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Author: The County Journal

Pocket Park project earns national praise, receives $35,000 in local and national grants

Charlotte’s Pocket Park transformation from a blighted building into a vibrant gathering place gained even more momentum locally and nationally. Last week, CharlotteRising and the City of Charlotte earned a $10,000 Public Art for Communities grant from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Wednesday received $25,000 from Main Street America. “Building place is a key instrument in economic development,” says Dillon Rush, CharlotteRising executive director. “And with this additional funding, we take another big step forward in cultivating a vibrant and enduring downtown and a place Michiganders want to call home.” Of the $35,000, $25,000 was awarded to CharlotteRising with a Made on Main Street grant award from OneMain Financial and Main Street America. Charlotte was one of only six communities in the nation to receive this grant. “While it was difficult to select only six communities, our decisions were based on the ability of local leaders to roll up their sleeves and engage with community members to create long-term economic improvement through a small, creative revitalization project,” says Patrice Frey, National Main Street Center President and CEO. This $35,000, along with another $10,000 pledged from Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and a financial commitment from the City in its 2018-2019 budget, we are ensuring this will be a community gathering space that can be appreciated and enjoyed for generations to come. Nearly 40 feet wide and 90 feet deep,...

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HGB announces campus refresh as part of Sparrow affiliation

Beginning Tuesday, May 8, construction started on a 15-month renovation project at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. The Promise Project is the next significant step in an initiative that represents an additional $9 million investment in local community care by Sparrow Health System. The affiliation between HGB and Sparrow also has provided for new technology, an AL!VE expansion, additional orthopedic services and the opening of a family practice location in Eaton Rapids. “We look forward to continuing to build upon the successes Sparrow and Hayes Green Beach have already achieved together as we are establishing mutually beneficial collaborations among...

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Chamber of Commerce introduces a refreshed festival to celebrate Charlotte

The Chamber of Commerce has teamed-up with CanDo!, Courthouse Square and the City of Charlotte to re-imagine a broader, more regional future of the “Celebrate Charlotte” festival. “What began as a small gathering of locals at Bennett Park has grown into one of the largest events in the community,” said Tyler Pray, president of the Chamber of Commerce Board. “It’s time to appeal throughout mid-Michigan and offer a large-scale festival that celebrates the core family values and small town successes that define our community.” The festival is being renamed Charlotte Celebrates! “The action-oriented name may not sound much different, but it lends itself perfectly to our city’s revitalization and its new brand,” Pray said. The Chamber Board, as well as its festival planning committee participated in the development of the new regional branding system for Charlotte that will be unveiled Tuesday, April 24, on the billboards located across from the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. Charlotte Celebrates! will be the first major event to embrace these exciting new developments. “We wish to express a great deal of thanks to the CanDo! Marketing Advisory Committee,” says Courtney Anderson, the Chamber’s executive director. “They spent more than a year hosting study groups and brainstorming with creative professionals to re-create our community brand. In doing so, they reached out to our festival planning committee and our board to help us implement these new...

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Budding Americana singer/ songwriter to perform in Charlotte

On the evening of Saturday, April 21, Americana singer/songwriter Charly Markwart will bring her brand of original music to the stage of Windwalker Underground Gallery in downtown Charlotte. A native of Charlotte, Markwart is an emerging artist in the Americana genre. Last fall, she was selected to perform a showcase of her music at the highly acclaimed Americanafest in Nashville, Tenn. Recently, Markwart scored the Song of the Year in the Americana category of the 19th annual Great American Song Contest with her song, “In Mother Maybelle’s Hands.” As she promotes her new CD, “No Direction Home”, the past...

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Eaton Rapids poet publishes first collection of works

“An October sky- a lattice of ink and light folded over and over upon itself-…” Waiting for Orion, Richard Gilmore Loftus. Those first words of Loftus’ poem, “Waiting for Orion,” are a just a few in his new roughly 100-page book of poems. Loftus is a lifelong lover of mythology, poetry, written word, beautiful moments, and a self-described scribbler in his own right, “Dress Whites” is Loftus’ collection of roughly three decades of poems and written material describing not only his own observations of life, but also what he believes is a bird’s eye view of the life of a man. “Dress Whites” is a collection of 80 or so poems, mixed ponderings of nature, to sensual moments with the opposite sex, reflections on other writings and texts, and more. “Each of these poems I think of as a journey,” said Loftus. To Loftus, the journeys of the poems are in some way a reflection of his own journey. As a world traveler from the time he was a boy, Loftus recalled living in Ireland as a boy, visiting Spain, living in New York for about 30 years, and how the many places he lived and visited shaped him as a person. As a boy, Loftus met famous English poet, Robert Graves, and remembered the event sparking his interest in poetry and mythology. After the encounter it would be...

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