Mark Mathisen was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 7 months old and was told he wouldn’t live to the age of 18. Today, at age 31, he is celebrating his first published novel, a work of fiction titled “My Brother Alan.” — Daily News/Cory Smith

Central Montcalm grad deals with cystic fibrosis diagnosis by writing

At 7 months of age, Mark Mathisen’s eyes were open wide to the world around him serving as a wonderful miracle of life cradled in the arms of his parents. But before Peter and Sharon Mathisen could celebrate Mark’s first steps or first words, their new world as a family of three came crashing to a halt, with Mark suddenly laying prematurely on his deathbed.

Thousands of used medical items wind up in landfills every month, where they create a public health hazard. Thanks to a new program at the Mid-Michigan District Health Department, proper disposal is now easy and convenient. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

New health department program tackles problem of medical waste

For hundreds of Montcalm County residents, daily heath maintenance comes at the end of a sharp needle. Frequently, meds to manage conditions such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, migraines and multiple sclerosis are delivered in this manner.

Montcalm County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Ron Retzloff of Crystal, left, reviews appointments as Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer discusses the annual meeting schedule and committee assignments during an organizational meeting Monday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners OK bylaws, procedures and appointments

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners held a 12-minute meeting Monday to organize for the new year.

From left, Danielle Pemberton of Reed City, Macie Devries of Greenville, Amber Marchese of Belding, Brock Jackson of Stanton and Taylor Teegardin of Coral, wait in line to apply for the Montcalm Community College nursing program Monday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Students line up overnight for early enrollment in MCC nursing program

Danielle Pemberton spent her 27th birthday Monday huddled under her coat, sitting in a lawn chair just a few feet outside the front entrance of Montcalm Community College’s administration building.

Settling in at 7 a.m., Pemberton made herself comfortable, taking shelter from the rain under the building’s exterior overhang. Although there was no cake to eat, candles to blow out or gifts to unwrap, it would still likely be a birthday she won’t soon forget.

These eight Christmas trees Korson’s Tree Farms in Sidney will be showcased at Vice President Joe Biden’s residence in Washington, D.C., this holiday season. — Courtesy photo

Korson’s Tree Farms to showcase Christmas trees at Joe Biden’s home

It’s not every day someone can say put up a Christmas tree for Vice President Joe Biden. Yet, that is exactly what Rex and Jessica Korson, owners of Korson’s Tree Farms in Sidney, can boast this year.

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Montcalm County Angel Tree program brings Christmas joy to children

A rosy-cheeked youngster standing in rapt wonder before a present-laden Christmas tree is an image with which we all are familiar.

The scene is so common, in fact, so comfortable, that we sometimes forget it is one not played out in every American home.

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Sheridan family loses dog for 3 weeks, catches him with help from community

Not everyone could survive for three weeks alone in the wilderness. Yet, that is exactly what 4-year-old Charlie did through the waning days of October and the waxing days of November. Although young, Charlie has a slight advantage to his human counterparts which allowed him to survive in the wild. Charlie is a dog. A sheltie to be exact but that certainly did not stop his “parents” from worrying about him while he was gone.

Brooke Stoutjesdyk, 18, of Greenville, is the first of Montcalm Community College’s Early College enrollees to graduate with a college degree from the program since it was created in the 2013-2014 school year. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

MCC’s Early College to graduate first student

Brooke Stoutjesdyk is in a class of her own — quite literally. She may have not gotten to walk with her class during Greenville High School’s graduation this past spring, but come Dec. 11, Brooke Stoutjesdyk will be graduated from high school and will have earned an associate’s degree from college.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, left, and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, speak together at a Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education meeting on Nov. 9. Both legislators voted in support of the new road funding legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Nov. 10. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman, Emmons defend new road funding legislation

With a final signing by the pen of Gov. Rick Snyder, an official long-term road funding plan became law Nov. 10 after years of consternation and debate among lawmakers in Lansing. Eventually the plan will implement $1.2 billion per year to repair the state’s roads and bridges, as well as place a focus on sustaining the quality of those infrastructure items.

Montcalm County Jail Administrator Mark Sabin will be retiring Dec. 11 after three decades of working at the jail. He was hired as a corrections officer at the Stanton jail by Sheriff Don Godell in 1985. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm County Jail admin retiring; jail may contract for Wayne County inmates

Changes are coming to the Montcalm County Jail. On Monday, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners learned the longtime jail administrator will soon be retiring, along with another corrections officer.