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Belding Department of Public Works Director Ernie Thomas checks levels related to the city’s water system. Thomas was selected as the 2014 Michigan Rural Water Association “Man of the Year.” — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding DPW director named Rural Water Association Man of the Year

Ernie Thomas has always been one to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s patching a pothole on a hot summer evening or driving a snowplow in the early hours of a winter morning, his personal engine is always running with a goal to finish the job. A lifelong Belding resident, he’s worked for the Belding Department of Public Works (DPW) for 39 years, having started in August of 1974, and has served as the department director since April of 1996.

Brandon Hubbard

Vestaburg picks interim superintendent

This district’s high school principal has been named interim superintendent for the coming school year. Jeff Beal resigned as superintendent last month, effective June 30, to take on superintendent duties at Jackson Public Schools.

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Funeral Notices for April 4, 2014

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Friday, April 4, 2014

Threshold Academy in Orleans, which charters students from the Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan and Belding areas, currently enrolls about 158 students. The school will no longer operate after June 30. — File photo

Threshold Academy forced to shut its doors at end of school year

Threshold Academy, a free public charter school in Ionia County, will shut its doors at the end of this school year as its overseer decided not to renew its contract. Central Michigan University’s Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools notified the academy Monday it will no longer authorize the school after June 30, citing low Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores and declining enrollment. Threshold, which charters students from the Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan and Belding areas, currently enrolls about 158 students.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Collaboration is more powerful than competition

On March 28, I had the privilege of attending an event to roll out the Reading Now Network. This is an initiative in which more than 90 school districts and Intermediate School Districts in Region 3 of Michigan, including all districts in our Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, have joined to address the concern that too many of our students do not learn how to read by third grade.

After the recent credit card hack at Carson Village Market in Bloomer Township, people took notes to help prevent themselves of future attacks on their identity during Wednesday evening’s identity theft seminar at Carson City Public Library.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Seminar informs local residents on dangers of identity theft

A lost wallet, a false credit card purchase or a fraudulent bank transaction. The list of examples of identity theft is long and serious, and the consequences of it can be devastating if the right steps aren’t taken to be protected. That’s why Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, chose to host a town hall meeting Wednesday evening at Carson City Public Library to inform residents of the dangers of identity theft.

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UPDATE: Adult foster care resident remains in critical condition after struck on M-46

A local foster care resident remains in critical condition after being struck by a pick-up truck Sunday afternoon near Vestaburg.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash, which occurred on Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) near Bollinger Road in Richland Township shortly before 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Four large bays have been added to a former church gymnasium, soon to reopen as Belvidere Township’s new firehouse. Concrete approaches will soon be added and firefighters should be able to relocate to the facility by early June. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Belvidere Township to benefit from newly constructed fire building

Firefighters in this township tend to stand up for their meetings. It’s not that they’re anxious to be somewhere else — it’s just that in the firehouse, there’s literally no room to sit down, except perhaps on the bumpers and running boards of the crammed-together firefighting vehicles. The current structure is simply too small for the department’s needs.

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GUEST VIEW: Restoring the balance of justice

Sunday marks the beginning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. As we celebrate three decades of defending victims’ rights we are reminded of how far we have come and how much work is yet to be done.

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Funeral Notices for April 3, 2014

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Thursday, April 3, 2014