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December 2nd

[2013] Former Local Reporter Takes National Stage Full Time at #1 TV Morning Show
ABC News President, Ben Sherman, announced to the staff on Monday that longtime Good Morning America weather personality, Sam Champion, has accepted a position at The Weather Channel and would anchor his last report for ABC on Wednesday morning. Taking his place permanently will be Michigan native, Ginger Zee. Zee, who was formerly known as Ginger Zuidgeest, her family name, spent part of her early career at WEYI (Channel 25) in Flint, from 2003 to 2005, before moving to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and then to WMAQ in Chicago. After five years in Chicago, Zee joined ABC News in 2011,serving as weather anchor on the weekend edition  of Good Morning America. Zee can be seen across all of ABC's programs and frequently filled in for Sam Champion on weekday editions of Good Morning America before today's announcement. 

Ginger Zee, who now lives in Manhattan and recently became engaged to WNBC reporter, Ben Aaron, is an Emmy award winning meteorologist and holds the AMS Seal for Meteorology.

December 3rd

[2012] MME: Durand Fire Department, Since 1901
Portions of this story were updated on 3/29/14.
It was 1901, 14 years after what is now known as the City of Durand was established, when the Durand Fire Department was first organized. 8 men responded to the calling of protecting the people and property of a community centered around the railroad.

W.R. Hopkins was the first Fire Chief in Durand, leading the Department's charter firefighters for two years. One of the original firefighters would later become the Department's third Chief.

113 years after those 8 men stepped onto the front lines, we honor their bravery and valor, and we recognize 18 equally honorable men, who remain on standby today, day in and day out, waiting for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Durand.

Current Fire Chief, Richard Rinker, is the Department's 11th. Rinker joined the Department in 1980. Assistant Fire Chief, Leo Krupp, joined DFD in 1981. Each of these men, for more than 30 years, has put their lives on the line at the ringing of a bell, on our behalfs.

Three new firefighters joined the Durand Fire Department in 2012,
and the most recent recruit, Courtney Custer, joined in 2013.

What does it take to become a firefighter?
New firefighters at the Durand Fire Department must undergo 160 hours of intense training, then continue with at least 32 additional hours of in-house training every year.   
Firefighters don't just fight fires.
When the need arises, Durand's firefighters will respond to the call. But through training, the hope is that the need won't arise.  Durand Fire Department conducts Fire Safety training at our schools at least once per year. October is Fire Safety Month.

When they aren't fighting fires or teaching others how to prevent fires, firefighters at Durand Fire Department are responsible for maintaining the fire hall and making sure the equipment is in good working order. 

The firetrucks, or "apparatus," that DFD utilizes includes a Class
A Pumper, Engine 602, which has been in service since 1997, a second pumper, Engine 604, in service since 2013, and Squad 603, a Cascade System in service since 2001.

3 QUESTIONS WITH ASST. CHIEF LEO KRUPP
1. On your personal website, you describe being a firefighter as a passion that you wish you would have taken up long prior to 1981, when you joined the department. Can you elaborate?
I have enjoyed the fire department so much that I wish I had started sooner and spent more time as a young man on the department.

2. Your daughters are now grown and you have grandchildren, but what was it like working in a field with this level of danger while also being a father? And even now, as a grandfather?
I never really thought about the danger while I was out on a call. My wife certainly did. I don't minimize the danger but there is no room for that during a call. My kids never knew of a life without me on the department. Ever since they can remember, I was always on the department.

3. We know that the duty of a firefighter extends beyond actually fighting fires, but you take it a step further, spending time off the clock collecting and documenting department history. Is it true that you hope to write a book about it?
I have taken it upon myself to keep up with, and research, the history of the Durand Fire Department. Chief Rinker is the 11th chief we have had. George Johnson had the longest tenure as chief (25 years). Some day I would like to write a book on the history of the department.

December 4th

[2017] Project Tim Unveiled
New Steel International is one of several companies in the push to bring "Project Tim" to Durand. The Ohio-based company's CEO, John Schultes, confirmed with Crain's Detroit Business on Monday that it is moving ahead with the initiative and is seeking a loan from the Department of Energy. He wouldn't say how much the company is looking for, but Crain's says a source briefed on the company's plans says the company applied for $7 billion as part of the agency's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. That same source says the project has attracted investor interest from Tesla, General Motors and DTE Energy.

