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DDA approves Flo’s brownfield grant

The Greenville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has finally reached a decision regarding financial assistance for a downtown business. During a special meeting Jan. 24, the DDA unanimously voted to approve a brownfield grant for Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante & Sports Bar. The decision came following the regular meeting on Jan. 10, in which the DDA asked for additional time to review the proposal.

Second-grade students present the story of “Mulan” Saturday evening through a performance they learned in the Walnut Hills Elementary School Chinese Immersion program during the Chinese New Year Gala at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Immersion students ring in the Chinese New Year (PHOTOS)

The year of the rooster is officially here and students at Walnut Hills Elementary School made sure to ring it in properly. Students in the Chinese immersion program took the stage at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center Saturday evening to perform a program that showcased the language and culture they’ve been learning about in school.

Students in Katherine Hsieh’s second grade class at Walnut Hills Elementary School practice a stick dance set to the Chinese version of the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s “Mulan” to perform during the celebration for the Chinese New Year. The performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday in the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center. At top right, students in the Chinese immersion program made dragons to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Students practice for Chinese New Year performance Saturday in Greenville

It’s the year of the rooster, the 10th year in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. Chinese folklore says the rooster is in charge of beginning the day and is a symbol of hard work and prosperity.

Art Green, a manager with the Michigan Department of Transportation, right, speaks to members of the Greater Greenville Transportation Committee on Wednesday evening about the potential of a project submitted to expand a two-mile stretch of roadway on M-57 in Courtland Township into a section of four-lane relief passing lanes. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MDOT looking at passing lanes for M-57

Traveling from Greenville to the U.S. 131 expressway, there are few who refrain from complaining about the long, sometimes arduous two-lane commute. The 16-mile stretch of state highway offers little passing relief for commuters, of which there are many who make the daily trip for work or recreation to the Grand Rapids area.

Matt Nielsen, the backup operator for the Greenville Water Department, shakes hands Tuesday with Greenville City Council member Sylvia Warner, after being recognized by the council for becoming state certified. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville water department backup operator recognized

Matt Nielsen knows the ins and outs of this city’s water system — and based on recent test scores, he may know it better than anyone. During Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting, Nielsen was awarded a certificate of recognition from Public Services Department Superintendent Tom Pollock, based upon completing his qualifications to become the water department’s new backup operator.

Ken Dixon of Dixon Architecture presents designs for a proposed Brann’s Retail Center at 10990 W. Carson City Road (M-57), which would feature four retail locations, two of them offering drive-thru services. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Planning Commission OKs ‘conditional site plan’ for Brann’s Retail Center

Brann’s Retail Center is one step closer to bringing four new retail locations to town, but one key word still stands between now and any physical construction: “Conditional.” During Thursday’s Greenville Planning Commission meeting, members debated nearly an hour and half throughout a public hearing and meeting discussion on whether to approve a site plan for the site at 10990 W. Carson City Road (M-57), a 1-acre piece of property on the northeast corner of M-57 and Satterlee Roads in front of Walmart and directly west of Murphy Oil.

Kelly Worden, a historian with the Flat River Historical Society and Museum, shows off the first conceptual design during the Jan. 10 Greenville Downtown Development Authority meeting, to be used for four historical signs on Lafayette Street. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville DDA sees first designs for historical signs

With street lights, cars and trucks passing by and not a horse in sight, it’s not easy to picture Lafayette Street the way it may have been when it was first created more than 170 years ago. But soon, as patrons walk along either end of the downtown street, several lessons in history will be waiting for them at their leisure.

The original trunk owned by August Rasmussen, which contained his belongings brought over from Denmark to Gowen when he immigrated in 1856, has stayed within the family after 160 years. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Danish journalist to film documentary on early Gowen settler (PHOTOS)

One hundred-sixty years ago, at the young age of 26, August Rasmussen commenced on a journey that few would likely fathom enduring today. With his wife, Ane, at his side, the Danish couple embarked on an adventure away from their homeland, traveling across the Atlantic Ocean for nearly eight weeks to establish a new life in the wild unknown that was the United States.

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UPDATE: Missing Greenville teenager has been located and is safe.

The Greenville Department of Public Safety is asking for assistance in locating a Greenville teenager who has been missing since early this morning.

Montcalm Area Reading Council co-Director Jonathan LaFond works on paperwork during office hours Friday afternoon. MARC is focused on providing support and resources for improved literacy for children and adults in Montcalm County. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Local organization’s new leadership focusing on literacy

Reading is fundamental, a skill that is vital for success, professionally and personally.

Unfortunately, for some people, reading can be a difficult task and a troublesome skill to learn. There are pushes at the state level to improve literacy levels for elementary school students, but the struggles of learning to read are not limited to children. Adults struggle with reading as well, which can perpetuate difficulties in their own children, and so the cycle continues.

The Montcalm Area Reading Council (MARC), which is based at the Flat River Community Library in Greenville, works to improve literacy rates for adults and children. Jonathan LaFond and Allen Demorest lead the council. LaFond was appointed by the council’s board of directors in February 2016 to be the director of MARC, but he found there was simply too much to be done.