Select Page

Communities

Latest

More

Latest

Blog Posts

latest

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

Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade to draw thousands to downtown Charlotte

If you want a good seat for the Frontier Days Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7, come early. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., but many people will reserve their place by setting up chairs and blankets along the parade route hours in advance. The Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade is usually the largest event of the year in Charlotte, drawing thousands of people downtown.

This year we are honored to introduce David Howe as our Grand Marshal, and Garrett Blocker as Jr. Grand Marshal.

David has been a businessman in Charlotte for more than 40 years. You may have heard of his business, the very well known Beacon Sales and Service. David has always had a soft spot for Charlotte’s youth and proudly supports athletics, performing arts, FFA, 4H, Pheasants Forever and school-related activities. Most recently, David donated funds to cover school lunch balances. He has been actively involved in demolition derbies at the Eaton County Fair. He sponsors the Eaton County Fair and Charlotte Frontier Days and is a strong supporter of organizations such as CharlotteRising, Guardian Angel Suitcases for Kids, Homeless Angels, Bikers4Books, Christmas Kiddies, AL!VE, and the Eaton Area Senior Center. He is a member of the Friends of Maple Hill Cemetery, Eaton County Buck Club, and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. Dave was also a long time volunteer at the Charlotte Fire Department.

Community members may have seen Garrett perform in multiple plays or at Windwalker’s open mic nights. If you live in downtown Charlotte, you have probably been lucky enough to hear Garrett singing and playing guitar while he walks his dog, Jake.  Garrett has many accomplishments, but his biggest one is how he manages his Autism. Garrett found his love of music and acting at a young age and uses these outlets as forms of expression. Social situations are often uncomfortable for Garrett, but music helps. Garrett is currently employed at Peckham, but still finds time to compose his own original music. 

There will be many businesses and organizations from throughout Mid-Michigan represented in this year’s parade. Those watching the parade will see floats, horses, old cars, tractors, dance groups, martial arts groups, bands, and much, much more.

Each year we have a float contest for parade participants. Winners will be announced during the parade. The 2019 Frontier Days Scholarship Winners as well as the Grand Marshal and Jr. Grand Marshal will have special transportation. Frontier Days is a celebration of Charlotte as a community.

The Frontier Days Board would like to thank everyone who helps to put this festival together. A special thank you goes out to the Charlotte Police Department, Fire Department, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and MDOT for all they do to make our festival successful.

Charlotte Frontier Days is a weekend of fun, food, and family entertainment. Hope to see you all there.

Article submitted by the Charlotte Frontier Days Board.

Olivet

Olivet

Featured Story

Gardener’s grave blankets bring comfort during cold winter months

The December chill doesn’t quite have the same sting as it once did for Monica Lee, a resident of Battle Creek. Kathy Gardener, an Olivet resident, has made sure of that.

It’s been 12 years since Kathy reached out to Monica unexpectedly with a special gift — one that brings Monica tremendous comfort every December.

Kathy, who started making grave blankets more than 30 years for her daughters who passed as small children, donated a grave blanket to Monica in 2006 after hearing how she had tragically lost her only daughter.

“To think she was thinking about someone else at that time,” Monica recalls. “Kathy is a beautiful woman. My baby is warm every year. It gives me a warm feeling.”

Monica has ordered a grave blanket for her daughter ever since, and has added a grave blanket for her mother as well. Monica said it brings her great comfort to know her daughter, who died on Dec. 2, is warmed by the blanket throughout the cold months.

Kathy said she identified with Monica’s story after hearing about it on the news and knew she needed to reach out to her. 

“I’ve been there, losing someone close to you,” Kathy said. 

She started making grave blankets after losing two daughter 35 years ago. Her daughters passed in October and she said she recalls thinking about how they were going to be cold all winter. That’s when she first learned about grave blankets, and the concept brought a feeling of comfort for her daughters. It’s a feeling she said people often convey to her about her creations.

“I hear a lot that blankets are a comfort,” Kathy said. “Our loved ones aren’t with us physically, but they are always in our hearts. The blankets provide a comfort to us and color to the cemetery.”

Kathy donates at least one grave blanket each year, often to a family like Monica’s. 

“It changed my life losing my girls,” Kathy said. “This is a legacy I can carry on through my daughters.”

The blankets are made from fresh pine branches and weigh 25-30 pounds. They are anchored in the ground before it freezes. Kathy said she is very particular about the colors she adds through flowers and bows. Each takes about an hour to create. She said she cuts down about 11 big trees from a local tree farm each year.

