By Ipshita Moitra
Entirely East Lansing Staff writer
By Ipshita Moitra
Entirely East Lansing Staff writer
By Erin Ehlke
Mason Times staff writer
“Free Food, Inflatables, and Fun” is what a sign said outside of Leo’s Bail Bonds on Saturday, Sept. 21. Leo’s Bail Bonds, who has been in business for 25 years but just moved to its current location in 2012, held a food drive in its parking lot right off of North Cedar Street. Leo’s Bail Bonds hunts down people who have missed their court date. Leo Urban, the owner, makes it a priority to help out his community.
The Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers didn’t lose any steam despite the weather that threatened to shut down the 53rd annual reunion from July 29 to July 31 in Mason, Mich. “I’ve been here since ’63 and I have never seen so much rain,” said Club Vice President Sandy Smalley. “I had people calling and asking if we were cancelled.”
The event was far from cancelled and had an estimated 10,000 people come through the gates, according to Club Secretary John Every. Despite that large number, it was actually down from the previous year due to the unpleasant weather, according to Smalley. Smalley said, “This is the only year since the show has been in Mason that the attendance has not been greater then the previous year.”
Nevertheless, people still came out from across the nation just to attend the event that featured antique stream engines, threshers, and tractors.
The Hold Harmless Resolution was passed Monday during the Mason Board of Education’s regular meeting. The resolution was passed by a unanimous vote across board. “They do it every year,” said the executive assistant to the superintendant, Marlene Lieder. This program allows the high school’s Future Farmers of America to tap the trees in Rayner Park for their maple syrup project. The park used to be owned by the county, but recently the city bought it. “The city of Mason requires a board resolution that way everyone is covered for our students to be on their property,” explained Lieder.
Summer leads to a short meeting for the Mason Board of Education. The meeting went into a closed session only 11 minuets after it began. Upon arriving at the building the agenda was posted on the front door, however the room location was not posted, nor were there signs pointing in the direction of the meeting. At 7:05 when Amber and Ezi found the room, the door was locked. Upon my arrival, we were asked if there were any public requests, per the agenda. Then, immediately after, we were all asked to introduce ourselves and explain why we were present. As soon as we were done, we were quickly welcomed and asked to leave for the closed session.
The Mason School District was approved by the School Board for a $1.5 million dollar line of credit despite steady declines in pupil counts. According to Executive Director of Business and Finance Chris Petrimoulx, the money is to be allocated to the month of October. “Our state aid is given to us in 11 monthly payments throughout the year,” he said. “October happens to be the month where we don’t receive a payment.”
Additionally, the state aid is determined by pupil count so there may be minor adjustments to the amount of aid throughout the year. “We have seen a steady decline in pupil count and state aid,” Petrimoulx said.
The Ingham County Fair Grounds this Saturday offered a variety of fun activities for all ages including rides, fun games, animals, music and good food. Some of the main attractions among the rides included a high-flying contraption called, “The Tilt” and a speedy mini coaster called, “Gravitron”. There was also a Farris wheel and a merry-go-round for those who desired a slower pace. Those interested in playing to win a prize could play a wide array of games where they could throw a ball into glass bowls or darts at inflated balloons to win anything from stuffed animals to live gold fish. There was also a petting zoo full of baby lamas, goats and chickens that people could feed as well as horse back riding. People also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some colorful and exotic birds.
Here’s a brief look at my visit to the Ingham County Fair Saturday afternoon. Despite the on-and-off-again rain, crowds of families enjoyed the carnival rides, games, and food.
James Graffeo has participated in the fair for 11 years along with his family who owns two food stands. He says the fair continues to have such a big turn out every year because people want to come out and have fun.
Here are more pictures of the Fair:
The new stage at Rayner Park is generously being covered by community donations. The construction costs for the stage will total $16,000 with $10,000 coming from the Rotary Club of Mason, $3,000 from the Mason State Bank Foundation, and the final $3,000 donated by the Mason State Bank itself. “This will not be [done] through tax payer dollars, just through donations,” explained City Administrator Martin Colburn. Rayner Park was the first county wide park. Abandoned by the county, it was recently adopted by the City of Mason about one year ago. Located next to the Ingham County fair grounds, on the east side of the city, it has already been re-opened for public recreation and enjoyment. With less staff members and more parks, it has been tougher to get things done, explained Colburn. “We’ve relied a lot on volunteers, and the volunteers are helping the city get the job done,” said Colburn.
It was a marvelous second day for the Mason Steam Engine and Thresher’s Club Festival on Saturday. The weather was perfect and the venue was packed with people excited to see the antique steam engines on display. The 3-day show always starts on the last Friday of July and ends on Sunday, July 31. People came out in droves to see the antique steam engine vehicles, many of which dated back to the 1920s before gas engines were invented and the industrial revolution took over the farming industry. They also enjoyed tractor rides around the muddy, rugged fair grounds as well as demonstrations from the wide array of steam engines that were ridden around festival grounds and sounded their distinctive whistles much to the delight of spectators.