Dennis O’Brien honored at The Mason Tree Commission

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Countless hours spent maintaining city parks and caring for the trees at Maple Grove Cemetery has earned Dennis O’Brien honoree status at The Mason Tree Commission.

O’Brien began his career as a laborer for the Department of Public Works in May 1978. In August 2005, more than 30 years later, he retired as an arborist and superintendent of cemetery, parks and forestry.

The planting of a sugar maple tree in honor of O’Brien is scheduled for noon on Arbor Day, Friday April 24 at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Mason and open to the public.
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Proposal 1, better for Mason’s future?

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Intermodal Policy Section Manager for the Michigan Department of Transportation Rob Balmes provided a brief overview of Proposal 1 at the March 16 City Council Meeting detailing main changes taxpayers will witness if the Proposal is passed.

“Proposal 1,” Balmes said, “will increase sales tax from 6 to 7 percent, while exempting fuel purchases, if approved by a vote to amend the Michigan Constitution May 5.

Sent to ballot by the House and the Senate, Proposal 1 would trigger a series of other laws designed to maximize new investments on road funding and minimize growing tax burdens for low-income residents, Balmes said.
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Sesquicentennial ceremony program lineup

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Marlon Brown discuses the program for the Mason Sesquicentennial Anniversary Ceremony scheduled for March 9 at 6 p.m.

Brown plans to introduce the Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee to begin the celebration.

After introductions, the Fire Department and 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Company B Color Guard will perform.
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Essay contest gives back to Mason Public Schools

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Winners of the Mason College Club’s eighth grade essay contest will be announced at the March 9 sesquicentennial celebration. City Councilman Marlon Brown said he would present winners with a certificate bearing the city’s sesquicentennial seal.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

The essay contest, held for Mason Middle School eighth graders, was hosted by Mason College Club and Scott Shattuck, eighth grade history teacher.

Students were asked to write a two-page prompt regarding the history of Mason streets named after families.

The club choose three winners and one honorable mention from more than 8 submissions.

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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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Knights of Columbus host Lenten fish fry

Fish Fry 2

St. James parishioners and other community members share a Lenten meal on Friday, March 21.

By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer

Each Friday during Lent, the Mason Knights of Columbus Council #9182 hosts a fish fry at St. James Catholic Church. Per tradition, practicing Catholics make sacrifices during Lent and abstain from eating meat on Friday as a reminder of Jesus’ crucifixion.

“We remember the 40 days when Jesus was in the desert,” said Father Kusitino Cobona, the pastor at St. James. “For us, the Lenten season is trying to be with Jesus and having the desert experience by giving up things we love to eat and love to do.”

Ten dollars buys each guest an all-you-can-eat meal of baked and fried fish, shrimp, French fries, macaroni and cheese, green beans, coleslaw, rolls, desserts and drinks. The money is donated to causes in the community. Continue reading

The Drop-In Lego Club meet for Lego show and tell

By Graciella Oteto
Mason Times staff writer

The Drop-In Lego club had its second monthly meeting on March 27 at the Mason Library at 145 Ash St. in Mason.

The Mason Drop-In Clubs for kids and teens meet at least twice a month, with the Lego club being one of the clubs designed for kids ages 6 and up. Created by John Takis and a former head employee of the library, the Lego club is casual and allows kids to come as they will with no formal membership. With an average of 12 – 20 people in attendance depending on weather.

“I love how the kids are working together, it’s a non-judgmental thing,” said first-time attendee Kayla Bender, a Michigan State University psychology senior, who was bringing her little sister from a Big Brothers Big Sisters Association program she does.

Mason resident Jamie Haynie assists her children break down Legos after show and tell

Mason resident Jamie Haynie assists her children break down Legos after show and tell

Mason resident Jamie Haynie has been attending the club meetings for about a year and a half, bringing in her two children to build and create anything they want.
“John takes time to teach and give attention to each child, whether it’s something simple or elaborate”…said Haynie, “he gives each child the same amount of time to create.”

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Animal shelter recognizes citizens for services and dedication

By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer

Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter hosted its annual Humanitarian Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 13, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.

The Ingham County Animal Shelter holds adoptions at select locations for pets needing a good home. For more information about an upcoming adoption, visit http://ac.ingham.org .

The Ingham County Animal Shelter holds adoptions at select locations for pets needing a good home. For more information about an upcoming adoption, visit http://ac.ingham.org

The event, which included an auction and dinner, awards volunteers, media, companies, law enforcement and veterinarians in Ingham County who made substantial contributions to the shelter in 2013.

“Most of our awards go to the volunteers,” said Ashley Hayes, volunteer coordinator for the animal shelter. “But we also have media personnel who do stories on animal welfare, law enforcement officials who have helped out, and vets that have done pro bono work, offering free services to the shelter or people in the community.”

Barbara Paul received this year’s Beebe Humanitarian Award, the highest honor given to a volunteer. A member of the Dog Walking Club, Paul said she’s always had a soft spot for dogs. Continue reading

Walk for Warmth heats homes one step at a time

By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer

Recent sub-zero temperatures mean, many low-income Michigan residents have seen unaffordable spikes in their gas and electric bills.

Consumers Energy, providers of heat and electricity for 68 Michigan counties, teamed up with Capital Area Community Services, Inc., on Saturday, Feb. 22, for the 24th annual Walk for Warmth.

More than 50 participants, including Ingham County residents and Consumers Energy employees, walked from Mason’s First United Methodist Church to All Saints Lutheran Church, raising money for customers in need.

According to Marina Poroshin, rural Ingham service center coordinator for CACS, 100 percent of donations will serve customers in Ingham County who are not able to heat their homes.

“The goal of the walk is to raise as much money as possible,” Poroshin said. “We walk in the cold because we want to feel for people who live in the cold.”

Walk for Warmth to raise money for low-income families

By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

This Saturday, hundreds of people across Ingham County will brave the cold to raise money for those in need. The 24th annual Walk for Warmth will help the Capital Area Community Services, Inc. continue its services, and help more people in need this winter.

Frigid temperatures throughout Michigan have hit many low-income families especially hard. Marina Poroshin, the rural Ingham center coordinator for the Capital Area Community Services, Inc., hopes that people in Ingham County can help those in need.

“We walk in the cold because we want people to realize how it feels to live in the cold,” Poroshin said. “It drives the idea back home.”

She said because of the bizarre winter facing residents, there is a higher demand for assistance.

“There is an increased need this year, much higher than the last year because the winter is so harsh,” Poroshin said. “People burn through their propane much faster.”

Serving more than nine towns and townships in rural Ingham County, Poroshin’s office provides assistance for low-income families in need of utility and rent payments, propane, and deliverable fuel assistance, among other services. Continue reading