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Lisa Allmendinger on December 16th, 2014

(Chelsea Update would like to thank the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce for these photos.)

On Friday, Dec. 12, the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the Purple Rose Theatre Company‘s new rehearsal space. Included in the photos are Chelsea Chamber members and actors and staff from the Purple Rose.




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Lisa Allmendinger on December 16th, 2014

Sonic-SundaysThe Chelsea District Library, made possible by the Friends of the Library, will not only bring back the popular Sonic Sundays beginning in January, but also expand the music series to include six performances.

Here’s a preview of what to expect, so mark your calendars now.

From country to jazz and everything in between, there is music for all tastes and ages.

On Sunday, Jan. 11 from 2-3 p.m. in the library’s McKune Room, there will be a Chelsea High School Percussion Concert.

On Sunday, Jan. 24 from 2-3 p.m. at Silver Maples of Chelsea, 100 Silver Maples Dr., San, Emily and Jacob will perform a range of folk, classic, and Broadway tunes.

On Sunday, Feb. 1 from 2-3 p.m. in the library’s McKune Room, The Bowdish Brothers will take you on a musical journey through the great genre of American country.

On Sunday, Feb. 8 from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Alehouse, 420 N. Main St., Suite 100, Creole du Nord will play Creole, Cajun, and zydeco music.

On Sunday, Feb. 15 from 2-3 p.m. also at the Alehouse, Jordan Otto Quintet will play a variety of classic, contemporary, and original jazz.

On Sunday, Feb. 22 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the library’s McKune Room, the Beach Middle School Fiddle Club will perform a concert of bluegrass and Celtic tunes.


Lisa Allmendinger on December 16th, 2014

The next Red Cross Blood Drive at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Woodland Room on the lower level of the hospital.

To make an appointment to donate, please call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) or click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on December 16th, 2014

Chelsea Police logo 2A traffic stop by Chelsea Police led to the discovery that the 32-year-old Chelsea man was operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

For the full story, please click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on December 16th, 2014

Mitchell,-Mildred-webMildred H. (Midge) Mitchell of Chelsea, Michigan, formerly of Okemos, Michigan, died Dec. 14, 2014 at the Towsley Village of the Chelsea Retirement Community.

She was born on Sixth Street in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 9, 1920, the youngest daughter of William D. and Iva Ruth (Whitney) Gilsdorf. Midge moved to Chelsea in 2004 from Okemos where she had lived since 1952 coming from Cincinnati, Ohio.

She loved sports of all kinds and played basketball in high school and was a devoted Detroit Tigers and MSU fan. By her own words, her mission in life was “to be a devoted wife and mother”, and she was.

She married the love of her life Herman G. (Mitch) Mitchell in Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 19, 1939, and he preceded her in death on May 24, 1991. She loved to play golf and was member of the Country Club of Lansing for almost sixty years and was a member of the CCL Bowling Team.

For the full obituary, please click here.


Lisa Allmendinger on December 15th, 2014
Courtesy photo. Tara Thorburn.

Courtesy photo. Tara Thorburn.

By Crystal Hayduk

Marijane Nelson doesn’t worry about her son, Jacob, when he’s in school, thanks to teacher consultant Tara Thorburn and the staff of South Meadows Elementary School.

“Tara is on top of each child’s need, condition, and plan,” said Nelson. “She is an encourager and motivator.”

Crediting Thorburn with Jacob’s success at South, she added, “With all of his medical needs, she doesn’t let it stop the fact that he can learn.”

Thorburn is part of a team of five teacher consultants, two speech therapists, and five paraprofessionals (para-pros) who work with students who have special learning needs. Her position exists to meet the unique challenges and needs of many students as well as the district at large. As a result, “typical” is not in her job description.

Thorburn majored in special education K-12 and elementary education K-8, with a minor in psychology from Western Michigan University, where she met her husband, Loren, who teaches at Beach Middle School. She also earned a master’s degree in administration from Wayne State University.

Hired in 1997 to teach the regional cognitively impaired class (serving children from Chelsea, Manchester, Dexter, and Whitmore Lake), the only thing about Thorburn’s job that hasn’t changed over the years is her location at South Meadows.

“That class disbanded when the districts decided to keep their own children – and the funding that goes with them,” Thorburn said.

This year, Thorburn’s job keeps her primarily in her classroom, where she plans for and teaches eight students at different grade levels. Because each one has distinctive educational needs, she is an expert multitasker, moving from one student to another, teaching and evaluating as she goes.

“It’s an everyday challenge to teach the same concept seven different ways to the same student if that’s what it takes for a child to learn it,” she said. “It can be emotionally draining, because the gains they make may seem to be very small when they are evaluated on standardized tests. But they are making so many gains in how they function overall, and those things aren’t tested.”

Thorburn’s personal philosophy is illustrated with a quote by Ignacio Estrada that hangs on the wall in her classroom: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” She said that it often feels like a “… daily dance to create lessons and activities that keep a student engaged while still trying to reinforce a particular skill.”

Although altering lessons to allow children with special cognitive needs to learn is an important aspect of her job, Thorburn described the struggle of determining where to draw the line against excessive modification. “We want them to have a realistic feel for the grade level expectations when they are participating with their peers,” she said.

Thorburn considers her work to be part of a team effort, which includes the school’s social worker, psychologist, and speech therapists, as well as para-pros, who spend a great deal of time directly with students. “I can’t say enough about my para-pros,” she said. “They are emotionally invested in the kids, and very talented. I’m always asking my support staff for input and ideas. I respect them, and they are a huge piece of how I can do my job.”

