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A few reasons when we only need one

By Adam Droscha Contributing Writer Two weekends ago during Charlotte’s annual Frontier Days Parade watchers likely noticed many usual sights — marching bands, horses, tractors, fire trucks, children waving from their floats,...

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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Lady Greyhounds take down rival Charlotte

By Daniel Langeland

Guest Writer

The Eaton Rapids Lady Greyhounds traveled to Charlotte Jan. 10 to take on their rivals. Following their first loss of the season Jan. 7, the Greyhounds were determined to show the Lansing area they are a team to watch this season.

In the first quarter, the Greyhounds used their energy to jump all over the Orioles, using a fast tempo to jump out to a 17-4 lead. During the second quarter, a couple of 3-pointers kept the Orioles from falling too far behind and forcing more of the high tempo ball the Greyhounds had gotten away from. After some back and forth, Eaton Rapids found themselves heading to the locker room with a 32-19 half-time lead.

In the third quarter, Eaton Rapids once again attacked the Orioles with a burst of energy, scoring a quick 6 points and extending their lead slightly before going into a comfort mode. Heading into the fourth, the Greyhounds led 47-32. With the game seemingly in hand, bench players for the visitors got a few extra minutes, including Eaton Rapids’ exchange student Charli Sharam. Charli has been an inspiration for the team this season, and with 2 minutes to go in the game, was able to sub in and get a shot at making her first-ever basket in a real game. A minute later, off a pass from Kyra Acker, Charli turned and fired a bank shot that rattled home, sending the visiting Greyhound student section into a frenzy. It was definitely a moment in time that will always be remembered.

Three Greyhounds scored in double figures, with Peyton Benjamin leading the way for the Greyhounds in a big way, scoring 23 points to go along with 9 steals, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Adi Sysum also put in 16 points with her 7 rebounds. Emily Cline added 10 points, Serenity Horton had 6, Shelby Warner had 4, Charli Sharam had her 2 points and Loralei Berry added 1.

This was a big win for Eaton Rapids, beating the rival Orioles on their home court with a final score of 62-45.

The Lady Greyhounds went on to win their Jan. 14 non-conference game — beating Fowlerville 58-40.

Photo by Cindy Gaedert-Gearhart





Featured Story

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



Featured Story

Dimondale’s Dimes Brewhouse marks anniversary

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Last month, Chad Rogers and his wife Michelle, owners of Dimes Brewhouse, celebrated the second anniversary of the opening of their small brewpub in downtown Dimondale.
Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. Chad Rogers said Dimes Brewhouse not only survived its first year but is thriving after two years in business and is ready to grow even more.
Lindsay Peters of Eaton Rapids said the couple has contributed more than just beer to the local community.
“It’s great to see Chad and Michelle succeed,” Peters said. “Not only do they make excellent beer, but they are also wonderful for the community as well.
“They support local events such as 5Ks and host fundraisers, including Rotary’s ‘Pints for Polio.’ When my friends want to meet up, Dimes is our go-to spot.”
The anniversary was celebrated with the introduction of two new beers on tap. One is Ursus Polaris White Stout, made with coffee and cocoa nibs. The other, Imperial Ursus Polaris, is a maple-bourbon, barrel-aged version of Ursus Polaris.
The establishment seats almost 50 people, and there is outdoor seating for up to 40 more people during the warmer months. The brewpub occupies an important historical spot in Dimondale. The building is on the site of the Flagler Hotel, which opened in 1883. In 1885, it was renamed as The Dimondale Hotel. In the 1930s it changed over to a restaurant, The Island Inn. The original building, almost 100 years old, was torn down in 1986, and a small flower shop was located on the site.
Dimes offers up to 22 different beverages in their tap system, all made on site. Along with beer, they serve various other beverages that they create onsite — including wine, mead, cider, kombucha, sodas and a sparkling green tea.
“We are excited to add food to our menu for 2020,” Rogers said. “This will round out what Michelle and I envisioned in our plans and dreams for Dimes.”
He explained they currently use local food trucks two days a week to be able to offer food to their customers.
They are also looking forward to increasing their staff, adding a general manager and kitchen workers to open the kitchen with a limited menu.
“We really have an excellent staff here. They are reliable and competent. Find the right group of people, treat them right, and they’ll treat you right.”
Rogers said one of the most interesting beers he’s made was a beer “smoothie.” This is a beer made with fruit and with lactose, or “milk sugar.” This results in a thick, six percent-alcohol beer which resembles a fruit smoothie. To make 120 gallons of the beer smoothie, 40 gallons of fruit were used. It was a very popular blend and will be a seasonal offering in the warmer months.
Calach Peters of Eaton Rapids said that Chad and Michelle Rogers are great about giving back to the homebrewing community.
“They have been members of Red Ledge Brewers since before they started Dimes, and they opened their doors to the club when our old meeting place closed,” Peters said. “They care about the craft and share their expertise with homebrewers.”
Dimes is located at 145 N. Bridge Street in Dimondale. They can be found on Facebook and at Business hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Eaton County

