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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.

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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.

A fire believed to have started in a chimney destroyed a Douglass Township home at 4352 W. Briggs Road Thursday evening. All residents and pets escaped the home safely as five fire departments worked several hours trying to save the home.

Douglass Township home destroyed by fire

Five fire departments worked together for several hours Thursday evening in attempt to save a large two-story home, but the challenges of extinguishing the fire proved to be too great in the end.

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Rep. Rick Outman tours local energy and technology businesses

State Rep. Rick Outman and House Energy and Technology Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt recently spent a day in the 70th House District, touring energy and Internet provider workplaces to better understand the needs of residents in the communities. Outman, R-Six Lakes, who serves on the Energy and Technology Committee, said he was happy that Nesbitt, R-Lawton, spent a day meeting with local job creators to find out how state government can better serve Montcalm and Gratiot counties.

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Children, adults, take in history during annual Heritage Festival

When Larry Beard was a child he was told countless tales by his grandfather, a train engineer in Ohio, of the workings of the railroad industry in the late 19th century. Today, Beard shares those the stories and knowledge he obtained long ago from his grandfather with the young children who attend the annual Heritage Festival on the campus of Montcalm Community College.