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Frozen flowers hang on the fence around the Crystal Lake Polar Dip site, where Lee Avery died in an ORV accident Saturday night during the Crystal Lake Winter Festival. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

‘A community guy’: Crystal in mourning after winter festival tragedy

The Crystal Lake Winter Festival was an annual highlight for Lee Avery. The Crystal businessman helped organize car shows and enthusiastically served homemade chili to cold festivalgoers over the years, as well as those who braved the Polar Dip in the icy water of Crystal Lake.

Zaybben Bowen, 9, of Crystal, right, pulls his friend, Harrison Prebble, 9, of Ionia, on a sled as the winds howl and create a fog of snow at the 2015 Crystal Lake Winter Festival. — File photo

Winter’s wrath won’t stop Crystal Lake Winter Festival

Whether the lake remains frozen or melts to its liquid state, this year’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival will go on as scheduled. Event organizers are ready for the 7th annual event in downtown Crystal on Saturday, with plenty of events planned for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

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‘Back to square one’ with Crystal Township library relocation

Of the three parties involved in the possible relocation of the Crystal Community Library, one has officially removed itself from the equation.

During the Jan. 19 Carson City Council meeting, council members voted unanimously not to sign an agreement with the Crystal Township Board of Trustees to approve relocating the Crystal Community Library.

Members of the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education agreed to allow Superintendent Kevin Murphy to implement guidelines for school administrators on the subject of open carry of a gun within the school district during Thursday's school board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CC-C implements open carry instructions for school administrators

If an individual arrives at a Carson City-Crystal school building with a pistol holstered at the hip, administrators will now know what to do — let them in.

But that’s not to say strict restrictions won’t be enforced by those administrators for all visitors of the district, including those who choose to exercise that legal right of carrying a weapon.

Crystal Township Treasurer Ted Padgett, left, Supervisor Chris Johnston, center, and Clerk Bob Naumann listen to residents interested in the amount of usage the Crystal Community Center has been getting in recent months. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Crystal residents query community center usage

Township residents are curious as to just how much use the Crystal Community Center is getting these days, as well as how much revenue it’s bringing in. Understandable, considering the township board has previously discussed the possibility of a bond to help pay for improvements and repairs there. That bond issue could appear on the ballot as soon as August.

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Ice fishers urged to use caution on lakes amid fluctuating temps

Just call Bill Hacker the ice man. The owner of Wet Willy’s Bait & Tackle in Crystal has been fielding numerous phone calls from customers wondering if the ice on local lakes is thick enough for ice fishing.

The Hubbardston dam, centered in the middle of the small village on Fish Creek, is again producing power after owner Roy Davis worked with Consumers Energy to restore the facility and begin selling electricity back to the company. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Hubbardston Hydro dam is once again producing power

The small but roaring falls of the Hubbardston Hydro dam have been flowing for more than a century and a half, and now, they are once again producing power. As of six weeks ago, Hubbardston Hydro owner Roy Davis of Eaton Rapids confirmed the dam is once again operating and “running flawlessly.”

Alex Kapteyn of Central Michigan Piano in Carson City plays a Steinway piano built in 1890 that he purchased and restored from the late Dorothy Oliver, who owned the piano for approximately 60 years. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carson City’s Alex Kapteyn restores 1890 Steinway piano

At first glance, the Steinway grand piano sitting in the home of Alex Kapteyn is a sight to behold, a decoration of sorts that commands attention from the far corner of the family room. Impressive on appearance alone, the instrument is an aging but beautiful work of art that Kapteyn has worked to restore throughout the past 10 months.

Financial damage estimates from an Oct. 30 fire at Renaissance Power in Carson City range from $2.5 million to $4.5 million. DTE Energy in Detroit owns the power facility. — File photo

Carson City power plant fire leaves millions in damages

A fire that destroyed an energy transformer at Renaissance Power will result in millions of dollars in repairs for power plant owner DTE Energy. Carson City Fire Chief Mark Crawfis recently informed city officials that the Oct. 30 fire could result in anywhere from $4 to $4.5 million total repairs and replacements at the plant, as he was informed by managers at the 732 megawatt simple-cycle natural gas facility.

The first impression visitors receive when they enter Carson City on N. Division Street is a series of old Kellogg Elevator Co. grain elevator buildings, which have fallen into disrepair after years of standing unoccupied. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Kellogg Elevator demolition lags; Carson City officials impatient

The Kellogg Elevator Co., which decades ago stood as an agricultural beacon for business in Montcalm County, remains (barely) standing today, a ghost of its former self. With splintered wooden beams creaking in the wind, shattered windows lining the walls and various metal and concrete debris scattered throughout the property, the last two years of demolition attempts at the abandoned site have left it looking no better than when those efforts began.