loc 1022 The Right Place-5

Montcalm County hears economic development update

In describing greater Grand Rapids, Birgit Klohs was forthright in her approach of the area from an economic standpoint.

“Nobody wonders were Grand Rapids is,” said Klohs, the president and CEO of The Right Place. “They know New York, they know Las Vegas, they know Chicago, they know L.A., but the middle of the country is often called flyover territory.”

Festivalgoers dance in between rain showers at the 43rd annual Wheatland Music Festival near Remus on Saturday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Rain doesn’t dampen music festival’s joyful spirit (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

As Cyd Gaffield of Six Lakes and Pat Kidwell of Vestaburg enjoyed Saturday’s Wheatland Music Festival, a graceful woman with long blue and purple hair dance and spun to the music in the air.

The Edmore Village Council on Monday will hold a public hearing regarding the International Property Maintenance Code, which Village Manager Neil Rankin is recommending to help the village fight blight. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Edmore looks to fight blight with property maintenance code

This village has a zoning ordinance, but no good way to enforce it.

So village officials are considering the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).

Madison Jordan, 9, of Edmore, rides down a zip line Saturday during the Edmore Potato Festival. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Edmore Potato Festival enjoyed by many despite wet weather

A little bit of rain couldn’t keep Edmore Potato festivalgoers down this past weekend.

Despite intermittent showers, Main Street was lined with families waiting for Saturday’s parade to start. Excited children were practically jumping for joy as they waited to see and hear that first line of emergency vehicles to signify the beginning of the parade.

Jim Lower, the Republican nominee for the 70th District state house, visits with friends during a victory party at his Cedar Lake home Tuesday night. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Lower wins 70th District GOP nomination, Albert takes 86th

In the two Republican primary races for local state representatives, one challenger walked away with an easy victory, while the second race proved to be a very close call. Voters elected Jim Lower of Cedar Lake to run for Michigan’s 70th State House District and Thomas Albert of Grattan Township to run for Michigan’s 86th State House District.

The Flat River, pictured here in Six Lakes, runs through Six Lakes, Greenville, Belding and Lowell, with various streams and tributaries connected to it. The Flat River Watershed Council is working toward building a management plan to restore and protect the river. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Local groups partner to restore and protect the Flat River

The Flat River has long been a source of joy, recreation and sustenance for the communities built around it. Over time, though, the river has fallen victim to bad practices, which affect water quality, water levels and the wetlands surrounding it.

Sweepstakes Showmanship Champion Heather Fishburn, 17, of North Central 4-H Club, poses with her sheep, Jack, after winning the sweepstakes competition Saturday at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Vestaburg teen defends title, repeats as sweepstakes showmanship champion

Being declared a showmanship champion stands as one of the highest honors in 4-H, and for Heather Fishburn, victory now tastes twice as sweet. On Saturday morning, 11 4-H’ers, each of them a showmanship champion for a separate animal class, walked into the livestock arena at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds with a goal to come out on top amongst their peers.

About 60 people attended a forum for Republican candidates for the 70th District State House Thursday evening at the Six Lakes VFW Post 5602, where they listened to each candidate speak. — Daily News/Cory Smith

GOP state rep hopefuls square off in Six Lakes

With less than a month remaining before the Aug. 2 primary, candidates for local and state elections are ready to hit the home stretch. On Thursday evening, Republican candidates for the 70th District State House participated in a forum at Six Lakes VFW Post 5602, hosted by ladies auxiliary member Shirley Pool.

The 55 graduates of Montabella High School celebrate their accomplishment Sunday by throwing their caps high into the air after receiving their high school diplomas. — Daily News/Cory Smith

55 graduate from Montabella High School (PHOTOS)

After 13 years, from learning to tie their shoes in kindergarten to taking their final academic exams this past year, the 55 seniors of Montabella High School became the school’s 50th graduating class Sunday. Dressed in cap and gown in the class colors of navy blue and white, with the class flower, a white rose with blue tips, pinned to their 2016 stoles of the same colors, the seniors spent their final day as high school students together, reminiscing on past events while also looking forward to the future.

From left, Judson and Jalen Kilchermann, 17, Marisol and Joel Bucao, 18, and Kimberly and Katrina Buskirk, 17, represent three sets of paternal twins that will be graduating from Montabella High School this Sunday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

3 sets of twins graduating together in Montabella High School class of 2016

After a long and sometimes educationally turbulent four years at Montabella High School, senior Jalen Kilchermann, a funny, caring 17-year-old, appeared to be derailed from the tracks that led to graduating with her fellow classmates this upcoming Sunday. With just a few short months in her final year of high school, she held a failing 11 percent in her chemistry class, a grade that would hold her back from earning a high school diploma.