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Month: January 2018

Charlotte Little Free Pantry open to anyone in need

Brandy Weinner had no idea what to expect when the small cabinet filled with canned goods was placed at the end of her drive at 2391 S. Cochran Street in Charlotte in the fall. Her only hope was to make a difference, however small, in her community. What happened next was beyond anything she could have imagined. The Charlotte Little Free Pantry exploded with activity, both those taking items they needed, and the community responding in turn with countless donations. “The community has really come together to support it,” Brandy said. “I didn’t expect much, but hoped it would...

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City of Potterville appeals Benton Township case to State Supreme Court

The dispute over which fire department responds first to Potterville Public Schools continues after the outgoing Potterville City Council approved a decision to make an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. This move from the City of Potterville comes after the State Court of Appeals stood mute on a first appeal, essentially siding with the county’s decision to allow Benton Township Fire Department to respond first. Potterville City Manager, Wanda Darrow said she believes appealing the case to the Michigan Supreme Court is a necessary and justified move based on information from the city’s legal counsel. “It was a decision made amongst the council members based on information from our legal counsel,” said Darrow. The council decision was made in closed session in one of the last council meetings of the year, and the last of the outgoing council. “This is to allow us to be able to serve our community,” said Darrow. Darrow comes down on one simple side of the issue, that it doesn’t seem reasonable to allow another department to “enter into our jurisdiction and take over calls.” “I was disappointed to say the least,” said Roger Wickerham, Benton Township supervisor. “We’re hoping the new council will bring it up and dismiss it. We’re trying to get along and be good neighbors.” City officials reportedly sat down with the fire chiefs of Benton Township Fire Department...

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‘Spirits of The Past’ chronicles Eaton County’s history of alcohol

Just before Christmas, the Eaton County Historical Commission released its second book chronicling an interesting facet of county history. The commission’s first book was about the one-room schoolhouses of Eaton County. The second book, “Sprits of The Past,” offers, “An intoxicating look at the history of Alcohol, Temperance, Prohibition, and Brewing in Eaton County, Michigan.” The roughly 108-page book is seven chapters of county history, old and new alcohol establishments, and different uses for libations through the generations. The Historical Commission started work on the project in early 2017. The lengthy research process involved reading through old newspapers, visiting various sites around the county, and viewing sources from outside Eaton County. All of the research led the contributing writers through a fascinating history of prohibition, skirting around the law, and the attempts to keep Eaton County dry. During the mid-1800s, Eaton Rapids was the center of both debauchery and hardline temperance movement. In Woodbury was a train engine turn around station, where men would ride in from outside the county to fill their buckets full of beer. In 1871 Charlotte was home to one of Eaton County’s first breweries. In Eaton Rapids, Abie’s is the former home of Eaton County’s first bar. The research for the book was not easy for the Historical Commission, however. While the contributors found many fascinating stories and accounts of alcohol production, they were...

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Aron Dubois, new director for Eaton Rapids Teen Center

When the Eaton Rapids Community Alliance decided it was time for a Eaton Rapids to have its own teen center, they knew they needed to set goals. The goals included gathering teen interest, surveying the needs and desires of local teens, finding a location, and hiring a director for a future center. At the end of 2017, after accomplishing several other goals, it finally came time to hire a director. As of the first week of 2018, the final goal of hiring a teen center director was achieved with the hiring of Aron Dubois. A 2011 graduate of Eaton Rapids High School, Dubois is an Eaton Rapids native. After graduating high school, he’s studied at LCC, Grand Valley State University, and taught English in Japan. Dubois currently resides in Ann Arbor with his wife Hilari. “I find the journey always leads back to home,” Dubois said about returning to Eaton Rapids. Dubois recalled his own teen years growing up in Eaton Rapids. He remembers teachers, activities, and the opportunities he found in the Island City. There was, however, an absence for teens. A place where they could be away from home, and school, and social groups to engage in their own creative projects and self-education. In stepping into the new role at the Teen Center, he hopes to provide Eaton Rapids teens a place he would have sought out...

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Charlotte moves closer to finalizing National Historic District

To a small gathering of history enthusiasts, Bill Rutter laid out Thursday, Jan. 4 Charlotte’s application for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Rutter was hired in 2016 by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to put together an application that would create a Historic District in Charlotte. The next step is approval at the state level, Rutter said. The 500-page document will then go to the National Register of Historic Places for final approval. “The State of Michigan has a very good reputation with these matters at the national level,” Rutter said. “I don’t foresee any...

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