Kowall awards Certificates of Recognition to Michigan State Fair Urban & Rural Scholarship winners

For Immediate Release                                                                                               
Oct. 31, 2013      
Contact: Dave Biswas
Phone: (517) 373-1758

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Mike Kowall recognized the Michigan State Fair Scholarship recipients during Senate session Wednesday. The group includes students from ten different Michigan counties.

In total, the Michigan State Fair scholarships amounted to $20,000 and went to recipients from kindergarten to college and from both inner-city to rural communities. The scholarship program awards winners in two categories: urban farming, whose initiatives are a cornerstone in helping neighborhoods thrive; and rural farming, which is carrying on the rich tradition of Michigan farming.

“It’s always a pleasure to commend such well-deserving young men and women,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “These fine Michiganders, representing 10 Michigan counties, are leaders and role models, and I hope they use these funds to further their education and become even more successful.”

Kowall advocated for Michigan residents to help these groups continue to award students representing Michigan’s second leading industry and to allow programs such as 4-H, Edible Schoolyard Project and Michigan Urban Farming Initiative to continue to award scholarships to such worth recipients.

The 2013 scholarship winners (some of whom aren’t pictured) are: Mya Bell, Alair Bergman, Sovoya DavisSarah Frank, Megan Heydlauff, Alana Hutka, Lynette Jackson, Olivia Jannert.  De’Anthony Jefferson,Joseph Linton-Agnello, Tierra Modock, Jody Newton II, Samantha Newton, Sarah Panone, Delaney Pantalone, Piper Pantalone, Alexandra Reau, Ariel Reed,Cedric Russ, Dayjah Russ, Alexandria Schut, Grace Scigaj, Joshua Scramlin, Maghen Smith, Noah Steinberg, Casanovis Cody Williams, Dawann Gary Williams, Devon James Williams and Tara Wilson.

Also present on the Senate Floor were Rep. Hugh Crawford, R-Novi; Blair Bowman, president of the Suburban Collection Showplace and CEO of the Michigan State Fair LLC.; Sen. Kowall, Jackie & L.C. Scramlin; Jack Riley of Fifth Third Bank; Craig Stigleman of Shriners Club of Detroit; and Kent Roberts, chairman of the scholarship committee and steering committee member.

Sen. Kowall Helps with ‘Burning’ Demonstration at West Bloomfield High

From West Bloomfield Patch

While taking a tour of West Bloomfield High School last month, Michigan State Senator Mike Kowall, who represents West Bloomfield Township in the 15th District, visited 12 classrooms including Mervet Ismail’s Honors Chemistry class.

The senator was somewhat reluctant when Ismail asked him if he would like to light her hand on fire, but he agreed to participate in the experiment. Kowall appeared surprised when Ismail's hand caught fire, but was happy to have played a part in the demonstration–and nobody was injured.

As he toured classrooms ranging from 9th grade Engineering Academy, where students were learning to build bridges, to the Laker Express Honors Choir, which performed the National Anthem under the direction of Sheryl Hauk, Kowall said, “I have been looking forward to visiting West Bloomfield High School to see first hand why it is consistently ranked among the best in our nation.”

Principal Tom Shelton, Assistant Principals Mara Hoffert, Arthur Ebert, and Pat Watson all joined the senator as he toured classrooms, including the high school’s state-of-the-art TV Studio where Ashley Teffer teaches the school district’s popular Video Journalism course.

In the Advanced Marketing classes, students get a true sense of the common principles of the marketing mix in the school’s own store, Laker Landing. Kowall walked out with a Laker baseball cap from teacher Eric Pierce.

Counselor Lisa Graff shared some of the school's unique programs, including Political Leadership and Medical Mentorship programs. Assistant principal and athletic director Pat Watson also noted that “we have a multitude of athletic activities for students to choose from as well, and now have our own Equestrian team."

Kowall said “most districts around the nation can’t hold a candle to what we’re doing in Oakland County, and the schools in my district.”

Spinal Column: Now is the time to replace historic Civil War cannons on the Capitol lawn

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District
About 70 years ago, two Civil War cannons, historic artifacts of great significance to Michigan's military and cultural heritage, disappeared from the state Capitol lawn.
It is widely believed that the cannons, which belonged to the renowned Loomis Battery, led by General Cyrus O. Loomis of Coldwater, disappeared during a World War II scrap metal drive and were melted down to support the nation's war effort.
It is unfortunate that the Loomis Battery cannons, symbols of Michigan's involvement in our nation's defense of freedom, were lost to history and no longer adorn the Capitol grounds. But this situation can be rectified, and now is an appropriate time to do so.
We are in the middle of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861 – 1865). During the next several years, U.S. citizens, including millions of Michiganders, will commemorate this anniversary. 
To help memorialize Michigan's honorable involvement in the war, my colleague Sen. Steve Bieda and I are spearheading an effort to place replicas of the Loomis Battery cannons at the Capitol, flanking the walkway that leads to the front entrance of the building-where the original cannons had been placed after the Civil War.
We consider this a legacy project for the Capitol building and for the state itself. Many people don't realize that in addition to being a functioning office building where elected officials conduct the people's business, the Capitol also functions as a working museum. The building is rich with historical significance.
Restoring replicas of the Loomis Battery cannons will reestablish some of that significance. It is a fitting memorial to the brave members of the Loomis Battery and other Michigan soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of the Civil War to secure liberty.
We must do all we can to remember these soldiers and honor their sacrifice.
The Loomis Battery was made up of local volunteer soldiers of the Coldwater Light Artillery. The battery participated in many significant Civil War battles, including the second deadliest battle of the entire war, Chickamauga, and the battles of Perryville and Stones River.
The state supplied a large number of troops and several generals to the Union forces, including George Armstrong Custer. Governor Austin Blair sent seven regiments at the beginning of the war when asked to supply no more than four. When Michigan's 1st volunteers arrived, President Abraham Lincoln remarked, "Thank God for Michigan."
Thank God for Michigan, indeed.
Sen. Bieda and I are working with the Oakland County Community Club to raise private dollars to reinstate the Loomis Battery cannons. The project will be funded solely through private donations; no taxpayer money will be expended. You may donate to the cannon project through the Oakland County Community Club, 47504 South Fork Road, Macomb, MI 48004.
I encourage anyone interested in local history and Michigan's involvement in the Civil War to help return the cannons to the Capitol grounds through a contribution.
It is a tragedy that the Loomis Battery cannons were lost. But with a little community involvement, we believe we can raise the funds necessary to replicate the battery and restore the cannons to their rightful place guarding the state Capitol entrance.
Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Note: This column first appeared in the Spinal Column.

Novi Patch: 4 Novi School Libraries Achieve Exemplary Status

State Senator Mike Kowall and Director of District Affairs Lynn O'Brien, 15th district, honored four Novi school librarians and their libraries at Thursday's school board meeting. 
"I love my job so I'm excited to be getting honored for doing my job," said Bethany Bratney, librarian at Novi High School, at the reception before the meeting.
The library media centers achieved exemplary status in the Library of Michigan's School Library 21: Measurement Criteria for Michigan School Libraries for 21st Century Schools program. The program recognizes and commends performance by K-12 libraries. The librarians received special recognition for leading their libraries' efforts in achieving that status.