The Flashes News
Eaton RapidsFeatured Story
It’s been a successful year of sales at P&K RV. The regular hustle and bustle of the spring season brought new and old customers back to the Eaton Rapids business for trailers and RVs. 2017 is settling down to be a fairly regular, steady year, according to owner George Chemacki.
As another year winds down, however, that means 2018 will be here before we know it, and P&K is preparing for another RV show at the MSU Pavilion. The end of the year also means it’s time to winterize campers and RVs.
Chemacki and Dave Pennell, owners of P&K RV have advice for readers about crucial steps for winterizing campers and RVs. The first note for any RV owner is to properly prep the hot water heater and water lines. Water needs to be completely drained prior to winter storage. Any remaining water could settle, freeze, and damage water lines. P&K RV recommends pumping antifreeze through the lines as opposed to air, and P&K is willing to do the work of pumping the antifreeze for customers.
Another often-overlooked step in the winterizing process is using a proper cover. George warns readers against using polypropylene covers, which can be a cheaper option for camper covers. The largest problem with the polypropylene covers is that they don’t breathe. They hold in moisture and will allow mold to grow in between the cover and the camper.
George’s next piece of advice was similar to the second. George recommends getting on top of the camper prior to winter storage and checking all of the caulk. Seal leaks can be a silent killer of RVs and campers. Checking over the trailer before covering it up for winter can save time, money, and hassle before that first big camping trip of the summer.
George realizes, however, there are those daring souls who camp late into fall and even winter. Although most campgrounds will close for winter, there are still a handful that will stay open year round. If winter/cool weather camping is something you do, George has a few more recommendations.
For winter camping it’s wise to have an enclosed underbelly and heated plumbing. There are some winter campers who will simply not use their plumbing for a winter trip, but for those who may want running water George highly recommends heated plumbing. At P&K RV readers and customers can find camper/RV options with winter packages.
Readers who may be looking for a new rig for next year’s camping season will want to visit P&K RV, or visit their booth at the January RV show at the MSU Pavilion. Exact dates are still in the works for the show, but P&K will be one of four dealers at the mid-January show. George encourages readers to come out and see the many options available for all budgets.
Those interested in learning more about P&K RV can visit pkrvsales.com, or call (517) 663-1300. P&K RV is located at 2334 S. Michigan Road in Eaton Rapids.
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.
On Friday, June 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Village of Dimondale will close off Bridge Street for the annual Oldsmobile Homecoming car show. The free event includes the car show, live music, food specials at local restaurants, and a family movie beginning at dusk.
The event is put on by the Lansing RE Olds Chapter in collaboration with the Dimondale Business Association.
The Lansing chapter of the RE Olds Club is a chapter of the Oldsmobile Club of America. The Dimondale car show is a first event for the 2017 Olds Homecoming weekend. The official Homecoming event will take place the following Saturday at the Auto Owners Insurance complex, located at 6101 Anacapri Drive in Lansing.
The Dimondale car show is a multipurpose event. While it’s the first event for the Olds Homecoming weekend, it’s also a gift to the Dimondale community, according to village manager Denise Parisian. The Village and the Dimondale Business Association wanted to provide an easy and free event for residents as thanks for their support.
“Our purpose here is to give back to the community. We’re inviting folks who live here to enjoy the community, and inviting folks who don’t live to discover Dimondale to see what we have to offer. It’s meant to be an easy, fun, summer kickoff kind of event,” said Parisian.
Dimondale is a favored spot for the Oldsmobile club members, according to Parisian. Because of the village’s compact main street, club members have an easy walking distance to village favorites. They enjoy walking around the main strip, visiting the restaurants, and encountering the fascinated locals.
Not all of the Olds drivers are foreign to Dimondale. There are several Dimondale residents who are members of the Lansing RE Olds club. Those who are from Dimondale are pleased to share the quaintness of their village prior to the big homecoming celebration on Saturday. Friday is a simple, laid back evening for the Olds drivers, same as for the Dimondale residents.
Bridge Street will be reopened around 9 p.m. After a couple of hours of viewing 100 or so vintage Oldsmobiles, residents will be welcome to attend a family movie outdoors. There will be face painting and balloon animals for kids.
Parisian is pleased with the positive relationship the Village of Dimondale has had with the RE Olds Club, and hopes readers, residents, and car enthusiasts will come out to enjoy an evening of cars, music, and good summer vibes.
Eaton CountyFeatured Story
On the November ballot for Eaton County residents will be the proposal for a surcharge of up to $1.75 a month on all phone lines or devices capable of calling 9-1-1 in Eaton County. The purpose of the surcharge is to cover the cost of new radio systems for all emergency responders.
