Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County Sheriff's Deputy Charlie Mahar

Montcalm County sheriff’s candidates weigh in on budget

Three law enforcement men are vying to be elected the next sheriff of Montcalm County.

Longtime Sheriff Bill Barnwell is retiring at the end of this year. Whoever voters choose in the Aug. 2 primary election to succeed Barnwell will be tasked with overseeing a department that has been hit with repeated budget cuts over the years.

The Daily News asked the three candidates — all Republicans — for their thoughts about the budget crunch and their plans for the future, if elected.

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Montcalm County budget cuts mean job layoffs, fee increases

Michael Kotenko rose to speak before the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.

May 23 was the first major public appearance for the 14-year sheriff’s deputy since last autumn, when he narrowly escaped being murdered on the job.

Lakeview High School’s gradating class of 2016 throws their caps into the air at the conclusion of Sunday’s commencement ceremony.

‘We made it’: 87 seniors graduate from Lakeview High School (PHOTOS)

Sean Rinehart works double duty at Lakeview High School as an English teacher and the football coach. As the keynote speaker of Lakeview’s graduation on Sunday, he seemed just as home speaking to the class of 2016 as he does firing up his football players on the field.

Michigan Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Kyle Guerrant inspects “zombie retention facilities” that Montabella Elementary School students are building as part of a cross-curricular assignment involving writing, social studies and math. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Department of Education official tours Montabella

Kyle Guerrant didn’t know what to expect as he drove the Isabella-Montcalm county line toward Montabella Community Schools. He almost certainly didn’t expect to find students working to ward off zombies amid the cornfields and gravel roads.

Dylan Matulis, one of five valedictorians, receives his diploma from Tri County Area Schools Board of Education member Keven Hoisington during Thursday evening’s commencement ceremony. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County sends off 158 graduating seniors

Erik Barnard’s parents were involved in a car accident last March. Daniel Barnard, 66, of Muskegon died at the scene in California. Linda Barnard was seriously injured and continues to recover.

When Erik, a social studies teacher at Tri County High School, was asked to give the commencement address at Tri County’s graduation ceremony Thursday evening, he wanted to leave a lasting impression on the 158 graduates of the class of 2016.

Montcalm County Commissioner John Johansen applauds Montcalm Care Network Executive Director Tammy Quillan for the work she’s done over the past 11 years. (Daily News | Elisabeth Waldon)

Montcalm Care Network celebrates 50 years of service

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners looked a lot different half a century ago.

Levi Kinsey, 18, has overcome an array of tough circumstances — including abuse and neglect, multiple foster care homes and stints as a homeless youth — and will graduate with Tri County’s class of 2016 tonight. (Daily News | Elisabeth Waldon)

Tri County senior looks back on eventful 18 years

Levi Kinsey got a tattoo on April 6 to celebrate his 18th birthday. He went to the Creation Station Tattoo Studio in Newaygo to get Philippians 4:13 inked permanently on his arm: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“It’s my life motto,” he said. “It always has been and always will be. It’s gotten me through a lot of tough times and challenges.”

A standing room only audience packed the room on the third floor of the Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) in Stanton on Monday to voice their concerns about closing Animal Control and county parks. — Daily News/Cory Smith

County Animal Control elimination vote fails, parks decision postponed

Montcalm County didn’t go into debt overnight … and neither are elected officials going to be able to fix the problem in one day. This was Helen Hamler’s theory when she stood before the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday to ask them not to shut down Animal Control.

Audience members applaud the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners' vote not to eliminate Animal Control and the animal shelter. — Daily News/Cory Smith

IN BRIEF: Montcalm County BOC votes against eliminating Animal Control

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted today against their own proposal to eliminate Animal Control and the animal shelter.

Health Officer Marcus Cheatham, left, listens as Orlando Todd of Local Public Health Services at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services presents the Mid-Michigan District Health Department with a plaque congratulating the health department on 50 years of public health service. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Health department celebrates 50 years

Jane Keon grew up in St. Louis, a small town devastated by a toxic chemical mix-up that continues to result in elevated poison levels in people’s blood throughout Michigan today. When Keon grew up, she mobilized her community to protect water and fight toxic pollution, taking the fight all the way to the EPA in Washington, D.C. When John Switzer learned there was high levels of fecal matter in the Upper Maple River, he obtained grant funding to implement a watershed management plan, then leveraged a grant to assist other watersheds developing plans for the Flat River and the Pine River.