Michigan Extreme Outdoors offers kayaks, movies, more

By Chad Hutchinson

Whether one is interested in kayaking or renting a movie on a chilly Friday night, one of Blissfield’s newest businesses, Michigan Extreme Outdoor, can help.

Michigan Extreme Outdoor offers a variety of items, including kayaking gear and equipment, skateboarding equipment and apparel, shoes, clothing and sunglasses, bike equipment and gear, as well as DVD and Blu-Ray rentals, and even carries a selection of candles from Swan Creek Candles.

The store is owned by Matt Slusher and April Leffew, and managed by Tasha Stearns. It is located on Lane Street in Blissfield’s downtown.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For the complete story on this new Blissfield downtown business, please see the Nov. 28, 2012, edition of The Advance. Please call 517-486-2400 to subscribe.

Blissfield Outdoor Power offers repair services

By Chad Hutchinson

Blissfield Outdoor Power has opened its doors to Blissfield residents and the surrounding area, offering lawn and garden repair services. Blissfield Outdoor Power is located in the former Lippens cleaners building on South Lane Street in Blissfield.

Owner Thomas Roberts says he is able to service any small engine, two- and four-cycle, as well as repair and perform warranty work on all Ridgid and Ryobi power tools.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For Chad Hutchinson’s complete story on this new Blissfield enterprise, please see the Nov. 28, 2012, edition of The Advance. Call 517-486-2400 to subscribe for weekly delivery.

Sauerkraut & sausage to be served

Light of Christ Parish will host a sauerkraut-and-sausage dinner from 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Blissfield campus on South Lane Street. Dinner is $7 for adults, $5 for youth. Carry-out available. Funds go to the parish’s feeding programs.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc.

Hams, turkeys, cash just a spin away at Riga Feather Party

RIGA — The Riga Township Firefighters Association will present their annual Feather Party and Raffle Saturday night at the Riga Township Municipal Building. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first spin takes place at 7 p.m. Organizers are giving away $2,885 in cash prizes, 100 oven-ready turkeys and 20 hams plus lots of door prizes and more. The popular candy wheel will be part of the fun. All proceeds go to the Riga Firefighters Association Fund. For more information, please call 605-8254. Admission is free, but tickets are sold for various games.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc.

Madrigal Dinner Saturday at Blissfield Schools

The Blissfield Community Schools Department of Fine Arts presents a Madrigal Dinner: The Jester Fest on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the BHS cafetorium. There will be a 3 p.m. concert with high tea, and the cost is $5 per person. This includes the performance and a buffet of cakes and pastries served with tea, coffee and wassail punch. There will be a concert with a full dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $16 per person and $8 for children 10 and under. This includes the performance with a full dinner buffet of roasted pork loin, fried chicken, vegetarian alfredo pasta, potatoes au gratin, green beans, tossed salad, rolls, and choices of vanilla cake with raspberry filling and chocolate cake with fudge filling for dessert. Advance reservations are required, and can be made by calling Jolene Witt at 517-486-4420 ext. 218.


Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc.

Blissfield Lights of Love Ceremony Sunday

The annual Lights of Love treelighting in the village of Blissfield, hosted by Hospice of Lenawee, will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, in the gazebo mini-park in downtown Blissfield. The public is invited to the ceremony where those lost are honored, the Hospice tree is lighted — this year by the Harold Loar family — and Pastor Bob Bidwell will share remarks. Larry and Denny Thompson will perform some musical selections appropriate to the annual memorial event. After the ceremony, people are invited to Cakes ‘N Shakes to warm up and have refreshments.

Copyright 2012 River Raisin Publications, Inc.

People line streets for 2012 Parade of Lights

A Parade of Lights entry from Bartholomew FarmsIt was a chilly, clear night Saturday, Nov. 24, as the annual Parade of Lights illuminated the village streets in Blissfield.

Lane Street and Giles Avenue were lined with people gathered for the lighted event which included everything from a lighted sousaphone in the Blissfield High School marching band, to a giant reindeer driving a float covered in Christmas lights.

Lighted tractors, floats, cars, trucks, firetrucks – even a motor home – made their way along the parade route ahead of Santa and Mrs. Claus in horse-drawn cart. The parade was sponsored by Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program and presented by  Blissfield Coney Island and B-Town Bar & Grill.  

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. Photos by Melissa Burnor. For more from Melissa Burnor and Chad Hutchinson on the parade, please see the Nov. 28, 2012, edition of The Advance. To subscribe for weekly home delivery, please call 517-486-2400.

Parade of Lights at 7 p.m. Saturday

By Melissa Burnor

Some new attractions will light up Lane Street when folks gather for the 13th annual Blissfield Parade of Lights Saturday evening. The event is organized by the Blissfield Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Program. This year leading the parade of floats decorated in holiday style and hopefully with bright Christmas lights, will be grand marshals Abe and Zamira Elmazi, owners of Blissfield Coney Island and the B-Town Bar & Grill. The Lane Street business is also this year’s parade sponsor. They will be traveling the parade route in a decorated float to lead the procession of holiday-themed floats and units through the downtown.

This year’s organizers have a goal of 50 entries in the parade.

“I think it is going to be nice. We have had a good response so far,” committee coordinator Gwen Dusa said of the entries that have signed up so far.

Friendly and familiar faces such as Miss River Raisin Festival Charlotte Squires and Britton Deerfield homecoming queen Anna Prielipp will both take part in the festivities. Members of the Blissfield High School Marching Band will be spending part of their holiday weekend performing holiday favorites for parade-goers to enjoy. While one expects to see fire trucks, tractors, combines and other farm machinery lit up and decorated in a Blissfield parade other new attractions and entrants will be a part of this year’s parade.

