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Ingham County Consignment Auction 2015

By Darien Velasquez
Ingham County Chronicle

John Deere 640B tractor

INGHAM COUNTY – It’s almost that time! At 10 a.m. March 28, Sheridan Realty and Auction Co. will be hosting the Sheridan equipment and consignment auction at the Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center. Starting this week, Sheridan Realty will be onsite to consign items as well as scouting potential buyers for these valuables. According to Sheridan Realty, it can assist in finding a general figure for the value of the items if you do not know how much they are worth.

The focus for this year’s auction is on construction and farming equipment. According to Auction Coordinator Doug Sheridan, this covers a wide range of items such as most power tools, motor graders and even excavators. Someone can expect to consign or purchase things like front-end loaders, tractors, combines, trailers, King Corn Bushhog mowers and many more. There will also be a 2,000-gallon Poly Fertilizer Tank stored inside. Sheridan said that if you want to sell, Sheridan Realty can find a spot at the auction.

According to organizer Jason Buher, you can still be involved in the event by sponsoring. This auction provides opportunities to consign and find items as well as meet and socialize with others in the community. Larger companies also have sponsorship opportunities as well.

All items must be purchased the day of the auction. MasterCard, Visa, personal checks and cash will be accepted. There may be hold and reserves on some equipment beforehand and all equipment is sold as is without warranty. All sales are final with no refunds.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses meet Ingham County

By Darien Velasquez

Ingham County Chronicle

Jehovah's Witnesses East Lansing and Okemos Congregation

Jehovah’s Witnesses East Lansing and Okemos Congregation

INGHAM COUNTY – From 6-7 p.m. April 3, Jehovah’s Witnesses from all around Ingham County will gather at the Jehovah’s Witnesses East Lansing and Okemos Congregation for the annual memorial of the death of Jesus Christ. This meeting takes place once each year in thousands of locations around the world. The meeting are open to the public and seating is free.

According to Jehovah’s Witness Rafela Nygard, adherents hold meetings twice a week that are open to the public. At these meetings, Witnesses examine the Bible and apply its teachings to their daily lives. “You can expect a lot of friendly people, they would welcome anyone, and anyone is welcome to come as is,” said Nygard. The Congregation calls this the biggest event of the year.

“Since this only happens once a year, it’s a day when you can expect to see the most people,” said Nygard. Almost 20 million people worldwide observed this event last year. The meeting serves as a celebration of Jesus’ death and is also a way for others to meet.

According to Jehovah’s Witness Teodora Palamo “What outsiders can expect isn’t anything out of the normal, the witnesses welcome anybody and this meeting is open to the public so they can learn why Jesus died for us and would be very welcomed here.” Palamo continued “We are trying to reach as many people as we can, this is the biggest celebration that the Bible has.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings begin and end with song and prayer. You don’t have to be a Jehovah’s Witnesses to attend a meeting. Seats are free. No collections are ever taken.

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Mom to Mom Sale provides families with opportunity to resell, buy used children’s items

Parents flocked to hand-me-down clothes with prices significantly less than retail pricing.

Parents flocked to hand-me-down clothes with prices significantly less than retail pricing.

By Jamie Brewer
Ingham County Chronicle

MASON, Michigan– On Saturday March 21 families went to the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, Michigan from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to buy and sell used children’s clothes, movies, toys and other secondhand items.

This year’s sale attracted 1,600 shoppers, 180 tables, 45 racks, 25 large booths and 249 large items with a $2 ticket price at the door.

Amanda Vaness sold 9-month to 14-month boy clothes at the sale. This is Vaness’ fifth year returning to sell items.

“I’m here because we always sell everything out. We do really well,” Vaness said.

Returning vendor Jessica Gross has made $200 to $700 selling hand-me-down boy’s and girl’s clothes.

The most popular items at the sales are large items such as furniture or larger toys such as wagons or slides, according to coordinator Brenda Batson.

Batson has been a Mom to Mom sale coordinator in the greater Lansing area and Flint for seven years.

