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January 12, 2013 • Vol. 134 No. 2 514 S. Kalamazoo Ave. in Marshall, MI • Phone 269-781-5444 and FAX 269-781-7766 •

In The News: Marshall manufacturing continues ‘good, quiet’ growth


Expect more of the same for manufacturing in Marshall in the new year from where it left off at the end of 2012, says Marshall Economic Development Manager Mike Hindenach. The manufacturing sector may not make headlines, but Hindenach says that’s not a negative, but rather the contrary. “I’m actually pretty optimistic about 2103,” said Hindenach. “I think there’s some stuff that’s going on that will be pretty exciting. Our activity shot up substantially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I think we kicked out five proposals during that time, so things were hopping there for a while.” Hindenach said 2012 featured “good, quiet growth.” See story on page 18

Wayne Booton steps down from seat The Marshall City Council will be looking to fill its Ward 1 seat after the sudden resignation of Wayne Booton. Mayor Jim Dyer announced at the Jan. 7 council meeting that he received a letter from Booton on Jan. 5 that stated: I must submit my resignation from the Marshall City Council effective Jan. 4, 2013 due to personal reasons. The council is required to fill the vacant position within 60 days according to the City Charter. See story on page 17 MAEDA ready to ‘get down to business’ In Jan. 8 press release, Marshall Mayor Jim Dyer announced his excitement about the formation and implementation of the new non-profit corporation, the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA), which will align and coordinate the services of Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce, the DDA/Main Street Program and the Marshall Economic Development Corporation/Local Development Finance Authority. Heading up the corporation will be John Coulter, who is returning to Marshall to become MAEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. See story on page 20

Calhoun County Alliance for Safe Schools seeks to improve school safety measures With the Dec. 14 tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn. looming in his mind, Battle Creek Police Department Sgt. Brad Palmer decided it was time for him to take action in his own community. Today, Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the Moonraker on Columbia Ave. in Battle Creek, a group of volunteers will meet for the second time to discuss school safety for Calhoun County school districts. Palmer recently brought together a group of 25 people on Dec. 29 for the first meeting to begin these discussions. “As parents, we have to lead the initiative to ensure that everything possible is done to make our schools safe and action is taken to implement the change rapidly,” he said. See story on page 40

...a recipe for success

Marshall High School assembles ‘Red Hot Chili Bots’ robotics team On Jan. 5, the Marshall High School Robotics team, “The Red Hot Chili Bots,” kicked off a six-week project to build a robot, which will compete in the Michigan For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition in March. “The FIRST Robotics competition challenges students grades 9-12 to have the ‘hardest fun [they] will ever have,’” said team coach Steve Seifert. “The team challenges students to participate and test their abilities, not by what they know, but by what they can learn.” See story on page 30


he Music Center of South Central Michigan has created a recipe for success with its fundraiser MEN WHO COOK. Now in its fifth year, the annual event generates money to help ensure that music is available to everyone. Whether it is through classes, ensemble performance or attending a concert, the Center continues to be a regional arts inspiration. Marshall’s Joe Caron is one of more than 20 volunteers who, on Jan. 26, will share their time and culinary talents with Music Center supporters and other guests. To find out more about the other men who cook and what is on their menus, see story on page 22.

Word on the Street Should the president take action on gun control legislation?

Editor’s Corner by John Hendler

On Thursday, the White House held a gun summit to address gun control legislation in the wake of last month’s Connecticut elementary school massacre. Last week, Vice President Biden hinted that President Obama would exercise executive powers if he could not reach a deal with Congress.

