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Brenda Gibson of Gowen prepares last-minute items she purchased for the Semper Fi Sisters Beach Blast packing event in Port St. Joe, Fla. — Daily News/Lonnie Allen

Gowen mother finds comfort in helping deployed soldiers

Throughout the summer, Gowen resident Brenda Gibson went shopping for batteries, ointments, jerky pouches, books, candy, crackers, eye drops and many other items that she shipped to Florida for America’s deployed soldiers. Gibson is doing this because she is involved with a group of women that helps those serving in the American armed forces. She got involved with the group through a friend she met online. She sought out support from other mothers after her son Nathan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Student crop drop at Central Montcalm Public School

A decline in student enrollment at Central Montcalm Public School can be blamed on fruit — or rather lack of it. A preliminary student enrollment count showed the district recorded 30 less students than expected for the 2012-2013 school year. This year’s poor fruit crop was mentioned as one of the reasons for the decline.

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Belding school board approves piano purchase, farming trip

A new auditorium continues to take shape at Belding High School, and although it is facing a few delays until it can be opened for students and the public, that isn’t stopping the music and theater department from preparing for performances at the new facility. At Monday night’s school board meeting at the Belding Area Schools Administration Building, board members approved the purchase of a grand piano for the new auditorium, which was originally scheduled to open this month but has been delayed into November.

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Carson City-Crystal homecoming court

CARSON CITY — Meet the members of Carson City-Crystal Area Schools homecoming court, including the new king and queen.

Stephen Matthews

Man arrested for alleged car theft, meth lab, armed robbery

A convicted sex offender and alleged armed robber has been apprehended more than a month after allegedly stealing a car and turning it into a meth lab. Stephen Michael Matthews II, 27, of Greenville, was arraigned Monday in 64B District Court in Stanton. He is charged with two felonies — operating/maintaining a meth lab and failure to comply with sex offender reporting duties.

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AP prep football rankings

The top 10 teams in the Associated Press high school football poll, with records in parentheses. Totals are based on 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 for second, etc. The Michigan High School Athletic Association has determined playoff qualifiers in eight divisions based on enrollment. The divisions in this poll are unofficial.

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Funeral Notices for Oct. 16, 2012

Read funeral notices for Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.

Belding freshman Christopher Ornelas fires an indirect kick at the Comstock Park goal. Panthers keeper Miguel Nava leaps high to make the save near the crossbar.

Comstock Park outlasts Belding in district soccer

For every pass there was a takeaway. For every shot there was a save. That was the story of the Division 3 district soccer game between the Belding Redskins and Comstock Park Panthers on Monday night. For more than 44 minutes, the score was knotted at zero and the Redskins had upset on their minds.

Central Montcalm’s Michaela Crooks taps the ball over the net during a match this season.

Clare eliminates Central Montcalm from own tournament

Central Montcalm’s volleyball team couldn’t seem to find a way to beat the Clare Eagles Saturday. The Green Hornets lost twice to the Eagles at Central’s volleyball tournament, with the second coming in the semifinals 25-14, 17-25, 15-12.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s officials investigated the scene of a fatal barn fire this morning in Bushnell Township just south of Sheridan. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Body found in aftermath of Sheridan barn fire

A body was located inside a building after a barn fire early this morning just south of the village of Sheridan. The Sheridan Community Fire Department responded to the fire at 2:34 a.m. to 6681 S. Sheridan Road (M-66) north of Sessions Road.