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Montcalm County plagued by weekend fires

Once again, a string of structure fires burned through Montcalm County throughout the weekend. The weekend started with a mobile home fire south of Lakeview Friday. Then Saturday struck with a morning house fire in Howard City followed by a lunchtime structure fire northeast of Howard City. Later on Saturday, a Crystal dumpster fire was called in followed by house that burned southeast of Crystal. On Sunday, a pump house just east of Crystal also went up in flames.

A 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by a 51-year-old Coral man, failed to stop for the stop sign and drove through an intersection, colliding with some trees across the road. — Courtesy photo

JUST IN: Truck crashes, burns in Winfield Township

A Coral man lost control of his vehicle and almost lost his life on Thursday night. Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a one vehicle personal injury crash at 9:38 p.m. at the intersection of West Church Road and North Masters Road in Winfield Township.

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Lakeview firefighters had busy weekend

The temperature was hovering just below 15 degrees when the early Saturday morning call came to the Lakeview District Fire Department. A house located at 7578 West Briggs Road was on fire and the occupants needed help. Firefighters did not hesitate to answer the 2:45 a.m. call.

Tom Wilcox is Lakeview High School’s new principal, a promotion from his former position as the school’s assistant principal. He fills the position vacated by Gary Jensen, who accepted another job. — Daily News/ Cory Smith

Wilcox steps into new role as Lakeview High School principal

Lakeview High School administration recently saw a significant change with then-principal Gary Jensen departing to work with a position at ACT Michigan. Former assistant principal Tom Wilcox was promoted to principal effective Jan. 30.

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Lakeview board celebrates victories, plans for the future

Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education members reported an overall surplus in the school district’s operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year so far, among other successes the district has seen for the year thus far. “We had a higher student count than anticipated and our at-risk funds were higher than expected,” said Superintendent Kyle Hamlin during the monthly Feb. 9 meeting.

The BEVRA-sponsored snowmobile race relocated to another site north of town for this year’s Winterfest in Lakeview. However, motorcycles put the track on Tamarack Lake to good use throughout the day. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Weather cooperates for Lakeview Winterfest

Organizers of this year’s Winterfest couldn’t have been happier with the weather Saturday. Like Goldilocks’ third try at pilfered porridge, it was not too hot and not too cold. The bevy of sleds turning out for the BEVRA Snowmobile Races and classic sled show had plenty of frozen liquid on which to race, but those taking part in the polar plunge were in no immediate danger of freezing solid upon exiting the water.

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VIDEO: Montcalm County firefighters participate in ice rescue training

In spite of the 2 degree air temperature, which dropped even lower with the wind chill, Montcalm County firefighters braved the frigid weather to participate in an ice training on Sunday. Michigan Rescue Concepts (MRC) hosted the training session in Crystal Township, which included a morning classroom session and an afternoon hands-on training session on the ice of Crystal Lake. MRC is an 18-year-old Michigan-based company which have trained more than 500 fire departments in ice and water rescue training.

Here’s a look at homeless student statistics and reduced lunch statistics at Belding Area Schools and Montcalm County’s seven public school districts. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Local student opens up about homeless plight

Homelessness is a powerful word. It conjures a composite of images: A man begging for change under a bridge. A woman holding a sign by a freeway exit. A filthy, bearded man in stained pants sleeping under newspapers on a park bench. A sad-looking woman in a ratty coat pushing a shopping cart full of junk down the street.

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Lakeview Middle School students hear why it’s ‘Cool to be Kind’

Life can be tough for kids in middle school. Stuck in that adolescent no-man’s land between childhood and the world of adults is often a confusing miasma of trying to fit in, trying to stand out and just trying to make it through another day of sixth grade. It’s all too easy for kids to make bad decisions. And often, when they do, they’re too emotionally inexperienced to find workable solutions to their problems.

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Lakeview on fence over snow removal

The possibility of a new snow removal ordinance continues to occupy the Lakeview Village Council. Council members voted Monday to approve the purchase of a new tractor and plow to allow the Department of Public Works (DPW) to keep sidewalks clear within village limits. However, they did not come to a decision as to whether that service will be provided, and if so, how it will be paid for.