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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

Senior Center Re-Opens

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

COVID-19 isolation was hard on everyone, but especially those who live alone and are older. Being stuck at home can affect one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Many of the members of the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center were hit hard by almost a year and a half of social isolation. The good news is that it appears to be ending, and the senior center is re-opening for a full schedule of activities once again.
“This is what we are here for, with or without a pandemic going on,” said Center director Rita Honeysett. “We’re here to serve seniors. We provide a place to come to socialize with other people, to have some fun, to enjoy a meal, games, and music with friends, and to just get out and live a little bit.”
Sixteen months went by without any card games, bingo, lunches, trivia, or interaction with friends at the senior center. But that’s all changing. The doors are open Monday through Thursday, lunches will be launched soon, and on Wednesday nights you’ll hear your buddy yelling “bingo!”
“We’re happy to be back open,” Honeysett said. “It’s great to have people back in the building.” They’ve already had a “welcome back” lunch with pizza, cake, and music from the Emards, Jinny and Allen, who perform country and bluegrass music.
One stumbling block is putting a damper on re-opening, and that is the lack of a cook/kitchen manager. Honeysett has been searching for someone to prepare lunch for the seniors who drop in, without much luck. “As a small non-profit business, we can’t possibly compete with Chik-fil-A that pays $13 an hour,” she said. “We’re hoping to find someone local who loves to cook and would be willing to help us out for a little less.”
It’s a part-time job, 20 to 29 hours a week, Honeysett said, for lunch and some special occasion meals. The person would handle menu planning, food shopping, meal preparation, special event cooking, and ensuring that the kitchen is clean at the end of the shift.
“It’s a great job for someone who loves to cook and loves people,” Honeysett said. “The most popular menu choices are comfort foods, things that mom used to make, like meatloaf, goulash, pasta, and soups. Nothing complicated or fancy.”
“For some, we know their lunches at the senior center are their only full meal, and one they don’t have to eat alone at home. So, we are glad to be able to provide that nutrition and sense of belonging,” Honeysett said.
The senior center, officially known as the Rocking Chair Deserters, started in 1977 as a nutrition program under the direction of the Continuing Education Program of the Eaton Rapids Public Schools. It’s evolved over the years to having its own programs and building. The program is self-supporting; no governmental funds are received so there is a lot of fundraising done to keep the place going.
There is a temporary volunteer who is helping in the kitchen. Andrew Holzchu, a former executive chef for the State of Michigan in the prison system, has offered to help out for a few lunches, along with his wife.
Many of the center’s regular activities have started back up. Bingo is still on Wednesday nights. There are two knitting groups, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. Penny Bingo is still on but is lacking a caller. Euchre is always popular and well attended. The Beltone Hearing Clinic and the foot clinic with Misty are continuing weekly. Music is always popular at the senior center, with visits from Thick n Thin, The Fabulous Arthritics, the Emards, and more, are on the schedule.  Swiss Steak Supper will return to “eat-in” in September.
“We want to see people. You don’t have to be a member to just stop in and have a coffee and visit with us,” Honeysett said. There are also opportunities to volunteer. You can reach the Jean Bradford Senior Center, located at 201 Grand Street in Eaton Rapids, by calling 517-663-2335.

Mason

Mason

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Mason

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Shop Local – Culligan Water Conditioning

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Almost 60 years ago Philip and Phyllis Carey started a Culligan Water franchise in south Lansing. They’ve both passed now, but the business is still in family hands. Matt Carey, their son, has been part of the business since 1980 and now is the official “Culligan Man.”
“We’re a family-owned, local business,” Carey explained, “but with national backing from Culligan.”
The business serves all of Ingham county, most of Eaton County, parts of Livingston county, and the southern half of Clinton county.
Culligan of Lansing offers reverse osmosis water filtration, water softeners, whole-home systems, bottle-free coolers, bottled water coolers and drinking water filters.
Culligan will service all water treatment equipment, Carey said, any make or model. They will also test your water for free. These tests can determine what is in your water, including arsenic, chlorine, chromium-6, coliform bacteria, lead, magnesium, nitrates, radon, and hydrogen sulfide.
Soft water is water that contains few or no dissolved minerals, Carey explained. Water softening involves a process called “ion exchange.” Calcium and magnesium, which are “hard” ions, exchange with sodium or potassium (salt) ions, to eliminate impurities in the water.
In this time of social isolation, there still are situations in which someone needs to come into your home for service and repairs. Culligan service technicians perform all the standard safety measures, including washing their hands, not touching their face, and wear a mask and gloves while working in your home, Carey said.
“About 98% of what we do involves us going to the customer’s home or place of business, not so much them coming to us.”
Culligan Lansing has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Angie’s List, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews.  Leah Taylor, a customer, commented: “We have used Culligan for our water softener and drinking water for over 40 years!  Culligan is the most reliable company we deal with.  We give them 5 stars for each of those 40 years.”
For more information about Culligan Water Conditioning of Lansing, you can call 1-800-551-6005 or email matt@culliganlansing.com. Visit them on the web at www.culliganlansing.com or on Facebook at culliganLansingMi. They are located at 3460 Dunckel Road in Lansing.

