Building a firm community news foundation ... one story at a time


Decades’ wares from across the eras

Posted on July 30th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Chad Hutchinson

“No matter what age you are and what you’re into you’ll find something here,” Decades’ co-owner Mary Ann Morrison said. Owners Jeff and Mary Ann Morrison are no strangers to the world of antiques and collectibles, as they managed The Place, a former antiques and collectibles shop in Blissfield for years.

When The Place closed its doors, the Morrisons said they decided to take their experience in the business and open their own shop. Starting out with 22 dealers in their shop, they said they now provide an extensive collection of diverse items supplied by more than 50 dealers throughout their three-story establishment.

In a shop filled with numerous unique items, one rare and exotic object seems to jump out at guests as soon as they arrive, even before they step through the front door. “When it comes to finding … Read More »

Village to sell cannery land

Posted on July 30th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

The village of Blissfield boosted its marketing strategy for selling the 35-acre site of the former Home Canning Company by hiring a private real estate agent on July 22. If the marketing strategy of Gloria Leonard of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services proves true, it will be known nationwide that the village has a commercial piece of real estate that is also suitable for agricultural purchases for sale. And it could be had for $8,000 an acre.

Currently the village is using Lenawee Now, the former Lenawee Economic Development Corporation to help market the property.

Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For the complete story, please see the July 24, 2013, edition of The Advance.

Nicole Miller crowned Miss River Raisin Festival 2103

Posted on July 17th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

Nicole Miller of Palmyra was crowned Miss River Raisin Festival 2013 Friday night at the 30th annual Blissfield River Raisin Festival.

She performed a jazz dance to “Sweet Georgia Brown” to win the title, which qualifies her to compete at the 2014 Miss Michigan Pageant next June. She won a $2500 scholarship as well as the $100 Entrepreneur Award and several scholarships to assist her in her preparation for Miss Michigan. Her platform is “Building Blocks: Incentives for Preschool.” She will attend Lansing Community College in the fall and is an Adrian High School graduate.

First runner-up was Mikayla Humphries, a 2013 Sand Creek High School graduate who will attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall. She won a $1ooo scholarship. Second runner-up was Jocelyn Near, a 2012 Sand Creek High School graduate who will attend Siena Heights University. Near also won the Jennifer Dalton M.D. Summit Award, … Read More »

Memorial Poker Run raises funds for domestic violence program

Posted on July 17th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

Domestic violence is something that affects many people each year. Bill and Lisa Gritzmaker certainly had the effects hit very close to home last year. Just over a year ago, their daughter-in-law also named Lisa Gritzmaker and their unborn granddaughter, Abigail, were murdered along with the younger Lisa Gritzmaker’s sister, Amy Merrill, by Merrill’s estranged boyfriend.

Gritzmaker, along with his son, Jake who was married to the younger Lisa, belong to the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air national Guard. The group rallied around the family in the days and weeks that followed  the death of Lisa, Abigail and her sister Amy Merrill.

But their deaths would not be the only domestic violence-related deaths that would affect the unit.
Bill Gritzmaker also had had a coworker at the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard who was murdered … Read More »

Memorial race attracts 118 entrants

Posted on July 17th, by Marcia Loader in News, Sports. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

It was warm and sunny morning Sunday for the first annual Amy, Lisa and Abigail memorial 5K run walk. There were 118 people who signed up to complete the course in the village and Greg Scharer was the first person to cross the finish line

 “I was really happy to see so many people,” Robin McCowan, mother of Amy Merrill and Lisa Gritzmaker. The two women along with Gritzmaker’s unborn child were shot and killed in Merrill’s home last year by her estranged boyfriend. McCowan was also seriously injured.

Two of Merrill’s sons, Cameron, 11 and Brendan, 13, took part in the opening ceremony. With Cameron giving an insightful prayer and Brendan a warm welcome to all of he participants. Brendan said how thankful the two were to the community that reached out to their families. “They reached out to … Read More »

Victim of bicycle crash LifeFlighted from Raisin Center Hwy.

Posted on July 14th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

A woman was airlifted from an unknown situation on Raisin Center Highway in Palmyra Township Sunday afternoon.

A passerby called in a report of a possible crash involving a woman on a bicycle on Raisin Center Highway south of Demlow Road shortly  before 2 p.m., according to police.

Michigan State Police troopers at the scene said they were still trying to determine what happened . At the time, troopers said, there were no witnesses who had come forward and no visible signs of a crash such as skid marks or debris. LifeFlight landed on the road and later transported the woman to an unknown hospital.

No additional information was available.

Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc. See the July 17, 2013, edition of The Advance for more photos and information.

Suspect charged after downtown assault

Posted on July 13th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off


By Melissa Burnor

A 57-year old Tipton man was arraigned Monday on charges of felonious assault after allegedly cutting a man’s neck with a knife on the sidewalk in the 100 block of South Lane Street early Saturday morning.

Police and rescue crews responded to the west side of the street at 1:43 a.m. Saturday to a report of an assault. According to witnesses on the scene, a 31-year-old Blissfield man later identified as John Burtle, allegedly had his throat slashed by suspect Bradley Bences. Blissfield Fire Department responded to the scene quickly and took the Burtle to the parking lot of the Blissfield State Bank on Jefferson Street where he was airlifted to a Toledo hospital.
Blissfield Fire Chief Gary Crist said Burtle was talking and conscious when ambulance crews loaded him into the chopper.
Blissfield Police Sergeant Jacob Wagner said the altercation allegedly occurred … Read More »

30th River Raisin Festival begins: Magical History Tour!

Posted on July 11th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

When the 30th Annual Blissfield River Raisin Festival returns to Bachmayer and Ellis parks on both sides of the River Raisin in Blissfield July 10-13, there’s a big change in the schedule: A shift to a pumped-up Thursday, Friday and Saturday, rather than the traditional Friday-Sunday schedule. The reason; the popularity and growth of the Thursday evening events.

“We have had Thursday night activities for a few years now with the carnival actually opening on Wednesday — which it will again this year,” Fetzer said. “Our Thursday attendance was growing, but Sundays were dropping off.’ She explained that the growth of Thursday afternoon and evening is seen as an opportunity to add even more activity on Thursday night including acts on the main stage and the Car and Bike Show — with a free “drive-in movie” to follow as well as the opening … Read More »

Sand sculpture comes to life at Blissfield River Raisin Festival

Posted on July 11th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

As children, many people have memories of building sand castles at the beach. It took just the right amount of sand mixed with a little water packed firmly in a pail to produce a basic sand sculpture. Roger Powell of Findlay, Ohio, has taken the concept to a much grander scale with intricate artistry and design. This week he will bring his amazing sand art to the River Raisin Festival. Approximately 80 tons of sand is being delivered to Ellis Park in the area of the bridge close to U.S. 223 where Powell will spend the better part of the next three days creating a larger-than-life sand sculpture depicting the festival’s “Magical History Tour: 30 Festive Years” as well as highlighting some of the icons and images that are specifically Blissfield. Powell is known for his creations that draw tens … Read More »

Blissfield police chief plans to retire

Posted on July 11th, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

After 11 years at the helm of the Blissfield Village Police Department, Chief Jane Kelley will hang up her gun belt and badge at the end of the year. The announcement was made at the July 8 Blissfield Village council meeting.

Kelley said she announced her retirement early so that the village could take begin the process of hiring a new police chief. Her intentions are to retire Dec. 31.

For the complete story, please pick up a copy of The Advance, July 10, 2013, edition. Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc.