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Carrie Ross’ smile today is contagious and full of life ... a sure sign of recovery after a long road battling drug addiction. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Road to recovery: Holidays have new meaning for former addict

Carrie Anne Ross will spend this Christmas with her family for the first time in years. The 28-year-old Greenville woman spent the better part of the past decade trying to find herself and learn how to express her feelings. Instead, she found herself lost in the hellish world of an all-consuming drug addiction — with a jail and prison record, near-death experiences and emotional scars as proof.

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SHORT TAKES: Plenty of positives to look back on for 2012

As families and friends gather for Christmas and focus on the positive aspects of life right now, we are thinking about all the things those of us who live here have to celebrate, too.

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Funeral Notices for Dec 24, 2012

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Monday, Dec 24, 2012

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Greenville couple decorate more than 30 Christmas trees in their home

From outdoors, the residence on Hathaway Drive seems like any other during the holiday season. With a few lights and some Christmas decorations, it fits in well within the neighborhood of the Baldwin Woods subdivision. But take a step inside the home of Jim and Mari Wise and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world filled with more than 30 Christmas trees, all specific in nature with thousands of lights and decorations to behold.

Don Cooper’s last day as Montcalm County drain commissioner was Friday. He took the job in 1986. — Courtesy photo

Longtime Montcalm County drain commissioner retires

Don Cooper’s has been a career filled with ups and downs, both easy days and difficult, but, the retiring Montcalm County drain commissioner says there hasn’t been one day he hasn’t enjoyed. Cooper’s last day on the job was Friday.

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Funeral Notices – Dec. 22, 2012

Read funeral notices for Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012.

Judy Clark

New Ionia County treasurer appointed

A deputy clerk in the Ionia County Treasurer’s Office has been appointed the new treasurer. A committee comprised of Ionia County Probate Court Judge Robert Sykes Jr., Prosecutor Ronald Schafer and Clerk Tonda Rich appointed Judy Clark, 31, of Ionia, as the new county treasurer today.

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Greenville High School officials investigate inappropriate Twitter post

Greenville High School parents and students were informed today that school staff investigated a reported inappropriate Twitter post from a female student posted late Thursday night.

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Local schools talk about safety policies in wake of Sandy Hook

Columbine became a household name after two students murdered 12 classmates and one teacher and injured about two dozen more people before taking their own lives on April 20, 1999. One week ago today, Sandy Hook joined the ranks of Columbine, albeit with an even more deadly outcome. A total of 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., along with the gunman’s mother, before the gunman took his own life.

Diane Rogers of Gowen creates personalized gift tags with recycled Christmas cards. — Courtesy photo

Homemade Holidays: Tips for making special Christmas gifts

Diane Rogers not only makes her own Christmas gifts — she also has a clever way of tagging them. Following the holidays, the Gowen woman uses her Christmas cards and asks her family and friends to donate their cards as well so she can recycle them into personalized gift tags. In years past, Rogers has crocheted pot holders and afghans for family members and she also bakes cookies for those on her gift list. After wrapping her gifts, she applies one of her special gift tags.