2014 in “Review”

December 26, 2014

January 4
2014 – A look forward
Experts say 2014 should show more “slow and steady” improvement in the state’s economy.

January 10
Bitter cold shuts down county
All of the school districts in the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District were closed Monday and Tuesday because of severe wind chill warnings, joining districts in Isabella, Gratiot and others all around the state.

January 17
Hayes Township moves forward with $2.6 million civic center
This year, the Hayes Township Board of Trustees intend to embark on a major building project that will transform township property without raising taxes or issuing bonds. Their plan, estimated at $2.6 million, is to replace the existing township hall with a new civic center.

January 24
Rosebush landmark up in flames
A landmark in Rosebush is no more. All that was left of Bauman’s Superette in rosebush was rubble Thursday Morning after a Wednesday night fire, battled by ten departments in frigid temperatures, completely destroyed the business.

January 31
RESD gets 100K grant to redo Magnus Center
A $100,000 grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland will help fund renovations to the former Magnus property buildings to provide career and technical education programs at a new RESD Career Center for area high school students.

February 7
Painter death still up in air – murder or suicide
After more than three months, State Police are still looking into the death of Emily Painter of Lake last November.

Detective Coon resigns
After 30 years with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, Det. Lt. Mike Coon resigned January 30. No reason was given for his resignation.

February 14
Lake George cook dies in fire
Jerry Lee Hall, 52, of Lake George, died in a fire that engulfed his Lake George mobile home Tuesday night.

Her 276 lb weight loss has brought fame
Mid Michigan Community College Retention Advisor Theresa Borawski changed her whole life after she went from morbidly obese at 428 pounds to a slim 150 today. She has been featured in many state and national publications and on television.

Clare applies for $600K Colonville Road grant
Clare City will know in two or three weeks if they will be awarded a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant to upgrade nearly a mile of Colonville Road for the new Clare North Industrial Park.

February 28
Emergency crews stop gas leak
An early morning call Sunday shut down a portion of Fifth Street in Clare for most of the day while emergency public safety personnel worked to fix gas and water line breaks in the street in front of Tendercare.

Old Man Winter puts strain on CCRC
With one of the coldest, snowiest winter in recent years not yet over, Ron Bushong, Manager of the Clare County Road Commission is worrying about what March will bring to the area.

March 7
$600K grant to jump start Harrison renewal
Harrison will receive a $598,000 Downtown Infrastructure Grant, which will assist with “traffic calming and the streetscape program on Main Street and Second Street. DIG is a community development block grant program aiding traditional downtowns to rebuild infrastructure.

Tristen named top wrestler
Tristen Zienkiewicz is the first State Champion from Farwell. He was crowned 160 lb winner at the MHSAA wrestling championship event last weekend.

March 14
Harrison man’s survival outdoors called ‘a miracle’
Allen Arwood’s survival after spending 14.5 hours outdoors in minus ten degree weather is being called a miracle. Arwood, 78, who suffered a recent stroke, fell into the snow in his front yard and was unable to get up get up, but managed to crawl up on his porch. Unable to reach him, his daughter notified police who found him the next morning.

March 21
Hayes building project delayed
With a bond decision hinging on voter approval, the process to replace the existing township hall with a new civic center has been slowed and may not begin until 2015.

Ferrellgas accused of price gouging
Ferrellgas, Inc., and its affiliate Best Propane, are under investigation by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte for price gouging after 65 complaints were received about propane pricing.

March 28
Farwell Landmark Closing doors
K&K Thriftway in Farwell will be closing its doors in two weeks. The property is being sold to Family Dollar and after the old building is demolished, a new building will be built there.

Harrison man found dead on side of road
Cold weather and alcohol are believed to have contributed to the death of Michael Lynk, 59, of Harrison last weekend. The man was found beside the road in front of the Harrison VFW.

April 4
Clare, Harrison may add weed to ballot
A statewide move aimed at legalizing or decriminalizing possession, use or transfer of small amounts of marijuana for private property use is underway with local petitions being circulated in both cities.

Veterans welcomed home
The Vietnam Veterans of America 1047 hosted their 3rd annual “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” March 30th at the Harrison American Legion Post.

