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Author: Adam Droscha

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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Every week is teacher appreciation week

Last week was national teacher appreciation week, Tuesday being teacher appreciation day. Although not a teacher myself, the day resonated with me deeply. Periodically, events, conversations, or indeed arguments cause me to well up with emotions of gratitude, thankfulness, and profound relief for the teachers and professors and mentors that helped shape me to the man I am today. For the last couple of years, my appreciation for my teachers has almost been without ceasing. I was always better at language arts and English classes during grade school. (Any surprise I’m a staff writer at a newspaper?) Reading, writing, rhetoric, oratory, and simply learning how to communicate fascinated me from the moment I learned my first letters. While I envied my peers who were math wizzes, science junkies, and all star academics in other areas, I was thankful for my own internal love of words. However, I don’t know that I would have discovered the affection for the subject if it were not for the help of many English teachers along the way. Learning how to read and write was exciting, but it was the advice to “write with conviction,” as Mrs. Milarch would say, that caught me. It was Mrs. Rohlf’s instruction to research deeply and read richly that I applied years later. It was Mrs. Ellis’ encouragement to keep my voice in my writing that stayed with...

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Temporary work available to Meridian Magnesium employees

The Wednesday, May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America rocked the Eaton Rapids community, left parts of the plant out of commission, and temporarily laid-off more than 100 workers of the Island City’s largest employer. The explosions at the magnesium plant left only two with mild injuries, but the event had the potential of hurting the wallets of many employees. Since the fire, however, opportunities have risen for Meridian employees to keep money coming in while the plant is under reconstruction. The first option for Meridian employees was to volunteer through United Way. Volunteering 40 hours a week would keep standard paychecks coming to the Meridian workers. The announcement was a relief for some, and a great concern for others. Other opportunities continued to arise. Linn Products Inc. of Charlotte is offering temporary placement for Meridian workers, the employees need only visit the factory in person, contact Linn’s hiring personnel, Marie Reeder, by calling (517) 292-3026, or apply through “We’re just wanting to support the community,” said an official from Linn Products. “We’re offering anyone out of work from Meridian to get some cash flow.” According to Eaton Rapids mayor, Paul Malewski, it’s likely Meridian won’t be fully operational until as late as August. The event is not deterring the town and its citizens from stepping up to support the out-of-work Meridian employees. There will be...

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Eaton Rapids Craft Co. hit by another truck

I’ll be honest right from the get-go, this piece is more for my own amusement than for the sake of reporting local news. I’ve often toyed with the idea of writing the occasional satire article, especially in moments when the state has a near total solar eclipse, or when certain city council meetings (in communities outside the Flashes’ readership, which shall go unnamed) go laughably awry. I thought about doing so here while reflecting on Eaton Rapids Craft’s apparent cloud of bad luck, or simply making the headline, “Truck hits Eaton Rapids Craft Co. Lol.” Instead, I decided to dial it back a little, but not so much as to miss the humor. Regular diners out in Eaton Rapids may have noticed the new, large windows on the front wall of Eaton Rapids Craft Co. Lovely as they are, providing more natural light and a better view of Main Street, they are a quiet reminder of early October 2017 when a truck drove directly into the dining room on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Thankfully on Sunday, May 13, when yet another pickup truck crashed into the Craft Co., it missed the prominent new windows entirely, only ramming into the southwest corner just off the kitchen. In both instances no one was injured, and business quickly resumed after some needed cleanup. Eaton Rapids Craft Co. is rather like a made...

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