Category Archives: Schoolcraft

Paxton Green: Cancer Survivor

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Rod Green, Paxton Green, and Amy Green after a tennis event.

By Maycie Barker, Kaitlyn Clark, Dylan Outman, and Ella Stull,
Schoolcraft Sixth Graders

Cancer is a serious disease in which abnormal cells uncontrollably divide and destroy tissue in certain parts of the body. Paxton Green had this twice, and this is her story.

When she was just two years old, she had stage 2 rhabdomyosarcoma, and when she was 11, she had osteosarcoma. Rhabdomyosarcoma was in the soft tissue in her left tricep, and the osteosarcoma was in her right arm’s humerus, the upper arm bone.

Both times she had cancer, she was shocked and concerned. “When I found out I had cancer again after eight and a half years of being cancer free, I was shocked to say the least. It didn’t sink in right away until I was in the hospital undergoing my first treatment.” Paxton said. She just couldn’t believe it.

Along with cancer, there were many challenges that came with it. Her mom played basketball, and Paxton wanted to follow in her footsteps. But Paxton could not, for she was told she couldn’t participate in any contact sports after two intense surgeries. The first surgery involved an elbow replacement, and the second surgery involved replacing her humerus with a titanium rod.

Through all the negativity, there were also a lot of positives. Although she never thought she would, she fell in love with tennis. She played it from 7th grade through her senior year. Everything tried to bring her down, but she would just keep coming up. “In everything you do, whether it’s big or small, try to find a sliver of positivity. If you choose to approach things with hopefulness, you will find happiness.” says Paxton. Staying positive was a necessity in Paxton’s life.

Her supporters – friends, doctors, teachers and family – were shocked by her reappearing tumors. But her main supporters were definitely her parents. Both times when she was diagnosed with cancer, Paxton’s parents, Rod and Amy Green, were “in a state of shock”.

“We – her dad, Rod, and myself– were absolutely shocked when we found out that Paxton had cancer when she was just two years old,” her mom said.

We were really scared as we didn’t know anything about pediatric cancer, and we didn’t know she could survive.” Later on, when she was 11, her mom said, “This time she had another aggressive cancer, osteosarcoma. This was a bone cancer that was tough to beat.” As you can see, they had strong reactions.

At first, her proponents were scared just as much as Paxton was, but later on, they developed a sense of encouragement. “Trust in God that everything will be okay.” advised Paxton’s friend, Zoey Dubuisson, to Paxton. Motivation from Paxton’s friends and family helped her to stay motivated herself.

Paxton Green survived cancer twice, both at a very young age. Currently, she is attending Concordia University, where she’s studying to become a certified child life specialist. Through all the struggles, hardships, and challenges, she always chose optimism. She had many obstacles in her way, but that didn’t stop her from doing the things she loved most. “Negativity is easy to resort to. There is always light around the corner, even if that corner is a couple miles away.” To this day, Paxton is a strong believer in positivity, and in the end, many people will look up to her brave character.

Schoolcraft Has a New Head Baseball Coach

By Mark Blentlinger

Eagle baseball fans have seen a new face in the dugout. Head coach Scott Muffley is the new man at the helm of the young Eagles baseball team. Muffley brings 18 years of coaching experience with him. He will be receiving his 20-year plaque this year from the MHSAA as an official in 3 sports. His children are playing at the next level in baseball and softball. His son was drafted in 2017 by the Tampa Bay Rays after leading Parkland College to 2 straight Junior College World Series appearances. His daughter is finishing her freshman year at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma where she is a leader on the softball team.

Coach Muffley has said the Eagles have started to hit their stride. Getting more and more consistent in their games as the season progresses. Connor Nutt is the Eagles only senior the team has and is providing great leadership to his younger teammates. Muffley says the rest of the team is very young but also very talented and still has lots experience among them. He has told this group of young athletes to remember to believe in yourself, your ability and your team.

With a sweep of the Irish of Hackett at home on Monday April 22, game 1 saw the Eagles win 4-2 and game 2, 3-1. The boys faced off against the Falcons of Constantine in April. Just like the Lady Eagles, the boys took the final by a score of 12-1. And game 2 was won by the Eagles 9-2. The Eagles finished off the week with a 5-0 record. Offensively some of the leaders are Dawson Shearer, Jett Gott, Alex Thole, Connor Nutt and Ryan Gillesby. Defensively, Steve Schultz and Jake Olvitt play hard.

Lady Eagles Softball Off to a Thrilling Start

Katie Parker rounds second base with a clean hit. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

With a new coaching staff and losing some of the best players in the area in Lydia Goble and Kennedy Leighton, the Lady Eagles softball team is trying to top last season’s 18-4 record. First year Head Coach Shane Berry said he and his assistant coaches Becca Schemberger and Hunter Hart could not have asked for a better group of young ladies for them to coach.