April 11
Man dies in house fire
The body of a 47 year-old man, Scott Barber was found in a burned house after a fire was extinguished in Arthur Township last Saturday evening. The State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.

Fund established for Gransdens
A fund has been established to help the Gransden family, who lost their home to a Clare fire March 24.

April 18
Storm wreaks havoc on area
A storm with high winds that dropped between four and six inches of rain on the mid-Michigan area as well as many other areas in the State last weekend. Heavy overnight storms Saturday raised local rivers to flood levels while tornado force winds in Northern Isabella County downed power lines, trees, barns and buildings along a west to east corridor and especially along Stevenson Lake Road.

Man rescued from flood waters
Wednesday’s storm flooded homes along the Muskegon River in Redding Township. Power was cut to about a dozen homes and one resident was evacuated from the area by County rescue workers.

Depot moves to new home in Clare
An once-in-a-lifetime event happened last Tuesday in Clare when the 119-year-old railroad depot was picked up and moved to a new home. During the 11 hour process the historic old building was moved approximately 900 feet east of its original site.

May 2
Fire destroys Sheriff’s home
Around 45 firemen and equipment from four area fire departments battled a blaze Monday at the home of Clare County Sheriff John Wilson. It was reportedly one of the largest structure fires this year for the Harrison FD. The home was completely destroyed.

May 9
Farwell BOE faces $600K deficit
Farwell’s School District has to cut more than $600 from the 2014-15 budget. Superintendent Car Seiter listed potential cuts including the Liaison officer, and elimination of the Chinese program in the Elementary School.

Huge bear killed by vehicle on US-127
A 465 pound black bear was hit on the US-127 expressway just north of Harrison Wednesday morning. A DNR officer said it is not unusual for bears to be hit by vehicles this time of year. The pickup that hit the bear did not stop, the officer said.

May 16
Car rolls into lake, injures woman
A 30-year-old Lake woman, Tanya Culver, was seriously injured May 9 when she attempted to push the stuck vehicle and a child in the car put the vehicle in reverse. The car rolled over Culver and into the lake in the Crooked Lake area.

May 23
Dam breaks – widespread flooding
A private dam on Owl Lake in Lincoln Township burst May 16, flooding Hemlock Road, Silver Lake and Doc and Tom Lake at Lake of the Pines. The ten acre lake completely drained when the dam burst.

Harrison man charged with stabbing
A 37-year-old Harrison man, Timothy Allen Lyon is facing a count of assault in intent to commit murder after he allegedly stabbed Jacob Anthony of Harrison during a fight last Friday evening.

May 30
Tragedy times two
The Clare community is mourning after a freak accident Monday afternoon to the life of a rural Clare child, when a father, Christopher Ackerman backed over his three year old daughter Sydney, who was on a tricycle behind the vehicle.

Hayes moving forward on civic project
Hayes Township will put an estimated $2.6 million development project to build a new civic center out for bids July 1. Plans include demolishing the present township hall and offices on Townline Road in Harrison.

June 6
Farwell BOE slashes budget
It took up most of three hours Monday but at the end of the meeting the Farwell Board of Education finally made their decision and cut $584,300 from the coming year’s budget. The cuts to the Chinese Immersion Program, choice rooms, athletics and class sizes were most protested to by parents.

Explosion uncovers meth lab
An explosion at the Deer Trail Motel in Harrison Tuesday led to the discovery of a meth lab. One man, Jason Robert West, 30, was arrested there on an unrelated charge.

June 13
Amish buggy robbed
Clare and Gladwin County officers are looking for suspects in a rash of robberies in the Amish Community recently. The one Clare County incident happened on Beaverton Road east of Tobacco road just after midnight May 23.

Harrison man found dead in Shingle Lake
A 79-year-old Harrison man, Alfred Gengler was found in Shingle Take in Lake George Saturday. Deputies found the man in the lake and despite rescuers efforts he was pronounced dead, of natural causes, at the scene.

June 20
Catholic churches will merge July 1
A recent letter from Parrish Priest Rev. Prentice A. Tipton, Jr. announced the merger of St. Cecilia, St. Henry and St. Charles Mission in Leaton. The three now are “Our Lady of Hope Parrish” with St. Cecilia as the main church.

