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A last insight into the Potterville conflict

Being that I am in my last couple of weeks of employment with the County Journal, I wanted to give some final thoughts on the most ongoing chain of stories I’ve followed in my two years with the newspaper: the City of...

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Charlotte

Charlotte

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Charlotte

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Small Business Saturday continues to grow as local business owners collaborate

Not many small communities have latched on to the national Small Business Saturday movement quite like Charlotte. Through the collaboration of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Love4Charlotte Businesses, CharlotteRising, and the Small Business Development Center at Lansing Community College, Small Business Saturday has turned into something special for the Charlotte community.

More than 30 downtown businesses are participating in this year’s event, which is held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. 

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce executive director Courtney Anderson said this year’s event will provide the local shopper nearly everything they can imagine – home décor, a new outfit, a tasty meal, a children’s toy, and so much more.

“I think it’s great that we are all working together,” said Carolyn Rosier, owner of the Hen House in downtown Charlotte. “It’s nice to know that we are all working toward the same goal.”

Rosier said the collaborative Small Business Saturday efforts that have taken place the past few years have helped raise local awareness of how much downtown Charlotte has to offer consumers.

“So many people drive through town without a real thought as to all that’s offered here,” Rosier added.

Cindy Black, owner of Custom Home Interiors said efforts of organizations like the Chamber and CharlotteRising are starting to make a difference with local shoppers, adding that Small Business Saturday is a great catalyst for that.

“I think people are really buying into the ‘shop local’ movement more and more,” Black said. “It’s important to keep our local economy and our community moving forward.”

“Strong small businesses help to grow a strong community, and in return, a strong community will grow a strong future,” Anderson said. 

Kellie Hanford of the Small Business Development Center said more than 50 percent of the money spent on local businesses stays within the community, boosting the local economy.

Of course, Small Business Saturday isn’t just about shopping in Charlotte. The day includes different spots for family activities throughout the day, including pictures with Santa, Elvis, and the Grinch. The day is capped off by the Chamber’s annual Lighted Parade, which begins at 6 p.m., which is followed by the Tree Lighting on Courthouse Square.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, including a complete list of participating locations, call the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce at (517) 543-0400.

Olivet

Olivet

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Take a walk ‘Into the Woods’ with Olivet High School Theatre

Olivet High School will be presenting Into the Woods for their fall musical this year, directed by Malia Koger and vocal instructor, Alexis Stark. This story, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, and orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick follows the dark twists of the classic fairytales Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and many other favorite childhood fairytale characters.

Into The Woods covers a variety of realistic topics that speak to many people. It starts off with the main characters, Cinderella (Morgan Miklusicak), Jack (Elena Stolberg), the Baker (Marcus Pennington), the Baker’s Wife (Marlee Masters) and Little Red Riding Hood (Hannah Barnard) wishing for things that they desire. The story describes that these characters can acquire their wishes, but not without many consequences.  The show follows them on their journey into the woods to obtain the items needed to break the curse that the witch (Sydney Marshall) placed on them. The journey to acquire these articles causes giants in the sky to become angry and revengeful against the townspeople. In order to survive, they must come together to save the kingdom, but not before tragedy occurs.

This musical is extraordinarily difficult and after talking to the cast, many agreed that memorization and tempo are greatest challenges they’ve faced so far. Taking this in stride, the cast has rehearsed hours on end to bring this production to the stage. Zach Salyers has never been onstage before this production but was first introduced to the theatre world working backstage. 

He expressed, “I am enjoying having to exercise my brain to memorize and being around everyone.” 

This goes to show how this cast has really come together to bring this amazing story to life. 

As said by senior Rebecca Peck, “This show is unique because it pulls together people with varying schedules and a large variety of interests.”

Come support the hardworking and talented Olivet High School theatre students in this one weekend only production. Performances will take place in the Olivet High School Auditorium on Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. Non-reserved seating ticket purchases only and can be purchased at the door before the show.

