Scott Phillips and his Indy car collection

Some of Scott Phillips’ memorabilia.

By Jef Rietsma

Collector: Scott Phillips.

Collection? Indy car memorabilia. I have about 1,000 items and more than half are autographed. I don’t like to sell stuff but I’ll occasionally trade.

How did your collection begin? I went to my first Indy 500 in 1986. My mom and sister moved to Indianapolis after my parents divorced, and they would take me out to the track even though there was nothing going on. That ’86 race, it was beautiful Friday, it was beautiful Saturday, and Sunday it rained. The weather was pretty miserable on race day but it was an unforgettable experience for me.

What is your best source for acquiring/trading/selling? It’s hard to collect much around here. I’ve acquired a lot of autographs by mail. You’d be surprised how responsive most people are. You can send something to Richard Petty, for example, and 10 days later, you’ll get it back signed.

Your most-prized item? A 40-by-17-inch 2006 event poster and it is autographed of every living Indy 500 winner – 31 in all – who was alive in 2016. A few of the people who signed it are gone now, so it’s irreplaceable. Also, I didn’t know about the Bronze Badge (annual collectible issued by the Indy 500) until 2006. That’s when the collecting for me really got started in earnest. I also have an original brick from the track, and that was at the top of my want list for years. I found it at an antique store somewhere in Mishawaka. Another event poster I own has more than 40 autographs that I’ve secured, but they’re from anyone who has raced, not just the winners.

What joy do you get from collecting Indy? With very few exceptions – A.J. Foyt being one – they are all very accommodating. Johnny Rutherford is the best. They really appreciate the fans and I just love the Indy 500 and its traditions. I’ve been to every one but maybe five races since my first in 1986. More than that, though, I love that my daughter has been with me at so many of the races and we’ve met so many drivers. It started when she was a kid with buck teeth, there’s some pictures of her when she got older and had braces, and now she’s 20 and has a tattoo.

Describe your most memorable acquisition. Gordon Johncock lived in Hastings and I’ve been to his house three times in the last 10 years. I got his number out of the phone book and I just called him up and he said to stop by. He autographed a few things for me but the first time I went over there, it cost me about $100 because I took him and his wife out to dinner. The first thing he did was order a martini. It was worth it, though, having dinner and spending a few hours with him.

What’s the most you ever paid for an item? A Rick Mears 1:18-scale die-cast car set me back $178. Carousel is the name of the company that makes them and they’re expensive cars to begin with. The only reason I bought the car was because I knew he was going to be there to sign it.

Are you on the Web? I spend a lot of time on Facebook … there are three or four serious collectors on there and I always love looking at their stuff. I use eBay as a reference just to get an idea of the value of what I have.

Footnotes: Phillips, 52, has 33 poster-sized pictures of his daughter, Jazmin, posing with 32 different Indy 500 winners. His collection includes a mind-boggling assortment of autographed pictures, die-cast cars, books, flags, hats, pennants, pint glasses and mugs, and an impressive assortment of oddball items, including three Tyco 450 slot-car tracks from the mid-1980s. He said his most valuable item is a die-cast car made by the company Green Light featuring the late Danny Wheldon. Phillips pre-ordered the car after Wheldon won the 2011 Indy 500. Wheldon died five months later, before the cars were released. Phillips has the first-edition car, which features a scaled Wheldon at the wheel. The second edition was issued without a driver at the wheel. “I paid $79 for it and I saw it go on eBay for $550. But, really, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” Phillips has maintained records of every item in his collection, primarily so his grandchildren have a firm idea of the collection’s inventory.

Enjoy this day!

By Marilyn Jones, Schoolcraft’s Poet Laureate

A statement hit me in the eye
While reading a book the other day,
It was put there, just for me
And this is what it had to say…

“Don’t fall in love with SPRING”
It extolled virtues of the rest of the year,
Football season, colorful leaves in the fall,
Summer days at the beach we hold so dear.

Or sledding in winter on a snowy hill
Then watching a basketball game,
Time to sit by the fire and read a book
Blame holiday meals for a little weight gain.

But I’m guilty as charged
Happily infatuated with spring,
I love to meander outside and smell the air
And enjoy all the changes this season will bring.

To see daffodils and tulips spreading cheer
Watching from my porch, squirrels at play,
To go outdoors without a coat and gloves
And hear the bird’s musical notes in my ear.

Folks are riding bikes and swing at the park
The scent of dinner on a grill is pure bliss,
I wish spring lasted a bit longer
How could the climate be better than this?


