Pumpkin passing party a hit with Delhi residents

By Kelsey Block

photo (2)Holt Journal

On the chilly morning of Nov. 1, crews were putting the last of the finishing touches on Delhi Township’s Sycamore Trail as the Friends of the Delhi Trail set up for the Great Pumpkin Pass.

Starting at 4 p.m, Delhi Township residents lined the trail, taking turns to carry a small pumpkin from the intersection of Jolly and Aurelius roads to the Valhalla Park pavilion. They made it in 55 minutes, 11 seconds, and were greeted with hot cider and pumpkin cookies provided by Friends of the Delhi Trails.

Jared Yenchar was the last person to carry the pumpkin. Going down on one knee, Yenchar presented it to Mark Jenks, the director of Delhi Township Parks and Recreation.

photo (3)

“It was fun,” the 11-year-old Yenchar said. “All eyes were on me.”

Since the opening of the trail in late September, a diverse group of people has been using the trail, Jenks said.

“Moms with strollers, seniors on bikes, joggers,” he said. “Last weekend we had hundreds of people on the trails, and the numbers only grow.”

Jan Stuart, a member of Friends of the Delhi Trails, said she’s excited about the new trail because of its connection with the Lansing River Trail.

“You can ride for miles in a safe environment,” she said.

George Hayhoe, after whom Hayhoe Trail in Mason is named, calls himself a trail enthusiast. He said he and his wife have traveled on trails all over the state.

“It’s safe and fun,” Hayhoe said. “And this has all the benefits of being close to home.”

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Holt School District voters oust incumbents

 

Julie Bureau, Mark Perry, Craig Anderson, and Douglas Needham shake hands and celebrate one another for the 3  out of 4 election win at Buddies Grille.

Julie Bureau, Mark Perry, Craig Anderson, and Douglas Needham shake hands and celebrate one another for the 3 out of 4 election win at Buddies Grille

By Laniesha Evans
The Holt Journal

Only one incumbent, Deborah Roeske, survived in the Nov. 4 Holt School Board election.

Mark Perry and Douglas Needham won 6-year terms and Julie Bureau won the 3-year term on the Holt board of education.

The campaign was divided into two groups, candidates who support the new senior campus and candidates who are against it.

“The senior campus was one of my reasons for running for board, and there has been a lot of community support in our favor,” said Needham.

Three of the four newly appointed board members reflect voter disapproval of the senior campus.
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Voters renew tax for police, fire

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

Township voters strongly endorsed tax renewals that provide substantial funding for fire and police services on Tuesday.

The Fire department proposal passed with 71 percent of votes in favor, and the Police department proposal passed with 69 percent of votes, according to unofficial results from Ingham County.

Read more here.

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67th Michigan House Rep. Cochran wins over Hayhoe

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

Democratic State Rep. Tom Cochran outpolled John Hayhoe by 2,695 votes, 16,975-14,280, according to unofficial Ingham County results.

Cochran and his campaign celebrated election night at Pizza House in East Lansing.

“Being the 67th District Representative means a great deal to me,” said Cochran. “I remember back when I went to Everett High School we used to ride our bikes to the State Capitol and venture around, and now I am on the House floor. It is very humbling.”

Cochran has plans for his introduced codification bill on joint account transparency requiring full access to accounts. Also introduced is his bill to stop fracking flow-back byproduct usage as dust suppression on roads.
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Election turnout in Delhi Township steady

photo 3By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

Voters in Holt began lining up at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday for precincts 3 and 4.

Donald Leaf, 4th Precinct chair, estimated a 40 percent turnout. By 8:35 a.m., he said approximately 159 people had voted in that precinct.

Kathryn Wardwell, 7th Precinct chair, said had seen around 100 voters by 10 a.m., which she thought was a lower than average turnout.

Precinct 4 volunteer Paul Goulat said he's been working with the elections for 20 years.

Dick Gober, 59, said he votes during every election because he’s worried about the trajectory of the country. “Unfortunately, a lot of young people aren’t paying attention,” he said.

Both precinct chairs said they had a fairly steady turnout throughout the morning.

Christine Oudesma says she’s been volunteering as a precinct chair for 15 years. This year, she worked at the polls for Precinct 3. “It’s a great thing, giving back to our community,” she said. “I feel good about it.”
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School election a referendum on new policies

By Laniesha Evans and Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

Tuesday, Holt voters will determine which four of nine candidates will take their places on the Holt Public Schools Board of Education. Three, 6-year seats as well as one, 3-year seat are up for election.

Four candidates with similar platforms are running as a team. Doug Needham, Julie Bureau, Craig Anderson and Mark Perry are campaigning together. While each has specific goals in mind, all share similar opinions on the north campus, academic achievement in the middle grades and AP course offerings for high school students.

