Local

Rebecca Grant, left, and Robin Grant stand with their collection box at Premier Automotive in Belding for RAVE’s “1 Thing Thursday” program. — Courtesy photo

‘1 Thing Thursday’ project collects one item for RAVE

When women and children in Ionia and Montcalm counties fleeing domestic or sexual violence don’t have a safe place to go, they turn to Relief After Violent Encounter — Ionia/Montcalm, Inc. (RAVE), which operates the only shelter for these victims in the two-county area.

Now RAVE is turning to the community to help stock its pantry shelves.

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The first 10 weeks: Rep. John Moolenaar talks budget, nuclear arms

Three committees, 30+ bills, 130+ votes … and the hope for a budget that balances in 10 years.

Those are just a few numbers that represent John Moolenaar’s first 10 weeks in office as representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which covers multiple counties in the state’s northern and central region, including Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta and Montcalm counties.

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Dog owners speak out against Montcalm County kennel ordinance

Any topic involving animals is a historically proven way to attract the masses to county board meetings. Monday was no exception, as Montcalm County’s Law Enforcement & Courts committee heard half an hour of public comments from concerned and tearful residents about proposed changes to the county’s dog kennel ordinance.

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JUST IN: Edmore police department merger moves forward

A proposal to merge the Edmore Police Department with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office took another step forward today.

Montcalm County’s Law Enforcement & Courts Committee unanimously recommended the full board approve the merger.

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Montcalm County plagued by weekend fires

Once again, a string of structure fires burned through Montcalm County throughout the weekend. The weekend started with a mobile home fire south of Lakeview Friday. Then Saturday struck with a morning house fire in Howard City followed by a lunchtime structure fire northeast of Howard City. Later on Saturday, a Crystal dumpster fire was called in followed by house that burned southeast of Crystal. On Sunday, a pump house just east of Crystal also went up in flames.

Edmore Police Chief Luke Sawyer may become a sheriff’s deputy if a proposal to merge the Edmore Police Department with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is approved by the Edmore Village Council and the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Edmore Police Department may merge with Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office

One year ago, the Howard City Police Department merged with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office. Next month, another village police department may do the same.

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VIDEO: Montcalm County firefighters participate in ice rescue training

In spite of the 2 degree air temperature, which dropped even lower with the wind chill, Montcalm County firefighters braved the frigid weather to participate in an ice training on Sunday. Michigan Rescue Concepts (MRC) hosted the training session in Crystal Township, which included a morning classroom session and an afternoon hands-on training session on the ice of Crystal Lake. MRC is an 18-year-old Michigan-based company which have trained more than 500 fire departments in ice and water rescue training.

Here’s a look at homeless student statistics and reduced lunch statistics at Belding Area Schools and Montcalm County’s seven public school districts. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Local student opens up about homeless plight

Homelessness is a powerful word. It conjures a composite of images: A man begging for change under a bridge. A woman holding a sign by a freeway exit. A filthy, bearded man in stained pants sleeping under newspapers on a park bench. A sad-looking woman in a ratty coat pushing a shopping cart full of junk down the street.

Greenville resident Lloyd Shelden was working hard to clear his sidewalk on Monday morning.

Winter snow squall blankets area

On Monday, Punxsutawney Phil clamored out of his hole to see his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter. Those who live in West Michigan already had made that same prediction after the snow-filled weekend.

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The Right Place and Montcalm Economic Alliance sign partnership

The path to create more economic growth in Montcalm County may finally have been paved on the stable ground of a partnership that aims to bring great dividends to area businesses and residents.

On Monday, The Right Place Inc. and the Montcalm Economic Alliance announced the formation of a strategic partnership to support economic growth in Montcalm County and encourage greater regional collaboration in West Michigan.