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


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.


Registration deadline nears for Aug. 6 vote

Posted on July 3rd, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

Michigan residents have until July 8 to register in order to vote in 
the Aug. 6 election. Nearly all residents in Blissfield, Riga, Ogden, 
Palmyra townships as well as those living in the the villages of 
Deerfield and Blissfield will have at least one issue on the ballot.

Residents of the Blissfield School District will be voting on a new 
1.25 mill sinking fund millage for a period of 10 years, 2013-2022.

Lenawee County is also developing a district library system and will 
ask voters not already considered part of a library system for a 10-
year 6-mill levy. This millage will be on the ballot in Palmyra, 
Ogden and Deerfield townships and Deerfield Village. According to 
ballot language it would raise $968,400 in the first year to run the 
library. Currently the library is funded by the county general fund. 
The Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library has contractual agreements with 
townships for … Read More »

Festival Kids’ Corner offers lots of free fun – including Toledo Zoo animals

Posted on July 3rd, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Chad Hutchinson

The Kids’ Corner sponsored by Blissfield State Bank is offering up a  flurry of free fun during the 30th annual River Raisin Festival next  Thursday through Saturday. The Kids’ Corner is located near the  bridge in Bachmayer Park.

Kids’ Corner organizers Elizabeth Comiskey, Kelly Seidl and Shelley  Smith have worked to bring in several new activities for kids, as  well as the return of many of the festival favorites since taking  over the area five years ago.

Seidl said the Kids’ Corner will feature 17 different performers and  vendors this year, which is the most ever offered, and events begin  Thursday since the Sunday of festival has been eliminated. Seidl said  the focus of the Kids’ Corner is affordable fun for the whole family.

“Our biggest thing is to be eventful for the kids, reasonable and  have fun while they’re there,” … Read More »

No millage hike in Blissfield for 2013

Posted on July 3rd, by Marcia Loader in News. Comments Off

By Melissa Burnor

Millage rates for the village will stay the same in 2013. Blissfield village council set the millage rates for after the 2013 Truth-in- Taxation hearing at their June 24 meeting. The millage rates are determined by data received from the Lenawee County Equalization Department.

The total tax approved tax rate is 14.2215 mills. The figure includes 9.7072 mills for general operating millage and 4.5143 mills in the street millage.

For other Blissfield Village Council news, please see the July 3, 2013, edition of The Advance. Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc.

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