News

Franz Mogdis has been executive director of the Montcalm Alliance since 1997. He works out of the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District office in Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm Alliance looking to move forward after setbacks

The Montcalm Alliance may have been in the news lately regarding a failed millage proposal that never even went to a vote, but in the meantime, the Alliance’s executive director has been staying busy working to assist local businesses.

Jacob Rytlewski

Montcalm County’s recycling coordinator resigns

Jacob Rytlewski is exchanging a job in an often cold climate for a new adventure in a warmer atmosphere. Rytlewski, the resource recovery coordinator for Montcalm County, has resigned to take a job in Florida. His last day working for Montcalm County will be Feb. 21 and he plans to head south in early March.

After Karen Garvey and her husband, Dick (pictured), attended the Mackinaw Mush in Mackinaw City, they discovered the thrill of speed in dog sledding. The Garveys belong to Mid Union Sled Haulers (MUSH) and compete in three-dog and five-dog sprints of seven to 10 miles. — Courtesy photo

Edmore family finds thrills in dog sledding

Karen Garvey of Edmore has always enjoyed winter sports. When Bradys’ Hills, a downhill ski area near Lakeview, closed during her teenage years, she searched for another wintertime activity. She tried cross country skiing, but missed the speed. After she and her husband, Dick, attended the Mackinaw Mush in Mackinaw City, they discovered the thrill of speed in dog sledding, one of North America’s oldest winter sports.

Mid-Michigan District Health Department Health Officer Dr. Marcus Cheatham presents countywide statistics on health, income and economic status during Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting. Cheatham said there is a direct correlation between income levels and general health. — Daily News/Curtis WIldfong

Health & Income: Montcalm County “doing better than it should” in overall health statistics

Statistical data over the past several years has shown a direct correlation between socioeconomic status and general health and the same is true for Montcalm County, which ranks in the bottom third in median household income. But despite serious health concerns in the county, Mid-Michigan District Health Department Director Dr. Marcus Cheatham said Montcalm County is “doing better than it should looking at the data” in overall health, where it ranks in the top half (27th) of Michigan counties in 2013, according to data collected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who conducts a national study

Pints of donated blood are stored at Michigan Blood, a nonprofit blood bank serving Michigan. Due to harsh winter weather, several blood drives across the state have been cancelled and those that have been held have seen low turnout. The result is blood blanks scrambling to make up for lost donations. — Courtesy photo

Greenville girl among those waiting for blood donations

It’s well known that Montcalm County schools have had a lot of snow days due to the wintery weather the area has experienced, but few are apprised to the affect it has had on blood banks. Michigan Blood, a non profit blood bank, has seen a large amount of its blood drives cancelled because of weather and road conditions. And the drives it has been able to hold this winter, they’ve been poorly attended because donors choose not to brave the conditions.

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Letter carriers need help to deliver through snow

The continued snow and challenging weather in Michigan has not kept letter carriers from going out and delivering the mail. The United States Postal Service (USPS) thanks its customers for helping letter carriers deliver mail safely by clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs and mailboxes.

Members of the Ionia Area Emergency Response Team perform a mock cell rush of a prisoner during last year’s Polar Plunge at Clifford Lake. This year’s event is outside of the Turk Lake Bar on Saturday, Feb. 8. Plunging begins at 3 p.m. All are welcome to jump in or just enjoy the show. More than 100 people have already signed up to take the plunge. — Courtesy photo

Freezing for funds: Turk Lake is new location for Polar Plunge

Jim Dennis is overwhelmed. He is surrounded by insane people. And he’s loving it. Flooded with emails, phone calls and Facebook comments, Dennis, coordinator of the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser event for Montcalm County, is once again gathering pledges from brave souls who will “take the plunge” into the cold waters of Turk Lake to raise funds for local Special Olympics athletes.

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School band directors trying to find high note despite snow days

For Greenville High School Band Director Susan Gould, the large amount of snow days this winter — nine to date — has made her teaching routine nearly impossible as students remain home, many without instruments on which to practice.

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Teachers say flexibility is key when it comes to snow days and schedules

Montabella High School was closed Tuesday, as were all local schools, but the hallways were still filled with the voices and laughter of children — very young children, that is. Ryan Roberts, a science teacher at Montabella, brought his 5-year-old and 2-year-old children to the school so they could get out of the house and run around while Roberts caught up on classwork.

Joannah Sheldon of Winfield Township says she works on teaching her six children how to get along with each other when they are stuck at home for multiple snow days away from school. “Being confined in close quarters results in a lot of sibling fighting, but I try to remember it’s a good opportunity for character development and helping them learn how to work through their differences,” she said. Above, the Sheldon siblings play a game of charades to pass the time on a snow day Tuesday. From left to right, Abel, 5, David, 8, Marlin, 4, and Elizabeth, 11, guess what object Renee, 10, is acting out. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Winter storms have schools adjusting to multiple days off

Local schools have taken up to 10 snow days so far this winter … and they’re not out of the (snowy) woods yet. Belding, Central Montcalm, Lakeview and Montabella schools have each taken 10 snow days, while Carson City-Crystal, Greenville, Tri County and Vestaburg have each taken nine snow days. The most recent of those snow days were Monday, Tuesday and today.