News

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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.

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The Right Place and Montcalm Economic Alliance sign partnership

The path to create more economic growth in Montcalm County may finally have been paved on the stable ground of a partnership that aims to bring great dividends to area businesses and residents.

On Monday, The Right Place Inc. and the Montcalm Economic Alliance announced the formation of a strategic partnership to support economic growth in Montcalm County and encourage greater regional collaboration in West Michigan.

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Helping Hands going strong in Howard City, still needs more helping hands

Helping Hands is in its 24th year of operation, finishing up its first year in a new location, and the Howard City food pantry — and the demand for it — show no signs of slowing down.

The food pantry relocated a year ago from a small building in downtown Howard City to a new, 32,000-square-foot building at 1105 S. Ensley St. just south of town.

Greenville resident Burton Sly fills up his car at the Admiral gas station on W. Washington St. in Greenville. Sly was able to fill his vehicle at $1.94 a gallon, the cheapest price offered since 2009.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Lower gas prices are expected to last through 2015

Burton Sly has a regular routine of filling the gas tank of his vehicle every Sunday afternoon to prepare for the work week, a routine that oftentimes digs too deep into his finances.

But in recent weeks, the Greenville resident has had reason to smile at the pump as gas prices nationwide have plummeted.