News

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, holding a pamphlet on the OK2SAY confidential student hotline, reaches out to the audience at Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College to promote the new program.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Emmons, Outman working to promote OK2SAY student safety hotline

The best way to stop a violent act, be it suicide, bullying or the manifestation of a serious bomb threat, is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

That’s the message Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, was hoping to convey when her legislation to create the new OK2SAY confidential student safety hotline was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2013.

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ON THE RECORD: Man jailed after attempting to neuter dog using livestock implement

A Fenwick man has been sentenced to jail time and fines after attempting to neuter a dog using a castration banding tool commonly used on farm livestock.

Wilmer Nolt Martin, 50, was convicted of abandoning/cruelty to animals, two counts of a stray dog and two counts of an unlicensed dog.

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JUST IN: Montcalm County BOC sends dog kennel ordinance back to committee

After another meeting full of emotional public comments, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted 7-1 today to send proposed changes to the county’s dog kennel ordinance back to the drawing board.

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.

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Central Montcalm Public School showcases student achievements

The arts are alive and well at Central Montcalm Public School. So are athletics and academics, if Thursday evening’s event — held at the high and middle schools — is any indication.

Well over 1,000 parents, grandparents and other interested parties packed the schools for this year’s Central Montcalm Educational Showcase. Though the event highlights all aspects of school life, it is definitely “art-centric.”

Rebecca Grant, left, and Robin Grant stand with their collection box at Premier Automotive in Belding for RAVE’s “1 Thing Thursday” program. — Courtesy photo

‘1 Thing Thursday’ project collects one item for RAVE

When women and children in Ionia and Montcalm counties fleeing domestic or sexual violence don’t have a safe place to go, they turn to Relief After Violent Encounter — Ionia/Montcalm, Inc. (RAVE), which operates the only shelter for these victims in the two-county area.

Now RAVE is turning to the community to help stock its pantry shelves.

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Montcalm County looks to upgrade land records

Matt Woolford equates the variety of county land records to the many flavors of ice cream … and he wants to bring a flavor burst to Montcalm County. Woolford, who works as equalization director for Kent and Montcalm counties, appeared before Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee on March 9 to request approval for upgrading Montcalm County land records to a geographic information systems (GIS)-based platform.

The Boys From Amsten include, front row from left, Charley Duma (mandolin) and Gilbert Morris (guitar); back row from left, Dan Varney (bass), Pat Houghton (saw) and Rex Rice. The group performs regularly at the Sheridan Community Center. — Courtesy photo

The heart of Sheridan: Community center is focus of village life

Driving along M-66 through this diminutive village, one might get the idea not much is happening there. The quiet side streets, the “no wake” lake, the mom and pop restaurants and clapboard churches; it all seems to whisper, “Nope, nothin’ to see here.” And maybe there’s some truth to that. But as winter winds down and summer approaches, this sleepy little town starts waking up. Evidence of this can be found nearly every weekday at the village’s community center.

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The first 10 weeks: Rep. John Moolenaar talks budget, nuclear arms

Three committees, 30+ bills, 130+ votes … and the hope for a budget that balances in 10 years.

Those are just a few numbers that represent John Moolenaar’s first 10 weeks in office as representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which covers multiple counties in the state’s northern and central region, including Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta and Montcalm counties.

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.