Looking back on 2017

December 29, 2017

Following are some excerpts from the articles on the front pages of the Clare County Review since 2017 began.
January:
6th –
Clare firefighter injured Tuesday

Clare Fire Department Assistant Sam Eberhart is recovering at home with his family, wife Ashley, son Russell and daughter Katherine, after he was seriously injured while fighting a business fire last week.

Clare Fire Department Assistant Sam Eberhart is recovering at home with his family, wife Ashley, son Russell and daughter Katherine, after he was seriously injured while fighting a business fire last week.

Clare Assistant Fire Chief Sam Eberhart is reportedly doing well after he fell through a ceiling while fighting a fire at Husky Metal Roofs 8742 South Clare Avenue, Clare. Firefighters from Clare were assisted by personnel from both Surrey Township and Harrison Fire Departments when a fire broke out at Husky Metal Roofs north of Clare on Tuesday morning. Fire Chief Jim Chapman said Eberhart was badly injured when he fell 14 feet onto a cement floor.
Lake couple found dead in home Wednesday
A 43-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, Glen Chedester and Kimberly Chedester, were found dead in their Garfield Township home Wednesday morning. CCSD investigators have called their deaths “suspicious,” and believe that the deaths may be related to suspected drug use.

Animal Shelter Director Ruanne Hicks and Animal Control Officer Bob Dodson hold an abandoned lab mix puppy they have named Veronica or Ronnie.

Animal Shelter Director Ruanne Hicks and Animal Control Officer Bob Dodson hold an abandoned lab mix puppy they have named Veronica or Ronnie.

Clare Animal Shelter named most improved
According to the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, the Clare County Animal Shelter, located at 4038 Hazel Road, Harrison, was the most improved medium shelter in Michigan in 2015.

13th –
Snowmobile pro dies in ‘No Bull’ race crash
A Hillman man, Billy-Joe Travis, 30, died last Friday when he fell from his snowmobile during the “No Bull Triple Crown” race series at the Isabella County Fairgrounds.

20th –
Icy roads close schools, cause 45 accidents
All area schools closed for the seventh day in a row Wednesday, due to freeze and thaw conditions coupled with rain and sleet which made driving treacherous at best this week. Gravel roads were in the worst condition.

27th –
Harrison cuts ribbon for new City Hall
Last Thursday evening, Harrison City officials celebrated the completion of a seven-month long project to build a brand new City Hall and Department of Public Works complex. A Grand Opening of the new facility was held January 19th.

February:
3rd –
Pilots make emergency landing on country road
A faulty carburetor in a 1964 Cessna 182 plane from Gateway Air Service forced the pilot and co-pilot to make an emergency landing in Midland County Monday morning. Both men were safe.

10th –
MMCAA celebrates 50 years
It’s a big year for the Mid Michigan Community Action Agency. This year MMCAA is commemorating its 50th anniversary. In 1966, MMCAA jointed the Community Action Partnership, opening its operations from a family garage, eventually moving into a building on McEwan Street. In 2008 they made another to a brand new building between Clare and Farwell.

17th –
Walmart reneges: No Clare store
According to an article in the Traverse City Record Eagle last week, the planned Walmart Supercenter in Clare and another planned for Kalkaska have been cancelled, although Clare City Manager Ken Hibl said the City has not been notified. The news was verified by Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield on Wednesday.

24th –
High temps make Frostbite fun
Near perfect 50 degree weather, family fun and community support made this year’s Frostbite Festival in Harrison nearly perfect. The four-day festival

This years polar dip was in sync with the idea of wearing summer swimwear. Photo by Jordan Wilcox

This years polar dip was in sync with the idea of wearing summer swimwear.
Photo by Jordan Wilcox

included a big kickoff party, window decorating, an arts and crafts fair and many other events.

March:
3rd –
Local race team finishes 11th at Daytona
Mark Bear’s Beard Oil/TSS Logistics and Beard Motorsports team hit the big time when they not only raced in the Daytona 500 but collected an 11th place win in the season opener February 26th. Beard’s driver was Brendan Gaughan of Los Vegas.

10th –
Damaging windstorms wreak havoc
High damaging winds reaching between 40 to 60+ miles per hour caused widespread damage and power outages for Clare County Wednesday March 8th. Consumers Energy estimated 300,000 without power across the state including 3,000 in Clare County. Two people, Maxwell Muessig of Midland and Margaretta Potter of Jamestown, Rhode Island, died when their vehicle was hit by a tree blown over by high winds on M-115 near the Osceola County Line.

