Good Morning, Mason

by Shane Stockwell
The Mason Times

The city of Mason had one of its most successful turnouts at “Good Morning, Mason” October 30, said Kathy Morse, co-owner of Mason Today. This event was created for local businesses to network and help build the community bond between companies. The agenda included: Mason Area Chamber, Ingham County Public Safety, Mason Area Schools, and many other topics.

“Good Morning, Mason meets six times a year and provides an opportunity for local business owners and workers to get to meet one another and inform each other on new ideas or business opportunities,” said Doug Klein, executive director of Mason Area Chamber of Commerce.
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Giving back to those who give

By Emily Hummel
The Mason Times

Three Mason firefighters were recognized on Oct. 6 for rescuing a woman from a burning building.

Firefighters Jacob Meyers, Josh Woodland and Scott Davidson accept their plaques from Mayor Leon Clark.

Firefighters Jacob Meyers, Josh Woodland and Scott Davidson accept their plaques from Mayor Leon Clark.

At the City Council meeting, firefighters Scott Davidson, Jacob Meyers and Joshua Woodland were asked to accept plaques describing their heroic feat. Mayor Leon Clark presented each plaque to them. Along with the plaque, they were each given a day of the year that Mason would recognize.

“Even though the three of us were the ones that went into the building, it takes a whole team of people outside to make it happen. I think that It was humbling to get the recognition but really the entire fire department deserves recognition for doing what we did that night,” said firefighter Jacob Meyers.
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Swallowtail Farm now open through the winter

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

With the hot summer days behind us, Swallowtail Farm of Mason isn’t going to let the upcoming cold weather put a damper on its business. After becoming certified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture to begin production of preserves for distribution last year, Swallowtail decided to add a large hoop house to extend its growing seasons.

Co-Owner Anne Rauschuer assorting through greens

Swallowtail, known for its U-pick raspberries plans on having a selection of salad greens including lettuce, spinach, pepper, Asian greens, baby kale, cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, butternut squash and even eggs for the winter. All vegetables are free of synthetic chemicals

Pumpkins come in various sizes for all carving, decorating and eating needs, with prices ranging between $2 and $5. Butternut squash is 50 cents a pound.  All greens are $3 a bag with bags weighing between one-third of a pound and one-half of a pound.

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Drocha, Waltz, Brown elected

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

Although it was projected to rain, that did not stop voters from getting out to City Hall and voting.

“I’ve been working the polls before President Obama’s first election and this seems to be the second biggest turnout including the presidential elections,” said Christine McElhone.

Final unofficial results for the Mason City Council showed that Marlon Brown and Jon Droscha will return to council for another term. Mike Waltz, who held a seat from 2007-2012, will rejoin council.

Of 6,077 votes, Droscha came in first, accounting for 1,341 of the votes. Mike Waltz was second with 1,258 and Brown was third with 1,165 votes. Rita Vogel received 903, Angela Madden had 716 and Jeffrey Wiggins received 694.
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By Ben Stram and Emily Hummel
The Mason Times

Mason’s 150th year will be guided by three familiar faces elected to 2-year City Council terms on Nov. 4.

Jon Droscha and Marlon Brown were elected to second terms and Mike Waltz, who served five and a half years in the past will be coming back.

Droscha received the most votes with 1,341. Waltz had 1,258 and Brown was a close third with 1,165. Droscha said he was surprised by the final results.

“It’s really pretty humbling,” he said. “The support has been amazing. Being the top vote-getter … I never imagined I’d be the top vote-getter.”
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Verizon grand opening connects with Mason residents

INSIDE

RIBBONBy Ben Stram
The Mason Times

People gathered Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the new Verizon-Wireless Zone in downtown Mason.

Members of the Mason Chamber of Commerce was present, as well as Mason mayor Leon Clark, enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Verizon has been open since Aug. 21 and since then has been a “brilliant” fit in Mason, according to store manager Sherman Norman.

Norman said that creating relationships and having the will to meet people have been important in opening the store in a new community.

“It’s all about the willingness to get out there and get yourself known within the community,” he said. “Create relationships early. Before the store even opened we were already in town and creating relationships.

“Going to some of the events in town so that when we opened, we kind of established a few relationships that were critical within the community.”
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Dewey’s Ditty is the Theme for Mason’s 150th Celebration

By Shane Stockwell
The Mason Times

Dewey Longuski had his song chose for the Mason 150th Celebration

Dewey Longuski had his song chose for the Mason 150th Celebration


The city of Mason is turning 150 years old in 2015 and along with it, a Sesquicentennial celebration. People often enjoy music when celebrating and local musician, Dewey Longuski, would agree.

Longuski, 49, lives on the outer edge of Mason and has always had a passion for music. Everyone in his family is gifted in music and all played a big role in forming his love for songwriting. “I tend to come up with a lot of my jingles while driving in my truck,” said Longuski. “My passion is in writing my own song lyrics.”

