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Featured Story

City honors Myrkle’s two decades of service

Travis Silvas
Contributing Writer

(Photo Provided)

For nearly 24 years, Bryan Myrkle has worn many hats for the City of Charlotte all while operating as the city’s Community Development Director. On Monday, March 25, the Charlotte City Council recognized the many ways Myrkle has dedicated the majority of his professional career to his community through a special proclamation.

“With profound admiration and heartfelt appreciation, we honor his outstanding service and remarkable contributions to the City of Charlotte,” the proclamation reads in closing.

Myrkle is stepping down from his role with the city, which began in October of 2000, to take on the role of Village Manager of the Village of Paw Paw. His last day with the City of Charlotte is Tuesday, April 2.

“We have a family farm about 15 miles from the village, and it’s always been a longterm plan to move down there later in life,” Myrkle said. “When the opportunity came open with the Village of Paw Paw, the timing was right to make the move.”

Throughout his tenure, Myrkle’s presence has been felt throughout the greater business community. Not only has he worked diligently behind the scenes to attract business development and growth directly for the city, he has represented the city’s interests as an active member of organizations such as CanDo! and CharlotteRising.

“Mr. Myrkle’s unwavering integrity, dedication, and loyalty have been the bedrock of his service to the City and the Charlotte community, embodying the very spirit of public service,” the proclamation states.

Myrkle pointed to a couple of projects he collaborated on that he can look back on with pride. The renovation of Beach Market is a high-profile project in the city in which he worked closely with the Friends of the Charlotte Lions Club and Friends of Charlotte Rotary Club. Less known is a brownfield project on the north end of town that he helped clean up.

“That took a lot of effort to get the pieces to fall in place,” Myrkle said of the brownfield project.

“There’s always things you look back on and wish you could have done, but that’s because there is so much opportunity here,” he said.
Mayor Tim Lewis said Myrkle has been an integral part of the city’s success over the years.

“His dedication, thorough leadership and outstanding ability to look forward at possibilities are really unmatched,” Lewis said. “It will take a significant staff member to replace him. The next person will shave some really big shoes to fill.”
Myrkle said he is confident the city will continue to move forward.

“There are tons of people in Charlotte working hard to make this a great place,” he said. “I know Charlotte has been here for 150 years and is going to be here another 150 more. Charlotte has been a great town for me and my family.”



Featured Story

Remember Pawsibilities as the months grow cold

Christine Terpening
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided)


According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we can expect a cold winter with plenty of snowstorms, sleet and ice rain for the Great Lakes region, or as we call it: typical Michigan. This is a time when costs to house and feed animals increase astronomically. As you enter the giving season, consider giving to an organization that cares for our four-legged friends who need a home.

Pawsibilities Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, in Olivet knows all too well about displaced animals. The 16-acre farm rescues animals from Michigan and other states that have been surrendered by the owner and accommodates many animal controls. Pawsibilities rehomes dogs, cats, livestock, exotics, birds and reptiles. President Connie Friedly, who has been rescuing animals for over 50 years, is known for saying, “Don’t shop, always adopt. Rescue pets are the most grateful.”

While every animal that finds themselves at Pawsibilities Rescue gets placed in a loving home, the harsh facts are that there are more displaced pets than there is space. With temperatures becoming increasingly colder, consider fostering or adopting a grateful hearted companion from this loving rescue. Every animal that is rehomed makes room for others that need the rescue’s help, as Freidly states, “We only house what we can accommodate and care for properly.”

In addition to cold temperatures, the holidays often are a time that increases home displacement for pets. In order to prevent a pet needing rescue, Friedly says that it’s very important that prospective pet owners research the kind of pet that they are considering adopting. This includes their breed, their feeding and cleaning needs and the amount of space and equipment needed to house the animal. Also, being realistic about the time one has available to take care of such a pet.

