Grattan Elementary School sixth-graders and brothers, Henry Merren, 11, left, and Owen Merren, 11, explain to their classroom details they recently researched about the Flint water crisis. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Grattan students have ‘penny wars’ to help Flint residents

The first thing a visitor to Grattan Academy Elementary School sees as they walk into the building is a case displaying four jars filled with change beneath the phrase, “Let the penny wars begin!”


Grattan Academy hires marketing firm

The Grattan Academy Board of Directors is committing nearly $10,000 toward marketing its school to attract new students, while retaining current ones. During a special meeting Jan.16, the Grattan school board unanimously approved hiring Piper & Gold Public Relations firm for the purpose of building a compelling marketing communications plan at a cost not to exceed $9,750.

Porsche, a golden retriever puppy, is the third dog to be taken in by Greta Wilker as a Paws for Cause puppy in training to be a service dog. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding senior trains puppies for Paws with a Cause

Juggling four sports and sitting at the top of her class with a 4.12 GPA, there’s not much outside of school that Greta Wilker has time for.

That is, until the Belding High School senior stares into the eyes of her golden retriever puppy, Porsche, who stares back with an equal amount of love and affection.


Governor’s office accepting applications for Ionia-Montcalm judge appointment

Gov. Rick Snyder’s office is now accepting applications to fill a judge vacancy in Ionia and Montcalm counties.

Judge David Hoort of Portland has accepted a job with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. He will retire as judge on Feb. 26.


Belding school board makes several technology purchases

The Belding Area Schools Board of Education unanimously approved four separate motions Tuesday for expenditures in technology for the district: Network equipment, wireless equipment, telephone service and Internet service.

Belding Area Schools Transportation Director Beverly Brownell points to a map of Belding with every bus route throughout the school district. A new electronic routing system will replace the map, which is currently organized with color-coded thumbtacks and pushpins. — Daily News/Cory Smith

New transportation system coming to Belding schools

When plotting bus routes for Belding Area Schools, Transportation Director Beverly Brownell often feels like she’s jumping a few decades into the past. That’s because the current system in place involves a printed map that uses a color-coded system of pushpins and thumb tacks to map out the school district’s bus routes.

Otisco Township board member Dan Zeigler reads aloud a proposed ordinance during the Jan. 12 township board meeting that would limit the parking of recreational vehicles within the township.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Zoning changes under review in Otisco Township

In November, there was much discussion by this township’s board centered on the idea of creating a standalone ordinance to deal with the storage of recreational vehicles (RVs).

That conversation picked up again during the Jan. 12 Otisco Township Board meeting as a revised version of the ordinance, which would restrict the parking of RVs on both vacant and occupied dwellings, was discussed.

Otisco Township Clerk Lynda Sower speaks during the Jan. 12 township board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Otisco Township Board increases credit card limit

Board members voted 2-1 to raise the limit on Township Clerk Lynda Sower’s township credit card from $1,500 to $5,000.

The request came during the Jan. 12 Otisco Township Board meeting from Sower, who complained the $1,500 limit was not enough to reserve hotel rooms for conference trips for all five board members.


Families Against Narcotics forum is Thursday in Greenville

As a Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy, Charlie Mahar often sees the dark side of human nature.

During his 10 years in law enforcement, Mahar has witnessed a major increase in heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drug use. He has personally dealt with countless addicts, some of whom were former high school athletes that he coached.

The Brews & Brushes sip-a-craft-beer-while-painting event is one of the newest and most fun events going on at Horse's Mouth Tavern in Belding. The next event is scheduled for Jan. 21, with Wine & Canvas artist Jim Moga guiding participants through his piece called “Go Fish,” a scenic painting of an ice shanty on a frozen lake.

BUSINESS BEAT: Horse’s Mouth hosts painting workshop Jan. 21

The flavor of the craft beer isn’t the only thing that is creative at Horse’s Mouth Tavern nowadays. With the addition of sip-and-paint workshops becoming popular at the location, patrons are getting crafty, too.