To order a grave blanket for your loved one, call Kathy at (269) 274-3266.

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

Bellevue

Bellevue

Featured Story

Bronco basketball teams look to cap off perfect regular seasons

The road to perfect regular seasons for both the Bellevue boys and girls varsity basketball teams could go through Athens. 

The Bronco boys were 18-0 heading into its toughest remaining regular season test, a Friday, Feb. 22 showdown at Athens High School. Bellevue defeated Athens, which was undefeated at the time, earlier this season, 68-62 in Bellevue. The game could be much more difficult in a hostile environment.

The Lady Broncos, meanwhile, host Athens on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Bellevue defeated Athens on the road in their tightest contest of the season, 37-36. The girls were 16-0 heading into their game at Climax on Thursday, Feb. 21. Bellevue defeated Climax 49-15 at home earlier this season.

In their most recent action, Bellevue guards Wyatt Waterbury and Gino Costello led the Broncos to a 60-73 win over Climax, securing a third-straight SCAA West Division title. Waterbury paced the Broncos with 20 points, 6 steals and 4 assists. Costello added 14 points, and 4 assists. Carson Betz recorded a double-double, finishing with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals.

The team travels to Jackson Christian High School on Monday, Feb. 25 to open District play against Tekonsha.

In the girls most recent victory, Morgan Messenger led the way with 13 points as Bellevue defeated Waldron, 33-30. Mikayla Crawley finished with 10 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. 

The Lady Broncos host Colon on Saturday, Feb. 23, and finish off the regular season with home games against Athens on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and Tekonsha on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The team opens District play at Athens High School on Monday, March 4 against Battle Creek St. Philip.

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

Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade to draw thousands to downtown Charlotte

If you want a good seat for the Frontier Days Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7, come early. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., but many people will reserve their place by setting up chairs and blankets along the parade route hours in advance. The Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade is usually the largest event of the year in Charlotte, drawing thousands of people downtown.

This year we are honored to introduce David Howe as our Grand Marshal, and Garrett Blocker as Jr. Grand Marshal.

David has been a businessman in Charlotte for more than 40 years. You may have heard of his business, the very well known Beacon Sales and Service. David has always had a soft spot for Charlotte’s youth and proudly supports athletics, performing arts, FFA, 4H, Pheasants Forever and school-related activities. Most recently, David donated funds to cover school lunch balances. He has been actively involved in demolition derbies at the Eaton County Fair. He sponsors the Eaton County Fair and Charlotte Frontier Days and is a strong supporter of organizations such as CharlotteRising, Guardian Angel Suitcases for Kids, Homeless Angels, Bikers4Books, Christmas Kiddies, AL!VE, and the Eaton Area Senior Center. He is a member of the Friends of Maple Hill Cemetery, Eaton County Buck Club, and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. Dave was also a long time volunteer at the Charlotte Fire Department.

Community members may have seen Garrett perform in multiple plays or at Windwalker’s open mic nights. If you live in downtown Charlotte, you have probably been lucky enough to hear Garrett singing and playing guitar while he walks his dog, Jake.  Garrett has many accomplishments, but his biggest one is how he manages his Autism. Garrett found his love of music and acting at a young age and uses these outlets as forms of expression. Social situations are often uncomfortable for Garrett, but music helps. Garrett is currently employed at Peckham, but still finds time to compose his own original music. 

There will be many businesses and organizations from throughout Mid-Michigan represented in this year’s parade. Those watching the parade will see floats, horses, old cars, tractors, dance groups, martial arts groups, bands, and much, much more.

Each year we have a float contest for parade participants. Winners will be announced during the parade. The 2019 Frontier Days Scholarship Winners as well as the Grand Marshal and Jr. Grand Marshal will have special transportation. Frontier Days is a celebration of Charlotte as a community.

The Frontier Days Board would like to thank everyone who helps to put this festival together. A special thank you goes out to the Charlotte Police Department, Fire Department, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and MDOT for all they do to make our festival successful.

Charlotte Frontier Days is a weekend of fun, food, and family entertainment. Hope to see you all there.

Article submitted by the Charlotte Frontier Days Board.

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

Vermontville

Vermontville

Featured Story

JoLei’s Diner opens in downtown Vermontville

Crissta Ames

Contributing Writer

When looking for a delicious place to eat, check out Vermontville’s newest restaurant, JoLei’s Diner. The farm-themed diner, which had its grand opening on Saturday, June 8, serves breakfast and dinner foods like skillets, omelettes, country fried steak, a variety of sandwiches, pizza, and more. If you’re in the mood for chicken and waffles, they’ve got that too! 

