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Author: Travis Silvas

County Journal navigates ups and downs over the course of 12-year history

Every year presents a new challenge. Quite frankly, the challenges for a small community newspaper come with each weekly deadline, if not daily. But, like many individuals or businesses, we tend to really reflect on challenges and opportunities on an annual basis. April 1 marked The County Journal’s 12th year serving the greater-Charlotte area, and looking back over the course of the past year, we have to appreciate the opportunity we still have. Without a doubt there is excitement building in our communities. There has been much to celebrate, whether it was our local high school athletic and band...

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Home & Business Expo continues to place local businesses, services under one roof

While you may not be able to rely on the weather to let you know spring has arrived in Eaton County, you can count on the annual Eaton County Home & Business Expo. Now in its fourth year, the spring event brings together close to 100 local businesses and non-profit organizations for two days of education, networking and shopping. Organized through collaboration of LOCALS in Business and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the annual expo draws thousands to the Charlotte High School gymnasium each April by offering a little bit of something for everyone. In addition to businesses and non-profit organizations, there is also a performance stage, which will feature a home efficiencies seminar in addition to local musicians and performance artists. Children can enjoy games and activities and the always-popular bounce house. Admission to the Eaton County Home & Business Expo is free, giving visitors another reason to stop in and learn more about the goods and services being offered in their community. Doors open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, and the Expo will remain open until 5 p.m. Sunday runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2018 Expo vendors include Altogas, Greg’s Carpet & Vehicle Services, Charlotte Mini Storage, Weichert Realtors Emerald Properties, Russell & Schrader Insurance Agency, A.L. Lantzer, Inc., LeafFilter North of Michigan, Inc., Big Kid Tree Worx, Keller Williams Realty, Justin’s Tidy...

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Dairy Queen opens to great expectations in new building

The Facebook post announcing the opening of Charlotte Dairy Queen was barely minutes old when the lines began to form. People in the Charlotte community were ready to check out the new building and eager for some soft serve ice cream. Owners Brett and Megan Roberts opened their new shop Monday, April 2 and have been working diligently to keep up with demand since, while working to get staff acquainted with the new space and new equipment. “We were extremely efficient in the old store,” Brett said. “It was so small that everything had its place. Now we’re learning...

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Windwalker’s ascension all about building a better community

Windwalker Underground Gallery used to be the best-kept secret in Charlotte. To some residents within the city, it still may be. However, the secret is out among those in the Lansing region’s thriving arts community. It’s hard not to know much about the local non-profit these days. Its weekly open mic nights have drawn hundreds to downtown Charlotte in the past two years. Its collaboration with local organizations earned the gallery the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Impact Award in 2017 and its board members are seemingly everywhere there is something cool taking place in Charlotte. The organization has...

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Proposed curriculum changes won’t affect Olivet band program

A number of concerned community members voiced their opposition Monday, March 12 to proposed curriculum changes they felt could affect the Olivet Community Schools band program. The Olivet school board received a proposal that showed a slight change to how electives were scheduled at the middle school level. Olivet Community Schools Superintendent Rocky Aldrich said the crux of the issue centered on the elimination of fifth grade band, which he said was never on the table. “Fifth grade band was never going to be cut,” Aldrich said. “I think there was some misunderstanding. We’ve already developed a schedule the band director can support.” Aldrich said changes to the schedule were necessary to allow for more electives for the middle school students. Members of the teaching staff and community spoke passionately March 12 about the need for a successful band program in the district and its impact on student achievement. Olivet teacher Randy Smith, who has had four children go through the band program said, “When I hear a proposal that has the potential to reduce the amount of engagement not just academically, but some of the social and behavioral pieces, I’m really leery of when we have something that works really well then we are thinking of maybe solving a short term problem, but maybe we’re creating a long term problem down the road.” Aldrich said he appreciated the...

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