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Edmore Village Manager Neil Rankin, left, and newly elected Village President Michael Kotenko are excited to work side by side as the village is experiencing growth, improvements and new businesses. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Edmore community sees growth, improvements

A Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy has succeeded a Montcalm County sheriff’s lieutenant as Edmore’s new leader. Karl Kluwe retired as a sheriff’s patrol lieutenant in 2010. He went to work as Edmore’s manager and police chief from 2010 to 2013, and then again as village president since 2014. He oversaw his final Edmore Village Council meeting in October.

Nathaniel Nisonger and some of the Vestaburg Great Start Readiness Program students pose with the new musical playground structure Nisonger donated to the group’s playground. — Courtesy photo

Vestaburg High School senior builds a musical playground

Nathaniel Nisonger is a senior at Vestaburg High School, yet he still spends a lot of time at the Vestaburg Great Start Readiness Program Preschool. There are sentimental ties. The current teacher was once his first grade teacher, and his younger brother was in the program last year.

The awning over Main Street Portraits in Edmore hangs scorched after succumbing to a structure fire on Oct. 25. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Edmore businesses hit with arson, breaking and entering on same night

Three businesses in downtown Edmore were victimized by arson and break-ins the night of Oct. 25. Police have arrested three suspects for breaking and entering, but have not yet said whether the arson is related.

loc 1022 The Right Place-5

Montcalm County hears economic development update

In describing greater Grand Rapids, Birgit Klohs was forthright in her approach of the area from an economic standpoint.

“Nobody wonders where Grand Rapids is,” said Klohs, the president and CEO of The Right Place. “They know New York, they know Las Vegas, they know Chicago, they know L.A., but the middle of the country is often called flyover territory.”

Festivalgoers dance in between rain showers at the 43rd annual Wheatland Music Festival near Remus on Saturday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Rain doesn’t dampen music festival’s joyful spirit (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

As Cyd Gaffield of Six Lakes and Pat Kidwell of Vestaburg enjoyed Saturday’s Wheatland Music Festival, a graceful woman with long blue and purple hair dance and spun to the music in the air.

The Edmore Village Council on Monday will hold a public hearing regarding the International Property Maintenance Code, which Village Manager Neil Rankin is recommending to help the village fight blight. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Edmore looks to fight blight with property maintenance code

This village has a zoning ordinance, but no good way to enforce it.

So village officials are considering the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).

Madison Jordan, 9, of Edmore, rides down a zip line Saturday during the Edmore Potato Festival. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Edmore Potato Festival enjoyed by many despite wet weather

A little bit of rain couldn’t keep Edmore Potato festivalgoers down this past weekend.

Despite intermittent showers, Main Street was lined with families waiting for Saturday’s parade to start. Excited children were practically jumping for joy as they waited to see and hear that first line of emergency vehicles to signify the beginning of the parade.

Jim Lower, the Republican nominee for the 70th District state house, visits with friends during a victory party at his Cedar Lake home Tuesday night. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Lower wins 70th District GOP nomination, Albert takes 86th

In the two Republican primary races for local state representatives, one challenger walked away with an easy victory, while the second race proved to be a very close call. Voters elected Jim Lower of Cedar Lake to run for Michigan’s 70th State House District and Thomas Albert of Grattan Township to run for Michigan’s 86th State House District.

The Flat River, pictured here in Six Lakes, runs through Six Lakes, Greenville, Belding and Lowell, with various streams and tributaries connected to it. The Flat River Watershed Council is working toward building a management plan to restore and protect the river. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Local groups partner to restore and protect the Flat River

The Flat River has long been a source of joy, recreation and sustenance for the communities built around it. Over time, though, the river has fallen victim to bad practices, which affect water quality, water levels and the wetlands surrounding it.

Sweepstakes Showmanship Champion Heather Fishburn, 17, of North Central 4-H Club, poses with her sheep, Jack, after winning the sweepstakes competition Saturday at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Vestaburg teen defends title, repeats as sweepstakes showmanship champion

Being declared a showmanship champion stands as one of the highest honors in 4-H, and for Heather Fishburn, victory now tastes twice as sweet. On Saturday morning, 11 4-H’ers, each of them a showmanship champion for a separate animal class, walked into the livestock arena at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds with a goal to come out on top amongst their peers.