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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.”

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JUST IN: Crystal man arrested for home invasion on New Year’s Eve

A Crystal man was arrested and remains behind bas after breaking into a home and damaging property.

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.

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CPL gun board changes will allow ‘one-stop shopping’

County gun boards were eliminated last week per a new state law, leaving concealed pistol license (CPL) applications in the hands of county clerks and state police.

County sheriffs and prosecutors are no longer part of the CPL process, per Public Acts 3 and 4, which Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law last March. County clerks and the Michigan State Police (MSP) are now responsible for issuing CPLs to qualified applicants.

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Montcalm County Angel Tree program brings Christmas joy to children

A rosy-cheeked youngster standing in rapt wonder before a present-laden Christmas tree is an image with which we all are familiar.

The scene is so common, in fact, so comfortable, that we sometimes forget it is one not played out in every American home.

Crystal Community Library Librarian Brenda Geselman, left, speaks on the phone at the front desk of the library while Crystal Township resident Elizabeth McMillan uses one of the library’s computers Wednesday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carson City Council authorizes Crystal library contract and lease

Efforts to move the Crystal Community Library to a new location have been long in the making, and though the idea remains intact, a final resolution may still be years away. That’s the understanding of both members of the Crystal Township Board and Carson City Library Board, which overseas the Crystal Community Library.

The Crystal Township Board is discussing whether to seek bond funds from voters to make improvements to the community center, which previously housed Crystal Elementary School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Township Board considers bond proposal for community center

In the past five years, the Crystal Community Center has steadily become a social hub of the township.

Since the former elementary school was purchased by the township from Carson City-Crystal Area Schools for $1 in 2010, the center has hosted township board meetings, adult education classes, pickup basketball games and many other activities.