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Month: December 2014

Organizations look to collaborate on downtown revitalization efforts

With a Downtown Development Strategy in place, local organizations are looking to join forces in an effort to move the plan forward. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Can Do! and City of Charlotte Downtown Development Authority will hold a joint meeting Jan. 14 to discuss how the organizations can work together towards downtown revitalization efforts. “This strategy is only going to work if it has wide ownership,” said Charlotte Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle. “It seems like all of these local economic development groups should be playing a role and I think they all want to see how their efforts can make a positive difference.” Myrkle, who worked with staff at city hall as well as officials from the State of Michigan and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) to develop the plan, said he envisions organizations and individuals identifying tasks in which to take the lead. “We’ve got to have some champions for this to work,” Myrkle said. “The plan is a framework. There is very little that can’t be adjusted. I’m hoping people will take a look and identify the part they want to play. They’ll get whatever help they want, but I’m not going to be overbearing in the leadership. This really needs to be everybody’s plan.” Charlotte Chamber of Commerce board president Garrett Bensinger said collaboration is essential to any success the revitalization plan may...

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City signs $237,000 agreement to purchase armory

The Charlotte City Council voted 5-to-1 Monday, Dec. 8 to enter into a purchase agreement to acquire the former National Guard Armory located on south Cochran. Pending some further investigation, which includes an additional asbestos inspection, the City will purchase the property for $237,000. “There is an out clause that allows us to back away,” said Charlotte City Manager, Gregg Guetschow. “One thing that wasn’t explored was asbestos in the building. I’m not expecting the inspector to find enough to cause us any concern.” Guetschow said the building, structurally, is in great shape as the State has done a...

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It’s A Wonderful Life marks return of community theatre

When George Bailey staggers onto the Charlotte Performing Arts Center stage Saturday, Dec. 20, he will mark the return of community theatre in Charlotte. His story, known to many from the timeless holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, will be brought to life by one of the community’s newest groups — Andromeda Community Theatre (ACT). ACT will present two performances of the play, adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers, at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. The show premieres on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. The second performance will be held Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m....

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CPS Education Foundation awards 9 classroom mini grants

The Charlotte Public Schools Education Foundation has been building momentum over the course of the last few years as its fund-raising efforts have increased with community awareness. As a byproduct, the Foundation has been able to contribute more towards enhancing the educational opportunities for Charlotte students. This is most evident in the Foundation’s latest announcement of classroom mini-grant recipients. Nine mini-grants in total, the most in the Foundation’s short history, were awarded to teachers representing every school in the district. “We are so thankful that our community continues to support the Charlotte Public Schools Education Foundation,” said CPSEF president, Brian Lautzenheiser. “With that support we were able to award nine mini grants this year. We also had a record turnout for applications turned in. The message is getting out that we want to help the teachers and be relied on as a resource.” Carolyn Maier, who serves on the Foundation’s grant committee, said the quality of the applications was impressive. “Proposals that were funded included the areas of reading, language arts, science, English, music and differentiated learning,” Maier said. “Our mission to enhance the educational experiences of students in the Charlotte Public Schools is made possible by the continuing community support of our fundraising efforts such as the golf outing and Oktoberfest/Art Auction and the generous donation from the James and Ann Garvey Living Trust.” Grant recipients include: Amy...

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Charlotte Eagles to continue 40-year Christmas tradition

After 40 years, many of the familiar faces become friends. It’s one of the reasons the Charlotte Eagles Community Christmas Dinner is so special to the many volunteers that help put the program on each Christmas day. The program has always been a tradition for Donie Osborn, program coordinator. Her parents, Les and Eunice Wells along with Howard and Jean Moss and several other Eagles members, founded the program in 1974. She’s spent every Christmas day since serving people in her community. “It’s a tradition for my family,” Osborn said. “The Eagles members, though, are the ones that help make it a success.” It takes close to 100 volunteers to prepare a Christmas feast for close to 150 people every year. Among them have been Osborn’s children and grandchildren, the third and fourth generation to participate in the tradition. The dinner has always been open to anyone in the community and its need is the same as it was 40 years ago. “They knew of many residents in the Charlotte area that would be alone on this special day,” Osborn said of the reason her parents helped found the program. “I get nostalgic thinking about all these people who are home alone or have family in another city somewhere. This whole thing started because there were so many people who could benefit from something like this.” The program started...

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