The plant, touted as a renewable energy initiative, would produce high-strength steel and capture emitted energy for electricity, Crain's reports.

Troy Crowe of Crowe Real Estate LLC is the Owosso-based broker that has been working to secure the farmland footprint for the project. He told Crain's the footprint has shifted a bit, as one property owner has refused to sell their land. Now, potentially, the plant's footprint could include property on both the north and south sides of I-69, rather than only the south.

Get everything we have on PROJECT TIM here!

December 5th

[2014] Fire At Old Simplicity Building In Durand
A fire that broke out on Durand's south side is reportedly contained. Residents were evacuated as firefighters from multiple agencies battled a blaze at the former Simplicity factory building south of the Main and Oak street intersection in downtown Durand. No injuries have been reported. The building, located across from the current Terex building, has been vacant for years and, for a time, had a "For Sale" sign outside the front door, although that sign had been removed at some point.

In the recent past, there have been calls for repairs or demolition of the building with residents citing concerns over trespassers.

Fire Chief Rich Rinker says a report of kids seen running from the building shortly before the fire broke out around 9am is being investigated. The State Fire Marshall has been called in.

December 7th

[2012] Recently-Named 2012 DUSI Volunteer of the Year, Mike O'Keefe, Passes
"I can't tell you the number of times he either unlocked things for me or made change for a dollar for me after sports practices," reads one comment posted upon hearing the news of longtime Durand High School custodian, businessman, and recently-named 2012 Durand Union Station   Volunteer of the Year, Michael O'Keefe's passing. "He always made me laugh about something," reads another. "Such a good man," "A great human being," "An awesome human being who never let anything slow him down," are just a few more sentiments shared as friends and acquaintances remembered him on Friday.

O'Keefe, 86, died at his home on Thursday evening with his family at his side. He graduated from Durand High School in 1944, worked at Simplicity for 20 years, owned Mike's TV in Durand for 7 years, and was a Durand Schools employee for 18 years, having retired in 1988.

He was given the DUSI honor on September 16th of this year, being called "a real fixture" at city events like the Farmers Market, Railroad Days and Cruisin' events. 

O'Keefe, a longtime member of St. Mary Catholic Church, will be celebrated there at a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, December 11th, at 10:30am. The family will receive friends at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes Durand chapel on Monday, December 10th, from 2-4pm and 6-8pm.

[2015] Durand City Council, DUSI Agree On Lease
The Durand City Council approved lease language at its Monday night meeting that DUSI approved last month, ending nearly a decade of on and off negotiations and finalizing a deal that has been long-awaited by both parties and the community alike.

The lease spells out responsibilities and authorities for both the City of Durand, which owns the historic Durand Union Station, and DUSI, the non-profit organization that has operated the historic depot and museum for nearly four decades.

December 10th

[2015] Kara Kimmer Returns to Owosso Stage to Celebrate Holiday At Lebowsky
Durand native, Kara Kimmer, grew up performing on the Lebowsky stage. She has choreographed and performed with the Pointer Sisters, performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch, and is a former Detroit Pistons dancer.

You may have also seen her on the CW's Vampire Diaries or AMC's The Walking Dead, though you may not have known it was her, as she played a stunt double.

You'll have one shot to see her again on the Lebowsky stage when she returns as a special guest during the Sunday, December 13th, performance at 3pm.

There are four total Holiday At Lebowsky performances; Friday December 11th at 8pm, two performances on Saturday December 12th, at 3pm and 8pm, and the final performance on Sunday.

Adult tickets are $20, seniors (65+) and students are $18. Children (13 & under) are $10.

December 11th

[2012] Live Blog: Right-to-Work Protest
Union members and others in opposition to Michigan becoming the 24th Right-To-Work state will converge on the Capitol in downtown Lansing today for what is expected to be a massive protest, bringing more than 10,000 to the city as Right-To-Work legislation is slated to be pushed through the House and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

We'll be live blogging from Lansing all day long.

