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Author: Travis Silvas

Need for Holiday Food Baskets support continues to grow

The need for assistance continues to grow, even if the committee that runs the annual Holiday Food Baskets in Charlotte slowly dwindles. Fortunately for the group of four or five regular volunteers, Charlotte Assembly of God has agreed to partner with the local non-profit to try and reach more than 500 area families this holiday season. “There are only a few of us original committee members left,” said Ann Garvey, Holiday Food Baskets coordinator. “We were in real need for an organization to come in and help us and maybe take over. We’re fortunate to have Charlotte Assembly of God agree to help us again.” Garvey said the partnership with Charlotte Assembly of God is a good fit because the church has historically provided similar services during the holidays. “We found quite a few people we were reaching were the same,” Garvey said. Sheri Whitaker of Assembly of God said the church has provided a similar food basket program for at least the past 20 years. “We enjoyed working with the community last year, that’s why we decided to do it again,” Whitaker said. “The church brings a lot of volunteers, especially around the holidays, that love to help out.” Whitaker said Charlotte Assembly of God will continue providing holiday food baskets to those in need in the community, including members of their congregation that may be in need...

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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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