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Charlotte

Charlotte

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Concerts on the Square welcomes Lansing’s ‘Unlimited’

Lansing-based band Unlimited will take to the Summer Concerts on the Square stage for the first time this coming Thursday evening, July 27. A band of family and friends, Unlimited will bring their special mix of bluegrass and blues, country and classic rock to Charlotte for a fun night featuring five lead singers.

“Every year, we bring back bands that our audience asks for, but we also try to feature acts we’ve never had in the series before,” said Bryan Myrkle, who organizes the concert series. “I think Unlimited is going to be great, and I am very happy to have them with us this year.”

The members of Unlimited have been playing for more than 40 years, and the band features David Franklin on guitar, Mike Franklin on percussion, Judy Franklin on guitar and keyboard, Nancy Gyger on bass and Jack Gyger on guitar. The vocal duties are split between all of them. The family harmonies, dual lead guitars and solid rhythm section allows the band to play music from many different eras and styles. They list as their influences the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Robert Johnson, Dire Straits, the Doobie Bros., Vince Gill and the Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Summer Concerts on the Square free music series continues each Thursday evening through the end of August. All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. and run approximately two hours. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, picnic baskets and non-alcoholic refreshments. Beginning July 27, the concerts will be moved to the First Congregational Church (right across the street) in case of rain. Be sure to check out the Charlotte Artisan and Farmer’s Market on the Courthouse Square on Thursdays, too.

For more information, contact Bryan Myrkle at  (517) 543-8853.

Article submitted by the City of Charlotte.

Olivet

Olivet

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Olivet trap shooting team celebrates successful first season

For the first time in the history of Olivet Community Schools, students have the opportunity to join a trap shooting team. Saturday, June 17 the 27-student strong team attended the state trap shooting tournament. Part of the USA High School Clay Target League, Olivet competed against 22 other Michigan teams and placed fifth. With a handful of other notable placements in the tournament, Jamie Bartley is proud of the team’s accomplishments in its first season.

Bartley was one of a few Olivet Eagle dads who saw the potential for an Olivet Community Schools Trap shooting team. They had heard about the sport growing in Michigan, which is one of about 20 states around the country that participate in the USA High School Clay Target League. Bartley started doing his research. He and the other dads wanted to see what it would take to get Olivet students such an opportunity.

“Some kids don’t do contact sports,” said Bartley.

Out of the 27 student participants, Bartley noted that several were not involved in contact sports of any kind. The trap shooting team provided an entirely new area for kids to get out of the house after school and be involved in something. The new sport also gave kids with previous gun and hunting experience another avenue in which to be involved. Some of the teammates had been shooting since they were little kids, according to Bartley.

Previous experience was noticeable among some of the students. Levi and Ty Krauss were two exceptional shooters on the team who also participate in other scholastic shooting events. Bartley was highly impressed by the improvement of the new shooters on the team as well. One of the novice teammates, Nathan Powers placed second out of 87 in the novice division, hitting 87 out of 100 shots. The state tournament brought several “firsts” out the students. Daniel Higgins shot his first 50 in a row on Saturday, and Bartley’s son Gavin shot 25 in a row and placed third in his division for hitting 95 out of 100 shots.

The progress of the team in its first season is exciting for Bartley and the other coaches and dads involved. Already they have students and parents asking about joining for the next season, registration for which will begin August 1. Trap shooting is also a rapidly growing sport across the country and in Michigan especially. Last year the Michigan State High School Clay Target League had seven teams. This year Olivet was one of about 20 schools in the league, and at Saturday, June 17 state tournament it was announced that there are an expected 40 more Michigan schools to join the league in the next season.

Bartley sees the great potential for students who are involved in trap shooting. Colleges with trap shooting teams, like Hillsdale College (which won a division three national title for its trap shooting team), offer scholarships to top-notch trap shooters.

The Olivet trap shooting team is like every other team at the school. Students are expected to attend one of the two weekly practices, they’re expected to keep their grades up, and student safety is paramount. The team is coed, and currently involves students from grades eight through 12. All students who pass their online certification or hunter safety course are allowed to participate.

And like other teams, the trap shooting team is in need of sponsors. There are currently no school dollars going to the team. Bartley hopes for more contributions in the future. Likewise, Bartley and the other coaches and dads are hoping for more student participation.

Bellevue

Bellevue

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Local racer to compete at AMA National Motocross Championship

Eaton County’s Konnor Visger just made his dream come true. The 14-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 36th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil, to be held this August at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch.

Konnor took on more than 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,446 qualifying positions.

“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Event Director Tim Cotter. “A win at Loretta’s gives a racer instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”

Most of America’s top professional motocross racers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, have won AMA Amateur National titles at Loretta Lynn’s.

Konnor, who will attend Maple Valley High School in the fall in the ninth grade, has been riding dirt bikes since he was 2 years old.