DIMONDALE

Dimondale

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Dimondale

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Harrington’s Under New Ownership

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

July 1 marked the end of Harrington’s Lawn and Power Equipment and the start of Harrington’s Outdoor Equipment. The new owner, Jim Sape, is not new to this type of business. He is also the owner of the Outdoor Equipment Company in Ray, Michigan, in Macomb County. At that location they do both landscape maintenance and sell outdoor equipment.
“I learned about the business being available through the dealer network, and wanted to get out and grow my business,” Sape said. “We are so excited to take on this new venture.”
Harrington’s is a long-time family-owned business located in Dimondale, just north of Eaton Rapids. Leonard and Judy Harrington started it in 1993 as a home-based business out of their garage. They eventually outgrew that garage. In 2004 they built the new store at 10895 East Vermontville Highway, just off M99, and were able to expand their line of products.
Harringtons grew to become one of the largest multi-line dealers in the area. Harrington’s sells and services chainsaws, generators, lawn tractors, leaf blowers, power washers, push mowers, snowblowers, trimmers, and zero-turn mowers. Their current product line includes Husqvarna, Ariens, Snow Dog, Grasshopper, Bad Boy Mowers, Gravelly products.
Nothing will change, Sape said, as far as the great service customers have received in the past. All the current staff has been retained, and three new employees will be starting. All this should ensure the same professional service, even faster.
Sape does plan on doing some remodeling of the building, however, to accommodate a full line of hardware, including Milwaukee Tools, which he already carries in his other shop. He is also planning to add some new outdoor equipment to their current line-up, including LS Tractors out of North Carolina, which feature compact, sub-compact, and utility tractors, and Liberty Trailers, which is a line of dump, utility, and flatbed trailers out of Indiana.
“This will add more value to the store and provide even more products for our customers in one location,” Sape said. “We’re willing to bring even more product lines in and are open to suggestions from the public,” he added.
Sape expects to spend two days a week at Harrington’s, or as needed.
Contact them at 517-646-8787 or stop by the store during their business hours; Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Eaton County

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Summertime Fun is Right Here in Eaton County

Cairo Schinkel
Contributing Writer

Eaton county offers tons of fun summer activities. Summer is an exciting time of year with the kids off school, and warm, inviting weather. Lots of people go on long camping trips or on faraway adventures. But there is a surprising number of things that can be a day trip or even just a small outing nearby.
Fitzgerald Park in Grand ledge has a complete 18-hole disc golf course, hiking, and fishing. It’s a great place for families to spend the day with a playground for kids, hiking trails with a view of ancient ledges, and fishing off the Grand River. No doubt, there is something for everyone and it’s easy to spend hours at the park, lost in its beauty.
Crandell Lake, Charlotte, has a couple similar offerings. It is a popular fishing spot (catch and release only) and hiking as well. The lake is Eaton County’s largest, at an impressive 160 acres with depths up to 35 feet, perfect for a dip to cool off on a hot day. The path that goes around the lake is a great hike, run or walk. Non-motorized boats are allowed and lots of people enjoy bringing kayaks, canoes, and even paddle boards. “Crandell lake is a chill fun place to go to, usually there’s not a lot of people there and it’s a nice place to spend your day,” Avery Jones said. He enjoys going there to run and even swim. With boating, fishing, trails, and a refreshing lake, it makes a great day trip.
Many people are enjoying facets of summer that were closed last year due to COVID. Mooville, Eaton Rapids, now offers in door seating. This can be a sweet relief on hot days to cool down in the air conditioning and get a cup of delicious ice cream. They also have a couple of tables outside to enjoy the sun, or just take it on the go and head to one of the Eaton Rapids playgrounds. “Mooville has such a warm welcoming atmosphere that always smells delicious,” Janelle Ostrowski said. It’s a lovely place and the staff is sure to make you feel right at home.
Eaton Theatre in Charlotte is another place that offers air conditioning. Last summer most movie theaters weren’t open, which makes a trip to local Eaton Theatre all the sweeter. On a hot summer day, taking a trip to see a movie at the theater and enjoying a walk in Charlotte’s charming town is a relaxing way to spend some time.
Fitzgerald, Crandell Lake, Mooville, and Eaton Theatre are just a few of Eaton County’s summer delights and there is sure to be something new and exciting to do without traveling far. Summer is a wonderful time of year, and the joys Eaton County has a lot to offer make it all the better.

