of Fremont employee Ken Deur
Clearing a path
cleared city sidewalks around the city
on Friday after the heavy Thursday
Photo by Russ Tindall
Newaygo County Board of Commissioners
Gardner re-elected to lead county commissioners
Newaygo County Board of Commissioners held its organizational meeting on Jan. 7 to
determine positions on various committees for the coming year.
Patrick Gardner was reelected as board Chair, and James Maike was re-elected as
Vice-Chair. Larry Lethorn will remain as Finance Committee Chair and will be joined on the
Finance Committee by Vice-Chair Charles Trapp and Commissioners Gardner, Maike and Phil
Public Safety Committee will be chaired once again by Commissioner Deur with Commissioner
Trapp and newly seated Commissioner Steve Johnson also serving.
will chair the Physical and Economic Development Committee, with Ortwein and Maike also
serving on the committee.
will chair the Health, Education and Human Services Committee, with Lethorn and Ortwein
also on the committee.
county boards Executive Committee will include Chair Gardner, Vice-Chair Maike and
Finance Chair Lethorn.
serve on a number of other boards and commissions. In some cases involving various county
boards, the county issues per diem payments for meetings. In other cases, per diem is paid
by the agency involved. Commissioner Ortwein inquired about including a per diem for the
Pathways Committee, an initiative to create a side of the road pathway system throughout
think this is something thats going to be here a long time and would like to see the
board consider this, said Ortwein, who currently serves on the committee.
Lethorn expressed some hesitation toward moving in the direction of reimbursement by the
many other members on the committee are paid? he asked.
dont think we want to set a precedent as a county and get into a fiduciary role with
Pathways, said Lethorn.
is a real thing tied to townships and towns, said Ortwein. Its a real
understand its viable and a grand idea, Lethorn replied, but I dont
believe tax dollars should go into it.
Lethorn raises a good point, said Commissioner Deur. They (Pathways Committee)
asked us to support the concept, which we do, but not financially. Commissioner Ortwein is
committed to this and I can see both sides, but I dont want it to be under the wing
of government. I dont support the concept of a new committee.
agree, said Commissioner Johnson. I have a hard time seeing taxpayer dollars
going toward it.
I can see it becoming more and more involved
whether Im on the committee or not, stated Ortwein.
doesnt seem to be a lot of support for adding this, said Gardner, before
asking for a motion to adjourn.
the meeting, a television reporter approached newly seated Commissioner Johnson, asking
questions about his recent arrest for malicious destruction of property involving the
Freedom Chevrolet car dealership in Fremont, as reported in last weeks
TimesIndicator. Johnson declined to comment, referring the reporter and his camera to his
A Year in the Life of Newaygo County
through a years collection of weekly issues of the TimesIndicator yields our annual
look at some of the people and events that made local news and local history in the year
2014. These events formed another year in the life of Newaygo County.
Last weeks TimesIndicator reviewed the first
six months of 2014. Here is a review of the last six months of the year. The stories
appear under the months in which they were originally published.
Paul and Matthew Jones were arrested and charged with the 1989 murder of Shannon Siders of
Newaygo. The arrest came after months of work by a cold case task force and years of
waiting by Siders family, friends and community.
and Lynne Robinson of Grant were honored with the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy.
Fathers Day Fly-In, Cruze-In made a successful return to the White Cloud airport.
public got a look at the new Emergency Department at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in
Fremont at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Crandell family of Crandell Funeral Homes, who have been in business for 112 years, were
named Grand Marshals of the National Baby Food Festivals Grand Parade.
Simmons of Hesperia died when his motorcycle hit a deer in the roadway in Beaver Township.
Santiago of Ashland Township, who had been reported missing, was found after an extensive
search by several law enforcement agencies.
and donors continued their efforts to renovate the historic Sitka Hall southwest of
Township residents attended a township zoning commission meeting to discuss the possible
effects of a proposed hog farm.
Sanders was appointed as the countys new Register of Deeds after former Register of
Deeds Linda Landheer retired.
the Independence Day parade in Croton, dozens of people participated in the Community Walk
on the Edge to help dedicate the new Dam to Dam section of Newaygo Countys new
groundbreaking ceremony was held for The Gateway, a project to turn the old Fremont High
School into a senior housing development.
ark-themed play structure began to take shape at Fremont United Methodist Church.
ground-breaking ceremony marked the beginning of construction of Green Acres, a new
retirement living facility to be built on E. Main Street in Fremont.
Baby Food Festival organizers received special tributes from Governor Rick Snyder.
open house held at the Flowing Well in White Cloud celebrated the history of the area.
renovations to the Fremont Area Community Foundation building were completed.
