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Earnest Strecker, right, of Belding, will celebrate his 100th birthday today with a small family party. A much larger surprise party is planned for this Sunday, courtesy of his daughter, Arlene Cunningham, left. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Belding man celebrates his century

Earnest Strecker was only 3 years old and living in Spencer Township when the Bolshevik Revolution swept across Russia, ending the rein of the czars and ushering in the era of the Soviet Union. Most 3-year-old kids don’t notice that sort of thing, especially when it’s taking place half a world away.

The Grattan Academy Board of Directors responded Monday to a student achievement study conducted by The Center for Michigan and published in Bridge Magazine, which ranked the district last in the state. Officials questioned some of the data used in the report, but at the same time stated the district needed to do a better job for students. Pictured, from left, are Board President Beth Ryan, Secretary Kim Ricards, Treasurer Aarron Antclif and Superintendent Tom Kreiner. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Grattan Academy officials question report, but say it shouldn’t be ignored

Despite questioning some of the theory behind it, it’s hard for Grattan Academy to ignore the recent Academic State Champs report that named it the worst school in the state. In spite of the questions, and in light of the data, there was one common theme among the Grattan Academy Board of Directors at Monday night’s school board meeting … “we must do better.”


Greenville-based group independently pursuing economic development

An economic development millage proposal may have died at the county level, but Greenville officials are continuing to pursue the idea on their own. Late last year, members of the Montcalm Alliance, a local economic development group, asked the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners to approve a property tax increase to fund the Alliance’s effort to join forces with The Right Place, a West Michigan economic development organization. Certain Alliance members wanted commissioners to approve a special millage via Michigan’s Public Act 88, which would bypass a vote of the people. The proposal moved forward in committee meetings, but the idea died last month after commissioners declined to vote on the proposal, effectively killing it.


Funeral Notices – Feb. 11, 2014

Read funeral notices for Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.

Belding Robotics teammates high five each other during a tournament held in Belding earlier this month. Two of Belding's three robotics teams qualified for the state championships, which are Sunday at Michigan State University. (File photo)

Belding Robotics Team comes up short in home tourney, but students learn

The Belding Robotics Team set out to win its second straight home tournament in Redskin Arena at Belding High School on Saturday, but in the end, the competition proved to be just a little too tough.

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This year’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival is ‘best ever’

For an event that depends entirely on the elements of Mother Nature for success, the Crystal Lake Winter Festival provided perhaps its most rewarding experience to date for the hundreds of visitors who braved the freezing temperatures.

The family team of, from left, Layla McKenzie, 7, Jamie McKenzie, Aidan Porta, 8, and Chris Bartosiewicz, all of Greenville, did the Turk Lake Polar Plunge on Saturday in honor of their relative, the late Bradley Rappuhn, a specialist in the U.S. Army, who died while serving in Afghanistan three years ago. (Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber)

Turk Lake Polar Plunge raises $55,000+ for Special Olympics

Of the 173 participants jumping into the cold water for the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser for Montcalm County Special Olympians on Saturday, there was none who epitomized the bravery and commitment more than 7-year-old Layla McKenzie of Greenville.

Spirit of Caring Award recipient Dr. Joyce London addressed the audience at this year’s banquet, held Saturday night at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.

Joyce London is honored at Spectrum Health Charity Ball

Area movers and shakers gathered Saturday evening at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids to pay homage to the recipient of this year’s Fred and Lena Meijer Spirit of Caring Award, Dr. Joyce London.


Funeral Notices — Monday, February 10, 2014

Funeral notices for Monday, February 10, 2014

The Stanton City Commission is considering the feasibility of constructing a pedestrian bridge and pathway to connect the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail with the recently redeveloped D. Hale Brake Park. (Courtesy photo)

Bridge, pathway for Stanton’s trail to park being considered

The Stanton City Commission is considering the feasibility of constructing a pedestrian bridge and pathway to connect the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail with the recently redeveloped D. Hale Brake Park.