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Author: The County Journal

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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Playing bridge at Fay’s leads to active minds and healthy lives

In 1955, when I was 8 years old, young mothers from the First Congregational Church, members of a circle called the Evening Bells, were offered the opportunity to learn to play bridge. They jumped at the chance. Those young women were Mary Lou Schneckenberger, Joyce Ells, Donna Mae Johnson, Donna W. Johnson, Margie Clever, Midge Sherman, Joyce Sparks, and Nancy Cook. Fifty-nine years later, five of the original eight plus Connie Bazaire, Sandy Maatsch, and Bev Trumley, and a number of substitutes too numerous to mention, are still playing. They originally met in their respective homes in the evenings....

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Exciting things happening in October at Crosswalk Teen Center

As fall begins and teens seek to settle into their school schedule, Crosswalk Teen Center continues to provide and pursue ways to assist students in achieving their full potential. The month of October is packed with opportunities for students to stretch their horizons and try new things. Teens are encouraged to sign-up for classes as soon as possible, due to limited space. Classes include: Frugal Foods – Mondays, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Foods don’t have to be expensive to taste great.  Sign-up to create meals that can stretch the dollar while providing a delicious entrée. An Introduction to Stress Management — Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Learn a simple technique that has been scientifically proven to reduce the harmful effects of stress, resulting in a healthier, more productive life. You will leave this class relaxed and renewed with everything you need to start a daily practice to manage your stress. Teens and adults are welcome. Instructors are Holly Makimaa and Mike Limauro. Intro to Piano Keyboard — Wednesdays, Oct. 8, 15 and 22 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. It’s never too late to learn the piano. Take the leap, learn the basics, and be on your way to becoming a musician. Whether you’ve dreamed of becoming a musician or are just curious as to whether you might like playing the...

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