Blogs > Sun Insider

News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Much cooler!

Forecasters say cool, Canadian air continued to move into mid-Michigan, and that will bring temperatures that actually will be below normal for this time of year. Highs today and into the weekend are likly to be only in the 70s, and don't be surprised if a morning low or two falls into the 40s!
The early part of next week could see some warmer, muggier air along with thunderstorms. Those could last all the way through Independence Day Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Today's beginning as a cloudy, kind of drab-looking day, but it could get interesting as the day goes on.
A cold front is moving down from the north, and it will take most of the day to move across mid-Michigan. That colder air from Canada will run into the warm, muggy stuff we've been subjected to for the last couple of days. That could set off some thunderstorms this afternoon, but the chances are still listed as 50/50 for any given location.
Where it does rain, it could get soaked.
When that colder air moves through, we can look for cooler, less humid air for Thursday and Friday. Highs might not get back into the 80s until the middle of next week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

High Street Closed!

Contractors for the Michigan Department of Transportation shut down High Street between Mission and Washington streets about noon Tuesday, in preparation for a resurfacing project.
MDOT says the half-mile-long stretch of one of Mt. Pleasant's main east-west roads will be closed for about two days while contractors put a new layer of asphalt on the pavement.
Traffic is being detoured along Bradley, Pickard and Mission streets, but the closure of High Street also is disrupting north-south traffic on the side streets between downtown Mt. Pleasant and the Central Michigan University campus.
Further complicating issues: Broadway Street through downtown Mt. Pleasant, which some drivers might have chosen as a closer east-west alternate route, is closed between Lansing and Court streets as part of the project to reconstruct that main street.
MDOT says that construction crews will grind off the pavement markings, then put down what it calls a "microsurface," or a thin layer of asphalt. The work is expected to extend the life of the pavement by at least five years.

Gas price going up

Look for the price of gasoline to increase today in mid-Michigan as the Independence Day holiday approaches.
Speedway has increased its price to $3.19 in many markets, including Midland, and expect other retailers to follow along.

Ross back home after treatment

George Ross, Central Michigan University's vice president of finance and administrative services, is back home following three weeks of treatment for leukemia, according to the university.
Ross says he will continue to receive treatment, and adds that his doctors say the prognosis for a full recovery is good.
"Elizabeth and I want to let everyone who provided support and encouragement know that we are home and doing well," Ross said in a statement. "We aren't ready for visitors yet, but we are looking forward to seeing our friends."
Ross has been named Alcorn State University's next president.
"My wife and I want to thank everyone for the prayers, hundreds of cards, phone calls, well-wishes and thoughts," said Ross. "The caring and support was a true source of strength and inspiration."
Those wishing to send a card or note can mail Ross at 300 Russell St. No. 6, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.
As for the future, Ross says, "It's my goal to be playing golf in August and begin my new job at ASU in September."

Monday, June 25, 2007

60 Seconds at the Summer Festival

Enjoy the Morning Sun's newest video -- a quick and fun taste of the 2007 Mt. Pleasant Summer Festival.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The price of a gallon of unleaded fuel has fallen below $3 a gallon at at least two Isabella County service stations.
At the Out-A-Bounds convenience store in Lake Isabella, the price was $2.989 late Friday. Martin's Kountry Korner at Winn and Remus roads in Deerfield Center was at $2.999 Saturday morning.
One station in Midland was charging $2.889 late Friday, but that was an outlyer in that market. Most Midland stations were at $2.95 to $3.05 Friday.
Know of others below $3? Leave a comment and let us know.

Cars damaged by rock throwers

Several vehicles on the U.S. 127 freeway were damaged Friday night by rocks thrown off the Pleasant Valley Road overpass south of Shepherd.
Michigan State Police from the Mt. Pleasant Post said witnesses reported seeing at least two males, most likely juveniles, on the overpass when the vehicles were damaged. A witness also reported seeing a man talking to the suspects on the overpass within minutes of the incidents.
Troopers would like to this man.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post at (989) 773-5951.

