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Declare this 4th of July

Sometimes I wonder if the Founding Fathers had any inkling that the 4th of July would become a day of national celebrating with fireworks, parades, and hotdogs. (I’m sure if they thought about future celebrations it didn’t...

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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

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Declare this 4th of July

Sometimes I wonder if the Founding Fathers had any inkling that the 4th of July would become a day of national celebrating with fireworks, parades, and hotdogs. (I’m sure if they thought about future celebrations it didn’t include the hotdog.) More so, I wonder if they assumed such a national holiday would become cheapened, not just by activities and leisure, but by the attitude of countrymen and women who despise each other, and have little respect for each other’s liberties.

I’ve written several columns about the current national climate, politically, societally, and indeed morally. I’m by no means an authority on these topics. Reporters, strictly speaking, aren’t necessarily authorities. But we are observers- observers of attitudes, patterns, communication, and happenings. As I continue to observe the national state of affairs, my optimism that our country can overcome its ideological, political, and philosophical divides continues to diminish…

Until I read about the lives, opinions, and positions of the Founding Fathers themselves, anyway. Those men who painstakingly drafted the Declaration of Independence, and carved the foundations of our democracy and freedoms out of human barbarism, were not always unified. Their opinions on government, loyalty, religion, public life, and indeed personal freedom were diverse and divided. They squabbled, bickered, and spewed vitriol at each other with a tenacity that would put today’s Twitter battles to shame.

In spite of their division, the Founding Fathers managed to find consensus in a few simple agreeances, that men shouldn’t live under tyranny, that citizens should be fairly represented, and that there should be a balance of power in government. That consensus was invariably tied to “self-evident” and “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To reinforce their consensus and belief of human rights, the Founding Fathers declared that freedom of religion, of speech, and assembly were necessary possessions of their citizens.

The 4th of July is the day we as citizens of the United States celebrate a declaration of independence, not just in the form of a document sent to a British monarch over 200 years ago, but a continuing declaration for the ages that “all men are created equal.” We declare on the 4th of July that the United States of America is the land where the freedoms and rights we enjoy also belong to our neighbors, despite our disagreements with them, or differing lifestyles. July 4th is the time to remember that the Founding Fathers declared and made safeguards for citizens and people they did not know, for societies and generations they could not foresee, and for cultures that would grow and change throughout time.

This 4th of July let’s all take a moment not only to remember the boldness of the Founding Fathers and the sacrifice of those who have died for our freedom, but also to see the inherent dignity of people who are not like us. Take time to truly look at the heart of someone we see as a threat, or someone we disagree with, and honor that our founding declarations and documents protect them as well. Declare this 4th of July the one in which we choose to let diversity, differences, and yes, disagreements unite us, as did the Founding Fathers. Unity is not the same as conformity. True freedom is the acknowledgement that someone will use it differently than you, and maybe even in a way you dislike. Declare this 4th of July the one in which we renew dignity, honor, and respect for others.

Mason

Mason

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Mason DDA hosts Chocolate Walk through downtown

Thursday, May 11, from 2 to 5 p.m. residents and visitors are invited to Mason for a Chocolate Walk through downtown. The Mason Downtown Development Authority is putting on the event to bring attention to the unique businesses and opportunities that exist all within a short walking distance in the downtown area.

Walkers will start at Mason City Hall, receive a map and a chocolate-collecting bag, and start the trek through downtown. With 37 stops along the way, walkers will consume and take home a variety of chocolate treats, as well as special gifts and offers from the participating businesses.

“(This may) give them a reason to come back to Mason,” said Jamie Robinson, chair of the Mason DDA.

As owner of a couple Mason favorites, Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co. and the Vault Delicatessen, Robinson knows the great potential the downtown has for attracting newcomers. A chocolate walk through some of Mason’s finest businesses combined with a special gift or discount for products is a sure to bring visiting walkers back to the historic town, according to Robinson.

The idea of the chocolate walk came from one such event held in Old Town Lansing. Robinson and others saw the kind of crowds and enthusiasm the Old Town chocolate walk brought to one historic district, and brought the idea back to Mason.

“Chocolate is appealing to a vast majority of people,” said Robinson.

Walkers will be fortunate to have a variety of finely made chocolates from Hanover’s Michigan Mints, Fabiano’s Candies, and more. Although chocolate will be the primary treat for the event, walkers can look forward to a number of other delicious delights as well.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view new spaces in the Mason downtown. One stop along the chocolate trail will be the new Dart Bank building, in which walkers will get a tour of the lobby area. Another highly anticipated stop will be the Michigan Barn Salvage, where walkers will get a sneak peak at the new business.

