CM Life is the student newspaper at Central Michigan University where I worked for little over a semester, starting the spring term of my freshman year. Back then, all the experience I had in the reporting business was what I had picked up in one journalism class in high school. I was as green as a greenhorn could be. Working at the paper was a good chance for me to get my feet wet.

Here are nine of the 17 articles I wrote for CM Life.

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Art Reach Picture Program to begin in October

Sept. 23, 2012

Nedra Fisher thinks it’s never too early to talk about art.

Art Reach is preparing the annual Picture Program, a program in which volunteers raging from college students to grand-parents present art to children.

Fisher, who founded the program, said the main idea is bringing the museum to the classroom and showing them the great arts.

“There’s so many children in our area who will never have the opportunity to visit a museum,” said Fisher. “The children in Mount Pleasant may, because sometimes the teachers even try to get a bus together and take them down to the DIA.”

She added that other elementary schools in mid-Michigan might not be able to visit a museum as children.

Read the rest here:
Art Reach Picture Program_PDF format

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Isabella County works with city, CMU to recycle

April 10, 2012

Isabella County continues to do its part in making the community more eco-friendly.

In 2011, 5,426 tons of material was recycled, an increase from 5,283 tons in 2010.

“Given the volume of material collected so far this year, we project total volumes to remain consistent with 2010 and 2011 rates,” Isabella County Recycling administrator Tim Dolehanty said via email.

Dolehanty said Isabella County and the City of Mount Pleasant operate the Material Recovery Facility under provisions of a joint operating agreement. “Prior to 2008, operation of the MRF facility was delegated to Waste Management, Inc.,” he said. “As the recycling program expanded to include drop-off depots and a curbside collection program, it became clear that the county should exercise more direct oversight of the entire operation.”

Read the rest here:
Isabella County works with city, CMU to recycle_PDF format

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Local artist showcases collection at Art Reach; teaches classes

April 9, 2012

Carole Howard doesn’t consider herself an artist — just someone who enjoys painting.

“Every day there is something you look at and you say, ‘I need to draw that,’” Howard said.

Howard taught dance at Central Michigan University in the physical education department for 20 years and since her retirement has dedicated much of her time to art.

“After finishing my career at the university, I went 100 miles-per-hour to learn this stuff, took art classes,” she said.

Howard said she turned her garage into her studio where she spends hours painting whatever comes to mind.

Mount Pleasant resident Nedra Fisher said she started taking art classes with Howard in 1986 and has watched her grow and develop her own style ever since. “She is just amazing as an artist,” Fisher said. “I think she is living her dream.”

A “One Woman Show” exhibit featuring Howard’s painting kicked off on Thursday at Art Reach, 111 E. Broadway St. Howard made the 52 nature-inspired paintings using watercolor, acrylics and collage. Many of the paintings had been sold in the past and were being loaned by the owners for the art exhibit. Some are for sale and others Howard said she plans to bring back home.

Read the rest here:
One Woman Show_PDF format

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Time & Talent Auction raises $2,200 for Art Reach

March 15, 2012

Gladwin resident and Board of Directors member Kathy Netzley said she was happy to bring something new to the table for Art Reach.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday night, Coco Joe’s on 4855 E. Blue Grass Road held a fundraiser called the Time & Talent Auction on the organization’s behalf.

Art Reach Director Kathy Hill said they would auction off services, such as a gourmet dinner for four, horseback riding lessons and wine tasting, to the person offering the highest bid.

“It’s a new thing for us, so we’re just gonna give it a shot,” she said.

Netzley, who suggested the idea, set two horseback riding lessons up for auction, which received a $125 bid.

“I hope it will be really successful. It’s a really cool idea and no one has ever done it before,” Netzley said. “A lot of volunteers are board members, supporters and community members who support our cause.”

Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski volunteered to give a tour of the jail facility and let the highest bidder spend a day with him.

Read the rest here:
Time & Talent Auction_PDF format

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Art Walk Central adds prize money to event this year

March 12, 2012

A new element will be added to the annual Art Walk Central event this year.