Summer Fest fireworks

The final 3:40 of the Mt. Pleasant Summer Festival Friday fireworks, with a little Rock and Roll added for fun.
We're still learning the ins and outs of Web video -- but it looks cool, anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Freak accident closes CMU

A severed power line under Lot 22 caused the closure of Central Michigan University Friday afternoon.
University spokesman Steve Smith said a freak accident caused the break in the power line. According to Smith, a concrete delivery truck involved in a project on campus ran over a manhole cover in the huge parking lot, dislodging the lid.
Manhole covers aren't supposed to fit down manholes, but for reasons that haven't been explained yet, this one fell down the hole. It hit a power line running in the tunnel below the parking lot.
"The manhole cover severed a primary feeder line," Smith said. That knocked out power to some parts of campus immediately, including CMU Public Broadcasting's transmitters on the south end of campus.
But to make it safe for crews to repair the damage, the rest of the extensive high-voltage lines running through the tunnel had to be de-energized. Most of the main campus's electrical power runs through the tunnel, Smith said.
Power was to be shut down about 2:30 p.m. Friday, and the university announced that repairs could take as long as eight to 10 hours.
Most classes were over for the week, but university offices had been open. Kathie Elliott, assistant director of employee relations, said in an e-mail to campus employees that the university's pay practice for an official closure would be in place.
"Questions about this will be answered next week," Elliott's Friday afternoon e-mail said.
Employees deemed essential to university operations were being notified about whether or not they should report to work; others simply were sent home.
"As with our electrical shutdown in May, employees and faculty should make every effort to turn off and unplug equipment in their work area before leaving," Elliott said.

CMU Campus Shutdown

Central Michigan University will shut down the entire campus this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. due to an unknown electrical problem.

The shutdown will last for about 10 hours, according to a CMU official press release sent out at 2 p.m., and will affect all university offices and classes.

For the latest info, the university has an emergency hotline at 989-774-7500.

New village hall takes shape

The site of the new Lake Isabella Village Hall doesn't look like an extra sand trap on The Pines, as it did a month ago.
Workers from JBS contracting have put up the shell of the new building, on Clubhouse Drive next to the the golf course. Among other features, the village hall will have much of its energy needs met by a geothermal heating and cooling system, installed in conjunction with Homeworks Tri-County Electric Cooperative.
The new building will provide office, meeting and storage space for the one-time resort community, now a growing bedroom community in western Isabella County.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Celebrating the Oilers!

The Mt. Pleasant community celebrates the 39-1 Mt. Pleasant Oilers state championship baseball team.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Maybe some rain

Courtesy National Weather Service
It's going to be a hot and muggy day in mid-Michigan today, with temperatures climbing up into the low 90s by mid-afternoon. A warm front has been creeping north, bringing warm, moist, turn-on-the-air conditioning weather.
But it won't last too long. A cold front has been sliding across the Plains. During the day, thunderstorms -- some of them quite interesting -- have been popping up in front of this mass of colder air.
It's expected to move through the Great Lakes early to mid-day Tuesday. The thunderstorms probably will show up late tonight and into the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Because the thunderstorms will come through after dark, and because they'll lose some of their strength over the cold water of Lake Michigan, they won't be as strong as they were when they come across Wisconsin and Illinois earlier today.
Still, they're expected to bring some much-needed rain. About one-quarter to one-half inch of rain is forecast.
We'll still be a little below normal in our precipitation, but the corn and the lawns sure can use it.
The rest of the week: Comfortable.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Final score: Mt Pleasant 7, Orchard Lake St. Mary 4
Division II State Champions at 39-1!

Mount Pleasant...... 223 000 0 - 7 13 0
O.L. St. Mary's.......010 020 1 -- 4 8 4

WP Tyler Mills, 11-0; LP Jeff Gorecki, 7-3.