Lora Jane “Polly” Boodt, 97, Schoolcraft, passed away April 20, 2021 at White Oaks Assisted Living. She was born September 24, 1923 in Schoolcraft at the family homestead on West W Ave. in Prairie Ronde Township, the daughter of Leon and Elizabeth (Hoverman) Wood. She graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 1942 and married Robert L. Boodt, June 18, 1942 in Abilene, Texas. Polly retired from WL Molding. She joined Schoolcraft Chapter #262, Order of the Eastern Star, became an OES Life Member on June 6, 1994 and was a member of Corinthian Chapter #123, Schoolcraft. She enjoyed gardening, baking pies, making caramel corn, camping with the RV club, playing cards, fishing, crocheting and collecting “Polly” frogs. She is survived by her son, Robert L. (Kitty) Boodt of Owosso; son-in-law Kenneth Maxam of Kalamazoo; grandchildren Kim Maxam of Schoolcraft, Keith (Sarah) Maxam of Parchment, Laurie (McDowell) Maxam of Plainwell, Kevin (Stacy) Maxam of Paw Paw, Brian (Melissa) Boodt of Schoolcraft, Troy (Becky) Boodt of Baldwin, and Stormy Greenwalt of Owosso; sister-in-law Velura (Boodt) Wood of Vicksburg; special nieces, Kay (Glessner) Bivens of Virginia and Robbie (Kniss) Glessner of Lapeer; 12 great grandchildren, 10 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 46 years, Robert; daughter, Elizabeth C. Maxam; brothers Walter Wood of Vicksburg and William G. Wood of California; sisters and their husbands Erna and Ray Glessner of Lapeer (formerly of Schoolcraft) and Birdie and Charles Shapard of California and Texas; nephews Marshall L. Glessner of Lapeer and Rodger Bivens of Virginia. Donations may go to First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft.

David Brownell, 63, Vicksburg, passed away April 11, 2021. David was born on December 13, 1957 in Kalamazoo, the son of Peter and Joyce (Bradley) Brownell. David lived on Austin Lake for 30 years. He followed a life-long dream and opened and operated the Mercantile Kitchen Store for 10 years in Kalamazoo. He was employed by Allied Mechanical Services for the majority of his life. He loved the lake life, spending time laughing with friends and family, cooking large meals and working around the house. David is survived by his wife of 32 years, Nancy (Stinson) Brownell; children Mary Brownell and Mitch Brownell; brother Doug (Judy) Brownell; stepbrother Steve (Barb) Balinski; and stepsister Suzanne (Matt) Charlier. David was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Joyce Brownell; brother Scott Brownell; and stepmother Marilyn. Visit his page at and pour a vodka tonic in his honor.

Lois Bernice Evert Fulton, 98, passed away April 7, 2021. Lois was born April 20, 1922 at home in East Lansing to Paul and Cora (Mallory) Evert. Lois graduated from James Couzens Agricultural School, now Bath High School, in 1941, and she attended Lansing Business University. She married Robert James Fulton July 25, 1947. Lois worked for the Board of Water and Light and then the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. When Bob and Lois retired in 1986, they built their home at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. Lois was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; daughter Penny Jean; son-in­ law Thomas Adams; and brothers and sisters-in-law Ray (Nina) Evert, Stan (Annabelle) Evert, Barbara Warner Fulton, Audrey Bishop Fulton and Dorothy (Bernard) West. She is survived by daughters Paula Fulton, Linda Adams, and Coralee (Dan) Behr, all of Vicksburg; grandchildren Kendra (Brian) Lee, Krista (Kelly) Kraemer, Aaron Behr, Andrew (Lydia) Behr, Adam (Danae) Behr and Michael Adams; great-grandchildren Alyse Kraemer, Lillianna, Autumn, Willow, Oliver, and Gabrielle Behr; and several nieces and nephews. Visit her page at

Robert “Rob” James Garcia Jr., 42, passed away surrounded by his loving family on April 13, 2021. He was born on September 14, 1978 in Hollywood, Fla., the son of Robert J. Garcia Sr. and Molly A. Garcia. On August 27, 2011 he married Sara Franklin, and together they raised two wonderful children. Rob enjoyed playing video games, playing guitar and drawing. He earned an associate’s degree in art, created a comic book of his own and partnered to create a graphic novel. He loved having adventures with his family. Rob was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mildred Garcia; uncles John Garcia and James Garcia; aunt Mildred Pierce; and brother Jonathan Bradley. He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Sara (Franklin) Garcia; children Jaxon and Mackenzie Garcia; parents Robert (Patricia) Garcia and Molly Garcia; siblings Amanda Garcia, Jessica Vergauwen, and Elizabeth Eshuis; aunts Sharon Morgan and Donna Focht; uncle Michael Garcia; nieces, nephews, and many cousins. Donations may go to the family c/o Sara Garcia.

