Local historian presents community connection to drinks

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“I will not allow a liquor saloon to live in the village that bears my name.” declared James Ludington in his original plan.  Last night, local historian James Jensen presented “The History of Ludington and Mason County in 6 Glasses” entertaining the audience by connecting our local community to the various drinks and the impacts thereof. Attendees were provided history of stimulants, including coffee, tea and soda and intoxicants, which included beer, wine and liquor. Although James Ludington did not intend to have alcohol in his village, saloons were common, and Mr. Jensen guided the audience on a visual pub crawl from the 1890’s, with some locations still serving as bars today. Mr. Jensen said,“The hardest thing to research is the saloons, because they didn’t advertise, there was no records kept of where they were. A lot people didn’t even want talk about saloons, so finding the locations and when they were in existence was one of the more challenging things that I did.”


The impact of the temperance movement was felt in Mason county, as Mr. Jensen described the various ways the community responded, including becoming a dry county and throwing a “Ludington Whiskey Party” by throwing unwanted whiskey in the lake.

During the presentation, Mr Jensen encouraged questions and comments from the audience, citing their participation as “A way for him to learn,” MOM News asked him what he meant by that, “I love history. My family goes back to 1850 in this community and every time I give one of these presentations, someone says something that adds to my knowledge and I use it in my presentation.”


There will be two more speakers in this series provided by The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association and Mason County Historical Society. Todd Reed will provide a Multimedia presentation on Lighthouses of the Great Lakes on February 16th. The series will conclude on March 16th with Steve and Grace Truman, authors of Sands and Storms, presenting on local shipwrecks and the Coast Guard Station.

Hart Main St looks forward to the future.

With the beginning of the new year, Julie Kreilick, Director of the Hart Main St program, said the year will kick off with Winterfest on February 4th. “That's just a day of both indoor and outdoor activities. We are focusing on a few more indoor things to get people into our stores, which I think is a good thing. We are going to have a soup cook off between 9 of our area restaurants.”


Then, Hart Main St will look toward the Fourth of July, putting on what she calls the “Biggest and best fireworks in Oceana County” on July 2nd. The largest addition to Hart for 2017 is Farmers Markets. “They're going to be right on State Street here. We are going to close the street down. We're doing Thursday evenings. We are sorta partnering with New Era who has them every other week and we are going to do the opposite week every other week so we have a kind of compliment there to provide Oceana County with fresh food on a weekly bases. That's going to be starting, July 6th is the first market, every other thursday from there on out. Really excited for that. There so many great producers of homemade good that I look forward to partnering with.”


Music on the commons will continue in summer of 2017. Musical acts are still being finalized, and will occur on Wednesdays at the Hart Commons. The Labor day 5k tradition will continue and the year will round out with Small business Saturday.

Manistee earns RRC certification

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Friday that the City of Manistee has been awarded Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification. Manistee joins nine other Michigan communities that have qualified as thoroughly prepared when it comes to planning and zoning along with other key features that remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective private investors. MEDC Senior Vice President Katharine Czarnecki said, “We look forward to working collaboratively with city of Manistee officials to create a vibrant community where businesses thrive and those employed find opportunities and a sense of place, and where a strong sense of community flourishes,” The certification sends a strong, positive message to developers, said Manistee City Manager Thad Taylor. “With the City of Manistee receiving its RRC certification, we are sending a strong message to developers that we welcome their business, that we have laid the groundwork for a good process, and that our community is fully supportive and will work with them to achieve success”

Ludington works towards next guinness record

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Ludington’s briefly-held record for the longest ice cream dessert is a prime example of the incredible logistics and perseverance required to get in the record book. This June, Spectrum Health Foundation—Ludington Hospital is working with the chamber, city and a volunteer committee to secure a new Guinness World Record for Ludington. They are organizing an attempt to set a new record this summer for the most people making sand angels simultaneously. A practice session for the event will be held at the beach today, Wednesday, January 18, at noon. Kaley Petersen, director of the hospital's foundation, volunteer and community services, is shooting not just to break the record, but to obliterate it. The current Guinness record is held by Pembrokeshire, England, with 352 people simultaneously making sand angels on June 6, 2015.  Barry Neal, owner of the iconic House of Flavors restaurant, which orchestrated the ice cream record last summer, is on the organizing committee to contribute his expertise and experience to help the community prepare for the sand angel event. Details on registration to participate in the record-breaking attempt will be announced when the online registration and donation site has been set up.

LASD Board of education welcomes new board members and begins goodbye to Superintendent

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The Ludington Area School District Board of education met last night. The meeting began with the oath of office for new members, Josh Snyder and Stephanie Reed. Steve Carlson was appointed as Board President. The meeting continued with discussion of the Ludington Area School District experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers. The board discovered that LASD was not competitive with other districts and approved an increase rate of $85 per day to appeal to substitute teachers. Funds from the food service equipment funds were approved to purchase a new  food service oven from Stafford Smith.  Contractors to update the pool were also approved; Welch tile will replace broken tile in the pool area with Elite Floor Covering providing acrylic decking.  Superintendent  Andrea Large provided a monitoring system update, requiring schools to be 100% on target in all areas. LASD was identified as compliant in all areas except holding the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for children with special needs within a calendar year. Ms. Large reported that out of 267, 7 were outside the year meaning LASD was 97% on target. The district will hold 11 month IEPS moving forward to accommodate possible unplanned time conflicts.

Superintendent Andrea Large spoke highly of the school and board as she provided a notice of retirement for June 2017. The board approved contracting with Michigan Leadership Institute to assist with the employee search.  The district will also be seeking community input as the board seeks their new Superintendent

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