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The Rockford High School media room was filled to near capacity Monday evening for a seminar about fracking, sponsored by Citizens for Responsible Resource Management (CRRM), Kent County Water Conservation (KCWC) and Mutual Aid of Grand Rapids (MAGR). — Mike Taylor/Daily News

Rockford seminar on hydraulic fracturing heats up

The conversation threatened to spiral out of control during the question-and-answer period of a contentious seminar on hydraulic fracturing Monday evening at Rockford High School. More than 100 area residents turned out to hear from author Maryann Lesert, who extensively studied the topic while doing research for an upcoming novel.

Stephen Matthews II, center, listens to testimony in 64B District Court on Tuesday afternoon, next to his defense attorney Monica Tissue-Daws. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Greenville man facing life sentence on meth lab charge

A convicted sex offender and alleged armed robber is headed to trial on methamphetamine charges. Stephen Matthews II, 27, of Greenville, appeared in 64B District Court in Stanton for a preliminary examination Tuesday afternoon. After hearing testimony, Judge Donald Hemingsen bound Matthews over to 8th Judicial Circuit Court on a felony charge of operating/maintaing a meth lab. A trial will be scheduled at a later date.

For more than two decades the Stanton Lions Club  collected maple syrup from the city’s trees, using the funds raised to purchase glasses and hearing aids for the economically disadvantaged. This year, the club decided to end the fundraising effort, citing an aging membership and concerns from city management regarding potential damage to the trees. —  Courtesy photo

Stanton Lions Club ends maple syrup initiative

For more than 20 years, members of the Stanton Lions Club could be spotted each winter in various locations throughout town; buckets, spigots and hammers in hand, tapping the city’s abundant maple trees for their sap. Every spring, that sap would be boiled down and reduced into some of the finest maple syrup you’ve ever tasted. The sale of that syrup went to fund Lions Club projects throughout the year.

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Funeral Notices for March 27, 2013

Funeral Notices for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Belding’s Todd Haller takes a swing during a game last year. Haller is a senior for the Redskins this season, which is scheduled to start April 9 at Coopersville.

Belding ready for start of baseball season

The Belding Redskins baseball team is ready to begin the season. They just need the weather to cooperate. Following a season with a near .500 record (16-17-1), the Redskins return eight letterwinners and plenty of expectations

Carolyn Tubbs, left, and Mary Vusich attended Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting in Stanton to voice concern about their neighbor’s property in Richland Township. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Richland Township neighbors ask county officials to demolish condemned farm

Donald Beach’s neighbors have had enough. Carolyn Tubbs and Mary Vusich appeared at Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting to see if there is anything the county government can do to help them.

A crowd attending the monthly Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College listens Monday afternoon as Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, discuss a bill concerning the Education Achievement Authority. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman, Emmons talk about Education Achievement Authority

A controversial bill that died before appearing before the state House of Representatives or state Senate in December has emerged with new life after passing before the House last Thursday. The establishment of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), which is defined in House Bill 4269, was approved by the House in a narrow 57-53 vote. The bill must pass in the Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in order to become a law.

Meg Mullendore

Belding City Council OKs contract with new manager

Members of the Belding City Council officially accepted a city manager contract with Margaret “Meg” Mullendore on Monday evening at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding. In a unanimous vote, council members approved the two-year contract at the special meeting.

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Funeral Notices for March 26, 2013

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for March 26, 2013

Montabella’s Sarah Miller delivers a pitch during a game last season. Miller suffered a season ending hand injury a year ago, but is healthy to start this year.

Montabella softball looks for improved season

It was a difficult year in 2012 for the Montabella Mustangs softball program. The Mustangs struggled to an 8-28 season, which was filled with inexperience to begin with and coupled with multiple injuries to key players.