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‘Tis the season... Local Arts & Crafts shows abound Find area events online events Grand Ledge Independent By ALAN MILLER GRAND LEDGE — The first amendment to the constitution guarantees citizens the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” At the last meeting of the Grand Ledge Board of Education, Stephen Woods decided to do exactly that. “We got screwed is the way we feel,” he said. A year ago, Woods’ two children attended Greenwood Elementary School, approximately one and a half miles from Greenwood Elementary School. Facing a multi-million dollar projected deficit, the school board voted to consolidate five elementary schools into four, and two middle schools into one, resulting in the closure of Greenwood. Woods’ children now attend Wacousta Elementary School, six miles and a 10 minute drive away by car, but a 45 minute bus trip each morning and 50 to 70 minutes each afternoon, with stops in four different town- Your very own newspaper serving Grand Ledge since 1869 © 2010 Lansing Community Newspapers Vol. 160 - No. 49 Long bus rides dilemma for parents, schools ships because of the bus routing. In order to increase efficiency, the school district attempts to use their buses as close to their full capacity as possible. Elementary students must sit three to a seat, which requires students to put backpacks on their laps and makes homework on the bus impossible, Woods said. Instead of reading and doing homework, Woods said, his 6-year-old son spends the ride time “learning lessons of the world” from the 12 year-olds who share his ride time. Grand Ledge School Superintendent Steve Matthews is sympathetic to the Woods’ concerns, and promised to look at possible changes, but said his ability to act is limited. “I know the parents don’t want to hear this, but they do fit within the existing board policy,” Matthews said. Grand Ledge bus policy puts a limit of 60 minutes on student bus rides in norSee Bus/page 3 “a step above the rest” December 5, 2010 Bad day turns good G.L. woman wins $1-million prize By ALAN MILLER GRAND LEDGE — For Julie Laughlin, a Grand Ledge retiree, a small annoyance turned into a major life changer. It was one of those annoying popups that litter your computer screen when you are trying to do something else on line. Ordinarily Laughlin, like most net surfers, hits the ‘DELETE’ button and moves on. For some reason, she didn’t for a pop-up ad from Publisher’s Clearing House, and on a whim she entered their contest. “I didn’t buy any magazines, but I bought a bag of grass seed,” she said. “I have this spot in my back yard that just won’t grow grass, and they had this grass seed that is supposed to be really fast.” Like many people these days, Laughlin, a retired secretary from the state Department of Education, had been experiencing financial pressures. “I was having a lot of problems financially, and trying to decide if I was going to keep my home or let it go,” she said. And on Tuesday, Dec. 2, after a string of bad days, she had a very good day. Laughlin was in a Grand Rapids hospital keeping her cousin company following surgery when the Prize Pa- Alan Miller Julie Laughlin, of Grand Ledge, holds a replica check representing the $1 million prize she won after responding to a pop-up ad for Publisher’s Clearing House. Before the prize patrol showed up at her door, Laughlin said she had been worrying about whether she could keep her house. trol showed up on her doorstep with a replica check for $1 million. After ringing the doorbell multiple times, they went to neighbor Kathy Feighner’s house. Feighner was able to contact Christmas Specials! Buy 3 Massage Coupons LJ-0100057311 TM for $100 and/or 4 Pedicure Coupons for $100 to give as gifts or keep one for yourself. Check out our website for more specials! Laughlin’s son, Ben, who called his mother with a message to come home because a package had been delivered for her. See Prize/page 5 21 210 n. bridge st. 1 Hour “Holiday 2 Vanilla Bean” downtown or “Sweet g grand ledge Peppermint” 51 517.622.1763 Massage $45 w walk-ins a welcome ome e certificates available gift gi ft ce labl blle How to reach us: Advertising: 517-377-1141 Circulation: 866-226-1812 News: 517-377-1084 Classifieds: 877-475-SELL or 877-391-SELL

Grand Ledge Independent

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