Richard Jay Henderson, 83, passed away surrounded by his loving family on April 9, 2021. He was born on June 13, 1937 in Wakeshma Township, the son of William and Dorothy (Spealman) Henderson Sr. He attended Vicksburg High School, worked at Fulton Service Station and eventually worked for CBS Hightron. After leaving CBS he worked for Kellogg’s for 36 years before retiring in 1993. He also farmed 300 acres in the Vicksburg area with his sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Ron Skippers. In retirement, he enjoyed golfing, going to Canada for fishing trips, cutting wood with his sons and brother, hanging out around a campfire, spending time with his grandchildren, and his yearly pilgrimage to Florida to escape the winter months. Richard was preceded in his passing by his loving wife of 62 years, Carol (Fish) Henderson; siblings Kenneth and Donna; and his parents. He is survived by his children, Rebecca (Jerry) Dunklee, Bradley (Vonda) Henderson, and Brent (Joan) Henderson; siblings Mary (Jim) Cousins, Bill Henderson, and Pat Smith; several grandchildren and great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Visit his page at

Clinton “Skidge” Hill, 54, passed away on April 21, 2021. He was born on April 22, 1966 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the son of Earl and Roxanne (Sayers) Hill. The family moved from Garden River, Ont. to the Kalamazoo area in 1998. Skidge was a die-hard fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Denver Broncos. He and his wife, Cora, enjoyed adventuring around the world, visiting casinos and deep belly laughs with their besties Rich and Donna. Skidge is survived by his wife of 22 years Cora; children Randi and Bryce; grandchildren Jordan and Tyler; siblings Karen (Jeff), Chad (Lora), Brent and Angel; special friend Clayton “Booker” Boissoneau; in-law’s Glenda (Ben), Wes (Maureen), Trixie (James), his late brother-in-law’s wife, Vanessa, and his mother and father-in-law, Glen and Alice Jones, as well as several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Skidge was preceded in his passing by his parents, his brother Shawn, Baby Hill and a brother-in-law, Manny. Pay it forward with an act of kindness in Skidge’s memory.

Kenneth Alan Jones, 63, died unexpectedly in his Kalamazoo home on April 26, 2021. He was a well-known musician, performing with the Grand Rapids and Battle Creek symphony orchestras. He was a percussionist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for 45 years. Ken was born in Sturgis in 1957. His family moved to Schoolcraft in 1967. At the age of 13 he auditioned for Julius Stulberg and the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. He remained with it for several years, taking tours throughout Canada and Europe. He graduated from Schoolcraft High School in 1975. After receiving a Board of Regents Scholarship, he attended Western Michigan University where he graduated cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in music. For many years he taught instrumental music to elementary and middle school students in the Kalamazoo Public Schools. Ken was a talented and well-liked person by all who knew him. Preceding him in death were his father, Marion Jones, and his, brother Robert Jones. Left to grieve his passing are his son, Maxwell; his mother, Marilyn Jones, of Schoolcraft; sisters Kathleen Kelly and Laurie Bittle; brothers Larry Jones and Steven Jones; as well as four nieces and three nephews. An outdoor graveside memorial service will be held at the Schoolcraft Cemetery on May 7 at 11:30 am. Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair.

Ila Rhe Kinder, 75, Vicksburg, passed away on April 21, 2021. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Ila was raised in nearby Hunter, the second of six children in the Sieber household. The daughter of cotton farmers, Ila and her family were not strangers to hard work. Ila graduated from Brinkley High School in Brinkley, Arkansas with the class of 1964. After high school, Ila began working for a shirt factory. In the early 1960s, she met and married Leland “Buddy” Kinder and raising their family became her focus. She was known for her sense of style and love of family. She treasured her girlfriends and the many adventures they had. She is survived by her daughter, Mischelle (Jim) Korelich of Vicksburg; grandchildren Logan (Joe) Schuiteboer of Kalamazoo, Ally Stafinski of Mendon, Olivia Kinder of Portage, and Audrey Koewers; siblings Thomas Sieber, Peggy Sullivan and Nadine (Bob) Freeland, all of Arkansas, and Carl Sieber of Vicksburg. She is also survived by her special friend, Walter “Buck” Buckallew. Ila was preceded in death by her husband, Leland “Buddy”; a son, Mark Kinder; and sister, Karen. Ila has been cremated. The family will have a memorial service at 11 a.m. July 21 at McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 S. Main Street, Vicksburg. The family will greet friends one hour prior, beginning at 10 a.m. Visit her page at

