Cory Smith

Members of the Greenville Planning Commission, from left, Chairman David Ralph, Vice Chairman Mike Gustin, city liaison Jeanne Cunliffe and member Greg VanderMark — surrounded by empty chairs — discuss Thursday the possibility of shrinking the board from nine to seven members in order to better have a quorum at meetings. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Greenville Planning Commission goes without quorum … again

In the middle of discussion focused on amending a commercial zoning district downtown, the Greenville Planning Commission suddenly lacked a quorum Thursday evening.

The owner of the historic Greenville Furniture building at 400 S. Lafayette St. is hoping that an amendment to the zoning district in which his building is located will allow for second-story apartments to be constructed in the unit. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Greenville’s historic furniture building may house second-story apartments

Renovations being done on the historic former Greenville Furniture building are coming to a temporary halt.

A custom wood bench memorializing Devon Morrison, a 10-year-old boy from Belding who drowned in the Flat River in 2013, was stolen this week. It is tan in color and has carvings of a boy fishing on it, a religious cross, and the phrase “don’t stop believing” inscribed on it, as well as Devon’s name. — Courtesy photo

Memorial bench stolen from mother’s yard in Belding

Police are investigating the theft of a bench that memorialized Devon Morrison, a 10-year-old Belding boy who drowned in the Flat River in 2013.

The bench was gifted to Devon’s mother, Shauna Green-Smith, and placed in her front yard at her home on Harrison Street.

Trucks traverse along M-57 in Greenville on Thursday afternoon at the intersection with M-91, two highways in Montcalm County that feature heavy industrial traffic. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Survey of local manufacturers to aid transportation needs

Not surprisingly, there is no shipping channel from Baldwin Lake to the shores of Lake Michigan, and The Flat River will never be wide or deep enough for industrial transportation.

Railways in Greenville once served as a beacon of industrial movement, but that time has passed, and they have since been converted into recreational trailways.

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IN BRIEF: Greenville Planning Commission recommends rezoning

The Greenville Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday evening to grant a request to rezone three vacant parcels of property from Residential to C-2 (Commercial).

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IN BRIEF: Greenville Transportation Committee approves survey

Members of the Greater Greenville Transportation Committee voted unanimously Wednesday evening to approve of a survey to receive input on manufacturing transportation needs within Montcalm County.

United Way Montcalm-Ionia Executive Director  Roger Thelen asks Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, to deliver their opinions Monday on the issue of third grade reading proficiency being discussed through pending legislation in Lansing. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Emmons, Outman weigh in on education legislation

As Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, toured a state prison Monday morning, she received a firsthand encounter on how a lack of early education in life can lead to time behind bars. Observing a new vocational program at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Emmons watched as prisoners took classes and received hands-on training in programs ranging from auto mechanics to computer-aided design.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, speaks during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College on the subject of the state’s 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Legislators get early start on state budget

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, doesn’t find the state budget an exciting topic, but it is one that he deems important. Outman spent more than 30 minutes on the subject of the upcoming 2016-2017 fiscal year state budget during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, as two budget bills were introduced in the House of Representatives last week.

Kathy Jo VanderLaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, gives examples of economic development within Montcalm County throughout the past year during Thursday’s Coalition of Greater Greenville meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Right Place partnership paying dividends for Montcalm County

After one full year of utilizing The Right Place in Montcalm County, early returns appear to be positive.

According to Right Place Board of Directors member and Montcalm Economic Alliance Board President Rob Spohr, the return on investment in partnering with The Right Place, an economic development agency based in Grand Rapids, has led to a rate of $1,330 to $1 through the first year of the three-year partnership.

From left, Club Phoenix staff members Clarissa Gerwig, maintenance worker Glenn Moore, Shirley Downer, owner Jon Bunce, resident trainer Alyssa Garner, and Jenna Ferguson celebrate the opening of the gym in Belding. A ribbon cutting will be held today at 3 p.m. at 240 Covered Village Mall. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

BUSINESS BEAT: Grand opening for Phoenix fitness center in Belding is today

For two years, Jon Bunce has clung to a property at the Covered Village Mall, hoping to one day realize his dream of opening the first and only fitness center in his hometown community. Today, that dream becomes a reality.