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Author: Travis Silvas

Maple Valley Schools eyeing possible bond to improve facilities

Following the request of some concerned community members, Maple Valley Public Schools is exploring options for a potential bond proposal to address facilities, technology and safety improvements within the district. Michelle Falcon, interim superintendent of Maple Valley Public Schools, said a group of community leaders approached the Maple Valley Public Schools Board of Education in the spring about the need for physical improvements within the district. With those concerns in mind, the district has created a Facilities Improvement Team (FIT), made up of community members, board members, district staff as well as design and technology consultants, to analyze district needs that could be addressed through a bond proposal. “We are very early in the planning process,” Falcon said. “The planning phase is really about planning out what the scope of this project looks like.” The FIT committee has met just a couple times and hopes to have the scope of the improvement plan to present to the school board by its scheduled Dec. 19 meeting. At that point, the board will have an idea of the types of improvements, including potential costs, the committee feels is necessary to accomplish improvements to district facilities, an upgrade to technology and enhanced security measures at each school. If the board approves the plan, Falcon said a few members of the steering committee will meet with the State Treasury Department to get approval...

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Lansing region rallying around Eaton County man’s mission to help homeless

Mike Karl has touched the hearts of thousands in the Lansing area with his mission to help the homeless get off the streets. He has put a face to the problem of homelessness in our area and has shown how the actions of one individual can spark a movement. People have started to not only follow this man’s mission on Facebook; they’ve stepped forward by the hundreds to lend their support. “It’s becoming such a community outreach,” Karl said. “Everybody is helping everybody.” For the last three years, Karl, an Eaton Rapids resident, has spent one week each November living on the streets among the homeless in Lansing — a place he found himself for six months in 2005. Since finding the resources to get past the depression and shame of being homeless, he has vowed to help as many people find the help they need to get back on their feet. This year, through the help of social media and a lot of newspaper and television exposure, Karl is helping more people than ever before. In the past month alone, he has found the resources to help 32 people get off the streets, including a pregnant mother this past Wednesday. He has a small army of people ready and willing to help. Karl said he has an angel or two assigned to each person helped so far. “They...

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Local heroes make a difference during the holidays

Being a hero can mean many things. To 50 Eaton County children last Saturday, a hero was someone who helped make their holidays a little brighter. Meijer, in conjunction with the Eaton Area Senior Center and eight local police and fire agencies, held its annual Shop With A Hero event on Nov. 16. Local heroes from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department, Eaton Rapids Township Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Charlotte Police Department, Potterville Benton Township Fire Department, Nashville Police Department, Vermontville Township Fire Department and City of Eaton Rapids Fire Department, spent the afternoon getting to know some local...

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Thanksforgiving Turkey Dinner brings in $14,500 for Bellevue pantry

There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving in Bellevue. Community members, volunteers and Good Samaritans helped raise $14,500 for the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in Bellevue by participating in the annual Thanksforgiving Turkey Dinner on Monday, Nov. 4. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards helping local families make it through some rough economic times. “It’s beautiful,” said Good Samaritan director, Max Troutner. “For years the community and local organizations have backed us so well. Not that we don’t have to watch pennies, but their support makes our jobs a little easier.” Troutner said nearly 100 volunteers helped serve close to 1,200 people at this year’s event. He said the end result was a pleasant surprise for the pantry, which feeds 85 to 100 families living within the Bellevue School District a month. The Good Samaritan is a non-denominational food pantry located with the Methodist Church in Bellevue. It is open year ‘round and tries to provide each family with two weeks worth of food, once a month. The only eligibility requirement is that families must live within the Bellevue School District. Troutner said the annual Thanksforgiving event is a great fundraiser for the pantry, which relies heavily on the generosity of the local community and organizations. The pantry receives a grant from Red Cross and one grant from a private organization. The rest of...

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Defense leads Olivet to Division 5 District Championship

The Olivet defense needed just one look at the Parchment offense and the unit knew what needed to be done to shut them down. The Eagles gave up a touchdown on the first possession, but never surrendered another point en route to a 20-6 win and a Division 5 District title Friday, Nov. 8 in front of their home crowd. “Our kids came off the field and talked to coach Rohde about what they thought would work,” head coach Gabe Priddy said. “He started calling it and our kids made plays. It takes a total team effort to defend...

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