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Author: Adam Droscha

Hometown Family Christmas set for December 2nd

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us again. Halloween is over and many poor devils started listening to “All I want for Christmas is You” as soon as the clock struck midnight November 1. (This is one reporter who refuses to play Christmas music until Thanksgiving has passed, but that’s just me.) By the time this edition of the paper is out, however, Thanksgiving will have passed, and that means Hometown Family Christmas is coming next. The Island City will celebrate community Christmas with Santa visits, a chili cook-off, a bazaar, Fill a Cop Car, a parade, and more. The festivities start at 9 a.m. with a pancake breakfast with Santa and silent auction at the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center, and Santa will also be available at the Eaton Rapids Wesleyan Church and Hastay’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop throughout the day. This year the newest addition to the Hometown Christmas festivities is the chili cook-off at Riverside Café and Catering. Registration for the cook-off will be open until December 1 and those wishing to participate can register at Riverside. So far there are about 10 people registered, but the Chamber would like to see greater turnout for the event. Those interested in participating in the Christmas parade are encouraged, though not required, to register on the Eaton Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce website. Those registered...

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Former Olivet mayor returns for another term

Laura Barlond-Maas has been connected to Olivet for many years. She attended Olivet College, raised a family in Olivet, returned to Olivet College as an English professor, and was mayor 2001-2005. After 12 years, Laura is returning to the Olivet City Council chamber as mayor. Laura decided it was time to step back onto city council when Gary Peterson, the mayor of the last 12 years, said he was stepping down. “Being mayor is a lot of work,” said Laura. “We need to know what our goals are.” After being sworn in the evening of Monday, Nov. 13, Laura has a few things she wants to start working on right away. Goal setting is among her top priorities. A comprehensive plan for Olivet is a step in the right direction, according to Laura. Knowing how the city can accomplish a few things on the wish list with a tight budget, and how the council can create more town unity over what Olivet already has to offer as well as what it could have in the future. “We need to find out what our values are in a small town. I want to make sure it’s not just my answer, it’s about all of us,” said Laura. Communication is another topic on the new mayor’s mind. “Communication is super important. I would like to figure out a way to communicate...

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New members to Potterville City Council ran together

Jennifer Lenneman, Bruce Kring, and Dustin Twichell are three of the four new city council members in Potterville, elected via write in Tuesday, Nov. 7. Aside from the oddity of being voted via write in ballot, the three candidates also ran for council as a team. With similar concerns, beliefs, and devotion to Potterville the three came together to run for council in the hopes of creating real change in their community. Lenneman is a single mom who works for the Benton Township Fire Department. She’s lived in Potterville for 11 years and started following Potterville government in the last few years. Kring is a lifelong resident of Potterville who’s followed Potterville government closely. Twichell is a local business owner, father and husband who has also followed Potterville government closely for the last several years. From following and participating in their local government for the last few years, the three Potterville residents are deeply concerned with how the city has been run. Among their many concerns are poor communication coming from city hall, “frivolous lawsuits,” an apparent lack of autonomy among department heads within the city, and questionable ethical practices. Their list of grievances is extensive. From their perspective, all of these concerns have caused distrust, disunity, disengagement, and discouragement in the community. “One of our biggest things is to regain trust from the community. There is so much...

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P&K RV has advice for winterizing trailers and RVs

It’s been a successful year of sales at P&K RV. The regular hustle and bustle of the spring season brought new and old customers back to the Eaton Rapids business for trailers and RVs. 2017 is settling down to be a fairly regular, steady year, according to owner George Chemacki. As another year winds down, however, that means 2018 will be here before we know it, and P&K is preparing for another RV show at the MSU Pavilion. The end of the year also means it’s time to winterize campers and RVs. Chemacki and Dave Pennell, owners of P&K...

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Maple Valley pole vaulting coach to open new practice facility

Jerry Sessions, a longtime pole vaulting coach for Maple Valley and surrounding areas, has broken ground and laid foundations for a new  practice facility for local pole vaulters. Sessions has coached pole-vaulting at Maple Valley for nearly 30 years. He’s seen many success stories during his years coaching. Many of his students have gone to pole vault in college, become coaches themselves, and a few have even made it to the Olympics. Sessions is the founder and owner of Landon Athletics, his personal training and coaching services. Through his business, Sessions coaches athletes from Maple Valley, Harper Creek, Lansing, Potterville, Cedar Springs, and even Indiana. In a given year Sessions estimates he’ll coach 50 to 60 athletes. The time has come, however, where the limited space of the Maple Valley gymnasium is no longer suitable for the needs of his athletes. They don’t have enough running space, and Sessions would rather have his own facility for his business. Sessions’ pole-vaulting facility will be 175 feet long, 60 feet wide, and will have 27-foot high ceilings. The space will be ideal for athletes who want to push themselves and train for bigger and better things, according to Sessions. “I’ve had athletes who wanted to jump elite,” said Sessions. “I have all the equipment to do what I wanted to do, I just needed the building.” While his clientele and coaching...

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