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Local News Summary - June 12, 2019 Edition

47 graduate from Johannesburg-Lewiston Schools
Johannesburg-Lewiston’s 47 graduates for 2019 include 23 honor students and 10 members of the National Honor Society. The commencement ceremony took place in Johannesburg on June 7.

Tyson Claeys, salutatorian, told fellow graduates winning two conferences in two different sports is an accomplishment they share, and the memories made with classmates will help sustain him when he is more than nine hours away attending Cornell University.

“All of you helped mold me in some way, shape or form,” he explained. “I’m better off because of you.”

Jessika Dixon, valedictorian, said she had been congratulated by complete strangers. She pointed out the similarities between classmates, like they were all graduating and wore the same thing. She also pointed out some unique traits that would be remembered well into the rest of their lives. Her advice to herself and fellow graduates was to not rush.

“We get to do this once,” Dixon said. “Now is the time to make the most of the rest of our lives, so let’s do just that.”

The high school principal, Curt Chrencik, drew his inspiration for a farewell from the last day of school for seniors when they were batting around a beach ball before taking the senior walk. He equated the beach ball to life and described how some seniors were aggressively going after it while some only engaged when it came their way.

He explained a beach ball filled with air will float when it hits water and bounce back up when it hits the ground. However, one that is deflated will not. He advised the graduates to keep the right amount of air in their lives and to surround themselves with people who will help keep their lives in good shape, manageable and meaningful.

“It is my greatest hope, deep in my heart, that we all as a school and a community have not only prepared you to go out and impact the world but also to never forget to have fun as the journey through life happens,” Chrencik said, asking students to reflect on their lives when they see a beach ball.

Angela Baldwin, guest speaker and English teacher, became choked up while bidding the graduates farewell, and they chuckled when she reminded them Shakespeare once said parting is such sweet sorrow. She told the departing seniors the story of when she was 10 years old and had to trust a horse to save her life on a narrow mountain pass. “Sometimes our life is out of our hands, and we have to loosen those reins and just trust,” Baldwin advised.

Fear shouldn’t stop them from living, she emphasized, and Baldwin encouraged the graduates to help others as well as be independent, honest, right-minded, persevering and challenge themselves. She expressed hopes they would wake up in 20 years not only content with their lives but able to wake up every morning excited about being who they have become.

“May your lives be as beautiful as you all are,” Baldwin told the graduates.

Albert Township board discusses tax foreclosed properties
Albert Township has first right of refusal on six properties up for foreclosure. At the regular township meeting on June 3, Mike Dombrowski, township supervisor, said one of those properties is a 20-acre parcel.

None of the six properties up for foreclosure are located near other township properties. The unpaid taxes and interest on the 20-acre parcel total about $2,500. Though the township isn’t currently collecting taxes on that parcel, it, likewise, wouldn’t collect taxes on it if it was purchased by the township as the township is tax exempt.

Township board members have until July 12 to decide it the township will purchase any of the six properties up for foreclosure.

“We can deal with this at our next meeting,” Dombrowski concluded.

Loan repayment for opioid treatment
A new student loan repayment program is available for medical care providers offering new or expanding existing treatment for opioid use disorders. The goal of the program is to increase availability of opioid use disorder treatment across the state, especially in areas where treatment is difficult to access.

The number of annual opioid-related overdose deaths in Michigan has more than tripled since 2011, increasing from 622 to 2,053 per year. MDHHS received a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to implement the Michigan Opioid Treatment Access Loan Repayment Program to repay medical education loans.

“Michigan needs more health care providers who will treat patients suffering from opioid use disorders,” Robert Gordon, director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in a June 3 press release. “This program provides critical educational debt repayments to incentivize providers to treat patients with substance use disorders in communities across the state. This will help strengthen our capacity to respond to this growing epidemic.”

The student loan repayment program is available to medical doctors and osteopathic medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and substance use disorder counselors who begin offering opioid treatment or expand treatment that is already being offered. Applications can be filed through June 30 and can be found on the Michigan Opioid Treatment Assistance website. For more information, contact Megan Linton at 517-335-6713.

Death Notices
Full obituaries are in the Tribune print & paid online edition
Robert R. Welsh
Gerald W. Easlick
Robert A. Green
Lorraine A. Fetters
Harold R. Armstrong, Jr.
Patricia A. Smith

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