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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.

China-based Dicastal North America, Inc. announced today it has chosen Greenville over 35 other United States sites for its first aluminum wheel manufacturing plant outside of China. Greenville City Manager George Bosanic, center, discusses what the move means for the city. Also pictured are Dicastal Director of Business Development Dale Hadel, far left, and The Right Place CEO Birgit Kohls.

Aluminum wheel maker coming to Greenville, bringing 300 new jobs

China-based Dicastal North America Inc., the largest aluminum wheel manufacturer in the world, has reached an agreement with the city of Greenville to take over use of the former United Solar Ovanics (USO) buildings and bring 300 jobs to the area.

Barbara Drake

Drake was a dedicated community servant

Although Barbara Drake wasn’t born and raised in the Greenville community, you would never have guessed it by her dedication. With Drake’s passing last Thursday, the Greenville community lost a longtime supporter and public servant.

A row of hops line the horizon at Hopyards of Kent in Oakfield Township. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville area hops farm reaping benefits of craft beer craze (PHOTOS)

From buds to beer, there’s no denying the business of craft beer in Michigan has taken off in recent years. For two consecutive years, the nearby metropolitan city of Grand Rapids has been voted “Beer City USA” and as many as 150 breweries are now operating within the state with another 44 brewery licenses currently pending.

Robert Sherrick, who organized the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101 in Greenville’s weekly poker nights, sits in what now is a room full of empty poker tables. Regulations on charity poker rooms by the Michigan Gaming Control Board means the legion must cease hosting charity poker events, or at least profiting from them. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Sweeping regulations shut down small-scale charity poker rooms

Last July, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued a bevy of new regulations on charity poker rooms as the result of an investigation that found several large-scale operations were illegally diverting money away from charities.

Crystal Township Board members, from left, Trustee Kurt McCracken, Treasurer Ted Padgett, Supervisor Chris Johnston and Clerk Bob Naumann discuss several purchases made by the township Wednesday evening at the Crystal Township Community Center. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Township Board OKs road, police millages

After voters took to the polls in August, there’s no question that funds are now available for police services in Crystal Township. How those funds will be spent, however, is a question yet to be answered.

One of the more popular visitors to the Baldwin Heights Elementary School walk-a-thon kickoff assembly assembly was Workout Walsh, an energetic exercise instructor who looked eerily similar to Principal Mike Walsh. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Baldwin Heights rallies students for upcoming walk-a-thon fundraiser

With a goal of raising $20,000 this year, Baldwin Heights Elementary kicked off its Walk-a-Thon fundraiser event Tuesday with a student assembly. With surprise visits from Griff, the Grand Rapids Griffins mascot, and Louie the Laker, the Grand Valley University mascot, Greenville High School football players and members of the Flat River Dance Company, the event was a pep rally of sorts to promote the fundraising event to students.

After three years of planning and several months of construction, a new pavilion at Eureka Township Hall is nearing completion. The township board this year set aside $25,000 in its budget for the erection of the 24-by-40-foot covered pavilion, which is located on the north side of the township hall. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

New structure for Eureka Township residents nears completion

After three years of planning and several months of construction, a new pavilion at the Eureka Township Hall is nearing completion. “It’s been my dream for three years, said Mark Wilkin, the newly hired zoning administrator. “It’s going to be nice. It’s going to be for the residents.”