Cory Smith

The Ionia Montcalm Secure and Friendly Environment Child Advocacy Center opened Thursday with a goal to simplify the interviewing process for child abuse cases. (Cory Smith | Daily News)

Ionia Montcalm Secure and Friendly Environment Child Advocacy Center opens

On Thursday, a collaborative effort consisting of both the Montcalm and Ionia prosecutor’s offices, sheriff’s offices, state police, various city police agencies, Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Protective Services (CPS), Community Mental Health, Area Mental Health Therapists, and several medical personnel, resulted in the opening of the Ionia Montcalm Secure and Friendly Environment (IMSAFE) Child Advocacy Center (CAC).

Orleans Township Supervisor Jim Patrick speaks on the subject of beginning each township meeting with a prayer Tuesday. The board voted 5-0 to start each meeting with a voluntary invocation by board members. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Orleans Township Board votes to start meetings with a prayer

For as long as most residents can remember, Orleans Township Board meetings have begun with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Beginning in April, meetings will start with a prayer.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, holding a pamphlet on the OK2SAY confidential student hotline, reaches out to the audience at Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College to promote the new program.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Emmons, Outman working to promote OK2SAY student safety hotline

The best way to stop a violent act, be it suicide, bullying or the manifestation of a serious bomb threat, is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

That’s the message Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, was hoping to convey when her legislation to create the new OK2SAY confidential student safety hotline was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2013.

Tara Lafferty of John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids displays a barred owl Saturday during Family Fun Day at Montcalm Community College as children watch in amusement. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Family Fun Day provides entertainment, delivers message

As a barred owl, native to Michigan, flapped its impressive wingspan in front of many curious young minds Saturday. Children watched speechless in awe. It was a rare moment that some may only be lucky enough to witness at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, but thanks to the Montcalm We Care For Kids (WCFK) Family Fun Day at Montcalm Community College, the spectacle was brought a little closer to home.

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Kelly Decker named Carson City Citizen of the Year

Years ago, as a kindergarten student, Kelly Decker came upon a fellow student who was often ignored, who no one cared to sit next to. Concerned for her, but unsure at a young age how to address the situation, Decker too refrained from sitting next to her lonely classmate.

In telling the tale to her mother, her mother asked of her, “How would you feel if you were that little girl?”

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Belding City Council approves new special events policy

Festivals, gatherings and celebrations in this community are expected to run more smoothly after a special events policy was approved by Belding City Council on Tuesday night.

Members of the council voted unanimously 5-0 to adopt a policy that will require the regulation of special events within the city.

Belding High School teacher Alisha Hummel holds up a sign that reads “Belding teachers work hard for students, want a fair contract” as she pleads with members of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education Monday evening to reach a “fair contract” with the Belding Education Association teachers’ union. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding teachers continue to plea for ‘fair’ deal

In the middle of an eight-month conflict of failed teacher contract negotiations, it was the voice of a young sixth grade student that brought people to their feet in unanimous applause Monday evening. Allyson May, 12, a student at Belding Middle School, approached the podium during the public comment portion of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education Meeting in the Belding High School Performing Arts Center auditorium.

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JUST IN: Belding City Council adopts “special events” policy

Festivals, gatherings and celebrations in this community are expected to run more smoothly after a “special events” policy was approved by Belding City Council Tuesday night.

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JUST IN: Belding School Board approves spending to refinish high school gymnasiums

With new facilities, from gymnasiums to auditoriums, comes the responsibility of maintaining those arenas and theaters to keep them preserved for future students. At Monday evening’s Belding Area Schools Board of Education meeting, board members voted unanimously 7-0 to approve $11076.62 to refinish two of the district’s gymnasiums.

Charles Ring, 78, was found dead inside his home Saturday morning at 8401 Canfield Road in Orleans Township as firefighters responded to a structure fire at the residence. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Orleans Township man dies in Saturday morning blaze

An early morning structure fire claimed the life of its homeowner Saturday shortly after he called 911. Charles Ring, 78, was near the door of his home when firefighters responded to a structure fire at his residence.