Q. Reader Laura (Cohn) Knight, who grew up in Alpena but now lives in North Carolina,
was surprised to read in the Asheville, N.C., newspaper that DeVere of Alpena is doing bridge work on I-96. She asks, "How did DeVere get started?"
A. In 1980 there were federal and state construction fund dollars being set aside for minority and women-owned businesses, so the four siblings of the Crittenden family (Mike and Dick Crittenden, Cindy Crittenden Gabara, and Cheryl Crittenden Lumsden) and their mother (Hazel Crittenden) started DeVere Construction Company, Inc. with Cindy, Cheryl and Hazel being the majority stockholders. They all had previous experience in the construction founded by Red and Hazel Crittenden in 1967. In 1992, the four siblings purchased DeVere from their parents and they are no longer considered a woman-owned enterprise.
Today DeVere has grown so that it is registered in 23 states. Alpena is the main office with other offices in Raleigh, N.C. (the second largest), Sault Ste. Marie, and Shreveport, La.
More on electoral votes
Q. Reader Bill Nethercut points out that the electoral votes answer in the previous column is correct but misleading.
A. Listed in the previous column were presidents who were elected by electoral votes, but did not have a majority of the popular vote because third-party candidates split the votes.
Wikipedia also states: Four presidents were elected after losing the popular vote. John Quincy Adams in 1824 (Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, but the election was decided by the U.S. House of Representatives); Rutherford Hayes in 1876 (Samuel Tilden won the popular vote); Benjamin Harrison in 1888 (incumbent president Grover Cleveland won the popular vote; and George W. Bush in 2000 (Al Gore won the popular vote).
Q. What was happening in Alpena in December, 1914?
A. Early historian John C. Viall kept a record of Alpena events in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For December 1914, he reported:
"Dec. 8 ... First passenger train of B.C.G.&A. entered Atlanta.
Dec. 11 ... Second annual carnival of Alpena High school.
Dec. 14 ... Fire at Alpena Gas Co. plant, loss $7500.
Dec 16 ... Lifesaving crews went out of commission for 1914.
Dec. 19 ... Close of navigation. Two inches of snow.
Dec. 21 ... Six inches of snow, first sleighing of the season, wagons and sleighs in use.
Dec. 24 ... Bertha, 3 year old daughter of Julius Schultz of Hubbard Lake, burned to death.
Dec. 25 ... Three degrees below zero.
Dec. 31 ... Fire in residence of Wm. H. Brown, 902 Washington avenue"
Please send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to "Questions, Anyone?" Alpena News, 130 Park Place, Alpena, MI 49707.