what happened late last year to Lake resident Mike Lozen, a 22-year Navy veteran who spent more than a year there in 1966-67/

January 13:

Meth lab bust nets 3 in Harrison

After a joint investigation involving the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET), Michigan State Police and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, a bust by the three law enforcement groups netted three suspects at a Harrison meth lab.

Lawsuit against cops still active

A lawsuit against Clare Police officers and the city is still active, after the majority of a three judge panel for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a District Court denial of Immunity for Chief Dwayne Miedzianowski and Officer Jeremy McGraw in connection with the 2007 shooting death of William Scozzari, 51.

January 20:

Fire damages Farwell restaurant, destroys Stevenson Lake home

A fire caused extensive smoke and water damage January 17 at Deb and Jesse’s Downhome Diner in Farwell, and another January 16 destroyed the Carrol Drive home of John and Betsie Coll on the north side of Stevenson Lake.

First storms of season hit area

Between five and seven inches of snow fell on Clare County Friday the 13th in the area’s first winter storm. Another storm the following Tuesday dumped another four to six inches on the area.

January 27:

Swartz charged with embezzlement

Crystal Swartz of Clare, 35 is facing felony charges of embezzlement over $50,000 from the law offices of Dwight R. Carpenter.

February 3:

Scozzari shooting witnesses unearthed

According to a recent news article, two new witnesses, Noelle Hite and Hazel Duke, will be interviewed in a follow-up investigation in the 2007 shooting of William Scozzari by Clare officers. The two women were reportedly staying at the Lone Pine Motel in Clare where the shooting happened and have charged that weapons were placed near Scozzari’s body after he was shot. Another witness refuted that claim and said Scozzari did have weapons. The Scozzari family is suing the Clare officers and the City of Clare over his death.

Local horse is world champ

Cold Cash 123, a quarter horse owned by Walt and Carolyn Bay of T-Bill Stables in Arthur Township, is the first Michigan bred horse to win the title “World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse for 2011 after his record win and New Mexico’s Sunland Park with the second fastest time ever clocked for that distance.

February 10:

Farwell Village cancels patrol contract

Farwell Village has cancelled their contract with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department for additional road patrol. Village Vice President Vicky Gunden said, “It was a budget issue.”

February 17:

Wet and wild!

Three inches of wet, heavy snow fell across Clare and Gladwin Counties Thursday morning causing a two hour delay for Clare, Farwell, Harrison, Beaverton and Gladwin Schools while closing most schools on the west side of mid-Michigan.

Teens charged in 18 break-ins

A joint investigation involving Clare, Isabella and Gladwin County investigators let to the arrest of two men in connection with 18 break-ins February 9 in all three counties. Samuel Joseph Lueders, 19, and Robert Wrather Wade, 18, were charged with the crime spree.

February 24:

Hollywood plans to film show in Clare

Clare’s City Commission supported a plan to allow a Hollywood production company to film a pilot show, and potentially a series about the Clare City Police and their bakery, Cops and Doughnuts for the Food Network.

Plans underway to renovated, restore Surrey House

The Middle Michigan Development Corporation has announced development plans for the 130-year-old Surrey House in Harrison. The City Council there authorized a purchase agreement for the property contingent on USDA grant funding and the availability of no interest loan funds to finance the estimated $1.3 million project.

March 2:

Miller calls it quits

Clare County Undersheriff Rick (Richard) Miller announced Tuesday that he will retire from the Clare County sheriff’s Department at the end of March after 36 years with the department, holding nearly every position on the department.

March 9:

Dean and Jim will lead the parade

Clare natives and longtime Clare Businessmen Jim and Dean Doherty have been named Grand Marshals for the 2012 Irish Festival parade.

Redding recalls supervisor, clerk

Redding Township voters approved a recall of Supervisor Michael Trzcienski and Clerk Autumn Scarbrough in the Presidential Primary.