Pawsibilities Rescue is 100% funded by public donation. “We are strictly a donation based non-profit. If people don’t donate, we don’t exist,” she said. Pawsiblilities is in need of financial help for spay and neutering, gas cards and a multitude of other expenses that the rescue incurs on a daily basis.

Pawsibilities Rescue provides to surrounding communities to help pet owners with the needs of their pet. They donate food to churches, food banks, other animal shelters and local families in need. “We do so much, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the local community,” she said gratefully, “This little rescue does a lot for a lot of communities.”

Pawsibilities Rescue can be contacted at (517)652-9353, calling or texting first for an appointment is requested. Consider a loving pet that needs a home or volunteer to help an animal in need.This organization only accepts animals that are safe to rehome. Volunteers and community service help is needed. If it is in your heart to financially donate, checks may be mailed to Pawsibilities Rescue, 2200 W. Bellevue Hwy, Olivet, MI 49076.



Featured Story

Bellevue Community Schools announces Eric McCalla as the next superintendent

Submitted by Bellevue Public Schools

The Bellevue Community Schools Board is delighted to announce the unanimous decision to extend a contract to Mr. Eric McCalla, who is poised to become the district’s next superintendent pending contract negotiations. The decision was made after a thorough evaluation of an impressive candidate pool, with Mr. McCalla emerging as the standout choice due to his exceptional qualifications, vision for student success, and alignment with the community’s values.

Currently serving as the high school principal at John Glenn High School in Westland, Mr. McCalla brings a wealth of experience to the role. His extensive background as an educator and administrator in Manchester and Grass Lake, along with his dedication to education, has positioned him as an ideal candidate for the Bellevue Community Schools.

In addition to his educational leadership, Mr. McCalla holds the position of Chelsea Community Fair Board President, showcasing his commitment to community involvement and collaboration. Furthermore, his roots run deep, with his children being the fourth generation on his family farm, emphasizing his connection to the local community.

During the interview process, Mr. McCalla expressed his enthusiasm for joining Bellevue Community Schools, stating, “This feels like home and a place I can retire from.” The Board was particularly impressed with his vision for student success and his comprehensive roadmap to address the challenges facing the district.

President Seth Madry expressed his confidence in the Board’s decision, saying, “Mr. McCalla has a great vision for student success and provided us with a road map on how to meet the challenges as a district. He wants to make sure that we promote the district and all the successes of our students and staff. Mr. McCalla noted he has similar values to our community and will highlight the rich traditions and build a culture of excellence.”

After taking board action, Mr. McCalla was called to ask if he wanted to become a Bronco. He replied enthusiastically, “I am excited to join the team at Bellevue. I believe that as a team we can make strides for our students and greater community.”

Pending successful contract negotiations, Mr. Eric McCalla is expected to assume the role of superintendent and lead Bellevue Community Schools into a future marked by educational excellence, community engagement, and student success.

Welcome to Bellevue Community Schools. We are driven by a passion to ensure each student is successful. Knowing that a strong education will provide more options for a quality life beyond high school, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to lead Bellevue Community Schools, both academically and non-academically, by providing clear, consistent communication, strengthening relationships, and developing a cohesive and rigorous K-12 core curriculum.

We are proud to be Broncos! Because of the depth of our Bronco pride, our district continues to flourish. We have welcomed dozens of new families into our classrooms – many of which have lived in our community but chose other educational options for their children. At a time when others struggled to meet the demanding needs of their community in the midst of a global pandemic, we opened our arms and shined our Bronco pride to all. We believe this is one of the main reasons so many families are now Bellevue Broncos.

Our Bronco pride is also evident in the investment that our district is making in our Jr/Sr High School. For the first time is over 30 years, we are offering Agri Science courses to 7th-12th grade students. By adding these courses, our district has revived our FFA Chapter, allowing our students to be a part of opportunities that have been afforded to the students in our neighboring districts.

In addition, we continue to expand opportunities for each student throughout the district by focusing on strengthening the social, emotional, health, and nutritional supports by adding amazing new staff members.

