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Month: March 2018

Windwalker’s ascension all about building a better community

Windwalker Underground Gallery used to be the best-kept secret in Charlotte. To some residents within the city, it still may be. However, the secret is out among those in the Lansing region’s thriving arts community. It’s hard not to know much about the local non-profit these days. Its weekly open mic nights have drawn hundreds to downtown Charlotte in the past two years. Its collaboration with local organizations earned the gallery the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Impact Award in 2017 and its board members are seemingly everywhere there is something cool taking place in Charlotte. The organization has...

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Eaton County Commissioners vote to repeal TOST

Wednesday, March 21 at the Eaton County Board of Commissioners monthly meeting, the commissioners voted 9-6 to repeal “Regulations Governing On-site Sewage and On-site Water Supply System Evaluation and Maintenance.” The vote included the much-debated Time of Sale and Transfer (TOST) program. The vote followed two public hearings on the issue in February, as well as a final vote of the Barry-Eaton Board of Health to approve a repeal. Tuesday, March 13 the Barry County Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 in favor of the repeal. According to a press release from the Barry-Eaton District Department of Health, the TOST program will remain in effect for 45 days after the vote, after which “there will be no BEDHD requirement for an evaluation, or health department review, or authorization to transfer for properties with on-site sewage wells, or sewage systems.” The lack of regulation of Health Department regulation for on-site sewage and drain fields has some citizens very concerned. The long debated topic brought many citizens on both sides of the issue out for the Eaton County commissioners meeting. The commissioners’ chamber was reportedly standing room only March 21 as residents of both counties came to witness the results of the vote. The concern over lack of regulation was notably shared by a number of Eaton County commissioners, as well as members of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department. It remains unclear...

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Proposed curriculum changes won’t affect Olivet band program

A number of concerned community members voiced their opposition Monday, March 12 to proposed curriculum changes they felt could affect the Olivet Community Schools band program. The Olivet school board received a proposal that showed a slight change to how electives were scheduled at the middle school level. Olivet Community Schools Superintendent Rocky Aldrich said the crux of the issue centered on the elimination of fifth grade band, which he said was never on the table. “Fifth grade band was never going to be cut,” Aldrich said. “I think there was some misunderstanding. We’ve already developed a schedule the band director can support.” Aldrich said changes to the schedule were necessary to allow for more electives for the middle school students. Members of the teaching staff and community spoke passionately March 12 about the need for a successful band program in the district and its impact on student achievement. Olivet teacher Randy Smith, who has had four children go through the band program said, “When I hear a proposal that has the potential to reduce the amount of engagement not just academically, but some of the social and behavioral pieces, I’m really leery of when we have something that works really well then we are thinking of maybe solving a short term problem, but maybe we’re creating a long term problem down the road.” Aldrich said he appreciated the...

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Eaton Rapids poet publishes first collection of works

“An October sky- a lattice of ink and light folded over and over upon itself-…” Waiting for Orion, Richard Gilmore Loftus. Those first words of Loftus’ poem, “Waiting for Orion,” are a just a few in his new roughly 100-page book of poems. Loftus is a lifelong lover of mythology, poetry, written word, beautiful moments, and a self-described scribbler in his own right, “Dress Whites” is Loftus’ collection of roughly three decades of poems and written material describing not only his own observations of life, but also what he believes is a bird’s eye view of the life of a man. “Dress Whites” is a collection of 80 or so poems, mixed ponderings of nature, to sensual moments with the opposite sex, reflections on other writings and texts, and more. “Each of these poems I think of as a journey,” said Loftus. To Loftus, the journeys of the poems are in some way a reflection of his own journey. As a world traveler from the time he was a boy, Loftus recalled living in Ireland as a boy, visiting Spain, living in New York for about 30 years, and how the many places he lived and visited shaped him as a person. As a boy, Loftus met famous English poet, Robert Graves, and remembered the event sparking his interest in poetry and mythology. After the encounter it would be...

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Old Mill Furniture celebrates 50 years in Eaton Rapids

In 1968 Harold Hall was 21 years old. After working several other jobs, including one with his father’s own shoe repair business, he found himself working at Devereaux Furniture in Eaton Rapids. In 68 the owners were ready to sell the business, and Harold stepped up to take over, renaming the business to Old Mill Furniture and starting a legacy of small town dedication, service, and quality. When Harold bought the business, it was simply an opportunity to move up in the world. He had no grand ambitions of owning a furniture store, but the opportunity presented itself and...

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