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wildfire scorches a large area of wetlands Tuesday afternoon just north of Sheridan in Sidney Township south of Rosa Lake. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fire races through wetlands in Sidney Township near Sheridan

Firefighters from Sheridan, Stanton and Montcalm Township spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon fighting an acres-wide grass fire that spread across a wetland area in Sidney Township. Though flames approached several homes on the southeast shore of Rosa Lake, firefighters were able to contain the blaze and no structures were damaged. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

loc 0415 cs Sheridan wildfire-3

UPDATE: Afternoon fire that consumed wetlands near Sheridan contained

Firefighters from Sheridan, Stanton and Montcalm Township spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon fighting an acres-wide grass fire that spread across a wetland area in Sidney Township.

Greg Wing, a field operative with Heritage Ag, tows one of the company’s planes through the parking lot at Anderson and Girls Orchards Thursday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crop-dusting pilot makes successful emergency landing

In a matter of only a few seconds, flying at a speed of nearly 150 mph, pilot Mordecai “Deke” Walker’s routine crop dusting flight was suddenly thrown askew. As he was making his return trip to Lakeview on Tuesday after a morning of dusting crops in Stanton, a “chip detector” alarm light quickly grabbed his attention.

Happier times: The Nelson family is pictured sometime in the 1960s, from left to right, Mary Lou, Belinda, Dale, Luanne and Betty. — Courtesy photo

‘Dad was and is my hero’: Dale Nelson’s family prepares to lay him to rest

A man of few words, strong opinions and great love for his family. That’s how Alan “Dale” Nelson is being remembered in the days leading up to his funeral after he was killed in his own home during a robbery gone terribly wrong.

Alan “Dale” Nelson’s home is located in a secluded and forested area of Nevins Lake. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Nevins Lake homicide investigation goes on as funeral is planned

Police have officially cleared the scene of a homicide on Nevins Lake, but questions remain in the forested community where neighbors are known for looking out for each other. Alan “Dale” Nelson, 80, was found dead in his home at 591 Nelson Drive on Monday afternoon. His home had been broken into, along with three other cottages on the lake. Those three other cottages were vacant, but Nelson was home and police believe he surprised the intruders who were expecting his house to be empty.

Daily News/Mike TaylorTroopers from the Michigan State Police cordoned off Nelson Drive in Sidney Township throughout the day Tuesday while investigators conducted an examination of homes that were broken into on that road over the weekend. An 80-year-old resident was killed in one of the homes. Police believe the man surprised the intruders, who had expected the home to be vacant. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Sidney Township man killed in home during apparent break-in

Alan “Dale” Nelson’s home is one of several tidy cottages lining the sleepy north banks of Nevins Lake. Many are seasonal and stand empty this time of year, waiting for the arrival of summer residents. Sometime over the weekend, at least four of those cottages were broken into. Three of the four were vacant. Nelson’s was not … and the 80-year-old retiree was killed by the intruders.

It’s not much to look at now, but this plot of under-utilized property in Stanton will be home to Veterans Memorial Park within five years, if all goes according to plans currently being developed by the Stanton City Commission. Plans call for the park to offer five baseball diamonds, a disc golf course, walking and hiking trails and many other amenities. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Stanton sets interviews with engineers for Veterans Memorial Park project

A project that will likely be at least five years in the making took another step forward Tuesday when the Stanton City Commission selected three engineering firms to be interviewed for the task of creating Veterans Memorial Park.

Tara Lafferty of John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids displays a barred owl Saturday during Family Fun Day at Montcalm Community College as children watch in amusement. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Family Fun Day provides entertainment, delivers message

As a barred owl, native to Michigan, flapped its impressive wingspan in front of many curious young minds Saturday. Children watched speechless in awe. It was a rare moment that some may only be lucky enough to witness at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, but thanks to the Montcalm We Care For Kids (WCFK) Family Fun Day at Montcalm Community College, the spectacle was brought a little closer to home.

Family and friends comfort Darlene Dickinson, second from left, as she watches her Evergreen Township home burn Wednesday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Memories Lost: Sheridan area home destroyed by fire

When Charles Dickinson stepped outside his home Wednesday afternoon to the sight of thick black smoke rising not far in the distance, his heart immediately sank. A nearby house was on fire and he had a gut feeling he may know the homeowner.

Montcalm Community College Dean of Instruction and Student Development Gary Hauck, dressed in the outfit of the college mascot, the Centurion, speaks during the 50th anniversary celebration Monday at the college. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MCC celebrates 50 years of excellence

“In years to come, keep fresh and green, the dream of our Montcalm.” That final lyric of the Montcalm Community College (MCC) alma mater reverberated strongly Monday afternoon as it was sung proudly in harmony on the Sidney campus by faculty, students and friends of the college.