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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.”

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Montcalm County elected official wage debate wages on

Call it payroll pinball.

A proposal to conduct a wage study for elected county officials was put into motion by the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners last summer by referring the issue to the Finance & Personnel Committee. When only two of 11 vendors responded to the county’s request for bids, commissioners referred the issue back to committee. On Monday, the committee decided to send the issue to a sub-committee for further analysis.

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JUST IN: MCC Board discusses President Obama’s free community college plan

If two years of community college tuition ultimately became free for students as President Barack Obama proposed last week, the effect would have lasting consequences for schools such as Montcalm Community College (MCC).

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.

Members of the Montcalm Economic Alliance, and several non members, discuss the group's bylaws Wednesday afternoon. —Daily News/Cory Smith

JUST IN: Montcalm Economic Alliance approves bylaws

Members of the Montcalm Economic Alliance officially took a step forward to shape the organizations image and establish an identity by accepting the entity’s bylaws Wednesday.

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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.

Members of the Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees discuss Tuesday evening the possibility of extending a bike trail from the college to the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. — Daily News/Cory Smith

JUST IN: MCC Board of Trustees shows support for campus bike trail

The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail stretches 40 miles from Alma to Greenville and plans are now in the works to add an important stop along the way.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Stanton’s new water park(ing lot)

Portions of the city of Stanton were hit hard by Sunday night’s rain and thunderstorm, leaving parks and parking lots flooded. Check out this photo gallery by Kyle Wilson.

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Deaf Pride Games at MCC celebrate deaf culture, strengthen bonds

William Fay can’t always understand his younger brother Jeremiah Zacharda, but days like Deaf Pride Games remove the stress. Fay, 15, has spent the last seven years with the rest of his family learning sign language, because when Zacharda, now 10, was 3 years old, it was discovered that he was deaf.

The adjustment wasn’t easy for the family, but Fay said the struggles to communicate have only brought him and his brother closer together.

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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.