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Author: Adam Droscha

Potterville City Council in dispute over paying city bills

At the Thursday, April 19 Potterville City Council meeting, an unusual occurrence took place, one that Mayor Katherine Schmidt said is a first for the City of Potterville. The city council voted to not pay the city’s bills. According to council members Schmidt and Bussard, among the list of unpaid bills was the liability insurance, energy bill, employee health insurance, and others. The paying of bills came to a vote due to what councilmen Duston Twichell and Bruce Kring, and councilwomen Jennifer Lenneman and Rebeckajo Lewis identified as untimely presentation of bills reports. The reports were presented via email to the council the Wednesday before the Thursday meeting, much to the dismay of the aforementioned council members. “Since the first of the year we have in open meetings directed the manager to get packets to us in a more timely manner,” said councilman Twichell. “Getting the packet the day before is unacceptable.” “I didn’t think I could approve them in good faith,” said councilwoman Lenneman. Mayor Schmidt denied the allegations that bills reports were consistently presented late to council. According to Schmidt, the April 19 council meeting was the first time City Manager Wanda Darrow presented the reports only one day in advance to the monthly council meeting. The last few months the reports were presented consistently by the Tuesday before the meeting. Mayor Schmidt also factored in that...

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City of Eaton Rapids hires new Quality of Life Director

After Troy Stowell, the former quality of life director for the City of Eaton Rapids, departed to become the Parks and Recreation director for Eaton County, Eaton Rapids City Council and city manager got right to searching for a new quality of life director. Stowell left big shoes to fill as he looked after not only Eaton Rapids parks, but also fulfilled several other tasks. Monday, April 30, Lindsey Zeller will start her new job as Eaton Rapids quality of life director. Zeller has spent the last few years in Eaton Rapids. She has two sons, ages 9 and 6, who have attended Eaton Rapids Schools. Zeller worked at Eaton Rapids Schools where she met her husband, Jason Zeller, who is the principal of Lockwood Elementary. As she’s lived, worked, and integrated into Eaton Rapids, Zeller has found a special appreciation for the Island City. “I love the small town feel. It has a lot of unique qualities to it,” said Zeller. “There’s something here for every member of the community.” Zeller came across the job opening at the city and knew she had to apply. She will soon complete her degree from Central Michigan University, which is in community development with an administration focus. The quality of life director job was right up her alley, and what better place to use her new skill set than in her...

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Former Eaton Rapids Quality of Life Director new county Parks and Rec Director

Troy Stowell, formerly the quality of life director for the City of Eaton Rapids, accepted a new position as the Parks and Recreation director for Eaton County. Stowell’s level of involvement in Eaton Rapids is practically immeasurable. His duties as quality of life director went above and beyond his job description as he did much of the hands on work alongside his copious administration tasks. Now as the county parks and rec director, Stowell plans to take what he’s learned at the city level to a larger platform. Stowell has a degree from Central Michigan University with two concentrations. The first is commercial recreation, which covers resorts and professional sport leagues, and the second is in community recreation, which covers municipal recreation and park offerings. Stowell noted that he primarily falls into the latter of the two concentrations, partly by luck, and partly because of his internship experience with the City of Battle Creek. “What I found in my first few years after my internship, still with Battle Creek at the time, is that municipal parks and recreation has more of a direct impact on the community.  You were the front line guy, and the back of the house guy at the same time.  You got a chance to see that impact in those that you worked with and for,” said Stowell. In Eaton Rapids, Stowell said he was...

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Maple Syrup Festival annual talent show kicks off spring fun

Singing, dancing, maybe a little magic, it’s the all-encompassing annual talent show at the 2018 Maple Syrup Festival. The stage is open for adults and children alike to show their secret and well-known gifts. With age divisions of 5 and below, 6-12, 13-17, and 18 and older there’s a spot for anyone looking to step into the spotlight for the community showcase. The Syrup Festival talent show often sees several musical acts, but the stage is open for dance, poetry, magic presentations, and other varieties of odd talents. According to event organizer, Sydney Khouri, the talent show generally varies year to year between 20-50 acts. She hopes for more acts in 2018, both for variety and for the entertainment of the community. The 5 and below bracket will receive participation trophies, the 6-12 and 13-17 brackets will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placements, and the adult bracket will have a first place winner with a cash prize, the amount for which is yet to be announced. To participate in the talent show, readers can email Sydney Khouri at, or call (517) 667-8413. “It’s a good opportunity to share their talent with their community,” said Khouri. “It’s another outlet to perform.” The talent show takes place Friday, April 27 on the Main Street stage following opening ceremonies at 6...

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Emily’s Farm continues to win young business competitions

Emily Newborn is a fourth generation farmer from Eaton Rapids. Her family has long raised chicken, beef, and pork to sustain the family, and eventually provided meat to neighbors and friends looking for locally raised food. Taking into account her own health needs for clean meat, as well as the growing national trend of buying locally grown food, Emily decided to start Emily’s Farm, a business committed to providing meat without preservatives, antibiotics, or steroids. The start of Emily’s Farm coincided with Emily’s participation in FFA. Now a senior in high school, Emily started building and promoting her business...

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