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GUEST VIEW: Why high school sports?

With each school year, we begin a cycle of athletic seasons that complement our top priority: academic achievement. From time to time, we find ourselves reflecting on the meaningful role school-based athletics plays in our students’ overall education. We are also reminded that our purpose needs to be well understood and in the most effective situations, will be a shared commitment by students, coaches, parents, and the community. When expectations of purpose are not shared, our athletic programs aren’t able to make the positive contributions we hope they bring to our schools.

Members of the Duck Lake Improvement Board, from left, County Commissioner Ron Braman, Bob Muscott, Dick Walthorn, Montcalm County Drain Commissioner Sandy Raines and David Wight listen Tuesday afternoon as representatives from S&R Environmental Consulting of St. Charles and Restorative Lake Sciences of Spring Lake give lake consulting presentations. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Duck Lake Improvement Board adopt official bylaws

After several tense meetings between members of the Duck Lake Improvement Board, it seems everything is beginning to fall into order now that board members have reached an agreement on official bylaws. Board members unanimously agreed to accept official bylaws at Tuesday’s meeting at the Montcalm County Administration Building in Stanton.

Several of this year’s floats featured young passengers passing out candy while trying to stay warm. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Santa visits Greenville for Hometown Christmas Parade

Thousands of hardy souls braved temperatures in the teens to catch a glimpse of St. Nick in this year’s Hometown Christmas Parade. Fans of Father Christmas began lining the streets along the downtown parade route an hour or more before the event’s 6 p.m. start time.

Spectrum Health United Hospital President Tina Freese-Decker will leave the hospital this month to take on a system-wide role of longterm planning for Spectrum. Freese-Decker began as president in 2011 and oversaw several large renovations, expansions and growth of the hospital. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

United and Kelsey president says time in Montcalm will resonate

In 2003 when scouting United Hospital as a potential candidate for joining the Spectrum Health system, then vice president of strategic planning and development Tina Freese-Decker knew the hospital was headed in the right direction. Eight years later she joined United, now part of Spectrum, as its president and after three years is turning the reigns over to a longtime business partner.

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Funeral Notices for Dec. 9, 2013

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Dec. 9, 2013

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Man injured in hit and run near Sheridan

A 20-year-old man was injured Friday around 10:09 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle, which then fled the scene.

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Mount Pleasant woman identified after Saturday’s fatal crash

A 31-year-old Mount Pleasant woman died following a traffic crash Saturday at about 8:11 p.m.

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Funeral Notices for Dec. 7, 2013

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Toys for Tots coordinator Jennifer Bouck, second from left, gets ready to do some Toys for Tots shopping with a gift certificate presented to the program by Meijer.  Also on hand for Wednesday’s event were, from left, Kenedi Bouck, Meijer customer service lines team leader Rose Christensen, Gabby Bailey, Alyssa Bailey, Angela Bailey, Jazlyn Bailey. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Toys For Tots donations decrease, but need is on the rise for local children

Last year, 1,264 Montcalm County kids enjoyed a Merry Christmas, thanks to the efforts of Jennifer Bouck and her fellow Toys for Tots volunteers. Bouck, who coordinates the program county-wide, hopes to do at least that well with this year’s effort.

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Edmore Village Council finally decides on snowplow company

The Edmore Village Council has finally decided on hiring a snowplowing company, but the agreement is far from unanimous.