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Author: The County Journal

Olivet High School captures MIFA Division III State title

The frigid, late evening air was stirred as a lone school bus drew up to the doors of Olivet High School. The quiet was instantly broken by the laughter and elated voices of 25 members of the Olivet Theatre as they emerged carrying a large golden trophy marking their MIFA Division III State Championship win. They commented to each other in excitement as they recalled the announcement of their school as the Division III State Champions only a few hours earlier. Thirteen schools, from Class A, B, and CD classifications, rose to their feet as these students accepted the...

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Gen X, Gen Y take center stage at Jan. 28 Can Do! meeting

Is Charlotte making the best civic and business moves to attract and serve the region’s Gen X and Gen Y population?  This is the crux of Can Do!’s January General Meeting this coming Wednesday morning. The guest speaker will be Michael Stoskopf, CEO of Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan and a man with decades of relevant experience. Stoskopf will convey strategies in understanding, marketing to and serving the unique characteristics and behaviors that underlie both critical generations. His expertise on the matter is broad. Besides being CEO at HBA, he is administrator of that organization’s charitable and education foundation and Executive Director of HomeAid of Southeastern Michigan. Stoskopf formerly worked for Granger Construction, leading their strategic enterprise growth. Prior to that he was Vice President of Business Development for defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, where he also worked as financial systems analyst and program manager. Stoskopf also served as Systems Engineer for MITRE Corporation and began his professional career as an officer in the United States Air Force. Demographers carve up populations by what they witnessed—the culture within which a generation comes of age.  Following the Baby Boomers was Generation X, those born in the early 1960s to about 1980.  The next generation gets the title Generation Y, or more often in marketing these days, they are known as Millennials for coming of age after 2000. Each generation comes...

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Top writing magazine honors Charlotte grad’s book

Writer’s Digest will recognize the work of 1998 Charlotte graduate Nicole Loughan in the March/April 2015 magazine after naming her one of the top self-published authors of 2014. Her mystery book, “To Murder a Saint,” won honorable mention in the genre fiction category in the magazine’s national competition. Writer’s Digest is the top U.S. magazine for writers. “Getting a title in this competition is an honor,” said Loughan. “Entering with a short mystery, filled with offbeat characters and quirky settings was such a long shot. I was thrilled that the people at Writer’s Digest took a chance on a very different sort of mystery and liked it.” Judges in the competition gave the book five out of five points for writing and style and said, “To Murder a Saint” is a fantastic mix of mystery and the dark depths of bayou folklore. I really enjoyed this one and believe that this author may, in fact, be an untapped resource for future fantastic material. The stories are beautifully crafted with attention to detail, rich scene setting, and a healthy mix of narrative and clever dialogue.” The book is the first two stories from the Saints Mystery Series” — “To Murder a Saint” and “All Saints’ Secrets” combined into one book. The two were originally posted as separate stories on Loughan credits her experiences at Charlotte Middle School for her...

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AL!VE’s fitness center opens new expansion

AL!VE announces a 1,500-square-foot expansion of MOVE, its fitness center. The mid-Michigan community is invited to tour MOVE and the expansion at an open house from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25. The expanded area opened Monday, Jan. 12. It creates more space for MOVE members to stretch in BREATHE, for additional cardiovascular equipment in PULSE and adds more room in BUILD for weight training. AL!VE invested $30,000 in new state-of-the-art strength and cardiovascular training equipment, and a cardio theater sound system for MOVE, and added several new programs like CrossFit, POUND, PiYo and H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training). These additions help further the fitness center’s commitment to eliminating barriers to physical activity and fitness, and AL!VE’s mission to improve the overall health and vitality of the region. “This expansion was needed because we exceeded our membership goals just two years after opening MOVE,” said Patrick Sustrich, executive director of AL!VE. “A positive member experience is our top priority and these additions further improve on that. MOVE’s expansive equipment, programs and services offer something for every person who wants to improve, maintain or enhance their fitness.” Through the end of January, MOVE is waiving the $100 enrollment fee for all new members. The open house Sunday, Jan. 25, provides a great opportunity to tour the facility and talk to MOVE staff about benefits and services and fitness goals....

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LOCALS in Business lead the way for holiday clothing project

By Cynthia Johnson   A Charlotte area network of local business owners is taking action to help out the local food bank and Charlotte schoolchildren. The group recently donated more than $250 to Helping Hands Food bank and is now planning another donation in partnership with Charlotte Schools to help local school children in dire need of winter clothing and accessories. This 34-member group, titled LOCALS in Business, consists of the words in the acronym, Locally Owned Area Leaders. These business leaders from Charlotte and the surrounding communities have banded together for well over a decade to provide a system of networking and referrals among the members. By standing together to provide services, backed by the reliability and accountability of each member in the group, this organization has established a network that provides customers with excellent products and services, or else. Over the last few weeks, the group has turned its focus to helping community schoolchildren with the LOCALS in Business Holiday Clothing Project. With the intention to bring awareness of need right here locally, the group will establish several collection centers over the next week where donations can be dropped off. For now, it is time to think ahead if you would like to help out with the LOCALS in Business school clothing drive with new or like new winter coats, snow pants, boots, gloves, hats and socks....

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