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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Voracious readers meet at Bestsellers book club

Bestsellers bookstore in Mason

Jamie Robinson rings up Leigh Ferenci’s five books.

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer

Avid book readers attended a book club in Mason despite living in cities miles away
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, nine women attended the club, which was hosted by Bestsellers Bookstore and Coffee Co. owner Jamie Robinson. Robinson started the club four years ago.

Anyone is welcome to participate in book club and partake in the coffee and chocolate chip cookies. Though the club is based in Mason, it has members from Dansville, Okemos and Leslie.

Robinson likes reading books from local authors. Three-year member Evelyn Burgess from Mason said we need to keep authors in Michigan.

The latest book read by the club was “The Life List” by Lori Nelson Spielman, a Michigan native who plans to attend a future meeting.

Robinson, who leads the meetings as long as she has had time to read the book, said it’s not hard to keep the conversation going, even if it’s a bad book. They critique it, read background about it and sometimes have a call-in with the author. All genres are welcomed: romance, comedy, nonfiction and more. Continue reading

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The Mid-Michigan Ukulele Group Strum meet in Mason in preparation for Mighty Uke Day

By Graciella Oteto
Mason Times staff writer

The Mid-Michigan Ukulele Group Strum had its monthly meeting Saturday afternoon at Bestsellers Books and Coffee at 360 S. Jefferson St. in Mason, Mich.

The MMUGS members playing at Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co. during their February monthly meeting

The MMUGS members playing at Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co. during their February monthly meeting.

Terry Hill, group leader of the MMUGS has been leading the Ukulele group since 2012, with Saturday being the group’s third anniversary. The ukulele, a small 60cm instrument created in 1879, is a four-string guitar of Hawaiian origin.

The uke comes in soprano, concert, tenor and and baritone. The MMUGS use their own songbooks, they provide ukuleles if needed, plus there is no cost to join.“I don’t like sports, I play the ukulele,” said Hill.

The MMUGS, who have been at Bestsellers for a year now, according to Laura Hill, wife of Terry, recently began playing for retirees and seniors at Green Acres of Mason once a month. The MMUGS come together and play two- to- eight- chord songs that are beginner friendly and fun for the experienced. With a new theme each month, during the next meeting on March 22 at 10:30 a.m. The theme will be Elvis Presley and Friends.

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