Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Intentional Act or Drunken Negligence?

Mystery still shrouds hit and run death of Kellyann Boyce Hurlbert

Patrick Sullivan - July 22nd, 2013  

Police reached over 400 tips in the case of the July 5 hit and run death of Kellyann (Boyce) Hurlbert, but all of that information from the public so far hasn’t helped investigators get any closer to solving the case.

“We’re still basically at the same place we were on the fifth,” Capt. Mike Ayling, who is heading up the investigation, said last Wednesday.

The lack of progress is in stark contrast to the amount of effort investigators have put into the case. Investigators have followed up on every tip.

The FBI and the Michigan State Police recently joined the investigation. The state police can help design a crash reconstruction model that could be used at a trial, if the case reaches that point.


There are reasons to believe the hit and run was an intentional act.

First, there are the other similar crashes, one on June 28, 2012, when a pregnant 31-year-old was run down, breaking her leg, and another on July 5, 2010, when a 39-yearold woman was struck.

All three cases happened late at night, at roughly the same time of year, and each case involved a dark-colored truck. Each one involved a woman alone on her bicycle late at night. Each woman was headed east.

Another indicator in Hurlbert’s case that she was struck intentionally was that there was a parked car not far in front of the location of the initial impact, Ayling said.

That car would have been difficult for someone who was drunk to maneuver around, he said, yet the person who struck Hurlbert was able to avoid the car.


On the other hand, this hit and run has characteristics of a drunk driver crash.

“The evidence at the scene suggests a drunk driver to me, but that doesn’t change how we’re investigating it,” Ayling said. “We’re looking at all possibilities.”

At the scene, the skid marks on the road show the driver overcorrected as they went around the turn, a signature of a drunk driver, he said.

Also, the time of night, close to closing time at bars, points toward a drunk driver, Ayling said.

Ultimately, Ayling said it can’t be determined for certain whether or not this was intentional.

“I don’t know. I wish I did,” he said.


The bulk of the tips that have come in have been about vehicles with front-end damage, Ayling said.

Police now believe it is likely the crash was initially low-impact and there was no damage to the suspect’s vehicle.

“We’re not convinced that there was any damage to the vehicle,” he said. “We don’t know if there’s damage or not, but we feel there probably isn’t.”

There was no evidence left behind at the scene that suggested damage. No bits of car parts or anything like that.

Police are looking for a medium sized or smaller dark pickup or possibly an SUV. They haven’t ruled out a silver vehicle, because silver can look black in the dark, but a tip about about a silver vehicle seen near the crash is no longer considered credible, he said.


Ayling said the city planned to resurface part of Washington and Railroad streets to clean up the terrifying skid marks left behind by the hit and run.

He said the city had received complaints about the disturbing marks on the road.

Workers tried to clean them off with street sweepers, which went over them several times, but that didn’t work.

Anyone with any information about the crash can still call investigators.

Detectives assigned to the case can be reached at (231) 995-5152 or anonymous tips can be called in at (231) 947-8477.

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