Select Page

Author: The County Journal

Grants aims to connect local students with local nutrition

Amy Jo Kinyon What do sunscreen and maple sugar have in common? On the surface, few comparisons can be drawn. Jenna Burns and her team of volunteers, however, combined the two and spent Wednesday afternoon handing out free samples of each at the Greater Lansing Athletic Conference track meet at Maple Valley High School. The sunscreen is in support of Relay for Life and skin cancer awareness month. Many attendees expressed their delight at having the protectant readily available. The sugar samples, from the Benedict Family Farm, are part of a three-phase grant awarded to Burns and the Maple Valley School District. Burns has been working with a grant from the MSU Extension Office to connect local growers to students through a Farm to School grant. The program website detailed that the grant is part of the National Farm to School Network and centers around efforts to serve local foods in school and early childcare and education food programs. The first two phases of the grant explore the local growers and producers in the area and introduce their product to students and the community. Phase three integrates their products into the school system. For Burns, this means spending time cultivating relationships with growers and community members. Countless hours at events, like Wednesday’s track meet, have been spent networking and promoting the program. Burns is optimistic for the programs and said...

Read More

Help bring ‘Keys in the City’ to Charlotte

Keys in the City, a popular public art program combing music and visual arts, may be coming to Charlotte this summer. Keys in the City places vibrantly decorated, and fully functioning, pianos in public spaces where they can inspire both visually and musically. The program is well-known throughout Mid-Michigan, and many people have been delighted by the unexpected music and lively visual decoration. The pianos are placed in public spaces where everyone is invited to play them. Whether it’s a child plunking out the notes from their first piano lesson, or an adult with professional chops, Keys in the City brings music to the streets. Local project organizers are looking to the community for help on this project in a few unique ways. First and foremost, the project needs a piano. The ideal piano is sitting in someone’s front room or on their back porch right now. It’s a vertical piano of ‘studio’ or ‘upright’ size (at least 44 inches tall), it is in working condition (if not in tune), and it is looking for a new home. If you think you have this piano and would like to donate it to this project, please let us know by contacting Travis Silvas at The County Journal newspaper at (517) 543-1099. Once obtained, the piano will be moved to Windwalker Art Gallery downtown, where an artist will spend a few...

Read More

Momentum, excitement prove Charlotte is ‘Rising’

There was a time in Charlotte when the bricks on the buildings weren’t crumbling and the windows on the top floor of our downtown area weren’t smeared with musty grime. Front doors were welcoming and inviting, and parking spots were seldom empty. The busy hustle of our main street filled the corridor’s atmosphere with vibrancy. Charlotte was a place to be, to live, to thrive. Yet over time we veered off that path and now far too many of those parking spots see the light of day and the welcome mats don’t feel the footprints of as many newcomers....

Read More

Alumni gather to reminisce and celebrate Maple Valley Schools

Amy Jo Kinyon Decades of education were represented at the annual Maple Valley Alumni Association dinner held this past Saturday. Highlighting the honored classes of Vermontville and Nashville 1946 and 1956, along with the Maple Valley classes of 1996 and 1991, the evening featured the reunion of old friends and school memories. Retired custodian Kim Hansen was selected as the honored support staff for the event. A graduate of Maple Valley, Kim spent nearly 50 years in the district, from his time as a kindergarten student to retirement. “I started kindergarten in 1958 and 48 years later I left,” joked Kim. “I tell the grandkids that it took me 48 years to get out of school.” Jeanne Hansen spent 17 years teaching at Maple Valley and was chosen as the honored staff member. She told the crowd that while technology and methods in the education have seen many changes, the core principal remains the same. “Today’s kids and classrooms have drastically changed, but the goal is still to create productive and well-rounded students,” she said. A 1938 graduate of Vermontville High School, Mrs. Nichols represented the earliest graduating class present at the dinner. The alumni association also presented a check to the Maple Valley Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to graduating Maple Valley students each spring. Maple Valley Superintendent Michelle Falcon also detailed work being done to the...

Read More

More than sports: Vermontville man creates legacy on and off field

Amy Jo Kinyon The County Journal Merle Martin of Vermontville could be described as a sports renaissance man. For most of his life, he has been a fixture in the schools around Eaton County, coaching thousands of students in basketball, baseball and life off the field. One of his students, Dave Joppie stopped in for a visit during the recent Maple Syrup Festival. A former player for Martin, Joppie spent time working behind the scenes for the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. A mid-season manager change has provided Joppie with a bit of spare time, and gave him...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest