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Tobacco product packaging today looks similar to mints, lipstick and gum. (Daily News/Robin Miller)

Skittles, synthetics and salts: Drug trends discussed in Lakeview

An audience of about 40 gathered Tuesday evening at Lakeview High School to hear law enforcement officials and drug-free coalition members from Gratiot and Montcalm counties talk about the dangers of current drug trends. Teens and adults are turning to synthetic drugs when regular marijuana isn’t accessible and to avoid the legal ramifications. These drugs are marketed as everyday products — incense, potpourri, plant food and bath salts.

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Funeral Notices for March 19, 2012

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Saturday, March 19, 2012

Mary Louise Helwig fills plates with homemade cookies during a recent American Red Cross blood drive at St. Mary's in Carson City. (Daily News/Jessica Beery)

Longtime Carson City blood drive volunteer inspires others to give

Mary Louise Helwig has been a friendly face of humor and encouragement for more than 40 years in her hometown of Carson City. Helwig, 85, has been volunteering “every 56 days” for the American Red Cross blood drives at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Carson City Regional Correctional Facility.

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Funeral Notices for March 17

Read The Daily News Funeral Notices for Saturday, March 17, 2012

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Local doctor to open clinic in Crystal on trial basis

A new tenant will be joining the family at the Crystal Community Center after the Crystal Township Board agreed to let Dr. Willis Gaffney rent a room in the facility on a six-month trial.

Julie Stafford

JULIE STAFFORD: What’s for lunch?

We’re having a weight loss challenge at work, which brings me to the subject of lunch. Kind of roundabout, I know. But when you’re trying to clean up your eating, the question becomes “to bring or to buy?” I know a lot of folks who go out for lunch every single day, a routine that has its definite ups and downs. Ups include the fact that you don’t have to think about what to pack at oh-dark-hundred, when your coffee barely has settled in your veins. You also don’t have to dig deep to get creative. Do a different restaurant each day and variety is guaranteed.

Seven people paid for lunch for the people waiting in line behind them at the Wendy’s drive-through on Thursday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville Wendy’s customers pay it forward in the drive-through

When a Greenville woman let someone cut in front of her in line at a drive-through restaurant, she didn’t know what she was starting. Rhiannon Jensen let a man in a truck pull in front of her at Wendy’s in Greenville during her lunch break Thursday. When it was Jensen’s turn to pay at the window, Wendy’s crew member Michael Redlich informed her the man had paid for her $7 lunch and wished her a “Happy Thursday.”

Catherine Grace

Judge orders no contact between mother, daughter after 6th felony

A judge denied a mother’s pleas to keep her daughter out of prison, saying the mother was partly to blame for her daughter’s life of crime.
Catherine Grace, 38, of Swartz Creek, was charged with identity theft, larceny in a building and possession of marijuana. She pleaded guilty to larceny in a building and was sentenced Thursday to one to four years in prison with credit for 67 days already served in the Montcalm County Jail.

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Greenville-based Celtic band releases first album

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Greenville-based Celtic band Peat in the Creel has released a new CD album called “The Barn Session.”

Anthony Weir

Man sentenced for stealing Road Commission for Montcalm County truck

A man was sentenced to jail time Thursday after stealing a vehicle from the Road Commission for Montcalm County and then fleeing Michigan almost eight years ago. Anthony Weir, 28, was charged with unlawfully driving away an automobile, malicious destruction of property more than $1,000 and malicious destruction of property to gates and fences. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully driving away an automobile.