Cory Smith

Orleans Township currently offers recycling services for its residents, but if an Ionia County pilot recycling program for eight northern townships is approved in the spring, residents will be able to recycle more items and be able to do so on a 24/7 basis. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Ionia County program could open recycling to 8 townships

Ionia County doesn’t currently offer a countywide recycling program, but that doesn’t mean the idea hasn’t been in the works.

Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Band Director Chad Parmenter directs the fifth grade band during class Friday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

New CC-C band programs expand musical horizons

On the surface, among 20 of her fellow fifth-grade classmates, Hanna Meno was blending in just fine. Sitting in Band Director Chad Parmenter’s classroom Friday, the 10-year-old student and her fellow peers did their best to play through a few musical exercises, making a few mistakes along the way, but giving their very best effort.

Volunteers work together Monday to remove debris from Whites Covered Bridge out of the Flat River.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Music festival set to raise funds for new Whites Covered Bridge

Bridging generations and rebuilding history. That’s the goal of the Whites Bridge Historical Society (WBHS), formerly Friends Rebuilding Whites Bridge, the nonprofit group that aims to raise enough funds to one day rebuild the bridge that was destroyed by arson on July 7, 2013.

The debate on whether gray wolves should be hunted in Michigan has come to the point of upcoming ballot referendums and new legislation in Lansing. — © Can Stock Photo/nialat

Legislators, activists, engaged in battle over fate of Michigan wolf hunting

The debate of whether to hunt gray wolves in Michigan can be heard everywhere, stretching from the northernmost tip of the Upper Peninsula to the southeastern suburbs of Detroit. It’s an argument that has grown more ferocious and divided with time, and one that likely won’t be settled anytime soon.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, speaks with residents of Montcalm County on Monday at the monthly Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College in Sidney. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman, Emmons return to everyday work in Lansing

The return of fall provides many physical and cultural changes throughout Michigan, not to mention the reconvening of a full-time Legislature in Lansing. With the return of everyday politics at the Capitol, EightCAP Inc. welcomed the first Legislative Update meeting Monday at Montcalm Community College since the Legislature adjourned last May for summer recess.

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Carolyn Slocum named Spirit of Caring Award recipient

This year’s recipient of the Fred and Lena Meijer Spirit of Caring Award has a lengthy history of giving back to the community, especially to hundreds of students, whose lives she changed over her many years of teaching.

In surprise fashion, Carolyn Slocum was announced by last year’s Spirit of Caring award winner Joyce London as this year’s winner to a room full of applause at the Winter Inn on Thursday evening.

Friends and family of Devon Morrison gathered Wednesday afternoon at Demorest Field in Belding for a dedication ceremony to remember the 10-year-old boy who accidentally drowned in the Flat River on Sept. 14, 2013. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding boy remembered one year later with memorial stone dedication

Nearly a year to the day that Shawna Smith learned her young son Devon Morrison had accidentally drowned in the Flat River, she took a moment to write him one last heartfelt message. As freshly poured concrete steadily began to harden, solidifying a new memorial for Devon at Demorest Field in Belding, Smith used a finger to carefully etch the three words she would recite to him today if she had the chance.

New Carson City Police Chief Dave Ellis, left, shakes hands with Carson City Mayor Bruce Tasker, right, as City Administrator Jean Southward, center, watches. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Lansing detective sergeant is new Carson City police chief

After more than a month of fluctuation at the Carson City Police Department, the city has found a new police chief. Mayor Bruce Tasker appointed Dave Ellis, a detective sergeant with the Lansing Police Department, during Tuesday evening’s Carson City Council meeting.

Eleven vacant “Build-A-Home” lots owned by Belding Area Schools have been reduced in price in order to entice potential buyers to purchase the properties. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding Area Schools drops price of 11 former Build-A-Home properties

Several property lots owned by Belding Area Schools have remained vacant for years. School board members are hoping a drop in price will encourage buyers to step forward and snatch up the properties.

A row of hops line the horizon at Hopyards of Kent in Oakfield Township. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville area hops farm reaping benefits of craft beer craze (PHOTOS)

From buds to beer, there’s no denying the business of craft beer in Michigan has taken off in recent years. For two consecutive years, the nearby metropolitan city of Grand Rapids has been voted “Beer City USA” and as many as 150 breweries are now operating within the state with another 44 brewery licenses currently pending.