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Charlotte

Charlotte

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Charlotte

Featured Story

High Society coming soon

Renee Sevenski
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Renee Sevenski/TCJ)

A slow rolling 6-1 August 2023 vote allowed marijuana dispensaries to open in Eaton County. High Society is one of Charlotte’s newest dispensaries that will be opening in June 2024. This will be their seventh dispensary in the state of Michigan. After negotiations with the new owner of the Charlotte Plaza, High Society dispensary has chosen to make 515 Lansing Street their new home. Plaza residents have already taken notice of the updates which include painting, signs, and eventually a parking resurfacing. High Society values being a part of a community and always looking for ways to engage and collaborate through events and partnerships.

High Society “Born in Michigan, Built in Michigan,” is a premier recreational cannabis company, founded in 2020 by an experienced team of professionals, with deep roots in Michigan’s hospitality industry. It has one goal…to elevate the cannabis experience. 

The dispensary offers a well-chosen selection of cannabis products, from premium flower strains to innovative edibles, concentrates, and topicals. Their mission is to earn your business with customer service, quality, and best priced products. They can do this because they are vertically integrated. This means they have invested and have direct ownership in how their product makes its way from the initial seed to the retail store shelf and into the hands of the customer. 

The team at High Society believes strongly in providing amazing service to guests that visit their stores. Employees are trained with the idea that hospitality is their heartbeat of who they are. They offer that five-star hotel experience from within the cannabis industry.

High Society stocks a variety of their very own quality products sure to meet the taste and budget of the cannabis user. Every purchase brings you exciting benefits, including a loyalty program with members-only discounts, early access to new products, and personalized service. Customers must be 21 years of age and show a valid ID to visit. High Society is a recreational dispensary, meaning there is no need for a medical marijuana card, however, they will honor you with a 10% discount.

If you have an interest in joining their well-trained team, find the positions and other information on Indeed and apply. If hired be prepared for a two-day orientation that will include full product knowledge as part of your training to be a part of their amazing team.

Olivet

Olivet

Featured Story

Olivet’s new restaurant

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Kelsey Klont/TCJ – Photo (L to R): Head Chef Ethan Smerdon, General Manager Kyle Ritenburgh, Chef David Joyce.)

Block House owners, Nick Lux and Anthony Collamati, opened their second location in Olivet on Tuesday, April 30th, after having opened their first location in Alma. Kyle Ritenburgh, General Manager for Block House, told me “Our soft opening went extremely well, and we are excited to be a staple restaurant here in Olivet. Being able to serve as a place where both college students and community members can come together for an entertaining night is very special to us.” 

As many locals know, the University of Olivet and Alma College are sister schools, during one visit to Alma College, Olivet’s President, Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., had visited Block House, which is the host for Alma College’s Esports team. 

That same principle carries over to their second location, as Block House also has a partnership with the University of Olivet to be the host of the university’s Esports team. The Esports possibilities at Block House are not meant for only university students, they are extended to the community as there are three separate gaming console areas that small groups can gather around as they dine. As well as a private rental room for groups celebrating any occasion, PC gaming on the stage, and the golf simulation area that they will have available soon. Block House will be offering leagues this fall for local high school and middle school Esport athletes. Block House is available to help set up teams at all high schools in the area. With their streaming services of competitions and advertising opportunities there is something for gamers and businesses to celebrate around. With all the interactive capabilities, Block House will start doing weekly trivia and gaming events, international wine tasting events, outdoor BBQ and brew events to name a few events they will host. So, join their socials or email newsletters to be the first to sign up for these fun unique events.  

The dining menu at Block House carries over the gaming theme onto the menu. As you view their menu it becomes visually clear that the menu is set up into three different columns (American, European, and Asian) mimicking the various online servers. 

