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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.

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze Sunday evening at a Belvidere Township home, three miles west of Edmore. — Daily News/Cory Smith

JUST IN: Belvidere home goes up in flames, no one hurt

A mother and son are now without a home after a fire completely destroyed their residence Sunday evening.

Greenville resident Burton Sly fills up his car at the Admiral gas station on W. Washington St. in Greenville. Sly was able to fill his vehicle at $1.94 a gallon, the cheapest price offered since 2009.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Lower gas prices are expected to last through 2015

Burton Sly has a regular routine of filling the gas tank of his vehicle every Sunday afternoon to prepare for the work week, a routine that oftentimes digs too deep into his finances.

But in recent weeks, the Greenville resident has had reason to smile at the pump as gas prices nationwide have plummeted.

Additional funding in the amount of $1.2 billion for Michigan’s roads will be in the hands of voters in May as they vote on whether to increase the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.  — File photo

Outman, Emmons cite ‘compromise’ in reaching road funding legislation

With so many minds in Michigan focused on gasoline prices, in Lansing, legislators worked last week during the final hours of the lame duck session to draft a solution to the state’s issues with poor road quality.

After two bills were drafted, one in the House of Representatives and another in the Senate, legislators came together to create a bipartisan bill package that would provide an additional $1.2 billion annually toward road funding.

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JUST IN: Sand Lake man injured in car-semi truck accident

One man was injured in a car-semi truck accident Friday morning near Six Lakes. Montcalm County sheriff’s deputies responded to the accident, which occurred on Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) near North Six Lakes Road around 10:56 a.m.

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Montcalm County officials considering creating PACE district

Installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems saves lots of green in the long run, but the initial investment cost leaves many people seeing red.

Some Michigan business owners are considering whether Michigan’s Public Act 270 of 2010, the property assessed clean energy (PACE) act, can help them upgrade their facilities in a high efficiency manner while spreading the cost over a longer, more affordable timeframe.

The General Bag Corp. building in Edmore may soon receive a major renovation and again be open for business to dozens of local vendors if a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is approved. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MEDC offers $650,000 in funds to rehabilitate Edmore ‘Bag Building’

For five years, village leaders have clung tightly to a dream of restoring one of this community’s oldest standing properties, one that, in a much older time, served as a thriving beacon of business. But how does one translate such a dream into reality?