In lieu of the historic cornerstone creeping closer, Longuski thought he’d put his musical talents to the test and propose a theme song to the Mason 150 committee. On July 21 the committee accepted his proposal, choosing “Making Mason Memories” for the theme song of the 150th celebration.

“Nothing gets done if you wait for someone else to do it,” said Longuski. This will now be the second city that has chosen one of his songs for its theme tune. The previous city being Plainwell, Michigan.
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Country line dancing becomes a community event on Thursday nights

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By Alyssa Richardson
The Mason Times

When the sun goes down in the outskirts of Mason County, the local VFW’s ballroom is filled with classic and traditional country jams and eager participants wanting to learn the latest dances moves in Country Line Dancing.

Every Thursday for about two years now, instructor Dave Pickett has been teaching the local country line dancing class and says he steps each of them up a notch as times progresses.

A group of about 30 from small children to elders creates a family like environment by embracing you with encouraging words, cheers, conversation and laughs.

Running from 7-9 p.m., instructor Pickett teaches his class well thought out routines to songs such as Redneck Girl by the Bellamy Boys and a greater variety of popular country tunes. Around 8 p.m. Pickett gives his a class the opportunity to go to the in house restaurant choosing between an assortment of food: pizza, chicken wings, fries, egg rolls and shrimp prices no higher than $7.50.

Pickett’s assistant, Todd Finch, whose been dancing for eight years said everyone should give country line dancing a shot.

“It’s a great experience with great music,” said Finch.

Pickett’s personality and class is extremely fun and carefree. There are no strict rulesthat takes away from the experience Pickett is able to give his class. There is no set dress codeso jeans, shorts, tennis shoes and cowboys boots are all welcome.

While teaching, Pickett is a warmhearted entertaining man. Pickett was sure to make his a way around to each part of the ballroom to ensure every student received a great experience.

Student Chris Hosler, a middle age Mason resident has made Pickett’s class a habit.

“It’s fun. I dance all through the fall and winter and it just gets you out the house.” Hosler encourages all people who’ve attend Pickett’s classes to continue to come, “If you step forward then you will eventually step back and it’s the same with left and right.”

The dance moves Pickett instructs throughout his 2-hour class consist of claps, turns and stomps that are simple enough that a beginner can pick up on them.

The atmosphere of Pickett’s country line dancing class is so positive and enjoyable that couples of all ages attend for date nights.

At $5 per person, Finch said, “It’s a night out together where you are able to bond and have a down right good ol’ time for cheap.”

 

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Counting on an increase in revenue

By Emily Hummel
Mason Times

With a overall trend of decreased enrollment in Michigan public schools, count day

Ron Drzewicki, superintendent of Mason Public Schools

Ron Drzewicki, superintendent of Mason Public Schools (photo was courtesy of Ron Drzewicki)

considered one of the most critical days of the year by Michigan educators, has gone much better than in recent years in Mason, which has seen increased enrollment.

Count day is when students attending each school within a district are counted and the number is reported to the state. From these reports, the state determines how much money to give to each school district and can mean a difference of several thousand dollars.

On this day attendance in school is stressed to parents, and some schools even give incentives to their students to encourage maximum attendance. Mason schools inform parents and trust them to understand the importance of the day.

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Mason Man still at-large in Animal Abuse Case

Benjamin Conley has been on the run for three weeks now and has a warrant out for his arrest.

Benjamin Conley has been on the run for three weeks now and has a warrant out for his arrest.

By Shane Stockwell
The Mason Times

Three weeks later and the search is still on for Benjamin Conley, who disappeared from the Ingham County courthouse minutes prior to his sentencing. Benjamin Conley was found guilty of animal torture, along with his brother Nicholas, in August. Nicholas Conley is currently serving his sentence in Ingham County jail, while the Lansing Police Department continues its search for brother Benjamin.

The brothers were being charged for the malicious torture of their mother’s pit bull. People saw the brothers hanging the pit bull from the roof of their house with a chain and noticed stab wounds.

Deputy Kyle Hanney was called to the house, 1717 Illinois Ave., Lansing, Michigan, on Sept. 6, 2013. Hanney saw the battered dog fighting for its life with a chain around its neck. Attached to the chain was a cinder block, restricting the dog from pulling its head up. The pit bull was later euthanized at Ingham County Animal Control.

This isn’t Benjamin Conley’s first run in with the law. He has also faced charges for unlawful imprisonment and assault and battery. Nicholas has a felony conviction as well.

Hanney says it’s not a matter of whether Benjamin Conley is found, but when. There is currently a bench warrant out for Conley’s arrest. Deputy Hanney stated that this is the most horrid case he has worked on.

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