Horwood resigns from Clare Commission

Citing “personal reasons,” Clare City Commissioner Bill Horwood submitted a letter of resignation at the end of Monday’s meeting. His term would have ended in November.

Moline retires

Farwell’s Department of Public Works Superintendent Aaron Moline will retire March 31 after 30 years with the village.

March 16:

Citizens demand better ambulance service

Residents packed the Clare County Commission Chambers Wednesday, to air their complaints and offer suggestions to improve the county’s ambulance service, Mobile Medical Response, which has come under fire lately for slow response times.

Nagy charged for shooting train

Zolton Nagy III, 21, of Harrison faces felony firearm charges for reportedly firing at a train in Surrey Township March 8.

Deb and Jesse’s to reopen

After a January 15 fire that closed their doors for over three months, Deb Jesse’s Hometown Diner in Farwell is completely renovated and set to reopen March 23.

March 23:

Wentworth wins $250K

Clare resident Anthony Wentworth matched five numbers in a recent “Mega Millions” drawing earning him a $250,000 win.

Meth maker gets five years

Shannon Kelly Church, 39, who pled guilty recently and was sentenced to concurrent terms of five years and two years for operating and maintaining a drug house at a Clare apartment. His girlfriend Bridget Fifield awaits sentencing on the same charges.

Semi overturns on roundabout

A semi accident in the Clare Round-about Wednesday closed Business 127 and caused traffic to be re-routed for four and a half hours while emergency crews cleaned the scene. No one was injured.

March 30:

Another meth arrest

A 23-year-old Harrison man, Michael Henry was arraigned Tuesday in 80th District Court on charges of running a meth lab in his home.

Gas prices jump again!

Gas prices in mid-Michigan have climbed to as high as $4.15 per gallon with a statewide average of $4.06 and national average of $3.92.

April 6:

27% in county getting assistance

Twenty-seven percent of people in Clare County are on some type of assistance, a higher amount than any of the surrounding counties, according to numbers reported for the last quarter of 2011.

Clare no longer last in health rankings

Clare County’s Health Ranking has moved up to 80th in Michigan, slightly improved since being named “the unhealthiest county in Michigan” in 2010 by the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute.

April 13:

Bigfoot search comes here

The “Finding Bigfoot” team from Animal Plant recently spent six days in the area investigating possible sightings of “Sasquatch.” The crew shot film in the Gladwin State Forest and at locations around Houghton Lake, Gladwin and West Branch.

Bust nets 200 plants in Lake

Ronald Eugene Cramer, 50, of Lake has been jailed for the manufacturing and delivery of marijuana. A search of his home, police also discovered a large amount of cash, guns, motorcycles, ORVs and a snowmobile, all seized in the raid.

April 20:

Scozzari trial won’t be delayed

A motion to delay the June 19 trial date in the lawsuit “Scozzari vs. the City of Clare” was denied by U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington April 11.

Yats defends 911 system

In a letter responding to complaints about 911 Dispatch, Director Keith Yats said, “Our 911 system does work. Central Dispatch does not control response ties from any agency…I will go on record to say that Clare County Central Dispatch should be able to direct dispatch all agencies (MMR and United Rescue) that operate in our county.”

Swanson appointed to Clare City Commission

Karla Swanson, a six-year member of the Clare Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals member since 2010, has been appointed to fill the remainder of the term of Bill Horwood, who resigned March 31.

April 27:

Harrison booster accused of taking band money

Carolyn Woodry is facing up to five years and a $40,000 fine if convicted of embezzling funds from the Harrison Band Boosters.

Band director lauded in national magazine

A simple blog on the internet about how Band Director Paul Shimmons  is incorporating electronic instruments and his own iPad into the Farwell band program led to a cover story and feature article in the April issue of the magazine, “School Band and Orchestra.”

