Read The County Journal Online

Click to open a full digital copy of the newspaper that you can “flip” through online. Works on mobile devices!

Read Digital Edition

Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

Local healthcare facilities focused on preparedness, PPE supplies

By Ally Telfor

Contributing Writer

Across the globe, the nation and the state, healthcare workers and hospitals are experiencing shortages in much-needed medical supplies required to handle the influx of patients with COVID-19 — including ICU beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns and respirators.

According to John Foren, director of marketing and communications at Sparrow, the governor’s executive orders have helped its hospitals react quickly to the crisis. Foren said Sparrow has been planning its preparation efforts around the clock for approximately three weeks now, in collaboration with various health departments as well as the Michigan Hospital Association.

“From a supply angle, we’re doing okay, but we don’t know what we’re facing.” Foren said. “We’re like every other hospital and health system, we’re just trying to find resources where we can.”

Mikkee West, a Charlotte resident, has used her skills and her on-hand supplies to sew masks for the Eaton County Health and Rehabilitation Services (ECHRS). Through a local Facebook group, West said she found patterns for the masks and a community of seamstresses in Eaton County. 

“I went into my crafting closet because I’ve been sewing forever […] and I just pulled out my leftovers from previous projects, and I made 50 masks with just what I had in the house.” West said.

Thanks to her experience in sewing, she made the 50 masks in 14-16 hours before dropping them off at ECHRS. 

West said the group is always accepting donations, whether it be 1/4 – or 1/8-inch elastic or pre-washed, 100% cotton fabric. She said as long as there will be a need for the masks, she will continue to sew them. 

Foren said Sparrow has been transitioning its staff and equipment to handle the eventual influx of COVID-19 patients.

“Some of our SMP (Sparrow Medical Practice) have basically closed because everything is focused on urgency,” he said. “That means shifting resources; That’s facility-wise, staff-wise, everything.”

Foren said Sparrow hospitals have ramped up screening practices, including taking temperatures, to protect its caregivers and patients. 

Jennifer Casarez, RN and emergency preparedness coordinator at the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD), said PPE supplies remain vitally important.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a decrease in the amount of supplies that’s out there, and hospitals and community partners continue to need that PPE to continue to provide safe care,” Casarez said.

She said BEDHD is getting PPE from the national stockpile.

“We are providing that PPE out to those partners that we have in the community that need it.” She added the team is moving as quickly as it can. 

Larger companies and organizations have also been working to innovate during this health crisis. Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday that it’s working with 3M and GE Healthcare to produce medical equipment and protective gear for healthcare workers.

The Sparrow Eaton hospital has already received support in the form of supply donations.

“The outpour of support from the community, in general, has been outstanding,” Foren said.

Donations of hand-sewn masks, booties, etc. have been provided by individuals, companies and organizations.

Charlotte collection site

Sparrow Eaton Hospital (SEH) in Charlotte has announced a collection site for community donations located at the main entrance to AL!VE, at 800 W. Lawrence in Charlotte. The drop-off site will be available starting Monday, March 30 and be open Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. The following new or unopened items will be accepted: disposable face masks; N95 masks (including 3D); eye protection, including face shields and safety goggles; disposable gowns; disposable non-latex gloves; surgical caps; disposable foot covers; bleach; bleach or anti-microbial sanitizing wipes; hand sanitizer; PAPRs (Power Air Purifying Respirators) and PAPR hoods; nasal flock swabs (FLOQ swabs); and hand-sewn reusable masks. SEH asks that anyone wishing to make and donate reusable masks call or email for the approved pattern. The main phone number for SEH is 517-543-1099.

Stay safe

Foren said one of the best ways to support your local healthcare facilities and workers is to practice safe health habits.

“Our goal is to try to keep people healthy, that’s our ultimate goal.”

This means continuing social distancing at least six feet and washing hands often.

Gov. Whitmer said Monday that if citizens do their part and stay home, “we have a shot at helping our healthcare system meet our needs.” 

Carla Bumstead contributed to this report. Ally Telfor can be reached at telforal@msu.edu.

Olivet

Olivet

Featured Story

Xact Excavating: Local grad takes to the dirt

Amy Jo Parish

Contributing Writer

There is a saying, “Give a man soil and he will prosper.” Gino Costello has taken that to heart this past year, sinking his shovel into the ground and opening his own business — Xact Excavating in Olivet.

For some, the summer after high school graduation is a time of celebration. When Costello graduated from Bellevue High School last year, it was time to get busy. His odd jobs with dirt and equipment while still in school helped him to prepare to branch out on his own.

His optimism and work ethic are apparent when Costello speaks about his business, and it is those qualities that have helped the business grow. 

Once customers experienced the quality and care he takes with the work, Costello said word of mouth brought in more and more jobs. What started as a few jobs on the side grew into a business all its own.

