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Ferris Township family loses everything in house fire (Photos)

Scott Brauher, with his arms weighing heavy on the side of his green Ford pickup truck, stood in disbelief Tuesday afternoon watching helplessly as firefighters continued to extinguish the blaze that had just consumed and destroyed his Vestaburg area home.

Students with autism at Lincoln Heights Elementary School are generally “mainstreamed” through most of the day in regular education classrooms. Educators say the integration helps not only the special needs students, but the school’s general education population, as well. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

No ‘round pegs’ in ‘square holes’ in Greenville’s autism program

Most special needs educators would love to be able to say, “This is how you teach a student with autism.” But they can’t. The best a teacher can do is say, “This is how I teach THIS student with autism.” And even that may vary from day to day, depending on more factors than most people would want to keep track of on a daily basis.

Amy Buckingham

GUEST VIEW: All are welcome at Drug Free Montcalm

I grew up thinking it was acceptable and maybe even expected for me to drink alcohol before it was legal to do so. “Teenagers will be teenagers.” I grew up thinking it was normal that my dad, who went to work every day, would end most of his days at the little bar down the road having drinks with his friends. I didn’t question it when my mother’s doctor suggested she relax during her pregnancies with my younger siblings by regularly having a little wine.

Representatives from government, local business and the farming community turned out Monday night for a planning meeting for this year’s Breakfast on the Farm event in Montcalm County. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Montcalm County breakfast event will bring farm life to city folk

How many volunteers does it take to serve breakfast on a farm? When you’re planning to feed over 2,000 visitors, it turns out it takes quite a few. It also takes a great deal of advance planning, cooperation and a bit of money. All those factors began to come together Monday evening at the Douglass Township Hall in Entrican, where Michigan State Extension Officer Nancy Thelen presented the first in a series of meetings that will end with this year’s area Breakfast on the Farm event.

Lakeview High School student and talented fiddler Jesse Kent will be touring Europe this summer with the Blue Lake Fines Arts Camp’s International Youth Symphony Orchestra. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Lakeview student riding his fiddle strings to Europe

Jesse Kent first rosined a bow and set it to fiddle strings when he was only seven years old. From the moment he coaxed that elusive, squawking first note from his violin, Jesse knew what it was he wanted to do with his life. Now a ninth-grade student at Lakeview High School, Coral resident Jesse continues to make the fiddle the focal point of his life. He performs with local band Bluegrass Echoes, does occasional solo performances or duets with his mother, mandolin player Kristin Kent, and is a frequent performer with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s International Youth Symphony Orchestra.

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Plugged chimney blamed for Howard City fire

A plugged up chimney may be to blame for the cause of a house fire that has displaced a Howard City couple from their home. Firefighters from the Howard City Fire Department responded to a house fire at 22075 W. Cutler Road at 5:07 p.m. on Friday.

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Funeral Notices for Feb. 5, 2013

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013

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SHORT TAKES: Sporting events warm winter weekend

Oh, what is greater than a big sports winter weekend … The Michigan Wolverines were rated the No. 1 basketball team in the nation, briefly, until Indiana in Bloomington gave them their second loss of the season.

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Carson City sells former water tower property to Carson Health

The Carson City Council approved selling the former water tower property to Carson Health for construction of a landing pad for medical helicopter services. According to City Administrator Mark Borden, Carson Health administrators had discussions with the City Council in the past about buying the property.

Jay Lockwood, far right, raises his hand to answer a question posed by Lincoln Heights Elementary School para-professional Casey Mumby. Jay is one of 45 students currently enrolled in the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District’s autism program. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Greenville’s autism program a blueprint for success

See Jay. See Jay run. Jay likes to run, especially during games of tag during recess. But don’t tag Jay. Jay does not like to be touched. For Jay Lockwood, even a simple game of tag has its problems. Aversion to physical contact is just one of Jay’s many “quirks,” the odd mannerisms that in an earlier age would likely have branded the charming second-grader an outcast.