The Times Herald from Port Huron, Michigan on December 22, 2007 · Page 7
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The Times Herald from Port Huron, Michigan · Page 7

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Port Huron, Michigan
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Saturday, December 22, 2007
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Page 7
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2007 www.theTimesHerald.com TIMES HERALD, PORT HURON, MICHIGAN 1B TO DISCUSS LOCAL NEWS Angela Mullins, city editor 989-6257 Shannon Murphy, St. Clair County .,..989-6258 OCAL& 5TATE a i API V Broughton to step down Lowest Port Huron- area gas prices reported' to MichiganGasPrices.com as of 10 p.m. Friday: Deckerville superintendent to leave district after more than 30 years including his wile Martha Broughton. Four teaching positions were cut. The superintendent called the move "huge." By BOBBY AMPEZZAN Times Herald 2.87 SpeedyQ 67371 Gratiot Ave., Richmond 2.01 Rich 24th and Oak streets, Port Huron 201 Speedway y I 2621 Pine Grove i Ave.; Port Huron Z01 Speedway .J I 21 80 Water St., Port Huron 201 SpeedyQ Ul 1301 10th St., Port Huron For the latest reported prices, check our Web site at www.thetimesherald.com DECKERVILLE Forty years ago Alan Broughton walked through the doors of Deck erville High School with a diploma in his hands and dreams in his head. This summer, he'll leave the district with a pension and I Alan Broughton more than a few memories. This week, the board of education accepted the resignation of a man who led the high school and then the district for more than 30 years. "I should be happy it's going this way. It could be under different circumstances like if the board was ready to fire me!" he said. Broughton will leave the district with a fund balance that would seize a cash-strapped district with envy: $2.7 million, or nearly 50 of the district's annual operating budget. The savings have come at a cost. Ten years ago the district had nearly 1,000 students. Today, there are about 685 students. "About five years ago, we had to go all the way through staff. At that time, IFYCJC3 SCHOOL BOARD MEETING The Michigan Leadership Institute and the Michigan Association of School Boards will present their plans for a superintendent search at the board of education's 7 p.m. Jan. 28 meeting at the administration office, 2633 Black River St. in Deckerville. For more informa-tion, call (810)376-3615. 12 (staff) were laid off out of about 110," the superintendent recalled. Two years ago, the district offered an early retirement incentive and 15 teachers took the. offer, Much of the savings came because the district was able to replace teachers at the highest end of the salary scale with new, relatively low-paid teachers. Like districts throughout the state, Deckerville's school system will face more budget hardship in the future, Broughton predicted. "We need to start working very seriously on consoli dation of services, he said. He recommended the district begin investigating See BROUGHTON, 6B in" n ' ""'"-- IE . a , i 1 "I " ' ' - i ' " f ' . - ; By MELISSA WAWZYSKO, Times Hefald Domtar donates food Single mother Nikki Walsh holds the door Friday for Domtar millwright Carl Waltenburg of Port Huron Township, who carries in donated food and gifts to her Marysville home where she and her four children live as part of Domtar's 21st annual Christmas Basket Program. Thirty food baskets and gifts will be given to families in the Blue Water area with the $4,800 raised for the event. For more photos from the program, visit photographer Melissa Wawzysko's online gallery at www.thetimesherald.com. Kl CHIEF Missing woman found at friend's The Macomb County Sheriff Department is reporting a missing Lennox Township woman has been found and returned to her home. Kathy Lynn Hardrick, 38, was found safe after police reported her disappearance Thursday. Before she disappeared, she was last was seen at 10 am. Tuesday driving a silver 1997 Plymouth Breeze. Hardrick worked at the Macomb County Head Start Office in Clinton Township. Police credit help from local residents and the media with locating the woman. The Detroit Free Press , reported that Capt. Tony Wickersham said Hardrick was at a friend's home Thursday in Detroit. The friend saw a broadcast report about the disappearance and told Hardrick, who called to say she was safe. Detectives met with her to verify her identity and then she returned home to her boyfriend, sister and children. Free throw contest set for Jan. 