“We are not happy with the current board and administration and we want it to change. We feel they are out of touch with the community and we’ve chosen to bind together to be the community’s voice,” Needham said.

Current board members have a 3- to 4-year district improvement plan that has been ongoing, said Malatinsky.

“The board meets once a year with all of the district’s administrators. We review the accomplishments of the past year and update the plan for the upcoming year. We weigh changes in funding, legislation, and student performance. Once this is done, we map out our goals for the upcoming year and determine how we will measure success. This plays a major role in the district’s ability to remain a viable educational and business entity,” said Malatinsky.
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Fire, police millages key issues in election

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

Delhi Township Clerk Evan Hope said the current fire and police tax rates of 1.5 mills, which expire at the end of 2014, were voted for in 2010 to counter the drop in state aid due to the recession of Michigan’s economy from 2007 to 2009.

The owner of a $100,000 home is taxed $75 annually for each department, a total of $150 a year for public safety. This rate would remain the same if the issues are approved.

Hope said the millage has been extremely helpful to the departments. The rates have generated $1 million toward both of the departments’ operating costs.

If the proposals are voted down, the departments would each lose $1 million. The lost revenue would be just under half of the planned 2015 budgets of $2.16 million for fire, and $2.49 million for police.

A Delhi firetruck at the township station on Oct. 23, 2014.

A Delhi firetruck at the township station on Oct. 23, 2014.

“Delhi Township would have to make major cuts to the fire and police departments. The millage revenue is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Hope. “The major problem with losing out on the millage would be potential cuts to our paramedics and having to look into using more paid-on-call firefighters.”

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District reports north campus is working; objections remain

By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

The Holt Board of Education discussed the status of the district’s new north campus during Tuesday’s meeting. The concept of a separate building for 12th-graders generated controversy when it was introduced earlier this year.

High School Principal Mike Willard told the Board that, while he knows not everyone agrees with the idea, a “north campus culture” has developed. The students are taking ownership of self-directed learning, he said.

“The teachers told me out of 25 years of teaching, this is the best year they’ve ever had,” Willard said, adding that the students have also started their own coffee business.

Superintendent Johnny Scott said the senior campus operates on a bell-less schedule and promotes a collaborative work environment.

“The whole premise that the north campus experience is designed around is creating an environment that would prepare kids for life beyond high school that would be similar to a college-like atmosphere,” Scott said.

Since the beginning of the year, the district has been working out the logistical issues associated with the north campus. Holt residents were concerned about students’ ability to get to class on time and cross the road safely. Scott said a shuttle system runs students among the campuses three times a day and students are also able to drive their cars.

“We had to work some logistics out and synchronize times on how classes would begin and end, so there were some nuances we had to work through,” Scott said. The superintendent added that he is currently pleased with the way the north campus is working.

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Third annual Ruth’s Race raises thousands for Holt community and beyond

Ruth's Race participants

By Laniesha Evans
Holt Journal

“In the past, the Ruth Race fundraiser has donated over 5,000 dollars to the H.O.L.T. Scholarship fund. And there are currently ten H.O.L.T. scholarship recipients,” said Holt Schools Superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott.”

On October 4th the Delhi/Holt community came together to participate in the third annual multi-cause 5k walk and run fundraiser, known as Ruth’s Race. The race is in memory of former Holt High School track coordinator, Ruth Pridgeon who passed away from pancreatic cancer.
The race is coordinated annually by Holt High School Varsity Track Coach and Ruth’s Race Director, Ross Malatinsky and volunteer committee to raise awareness and to donate to help fight pancreatic cancer, multiple sclerosis, and H.O.L.T Scholarship fund.

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Delhi trails now entirely non-motorized pathways

A sign in between Sycamore and Valhalla trails informing the non-motorized  pathway ordinance on Oct 16, 2014.

A sign in between Sycamore and Valhalla trails informing the non-motorized
pathway ordinance on Oct 16, 2014.

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

The Delhi Trails are now entirely non-motorized pathways through Delhi Township’s latest addition to the Sycamore trail.

The Delhi Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the motor-free provision at its meeting on Oct. 7, 2014.

The Sycamore trail located between Jolly and Willoughby roads provides the community with the luxury of having all of its trails connected and motor-free.

Township Supervisor C.J. Davis said the trail did not cost taxpayers any money and the board is looking into ways to further provide the trails with inexpensive bike racks that double as art.

Increased biking opportunities are one of the Sycamore Trail connection’s benefits.

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Posted in Budget, Business, Delhi Township government, Education, Holt schools, Meetings, Parks & recreation, Roads, Town Hall Meetings, Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off