Our Authors

We have a great many very talented people who contribute to this publication. Just click on the authors name to see more info.

Authors headshot imageAl Eicher

Al Eicher is a native of Michigan, growing up in Pigeon. He served in the Army Signal Corp near the end of the Korean War. He attended Bay City Jr. College, Delta College, the National Institute of Technology, and Wayne State Business School. His television broadcast and engineering career started at WNEM-TV. Five years later, he and his friend, Ray Lane, bought the WMIC Radio station near Houghton Lake and West Branch. Leaving radio, he freelanced on engineering projects and directed Red Wing Hockey games from Olympia Stadium. At Campbell Ewald Advertising in the 1960s, after eight years in the Creative Dept. where TV commercials for the Diana Shore Show, Bonanza, Route 66, Bewitched, and other TV shows were created, he became vice president of the Video Production Division. A few years later, Al joined a newly formed company in Farmington called Magnetic Video Corporation, becoming vice president and general manager. Five years later, the company was sold to 20th Century Fox in Hollywood. As vice president and general manager of the Commercial Products Division of 20th Century Fox, he built television studios and traveled to Europe giving lectures at International Film Festivals in Cannes, France.

Authors headshot imageAmanda Roggenbuck

Amanda Roggenbuck was born and raised in Huron County and attended Harbor Beach High School. She graduated from Michigan State University and Cooley Law School. While attending Cooley she received multiple certificates of merit for academic excellence and awards for advocacy. During her time at college and law school she worked for State Senator Bill Schuette (now Michigan Attorney General) and State Representative Tom Meyer. Upon graduation she returned to the Thumb and owned and operated a thriving law practice in Cass City. Roggenbuck has served as a County Commissioner and served on many committees and subcommittees including Michigan Association of Counties Agriculture and Tourism Subcommittee, which she founded and chaired; National Association of Counties Rural Action Caucus; Parks and Recreations Commission; Women of National Association of Counties; Michigan Association of Counties Judiciary Public Safety Committee; and Cooley Alumni Association. Roggenbuck has also graduated from the Michigan Political Leadership Program and Excellence in Public Service Program.

Authors headshot imageDebra Biniecki

Debra Biniecki graduated from Sandusky High School and attended the University of Michigan. After graduation, she returned to the area and has been employed with Community Mental Health for the past 26 years where she is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Debra is a scuba instructor and Coast Guard licensed captain. She and her husband, Garry, have taught scuba diving and operated diving charters for the past 20 years on Lake Huron. She enjoys researching maritime and local history and has been involved in the discovery of ship wrecks in Lake Huron. Debra has done freelance writing and photography for several publications and is a contributor to The Lakeshore Guardian’s column, Sunken History and Maritime Treasures.

Authors headshot imageDr. Timothy Grondin

Dr. Timothy Grondin started his career as a medic (corpsman) in the Navy where he examined, diagnosed and treated people for minor illnesses under the direction of an M.D. When Grondin left the military, he became a nurse and worked on the medical/surgical ward at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital for a number of years. Though he began taking pre-med courses at Oakland University, Grondin changed his mind, choosing to become a Chiropractor instead. Grondin graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988, and has been in practice in Port Huron since 1989. In June of 2007, Doc began his column in The Lakeshore Guardian, called The Doctor’s Corner. To learn more about the services offered by Total Health Chiropractic and to read articles previously written by Dr. Grondin that were featured in The Lakeshore Guardian, please visit www.totalhealthchiropractic.net.

Authors headshot imageGrace Grogan

As a child, Grace Grogan had a love of reading, writing and history. In her adulthood, those interests expanded to include photography, scrapbooking and genealogy. When her children were young, she did a “Grogan Gossip” newsletter that was mailed to family and friends on a regular basis. A copy of each issue was kept in a notebook and now serves as a current “genealogy” of her children’s lives growing up. She also completed a course with the Institute of Children’s Literature on writing magazine articles for children.

Authors headshot imageJanis Stein

Janis Stein is a freelance writer, author and editor. Janis joined the Guardian in 2001 as a contributing writer, which grew to authoring four monthly columns: Schools of Yesteryear, which details the history of Huron County one-room schoolhouses; A Great Lakes Sailor, a biographical sketch of past and present sailors working the lakes; Guardians of Freedom, a column honoring those who served in the Armed Forces; and Countryside Yarns, which features such fantastical stories the reader is left to decide whether the story is the truth or a tall tale. In addition, Stein performs the duty of copy editor for The Lakeshore Guardian, serves as the Sales Representative for the northwestern portion of Huron County and all businesses located outside of Huron County and fills the role of Assistant Editor. (Visit her Lakeshore Guardian blog by clicking Author Blogs above.)