Hey buddy, can you spare a $1 trillion coin? New year, old shenanigans. The latest “fix” to our nation’s economic woes is a little section of the U.S. code that allows the Treasury secretary to mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins of a size and denomination of the secretary’s discretion. The provision was originally considered for commemorative coins, but in the past couple of weeks, there has been growing support by some Democrats that if the Republicans try to block an increase in the debt ceiling, the government should just issue a $3 trillion coin. Abracadabra, problem solved. Leaving Fantasyland for a reality check, the “real” fix will be when government cuts back on the spending our hard-earned money. The old saying by Benjamin Franklin, A penny saved is a penny earned is just that, old. It's so outdated, so unrealistic, so 18th century. Get with the times, man. Today, in our enlightened 21st century, it's you've got to spend money to make money. You know: Just spend, baby. I admit I'm no economist, and I also admit that I may come off sounding like a bit of a moron with my upcoming analogy, since I have a penchant for making poor analogies, but isn't raising the debt ceiling like maxing out your credit card and calling your bank and asking for a credit limit increase so you can continue your irresponsible spending? That is, until you max out again and need another increase because, you know, you got to keep spending. Why call it a limit or ceiling if it keeps getting raised? Yes officer, I know the speed limit is 45 and I was going 55, but can you raise the speed limit to 55 to accommodate my speeding increase? I'll make sure I won't exceed the new limit until I do so and then ask you to raise it to 65. If there were serious efforts to cut spending, the tax increases that have shrunk our paychecks to start 2013 would be a little bit easier to swallow. Thanks, citizen. We need more of your money so we can keep up with our addiction for spending. The new year also saw the highest-earning Americans getting the largest tax increases the Bush tax cuts no longer applied to them. An interesting question to ponder: What would happen if those people decided to make less money deliberately so they wouldn't be taxed as much? What does that say about our culture when we deliberately start making less to avoid paying more? What happens when the fat cats' wealth drops? Tax them even more, right? Right up until there's nothing left to tax. What is that tipping point? Tax 70, 80, 90 percent? At some point, people will get tired of working just to give it all to the government, who then spreads it around to those who like the idea of you supporting them. Here's an idea: Why not just eliminate the government as middle man and send your money directly to your assigned family or citizens? You'd be their sponsor and perhaps they'd be required to write you a letter every other month to tell you how they are doing, thanks to your support. Then again, I have a feeling that if it actually worked that way, taxpayers wouldn't be so keen on the idea. At the very least, they would expect something in return from the people that they were sponsoring. If I'm obligated to pay for you, what's your obligation to me?

Until next week, may the good news be yours.

Dave Koenig, Marshall

Katie Hillis, Olivet

“I don’t like that. The gun doesn’t shoot itself. We need better background checks.”

“He shouldn’t bypass Congress. If people want to have guns to defend themselves, they should. Since when do criminals obey the law?”

Nancy Triece, Marshall

Rachel Aschliman, Angola, Ind.

“No way.”

Jan Rocco, Homer

“No. I don’t think he should.”


“Absolutely not.”

Jeff Parker, Marshall “He does want something done in a hasty manner. I don’t think he should bypass Congress.”

Attend the Jan. 14 Marshall School Board meeting To the Editor: I am writing to be sure the community is aware of the proposed reorganization of the three elementary schools from K-5 to three different grade-bundled schools announced by the superintendent prior to the 2012 holiday break. The proposed change would make each elementary school: Walters, Hughes, and Gordon one of the following: • Pre- K-1st • 2nd -3rd • 4th -5th This would completely change the way the schools

are organized today. These schools would no longer encompass all elementary school grades. Each student in the district would have to attend all three schools. I strongly urge all parents of affected children to attend the next school board meeting to listen to details regarding the proposed change: • The reasoning behind this recommendation • The studies that are to be conducted on how this change will affect the students long-term. • The research into how

this can be effectively managed to limit logistical chaos with student drop-off and pick-up, as many families will be attending more than 1 elementary school. • Documented research already conducted by other school systems on the positive/negative aspects of this type of elementary school set-up. • The timeline to fully research this topic, make a final decision, and execute the change if deemed appropriate • The school board meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 14 at the Marshall Mid-

dle School Community Room. The meeting is scheduled to start 7 p.m. All parents/concerned citizens are welcome to attend this open meeting to learn more about complete restructuring of the elementary schools. Please make every effort to attend as this could greatly impact the education of the kids in the area and your input is vital to making the best decision for the future. Laura Bartlett and Matthew Eggleton, Marshall

Bolger Medigap abolition deal should be eliminated To the Editor: State House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall rammed through the 2012 “lame duck” legislative session, a Blue Cross privatization reform bill that will adversely affect low income seniors in Michigan and all future retirees dependent on “Medigap” insurance, which augments Medicare coverage. Under pressure from “Right to Life Michigan” and interfaith senior advocacies, Gov. Snyder vetoed the Blue Cross revamp. Representative Bolger is now reintroducing the bills.

The “Bolger Medigap abolition” deal to take effect in 2017 deserves to be totally eliminated. Representative Bolger has not consulted his district residents nor his senior constituents in an open forum on his Medigap abolition schemes. Why the non-accountability? In the statewide press, AP journalists Jeff Karoub and David Eggert reported the details of the bill reintroduced by Mr. Bolger: “Blue Cross would shed its charitable ‘social mission’ and contribute up to $1.5 billion to a non-profit

foundation carrying on that work. The foundation would work to improve public health and healthcare access, particularly for children and the elderly. About 60 percent of the money is earmarked in the first four years to subsidize Medigap, which fills the gap in Medicare coverage for senior citizens, to prevent rates from significantly rising. Critics say the contribution isn’t set in stone and neither is the size of the tax bill after credits are taken into account. They fear that the social mission will be

diminished because it doesn’t cover what Blue Cross currently contributes to it.” This proposed action would prove to be a significant financial burden on low-income individuals as well as current seniors and future generations. Termination of Blue Cross Medigap policies in 2017 is unwarranted. It is important that Representative Jase Bolger hear from his constituents immediately and respond to their justified outrage. Carl Davidson, Interfaith Senior Advocates Marshall

