Michigan residents are fed up with road conditions

By Katie Krall
The Williamston Post

John Mcauliffe lives on Middle Street in Williamston and he had one thing to say about road conditions: “They’re bad. And then some are worse.”

Candice Christie drives her Chevy HHR from her home in Williamston to her workplace in East Lansing five days a week and she said the roads were terrible.

Mcauliffe and Christie are two Williamston residents who said they are frustrated with the condition of the roads in their city. And many residents are unsure how to address the problem now that a local millage proposal — which would have raised property taxes by 1.5 mills to create revenue for road construction and maintenance — was rejected during the elections in November. The vote ended with 54.2 percent against the millage and 45.8 percent in favor.

“I didn’t think it would pass because of the environment we’re living in, but it’s gotta be done. It has to be done and the money has to come from somewhere,” Mcauliffe said. Continue reading

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The Williamston Theatre’s 50th show

By Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

When Ruth learns a revealing secret about the family’s ancestors from her grandmother on her deathbed, she is compelled to tell this story to the rest of the family.  It is revealed to the Nowaks that their ancestors were not Catholic, but actually Jewish, the family is immediately shaken. The family matriarch, Clara, is brought to tears. The family doesn’t know how to react to the sudden change in faith. The family fights with one another about what to do, but by the end of the play the family embraces their newly discovered change in faith and embrace one another.

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Kickin’ cancer, Williamston supports child’s fight

By Kirsten Rintelmann
The Williamston Post

Four-year-old Kailynn Schneider from Stockbridge is fighting for her life at an age when no child should have to.

Kailynn in front of her christmas tree

Kailynn in front of her Christmas tree

Instead of devoting herself to coloring pictures and watching her favorite cartoon,Tom and Jerry, her childhood now includes medical tests, surgeries, chemotherapy and the word cancer.

After suffering weeks from symptoms, on Oct. 1 Kailynn Schneider was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, grade III, an aggressive brain tumor located in her posterior fossa. The diagnosis came as a shock to her family. How can their once healthy and happy young daughter be sick and have cancer?

From her birth on March 30, 2010, Kailynn Schneider has been considered a blessing and a surprise to her parents, Jerry and Lisa, her brothers 19-year-old Logan and 15-year-old Jacob, as well as family and friends.

“I was so sure she was going to be a little boy when she was born.” said her father Jerry Schneider.”But I wouldn’t trade her now for anything.”
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Deal, Grant and Lewis win school seats

By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

Nancy Deal, Timothy Grant and Christopher Lewis won 6-year seats on Williamston’s school board Tuesday.

Deal pulled away with 22.25 percent of votes. Grant secured 17.17 percent of votes and Lewis finished with 14.85 percent. After the election is certified, the candidates will need to sign documents accepting their positions, but the three new board members won’t begin their terms until January.

Deal said that when she heard the news, she was excited.

“I am very humbled and honored to be voted into the position as a Williamston school board member,” Deal said. “I am also grateful for all the support I received during my campaign.”
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Township voters reject road millage

By Katie Krall
The Williamston Post

Williamstown Township voters denied a millage proposal for secondary road preservation, reconstruction and maintenance in the Nov. 4 election. Those opposed totaled 54.2 percent.

The proposal would have increased taxes by as much as 1.5 mills. This translates to $1.50 per $1,000 of a home’s taxable value. The increase would have lasted for 10 years. If the millage was levied the full 1.5 mills, the township would have collected an estimated $328,342 in 2014.

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Williamston cleans up charter language

By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

Voters in the City of Williamston approved three charter amendments Tuesday.

Those in favor totaled 56.18 percent on the Deputy Administrative Officers Proposal, which will amend Section 6.6, Chapter 6 of the Charter. This amendment will allow the City Council to authorize deputy administrative officers and those same officers will be appointed and removed by the city manager.

The next two Charter amendments were accepted by wider margins.

Charter Amendment Section 6.4, Chapter 6. passed with 75.81 percent of the vote. This amendment will delete obsolete references to the City Justice of the Peace and City Justice Court in the listed clerk’s responsibilities.