May 4:

Two die in area accidents

Tragic accidents ended the life of a baby in Greenwood Township Sunday and that of a 53 year-old Coleman woman on the intersection of Pere Marquette and Leaton Road in Isabella County Monday. Kyle John Edward Counts of Royal Oak was hit by a Dodge van in the driveway of a family home and died at the scene. Donna Marie Townsend reportedly ran a stop sign on Leaton and was hit by a vehicle driven by another Coleman woman. Townsend was pronounced dead at MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare following the accident.

May 11:

Poet family honored

In a special ceremony Saturday, Governor Rick Snyder and many other officials came to Jay’s to honor the Poet family for their continuing “outstanding commitment to education.” The business and family host and support Northern Tradition, an annual fundraiser for Mid Michigan Community College which has raised over $1 million to support MMCC students and programs.

May 18:

Hullihens charged with kidnapping

William and Regina Hullihen have been charged with kidnapping their seven year-old granddaughter. The couple picked up the youngster from school with a document signed by the youngster’s father giving them custody. The girl’s father, Blake Hullihan, is in the Osceola County Jail on charges that he killed his daughter’s mother and her boyfriend in the parking lot of a Marion gas station December 7.

CCRC manger Stocking dies

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon for former Clare County Road Commission Manager and Engineer Steve Stocking, 65. He died Thursday May 10 after more than a year-long battle with cancer.

May 25:

Luplow triplets first family trio to graduate from Clare

Triplets Reyna, Brent and Jillian Luplow all graduated from Clare High School last Sunday. They are the children of Kelly and Chris Luplow, both teachers at Clare.

Farwell man first to die without motorcycle helmet

Mark Simmons, 39, of Farwell, is the first motorcycle rider legally operating without a helmet to die in a Clare County accident since the law requiring helmets was repealed April 12. Simmons died as the result of a Tuesday accident. He was the fourth unhelmeted fatality in Michigan.

June 1:

Storms sweep area

A series of storms hit mid-Michigan Sunday afternoon and on Memorial Day causing power outages, downing limbs and damaging property mainly in the northern half of Clare County. Harrison and Dodge City were hardest hit, and more than 2,000 homes lost power.

Schellhas dies

Community leader Robert (Bob) Schellhas, 84, died suddenly Sunday, May 27.  He was a Clare businessman for 56 years, owning gas stations in both Clare and Coleman for 30 years and involved with the VFW, Republican Party, Clare Rotary, Jury Board, Clare Chamber of Commerce and Irish Festival among other causes.

June 8:

Barco retires from MMMC-Clare

Lawrence (Larry) Barco, president of MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare since 1986, has announced he will retire June 30.

June 15:

Gaskill appeal denied

The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Justin Todd Gaskill, 31, convicted of the 2008 kidnapping rape of an 11 year-old Farwell girl. Gaskill’s attorney had filed an appeal claiming insanity. He is serving a 35 to 60 year sentence at the Newberry Correctional Facility.

Wrong turn

Mid Michigan Towing had a difficult time pulling a vehicle out of the river at the corner of Surrey and Coolidge Roads last weekend.

June 22”

Anna Nicole’s brother arrested in compassion center raid

Donald Ray, 39, and Billie Jo Hogan, 36, were arrested June 14 for illegal sales of Marijuana. Hogan is the brother of former celebrity, model and actress, Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007. Hoban said the charges were untrue.

Clare Center’s Swaffer arrested

Rosalyn Swaffer, owner of the Clare Compassion Center was arrested Wednesday for illegal delivery of marijuana after the Sheriff’s Department reportedly received “numerous complaints” about the business for several months.

Homeland Security seizes fraudulently purchased hard drives

A Wednesday raid by Homeland Security and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department seized over $28,000 in fraudulently purchased external hard drives from a Clare County resident. The computer equipment is part of a scam involving Nigerian residents. Three Nigerian mail scams have been uncovered in Clare County.

June 29:

Prosecutor verifies Scozzari shooting justified

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis announced this week that she has reviewed and upheld the determination that two Clare Police officers were justified in the 2007 shooting that killed William C. Scozzari. Her opinion is part of the civil trial now ongoing in Bay City’s U.S. District Court. Scozzari died after he was shot during an altercation with Clare Police on September 18,2007 during an attempted arrest.