Cole pleads guilty to bank robberies
Clinton Cole, 57, of Harrison has pled guilty to the armed robbery of two Harrison Chemical Banks last October. He will be sentenced next month and has already been sentenced for the third robbery – The Wexford Community Credit Union in Cadillac.

June 27
Hammond named new MMCC president
After a national search and interview process, Mid Michigan Community College’s board has named Dr. Christine M. Hammond as its sixth president.

Homeless man faces life for CSC
A 54-year-old homeless man, Kim J. Thomas who had been living with a Freeman Township family, was arraigned Tuesday on first degree criminal sexual conduct. He faces up to life in prison for alleged CSC with a 14-year-old member of the family.

July 4
Despite pleas, Farwell nixes Chinese program
Hopes were dashed for parents and students at the Farwell Board of Education meeting Monday when the board refused to reinstate the Chinese Immersion Program.

Area Vets take honor flight
Three area World War II veterans were part of the first mid-Michigan Honor Flight to Washington recently: Dan Abbott of Farwell, Basil D. Ciaramitaro of Houghton Lake escorted by Renee Haley and Robert Witkovsky of Bay City escorted by nephew-in-law Pat Humphrey.

July 11
Bass pleads guilty to Dennis murder
Oanh Kieu Bass, 34, pled guilty to second degree murder and felony firarm charges in Clare County Circuit Court Wednesday for 2013 shooting death of Floyd Dennis.

Champine sentenced to 15 years for CSC
Darin M. Champine, of Farwell, will serve up to 15 years in prison for 11 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct and child pornography. He was found guilty after a five-day jury trial May 13.

July 18
Harrison man dies, 3 injured in truck-semi crash
Joe Hershberger died and three others were injured: Butch Clark of Harrison, Tom Hubbard of Evart and Scott Peterson of Coleman, in an accident on M-115 in Cadillac.

Gas leak forces evacuations
Two businesses were evacuated and two streets closed to traffic for a natural gas lead on North Clare Avenue in Hayes Township July 11.

Review reader wins $500
Kate Slezinger, of Rockwood, won $500 in the Clare County Review and Marion Press’s Read to Win contest recently.

July 25
Clare BOE seeks support for bond issue
Clare Board of Education members gave Superintendent Doniel Pummell the go-ahead Monday to look for community support for a bond issue.

August 1
Clare visitor traveling coast-to-coast on horseback
Bernice Ende visited Clare on Tuesday while traveling across country – on horseback – from Montana to Maine. She decided to stop in Clare after hearing about Cops and Doughnuts from residents in the Upper Peninsula.

Supervisor questions Bushong severance
Ron Bushong leaves the Clare County Road Commission at month end after 25 years, but Hayes Township[ Supervisor Terry Acton doesn’t believe it is because he wanted to resign. Acton filed a Freedom of Information request with the CCRC for details on Bushong’s severance package on the suspicion that Bushong was fired and bought off to avoid a lawsuit.

August 8
Armed Clare man holds police at bay
Donald Anzalone, 43, of Clare, held police at bay for more than 9 hours Monday. He was arraigned Wednesday for discharging a firearm in or at a building ad is being held on a $100,000 bond with a court-ordered mental evaluation ordered. Neighboring homes, a foster care home and some Brookwood apartment dwellers were evacuated during the siege.

LaBoda quits BOC
Because his magistrate retirement package with the county was in jeopardy, Rick LaBoda, a commissioner for nearly two years, has retired.

Three Farwell children hospitalized
Three cases of MRSA near Farwell has been reported. The CDC says people at risk include young children and the elderly, college students and the prison population.

August 15
Residents say Bushong payout excessive
Road Commissioner Eddy Garver has resigned from the Clare County Road Commission board, some say because of anger over a separation agreement awarded former CCRC Manager Ron Bushong. Others have complained that Bushong’s $34,320 payout was excessive.

Grant Township asks CCRC to save roads
Grant Township board members are hoping other townships will agree that the Clare County Road Commission needs to do something to protect the county’s roads. The board adopted three resolutions to the CCRC to that end.

August 22
Chinese students given 4 options
Farwell Superintendent Carl Seiter has outlined options for the parents of Chinese Immersion classes to continue the program for their children. The school funded program was cut recently.

