JUST IN: Voters approve Central Montcalm’s school bond proposal, Montabella’s tax levy renewal

A majority of voters in their districts approved a bond proposal for Central Montcalm Public School and voted Montabella Community Schools to continue its 18 mill non-homestead property tax levy.

Ron Schafer

JUST IN: Schafer dominates 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge race

A former prosecutor turned judge emerged as the frontrunner over two attorney challengers Tuesday in the race for 8th Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Ionia and Montcalm counties.

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.


Flat River Watershed meetings scheduled for July and August

Four meetings will be held throughout the Flat River Watershed to present water quality data and discuss recommendations to restore and protect the watershed.

Spanning 564 square miles in Kent, Montcalm, Ionia, and Mecosta counties and incorporating three major communities — Belding, Greenville, and Lowell — the Flat River Watershed is home to a lively biotic community and viable small mouth bass fishery. Incorporating 150 miles of stream channel, the Flat River and its tributaries are incredibly scenic and beloved for their recreation possibilities.

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.

Former Central Montcalm Public School superintendent Jacob Helms of Clifford Lake was one of many residents to address the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday about law enforcement cuts. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Adopt a park, adopt a sheriff’s deputy?

Montcalm County officials have come up with an Adopt-A-Park plan to help keep county parks open amid budget cuts.

But who will adopt a sheriff’s deputy?

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.


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.


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.