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The Grattan Academy Board of Directors responded Monday to a student achievement study conducted by The Center for Michigan and published in Bridge Magazine, which ranked the district last in the state. Officials questioned some of the data used in the report, but at the same time stated the district needed to do a better job for students. Pictured, from left, are Board President Beth Ryan, Secretary Kim Ricards, Treasurer Aarron Antclif and Superintendent Tom Kreiner. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Grattan Academy officials question report, but say it shouldn’t be ignored

Despite questioning some of the theory behind it, it’s hard for Grattan Academy to ignore the recent Academic State Champs report that named it the worst school in the state. In spite of the questions, and in light of the data, there was one common theme among the Grattan Academy Board of Directors at Monday night’s school board meeting … “we must do better.”

Belding Robotics teammates high five each other during a tournament held in Belding earlier this month. Two of Belding's three robotics teams qualified for the state championships, which are Sunday at Michigan State University. (File photo)

Belding Robotics Team comes up short in home tourney, but students learn

The Belding Robotics Team set out to win its second straight home tournament in Redskin Arena at Belding High School on Saturday, but in the end, the competition proved to be just a little too tough.

Pints of donated blood are stored at Michigan Blood, a nonprofit blood bank serving Michigan. Due to harsh winter weather, several blood drives across the state have been cancelled and those that have been held have seen low turnout. The result is blood blanks scrambling to make up for lost donations. — Courtesy photo

Greenville girl among those waiting for blood donations

It’s well known that Montcalm County schools have had a lot of snow days due to the wintery weather the area has experienced, but few are apprised to the affect it has had on blood banks. Michigan Blood, a non profit blood bank, has seen a large amount of its blood drives cancelled because of weather and road conditions. And the drives it has been able to hold this winter, they’ve been poorly attended because donors choose not to brave the conditions.

Grattan Academy Superintendent Tom Kreiner talks with students during a break between classes in the school cafeteria Tuesday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Grattan Academy officials disagree with Academic State Champs report

Tom Kreiner will be the first person to admit Grattan Academy isn’t perfect. But the worst school in the state of Michigan? That unhappy distinction is according to the third annual Academic State Champs report from Bridge Magazine and The Center for Michigan. The report ranks Michigan’s schools from best to worst, based on a combination of test scores and income levels of families.

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Letter carriers need help to deliver through snow

The continued snow and challenging weather in Michigan has not kept letter carriers from going out and delivering the mail. The United States Postal Service (USPS) thanks its customers for helping letter carriers deliver mail safely by clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs and mailboxes.

The Belding robotics team members, top row from left, junior Taylor Sluiter, 17, freshman K.J. Robinson, 15, senior Garrett Spencer, 17, bottom row from left, sophomore Jessie Boyd, 15, senior Haley Davis, 17. Not pictured, senior Tre Robinson, 17 and junior John Parcher, 17. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding robotics team gearing up for tournament

On Saturday, dozens of students will converge upon the Redskin Arena gymnasium in Belding, but it won’t be for a volleyball or basketball game. Rather, students from throughout the state will be competing at the second annual Belding Robotics Tournament at Belding High School, hosted by Belding’s very own robotics program.

Members of the Ionia Area Emergency Response Team perform a mock cell rush of a prisoner during last year’s Polar Plunge at Clifford Lake. This year’s event is outside of the Turk Lake Bar on Saturday, Feb. 8. Plunging begins at 3 p.m. All are welcome to jump in or just enjoy the show. More than 100 people have already signed up to take the plunge. — Courtesy photo

Freezing for funds: Turk Lake is new location for Polar Plunge

Jim Dennis is overwhelmed. He is surrounded by insane people. And he’s loving it. Flooded with emails, phone calls and Facebook comments, Dennis, coordinator of the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser event for Montcalm County, is once again gathering pledges from brave souls who will “take the plunge” into the cold waters of Turk Lake to raise funds for local Special Olympics athletes.

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Silk City Saloon: New owner brings new life to former Belding restaurant

Decades ago, customers of the former Village Hearth would schedule reservations days in advance to assure a seat at the popular restaurant located in the heart of downtown Belding. After going through several owners, new titles, new menus and a period of several years in which the building sat empty, the structure became an empty shell of its former self. But now, Mark Hoople is ready for a resurgence.

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School band directors trying to find high note despite snow days

For Greenville High School Band Director Susan Gould, the large amount of snow days this winter — nine to date — has made her teaching routine nearly impossible as students remain home, many without instruments on which to practice.

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Teachers say flexibility is key when it comes to snow days and schedules

Montabella High School was closed Tuesday, as were all local schools, but the hallways were still filled with the voices and laughter of children — very young children, that is. Ryan Roberts, a science teacher at Montabella, brought his 5-year-old and 2-year-old children to the school so they could get out of the house and run around while Roberts caught up on classwork.