We would love to share more about our district with you. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Eaton County

Eaton County

Featured Story

Backing the Blue Michigan’s annual fundraiser

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided)

Backing the Blue Michigan is a local organization that gives back to police departments across the state.

In 2017 Backing the Blue Michigan, a nonprofit organization, was started by Jennifer Keller, a local resident who wanted to help local police departments and fallen officers’ families with fundraiser dinners and galas.

After the organization started Backing the Blue Michigan was bringing support to police departments then the COVID pandemic happened and had to stop operations. Soon after that Keller had to take a step back and now Jeffrey and Nicole Christensen are continuing the organization. The Christensens have expanded the program to offer fundraising to 12 departments across the state, also including scholarship opportunities for fallen officers’ children.
The mission statement of Backing the Blue Michigan is to “embrace the opportunity to make a difference for the law enforcement community. We are a growing organization that has big plans for our future and the intent and success of our mission throughout Michigan.”

On Saturday, April 27, Backing the Blue will be holding their first event since the COVID pandemic, consisting of a $10,000 reverse raffle as well as a live and silent auction. The funds that are raised at this annual event will go towards the City of Charlotte Police Department to receive a K9 unit and part will be put towards building scholarships for children of fallen officiers. The scholarship is for any child who has post secondary plans whether that is college, trade school, or anything in between. Hosts for the fundraiser event will be David Andrews, WILX 10 and Travis Hicks, FOX 47.

This event will become an annual fundraiser for Backing the Blue Michigan, specifically for the Charlotte Police Department.

This year it will be held at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Kardel Hall, located at 1025 S. Cochran in Charlotte. Tickets are still available and can be found online, You can also visit Backing the Blue Michigan at the Eaton County Expo happening April 20-21, also at the fairgrounds. Contact Backing the Blue Michigan on Facebook or call Nicole at 517-588-9920.



Featured Story

Sled Dog Race in Vermontville

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided – Pictured L to R: Matt Norton, Jessica Norton, Samantha and Sawyer Wawiernia.)

Sled dog racing has been a sporting event testing the relationship between man and his best friend, the dog, ever since 1908 in Alaska.

The typical setting for sled dog racing can be pictured in feet of snow as contestants race in arctic temperatures with husky dogs, but that is not the only form of the sport. Dryland racing is an emerging form of sled dog racing in the United States, with origins in Europe, and is becoming popular because it does not require any snow which allows for more teams and more races.

Although the sport may not be as popular as it once was, that does not mean it is no longer around. Coming up on April 13 and 14 will be your chance to be a spectator at a local sled dog race in Vermontville.

H&H Racing of Vermontville will be the hosts of the sled dog race, which is presented by Great Lakes Sled Dog Association (GLSDA) on their 2.7-mile sled dog track, The Farmer’s Loop, that has been sanctioned by the International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA). H&H Racing is led by lifelong friends Jessica Norton and Samantha Wawiernia along with Norton’s husband, Matt, and Wawiernia’s 12-year-old son, Sawyer. Collectively the team, which started six years ago, has competed in races all over the country and are excited to be hosting their first race at The Farmer’s Loop. Wawiernia specializes in six-dog team and Norton specializes in four-dog team, which both mushers are placed first in per ISDRA rankings.

Registration is still open for mushers at The Farmer’s Loop sled dog race, where there are already entries rolling in. This race has all divisions of dog racing including one-dog up to six-dog teams: four dog rig class, six dog rig class, two dog scooter class; one dog classes, bike and scooter, will run the 1.5-mile trail. There will be a junior division at this race in mid-April, which can be teams of one to two dogs, junior mushers must be 16 years old or younger. H&H Racing, which stands for Hounds and Huskies, wants to feature the junior as much as they can because they are the future of the sport.

You can register yourself and your dog for the race on Facebook at The Farmer’s Loop Sled Dog Race, under the events tab where there is a link to register. The Farmer’s Loop is located at 7545 Brown Road in Vermontville. There will be parking available, and the event itself will be held on April 13-14 beginning at 8 a.m.



