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The anatomy and physiology I class at Montcalm Community College collected more than 80 blankets and many nonperishable food items and hygienic products as part of a “Warming Montcalm County” service project.  — Courtesy photo

MCC students collect blankets and goods for homeless people

Looking around her hometown of Greenville, Amber Pelak feels like she recently opened her eyes to a major problem in her community: Homelessness.

“Sometimes you can be blind to what’s happening in your community,” she said. “Sometimes you can be immune to it.”

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Montcalm County sends dog kennel ordinance back to committee

Montcalm County commissioners have decided they were barking up the wrong tree regarding proposed changes to a dog kennel ordinance.

After almost an hour of public comment Monday, the board voted 7-1 to send the proposed changes back to the county’s Finance & Personnel committee for further revision.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, holding a pamphlet on the OK2SAY confidential student hotline, reaches out to the audience at Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College to promote the new program.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Emmons, Outman working to promote OK2SAY student safety hotline

The best way to stop a violent act, be it suicide, bullying or the manifestation of a serious bomb threat, is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

That’s the message Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, was hoping to convey when her legislation to create the new OK2SAY confidential student safety hotline was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2013.

Rebecca Grant, left, and Robin Grant stand with their collection box at Premier Automotive in Belding for RAVE’s “1 Thing Thursday” program. — Courtesy photo

‘1 Thing Thursday’ project collects one item for RAVE

When women and children in Ionia and Montcalm counties fleeing domestic or sexual violence don’t have a safe place to go, they turn to Relief After Violent Encounter — Ionia/Montcalm, Inc. (RAVE), which operates the only shelter for these victims in the two-county area.

Now RAVE is turning to the community to help stock its pantry shelves.

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The first 10 weeks: Rep. John Moolenaar talks budget, nuclear arms

Three committees, 30+ bills, 130+ votes … and the hope for a budget that balances in 10 years.

Those are just a few numbers that represent John Moolenaar’s first 10 weeks in office as representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which covers multiple counties in the state’s northern and central region, including Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta and Montcalm counties.

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Dog owners speak out against Montcalm County kennel ordinance

Any topic involving animals is a historically proven way to attract the masses to county board meetings. Monday was no exception, as Montcalm County’s Law Enforcement & Courts committee heard half an hour of public comments from concerned and tearful residents about proposed changes to the county’s dog kennel ordinance.

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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.