4:33pm
We will conclude our live blog at this time but will soon post a gallery with the pictures contained here along with many more. Have a great photo that we should include? Send it to josh@durandnow.com! If you are just checking the blog out, scroll down for pictures, video, comments, news and the actual bills for you to peruse.

Matt says: Apparently giving people choices means that you are stripping their freedoms....ok whatever

4:20pm
Video from the ACLU of Michigan shows what appears to be peaceful protestors being pepper sprayed by Police. CLICK HERE to watch!

4:08pm
YouTube Video Blogger, Steven Crowder, assaulted, threatened with murder, by Union members on camera. CLICK HERE to watch!

3:48pm
Click to view:
Senate Bill 116
House Bill 4003

Rachel says: ‎12/11/12 Such ashame that the bill passed 58-51.

Dawnna says: I think Lansing is making history for our county with this protest... Its huge.. And if I you all could hear what I hear with the noise and the helicopters I think you would be amazed as well... This is huge for Lansing... The fight for the unions and their protection for our rights are majorly on the line right now.... I hope our voices get heard... Wish I could be there as well... for all you protesters stay safe and conduct yourselves maturely...

Amy says: This is gonna continue down here tomorrow too??? They are telling our Romney Building employees to work from home tomorrow!!! Wow!

3:21pm
Romney Building employees are being told to work from home tomorrow.
work from home tomorrow.

3:07pm
Michigan State Police have formed a human barricade around the Romney building in barricade around the Romney building in downtown Lansing.

Mike says: One epic day today in Lansing at the capitol building.

Megan says: Quite the scuffle at the Capitol right now.

2:39pm
Protestors have left the Capitol lawn en mass and have converged on the Romney building where the offices of Governor Snyder and his staff are located. The scene there was already getting rough, and now crowd has increase in size, additional troopers have been deployed, armed in full riot gear. Gongwer News Service reports MSP as being "pleased" with the overall demeanor of today's protest, as of 1pm.

Joshua says: Riots breaking out Lansing. Too bad I gotta work. :(

Angela says: At the end of the day, I think what I'm most disappointed about is the fact that it seems that we've lost the ability to listen to another point of view and compromise.

Carly says: Judge me if you must but I fully support the protestors at the capital building! If I didn't have London I would be down there also.

Annie says: Getting pretty disgusted about this union bull. Nothing is being taken away from ANYONE. You are simply being given a CHOICE. Thought you democrats were in favor of choice...but perhaps that is only important when the choice is whether or not to give life to the unborn. Put your damn posters away and go home. The union is not your friend. I wish people would think for themselves.

2:09pm
Michigan Radio reports State Police are deploying additional troopers in riot gear to the Romney Building in downtown Lansing, where they say things are getting violent. Pepper spray and mounted police have been used to push back demonstrators outside the Capitol. Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he is among those who was sprayed.

2:02pm
The House has voted in favor of Right-To-Work legislation, 58-52, on Senate Bill 116, dealing with private sector employees. Now, both approved bills, will travel to Governor Snyder's desk, where he is expected to sign them both into law, making Michigan the 24th "Right To Work" state.

Amelia says: If you're at Lansing Community College get out NOW. Protest at the Capitol Building has escalated and they're locking down.

1:47pm
There are reports that State Police have barred Capitol workers from leaving at this time. The report also indicates that Police plan to make use of smoke bombs beginning at 5pm in an effort to clear out protestors.

1:40pm
The Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 4003, 58-51, a public sector bill similar to the private sector bill that passed last week 58-52. Under this new legislation, a worker cannot be required to pay any union dues and any contract that would mandate dues or fees as a condition of employment will be "unlawful and unenforceable."

1:34pm
The Reverand Jesse Jackson is amidst protestors today, standing alongside Lansing Mayor Virg Benero and Senator Gretchen Whitmer, in a photo posted by Working Michigan.

Emily says: Wow. It's going down in Lansing today.

12:52pm
WLNS-TV6 posted video to Facebook of State Police using wooden batons to push back and knock down "out of control" protestors at the Capitol. CLICK HERE to see it.

Amanda says: Sounds like shut just got real at the Capitol: pepper spray

Kellie says: Holy crap there's A LOT of people downtown!!! Glad I work a fee blocks back!!!!

