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Author: Travis Silvas

Bikers come together to celebrate one common cause

Since forming more than a year ago, Bikers 4 Books has lived its mission of supplying local schools in need with the materials needed to educate youth. Its Feb. 8 anniversary celebration and fundraiser at Ripp’s Place in Vermontville served as an example of how the organization is able to accomplish its lofty goals. More than $3,000 was raised for Bikers 4 Books, which will continue to help school districts most in need of support. “The crowd was unbelievable,” said Badge Velasquez, one of the organization’s founding members. “There were times it was standing room only.” Velasquez said the group has grown at least four times in size in the past year, as motorcycle clubs from across the state have found a common cause to rally around. “One of the cool things about our organization is this is an area that hits everyone, it impacts them,” Velasquez said. “What’s fascinating is that there are many motorcycle groups from different walks of life. These different groups are really working together and people are drawn to that common cause. It’s great that people can drop their guard for one night to raise funds.” Funds raised are used to provide books and materials for schools that request assistance. Bikers 4 Books has reached 15 schools in the past year, impacting more than 4,500 students. The group is also gearing up for March...

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Potterville sophomore joins National Society of High School Scholars

Jeff Hayes has known for a long time just the type of drive his daughter, Taryn possessed. As a sophomore at Potterville High School Taryn participates as a member of the varsity volleyball and basketball teams, student council and several other extra-curricular clubs all while maintaining a 4.0 gpa. As if that weren’t extraordinary enough, Tayrn was recently accepted as a member of the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). The international organization recognizes top academic achievers from around the world. Its mission is to highlight the academic achievements of its members, encouraging them to apply their unique...

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Charlotte girls in the thick of CAAC Gold race

Four straight conference wins have the Charlotte High School girls varsity basketball team in prime position for the Capital Area Activities Conference Gold title. One major hurdle, however, remains in Eaton Rapids, where the Orioles were scheduled to play on Friday, Feb. 7. Charlotte and Eaton Rapids were tied atop the league standings at 6-2 heading into the game. The winner would be in the driver’s seat heading into the homestretch of conference play. Charlotte has already cleared one hurdle this season, picking up two big wins against Waverly during their four-game streak. The latest came Tuesday, Feb. 4...

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Districts facing additional days in June due to mounting school closings

Maple Valley School district has already missed 10 days of instruction this school year due to inclement weather conditions. That means the district must find four days to add to the school calendar before students are let out for the summer. Superintendent Michelle Falcon said she hopes to have a plan to take to the board of education for its Monday, Feb. 10 meeting. “We do have a couple days we could pick up within the school year,” Falcon said. “We’ll likely have to add on to the end of the year.” School districts are required by the State of Michigan to provide 172 days of instruction. They are allowed six “Acts of God” days each year. Anything over that number has to be made up. Charlotte Public Schools has already planned its makeup days for the end of the school year, notifying parents this week that the last day of school will be a half-day on Tuesday, June 10. Charlotte Public Schools has missed nine days of instruction due to inclement weather. “We didn’t want to mess with mid-winter break and we certainly didn’t want to mess with spring break,” said Dr. Nancy Hipskind, superintendent of Charlotte Public Schools. “When you start talking about spring break, so many people make advanced reservations and plans, we don’t want to disrupt those.” Hipskind said she understands some families may make...

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Charlotte Chamber of Commerce recognizes excellence in the community

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce recognized one organization and two individuals with the 2013 Community Excellence Award. This award is given annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to making Charlotte a great place to live and work. Recipients of this year’s award include: the Tide Me Over Program, Fay Binowski, owner of Fay’s Evelyn Bay Coffee Shop and Dr. Dennis Craft, owner of Craft Chiropractic Creating Wellness Center. The winners were presented with their awards during the annual Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 23. Tide Me Over The Tide Me Over program is a ministry offered through First Baptist Church in Charlotte, the program attempts to address the needs of hunger in children in the Charlotte Upper Elementary School (CUE) by providing a bag of food each week to the students to help tide them over throughout the weekend. In 2010-2011, 52 percent of students in fourth or fifth grade at the CUE qualified for the free or reduced lunch program. CUE principal, Kim Caudell welcomed the Tide Me Over Program because she knew these children were not able to get enough food at home over the weekend. Ron Munson and Mona Ellard were instrumental in getting the Tide Me Over Program established through First Baptist Church and up and running at the CUE. The program provided 2,231 bags...

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