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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Plane crash in Broomfield Township

A two-seater plane crashed in the field West of Coldwater Road in Broomfield Township on Wednesday evening. The plane was attempting to land at the Woodruff Lake Airport before the accident. The Millbrook-Rolland Township Fire Department and Isabella County Sheriff's Department were called to the scene and an Federal Aviation Administration is pending.

Sun Photographs by RYAN EVON

Red Wings go up 3-0 on Colorado

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Johan Franzen picked up his sixth goal of the series, putting the Red Wings on the cusp of the Western Conference finals with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the Colorado Avalanche. Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, top, reaches back for a loose puck as Avalanche right winger Milan Hejduk comes in to cover in the first period. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore, right, stops a shot off the stick of Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Theodore blocks a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Johan Franzen. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Avalanche right winger Cody McCormick, left, battles to put a shot on goal as Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart, center, and Osgood come in to cover in the third period. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood, right, blocks a shot by Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Detroit can wrap up the series with a win Thursday at the Pepsi Center

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lake Isabella spa quick to expand services

Stylist Amanda Olson cuts Stephanie White's hair at the Bella Salon and Spa in Lake Isabella. The salon offers a variety of beauty treatments.

Shannon Harter saw a need for a place for Lake Isabella area residents to indulge.
When her husband’s family expanded their business, Out of Bounds Pizza at Baseline and Coldwater roads, into the Sunset Plaza strip mall, Harter had visions of a tanning salon.
She ended up with much more.
Harter, who opened the Bella Salon and Spa in October, built on her original idea and offers not only tanning but hair services, including extensions; manicures and pedicures; waxing; a sauna; facials and a variety of massage treatments.
“It just grew,” she said. “The area needed something.”
Although Swedish massage is the most popular variety offered at Bella, massage therapists also offer deep tissue, sports, hot stone, reflexology, cranio sacral, Shiatsu, Shirodhara, mother-to-be and infant massage.
Reflexology, the practice of massaging parts of the feet, is said to improve general health with the belief that all other parts of the body are connected to the feet.
A massage therapist can find problem areas while practicing reflexology, Harter said.
“Anything from your heart to your liver to your brain to your sinuses,” she said.
Bella also offers lymphatic drain and ear candling services, which cleanse toxins from the body, Harter said.
Ear candling pushes wax from the ear canal and is beneficial to those who are prone to having ear infections, Harter said.
Aromatherapy, hip alignment and Chakra alignment are also offered, with massages being one hour unless specified.
Saunas are complementary with massages or can be purchased separately for $10 per half-hour session.
Waxing services at Bella include eyebrows, half and whole arms, underarms, bikini, leg, chest and back.
Other services are offered; call 989-644-6370. Bella Salon is at 50 N. Coldwater Road, Lake Isabella.
Story by Clare Managing Editor Susan Field. Photo by Sun Photographer Lisa Yanick.

The eclectic and the sublime on Tour of Homes

Yes, this is a bathroom - the unusual mural is featured in the downstairs bathroom of the home of Dave and Cindy Verwey, one of five homes to be featured on this year's Women's City Club home tour.

The new Hopice Hospice will be one of five Mt. Pleasant-area homes on display from 1 to 4 p.m. next Sunday at the 41st annual Women’s City Club May Tour of Homes.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get out and see the house before we have patients move in when it will be more difficult to see all parts of the house,” said Deanna Heath, Hospice of Central Michigan executive director. Heath said the Tour of Homes also will allow donors to see where their investments went.
Homes on display are:
Hospice House, 2595 S. Meridian Road: Scheduled for its official house warming on June 1, the new 17,000-square-foot, eight-bed residential house is on 22 acres and features 400 square foot rooms. Each of the Hospice House rooms will include:
• A featured view of the wooded surroundings.
• Wide opening French doors.
• Patio.
• Roll-out beds so clients and visitors can enjoy the surroundings.
• Wide, handicapped accessible bathrooms.
• Sink and refrigerator.
• Dining table.
• Television.
• Fold out sofa so family members can sleep comfortably for short or long-term stays.
• Beds that can be arranged or situated away from the doors and hallways for maximum privacy.
The Fisher home has been a landmark in mid-Michigan since 1935.