12:16pm
The House has passed the public-sector portion of controversial Right-To-Work legislation and has sent it to Governor Rick Snyder's desk for his signature. He is expected to sign as early as Wednesday morning.

11:47am
Police swarmed an area at the Capitol where protestors tore down a tent set up by Right-To-Work supporters around 11:30 this morning. No word on any arrests.

Jennifer says: Listening to Ingham County Public Safety radio on my phone. Civil unrest excites me. #WakeUpAmerica

Rachelle says: This kind of decision should be left up to a vote from the people who live in MI not just politicians with their own agendas.

Steven says: Lansing has gone crazy

Jennifer says: Hoping gov snyder listens to the many people voicing THE PEOPLES voice on the union bill. Dont rush thru this it is too important & my kids have grown accustomed to eating food provided by Dad'ss union pay!!

11:01am
The House has just convened and is set to take up historic and controversial Right-To-Work legislation. The Capitol has reached capacity and is closed, according to Police.

Jessica says: I don't know what's more frightening-the fact that people's right to protest peacefully is being infringed upon, or the fact that over half of the police force is downtown right now!

10:52am
Fox 47 TV in Lansing reports 10,000 are outside the Capitol and several thousand more are inside.

Christina says: I may not be able to be out with my union family today, but that doesn't mean I don't stand with them. My heart and prayers are with them as they protest at the Captiol today

Tabitha: Crazy watching the things going on down at the capital on the national news. Id like to see it first hand, but dont think it would be safe.

Amy says: Wow my home Lansing Michigan has made CNN news today crazy.....

Craig Says: ‎42 Michigan Schools closed today... It's about the children?

Chelsea says: Listening to the police scanner....its CRAZY at the capitol!!! People trying to climb thru windows & ishhh. Wow......

10:19am
There are reports that I-69 westbound from the Durand area into Lansing is a parking lot as thousands are filtering in to join the protest. One estimate currently indicates 15,000 on hand already.

Karlena says: Absolute insanity downtown. Just watched the entire march. Pretty amazing experience to be apart of. Heading to the Capital!!

Hilarie says: Wow, tons of Laborers marching up to the Capital.

9:16am
The first march of the day has begun, from the Lansing Center to the Capitol.

Angela says: I support Union workers all the way!!! I work downtown on Michigan Ave. the party started early. SOLIDARITY!!

Courtney says: I will be in Lansing, but at work unfortunately. Wish I could be there! My Dad is the president of UAW Local 652 and he will be down there all day so he'll keep me posted.

Ashleigh says: Chanting, music, closed streets with porta-potties set up in the middle of them, cops with zip ties strapped to their belts... ohhhh Tuesday, you're silly already!

Amanda says: Off to the Capitol, should be interesting

Jessica says: Downtown Lansing is a joke right now!!! Grand Ave is an absolute mess. Over 10 minutes from the highway to Allegan.....still not at my building.

8:18am
Many roads in the area are closed now. The first march is expected to begin at 9am starting at the Lansing Center and heading toward the Capitol. The Lansing Center is the drop point for more than 70 busses coming in from out of town. Fox 47 TV in Lansing is reporting that today's protest could be the biggest ever at the Capitol.

Stephanie says: I am extremely terrified for the ones going to " the right to work rally " in Lansing. I am glad ppl are standing up for what they believe in but I just hope & pray no one gets hurt :(

Mel says: Working. Downtown is about to be crazy!

Brooke says: Wish I was marching at the capitol today. To all of my family, friends, and union brothers and sisters who are going- give them hell and be safe! God Bless.

Matt says: glad to know our teachers unions have their priorities straight, feel free to come to lansing and protest while our children our in schools wanting to learn......

Kim says: Glad I get to work in a Lansing school today. Wondering if ANY teachers will be present. I work for a union as well...but I most definitely support the RIGHT TO WORK passage. Let there be choice, not forced enrollment. There are conservative people out there too, and unions only support/advertise/promote liberal policies. I get monthly reminders that I help pay for with dues...

Christina says: I can't wait for the mad craziness downtown today!! Our building, the MSP HQ is on lock-down from what I heard yesterday, and I received an email from Sparrow Volunteer Services asking for more volunteers at the emergency room, as they expected a larger crowd flow today.

