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A roof of a storage building at the Road Commission of Montcalm County facility on M-46 near Howard City collapsed under the weight of rain soaked snow and high winds Thursday. The building housed several pieces of equipment. The extent of the damage won’t be known until the roof is removed. — Courtesy photo

Roof collapses at Road Commission facility in Howard City

When nearly a half-inch of rain fell Thursday the mounds of snow acted as a sponge, soaking it up. Although it helped prevent major flooding, the compacted snow presented a new problem … the weight.

Joannah Sheldon of Winfield Township says she works on teaching her six children how to get along with each other when they are stuck at home for multiple snow days away from school. “Being confined in close quarters results in a lot of sibling fighting, but I try to remember it’s a good opportunity for character development and helping them learn how to work through their differences,” she said. Above, the Sheldon siblings play a game of charades to pass the time on a snow day Tuesday. From left to right, Abel, 5, David, 8, Marlin, 4, and Elizabeth, 11, guess what object Renee, 10, is acting out. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Winter storms have schools adjusting to multiple days off

Local schools have taken up to 10 snow days so far this winter … and they’re not out of the (snowy) woods yet. Belding, Central Montcalm, Lakeview and Montabella schools have each taken 10 snow days, while Carson City-Crystal, Greenville, Tri County and Vestaburg have each taken nine snow days. The most recent of those snow days were Monday, Tuesday and today.

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Dog saves teenage girl from Howard City house fire

Russell Chilson didn’t want the dog in the first place. The family dog had died and Russell was content with the absence of a pet. But his teenage daughter Erin felt otherwise. She pleaded with her father and they ended up at Mecosta County Animal Rescue in Big Rapids. The high-strung German shepherd mix puppy wasn’t Russell’s first pick. His first pick was walking out the door with a new owner when Russell arrived at the animal rescue. But the puppy stole Erin’s heart. Russell forked over $25 and they took the puppy home. They named her London. One year later, London saved Erin’s life.

The Tri County High School Marching Band performs at the MSBOA District 7 Marching Festival Wednesday at Legacy Field in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local bands compete at marching festival in Greenville (PHOTOS)

Standing on the sideline, with instruments and flags in hand and a focus that could not be shaken, students from 13 high school bands waited for the same single instruction before playing their first notes on Legacy Field.

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Howard City’s annual Harvest Festival is a hit with adults and kids

This year’s Harvest Festival in Howard City brought in hundreds of visitors from across the area to share in the city’s annual autumnal celebration. Many of the festival’s favorite offerings were back again and several new activities also were on the schedule.

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Howard City Harvest Festival queen and court crowned

The 2013 Howard City Harvest Festival Queen and Princess pageant was held Aug. 13 at Tri County High School. Meagan Bean, 16, was crowned Harvest Festival queen.

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Winfield Township home destroyed in fire

Four fire departments worked together Monday to battle a fire that destroyed a Howard City-area home and nearly all the contents inside. According to Amble Fire Capt. Jason Schuitema, flames were showing when the department arrived at 8190 N. Bailey Road just south of M-46 around 12:23 p.m.

Firefighters work together to spray water to extinguish flames Tuesday afternoon while battling a pole barn fire in Maple Valley Township. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Pole barn, farm equipment destroyed in Maple Valley Township fire

A pole barn and items inside, including several tractors and equipment, were destroyed Tuesday afternoon after the barn was consumed and destroyed by fire.

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Tri County High School graduates 162 seniors

Graduating seniors from Tri County High School have said goodbye to a way of life they’ve come to know well over the past four years. Some will move on to college, others to careers and families; but whatever the destination, Thursday night’s commencement ceremony represented a turning point none of them will forget. The class of 162 seniors marched into the school’s packed-to-the-walls gymnasium to the traditional strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by the school band.

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Montcalm County Emergency Services honor late county commissioner

A rainy Wednesday gave way to a clear and pleasant evening, just in time to honor a longtime Montcalm County commissioner and emergency rescue advocate. Montcalm County Emergency Services employees gathered at the Stanton base for a dedication ceremony for the late Carl Paepke, along with Paepke’s two daughters, Priscilla Heimbecker and Jeanne Poulsen, both of Trufant.