Photos by Cheryl Holladay, Thomas Reznich and Glenn Schicker
May COMFORT ON THE WAY TO SAFETY Hilltop Manor Health Care Center Social Services Director Polly Eckerly comforts a patient waiting for transport during an evacuation of the facility caused by the Meridian Boundary Fire north of Roscommon at around 4:30 p.m. May 18. Over 8,500 acres of forest in Crawford County were scorched by the fire. February TRUCK TRAP Workers from Phil’s Towing go to work cutting away part of a slab of ice on Higgins Lake that cracked off as a pickup truck attempted to pass over it Feb. 19. The slab, located on the edge of a long pressure crack, was about 60 feet long, 14 feet wide and ranged in thickness from 14 to 18 inches. After initially stopping the truck, the ice kept tilting toward its passenger side until it opened like a trap door, allowing the truck to plummet 38 feet to the bottom of the lake, then closing like a vault door. March LANDMARK COMES DOWN The main trunk of St. Helen’s “shoe tree” lies beside F-97, where Roscommon County Road Commission workers pushed it after vandals cut it down with a chain saw the first week of March. September HAPPY AND SAFE Brody Fancisco, 9 months, waits patiently as his mother, Meghan Herbst of Lake City, is assisted by State Police Trooper Brad Stimac in installing a child safety seat in her vehicle. Herbst said her son had outgrown the seat he was using, but that she wasn’t sure whether he would fit his new, front-facing seat properly, so she sought out Stimac, who is a certified child restraint technician for help. November BACK ON THE ROAD Gray’s Towing Service, Inc., of Flint, Bud’s Wrecker Service of Grand Rapids and Roscommon Auto Recyclers slowly right a tractor-trailer back onto M-55 Nov. 22 at the intersection of M-55 and M-18 in Prudenville. The driver misjudged the curve at the intersection, “ran out of space” and tipped over around 4 a.m. Nov. 21. January TO TRAVEL OTHER TRAILS Snow boots used by youths in the Nokomis Challenge Center’s experiential wilderness program line the wall of a hallway at the facility during its closing in early January. The boots and other equipment were distributed to other programs in the state. June THE LAST BUS St. Helen Elementary staff members wave goodbye to their students taking the final bus out of the school yard June 10. The Roscommon Area Public Schools Board of Education in September, 2009, voted to consolidate St. Helen Elementary with Roscommon Elementary. July HARD-EARNED SOLACE Laurie Smith Tudor, 57, of Higgins Lake, pulls a wagon full of sonar equipment out to her boat for a few more hours of searching for her father, almost 49 years after he went missing in the lake on Nov. 25, 1961. While her three years of searching the lake haven’t turned up any sign of her father or the boat that he was lost in, Smith Tudor’s search has provided her with a hard-earned solace, and peace with the notion that she may never find him. April SHORT SUMMER Jenessa McPherson, 3, of Midland gets a whole lot of help filling her bucket with sand from Brooklynn Gregor, 1 1/2, of Houghton Lake at the Heights Beach on Houghton Lake April 2. An 81 degree high that day set a record for the date. August COME ON IN (Right) The Dodworth Saxhorn Band, based in Ann Arbor, plays on the bike path in front of the Houghton Lake Public Library Aug. 21 during the opening reception of Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” at the library October CLOSE CALL Joe Michalski, Nestel Road, Prudenville, and his wife, Joan, had just come home Oct. 27 when they noticed a pine tree leaning in their yard. They moved their truck before the tree fell on a back bedroom, splitting the roof truss. No one was injured in the incident. This damage came from a wind storm that blew through Roscommon County Oct. 26th and 27th. December BOBCATS HIT THE BIG FLOOR Houghton Lake senior guard Katie Trahan (right) and Lake City defender Tetje Crossen are dwarfed by a Detroit Pistons logo on the basketball floor at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a varsity game Dec. 19. Both the girls and boys squads from Houghton Lake got a chance to play on the big floor.