So far, the young squad has been putting on quite a show going 11-2 losing only to Portage Central and Stevensville Lakeshore both by one run each. The teams biggest win so far had to be against reigning Division 4 state shampions Centreville where they handed the Bulldogs 2 losses. The first game saw the Eagles put up 3 runs in each of the first 2 innings. Winning the game 6-0 and the second 7-3. They also beat the Comets of Coloma, 2018 Division 3 state champs, in a Saturday tournament.

The Lady Eagles played Hackett Catholic Prep at home for a double header. The Eagle bats would explode for a 17 run first inning in game 1. They finished off the Irish winning 19-4 in 3 innings. The second game would see junior Adrian Rosey on the pitcher’s mound. She finished off the 3 inning game with 9 strikeouts and the win with the Lady Eagles winning 15-0.

Then they headed south on US-131 to face the Falcons of Constantine. Senior Missy Meade pitched for 5 innings only allowing 2 hits with 1 run and the win. The final score being Lady Eagles 12 Falcons 1.

Lenny Jaworski Retires from Planning Commission

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Schoolcraft Township Planning Commission members surround Lenny Jaworski who holds the plaque presented to him. They are from left: Greg Feldmeier, Barry Visel, Charlie Bibart, Eric Jasiak and Dave Reno. Absent: David Aubry.

By Sue Moore

Thirty-five years is a long time for anyone to sit through countless planning commission meetings for a local unit of government. Leonard “Lenny” Jaworski has this milestone to be proud of, said Virginia Mongreig, Schoolcraft Township clerk.

“The time and energy he has spent working through all of the issues and circumstances over the past 35 years is a true testament of Lenny’s dedication to this community. Not all of these issues have been easy or uncontested,” said his business partner, Matt Holysz.

His experience will be greatly missed, said Barry Visel, who has been on the board for 15 years. “He was very helpful when the master plan was updated because he knows the agriculture business so well. He knew the history which tied it altogether in how we wanted to keep protecting our farmland. His forte is soils and water, which is vital in keeping the agricultural land preserved for a township that believes in this,” Visel said.

“I was always amazed how he could pull up the history and ownership of the different properties we were discussing, I guess that comes from being 30 years on the Commission,” Trustee David Aubry said.

“Lenny contributed his extensive knowledge of farming operations in the township to Planning Commission deliberations. Over the years, he represented the township’s farming community interests very well,” according to long-time Trustee Charlie Bibert.

Lenny’s “boots on the ground” knowledge of the township has been invaluable to the planning commission during the planning process. He will be missed, said Dave Reno, another long-time member of that body.

On the Corner

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The Boy Scout cabin on Barton Lake.

By Sue Moore

Boy Scouts Troop 251

Not many people know of the Boy Scout cabin that sits on a bluff, high above Barton Lake on the west side. It was built by volunteers from the Rotary Club in Vicksburg and many others back in 1948, expressly for the scouts’ use.

Over the years it has been a great place for kids to learn about nature, camp out and conduct troop meetings. Although the scouting program nationwide has changed dramatically, the cabin itself has not. Troop 251 leaders have done the best they can with limited resources to plug holes in the walls, re-roof the cabin and provide working toilet facilities.

Some really big projects need to be undertaken in the near future, the leaders say. But how to raise the funds has been something of a mystery. In 2017 they formed a 501c3 nonprofit called Friends of Vicksburg Youth that can accept tax-deductible donations. Now they are asking for big money to fix the siding, the septic system, insulate the structure, construct ADA- and gender-compliant bathrooms as just a few of the many upgrades needed, while wondering how to raise the money.

If any grown up scouts or friends of scouting might want to join ranks with the board to work with them to plan and raise the funds, they would be overjoyed. Key board members include Kip Young, Kevin Borden, Jim Jastifer, Gary Miller and Matt VanderMeulen. They can be contacted at

Kalamazoo Airport

Runway construction at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek regional airport will get underway on June 10 and be completed by June 26, as scheduled currently. Anyone booking flights for those days will need to try Grand Rapids, South Bend or Lansing as alternates according to John Gisler, Kalamazoo County Commissioner from South County.

An Embarrassment of Bakery Riches

Two cupcake shops are scheduled to open in Vicksburg this summer. The first one, Cakes and More, posts that it will be open in May at the previous Apple Knockers location. The second one owned by Rebecca Tinklenberg called Butters Bakehouse looks to be ready to open in the summer next door to China One. In the meantime, Butters can be found at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market on Fridays this season.

