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Month: May 2018

Art of Charlotte to unleash community’s wealth of talent

It may be a surprise to some to learn that both the state and national Main Street organizations identified arts and culture as a key strategy to downtown Charlotte’s revitalization efforts. Through extensive research, both organizations concluded the arts and culture have a big presence in Charlotte. But, how many people are aware of all of the talent in the area? A group of local community members, including representatives from CharlotteRising, CanDo!, Windwalker Underground Gallery, and Charlotte High School students have formed to show that art really is at the heart of downtown Charlotte. The group created Art of...

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Teachers unite in red for students

Several Charlotte Education Association members are concerned their students are not fully getting the help they need and have chosen to voice their concern by joining the statewide movement “Wear Red for Public Ed.” That participation, however, has been met with resistance from Charlotte Public Schools administrators. Close to 50 current and former Charlotte Public Schools teachers, and members of the Michigan Education Association gathered in the Charlotte Upper Elementary School parking lot Wednesday, May 23 proudly wearing red shirts. The group took things a step further that morning, taking part in a planned “walk in,” in which they...

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Charlotte is Rising all around us

Charlotte Rising is a figurative slogan, an aspirational goal and an inspiring idea – but as of Summer 2018 it’s also an objective reality. Charlotte is seeing an obvious wave of development and redevelopment, investment and reinvestment. Charlotte is rising, right before our very eyes. In a town our size, projects don’t go unnoticed.  I am sure everyone is aware of the activity, but when considered all together, it’s obvious these developments will make an impact. CharlotteRising, the organization, is focused on downtown Charlotte where numerous projects will take place this year. Five downtown buildings are getting facelifts with help from CharlotteRising façade grants, and that doesn’t even count Dutch Brothers’ ambitious project that completely rebuilt the façade of 119 S. Cochran.  In addition to these building projects, more public art and placemaking will be coming to downtown this year, with the construction of a new pocket park on Lawrence Avenue. That project is attracting regional attention and significant outside money is being provided in the form of grants and donations. Nearly an entire block of the city’s central business district is being redeveloped into high quality and affordable housing with the Edmond Senior Apartments, which will open about this time next year. TWG Development of Indianapolis has a big portfolio of amazing projects throughout the Midwest, and Charlotte is fortunate to be one of their first Michigan locations....

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Dave and Lynn Funk say farewell to Olivet Schools ‘one last time’

After 24 years of conducting, band camp, band trips, competitions, and Dave’s famous “one more time” line, the Funks are saying goodbye to directing at Olivet schools. While Dave was the official band director for the schools, he and his wife, Lynn, were an inseparable unit for 19 years in Olivet. Leaving behind a legacy of music, hard work, and family, Dave reflected on their time in Olivet with the County Journal. “We’ve impacted hundreds of kids over the years,” said Dave. “I always enjoyed watching kids grow and mature into the opportunities band had to offer.” Dave Funk...

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Memorial Day reflection

I wasn’t always aware of the purpose of Memorial Day. For a long time it was simply a holiday on which my mother would tell me I was born. When I was in junior high and high school it was another parade opportunity for marching band. But through opportunities like Charlotte High School’s Vietnam Round Table, or the occasional encounters with men from my own generation who returned from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, I came at least to grasp some of the weight to the Monday I now get off from work. My family was fortunate. Both of my grandfathers returned home safely from duty in WWII, and neither had to fight in Korea. My father and his siblings were too young to be sent to Vietnam in the 60’s and 70’s, and none were military men during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. My brother and our close cousins were too young or not in the military during those periods. Despite our patriotism, we consider it fortunate to not be in the military serving, or indeed dying, for country. But many families with brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, uncles and grandfathers in the military do consider themselves fortunate. “All of my brothers are military men,” I’ve heard some friends say. “The military is a family tradition,” I’ve heard from others. These are very often...

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