The team communicates with walkie-talkies at school to permit quick response for students who have an emotional need or medical emergency.

Thorburn said that the special education teachers are also servicing the lowest 30 percent of students, even though they may not be included in their regular caseload.

The amount of time Thorburn puts into teaching, lesson planning, weekly meetings with both the full special education team and with her small team, and communicating with parents adds up to well over 40 hours a week. But she is also on the school’s technology team, serves on the executive council for the teacher’s union, and is vice president of the Chelsea Education Foundation.

When she’s not working, Thorburn supports her husband as the coach of the middle school cross country and high school track and field teams. Together they have three children who are involved in running and music, which keeps them busy as a family.

Steve Hinz and his wife Lisa, parents of one of Thorburn’s students, summed up their gratitude for her in a written statement: “Tara Thorburn regularly goes above and beyond for our daughter, who has special academic needs and serious medical conditions, and I know that she does this for every child in her program. Her sense of humor and warmth are so appreciated by our family. She is an advocate in every sense of the word, and has helped our daughter to feel empowered and capable in a world that frequently tells her that she is not. Her frequent contacts with us outside of the school day show her incredible dedication to our children. She is one in a million and we are so fortunate to have her in our school system.”


Lisa Allmendinger on December 15th, 2014

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Bill and Roben Coury for the information in this story.)

The Lima Neighborhood Watch group was recently informed that there have been three instances of mail thefts from rural mailboxes in the township.

On Dec. 11, a mail carrier left notices advising residents that on Dec. 10, mail was stolen from a home on Easton Road, a home on Trinkle Road, and a home on Lima Center Road.

According to the notice, the mail was opened and tossed out on Seitz Drive.

The Lima Neighborhood Watch group reminds residents to “remain watchful and remember to get as much information as you can if you see something going on that does not look right to you, stay out of harm’s way, but report it to police.”

Also, remove incoming mail from your mailbox as soon as you can, put outgoing mail in your mailbox as close to pick up time as possible, or better yet, put in a mailbox at the post office or another mailbox in a public place.

“The bad guys are out there and we have to be vigilant to protect our information,” says Bill Coury, township neighborhood watch coordinator.

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Lisa Allmendinger on December 15th, 2014




Chelsea logoIn its one meeting of the month tonight, Dec. 15, the Chelsea City Council will begin its discussions during a 6 p.m. with a work session focusing on economic development.

Planned is a discussion of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation‘s “Redevelopment Ready Certification” program and process. The state program “is designed to highlight (a) municipality’s readiness level, and its unique development and business opportunities … which can be used as a framework for continuous improvement and reinvention,” according to information about the program.

During the business portion of the meeting, the City Council will consider:

  • Mayor Jason Lindauer‘s recommendation to appoint Robert Dean to a vacant Planning Commission position for a term ending in June 2017 and Steve Parker to another vacant position on the planning board for a term ending June 2016. In addition, the elected officials will be asked to reappoint current Downtown Development Authority Secretary Kathy Finger to a 3-year term.
  • The second reading of a proposed C-4 restricted commercial zoning district and site lighting text amendments. In a previous lengthy discussion of the proposed changes, the City Council requested that the Planning Commission revise the proposed language to tighten the criteria for overnight boarding and day care kennels in the zoning district, which would be allowed as a special use. The changes have been requested by Wags to Wiskers, which last month moved into its new, larger retail space and would like to expand its services.

The new regulations would allow “overnight boarding and day care kennels serving domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, for limited periods of time, provided boarding and care is within a building, and outdoor exercise is within a fence or otherwise enclosed area and is supervised …”

And, included in the compliance regulation, the amendments would cover minimizing the impacts of the outdoor exercise area from surrounding properties, ensure the kennel is in compliance with the USDA Animal Welfare Act and that the kennel facility obtains a kennel license from the county and an inspection certificate from the Sheriff’s Department.

  • Also up for discussion is a request from the Monitor Base Ball Club for use of public property for their 2015 base ball matches, setting the City Council meeting dates and the annual visioning session for next year as well as a review of the Chelsea Area Fire Authority budget for 2015.
  • A presentation about SRSLY and City Manager and Police Chief reports are also expected.


Lisa Allmendinger on December 15th, 2014

(Chelsea Update would like to thank wrestling coach Adam French for the information in this story. )

The Chelsea wrestling season got underway last week and the Bulldogs finished the tournament in 7th place out of 20 teams.

“I was very happy with the wrestlers’ performances,” said coach Adam French.

Round 1
Chelsea  42 – Michigan Center 36
Round 2
Chelsea 6 – St. John  69
Round 3
Chelsea  27 – Montrose  45
Round 4
Chelsea 30-Jackson Northwest  39
Round 5
Chelsea 45 – Jackson 33
Final record 2-3.

Zach Bennett did an outstanding job going undefeated,” the coach said. “I was very pleased with Nick Bleise and Corbyn Munson who are both freshmen. “

The coach said, “Overall, I thought the kids wrestled very well as a team and I am excited about our chances as the year progresses. “

Weight classes, wrestler, record:
103 Munson 3-2
119 Bleise 3-2
130 Trinkle 0-5
140 Koch 4-1
145 Barnes 1-4
152 Taylor 2-3
160 Bennett 5-0
171 Aldrich 3-1, Lukomski 0-1
189 Eisley 2-2, Manly 0-1
215 Gaken 3-2
285 McTaggart 2-3