Art Reach Executive Director Kathy Hill said Art Walk has been held for 14 years, but this is the first time prize money is involved.

She said they got the idea after visiting Grand Rapids’ Art Prize and saw how it affected the community.

“I hope it (Art Walk) will do several things for Mount Pleasant,” Hill said. “I think it will show what we can do as a community and raise an awareness for art and culture but also an appreciation for it.”

The total amount of prize money is $22,000. There is a youth category for ages 12 to 17 years old and an adult category for those 18 years old and older. There will be four winners, two from each category, as the judges and the public vote on them separately. Adults will win $10,000, while youths will win $1,000.

Read the rest here:
Art Walk Central adds prize money_PDF format

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Students use Etsy website to sell art, clothing

Feb. 21, 2012

Kaitlin Slack was about 10 years old when her aunt started teaching her proper techniques of jewelry making.

Now, the Howell sophomore sells jewelry in Native American style on the online marketplace etsy.com.

On Etsy, every user may sell handmade goods, supplies and tools to their own items.

She said for a few years she stopped making jewelry to focus on other activities, such as tennis. When she started high school, she became involved in art again. She founded her shop OxygentoBreathe on Dec. 23, 2010.

“It’s only been over the past few years that I’ve perfected my jewelry-making skills with a focus on polymer clay techniques,” Slack said.

Her style is inspired by Native American art, said Slack, who has gone to many Native American art exhibits in the past. While growing up, her parents would take her to Indian Hills Gallery in Petoskey, Michigan.

Read the rest here:
Students use Etsy website to sell art_PDF format

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Polar Plunge raises $35,000 for Special Olympics Michigan

Feb. 19, 2012

Charlie Brown and a banana were just two of the characters to take an icy plunge on Saturday.

The Special Olympics Michigan collected $35,000 with the support of 195 people who were brave enough to jump into Rose Pond Saturday at Central Michigan University.

Mount Pleasant resident Nathan Jonaitis collected the largest contribution of almost $5,200.

Dressed up as a shower, he said this is his sixth time participating and he always tries to be original with his costume.

“I started it because they started doing it in Mount Pleasant and it’s something I always wanted to do,” Jonaitis said. “Then I got such a good response from people and from raising money, so I kept doing it. I’m pretty competitive.”

Both dressed up in a suit and tie, Harrison senior Jessica LePage donated $215 while Oxford sophomore Mark Hurrish donated $115.

Read the rest here:
Polar Plunge raises $35,000_PDF format

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Members of Art Reach receive Da Vinci award for years of service

Jan. 31, 2012

The paintings and sculptures inside the home of Ed and Nedra Fisher only begin to tell of their passion for art.

“We have collected them over many, many years,” Nedra Fisher said. “We have always enjoyed the work of professional artists.”

The couple has been purchasing works of art since they got married in 1959. Ed and Nedra Fisher have been part of Art Reach for more than 30 years, joining in 1981, the year the organization was founded. Since joining, the couple has contributed to its continued growth and success.

“Both of us have always been interested in art,” Nedra said. “Ed and I went to the same high school (in Connecticut), and we met in the art room at the high school.”

Read the rest here:
Members of Art Reach receive Da Vinci award_PDF format

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My very first published article:

Bennigan’s renovated in December; first update since opening

Jan. 10, 2012

Customers dining at Mount Pleasant’s Bennigan’s may notice some significant changes to the decor and atmosphere.

Bennigan’s, 2424 S. Mission St., was closed for two weeks in December during the renovation.

The restaurant’s management hoped the 21st century decor would attract more customers, said CEO Jeff Neely.

“We wanted to present the residents and college students of Mount Pleasant a fresh new restaurant,” Neely said.

The restaurant was originally built between September 1996 and February 1997 by Konwinski Construction Inc., a company that has done projects with the food chain for more than 20 years. Bennigan’s had not gone through a corporate renovation since its grand opening.

Project Manager Joe Flemming said they started tearing down walls on Dec. 13 and finished the job 10 days later. The restaurant officially re-opened on Dec. 27.

Read the rest here:
Bennigan’s renovated in December_PDF format

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