Sun Theatre brings residents together since 1947

The Williamston Post
By Gabby Burbary 

An old film reel from the theater sits on display at The Williamston Depot Theater in front of a 1976 yearbook photo of The Sun.

An old film reel from the theater sits on display at The Williamston Depot Theater in front of a 1976 yearbook photo of The Sun.


An old film component from the theater sits on display in The Williamston Depot Museum.


The Sun Theatre has been bringing the people of Williamston together since 1947, and continues to do so as they persevere on year 69 providing residents with the entire nostalgic movie experience- complete with buttery 50 cent popcorn.

Most historical theaters of this age are not in working order any longer, but due to the support of the community in 2012, The Sun Theatre was able to raise $80,000 to switch from old reels to digital projectors so that the residents could keep enjoying their beloved movie nights.

“Going to see a movie is ‘an event’ in Williamston because you bump into a lot of people you know,” said Sean Bertolino, Williamston City Council member.

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Leaks can lead to high billing

Cierra Pryor
The Williamston Post

Jason Hill first noticed his high water bill in November 2015. He figured it was a mistake, or a case of his kids having more fun than usual in the water.

Hill grew concerned once he noticed a pattern for the next two to three  months, as bills continued charging way above his family’s average.

“Once I received the bill for the next three months, it was just about the exact same as the first one that caught my attention,” said Hill. “After that I told my wife, Rebecca,  that we may need to call this in to see what’s going on.”

Hill said they have had leaks before in their plumbing and made sure they were fixed, but they may be back.

“Piping in our home has been an issue in the past,” said Jason. “We’re calling our plumber again because, sadly to say, we may have another leak.”
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The growing heroin epidemic

By Kelsey Clements
The Williamston Post

Video Interview with Greg Dagner

The first time Greg Dagner tried heroin, he said, it “was phenomenally pleasurable and a tremendous rush.” It was like nothing he had ever felt before.

“It took away the bad things and added pleasure instead,” said Dagner, who lives in Williamston. “It helped me deal with reality.”

But when the high was over, Dagner said, he felt the urge to use the drug again so he didn’t have to come to terms with his reality. It was a never-ending cycle. The days were the same; he would wake up, get high, go through withdrawal and use again.

Dagner is just one individual in a population of addicts. The heroin epidemic is a growing problem in the United States.

Since 2002, heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. have increased by 286 percent to over 10,500 deaths annually, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 45 percent of those addicted to heroin began with addictions to opiate-based painkillers and moved to heroin because it is generally cheaper.

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Foundation hopes 34th annual golf outing will set fundraiser records

By Cierra Pryor
The Williamston Post

Amanda Frattarelli, director of the senior benefits fund began the meeting with stating that the golf outing will be a combination of having fun, getting exercise, and raising a lot of money.

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Claire Munn, 45, a volunteer for the outing, goes over new ideas to help raise money and bring in more sponsors for this year’s golf outing. Photo by Cierra Pryor.

The Williamston schools foundation is hosting the 34th annual golf outing on May 21, 2016, at Brookshire Inn & Golf Club to raise money for technology in the schools.

Frattarelli made it clear in the meeting that there is more money to be raised through this event.

“We are about halfway to our initial goal, which is around $400,000,” said Frattarelli. “A third of the devices has been bought, but yet there are other items needing to be purchased.”
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Safety is top priority during Williamston High School’s prom

Williamston High School's prom will be April 30.

Williamston High School’s prom will be April 30.

By Caitlin DeLuca
The Williamston Post

Williamston High School’s junior-senior prom will be on April 30, and the school is making safety a number one priority.

The main concern in terms of safety is underage drinking, according to WHS principal Dr. Jeff Thoenes.

“We emphasize as best we can that the students be safe and make good decisions, especially encouraging them not to drink,” said Dr. Thoenes.

“When I first got here, about seven years ago, I noticed that kids were coming to public events and school functions intoxicated. So, we purchased a breathalyzer and announced it to discourage student drinking,” he said.

Dr. Thoenes said that this has worked very well, though it hasn’t erased all problems in relation to drinking.

“To say that it has ended all issues with students drinking would not be true. This year we found a girl with alcohol at lunch not once but twice,” said Dr. Thoenes.

Underage drinking on prom night does not occur just in Williamston, but is a nationwide problem.

According to a survey done by AAA which consisted of around 1500 teens between the ages of 16-19, 31% of high school teens said it would be likely that their friends will be under the influence of alcohol or drugs sometime during the prom and graduation season.

