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Families Against Narcotics forum is Thursday in Greenville

As a Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy, Charlie Mahar often sees the dark side of human nature.

During his 10 years in law enforcement, Mahar has witnessed a major increase in heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drug use. He has personally dealt with countless addicts, some of whom were former high school athletes that he coached.

James Lower

JUST IN: Edmore village manager announces 70th District candidacy

Jim Lower formally announced his Republican candidacy for the Michigan House of Representatives in the 70th District today.

Lower also announced via press release that current state Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, is endorsing him in the race.

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Personal items run out first at Montabella Ministerial Association Food Pantry

At the Montabella Ministerial Association Food Pantry, the need for food and toiletries doesn’t change much with the season. This according to Faith United Methodist Church secretary Peggy Graham, who helps in the day-to-day operations of the program.

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JUST IN: Edmore-area house fire starts in garage, reignites

Every firefighter in the world would agree that dry air, heavy winds and burning embers are not good bedfellows.
That’s the problem the Richland Township Fire Department ran into while battling a house fire Thursday afternoon. However, the actual fire started just after midnight early Thursday morning.

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CPL gun board changes will allow ‘one-stop shopping’

County gun boards were eliminated last week per a new state law, leaving concealed pistol license (CPL) applications in the hands of county clerks and state police.

County sheriffs and prosecutors are no longer part of the CPL process, per Public Acts 3 and 4, which Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law last March. County clerks and the Michigan State Police (MSP) are now responsible for issuing CPLs to qualified applicants.

Sandra Ebright

Vestaburg bank manager gets prison for embezzling $300,000

A former Vestaburg bank manager has been given a hefty prison sentence for embezzling nearly $300,000 at her place of employment.
Sandra Ebright, 54, of Elwell, pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Seventeen additional counts of identity theft charges were dismissed.

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Montcalm County Angel Tree program brings Christmas joy to children

A rosy-cheeked youngster standing in rapt wonder before a present-laden Christmas tree is an image with which we all are familiar.

The scene is so common, in fact, so comfortable, that we sometimes forget it is one not played out in every American home.

Ronald Farrell, the longtime principal and superintendent of Montabella Community Schools, died last Wednesday at his home in Blanchard. He was 72 years old. — File photo

Longtime Montabella administrator remembered

One of the most beloved and unique school administrators has passed away, leaving a lasting legacy in the Isabella-Montcalm county area. Ronald Farrell died last Wednesday at his home in Blanchard. He was 72 years old.

Rep. John Moolenaar, at right, talks agricultural issues with Stephanie Kipp, field and storage manager for Andersen Brothers farm, and John Kran, associate national legislative counsel for the Michigan Farm Bureau. — Daily News/Elisabeth WaldoN

Rep. John Moolenaar talks agriculture and refugees with farmers

Local farmers had a chance to share their thoughts with the Congressman for Michigan’s 4th District on Friday. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, toured Andersen Brothers, a centennial farm in rural Blanchard, and met with constituents to discuss agricultural issues, such as food labeling and environmental standards, as well as concerns about ISIS and refugees.

Bruce Peterson of Blanchard uses a computer program to design a forklift at A&O Forklift in Edmore. Peterson earned a degree in architecture before going to work as an engineer at A&O. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

MADE IN OUR OWN BACKYARD: Business booming for forklift company

Beekeeping and forklifting continues to be a successful combination for an Edmore business. A&O Forklift has doubled its production in the past four years and shows no signs of slowing down. Located in the Sunrise Industrial Park — formerly home to Hitachi Magnetics Corp., which shuttered in 2004 — the business is on track to produce 250 forklifts this year. That’s steady growth from previous production of 140 forklifts in 2012 and 180 forklifts in 2013.