Prawdzik charged for hidden camera
Long-tie community leader and Mt. Pleasant Chemical Bank Manager Dave Prawdzik, 55, of Clare has been arrested for installing a hidden camera in the Pickard branch bank bathroom. He was arraigned for four felony charges and a misdemeanor.

August 29
Walmart plans store for Clare
Walmart has proposed a new 158,000 square foot store on Colonville road in Clare and is planning a public open house in Clare outlining the project in late September or early October. Construction is planned in 2015.

MLUI mulls passenger rail service through Clare
According to a recently released report from the Michigan Land Use Institute, a plan in Traverse City could lead to an expanded service connecting Amtrak routes across Michigan.

Old Cars draw crowds
Hundreds of people filled the streets of downtown Clare last Thursday when the U.S. 27 Motor Tour came to town.

September 5
Walmart plans to hire 300
Walmart’s proposed new complex on Colonville Road, tentatively scheduled for opening in 2016, will employ about 300 associates, most full time said Media Communications Director Bill Wertz last week.

Gladwin man charged for Amish robberies
A Gladwin man, Doyle Robert Dell, 20, has been charged for the August 28 gunpoint robbery of an Amish family last May in Sheridan Township.

September 12
Oanh Kieu Bass, 33, of Remus, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 to 40 years in prison for the January 2013 murder of Floyd Dennis, 68, of Harrison.

Gupta new CCRC manager
Deepak Gupta has been hired at engineer-manager of the Clare County road Commission. He was named to the new position last month to replace Ron Bushong.

September 19
Barns reduced to rubble
Four fire departments were at the scene of a double barn fire southeast of Clare Thursday morning when two barns at the Thomas Ley Farms were totally destroyed.

Cops baker Wittenbach to compete on TV program
Cops and Doughnuts Master Baker Dave Wittenbach and Assistant Katie Nice will be featured in a competitive episode on the Cooking Channel tonight competing for a $10,000 prize.

September 26
Work begins on new IDC park
Work has begun on the infrastructure for the new Clare-North Industrial Park on Colonville Road.

Large turnout expected for Hayes bid opening
A large crowd is expected at the bid opening for the new $2.6 million Hayes Township Community Center in Harrison October 14.

Hamilton crash kills Lake woman
Sharon Somers, 29, of Lake, died Monday evening in a two-vehicle crash on the corner of Clarence and Athey Avenue when she failed to stop at the intersection and drove into the path of a vehicle driven by Shawn Lewis, 29 of Harrison.

October 3
Consumers breaks ground
Consumers Energy broke ground last Friday on their new $6.5 million, 20 acre service center in the Clare-North Industrial Pak on Colonville Road.

Cross-dressing for charity
Ivana Shagolot wows judges at the Lion’s Beauty Contest last weekend. She was the overall winner of the fundraiser.

October 10
Fire ravages Lake Eagles building
The Michigan Fraternal Order of Eagles is expected to rebuild after fire ravaged its restaurant, 23-room hotel and office facility Tuesday at the Michigan Eagles Family Recreation Center in Garfield Township.

Industrial Park, road work begins
Colonville Road construction could commence as early as next week. The work is part of the nearly $15 million total project to build a new Clare-North Industrial Park, water tower and reconstruct one mile of Colonville Road to three lanes.

October 17
Bras for a Cause gala October 19
More than 70 creative bras have been designed in support of women’s health needs for the Bras for a Cause fundraiser hosted by the volunteers of MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare.

October 24
Clare Commission turns down COPS grant
In a surprise vote Monday night the Clare City Commission turned down accepting a COPs grant that would have paid a large part of a full-time police officer’s salary for the next three years, allowing the department to continue funding a full-time school liaison officer for the schools.

October 31
Businesses receive fake bills
Several Clare businesses have reported counterfeit bills passed in the city. Clare City Police are warning residents to watch for the fake bills, which were discovered at Walgreen’s, the east side Marathon and at Buccilli’s Pizza.

Voters have many choices Tuesday
The big races next Tuesday for Clare County will be for the U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan House of Representative and Michigan State Senate.