Tickets to the Mason Chocolate Walk are $25 with advance order and $30 on the day of the event. Readers can buy tickets online at the Mason DDA website, or buy tickets at Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co, or purchase tickets at Mason City Hall the day of the event.

For more event information readers can visit masondda.com.

DIMONDALE

Dimondale

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Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite....

Dimondale

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Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite. For 50 years Mike’s was a staple of the village of Dimondale, serving baked goods and homestyle fare. Dimondalians knew owner Mike Chappell and his staff and took comfort in the food, friendliness, and simplicity. Many, far and wide, were saddened when Mike announced he’d be closing the restaurant, and Conarton was one of the many.

Saddened by the news as she was, Conarton decided to let the announcement be the catalyst for fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams — to own her own local diner, especially one she was familiar with. Conarton and her mother were regulars at Mike’s, and she couldn’t stand the thought of losing another gem of Dimondale’s main street, especially one that had lasted in the village through many storms and changing times.

“The day he (Mike) made the announcement, I started thinking about it,” said Conarton.

It wasn’t long before she and Chappell had made arrangements. Pieces are currently in motion to have the same, familiar restaurant reopened in August. Many familiar faces and dishes will return to Mike’s, but a few things will be different. Mike’s will have a facelift, with new paint and flooring. The hours will also change, with restaurant no longer offering dinner. Still, the menu will have many of its essential favorites, as well as the small town charm any diner needs.

The reopening of Mike’s, however, is less about the food and walls, to Conarton, and more about the people. Conarton not only was a regular customer at the village restaurant, she also worked at Mike’s during her high school and college years. To her, and to so many patrons, Mike’s was a place for community togetherness, early employment, and fond memories.

“In every community there’s a restaurant people go to regularly. There’s a sense of community and friendliness,” said Conarton. “It’s a friendly atmosphere, everybody knows your name, you feel at home there… That’s so important to us.”

The concept of the community restaurant isn’t just important to Conarton and Chappell, it’s important to many Dimondale residents. Conarton has received dozens of encouraging and grateful emails, messages, and phone calls regarding her announcement. Mike’s absence may have been short, but it left an impact on the community. Residents are eager to have their beloved restaurant reopened, and hopefully ready for another 50 years of service.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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2018 marks 150 years of the Fair at the Eaton County Fairgrounds

For the first 13 years of its existence, the Eaton County 4-H Fair took place just outside the Charlotte City Limits. That all changed 150 years ago when the Fair took up permanent residence at the Eaton County Fairgrounds.

To commemorate the event, the Eaton County Fairboard will be joined by local dignitaries Monday, July 9 for a special ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the 2018 Eaton County 4-H Fair. The excitement though, will begin long before any scissor’s blade finds cloth.

Grandstand shows begin Friday, July 6 with harness horse racing, which continues at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 7. The annual horse pulls take place Saturday afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m.

The Fair Board is excited to announce its newest grandstand event, the Super Kicker Rodeo, which takes place Sunday, July 8 at 7 p.m. Country music entertainer DeWayne Spaw kicks off a week’s worth of shows prior to the Rodeo, at 6:30 p.m. Spaw will perform Sunday through Tuesday evening, and Thursday through Saturday, July 12-14.

Elliott’s Amusements returns with its host of rides guaranteed to thrill and excite, and games ready to challenge even the most skilled on the midway. Rides open Monday, July 9 at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jul 10 at 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 11 at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 12 at noon for toddler day, Friday, July 13 at 3 p.m. and Saturday, July 14 at noon.

The 4-H rings are being filled by eager youth anticipating the opportunity to showcase the hard work they’ve put in raising their livestock. Livestock exhibits get into full swing on Monday, beginning with swine showmanship at 8:30 a.m. The goat show begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Horse/Pony Pee Wee and Proud Eqestrians at 1 p.m.

Monday is also Veterans, Active Duty Military and Emergency Services Personnel Day, along with Eaton County Farm Bureau Day. Monster trucks will dominate the grandstands Monday, with a pit party planned for 6 p.m. and the Monster Truck show beginning at 7 p.m.

4-H horse and pony classes start the day off on Tuesday, July 10 at 9 a.m. Rabbit showmanship and breed classes also begin at 9 a.m. The dairy market show takes place at 9 a.m. Beef showmanship, breeding cattle, market classes and feeder and club herds take the ring beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sheep lead classes and the decorative class begin at 6 p.m.