13 ' The Fr. William F.Welch Council No. 11756 of the Knights of Columbus is sponsoring a free throw contest for boys and girls ages 9 to 14. The contest will be at noon Jan. 13 at the gym of St. Mary Academy, 1429 Ballentine St. Winners will progress to district and state competitions. Proof of age is required. High school athletes should check with their athletic directors regarding eligibility conflicts. There is no registration fee. To pre-register, contact Edward Taylor at (810)987-9270. . O Submit your news at newsbriefsthetimeshera.ld. com. LOTTERY FRIDAY'S NUMBERS Midday Daily 3: 9-0-2 Midday Dally 4: 4-3-1-0 Daily 3: 0-4-8 Dally 4: 7-2-9-4 Fantasy 5: 11-16-20-25-30 Keno: 1,3. 4, 11, 16, 18, 22, 23,24,25,31,32,43,46,49, 53, 56,59,70,72,74,75. Mega Millions: 14-19-20-43-53; Mega Ball: 7 Friday's Mega Millions jackpot was estimated at $12 million. Today's Classic Lotto 47 jackpot is estimated at $14.6 million. CCEEECTIOiiS AND CLARIFICATIONS The Times Herald strives for fair and accurate reporting, and we regret it any time an error is made. It is the policy of this newspaper to correct substantive errors in fact that appear in its news columns. Please bring errors to the attention of Judith McLean at (810) 989-6255. Tr"r s'fi lift i- t rtirMtiH.i". - ! - A ' tv,- . , By MARK R. RUMMEL, Times Herald TURN THE PAGE: Jackie Wilson, right, talks to Cat Hadley of Marine City on Thursday about several books Hadley is looking to buy at the Book Blues bookstore in Marine City. A slow period in business might force the bookstore to close its doors, owners Jackie and Todd ' Struggling bookstore makes plea to patrons Marine City's tetrb,"ks,ore i t-1 The Wilsons are turn- DOOK BlUeS ing to their loyal cus tomers tor survival ana have launched a campaign called "Save the Book Blues: Shop locally or there will be no local shops." Although Jackie, a former college instructor and marketing manager, acknowledges it was an unorthodox move to make the store's status so public, she said she wanted to inform her regular customers of the precarious situation. "The people who have supported us deserve to know instead of what many businesses do, which is packing up in the middle of the night without an explanation," she said. "Now the time to show your love faces closure By NICOLE GERRING Times Herald MARINE CITY For a year and a half, the cozy bookstore on the corner of Water and Broadway streets has been a haven for young moms, retirees, teenagers and other community members. Now, like many locally owned shops, the Book Blues is feeling the pinch of Michigan's struggling economy. Earlier this month, Book Blues owners Jackie and Todd Wilson sent an e-mail to loyal customers with some bad news. If business doesn't improve by late January, or we won't be here." The Wilsons prize themselves on their connections with customers and on the store's inviting atmosphere. The store, which sells used and new books, offers free coffee to customers and features comfortable chairs and couches where people can rest their feet while turning pages. A children's area includes small chairs, bean bags and plush toys and allows young customers to scope out books filed away in a cubby. Kim Mucciante of St. Clair dropped by the store Thursday morning looking for the latest Harry Potter novel. "(My kids) love the children's section," she said. "It's really cozy in here. This is a nice cul- ONLINE EXTRA Discuss the Book Blues boo-sfore's struggles online. TO LEARN M1E BOOK BLUES You can visit the store's Web site at www. thebookblues.com or call (810)765-8111. tural thing. It's more cultural than what we usually have around here. It's a great bookstore." Mucciante was surprised the store may have to close its doors. The "nice personal touch" makes the Book Blues stand out from big box retailers such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, she said. See BOOKS, 6B Washington Township resident convicted of 2ncktegree murder By COREY WILLIAMS The Associated Press MOUNT CLEMENS - A man who tearfully stood before TV cameras and repeatedly denied any involvement in his wife's disappearance, then slipped away to Michigan's remote northern wilderness as police searching his home found her torso, was touna guilty Friday of killing her. " Stephen krant, 51, was . convicted of second-degree murder in the C - ,' Stephen Grant death of 34- year-old Tara Grant at the home they shared in the Detroit suburb of Wash ington Township. Grant looked intently at the jury as the verdict was read, but displayed no outward emotioa ' His sister and