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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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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Trick-or-treat with your dog downtown

By Kirsten Rintelmann
The Williamston Post

Sheri Munce asking her dog, Cami, to shake.

Sheri Munce asking her dog Cami to shake.

The fifth annual Trick-or-Treat with Your Dog will take place in downtown Williamston on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 2-4 p.m.

It is a fundraiser for the non-profit organization For Better Independence Assistance Dogs, which trains facility and assistance dogs. According to Gary Spanski of FBI Dogs, dogs and their owners will have the opportunity to go store-to-store and get a treat— just like children go house-to-house on Halloween. A map locating all participating stores will be handed out. Some stores will have their own employees’ hand out goodies and others will have bowls of treats set out.

Spanski said additional events will take place at McCormick Park from 2-5 p.m. Some
include raffles, games, bobbing for hot dogs/tennis balls and an agility course. There will also be contests such as best costume, dog/owner who drove the farthest, best trick and largest dog. Judging will begin at 4:30 p.m and prizes will be donated by Joey’s Pet Outfitters and Caraway Kennels.
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Dusty’s Cellar showcases chic dining, fine wines, specialty taste in Okemos

By Abbie Newton
The Williamston Post

Thirty years ago, there was a small bakery nestled in the Meridian Mall in Okemos called Dusty’s. Today, that same bakery has expanded to include a restaurant, a tap room and a retail store for specialty foods. <Listen to the story.>

 

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Williamston schools suffer from enrollment slump

By Kelsey Parkinson
Williamston Post staff writer

While Michigan is recovering from the economic downturn over the past few years, the state’s schools are still suffering – but not from funding. From declining enrollment.

Williamston Community Schools’ student enrollment has gone from 1,884 students during the 2009-10 school year, to 1,799 students this school year, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

chartThis trend is being seen statewide, according to Brian Ciloski, analyst at the MDE.

“Statewide, we went from 1,623,000 in 2009-2010, to 1,523,000 this year,” Ciloski said. “There’s been about 20,000 students a year that the state has been losing.”

What has been causing this downward trend? Williamston School Board Trustee Rhonda Coon thinks that it might have something to do with a kind of “baby boom.”

“The largest graduating class was in 2010, with 191 students graduating,” Coon said. “There was a small baby boom, I guess you could say, in 1991 and 1992. Those kids graduated in 2010.”

Coon herself moved to Williamston at about the time her own son was starting kindergarten. He graduated in 2010.

“There was a lot of growth at the time I moved to Williamston,” Coon said. “We’re now seeing that boom affecting us.”
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Williamston School Board favor new speed limit on Mitchell Road

by Miranda Bryant
staff member

Williamston School Board members agreed March 17 that they would like to see a lower speed limit on Mitchell Road. They did not vote, but will continue the discussion at their April 21 meeting.

Board members discuss speed limit issues.

Board members discuss speed limit issues.

The school zone on Mitchell Road has a 30 mph speed limit when the lights are flashing. When the lights are not flashing the speed limit is 45 mph.

“I’m curious to why the township is hesitant?” said trustee Rhonda Coon.

Superintendent Narda Murphy said that the speed limit could be changed but drivers would still travel at 45 mph unless there is daily enforcement.

“Speed limits are really determined by how people travel on the roads,” Murphy said.

Williamston School Board has approached this situation with Michigan Safe Schools, but was given only two flashing lights at each end of Mitchell Road, President Marci Scott said.

30 mph speed limit while flashing post.

30 mph speed limit while flashing post.

45 mph when not flashing post.

45 mph when not flashing post.

“One of the disappointing outcomes of safe routes was that they couldn’t get the routes of the school projects because that was the best they could get for safety on that road,” Scott said.

The board does not have the authority to establish a speed limit on Mitchell Road but can ask that the speed limit remain at 30 mph all day, and not just when flashing.

Secretary Ernie Gaffner said the township might be waiting on a resolution or statement of support from the board of education.

Even though most board members supports the idea, Vice President Larry Ward said he would rather see the experts decide.

“I believe the experts know what they are doing when it comes to traffic,” Ward said. “If it needs to be changed because of technical reasons than let the experts say it needs to be changed.”

Ward also said that slower speeds are just as dangerous as fast speed limits.

 

Williamston school board supports a reinvestigation of the safety on Mitchell Road and will discuss the issue at the April 21 meeting.

 – Miranda Bryant

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Later school start time at Williamston Schools moves toward board approval

By Abbie Newton
Staff Writer

Williamston Community Schools could start the school day 15 minutes later next year. The Williamston School Board began discussing plans for the change at their March meeting.

Listen to the story here.

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