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Author: Travis Silvas

Bellevue community helps fulfill Christmas wishes

Presents slowly began to accumulate under three very special Christmas Trees in Bellevue the past few weeks. Three Wish Star Trees collected Christmas wishes from local children, which were fulfilled by the generosity of many in the community. The gifts were collected Thursday by members of Bellevue Good Samaritan this past Thursday and will be distributed along with Holiday Food Baskets before Christmas. “It’s a really good project,” said Mark Jordan, owner of Bellevue Hardware, which serves as one of three Wish Star Tree locations. “The kids really need the support.” The Wish Star Tree allows families to fill out an application for gifts for their children (18 and under). Children can request any gift $20 or less and place their wish in the tree. Community members can then take those requests and help fulfill those wishes. In addition to Bellevue Hardware, trees were located this year at Independent Bank and Hastings City Bank. “We can’t say thank you enough to the community for their support,” said Max Troutner, Good Samaritan...

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Family and friends gather show support for local soldiers deploying to Kuwait

Hundreds of family and friends gathered at the Michigan Army National Guard base in Grand Ledge Monday, Dec. 2 to say goodbye to 90 members of the 3-238th General Support Aviation Battalion D-Company, who are being deployed to Kuwait in early 2014. Members of the Battalion will spend 60 days training in Ft. Hood, Texas before heading to Camp Buerhing in Kuwait. “I want to thank all of the family members that are here today and all the community members that have come out in great numbers to support our soldiers, this is a great community and we are...

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Volunteers are lifeblood of Eaton County Humane Society

As winter approaches, several Eaton County seniors have begun preparations for their annual migration to the warm climate of the south. This includes several volunteers at the Eaton County Humane Society (ECHS). ECHS animal welfare director, Connie Friedly took one look at the calendar in her office and realized what was coming — a volunteer shortage, at least until many of her volunteers returned home to Eaton County in March. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, ECHS relies heavily on its volunteers to help run the office as well as the shelter. Friedly is the only official staff member and is...

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Tirrell Farmstead Specialties provides fresh food from the farm to home

Anytime he gets the chance, Ben Tirrell loves to talk about the importance of fresh, Michigan-grown food. A farmer in Eaton County, Tirrell and his family, including his wife, Jessy and his mother, Pat, have opened up their farm for the past three years and invited people to learn more about the kinds of quality products grown in their own backyard. “We started Tirrell Farmstead Specialties three years ago on our farm,” Ben said. “We never intended to have our own store.” The success of the little shop on the family farm prompted the family to make a move...

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Small Business Saturday the perfect time to ‘Shop Local’

Several local businesses are taking part in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, enticing customers with tremendous deals right here in their hometown. There may be no better time to “Shop Local.” Shop local is a movement that is gaining momentum across the country. A slow economy has forced all of us to slow down and reassess how and where we spend our money. What most people are finding, and several research sources back this up, is that it pays more to shop locally. According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), independent, locally-owned businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. Spending money in locally-owned businesses means your money stays in the community. That’s not always the case when shopping at large national chains. You may save a little money in the short term, however, your community may suffer the long-term effects. Shopping locally means keeping money circulating in our local economy. For example, according to the 3/50 project, founded by retail consultant and professional speaker Cinda Baxter, for every $100 spent at an independently owned, local business, $68 is returned to the community in the form of taxes and payroll and other expenditures as compared with only $43 at nationally owned chain and $0 if shopping online…unless you’re shopping a local business online. Shopping locally helps keep business going in a community and a...

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