With the help of sponsors such as US 27 Motorsports, Fly Racing, Factory Connection Suspension, Illusive Gloves, Dunlop Tires, HCP Designs, Motovation Graphix, No Limits Powersports and his family who help support his way to the races, Konnor has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won multiple races and competes nearly every weekend in races across the country.

Konnor will make the long journey to Hurricane Mills, Tenn. along with his family and friends. The race runs July 31 through Aug. 5. Konnor and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event, and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.

The top finishers in Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships earn a gate position in the National Championship race at Loretta Lynn’s. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from minicycle classes for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50. There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines. In total, there are 35 different classes of competition. Konnor will compete in the highly competitive 85cc class Mini SR 2.

The track is built on a section of Loretta Lynn Ranch and Campground in Hurricane Mills. The course contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers. The motocross track is used only once a year for motorcycles, so there is no hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 15-20 minute races over the course of the week per class, sometimes in grueling temperatures. Proper training and preparation are paramount.

Most riders attend the event with the help of their families. In fact, many consider the event their family’s summer trip, nicknaming it the “World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation.” Besides the races, the week-long event hosts many family-friendly activities, including swimming, talent show, concerts, and live entertainment.

The race action will be broadcast live daily at RacerTV.com, July 31 through Aug. 5, for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. In addition, two highlight shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.

For additional information on the Amateur National, visit the official website at mxsports.com or call (304) 284-0101. Also, follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for exclusive content and to catch the latest news.

Article submitted by Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA
Amateur National Motocross Championship.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Simpson, Harris receive Eaton Count Fair’s Emerald Award

Two Eaton County men were honored Tuesday, July 11 for their longtime dedication to youth at the Eaton County Fair. Max Simpson and Roger Harris were each presented with the 2017 Emerald Award during a special presentation at Kardel Hall.

Max was instrumental in building the Eaton County tractor pulls into the kind of event audiences from the area enjoy today. His involvement with the fair and tractor pulls began in the 1970s and has remained constant since.

“Max’s work has resulted in Eaton County being voted pull of the year in the State of Michigan numerous times,” said Brian Cain, Eaton County Fair Board member, reading Max’s nomination letter. “It takes a lot of good volunteers to make these pulls happen, but it is Max’s foresight and leadership that has made this pull what it is today.”

“If it wasn’t for the people that I had to help me, it never would have happened,” Max said. “The two people that were the most help to me were my wife, Sandy, and Tim Babcock, who were always there.”

Roger has been involved with the swine at the fair for 27 years, and has raised three children through Eaton County 4-H. He became the superintendent for swine at the Fair four years ago.

“Roger Harris, and (his wife) Cindy, both go out of their way to help the kids any way they can,” said Clarence Humphrey, who presented Roger with the award. “They don’t do it for recognition for themselves, they do it to help the kids. He doesn’t only tell the kids what he can do, he will do it.”

Max and Roger each received an engraved plaque and lifetime passes to the Eaton County Fair.

Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

Local racer to compete at AMA National Motocross Championship

Eaton County’s Konnor Visger just made his dream come true. The 14-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 36th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil, to be held this August at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch.

Konnor took on more than 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,446 qualifying positions.

“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Event Director Tim Cotter. “A win at Loretta’s gives a racer instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”

Most of America’s top professional motocross racers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, have won AMA Amateur National titles at Loretta Lynn’s.

Konnor, who will attend Maple Valley High School in the fall in the ninth grade, has been riding dirt bikes since he was 2 years old.

With the help of sponsors such as US 27 Motorsports, Fly Racing, Factory Connection Suspension, Illusive Gloves, Dunlop Tires, HCP Designs, Motovation Graphix, No Limits Powersports and his family who help support his way to the races, Konnor has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won multiple races and competes nearly every weekend in races across the country.

Konnor will make the long journey to Hurricane Mills, Tenn. along with his family and friends. The race runs July 31 through Aug. 5. Konnor and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event, and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.

The top finishers in Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships earn a gate position in the National Championship race at Loretta Lynn’s. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from minicycle classes for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50. There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines. In total, there are 35 different classes of competition. Konnor will compete in the highly competitive 85cc class Mini SR 2.

The track is built on a section of Loretta Lynn Ranch and Campground in Hurricane Mills. The course contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers. The motocross track is used only once a year for motorcycles, so there is no hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 15-20 minute races over the course of the week per class, sometimes in grueling temperatures. Proper training and preparation are paramount.

Most riders attend the event with the help of their families. In fact, many consider the event their family’s summer trip, nicknaming it the “World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation.” Besides the races, the week-long event hosts many family-friendly activities, including swimming, talent show, concerts, and live entertainment.

