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Making it Cool to be Kind: Students ready to lead culture-changing program

Surrounded by students she has mentored, guided and influenced throughout this past year, Laurie Stewart could only smile while shedding a few tears as she came to a realization Thursday evening.

“They don’t need me anymore,” she said. “They are definitely using their peer influence to help other people and they are making it sustainable.”

That was the goal from the beginning — to create a new, positive culture in Montcalm County.

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The Treasure Store opens in Stanton, operated by special ed adults

The Treasure Shop has everything a traditional resale shop has, but it isn’t your everyday round-again store.

Staffed by special education students with the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD), The Treasure Shop dual serves as a resale store for the public and a skill builder for the students.

Dozens of different types of herbs, grown by Montcalm Area Career Center students, were available for purchase at the center’s All Things Green expo Monday evening. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

‘All Things Green’ draws in large crowd to Montcalm Area Career Center

Teachers, students and many vendors were on hand Monday afternoon at the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC), where things were “greener” than St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Green technology and its application to everything from gardening to bio-fuels was the topic of the day at the “All Things Green” expo. The event, held annually at the center, was open to the public and drew a very respectable crowd anxious to see the latest advances in green technology, hear from master gardeners and maybe pick up a couple freebies in the process.

Legislators such as Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, believe that electronic cigarettes can act as a “gateway drug” for minors, leading up to the use of standard cigarettes. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman seeks to ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors in Michigan

Should the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors in Michigan be banned? It’s a question that is not generating any disagreement in Lansing, but the method of regulation of the controversial and increasingly popular product is creating mixed opinions amongst legislators.

For the fourth straight year, representatives of the Montcalm Community College Business Professionals of America Club have qualified for and will compete in a national event. Pictured, from left, are co-adviser Bill Bishop, Rachel Jacobbson, Dustin Snoap, Elizabeth Jacobbson, Devin Covendish, Katrina Soper and co-adviser Michael Adams. Not pictured but also competing are Michael Ruggles, Carmon Bianchi and Justin Brackenbury.

MCC business club to compete at national event

For the fourth straight year, representatives of the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Business Professionals of America (BPA) Club have qualified for and will compete in a national event.

Puzzles with 100 pieces occupied students during Central Montcalm Elementary School’s 100 Days celebration on Monday. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Central Montcalm kindergarten — where 100 is a big deal

How high can you count? A million, a billion? For kindergarten and first grade students at Central Montcalm Elementary School, getting from 1 to 100 is a pretty big deal.

Those in attendance at Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College listen as Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Montcalm County Road Commission Superintendent-Manager Mark Christensen speak on the topic of emergency road funding. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local legislators talk about road repair

An unusually harsh winter has left several county road commissions in Michigan scrambling for funds to continue snow-removal and salting efforts to battle the elements and keep roads safe and passable for commuters.

Randolph Flechsig has more than one year under his belt as administrator of Sheridan Community Hospital. He was hired in September 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Sheridan Community Hospital’s leader looks back at his first year on the job

Randolph Flechsig gets excited talking about rural healthcare like some people get excited talking about their favorite sports team. Flechsig took on administrative duties at Sheridan Community Hospital just over one year ago. He describes the past year as busy and challenging, but in a good way.

On shifts of 12 hours at a time, the highly experienced dispatchers of the Montcalm County Central Dispatch in Stanton take multitasking to the extreme with their daily duties. Dispatcher Karisa Bailey sits in front of the long line of computer screens she oversees as calls come into the 911 center. Each screen has a different program and serves a different purpose. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Dispatchers team up to guide callers through dire circumstances

Illuminated by the bluish glow of a computer screen, the sharp eyes of 30-year veteran dispatcher Jan Jourdan dart from one monitor to the next, locating nearest personnel, directing services and gathering information from the caller, all while keeping an almost eery calm.

More than two dozen people attended Monday's Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting, which included a public hearing about a proposed property tax increase to fund the Montcalm Alliance. — Daily News/Cory Smith

County commissioners decline to vote on Montcalm Alliance millage

Many people have voiced opinions about a proposed economic development millage, but in the end it was silence that made the decision. After a 39-minute public hearing Monday afternoon, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners declined to vote on a property tax increase to fund the Montcalm Alliance using Michigan’s Public Act 88, which would bypass a vote of the people.