Walter DeWitt Layne, 90, Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at his home on April 10, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Walter was born on April 22, 1930 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Walter Scott Layne and Lois (Cooley) Layne. Walt’s family eventually settled on Long Lake in Portage. He attended University High School and transferred to Vicksburg High School where he played football and drove his 1930-era Ford. He served in the US Navy from 1947 to 1950. On the carrier USS Princeton, he saw post-war Japan and China. He performed duties aboard ship and flew missions for the torpedo bomber squad. Walt married Nancy Van Laar on September 28, 1951. The couple raised their family in the Vicksburg area. Walt worked for Upjohn as a chemical operator for 30 years. Retiring in 1985, he and Nancy wintered in LaBelle, Florida for another 30 years. Walt loved golf and fishing for crappie in Lake Okeechobee. He was a member of Amazing Grace Baptist Fellowship, the Gideons International, and Masonic Lodge #240. Walt is survived by his wife of 69 years, Nancy (Van Laar) Layne; children Steven (Sue) Layne, Lorrie (John) VerSteeg and Cyndee (Paul) Van Sweden; grandchildren Scott (Chandra) Kellogg, Leighann (Doug) Harris, Travis (Courtney) Van Sweden and Katie (Dan Ramsdell) Layne; sisters Mary Bullard and Barb Witherow; and great-grandchildren Hank, Clara, Rowen, Zayden and Griffin. Donations may go to Gideons International or the American Kidney Fund. Visit his page at

Hué Thi Loc, 70, Vicksburg, passed away March 30, 2021. Hue was born May 12th, 1941 in Ha Noi, Vietnam, to Nguyen Van Bon and Tran Thi Nghi. When Hué’s father and brother died and her mother fell ill, Hué was adopted. Her adoptive parents moved the family to South Vietnam. Her birth family found her later, but Hué stayed to care for her ill adoptive parents. Hué and Loc Minh Dau (Loc A. Loc) were married in 1964. Loc served in the South Vietnamese army while Hué sold street food to feed her growing family. After the war, Loc was held captive. Hué and Loc left South Vietnam on a boat with their seven children as refugees, her adoptive mother stayed behind due to her physical disability. They lived in a Malaysian refugee camp for two years, sponsored by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Portage. In 1979, the Loc family settled into a farmhouse in Vicksburg where they raised their eight children. Hué is survived by children Mui, Cau (Anh), Tom (Christine), Phuong (Stephen), Hoang (Karmina), Vuong, Anh (Luke); daughter-in-law Tracy; grandchildren Kiaya, Kliricia, Koehl, Joseph, Ava, Jackson, Lillian, Evelyn, Caitlin, Cobey, Madison, Cy, Jada, Mason, Mya, Maddox, Miles, Amelia, Nicholas, Cullen, Brandon, and another baby girl on her way; great grandchildren Sebastian and Montgomery. She was preceded in death by her husband, Loc A. Loc, and son Nic. Visit her page at Donations may go to the family, which will be forwarded to Tam Quang Temple, Wayland, for its generous services for Hué.

Jack E. Marks: Please join Diane, Tracy, Jami and Bill Marks and Brent Dingman as they celebrate the life of Jack E. Marks on May 23, 2021 from 1-5 p.m. at his home, 6080 East T Avenue, Vicksburg. Luncheon will be served. Jack, an electrician, died Nov. 7, 2020 at the age of 77.