Tara Grant's sister also showed little emotion when the decision came down Friday afternooa Grant faces life in prison but could be eligible for parole. Prosecutors were seeking a first-degree murder conviction, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole. "We believe today the right result was achieved," defense lawyer Gail Pamukov said. "There's no winners here today." The jury of six men and six women deliberated over Tara Grant three days. They declined comment Sentencing is set for Feb. 2L "It was one of the most difficult and emotional cases that one can imagine," defense lawyer , Stephen Rabaut said afterward in thanking the jury for their effort. County Prosecutor Eric Smith, who tried the case, said he will ask the judge to exceed the sentencing guide- lines and send Grant to prison for the rest of his life. "I think there is premeditation all over this case," Smith said. "I really thought up until the jury said 'guilty of second-degree murder" that it was going to be first-degree murder," he said. Surrounded by family members who were red-eyed from crying, Tara Grant's sister, Alicia Stander-fer, said after the verdict "We thank God the nightmare is now complete with that conviction of Tara's murderer. The cold-blooded murder of -Tara Grant, my sister, has altered my family forever. And though today was a second-degree conviction, justice was still served." Later, she broke down in tears while discussing the jury's verdict "If it had come back with first degree we would never have to think about it again," Standerfer said. "Am I happy with the verdict? No, but those 12 people did the best they could." Kelly Utykanski, Stephen Grant's sister, said her fam ily members are satisfied with the verdict. "We felt manslaughter would have been a slap on the wrist," she said. Reporter passes along 'random act of kindness' By ANGELA MULLINS Times Herald When an anonymous person made Christmas come early for Times Herald renorter Nicole Ger- ring, it didn't take her long to decide how to keep spreading the spirit of the season. About three weeks ago, Gerring was at work when a front-desk operator called to say she had received a package, dropped off by an anonymous man who was in and out of the office in a flash. Inside the package, Gerring found a Swarovski crystal butterfly and Kodak digital camera complete with a printer, a dock and several other accessories. She also found a card with $1,000 cash. While the butterfly was auctioned to benefit the Old Newsboys, which helps needy children at Christmas, Gerring donated the other items to the United Way of Sanilac County. Having written about the nonprofit agency's fund-raising campaign and being well aware officials were planning funding cuts because of tough times, Gerring decided the group could benefit from her good fortune. "I grew up in a rural area and feel I can relate to the residents of Sanilac County. Many of the county's residents have felt the effects of Michigan's troubled economy and are out of work and struggling to get by," Gerring said. "I hope the United Way can use the camera and accessories to publicize its events. I know it will put the cash to good use, help- U- t - " - l1.,.lnn..T.J ing local families make it who got the ball rolling. through rough times.' While Kent France, executive director of the agency, thanked Gerring for her consideration, he also wanted to thank the man ::r,::r.::::::r::Z:. "You talk about random acts of kindness," he said Friday. Though Gerring and France never may know who bestowed the gifts, we CONTRIBUTION: Kent France of the Sanilac County United Way looks at a camera Wednesday that Times Herald reporter Nicole Gerring donated to the United Way. By MARK R. RUMMEL, Time Herald at the Times Herald have a good idea it's not the first time the mystery Santa has made rounds in Port Huron. Last year, a man gave a nearly identical camera and $500 to his waitress at Applebee's Bar & Grill in Fort Gratiot. After reading a Times Herald story about how the woman and a friend went shopping to spend the cash on donations for Toys for Tots, a man showed up at the Times Herald and gave Gerring a package to deliver to the friend. "Last year when I asked you to help me, you were afraid I was going to yell at you for something written in an article. I apologize for the scare I gave you," the man wrote in this year's card to Gerring. "Please accept this gift as payment of a job well done." O Contact Angela Mullins at (810) 989-6257 or amullinsgannett.com.

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