The booths at a homeless simulation at Greenville Community Church on Wednesday represented the different services available for the homeless population. Participants had to seek out the services the need and try to find housing. —Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Project Connect, simulation shine light on homelessness

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.”

With the Ugly Duckling statue in the foreground at Heritage Park, the Michigan state flag, American flag and Danish flag, were raised Thursday evening during the opening ceremony of the 52nd annual Danish Festival. — Daily News/Cory Smith

52nd annual Danish Festival is underway in Greenville (PHOTOS)

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.

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. — Courtesy photo

Greenville native stabbed in robbery

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.

Volunteers are already setting up this year’s Danish Festival, including sisters Jayden, left, and Madison Gibbons who are constructing tiaras as demonstration craft items for the Hans Christian Andersen Park kids events, which will include crafts and games for free Friday and Saturday at Tower Riverside Park in Greenville. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Volunteers make up the backbone of Danish Festival

With their red shirts, they blend into the Danish Festival crowd almost unnoticed. Without them, Greenville’s annual event couldn’t happen.

As many as 50 people — of all ages and range of experience — volunteer to help with the many events during Danish Festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. From the Princess for a Day event to the Grand Dansk Parade to the Tivoli Beer Gardens to the Exploring Danish Happiness traveling exhibit, all the festival events that happen throughout the city is only possible through the dedication of a volunteer program.

Kristine Swanzy and Brenda Swendrowski pour beers for 57 Brew Pub & Bistro during Saturday night’s HopStock in Grand Rapids. — Courtesy photo/Ryan Nielsen

57 Brew Pub shares local pours with Grand Rapids festivalgoers

Voices, music, and the sound of beer pouring filled the air around Calder Plaza on Saturday evening.

Hundreds of craft beer enthusiasts gathered to share in the inaugural beer festival HopStock, put on by the Beer City Brewers Guild. The event featured beverages from 27 local breweries, including Greenville’s 57 Brew Pub & Bistro, as well as live music, food trucks, and various vendors with craft beer related wares.

loc 0818 cs Greenville fire-2

JUST IN: Four apartments destroyed in fire at Pine Manor; no one injured

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.


IN BRIEF: Greenville purchases new firefighter turnout gear

New turnout gear is on its way for local firefighters after approval by the Greenville City Council on Tuesday evening.

Recycle World on Sidney Road in Montcalm Township will close its six recycling sites on Sept. 3. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Recycle World closing 6 sites

Montcalm Township is looking into options to replace a lack of recycling locations. The township board voted in July to close its free 24/7 recycling site due to years of abuse. Now, Recycle World just north of Greenville is closing its sites.

Winning the crown of Miss Danish Festival 2016 Allison Harrison, seated, will reign with Prince Logan Foley, front left, and Princess Anna Morano, front right, First Runner-Up Mariah Meier, back left, and Second Runner-up Danielle Mahar, back right. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

CMU sophomore wins Danish queen crown

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.

Greenville resident Gary Zarkowski is hoping to take property he purchased at 6910 S. Greenville Road (M-91), behind AutoZone, and turn it into a min-storage complex. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville property owner looking to build new storage units

Gary Zarkowski is hoping to bring a new storage facility to the outskirts of the city limits. Proposed to the Greenville Planning Commission on Thursday evening, Zarkowski, who owns real estate company Zarkowski Properties, is aiming to turn five acres of vacant land he purchased into a mini-storage complex at 6910 S. Greenville Road (M-91).