Clare featured on PBS show

“Under the Radar Michigan,” a Public Broadcasting show about the State will be featuring Clare  in an upcoming show.  The show, an Emmy winner in its second season, features two or three communities in each episode and airs of PBS weekly.

July 6:

Wicked weather

A fast moving storm hit the mid-Michigan area early Tuesday, dropping more than an inch and a half of rain, blowing down limbs and flooding some streets. More than 2,632 area homes lost power, most in Isabella County.

July 13:

Jury decision in favor of Clare

Four years after the lawsuit was filed, a civil jury returned a unanimous verdict that found no fault with Clare officers’ actions in the 2007 shooting of William Scozzari, 51, at the Lone Pine Motel in Clare. Scozzari died nearly five years ago after he was show during an altercation with two Clare officers who were attempting to arrest him. Clare Chief Dwayne Miedzianowski and Officer Jeremy McGraw were named in the lawsuit and have been exonerated.

July 20:

Clare cheerleaders take 2nd in U.S.

The Clare Young Cheerleaders’ Level 4 Cheer team took second place in national competition July 14 in Indianapolis. Earlier the team placed first in regional and state competitions.

Hogan drug charges dismissed

Illegal drug sale charges against Donald Ray Hogan, 39, of Harrison, were dropped and those against his wife Billie Jo, 36 were reduced to a possession of marijuana misdemeanor. The couple was arrest June 14. They own the Mid Michigan Care Givers Club in Harrison.

CSC suspect arrested in California

A 44 year-old Harrison man, Harold Lee Adam, was arrested in California and extradited back to Clare to face CSC charges involving a minor child in November 2011.

July 27:

Purple Gang documented in film debut

Central Michigan University Film Professor Ben Tigner of Coleman is presenting a documentary about the Purple Gang’s activities in and around Clare between 1920 and 1933 during the Prohibition Era. The film will air at the Ideal Theatre in Clare August 8.

Cold Cash 1-2-3 tops $1 million in winnings

Cold Cash 123, owned by Carolyn and Walter Bay’s T-Bill Stables north of Clare, has been awarded his AQHA Superior Race Horse and Supreme Race Horse awards and has now earned over $1 million with 11 wins in 16 starts.

August 2:

Kids claim they saw a gator in Shamrock Lake

Four officers were searching Shamrock Lake Wednesday after Clare City Police received a report of an alligator in the water. Two girls reported the sighting while out in a paddle boat on the north side of the lake near a point. Officers searched with two boats, but unable to find anything.

August 10:

1,300 line up to see Purple Gang documentary

Approximately 1,300 people came to Clare Wednesday evening to see Central Michigan University Film Professor Ben Tigner’s film documenting the Purple Gang and their activities in and around Clare during the prohibition era from 1920 through 1933.

Election winners

Marcy Klaus and Tara Hovey won the Primary to put their names on the November ballot for the 17th District Probate Judge’s seat beating challenger Norm Gage.

Republican Mark McClellan was the voter’s choice Tuesday to face Clare County Sheriff John Wilson’s reelection bid in November, besting challenger Rick Miller in the Primary Election.

Historian Meek dies

Retired teacher, author and historian Forrest Meek, 84, died Monday after a long illness. He was the author of two books about Clare County history and spent several 7years compiling an extensive list of area veterans and where they served.

August 17:

Hogan flees state

Billie Jo Hogan, 36, scheduled to be sentenced on a reduced misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana, failed to appear in court Monday. She and her family have fled the state reportedly to relatives in Colorado. A bench warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Girardin assaults officer, escapes

Charles Girardin, 26, of Harrison is lodged in the Clare County Jail, following his assault of an officer and escape August 9. Deputies arrested Girardin at the Deer Trail Motel in Harrison on drug warrants from BAYANET. Although handcuffed Girardin assaulted a deputy and was able to escape. Two days later he turned himself in to the CCSD, where he remains lodged and is facing drug, assault and escape charges.