Authors headshot imageJessica Pawlowski

Jessica Pawlowski is a Certified Massage Therapist and Natural Health Educator. She is the owner of Tree of Life Natural Health Center in Harbor Beach. She is currently attending the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and is in her third year working toward her degree to become a Certified Naturopath. She currently sees clients and teaches monthly health classes to help teach people how to live a healthier lifestyle. For any questions, please feel free to call 989-315-1651 or visit her website at mytreeoflife.massageplanet.com.

Authors headshot imageJohn Heidtke

John Heidtke resides in the Blue Water Area. For the past 25 years he has supported various conservation groups. Through publications and public speaking, John focuses on how to guard the health of the Great Lakes. John has a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University. He has studied the history, cultures, and folk stories of the Great Lakes. Through publications and speaking engagements, John highlights how piracy was part of the Great Lakes history.

Authors headshot imageRandy Karr

Began a second career as a freelance travel writer. I decided I’d start by writing about national parks and cultural and historic travel destinations that I had been photographing for years. It was an inauspicious start. Finally, in 1996, my first freelance piece, which was about an ecotourism attraction in Costa Rica, was published in The Hartford Courant (Connecticut) and then again in The Baton Rouge Advocate (Louisiana). Other publishing credits followed, including Farm and Ranch Living Magazine, The Observer and Eccentric (Michigan), Compass Newspaper (People to People) and The Saline Reporter (Michigan). For the past dozen plus years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a travel writer for the Lakeshore Guardian, the best little newspaper in Michigan.

Authors headshot imageRobert McGreevy

Award winning artist, author and historian Robert McGreevy is a regular contributor of The Lakeshore Guardian. McGreevy’s work is a unique combination of original research and artwork that brings to life many of the untold stories of our maritime heritage. Rather than write about or paint ships that are well known, he tries to find new material by doing only original research and making use of information provided by the finding of new shipwrecks. McGreevy is fascinated by the interplay between contemporary accounts of a ship’s loss, and the actual facts uncovered when the wreck is found. That was the basis for his feature on the Civil War-period sidewheeler Key Stone State, which printed in the Guardian several years ago. While the finding of the wreck in 2013 did answer some of the questions regarding her sinking, it also brought up more questions that only further study of the wreck site can answer. Historians are now trying to understand why she was able to continue as far as she did after being sighted in a sinking condition of the tip of the Thumb as well as solve the mystery of what she was actually carrying as cargo on that fateful last voyage. These new findings will be included in McGreevy’s new book, Lost Legends of the Lakes, available in soft cover in 2014, and his second book, Legacy of the Lakes, that will explore the many recently discovered shipwrecks in Lake Huron.

Authors headshot imageRon Burkhard

Ron Burkhard was born on July 5, 1950 in Harbor Beach and was raised on a farm near town about 1 mile from the Lake Huron shoreline. He grew up seeing the lighthouse at Harbor Beach and hearing its mournful fog signal. From his bedroom window at night, he could watch the bright lights of the freighters making their way on Lake Huron. This sparked life-long interests in maritime history that included shipwrecks and lighthouses.

Authors headshot imageRyan Walker

Ryan Walker is a sixth grade teacher at Cass City Middle School. He is an avid outdoorsman, and his writing experience includes freelance writing for Woods –N-Water News and for the Tuscola County Advertiser. Ryan’s monthly column in The Lakeshore Guardian is well received by hunters, anglers and nature enthusiasts. Ryan is a member of the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association (MOWA) and enjoys sports, the outdoors and wild game cooking. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Rebecca, and their three children: Hugh, age eight; Claire, age three; and Oliver, age one.

Authors headshot imageSandy Peplinski

Sandy Peplinski is currently a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She will be a 2013 graduate, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as a holistic health coach. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Sandy believes in the healing power of quality, wholesome foods and enjoys cooking, gardening, and canning. Helping individuals achieve greater health, energy, and joy through improvements in their food and lifestyle is her main focus. Sandy joined the Lakeshore Guardian in March 2013 as a contributing writer.

Authors headshot imageTJ Gaffney

T.J. Gaffney was born and raised in the Port Huron, Michigan, area. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in history from Denison University, he studied at Clemson University, where he received his Master’s Degree in American transportation history. He returned to the Port Huron area in 1999 and joined the staff of the Port Huron Museum as the Curator of Collections in 2000. In 2006, he authored his first book, Port Huron, 1880–1960, based in large part on the postcard collection his father, Thomas John Gaffney, had collected for over 40 years. During this time, he also became an adjunct professor at Baker College. (Visit Mr. Gaffney’s Lakeshore Guardian Blog by clicking “Author Blog” on the menu bar.)