Voters approved Charter Amendment section 8.9 by 78.9 percent, which will make claims against the city for injury to persons and property in accordance with state law.

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Even in a rainy, off-year election, voting matters

By Kirsten Rintelmann
The Williamston Post

According to Williamston School Board member and Township Clerk Ernie Gaffner, Election Day rain did not dampen mid-afternoon voter turnout in precincts one and two.

Williamstonrain

“Voting has been pretty steady all day in both precincts,” said Gaffner. “People are serious about their voting.”

Although it was a non-presidential election, Gaffner said that what’s on the ballot is still very important. Aside from gubernatorial candidates, Williamston School Board election candidates were also being elected.

Gaffner said that voting on the school board not only determines who fill those seats, but it also affects other things in the district.

“The majority of registered voters do not have children in schools,” said Gaffner, “but things that happen in the schools also reflect on the community.”

According to Gaffner, an example is the direct relationship between how well a school performs and the property values in a community. The better a school is, the higher the property values.

City Councilman Ben Stiffler said there are differences among candidates and that “They should be voted for because they are the most qualified.” said Stiffler. “They should also be someone who is well educated and knowledgeable in the position they want.”

Although voting numbers were expected to be much lower than in a presidential election, voters “need to be a part of it because every single vote does count,” said Gaffner. “If the person they want is on the ballot and they didn’t vote, then they really shouldn’t complain.”

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School board candidates make their cases

By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

Vacant seats on the school board in Williamston will be filled Nov. 4. Three of the six candidates will win 6-year terms. One candidate has dropped out of the race for a 6-year term seat, so there will be seven names on the ballot. Jeffrey S. West is running uncontested for a 4-year term.

Each of the six active candidates for 6-year seats talks about their qualifications and aspirations as a school board member. Answers have been edited for length.

Nancy Deal

Q: Why do you feel qualified?
A: I know education. I understand and can speak about the requirements the federal and state government place on districts. I know specifically what Williamston is doing to meet those guidelines and ensure that ALL students receive an appropriate education. I know the issues and can address them specifically, not talk around them.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing Williamston Community Schools?
A: Williamston Community Schools’ challenge will be to keep the integrity of our high-achieving programs while staying within our budget. As long as we continue to produce high-achieving students, we will continue to grow as a district and community.
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Rolling Video Games coming to Williamston High School

By Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

A new attraction could roll in for Williamston High School’s home football playoff.

Board Member Charles Hasemann presented the school board with the fundraising idea Oct. 20.

Rolling Video Games is a game truck trailer with four widescreen high-definition TVs that cover the walls of the trailer, with built-in vibration motors synched to the on-screen action and speakers in the front and back.

Hasemann said, “At events where there are lots of families with lots of kids who aren’t participating in the event…it gets all the siblings engaged in something worthwhile to the kids.”

The school board wanted to get the trailer for the last home game but missed their opportunity, so they will have the trailer come in for the first playoff game for the Hornets.

It will be parked by one of the end zones and kids will be able to buy a wristband to get access for the evening.

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Williamston High to be national model

By Katie Krall
The Williamston Post

Williamston High School will be a nationwide model for Project Lead the Way. A broadcast team visited staff and students on Oct. 8 to produce a video that will be used to show other school districts how the curriculum works.

Project Lead the Way is a Dart-funded curriculum that focuses on engineering. Courses address the growing need for highly skilled technology workers.

Chain of a pulley machine

Pulley machine built by Williamston High students in Principles of Engineering

“It’s a hands-on, practical approach. Not theoretical, not lecture based,” Williamston High School Principal Jeffrey Thoenes said. “Kids are learning by doing.”

Members of the Dart Foundation wanted to create a video to demonstrate Project Lead the Way to other schools and districts. The video team interviewed faculty and students and documented what was happening in these classes.

Two courses are offered at the high school level: Engineering Design with Computers and
Principles of Engineering. Each is year-long elective. Thoenes said Williamston High has a computer lab specifically for Engineering Design with Computers and students create 3D designs of parts and materials.

“It’s really quite fascinating,” he said. Continue reading

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