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Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Another year, another look at school reform

Fall is quickly approaching and with it the beginning of a new school year. Also on the horizon is the beginning of another session of our state legislature. There will be much discussion about how to ‘fix” our schools. This is a good time to pause and consider who is responsible for the mission of our schools.

One of the original steeple windows from the Belding clock tower is one of the final pieces to be removed from the site where the steeple and cupola stood for several months in the Central Riverside Park parking lot. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding clock tower ruins stir up emotions

A few old, rotting boards, several cracked and broken shingles and a skeleton-like casing of one of the original steeple windows of the Belding Bros. clock tower are all that remain today across the street from the sight of the iconic tower that stood for 110 years. The image sitting in the Central Riverside Park parking lot has created mixed emotions from residents who are either in favor of seeing the structure finally removed from public view or saddened by the way it was disassembled.

The village of Sheridan Facebook page’s pleasant mix of facts, news and wildly inaccurate rumors has resulted in more than 1,500 “likes” for the page.

‘Labor of love’ makes for popular Facebook page for Sheridan

With just 730 residents, the village of Sheridan is never going to be mistaken for a bustling metropolis. Like a lot of small, mid-Michigan towns, the addition of a new traffic light on Main Street is considered big news. Yet somehow the village’s recent Facebook page activity shows more than 1,500 likes.

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Greenville city manager gives background on proposed personal property tax changes

After the Greenville city manager presented information to the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce about the potential impact of personal property tax changes at the state level, city council members asked him to present at a council meeting. On Tuesday, City Manager George Bosanic updated council members on how personal property tax changes ntroduced in December could negatively impact the city.

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Vestaburg school bond proposal fails

Voters in the Vestaburg Community School district shot down a $990,000 bond proposal Tuesday by a margin of 60 to 40 percent. The proposal called for a 1.3 mill increase, which would cost an average homeowner in the district $48 per year for 10 years, to fund improvements to buses and roofs at the school. Proceeds from the bond would have generated approximately $990,000 — $750,000 of which would have gone toward replacing roofing systems over the high school, middle school and elementary school.

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Would-be burglar scared off by homeowners

The owners of a home in the 3000 block of East Pakes Road in Evergreen Township awoke this morning around 1 a.m. to find an intruder in their house.

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Funeral Notices for Aug. 7, 2014

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2014

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UPDATE: 2 barns destroyed by fire amid lightning storm

Firefighters from multiple departments responded to two early morning barn fires in Montcalm County today.

Mike and Barb Hurst (center) pose with the whole Hurst family including Barb’s sister Jean Fordyce (left) whose all-terrain wheelchair was donated to 16-year-old Austin Jones of Mayville who has muscular dystrophy. — Courtesy photo

Greenville resident discusses the importance of giving back

After the passing of a family member, a local family decided to donate medical equipment to a child in need to help make a difference in his life. Greenville residents Barb and Mike Hurst learned of 16-year-old Austin Jones in Mayville who has muscular dystrophy. His family was raising money for an all-terrain wheelchair to help Jones have easier access to being outside and in the nature.

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Fairplain Township addresses Boyer Road blight

A resident became emotional at a Fairplain Township meeting Monday night as the board addressed a blight issue at her address and decided to get an attorney involved. The board discussed a concern on about Jessica Vanconant’s home, located at 1762 W. Boyer Road, which was destroyed in a fire on July 16 — the fourth fire in six months on Boyer Road between Carlsen and Brown roads.