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Author: Travis Silvas

Running leads to path of self-discovery for Potterville resident

Larisa Ballard’s life had been turned upside down a few years ago when faced with a devastating divorce. Looking in the mirror, she hardly recognized the person she had become. That’s when she decided to take the first step toward self-discovery. Only, at the time, she didn’t realize the kind of journey she was about to take. “I decided to go out for a run,” Ballard recalls. “It was the hardest mile I’ve ever run … it felt like it took forever. The steps hurt and I wanted to stop. My heart and my head kept fighting with my...

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Burch elected next mayor of Charlotte

Carrie Burch defeated Kevin Weissenborn and Brad Johnston to become the next mayor of the City of Charlotte. Burch, who will be sworn into office Nov. 12, received 44 percent of the vote Tuesday, Nov. 5, edging Weissenborn, who received 38 percent of the vote. Johnston received 18 percent. “I’m just overwhelmed by the support of the community and the citizens,” Burch said. “I have to say thank you to Brad and Kevin who both ran great races. I also have to wish Mayor Dee Smith the best in his retirement and thank him for his great service.” Burch...

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Voters overwhelmingly reject city income tax proposal

Eighty two percent of the voters that turned out for the Nov. 5 election cast a no vote for the proposed income tax in Charlotte. In total 1,906 of the 6,311 registered voters cast their ballot. The second proposal, a change to the city’s charter that would have designated 2.34 mills (roughly $500,000) towards road maintenance in any year an income tax was collected, met a similar fate. The proposed income tax would have generated an estimated $1.1 to $1.5 million in revenue for the City of Charlotte. City council members voted in June to place the proposal before the voters in an effort to generate a steady source of revenue to utilize towards road maintenance. City Manager Gregg Guetschow estimated it would take a minimum of $500,000 per year to designate for street improvements and maintenance. Guetschow said it’s back to the drawing board for the council, which adopted a budget this past June without designating any significant money to street improvements. “With such a resounding defeat of the income tax proposal, certainly we won’t revisit that issue,” Guetschow said. “We will bring the question of funding back up again with council in the context of our next budget.” He said the council will have three new faces that will need to be brought up to date on the city’s fiscal situation — newly elected mayor, Carrie Burch...

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Loss to Eaton Rapids doesn’t diminish impact of CHS seniors

This one will hurt for a while. The Charlotte varsity football team had its rival on the ropes in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs … a chance to avenge an early season loss and a rabid fan base ready to continue the celebration started earlier in the day. Then the wheels came off in the second half. Eaton Rapids scored 28 third quarter points, turning a 14-7 halftime deficit into a 35-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Eaton Rapids eventually advanced to the district finals with a 49-21 win. The loss was especially devastating for a senior class that helped reignite a passion for football in Charlotte. This year’s team was filled with seniors at most positions — they filled 18 of the 21 starting spots on this year’s team and led the way back to the playoffs. “Any time a team plays it’s last game it is very difficult, especially for the seniors,” said first year head coach Jeff Finney. “As a coach it is difficult knowing that most of the seniors just played their last football game ever. I tried my best to give the senior class the thanks they deserve for what they have done for our program and me as a coach. I could not have asked for a better group of seniors as a first year coach.  They were a great...

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Charlotte girls accomplish goal of reaching state cross country finals

The 2012 season left a sour taste in the mouths of the Charlotte High School girls cross country team. The Orioles season ended with the girls coming up just short of reaching the Division 2 state finals. Since that moment, they made it their singular mission not to come up short this time around. “This is a bunch that was on a mission and they got it done,” said Charlotte cross country coach Jay Gowell. Charlotte finished third in their regional meet on Oct. 26 to qualify for the state finals, held this past Saturday at Michigan International Speedway...

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