The home of Mary Ann and Bud Fisher, 711 S. Fancher:
The hospitality house on the tour, the Fisher home was built in 1935; the Fishers purchased the house in 1977.
Bud Fisher said the only update they’ve done is to modernize the formal kitchen. “Everything else is original structurally,” he said.
An English-Country style 5,000- square-foot home, its other features include:
Natural wood paneling in the library
Touches of marble in the foyer
Slate roofing
Four fireplaces
Carole Howard’s home, 117 Algemah Trail:
A solar home located in the woods on the river is filled with an eclectic mixture of Howard’s own artwork. The home is situated so both sunrise and sunset can be experienced. The house was built 25 years ago. Howard said she saw the layout in a magazine and liked what she saw. “It’s more of a cabin or retreat than a house,” she said. “It definitely has a sense of outdoors and coziness.” Among the features of Howard’s 1,600-square-foot, two bedroom and two bathroom home are:
• Tile flooring that holds heat
• A wood stove
• Cedar walls
• Enclosed sun porch
• Outside deck
• A studio for Howard to work on her paintings

The living room of the Verweys' home opens through an arched doorway into a sunny garden room.

The home of Cindi and Dave Verwey, 420 S. Main:
Built in 1884, the Verweys’ home has had several owners through the years and undergone many updates.
“It’s a beautiful, old home with arched doorways,” Cindi said. Residents of the home for about two years, the Verweys’ decor is described by Cindi as an eclectic taste.
“It’s not just one thing, but a combination of things with the decor,” Cindi said. Among the unique aspects of the home are a bathroom with a half bath that features high ceilings and a mural on the wall, and a painted swinging door between the kitchen and dining room with a picture of the Verweys’ dog.
“We have a pretty wild bathroom,” Cindi said.
Features of the Verweys’ 2,000- square-foot, three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath home include:
• Oak wood floors and Corian countertops
• Big windows
• A garden room on the southeast side of the house that the Verweys believe was added in the 1940s.
• A veranda off the upstairs bedroom
• Balcony off the master bedroom
Student Vocational House, 1205 Abbey Lane:
The 39th home built by Mt. Pleasant High School vocational students, the 2,195-square-foot ranch home has three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a full basement with a full bath and room for two more rooms downstairs. The student-built home also includes a master suite (with a walk-in closet) and a two-car attached garage with an additional small shop or room on the back of the garage that has a small overhead door and can be used to store things like a motorcycle or lawnmower.
Featuring a sunken living room with a gas fireplace, the house is expected to be completed by the first of June and will then go up for sale, said Career Technical Education Director Michael Pung.
“It’s a pretty good value because the house is such that it has a lot of extras you wouldn’t get with a spec home,” Pung said. “It’s a real good quality home at an affordable price.”
As an example of the extras included, Pung said the house will have plug-ins in every room for data and cable. Constructed and designed almost entirely by Mt. Pleasant High School students, the process begins with three to five teams of students competing for the design that is within the constraints of the lot the house is being built on and the architecture surrounding the house.
The winning design is chosen by a vocational careers committee. Students work daily on the house from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Upon finishing the home, students receive a certificate of completion, which is recognized by employers and often help students get job placements in their chosen fields, Pung said.
“There is a lot of pride for the kids when the house is completed,” Pung said.

Founded in 1934, the Women's City Club first hosted the “house walk” as it was known, in 1967. The event is the only fundraiser used to provide six $500 music scholarships to area music students. Tickets for the tour are $7 in advance at Coldwell Banker Mt. Pleasant Realty, the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce office, or Gray’s Furniture, or $8 on the day of the tour. Participants may purchase tickets at the homes and can tour the homes in any order of preference. Shoe removal at the homes is required.

Text by Sun Community Editor Jeremy Dickman.
Photos by Sun Photographer Lisa Yanick.

Main Street and Little League

The season is upon us. Saturday was opening day for Mt. Pleasant and Union Township Little League baseball players - and the players celebrated with the annual parade down Main Street.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

the need for speed

Morning Sun Editor Rick Mills and I had the very cool assignment of riding along with a state trooper in this super fast, super hip Dodge Charger.

That thing is fast.

I could see the needle from my spot in the back seat and I can tell you that i've never gone that fast in something on wheels, that quickly. Ever. Even if you count roller coasters, because the fastest one I've ever been on is the Magnum at Cedar Point, and that thrill ride only hits 72 mph.

Even the fastest roller coaster in the world, Six Flag's Kingda Ka "only" reaches 128 mph, and I know we were close to that catching up to cars that day. (Although it does sound fun to be on an amusement ride that goes 128 mph.)

It makes sense to have a car with such pick-up-and-go if you're a patrol trooper on the highway, though. The faster you catch up with a car, the less time you're speeding on the highway, putting lives at potential risk.

And beyond that, it was such a rush. It was so cool.

I think Kingda Ka is in my future...