With the help of co-founder Brad Shrontz of Shrontz Trucking, Costello’s business has continued to grow since it opened, and Costello could not be more pleased.

“It has been pretty awesome, how it’s going so far,” said Costello.

From excavating, site work, ice and snow removal and even hauling, there is a long list of services that can be found at Xact Excavating.

The business gives Costello the chance to combine two things he really enjoys — working with equipment and working with people.

“I love working with people, and I think the best thing for me is that I get to do the whole job,” said Costello. “You get to see a project come together from beginning to end.”

The most surprising aspect, however, has been for the customers, not the young entrepreneur.

“My age surprises people. They sometimes aren’t sure at the start if I can do the job, but at the end, they say, ‘wow, you actually can.’”

For Costello, reading blueprints is like reading a book, and he looks forward to working in the dirt for years to come. His eagerness to learn has been a key part of his success thus far and helps him stay on top of new trends in the industry.

“I’m always trying to figure something out to make us better than the competition,” he explained.

For more information about Xact Excavating, visit the company online at xactexcavating.com. Xact Excavating is located at 22105 T Drive North in Olivet. Costello can be reached at 517-706-1563 or costellogman@gmail.com.

Advertisement:
Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.




Bellevue

Bellevue

Featured Story

Bellevue girls celebrate ‘senior night’

By Kayla Whitmyer

Guest Writer

The Bellevue girls varsity basketball team lost to a tough Calhoun Christian team 58-39 on Feb. 24. But the night was about much more than wins and losses, as Bellevue was celebrating their five seniors. Senior captain Morgan Messenger injured her knee earlier this year, ending her senior season. Thanks to the generosity and sportsmanship of Calhoun Christian, she was able to suit up, start the game and score her last bucket on her home floor. A timeout was called for substitution, putting a bow on her Bellevue career at 1,035 points — or so everyone thought.

As the clock was about the expire in the fourth quarter, Morgan was subbed into the game for the final seconds to pay tribute to the seniors. In true Morgan fashion, she spotted up and pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer right next to the Bronco bench. Needless to say, she has officially finished with 1,038 points.

Bellevue may have racked up a loss, but both teams left as winners tonight. It was a sight to see and one for the books. The Broncos cannot thank Calhoun Christian enough for their class act.

The Broncos had a widespread scoring affair, led by Aneesah Qahwash and Taylor Andrews, with 7 points each. Cylee Hughes chipped in 6 points and 8 rebounds. Alex Williams played fierce with tenacious defense and aggressive offense. And, of course, Morgan Messenger finished with 5 points and a rebound.

The next night, Feb. 25, Bellevue lost a close game to Maple Valley, 39-31. The Broncos battled each quarter and ended up falling short despite a valiant effort. All Broncos gave full effort and worked together to keep clawing back from the deficit.

The Broncos were led by sophomore Marissa Powell with 11 points. Morgan Keson added 7 points, and Cylee Hughes snagged 9 rebounds and had 2 blocks.

With the loss to Maple Valley, the Broncos fell to 8-10 overall and 8-8 in the SCAA. Their final regular season game was set for Thursday, Feb. 27, at Athens, with results too late for this newspaper’s deadline.

PHOTO INFO:

Photo by Candy Marie Photography

The Bellevue girls varsity basketball team celebrated Senior Night on Feb. 24.

Advertisement:
Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.




Eaton County

Eaton County

Featured Story

Local healthcare facilities focused on preparedness, PPE supplies

By Ally Telfor

Contributing Writer

Across the globe, the nation and the state, healthcare workers and hospitals are experiencing shortages in much-needed medical supplies required to handle the influx of patients with COVID-19 — including ICU beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns and respirators.

According to John Foren, director of marketing and communications at Sparrow, the governor’s executive orders have helped its hospitals react quickly to the crisis. Foren said Sparrow has been planning its preparation efforts around the clock for approximately three weeks now, in collaboration with various health departments as well as the Michigan Hospital Association.

“From a supply angle, we’re doing okay, but we don’t know what we’re facing.” Foren said. “We’re like every other hospital and health system, we’re just trying to find resources where we can.”

Mikkee West, a Charlotte resident, has used her skills and her on-hand supplies to sew masks for the Eaton County Health and Rehabilitation Services (ECHRS). Through a local Facebook group, West said she found patterns for the masks and a community of seamstresses in Eaton County. 

“I went into my crafting closet because I’ve been sewing forever […] and I just pulled out my leftovers from previous projects, and I made 50 masks with just what I had in the house.” West said.

Thanks to her experience in sewing, she made the 50 masks in 14-16 hours before dropping them off at ECHRS. 

West said the group is always accepting donations, whether it be 1/4 – or 1/8-inch elastic or pre-washed, 100% cotton fabric. She said as long as there will be a need for the masks, she will continue to sew them. 

