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Peeps, or Jesus?

The Easter season, like all holidays, means something different to everyone. For Christians like myself, it’s the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. For others, it’s a time to scarf down Peeps and watch kids...

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Peeps, or Jesus?

The Easter season, like all holidays, means something different to everyone. For Christians like myself, it’s the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. For others, it’s a time to scarf down Peeps and watch kids...

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Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

CHS partnership with Ferris State aids students with new scholarship

At a Charlotte Board of Education meeting Monday, April 17, President of Ferris State University, Dr. David Eisler, presented Charlotte Public Schools superintendent, Mark Rosekrans with a new scholarship opportunity for CHS students. The Ferris Next Scholarship provides CHS students who have completed three classes offered through Ferris with a C or higher with a $1,000 scholarship toward attending Ferris full time.

Dr. Eisler signed a citation with Superintendent Rosekrans in front of the board of education.

The presentation of the new scholarship opportunity comes after a three-year partnership between CHS and Ferris. Through the partnership, students can receive college credit by taking classes offered through Ferris. The partnership is just one of the partnerships CHS has with colleges and universities around the state, but Ferris is the first to offer a scholarship opportunity specifically for CHS students who plan to attend the university. The offer was extended by Ferris and gratefully accepted by Charlotte High School.

Eisler and Rosekrans said they are grateful for the partnership between the two schools, both explaining that the transition from high school to college should be seamless. Ferris has accepted many Charlotte grads throughout the years, and opportunities like the Ferris Next Scholarship essentially make college an extension of the high school career. The difference between high school and college is significant, but Ferris has taken a step to make the transition from CHS simpler.

“There’s no use to have a separation from high school and college. It should be a continuum,” said Dr. Eisler.

Superintendent Rosekrans shared similar sentiments and explained the growing need for easy college access.

“The big thing now is career and college readiness. College is a gateway to bigger and better things,” said Rosekrans. “It’s amazing how it’s evolved where students can achieve college credit in high school. They can get an associates relatively quickly with little to no cost.”

Rosekrans acknowledged that not all students will attend a four-year university, but also explained that students who want to go into trades can achieve industry standard certifications, in high school, through the partnerships CHS has with colleges like Ferris. Identifying a student’s interests, needs, and strengths and creating pathways to college and employment is what delights educators like Eisler and Rosekrans, as well as parents and students.

“This is a great partnership between the two organizations,” said Rosekrans.

In attendance at the presentation was the first CHS student to receive the Ferris Next Scholarship, Abby McCrimmon. She and her father watched with enthusiasm, knowing the partnership and scholarship opportunity was her pathway to higher education.

Olivet

Olivet

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Olivet FFA receives awards at the State FFA Convention

By Dalenna Montague 

Olivet FFA Reporter

On March 8, 9 and 10, the Olivet FFA received awards at the State FFA Convention held at Michigan State University.

Kelsie Letts was elected as the State Region I Vice President of the Michigan FFA Association.  Other special recognition includes: Todd and Sharon Williams, and Jill Cords received the State Honorary FFA Degree.

Many individuals received awards. Marcus Pennington, Elyse Zimmerlee, Anna Williams, Catie Graham, Kelsie Letts, Andrew Wietzke, and Jayson Rugg received the Academic Excellence Award. Abby Puskala, Anna Williams, and Paige Fountain received the Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship. Joe Adams, Paige Fountain, Laurel Griffin, Dylan Lashley, Abby Puskala, Jayson Rugg, and Anna Williams received the Outstanding Junior Award. Kelsie Letts received a silver award for her State FFA Degree. Elyse Zimmerlee, Caitlynn Graham, Andrew Wietzke, and Mackenzi Lambka also received the State FFA Degree.  Abby Puskala also received the Challenge 24 scholarship for those considering a career as an Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor.