An even more frightening statistic from that study is that 87% of teens believe their peers would be more likely to drink and drive than call their parents because they are afraid of getting in trouble.

“Drunk driving is always a concern, prom or not,” said Officer Don Smith of the Williamston Police Department.

“My number one priority is getting drunk drivers off the road,” Smith said

The prom will be held at Hawk Hollow Golf Course, which is in Bath Township, not far from Williamston. However, since there will be driving involved, students should be conscientious. 

“We will be amping up patrols that evening for when they’re coming back,” said Smith.

According to Dr. Thoenes, there have been no auto accidents or traffic violations (like driving past curfew) since he has been principal.

Along with prom chaperones, there are usually police stationed at the event, just in case they are needed.

“I think [the students are] pretty safe, with chaperones they obviously have, teachers, parents…I would assume they have definite control over that nowadays,” said Brandi Avery, store manager of The Wedding Gallery, which also sells prom dresses. 

In the end, Dr. Thoenes just wants the students to have fun and be safe.

“Focus on the fun and the fond memories and make choices that if it were a headline a newspaper you would be proud to be associated with it,” he said.

City official: Expensive sewage component needs replacing

By Gabby Burbary
The Williamston Post

City Manager Alan Dolley, Treasurer Rachel Piner, and City Council member Sean Bertolino discuss the need for a new lift station.

City Manager Alan Dolley, Treasurer Rachel Piner, and City Council member Sean Bertolino discuss the need for a new lift station.

A city engineer told City Council members Wednesday that a key part of the sewage system is unsafe and needs replacing.

Officials said during the budget work session that this lift system, which brings waste water from lower to higher elevation, must be addressed and the cost to do this will be hefty.

Lift stations are typically put where waste needs to be raised against gravity.

“Right now the workers are a little bit afraid to step on top of the steel structure on top of it because it could break,” said Scott DeVries, city engineer and director of public works.

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Coach’s diagnosis motivates Williamston boys basketball team to reach higher

By Gabrielle Burbary
The Williamston Post

The Williamston boys varsity basketball team is preparing to play their state semifinal game Friday — not only for the title,  but for their coach, Jason Bauer, who was diagnosed with brain tumors earlier this month.

The team will face Detroit Henry Ford at The Breslin Center in East Lansing at 6 p.m. Friday.

“Our whole motto was that coach is going to have a lot of battles coming up to win his own war, so we need to win our battles on the court and win games,” said Riley Lewis, a senior on the team.

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Finding Yourself Through Art series continues with silk screening class

Luella James and Barb Upleqen help one another press the paint on to the screen during class creating flowers. Both ladies are active members within the Senior Center.

Luella James and Barb Upleqen help one another press the paint onto the screen during class creating flowers. Both ladies are active members of the Senior Center.

The Williamston Post

WILLIAMSTON – Members of the senior center plastered paint on their hands and utensils, creating different images on their cloth during silk screening class. Smiles filled the room as the ladies found themselves enjoying one another.

Silk screening class is a great way to personalize anything. For one hour the ladies had fun working together to transfer a design to a screen.

“It’s an easy, fun process that has unlimited outcomes,” said class instructor Wendy Shaft. “These ladies quite surprised me with their creativeness.”

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Williamston trail to honor post-traumatic stress sufferers


Kent Hall, Williamston city councilman and Honor for All vice president.

By Caitlin DeLuca
The Williamston Post

Honor for All will name a trail in Memorial Park to honor veterans and first responders lost to suicide due to post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury

Honor for All is a small, non-profit organization founded in Williamston whose goal is to eliminate the stigma surrounding post-traumatic stress.

“We are dedicated to bringing honor to invisible wounds,” said Thomas Mahoney, president of Honor for All. “Our immediate goal is to overcome the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress and to bring the friendlier civic term of injury and to drop the word disorder from public use.”
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Residents react to Michigan’s primary

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While sitting in the park on Thursday afternoon Crystal Davis 38, talks about her support for Bernie Sanders and explains how she believes he is a man for the people.

By Cierra Pryor
The Williamston Post

With Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump winning the March 8 primary election in Michigan, some Williamston residents are shocked Sanders snagged the win over Clinton.

“I am so glad Bernie won the Democratic primary for our state,” said Crystal Davis, 38, a resident of Williamston and sales clerk at Food Mart. “I believe he is a man for the people and has a true heart for this country.”

Davis said that Sanders’ compassion for the people is what got her vote.

“I did my research on Bernie and I was surprised to discover that he was heavily involved with civil rights back in the ’60s,” said Davis. “He believes in equality for all humans in this country no matter the circumstance.”

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