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Beacon Archive

September 2002
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On This Date:

Ten years Ago:

The September issue, the Glendons' first, sported a "new look," going to a justified three-column format with tighter graphics.
The featured story concerned the Medical Center's efforts to obtain federal designation as a Rural Health Clinic, a prerequisite for continued federal funding. The article mentioned that Mike McGinnity was about to begin training to become a Physician's Assistant. Other articles boasted that our school enrollment had improved from 78 to 82, that the co-ed soccer team had won a tournament, and that the YETP was having some degree of success with its Lighthouse School. Bill Freese was profiled in this twelve-page issue.

Twenty Years Ago:

This old-style Beacon contained a calendar as a front page, listing the Sweet Adelines meeting every Monday and Waist Watchers every Tuesday. The CMU Closing Party came early–on September 25th. Inside, the DNR reported the August temperatures, which ranged from 36 to 80 degrees. Ham Gebert supplied a Deputy's Report, in which he cautioned against "Wagging Tongues." "There have been several wagging tongues lately discussing various topics–some informed, some uninformed, some misinformed. The old adage certainly applies: 'Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see'."
This was a sad time for Beaver Island. The Beacon reported the deaths of Musette LaFreniere and Perry Gatliff, and told the story of the three Ken boys who were lost at sea. Johnny (17), Denny (13), and Kenny (16) Kenwabikise were in the habit of checking their nets out near the two-mile buoy in the morning before going to school. On September 2nd they rose at 4:30 a.m. and set off in a small boat with a bad reputation in weather that was more like late October. When they failed to return, a search was mounted with boats and planes, but it had no luck and was called off at dark. It was resumed early the next morning, with added help from 9 State Police divers. A net box and chart from their boat were found at Pete Manitou's Bay on Garden Island that afternoon. The next day divers found the bodies of Denny and Kenny near the sunken boat not far from their nets. Johnny's body was found at Grape Island the next day by Bucky Vreeland, who had ridden to Pete Manitou's Bay with Dick Burris. The loss of these fine young men threw a pall over Beaver Island for some time, and it hangs over us still.

Thirty Years Ago:

The Island was proud that after several delays, the King's Highway was finally paved. Twenty years later the law suit against the Road Commission was underway; when they tore it up, we had not understood that funds to replace it were not yet guaranteed.

Sixty-six students enrolled for the start of school. Four Sisters served as teachers and staff. In this time of declining population, three new residents were welcomed who would come to play a significant role in shaping the Island's future: Phyllis Townsend, Vivian Visscher, and Dave and Shirley Gladish.

Forty Years Ago:

In this last issue for Burdene Stromberg before Lil and Phil Gregg took over, an apology was made for prematurely reporting the death of Charles LaBelaunga, which was forced on them by Mr. LaBelaunga arriving from Munising for the Homecoming festivities. It turned out the mistake was not the editor's fault: there were two Charles LaBelaungas, and the one who had lived on Beaver Island was not the one who had died.

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