“Realizing I could help someone not only purchase nice items at a reasonable cost but more importantly allowing those selling to enhance their family incomes was a win-win,” Batson said.
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Premier Genetics show provides new outlet for area cattle farmers

Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

Tyler Neukom showed his market heifer at the junior show.

Tyler Neukom showed his market heifer at the junior show.

Tyler Neukom showed his market heifer at the junior show.Feb. 27, 2015 cattle raisers from all around central and lower Michigan gathered at the Ingham County Fairgrounds to show, sell and purchase heifers and bulls. The first Premier Genetics show began on Feb. 27 and ran through March 1.

Premier Genetics sale committee contact Phil Hutchinson said that the show was put together by five or six people who felt there needed to be a new outlet for cattle farmers in the area. Display of the cattle began Friday, the auction took place Saturday, and the junior show was Sunday.

“We wanted to host an event that would allow people to come and show or sell, as well as give some of the junior-level cattle raisers more experience,” said Hutchinson.

According to Hutchinson, there were over 200 entries for the junior show. Ages of contestants ranged from 7 to 21.  One entrant, Carson Evans, has been showing cattle for three or four years, according to his mother, Cami Marz-Evans.
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Blue Light Players perform in honor of Deputy Grant Whitaker

By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

At 7 p.m. Feb. 20, the curtain rose for the Blue Light Players presentation of “The Music Man,” performed in honor of Ingham County Deputy Grant Whitaker.

Lead actor John Franke said his favorite part of being in the Blue Light Players is making the contribution to families of fallen officers.

Lead actor John Franke said his favorite part of being in the Blue Light Players is making the contribution to families of fallen officers.

The Blue Light Players, according to director and producer Dan Southwell, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its purpose is raising money for the families of police officers who have died or been critically injured in the line of duty. Each year, since its establishment in 2005, the theater group has put on a show in February at the Albert A. White Performing Arts Theater, and donated the proceeds to the family of a specific officer. In 2015, the Feb. 20 and 21 shows were dedicated to Whitaker, and the shows on the following weekend were dedicated to State Trooper Jeffrey Werda.

According to lead actor John Franke, ticket sales were higher for the 2015 show than for any previous Blue Light production.

“I have been in the Blue Light Players for 10 years and the turnout gets better every year,” said Franke. “This is the first year that we have sold into the balcony.” Continue reading

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Low gas prices mean big savings, but do drivers notice?

By Blake Froling
Ingham County Chronicle

The pain most people experience when looking at the rising digits at the gas pump is slightly easier to bear nowadays.

Gas prices hit rock bottom in the past few months, reaching their lowest figures in years. But some consumers do not see much difference in the savings each time they fill up. Prices in Lansing dipped below $1.80 per gallon in January, the first time this has happened since late 2008. This should come as a welcome relief to drivers who had to shell out almost twice that amount in August.

“I have a really good car on gas mileage so it doesn’t affect me as much, but I do notice some savings,” said Brandie Yates, who has a long commute to work every day. “It’s great that the prices have been so low, but they won’t affect any of my driving habits.”

The savings are quite visible from this chart of gas prices for the past year.

The savings are quite visible from this chart of gas prices for the past year.

While the savings might be hard to notice, some simple math can show how the money adds up. For instance, as of Feb. 24, the average price for a gallon of gas in Lansing was $2.36. If a typical car uses 12 gallons of gas, the total cost would be $28.32. But if the price was $3.64 per gallon like it was last February, the total would be $43.68. That is a 54 percentage burden lifted from wallets everywhere.

Unfortunately for the consumers, gas prices have started to climb back up. As of Feb. 24, a gallon of gas costs 41 cents more than it did earlier. However, compared to the sky-high prices from last August, the current ones seem like a gift. Some drivers just do not see the savings.

“It’s not really that great of savings,” said Charlie Nunez. “I haven’t noticed any changes in my driving.”