August 24:

Carothers charged with VFW embezzlement

After a 15-month investigation, Harrison Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander Richard Carothers,69,  was arrested for embezzling funds from the organization. He was arraigned Thursday, August 17 on nine felony charges.

Farwell teacher Hill named Spanish teacher of year

Farwell High School Spanish Teacher Sean Hill has been named Nation Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Lake teens charged with 31 break-ins

Cyle McKenzie, Jordon Wentworth and Shane Kimbrell were arraigned in 80th District Court on charges including breaking and entering, malicious destruction of property and larceny connected to 31 break-ins between August 2 and August 17 in the Crooked Lake area.

August 31:

MDOT parks “Drunk Bus”

The “Phone a Friend Bar Shuttle,” unofficially known as the “Harrison Drunk Bus,” came to an abrupt halt last Friday when a Michigan State Police Trooper and a Motor Carrier Enforcement officer from the Michigan Department of Transportation came to owners Laura and Jim Taylor’s home, then to her employers and told them they couldn’t operate without a MDOT certificate and insurance.

September 7:

Farwell safety path underway

After three years of planning, The Safe Routes to School pathway project is finally underway, said Farwell Department of Public Works Superintendent John Koch said Tuesday. The project will build a walkway from Farwell Schools along Superior Street to Surrey Road with a tentative completion date of mid-October.

September 14:

Another Harrison meth bust

Four were arrested Wednesday when an active methamphetamine lab was discovered in a Harrison mobile home. Two were arraigned on eight and six counts related to meth production, David Kemerer and Amanda Demille.

Harrison residents complain of sickening smell

Something stinks in Harrison and it has local residents in an uproar. Over the past few years residents on the south side of town has complained of an odor that moves in during overnight hours, that “burns your eyes and hurts your throat.” Residents believe the source of the odor is Northern Oaks and have charged that the odors cause health problems.

September 21:

Waste Management, DEQ vow to find source of Harrison odor

At a Public Hearing during the Clare County Board of Commissioners meeting, officials from Waste Management and Northern Oaks and members of the Department of Environmental Quality said they are working to address residents’ concerns over odors coming from the landfill.

Arnold charged in auto thefts

Daniel Patric Arnold, 19, of Harrison was one of three men arrested in connection with three recent vehicle thefts in Harrison.

Stone charged for drugs, auto theft

Vance Roydon Stone, 17, was arrested September 11 at his Harrison home when a search warrant discovered marijuana growing in the basement.

September 28:

Robbery report leads to meth lab discovery

When Clare County Sheriff’s Deputies went to a Franklin Township home to investigate a larceny complaint by a neighbor, they discovered a meth lab in a travel trailer in the yard. It was removed from the scene.

Emails target Yats

An anonymous email to the Review Wednesday leveled conspiracy allegations against nine Clare County dispatchers, charging that they conspired to cause havoc in the department and prove Director Keith Yats and commissioners of Clare County unfit.

Film premier donations in limbo

Funds raised as admission donations to see CMU Professor Ben Tigner’s historical film about the Purple Gang days in Clare County, were supposed to go to Clare’s Main Street program, but Tigner mistakenly identified the Clare County Historical Society as the recipient when promoting the event, causing much confusion. With the decision to disband the Main Street Program was made, Theatre owner Tom Koch said he would donate the funds to other downtown projects, prompting complaints from the historical society, who expected to receive the funds.

October 5:

Clare opts out of Main Street

Due to funding problems, the Clare City Commission approved a resolution to eliminate the Clare Main Street program at the end of the year. The City has been a “selected main Street Community” for eight years and a Master Level Main Street Community for three years.

Waste Management protesters storm out of BOC meeting

Residents upset over odors they say come from the Waste Management Northern Oakes Recycling and Disposal Facility. When they felt their concerns were not being addressed, several “stormed out” of the meeting. They charged that although the problem “cleared up after concerns were expressed at the last  meeting, the odor was back again and worse than before.”

