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Month: March 2016

CRCF grant helps equip Olivet Police with bulletproof vests

Olivet Police will now be a little safer patrolling the city streets thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation. The grant, which was matched by the City, allowed the police department to purchase three bulletproof vests and three new handheld radios. “Police officers represent the best of our community and we need to insure that we provide them with the assistance they need to do their job safely and effectively,” stated Olivet City Clerk, Becky Palmer. Because of the City’s limited budget, Palmer said the purchase of the vests and radios would have been something...

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Community input sought for public art project

Let’s talk about art! Barbara Fulton will lead an important community conversation centered on public art on Wednesday, March 23. The discussion, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Windwalker Art and Underground Gallery, located at 125 S. Cochran Avenue in downtown Charlotte, is an integral part of an ad-hoc art committee’s goal of commissioning a piece of public art. The downtown art committee was created by the City of Charlotte in February to secure a $10,000 grant from the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP), which would be used to commission the art. The committee is looking to garner as much input as possible to be able to put together a request for proposal (RFP) that reflects the desires of the community as a whole. The public is invited to join in a fun and interactive discussion meant to identify the themes and beliefs commonly found within the Charlotte community. These will be reflected in a piece of art that will be installed at Peter’s Circle (the southwest corner of Cochran Avenue and Lovett Street in downtown Charlotte). LEAP will officially announce grant recipients before the end of March. Grant recipients will then have just a few weeks to put an RFP together to send out to Mid-Michigan artists. If selected for the grant, an artist will be selected by mid-spring with the goal of unveiling the public...

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Rosekrans gets ‘effective’ rating

Superintendent Mark Rosekrans has received an “Effective” evaluation from the Charlotte Public Schools Board of Education. Board members voted unanimously Monday, March 11 to approve the evaluation, which was conducted in closed session during a special board of education meeting Wednesday, Feb. 24. Rosekrans received a score of 83.25 percent — which rated him in 11 different categories — utilizing a Michigan Association of School Boards rubric system. Effective ratings range from 68 to 84 percent. Anything above 85 is considered highly effective. Rosekrans received an 83.65 percent rating a year ago, earning a one-year extension on his contract, which expires in June of 2018. The school board chose not to vote on Rosekrans’ extension at this time. Board president Mike Bruce said that the board wanted to take more time before making that decision, with a number of budget issues to discuss between now and June. “It was a pretty intense process,” Bruce said of this year’s evaluation. “We spent about two and a half hours as a board before spending another two hours with Mark.” Bruce said he encouraged board members to go into the evaluation process understanding that they were rating Rosekrans on a full 12-months in the position. “This is not just about what has happened in the past 35 to 40 days,” Bruce said, referring to controversy surrounding resigned basketball coach Steve Ernst. Bruce...

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Evelyn Bay Coffee enters new chapter of family business

Erica Limas had been groomed for this moment for nearly 20 years. Working alongside one’s mom for that long presents its share of challenges. However, she learned a great deal from Fay Binkowski and they both knew the time had come. Limas became the official owner of Evelyn Bay Coffee in downtown Charlotte on Feb. 1, taking the reigns from Fay, who had owned the coffee shop for nearly eight years. “This has always been the plan,” Limas said, “for me to step into her shoes.” Limas first started working for her mother at Fay’s Gourmet Pizza nearly 20 years ago. Each time Fay and her husband, Chet transitioned their business in town, Erica went along for the ride, soaking in the knowledge of what it takes to be a successful business owner. “Believe it or not, it was great,” she said. “I learned a lot from her … how to be a good businesswoman. I want to be a positive role model for my kids like she always was for me.” Limas hasn’t made any changes to Fay’s since taking over a month ago and she said she doesn’t plan to do anything that would take away from the community atmosphere Fay and Chet created at the coffee shop. She does, however, intend to add her own small touches here and there. She said Fay’s will offer a...

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Lipsey named Charlotte Chamber of Commerce interim director

Amanda Lipsey can see the potential in Charlotte. As a small business owner, she knows the challenges that face the business community, but chooses to recognize them as opportunities. Now she has the chance to share that positive outlook with her fellow business owners, and the community at large, in a new way. Lipsey was named Charlotte Chamber of Commerce interim director in late February, taking over for Grace Boehmer, who resigned from the position after nearly two years to take an opportunity with a local business. “I am really passionate about my community,” Lipsey said. “Being involved on...

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