Steven says: About to head to Right to Work Rally @ Capital inLansing

Mercedes says: Lansing Michigan is on the Map today! This protest downtown is main news everywhere!

Tiffany says: From a business stance Right to Work makes sense. However if you're a Union employee with only a high school diploma and making $30/hour or more it's not good. Lots of pros and cons but looks like Snyder is going to sign us into a RTW state.

Jennifer says: "I can feel it comin' in the air tonight (this morning), oh lo-ord..." The world is watching today, Michigan. Let's keep it classy and show them what democracy should look like. I'll be there in spirit. (Gotta go get that paper at my union job.) Praying for a peaceful protest!

Amanda says: Hope all stays safe for the people protesting today

Tim says: I pray that they all behave and for the first responders police fire and EMS who will be on the front lines if things get out of hand everyone has their beliefs on this and no matter what they are follow the rules and don't create chaos!

Troy says: Off to Lansing again for Capitol Madness (like March Madness, but more union).

6am
Several charter busses are headed westbound on 69 from the Durand area toward Lansing.

Jessica says: "Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone"

Rick says: Today I'm going to work as usual; as a former sheriff I have no fear. However I'm praying that everyone protests peacefully and that no one gets hurt. I believe that thugs have been brought in from out of State to incite a riot. There is no excuse for the historic capitol building to be damaged, police attacked, or violence.

Ken says: I'm leaving shortly to "Protect". I hope we don't have to do anything because everyone is going to be on their best behavior.

Jeanne says: Be safe....everyone who is at the Capitol. There is absolutely NO reason to do damage to the building/grounds OR hurt anyone. I am sure there will be enough of a police presence to help but there are those who will push their rights and see how far they can go.

Ren says: Whatever side of the debate you are on, keep it civil people, the right to express yourself and protest is a American freedom

Mary says: Prayers for safety, peaceful assembly and that the voices of the voters are heard, respected and the elected officials vote for what is right not for the party, but for our great struggling state.

[2012] Michigan Is 24th Right-to-Work State
Governor Snyder has signed the controversial Right- To-Work legislation that coasted through the House and Senate and brought a massive protest to the State Capitol on Tuesday. 
The Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 4003 which deals with the public sector on Tuesday, 58-51. A similar bill dealing with the private sector passed the House on Thursday last week, 58-52. 
DurandNOW.com compiled breaking news, comments,  photos, videos and more in a Live Blog throughout the day Tuesday.

[2014] Unanimous: "In God We Trust" to be Displayed in County Board of Commissioners Chambers
Inspired by a California woman's email, part of an initiative encouraging municipalities across the country to display the National Motto, Shiawassee County Commisioner Robert McLaren made a motion for the words "In God We Trust" to be prominently displayed in the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners chambers.

On Wednesday evening the measure passed unanimously. Shiawassee County joins hundreds of city and county municipalities that have opted to incorporate the National Motto into displays and proceedings throughout the past two years.

While the four words began appearing on U.S. currency in 1938, the United States Treasury Department says the push to include the words began during the Civil War.

"In God We Trust" officially became the National Motto in 1956.

[2017] Anytime Fitness Grand Durand Opening
Monday December 4th marked the grand opening of Anytime Fitness in Durand, beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Greater Durand Area Chamber of Commerce. Pictured at the ceremony in front row center is owner Brian Dunaway, with co-owner Theresa Dunaway to his right and facility manager Patty Polen to his left. Also pictured are Anytime trainers Alec Cherny, Nathan Degner and Laurie Stepanski, Durand Mayor Deb Doyle, Chamber President Yvonne Ryan, Chamber Treasurer Christi Johnson, Chamber Director Kathy Olund, and a number of Anytime’s members and enthusiastic “Purple People.”

The Durand Anytime Fitness is Dunaway’s third facility and he states that membership is growing rapidly. True to its title, the state-of-the-art facility is open to members 24/7.

The new Anytime Fitness is located in Durand Plaza on Monroe Road in the former Family Dollar store.

December 13th

[2014] All Aboard: DurandNOW.com Email Express
IMPORTANT: Earlier this week we launched an email "club" initiative. You can join the club and receive news in your inbox free.

Here's why this is very important:

Facebook continues to make changes that limits what YOU see from pages that you have liked. Each social media site controls how it functions and has the ability to limit or define the user experience.

