Cory Smith

Montcalm County Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator and County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer, left, speaks to Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr on Monday about denying a FOIA request from Stanton resident Ron Finegood regarding a former local judge. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm County commissioners deny FOIA request regarding judge’s emails

An appeal to overturn a denied Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding emails sent by a former circuit court judge was rejected Monday by the Montcalm County Board Commissioners. The board voted 8-1 to deny an appeal submitted by Stanton resident and attorney Ron Finegood regarding a FOIA request he submitted on Feb. 11, which was denied by FOIA coordinator and outgoing Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer.

Montcalm County commissioners, from left, Betty Kellenberger, Tom Lindeman and Dale Reyburn listen as attorney Doug Van Essen and Director at Montcalm County Central Dispatch Tim Scott, describe the contents of a new 911 service plan for Montcalm County Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smitb

Montcalm County commissioners approve updating 911 service plan

A lot has changed in the last quarter of a century, but one thing that hasn’t is the Montcalm County 911 service plan.

That will change, however, after a unanimous vote by the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday to approve a tentative new plan to bring the 911 system into the 21st century.


Outman concerned about proposed LGBTQ guidelines in school

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, has long voiced his opinion on educational matters in Michigan during his tenure in the Legislature, and Monday, he took aim at what some in Lansing are calling a controversial issue.

A proposal focused on students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or are questioning their sexual identity (LGBTQ) has been thrust into the limelight after a voluntary guidance, drafted with a goal to help school districts looking to better serve LGBT students, was outlined in a Feb. 23 memo from the Michigan Department of Education to the State Board of Education.

Students at Grattan Academy listen as Justin Yost, director on the board for the Ionia/Montcalm Families Against Narcotics (I/M FAN) chapter, speaks about drug awareness during an assembly put on by the organization Friday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Families Against Narcotics reaches out to students at Grattan Academy

Looking out at the audience of about 70 high school students Friday, it was as if Justin Yost was looking through a mirror to a time he wishes he could return to. Standing in the gymnasium of Grattan Academy, the 32-year-old Greenville resident recounted the days of his own youth, a time before drug addiction led to a spiraling road full of destruction and despair.

The Greenville High School jazz band performs during the Collage Concert. Three times a week, beginning at 6:30 a.m., 35 students gather with Greenville High School jazz band director Jeff Ayres, a full hour before the bell even rings to signal the start of school.

GHS jazz band traveling to St. Louis, performing in regional jazz competition

On the Mount Rushmore of jazz music legends, a space will surely be forever reserved for the master of swing, Duke Ellington. One of the most influential musicians of his time, Ellington’s impression on the culture of early 20th century jazz had no bounds, spreading from coast to coast across America.

Members of the Belding High School Pops Ensemble perform “Stairway to Heaven” at the Belding Band Follies dress rehearsal Wednesday evening. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding Band Follies is a show to remember (PHOTO GALLERY)

Be it a sketch from “Saturday Night Live” or a viral YouTube video, all that humor and more can be found locally for one more night at the heart of the Belding band program. The annual Belding High School Band Follies show performed Thursday, and an encore show will be available to take in at 7 p.m. tonight at the Belding High School Auditorium.

Members of Greenville High School’s Village Green Singers perform “Don’t Stop” during the 27th annual Collage Concert at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center on Tuesday evening. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Greenville High School Collage Concert (PHOTO GALLERY)

Greenville High School’s 27th annual Collage Concert at the Performing Arts Center took place Tuesday evening.

In sticking with the theme of “All Things Green,” event, a number of plants, grown by Lakeview High School junior Katie Johnson, 16, were on display and sold to visitors during at the Montcalm Area Career Center on Monday evening.

All Things Green event spreads local agricultural awareness (PHOTOS)

With more than 224,000 acres of farmland within its borders, agriculture is a driving force throughout Montcalm County. But size of land doesn’t necessarily equate proportionally to general appreciation or understanding, which is why consumers and vendors alike gathered Monday evening for the annual All Things Green event at the Montcalm Area Career Center.

Surrounded by friends and family, Mark Crawfis, at center, shares a laugh as he is recognized as the 2016 Carson City Area Citizen of the Year at the 23rd annual Carson City Area Community Recognition Night on Wednesday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Mark Crawfis honored as Carson City Citizen of the Year

Mark Crawfis is not a man who expects or demands applause. Yet when he took the stage Wednesday evening, there wasn’t a person in the audience who wasn’t standing and paying their respects.

Dakota Prentler, left, speaks about the importance of the Carson City-Crystal Mentoring Program, as program organizer Kelly Pringle, right, listens during the 23rd annual Carson City Area Community Recognition Night on Wednesday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CC-C Mentoring Program, high school seniors recognized

Standing in uniform, awaiting to leave for basic training in three weeks, Dakota Prentler used what strength he had to hold back his emotions Wednesday evening.

Speaking at the 23rd annual Carson City Area Community Recognition Night, Dakota served as an example of the good that has come out of the Carson City-Crystal Mentoring Program, which was recognized as the 2016 Community Group of the year.