Monday, May 30, 2011

PORTRAIT: Memorial Day


FEATURE: Memorial Day Parade


Midland's McKenzi Jacobs, 8, smiles as she recognizes her cousin while riding in a barrel race car during the Memorial Day parade Monday morning along its route on Rodd Street in Midland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FEATURE: Live Wax Museum


Fifth-grader Grant Ostergaard, 10, stands tall with his hand at his side as he represents Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th U.S. president and commanding general of the Union Army that defeated the Confederates, during the American History Wax Museum where dozens of students dressed as historical figures Wednesday at Woodcrest Elementary School. "It's really exciting, but I'm pretty nervous," he said of standing as a statue. "It's weird to have everyone walk by and watch you. It's kind of intimidating."


Fifth-grader Matthew DeMoville, 11, stands still, his hand saluting passersby as he represents Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, during the American History Wax Museum where dozens of students dressed as historical figures Wednesday at Woodcrest Elementary School. "He's pretty cool. He had some foul-ups in his life, but he was just a regular guys like the rest of us," he said of Jackson, who DeMoville knew little more than that he appeared on a $20 bill before this project.


Fifth-grader Natalie Earley, 11, stands still as she represents Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South, during the American History Wax Museum where dozens of students dressed as historical figures Wednesday at Woodcrest Elementary School. "Standing here, waiting for people to talk to me — it's pretty embarrassing," she said. "Once they come up to you, you can talk about your story. I really like dressing up, and to be her, it's really a good experience."

Monday, May 23, 2011

SPORTS: Loons vs. Silver Hawks


Great Lakes Loons outfielder Roman Pena throws his head back in disappointment in the dugout after his team's first batter struck out in the ninth inning Monday night at Dow Diamond. The Loons lost 8-3 to the South Bend Silver Hawks.


Great Lakes Loons catcher Steve Cilladi sticks his tongue out as he anticipates where the ball will drop, diving forward as he misses catching a foul ball in the third inning Monday night at Dow Diamond.


Great Lakes Loons' Leon Landry hits a base hit Monday night at Dow Diamond.


After stopping the ball with his body, Great Lakes Loons shortstop Christian Lara throws the ball to first base in an attempt to get an out in the third inning Monday night at Dow Diamond.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FEATURE: Not a "text"book graduation


Wearing flip-flops to stay cool, Farwell High School senior Doug Banach sits on the floor texting other friends in line while waiting to enter the gymnasium for graduation Sunday at Farwell High School.

FEATURE: Pet Pageant


Midland resident Jean Thompson wraps her arms around the fake locks of hair as she puckers up for a kiss from her dog Sheila, her one-year-old Jack Russell-labrador mix, while sitting on a bench near the Tridge after competing in a costume contest Saturday afternoon during the Parade Your Pet Pageant. Thompson, who works at the Humane Society, adopted Sheila as a rescue. Shelia's former owners surrendered her and she came without a name. "She was so adorable, I had to bring her home," she said. "Her former owners abused her. She needed someone who would care. This is a second chance for her. I love her so much."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

SPORTS: Div. 4 Track and Field Regionals (Mich.)


Coleman's Alexia Snear stares intently at the finish line with a final burst of energy as he runs the last 100 meters of the 1600-meter dash Saturday during the Division 4 Track and Field Regionals at Coleman Track Complex. Snear finished with a time of five minutes, 45.87 seconds.


From left: Coleman's Dakota Fike, Tim Anderson, Tyler Rhynard and Reno Fike all smile and embrace after beating the 35-year school record of the 800-meter relay, securing them a first place win Saturday during the Division 4 Track and Field Regionals at Coleman Track Complex.


Coleman's Brianna Baxter keeps her balance as she knocks the final hurdle over in the 300-meter high hurdles Saturday during the Division 4 Track and Field Regionals at Coleman Track Complex.


Caption to come.

NATURE: Hawk in the sky


A hawk soars through the sky as it circles a dead deer in a field in Coleman.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SPORTS: You got this kiiiiiyaaaaad! Yeah, 3-0!


Swan Valley softball players cheer for their teammate in the third inning of the first game of a doubleheader Thursday at Bullock Creek High School. Swan Valley won the first game 3-1.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SPORTS: Midland Track Meet


Midland senior Anthony Ells runs with baton in hand as the last leg during the 3200-meter relay Tuesday afternoon at Dow High School.


Midland's Saxdon Miiller clears 10-foot, six inches while polevaulting Tuesday afternoon at Dow High School.


Midland freshman Jessie Walter cringes as she lands in the dirt with a 15-foot, three inch jump securing first place in the long jump Tuesday afternoon at Dow High School.


From left: Midland sophomores Abby Hutter, Katelyn Perry and Marissa Nowak laugh as they roll around in the grass at the track meet Tuesday afternoon while taking a break from competing with Dow and Mount Pleasant. "Rolling in the grass is just a tradition for us. We do this at every meet," Perry said. "It's not for luck or anything like that. It's just fun and a way to pass the time."

Monday, May 16, 2011

NEWS: Former Mich. Gov. John Engler


“We understand as a nation how states compete against states,” Engler said of economic development to a group attending the Republicans’ 4th Congressional District Spring Breakfast Monday morning at Bucks Run Golf Club near Mount Pleasant. “We get that, that’s been going on for some time. But what’s happening now is that nations are doing that to us,” he said of Michigan.