17th –
Students and semi driver injured in Farwell bus-truck collision
A snowstorm has been called a factor in the crash between a Farwell school bus and a semi on the corner of Cedar Road and M-115 early Monday morning. The accident caused minor injuries to two students on the bus and the semi driver, who is credited with avoiding a tragedy when he attempted to miss hitting the bus.
Cow strolls Main Street
It isn’t every day that a steer gets a police escort through the streets of Clare, but this week an 800 pound black bovine escaped from the Clare Stockyards on Grant and decided to take a stroll, sometimes a run through the City.

24th –
Going Green
It may have been a chilly weekend but that didn’t stop the fun as Clare party goes put on their “Irish” for the 41st annual Irish Festival last weekend.
Transit bus sideswipes truck, no injuries
All four passengers of a Clare County Transit bus were okay after the bus sideswiped a truck hauling a trailer Tuesday in Harrison. The bus was northbound on Park Street when the accident happened.

31st –
Animals die in Surrey barn fire
A barn fire on Silver Lake Drive in Hill Haven west of Farwell destroyed a barn and several animals housed inside last Friday. The 30 by 40 foot building was “fully involved” when the department arrived.
Business woman Ruby Koch laid to rest
Former business owner Ruby (Poet) Koch, 88, died last Sunday at the Woodland Hospice House. Ruby was the long time owner of Her Place, and together with husband Bill, owned and operated the Ideal Theatre.

April:
7th –
Harrison chamber unveils plans for new office
Plans are under way for the future new Harrison Chamber of Commerce building in the old DNR Field Office located between Wilson State Park and Ken’s

Officials participating in the new Harrison City Complex Ribbon Cutting included: (from left) DPW Superintendent Sam Russell, City Manager & Clerk Tracey Beadle, Council Member Connie Cauchi, Mayor Stacy Stocking, Council Member Dave Rowe, Council Member Don Kolander, and Catherine Brown of the Chamber of Commerce.

Officials participating in the new Harrison City Complex Ribbon Cutting included: (from left) DPW Superintendent Sam Russell, City Manager & Clerk Tracey Beadle, Council Member Connie Cauchi, Mayor Stacy Stocking, Council Member Dave Rowe, Council Member Don Kolander, and Catherine Brown of the Chamber of Commerce.

Landing Sporting Good on Bus 27.
Confederate flag not reason for HHS suspensions
Several Facebook posts Thursday claimed that two Harrison high School students had been suspended this week for bringing a Confederate Flag and American Flag to the school. Superintendent Rick Foote said, “People do not have the facts.” He said it was “a disruption and insubordination in a classroom that led to two students being sent home.”

14th –
Grant board nixes setback ordinance
After a lengthy discussion between the board and residents attending the meeting about a set-back ordinance for township property, the board voted not to have an ordinance. Township residents at the meeting objected to the issue.

21st –
Farwell DPW suspensions will stand
After the Clare Village Council suspended two DPW workers because their medical cards were expired, one, Jason Walters, requested a closed session to ask that his four-week suspension be reduced. The Village denied his request. Village president Gina Hamilton said, “If anything would have happened it would have been a huge liability for the Village.”
Rail Trail sports solar system sculptures
The Pere Marquette Rail Trail has new attractions, sculptural representatives of the solar system. They are located east of Coleman, and were created and built by Bob Mass of Midland.

28th –
Area fire departments face critical shortage
Clare County is struggling with a critical shortage of firefighters especially this year.
Improvements in the working environment are making it more and more difficult to find workers, a huge problem for the volunteer fire departments around the state, country and here in Clare County.
Speed limits on freeways, state highways going up
A new law passed by the State Legislature in late 2016 is changing the speed limits on some roads in Michigan. Six hundred miles of state freeways will see the speed limit increase to 75 miles per hour and 900 miles of non-freeway state highways will be increased to a 65 mph limit.

May:
5th –
Harrison voters approved school money
The bond proposal for Harrison School District passed with a vote of 1253 to 827. About 1,772 ballots were cast.
Clare ZBA says ‘no’ to weed store
A medical marijuana dispensary will not be allowed on the east corner of Clare’s South Industrial Park, after the Zoning Board of Appeals said no to a zoning change which would have allowed the store by the northeast entrance to the park.

12th –
McQuay faces murder charges
A domestic dispute involving alcohol turned into a stabbing death early Sunday morning in Clare. Michelle McQuay, 57 of Clare, is accused of stabbing her boyfriend Daniel Kruskamp, 58, during a lengthy fight involving alcohol at their West Wheaton Street home.

