Mike Taylor

Daily News/Mike TaylorTroopers from the Michigan State Police cordoned off Nelson Drive in Sidney Township throughout the day Tuesday while investigators conducted an examination of homes that were broken into on that road over the weekend. An 80-year-old resident was killed in one of the homes. Police believe the man surprised the intruders, who had expected the home to be vacant. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Sidney Township man killed in home during apparent break-in

Alan “Dale” Nelson’s home is one of several tidy cottages lining the sleepy north banks of Nevins Lake. Many are seasonal and stand empty this time of year, waiting for the arrival of summer residents. Sometime over the weekend, at least four of those cottages were broken into. Three of the four were vacant. Nelson’s was not … and the 80-year-old retiree was killed by the intruders.

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Steeplechase Tool & Die expansion could lead to new jobs in Lakeview

A new piece of equipment being installed at Steeplechase Tool & Die could eventually spell new jobs for the village. According to Steeplechase co-owner Tim Caverley, the new 1,600-ton press will be used as a “try-out” press to test dies manufactured at the plant. At present, the press is essentially installed in a soon-to-be completed addition to the plant at 9307 Howard City-Edmore Road, though some electrical work must be completed before it becomes operational.

Petra Mark sparkled like a diamond in the satin gown she modeled at this year’s Catwalk for a Cause fashion show in Sheridan. (Daily News | Mike Taylor)

New grassroots training program New Beginnings to help special needs youth

Even in an age many would consider “enlightened,” special needs children and young adults too often find themselves marginalized, shunted to the sidelines by a society that doesn’t quite know what to do with them.

It’s not much to look at now, but this plot of under-utilized property in Stanton will be home to Veterans Memorial Park within five years, if all goes according to plans currently being developed by the Stanton City Commission. Plans call for the park to offer five baseball diamonds, a disc golf course, walking and hiking trails and many other amenities. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Stanton sets interviews with engineers for Veterans Memorial Park project

A project that will likely be at least five years in the making took another step forward Tuesday when the Stanton City Commission selected three engineering firms to be interviewed for the task of creating Veterans Memorial Park.

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Central Montcalm Public School showcases student achievements

The arts are alive and well at Central Montcalm Public School. So are athletics and academics, if Thursday evening’s event — held at the high and middle schools — is any indication.

Well over 1,000 parents, grandparents and other interested parties packed the schools for this year’s Central Montcalm Educational Showcase. Though the event highlights all aspects of school life, it is definitely “art-centric.”

Tim Zielke leads the “shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world” during festivities in Hubbardston on Tuesday. The small village has been hosting the event annually for more than 20 years. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Hubbardston offers a true Irish experience close to home

Tuesday morning dawned brisk and blustery as a March stroll on the shores of Galway Bay, but the sun was shining and what chill lingered by noon did little to dull the spirits of the crowd gathered in this small village to honor the Emerald Isle’s patron saint.

The Boys From Amsten include, front row from left, Charley Duma (mandolin) and Gilbert Morris (guitar); back row from left, Dan Varney (bass), Pat Houghton (saw) and Rex Rice. The group performs regularly at the Sheridan Community Center. — Courtesy photo

The heart of Sheridan: Community center is focus of village life

Driving along M-66 through this diminutive village, one might get the idea not much is happening there. The quiet side streets, the “no wake” lake, the mom and pop restaurants and clapboard churches; it all seems to whisper, “Nope, nothin’ to see here.” And maybe there’s some truth to that. But as winter winds down and summer approaches, this sleepy little town starts waking up. Evidence of this can be found nearly every weekday at the village’s community center.

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Spring cleanup stops in Sheridan

Village residents hoping to unload junk during a spring cleanup event should make other plans this year. Although the village has sponsored cleanup days in past years, poor turnout last year has prompted Sheridan Village Council members to forego the event this year.

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JUST IN: Music in Park plans underway in Sheridan

Roots music and art is alive and well in Sheridan. Though the snow has yet to figure out that winter is over, the Music in the Park organization is gearing up for the 2015 summer season by offering performances and classes at the Sheridan Community Center every Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Central Montcalm Public School’s new superintendent, Amy Meinhardt, hopes her lifetime of experience with the school district will help her meet the challenges of the job. Meinhardt was hired to the position in January. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Central Montcalm superintendent brings lifetime of district experience

On a blustery September morning in 1978, a subdued, wide-eyed 5-year-old girl named Amy made her way up the steps of Central Montcalm Elementary School. Lunchbox and notebook in hand, she was swept through the doors and into halls teeming with friends, strangers, teachers and innumerable “big kids.”