Article submitted by Olivet Community Schools.

Advertisement: Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.

Bellevue

Bellevue

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Bellevue family champions of draft horse competition

Thursday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 15, was a horse competition few Michiganders were probably aware was taking place. At the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds, however, was a family from Bellevue, Mich. with their six horses for the Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series World Finals. Doyle and Rene had been to the competition before, and even won the previous year, but they were back for the three-day competition determined for another title. Rene is certain her horses were too.

The Dingmans have owned horses since the 80s, and shown their horses since the 90s. Both Rene and Doyle grew up around horses, and took an interest in draft horses shortly after they moved to Bellevue in 1981. Over 30 years later, the Dingmans, their two daughters, and grandchildren are still showing their horses, but they’re not the only family with claim over the six horses that went to Oklahoma.

Doyle and Rene have shared ownership with two families from Ohio. Nick and Cherie Wagner, and Mike and Tara Supers make up the ownership of the All Star Farms six-horse hitch team. The team took the title of champion at the 2018 competition, a second in a row for the team.

The All Star Farms team, like every other team at the competition, went through a series of other qualifying competitions. The points accumulated from the qualifying competitions determined who went on, but every team started out with equal footing in Oklahoma. All Star Farms points from Oklahoma truly were outstanding. The team with the least amount of points comes out on top, and after the first two days All Star Farms was the only team still in the single digits from a three-judge panel. Their total after the three-day competition was 13, and their closest runner up had 29.

The horse teams are judged on several factors, not the least of which is the uniformity among the horses, as well as decorative flare and animation. Rene was proud to share that her horses display confidence and prestige, and even enjoy the competition and showmanship.

“They all have real heart and drive,” said Rene. “The six we have really like their job. They’re evenly matched and drive well together.”

Ross and Nicole Honsberger, and Kelsey and Andy Gilbert, the Dingmans’ two daughters and sons-in-law, continue to help with the horses as well. Rene expects that competitions like the SHHCL will continue to be a family affair for the next generation.

Advertisement: Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Eaton County

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Small Business Saturday continues to grow as local business owners collaborate

Not many small communities have latched on to the national Small Business Saturday movement quite like Charlotte. Through the collaboration of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Love4Charlotte Businesses, CharlotteRising, and the Small Business Development Center at Lansing Community College, Small Business Saturday has turned into something special for the Charlotte community.

More than 30 downtown businesses are participating in this year’s event, which is held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. 

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce executive director Courtney Anderson said this year’s event will provide the local shopper nearly everything they can imagine – home décor, a new outfit, a tasty meal, a children’s toy, and so much more.

“I think it’s great that we are all working together,” said Carolyn Rosier, owner of the Hen House in downtown Charlotte. “It’s nice to know that we are all working toward the same goal.”

Rosier said the collaborative Small Business Saturday efforts that have taken place the past few years have helped raise local awareness of how much downtown Charlotte has to offer consumers.

“So many people drive through town without a real thought as to all that’s offered here,” Rosier added.

Cindy Black, owner of Custom Home Interiors said efforts of organizations like the Chamber and CharlotteRising are starting to make a difference with local shoppers, adding that Small Business Saturday is a great catalyst for that.

“I think people are really buying into the ‘shop local’ movement more and more,” Black said. “It’s important to keep our local economy and our community moving forward.”

“Strong small businesses help to grow a strong community, and in return, a strong community will grow a strong future,” Anderson said. 

Kellie Hanford of the Small Business Development Center said more than 50 percent of the money spent on local businesses stays within the community, boosting the local economy.

Of course, Small Business Saturday isn’t just about shopping in Charlotte. The day includes different spots for family activities throughout the day, including pictures with Santa, Elvis, and the Grinch. The day is capped off by the Chamber’s annual Lighted Parade, which begins at 6 p.m., which is followed by the Tree Lighting on Courthouse Square.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, including a complete list of participating locations, call the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce at (517) 543-0400.

Advertisement: Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.