Friday, May 13, 2011

FEATURE: 'We're going to Disney World!'


Four-year-old Samantha Hewitt, center, of Chesaning sheds a single tear as he father Scott, left, mother Kim, right, and 11-year-old sister McKenna kiss and hug her upon arrival at the Make-A-Wish benefit Friday at Valley Plaza Resort, where Samantha was given a trip to Walt Disney World. The Hewitts adopted Samantha more than four years ago within days of her birth. Before the adoption papers were officially signed, Kim and Scott were notified of a genetic dysfunctional liver disease she had called Alagille Syndrome. That would not keep them from having her in the family, Scott Hewitt said. Samantha underwent treatments, and was lucky, Scott Hewitt said, to have her name called within three weeks of being written into liver transplant wait list. Her surgery was Aug. 1, 2010 and she was home within 13 days. "It was a miracle," Kim Hewitt said. "Tenacious is what she is. She's our baby. For our family, it's made us bond closer. Our marriage is stronger. I'm a better teacher. It may have given us a few gray hairs, but i'll take them for good health for our child. Now she's jumping up for the school bus and running around like a child — there were times where we didn't know if we would get her back again. So to see this is simply beautiful. We just pay it forward now." Scott Hewitt stayed most of the nights late at the hospital post-transplant. He said he is just happy to have her in his life. "I can't believe how tough this kid is," he said. "She is my daughter. Adoption is family just like anything else, and I love her. We've been through a lot, and I couldn't be more happy."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SPORTS: Midland vs. Dow Girls Tennis


H.H. Dow's Allie Vickery volleys the ball back toward her opponents Hannah Fisher and Robin Wontorcik during the second of two doubles matches Thursday afternoon while playing Midland High School at Dow's tennis courts. Vickery and her partner Meghan Woody won both sets 6-1 and 6-0.


H.H. Dow's Camila Luciano keeps her eye on the ball as she volleys it back toward her opponents Laura Slykhouse and Martha Neubauer Thursday afternoon while playing Midland High School at Dow's tennis courts. Luciano and her partner Patricia Bartlett won their sets 6-0 and 6-2.

Monday, May 2, 2011

NEWS: K-12 Funding Deficit Meeting


Midland resident Ed Haycock, 41, sits frustrated with his head in his hands as he tries to educate himself Monday night at Central Middle School during a funding forum hosted by the Midland Public Schools Board of Education as they discuss K-12 funding cuts proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators that could mean an additional $13.5 million in spending cuts from the district during the next two years. Haycock has two daughters: Emma, 12, who attends Northeast Middle School, and Ellie, 8, who attends Chestnut Hill Elementary School. Haycock said the deficit is "shocking to say the least," but not to give up on Midland Public Schools. "I believe that there is hope," he said. "It's going to be a long tough road, but Midland is a strong community and has passion, and hopefully we can work through this."

NEWS: Osama bin Laden is dead


Photos by Jake May | Central Michigan Life
General Manager Steve Cline, 24, of Lapeer sits in the middle of an empty Menna's Joint restaurant lobby in Mount Pleasant as he watches President Barack Obama's address the U.S. to inform the public of Osama bin Laden's death Sunday night. "It's crazy! It's really hard to fathom yet," he said. "For his involvement in 9/11, this brings justice to all of us since the war has been leading on for more than a decade. What a huge accomplishment. It needed to be done. It's a big victory for the U.S. It's all come full circle. I don't really consider myself patriotic, but this installs the best in all of us as Americans, and in me."


President Barack Obama's addresses the U.S. to inform the public of Osama bin Laden's death Sunday night. "After a fire fight, they killed Osama bin Laden, and took custody of his body," Obama said in his speech.


The day after the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death was announced by President Barack Obama, a flag lays draped across a letter left at the base of the Michigan Vietnam Memorial on Monday morning in Island Park in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
"Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave. Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid," the note reads.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NEWS: Midland Flood


Midland resident Joe Ralph, 30, sits stranded on his front porch at his Towsley Street house Friday afternoon after taking his second consecutive day off of work. Ralph was waiting for his basement to be pumped clear of 5-foot-high standing water. His family has owned the house since the '70s, and he has been its owner for four years. "When I first looked outside, I saw a lake on my front lawn, and I knew it was bad," Ralph said. "There's water everywhere. The basement is flooded. I have no choice but to stay here, wait and do my best to get the water out of my house." On Friday, the Tittabawassee River crested at approximately 27.66 feet. The flood waters continued to rise, partially submerging the surrounding areas of the Tridge, including Chippewassee Park, the Trilogy Skate Park, the Downtown Midland Area's Farmers' Market, Currie Parkway and Emerson Park, among other areas. While the flooding was substantial, it did not quite reach the level of the 1986 flood, where the cresting river exceeded 33 feet.


A 1972 Mercedes sits parked in the driveway on Towsley Street Friday afternoon.


From left: Midland residents Lance Juhas, 18, Austin Lago, 18, and Eddie Burton, 17, boat around the flooded streets of Midland Friday afternoon as they approach the Tridge. "You never get to navigate the streets like this," Burton said. "We are floating by street signs at eye level."