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Month: July 2014

Garden Tour returns to Fireman’s Fest to raise money for local project

Kathy Gardener planted a seed of generosity during last year’s Fireman’s Fest in Olivet. This year she is anxious to see what kind of generosity blooms. Gardener was the creator of last year’s inaugural garden tour, which benefitted the Will to Live Foundation in Olivet. This year the garden tour returns, though the beneficiary of 100 proceeds has changed. This year all funds generated from the tour will benefit the City of Olivet’s fountain project. “I’m hoping we raise enough to plant native Michigan plants for the garden around the fountain,” Gardener said. An advanced master gardener and enthusiast,...

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City council approves parking lot purchase agreement

The Charlotte City Council agreed Monday to the terms of a $125,000 purchase agreement to acquire a large portion of the city parking currently owned by Chestnut Development. The portion in question was previously owned by Bank of America before being purchased at an auction in 2012. The purchase agreement includes the former bank drive through, located between Bostwick and Sheldon streets next to the First Congregational Church. City Manager Gregg Guetschow said the two parcels represent a significant number of parking spaces — 48 to 50 in the lot behind the former Bank of America building alone. The city will purchase the two parcels using funds it has set aside for parking lot improvement projects. “We have been setting money aside each and every year for upgrading paring lots,” Guetschow said. “The next project we had in mind to do was the Corral lot, which we are planning to move forward with, but we’re now likely going to have to push that back a year. It just makes good sense that if we are investing in parking, we should invest in the actual lot itself.” In the past, the City has had a lease agreement in place with whichever bank had previously owned the three parcels of land — the building on Cochran Avenue, a portion of the lot behind the building and the drive through. That changed...

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Local youth schooled in ‘World’s Sport’

If the 2014 Word Cup is any indication, soccer (or football as it is known throughout the world) remains the most popular sport on the planet. That is, of course, everywhere outside of the United States. That too, however, seems to be shifting and one of the main reasons is that more children are playing soccer in the United States than any other sport. Additionally, they are starting to learn from some of the finest coaches in the world. Youth in Charlotte, last week, had the opportunity to learn from two coaches from England through the UK International AYSO program. Mike Williams and Mike Amorford spent Monday, July 7 through Friday, July 11 teaching local 5 to 15 year olds the finer points of being a good player as well as a good person. “We use the INSPIRE curriculum, which is intended to improve them as footballers, but to also become better people,” said Williams, who directed the camp. “If these kids can take something from this experience for life, not just football, but that social component as well, it’s fantastic.” Local AYSO coach Brad Gingrich, who helped set up the UK International camp in Charlotte, said he was impressed at how engaging the two coaches were. “Mike and Mike are absolutely great with the kids,” said Brad Gingrich, AYSO coach and organizer of the weeklong camp. “They really...

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Local municipalities encourage community to ‘Kanoe the Kazoo’

As part of the Kalamazoo River Watershed, the City of Charlotte, Olivet and Village of Bellevue have an obligation to educate their residents about water quality and the effects pollutants have on our natural resources. One fun way to do that is to encourage people to take advantage of the recreational opportunities our waterways provide. This year, the three municipalities have come together to provide a fun, recreational and educational event on Saturday, July 19 — Kanoe the Kazoo. Participants will gather at Shrontz Memorial Park in Olivet Saturday morning to depart on a one-to-two hour float along Indian Creek, ending up back at Shrontz Memorial Park for a barbecue lunch. “I thought this opportunity sounded like something cool for our community,” said Matt Griffith with the City of Charlotte’s wastewater treatment facility. “I will provide a short educational piece at the end.” Griffith said the Charlotte, Olivet and Bellevue have an obligation to help raise awareness about non-point source pollution that threatens water quality in the watershed. Each municipality must closely monitor the amount of phosphorous it contributes back into the watershed as part of its TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) agreement with the State of Michigan. Participating in educational events such as Kanoe the Kazoo, which is held in communities throughout the watershed, is one way of fulfilling its obligation, Griffith said. Participants must register for the...

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Organizers scramble to ‘plan B’ following second Willie Nelson cancellation

Cindy Miller was certainly shaken by the official announcement that Willie Nelson would have to cancel his scheduled performance in Charlotte, citing a scheduling conflict, for a second straight year. However, the initial shock did not last long as the Eaton Area Senior Center director and her team quickly shifted focus to plan B — booking another artist. Miller said she is focused on finding another country music act to take the Aug. 22 date in an effort to satisfy current ticket holders. “We are working out the details for refunds with the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, which is...

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