Drivers, passengers injured in 3 crashes

Three people received minor injuries in a two-vehicle accident that resulted in a rollover Tuesday. The accident was one of two rollovers and another two-car accident reported on Tuesday and Wednesday. Seven people were injured in the crashes.

October 12:

Charges dropped against tasered man

A Farwell man, allegedly tased six times during an interview and arrest earlier this summer, has said he will file a lawsuit against the Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy and the County. Jerami Young said he was jailed for 65 days before all charges against him were dismissed, and that the arrest was based on a “misconstrued” conversation with a neighbor with dementia.

October 19:

BOC lays off Yats

Clare County Central Dispatch Director Keith Yats was laid off in what some commissioners say is a budget decision and what one commissioner said was “problems between him and the Lincoln Township Fire Department. The Sheriff’s Department was asked to take over the operations of the dispatch center.

 Video shows Young tasered, roughed up

The controversy is still raging over the alleged abuse of a man arrested by the Sheriff’s Department in July. Jerami Young claimed he was tasered repeatedly, arrested without cause and refused medical treatment by Clare Deputies, who came to his home July 31. Sheriff John Wilson said no one, victim or attorney has filed a complaint with his office.

Clare Equestrians earn State championship

Clare High School’s Division B Equestrian Team is the State Champion team. The team won Districts, then Regionals and competed  in the State Meet October 11-14 in Midland where they were named State Champions with an 85 point margin.

October 26:

Veteran not allowed to sing at CHS

Gospel Singer Kenneth Selvia, who performs as Kenny Rae, said he was told he couldn’t perform during the Veteran’s Program at Clare High School November 12 because of his religious musical selection. High School Principal Lee Turner responded that he had told Selvia that the program was already set for this year, but to sing in the future only that, “We would have to be careful of the musical selections because of the laws regarding church and state.” Superintendent Doniel Pummell said although the issue wasn’t “church and state”, all students are required to attend, making the program a “school event.”

November 2:

Clare, Gladwin United Way merge

The United Way of Clare County and the United Way of Gladwin County have merged. United Way Director Sandina Hages will head up both organizations. The merger followed the termination of Gladwin Director Jennifer Elkins.

November 9:

Voters pick incumbents, Klaus new judge

Incumbents facing challengers but winning another term in the November election included Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis, Sheriff John Wilson, Judge Roy Mienk and Clerk Pamela Mayfield. Marcy Klaus was picked to be the new 17th District Probate Judge.

On the County Board, District 1 Republican Jerry Burger lost his bid for re-election to Dale Majewski and Republican Commissioner and Chair Don David lost his seat to Former Clare Magistrate  Democrat Rick LaBoda.

Voters turn down RESD millage

Voters turned down a request to add 1.5 mills for the next five years to fund technical education and upgrade local school facilities in the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District.

November 16:

Six correction officers get pink slips

The staff at the Clare County Jail has been reduced by six part-time positions in corrections and court security due to decreased income from State prisoners. Sheriff John Wilson said the laid-off employees would be called back if the “numbers come back up.”

Grant won’t renew road patrol contract

After talking about it for months, the Grant Township board voted Tuesday to terminate their contract for additional road patrol with the Sheriff’s Department. The Township has been sharing a full-time officer with Surrey Township. Farwell Village eliminated additional patrol earlier this year. Board members cited township road needs and the budget for the decision.

Fire destroys 100 year-old home

A fire destroyed the 100 year-old home behind the Whitehouse Restaurant in downtown Clare Saturday morning. The house, a residence and business owned by Denise Jenks, was a total loss. Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman believes the fire started from an electrical problem.

November 23:

Farwell man faces life for shooting at friends

A Farwell man, David Osborn, is facing up to life in prison after he allegedly shot at a passing vehicle. Police said Osborn, 42, shot at the vehicle containing three victims after the driver “turfed” the suspect’s lawn earlier. Police said several rounds hit the vehicle, but no one was hit.

