News Top Story

From left, Carson City Elementary School third grade student council members Rylie Weber, 8, Peyton Bewalt, 8, Klouse Andrews, 10, Liam Jensen, 8, Savannah Sabela, 9, and Padi Watson, 8, pose with fellow third grade student Mason Burns, 9, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The students are helping to raise enough money to purchase a service dog for Burns. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carson City students raising funds to purchase service dog for classmate

From the moment Mason Burns opens his eyes in the morning, the struggle to get out of bed begins. It’s a problem many of his third grade peers can share — wishing for another 10 minutes or hoping for a snow day — anything for a little extra time to spend in bed.

Robert Nieman of Crystal performs a “belly flop” dive into the icy waters of Crystal Lake during the 7th annual Crystal Lake Winter Festival Polar Dip event Saturday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Lake festivalgoers embrace ‘coldest weekend of year’ (PHOTOS)

The coldest weekend of the year reserved itself a seat at the seventh annual Crystal Lake Winter Festival on Saturday, but Michigan’s winter was more than welcome to the table. Festivalgoers didn’t seem to mind the single digit temperatures that encompassed a day filled with ice skating, polar dipping, chili eating and much more.

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.

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.

loc 0109 cs Ice safety-1

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.