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Local News Summary - September 20, 2017 Edition

Tigers take down Rogers City Hurons
After three straight losses to start the season, the Hillman Tigers were due for a win, and win they did with a decisive victory over the Rogers City Hurons in front of the home crowd for the first Hillman home game of the season on Sept. 15.

In an interview prior to the contest, Bill Koenig, coach for the Tigers, said the Hurons, then 1-2, were buying into the Rogers City program, and the game wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

“We’ve got to come out and play our kind of football that I know we can play that we haven’t played yet all year,” he told the Tribune. “Hopefully, the boys come out and play strong and with passion right from the kickoff in front of the home crowd.”

He had to be pleased when his team, indeed, came out strong and was first to score on a keeper from Kyler Moir and added two more points on a carry from Billy Kolcan for the extra. Kolcan ate up at least 125 yards during the game, including a four-yard run to the end zone, and he cost the Hurons yardage with tackles in the backfield.

Hillman’s Caine Hunt was a Tasmanian devil on both sides of the ball with at least 12 first downs, two touchdown runs and multiple key tackles to stop Huron progress. Jared Juergens, who was moved to wideout this year because of his ability to catch almost everything thrown to him, also catches balls not meant for him. He nabbed two Huron passes, including one at mid-field that he escorted all the way for a Hillman score.

Other game highlights include an interception by Tiger Nash Steinke and numerous valuable Hillman tackles by Matt Hunt. The Tigers led by eight at the half, and the Juergens interception and score bumped the lead to 14 early in the third quarter.

The Hurons threatened in the fourth with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, but a first and goal run for Caine Hunt put Hillman back up by 12. With time running out for Rogers City, Huron Caleb Bade fired a pass to Kaleb Budnick that was good for a TD, but the Hurons would never regain possession. Kolcan topped things off with a run up the middle on second and goal to end the game at 32-20, Tigers.

The Tigers are now looking to continue improving their record against the Mio Thunderbolts when they host them on Sept. 22 during Homecoming festivities. Inductees into the Hillman High School Sports Hall of Fame, officially ushered in on Sept. 23, will be honored during the game against Mio.

Thunder Bay River Center project receives grant
Board members for the proposed Thunder Bay River Center in Alpena have received a maximum single grant amount of $45,000 for architectural fees. The award follows a positive feasibility study. At a recent county board meeting, Judy Kalmanek, secretary of the river center board, said she attributed the maximum award to the number of letters of support submitted with the application.

Alpena and Montmorency counties are the two primary counties of the five that are associated with the river’s watershed.

“It has long been a desire of educators and scientists for some way of providing a building to interpret and protect the Thunder Bay watershed,” Kalmanek said.

The center would be built into a hillside for efficiency and to minimize view obstruction. It would be topped with a living grass roof and would also feature a heat chimney and solar and geo-thermal systems. Goals of the center are to promote renewable energy and to engage people in the hands-on study of water quality of the river and its tributaries.

Kalmanek pointed out a 2017 international study identified invasive species as the primary challenge facing the Great Lakes this year and going forward. “We will be spending a lot of time, effort and energy on that, because the Thunder Bay River is one of the major tributaries of Lake Huron,” she said.

Inside features that aim to boost eco-tourism in northeast Michigan include classrooms, office rental spaces, a living wall, interactive exhibits of dams and basins, six in-wall aquariums hosting 81 species of area fish, a wild animal rescue center, themed artwork, wet labs for water testing, a living diorama of the river and a gift shop. Future plans include the ability to kayak from Atlanta to Alpena.

Kalmanek said her organization is seeking more involvement from people in Montmorency County.

“We really need and want your help and your input,” she emphasized.

The group is also seeking people to help by making donations or organizing fundraisers. There are hopes of breaking ground on the new center, which is to be located in Alpena near the hospital, in 2019.

Nominations sought for Michigan Teacher of the Year
The Department of Education’s online nomination form for Michigan Teacher of the Year is open until Oct. 20 at 11:59 p.m. Michigan Teachers of the Year have been recognized since 1952. Sponsored by the Meemic Foundation, the program recognizes outstanding educational leaders across the state for their work to elevate the teaching profession.

The MDE is asking educators, administrators, students and parents to help find the next teacher to be honored.

“Great teachers are found in every school in our state,” Brian Whiston, state superintendent, said in a Sept. 12 press release. “The Michigan Teacher of the Year program has honored outstanding Michigan educators for decades and is the one enduring tribute to this important profession.”

The MTOY serves as spokesperson for all Michigan teachers, participates in monthly State Board of Education meetings and travels to state and national events. The MTOY will remain a full-time employee of their district during their year of service.

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