E.Slider

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.

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.

Dakota Shaffer, 15, shares a moment with her mother, Amanda, right, Thursday afternoon at their home in Vestaburg. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Montcalm Care Network offers outpatient and home-based therapy

Montcalm County residents, like anywhere else, face barriers when it comes to receiving comprehensive mental health care. The rural landscape of the county can mean isolation for some families in need. Financial stability can be another issue.

The Montcalm Care Network, based in Stanton, is focused on helping children and families conquer those barriers in order to receive mental health care services.

Applauding veterans during a Vietnam veteran commemoration ceremony Wednesday at Central Michigan University are, from left, First Lt. Michael Miller, U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, Major Gen. James Jackson and Brigadier Gen. Michael Stone.

Vietnam veterans honored as part of national effort

Tom Porter was drafted into U.S. military service in 1965. He went through officer candidate school and was trained in the artillery before serving as a military policeman at Fort Gordon, Georgia, while many of his classmates were sent to Vietnam. One was killed in action in 1967. Two more remain missing in action to this day.

John Donnelly, 19, of Edmore, was among the first students in the early college program, which started three years ago at Montcalm Community College. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC graduation to include Early College students

Not every student walking across the stage at tonight’s Montcalm Community College commencement is a typical student. Thirteen early college students will be moving toward their next stage in life. John Donnelly, 19, a Montabella High School senior, is one such student.