Almost 3,000 people have liked Durand Now on Facebook, but only a fraction of that number sees any given update from the site. You can find Durand Now on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as well, but each of those sites control their own accessibility.

When you join our club, the "Email Express," you'll get an email from us about once a week with the latest big story as well as a list of the stories that are trending that week.

This is the best way to stay connected to DurandNOW.com and to know what's happening in your community.

Join up!

December 14th

[2015] National Grange Elects First Female Master
During the 149th Annual Session of the National Grange, delegates from each state elected a new slate of national officers. Among this group was Betsy Huber, the newly elected Master and the first woman to hold that office in the history of the organization.

Ms. Huber is currently employed by the Pennsylvania State Grange as the Government Relations Director where she works to advance the policies of the Grange within the PA State Legislature. She is a member of Chester-Delaware County Pomona Grange #3 and Goshen Grange #121. Betsy started her Grange involvement at a very young age as a member of the Juvenile (now known as Junior) Grange. She has held numerous positions with her local Grange and with the Pennsylvania State Grange, including serving eight years as President, the first woman to hold that position.

As the National Grange Master, Ms. Huber will work with the National Grange staff to advance Grange policies in Washington D.C.; as well as oversee the day to day operations of the organization. The Grange, legislative work, and agriculture have always been an important part of her life. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Grange (chairperson 2007-14) and is also the executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Association. She has also held various positions in the agricultural community that include serving on the boards of the PA State Council of Farm Organizations (President 2011-12), the Governor's Census 2010 Advisory Panel, the PA Department of Agriculture Fertilizer Advisory Committee, the PA Department of Environmental Protection Ag Advisory Board (Chair 2007), and PA Farm Link. She was employed as district aide to State Representative Arthur D. Hershey from 1992-2002.

She has also served her community as township supervisor for Upper Oxford Township for 24 years, chairman of the Township Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee, treasurer of the Chester County Association of Township Officials and as member of the PSATS Land Use Committee and Resolutions Committee. She has also served the Avondale Presbyterian Church as Elder, Deacon, Trustee and choir member.

Ms. Huber was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by the delegates from agricultural societies in 2005 and serves on the Committee on Outreach, Development, and Community Relations and the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee.

The Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, non-partisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. With a strong history in grassroots activism, family values and community service, the Grange is recognized as America's number one rural family organization. There are nearly 80,000 members in 2000 local community Granges across 41 states. It is the oldest agricultural and rural organization of its kind in the United States.

December 15th

[2013] Music Video Filmed At Durand Rink Released
The Outer Vibe, a band based in Grand Rapids, recently filmed a large portion of the music video for their song "Princess of Sin" at Durand's Optimist Park. On Friday, the band hosted the official release party for the video at Zoobie's Tavern in Lansing. Part of the video was also filmed at that bar.

The video features the band in a bout against the Lansing Derby Vixens, Lansing's popular roller derby team. For the video, the band utilized the skating rink at Optimist Park. The Vixens school the band, but by the end of the video, both teams are seen celebrating and partying together.

The video also features popular Lansing radio disc jockey, Alabama, as the referee. Alabama can be heard weekday afternoons from 2 to 7pm on 97.5 NOW FM, Lansing's Hit Music Station.

Watch the video here!

December 18th

[2013] DurandNOW.com Acknowledged by Michigan State Grange, Strickland Receives Award
Josh Strickland, founder of DurandNOW.com, accepted an award from Christopher Johnston, Michigan State Grange Master, at a special Burns Grange event held at Nick's Hometown Grill in Durand on Tuesday. Burns Grange #160 nominated Strickland for the state "Dedicated Worker Award" after selecting him the recipient at the local level. He was presented the local award in April. The Michigan State Grange annual dinner was held in October but Strickland was unable to attend the event due to a previously scheduled engagement, but joined Burns Grange #160 at their Christmas party on Tuesday, where he was presented with the award, for starting the website and associated social media sites, that keep the "community informed of activities, weather, sports, and local news."

DurandNOW.com launched on September 1st, 2012. The site aims to fill the void left by the departure of The Durand Express. 2013 marks 10 years since the newspaper that served the Railroad City for more than one hundred years was dissolved.