Joseph A. Medema, Schoolcraft, died April 6, 2021. Joe was born April 1, 1980 in Kalamazoo, the son of John W. and Barbara (Warner) Medema. He graduated from Western Michigan University and was a supervisor at Parker-Hannifin. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating. On September 14, 2002 he married Valerie (Wendel), who survives. Also surviving are daughters Brooke, Allyson, and Isabelle Medema; his parents; father-in-law Donald Wendel; grandparents John Medema and Karen Delp; brothers John E. Medema and Joshua Medema; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Joe was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Michele Wendel, and grandparents Dorothy Medema, Richard Delp and Geraldine Wendel. Donations may go to First Reformed Church of Portage. Visit his page at

Edward Allen Murphy, 80, Mesa, Ariz., formerly of Vicksburg, passed March 26, 2021, surrounded by his children, Rex and Vicki, and grandson, Rex Esq. He was a generous, kind-hearted man who would help anybody. He worked as a farm hand, heating and cooling technician, gutter installer, construction supervisor, truck driver, and small business owner. He enjoyed traveling all over the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. On February 25, 1964, he married Gloria Ruth Gunnett in Kalamazoo. They lived in Vicksburg until 1984, when they moved to Arizona, settling in Mesa until her death in 2000. He met and fell in love with Gloria Jobe, initially introduced to her by his wife a couple of years earlier. They enjoyed their time together until her death in 2019. He is survived by three children, Victoria (Bob) Yoder, Vicksburg; Rex (Sun) Murphy, Mesa, Ariz.; Ed Murphy II, Mesa, Ariz; grandchildren Rex Esq., Ryan, and Baily; sisters Betsy Vandelaare of Mendon; Mary (Gary) Vermuelen of Scotts, and Pam (Rich) Aby of Queen’s Creek, Ariz.; sister-in-law Linda Gunnett, Palm Springs, Calif.; brother-in-law Larry (Sue) Gunnett, Three Rivers; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Lillian Murphy, his wife, girlfriend Gloria Jobe, sister-in-law Mary Williams and brother-in-law Don Vandelaare. His ashes will be spread over Roosevelt Lake in Arizona with those of his wife. Donations may go to a veterans’ organization or St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Patricia Ann Neidlinger, 86, Vicksburg and Schoolcraft, died April 7, 2021. She was born November 10, 1934 in Kalamazoo to Francis and Helen (Kinsey) Knerr. She went to Portage Central High School and worked for WL Molding and Westside Medical. On June 27, 1959, she married Gordon L. Neidlinger. She is survived by her children, Judy Wilcox, Jerry Neidlinger, and Gene Neidlinger; grandchildren William, Rachel, and Ryan; great-grandchildren Jeffrey, Alexia and Izack; and sister Angela Knerr. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister, Barbara, and her brother, Frank. Donations may go to Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice of SW Michigan or American Diabetes Association.

Christopher Alan Pelton (Chris), 59, Schoolcraft, died April 9, 2021 from pancreatic cancer. Chris was born Dec. 18, 1961 in Bay City to Philip and Mary Ann Pelton. He wed Lori Heideman in August 1989. He was an IRS agent and loved the outdoors. Chris is survived by his wife; son Philip (Aubrey Hooker); daughter Olivia; parents Phil and Mary Ann Pelton; brother Perry (Rose) Pelton; sisters Linda (Terry) Benchley, Diane (Kenny) Senske, and Kelly (Dan) Meschke; in-laws Fred and Nancy Heideman; sister-in-law Amy (Chris) Desmond; brothers-in-law Jim (Diane) Heideman, Mike (Rosalind) Heideman, Mark Heideman, and Fred Heideman; and many nieces and nephews. Donations may go to Hospice of SW Michigan. Many thanks to Kristi M., RN, who was an angel.

Elizabeth Anne Sehy, 32, died April 18, 2021. She was born May 9, 1988 at Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo to Henry and Anne (Shekleton) Sehy, the youngest of four kids. Elizabeth loved the outdoors and soccer. While attending Vicksburg High School, she played varsity soccer, and as an adult, Elizabeth continued to play soccer and served as captain of an intramural soccer team at Kingdom Sports Indoor Center in Kalamazoo. She could often be seen at her niece’s and nephew’s soccer games in Vicksburg on her days off. After graduating in 2006, she received her certificate in dental hygienics from Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek. Elizabeth worked at TJ Maxx for 14 years. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her sister, Sarah Sehy, and nephew, Lane Sehy. She is survived by her parents, Henry and Anne (Shekleton) Sehy; siblings Monica (Scott) Triemstra and Nathan Sehy; nieces and nephews Reagan, Ian, Calvin, and Ava Triemstra and Colton Sehy; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Donations may go to St. Martin of Tours Parish.

Schoolcraft eyes hosting KRESA ‘Early On’ program

By Travis Smola

The Schoolcraft school district is looking into adding Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency’s “Early On” education program to the district. Elementary Principal Matt Webster gave a presentation on the service to the school board at its April meeting.

