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Month: December 2013

Outages continue to affect more than 6,000 in Eaton County

Consumers Energy crews continue to work around the clock to restore power to the more than 80,000 Mid-Michigan customers still without as of Thursday afternoon, including 6,054 in Eaton County. Consumers Energy spokesman, Terry DeDoes said more than 2,900 workers from Consumers Energy, contractors from Michigan and employees from other states were out in the field late this week. “First of all, we want to extend our gratitude to those crews that came from out of state that had to leave their families during the holidays,” DeDoes said. “And, of course our own employees who took time off from family, in many cases forgoing vacations. We also want to recognize the appreciated patience from our customers, who’ve been wonderful.” Heidi Ide was one of those patient customers in Charlotte, still waiting for power to be restored to her house on Thursday. A downed limb in her yard ripped the electrical mast from the home. She said the Charlotte Fire Department had to come cut the lines on Sunday. An electrician restored the mast, but the family is still waiting for power, though many of her neighbors’ power had been restored earlier in the week. “We could be worse off,” Ide said. “At least we have heat. I know some people have had to go without any heat. We are fortunate to have a generator.” Heidi’s husband Greg had to...

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Charlotte youth’s vision for others aided by church family

Seven-year-old Samantha Todd could not wait to step up in front of the entire congregation at Charlotte Church of Christ and share her plan. The Charlotte youth had set a goal of raising $900 for Barry Eaton CASA for Kids to help purchase Christmas gifts this year. Only she needed some help in reaching that goal. Samantha laid out the plan in September and by Dec. 1 the congregation had raised $1,900 for the local non-profit that serves as the advocate for children in foster care due to abuse and neglect. Samantha and her youth class at the Church...

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Olivet students generate enough food to feed 80-plus families

Students at Olivet High School and Olivet Middle School challenged each other to collect the most food to donate the Good Neighbor Program. What a difference a little friendly competition makes. The student bodies of each school collected more than 1,400 items to donate to the program, which is enough for nearly 85 families in the Olivet School District. “The students truly showed that the little town of Olivet has a really big heart,” said Olivet community member Carol Hartman. The Good Neighbor Program, housed at the Olivet Congregational Church, distributed food to community members in need on Wednesday,...

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Fuller Street Elementary empowering students through personal mastery

Students at Fuller Street Elementary School have taken ownership of their education thanks to the process of Personal Mastery introduced to the school by the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition (RISC). Working alongside Personal Mastery Coach, Heather Bross, teachers at the elementary school have created an educational model suited to Fuller students that allows them to work at their own pace and level to master each common core standard. Each classroom has developed its own “big goal” to reach, which was established through a shared vision created by the students. In addition to learning the basics, the personal mastery model includes a Code of Cooperation or ROAR, which stands for Responsibility, Orderly, Assistive and Respectful. Students establish a proficiency scale that helps them monitor their own behavior. “Unpacking each trait with students allows for the dialogue of each to go deep asking questions like; ‘what does being responsible look like, sound like, and feel like?,’” said Bross, who is a former educator at Maple Valley Schools.. “The Code of Cooperation leads directly back to the Shared Vision…following the code allows us to reach our goals.” Teachers at Fuller Street attended six days of hands-on training before incorporating personal mastery into the curriculum. “I am very proud of the progress that is being made,” Bross said. “Fuller is focused on meeting each students needs through individualizing learning in the classroom.” Teachers work...

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Local mentors bring entrepreneurial opportunity to Charlotte youth

Serving as chair of Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity (Can Do!) for the last year has brought several things to light for John Bailey. One of which is the importance of the Charlotte community growing its own economic base locally and regionally. It’s one of the reasons he found Generation E Institute (GenEI), a Battle Creek-based non-profit that offers youth entrepreneurial education programs and consulting services, so appealing. Bailey was one of three local mentors, along with Laurie Newland and Rick Todd that recently completed training to become certified to teach the GenEI curriculum. Generation E, through a collaborative effort with Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and AL!VE, secured a grant to provide training for up to 54 people in the tri-county area. Locally, Bailey, Newland and Todd are eager to share their knowledge with local youth. The three are inviting all middle and high school-aged youth to attend an informational meeting Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at AL!VE to learn more about Generation E Institute and how students can create their own small businesses. The plan is to establish an eight-week program aimed at cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit within youth in Charlotte. The program will be set up to run in February and March and will be tailored to fit the needs of those attending the Jan. 16 meeting. The program teaches students the ins and...

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