Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 27, 2012

Region in Brief: 12/27/2012


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Officials plan trail-clearing venture

TRAVERSE CITY — City officials and members of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, Inc. plan to work together to clear snow along the TART Trail.

TART Trails volunteers are clearing prioritized areas of the TART using equipment and fuel provided by the city.

Officials plan to clear snow along the TART from Carter Road to Bunker Hill Road in Acme when there is snow accumulation of at least three inches.

The Murchie Bridge underpass along the TART will be shoveled by young volunteer Carter Schmidt, who operates Carter's Compost in the Oak Park neighborhood, TART officials said in a press release. Volunteers also will shovel the Boardman Lake pedestrian bridge.

The Mall Trail from 14th Street to South Airport also will be cleared through service donated by Johnson Outdoors.

The goal of TART Trails' snow removal efforts is to maintain a trail network for year-round active transportation and outdoor recreation. Officials believe TART and Mall trails work will prompt more people to enjoy walking, running and bicycling outdoors through the winter.

For more information, contact Lee Kurt at Lee@traversetrails.org, or visit TART Trails' Smart Commute program webpage to learn more (http://traversetrails.org/programs/smart-commute/).

Toys for Tots numbers down from last year

TRAVERSE CITY — The annual Toys for Tots campaign in northwest Michigan accumulated about 21,000 toys that were distributed to an estimated 7,000 children throughout the region.

Toys for Tots officials said the numbers were down from last year, when about 8,000 children received about 25,000 toys.

"Our agencies are not really sure why toy requests were down this year," says Toys for Tots coordinator Maggie Kent. "We would have really struggled to meet the needs if the requests were as strong as originally projected."

The campaign distributed toys to 17 human service agencies in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska and Antrim Counties, Kent said.

Toys are distributed through nearly every major human service agency in the region including; The Father Fred Foundation, Goodwill, Benzie and Leelanau Family Independent Agencies, the Mancelona Family Resource Center and others.

Fatal crash claims Manistee woman

KALKASKA — A Manistee woman died in a two-vehicle traffic crash on U.S. 131 south of Boardman Road in Boardman Township, authorities said.

Betty Jane Zimmerman, 87, turned left out of the Boardman Motel parking lot onto U.S. 131 and collided with a vehicle that was headed north. The crash occurred Wednesday at about 10 a.m.

"She pulled right in front ... ," Kalkaska County Sheriff David Israel said.

Medical personnel pronounced Zimmerman dead at the scene, sheriff's officials said.

Robert Gerred, 70, of Petoskey, was the driver of the other vehicle. A passenger in that vehicle, Geraldine Gerred, 76, also of Petoskey, was treated for injuries at Kalkaska Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff's deputies continue to investigate the accident.

TCAPS cancels informal meeting

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education canceled tonight's coffee conversation.

Board members and Superintendent Stephen Cousins normally hold the informal meeting with community members on the last Thursday of the month at Horizon Book Store.

The next coffee conversation is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

Power outage for some in Lake Leelanau

TRAVERSE CITY — A last-gasp power outage darkened 94 Lake Leelanau homes for a few hours.

A Cherryland Electric Cooperative crew responded quickly to the outage that began Tuesday at 9:43 a.m. in the area of Swede, Omena and Overlook roads.

"Snow and ice built up on the conductor. It broke loose and caused the conductors to come into contact with each other," said Frank Siepker, the cooperative's engineering and operations manager."

Last week's snowstorm caused about 26,000 area homes to lose power on Thursday. Nearly everyone was back on line by Sunday.

Fatal snowmobile crash under investigation

KALKASKA — Authorities identified a man who died in a snowmobile crash.

Michael D. Moran, 52, of Livonia, died Saturday in Kalkaska County's Bear Lake Township. Investigators said he was driving up a hill at high speeds when he crested the hill and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.