Eastern Europe conflict reaches beyond borders

A Michigan State University professor says the war in Ukraine is a fresh chapter in a 250-year-old story that Russia is using to justify its invasion. Michigan State University Associate Professor Matthew Pauly said the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has a complicated history, going back to 1774 when Ukraine was initially part of the Russian empire. “Ukrainians have been in a long war,” Pauly said. “This is not the beginning of the war in 2022, this is merely an escalation.”

Pauly, a historian of Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Russia, said Russian President Vladimir Putin believes Ukraine is not separate from Russia and that Ukrainians and Russians are the same people. “Ukrainians of all different ethnicities, of all different linguistic persuasions are taking to arms to defend their homeland, and the choice for them is quite simple, really,” Pauly said. 

“Do you have an independent state in which democracy, as imperfect as it is, is allowed to exist and you have the right to freedom of the press, the right to all of these key things that we assume to be integral to our democratic experience?

Waverly Community Schools plan to improve virtual learning

Vivian BarrettNurse Sue Ruegsegger receives a round of applause for her work throughout the COVID pandemic. Waverly Community Schools plan to introduce a new online learning option for ninth and tenth grade in the 2022-23 school year. The school of choice program will be similar to previous years but will offer a more robust learning experience. The Board of Education unanimously passed the motion on March 21. The program will use current Waverly teachers and has spots available for Virtual Academy and current Waverly students, said Superintendent Kelly Blake.

Woman applies eyelash extensions

Delta native returns home to expand beauty business

Vivian BarrettEsthetician Alyssa Misner applies eyelash extensions to a client. At Skin Studio 211, Misner specializes as a lash tech. Local business owner Lorin Cumberbatch founded Skin Studio 226 in Long Island, New York. Today, she works in her hometown of Delta Township at her second location: Skin Studio 211, named in honor of her late grandmother. After moving back to Delta to support her son through surgery in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic kept Cumberbatch in Michigan for longer than she planned.

Man standing by firetruck

Delta Township Fire Department faces ongoing staff shortage

Vivian BarrettDelta firefighter paramedics leave in response to a call. A nation-wide shortage of firefighter paramedics is hampering the Delta Township Fire Department, leaving it eight people short. Several times, two of the township’s three fire stations have closed due to staffing issues. Delta has been struggling with the shortage since 2019. EMS/Training Capt. Brian Hatfield said the ongoing issue is a lack of people interested in the occupation. 

“The general amount of people going into this profession overall is much lower than it has been in the past,” Hatfield said.

photo of a dog and person inside a library

Dog days: kids read to four-legged friend

No dog ears in the books! Hobbes and Stephanie Woinowsk get ready to read. A perfect Saturday morning for 8-year-old Hobbes starts on the couch of the children’s section at the Delta Township District Library. Basking in the sunlight, Hobbes relaxes as kids read their favorite books to him. Even better, he gets pets from all of his guests.

Cars parked in snow

Storm damage to cars takes toll on tires, wheels and auto bodies

Vivian BarrettWhat place is safer than the roads for your car when it snows? This one. While the Feb. 2 blizzard was still on its way, auto repair shops and tow truck companies prepared for customers. 

Josh Clayton, owner of H&H Mobil Fuels, Service and Towing, said preparations related primarily to staffing and not equipment. “We bring on additional staff when we have storms like this,” Clayton said.