The impressive dining menu, crafted by Head Chef Ethan Smerdon, has something for everyone ranging from their Linguine Carbonara, a Block House favorite, to smash burgers and their endless pizza options. Chef Smerdon said that “these dishes are traditional regional plates with a Block House spin to them.” Specifically at this location pizza will be their specialty, where you can order top picks such as BBQ Chicken, Veggie, or Fig and Prosciutto off the menu, or you can build your own pizza with their endless options of toppings, proteins, and sauces.  

Even the design of the exterior of this bar and restaurant is well suited for the gaming and dining atmosphere of Block House. Across the front face, middle section, and back of the building are iridescent square tiles, though eye-catching, resemble individualized pixels from video games. Inside you can watch your favorite teams, shows, videogame streams or movies on their specialty curved barrel vaults and cinema screen. 

To taste test their delicious dishes or enjoy a beverage from their full-service bar, which offers non-alcoholic options as well as cocktails, visit their brand-new location at 714 S Main St. in Olivet. Where their kitchen hours are Tuesday-Thursday 3 p.m.- 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 3 p.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday 3 p.m.- 8 p.m. Once Block House is fully staffed, they will start serving lunch. If you have a gathering or party, hungry for a great meal, thirsty for a craft cocktail or mocktail, wanting to game with friends or looking for something new, Block House is here for you, so give them a call at 989-944-8962 or email at thehouse@blockhouse.live.

Bellevue

Bellevue

Featured Story

Barnes Insurance Group welcomes community to their new location

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided)

Passing through Bellevue on Capital Avenue you may see a familiar face in Bellevue in a new place in town. 

Barnes Insurance Group of Bellevue, formerly King Agency, Bellevue, has moved from their previous location on Main Street to the former Independent Bank. Last January, the opportunity arose for longtime King Agency Producer, Randy Barnes, to purchase the Bellevue branch from David King. Having the work experience of 27 years at King Agency the camaraderie between Barnes and King made for an easy transition into what is now Barnes Insurance Group. Carrying over the employees and same exceptional service from this independent insurance agency, Barnes Insurance Group experienced a smooth transition from King Agency and into their new building, which they moved into over Thanksgiving weekend.

As Bellevue’s independent insurance agency, Barnes Insurance Group provides services for home, auto, farm, retirement, business, recreational vehicle, and life insurances through multiple reputable carriers. Listed here are a select few of the many carriers that Barnes Insurance Group offers services through: Auto Owners, Hagerty, CNA Surety, Progressive, Hastings Mutual. 

With the newness of Barnes Insurance Group, owner Barnes told me, “We are all truly blessed and could not ask for a better community here than the one we have here.” As a way to say thank you and welcome the community to their new office location, Barnes Insurance Group is having an inaugural open house on Friday, June 21 happening from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Where there will be a grill out and Moo-ville ice cream.

If you are needing a new insurance agent, look to Barnes Insurance Group where they stick by their mission statement, “Right coverage at a reasonable price.” Their new location is at 204 W. Capital Avenue in Bellevue, where the open house will be held, and also where you can find them for all your insurance needs. To give them a call their phone number is 269-763-9422 and visit their website at www.barnes-insgroup.com. 

Eaton County

Eaton County

Featured Story

Tiger Cruise provides experience of a lifetime for Eaton Rapids resident

Travis Silvas
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Deb Maleski)

As the roar of the jet engines thundered across the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Susan Drapek felt as if her entire body could explode.

“It was a pretty amazing experience,” Drapek said of her five-day stint aboard the aircraft carrier this past February.

Drapek was a guest of her daughter, MC2 Larissa Dougherty, as part of a special Navy program called a Tiger Cruise. The program allows civilians, typically family and friends of deployed sailors, to sail on a Navy ship for a short period, usually the last leg of a deployment. Drapek sailed alongside her daughter from Honolulu to San Diego, shadowing Dougherty in her role as a member of the Navy’s media team.

