By Kyle Leppek Pioneer News Service CHASE TWP. \u2014 Disagreements and grievances between neighbors aren\u2019t unheard of, but perhaps few go as far as the dispute between two neighbors in Chase Township has gone. For the past eight years, Brenda Crane has lived with her husband Eugene at their home on Hawkins Road. The couple chose to settle in the area because it seemed to offer the serenity they were looking for when they decided to leave Southeast Michigan. That serenity, however, seems to have been broken during the past year, at least in their opinion. When traveling down Hawkins Road in Chase Township, commuters may have noticed the signs that line the Crane\u2019s yard. Brenda\u2019s multiple homemade signs express anger with the sawmill facility that is being built on the property next door to her own. Since November 2012, the Cranes have been opposed to the building of a new facility by Thorn Creek Lumber, of Evart. The Cranes first noticed a new neighbor might be moving next door in August 2012. During that time, Eugene walked over to the property and left his name and number with construction workers to welcome the new property owners to the community. When the new owner contacted the Cranes, Brenda answered the phone. It was then that Wilmer Yoder, co-owner of Thorn Creek Lumber, informed Brenda that a residence wasn\u2019t being built, but a sawmill was. Yoder declined to comment for this story. As initial construction began, Brenda noticed smoke, ash, debris and other chemical smells in the air coming from the adjacent property. At that time, Brenda made Yoder aware that it was bothering her due to her allergies, she said. \u201cIn November it started getting thicker with the burning,\u201d she said. \u201cNov. 5, I was out here and I was doing a little yard work and I was feeding my dogs. All of a sudden, the smoke and the chemicals were so strong I fell; I passed out. I couldn\u2019t breathe.\u201d Brenda went to the hospital still choking, she said. After spending two days in the hospital, it was determined that what she experienced was caused by smoke inhalation due to the nearby clear cutting and burning, a hospital report stated. Following the incident, Brenda raised concerns with the township board about having the facility next to her property. However, there was little the township could do, said Ken Shoemaker, Chase Township supervisor. \u201cWe are not zoned, so we did not have anything to do with that,\u201d Shoemaker said. \u201cAll (Yoder) had to do is get a building permit (from the county) and he can put it in.\u201d Although, the township was interested in seeing if a compromise between the two parties could be worked out. \u201cWe had a special meeting for the Cranes and for the Amish to try to work something out,\u201d Shoemaker said. \u201cWe didn\u2019t have to; it was just us going over and above.\u201d While representatives from Thorn Creek Lumber and residents within a mile of the new facility attended the meeting, the Cranes did not due to the condition of Brenda\u2019s health. Yoder supplied floor plans during the meeting, a few questions were asked and overall attendees seemed supportive of the business, Shoemaker said. However, a compromise or solution was never reached between the Cranes and Yoder. At a certain point, Yoder offered to purchase the Crane\u2019s property, Brenda said. However, they refused the offer. \u201cI told him, \u2018For what you would even ask me, it would not even attempt to repay what we have done here,\u2019\u201d she said. Sometime after Brenda\u2019s hospitalization, Yoder and his wife sent Brenda a card which addressed her health. The card, which was shown to the Herald Review, states they were \u201csorry about the sickness\u201d and it also acknowledges \u201cburning the trees on our new property.\u201d While construction halted during the winter, Brenda says it began again in April. As a way to express her thoughts on the situation, Brenda started displaying homemade signs in her front yard describing her displeasure with the sawmill. The signs address her illness, anger with local governments and feeling forced out of her home. \u201cIf they can keep it under wraps what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they are doing it, then I feel they will take advantage of anybody and everybody,\u201d Brenda said. In May, Brenda received a call from a person she identifies as Yoder. In the voicemail, which was shared with the Herald Review, the caller acknowledges that more signs had been placed and he hoped to keep their lines of communication open. Following that call, in June, Brenda received another call from a person she identified as a minister associated with Yoder. In that voicemail, also shared with the Herald Review, the caller said that the sawmill\u2019s construction could not continue in good conscious because its effects on her health. The caller also states they would be willing to sell them the property if they were interested, although the Cranes shouldn\u2019t feel pressured to do so. It seems as though construction ceased following that call, until the Cranes received a letter on Sept. 1. The letter was a purchase agreement offering the Cranes to purchase the adjacent property for $285,000. It stated the agreement would have to be signed and a good faith payment of $10,000 be made by Sept. 4. The Cranes did not take the offer and construction continued. The Cranes now say their main concern is the noise coming from the construction site. At times, the construction can shake their home, keep them up at night and spoke their horses, Brenda said. Their grandchildren also no longer attend school nearby because they suffer from asthma and bronchitis and the construction has complicated those conditions, she added. \u201cWhen did wealth supersede health?\u201d Brenda asked. \u201cI don\u2019t understand that. I really don\u2019t understand why people nowadays feel like they can do whatever they choose to do because \u2018the law\u2019 says they can.\u201d Throughout the ordeal, the Cranes have asked for assistance from the Michigan State Police and the Lake County Sheriff\u2019s Office. However, an officer at the MSP Hart Post said no specific report could be found of an incident involving the Cranes in their statewide database. Lake County Sheriff Bob Hilts did confirm his department has been called by the Cranes regarding smells, noise and traffic, but there was nothing they could do. The department exists to keep the peace, he said, but Yoder was not violating any zoning ordinances. \u201cIf there was anything we could do to help \u2014 either side of that \u2014 we would,\u201d Hilts said. \u201cIt\u2019s just not criminal what they were doing.\u201d Having been recognized for her humanitarian efforts for more than 30 years, Brenda said she is typically the type of person that seeks peaceful solutions. However, at this point, she feels the needs to speak up about the injustice she perceives is happening. \u201cHow dare (Yoder) lie and acknowledge what (he has) done,\u201d she said. \u201c(He) said (he was) not going to do it because of my health, then all of a sudden, \u2018I talked to the township and the township says I can do whatever I choose to do. If you don\u2019t want me to do it, you pay me \u201cX\u201d amount of dollars and I will go away. If not, I will do it regardless.\u2019\u201d Shoemaker said Yoder kept pine trees between the properties so the Cranes would not have to directly see the facility. He also asked that a dirt berm be constructed, which Yoder complied with. Nonetheless, Shoemaker believes Yoder has put too much money into the project, which is legal, to back away from it now. \u201cThe Amish have done everything they could to accommodate the Cranes,\u201d Shoemaker said. \u201cThere isn\u2019t anything we can do, but I have at least tried.\u201d The Cranes have asked the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to look into whether their rights have been violated.