Eaton County

Featured Story

New 911 safety system up and running

Deb Malewski

Contributing Writer

At a Jan. 9 press conference held at the Eaton County Courthouse, Michael Armitage, Eaton County 911 director, announced the new Eaton County public safety radio communication system, approved by voters in 2017, is now in operation. This replaces an old system which was aging and experiencing failures, Armitage said.

The old system used outdated technology and was at the end of its life, Armitage explained.

“A wind gust in the right direction could blow an antenna or a microwave dish and essentially cripple communication,” he added.

Firefighters sometimes had to carry multiple radios to be able to communicate with other agencies in mutual assistance situations. He explained communication inside buildings was not always reliable.

But those problems will be resolved with the new system. Tests on the new system have shown a vast improvement over the old system, with 98 percent coverage inside buildings in the 1,400 sites tested.

The $13.1 million project provides for five new towers; 957 new radios for police, fire and EMS; and 464 pagers for fire services. There are 39 new outdoor warning sirens in the system, and these will automatically activate based on National Weather Service warnings.

Eaton County Commissioner Barb Rogers said the new system has many advantages.

“With the new system, when dispatch is notified of a tornado, for instance, all the sirens throughout the county can be activated by 911 operators immediately,” Rogers said. “It also provides firefighters with much-improved communications while in structure fires.

“I’m very proud of Eaton County for being the first in the tri-county area with the new and improved radio system to protect firefighters, first responders and citizens.”

Delta Township Fire Chief Gregg Ginebaugh pointed out that the new radios issued to the fire departments have larger knobs on them, making them easier to use with gloved hands and in a dark environment. He also noted that they will be using one system and one radio now, which increases the interoperability between neighbors in mutual assistance events.

“This will be a huge leap forward for us,” Ginebaugh said.

Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said the new system will be a big help.

“This will improve radio coverage and will help satisfy our mission to provide the very best in public safety and services to the people of Eaton County, including the safety of our first responders, firefighters and law enforcement,” Reich said. He also thanked Armitage for his work in getting the system up and running.

In 2019, Eaton County Dispatch received over 141,000 phone calls and dispatched to over 92,00 incidents involving police, fire and EMS.


Photo provided

Shown here at the Jan. 9 press conference are (l. to r.) Brad Stoddard, Michigan public safety communication system director; Delta Township Fire Chief Gregg Ginebaugh; Delta Township Assistant Chief Mike Roman; Michael Armitage, Eaton County 911 director; Eaton County Sheriff Tim Reich; and Eaton County Undersheriff Jeff Cook.



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Eaton County Sheriff presents 2019 awards

Deb Malewski

Contributing Writer

Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich honored the men and women of law enforcement in an awards ceremony held Jan. 8 at the sheriff’s office in Charlotte. He also recognized citizens and volunteers who stepped up to help the community.

