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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Building Twenty-One Reopens Skatepark, supplying opportunities for teens

By Ben Stram
The Mason Times
Workers at the arena

Some of the rails

More ramps
One of the biggest ramps
Almost a year ago an old run-down skate church and bike church were taken over by Building Twenty-One and the transformation impacted many.
With help from professional BMX rider Cory Wiergowski, renovations advanced and word spread.
That transformation was completed when the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors cut the ribbon Wednesday, Oct. 14, officially reopening the indoor skate park for students ages 8 and up. Continue reading

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Animal shelter tries to help dogs find homes in Dogtober

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By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

The Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter will be hosting its first discounted dog adoption event called Dogtober, for the rest of October.

Dogtober, originally slated to begin Oct 15 was pushed to Oct 7 due to the Ingham shelter being out of room and overloaded with adoptable dogs.

All dogs for the rest of Dogtober will cost $30 to adopt compared to the original $100 price tag. The price decrease is thanks to a volunteer/sponsor for the shelter donating “a lot” of money to make-up for the difference, according to Ashley Hayes the volunteer and special events coordinator of the shelter.

Each adopted dog will come with a microchip, county license and rabies vaccination. Each adopted dog will also be neutered and spayed.

As of 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9, the shelter had helped seven dogs find new homes thanks to Dogtober.

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Native son returns to teach yoga

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 Mason native Toby Mohlman returned to his hometown to host yoga classes for the Mason community.

Toby Mohlman, who lived in Mason until he was 18, has since spent his years living in Colorado, Massachusetts and currently Cleveland.  He began practicing yoga in 2000 with his girlfriend as a form of physical therapy.  He liked it so much it inspired him to get a teaching certificate in yoga, which he just recently obtained. He was mostly looking forward to linking back up with old friends and seeing family, while doing something that means a lot to him.
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Rotary Exchange brings cultural diversity, growth to students

students2By Ben Stram
The Mason Times

The Rotary Youth Exchange program offers students the opportunity to learn about cultures from around the world.

The program is for both inbound and outbound students. Inbound students visit from a variety of countries while outbound students spend a year abroad.

Students must be in high school and maintain a certain grade-point average while participating in leadership activities at their high school to be a part of the program.

On Sept. 19, Rotary District 6360, a group composed of 12 inbound students from 11 countries, visited Chicago.
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Mason’s population is growing and changing

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer

Mason’s population increased almost 23 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the census, and growth continues. By 2020, there will be 10,000 people living in Mason, compared to the 8,252 recorded in the last census, predicted Chamber of Commerce Director Douglas Klein.

Klein said that Dart Container Corporation’s acquisition of Solo Cup Company in 2012 has brought the largest influx of residents—especially to the western part of Mason. Dart built a large warehouse in the past six months and will finish building a new administration building by the end of the summer. Klein said Dart hired 300 employees for its Mason facilities.

Klein said the growing population is leading to an increased need for products and services.

Mason's population increased from 2000 to 2010, and the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce projected that it will continue to grow into 2020.

Mason’s population increased from 2000 to 2010, and the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce projected that it will continue to grow into 2020.

“We’ve had a lot of businesses pop up that we hadn’t had before,” Klein said.

On East Ash Street, buildings are being reconstructed and repurposed. Businesses will move in on the first floor, with apartments and meeting rooms above.

To cater to the aging boomers, massage therapists, physical therapists and chiropractors are coming to Mason. Beltone, a hearing aid center, is moving onto East Maple Street in downtown Mason to fulfill senior citizens’ demand.

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MMUGS creates a community of ukulele players

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer

Mid-Michigan Ukulele Group Strum met on Saturday, March 22, to play and sing along to Elvis Presley songs. MMUGS founder Terry Hill said he has gotten involved in the ukulele community in Michigan and beyond. Hill visited Australia last month because of fellow ukulele players he met through Facebook. Mason resident David Birney has spent the past year making ukuleles for friends. Anyone—musically talented or not—is welcome to come to the next MMUGS meeting on Saturday, April 26.

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Mason 150 Anniversary Committee needs funds for celebration activities in 2015

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer

The Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee only has $40 in the treasury to spend on its 150 anniversary activities. Fundraising during the rest of 2014 is essential to have events and merchandise in 2015.

When the committee was formed in fall 2012, people were assigned tasks, such as managing the Mason 150 Tree Legacy Project, organizing the Mason 150 Club or creating a souvenir journal. Mason Councilmember Marlon Brown, chairperson of the committee, sent out a press release encouraging people to donate or become involved in these projects.

Committee chairperson Marlon Brown reviews the meeting agenda.

Committee chairperson Marlon Brown reviews the meeting agenda.

The Mason 150 Club is a fundraiser sponsored by the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s 2015 events will be co-branded with Mason’s anniversary. Residents can join the 150 Club by donating $150.

Douglas Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, brought in sample merchandise—such as a coffee mug, key chain and magnetic clip—that will serve as thank-you gifts for Mason 150 Club members. The gifts will be branded with the Mason 150 logo. Brown called the products Klein’s bag of swag. Continue reading

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Changes to CATA route could improve commute between Mason and Lansing

By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

CATA bus stop Northbound South Jefferson Street past East Maple Street

CATA bus stop Northbound South Jefferson Street past East Maple Street

A grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping to gather input from citizens in Mason and Lansing about adding additional CATA bus service between both cities.

Route 46, the bus route between Mason and Lansing, runs one northbound trip daily at 7:05 a.m. from downtown Mason, and one southbound trip at 5 p.m. from the CATA transportation center in downtown Lansing.

Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed change would add one more bus in the morning and evening, possibly an hour later than both times, alleviating problems of many people working a 9 to 5 job. Continue reading

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