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Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

Cut-N-Tease Salon celebrates 10 years in downtown Charlotte

Crissta Ames

Contributing Writer

Laura Frazier, owner of Cut-N-Tease Salon, had always wanted to be a cosmetologist when she was little. After she went to cosmetology school in her mid-20s, she turned her passion into a business, one that is celebrating its 10th anniversary 

The business started in a small building that once stood by the Burkhead-Green Funeral home on the corner of Sheldon and Lawrence. When that building had become available, her and her husband decided to go for it and start a salon business. With a growth of clientele, Laura moved the business to 229 S. Cochran Avenue, where the red paint and awning have become a well known feature of main street. The inside of the salon is centered around a Rockabilly music theme, with records and music posters along the walls and the unmistakable mural of a record with the business name up in the front room. 

“I wanted something different than just a regular salon,” Laura said.

Laura was happy that Barb Burpee recently joined her staff. Both of the stylists are grateful for the community support over the years and have enjoyed serving their clients. They also have opportunity for more growth for an additional stylist.

The salon caters to men, women, and children and offers haircuts, highlights, perms, regular and shellac manicures, pedicures, and facial waxing. 

You can call (517) 543-6509 for Barb, who is in the salon Monday through Friday, or (517) 541-9644 for Laura, who is in Tuesday through Saturday to make an appointment. You can also find Cut-N-Tease at their Facebook page.

Olivet

Olivet

Featured Story

Gardener’s grave blankets bring comfort during cold winter months

The December chill doesn’t quite have the same sting as it once did for Monica Lee, a resident of Battle Creek. Kathy Gardener, an Olivet resident, has made sure of that.

It’s been 12 years since Kathy reached out to Monica unexpectedly with a special gift — one that brings Monica tremendous comfort every December.

Kathy, who started making grave blankets more than 30 years for her daughters who passed as small children, donated a grave blanket to Monica in 2006 after hearing how she had tragically lost her only daughter.

“To think she was thinking about someone else at that time,” Monica recalls. “Kathy is a beautiful woman. My baby is warm every year. It gives me a warm feeling.”

Monica has ordered a grave blanket for her daughter ever since, and has added a grave blanket for her mother as well. Monica said it brings her great comfort to know her daughter, who died on Dec. 2, is warmed by the blanket throughout the cold months.

Kathy said she identified with Monica’s story after hearing about it on the news and knew she needed to reach out to her. 

“I’ve been there, losing someone close to you,” Kathy said. 

She started making grave blankets after losing two daughter 35 years ago. Her daughters passed in October and she said she recalls thinking about how they were going to be cold all winter. That’s when she first learned about grave blankets, and the concept brought a feeling of comfort for her daughters. It’s a feeling she said people often convey to her about her creations.

“I hear a lot that blankets are a comfort,” Kathy said. “Our loved ones aren’t with us physically, but they are always in our hearts. The blankets provide a comfort to us and color to the cemetery.”

Kathy donates at least one grave blanket each year, often to a family like Monica’s. 

“It changed my life losing my girls,” Kathy said. “This is a legacy I can carry on through my daughters.”

The blankets are made from fresh pine branches and weigh 25-30 pounds. They are anchored in the ground before it freezes. Kathy said she is very particular about the colors she adds through flowers and bows. Each takes about an hour to create. She said she cuts down about 11 big trees from a local tree farm each year.

To order a grave blanket for your loved one, call Kathy at (269) 274-3266.

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Bellevue

Bellevue

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Bronco basketball teams look to cap off perfect regular seasons

The road to perfect regular seasons for both the Bellevue boys and girls varsity basketball teams could go through Athens. 

The Bronco boys were 18-0 heading into its toughest remaining regular season test, a Friday, Feb. 22 showdown at Athens High School. Bellevue defeated Athens, which was undefeated at the time, earlier this season, 68-62 in Bellevue. The game could be much more difficult in a hostile environment.

The Lady Broncos, meanwhile, host Athens on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Bellevue defeated Athens on the road in their tightest contest of the season, 37-36. The girls were 16-0 heading into their game at Climax on Thursday, Feb. 21. Bellevue defeated Climax 49-15 at home earlier this season.

In their most recent action, Bellevue guards Wyatt Waterbury and Gino Costello led the Broncos to a 60-73 win over Climax, securing a third-straight SCAA West Division title. Waterbury paced the Broncos with 20 points, 6 steals and 4 assists. Costello added 14 points, and 4 assists. Carson Betz recorded a double-double, finishing with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals.

The team travels to Jackson Christian High School on Monday, Feb. 25 to open District play against Tekonsha.

In the girls most recent victory, Morgan Messenger led the way with 13 points as Bellevue defeated Waldron, 33-30. Mikayla Crawley finished with 10 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. 

The Lady Broncos host Colon on Saturday, Feb. 23, and finish off the regular season with home games against Athens on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and Tekonsha on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The team opens District play at Athens High School on Monday, March 4 against Battle Creek St. Philip.

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Eaton County

Eaton County

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Eaton County

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Generosity Celebration returns to Charlotte March 21

Generosity is measured in many ways in the Charlotte community. So many in the community give of their time and talents to ensure those in need receive shelter, receive food, or any other number of basic needs. People and organizations are also generous financially, making sure our local non-profits have the funding to serve the people in the community that count on their services.

Organizers are once again counting on generosity in all its forms to rise to the surface Thursday, March 21 for the annual Generosity Celebration. The event, which has raised more than $70,000 in its seven years of existence, serves as the main fundraising mechanism for the Charlotte Generosity Fund, an endowment fund within the Eaton County Community Foundation.