The race action will be broadcast live daily at RacerTV.com, July 31 through Aug. 5, for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. In addition, two highlight shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.

For additional information on the Amateur National, visit the official website at mxsports.com or call (304) 284-0101. Also, follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for exclusive content and to catch the latest news.

Article submitted by Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA
Amateur National Motocross Championship.

Potterville

Potterville

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Potterville

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Interim Superintendent selected for Potterville Schools

In early July the Potterville school board appointed an interim superintendent for the school district. Tom Pillar, a retired superintendent from Waverly schools, is set to fill the interim role until the summer of 2018, by which point the Potterville school board hopes to have a candidate to fill the position permanently.

The need for an interim superintendent follows after former superintendent Tim Donahue resigned from his position in May of 2017. Donahue resigned from his position due to a new employment opportunity with Buchanan Public Schools. According to school board president, Stacey Sipes, Donahue had been open to the possibility of a new superintendent position for a couple of years.

Donahue started as an interim superintendent at Potterville schools in 2006, before moving into the permanent role. Because the Potterville school board had not done a thorough search, interview, and hiring process for a superintendent for over ten years, the current board decided to appoint someone temporarily to the role so there would be ample time to find a suitable candidate.

Upon deciding to take more time and care in selecting a new superintendent, the board next decided to seek the aid of an executive search service, which is a common standard according to Sipes. The Michigan Association of School Boards is providing the search service for Potterville schools, which is an organization interim superintendent Pillar has worked closely with.

In moving forward with the search process Sipes indicated a few things the school board is looking for in a candidate. Ample knowledge and experience with budget, ability to draw and retain staff members, and ability to conform to the needs of a smaller school district and community are a few of the basic characteristics for a desired superintendent. Quality leadership skills are generally what the board is seeking out for the district.

The school board, however, acknowledges that this is a community decision, according to Sipes. She and other board members are eager to hear from members of the Potterville community via online surveys, town hall style forums, fall conferences, and more. Sipes encourages all members of the community, parents of current students or not,  jbring forward input. She also hopes to include Michigan Association of School Boards on the upcoming conversations and forums.

To learn more about the Potterville superintendent search and how to be involved in that process, readers are encouraged to visit the Potterville Public Schools website and locate the school board member contact information.

Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids Library hosts public hearing for potential facilities renovation

Tuesday, May 30 Eaton Rapids residents were welcomed to attend a public hearing at the Eaton Rapids Library regarding upcoming renovations to the library. ERPL has been receiving donations for a remodel for some time, and recently library director, Anna Curtis, selected an architect for the project. With these strides forward, the next step was to provide an informational meeting for the public, and to hear what residents would like to see in their local library.

Architect Daniel E. Whisler, who has worked on a number of specialized and award winning libraries, provided the 13 attendees to the hearing information on what ERPL is lacking, ways to improve the space, and components that have benefitted other libraries. Included in the information were statistics of comparison between ERPL and other libraries of similar sizes in Michigan. These statistics, according to Anna, indicate that ERPL is “sorely lacking in a number of areas.”

The information from Whisler affirmed many of Curtis’ concerns. In her two years as library director she’s done what she can to update the library’s services and programs, but still recognized significant holes in its offerings. Like many librarians and library directors, Curtis sees the library as a community information center, not just a place to store books. Visitors shouldn’t just come to the library for a book about cooking; they should be able to learn how to cook. Visitors shouldn’t come to the library only for a book on the Korean War; they should be able to hear stories of the Korean War from real veterans.

According to Curtis, the 13 or so attendees to the hearing were in agreement that the library is lacking in a number services. Curtis also noted, however, that those in attendance are individuals who regularly use the library. Although she was pleased that Whisler’s information was shared, she is hoping to reach other people in the community who may not know what the library currently offers, or what it has the potential to offer.

“A lot of people didn’t know the library existed,” said Curtis.

Wednesday, May 31 (the day after the public hearing) Curtis posted a survey online for Eaton Rapids to use and share. The purpose of the survey is to gather thoughts and concerns regarding the library from those who were unable to attend the public hearing. The survey can be found on the ERPL Facebook page.

The next step after the public hearing and the survey will be for Whisler to create a schematic drawing of potential library renovations. Along with the drawing will come a budget/price estimate for the renovations, according to Curtis.

There is still time to give input and ask questions. Curtis welcomes readers to contact her at the library, share concerns, share insights and ideas, and generally participate in the changes coming to ERPL.

“There’s something for everybody if we’re just willing to look for it,” said Curtis.

The next public meeting regarding the library renovation will be Monday, June 12 at 9:30 p.m. To follow and hear more about the Eaton Rapids Public Library is doing, readers can like the ERPL Facebook page, or call the library (517) 663-8118.

Sunfield

Sunfield

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Mulliken

Mulliken

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Dimondale

Dimondale

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