Courtesy photo

Mobirise

December 22nd

[2013] State of Emergency for Shiawassee County
Shiawassee County has been officially declared in a State of Emergency; a press release from the Shiawassee County Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office reads: 

Shiawassee County is in a State of Emergency, power lines are down and blocking most roads making travel dangerous and life threatening.

Salting operations are hampered by the downed power lines and the roads will remain icy until power lines are removed.

Stay inside and DO NOT Travel!

All downed power lines need to be treated as live, stay clear and contact your specific provider or Consumers Energy to report the incident, only notify 911 if the downed line is over the roadway or presents immediate threat to life or property.

If you require shelter, transportation and handicap accessibility needs call 211, indicate your needs, to include animals in your home that may need assistance as well, and call 211 for updated shelter information throughout the day.

We've received more than one hundred photos of storm damage throughout mid-Michigan. Visit our PHOTOS page to see the gallery, which will be posted soon.

December 23rd

[2012] Downtown Dazzles At Christmastime
Trees lit white line the sidewalks of downtown Durand, leading toward the decorated Sandula clock tower, where the city's Christmas tree, covered in colorful lights, stands nearby.

DEPOT OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY 
The depot will be closed on Christmas Eve but will be open to visitors on Christmas Day from 1pm to 7pm. Guests can view the many trees so beautifully decorated by area organizations and businesses. The depot will be closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

[2012] Former Durand Soccer Coach Passes
A former Durand soccer coach passed away on Thursday.  
Mike Edgeworth was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, which he battled for only a short time. Described as a family man and an avid outdoorsman, Edgeworth was a friend and inspiration to many, particularly young athletes, as he coached Durand's Varsity Girls Soccer team for years. In his final year as Coach, among their accomplishments, Durand's Lady Railroaders Soccer team won the Shiawassee County Early Bird Invitational in 2000. Mike leaves behind a wife of 44 years, 3 children and 6 grandchildren. 

The family will receive friends from 2 to 8pm today, Sunday, at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes' Durand Chapel. A memorial mass will be held at 10:30am on Thursday, December 27th, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Durand.

December 24th

[2013] First-Grader Leaves Raw Cookie Dough for Santa During Christmas Eve Power Outage
The biggest ice storm in a decade moved through Michigan knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes, including Abby's house, just before Christmas. But Abby, a first-grader from Bancroft, wasn't going to let that keep Santa from getting his cookies.

Abby's note reads "Dear Santa, sorry the cookies aren't cooked. We have no power. I hope you like cookie dough. Love, Abby"

Consumers Energy expects power to be restored to Bancroft by Friday, December 27th.

December 25th

[2012] VIDEO: Married By The Mayor; Christmas Eve Clocktower Wedding
As if the lights lining the streets and the city Christmas tree next to the clocktower flanked by the beautiful depot decor all sparkling in the night's surprise light snowfall weren't enough to brighten your spirits as you were passing through downtown Durand on Christmas Eve, a life-changing event that occurred right around 6pm at the Sandula Clocktower was truly a site to behold.

Durand Mayor, Deb Doyle, officiated a Christmas Eve wedding in front of the clocktower. The nuptials, which were witnessed by a handful of friends and family, brought together Dustin Roberts and Beth (Malone) Roberts.

The short ceremony included a scripture reading of  Genesis 12:3 by the groom's father. The NIV passage reads "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 

The 6 minute event was capped with a kiss between Dustin and Beth, as well as Miah, the daughter of Dustin. 

The newly married couple continued their celebration  with a private reception at Papa Joe's. 

The entire ceremony was captured on video and you can watch it below. 

Congratulations Dustin & Beth, and Merry Christmas!

December 26th

[2013] 64% of Shiawassee County Was Without Power After Ice Storm, State of Emergency Remains In Effect
A State of Emergency remains in effect for Shiawassee county after what Consumers Energy calls the biggest downed-wire event in the state in more than a decade. A quick drive is all it takes to see the storm's significant impact, but why does Shiawassee county remain in a "State of Emergency" when surrounding counties are not? 

It's numbers, as Shiawassee Township Firefighter, Jason Wineland, explains. 