According to Lansing Gas Prices, gas had not gone below $2.30 since 2009. Based on current price trends, It appears costs will continue to rise as summer approaches, so consumers should take advantage of the huge savings before it is too late.

 

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Ingham County Board of Commissioners votes ‘no’ for Habitat for Humanity resubmission application

“It does not pass my small test either,” Commissioner Carol Koenig said at the Feb. 24 meeting about Habitat for Humanity's grant resubmission application.

“It does not pass my small test either,” Commissioner Carol Koenig said at the Feb. 24 meeting about Habitat for Humanity’s grant resubmission application.

By Jamie Brewer

Ingham County Chronicle

MASON, Michigan—Ingham County Board of Commissioners voted ‘no’ at the Feb. 24 meeting declining to grant Habitat for Humanity an opportunity to resubmit an application for the remaining allocated money for non-profit organizations.

Ingham County allocates $200,000 to non-profit community agencies that provide food, shelter, clothing or other basic human needs. In October the county allocated most of the money to organizations, with $1,250 left over. The board invited Habitat for Humanity to give it the opportunity to apply for the remaining funds.

Commissioner Brian McGrain wanted to find out a way to include Habitat for Humanity.

“I wanted to give them an opportunity,” McGrain said.  “A lot of these agencies tell us year after year that they’re really dependent on the small amount of money we’re able to give them.”

The application Habitat for Humanity submitted to be granted the remaining money was to help pay for a vehicle.

“The proposal they put forward to us was deemed not to, while they were an organization we funded in the past, fit human needs,” McGrain said.

Commissioners agreed the issue was concerning because the initial application did not fit the application requirements.

“We are now allowing them to re-do their application, and it sets a bad precedent that in the future if another agency submits a grant application and does not conform, are we going to give them the same opportunity to resubmit the application in conformity of our requirements?” Commissioner Bryan Crenshaw said.

A main concern at the meeting was that this was unfair to other organizations.

“There is another agency who requested funding at the same time and we decided to not give them the same opportunity to resubmit,” Commissioner Rebecca Bahar-Cook said. “I’m very uncomfortable with that, it doesn’t pass my small test and I will not be supporting this resolution.”

Representatives from Habitat for Humanity were invited to an earlier meeting to discuss some of the challenges they had but were unable to attend, according to Commissioner Sarah Anthony.

“Therefore we really felt uncomfortable taking any action to the resolution we had at this time,” Anthony said.

Bahar-Cook, who donates personally to Habitat for Humanity, said, “It’s nothing against Habitat. I think they are a fantastic organization.”

The board was directed by its attorney that the demands did not fit their requirements.

“They sent something to us that wasn’t determined to meet basic human needs.  So tonight the board said that just wasn’t part of the process,” McGrain said.

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Oak tree causes controversy among commissioners

By Kellie Van Maele
Ingham County Chronicle

INGHAM COUNTY- Cornell road, an area of natural beauty in Meridian Township, is home to approximately 450 trees, but one in particular is causing controversy. The 180-year-old oak tree is a part of the history of the scenic road, but its size is blocking the visibility of drivers.

The oak tree stands tall on Cornell road

The oak tree stands tall on Cornell road

“The tree is located on the corner of Cornell and Chaggal, a new road that leads to a developing subdivision,” County Commissioner Deb Nolan said. “Many people are concerned that the oak tree located on the corner is blocking visibility to drivers approaching the new street, but I don’t believe it is a concern or a threat to drivers. Rather than taking it down, we are asking for signage or even a speed bump.”

Although there are options to warn drivers of a potential loss of visibility, others say that the tree should be removed.
“My first concern when it comes to roads is public safety,” County Commissioner Randy Schafer said. “I believe in set policies and one of our policies is that drivers should always have a clear field of vision.”

Support for the tree has spread throughout the community and Michigan State University professor Leslie Kuhn decided to take a stance to try to preserve the tree.
In an email Kuhn wrote, “Cornell is a scenic beauty road, not a road slated for urbanization. If kept, it will stand as a living symbol of the beauty, history, natural heritage and vision of Ingham County.”

