I would like to extend a thank you to WIlliamstown Township–to everyone at the township office, their government committees, the Williamston Chamber of Commerce, the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department, Mitch Lutzke, the Johnson family and everyone else that I met along the way. My experience as a journalist and reporting for this rural community was more than I could have expected. Everyone was welcoming and helpful whenever I called or showed up.
I chose to report for Williamstown Township because it is a smaller community and had a hometown feel and the people there made me feel welcomed as if I was apart of their community. Whether it was visiting a high school class, trying to track down a busy 90 year old man or chatting over dinner or coffee my reporting skills became fine tuned and a lot of my Friday mornings were spent with the people of Williamstown.
Thank you for such a great experience, it was very nice to get to know so many people and learn about a community that is proud of who they are and where they came from. Everything I learned this past semester I will never forget and has helped me become a better journalist.
Williamston was the main stop from Detroit to Grand Rapids when it was founded and became the commercial and social ‘hub’ of the farming and early industrial society in Eastern Ingham County. The area is still rural and some of the farms are still in use, while others sit dormant.
“For the most part, the percentage of people in agriculture, the farm was a place to live and a place to earn a living,” said Bill Turner, a Williamston resident who grew up on a farm until the 1950s.
Continue reading Williamston’s farming transformation
“Branch School District No. 4”, once known as “Little Africa”, stands at the corner of Branch and Sherwood roads in Williamstown Township.
The Williamstown Township Historical Committee and community volunteers are restoring the white, one-room schoolhouse, originally built in 1863.
Continue reading Branch School being restored
As Michigan’s economy continues to decline, many are moving away to find something better. As families leave, so do their kids and school enrollments are dwindling and small districts are getting smaller. As school funding dwindles because of the loss of students, districts are considering ways to save money. Many districts have considered the idea of consolidating with another district, or at least sharing services.
By sharing the costs of services such as maintenance, transportation, food service and administration, districts hope to save enough money to get by until the economy rebounds or another baby boom occurs. Continue reading Perry Public Schools consider consolidation
As the sky darkened and the wind picked up, a funnel cloud touched down, taking out trees, power lines and even a home with two inside. For the township of Williamstown, Oct. 18, 2007, is a day that is still on resident’s minds.
Only lasting moments the tornado moved homes off their foundations, ripped rooms from houses and sent tree limbs into the streets. Many residents were forced to leave their homes because of the damage. The area was in such disarray, the next day there was a curfew and only residents could enter. Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said the day of the tornado there were officers in the township, as well as the county’s Emergency Management Program. Continue reading Tornado hits township, emergency crews prepared