Robin Miller

Montabella High School's Class of 2012 graduates toss their caps high into the air to celebrate the proclamation of officially graduating. - Daily News/Robin Miller

48 Montabella graduates bid farewell

A patchwork of 13 years of unique and individual memories – ones of personal triumph and lessons learned – unfolded Thursday evening as 48 Montabella High School graduates received their high school diplomas.

“I want to know why things happen, what gets manipulated to produce a certain outcome or what can be done to make something happen or change something,” said Okkema, who will attend Dordt College in Iowa to study biotechnology. “I’m very logical, a thinker and a discoverer.”

Senior project directs Montabella’s Cora Okkema’s path to education, career

A senior class project helped Cora Okkema discover a way to twine her love of farm life into her college studies.
Farming and being part of a small, rural community are important to Cora, who is graduating seventh in her class from Montabella High School.

Lakeview High School graduate Melissa Brainard — teen mom, honor student, employee — continues to keep sight of her educational goals.

Graduating teen mom Melissa Brainard conquers life with positive attitude

Melissa Brainard was determined to walk across the Lakeview High School stage wearing a cap and gown, despite the odds. At 15 and just a sophomore in high school, Brainard became a mother. On commencement day, June 3, the 17-year-old will not only receive her high school diploma, she will continue her journey to becoming [...]


Local farmers markets opening

Weekly farm and flea markets stimulate local economies by attracting visitors to shop for homegrown products. They offer a place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, soaps, jellies, baked goods, antiques and crafts from local crafters and family-owned farms.


Drug trends presentation Tuesday at Montabella High School

Community members, parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend an emerging drug trends presentation at 6 p.m. today in the Montabella High School gymnasium. Many neighboring communities are hosting similar events to educate people of the effects of the latest substances being used as drugs. Edmore Police Department and Drug Free Montcalm will offer information on bath salts, synthetic marijuana and other substances that are becoming increasingly popular among youths.

Rebecca McCafferty is the new 4-H coordinator for Ionia and Montcalm counties. She volunteered for the Peace Corps for two years in Togo, West Africa, where she worked with farmers to improve farming techniques and food security, as well as educated youths through camps and training.

New 4H coordinator Rebecca McCafferty is world traveler

4-H continues to be an important part of Rebecca McCafferty’s life as the new Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H program instructor for youth development in Ionia and Montcalm counties. McCafferty will divide her time between the two counties to recruit, interview and orient new volunteers and leaders, help with the fair and promote 4-H club activities and events.
MSU Montcalm Extension Educator Pat Dignum believes McCafferty is a good fit for the job.
“I am excited about the skills and experiences that Rebecca brings to this position,” Dignum said.

Anthony Stickler said the Montcalm Alliance carefully selected the books at the Montcalm County Business Resource Center housed in the Home Township Library in Edmore for long-standing, practical information. - Daily News/Robin Miller

Montcalm County Business Resource Center offers business startup tools

The Montcalm County Business Resource Center (MCBRC) — located in the Home Township Library in Edmore — was created specifically for entrepreneurs who need a place to investigate potential business concepts prior to launching a new business.

Preschoolers do math puzzles and letter recognition on tablets in Karen Gostomski’s class at Vestaburg Community School. — Daily News/Robin Miller

Vestaburg Community School begins 3-year tablet initiative

Twelve teachers at Vestaburg Community School received Android tablets for training purposes as part of a three-year plan to provide one-to-one technology to the district’s 700 students. About 220 tablets will be purchased during each of the next three years, starting this fall with 220 Asus Transformer TF101s.

More than a decade has passed since this facility was occupied as the Montabella Middle School gymnasium. Several Endeavor youths spent their spring break at the gym, tidying up and organizing.  - Daily News/Robin Miller

Youth group gives new life to old Montabella gym

The Montabella Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a one-year lease to Endeavor to use the gymnasium located in the Montabella Central Office facility at a special meeting last week. The decision came at the recommendation of facilities committee members Dennis Stratton, Mike Rasmussen and Sheri Miel. Credit references and a security deposit were secured prior to accepting the lease agreement.

Crystal Township residents gathered Wednesday evening to give their input to the Crystal Township Board about a proposed dock and boat ordinance. - Daily News/Robin Miller

Crystal Township residents question proposed lake ordinance

The Crystal Community Center was filled to capacity at Wednesday night’s public hearing to discuss the new Crystal Township dock and boat ordinance drafted by township attorney Clifford Bloom. The proposed ordinance replaces existing Ordinance 15-A, which currently controls lake access at Crystal, Duck and Loon lakes.