Today in History: Pine River District Targeted for E-Learning Pilot Program | New

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August 17, 1922

A serious car accident was averted when the infant son of Salvation Army Captain Clifford spun the wheel of his father’s car and crashed over the sidewalk at Bert Brown’s residence on Spruce St. The machine stood on the pavement in front of the chapel on the steep hill of Spruce Street. The youngster dropped the car and happily steered it onto the brown lawn. If he had come down the hill, he would have destroyed a store across the street or possibly crashed into a passing car on Mitchell. The speed a car would acquire on the hill would mean a terrible accident. A few yards to the left of the residence Brown, who was hit on the corner, allegedly knocked the machine into a pit at the back of the Big Four block.

August 17, 1972

There is nothing sophisticated or presumptuous about Mrs. Robert Helsel of Lake City, who is the only woman to ever serve as Missaukee County Commissioner. Jessie Helsel proudly admits she’s a farmer, but is more reticent about her duties as commissioner than “keeping the fellows in order!” At 62, Jessie is the oldest member of the council and her 14 years are the longest. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, sits on the Complaints Committee and the Four County Board of Health. “They need a woman’s opinion,” Jessie said. “Once they paid 10 cents each to have clothes washed for the prison. At that time, new ones only cost 10 cents each. Jessie also saw the need to redecorate the sheriff’s house when there was a change in that office. She said: ‘The upstairs bedrooms in the Sheriff’s Residence wouldn’t have been so small if a woman had planned them. Men never think about things like that or redecorating. “There is a real need for more women in government,” Jessie said. She has a sensible view of women’s liberation, feeling that women make a fool of themselves when they join in radical protests such as bra burning. She is a firm believer that women should receive equal pay for equal work and often comes across cases where this point needs to be debated. Jessie is no more shy about standing up for what she believes in than chopping off a chicken’s head. Currently, she worries about the growing number of “benefactors” making claims through the county commission. She said, “I guess everything is fine, but people are asking for too many services and not learning how to take care of themselves.

August 17, 1997

A proposed creative use of the Internet could be a net gain for area students struggling to graduate from high school. The Pine River School District has taken a leadership position in the state to use the internet to educate students who have traditionally fallen through the cracks – medical issues, teen pregnancy, truancy, expulsion due to behavior/weapons, family at risk students and home schooled students. The district is seeking a waiver from the state that would allow it to count Internet-educated students as it would count home-schooled students. Pine River is expected to receive $5,659 in public and local funds per student in 1997-98. School officials are also seeking a top-up grant of $300,000 for special projects that would be used to develop the software needed to implement the program. If the waiver and grant are received, a portion of the funds would be used to pay a private Grand Rapids company, Education 2020, to provide the students with the computers and set up the program. “Let’s say we have a 20-year-old single mother. With her schedule, she traditionally would not have had the opportunity to attend classes,” said Pine River School Superintendent Lon Schneider. “That way she can take the basic classes whenever she’s free.”

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