Local

Jeremy Gard

UPDATE: Alleged drunken driver in jail after hitting motorcyclist, dragging bike

An early morning crash left a motorcyclist in critical condition on Tuesday.

At approximately 12:15 a.m., the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and Howard City Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire on Church Road, just east of Amy School Road. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a pickup trunk was completely engulfed in flames.

Montcalm Township firefighters work to put out a fire at a South Satterlee Road. The March 18 blaze that destroyed a shed started as a small grass fire that quickly spread throughout the property. — File photo

Out of control: Property owners need to control burning

As the temperatures start to climb, property owners are looking around their yards and realizing the summer yard work season has begun. With piles of leaves and brush laying around, it might seem like the best time of year to burn them off.

This pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old Stanwood man caught fire after hitting and dragging a motorcycle Tuesday morning. — Courtesy photo

Alleged drunken driver hits motorcycle, drags it about a mile

A 43-year-old Stanwood man is in jail after allegedly hitting and dragging a motorcycle about a mile before his vehicle caught fire.

Dave Hornak, principal of Horizon Elementary School in Holt and future executive director of the National Association for Year-Round Education, speaks about the benefits of a balanced calendar for school education during a Montcalm County School Boards Association meeting Monday in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local schools weigh balanced calendar vs. traditional calendar

When reflecting on one’s elementary and secondary education today, most people probably reach the same idea about how and when they attended school. They started in early autumn, finished in late spring, and enjoyed a lengthy summer vacation.

Remnants of a farmhouse on Bailey Road in Winfield Township continue to smolder Sunday morning after a destructive fire Saturday night. (Daily News | Elisabeth Waldon)

2 houses destroyed in fires in Howard City

Five local fire departments stayed busy from Saturday night into Sunday morning battling two separate fires which ended up destroying two residences near Howard City.

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.