Kelsie Letts received fourth place gold in the Prepared Public Speaking Contest; Andrew Wietzke placed ninth silver in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking Contest; Abby Puskala placed 10th in the Job Interview Contest, and the Parliamentary Procedure team that consisted of Marcus Pennington, Paige Fountain, Ben Brown, Wyatt Simon, Julianna Adams, Jayson Rugg, Chevelle Bowles, and Dezzi Cotton placed sixth with a silver award.

The chapter was recognized with the following awards: A silver rating for the National Chapter Award, the superior chapter award, and fifth place in the Speak Up For Agriculture program (this is for the agricultural literacy day we host at the Calhoun County fairgrounds in which over 650 elementary students learn where their food comes from).

We would like to give a big thanks to our chaperones: Bill Schele, Nick VanDeMoortel, Todd and Sharon Williams, Cassy Puskala, Doug and Dawn Pennington, Jessica Fountain, Sydney Miller, Teri Letts, Jared Miller, and Michelle Kiss.

Bellevue

Bellevue

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Bellevue

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Wyatt Waterbury recognized for hard work in outstanding season

This list of accomplishments seems endless for the Bellevue boys varsity basketball team. Along with a 23-2 season, a new school record, the Bellevue boys took their fifth consecutive district championship tournament, and won the second regional game in the program’s history.

As co-captain of the varsity team, Wyatt Waterbury also passed a number of personal goals during the season, which earned him Associate Press All-State honorable mention, as well as first team All-Area recognition and Bellevue’s offensive player of the year.

“Offensively he’s a very skilled player, but he’s also one of the best two-way players I’ve seen in my seven years coaching at Bellevue,” said varsity head coach Joe Costello. “He takes pride in playing defense.”

After the 2015-2016 season Waterbury won Bellevue’s defensive player of the year. Waterbury is a sophomore, a two-year starter, and team captain. He proved himself right from the start, as did many of the underclassman players. Waterbury averaged 15 points per game during the 2016-2017 season, scored 386 points overall, led the team in steals with 95, led the team in assists with 85, and also reportedly led with deflections on defense. Costello noted how impressive it is that Waterbury achieved such stats when he plays only 20 minutes a game.

“I’m not a huge individual player. Working on breaking more records for school is the big deal to me. The team should focus on buying in. Once that happens the possibilities are endless for us,” said Waterbury.

Along with his remarkable skills and abilities, Waterbury has proven himself a worthy leader, according to Costello.

“He’s a natural leader. People follow him. All the younger guys are leaders,” said Costello. “You have to teach them at a young age it’s not about yourself, it’s about other people.”

Waterbury is a 3.9 student. He, along with his fellow players, brings progress reports to coach Costello from their teachers. Focused practice is only one piece of the success puzzle for Waterbury and the rest of the team. Academic rigor, community service, and off-season practice are all important components as well.

In the near future Waterbury plans to continue honing his skill. Costello encourages him and his fellow players to weight lift and keep getting beefed up for the larger teams they play. Waterbury hopes to eventually move on and play college ball. Before that, however, he has two promising years left in Bellevue. In Waterbury’s own words, “the possibilities are endless for us.”

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Share your vision of Crandell Park at any of 6 upcoming community forums

Crandell Park made its highly anticipated debut in March. The soft opening was intentional, as plans for the park’s future are as of yet unknown. Eaton County Commissioners instead were hoping to tap into residents’ visions for the park before setting any kinds of concrete plans for the park in place.

“We hope people wander around the park, and let themselves dream a little bit,” said County Commissioner Brian Lautzenheiser when the park opened in March. “We’re looking to piece together what the community’s vision is, and see what types of partnerships we can create.”

Eaton County Parks Director Clay Summers said county officials identified the need for public involvement as a key strategy during the very early stages of the Crandell Park project.

“We can’t create something internally without listening to the public,” Summers said. “We may develop something we think the community needs and it ends up not being something they want.”

The first of six planned meetings will take place Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Eaton Township Hall. Eaton County residents with an interest in the future development of the park are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts. The meetings will be facilitated by Arnold Weinfeld, Director of Urban Policy Initiatives at Michigan State University.