Kuhn’s efforts, along with the effort of 170 community members, caught the attention of Nolan.

“I agree in that the road is just gorgeous,” Nolan said. “It definitely deserves to remain a natural beauty road.”

To settle the controversy, Nolan proposed an idea to the 14 commissioners on Tuesday night.

“We are asking for a variance from what our road department standard practices would be,” Nolan said. “The normal practices would be to remove the tree.”

While a majority of 13 to 1 voted in support of the variance, commissioner Schafer’s concern for drivers’ safety did not waver.

“I know I was the only commission to vote against the proposal,” Schafer said, “but if I think I am right – I know I am right – that it’s a legitimate safety issue – then I do not deviate.”

The commissioners decided to leaf it at that.

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Rewarding Animal Lovers of Ingham County

By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

Volunteer, Larry Hagedorn, gives attention to a cat in the shelter.

Volunteer, Larry Hagedorn, gives attention to a cat in the shelter.

From 6-9 p.m. March 26, animal lovers from all around Ingham County will gather at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center for the annual Humanitarian Awards Banquet. There will be dinner, awards and silent and live auctions. This event is hosted by the Ingham County Animal Shelter. The 2015 banquet will be the 10th annual banquet hosted by the shelter, and the third at the Kellogg Center, according to shelter volunteer and photographer Larry Hagedorn.

“I really feel that we have found a home at the Kellogg Center,” said Hagedorn.

According to the shelter volunteer coordinator and special events liaison Ashley Hayes, awards are typically given to shelter volunteers, sponsors and veterinarians. However, according to Hagedorn, awards can be given to anyone that the shelter feels deserves one.

“One year, we gave the Ingham County prosecuting attorney an award because a lot of counties don’t prosecute on animal abuse,” said Hagedorn. “We definitely do here. It’s not a good county to get caught in.”

The Humanitarian Awards Banquet primarily functions as a reward for shelter volunteers and employees. However, the event’s secondary function is fundraising. According to Hayes, proceeds from the auctions are put into the shelter’s Animal Care Fund. The fund is used for surgeries and expenses that are not included in the normal budget. Continue reading

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Ingham County residents currently not concerned with May sales tax proposal

By Jamie Brewer

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 7.19.31 PMIngham County Chronicle 

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 7.19.44 PM

INGHAM COUNTY-The sales tax proposal to help fix Michigan’s roads has been the main concern for many politicians, but not for the residents of Ingham County.

On May 5 voters will decide whether to increase sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help fix Michigan’s roads, bridges and railways.

The proposal starting Oct. 1 that will raise $1.34 billion will go to fix transit and rail, schools, local units of government and restore the Earned Income Tax credits to low-wage workers that was cut back in 2011.

“Time frame is soon because we have to do something about our roads,” Gov. Rick Snyder said to legislative leaders on Dec. 18.

The proposal passed with two thirds of the vote from the House and Senate on Dec. 12.
The ballot proposal would increase vehicle registration fees by $45 million and fees for heavy trucks by $50 million.

This will end the 10 percent rollback new-car owners receive for three years after purchasing a vehicle.

Bill Conklin, managing director of Ingham County Roads Department, said about half of the roads in Ingham County need repairs and the increase would greatly help the amount of funding the department currently receives.

“There is a continued lack of maintenance,” Conklin said.
Ashley Lamb, manager of Lansing’s Lamb’s Gates Antiques, said the sales tax has not been a topic of conversation.

“It’s not even on our radar right now and customers aren’t even mentioning it,” Lamb said.
Grand River Bait and Tackle president Anna Werner does not think the proposal will affect her.
“Taxes go up and down. I wouldn’t have a second thought,” Werner said.

It is a toss up whether Michigan voters will approve the proposal because it is still early, according to Conklin.

“If people learn more they will have more of an open mind,” Conklin said. “Further information is needed” by the public.

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