It’s intended as an early intervention system that helps with learning and development in children up to three years old. Early childhood teacher consultants, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists are on hand to coach parents in ways to support growth and school readiness through the children’s daily routines. As an example of the work they do, Webster said, a speech pathologist might teach games to parents that will help them grow the child’s vocabulary without the child even realizing it.

Webster said after diving into the data on incoming kindergarten students, he saw areas needing improvement that the Early On program could help with.

“That in my opinion is where this Early On opportunity comes in because we see young fives, kindergarten students, coming into the district who have this social, emotional, academic need, and until they come to us, that need hasn’t necessarily been addressed,” Webster said.

Partnering with the program would costs the district nothing. It would need only to provide space for sessions twice a week, lasting approximately an hour each. The benefit is not just in early child development; Webster sees it as an opportunity to connect with families earlier and possibly keep more in the district.

“If we can get to know this family early, there’s an earlier opportunity to intervene, an earlier opportunity to start providing some supports. I’m pretty excited about this,” Webster said.

If the district decides to support the program, it would be the southernmost participant in the county, providing a more convenient location for families from Schoolcraft, Vicksburg and Portage who currently must travel to West Main in Kalamazoo.

Webster noted that KRESA is also offering to help write up some grants to get some appropriate toys and equipment for the program.

Board President Jennifer Gottschalk and Treasurer Wade Rutkoskie both expressed support for the idea. Gottschalk encouraged Webster to look at the next steps in adopting the idea and come back to the board with more information when needed.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Gottschalk said. “I like that it is another chance to get younger kids in our school district because once again, bring them in young, they’re going to stay, and they’re going to go through our school district.”

Schoolcraft increases ordinance enforcement

By Rob Peterson

Schoolcraft village police will begin enforcing right of way regulations and some parts of the zoning ordinance on residential streets, taking over the role from village hall staff.

The changes mean that infractions will be enforceable immediately.

The right-of-way on residential streets extends 33 feet on either side of the centerline of the road and can include sidewalks and buried utilities requiring access. At times, accessing the utilities is an emergency situation.

Some property owners park their cars in the right-of-way, which can be a safety hazard, according to Village Manager Cheri Lutz. Some owners pave the land along the street, which can cause drainage issues for neighboring property, she said. And if a utility crew needs to dig where a car is parked, towing the vehicle is sometimes required if the owner isn’t available to move it.

Under prior council direction, staff was not as aggressive in enforcing these infractions, according to Lutz. “Schoolcraft is an attractive community, and having cars parked in front yards is negatively impacting the appearance.”

The current village council has asked staff to make the changes and increase enforcement. “We need to back the staff who are tasked with enforcing these ordinances,” said Council Member Michael Rochholz. “If we’re not going to enforce what we have, we should throw it all out.”

“Everyone is trying to be diplomatic,” said council President Keith Gunnett, “but it’s something we need to do.”

The Village will communicate the increased enforcement efforts through a newsletter and social media posts. Staff members will also work to be user-friendly and give residents time to make corrections.

Because the village includes many historic homes, some properties don’t have enough land for a driveway. For some, the location of a septic system makes a driveway impractical. Lutz indicated that the village will work with residents in situations like these to find alternatives or provide a waiver, if that’s appropriate.

“This will be fair and respectful,” said Lutz. “At the end of the day, it will make a positive difference.”

Residents can expect to see changes in the way these laws are enforced within the next few months. Those wishing to give their opinion on the matter may attend council meetings or write a letter to the Village.

In district four bowling, boys place third, girls tenth

By Mark Blentlinger

Schoolcraft’s boys began the Division 4 regional bowling championships in Jackson on a high note: On the first of four games, the team had a combined score of 819 with a high score of 192 from Kyle Fleck. On the second, they rolled an 823 with Max Desmond leading with 208. On the third, the Eagles rolled 820 with Fleck again leading with 179. In game four, the score was 866 with Desmond rolling 212, Fleck 206 for a team total of 3,328.

That left the Eagles 34 pins shy, finishing in third place behind Hackett Catholic Prep in second and Homer winning the regional.

Desmond and Fleck placed among the top 10 individuals; with Desmond in third, Fleck in fifth, sending them to individual state championships in Canton on March 27.

In that contest, Fleck ended up in 30th position against 60 other bowlers, rolling 1,019 with a high game of 199. Desmond ended up in 18th with a total pinball of 1,075 and a high game of 213. He was just 14 pins shy of moving on.