“This is the first year the Shriner Jeepster units are coming,” Dusa said. “I also have Paws coming down from the Detroit Tigers,” she said. Paws is the mascot of the major league baseball team.

Interested participants can find registration forms at www.blissfieldmainstreet.com or contact Dusa at 517-486-3671. Parade entries will be judged by Blissfield Village president Mike Gunter, DDA chairperson, Jeff Juby, and Noel Eisenmann representing Michigan Agricultural Commodities. M.A.C., The Andersons and D & P Communications are all trophy sponsors. Three awards will be given out, one for best use of lights, most festive and most creative.

And of course the grand finale will be Santa and Mrs. Claus bringing up the end of the parade. The parade begins at 7 p.m. Parade participants will begin lining up behind Blissfield High School at 6 p.m. The parade route will follow Lane Street through the downtown then turn east on U.S. 223 then back south on Giles Ave. and return to the school.

Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. For Melissa’s complete story and an array of holiday happenings in the annual Holiday Lifestyles section, please see the Nov. 21, 2012, edition of The ADVANCE. Or call 517-486-2400 to subscribe for weekly delivery.

Blissfield students take the challenge

By Chad Hutchinson

Blissfield High School students participated in their first Challenge Day on Nov. 14. Challenge Day is an event hosted in an effort to raise awareness and prevention of bullying among students, as well as to raise self-esteem and unity.

“It was a very different experience, but I really liked the way they got us to open up to each other,” BHS senior Dylan Thompson said.

“I was surprised at how many people are going through the exact same things,” senior Miranda Strack added.

BHS students participated in a variety of activities throughout the day that helped them to get to know themselves better, as well as their classmates. The students opened the day with plenty of team-building activities that encouraged plenty of fun and dancing, as well as discussing the life goals the students had set for themselves.

Event organizer and BHS faculty member Louise Keinath said the event really opened her eyes to the magnitude of issues with which the youths of today are faced. “These students are having to deal with some major issues, and often times we as adults don’t think about what’s going on with our young people,” Keinath said.

Cause, manner of woman’s death still a mystery

By Melissa Burnor

SYLVANIA — “She was a woman that loved her grandchildren,” Detective Jake Albright of the Sylvania Township Department said of Catherine Sackrider.
The 59-year-old former Sylvania woman’s body was found near an old barn on Scott Highway in Palmyra Township Nov. 9 by an employee of Crop Production Services spreading lime on the corn stubble field surrounding the barn.
Albright said that Sackrider’s dentist in Sylvania Township was able to identify x-rays taken from the autopsy and comparing them toher dental records at his practice.Catherine Sackrider

Police have not determined the manner of death but are treating it as suspicious.
“There was evidence at the scene that made it suspicious,” Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh said, “but we haven’t released anything. We don’t want to hinder their investigation or ours.”
And the multiple-jurisdiction investigation that covers three states is a complicating factor in the investigation that is requiring cooperation with law enforcement in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
Sackrider was last seen leaving her daughter’s home on Sept. 18 on Vineyard Road in Sylvania Township, Albright said. Sackrider’s daughter, husband and her two children actually lived in Sackrider’s home. Sackrider had been living the last couple of years at a lake cottage on Wall Lake in LaGrange County, Indiana. Sackrider’s husband died in April 2010. He had run a copier business in the Toledo area for approximately 18 years.
Albright said Sackrider’s disappearance was allegedly brought to light by someone in LaGrange County on Sept. 24. who started asking the daughter “where is your mom?”
It was then it was determined there was a problem. A missing person’s report was filed with the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department that day.
There were few leads until the Sackrider’s body was discovered in a rural area of Palmyra Township surrounded by farm fields and woods. But local investigators quickly homed in on the case south of the Michigan border when a Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department detectives at the scene remembered the missing person case from Sylvania.
An autopsy was performed on Sackrider’s body the day after she was discovered at ProMedica Bixby Hospital. Investigators are still awaiting laboratory results from the initial autopsy.
Albright said if investigators have enough evidence to charge anyone in the death the case would be tried in Lucas County based on discussions he has had with Lucas County prosecutors.
“Because this is where she was last seen alive,” Albright said.
Albright said there would have to be a legal process followed to get all the evidence that was collected in Palmyra Township sent to Sylvania township.
“There was nothing there that indicated she was in fact killed there,” he said.
Welsh said his department is cooperating with the investigation and agreed that the investigation and any prosecution that could result may end up in Ohio.
“It’s probably going to lead us in that direction,” he said, “we are willing to do that, if that is the best thing to do.”
Albright said nothing in the investigation so far has turned up anything in the woman’s past that would indicate someone had a motive to do her harm.
“She was a woman that loved her grandchildren and minded her own business,” he said.
He would not comment on whether this could be a random incident or if she was targeted.
Albright said he doesn’t feel there is someone out their randomly targeting people “for kicks.”
“I would be comfortable with my wife walking down the street where she was last seen, even in the middle of the night,” Albright said.
“Obviously we are checking into her past,” Albright said. “She was a low-risk person; not involved in any criminal activity.”
Anyone who may have seen anything related to either incident can call the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department at 517-263-0524.
Copyright 2012, River Raisin Publications, Inc. This is an edited form of the complete story. For the rest of the story, please pick up the Nov. 21, 2012, edition of The Advance, or call to subscribe at 517-486-2400.