2018 in review pt. 2

July
‘Vive la France! Goodrich teachers join World Cup bash’
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Last March three Goodrich teachers realized they would all be in Paris at the same time—so hanging out for a day in the French city was just the right thing to do.
“My wife purchased a trip to Europe for us which started in Poland and went through Paris,” said Aaron Orkisz, Goodrich band director. Similarly, teachers Jason Gray and Mike Yelland were also in Paris for vacations and work related obligations.
“We decided to meet in Paris since we’d all be there at the same time,” he said.
The weekend in Paris was anything but normal.
The day after France celebrated Bastille Day a holiday that honors democracy and equality—France was set to play for the FIFA World Cup.“We were not prepared for the World Cup,” he said.

“It was crazy. When we have a Superbowl win it’s just one city—it’s not the whole country. The World Cup comes around every four years and it had been 20 years since France had won. It made this massive celebration hat much crazier.”
The teachers and families met in an outdoor cafe about five miles from the city center of Paris. They watched France vs. Croatia in the FIFA World Cup final game from Moscow with a thousands local fans.
August
Oakland County Sheriff’s Marine patrol takes aim at area lake
Brandon Twp.-Boaters on an area lake will be a little safer this summer.
Last month Oakland County Sheriff’s Office began regular patrols on Bald Eagle Lake and will continue to do so through the rest of the boating season.
“We’re not out there to ruin anyone’s summer,” said Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Brandon substation commander Lt. Greg Glover. “There’s been a disregard for safety on the lake. Longtime residents have said they lost their ability to enjoy the lake.”
The Bald Eagle Lake Association set up a contract with the Sheriff’s office due to recklessness on the lake, endangering safety and lack of marine safety knowledge.
“There’s kids out there on jet skis with no life preservers,” said Glover.

“We had one incident with jet skis with significant injuries that we had to go out on the lake for.”
The incident Glover cited involved three young persons on personal water crafts that crashed on May 27.
The subjects were reportedly playing “chicken” and spraying each other with water kicked up by their personal watercrafts, when they collided at the south end of Bald Eagle Lake. The collision resulted in one of the operators receiving an injury to one of his legs which required medical attention. Both suspects were cited for Reckless Operation, Operating without a Boaters Safety Certificate and Operating without a PFD.
September
After more than a century village hardware closing ends era
Ortonville- It was center of most American villages.
From shotguns to nails to paint the hardware store kept the community supplied while providing, at times, a gathering destination for neighbors to chat.Hardware Stores before fire pre 1900
Starting about 1900 when G.N. Hart store opened for business on the west side of South Street in the downtown—the village hardware has continued through a fire, several owners and tons of penny candy.
Earlier this month, Thompson’s Hardware, 30 South St. closed it’s doors after 26 years, ending more than a century of business.
Owner Arlene Thompson said the property was sold to an undisclosed local business.
In 1992 Ed and Arlene Thompson purchased the former Featherston Hardware renaming it Thompson’s Hardware. Ed passed away in 2015.
“It was far more rural when we started,” said Arlene. “It was just a different world—it was more home-like than today. We sold a lot more canning supplies, hand rakes, customers used more home cleaning items. Back than we sold riding mowers and delivered them too. People painted their own homes and a truck load of paint would only last us about a month.”
“The store was a place where customers loved to chat,” she said. “A lot of people wanted a pickle barrel, checkerboard and a stove to sit around. I would have done it except the fire chief said no. People would sometimes just hang out and visit.”
October
Village President Wayne Wills steps down
Ortonville-Wayne Wills attended his last meeting as village president on Oct. 8.
“I am blessed to have been a vital part of our community over the past eight years as its president,” said Wills. “I wish my successor much success in her endeavors over the nest two years.”
Wills has been a part of the community since the late 70s, when he was Lion’s Club president. He went on to serve on the village planning commission, the Brandon Township Fire Board, the Brandon School Board, the Brandon Athletic Boosters, the administrative council at Ortonville United Methodist Church and Clarkston United Methodist Church, and finally on the village council starting in 2010.

During his years as president, the council covered many tough issues, such as trails, chickens, and community wide sewage treatment, which all sparked debate among the council and the citizens. One thing he found never sparked an issue, which was the invocation he holds at the beginning of all public meetings.
He also states that George Washington used prayer in a similar manner, to calm people and encourage morality.
“It is my hope and prayer that this might continue,” he said.
The difficulty of the position has weighted on him, and says that the hardest part is finding all sides of an issue.
November
Gleason on NHL ice
At 7:30 a.m., Nov. 10, Ben Gleason got the call.
“’We’re sending a car to pick you up in 15 minutes,’” said Gleason, 20. “They had been calling me since 6:30 and I slept through them.”
Gleason’s early morning call was from the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League to join the team for Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators.
“The game started at 1 p.m. and we got there at 11:15,” laughed Gleason, in a phone interview with The Citizen on Monday. “I was just so nervous—I was shaking the whole time. I tried not to look up in the stands, there were 18,000 people there. I don’t think I felt my legs until the second period. But I had just so much adrenaline it did not matter.”
If he was nervous it did not show. While the Stars lost 5-4 in OT to Nashville. Gleason played 18:13 minutes and recorded an assist with three takeaways.
“It’s what every kid growing up playing hockey dreams of, but it’s not easy. You can tell you’re in the NHL everything is so much faster but, it’s also easier to some extent—your teammates are always in the right position too.”
Then on Nov. 12, Gleason tallied 13:56 minutes with the Stars in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Bluejackets.
Gleason was one of the players invited to skate in the NHL Prospect Tournament last September in Traverse City. On Sept. 13, Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced the signing of defenseman Gleason to a three-year, entry-level contract. Gleason, an Ortonville native who attended Brandon Schools started the hockey season with the Dallas Stars top affiliate team Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. The AHL team plays their home games in Cedar Park, Texas, near Austin.
According to the Dallas Stars, five of the 11 defensemen were on the bench due to a variety of injuries on Saturday prompting the call up of Gleason.
“Right now it’s day to day,” he said. “I’m just trying to earn a spot on the team.”

December
A Day for Ben
Groveland Twp.- Ben Atkins is a trooper.
On Dec. 3 sirens screamed, lights flashed and Ben, a 9-year-old township youth battling cancer, was picked up at his home in a firetruck accompanied by a Michigan State Police escort for a gathering of firefighters and law enforcement at Grange Hall Road Fire Station 2.
Along with the MSP and township firefighters, waiting at the fire station were officers from the Detroit Police Department, Oakland County Sheriff Office, Walled Lake and White Lake police departments. The Oakland County Sheriff Office helicopter along with a SWAT Team vehicle also dropped for the day.
About 30 officers along with firefighters lined the entrance drive of the fire hall as Ben arrived with his parents for lunch plus a special reception.
“I was under the impression it was just a tour,” laughed Georgianna Atkins, his mother. “I was in shock and in awe of all the first responders who came together on Monday. He wants to be all this—a trooper, firefighter and a pilot. This made me happy because Ben had not been happy lately. To see everyone today come together for him made him very happy.”
In January 2017, Ben was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a rare bone cancer which can spread to other organs or tissues in the body, most commonly starting with the lungs. Chemo was started immediately and lasted for three months. In April, surgeons removed his right femur which was replaced with a donated bone.