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From left to right, Mecosta-Osceola 49th Circuit Court Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy, HOPE Program Chief Probation Supervisor Cheryl Inouye, Hawaii Judge Steven Alm and Ionia-Montcalm 8th Judicial Circuit Court judges Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger and Ronald Schafer met Friday at the Montcalm County Courthouse in Stanton to discuss Alm’s HOPE program. — Courtesy photo

HOPEful new approach to probation, parole

A Hawaii judge came all the way to Montcalm County to meet with local judges who are hoping to follow in the footsteps of a successful approach to a probation program.

Judge Steven Alm, who has been a circuit court judge since 2001, created Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement program (or HOPE). He created the program after witnessing a high failure rate in Hawaii’s probation system; offenders who were up to 20 probation violations with no improvement, and the only options being used were talking to them or sending them to prison.

The Belding Area Schools Board of Education on Monday discussed the next steps for reevaluating the Redskins mascot over the coming months. From left, Administrative Assistant Val Clementz, board members Cori Anderson, Terry Boni, Shannon Hummel, Superintendent Sara Shriver and Board President Tim Flynn. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding school board OKs new hires, looks to future

There are some changes coming to Belding Area Schools staff. During Monday’s meeting, the school board unanimously approved the hire of two new staff members: Michael Ostrander as high school principal and Ross Hinkle as director of finance positions.

The Belding Area Schools Board of Education on Monday discussed the next steps for reevaluating the Redskins mascot over the coming months. From left, Administrative Assistant Val Clementz, board members Cori Anderson, Terry Boni, Shannon Hummel, Superintendent Sara Shriver and Board President Tim Flynn. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding board starts planning future discussions and education on mascot

The debate over the Belding Redskins mascot continues — and will likely continue into the next academic year. During Monday evening’s regular meeting of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education, board members worked toward making a decision regarding the school mascot. Even among board members, the issue is not an easy one.

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IN BRIEF: Belding board approves new high school principal

During a regular meeting Monday evening, the Belding Board of Education approved the hire of Michael Ostrander as the new hire for the position of high school principal.

Dennis Cooper

Belding balances new city budget

Belding residents will see some fee increases for certain things in the coming year. During a June 7 meeting, the Belding City Council voted 4-0 to approve the budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Per the city charter, the council held a budget workshop that was open to the public on May 17 to review the budget in detail and verify that it was satisfactory.

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JUST IN: Man suffers injuries in one-car rollover accident on Sidney Road

A male driver suffered injuries and was transported by ambulance to a hospital after his vehicle crossed the center line of Sidney Road Friday, left the roadway, and rolled several times into a cornfield.

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Schafer sworn in as 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge

Ronald Schafer recalled his time in high school, when he said there was “no way” his mother could have imagined a day in which her son would be sworn in as a judge in the state of Michigan.

But on the third story of the Ionia County Courthouse on Friday, a packed courtroom of friends, family, supporters — and Schafer’s mother — witnessed otherwise, as Schafer was sworn in as 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr.

Zaria Wilks, 18 months, of Edmore, enjoys her carseat in the 2017 Chrysler 2017 Pacifica. Her father is one of the sales and leasing staff members at Ed Koehn in Greenville. (Daily News | Amanda Leitch-Lee)

REVVED UP: Safety and style merge in latest family vehicles

Most of us remember the “family truckster” station wagon in the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” It was what we typically thought of as the perfect vehicle for a growing family.

Brett Zuver

Belding principal leaving for Kenowa Hills

Belding High School will have a new principal come the new academic year. The current principal, Brett Zuver, has accepted a job as the principal for Kenowa Hills High School. He will finish out the current academic year in Belding and will start with Kenowa Hills at the start of the next school year.

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UPDATE: Lockdown at Belding Area Schools lifted

Schools in the Belding district are currently on external lockdown while the Belding police department searches for a person of interest.