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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.

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Household hazardous waste collection is Saturday

Montcalm County will be holding a household hazardous waste collection event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Montcalm Area Career Center at 1550 W. Sidney Road, Sidney.

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IN BRIEF: Montcalm County commissioners turn over budget cuts to new admin

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners have decided to turn over budget cut decisions to their new controller-administrator.

The board voted 6-3 on Monday to approve Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel’s recommendation that the board authorize him to “make necessary budget reductions” effective that same day on an ongoing basis.

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.

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.

Co-valedictorian Cammi Clouse speaks to her classmates and the audience during Vestaburg's graduation Sunday, reflecting on what "real life" was like during elementary and high school and what "real life" will be like now that she and her classmates have graduated. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Vestaburg grads encouraged to keep striving for better (PHOTOS)

The path to success in life never ends — this according to 1961 Vestaburg alumna Dianne Wilson, who spoke about the importance of never stopping an education to the 49 students at Vestaburg High School’s graduation Sunday. “Did you ever hear the saying that you are a part of a forever learning situation?” Wilson asked the class and a packed audience at the school’s gymnasium. “You don’t just go out in life and exist. You continue a lifetime of living and learning. You should never cease to search fulfilling the person you are meant to be.”

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.