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Artistic message ...see page 4-A


Imlay City High School students earn top spots in state contest,


137th Volume - Issue No. 34 Tri-City


Tri-City Times Staff Writer LAPEER — Michigan


State Police are investigating a false shooting report that required the response of mul- tiple police agencies late last Tuesday, Aug. 16.


Lapeer MSP Post Det. Mark Reaves said the incident began around 10:54 p.m. when Lapeer Central Dispatch received an AT&T web-based relay call claiming that a woman and female friend had been shot by the woman’s husband at a home


LAPEER ST. CLAIR MACOMB


Football returns ...see page 1-C


The high school football season gets underway Friday night,


Times Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Shooting, hostage E-911 call a hoax


Prank leads to accident as police attempt to secure Bowers Road scene By Tom Wearing


on Bowers Rd., near Force Rd.


Reaves said the caller also alleged that the shooter had placed several pipe bombs in the home, which had been set to go off .


Believing a serious matter was at hand, Michigan State


Police, Lapeer County Sheriff deputies and officers from the Imlay City and Almont police departments converged at the scene.


Reaves noted that upon arrival, troopers were able to make contact with the resi- dents inside the home, who


indicated no shootings had taken place.


“It turned out to be a hoax,” said Reaves. “It appears that someone in another state may have been upset with a relative of this family and was trying to retal- iate. We’re pretty sure the


source of the call is not from Michigan.”


While the investigation is ongoing, Reaves said it is possible that someone hacked into the Facebook account of a relative of the Bowers Rd.


Hoax page 4-A Gourds rule this weekend


Humble vegetable at center of celebration in Imlay By Maria Brown


Tri-City Times Assistant Editor


Convicted shooter Jill Day pauses to wipe away tears while addressing Judge Daniel Kelly during Day’s sentencing hearing in St. Clair County Circuit Court.


Capac shooter makes tearful plea for leniency


Jill Day gets 16-50 years for Oct. 2010 shooting By Maria Brown


Tri-City Times Assistant Editor


PORT HURON — Despite her tearful plea for leniency and profession of innocence, Judge Daniel Kelly ordered Jill Day to spend at least 16 years in prison for attempting to kill Steven Podschwit in October. “I am so far from being the cold, calculating person I’ve been made out to be,” Day said on Friday in Kelly’s courtroom.


“I beg for your mercy so I can go home soon.”


Kelly followed the sen- tencing guidelines recom- mended by the probation department: 15 to 50 years for assault with intent to murder and two years for felony


Center since her arrest in December, bringing her mini- mum sentence to about 16 years and three and a half months.


Day and attorney Kimberly Tomczyk in court on Friday.


firearms. Both counts run consecutively and Day will receive credit for the 259 days she’s served in the St. Clair County Intervention


The 55 year-old Holly woman said she’s been in an “alternate universe” since she was taken into custody and charged with shooting Podschwit outside of his Glassford Street home in the village of Capac last fall. Had her hearing taken place on the original sentencing date, Day said she would have had a courtroom full of supporters who could attest to her good character and past service to the community.


Kelly dismissed her state- ments saying there was plenty


Plea page 4-A


Questions arise about sports dome proposal Funding, feasibility, timing of proposal subject of discussion among Imlay officials


By Tom Wearing Tri-City Times Staff Writer


IMLAY CITY— The jury is out regarding a proposal by local attorney Ron Rickard and Sterling Heights philanthropist Danny Hutchins, who are pitching a plan to build a $2.1 million sports dome in Imlay City.


The idea was floated last Thursday by Rickard and Hutchins, during a two-plus hour meeting at the high school, that included repre- sentatives from the school district, city government and church leaders. Hutchins is president of


DiHydro Services, Inc. of Sterling Heights, a company that applies “green technology” to the restora- tion of corroded and leaking pipes. Among his company’s past proj- ects are preserving the original water pipes at a pair of Detroit land- marks; the venerable Fisher and Guardian buildings.


High school Principal Stu Cameron said the Rickard/Hutchins association has already born fruit for Imlay City Schools in the form of financial donations and grant money.


“Mr Hutchins donated $15,000 to the high school toward the pur-


Natural wonder


North America’s largest moth spotted in Imlay City,


...see page 1-B


chase of science equipment for our new forensic team,” Cameron noted. “He and Ron (Rickard) also pulled together a $5,400 ‘challenge grant’ for the district through the Four County Community Foundation. “Ron has a genuine interest in the well-being of the kids in the community,” Cameron continued. “When he takes on an initiative, we’d like to be supportive.” Adding that construction of a sports dome would require an enthu- siastic community partnership, Cameron hedged on Rickard’s sug- gestion that the school district con- sider placing a millage on the ballot


to help fund the project.


“I can see this as being great for the kids and for the community,” said Cameron, “but there are a lot of logistics to be dealt with. I’m not sure a public school can enter into a bond proposal for a business ven- ture.”


Fair Board eyed dome The latest proposal is not the first time a domed facility has been discussed in Imlay City.


Eastern Michigan Fair Manager Ian Kempf noted hat the Fair Board considered the logistics of con- structing a dome several years ago. At the time, the proposal was con-


Gratitude


Imlay City Commissioners recognize years of service,


...see page 4-A sidered cost-prohibitive.


“How are they going to get this paid for?” asked Kempf. “When you start putting the numbers together for a facility like this, it doesn’t seem realistic.” Similar sentiments were offered by Imlay City Manager Wayne O’Neal, who feels the proposal is ill-timed, given the city’s and state’s current economic health. “In this tough economy, when we’re all operating in deficit situa- tions, I don’t see how there would be much support for something like


Questions page 4-A


IMLAY CITY — It’s year number two for the Michigan Festival of Gourds. The three-day event, coordinated by Imlay City’s own Deb and Ron Stallings, returns to the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds this weekend with a schedule full of things to see and do. Deb Stallings said the festival is a great way for people to learn more about the humble but extremely versatile vegetable that’s used around the world for everything from musical instruments, to cookware, to floats on fishing nets. “In a sense, it was the


Tupperware of its time,” Deb said with a laugh. There will be gourd classes, demonstrations, children's crafts, live music and much more.


Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. This year’s festival has put an extra emphasis on local foods. There will be about 15 local food vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to vegetarian items. There will also be a bake sale fea- turing homemade items from Master Gardener vol- unteers.


On Saturday night,


Mary Edgerton and Terry Stemple, both of Imlay City, do a little shopping for ornaments and other handcrafted gourd items at the 2010 Michigan Festival of Gourds at the fairgrounds.


Imlay City native and chef Michael Romine will serve up a complete meal made from locally-sourced items. Tickets are $16 per person and can be reserved by call- ing 724-6135. “We’re also excited that


Girl Scout Troop #1149 of Dryden has adopted and


organized our ‘Nasgourd’ races,” Deb said of the pine derby type event that fea- tures miniature cars made from small gourds. Races will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m.


The Stallings and their Gourds page 4-A


50¢ www.tricitytimes-online.com


Photo by Maria Brown


File photo


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