GREG NELSON: The fine art of man-ipulation

Someone once said about women, “You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.”
Although it sounds like something a great philosopher might have come up with I think it was actually a comedian. How appropriate.
But it also could have been said about men too because it’s probably true either way. Because there are so many differences between the sexes it’s somewhat amazing that any relationship lasts longer than a few weeks.
A successful marriage requires a lot of give-and-take from both partners but somehow it seems the man is always the one giving. That’s probably because women are better trained in the art of manipulation.
You notice that’s “man”-ipulation.
How ironic. That’s not just a coincidence.
It’s something that’s handed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter. It’s like an 18-year train-the-trainer seminar.
By the time the daughter is ready to have a meaningful relationship she knows all the tricks.
Sons just don’t seem to get the same type of advice from their fathers. About the best dads can do is, “Make sure you always have an alibi.”
It just seems that the well-trained woman has a knack for getting her way and making the man feel it was his idea all along.
“Oh shoot, I forgot to get the hamburger out of the freezer this morning. I just don’t know what we will have for dinner. I guess I could warm up some of that leftover broccoli casserole we had last week,” the wife will say.
Of course the understanding guy will reply, “Why don’t we just go out to eat tonight, honey?” “You’re so thoughtful, what a wonderful idea,” says the little manipulator, knowing full well that’s what she had in mind all along.
Men like to think they are the smartest species on earth but they fall into that trap time and time again. Next to her daughter announcing she is going to have a baby, the most exciting bit of news a mother can hear is that her years of teaching have finally paid off.
For example, there was this couple that had been married just a short time. The husband was in bed early as usual because he had to get up at 5 a.m. for work.
About an hour later his wife joins him. She gives him a kiss - just enough of a peck to make sure he woke up - then she exclaims, “Darn, I think I forgot to shut the living room windows and it’s supposed to rain tonight.”
Without hesitation the man climbs groggily out of bed and heads to the living room.
“Oh, while you’re out there you might as well let the dog out, make sure the front door is locked, and grab me the new People magazine, a can of soda and some of those diet chips because I just can’t sleep,” the wife says. In the meantime she excitedly makes a telephone call to gleefully report, “It’s working!” to her mother, who now has tears in her eyes knowing that the years of coaching and tutelage have come to fruition and her baby has become a real woman.
The manipulation is so subtle that men don’t even know it’s happening to them. Many times women pose it in the form of a question.
Wife: “Are you wearing that?”
Husband: “No dear. I’m just practicing getting dressed.”
Wife: "Are you planning to clean the garage today?”
Husband: “Why, yes dear, right after I get through mowing the lawn, fixing that leaky faucet, repairing the closet door and the 16 other things you asked me if I was going to do today.”
Wife: “Don’t you think I need a new hairstyle?”
Husband: Be careful here. It's a trick question. First make sure she hasn’t already done something different that you haven’t noticed then say, “Certainly not. You look just like Angelina Jolie would if she had short hair and curls.”
And so it goes, but after two marriages I have finally started catching on to some of those wily female techniques.
Yeah, right.
That’s why I just changed clothes for the third time, replaced three burned-out kitchen light bulbs that supposedly made it too dark for my wife to cook, compliment her on how nice she looks in her new flannel “Superwoman” pajamas (hopefully they are new) and then drive 10 miles to town to get a pizza?
Won’t we ever learn?
Greg Nelson is a Morning Sun staff writer. He can be reached at or by calling 989-463-6071, ext. 15.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Breaking News: Mulitple fires plague Isabella County

Three fires in different parts of the county happened one right after or during the other on Thursday.
A garage fire sparked a fire in the woods behind it on Wing Road near Winn Road.

As firefighters were wrapping up controlling that blaze another had started in Weidman, off of Tilmann Road. Several departments from the first drove straight over to work on the Weidman fire.

Then a shed caught on fire in Beal City and there was a fire in Clare that departments from Isabella County aided on, but I didn't go to either of those...sorry.

Sun Photographs by RYAN EVON

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The Clare fire department hosted a training session today where they started a house on fire on purpose, then put it out.

I know fires can be tragic events, but this time it was intentional, and it was very interesting. It was amazing to see not only how quickly the flames and heat broke through the glass windows and the structure of the building, and how soon the billowing smoke could be seen for miles, but also how quickly those very flames were gone.

See a video I put together here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alma College vs. Tri-State Softball

Alma College battled Tri-State on Tuesday for first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Shots will be for sale Here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lake Isabella grass fire

In the woods North of the Drew/Queensway intersection there was a grass fire that consumed about three acres worth of underbrush. Sherman-Nottawa Fire Rescue, Deerfield Township and Barryton Community Fire Departments responded to the blaze.

Coleman vs. Montabella Baseball

Nothing clever or real informative to say. Coleman beat out Montabella 11 to 7.