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Month: May 2015

Bellevue DDA looks to make mastodon bones a regular attraction

The Village of Bellevue Downtown Development Authority has set its sites on a one-of-a-kind attraction that has the potential to draw some wide-ranging attention to the community. The Village was thrust into the national spotlight last fall when local residents Daniel LaPoint, Jr. and Eric Witzke unearthed 10,000-year-old mastodon bones from Witzke’s yard. Working with the two residents, the DDA has developed a plan to make the mastodon bones the centerpiece of a downtown Bellevue exhibit. “Our hope, when all is said and done, is to have a downtown attraction of some type,” said Village Manager Travis Brininstool. “The mastodon bones would be the focal point, but we would have other historical artifacts from the Bellevue area.” The Village has set up an online GoFundMe site — — with a goal of raising $12,000, which Brininstool said would cover the cost to operate the exhibit for the first year. “We have some things in the works to get that price down,” Brininstool said. “The goal is to set up a five-year commitment. We would start small and hopefully grow from there.” Brininstool said he sees the opportunity to partner with the schools to provide educational opportunities at the exhibit; the Bellevue Historical Society to provide tours of its one-room schoolhouse as well as the owners of the historic old mill. “All three together could be a nice day...

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Kiwanis Flag Project returns for Memorial Day

While honoring our nation’s fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to notice the flags proudly displayed throughout downtown Charlotte. United States flags will surround the perimeter of Courthouse Square and line Cochran and Lawrence avenues in an impressive display of patriotism. These flags stand for liberty, loyalty, courage and integrity. It is these ideals that local individuals, organizations and businesses wish to celebrate throughout the year through their support of the Charlotte Kiwanis Club Flag Project. Each flag displayed in the community is sponsored by an individual, organization or business to be flown several times throughout...

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Advances in technology take Charlotte Police Department training to new level

Charlotte Police Chief Lisa Sherman considers herself extremely fortunate to have never fired her weapon in the line of duty. She knows, however, not every officer is as fortunate. That’s why Sherman took advantage of an opportunity for her officers to participate in a day of intense, realistic training. Utilizing the latest in technology, each officer in the department, including Sherman, participated in a training session Monday, May 18 through the use of a wireless firearms training simulator (FATS). Using Bluetooth technology, officers used real firearms and tasers (modified to work with the training program) when presented with up...

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Whitetail Farms Farm Fresh Market opens to awaiting community

Nearly one year after breaking ground on what Greg Saltzman described as a 20-year dream, Whitetail Farms Farm Fresh Market opened its doors to customers in the greater-Olivet community. Saltzman, who has owned Whitetail Farms, LLC for the past 20 years always envisioned opening a meat market in the community. In the past year, though, his vision and his goals have expanded with the needs of the community. “This is really for the community,” he said. “This is far more than what I had originally planned. I created a monster, and the monster grew.” Saltzman said his initial thoughts...

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CHS business management class urges fellow students to ‘Stay Alive, Don’t Text and Drive’

For the past month, students in Monique Colizzi’s business management class at Charlotte High School have been running a “corporation” designed to end texting and driving among students. Crafted by six different departments, the corporation has attacked the issue from a number of angles, leading up to a school-wide presentation on Tuesday, May 19 at Charlotte Performing Arts Center — Stay Alive, Don’t Text and Drive. The highlight of the presentation is featured speaker, Chad Johnson, a Grand Ledge resident whose life was changed when he was hit by a distracted driver. “We definitely have a lot of kids...

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