Old Mission Gazette Top Stories of 2019, Old Mission Peninsula
Old Mission Gazette's Top Stories of 2019 | Jane Boursaw Photo
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As we head into the new year – bring it, 2020! – let’s take a look back at some of our top stories published in Old Mission Gazette during 2019. As always, there’s a lot happening in our little community, and we’re here to cover it for you. Here are just a few of those stories.

Rebecca Chown and Robin Noval sworn in as new clerk and deputy clerk. And the OMP community couldn’t be luckier to have these smart, kind souls in the clerk’s office. Read the story here.

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Group of 150 trek to Power Island on frozen West Bay. OMP resident Curt Peterson organized the excursion. Read the story here. Other activities involved a car, some bicycles and skaters at Haserot Beach.

Interviews with OMPeople. We talked with many OMPers about everything from an iconic truck door to short-term rentals. Read our interviews with Marty Reay, Vi Solomonson and Dave Sanger, to name a few.

Whale spotted off Old Mission Harbor. Yes, you read that right. It happened on April 1st, before the whale migration season really kicked in. We were as surprised as anyone. Read the story here.

Artist Paul LaPorte wins Lighthouse Wine Label contest. The competition was fierce, but the voters (and dollars) spoke, and Paul reigned supreme. Read the story here.

Township scraps proposed blight ordinance. After a tense public hearing, officials decided to ditch the proposal and start from scratch with a citizen committee. Read the story here.

New principal hired for Old Mission Peninsula School. Rick Couturier’s diverse background includes teaching and school administration, and he also worked as a marketing rep and golf pro. Best of all, he’s great with kids. Read the story here.

Peter Dougherty House opens as a museum and historic site. And there’s a group of hard-working volunteers to thank for it. See grand opening photos and read the story here.

Lawrence Mlujeak’s iconic garage near Haserot Beach demolished. The unassuming little building held a lot of history in its walls. Read the story here.

Fifth Annual Old Mission Parade draws crowd. Could this be the final parade in the little village? Read the story here.

Log Cabin Day promotes OMP history. The annual event featured a historic quilt from Connie Sargent, a blacksmithing demonstration by Brendan Keenan, and tours of the Dougherty House, Hessler Log Home, and Mission Point Lighthouse. Read the story here.

Neahtawanta Inn folks look on bright side of dock destruction. The storm was fierce, but it didn’t dampen the positive spirit of these good folks. (Wine was involved.) Read the story here.

AcenTek lays fiber optic line throughout Peninsula. They promise Internet speeds that’ll leap tall barns in a single bound. Read the story here.

Rocko Fouch talks selling farm. The lifelong OMP farmer invited residents to bring a bucket and come get some cherries. Read the story here, and read why new Turkish import tariffs might spell relief for OMP cherry farmers here.

New Peninsula Community Library opens. And it’s a beautiful sight after volunteers worked tirelessly to make it happen. Read the story and see grand opening photos here.

Township Board votes to move Haserot Boat Launch. It’s new home? Nearby Kelley Park. Read the story here.

Cameras installed at Lighthouse Park. And a few signs, as well, all to foil partygoers in the park. Read the story here.

OMPS closed for electrical issues. A wayward bird tried to keep the kids from learning, but the staff and teachers would have none of it. Read how they made sweet lemonade out of lemons here.

Peninsula Fire Department moves forward. With new new vehicles, a new fire station, and an open house. Read about it here and here.

Haserot Beach dock destroyed by wind and waves. It had a good run, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Read the story here.

OMP shoreline pummeled by high water and erosion. It was a blustery and earth-changing year around the Peninsula. See photos here, here, here and here, and read about the Shoreline Workshop organized by OMP resident Monnie Peters here.

“81 on East Bay” development vandalized. Traverse City hand surgeon Mark Leslie is facing felony charges, with sentencing scheduled for Jan. 16, 2020. Read the stories here and here.

Changes to M37 in limbo. Peninsula Township officials opposed the transfer of Center Road from MDOT to the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. But the story doesn’t have an ending yet. Read about it here.

OMPS Awarded $650,000 Michigan Charter Schools Grant. Read about their plans for the funds here.

Community Bids Farewell to Rich VanderMey. The beloved retired fire chief of the Peninsula Fire Department will be greatly missed. Read the story here.

And last but not least…

Old Mission Gazette shifts to a community-supported publishing model. Thank you, Dear Readers, for supporting us and sticking with our “work in progress”! Read about it here.

Want to read ALL the stories we covered in 2019 (and the past five years)? Click here.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. Thank you Jane and Tim for all your time and effort with the interviews, pictures and research involved in each project. Keep Keeping On!


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