November 7
Clare Commission votes down COPs grant again
The Clare City Commission voted once again not to accept a DOPS grant that would have funded most of the salary for a full-time police officer for the next three years. The grant would have awarded the City $100,314 over a three-year period.

Senior millage passes by 1,200
A county-wide proposal to add .27 in taxes for eight years for additional senior cervices funding passed Tuesday with nearly 57 percent of voters approving it. Meanwhile long-time County Commissioner Lynn Grim lost her bid for re-election to Samantha J. Pitchford. Former County Commissioner Don David won Rick LaBoda’s empty seat on the board.

November 14
Clare Police nap counterfeiter
A 17-year old Clare teen was arrested and is awaiting arraignment on counterfeiting charges. Reportedly the teen was making counterfeit bills on a color printer in his north side home.

COPs grant accepted by City
With the promise of an additional $15,000 from Clare Schools, Clare City Commissioners approved 3-2 accepting a $100,000 COPS grant in a special meeting Wednesday. The City police force had been reduced to 7 full-time employees, endangering the liaison officer position.

November 21
Former jail employee charged with embezzling
Rebecca Haskin, 42, was arrested in Lake County Florida on charges of embezzling from the Clare County Sheriff’s Department. She was charged with taking a large sum from the County Jail’s inmate account last spring.

Counterfeiter identified
Alexander Haupt, 17, of Clare was arrested November 12 on counterfeiting charges. An alert in October warned area businesses of fake bills being passed in the area. Haupt was arrested at a gas station in Mt. Pleasant after attempting to pay with a counterfeit bill.

Man leads deputies on high speed chase
Raymond Arthur Massie, 32 of Harrison, is facing charges after he led officers on a high speed chase last Friday afternoon in Hayes Township.

November 28
County schools rated average
Most area schools received a “C” or average grade in the Mackinac Center’s second annual “Michigan Public High School Context and Performance Report Card released last Thursday.

New veteran’s campground planned for Harrison
Just west of Harrison, an all-new kind of campground designed especially for veterans and their families is being developed. The founder, Wayne Daggett said he developed the idea since nothing is available and affordable for veterans.

December 5
Former Harrison man charged in double murder
A former Harrison resident has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife and her father in Kalkaska County. Keith Allen Ferguson, 40, allegedly beat and killed his wife Tiffany Anne Ferguson in her home and her father Jim Webber November 18.

Surprise baby born at Snowsnake
Alexis Ann Gross made an unexpected appearance Friday. She was born at Snowsnake when her mother Kerry Gross of Harrison, and formerly of Clare, went into labor after dropping husband James off there for work.

Hamilton Township man dies in fire
Tom Galford, died in a Saturday morning house fire while visiting his mother in Hamilton Township. Both Galford’s mother and his wife escaped the home with minor injuries.

December 12
Wrong way driver kills two on U.S. 127
Ryan Tree, 41 of Shepherd and Dr. Scott Kuhnert, 45 of Bath were both killed when Tree drove his vehicle northbound in the southbound lane of the freeway. A 57-year old passenger in Kuhnert’s vehicle was air-lifted to Sparrow Hospital with multiple injuries. Reportedly Tree had been drinking before the crash.

House named top superintendent
Harrison School Superintendent Thomas House was awarded the Michigan Association of School Administrators Region IV Superintendent of the Year Monday in a special presentation by MASA representatives.

December 19
Wooden horse comes to Clare to save term limits
Jeff Tillman is traveling around the state with a 10-foot wooden horse for “Don’t Touch Term Limits,” a non-partisan, grass-roots organization dedicated to protecting the term limits for state legislators set by voters in 1992.

Five injured when car hits buggy
Five members of an area Amish family are still hospitalized after their buggy was rear-ended last Sunday evening. Dan and Lovina Zook, both 34 of Gladwin, and their seven children were in the buggy when it was hit from behind by Alvin Willford, 22, of Gladwin. Alcohol and extremely foggy weather are believed to have been factors in the crash.

Farwell 4th grader wins state prize for 25 pound cabbage
Farwell Elementary fourth grader Madison Dysinger was judged winner in Michigan for the 25-pound cabbage she raised last summer, a school project through the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. Clare to 300 schools in Michigan participated. Madison also won a $1,000 education savings bond.


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