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Members of the Central Montcalm High School Symphonic Band react in celebration together with friends and family after learning that they received a first division rating at Thursday’s Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association District 7 Festival at Greenville High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Members of the Central Montcalm High School Symphonic Band react in celebration together with friends and family after learning that they received a first division rating at Thursday’s Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association District 7 Festival at Greenville High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local school bands succeed at district band festival (PHOTOS)

Just a short time ago, Matthew Reed wasn’t entirely sure his students could come together and play the music program he had arranged to the expectations they had set forward. The Central Montcalm band director was determined to have his high school students ready to perform at the Michigan State Band and Orchestra District Band Festival, but facing a total of eight snow days, the necessary rehearsal time just wasn’t there.

An Ionia County snow plow truck makes its way east on Bricker Road, clearing snow Tuesday afternoon.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Snow storms continue to keep county road crews busy

After being battered last Thursday with nearly 12 inches of snow, another blast of snow Tuesday is keeping plow drivers busy. According to Road Commission for Montcalm County Superintendent-Manager Mark Christensen, another winter storm that began at approximately 7 a.m. and carried into the night kept plow trucks on the road throughout the day.

Mae, a 3-year-old miniature horse, attempts to nibble on a Montcalm Community College folder during a luncheon Wednesday celebrating the college’s agricultural partnership with Michigan State University. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MCC, MSU celebrate first year of agricultural programs partnership

In the middle of discussion between college and university representatives at Montcalm Community College (MCC) Wednesday, the most unique guest in attendance decided it was time to make her presence known. A loud whinny from Mae, the miniature horse standing nearby, erupted through mixed conversation, drawing laughs from those in attendance at a luncheon celebrating MCC’s agricultural partnership with Michigan State University (MSU).

More than 50 people were in attendance for Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, showing their concern over the issue of section 298 of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed state budget. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Michigan’s mental health care funding proposal causes concern

A key component of Michigan’s upcoming fiscal year budget is raising some eyebrows among health care administrators. With more than 50 people in attendance at Monday’s legislative update, the primary subject of discussion required double the regularly allocated space to provide enough seating as a number of Montcalm County residents raised issue with Section 298 of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed 2016-2017 budget.

An excavator is used to bring down the third story of the former Carnation building in Sheridan on Monday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sheridan comes together to send off Carnation building (PHOTOS)

With more than 75 pairs of eyes watching from a safe distance Monday morning, a collective gasp suddenly came forth as a portion of the former Carnation milk condensery building came crashing to the ground. With two excavators clawing away at the three-story structure, onlookers were treated to the demolition of the old factory, bringing forth a large portion of the community of less than 700 residents.

According to Sheridan Village Superintendent Doug Lane, a poorly marked center turn lane winds up getting used in ways never intended by MDOT in front of Sheridan Community Hospital at 301 North Main St. Village leaders fear a potential head-on crash scenario without proper markings in place.— Daily News/Cory Smith

New striping on M-66 could prevent accidents in Sheridan

A rash of complaints from village residents have prompted officials here to look at additional striping for portions of M-66.

According to Village Superintendent Doug Lane, there are currently four problem areas, two of which if left unchecked could result in serious head-on collisions.

The lab where machine and tool students will learn to use the tools of their trade at the Montcalm Area Career Center in Sidney. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Machine and tool program coming to career center

The cosmetology program may be coming to an end, but machine and tool programs are coming to Montcalm County. During Thursday’s Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Board of Education, Celena Mills, associate superintendent of the Career Technical Education (CTE) center, reported on the progress of the new machine and tool program readying for launch.

Bricks from the former Carnation building will be sold for $5 each starting Feb. 22 with funds going toward a community mural to be painted on the north side of Chemical Bank in Sheridan, as well as other community improvements. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Demolition is underway on Sheridan’s old Carnation building

Carol Brand has lived in this village all her life — more than 70 years now — and the old milk condensery has always been a part of the landscape. Her grandfather, Jay Flennery, was a dairy farmer and sold his milk to “the can,” as locals called the cannery. Brand recalls as a girl going on a school field trip of the facility and seeing the “great, big, huge evaporator.”

A sign directs motorists to the Montcalm County Animal Shelter at 154 Quarterline St. in Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County Animal Control wants more explanatory moniker

Is Montcalm County in the business of controlling or caring for animals? Angie Hollinshead thinks it’s both. That’s why the director of Montcalm County Animal Control wants to change her department’s name. Hollinshead presented her idea at Monday’s Montcalm County Law Enforcement & Courts Committee.

Randy Scheese, an instructor at the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) in Sidney, goes over key vocabulary terms with his students in his automotive maintenance and repair class. Scheese, in his first year as an instructor, sees the benefits in a new teaching methods and evaluation process in the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support framework the MACC is undertaking. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Career center’s new model aims at improving literacy and behavior

In the five years he has been a para-professional at the Montcalm Area Career Center, Randy Scheese has noticed something alarming — several 11th and 12th grade students in the classrooms were struggling to read.