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Month: April 2014

Vermontville mourns loss of Monte O’Dell

A major void was left in the Village of Vermontville Monday, March 31 with the passing of Monte O’Dell, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 55. Lovingly referred to as “Mr. Vermontville,” O’Dell served the Village in a number of capacities for more than 30 years. His impact was felt in every corner of the community through his work as DPW Supervisor and his time, more 35 years, with the Vermontville Township Fire Department. More than his professional relationships, however, O’Dell’s greatest impacts were made through his personal relationships he seemed to have with everyone....

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Eaton Federal Savings Bank joins ‘Teach Children To Save’ campaign

Eaton Federal Savings Bank has partnered with the Charlotte Community Library-Toddler Story Hour, Stephy’s Angels Daycare, Charlotte St. Mary’s School and many other local schools and groups in the Eaton Rapids, Nashville, Olivet, and Grand Ledge areas to celebrate the 2014 Teach Children To Save Event.  Eaton Federal will educate more than 600 local children this year with out-of-the-box lessons, making learning about money fun for students and allow bankers to bring reality and learning together to help students understand the basic principles of using money wisely. Established by the American Bankers Association in 1997, Teach Children to Save...

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Blarney Stone Race challenges 200-plus to brave single digit temps

A crisp 7-degree chill filled the lungs of more than 230 runners the morning of March 16 as they prepared to take on Potterville’s first Blarney Stone Race. The cold temperatures may have kept people from signing up on the morning of the race, but it did not diminish the enjoyment felt by the participants. “Mother nature really tried to mess with me on this one,” said Aric Prudden, program developer for the City of Potterville Parks and Recreation department. “It was a lot of fun. I was hoping to get more people to sign up on race day, but with the temperatures as cold as they were, it didn’t happen.” Prudden was still pleased with the turnout for the City’s first attempt at a St. Patrick’s Day themed run. He said plans are already in the works for next year’s event. Prudden said 260 people registered for the race; 234 participated and 228 finished either the 5K, 10K or half marathon. “Overall, I was very happy,” Prudden said. “We raised about $3,000 for the parks and rec department and the Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue.” Prudden said he was especially thankful for all of the volunteers who helped out on race day, braving the frigid temperatures, which peaked at 16 degrees. The celebration continued at Lake Alliance following the race as EagleMonk Pub and Brewery of Mount Pleasant sponsored and...

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Charlotte Generosity Fund accepting grant applications through May 19

In 2013 the Charlotte Generosity Fund awarded two $1,000 grants to local non-profit organizations that demonstrated the ability to collaborate in order to make a difference in the lives of Eaton County residents. This spring, Charlotte Generosity Fund committee members are looking to continue to make a positive impact in the area. Grant applications are now available at Fulton Lumber Co. in Charlotte. You can also request an application by sending an email to or posting to the Charlotte Generosity Fund Facebook page. Grant applications are available to any local non-profit, regardless of size, that demonstrates a program or cause that utilizes collaboration. Applicants must also show how their program meets one of seven elements of a healthy community: • Meets the basic needs of residents • Promotes health and wellness • Creates quality education and learning opportunities for all ages • Ensures a vibrant and diversified economy • Provides broad access to arts and culture • Fosters strong and connected neighborhoods and communities • Protects and stewards the natural environment “By sharing resources and focusing on mutual goals, our community has the capacity to enhance existing programs as well as recognizing and addressing emerging needs,” stated Christi Dutcher, Charlotte Generosity Fund advisory committee chair. “To that end, organizations applying for grants must demonstrate collaboration with other organizations in the region.” The Charlotte Generosity Fund, a fund within...

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The County Journal enters ninth year of serving Eaton County

Anniversaries are often a time of celebration and in many cases a time of reflection. At The County Journal, we like to do both. Our celebrations, however, are a little different. Sure we enjoy the fact that we’re entering our ninth year in business, serving the advertisers and readers of Bellevue, Charlotte, Maple Valley, Olivet, Potterville, Eaton Rapids, Sunfield, Mulliken and Dimondale. But, we do so with the understanding that we are here solely because of the support we’ve received from each community. We choose to celebrate the successes within the communities we cover. Your stories make The County Journal your community newspaper. The support of our local businesses allows those stories to be read by thousands each week. The past eight years have presented more than a fair share of challenges for small businesses, community members, our schools and local governments. However, in Eaton County, we are blessed with a blue collar mentality and a unique ability to work together. Through it all, you’ve allowed The County Journal to remain a part of your lives and allowed us to work side-by-side to grow and strengthen our communities. That’s always been at the core of what we do, a value instilled by our founder, John Gaedert. As John always said, we can’t be successful if our communities aren’t successful. We look forward to another year of success, of growth...

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