Apple Knockers is hoisting its flag in early May at its new location on the Sunset Lake pond. That will be greeted with a giant cheer when folks can look out over the water from the prow of its new vessel on warm summer days.

Another new shop that sells antiques and other treasures has just opened at 200 S. Main in Julie Merrill’s Rawlinson Appliance store.

A Serious Typo

Last month the South County News ran a picture of Todd Glenn and Jaspare Scavone accepting an award from Chamber of Commerce President Mandy Miller. I inadvertently listed the well-known Jaspare with the wrong last name. My humble apologies to the guy who started Jaspare’s pizza parlor many years ago. I should have known better!

Postal Service Food Drive

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect food items that are directed to those in need. By doing this, they capture the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) help with Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive. It’s the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

In Vicksburg, Schoolcraft and Climax the letter carriers have participated for many years. Postal patrons will receive a notification in May on how to donate according to Vicksburg’s Postmaster Travis Graham.

They get plenty of help from the rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers with the drive Graham said. The nationwide drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 25 years while locally at least hundreds of pounds of food has been collected for the South County Community Services food pantry, according to Danna Downing, executive director.

Carriers will collect whatever is left by mail boxes and transport it to SCCS where the food gets organized and stocked on the shelves by volunteers. “It literally takes an army of people to help sort the amount of food collected. The most important thing is to make sure the expiration dates on cans or boxes of mix are not outdated, Downing pointed out.

Event Calendar


5/4 – Sat. Vicksburg Community Education Dance Recital at the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center. Performances at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

5/11 – Sat. The Hearty Hustle starting at the Vicksburg Bulldog Stadium. Tickets $20 if registered in advance, $30 the day of the race. Registration ends May 10. Register at

5/11 – Sat. Highview Shores Neighborhood garage sales, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Take Sprinkle Rd. to E. UV Ave, Go East on E. UV Ave to Highview Shores.

5/11 – Sat. Horticulture Student Plant Sale, VHS Greenhouse, Saturday May 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

5/10 & 5/11 – Neighborhood Garage sale at Greensborough’s Angels Crossing off W Ave., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5/17, 18, & 19 – Fri., Sat., & Sun. Vicksburg High School Cabaret in the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center. 6:30 p.m. on Friday – Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

5/17 – Fri. Vicksburg Farmer’s Market Opening Day at the pavilion. From 2 – 6 p.m.

5/17 – Victorian Garden Club plant sale at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market, 2 – 6 p.m.

5/18 – Sat. May Meander opening day at the Vicksburg Historic Village from 4 – 7 p.m. lots of community vendors with buildings open to the public. Speaker at 5 p.m. as part of History Day with Middle School students competing in the afternoon.

5/18 – Fri. Movie Showing: Three Coins In The Fountain at the Vicksburg District Library. 1 p.m.

5/18 – Sat. Village Clean-Up 7 a.m.

5/23 – Thurs. Senior Honors Reception sponsored by Lions and Rotary Clubs, 7 p.m.

5/26 – Sun. Gospel Concert with the Dunnemans at Kline’s Resort. Outdoor concert, bring lawn chairs and finger food to share. 6:30 p.m.

5/27 – Mon. Pancake Breakfast at Kline’s Resort from 8 to 10 a.m.

5/27 – Mon. Memorial Day Parade in downtown Vicksburg. Begins 10 a.m.

6/2 – Sun. Vicksburg High School Graduation in the Bulldog Stadium. Begins 2 p.m.


5/1 – Wed. Spring Student Art Open House, 5:30. Meet the Schoolcraft high school and middle school art students. On display through May.

5/10 & 5/11 – Fri. & Sat. Friends of the Library Book and Bake Sale at the Schoolcraft Community Library. Shoppers can fill a provided bag with books for only $3, Friday, 9 – 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

5/10 – 5/11 Fri. & Sat. Village Wide Garage Sales 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

5/18 – Sat. Village Wide Clean-up 7 a.m.

5/20 – Tue. Tournament of Writers Awards Ceremony at the Schoolcraft Community Library. Begins at 6 p.m.

6/2 – Sun. 141st Commencement Exercises in the Schoolcraft High School Gymnasium. 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.


6/1 – Mattawan High School’s alumni dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Later Elementary building. Guests can come in the door to the All-Purpose Room. Wheelchairs will be provided and a cart to collect potluck dishes will be ready. Two meats and scalloped potatoes and rolls will be provided. If you have things to share and want a reserved table contact Caroline Miller Wiley at or 269 808-3353.


6/2 – Sun. Graduation at Mendon High School. Begins 2 p.m.


5/4 – Sat. Spring Garage & Bake Sale at Scotts United Methodist Church. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 8458 Wallene St. All items newly donated.