The owner, Denna Matonis, managed the Maple Leaf for five years and has been in the Vermontville area for about 10 years. 

“I like this community. I try to help out with the community as much as I can, with the schools, volunteer coaching, doing Vermontville days,” Matonis said. “The community needed a restaurant.” 

Matonis has been asked many times if she is JoLei, but she is not. However, the name of her restaurant has a very personal meaning. 

“When we decided to purchase the restaurant, we obviously had to come up with a name.  I wanted a name that differentiated the restaurant from anything it was in the past. I wanted a name that was personal and had meaning,” Matonis said. “I have two wonderful children. Joseph is 9 and Leigha is 7.  These two are my world. Therefore, I decided to name my new labor of love, after my forever loves. ‘Jo’ for Joseph, and ‘Lei’ for Leigha.” 

She also chose the word “Diner” to give the restaurant a cozy, small-town feel and absolutely succeeds in doing so, with warm red walls, fresh flowers, and cute animal decor all around. 

“I get a lot of compliments on my decor, and I have the barn door to stand out,” said Matonis. The front barn door follows right along with the farmhouse theme so visitors can spot it from the road and know that’s where JoLei’s Diner is.

While brainstorming for the diner’s menu, Matonis wanted to create foods that were unique and not easy to find in the area, like cheese curds, chicken and waffles, and tater tot tumblers. Tater tot tumblers are a mixture of mashed potatoes, hash browns, bacon, cheese and onion, all deep-fried together. 

“We tested a lot of things.” Matonis said. The diner opened shortly before Syrup Festival and that served as a little trial run for the business, and it’s done well in the meantime. “I’m happy with it. It’s been a fun venture.” 

JoLei’s Diner is located at 174 S. Main Street in Vermontville, and hours can be found on their Facebook page.

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

Latest

Eaton Rapids

Featured Story

Eaton Rapids … A well-loved small town

By Deb Malewski

Not everyone loves Eaton Rapids, of course. But those who do, really do. There is a certain passion about what this town has to offer, and many appreciate it. They enjoy a sense of security, neighbors helping neighbors and a strong community connectivity. Yes, they know it’s not perfect, there are problems and crime just like everywhere else. But they recognize what it has to offer and appreciate the life in Eaton Rapids.

The beauty of the community was important to many.

Janell Bush said, “I love the parades and the tree-lined and lighted Main Street at night.” 

Tammie Driggs agrees: “When you come into town at night and see the lights on the trees. I think that is beautiful!”

The small-town connectivity is what several commented about. Knowing your neighbors. 

“Seeing friends and customers around town, taking a minute to say hi, and spending time building friendships,” is important to Jaime Lawson.

Laura DeLong explained that the town feels, “more like family. When someone needs help the community steps up to help as a family would.”

Jennifer Mills echoes the family connection.  

“With technology and Facebook I can put out a shout for help and the community is so receptive and willing to help. That is what you call family. I love our town.”

Kerry Colestock commented: “I’ve lived here for 32 years and what I love most about this small town is the people. It’s refreshing to watch families come together for different events throughout the year.”

The historical aspect of the city is important, especially to those whose families were part of the early history of the town. 

Nathan Foote feels connected to Eaton Rapids, “because Rose Hill contains five generations of our family members who were all important to the history of our city.” 

Likewise, Mari Lin Pettit stressed the importance of the rich history, which makes Eaton Rapids great. 

Mark McGee also noted the historical aspect of the town, plus the even brighter future he expects.

Pam Colestock: “I’d say what I love most is the small-town charm. Knowing many people when you walk down the street, being friends with neighbors, and growing up here I have a great family history.”

Lindsay Peters said, “I have three things that stick out to me. First, I love the hometown pride. Second, it seems like everywhere I travel, I meet people with a connection to Eaton Rapids. Finally, when there is a need, the community pulls together to fulfill it.”

Leah South said, “I love how everyone in the community gets together to help others in need. The response is almost immediate, and the support is overwhelming.”

Carol Oliver said, “Eaton Rapids is where my heart is. My beloved grandmother was born here, and I met the love of my life here.”

It was easy to get responses to this topic, but space is limited in including them all!

We love Eaton Rapids!

Sunfield

Sunfield

Latest

Mulliken

Mulliken

Latest
Sorry, No Posts Found

Dimondale

Dimondale

Latest

Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite....

Pin It on Pinterest