Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

January 21, 2013

Cheers: 01/21/2013

-- To Kingsley Area and Benzie County Central schools for finishing in the top 15 districts in the state in Academic State Champ rankings released by Bridge magazine. Kingsley finished seventh overall and Benzie Central 14th. The magazine calculated the rankings with a value-added formula that compared student scores on the MEAP, MME and ACT tests relative to socioeconomic status. The study looked at 560 public school districts and charter schools.

-- To the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, which recently received a LEED Platinum rating from the United States Green Building Council for transforming the 1934 Coast Guard station in Frankfort into an art center. It's the 12th building in the state to achieve that ranking and the first in northern Michigan. Work included reusing 95 percent of the old building's walls, floors and roof and extensively insulating the building.

-- To the Interlochen Explorer Post No. 20 for organizing the Ninth Winterlochen First Aid Competition to teach Boy Scouts lifesaving basics with real-world scenarios. About 100 Scouts learned hands-on practical experience in first aid and rescue skills, from treating hypo/hyperthermia or a puncture wound to performing CPR to treating broken bones or lacerations.

-- To the village of Kalkaska for the purchase of half of a downtown city block. The village bought the old Erb Lumber property for more than $67,000. The approximate 2.5-acre site, behind the Kalkaska trout statue, gives the village control of much of the east side of the 300 block of Cedar Street. Village leaders hope the purchase will make it easier to lure developers.

-- To Kearstin Prevo, a Northwestern Michigan College student who received a 2000 Ford Windstar worked on by the NMC Automotive Technology program and members of the NMC Motorsports club. Prevo was chosen after a motor club member learned that Prevo's car had blown an engine and she needed transportation from her home in Bellaire to classes. A Traverse City physician had donated the van.

-- To Wendee Wolf-Schlarf, a music teacher at Traverse City Central High School who was chosen Music Educator of the Year by the Michigan Music Education Association. Wolf-Schlarf has taught music at various levels in Traverse City Area Public Schools for more than 25 years. She also serves as the district's music department coordinator.

-- To Jim and Rita Cwengros, high school sweethearts at Glen Lake Community Schools who died recently doing missionary work in Haiti. Jim, 54, and Rita, 53, were among four missionaries from Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Grand Rapids who died on the way to a small mountain village. Their vehicle lost its brakes and plunged into a ravine.

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