November 30

Former Farwell man in jail for murder

Curtis Richard Leachman, 25,of Mt. Pleasant, and formerly of Farwell, was arraigned Monday on open murder charges related to the Saturday morning stabbing death of 20-year-old Tyrone Stanley in a hallway outside a downtown Mt. Pleasant apartment.  Leachman was also charged with witness intimidation for allegedly threatening witnesses to the murder.

December 7:

Harmony Hill Lodge will open at Mott Mountain

Harmony Hill, formerly Mott Mountain and most recently Silver Ridge, will be opening again in mid-winter with a preview on New Year’s Eve. The facility, which includes 110 acres, a restaurant, night club, sound stage, and other buildings, was purchased  November 1 by five partners.

McDonald’s millionaire

Thomas Vozar, 71, of Harrison, is a $1 million winner in the 2012 McDonald’s Monopoly game season, which ended in October. Vozar got the winning piece, Park Place when he tried the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal at the Harrison restaurant.

December 14:

Family justifies reopening Scozzari suit

Commenting on the reopening of one part of the lawsuit against two Clare Police officers, two of William Scozzari’s sisters have said they are still looking for “justice” for their brother. Scozzari died September 17, 2007 in an altercation with the officers who were attempting to arrest him. They were exonerated of any wrongdoing by a State Police investigation, both the former and current Clare Prosecutor and in by a jury in a civil trial which ended earlier this year. In November, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington ruled on an appeal, upholding the determination the Scozzari’s civil rights were not violated, but saying the Scozzari family’s attorney Hugh Davis’s claim that Scozzari was denied timely medical care causing his death “had merit” because of the instructions given to the jurors, and reopening the case.

Grant okays $330K for roads

Grant Township has approved spending $330,000 on improvements to township roads next spring and summer. The first year of a ten year plan was outlined earlier by Rowe Professional Services. They had estimated that $3.6 million in improvements are needed, but the township only has funds for the first year.

Pioneer Mother gets facelift

Pioneer Mother, the sculpture in front of the Clare Middle School, is getting a facelift with the first phase, a thorough cleaning, completed. Restoration is expected next spring

December 21:

Clare Chief ‘Midge’ named new Undersheriff

Clare County Sheriff John Wilson announced Friday that Clare Police Chief Dwayne Miedzianowski will be the new undersheriff in Clare County. Wilson said “Midge” will be starting sometime in the beginning of January.

Residents demand answers to smell from Northern Oaks

County Commissioners heard from neighbors of Northern Oaks again this week when nine residents came to the county meeting to complain about bad odors on the south side of Harrison again. “What will it take to get you to help?” said spokesman Ray Elliott, who has been leading the campaign. Commissioners suggested a Public Hearing on the matter.

Carothers sentenced to 11 months

Richard Carothers was sentenced Monday to 11 months in jail and restitution to the Harrison VFW for embezzling funds last year. He pled guilty earlier this fall, and now has a chance to reduce his term in jail with immediate restitution to the organization.

December 28:

Clare applies for grant to move depot, extend rail-trail

After a special meeting December 21, Clare City Commissioners voted to apply for a Michigan Economic Development Corporation Downtown Infrastructure Grant (DIG) to finance moving the historic Clare Railroad Depot to a new site and extend the rail trail through downtown Clare.  The State has earmarked $3 million and there are 375 communities eligible to apply for grant funds. Clare’s application asks for $150,000 to move the depot and $370,000 for the rail-trail extension. The Michigan Department of Transportation – Transportation Service has also agreed to pursue a $280,000 Alternative Transportation Grant to construct a 40-space parking area and construct public restrooms at the new depot site as a “trail head.”

Nokes charged with incest

William J. Nokes, 45, of Farwell, is facing three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Degree relating to incidents of incest with his biological daughter. Nokes was arrested last Friday.

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