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MHS boys varsity make it six in a row 53-23 win at Jackson Northwest improves record to 7-1

photos by John Hendler

The Marshall High School boys varsity basketball team improved its record to 7-1 after a 53-23 win at Jackson Northwest on Jan. 8. The win was the Redhawks’ sixth straight, the only loss of the season coming at Battle Creek Central on Dec. 7. At Northwest, Marshall was led by Robby Ranville’s (left photo versus Harper Creek Jan. 4 where Ranville scored 22 points in the 56-42 win) 17 points and Tony Wimberly’s 14 points. Center photo: Conner Vincent drives past Harper Creek’s Mickey Barea. Right photo: Dan Welke gets position for the rebound in front of Harper Creek’s Brandon Hutson. Marshall played at Loy Norrix on Friday night and returns to action at home on Friday, Jan. 18 versus Lakeview.

MHS girls varsity rebounds with win over Northwest

photo by Dana Nichol

photo by Dana Nichol

photo by John Hendler

The Marshall High School girls varsity basketball team improved its season record to 6-3 following a 45-38 home win over Jackson Northwest on Jan. 8. Marshall was led by Tierra Orban, who had 12 points. Also in double figures for Marshall was Logan Kiessling, who scored 10 points. Left photo: Sarah Huffman puts up the three pointer over Northwest’s Haley Nugent. Center photo: Kelsey Postema looks to pass to an open teammate during the fourth quarter versus Northwest. Right photo: Lauren Van Dyke blocks Harper Creek’s Haley Burritt Jan. 4. The girls varsity played at Loy Norrix Friday evening and will return to action at home versus Lakeview on Friday, Jan. 18 at 5:45 p.m.

MHS swimmers win big at Albion, 140-30 46 personal bests recorded during meet

photos by John Hendler

The Marshall High School boys swimming and diving team returned to action Jan. 8 with a 140-30 victory at Albion. During the dual meet, Marshall swimmers set 46 personal bests. The team is back in action at home on Tuesday, Jan. 15 versus Otsego. Above left: Josh Turner during the 200-yard freestyle. Above right: Jack Herman, left, and Phil May wait their turn during the 200-yard medley relay. Below Left: Stuart Murch, during the 200-yard individual medley. Below right: Albion’s Eron Hill at the start of the 50-yard freestyle that Hill won by just under a second with a time of 24.72 seconds.

Red Cross swim lessons, Spaghetti dinner fundraiser winter programs at MHS Pool Jan. 18 at MHS Cafeteria Red Cross swimming lessons will be held at the Marshall High School Pool beginning on Saturday, Jan. 19 and will run for eight Saturdays through March 16. There will be no lesson on Jan. 26 due to a home swim meet. Level III through level VI lessons ($50) will be from 9 -9:45 a.m. Level II ($40), which is a beginning level for ages 6 and above will be from 10-10:30 a.m. Level I($40), a beginning level for ages 3 to 5, will be from 10:45-11:15

a.m. Parent/ Tot($40), from 6 months to age 3 will be from 11:30 a.m. until noon. Family Swim will run until March 30 at a cost of $2 per individual and $6 per family. Family Swim will be held on Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be no family swim on Saturday, Jan. 26. Lap Swim will be held through March 28 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays

from 6 to 7 a.m.; and Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. There will be no lap swim on Jan. 26. For more information, contact the pool office at 269-781-1331. Checks should be made out to Marshall Public Schools. More information can be found online at

Beats by Dr. Dre headphones to be raffled off The Marshall Athletic Boosters will be sponsoring a spaghetti dinner on Friday, Jan. 18 In the Marshall High School Cafeteria from 5 to 7 p.m. That is also the same night the Marshall girls and boys varsity basketball teams will take on SMAC East rival Lakeview. The girls game begins at 5:45 p.m. and the boys game begins at 7:15 p.m.

Dinner tickets are $8 which will also include a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Beats by Dr. Dre studio high definition headphones. The drawing will be done at halftime of the boys game and the winner need not be present at the time of the drawing to win. Tickets can be purchased that night at the door or in advance from any player of the boys or

girls basketball teams or board members of the Marshall Athletic Boosters. Tickets can also be purchased at Sandy Woods State Farm office on 215 East Green St. or Jackson and Jackson located at 311 E. Mansion St.

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