19th –
Surrey landlords speak out against rent ordinance
Landlords in Surrey Township are upset over a rental inspection ordinance and fees approved at the last two township meetings. Township Clerk Glenna Bradbury said, “We (the board) feel that we do need to have an ordinance in place that regulates rental conditions and makes it safe and healthy for all renters.”
Man dies in fire he set to exterminate insects
Ethan Carl, 77 of Harrison, died Thursday Many 11, during a wildfire in a wooded area near Cornwell and Long Lake. A neighbor told investigators that Carl may have been trying to exterminate insects with fire when the blaze got out of control.

26th –
Lawmakers consider psych hospital for area
Six State Representatives are supporting the development of a new psychiatric hospital north of Clare County to replace the aging Caro facility and make access closer for Michigan’s northern counties.

June:
2nd –
State’s Top wrestler dies of auto injuries
Amante Young, a junior at Clare High School, died Tuesday morning of injuries suffered in a May 21st accident north of Coleman. Young was the first

Coach Tim Packard with State Champion wrestler Amante Young.

Coach Tim Packard with State Champion wrestler Amante Young.

wrestling state champion in Clare history, claiming the Division 3 125-pound state championship in early March.
Clare wins state track title
The Clare boys’ varsity track and field team racked up enough points to claim the MITCA Division Three state championship on Saturday.

9th –
73 years later, vet gets diploma
Floyd Schmidt of Farwell was awarded with an honorary diploma at last Sunday’s Farwell High School Graduation.
Harrison rallies behind Gallo
A benefit will be held to support George Gallo and his family Sunday June 11th. Gallo, a Harrison school board member and owner of Mid Michigan Bail Bonds, suffered serious life-threatening complications from a routine non-invasive heart surgery.

16th –
Moolenaar witnessed shooting
Fourth District Representative John Moolenaar was attending a baseball practice at a YMCA in preparation for a Republicans vs Democrats game in Alexandria, Virginia this week when a shooter, identified at James Hodgkinson, injured at least five people. Moolenaar witnessed the attack but was not injured.

23rd –
Farwell superintendent resigns
The Farwell Board of Education will be looking for a new superintendent. After 25 years with the district, Carl Seiter announced his resignation Monday, announcing his acceptance of a dual superintendent position for Hillman and Atlanta Community Schools.
Man accused of torturing dog
Joshua Hook, 30 of Harrison, is facing charges of animal torture and resisting arrest in connection with an incident where he allegedly severely injured a dog with a knife.

30th –
Worst flood in 30 years puts Isabella, Midland Counties under water
Just one week ago today, mid-Michigan experienced the biggest floods since 1986. Severe storms and heavy rain hit Isabella and Midland County hardest, prompting Lt. Governor Brian Calley to declare a state of disaster in both counties because of the widespread flooding and storm damage.

July:
7th –
Harrison homes, cars burn over July 4th holiday
The day before and the day after the Fourth of July were busy ones for the Harrison Fire Department, which answered more than six calls for structure fires.

14th –
Residents angry over Grant truck, noise restrictions
About 40 people attended Tuesday’s Grant Township meeting, most to air complaints at length about the truck restriction ordinances and others, who voiced their opposition to the board’s proposed Anti-Noise Nuisance Ordinance discussed recently
O’Laughlin resigns from Clare Chamber
Pam O/Laughlin, Executive Director of the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce for over four years, will be leaving this week to take a position with Middle Michigan Development.

21st –
Detroit man charged with Harrison stabbing death
A 41-year-old Detroit man, Walter Roosevelt-Taft Downing, is behind bars in Clare County after being charged with the Hamilton Township stabbing death of a second Detroit man, 46-year-old James Edwards, last Saturday night.
House chosen as interim superintendent
Former Harrison superintendent Tom House was chosen as interim Farwell Superintendent replacing Carl Seiter who left to take a dual position at Hillman and Atlanta schools.

28th –
New grocery store opens in Clare
It was a big day for Save-A-Lot Wednesday. A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony was held for the brand new Clare store, welcoming hundreds of shoppers to help celebrate their first day of business.

August:
4th –
Capacity crowds enjoy County Fair, Lumberjack Festival
It was mostly good weather all week for the 134th Clare County Fair and a great weekend for the 17th annual Lumberjack Festival in Farwell.

11th –
Woman dies when tube crashes into boat
A 23-year-old woman riding on a tube behind a board on Sand Lake, died Sunday afternoon when she and a teen also tubing crashed into a boat tied to a dock.
Amish man electrocuted in work accident
Alvin James Yoder, of South Rogers Road, Clare, died last Sunday afternoon while working to clear a 20 foot high gran tank on his farm, when he apparently touched a power line.

18th –
Old 27 Car Tour arrives Thursday
With August nearly over, the summer festivities include the 11th annual Old US 27 Car Tour.
Gladwin Valedictorian Kristina Garafalo, who was to attend CMU this fall, died in a head-on crash August 11 on US-10 in Midland County.