Foren said Sparrow has been transitioning its staff and equipment to handle the eventual influx of COVID-19 patients.

“Some of our SMP (Sparrow Medical Practice) have basically closed because everything is focused on urgency,” he said. “That means shifting resources; That’s facility-wise, staff-wise, everything.”

Foren said Sparrow hospitals have ramped up screening practices, including taking temperatures, to protect its caregivers and patients. 

Jennifer Casarez, RN and emergency preparedness coordinator at the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD), said PPE supplies remain vitally important.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a decrease in the amount of supplies that’s out there, and hospitals and community partners continue to need that PPE to continue to provide safe care,” Casarez said.

She said BEDHD is getting PPE from the national stockpile.

“We are providing that PPE out to those partners that we have in the community that need it.” She added the team is moving as quickly as it can. 

Larger companies and organizations have also been working to innovate during this health crisis. Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday that it’s working with 3M and GE Healthcare to produce medical equipment and protective gear for healthcare workers.

The Sparrow Eaton hospital has already received support in the form of supply donations.

“The outpour of support from the community, in general, has been outstanding,” Foren said.

Donations of hand-sewn masks, booties, etc. have been provided by individuals, companies and organizations.

Charlotte collection site

Sparrow Eaton Hospital (SEH) in Charlotte has announced a collection site for community donations located at the main entrance to AL!VE, at 800 W. Lawrence in Charlotte. The drop-off site will be available starting Monday, March 30 and be open Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. The following new or unopened items will be accepted: disposable face masks; N95 masks (including 3D); eye protection, including face shields and safety goggles; disposable gowns; disposable non-latex gloves; surgical caps; disposable foot covers; bleach; bleach or anti-microbial sanitizing wipes; hand sanitizer; PAPRs (Power Air Purifying Respirators) and PAPR hoods; nasal flock swabs (FLOQ swabs); and hand-sewn reusable masks. SEH asks that anyone wishing to make and donate reusable masks call or email for the approved pattern. The main phone number for SEH is 517-543-1099.

Stay safe

Foren said one of the best ways to support your local healthcare facilities and workers is to practice safe health habits.

“Our goal is to try to keep people healthy, that’s our ultimate goal.”

This means continuing social distancing at least six feet and washing hands often.

Gov. Whitmer said Monday that if citizens do their part and stay home, “we have a shot at helping our healthcare system meet our needs.” 

Carla Bumstead contributed to this report. Ally Telfor can be reached at telforal@msu.edu.

Advertisement:
Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.




Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

Maple Valley exchange students create positive impact

By Amy Jo Parish

Contributing Writer

Exchange students give up their home and their family for a year in order to gain new experiences in a foreign culture. Those experiences, however, can last a lifetime. This year, the Maple Valley School District welcomed nine exchange students into their halls. Though the students come from all around the globe, all were eager to experience America for themselves. For some, it was an eye-opening experience to come to the very rural setting of Maple Valley.

“I imagined it would be like the High School Musical movies, and it’s a lot more different,” laughs Julia Schnull from Germany. “It’s a lot more country life, but I really like it.”

Maria Sousa of Brazil made the journey without any preconceived notions of American life.

“I thought, it will be what it will be – no expectations,” said Sousa. “It is better than I could have expected.”

Along with a new language, the students have also been experiencing new cuisine. For the German students, they are used to sweet popcorn and the salty varieties have taken a bit of adjustment. Overall, the students said they have been enjoying the food.

“I’m gaining weight every week,” said Sousa.  a

A few students have found a new favorite food.

“Deep-fried pickles, they are so good,” said Sofia Kärki of Finland. “I would eat so many of them.”

The course work has been easier for all of the students, making it easier to adjust to new schedules and time zones.

“School here is so much easier, but it’s so different,” said Matilde Lenzi of Italy. “We don’t change classroom; teachers change, and we go on Saturday.”

Through all the differences and adjustments, Maple Valley High School Principal Michael Knapp said welcoming exchange students into the district creates a positive impact for not only the students but the community as well.

“It allows our students that don’t leave the area to get to experience other cultures,” said Knapp. “They get involved with extracurricular activities and in our school community, and our students just really embrace them.”

Maple Valley typically welcomes anywhere from 10 to 15 exchange students each year, some stay for a semester, others an entire year. The district works with CET USA, Share and other exchange programs to bring the students into the community. The organizations works with local families to match students’ interests with the families and ensure a positive experience for all those involved. Knapp said Maple Valley will continue to work with exchange student companies well into the future and is certain the host families and students are changed for the better because of the programs.

“In many cases, students and host families will visit each other down the road,” said Knapp. “It just spurs on what can be a lifelong friendship.”