“I take these awards very seriously,” Reich said. “We need to recognize the people in uniform, as they do a job no one else wants to do.”

With so many outstanding deputies to choose from, Reich said the decision to select the 2019 Deputy of the Year was very tough.

Deputy Jacob Larson, of the Delta Township road patrol, and Corrections Deputy John Rademacher, corrections division road crew supervisor, shared the award. Both contributed immensely to the success of the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, Reich said. In recognition of their outstanding work, Auto-Owners Insurance gave each officer $1,000 gift cards, department officials said.

Larson also received a Citation for Professional Excellence for his part in an Eaton Rapids traffic stop which resulted in the removal of a large amount of drugs from the streets. He shared a second Citation for Professional Excellence with Deputy Joshua Turner for a drug bust in Sunfield Township.

Sue Carpenter, receptionist and jail visitation coordinator, was selected as the 2019 Employee of the Year. Carpenter plays a vital role in receiving visitors to the jail, which requires much diplomacy and patience in dealing with visitors who sometimes are angry, Reich pointed out.

Randy Gilbert was selected as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Gilbert is a uniformed special deputy who assists the sheriff’s office with extra security, traffic control and crowd control at events. Reich credited Gilbert’s calmness and quick thinking in several emergency situations which allowed them to safely deal with the problem at hand.

Numerous citations for bravery, meritorious service and professional excellence were also given out. Deputy Christopher Burton was recognized for his actions in Nov. 2019 when he rescued a driver from a burning vehicle. Sgt. Jody Mann, Deputy Johnny Lopez and Deputy John Davidson safely resolved a crisis in late 2018 involving a baby and a domestic violence offender on the expressway. Capt. Robert Block was recognized for an incident where he was able to de-escalate a volatile situation involving an out-of-control, suicidal man with a knife in April 2019.

Deputy Charles Harris was recognized for his actions with an inmate attempting to commit suicide in a holding cell. Deputy Robert Gillentine was commended for his successful search for and recovery of guns and drugs while checking on a parolee. Gillentine was also acknowledged, along with Deputy Michael Ruedisueli, for actions in dealing with a drug transaction at a hotel in Delta Township.

Sgt. Christopher Kuhlman, Deputy Shelby Studley, Deputy Turner and Deputy Daniel Towe were recognized for their chase and capture of armed robbery suspects in Grand Ledge.

Sgt. Christopher Kuhlman, Deputy Justin Barber, Deputy Joshua Popa, Officer Justin Bahm of the Charlotte Police Department (CPD) and Officer Darrell Slaughter of CPD received commendations for their work in apprehending a stalker threatening to murder people.

Not everyone honored was in uniform. Reich recognized several “Distinguished Citizens” who stepped up to make a difference.

Michael Busby and Michael Green were cited for their actions in preventing a suicide on I-69 in July 2019. Michael Chadwick and Ronald Droste apprehended a purse thief/ shoplifter/ car thief at the Lansing Mall in December. Sara Trembley aided and comforted the young daughter of an accident victim in a fatal car crash on St. Joe Highway and Nixon Road last October. Jason Hendrickson helped apprehend a hit and run driver in Windsor Township in September 2019.

Receiving promotions were Captain Robert Block, Sgt. Jody Mann and Sgt. Michael Smith.

Undersheriff Jeffrey Cook commented, “This is a much better event to attend than some of the things we do.”


Photos by Deb Malewski

Top photo: Those receiving Citations for Professional Excellence included (l. to r.) Sgt. Christopher Kuhlman; Deputy Daniel Towe; (Sheriff Tom Reich); Deputy Justin Barber, Officer Darrell Slaughter, CPD; and Officer Justin Bahm, CPD.

Second photo: Deputies Jacob Larson (left) and John Rademacher (right) were honored as the 2019 Eaton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies of the Year. They are shown here with Sheriff Tom Reich.

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