The fund’s sole purpose is to provide funds for non-profit organizations that work collaboratively with other organizations in an effort to positively affect one of the Seven Elements of a Healthy Community — Arts & Culture; Basic Needs; Health & Wellness; Education; Economy; Neighborhoods & Communities; and Environment.

Grant money is awarded annually — up to three per year — from interest generated by the Charlotte Generosity Fund, an endowed fund within the Eaton County Community Foundation. 

The eighth annual event takes place once again at the Eaton Area Senior Center. Guests will enjoy hot hors d’ oeuvres, live music from Windwalker Underground Gallery musicians.

Collaboration and generosity are a common theme of the event itself. Several local businesses and organizations also donate to the event, meaning nearly 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the generosity fund. Local non-profits will have the opportunity to participate in a game in an effort to win a gift basket.

The 4th annual Living a Generous Life award will be presented at the event as well.

The eighth annual Generosity Celebration will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eaton Area Senior Center, located at 804 S. Cochran Avenue in Charlotte. Tickets are available at The County Journal, the Eaton Area Senior Center and Windwalker Underground Gallery.

For more information, call (517) 588-1244.

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Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

Maple Valley Athletic Boosters supply several improvements

Crissta Ames

Contributing Writer

The Maple Valley Athletic Boosters has helped Maple Valley schools in getting a new scorer’s table, new advertising signs, new iPads, and a special opportunity to participate in athletics without the worry of financial burden.

According to the Boosters president, Tal Gearhart, in addition to the material assets that the Boosters have helped Maple Valley get, the district has also earned enough money to eliminate their pay-to-play policy. Without pay-to-play, students can have the opportunity to play a sport without worrying about it being too much of an extra financial burden. A study done in 2016 by Utah State University shows that the average family spends $2,292 per year on sports. This includes participation fees and travel fees, while some families spend even more for services like personal trainers. 

Many places are still debating to eliminate pay-to-play, but the Boosters’ fundraising techniques have allowed Maple Valley to take that step and allow more opportunity for participation.

The football team at Maple Valley received iPads to help them with their plays. “With the iPads, they can record games, go back, and see what they can improve on,” said Gearhart of the iPads’ purpose. 

Having a visual aid to see how the students are doing can also help the coach find where their weakest and strongest points are and plan accordingly. 

The money the Boosters raise comes from two major fundraisers throughout the year. One of these fundraisers is the annual golf outing they organize, which usually takes place just before the start of the school year. Their other big fundraiser is the reverse raffle where attendees can help fundraise and also have the opportunity to win big! 

Gearhart encourages people to support the local businesses who have supported the schools and is grateful for their continued support as well. Keep an eye on the Maple Valley Athletic Boosters Facebook page for more fundraising events.

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Potterville

Potterville

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Cross Country success a tradition at Potterville High School

Crissta Ames

Contributing writer

Potterville High School boys’ cross-country team placed first at this year’s MHSAA Regionals on Oct. 27 in Jackson. The team narrowly defeated Saranac High School by 11 points, with 64 points altogether. The win marks the second consecutive year that Potterville has placed first at regionals. 

Sophomore Zach Wright ran the quickest time at 16:44.3. Wright also ran last year’s quickest time for Potterville as a freshman.

Potterville High School girls’ cross-country team placed third this year at Regionals with 107 points, following behind Lansing Christian and Fowler. Junior Caleigh Winters was the team’s fastest runner, with a time of 19:56.6. 

Since both teams placed third or higher, they both qualified for the MHSAA LP Division 4 Finals out of 149 other schools in the division. 

At the event that took place on Nov. 3 at the Michigan International Speedway, the boys’ team ended up placing ninth among 27 other schools with 295 points, and the girls placed 24th. 

“For next year, we would like to continue to work very hard in the off-season in order to match or beat our performances from year to year,” Potterville’s cross-country coach Dan Brunk said, discussing the future of the teams and how to improve them. “We have many key athletes returning and look forward to adding a solid group of incoming freshmen.“

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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

‘Taco Truck’ to settle down on Main Street

Las Flores, more commonly known as “The Taco Truck” to area Mexican food fans, is moving into a permanent, brick and mortar building on the main corner in downtown Eaton Rapids. The restaurant will go into the space formerly occupied by Madres and the Evelyn Bay coffee shop on the corner of Hamlin and Main Street.

Ady Pintor, who owns and operates the food truck along with her husband Miguel, said they expect to move into the new spot by the end of the month.

“We wanted to move for our customers,” Pintor said. “We wanted them to have a place to sit while they waited (for carry outs) and a place to sit down while they eat. We didn’t want them to have to wait in the rain and snow.”

Having a permanent building, rather than a truck, will also allow them to stay open year-round.

Pintor said both she and Miguel are very fond of their customers.

“Most of them feel like family,” she said. “We know a lot about each other – they care about us and we care about them.

“We really love this community and our customers. It’s what keeps us going. We are grateful for everyone’s support over the years.”

The Las Flores food truck has been serving up delicious Mexican food in Eaton Rapids for the past three years. For the first two years, they were on Main Street. Then they moved to their current spot in the parking lot next to the canoe livery, behind the old fire station.

The Pintors excel at traditional Mexican staples – including tacos, burritos and tamales. Ady Pintor said customer favorites include the tamales and their “taco special.” The special includes three tacos, rice and beans.

The new location will offer both carry out and sit-down dining.

“We are planning on adding some dishes and having a little bigger menu,” she said. “But we are going to continue to keep things simple.”

Las Flores, which means “the flowers” in Spanish, will continue to be open Monday through Saturday. They are always closed on Sunday. Once they move into the new location at 203 S. Main Street, winter business hours are tentatively set for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The phone number is (517) 803-1799.

Sunfield

Sunfield

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Mulliken

Mulliken

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Dimondale

Dimondale

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Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite....

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