The Eagle girls’ team struggled on the lanes on their day, not really getting anything rolling. At this level, strikes are preferred but spares are a must, and with the oil pattern being pretty unforgiving, the Eagles struggled getting both. In game one, the Eagles rolled a 610 with senior Maya Pearce having a 149. Game two was 628 with Pearce leading again with a 151. The third game ended with 585; sophomore Catie Wright led the Eagles with 157. Game four, the best of the day, ended with 669; again, Maya Pearce rolled the high game with 181.

Hanover Horton walked out with the trophy, topping second place Bronson by 28 total pins, 3,172 to 3,144. The Eagles finished in 10th place with 2,492.

Boys’ and girls’ teams in past years competed on the same Friday in regionals, with the two three teams in both genders competing for a state championship on the following weekend. On Saturday, individuals competed for the Top 10 and competition for a state championship.

This year, Division 4 boys competed on Friday at the Jax 60 lanes in Jackson, while the girls competed Saturday. The MHSAA made other changes to the tournament format.

Eagle wrestlers: District champions

By Mark Blentlinger

Coach Rob Ling took his Eagle grapplers into district championships on March 20. The Eagles didn’t disappoint, beating White Pigeon 63-11 to emerge as district champions.

The team also crowned six individual district champions: Ryan Ling, Jett Gott, Tagg Gott, Jimmy Downs, Hunter Martens and Gary Cramer, and the Eagles sent 10 individual wrestlers to regional championships on March 27.

First the team had to wrestle at the regional team championships in Cassopolis on the 25th. The Eagles faced off against Lawton, the high school Eagles’ Coach Lings had attended. The Eagles came out on top, winning the regional championship, 36-31, with wins from wrestlers Calib Lipscomb, Gary Cramer, Riley Cochran, Jett Gott, Tagg Gott, Jimmy Downs and Connar Webb.

This win sent the Eagles to another team state championship on March 30th at the Wings Event Center. There, the wrestling season ended for both the Hudson Tigers and the Schoolcraft Eagles. Both teams had wrestled with an ineligible wrestler. Hudson had won the match 61-15.

On the 27th, it was the individual wrestlers’ turn, either to win a regional championship or head to state as an individual. Although no Eagles would be crowned regional champions, five punched their ticket to the state championships on April 2-3 at VanAndel Arena – Carsten Svoboda 103, Layne DeLoof 119, Gary Cramer 135, Tagg Gott 189 and Jimmy Downs 215.

Schoolcraft in state wrestling championship

By Mark Blentlinger

Following Schoolcraft’s victories in March district contests, in April it entered five wrestlers in individual state championships at Van Andel Arena: Carsten Svoboda at 103 pounds, Layne DeLoof at 119, Gary Cramer at 135, Tagg Gott at 189 and Jimmy Downs at 215.

Downs scratched his chance at a championship when contact tracing indicated he might have contracted COVID-19, leaving him unable to compete for his final event.

Tagg Gott was the first Schoolcraft wrestler on the mat, facing Justice Onstott of St. Louis. The match went all three periods and Gott squeaked out the win with an 8-7 score, sending him to quarterfinals.

Svoboda was pinned by Trennen Smith of Mio, sending him into the loser bracket. He won his first match by receiving a bye.

DeLoof faced Ayden Sturtevant-Roes from Hesperia. That match went all three periods, but DeLoof was unable to put any points on the board and lost 9-0. He then entered the consolation round where it’s win or go home. He was pinned by Memphis’ Troy Trombley.

Cramer wrestled Aden Baynes of Lainsburg. After the first period, the score was 0-0. Cramer pinned his opponent with 40 seconds to go in the 2nd period, sending him onto the next round.

DeLoof faced Troy Trombley of Memphis in the consolation round. He held his own but was eventually pinned to end his run at state.

Svoboda faced an opponent he had already seen this season: Caleb Mallory from Lawton. Down 0-5 at the end of the first period, Svoboda never gave up. His season ended with Mallory pinning him with a minute left in the 2nd period.

At 135 pounds, Cramer was up against the number 1 seed, Harris Raab from Bark River. Raab had a 30-1 record while Cramer was at 24-3. With 51 seconds left in period 2, Rabb got Cramer on his back, continuing to the semi-finals.

Gott wrestled Russel Wilson from Whittemore Prescott. At the start of the third period, Gott was down 0-1, but he turned it around and ended up winning 6-3, advancing to the semi-finals.

