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Month: July 2016

First Chevrolet medium duty truck rolls off Spartan Motors production line

Spartan Motors played host to General Motors (GM) and Isuzu Commercial Truck of America executives this week as they celebrated the first of the new Chevrolet medium duty, gasoline-powered trucks to roll off the production line at the Spartan Motors plant in Charlotte. The new Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 4500XD, 5500HD and 5500XD truck line is the result of a strategic business relationship between General Motors and Isuzu. Spartan, a leader in the manufacturing of high-quality specialty chassis and vehicle assembly, was awarded the build contract and is responsible for the assembly of the trucks, which are based on...

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Potterville family helps change life for man with epilepsy

Amy Jo Kinyon Larisa Ballard and her family are minus one of their members. Recently, their youngest, Maddie left the nest and moved in with a new family. Maddie came into their lives almost a year ago and quickly became a part of the family. Now, Maddie has a new owner and a new title – service dog. Through Canines for Change, Ballard was able to equip Maddie with skills needed to help her new owner deal with the challenges that come with epilepsy and other health complications. Ballard can now add the title of puppy raiser to her list of credentials. After months of working with Maddie and integrating her into the family, she was able to fulfill the mission of Canines for Change, to “provide highly trained service dogs that enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities by empowering them to maintain active life-styles.” A casual question from a co-worker at Lansing Public Schools started the process with Ballard and her family’s lives changed for the better. From the first day Maddie was brought home, the Ballard family went above and beyond with Maddie, taking her to sporting events at Potterville Public Schools and even taught her a bit of American Sign Language. Maddie was even blessed at church. Along with epilepsy, Maddie’s new partner has hearing and vision challenges that the Ballard family was not aware...

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Local options abound when shopping for fresh food

From roadside stands to farmers markets, the newly coined ‘agritourism’ sector in Michigan is exploding. According to the Michigan State University Product Center, Michigan’s agrifood-energy system contributes $71.3 billion (total economic impact) annually, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the state’s economy. This time of year, it is easy to see the truth in those statistics. From farm fresh eggs to vegetables and canned goods, almost every fresh food is available for purchase in the local community. The State of Michigan boasts the second most diverse agricultural sector in the country, according to the Michigan Agritourism organization. This means...

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CPS looks to teen expert to explore challenges facing today’s youth

In the last five years, Charlotte Public Schools students, staff and administration have mourned the tragic deaths of four students. Coupled with increasing academic rigor, and social media that openly exposes teens to more at an earlier age, the district is exploring ways to help students face stresses not all are equipped to deal with on their own. “In conversations with our board, we have to respond to these situations as a district,” said Mark Rosekrans, superintendent for Charlotte Public Schools. Looking to be more proactive in its approach to some of these challenges, administration and board of education members are looking at new ways to engage families and face these challenges as a community. To help kick off the new school year, CPS administration has enlisted the services of renowned teen expert, Josh Shipp to connect with teens and parents in a meaningful way. “My hope is that some way, somehow everyone gets that message that we are all in this together,” Rosekrans said. Shipp, a former at-risk foster kid, is considered a global youth empowerment expert that travels the country, speaking to youths, parents and educators on how to succeed and feel empowered. He is the author of the national bestseller, The Teen’s Guide to World Domination, and gained notoriety from his documentary television series that aired on A&E. Rosekrans said he hopes Shipp’s presentation shows students...

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Charlotte making a strong case for Main Street ‘Select’ community designation

Since forming as a result of Charlotte’s Project Rising Tide action plan, #CharlotteRising has been planning, building capacity and rallying community support around revitalizing downtown Charlotte. All of those efforts to this point were on full display Tuesday, July 26, as the organization played host to Brittney Hoszkiw, Michigan Main Street Organizational Specialist, and Nate Scramlin, Senior Community Assistance Specialist with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. #CharlotteRising is in the process of putting together its application to advance to the next level of the Michigan Main Street program. Tuesday’s visit was a chance to gauge the community’s progress towards...

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