Presentations about the ballot item were given to at least two city councils in Eaton County Monday, Oct. 23. Eaton County’s Central Dispatch director, Michael Armitage, gave a presentation before the Charlotte City Council, and deputy director, Lara O’Brien, presented to the Eaton Rapids City Council.
The emergency radio system used for all of Eaton County’s emergency responders is well out of date. The system is more than 40 years old and has a number of weaknesses that are hampering responders’ ability to perform their jobs effectively. Radios connected to the system are known to lose reception in a variety of buildings, there are recurring problems with frequency overlap and interference between Eaton and Ingham Counties and even Chicago, and it is far easier for citizens to tap into the radio frequencies of emergency responders. According to O’Brien, replacement parts for the current system will no longer be in production after 2018. The list of issues with the decades old system goes on.
Counties across the state have been moving to updated, digital radio systems that almost completely eliminate problems of interference and loss of reception. The move is part of national compliance and all agencies are expected to be on the updated systems by 2021.
According to Armitage, a radio work group was started two years ago to examine some of the problems emergency responders have had with the radios. The system the work group decided would be most effective for Eaton County’s needs is the MPSCS. The new radio system will also be able to use already existing radio towers in the county, although two more towers will be built if the proposal is voted in. The upkeep of the MPSCS infrastructure will also be maintained by the state. The new radio system also includes new technologies like GPS to track radio users, and emergency call buttons in case an emergency responder is unable to talk.
Other agencies outside the county will also be able to use the system, and vice versa. Likewise, if one county’s communications go down, another county will be able to dispatch the calls. This kind of county and agency interconnectedness was previously not possible with older radio systems.
Charlotte Police Chief Lisa Sherman was available for comment and noted the most important tool she has while she’s on duty is not her firearm, but her radio. She commented that it was time for the change.
“The current system is ready to collapse,” said Kent Austin, chair of the public safety committee for the Eaton County Board of Commissioners.
The upgrade to would cost an estimated $12.8 million, and is expected to be paid off in 10 years if the surcharge proposal passes. Armitage and O’Brien clearly outlined the restrictions of the surcharge in their presentations. Funds from the 911 surcharge can only be used for the radio system upgrade, and are not part of the general fund. There is also a cap, so the charge cannot rise past $1.75, but can only be voted to decrease with each year after its approval.
For more information, readers are encouraged to contact Eaton County Central Dispatch by calling (517) 543-3510.
Governor Rick Snyder visited Charlotte Thursday, Nov. 9 to take part in a graduation ceremony recognizing the City of Charlotte’s completion of the Governor’s Project Rising Tide program. The Governor congratulated city leaders on accomplishments within the community over the course of the last two years, but urged community members to keep moving forward.
“This is not the end of something when you talk about a graduation,” Snyder said. “This is a milestone we should celebrate, that the community should celebrate doing great things together. CharlotteRising is just an awesome program, and I know it goes with great pride in the community.”
Going forward, Snyder said it’s important to keep the momentum Project Rising Tide has helped generate.
“Don’t take your foot off the gas,” You’re accelerating. Now is not the time to be complacent or content about this. Just keep going as fast and forward as you can.”
Charlotte Mayor Tim Lewis assured the Governor that the Charlotte community is poised to continue its focus on downtown revitalization.
“Over the past two years what we’ve seen is our community stepping forward,” Lewis said.
“What I see is great enthusiasm for our continuation downtown. We see buildings changing currently, we see ownership changing, we see building structures changing, we see paintings of buildings and upgrading of buildings downtown. It’s a wonderful time.”
Since Project Rising Tide was instituted in Charlotte, downtown has seen five renovations completed, six business improvements, seven new businesses started and 13 renovation projects currently underway.
Snyder said the purpose of Project Rising Tide was to be catalyst in some of the smaller communities in the state.
CharlotteRising executive director Dillon Rush touched on the how the project succeeded in its mission in Charlotte, serving as a catalyst for change that community members could sense was on the horizon, but needed a push in the right direction to make tangible change a reality.
“The impact of Project Rising Tide and CharlotteRising is felt on our streets, sidewalks, storefronts, and, most importantly, in our stories of Charlotte,” Rush said. “It’s through Project Rising Tide that CharlotteRising was formed. The empowering guidance from the Project Rising Tide team focused our community to enhance our downtown and better collaborate amongst our separate organizations to work as one. Through that collaboration, CharlotteRising formed with the mission to cultivate a vibrant and enduring downtown—and we are well on our way to doing just that.”
Snyder added that he will look for Charlotte to be a role model for the next wave of Project Rising Tide communities.