Robin Miller

McBride Park Improvement Committee (MPIC) members, from left, Tracy Stratton, Kim Jensen, Carolyn Kane, Tom Mascho, Roger Hinton and Bruce Sackett met Monday at Robert Lee Davis Memorial Park in McBride to discuss proposed site plan improvements. — Daily News/Robin Miller

McBride receives DNR development grant

Visitors to the Robert Lee Davis Memorial Park in McBride are in for a change of scenery. The village of McBride received a letter last December that it was among those recommended to receive a $132,300 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) development grant.

Tobacco product packaging today looks similar to mints, lipstick and gum. (Daily News/Robin Miller)

Skittles, synthetics and salts: Drug trends discussed in Lakeview

An audience of about 40 gathered Tuesday evening at Lakeview High School to hear law enforcement officials and drug-free coalition members from Gratiot and Montcalm counties talk about the dangers of current drug trends. Teens and adults are turning to synthetic drugs when regular marijuana isn’t accessible and to avoid the legal ramifications. These drugs are marketed as everyday products — incense, potpourri, plant food and bath salts.

New Montcalm County 4-H Fair Board President Mike McGonigal enjoys spending time with his children, Mikaela, left, and Keegan, right. He's been their 4-H club leader and has mentored their horse showmanship activities for nearly 10 years. — Courtesy photo

New Montcalm County 4-H Fair Board president takes over

Mike McGonigal took over Montcalm County 4-H Fair Board presidential duties last November, replacing six-year president Pat Schuster, who is now chairman of finance and fundraising. “I would never have stepped aside if he hadn’t taken over,” Schuster said. “I think very strongly he’s a perfect fit.”

Chelsea Schaap loading her car with the help of her children, Keaton and Eliot Schaap. She rented two booths to sell her items at the Mom 2 Mom Sale at Greenville Community Church. — Courtesy photo

Mom 2 Mom Sale in Greenville on Saturday

Kids seem to grow like weeds and many families shop consignment and resale shops to cut costs. The Mom 2 Mom Sale is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Greenville Community Church is a practical way to buy and sell children’s clothing and essentials.

Jacob Ripley, a pupil in Mrs. Garcia’s kindergarten class, reads Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” — Daily News/Robin Miller

Montabella, Vestaburg get pupils excited about reading

Palm trees, bamboo mats, surf boards and hammocks set the scene for a reading at Montabella Elementary School. It is one of the many ways elementary schools are motivating pupils to get into reading during the month of March.

This bald eagle sits perched high above the Okkema farm north of Six Lakes. (Courtesy/Evelyn Okkema)

Bald eagles find mild winter inviting

The unseasonably mild winter has made the Montcalm County area a suitable habitat for the bald eagle, according to fish and wildlife specialists. Several local residents — in Greenville, Stanton, Edmore, McBride, Lakeview and Six Lakes — have reported recent bald eagle sightings.

Once a classroom nuisance, cell phones are becoming educational tools for many schools at the elementary, high school and collegiate levels. However, some school officials still see cell phones as a distraction and have adopted strict rules to keep students from using them during class. — Daily News/Robin Miller

Area schools’ technology policies evolve to embrace cell phones and other devices

Cell phones and electronic devices — once considered contraband in schools — are now being viewed as educational tools. But some still believe they are a distraction and a discipline issue. Following Central Montcalm Public School’s laptop distribution in 2010 and 2011, other schools are headed in similar directions. Greenville Public Schools officials are currently testing smart phones for educational purposes and Vestaburg Community School officials are looking into tablets.

Lori Jones, right, owner of Morning Lori’s Diner & Bakery in Stanton, and manager Kelly Gleason stand with a few sweet specialities that are offered every day at the diner. This Thursday, Jones is creating special Hawaiian Island Luau-themed meals for her patrons to enjoy.

Morning Lori Diner & Bakery offers a taste of other cultures through food

Lori Jones, owner of Morning Lori Diner and Bakery in Stanton, is taking her customers around the world one dish at a time. Jones is always looking for ways to liven the atmosphere at her business, which is located on the ground floor of Hotel Montcalm on the corner of Main Street and Camburn Street [...]

Karen Gostomski’s afternoon preschoolers at Vestaburg Elementary School enjoy circle time. — Daily News/Robin Miller

Early childhood learning requires more than knowing the alphabet

Unfortunately, children don’t come with instruction manuals. Parents eventually learn that preparing children for school involves more than teaching them to write their names or tie their shoes.

“Finding out that you have cancer feels like you have an enemy living inside you - a traitor of sorts - like your body has betrayed you and you don’t know what to do or how to feel,” said Jackie Featherly, a cancer survivor and naturopathic physician.

S.H.E.: Let’s get healthy — Mind, body and spirit

Cancer survivor Jackie Featherly’s motto saved her life: “A positive attitude is a healing attitude.” This way of thinking guided the 67-year-old Vestaburg woman from near death to complete recovery. Today, she uses her personal experience and her training as a naturopathic physician to empower others to get healthy and make a fresh start in their lives — emotionally, physically and spiritually.