Beaver Island's oldest newspaper is still around.  After 46 years of continuous publishing the Beacon recently underwent some changes and the May issue shows how great the changes are.  Chock full of articles, poetry, events and ads it's still the same Beacon but better than ever.  The island can certainly handle two papers as diverse as the Beacon and NorthernIslander are.  

Chuck Hooker is still the editor/publisher and Suzy Bonadeo does the Design Tech but they've added an editorial board made up of: Melissa Bailey, Jon Fogg, Phil Gregg, E. B. Lange, Barb Murphy, and Don Spencer giving a wide range of experiences and abilities.  A great move into the future and one that will hopefully keep the Beacon around for another 46 years.

The May issue includes articles on: Natural Beauty Roads; Great Lakes Drilling, Vision Project, minutes of township meetings for example.  Check it out soon.

Bits And Bytes

9th Annual 5th & 6th Grade Play

For the ninth year in a row, Mrs. Stambaugh's 5th and 6th graders have presented the community with a fun play.  This years selection was "Bits & Bytes" about a computer virus who tries to corrupt all the fairy tales and nursery rhymes of the world.  This event is the culmination of the students fund raising events before heading off to Camp Hayo-went-ha from May 8th to the 11th.  They have sold flower bulbs and calendars and of course accepted donations to make this annual camping trip possible.  It is their reward for doing Safety Patrol throughout the school year no matter the weather.

Camp Hayo-went-ha is a  state YMCA of Michigan camp that offers outdoor education, conferences and retreats.  Located on beautiful Torch Lake in Central Lake the kids will  take part in archery, the tower climb, geology, zip line and of course the ever popular ropes course.

They have a busy schedule planned: leaving on the Tuesday morning boat; touring the new Charlevoix County Jail, having lunch at Nanny's in Charlevoix, touring the Music House museum in Acme and then heading to the camp.  They will spend all day Wednesday and Thursday at the camp and on Friday after lunch will tour the Medusa plant in Charlevoix before catching the ferry home. 

Kudos to Mrs. Stambaugh who initiated this adventure for the school children. To see pictures of the cast of and scenes from the play, please click here "Bits & Bytes"

NOTE: Mr. and Mrs. Stambaugh's son Tony, had his own production going at the same time making them grandparents again!  Congratulations!

The Triplets Have Arrived!

Kaylyn and Tessa Jones are proud to announce the arrival of their THREE baby brothers.  That's right... three!  On May 4th, Brennan John, Turner Gene and Quinn Daniel made their appearances a wee bit early.  All three are doing great, as is mom and dad, Randy and Kim (Connaghan) Jones.  

Brennan John weighed in at 5 pounds 14 ounces and was born at 4:07 pm.  Turner Gene followed one minute later weighing in at 5 pounds 1 ounce and Quinn Daniel tagged along showing up at 4:13 pm and weighing 4 pounds 13 ounces.

Just a tidbit, the boys were born on their Aunt Loie Connaghan's birthday - not saying which one - and big sister Tessa will be 2 years old on May 7th... quite a birthday present you have there Tessa.

Congratulations to Kim, Randy, Kaylyn and Tessa!  and to Brennan, Turner and Quinn for picking such a terrific family to be a part of.

Moving Up

This building has been the home to the Island Tours and Island Transit for the past few years.  On Wednesday, May 2nd it was moved up close to the sidewalk as preparations were initiated for the new building that will replace it - hopefully late this year or early next year.  

It's always sat so far back that many times people didn't even notice it.  Having it this close to the road may drive business up some... enough to warrant new busses? or raises for the drivers? 

Are YOU Over-due?

It's springtime and that's the usual season for cleaning out closets and under beds and with school almost out maybe even emptying out book bags to see what living in them.  The Beaver Island District Library has a tremendous amount of over-due books out.  Patrons have been sent notices more than once, but many books are still out there.  If you find any, please slip them into the drop box at the front of the library -or - if you aren't on the island and discover that you accidentally took a couple books home, stick them in the mail to us.  There is no late fee, but we really need them back so that other patrons can read them too.  Thanks so much.