The second meeting will take place Tuesday, May 2 at AL!VE in Charlotte, followed by meetings at the Hamlin Township Hall in Eaton Rapids on Tuesday, May 16, at Crandell Park on Tuesday, May 30 (the official grand opening date of the park), Benton Township Hall in Potterville on June 13 and Delta Township Hall on June 20. All meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.

“We selected locations where people could get to and where we could see the greatest impact,” Summers said.

The park, located at the corner of M-50 and Stewart Road in Charlotte, is currently open from 8 a.m. to dusk for what Summers called passive recreational use — walking/hiking, carry in kayaking and canoeing, or mountain biking. There is no fishing allowed currently, as the county is waiting to have a fish study completed by the DNR Fisheries Department in an effort to get a baseline understanding of the lake’s fish population.

Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

Syrup Festival Queen sees crown as opportunity to be a positive role model

Even though Emma Franklin is just 17, she understands the impact positive female role models have played in her life. As 2017 Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival Queen, she recognizes she now has the opportunity to do the same for the youth in her community.

“I thought it would be fun to be a positive role model for younger girls in the community,” Franklin said of one of the primary reasons she entered as a candidate for this year’s festival. “I’ve always been involved in the Syrup Festival and have enjoyed being a part of it.”

Though she may not yet realize it, her many activities, aspirations and personality are already making a positive impact. Franklin is an officer on the Maple Valley High School student council, is a member of the National Honor Society, in Drama Club, Da Capo, and a member of the high school track and volleyball teams. In addition, she has been a member of 4-H throughout most of her youth and still plays an active role in the 4-H petting zoo at the Syrup Festival each year.

“I love putting on the petting zoo with my 4-H Club,” she said.

On top of all that, she has found time to help coach an AAU volleyball team this spring while serving as one of the designers of a community mural currently being painted in Nashville. Being involved in Honors Art at Maple Valley High School, she was able to help out in the art room. The relationships she built there gained the trust of her teacher, who selected Franklin to design half of the Nashville community mural.

Being a part of her community is another reason Franklin said she wanted to become Syrup Festival Queen.

“I like seeing how the community works together,” she said. “The festival brings everyone together every year and it’s really fun to see how all of the different organizations come together.”

Franklin said she will also use her title to help raise awareness of the environment, and show tremendous gratitude for all of the volunteers that make the festival possible each year.

This year’s Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival will be held Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30 in downtown Vermontville. You can find a complete schedule on page 14 of this week’s County Journal or at vermontvillemaplesyrupfestival.org.

Potterville

Potterville

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Potterville

Featured Story

Old Potterville antique store returns with new name

By Adam Droscha
Staff Writer

Antiques are a special luxury. They’re more than just a special treat for which some people save their pennies. Antiques bring comfort by reminding us of an older time, a past generation, and something that seems distant but still familiar. In many ways Linda Edgar’s new Saturday’s Shoppe represents the same warm feelings many of us have toward antiques.
Edgar is not new to owning an antique store. Although her store has a new name, it wasn’t long ago that she owned a well-known antique store in Potterville. Her previous store was called The Vintage Cupboard, and it was open in Potterville for over 20 years. Linda and her husband owned two storefronts on Main Street in Potterville and Vintage Cupboard existed in both at one time or another. It was the second and final location of Vintage Cupboard that burned in the 2010 fire in downtown Potterville.
The fire represented a lot of things for Linda. There was the obvious distress of losing a long-standing business, but there was also the disappointment of all the work Linda and others had done only months before to move down the street to a larger and more esthetic space. Aside from the distress and disappointment, Linda was also taking care of her mother while her health declined. In more ways than one Linda had to take a break from being a business owner.
But now she and her husband are back. The original location of the Vintage Cupboard is now the home of Saturday’s Shoppe, Linda’s recently opened antique store. She is pleased to be back in the antique business, as are many of her old customers. Linda didn’t just build relationships with customers, she became friends with them, and her friends are returning with enthusiasm.
“The people are my favorite part of owning an antique store. I love seeing old, familiar people.”
Linda experienced a lot of push to reopen after the fire. She’s excited to give her old customers another opportunity to do business with her, and to meet a new generation of customers as well. Part of the reason for her reopening is because of how much she enjoys the Potterville community. Although owning and running the store does give her something to do during retirement, it just simply brings her joy to be interacting with the Potterville people again. Opening Saturday’s Shoppe was more than just something to do with her time; it’s been a return of a missing joy.
Linda wants readers to know that she does her best to have competitive prices, and to have a variety of items. She has furniture, jewelry, dining sets, and even clothing. She and her husband are also active in keeping new items coming into the store. She wants her returning customers to see new options every time they come to the store.
Saturday’s Shoppe is only open two days a week, Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Potterville. Linda will always be present during those times, and she welcomes customers new and old.
To learn more about Linda and Saturday’s Shoppe, Linda can be reached at (517) 393-1793.

Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

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Arts Council the newest addition to Eaton Rapids Quality of Life Board

Every city, large or small, needs its own art. Whether it’s the Motor City, or the Island City, art is what provides a community with a healthy distraction, an adoration for what’s beautiful, and a unifying centerpiece that everyone can call their own. The Eaton Rapids Quality of Life Board is doing what it can to give the Island City an array of community projects through the work of various subcommittees like the River Recreation Committee, Parks Development Committee, Northwestern Park Committee, and the Youth Teen Initiative. The newest, and fully active, subcommittee is the Eaton Rapids Arts Council.

“If you build it they will come,” said Christopher Sebastian, chairman of the new arts council. “Anything that can attract emotion from individuals can be good for a community. If there’s an attraction that peaks interest people will come check it out. Anything that can develop foot traffic is great for a community.”

The arts council was established to evaluate the assets and blank spaces in the Eaton Rapids downtown, and pinpoint areas where visual art could be displayed. Although to date the arts council has only gathered three times, the four-to-five person council has already selected a few front-running ideas for potential art projects. It’s too early to say which ideas will come to action, according to Sebastian, but the ideas keep coming.

“There’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of creative people, it’s just connecting the two,” Sebastian said. “Just by doing some small things we could make Eaton Rapids a cool place to come to.”

The positive impact of an art rich community is immeasurable, according to Sebastian. From creating more tourist traffic, to providing a community’s youth an outlet for creativity, cities that cultivate a love and respect for art prosper.

“It makes the community better for everyone,” Sebastian said. “In school I took every art class I could possibly take. Young people may not have interests in typical academia, but art is a good way to express yourself.”

Sebastian studied graphic design and graphic arts at Lansing Community College and Siena Heights University. He is just one of the creatives to partake in the arts council brainstorming. Visual artists have the unique ability to look at a blank space and imagine dozens of possibilities of murals, portraits, landscapes, and more. Simple brick walls become faces of famous and local icons. An open street corner can suddenly have an abstract statue dedicated to a local cause or community figure.

“There’s a lot of blank spaces and walls throughout Main St. that could be used to display,” Sebastian said.

Along with brainstorming potential projects and areas for display, the arts council is evaluating the local talent that could contribute and shape the esthetic of Eaton Rapids. In doing so the council is trying to discover how Eaton Rapids will shape its own esthetic, as opposed to imprinting one not representative of the city.

“We want to stick with local and mid-Michigan artists,” he said.

The arts council and the other Quality of Life Board subcommittees are looking for more enthusiastic volunteers.

“Each committee of the Quality of Life Board is limited, but as a whole they can do a lot. We don’t just want to attract interest in community, but attract participation,” Sebastian said. “We’re always looking for interested people.”

Readers interested in volunteering with the arts council are welcome to attend arts council meetings the second Wednesday of each month at City Hall, starting at 6 p.m. To learn more about other ways to be involved with Quality of Life Board subcommittees, contact Quality of Life Director Troy Stowell at Eaton Rapids City Hall at (517) 663-8118, or by email tstowell@cityofeatonrapids.com.

Sunfield

Sunfield

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Mulliken

Mulliken

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Dimondale

Dimondale

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