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Inventor of the Boot and owner of The Lockdown Co., Rob Couturier, left, and Gary Valentine, retired sergeant from the Greenville Department of Public Safety and owner of School Com 608 LLC, talk to the staff at Vestaburg Community Schools on Wednesday about the security a safety tool called the Boot can offer during a presentation. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Vestaburg Community Schools fundraising for security device

Rob Couturier has lived a father’s worst nightmare. His daughter, Brenann, was attacked by an intruder at her high school when she was 17 years old.

Edmore Planning Commission Chairman Rich Adgate, standing, talks about how updating the parks in Edmore could benefit the village during Monday night’s public input meeting. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Edmore to focus on Glenn D. Curtis Park improvements

From newlyweds to a home daycare owner to grandparents, more than a dozen Edmore-area residents voiced their wishes and concerns about the future of the parks in the village.

Edmore’s five-year Park and Recreation Plan is currently undergoing a 30-day public input period, which will end Feb. 13. The Edmore Planning Commission held a public input meeting Monday night to get feedback about what residents wanted.

Brendan Davidson, 17, looks at the steel T-rex he welded for his senior project at Montabella High School. Davidson hopes to enter the project in ArtPrize. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Montabella High School seniors focus on capstone project

Montabella High School seniors are thinking about more than just prospective jobs and college acceptance letters. Since the 1990s, Montabella seniors have been required to complete a capstone project. The required class takes up one semester of students’ senior year. Either the summer before or during the semester, they propose and work on a project which they will complete outside of class.

Constituents attending the first Legislative Update meeting of the year Monday at Montcalm Community College listen as Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, speak.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sen. Emmons, Rep. Lower talk future of health care, President Trump

Just three weeks into the new year of the Michigan House and Senate legislative sessions, the first local Legislative Update meeting of 2017 proved to be one of little detail.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, beginning her sixth year as state senator, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, beginning his first year as state representative, both shared hopeful messages Monday at Montcalm Community College for the future of the state as they prepare to move forward.

From left, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presents “Connected Community” certification to Casair founder Steve Meinhardt, Kathy Jo Vanderlaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, Montcalm Economic Alliance Vice President Robert Clingenpeel, and Alliance President Rob Spohr, during Wednesday’s Alliance meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Connected Community: 99% of Montcalm County is online

In rural Michigan, reliable broadband internet may be hard to come by, but that is not the case in Montcalm County.

On Wednesday, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presented the county with “Connected Community” certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

Edmore Downtown Development Authority President Jack Miller looks at the some of the original floor work in the old General Bag Corp. factory during a tour with 70th District State Rep.-elect Jim Lower, left, and outgoing Rep. Rick Outman, right. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Construction progress being made on old Edmore bag factory

Edmore Downtown Development Authority President Jack Miller wanted to show local officials the progress that has been made at the old General Bag Corp. factory building.

Incoming 70th District State Rep.-elect (and former Edmore village manager) Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, and outgoing Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, recently toured the facility with Miller.

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.”