Vermontville

Vermontville

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Vermontville

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Visit Vermontville Day back for third year

Vermontville is a village known for many things. One of those things is its annual Syrup Festival, which attracts locals, as well as visitors from all over the state. The Syrup Festival is a classic Vermontville celebration and community get together, but some village residents were concerned there wasn’t enough community celebrating during the rest of the year. Three years ago a group from the Vermontville United Methodist Church came together to organize Visit Vermontville Day, a weekend dedicated to a summer celebration of the village. Since the recent closing of the church, the group of organizers has carried on, still committed to providing more opportunities for the community to come together.

The 2018 Visit Vermontville Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 4. The day will be filled with family friendly activities and events, according to event organizer Lois Hammonds. The day begins with a community breakfast at the First Congregational Church from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The day unfolds from there with the Dennis Rodeman 5K Run at 10 a.m., the volunteer fire department waterball tournament at 10:30 a.m., a village meet and greet with free hotdogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m., a cornhole tournament from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a car cruise in and street dance from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those are only some of the events and opportunities. The day also has paint party options for people of all ages, and other athletic tournaments and games to participate in. The complete list of events can be found at the Visit Vermontville Day Facebook page.

As exciting and full as the Saturday will be, the purpose behind the events are deeper than games, craft vendors, and car shows. Proceeds from several of the event registration fees throughout the day will go directly to Gracie Williams, a fourth grade student from Vermontville who was unexpectedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. More information about which events will directly benefit Gracie can be found throughout the day.

Benefitting Gracie is ultimately a testimony to the purpose of Visit Vermontville Day, according to Hammonds. The day is to celebrate Vermontville and its people, but also celebrate the importance of small, tight knit communities that come together around common causes and goals.

“It’s something simple we can do for the family, and that’s what this community is about,” said Hammonds.

It’s not lost on people like Hammonds that small villages and towns like Vermontville are suffering and shrinking around the state, and around the country. Even so, the shrinking communities, like Vermontville, still find the means to provide for families in need, and to even have fun and celebrating as well.

Advertisement: Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.

Potterville

Potterville

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Potterville

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Potterville Public Schools seeking 1-mill sinking fund

Potterville Public Schools is asking voters to approve a 1-mill sinking fund for 10 years. The district would raise approximately $126,000 annually from 2018 to 2027, based on current property values.

The proposal will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. If approved, homeowners with a $50,000 taxable value would pay an additional $50 a year.

A Sinking Fund millage is levied on all property located in the school district. Schools can utilize the revenue to pay for projects or repairs that arise. Sinking Funds provide districts with a more cost effective alternative to borrowing through bonds. Sinking Funds do not require interest costs or legal fees. Sinking Funds are audited annually by an independent auditor. All funds received through a Sinking Fund millage are restricted and can only be spent for specific purposes.

Potterville Schools plans to utilize the funds for safety and security improvements for the elementary, middle school/high school and child care. All three buildings would receive upgraded security cameras, automated locks, updated locks on classrooms and possibly a panic button system.

Instructional technology will be purchased to sustain and increase students’ accessibility to technology. All technology purchased will be placed in the hands of our students.

“All of this is intended to provide a physically and emotionally safe learning environment for all of our students and staff,” said Superintendent Kevin Robydek.  “Our intention is to ask our community for what we need in terms of the dollar amount. The administration believes that 1 mill will address what it feels are overdue upgrades to security and instructional technology.  Feel free to give me a call if you have questions 517-645-2662.”

The official ballot language states:

Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in Potterville Public Schools, Eaton County, Michigan, be increased by and the Board of Education be authorized to levy not to exceed 1 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2018 to 2027, inclusive, to create a sinking fund for school security improvements and for the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2018 is approximately $126,000.

More information about the sinking fund proposal can be found at Potterville Central Administration office, 420 North High Street in Potterville or at City Hall, located at 319 North Nelson Street.

Article submitted by Potterville Public Schools. 

Advertisement: Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.

Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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‘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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