Wineland looked at county census numbers versus the approximate number of people (not houses) who were affected by power outages. 
After the math, just 28% of Genesee county residents were without power following the storm, versus 64% of Shiawassee county residents. 
While the numbers across the state continue to fall, there are still residents that have no power, and it may be Saturday before power is restored, Consumers Energy reports. The utility company has been joined by hundreds of out of state utility workers, some from as far as Kansas, who spent their holidays helping to restore power to Michiganders.

More than 17,000 Consumers customers in Shiawassee county were without power after the storm, multiplied by an average household size of 2.53, meaning more than 40,000 of the county's 69,233 residents were affected by outages.

After several reports of power coming back on throughout the county today, Shiawassee County Emergency Management & Homeland Security says 90 linemen will be coming in tonight to help with restoration efforts.

For those still without power, warming centers are available, including those with overnight accommodations.

December 27th

[2016] Durand Businesses to Compete for a Spot on the Shiawassee County A-LIST
Get your favorite Durand area business on the A-LIST. The five-week nomination period begins on January 1st 2017. Visitors of Corunna Now, Durand Now, Owosso Now, Perry Pulse and Uplift Shiawassee will nominate local businesses and then vote to decide the county's favorite business in a number of categories. Businesses can advertise to help encourage nominations and votes, but all businesses should encourage their patrons to nominate and vote. After two two-week rounds of voting, winners will be revealed on April 3rd 2017. Get complete details here. Good luck to all Durand area businesses!

December 29th

[2014] Get the Sunday Paper? It's About to Change!
Gannett Inc., the parent company of USA Today and numerous local newspapers, including the Lansing State Journal and Detroit Free Press, wrapped production of USA Weekend, the second-largest Sunday newspaper magazine.

The December 28th edition was the last, as distribution costs rise and advertising revenues decline. The Sunday insert was delivered to about 70 million homes just a few years ago, but recently, that number had fallen to about 18 million, according to Newsosaur.

Among the outlets still distributing USA Weekend until this past Sunday was The Argus-Press.

Thirty employees are displaced with the fold, and the exit of USA Weekend hands the market to Parade Magazine, whose current distribution is 32 million; half of what it was just years ago, Newsosaur says.

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Newsosaur, a blog published by former Chicago Sun-Times and San Francisco Chronicle editor, Alan D. Mutter, recently featured an article about the changing landscape of newspapers, moving from the traditional print model to the digital model. Now, 77% of classified ad sales are digital, the article says. 

In mid-December, DurandNOW.com first announced a change to its Classifieds section for 2015, aiming to capitalize on the money shift. Since its launch, DurandNOW.com has utilized Craigslist listings for its Classifieds content. Beginning next year, ads will be sold for $10.

December 31st

[2016] Popular Radio Host Heard for Decades On Area Stations Is Leaving Local Airwaves
Radio listeners have two big countdowns on their mind. The first is the countdown to 2017. The second is the countdown to John Garabedian’s last show as host of the long-running “All Cool, All Request” Open House Party! For fans of Garabedian and his three-decade career as host of ‘the biggest party on the planet,’ fortunately, his departure, which was originally planned to coincide with the ringing in of the new year, has been delayed slightly.

Garabedian will remain behind the mic “at least through January” he told Durand's Josh Strickland in an interview on Lansing radio station 97.5 NOW FM. The pair talked about Garabedian’s new book, The Harmony of Parts, that walks readers through Garabedian’s life; from childhood, through his awkward teenage years to becoming an adult exploring love and relationships and carving out his space as a legendary figure in pop culture and broadcasting, the book has it all.
Garabedian scoffed at the idea of retirement, telling Strickland he’s just ready for the next thing — though he couldn’t say exactly what that is yet.

He explained his feelings as a dutiful broadcaster to offer an empowering and inspiring takeaway for his audience; sentiments of identifying what it is you want in life and going after it “with gusto,” with a simple offering as he closes each show, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow, but most important, be your dream.”

The internationally syndicated radio program, Open House Party, airs every Saturday and Sunday night from 7 to midnight on 97.5 NOW FM and other radio stations throughout the state, including CK 105.5 in Flint.

Josh Strickland is also the founder and publisher of Durand Now.

Listen to the entire interview below!