[an error occurred while processing this directive]

400-plus year old tree to get big makeover

Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014 |
400-plus year old tree to get big makeover story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A 400-year-old tree in Kalamazoo County is getting a big makeover.

The huge tree in Portage died last year, but one local developer just couldn't let it go.

So now, he's working to turn its stump into something really special.

Matt Milks says he worked tirelessly to keep the old tree alive for the past 17 years.

Now, he hopes the tree's spirit will live on, thanks to a dream and a chainsaw.

Professional wood carver Jerry Ward isn't destroying the tree, but rather transforming it.

"I want something that's very ferocious looking," he said.

Although you can't see it quite yet, Ward says he's got plans for the tree.

"This is going to be a bear, as powerful looking a bear as I can present with that stump to do justice to the tree," he said.

The 400-year-old tree would have been chopped down years ago, and gone forever if it weren't for the determination of local developer Matt Milks.

"We came across this tree and I said, 'this tree is not gonna come down,'" Milks said.

Milks is the Vice President of construction for Meijer C. Weiner, and says when they started developing the complex for Gander Mountain, he took on the tree as a passion project.

"We tried to nurture the tree through hot summers, cold winters, things like that, and it just wasn't making it," Milks said. "I thought, 'well, we would like to keep it alive or keep some part of it alive versus just cutting it down, slabbing it out and maybe making a table out of it,' I thought, let's try to get a hold of a carver."

Ward still has several days of work to do on the old tree, but once he's done, the old bear will stand guard over Portage for generations to come.

"The spirit of the tree itself is there," Milks said.

Everyone is welcome to come check out the carving in action over the next few days.

Ward expects to be done carving the bear by next Wednesday.
comments powered by Disqus

Business News

Last Update on August 19, 2014 17:11 GMT

CONSUMER PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices rose in July, at the slowest pace in five months.

The Labor Department says consumer prices edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent last month, after larger gains of 0.3 percent in June and 0.4 percent in May.

The July price restraint came from falling gasoline prices, which had surged in June. All energy prices were down 0.3 percent and this helped offset a 0.4 percent rise in food costs, which have been pushed up by adverse weather including a drought in California.

Over the past 12 months, consumer inflation is up 2 percent while inflation excluding food and energy is up 1.9 percent. Price gains around 2 percent are considered moderate and meet the 2 percent inflation target set by the Federal Reserve.

Analysts believe overall prices will moderate further in coming months, helped by moderation in energy costs.

HOME CONSTRUCTION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home construction rebounded in July, rising to the fastest pace in eight months and offering hope that housing has regained momentum after two months of declines.

The Commerce Department says construction increased 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes. That was the fastest pace since November and followed declines of 4 percent in June and 7.4 percent in May.

Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, also showed strength in July, advancing 8.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after declines of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May.

The July rebound reflected strength in single-family home construction, which rose 8.3 percent, and in apartment construction, which was up 33 percent.

EARNS-HOME DEPOT

ATLANTA (AP) -- Home Depot's fiscal second-quarter net income increased 14 percent thanks to a rebound in its spring selling season.

Spring is the biggest season for home-improvement retailers, as homeowners and others work on their yards and gardens. While the season started off a bit cold and rainy, weather improved and shoppers headed out to stores to pick up supplies.

For the three months ended Aug. 3, Home Depot Inc. earned $2.05 billion, or $1.52 per share. A year earlier it earned $1.8 billion, or $1.24 per share.

Home Depot's stock gained $2.53, or 3 percent, to $86.12 before the market open.

Revenue climbed nearly 6 percent to $23.81 billion from $22.52 billion. This beat Wall Street's forecast of $23.57 billion.

EARNS-DICK'S

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) -- Dick's Sporting Goods says its net income fell 17 percent in its fiscal second quarter, but its result still beat analysts' expectations and its shares rose in premarket trading.

The sporting goods retailer says it cut jobs in its golf business because of weaker demand for golf gear and services, but it doesn't say how many employees were let go.

The company says profit fell in the second quarter to $69.5 million from $84.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, came to 67 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 65 cents per share.

Shares of Dick's Sporting Goods rose 5.7 percent to $45.97 in premarket trading today.

EARNS-TJX

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- TJX says its second-quarter net income climbed 8 percent as sales strengthened in the U.S. and abroad.

The results for the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores topped Wall Street's view. TJX also lifted its full-year earnings forecast, citing its better-than-expected second-quarter performance.

TJX earned $517.6 million for the period ended Aug. 2. That compares with $479.6 million a year earlier.

RECARO-CHILD SEAT RECALL

DETROIT (AP) -- Recaro is recalling more than 39,000 child safety seats because they can let a child's head move too far in a crash.

The recall covers ProSport model 385 seats made from June 16, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2013. The problem happens when the seats are installed with the lower latch anchors and without the top tether.

Recaro will notify owners and provide set of new instructions telling owners not to use the lower latch system with a child weighing 40 or more pounds. The company also will send a new instruction label for the seat.

The problem was discovered in testing by Recaro. The company says in documents sent to U.S. safety regulators that it cannot determine if the problem caused any injuries.

BRITA-RECALL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brita is recalling more than 242,000 children's water filter bottles because the bottle lid can break or crack, possibly causing serious cuts.

Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking, but no injuries have been reported.

The recalled bottles are a violet bottle with Dora the Explorer, a pink bottle with Hello Kitty, a blue bottle with SpongeBob Square Pants and a green one with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Each bottle has a Brita logo and white lid. And they're 6 inches tall and hold 15 ounces of liquid.

Consumers can return the bottles for a full refund. Information is at www.brita.com .

advertisement
advertisement