“When you’re on the ship you have to stick with your sailor,” Drapek said. “My daughter’s job is in media so she was all over the ship, up in the bridge, down below, on the flight deck … we were everywhere.”

Over the course of five days, Drapek got to experience nearly every aspect of Navy life, including a couple days of shore leave. She participated in activities and demonstrations to showcase a sailor’s emergency preparedness. She saw the seriousness in which sailors must respond and focus in a crisis during a “Viper Drill.”

“They have to be prepared for any situation that may arise out on the ocean,” she said. “They were all dead serious. You walk around and realize they are just kids … they are so young, but everything went off like clockwork.”

Tiger Cruises are a chance for families to connect and for civilians to gain a unique perspective on Navy life. Sailors get to show their families their workplace and daily routines, while families gain a deeper understanding of the sailor’s life at sea.

Drapek said she was fortunate to get the full experience as her daughter’s role allowed for access to most areas and aspects of the ship, including the flight deck when the jets were preparing to take off.

“It was just a cool way to connect with the military,” she said.

And, an amazing experience to share with her daughter.

Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

A Neighborhood Garden Growing the Community

Stacy N. Holbrook
Contributing Writer

(Photo Provided)

What happens when a community comes together to encourage a healthier life style, a better social environment and building community connections? We have a community that is a happier, healthier, and more content. Commissioner Mike Callton (Chiropractor, County Commissioner of the Nashville and Woodland areas, former Michigan House Representatives, former Vice-Chair of the House Health Policy Committee, member of the Insurance Policy Committee and the House of Military, Veterans’ Affairs and Homeland Security Committee), and Commissioner/Blue Zones Executive Director Catherine Getty (Berry County Commissioner District 2, Executive Director of Blue Zones Activate Barry County, formerly the Planning and Zoning Administrator for Thornapple Township); along with Dillon Catlett and about 15 other residents of Nashville, Michigan have formed a group of neighbors entering the Blue Zone.

Just what is the Blue Zone? Over 20 years of research and identification of the world’s longest-lived and happiest populations, which live clean and healthy.

Commissioner Mike Callton and Blue Zones Executive Director/Commissioner Catherine Getty, introduced an idea to create a plan for social connections, better health, and improved life. Presenting this idea to the village committee, the proposal involved finding a piece of ground, funding, and planting a neighborhood garden. People of the community are encouraged to get involved in maintaining the garden and everyone will benefit with fresh fruits and vegetables. Mike, Catherine and Dillon have met many neighbors, and enjoyed the social connection getting to know them.

With the help of the Blue Zone committee, The BCC Foundation, MSU Extension, Farm Bureau and the Food Pantry, these neighbors are learning to live healthy, work together for the same goal and provide services to the community. The Blue Zones have provided great leadership, directing this small group to the right connections.

he Garden is fenced in to keep wildlife out, it has raised plant beds with green beans, strawberries, pumpkins, melons, peppers (both sweet and hot), marigolds, herbs and sunflowers. Mike has left his phone on a post in front of the garden for anyone that may want to contribute to this project, either by funds or labor.

They are very excited with the progress of the garden and all the people that are becoming involved. When the produce starts coming off the garden, they already have a plan for harvesting, fair distribution and they are excited to be able to share some of the bounty with the local food bank.

Catherine shared, “Delton County School and community started this idea of a community garden and has sense inspired two other communities, Johnstown and Nashville, to start a garden in their towns/villages. These programs provide fresh produce, social connections, and longer, healthier lives.” Mike Shared the planning map provided by the MSU Extension and encourages other communities to have “Neighborhood Gardens” where a community can grow together with an attitude of gratitude.

Watch for more inspiring news about Nashville, MI as they share the growth in their community

Potterville

Potterville

Featured Story

New and only barbershop in town

Kelsey Klont
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Kelsey Klont/TCJ)

Potterville’s only barbershop is open and ready for business.

