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Montabella encourages peer interaction through LINKS

After grabbing their lunch boxes and lunch trays, six Montabella Elementary School kindergarten and first-grade students headed down the hall to the library to eat their lunch together. The lunch group is part of Montabella Community School’s LINKS Program, which is a peer-to-peer program to support students with autism. Montabella currently has LINKS programs in kindergarten through ninth grade.

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.

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.

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.

From left, Sandy Jordan, Wendy Bingy, Tina Jordan, Marisol Bucao, Emma Skogseth, Karen Delamater and Molly Lang take a moment to step outside at the Home Street Manor in Edmore, where Tuesday morning’s Queen’s Tea took place. Lang is the owner of Home Street Manor. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Greenville girl to reign over Edmore’s Potato Festival

For Emma Skogseth, pageantry is a family affair. She was crowned this year’s Edmore Potato Festival Queen, and her 12-year-old sister, Alison, was crowned this year’s Junior Miss Danish Festival. Emma, 16, of Greenville, was crowned during a Queen’s Tea event Tuesday at the Home Street Manor in Edmore by last year’s queen, Marisol Bucao.

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.