Onondaga

Onondaga

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Onondaga

Featured Story

Shop Local – Culligan Water Conditioning

Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Almost 60 years ago Philip and Phyllis Carey started a Culligan Water franchise in south Lansing. They’ve both passed now, but the business is still in family hands. Matt Carey, their son, has been part of the business since 1980 and now is the official “Culligan Man.”
“We’re a family-owned, local business,” Carey explained, “but with national backing from Culligan.”
The business serves all of Ingham county, most of Eaton County, parts of Livingston county, and the southern half of Clinton county.
Culligan of Lansing offers reverse osmosis water filtration, water softeners, whole-home systems, bottle-free coolers, bottled water coolers and drinking water filters.
Culligan will service all water treatment equipment, Carey said, any make or model. They will also test your water for free. These tests can determine what is in your water, including arsenic, chlorine, chromium-6, coliform bacteria, lead, magnesium, nitrates, radon, and hydrogen sulfide.
Soft water is water that contains few or no dissolved minerals, Carey explained. Water softening involves a process called “ion exchange.” Calcium and magnesium, which are “hard” ions, exchange with sodium or potassium (salt) ions, to eliminate impurities in the water.
In this time of social isolation, there still are situations in which someone needs to come into your home for service and repairs. Culligan service technicians perform all the standard safety measures, including washing their hands, not touching their face, and wear a mask and gloves while working in your home, Carey said.
“About 98% of what we do involves us going to the customer’s home or place of business, not so much them coming to us.”
Culligan Lansing has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Angie’s List, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews.  Leah Taylor, a customer, commented: “We have used Culligan for our water softener and drinking water for over 40 years!  Culligan is the most reliable company we deal with.  We give them 5 stars for each of those 40 years.”
For more information about Culligan Water Conditioning of Lansing, you can call 1-800-551-6005 or email matt@culliganlansing.com. Visit them on the web at www.culliganlansing.com or on Facebook at culliganLansingMi. They are located at 3460 Dunckel Road in Lansing.

Charlotte

Charlotte

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Charlotte

Featured Story

New Cosmetology School at What’s Your Forte Salon

John Forte, owner of What’s Your Forte Salon, is opening a new cosmetology school in downtown Charlotte. His wife Angela will be running the program, a dream they have shared together for a while. Affordability, location, quality materials and a small class size are benefits students who enroll can look forward to.
The new cosmetology school will be unique. With a class size of ten, students can look forward to more one-on-one attention than they would receive at larger schools. What’s Your Forte will also be just a short drive for Eaton County residents rather than the current 25-30 miles.
Tuition for the new school will be around $17,000, which includes an extensive and quality kit of tools for the industry. “We put a lot of time into finding tools that will last our students a long time. This is stuff that I would really love as a professional and they will be able to use when they start their careers,” explained Forte. Payment plans are available and with typical tuition at cosmetology schools ranging from $17,000-$46,000; it really is a great deal.
Another exciting part of the school will be a lash extension program. “Most cosmetology schools don’t offer that, but it’s part of our industry. I don’t want my students to have to spend more money when they get done with school, when they can just learn it here,” said Angela.
To be licensed with the state board, students have to have 1,500 hours of experience and take a test. While the test can be nerve wracking, Angela plans on spending a lot of time during school preparing students to be able to pass with flying colors. “I really want my students to be calm and confident when they go to take the test.”
Angela grew up in Laingsburg and dreamed about becoming a cosmetologist since she was three years old. She attended the Douglas J Aveda Institute, later becoming an instructor there. “I have wanted to open a cosmetology school from day one, and I want to pass on the skills I learned at Douglas J here. It’s all about the value-added services and giving customers an experience they aren’t used to like massages and steamed towels.”
Angela later owned Agape Salon in Eaton Rapids for several years until she sold the business in 2012. When one door closes, another one opens though. Angela visited What’s Your Forte Salon looking for a job after selling Agape Salon but didn’t realize that she would also meet her future husband there, John.
Now they have been married for five years and are about to realize a dream that they have both had for a long time. John is a Charlotte native and opened his salon in 2004 when he was just twenty-one. With a huge attention to detail, he prides himself on quality cuts for men. “John will definitely be a guest speaker at our cosmetology school, lecturing on men’s cuts.”
Soon, the Forte’s believe they will quickly outgrow their space. John and Angela will then have to switch spaces, with the cosmetology school moving to the front and John’s salon moving to the back of the building. They also would like to work on partnering with local schools in the distant future to create a co-op program. “We are just excited to finally be doing what we are supposed to do. God is moving us in a direction to glorify him and serve our community,” Forte said.
Applications for the cosmetology school are available at the salon. Applicants can also take a tour, ask questions, and meet their instructor. Students will also need to pass a criminal background check. For more information, you can give the salon a call at 424-284-9363 or visit their website: at vagaro.com/whatsyourforte. Spots are filling quickly, so interested students should enroll now.

Potterville

Potterville

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Olivet

Olivet

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