Details on The Morning -- and all over the front page of Sunday's Sun in print!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Oilers advance to state championship game

The top-ranked Mt. Pleasant Oiler baseball team moved into the state Division II finals Saturday with an incredible, two-out, bottom-of-the-seventh, 4-3 win over St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.
With the game tied and two out in the bottom of the seventh , William Arnold hit a single off the left field wall that drove in Andrew Thomas. Arnold also was the winning pitcher.
Details at The Morning and in Saturday's Morning Sun.
The Oilers move into the championship game at 38-1. Mt. Pleasant plays Orchard Lake St. Mary's, 28-11, for the title at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Half-staff again on Tuesday

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm has ordered U.S. flags throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters lowered for one day on Tuesday, June 19, , in honor of Army National Guard Sgt. Matthew Soper of Jackson, who died on June 6 while on active duty in Bayil, Iraq. Flags should return to full-staff on Wednesday.
Soper, 25, died from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1461st Transportation Company (Combat Heavy Equipment), Michigan Army National Guard, Jackson.
When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the United States flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Woman accused of molesting children

Troopers from the Mount Pleasant Post said they arrested a 35-year-old woman from the Shepherd area on a six-count felony warrant charging her with molesting children.
The warrant was issued through the Isabella County Prosecutors Office.
According to a statement from state police, the arrest stemmed from a three-month investigation that started in Chippewa Township of Isabella County.
The woman, whose name has not been released pending her arraignment, is charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and three counts of accosting children for immoral purposes. Second-degree CSC involves sexual contact.
The woman's arraignment is scheduled take place sometime Friday at the Isabella Trial Court. As of late Thursday, troopers said she was being held at the Isabella County Jail on $60,000 bond.

Fly flags half-staff Friday

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm has ordered U.S. flags throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters lowered for one day on Friday in honor of Army Spec. Shawn D. Gajdos of Grand Rapids, who died June 6 while on active duty in Baghdad, Iraq. Flags should return to full-staff on Saturday, June 16.
Gajdos, 25, died from wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents using improvised explosive devices and small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the United States flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Voters might decide future of Crawford-Broomfield

Opponents of a development project at the southwest corner of Broomfield and Crawford roads in Mount Pleasant filed nearly 800 signatures Wednesday aimed at either overturning the rezoning decision permitting the project, or putting the zoning question before city voters.
A group of local developers, led by United Investments, plans to build a development that would include retail business, offices, student-type housing, family-type apartments, and one- and two-family homes on the 157-acre parcel. The land, adjacent to the Central Michigan University campus, is the largest piece of undeveloped land remaining in the city.
Opponents say they don't oppose development there, but are opposed to building more student-type housing.
Developers already have an approved plan for development of the land, and have said they plan to go ahead with that plan if the current plan is defeated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More sunshine, then more sunshine

Almost-perfect June weather is set to continue in mid-Michigan at least through the weekend, according to the weather gurus at the National Weather Service.
The forecast calls for sunshine during the day, with highs in the 80s, and clear, starry skies at night, featuring lows in the 50s.
The highs are a little warmer than normal for this time of year; the average high is about 77 or 78.
Farmers are starting to get a little worried about rainfall -- mid-Michigan is about an inch short of normal rain, and the first mention of rain in the forecast is Monday, and that's not much of a mention.
Still, the ag experts say there's adequate soil moisture, at least for now.
The clear, starry nights are great for sky-watching. The moon is fading toward new -- that happens Thursday -- and the stars are brilliant.
But there's not much time to watch them. Sunrise is the earliest of the year -- between now and June 19, sunrise is at 5:58 a.m., and the first glimmers of sunrise -- "astronomical twilight" -- starts about 3:37 a.m. The end of astronomical twilight is about 11:45 p.m.
But there's plenty of depth of the Chippewa River for a tube, or a kayaking or canoe trip.
It's summer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Shot fired on campus

A Central Michigan University police officer fired a shot at a suspect fleeing a break-in at the Bovee University Center early Monday morning.
No one was hurt, and two suspects are in the Isabella County Jail, according to a statement from the university.
CMU Police who responded to an alarm saw a suspect fleeing the building and chased him to the parking lot between Ronan and Powers halls, the statement said.
The suspect ignored police orders to stop and got in a vehicle containing a second subject, according to a statement from police. The officers ordered the suspects to get out of the vehicle, but instead the driver started the car and drove at the officers.
One officer fired his weapon in self defense, but no one was injured.
The two suspects were arrested a short time later by the Isabella County Sheriff's Department on River Road, and were taken to the Isabella County Jail.
CMU Police say the break-in was at the Microchips Computer Store in the Bovee University Center.
Parking Lot No. 6, between Ronan and Powers halls, was closed Monday morning while the investigation continued.
The incident happened around 3:15 a.m.
The CMU Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police and the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Stephen and Bambi Carlotti run Rez-Works Fireworks on the Isabella Reservation.