Featured Story

New and only barbershop in town

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Kelsey Klont/TCJ)

Potterville’s only barbershop is open and ready for business.

Cole Davis, a 2021 Potterville High School graduate, opened Cole Cutsss on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Specifically for men’s haircuts and beard upkeep, it is a true barbershop.

Growing up, Davis’s dad, Todd, would always cut his hair. When he was a freshman in high school Davis taught himself how and started to cut his own hair. He had done that for a couple years when his friends started asking him to cut their hair. Thinking that would be a nice hobby he started to realize that he had the potential when other people who he did not know from high school began to ask him to cut their hair too.

After graduating high school in the spring of 2021, he was not fully sure if there could be a steady income and career as a full-time barber, so over the course of the next year he worked as an electrician and a tree worker. During that time, he discovered that he knows what he does and does not like to do, and also that he wants to be his own boss to work for himself. Davis said, “I have been wanting to own a barbershop of my own but did not anticipate that it would happen so quickly. Throughout this whole experience my family, friends, and my parents’ friends have helped out a lot with the renovations and have also influenced me to go for it with my own barbershop.”

In May of 2022, Davis enrolled at Lansing Barber College to become a licensed barber. Davis finished the year-long program in June of 2023, and after that he rented a chair at a barbershop in Frandor Shopping Center.

In July of last year, Davis started the lease at his Potterville location. Things came together “sooner than he thought,” according to Davis, as he didn’t expect to have a business and his own building at the age of 20. Family friends Georgia and her late husband Ken Fry own the building, which was built in the late 1960’s where Ken had owned and operated K & G Barbershop years ago.
Davis already has plans for the future. He told me that he hopes to purchase the building and add another barber sooner rather than later to help with the large influx of appointments he has been getting. Cole Cutsss offers appointments as well as walk-ins and he asks everyone to please be patient as they figure out scheduling since they are newly opened. Services provided at Cole Cutsss include men’s hair cuts and beards, offering special pricing for seniors and boys. Davis specializes in fades with clippers saying, “The shorter the hair the better.”

You can find Cole Cutsss located at 121 S. Hartel in Potterville, where you can walk in or call ahead for an appointment at 517-881-4266. Hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m. to Noon. Cole Cutsss is closed Tuesday and Sunday.

Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

Capstone Family Practice is a new local family practice office located in Eaton Rapids

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo Provided – L to R: Laura McNamara (medical assistant); Julie Teceno (NP), Wyatt Houck (Office manager/reception), Pamela Becker (NP), Judy Raymond-Rojas (medical assistant))


Board Certified Nurse Practitioners, Pamela Becker MSN, APRN, NP-C and Julie Teceno MSN, APRN, FNP-C opened Capstone in February this year. Becker and Teceno live in this community and are passionate about providing quality care for the region.

The name Capstone is faith based, which originates from the Bible verse found in Zechariah 4:7.

The personable medical team at Capstone Family Practice offers health care services for entire families from newborns to seniors.

When asked why they wanted to open this new practice, Becker said, “To provide an environment where patients can feel comfortable. A place where we can listen to our patients. A place that meets their primary health care needs.” Becker and Teceno both have extensive nursing and hospital experience working for local health care systems. Additionally, they have been friends for many years.

Together, Becker and Teceno have over 50 years of combined experience in health care, which they now bring to Capstone Family Practice. They offer a wide array of services that range from physicals to wellness checks, preventative care, and much more.

Capstone Family Practice is accepting new patients. If you are searching for a new primary care provider, you may consider looking at Capstone Family Practice where they accept most commercial insurance carriers as well as Medicare. You can visit their website at to see their full list of services provided. You may also call 517-836-2178 if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment. The address is 2487 S. Michigan Rd., Suite E, Eaton Rapids. The office is located behind Independent Bank just north of Eaton Rapids.

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