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Spring comes early to Crystal Lake Winter Festival

With temperatures cresting at 40 degrees and little evidence of snow on the ground, not many would have guessed Saturday was the time for a winter festival in the middle of February.

But despite the spring-like atmosphere, the eighth annual Crystal Lake Winter Festival brought hundreds of people together for a variety of activities, both on and off the frozen surface of Crystal Lake.

Robert Nieman of Crystal performs a “belly flop” dive into the icy waters of Crystal Lake during last year’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival Polar Dip. — File photo

Crystal Lake Winter Festival organizers hoping for cold

With an up-and-down winter season so far this year, conditions are officially up in the air regarding next weekend’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival. Days in January have exceeded 50-degree temperatures, but festival organizers are hoping a string of cold temperatures expected this coming week will help create ideal conditions on Feb. 11.

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CC-C gets grant, curriculum for reproductive education

Following in the steps of the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD), another local school district will be taking advantage of a grant awarded to only 20 school districts in the nation. During Thursday’s Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept a Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Grant.

From left, Carson City Administrator Jean Southward, Mayor Bruce Tasker and Councilman Chad Parmenter listen as Councilman Tom McCrackin delivers his thoughts Wednesday on the construction of a future splash pad at one of the city’s parks. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carson City parks & rec priorities include new splash pad

As local municipalities and organizations continue to work together to create a new community recreation plan, financing potential upgrades has now entered the conversation.

This past week, two meetings were held that directly connected to the new collaborative Carson City Area Parks and Recreation Plan.

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Ionia County officials sworn into office

With humble beginnings from the small village of Hubbardston, Janae Cooper now finds herself with responsibilities that stretch to every corner of Ionia County. On Tuesday, Cooper was sworn in by 8th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ron Schafer as Ionia County clerk after being elected in November.

Members of the Crystal Township Board, from left, Curt McCracken, Treasurer Ted Padgett, Supervisor Chris Johnston, Clerk Patty Baker-Marek and George Bahm discuss contracting services with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday evening for a year of dedicated police coverage. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal contracts for 1 year of dedicated sheriff’s coverage

Though the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is currently struggling due to county budget cuts, one officer will be coming back to the department thanks to a new dedicated coverage contract. Members of the Crystal Township Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to hire a full-time deputy dedicated to covering Crystal Township for 2017.

From left, firefighters and brothers Dave and Keith Martin, Fire Chief Mark Ravell and Captain Robby Walker were awarded plaques for their 40 years of continuing service and roles in founding the Ronald Township Volunteer Fire Department. — Courtesy photo

4 original Ronald Township Fire Department founders still fight fires

In 1976, MarkRavell, Robby Walker, brothers Dave and Keith Martin and other Ronald Township residents wanted to help the community by establishing a fire department. Forty years later, Ravell, Walker and the Martins are in their 60s, but they still go on fire calls and protect the community.

David Wight, acting chairman of the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority, gives a presentation to members of the Crystal Township Board on Wednesday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Township DDA pleads to continue with organization

After 22 years of functioning with a goal to improve its downtown district, members of the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are hoping they still have a future. During Wednesday evening’s Crystal Township Board meeting, acting DDA Chairman David Wight presented the board with recommendations going forward after the resignation of three DDA members.

Voters enter and exit the Faith Baptist Church voting precinct in Greenville on Tuesday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local school and township millages pass

Voters in three Montcalm County townships and the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools district approved a handful of fire, road and school millage ballot proposals Tuesday.

Between Kaitlyn and Joshua Naert, the sister-brother duo has combined for 18 state titles, four national titles and three world titles in powerlifting. They recently competed in a national tournament in Chicago in May and in a world tournament in Portland, Oregon, Oct. 6-9.

Crystal siblings rack up medals at powerlifting tournament

During a World Powerlifting Association tournament in Portland, Oregon, both Joshua and Kaitlynn Naert, representing the state of Michigan and the American Powerlifting Association (APA), went up against competitors from 15 states and five foreign countries, where they dominated in all three of the powerlifting categories — squat, bench and deadlift — for their age groups, with Kaitlynn establishing three world records in the the 14-year-olds category.