Most consumer-class fireworks aren't legal in Michigan -- but the state law doesn't reach onto the Isabella Reservation.
A few years ago, some enterprising folks began selling fireworks from their homes or the side of the road on the Rez.
People got a little concerned about that, and the Tribe began licensing and regulating sellers.
This year, they're set up next to Sagamok Shell, all together, in a high-traffic area. Some of the dealers are concerned that a sudden storm could get some of the product wet, but so far, so good, according to Tribal Chief Fred Cantu.
Just remember -- just 'cuz it's legal to buy the stuff on the Rez doesn't mean it's legal to possess it and shoot it off, off the Rez.

Jeanette Leaureaux and Stacy Johnson are Tribal members licensed to sell fireworks on the Isabella Reservation.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Can you identify these people?

Here are several surveillance videos from Mt. Pleasant High School taken the early morning of Monday, June 4, showing vandals doing damage to the school.

No. 1 (5:09):

No. 2 (32:08):

No. 3 (32:09):

The vandalism cost the school district more than $30,000, and a $1,500 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.
Call the Crimestoppers hotline at 800-422-JAIL or the Mt. Pleasant Police Tip line at 989-779-9111.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gas prices dropping

Led by the locally-owned Blodgett Shell, the price of gasoline in Mt. Pleasant dropped from #3.47 to about $3.38 a gallon Thursday. The day before, the price charged by Mt. Pleasant-area service stations had been even higher, and was among the highest in the state.
It's still about a nickel higher than the statewide average of $3.33
reported by AAA, and a dime higher than the average of $3.28 reported by
The national average is about $3.10.

High winds making life interesting

It's just a little bit windy today. This is a video shot right outside the Morning Sun's employee entrance, posted pretty much as an experiment.
It probably will get windier (is that a word?), as the day goes on.
Yes, it's boring. It's watching the wind blow! (Call it art. Call it "experimental video.") (OK, that's what it is.)

[UPDATED:] The temperature hit 90 degrees in Mt. Pleasant at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Weather may get interesting ...

The weather today and tonight is shaping up to be rather active, according to the National Weather Service.
A cold front moving through the Mississippi Valley will collide with very warm air today; look for highs around 88. Strong south winds ahead of the front may produce wind gusts to 30 to 40 mph by the afternoon. Wind advisories are posted for northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula
Thunderstorms will develop over the Upper Midwest this afternoon and evening, and then move east during the late evening and overnight.
Meteorologists say that strong dynamics will be in place to produce severe thunderstorms, especially across Wisconsin and Illinois. However, given that the storms will arrive in Lower Michigan well after sunset, they will likely lose some of their strength. Lake Michigan is still very cold, and the cold water could pull some of the power out of the storms.
Forecasters expect a mix of strong to severe storms to arrive in southwest and central Lower Michigan around midnight and then move east.
Get the latest forecast for Isabella County here, Gratiot County here and Clare County here.
That said -- don't panic when Isabella County emergency managers test the county's sirens at 3 p.m. today.

Reward offered in vandalism case

A reward of as much as $1,500 is being offered to help catch the vandals who trashed Mt. Pleasant High School this week.
The Mt. Pleasant Police Department, Crime Stoppers of Michigan, and Mt. Pleasant Public Schools are offering a cash reward regarding the break in at Mt. Pleasant High School.
The reward is up to $1,500 for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the break
in and extensive damage to the school.
Preliminary cost estimates for the damage to the school, and the lost wages for teachers and the extra busing of students, is approximately $33,010.
Numbers to call are Mt. Pleasant Police tip line 989-779-9111 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 800-422-JAIL.

