April 2nd, 2009
The cost of living is expensive, but so is the cost of dying, and because of this, many people are turning to cremations.
Charles Lux, director and owner of Lux Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant says that cremations have been on the rise for about the past ten years.
Cremations typically cost less than traditional funerals, which can range anywhere from $8,000 and up.
A cremation costs several thousand dollars less. An even cheaper alternative is a direct cremation with no service or obituary announcement. That costs less than $2,000.
Even those who choose a traditional burial are finding ways to save money. Sherm Rowly, manager of Helms Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant, said that people are saving money by purchasing less expensive caskets and vaults.
Some families are holding services and visitations on the same day to save money, and others are keeping the entire service at the funeral home to eliminate the cost of renting a hearse.
The National Vital Statistics Department reported that thirty-four percent of United States deaths were cremations in 2006, and that number is expected to rise.
This is an old story from my school's newspaper, CM-Life. I worked there my freshman and sophomore years.
Caul named Michigan’s best legislator by action agency
Leadership skills, support earn honor for representative
By: Staff Reporter">Sarah MillerStaff Reporter Issue date: 4/28/06
State representative district 99, which encompasses Isabella County, is home to the 2006 Legislator of the Year.
The Michigan Community Action Agency Association awarded Bill Caul, R-Mount Pleasant, with that distinction Monday.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Caul said. “I hold the MCAAA in my highest regard.”
The award is given annually every April to one of Michigan’s 148 senators and representatives.
Sandy Caul, Bill’s wife, received the award in 2003, making the pair the first husband and wife to both earn the honor.
MCAAA promotes 30 community action agencies within the state. These agencies offer a variety of services to low-income individuals and families.
The award is given to a legislator who has shown leadership and support for the agencies, said the association’s event coordinator Mike Shalley.
“Caul was instrumental in getting legislation passed during this session,” he said.
The legislator sponsored House Bill 525B in February. It supported the right for each community action agency to set their own term limits for their board of directors, or allow no term limits at all.
“We wanted to show our appreciation with this award,” Shalley said.
EightCAP is the community action agency serving Isabella, Gratiot, Ionia and Montcalm counties.
According to their Web site, http://www.eightcap.org, the agency helps the poor with credits for income taxes and prescription drugs, provides emergency services and food supplements and also helps educate the community about barriers that keep people in poverty.
Caul said he supported these community action agencies.
“In the CAA, action is the operative word,” he said. “They are a great resource for the community.”
Caul is in his first term in office and serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police/Military. He also is on the higher education subcommittee.
The number one priority for Michigan is jobs and the economy, he said, adding Mount Pleasant is unique because the university allows for more job opportunities.
“The central Michigan community has a great deal of potential as CMU continues to grow,” Caul said. “It’s a great part of Mount Pleasant’s success.”
Another story from CM-Life....
National Adoption Month under way
By: Staff Reporter">Sarah Miller Staff Reporter Issue date: 11/16/05
Emmons Residence Hall Director Nathan Tomson is expecting.
The baby could come any time and could be any race and either gender.
“I told my parents when I was 11 years old that I would adopt a child,” Tomson said.
Tomson’s quest to have a child is almost over and just at the right time, too, as November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
With no preference on gender or ethnicity – only requesting the child is a baby and from the United States – Tomson started the process in June and now his dream of becoming a parent is only a phone call away.
The adoption agency gave him an 18-month window for locating a child; they could find one tomorrow or next summer.
Nov. 22 is Michigan Adoption Day, a statewide effort to raise awareness about the thousands of children in foster care waiting to find permanent families. The Isabella County Trial Court is inviting the public to participate in its celebration on Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Isabella County Building.
Judge William T. Ervin and Department of Human Services staff members will be available to answer questions.
Informational handouts and refreshments will be provided and anyone interested in adopting a foster child is welcome.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s research shows there are roughly 500,000 children in foster care in the United States, 118,000 of whom are available for adoption into a permanent family.
Some students and staff at CMU are adopted, but lack any kind of organization, Tomson said.
“You don’t understand what people are going through unless you are going through it with them,” he said. “I would like for all of us to get together to talk about things. When you adopt, you are encouraged to get involved with a support group.”
Adoption, like pregnancy, is a life-changing event, Tomson said.
“I’ve learned so much about myself and the decisions that go into being a parent,” he said.
At Planned Parenthood, adoption is given as an option to women who experience an unplanned pregnancy. A woman or a couple can terminate their rights to a newborn child so it can be placed in a new home.
However, the birth parents will no longer be able to raise the child and the adoptive family will gain all legal rights to the child in question. Despite the large number of kids in foster homes, some still see adoption as a better alternative to abortion.
Holland senior Kylee Vanek said she was an “accident” and many of her mother’s family members suggested she have an abortion.
“Knowing that I could not exist as an alternative makes me appreciate so much more my reality, but it also makes me angry at times that some of the people I love the most in the world would never have known me if my mom hadn’t had me,” said Vanek, who was adopted by her step-father when she was five.
Myths about adoption say a person looking to adopt must be married, must be a homeowner, must be wealthy and must be the same ethnicity as the child. None of these are true.
The requirements for most adoptions are that a person must be at least 25, must have a steady income and must provide a loving and caring home for the adopted child. Adoption laws differ from state to state.
“I think that a family is something you create and that doesn’t have anything to do with your genetic makeup or sharing the same last name,” Vanek said. “Family is about knowing that you are loved and showing that to the people that you care about every day.”