Cole Davis, a 2021 Potterville High School graduate, opened Cole Cutsss on Saturday, January 6, 2024. Specifically for men’s haircuts and beard upkeep, it is a true barbershop.

Growing up, Davis’s dad, Todd, would always cut his hair. When he was a freshman in high school Davis taught himself how and started to cut his own hair. He had done that for a couple years when his friends started asking him to cut their hair. Thinking that would be a nice hobby he started to realize that he had the potential when other people who he did not know from high school began to ask him to cut their hair too.

After graduating high school in the spring of 2021, he was not fully sure if there could be a steady income and career as a full-time barber, so over the course of the next year he worked as an electrician and a tree worker. During that time, he discovered that he knows what he does and does not like to do, and also that he wants to be his own boss to work for himself. Davis said, “I have been wanting to own a barbershop of my own but did not anticipate that it would happen so quickly. Throughout this whole experience my family, friends, and my parents’ friends have helped out a lot with the renovations and have also influenced me to go for it with my own barbershop.”

In May of 2022, Davis enrolled at Lansing Barber College to become a licensed barber. Davis finished the year-long program in June of 2023, and after that he rented a chair at a barbershop in Frandor Shopping Center.

In July of last year, Davis started the lease at his Potterville location. Things came together “sooner than he thought,” according to Davis, as he didn’t expect to have a business and his own building at the age of 20. Family friends Georgia and her late husband Ken Fry own the building, which was built in the late 1960’s where Ken had owned and operated K & G Barbershop years ago.
Davis already has plans for the future. He told me that he hopes to purchase the building and add another barber sooner rather than later to help with the large influx of appointments he has been getting. Cole Cutsss offers appointments as well as walk-ins and he asks everyone to please be patient as they figure out scheduling since they are newly opened. Services provided at Cole Cutsss include men’s hair cuts and beards, offering special pricing for seniors and boys. Davis specializes in fades with clippers saying, “The shorter the hair the better.”

You can find Cole Cutsss located at 121 S. Hartel in Potterville, where you can walk in or call ahead for an appointment at 517-881-4266. Hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m. to Noon. Cole Cutsss is closed Tuesday and Sunday.

Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

Tiger Cruise provides experience of a lifetime for Eaton Rapids resident

Travis Silvas
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Deb Maleski)

As the roar of the jet engines thundered across the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Susan Drapek felt as if her entire body could explode.

“It was a pretty amazing experience,” Drapek said of her five-day stint aboard the aircraft carrier this past February.

Drapek was a guest of her daughter, MC2 Larissa Dougherty, as part of a special Navy program called a Tiger Cruise. The program allows civilians, typically family and friends of deployed sailors, to sail on a Navy ship for a short period, usually the last leg of a deployment. Drapek sailed alongside her daughter from Honolulu to San Diego, shadowing Dougherty in her role as a member of the Navy’s media team.

“When you’re on the ship you have to stick with your sailor,” Drapek said. “My daughter’s job is in media so she was all over the ship, up in the bridge, down below, on the flight deck … we were everywhere.”

Over the course of five days, Drapek got to experience nearly every aspect of Navy life, including a couple days of shore leave. She participated in activities and demonstrations to showcase a sailor’s emergency preparedness. She saw the seriousness in which sailors must respond and focus in a crisis during a “Viper Drill.”

“They have to be prepared for any situation that may arise out on the ocean,” she said. “They were all dead serious. You walk around and realize they are just kids … they are so young, but everything went off like clockwork.”

Tiger Cruises are a chance for families to connect and for civilians to gain a unique perspective on Navy life. Sailors get to show their families their workplace and daily routines, while families gain a deeper understanding of the sailor’s life at sea.

Drapek said she was fortunate to get the full experience as her daughter’s role allowed for access to most areas and aspects of the ship, including the flight deck when the jets were preparing to take off.

“It was just a cool way to connect with the military,” she said.

And, an amazing experience to share with her daughter.

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