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Month: November 2017

Hometown Family Christmas set for December 2nd

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us again. Halloween is over and many poor devils started listening to “All I want for Christmas is You” as soon as the clock struck midnight November 1. (This is one reporter who refuses to play Christmas music until Thanksgiving has passed, but that’s just me.) By the time this edition of the paper is out, however, Thanksgiving will have passed, and that means Hometown Family Christmas is coming next. The Island City will celebrate community Christmas with Santa visits, a chili cook-off, a bazaar, Fill a Cop Car, a parade, and more. The festivities start at 9 a.m. with a pancake breakfast with Santa and silent auction at the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center, and Santa will also be available at the Eaton Rapids Wesleyan Church and Hastay’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop throughout the day. This year the newest addition to the Hometown Christmas festivities is the chili cook-off at Riverside Café and Catering. Registration for the cook-off will be open until December 1 and those wishing to participate can register at Riverside. So far there are about 10 people registered, but the Chamber would like to see greater turnout for the event. Those interested in participating in the Christmas parade are encouraged, though not required, to register on the Eaton Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce website. Those registered...

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Former Olivet mayor returns for another term

Laura Barlond-Maas has been connected to Olivet for many years. She attended Olivet College, raised a family in Olivet, returned to Olivet College as an English professor, and was mayor 2001-2005. After 12 years, Laura is returning to the Olivet City Council chamber as mayor. Laura decided it was time to step back onto city council when Gary Peterson, the mayor of the last 12 years, said he was stepping down. “Being mayor is a lot of work,” said Laura. “We need to know what our goals are.” After being sworn in the evening of Monday, Nov. 13, Laura has a few things she wants to start working on right away. Goal setting is among her top priorities. A comprehensive plan for Olivet is a step in the right direction, according to Laura. Knowing how the city can accomplish a few things on the wish list with a tight budget, and how the council can create more town unity over what Olivet already has to offer as well as what it could have in the future. “We need to find out what our values are in a small town. I want to make sure it’s not just my answer, it’s about all of us,” said Laura. Communication is another topic on the new mayor’s mind. “Communication is super important. I would like to figure out a way to communicate...

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New members to Potterville City Council ran together

Jennifer Lenneman, Bruce Kring, and Dustin Twichell are three of the four new city council members in Potterville, elected via write in Tuesday, Nov. 7. Aside from the oddity of being voted via write in ballot, the three candidates also ran for council as a team. With similar concerns, beliefs, and devotion to Potterville the three came together to run for council in the hopes of creating real change in their community. Lenneman is a single mom who works for the Benton Township Fire Department. She’s lived in Potterville for 11 years and started following Potterville government in the last few years. Kring is a lifelong resident of Potterville who’s followed Potterville government closely. Twichell is a local business owner, father and husband who has also followed Potterville government closely for the last several years. From following and participating in their local government for the last few years, the three Potterville residents are deeply concerned with how the city has been run. Among their many concerns are poor communication coming from city hall, “frivolous lawsuits,” an apparent lack of autonomy among department heads within the city, and questionable ethical practices. Their list of grievances is extensive. From their perspective, all of these concerns have caused distrust, disunity, disengagement, and discouragement in the community. “One of our biggest things is to regain trust from the community. There is so much...

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Small Business Saturday turns into big event in Charlotte

The power shopping local can have in a community has been studied, written about and campaigned for many times in the last few years. Small Business Saturday is a direct result of many of those efforts made on a national level. The Charlotte business community is prepared to the demonstrate the impact local businesses working together can have on the shopping experiences those who choose to shop local can enjoy. More than 30 local businesses have come together — under the leadership of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, CharlotteRising, and Love4Charlotte Businesses — to create a full day of activities for Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25 in downtown Charlotte. “It’s been exciting to see the many different business owners getting together the last several months to plan one event for the betterment of the entire community,” said Charlotte Chamber of Commerce director Courtney Anderson. “I feel that everyone is really excited to be a part of it this year.” The Chamber of Commerce has combined its annual Holiday Parade and tree lighting ceremony — traditionally held the Monday before Thanksgiving — to the Small Business Saturday activities this year. Anderson said the hope is that providing added community activities will further entice families to come downtown to “shop local.” “Buying local makes a difference in the success of independent businesses with keeping over 50 percent of the money in...

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Local woman turns pain of loss into opportunity to raise awareness

Mikayla Miller’s focus could have easily been overwhelmed by the pain in her feet or the burning in her lungs. Running her first marathon, she chose instead to focus her thoughts on the good times she had with her mom, which helped push her across the finish line. It was her mother’s death in 2014 to a drug overdose that led Mikayla to the course in Detroit this past October. The marathon represented Mikayla’s long journey to find peace with her mother’s addiction and the desire she has to share her story with others. “There was a lot of...

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