Ann Bigler sat on West Cass Street Saturday morning, anxiously awaiting the start of the 2016 Danish Festival Grand Dansk Parade with her children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. It has long been a tradition in their family to visit the festival, browse around downtown and at Veterans Park and, of course, watch the parade.
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Fear of a possible tornado drove throngs of people off the streets during the Danish Festival Saturday afternoon.
A severe weather system worked its way north through Montcalm County, after first striking Ionia, Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Van Buren counties where as many as 5 tornadoes touched down, resulting in extensive damage.
An event this week in Greenville may have been a simulation, but homelessness is a very real problem. “I heard last week that Kent County has a 1 percent housing availability — the tightest market in the nation. I bet we’re tighter in Montcalm County,” said Have Mercy Director Kim Cain at Wednesday’s Project Connect and homeless simulation at Greenville Community Church. “And it’s not just us. All of West Michigan is struggling like this.”
A festival more than a half century in the making continues to go strong. The 52nd annual Danish Festival got underway per tradition with the raising of the flags — Michigan, United States and Danish — at Heritage Park next to Greenville City Hall.
A Greenville native now living Savannah, Ga., is recovering at home after being stabbed several times during a robbery Sunday. Carol Bontekoe, 32, is a 2002 Greenville High School graduate who moved out of state. On Sunday morning, she was severely injured when robbed outside her home.
Several apartments were destroyed in a structure fire early Wednesday morning at the Pine Manor apartment complex, but all residents were able to escape safely.
According to Greenville Public Safety Sgt. and Fire Lt. Darren Jones, firefighters were dispatched at 3:38 a.m. to 1201 S. Cedar St. in Greenville, where a fire had started on the exterior of the apartment complex, behind apartments numbered 19 through 22.
Allison Harrison learned how to make the best of both worlds. In 2014, as a Belding High School student, she participated in and won the Miss Belding Scholarship Pageant. As a resident of Greenville, she was also able compete in this year’s Miss Danish Festival Scholarship Pageant.
Montcalm County saw its highest voter turnout in a nonpresidential primary election in more than a decade Tuesday. A total of 23 percent of Montcalm County’s registered voters — 9,844 people — participated at the polls. Past primary elections saw 15 percent in 2014, 17 percent in 2012, 21 percent in 2010, 17 percent in 2008 and 11 percent in 2006.
With 39 of 39 precincts reporting, voters have elected Jim Lower of Cedar Lake as the representative of the Republican party to run for the 70th District House in November.
The three candidates in the hottest race in Montcalm County were given one last chance to earn votes. Charlie Mahar, Charles Noll and Michael Williams had their final face off during a candidate forum Monday evening at Montcalm Community College’s Ash Technology Learning Center in Gr