Township residents expressed support for the Croton library at a township board meeting
after the township board sent a letter to the library terminating the townships
lease agreement. The board expressed commitment to work with the library board to keep the
Hartsema, a long-time Fremont merchant, celebrated her 100th birthday.
17-year-old Fremont teen was charged with malicious destruction of property, assault with
intent to rob while armed, and manufacturing methamphetamine in Ludington.
Health Services of Fremont celebrated 45 years of providing care in Fremont.
Johns Episcoapl Church dedicated the churchs garden as The Garden of
Boland, 18, of Kalamazoo and formerly of Newaygo was killed in a car crash northeast of
officers investigating a suspected methamphetamine cooking operating saw a house burst
into flames following an explosion at the house in Sheridan Township.
Eenigenburg of Grant talked about how he was creating a unique timber frame barn by
himself, using a collection of homemade tools and his own muscle and problem-solving
ingenuity. He said that his goal was to have the barn enclosed before snow arrived. He
Area District Library celebrated 50 years of service to the community.
Sportsmans Post 4249 completed its move to a new home at 45 Gene Fugason Lane, very
near the old building.
Rodriguez of Newaygo was injured when a vehicle driving by Carol Dewindt of Wyoming
crashed through the front window of the H and R Block office in Newaygo.
Froese of Croton Township created a strikingly unusual entry for the ArtPrize exhibition
in Grand Rapids, a sculpture created from paper made by nesting bald-faced hornets and
yellow jacket wasps. While the sculpture was on display in Grand Rapids, a representative
of Ripleys Believe It Or Not bought it for display in museum in Amsterdam.
Croton Summer Recreation Program celebrated its 10th anniversary with special activities.
High Schools Max Smith set a new school record for the five-kilometer run, beating
the old mark set by Todd Jeschke in 1990.
Newaygo County Service Employees Credit Union celebrated 50 years of service to the
36-year-old Brohman man was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident causing the
death of Steven Jones of Woodland Park. Police said that Jones died when he was struck by
a vehicle while walking alongside a road in Merrill Township.
Health Gerber Memorial installed a living roof surface above the new Emergency Room
of Newaygo Countys 10th annual meeting featured plans to overhaul operations.
Siders of Newaygo reflected on the start of court proceedings in the trail of Matt and
Paul Jones, two brothers charged with murdering Siders daughter Shannon 25 years
High School swimmer Lauren Zeerip set a new Fremont pool record in the 100-yard
Ark Christian Day Care Center celebrated its 35th anniversary.
boat-launching docks were installed near the Bridgeton Bridge to help make the Muskegon
River more accessible to more people.
Federal Credit Union held ground-breaking ceremonies for a new credit union branch to be
built on the former site of Georges Rootbeer Stand in Newaygo.
firefighter Bob Geeting retired after 48 years of service to the people of the Fremont
Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency announced its plans to purchase and use
the former Providence Christian High School building south of Fremont.
Fremont High School boys cross country team placed second at the Michigan High School
Athletic Association state finals.
fire destroyed much of the David Allen Racing Motor Sports building and contents on Maple
Island Road west of Fremont.
enforcement investigators began searching local lakes in search of Margaret Maureen
Heuser, a woman who was reported missing in 2005.
Fremont Area Community Foundation received a $4.8 million gift from the estate of the late
Vincent Bunker. He and his wife left Newaygo County many years ago, but he was said to
believe that money made in Fremont should return there.
Newaygo County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution accepting a grant for the
creation of a morgue to serve both Newaygo and Mecosta counties.
Jackson School students honored Deputy Turbo, a canine member of the Newaygo County
Sheriffs Department, who is retiring after a long police career. Along with cards
and a party at their northern Newaygo County school, students also presented Turbo with a
new bed to use in retirement.
Fire Department issued awards to Deputy Chief Robert Van Dyke as Officer of the Year,
Carlos Escalante as Firefighter of the Year, and Laura Anderson as Medical First Responder
of the Year.
Ferguson of Newaygo celebrated her 100th birthday.
Lapworth of White Cloud was arrested for felony assault after a stand-off with law
enforcement during which he reportedly threatened to blow up the house.
Day ceremonies added children to the Dawson and Bartlett families.
Newaygo County Board of Commissioners honored Sheriff Mike Mercer who is retiring.
Countys unemployment rate was announced to be 5 percent, its lowest in several
three-person group was scheduled to interview and appoint a new county sheriff from the
five applications received to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Sheriff Mercer.
Newaygo County Sheriff Mike Mercer reflected on his career and the people he served.