Wild police chase, that’s a boatload of tires, Columbia librarian rocks


A snapshot of April 17: A busy day in quarantine

Wild police chase ends in arrest

A wild chase with high rates of speed ended in the arrest of a 15-year-old juvenile on Friday morning, say police.

Columbia Township Interim Police Chief Jay Niles said that the incident began on the 10,000 block of Hewitt Road around 1 a.m. on April 17 after the juvenile stole a 2016 four door Dodge Ram.

Officer Keith Scrumpler responded to the call in which the truck was reported stolen from an individual’s driveway.

At approximately 4:40 a.m. the stolen vehicle was spotted in the city of Jackson. The ensuing chase led police down U.S. 127 to Jefferson Road at high rates of speed and into the village of Brooklyn, with police occasionally losing sight of the truck.

Once in the village, the suspected car thief went down Ernest Street, a dead-end road, then backed up to Marshall Street. Police continued the chase out M-124 (Wamplers Lake Highway) before the vehicle turned around and headed back to the village of Brooklyn and back out Jefferson Road.

The car chase ended at Jefferson and U.S. 127, when the truck left the road and got stuck in a swampy area.

The juvenile wasn’t ready to give up yet, however, and fled on foot. The Blackman/Leoni Department Canine Unit was called in. Niles said the unit was instrumental in locating the suspect. Michigan State Police also assisted, said Niles.

Niles said that alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The incident remains under investigation.

The juvenile has been lodged at the Jackson Youth Center. A police report was forwarded to the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, and he is being charged with fleeing and eluding, a third degree felony, and resisting and obstructing, said Niles.

Local schools participate in Friday night lights tonight

Local schools have been turning on their football field lights for 20 minutes starting at 20:20 hours (that is 8:20 p.m. for you civilians) to honor their class of 2020 seniors.

This has been a nationwide move.

Some districts have been doing it on Thursday evenings, but Columbia, Onsted and Addison are opting to do it on Fridays. “It seemed to us with the Friday night tradition that this was best,” said Columbia Superintendent Pam Campbell.

That’s a boatload of tires

This courtesy photo shows an old boat filled with tires abandoned on Hyde Road near the corner of Jefferson Road in Columbia Township.

An old yellow, stripped-down boat filled with tires was abandoned on the side of the southbound lane of Hyde Road in Columbia Township between Jefferson and White roads last Tuesday night, April 14. The boat was left on its trailer about 200 yards from the Hyde and Jefferson intersection.

“I do have some leads I’m working on to try to identify the driver or the person responsible for leaving that boat,” said Columbia Township Interim Police Chief Jay Niles. “Officially, they have not been identified yet, but I’m working towards that goal.”

The trailer had no plates and no identifying marks on it, Niles said. He added that the trailer was broken down and damaged and had a lot of rust on it. One of its tires was gone.

“The boat was pretty disheveled and broken down,” he said. Phelps Towing came and took the trailer and boat away.

Anyone with information on the boat is asked to float their theory to the Columbia Township Police at 517 592-3122.

Schools are staying in touch

Above: Connie Douglas recently made 3,800 paper books for the students in K-2 at Columbia Elementary School

How children learn is quickly changing, but paper still has a place in our society, say officials.

“We wanted to get books back in the hand of kids,” said District Superintendent Pamela Campbell, noting that some books recently copied by librarian Connie Douglas were personally dropped off by teachers to their students, “using proper social distancing, of course.”

Campbell noted that for younger students, holding reading material is especially beneficial. “This is something they will read more than once,” she said.

Like most schools, Columbia is ramping up online learning, and the changes are coming fast. “This is a very interesting time,” she said, adding that the forced online learning is opening “all sorts of options.”

“It has opened a new door for a pathway of learning,” she said, added that it can be “very taxing, as it [the information] never seems to shut off.”

Campbell also noted that not all students have access to online learning. It is important for younger students to receive the books Douglas made, and to continue reading, even though in-person classes are finished.

Douglas made between 15-20 books for the younger students.

Michigan snowbirds: “Frankly, we wish we were somewhere else”

Above: It was a snowy day in mid-April today. Photographer Deb Sautter caught this robin toughing it out in a small pile of snow. We bet that our “people snow birds” are hunkering down as well.

Turns out that today wasn’t a great day for catching worms, but the robin, and the people, know that spring in Michigan will soon change.

The Evening Snapshot is provided by The Exponent. It is being posted daily as we go through the coronavirus issue at Please, bookmark the site, check it out every evening after 5 p.m., and share. If you have a news tip or topic you would like to see highlighted in the paper or on, contact us at If you have a photo you would like to share, send to along with a brief explanation and contact information.

The joy of the Lord is your strength Neh. 8:10

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