Mid-Michigan cities apply for HGTV show

It’s not every day that you get to be on TV, but three mid-Michigan towns, Bath Township, Grand Ledge and Charlotte, applied for the chance to win a town makeover from HGTV. The home renovation channel’s newest show “Home Town Takeover” is a spinoff of a current series “Home Town” that renovates businesses and homes in the hosts’ hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The network put out a nationwide call for cities with a population under 40,000 and a downtown in need of updating. “This is a great opportunity for Bath,” said communications coordinator Tayler Reeves. “Our goal is to bring in more small businesses that would help this community and that we could help support, and this HGTV show would really help us.”

Giving Tree Farm provides opportunity through its produce

Following the example set by the Shel Siverstein story “The Giving Tree,” the Giving Tree Farm gives to as many people as its can. The organic farm, which grows produce on seven acres and in eight hoop houses, is among local vendors that sells produce at Allen Farmers Market located in Lansing’s eastside neighborhood.

Bath and DeWitt experiencing continued growth

Much like a flower needs water and sunlight to grow, a city needs certain things to flourish as well. Developing neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and exceptional school districts help the communities of Bath and DeWitt to grow. Both these townships are in periods of growth and development according to their planning and building commissions. Bath’s Planning Director and Zoning Administrator Brian Shorkey said from a project perspective it’s been a slow year, but there are big plans for the township. Building new houses and businesses

There’s been an uptick in housing developments including apartments, duplexes and senior housing.

People in Bath march to their own drum

Laurie Tossava , Jasper Bergen and Daniel Gebes prepare to drum with their different varieties. Photo by Emerson Wigand. To Michele Leonard, all people have a sense of rhythm and the heartbeats are the foundation. This is the mantra she uses to promote the Bath Community Drum Circle. The circle started in September and has happened five times.

DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop: what’s all the buzz about?

Bill Sermak, owner of DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, said it can be a challenge to keep up with his regular clients’ lives, but it’s also a joy. For Bill Sermak, owner of downtown DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, cutting hair was, somewhat ironically, not the family business. There were no uncles, grandpas or fathers to pass down the family clippers; it was a curiosity he took up all his own. That’s not to say, however, that he doesn’t have a story to tell. Sermak distinctly remembers a guy in high school, his brother’s buddy, who would have the basketball team over at his house to cut their hair.

DeWitt restaurant carries on the tradition of family

Tonia Ireland Ketchum moved out of DeWitt 17 years ago but her son, daughter and only grandchild still reside in the town, and three years ago, Ketchum started a tradition with her 5-year-old granddaughter whenever she came to visit DeWitt. “She and I would come to Family Tree Cafe on Sunday mornings just her and I,” Ketchum said. 

“I would let her stay in her PJ’s and we would leave mommy and daddy home (most of the times) and we would enjoy a fun breakfast.” Family Tree Cafe is a DeWitt located restaurant that treasures the importance of family relationships. Sign inside Family Tree Cafe. Photograph by Nina Felicidario

“I honestly can’t think of any place around that I would be as comfortable doing what we do and I love our little tradition,” Ketchum said.

DeWitt Public Schools draw people to the city

What attracts someone to a city? It may be great food, beautiful landscaping or good job opportunities. But for many in DeWitt, it is the strong education system. “A lot of people come here because the schools are great,” said DeWitt mayor Sue Leeming. 

 DeWitt Public Schools consist of six buildings that have students ranging from early childhood to high schoolers. The number of students enrolled in these schools is just over 3,100 and has been rising since 2014.

Bath library continues growth

A view of the Bath Township Public Library located at 14033 Webster Road. Photo by Emerson Wigand. “We’re pretty tight on space but we make it the best we can,” youth librarian Carrie Frazer said. Frazer walked around the 2200-square-foot strip mall space, giving a short tour of the Bath Township Public Library. In the same room where the used books are sold and the library holds its meetings, there was an event for the public on Michigan true crime stories.

Bath Farmers Market kicks off the holiday season

Not many stores sell fresh produce, skincare made from beeswax, goat milk soap and turkeys all in one place. But the Bath Farmers Market does. The outdoor farmers market came to a close and moved inside of the Bath Community Center on Nov. 7. Temperatures are dropping, but the indoor farmers market gives vendors an opportunity to continue providing for the community, even in inclement weather. 

The Pretty Shaky String Band plays at every Bath Farmers Market.