Cramer won his next 2 matches. With 1 more win, Cramer wrestled for 3rd place. His opponent was Landis Gillman of Clinton High School. With the score 4-4 with a minute left, Gillman achieved the takedown and advanced onto the 3rd place match, sending Cramer to the 5th or 6th place match. There, he fell just shy of 5th place, losing 3-5 and finishing in 6th.

In semi-final competition, Gott was matched with Logan Badge. Gott was pinned by the eventual State Champion, sending him to the 3rd place match where he faced Kody Krupp of New Lothrop. Gott ended his sophomore season in 4th place, losing the match 6-12.

Sunny days in South County

Some of the artists behind the “Mind of Mine 2021” art exhibit pose in front of Prairie Ronde Gallery in Downtown Vicksburg, where the event will kick off May 14.

We hope you enjoy our May edition. It is filled with news of local organizations and some new features, including a monthly column about collections and our fourth recipe offering.

Thanks to our advertisers and readers for your support of our little paper. It allows us to continue to bring you the good news!

May Meander in the Historic Village

The Vicksburg Historical Society will be celebrating its 2021 opening season with the organization’s May Meander. The event will be held at the Historic Village on May 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. It is free to the public, all the buildings will be open and COVID-safe refreshments will be served. Local service groups and businesses are invited to register for booth space. The Historical Society will also kick off the 2021 Speaker Series at 2 p.m. in the Township Hall building. Organizations and individuals looking to find out more can visit

Vicksburg Farmers Market

The board of the Vicksburg Farmers Market is busy preparing for its 12th season. President Stella Shearer says everything will be ready for the market opening day on May 21. The Vicksburg Farmers Market is held Fridays from 2-6 p.m.

Johnson Performs at Concordia University, Nebraska

Concordia music students performed in the annual Spring Honor Recital on March 30 that was livestreamed on the music department’s Facebook page. Nathan Johnson, junior, from Vicksburg, played “Polonaise in C minor, Op. 40, no. 2” by Frederic Chopin during the annual Spring Honor Recital on March 30, livestreamed on the music department’s Facebook page.

Preston Earns All-Conference Honors at Angelo State University

In San Angelo, Texas, seven members of the Angelo State University Belles volleyball team, including Morgan Preston of Vicksburg, have earned Lone Star Conference postseason awards for their performances during the 2021 spring season that saw the Belles win their second straight LSC Championship.

Rosey Named MIAA Athlete of the Week

Trine University freshman Adrienne Rosey, from Schoolcraft, has been named this week’s Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) softball pitcher of the week. Rosey came up with three key appearances during the week as the team finished 5-1. In total, she finished the week with 16 strikeouts in 10 innings, while allowing just four hits and two runs for an ERA of 0.70.

Old Car Festival is Back

The 40th Vicksburg Old Car Festival June 11 and 12. More details to follow in the June edition of the South County News.

“Mind of Mine 2021” Art Exhibit

This year’s AP Drawing Art students enrolled at Vicksburg High School have the opportunity to share their original pieces in the Prairie Ronde Gallery in Vicksburg. The students titled their collective work “Mind of Mine 2021.” This exhibit will allow each student to reveal his or her personality to the public in a different light.

This event will be held in person with mask and social distancing requirements. The opening reception will be on Friday, May 14th from 6-8pm, with showings on Saturday, May 15th 2-5pm and Sunday, May 16th from 2-5pm. Digital galleries and more information on the event can be found at

Schoolcraft Library news

Tom Long works on changes to the children’s area.

By Pam Ballett

As of March 29, the Schoolcraft Library is open at limited capacity for browsing, making copies, faxing and scheduling one-hour computer appointments. The library’s history room will also be available to schedule one-on-one, one-hour tutoring sessions.

Registration for Tot Time and Preschool Story Hour began on April 1. This six-week program begins April 12 and will run through May 18.

Tot Time is a 30-minute program for children 18 to 36 months and their caregivers. Activities include stories, fingerplays, songs, movement and learning concepts. Free play is not offered at this time.

Preschool Story Hour is for children 3-5 years old and includes stories, flannelgraphs, songs and a craft. Adults in attendance are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Space is very limited, so call the library at 679-5959 or email to sign up.

On April 7, the Adult Book Club will meet at 2 p.m. at the library. “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee will be discussed. Masks and social distancing guidelines will apply. Call to reserve your spot!

The Schoolcraft Community Library is located at 330 N. Centre Street, (269) 679-5959,