Vandals turned loose hundreds of crickets, above, at Mt. Pleasant High School early Monday, and sprayed many of the lockers with shaving cream or foam insulation.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

CMU V-P Ross has leukemia

George Ross, Central Michigan University vice president for finance and administrative services, has been diagnosed with a form of acute leukemia and is undergoing treatment at the University of Michigan Hospitals, according to an announcement made Tuesday afternoon by CMU President Michael Rao.
In an e-mail sent to faculty and staff, Rao said Ross had asked for a leave of absence from CMU. That request was granted.
Barrie Wilkes, the university's associate vice president for financial services and reporting, will become interim vice president for finance and administrative services, effective immediately, Rao's announcement said.
"George will be receiving appropriate treatment," Rao's e-mail said. "I ask that you keep him and his wife Elizabeth in your thoughts and prayers."
Ross had recently been named president of Alcorn State University in Mississippi, but had not yet begun that job.
Ross joined CMU in December 2002.
A certified public accountant, Ross earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He earned his doctorate in higher education from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.

Fixing Chippewa Street

Work to rebuild the village of Shepherd's portion of Chippewa Street is likely to get under way later this summer.
The section of Shepherd Road between Pleasant Valley Road and North Street is in terrible shape -- just imagine how bad the road has to be to prompt authorities to put up signs warning "rough road." Part of the roadway is under the jurisdiction of the Isabella County Road Commission; that's called Shepherd Road. The other part, called Chippewa Street, belongs to the village.
The reason it hasn't been fixed: As always, money. Just putting another layer of asphalt on top of the pavement would be a temporary fix -- in a few years, it would be right back to the state it's in now. The whole thing needs to be taken out and rebuilt.
The village succeeded in getting state and federal money that would pay for 80 percent of the rebuild. It's that last 20 percent that's been a hangup.
First, Shepherd leaders tried to qualify the project under Gov. Jennifer Granholm's "Jobs Today" program, but it got hung up in the fine print of that program. Then the village asked the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation for the local matching money; no deal.
The village council now has decided it's run out of options to get other people to pay. Shepherd might have to cash in some certificates of deposit or pull money out of the general fund for the street work, but expect the construction to start later this summer.
That's on the village's part. The county road commission's portion, south of the village's, is budgeted for reconstruction in 2008.

Thank you, Casey

The children of Coleman stood along the route from Coleman High School to Warren Township Cemetery to say goodbye to U.S. Army Cpl. Casey Zylman, who died in Iraq.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Casey's Funeral

The funeral for Coleman native Casey Zylman, who died while serving in the armed forces in Iraq, was Monday in Coleman. Here are some pictures that didn't make the paper.

More Pics from Casey's Funeral

Vandalism closes Mt. Pleasant High

Retiring Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent Gary Allen watches high school staff members pitch in to clean up the mess after vandals trashed the school early Monday.

Vandals did thousands of dollars worth of damage to Mt. Pleasant High School early Monday morning, forcing the cancellation of classes for the day.
Superintendent Gary Allen said he wasn't sure how the vandals got into the school, but video caught three people wearing masks and gloves about 2:30 a.m. The vandals then covered the surveillance cameras.
Staff members arrived to find three of the school's four pods strewn with debris, including toilet paper, rice, popcorn and broken Ramen noodles. Dozens of lockers were zip-tied closed with plastic bands; many were sprayed with shaving cream.
A few, however, were sprayed with plastic foam insulation, which hardened by the time people got in the school.

Numerous classrooms were sealed shut with the foam insulation, sprayed into locks and around the edges of the doors. More insulation was sprayed into controls for the air-handling system.
The vandals released crickets; many of them collected in the cool darkness of a second-floor girls restroom.
And they left another calling card: a dead animal. Allen said it looked like an opossum, left on a second-floor balcony.
So far, police have no suspects.

Mt. Pleasant High School students John Minelli, Alaina Sweet, and Mike and Jake Partie made it to school only to learn there were no classes Monday.

Moderator's note: some comments about this post were lost. If your comment hasn't shown up, please repost. thanks! -LY