No one was injured when a Clare County Transit bus caught fire Monday while traveling to Clare with a passenger. The driver was able to get himself and his passenger off the bus in time. Photo by Victor Kwatowski

No one was injured when a Clare County Transit bus caught fire Monday while traveling to Clare with a passenger. The driver was able to get himself and his passenger off the bus in time.
Photo by Victor Kwatowski

25th –
Transit bus burns, no injuries
A Monday fire completely destroyed a Clare County Transit bus Monday afternoon on the southbound exit ram of U.S. 127 August 21st.

September:
1st –
Harrison women lead cops on 35-mile chase
Two Harrison women were arrested Wednesday afternoon after leading police from three departments on a chase through Isabella and Clare Counties.

8th –
Road Commission spends millions on roads
Deepak Gupta, Engineer-Manager of the Clare County Road Commission, outlined this year’s roadwork including flood repair across the county totaling more than $4 million.

15th—
Chemical Bank to close branches
Chemical Financial Corporation, the largest bank in Michigan announced last week that they will be restructuring and closing branches, including the one in Farwell.

22nd –
Clare man sues city
Tom Dunn of Clare has filed a lawsuit against the city charging that they over charged him on an estimate for his FOIA requests.

29th –
Clare leads county schools in MEAP, ACT test results
Clare topped the scores for the 2016-17 M-Step and ACT test results in Clare County with 44 percent of 4th grade students meeting state standards.

October:
6th –
Harrison gets $2 million grant
Harrison has been showing a lot of improvements this year. Recently the City of Harrison was also one of 14 Michigan communities announced as the recipients of a $2 million Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to upgrade water and sewer systems.

13th –
Clare Crowns Homecoming royalty
Clare seniors, Ellie Johnson was named the Clare Homecoming Queen for 2017 and Kolt Lincoln was named Homecoming King at Friday night’s halftime festivities in Clare.
Former school janitor jailed for child soliciting
A former Farwell School janitor, Donvan Cantu, 31, of Farwell, has been charged with soliciting a child and criminal use of a computer.

20th –
Farwell suspends Village treasurer
Tracy Lee, Treasurer for the Village of Farwell, was put on an unpaid four-week suspension at an October 11 special meeting of the Village Council.
Commissioners seek to limit marijuana processing
Two agenda items, both concerning medical marijuana, led to a lengthy discussion and concerns from two members of the Clare City Commission Monday evening.

27th –
Weekend rain causes flooding
Similar heavy rain, but less than the torrential rainfall that caused wide spread flooding in the neighboring counties last June, hit the area earlier this week.

November:
3rd –
100 Santas converge on Clare
With less than two months left before Christmas, nearly 100 Santas from all over the United States and Canada all came to Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm 11-24-17 Reindeer Farm Jump DSC_6062last weekend.

10th –
Harrison couple murdered in Texas church massacre
A candle light vigil was held Monday evening for Robert and Shani Corrigan, originally from Harrison. The couple were among the 26 who died in a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Southerland Springs, Texas.

17th –
Roger’s City boss chosen Farwell superintendent
After interviewing the final two candidates Monday, the Farwell Board of Education offered the new superintendent’s position to David O’Bryant, the current superintendent of Rogers City Area Schools.
Bomb threat ‘joke’ causes evacuation
A 14-year-old teen, who may be facing criminal charges, said that sending a media picture of an explosive device and telling another student he had placed a bomb under a teacher’s chair, was only a “joke.”

24th –
Eight honored for saving Isaac’s life
Eight people were given life-saving pins at Monday’s Clare City Commission meeting for their efforts that contributed to saving the life of Dave Isaac recently.

December:
1st –
Felony charges for bomb threat
The 14-year-old Farwell student who made a bomb threat against the high school November 13 is now facing felony charges.

8th –
Monday storms down trees, cause power outages
Following a powerful storm, Consumers Energy linemen were hard at work Tuesday repairing damage and restoring power to 6,237 customers across Clare County.

15th –
First Winter Storm drops 5+ inches of snow in area
The first major storm of the season dropped around five inches of snow in the Clare area Wednesday.

22nd –
MHSAA suspends Harrison Basketball coach
The Harrison basketball team was enjoying one of its better starts in recent memory. That start hit a snag last week when the MHSAA announced that the team’s first year head coach Nate Minnoy would be suspended from the team starting January 15.
Three from Farwell charged with embezzlement
Two Farwell women Michelle Voories and Amanda Blain, and one Farwell man, Jason Blain, have been charged with embezzling funds from the Farwell Youth Wrestling Club.

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