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Month: August 2019

Timepiece Park a showpiece for Charlotte’s revitalization

When Timepiece Park officially opens in a couple weeks, it will mark a significant point in downtown Charlotte’s revitalization efforts. For all its lightning rod qualities, its ability to spark passionate conversations about city funds, street conditions, and aesthetic appeal, the pocket park was the project that moved the community from talking and planning into action. It was the project in the community that galvanized a downtown business district, drawing private donations from many sources. It was the foresight displayed by a number of local entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity, and like all good entrepreneurs do, they capitalized on it.  Donations exceeded $30,000 — enough to purchase a blighted building, and community eyesore and gift it to the city. Donors believed a pocket park would signify the positive growth for which downtown Charlotte was yearning. Timepiece Park is what revitalization in Charlotte should look like — private citizens, business owners, and city officials working together on ways to reenergize our community. The plans may have taken longer to come together than expected, which is part of the reason the pocket park was such a hot topic. The bright yellow, and pastel spattered building stayed up longer than anyone really wanted. But, these kinds of projects take time … and money. The cost of the park has been a constant topic for local fodder. But, consider if you will, the actual...

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Howe named 2019 Frontier Days Grand Marshal; Blocker is Junior Grand Marshal

Out of the many nominations submitted by community members this year, the Charlotte Frontier Days Board has selected Charlotte’s own David Howe to serve as the 2019 Frontier Days Grand Marshal. David has been a businessman in Charlotte for more than 40 years. You may have heard of his business, the very well known Beacon Sales and Service. As you enjoy driving down Lansing Road, and its manicured median, which David maintains, you may also notice the Eastside Pantry he created and keeps stocked to help those in need.  David has always had a soft spot for Charlotte’s youth...

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Getting to Know … Tanner Reynolds

Douglas M. Hoy Contributing Writer Remember back, way back, during those early years of grade school. Did you ever come in first, or second, in much of anything? Maybe you engaged in challenges during grade school spelling competitions, perhaps a foot race with fellow students, or of course, a race on your bike. Maybe you didn’t finish first or second. If you were anything like me, you ended up fifth or sixth most times.  Well, the Charlotte area is home to a young man who is currently sixth in the entire nation racing quads, and currently first in the...

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Car Cruise-In held Wednesdays in downtown Eaton Rapids

Deb Malewski Contributing Writer “It started on a dream and ended in reality,” said Eaton Rapids Car Cruise-In organizer William Hammond.  Back in 2014 Hammond and his friends decided that a cruise-in was what Eaton Rapids needed. It had been tried in nearby towns with no luck, so they were a little nervous about trying it here. Former Eaton Rapids City Manager Jon Stoppels offered some help from the City and it took off from there.  The event grew through word of mouth, Hammond said, along with photos of the event posted online. Locals saw the photos and told...

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Art in the alley inspires creativity in Eaton Rapids

Deb Malewski Contributing Writer The Arts Council of Eaton Rapids recently initiated a new alley art project in downtown Eaton Rapids. Four large chalkboards were built and installed in the alley behind City Hall, and buckets of chunky chalk placed nearby. The public is invited to create with the chalk to their heart’s content.  According to Lindsey Zeller, Quality of Life Director for the City, the intent is to create “placemaking.” Zeller explains that placemaking, which is creating art in public spaces, encourages people to gather, enjoy time together and be creative all at the same time, which in turn...

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