The commitment of leaving family and friends for a year can be daunting, explained Knapp, but the experiences and memories make for an unforgettable 12 months.

“It’s a huge step for that student to commit to leaving their homes for a year,” he said.

The students could not agree more and would encourage other students who might be interested in becoming an exchange student to take the chance.

“It’s hard sometimes, but it’s worth it,” said Schnull.

PHOTO:

Photo by Amy Jo Parish

This year’s Maple Valley High School exchange students include (front, from left) Veerin Yimsmerjit, Thailand; Matilde Lenzi, Italy; Leo Roskouetz, Germany; Luisa Pidun, Germany; Julia Schnull, Germany; Maria Sousa, Brazil; (back, from left), Vilma Viitanen, Finland; Sofia Kärki, Finland; and (missing from photo) Sally Park, South Korea.

Advertisement:
Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.




Potterville

Potterville

Featured Story

New Potterville High School boys varsity basketball coach sets first camp

Newly hired Potterville High School boys varsity basketball coach, Jacob Briney, and his entire coaching staff, is offering a four-day basketball camp for area youth in second through 12th grade. The camp will be held four consecutive Sundays beginning July 21 in the Potterville High School gymnasium.

Students entering ninth through 12th grade will attend from 2 to 4 p.m. July 21, July 28, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11. Students entering sixth through eighth grade will attend from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and students entering second through fifth grade will attend from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The cost of the camp is $50 per participant, which includes access to all four Sundays, and a custom Moneyball practice jersey. Checks should be made payable to Potterville Public Schools, attention Boys Basketball.

Registration forms must be completed before the start of camp and are available in the Potterville High School athletic office. There will also be an opportunity to register your child on Sunday, July 21 prior to the start of camp.

For more information, contact coach Briney via email at coachbriney@yahoo.com.

Advertisement:
Readers: since many ads are from outside the local area, please know what you are buying before sending money.




Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

ERMC’s Tim Johnson offers important COVID-19 info — two cases confirmed Saturday

March 28, 2020

As your community hospital, it is important that we share with you what we are doing to respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation here in Eaton Rapids. To date, we have had two confirmed positive COVID-19 cases at Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC). We are awaiting test results for several individuals, and there will surely be more positive cases to come.

We activated our Incident Command on March 13, 2020 to further guide our emergency response to this virus. Our Emergency Preparedness Team updated our surge plan, which looks at all the “what if’s” of a situation and develops a response plan for each circumstance. We are working closely with local agencies and hospitals to manage operations and secure and apply resources. Our highest priority is to protect our patients and staff.

We are following guidance from the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (ERMC), MDHHS, and the CDC. We are screening all employees, patients and visitors before they are allowed to enter ERMC. Our employees are using standard and transmission-based precautions as recommended when caring for patients.

Many of our wonderful community members and businesses have reached out asking how to help. Eaton Rapids Medical Center is collecting COVID-19 response donations. We are seeking face masks, protective eyewear and gloves. We will accept trunk or back seat deliveries at the tent in front of the hospital Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. We can also accept monetary donations at www.eatonrapidsmedicalcenter.org/about/foundation.

We have received an outpouring of donations from many of you. A group of amazing women have made us hundreds of masks, Eaton Rapids Public Schools donated personal protective equipment and local restaurants and organizations have been dropping off food for our staff. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We’d especially like to thank the little ones who have sent notes and art of appreciation and encouragement for our employees to our Facebook page. It means the world to us.

Everyone can help us by complying with the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. Please take this seriously. If you must go out, wash your hands often. Focus on the basics of infection prevention.

If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 — or have a fever, cough and other respiratory symptoms — please call 1-517-663-2671 for instructions before you come to Eaton Rapids Medical Center.

With the exception of emergencies, all who enter must visit a mandatory check-in tent to be screened first. There is one by the Main Entrance and one by the Family Practice & Redicare Entrance. After hours, please proceed to the Emergency Entrance.

We are not currently testing for coronavirus on a drive-up or walk-in basis due to a national shortage of supplies and testing capacity. We are only testing patients who meet certain criteria in our Emergency Department or Redicare, and it is taking 7 to 12 days for us to get the results. For information on testing locations, please call Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) hotline at 1-888-535-6136. The hotline will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our first responders, the Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Eaton County Emergency Management, the City of Eaton Rapids and employees of essential businesses who sustain our lives. Thank you also to our exceptional team at Eaton Rapids Medical Center.

We are here and prepared to care for you in this time of need. It is truly a privilege to care for this outstanding community.

For the latest ERMC updates on COVID-19, please visit www.eatonrapidsmedicalcenter.org/coronavirus.

Tim Johnson
ERMC President & CEO

Sunfield

Sunfield

Latest

Mulliken

Mulliken

Latest
Sorry, No Posts Found

Pin It on Pinterest