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Montcalm County plagued by weekend fires

Once again, a string of structure fires burned through Montcalm County throughout the weekend. The weekend started with a mobile home fire south of Lakeview Friday. Then Saturday struck with a morning house fire in Howard City followed by a lunchtime structure fire northeast of Howard City. Later on Saturday, a Crystal dumpster fire was called in followed by house that burned southeast of Crystal. On Sunday, a pump house just east of Crystal also went up in flames.

A 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by a 51-year-old Coral man, failed to stop for the stop sign and drove through an intersection, colliding with some trees across the road. — Courtesy photo

JUST IN: Truck crashes, burns in Winfield Township

A Coral man lost control of his vehicle and almost lost his life on Thursday night. Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a one vehicle personal injury crash at 9:38 p.m. at the intersection of West Church Road and North Masters Road in Winfield Township.

Tri County High School, located just south of Howard City, will receive a new office at the main entrance as part of a voter approved sinking fund proposal Tuesday — File photo

Tri County sinking fund proposal passes by 20 votes

Voters in the Tri County Area School district narrowly approved a $2.7 million sinking fund proposal Tuesday by just 20 votes. The final tally was 555 “yes” votes to 535 “no” votes, or about 51 to 49 percent.

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Montcalm County Housing Commission residence destroyed after 2 fires

A Montcalm County Housing Commission complex bathroom caught fire Monday afternoon, but the Howard City Fire Department quickly extinguished the blaze.

However, a separate fire started up early Tuesday morning, the cause of which is currently unknown.

Tri County Area Schools voters will be asked to vote on a $2.7 million five-year sinking fund proposal Tuesday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County voters asked to approve $2.7 million sinking fund

Voters in the Tri County Area Schools district will be asked to approve a $2.7 million sinking fund proposal on Tuesday. Ask any Tri County administrator why, and the words “safety” and “security” will be voiced.

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VIDEO: Montcalm County firefighters participate in ice rescue training

In spite of the 2 degree air temperature, which dropped even lower with the wind chill, Montcalm County firefighters braved the frigid weather to participate in an ice training on Sunday. Michigan Rescue Concepts (MRC) hosted the training session in Crystal Township, which included a morning classroom session and an afternoon hands-on training session on the ice of Crystal Lake. MRC is an 18-year-old Michigan-based company which have trained more than 500 fire departments in ice and water rescue training.

Here’s a look at homeless student statistics and reduced lunch statistics at Belding Area Schools and Montcalm County’s seven public school districts. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Local student opens up about homeless plight

Homelessness is a powerful word. It conjures a composite of images: A man begging for change under a bridge. A woman holding a sign by a freeway exit. A filthy, bearded man in stained pants sleeping under newspapers on a park bench. A sad-looking woman in a ratty coat pushing a shopping cart full of junk down the street.

Greenville resident Lloyd Shelden was working hard to clear his sidewalk on Monday morning.

Winter snow squall blankets area

On Monday, Punxsutawney Phil clamored out of his hole to see his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter. Those who live in West Michigan already had made that same prediction after the snow-filled weekend.

Judy Emmons

Gov. Snyder’s speech inspires GOP

Gov. Rick Snyder gave another one of his patented “relentlessly positive” speeches Tuesday during his State of the State address. The speech showcased what Snyder saw as highlights of Michigan’s past year, as well as introduced several new proposals, which inspired his own party.

John Moolenaar

Rep. Moolenaar: Obama delivers mixed messages

President Barack Obama took a straightforward approach to his State of the Union address Tuesday, declaring the end of a recession and two wars and the start of more jobs and health insurance … and victoriously taking credit for all of the above.