Inland Lake Levels

A follow-up to a question raised in the Forum on this page was how the inland lakes are faring so far this year.  Having driven to Font, Barney's and Fox Lakes I can say that those three are up from last year at the present time.  I placed last years photos in one of those "safe" places and now it's totally safe from me since I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment to show a comparison shot.  Last year there was about a 100 foot mud flat at this same site on Font Lake so it's obviously "up" quite a bit at the present time.

Photo taken April 2001

St. James and Township Airport Improvements for 2001

Submitted by Don Vyse, St. James Township Supervisor

The project of paving Main/Michigan Street in St. James Township is scheduled for this year.  The plans are to tear up the present pavement and resurface the roadway with asphalt from the corner at Holy Cross Church Hall to the Lighthouse.  Also included in the project are new sidewalks and improved street lighting.  Bonner, Forest, Frankie Lane, Gallagher, Kenwabikiese, and Back Highway also are to be resurfaced.

There also has been an interest in forming a sewer district from Forest Street (Ace Hardware corner ) to Frankie Lane (Post Office corner).  This area has the highest septic field volume on the harbor.  The concept is essentially a larger model of the typical septic tank field.  After the potential septic site and the project costs are finalized, a Public Hearing will be held.  If the project moves ahead, it will be
done at the time of the road paving.

Along with the Main/Michigan paving, we have an opportunity to improve the Township Airport.  The Michigan Aeronautics Commission long has been interested in improving the paved runway at the Township Airport, and, with the asphalt plant on the island, we could save money be taking advantage of doing the two projects at the same time.  The Airport project would bring the runway up to FAA standards of 4,300 feet long and 75 feet wide with improved lighting.  By combining the road and airport projects, we will have a saving in mobilization costs and the potential to attract more and better bids.  An additional project to be included, in conjunction with the Beaver Island Transportation
Authority,  is the paving and fencing of the Beaver Island Boat Company Parking lot.  This work will provide a secure parking site as well as short term parking that will help to ease our downtown parking problems.

It is our intention to bid these projects May 31, 2001, which means a summer of disruption around the harbor area.  However, given the obvious need and the improvements that will be accomplished, all of us should be able to tolerate the inconvenience.

Jazz Concert Coming

Northwest Academy is a public school academy in Charlevoix whose band program has grown, achieving national recognition.  Currently there are 27 eighth through twelfth grade students who play a variety of instruments.  The Northwest Academy Jazz All-Stars are made up of 15 members from the advanced band and offer a traditional "big band" sound. 

The band is performing Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Church.  The event is open to the public and is free. 

The Northwest Academy bands have traveled out west to perform at the National Charter School convention and the Rock Mountain Jazz Festival.  They also performed in England in 1999 while visiting friends that were introduced during an American exchange program.  The bands have also received first division ratings at both the district and state MSBOA festivals.  The jazz band performs at numerous events throughout the northern Michigan area during the year and especially during the summer months.  The band has become a favorite of many local residents. 

The band is  under the direction of Gary Stutzman.  Mr. Stutzman graduated from Charlevoix High School and received both Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Education from Northern Michigan University. 

If you are interested in housing two students in your home Thursday evening, please contact Donna or Alice at the school--448-2744.  Students arrive on Thursday's boat and depart on Friday mornings boat. 

Don't miss out on all the great news in the May issue of...

JUST A SAMPLING...

"Island to host "Camp Quality" in June, a special camp for teens touched by cancer"

Letters to the Editor: "Improve Cormorant study", "Rename Back Highway", "Charlevoix State Bank responds to editorial"

LaDonis Mooney's "The mystery of the car at the end of the road"

Profiles of Beaver Island's class of 2001

From the Archives: "The Ferry War of 1900"

Business Profile: "The Beaver Island Boat Company"

Outdoor Life: "The Loons of Beaver Island

AND MUCH MORE! 20 BIG PAGES!

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