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Montcalm Community College student Brittany McCreery, 19, takes time to study one of her subjects Tuesday evening on the college’s main campus in Sidney. McCreery currently receives financial aid while studying to become a medical assistant, as well as working part-time. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Obama’s free community college proposal potentially ‘super’ for MCC

Speaking aboard Air Force One, flying thousands of feet in the air across the country from Detroit to Phoenix, President Barack Obama made an announcement last week that caught the attention of students nationwide.

Firefighters from 16 fire departments worked together Wednesday to extinguish a blaze at Crooks Potato Farms, located at 5450 N. Musson Road near Stanton, where six storage facilities were destroyed resulting in millions of dollars in damages. — Daily News/Cory Smith

New Year’s Eve fire leaves millions in damages at Crooks Potato Farms

This new year will be one of rebuilding and attempting to move forward for the employees and owners of one of the largest potato farms in Montcalm County.

Robert McConnell, center, poses with a group of 4-H members who recently stopped by the Trinity Food Pantry to drop off donations and volunteer their time. 4-H leader Dianne Hansen is pictured at left. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Many hands make Trinity Food Pantry work

It sometimes takes a village to feed a city. Or maybe it only seems like an entire village putting in the hours at Trinity Evangelical Free Church Food Pantry. Located at 400 N. Lincoln St. in Stanton, the pantry is one of only a few in the area that maintains regular hours. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, city residents and members of the church in need may stop by the pantry for emergency food assistance.

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Montcalm County officials considering creating PACE district

Installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems saves lots of green in the long run, but the initial investment cost leaves many people seeing red.

Some Michigan business owners are considering whether Michigan’s Public Act 270 of 2010, the property assessed clean energy (PACE) act, can help them upgrade their facilities in a high efficiency manner while spreading the cost over a longer, more affordable timeframe.

Trevor Wright points to a veteran he knows on a framed collage of local military personnel at the Montcalm County Commission on Aging in Stanton, where Wright works as chef and site host. Wright, who lives in Sheridan, is also an active duty senior food operation sergeant with the Michigan National Guard 1073rd Support Maintenance Company based in Greenville. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Local officials want to create Montcalm County Department of Military and Veteran Services

Montcalm County is one of the heaviest populated locations for veterans in Michigan, but also one of the lowest funded counties for veterans resources and medical care. Armed with that knowledge, along with the fact that suicide is the number one cause of death for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, local officials are creating a plan to make sure no solider gets left behind.

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Sisters fight hunger and loneliness with community Thanksgiving dinner

There’s more than one kind of hunger. Particularly around the holidays; a time of family and friends, of gathering together with loved ones. For those with none of the above, it can be a lonely time, a time when the hunger for simple human companionship can grow every bit as sharp as the need for a warm holiday meal.

Central Montcalm senior Blaine Hendrick, 17, races down a straightaway at nearly 30 mph during the  “Fall Fun Race” Friday afternoon at the Grattan Raceway.

Local students hit the race track with fun, hands-on electric car project

Darting around hairpin turns and speeding down straightaways, all the while attempting to carefully — yet aggressively — surge ahead of competing racers, the sport of electric car racing by high school students was on full display at Grattan Raceway on Friday.

Members of the newly established Montcalm Economic Alliance meet Wednesday for goup's first meeting after dissolving the former Montcalm Alliance. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm Alliance re-established as Montcalm Economic Alliance

From open to close, the final meeting of the Montcalm Alliance lasted exactly 36 seconds Wednesday. That was enough time for board members to unanimously decide to officially dissolve the group, followed by an adjournment from Vice President Bob Clingenpeel.

Members of the Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees, along with several of the college’s administrators, work through a three-hour retreat Monday at the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology Center in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

President lays out future focus for Montcalm Community College

Montcalm Community College (MCC) may be in the midst of reflecting upon its 50-year history, but that doesn’t mean the school’s gaze is glued to the rear-view mirror. Rather, as showcased at the annual Board of Trustees retreat Monday afternoon at the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology Center in Greenville, President Bob Ferrentino updated the board on various areas of focus during the three-hour meeting, while providing future goals in the process.

The Clifford Lake Inn near Stanton is reopening next spring. Thomas and Mary Stuit of Grand Rapids recently purchased the 133-year-old landmark and plan to restore it to its former glory. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Clifford Lake Inn to reopen next spring with new owners

A historic landmark for local dining is coming back to life. The 133-year-old Clifford Lake Inn abruptly closed in November 2013. Connie McKeown, who had owned the business since 2010, declined to say why.