The grandstands feature the TNT Demolition Derby Tuesday evening, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday is also Kids Day, with rides for the little ones beginning at 2 p.m. Senior citizens also receive free gate admission Tuesday for Senior Citizens Day. Special events geared toward area senior citizens will take place at Kardell Hall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The horse and pony classes, dairy showmanship, sheep showmanship, and poultry showmanship all kick off a busy day in the 4-H rings on Wednesday, beginning at 9 a.m.

STO Motorsports presents a thrilling evening of motocross racing in the grandstands, beginning with practice at 5 p.m. and competitions at 7 p.m.

Rides open at noon on Thursday, July 12 for Toddler’s Day (children 6 and younger). Toddler armbands are just $5 from noon to 2 p.m.

The horse and cattle arenas open for competition at 9 a.m. The big market livestock sale begins at 10 a.m. in the Wawiernia Pavilion.

Thursday is the also the first of two nights of truck and tractor pulls in the grandstands. Beginning at 7 p.m., Heavy Super Stock, Light Pro Stock, 2-Wheel Drive, Diesel Pickup, and Mini Mods will take the infield. The truck and tractor pulls return Friday, July 14 with Heavy Super Stock, Modified, Super Farm Stock, and 4-Wheel Drive Pickup competitions, also beginning at 7 p.m.

Cloverbud competitions take place throughout the day Friday in the 4-H arenas.

Saturday, July 15 is kids day starting at noon. Large and small animal showmanship sweepstakes round, and the small animal sale help round out 4-H activities for the week.

The week of activity concludes Saturday evening with another new event, the non-livestock exhibit auction, which takes place at 5 p.m.

The final night of grandstand entertainment features mud bogging by W. Michigan Mud Runs, beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.EatonCountyFair.com.

Onondaga

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Charlotte

Charlotte

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New surgeon adds to patient first focus at HGB’s Eaton Regional Orthopedics

From a very early age Nicholas Doman knew the medical field was his calling. Growing up around his father’s family medical practice in Tecumseh, he was always drawn to the interactions his father had with his many patients.

As he progressed along his educational journey, it was clear that patient-focused care was his passion, and would ultimately guide his decision in where he would set up his practice. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in anterior hip replacement, and reverse shoulder replacement, Dr. Doman’s skillset was highly sought.

Ultimately, Dr. Doman felt Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital presented the greatest opportunity to grow his practice and his family.

“The first time I came here, it was obvious the hospital was really focused on the patient experience,” Dr. Doman said. “I had that instilled in me at a very young age, that the patient comes first.”

Having found the right fit in a hospital, he and his wife, Jessica, had to find the right community in which to raise their 2-year-old son, Tyler. The two looked at a number of communities, including Grand Ledge and DeWitt before deciding Charlotte was the right fit.

“We both wanted to get back to a smaller town to raise our family,” Dr. Doman said. “We looked at other communities, but thought that none of them felt right. We needed to be in Charlotte.”

Jessica, who is into health and fitness, was drawn to AL!VE. The couple also saw plenty of opportunity to plug into the community.

“Growing up in a small town, my parents were both really involved in the community and I saw the value of being involved,” Dr. Doman said. “That’s something that I wanted to do here, and something my wife wanted as well.”

Jessica has joined the HGB Women’s Health Advisory Committee. On Tuesday, July 17 Dr. Doman joins Dr. Jeremy Pascotto at Eaton Regional Orthopedics, located at 616 Meijer Drive in Charlotte.

“Between the two of us we can offer any patient in the region high quality orthopedic care where they don’t have to leave the community,” Dr. Doman said.

Darice Darling, director of marketing and communications at HGB said the hospital is always looking at ways to improve patient experience.

“Having doctors who are very cognizant of how what they do assists patients, how it affects the patient is going to help us accomplish what we want to do as a hospital,” Darling said. “We can become a destination because patients know they are going to get that individual care, and have an experience here where they are treated well.”

Dr. Doman completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, including rotations for pediatric orthopedics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and for orthopedic trauma at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. He earned his medical degree from the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and his bachelor’s degree at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich.

Dr. Doman is a member of the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics and the Michigan Osteopathic Association.

Eaton Regional Orthopedics is located at 616 Meijer Drive in Charlotte, and is part of Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital’s health care system. Call (517) 543-7976 for more information. Most insurance plans are accepted.

Vermontville

Vermontville

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