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Belding Middle School seventh grade student Tara Rackham, 13, who finished as a state finalist in the Michigan National American Miss Pre-Teen pageant on July 4, is seeking sponsorship to participate in the national competition Nov. 22-28 in Hollywood. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Type I diabetic battles odds to promote awareness of diabetes through pageantry

Twelve years ago, in the confines of the pediatric intensive care unit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Tara Rackham, just shy of turning two, was clinging to life. Her mother, Sharnel Rackham, sat by her unconscious daughter, holding her little hand close and praying for a recovery.

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Funeral Notices for Aug. 3, 2015

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Monday, Aug. 3, 2015

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JUST IN: Two-car collision on M-57 leaves one dead, one in the hospital

OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP — A two-car collision on M-57 resulted in a driver losing his life on Monday morning. At around 5:45 a.m., a woman driving westbound on M-57 in a black Ford Taurus attempted a passing maneuver between Lappley Avenue and Wabasis Avenue, just past The Golf Emporium. As she made the passing maneuver, she [...]

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Ionia/Montcalm county auction proves fruitful for prospective property owners

Andy and Molly Brown had never attended a county land auction, but that didn’t stop them from being the first two in line at the Sheridan Community Center on Friday morning.

The husband and wife from Grand Rapids traveled to Sheridan for the annual Ionia/Montcalm County minimum bid land auction. They were joined by more than 100 individuals seeking to purchase foreclosed properties.

Big Brothers of Big Sisters of Gratiot and Montcalm Counties is hosting its 15th annual Golf for Kids’ Sake golf outing on Aug. 11 at Candlestone Golf Resort in Belding. Registration deadline is Tuesday. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Big Brothers Big Sisters hosting golf outing to raise awareness

In a world where negativity, violence and pain are never hard to find, a child is a thing of innocence. Simple, unassuming, beautiful innocence.

But sometimes that innocence is corrupted by neglect or malice or spite. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes it is accidental. Sometimes it is merely circumstance.

Lakeview High School class of 2005 graduate Jenny Ehle is spearheading a project designed to commemorate the lives of two of her former classmates. — Courtesy photo

Memorial to honor two Lakeview graduates

In grade school, Rachelle Stevens was a happy child, always laughing, always smiling. According to her childhood friend, Jenny Ehle, Rachelle had a great attitude and a penchant for making fast and true friends.

Rachelle also had a brain tumor, one that in high school several years later, would claim her life.

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Funeral Notices for Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015

Read funeral notices for Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015.

Opportunity Resource Fund CEO Christine Narayanan, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women CEO Bonnie Nawara, Huntington Bank West Michigan Region President John Irwin and Michigan’s Small Business Development Center State Director Keith Brophy discuss the Pure Michigan Micro Lending Wednesday at Flat River Community Library. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

$5 million available through Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative

Despite constant reassurances the economy is on the rise, opening a small business remains an apprehensive venture, particularly in Michigan and even more so in Montcalm County. However, a new initiative in West Michigan aims to help small businesses gain some traction, whether they are just starting or already established. The Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative is prepared to help the smallest of businesses capture some much needed capital. Huntington Bank has pledged a $5 million, five-year commitment to fund this initiative. Funds will be dolled out through the Opportunity Resource Fund.

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Right Place coordinator teases upcoming projects in Montcalm County

“Aluminum,” “clean water,” “elephant,” “flare” … these are the code names for a number of ongoing economic development projects in Montcalm County. Kathy Jo VanderLaan, business development coordinator with The Right Place, recently updated the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners about local work being done in conjunction with the Montcalm Economic Alliance.

Belding Area Schools Board of Education President Tom Humphreys announced his resignation from the board after 14 years as a member during the July 20 board meeting effective Aug. 17 meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

President, trustee resign from Belding school board

After numerous years of dedicating time as members of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education, two of the longest serving members are stepping down. During the July 20 board meeting,President Tom Humphreys and Trustee Robert Insley both announced that they would be resigning.