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As his fiancée, Megan Wheaton, looks on, Cpl. Robert “Bobby” Thrailkill Jr. of the U.S. Marines speaks to a crowd of Belding residents, donators, military veterans and family members at a groundbreaking ceremony in Belding on Saturday. Thrailkill and his family will receive a new home that is being specially built to meet Thrailkill’s needs, such as wider doorways, a roll-in shower and drop-down cabinets. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Marine injured in Afghanistan to receive special home in Belding

The daily routine of life hasn’t been the same for Cpl. Robert “Bobby” Thrailkill of the U.S. Marines since he lost his legs in an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan four years ago. Living in an apartment in Caledonia, Thrailkill, 23, has not only had to get used to his prosthetic legs and the different mobility challenges they present, he also has had to deal with the everyday challenges of just getting on with his day, be it showering, reaching for things in a cabinet or just moving about within his apartment. Life, Thrailkill said, was difficult just doing the simple things.

Greenville High School advanced placement government students, junior Stephanie Doyle, 16, left, and junior Izzie Matthews, 16, center, use an iPad and cell phone to give 33rd District State Senate candidate Fred Sprague, D-Mount Pleasant, the appropriate 1-minute time frame to speak during Wednesday evening’s candidate forum at Montcalm Community College’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Political hopefuls participate in final local candidate forum

With just 12 days remaining until the Nov. 4 general election, there was no mistaking the location of the final candidate forum for political contenders in contested races. Attendees of Wednesday’s candidate forum at Montcalm Community College’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center in Greenville were greeted by an wave of campaign signs, guiding them to the meeting of political rivals.

Baldwin Heights Elementary School students, officials and the family of Micah Maroney, center, have teamed up to help fund covering the largest portion of the playground with wood chips, which are much more navigable for Micah’s wheelchair than the pea stones currently there. A GoFundMe account was set up Sunday with a goal of $2,000 and by Friday afternoon it had already exceeded that, reaching more than $2,700. Micah is shown here with her first grade classmates. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

At Greenville school, ‘we have each others’ backs’

Diagnosed at 16 months with spinal muscular atrophy, which deteriorates muscle and impairs mobility, now 6-year-old Micah Moroney hasn’t let the debilitating disease hold her back. The sociable first grader best enjoys spending time with her friends, especially at school. And when the wheels of her electric wheelchair hit the pea stones which cover a vast majority of Baldwin Heights Elementary School’s outdoor playground and sank in, she was devastated she couldn’t continue on with her friends.

The Greenville High School Marching Band performs as the host band at Legacy Field in Greenville for the MSBOA District 7 Marching Band Festival on Wednesday evening. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Marching bands leave it all on the field at MSBOA festival in Greenville

On a crisp, cool and windy autumn evening, Legacy Field was swarmed with students standing at attention, determination and focus in their eyes, who were waiting for the whistle to blow to put forth an entire season’s worth of blood, sweat and tears into motion.

killers

UPDATE: 6 suspects ID’d in connection to to Spencer Township homicide

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has identified six people arrested in connection with the killing of a Spencer Township man Brent Luttrell, 34, was shot, stabbed and left to die alongside the road after a home invasion at his home on Pinewood Street just east of Lincoln Lake Avenue in the early morning hours of Sept. 8.

Daily News/Lori Hansen

Mary K. Hoodhood and her husband, Jeff, shared her inspiring story to an enraptured crowd at the closing ceremony for this year’s One Book One County at the Greenville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday night.

One Book One County closing event wraps up 10th year of program

In 1980, Mary K. Hoodhood was a 27-year-old woman, engaged to be married and working as a guidance counselor and for the Michigan Legislature. She left for a holiday trip to Silver Lake with her fiancé and his daughter to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. Life was looking good. The next day she woke up as a quadriplegic.

Bernard Polzin, newly hired general manager of Dicastal North America, Inc., presents to the Greenville City Council an initial outline of the company's plan for the two former United Solar Ovanics buildings.

Greenville OKs Dicastal grants, sets benchmarks for funds

The Greenville City Council took several steps in welcoming China-based aluminum wheel manufacturer Dicastal North American Inc. to town by paving the way for grant money and drawing up a development agreement. Approved Tuesday night by the council, which will act as the fiduciary for the $5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, the grant money is designated toward the purchase of the two former United Solar Ovonic (USO) buildings and 97 acres of land.

Business Development Manager Eric Icard, who comes from North Dakota with 13 years of experience and a master’s degree in economic development, has been designated the city of Greenville’s economic development manager by The Right Place. The city of Greenville reached an agreement with The Right Place for economic development in June. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

The Right Place officials discuss Greenville’s economic prospects

It was nearly a year after first discussing Montcalm County’s options for improving local economic development efforts before the city of Greenville opted to branch out on its own and sign an agreement with The Right Place. Less than three months later, the West Michigan economic development corporation delivered.

A large donation from Byron and Dee Cook to the Education Foundation of Greenville’s OUR3 Campaign brings the organization close to its $1 million fundraising goal. Pictured, from left, are Greenville School Board President and EFG Trustee Janet Ralph-Warnshuis, Byron and Dee Cook and EFG Chairwoman Carolyn Slocum. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Education Foundation of Greenville nears $1 million goal

The Education Foundation of Greenville (EFG) launched an endowment campaign in 2009 to assure the funding of performance arts and advanced programs for Greenville students. The group set an initial fundraising goal of $1 million for the OUR3 Capital Campaign. Thanks to a donation from Byron and Dee Cook — the largest single gift the foundation has received — the organization is nearing that goal. The amount of the donation was not made public.

Volunteer and retired teacher Dan Eagles, left, helped share the philanthropy bug with Lincoln Heights students Layna Gunderson, center, and Carlie Peterman. The two girls recently held a fundraising campaign of their own devising for Habitat for Humanity. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Philanthropy starts early for Lincoln Heights Elementary School students

Some fifth grade girls save up for new bead-making kits, the latest Harry Potter novel or maybe a new outfit for a favorite Barbie doll. But when Lincoln Heights Elementary School students Layna Gunderson and Carlie Peterman recently broke open their piggy banks, the money went to a more serious purpose.