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Journalist and political television personality Tim Skubick spent part of Thursday evening fielding questions from audience members about politics. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Tim Skubick presents an insider’s look at politics

The worlds of politics and journalism have changed exponentially in the past 30 years or so and, according to Tim Skubick, producer and anchor of the weekly public television series “Off the Record,” these changes have not been for the better. Addressing an appreciative audience Thursday evening at the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology & Learning Center in Greenville, Skubick bemoaned the fact that in today’s political arena, the focus is on winning rather than carrying out the wishes of the electorate.

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Vertis Holdings Inc. files for bankruptcy

The Vertis facility in Greenville is not expected to be affected by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by the company for the third time since 2008. Vertis Holdings Inc. is a premier provider of targeted advertising and marketing solutions to leading retail consumer services companies, according to its website. According to Bloomberg.com, the company filed for bankruptcy, stating it plans to sell to Quad/Graphics Inc., in part of a court-supervised auction.

Stan Ovshinsky

Hybrid vehicle battery creator Stan Ovshinsky dies

Stan Ovshinsky, the self-taught inventor who developed the nickel-metal hydride battery used in the hybrid vehicle industry, has died at his home in suburban Detroit after a fight with cancer. He was 89. Ovshinsky, who ran Energy Conversion Devices (parent company to United Solar Ovonic), a car battery development company, also created a machine that produced 9-mile-long sheets of thin solar energy panels intended to bring cheaper, cleaner power to homes and businesses. His son, Harvey Ovshinsky, said his father was passionate about science and alternative energy, but also about civil rights and other social causes. He said his father died of complications from prostate cancer Wednesday night at his home in Bloomfield Hills.

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Benefit for paralyzed rodeo worker set for this weekend

A two-day benefit for Luke Griffith, who was paralyzed in a rodeo accident on July 21 at the Ionia Free Fair, will be put on tonight and Saturday to help raise money for the injured man. Doors will open at 4 p.m. today at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds on Peck Road just north of Greenville with a benefit dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Each plate costs $5. A silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. with a dance following.

Jerry Foley of Crystal recently bagged an estimated 900-pound bull elk near Onaway. — Courtesy photo

Crystal man bags 12-point, 900-pound elk

Jerry Foley, 78, was one of 30 lucky hunters in the entire state to get an elk hunting license this year and he made good on it, bagging a 900-pound, 12-point bull in September near Onaway. Foley hunted with his son, Mike Foley, and a guide, who helped him call in the bull on the third day of Foley’s hunting trip. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” Foley said. “Talk about a thrill.”

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Funeral Notices for Oct. 19, 2012

Read the funeral notices for Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.

loc 1019 cs Oak. St. Fire-2

Greenville man, cat safe after early morning fire (Video, Gallery)

A 75-year-old man and his 15-year-old cat safely made it out of their burning home early Friday morning. The Greenville Department of Public Safety was dispatched for a structure fire at 12:29 a.m. to 804 Oak St., just west of Maple Street.

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Montcalm County Animal Control seizes 62 animals from Sheridan residence

Montcalm County Animal Control officials executed a search warrant Monday and seized 52 dogs and 10 cats from a Sheridan residence. Animal Control was assisted by the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post while seizing the animals in the 4500 block of S. Sheridan Road (M-66). The action came after Animal Control received a complaint about the residence. No charges have yet been filed.

Jacob Graham

Howard City man charged after 50+ thefts in western Montcalm County

One man has been arraigned on charges related to more than 50 breaking and entering incidents in western Montcalm County and a second man will soon be arraigned and charged. Jacob Nathaniel Graham, 20, of Howard City was arraigned in 64B District Court in Stanton. He is charged with receiving and concealing from $1,000 to $20,000, possession of marijuana and being a habitual offender fourth offense. Another man from Howard City is lodged in the Montcalm County Jail on unrelated charges, but charges related to the western Montcalm County thefts are soon forthcoming, according to Michigan State Police Lakeview Post Commander Lt. Kevin Sweeney.

Sandy Raines

GUEST VIEW: Drain commissioner duties explained

The drain commissioner runs an important and complex office for the county; unless directly affected most people do not understand the functions of the drain office. The question that I hear the most often is, “what is a drain commissioner and what do they do?” The drain commissioner is elected by state law every four years on a partisan basis, and is charged with administering Michigan laws related to flood protection, storm water management and soil erosion.