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SHORT TAKES: State of the Union a look at what’s coming

Tonight’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama should be well worth watching, as it figures to be one of the late lunges to lock in legacies for his time in office.

At Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, discusses a package of bills with a focus on making it easier for state prison parolees to return to the workforce. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman discusses ‘parolee hiring’ bills

Finding a job as an unemployed citizen can be stressful, difficult and unpleasant. Finding a job as a convicted felon can be nearly impossible.

More than two dozen people attended Monday's Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting, which included a public hearing about a proposed property tax increase to fund the Montcalm Alliance. — Daily News/Cory Smith

County commissioners decline to vote on Montcalm Alliance millage

Many people have voiced opinions about a proposed economic development millage, but in the end it was silence that made the decision. After a 39-minute public hearing Monday afternoon, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners declined to vote on a property tax increase to fund the Montcalm Alliance using Michigan’s Public Act 88, which would bypass a vote of the people.

Steve DeWitt

Howard City Police Department merger OK’d; DeWitt resigns from commission

In a historic move, the Howard City Police Department will merge with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office. And the village’s police chief will become a county sheriff’s deputy.

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Funeral Notices for Jan. 28, 2014

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

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OUR VIEW: Unfinished business

We’ve been keeping an eye on several local items of unfinished business.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Do we really understand what is involved in educating students?

I believe that one of the challenges facing educators and those supporting the public schools today is that there is really not a lot of understanding about education today. Most of us went to school. For some of us that was a long time ago. Some of us, like me, attended large city or suburban schools. Others may have attended smaller or very small country schools. There are probably a few who recall one room schoolhouses.

George Raimer of Saranac, right, and George Trowbridge of Belding, left, bike over an old railway trestle on the undeveloped Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail east of Smyrna on fat tire bikes last Friday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fat tire biking is a growing trend in winter months

With the many inches of snow and bitterly cold temperatures that accompany the winter months in Michigan, a different world of activities opens itself up for exploration. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, sledding, skiing, tubing … cycling?

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Funeral Notices for Jan. 27, 2014

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Greenville's Will Parmelee goes for a pin during a match this season.

Greenville’s Ward, Parmelee prepping for postseason run

Winning goes hand-in-hand with the Greenville Yellow Jackets wrestling program. The Yellow Jackets have won eight consecutive district titles, four straight regional titles and won the schools only state championship in 2008. Individually, Greenville consistently produces district, regional and state champions, as well.