Local

Kurtis VanGessel, 11, of Gowen, helps his brother Raymond, 5, look at starfish through a microscope with the help of Theresa Decker and Merry Kim Meyers of Montcalm Community College at the college's The Know Place agriculture and science station at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

The Know Place brings hands-on learning experience to fair

Seashells, skeletons and a baby pig fetus were popular attractions Wednesday at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair. Kurtis VanGessel, 11, of Gowen, is a member of the Mixed Bag of Nuts Club. He helped his brother Raymond, 5, look at seashells through a telescope, then contemplated a jar containing the pickled baby pig.

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‘End of an era’ for Robbins Book List

This city’s lone bookstore is closing its doors.Doug Robbins opened Robbins Book List in 1997. The store at 320 St. Lafayette St. in downtown Greenville became known for its atmosphere of fellowship and the place to go for local authors and book-signings.

Style Review and Performing Arts Show judge Deanna Sweet offers advice to Montcalm County 4-H’ers who participated in Tuesday evening’s show. — Daily News/Cory Smith

4-H’ers shine in Style Review and Performing Arts Show (PHOTOS)

As Mackenzie Miller softly took the stage Tuesday evening in her ballet slippers, she waited patiently with closed eyes for her dance routine to start. Standing silently in the Montcalm County Fairgrounds’ Ash Building, upon taking one last deep breath, the first word from a poem she had co-written came over the audio system.

Leigh Acker

Greenville Middle School principal retiring

Longtime educator and administrator Leigh Acker is closing the book on one chapter of her life and opening it on the next. After more than 30 years — most of those at the middle school — Leigh’s retirement is official today.

Alivia Kindel, 11, of Howard City, left, and Theresa Landis, 11, of Rockford, scream with excitement as they rise high into the air riding the “Crazy Surf” carnival midway ride at the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds on Tuesday. The carnival midway will be open each day at 1 p.m. until dusk this week. Today, Thursday and Saturday, all-day wristbands can be purchased for $18. On Friday, which is “Kids Day,” wristbands will be available at a discounted rate of $12. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carnival midway is open at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair

From winning giant stuffed animals to spinning so quickly you can’t see straight, this year’s Montcalm County 4-H Fair carnival midway is shaping up to offer fun for fairgoers young and old. With the tantalizing aroma of Smoky B’s Barbecue lingering in the air and the evening sky illuminated with blinking carnival lights, the small-town fair atmosphere is considered a staple of annual 4-H festivities.

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?

Montcalm County 4-H’er of the Year candidates, from left, Hayley Heft, Anne Thompson, runner-up Ericka Haag and 4-H’er of the Year, Rory Eldridge. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Third generation 4-H’er honored as Montcalm County 4-H’er of the Year

Thanks to a love instilled on his grandfather’s farm, Rory Eldridge of the North Central 4-H Club was named the Earl Peterson 4-H’er of the Year on Saturday.

Rory, of Stanton, is a third generation 4-H’er and got involved with 4-H when he was 10 years old.

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 Montcalm Area Master Gardeners Association and teenagers from throughout West Michigan worked together Wednesday to plant a garden at the Bill Braman Center for Family Education in Greenville. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Volunteers plant pollinator gardens at Braman Center in Greenville

Several dozen pairs of green thumbs were hard at work Wednesday in an effort to beautify a local educational facility. A group of youths from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan worked alongside members of the Montcalm Area Master Gardeners Association to create a garden at the Bill Braman Center for Family Education on Montcalm Community College’s Greenville campus. The Braman Center features technology labs for advanced manufacturing applications, health-related training options, renewable energy studies and more.

Teacher Rhonda Waldorf, left, and student Jackson Austin, 12, lead the parade during a Fourth of July celebration near the Seiter Center on Friday morning. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Seiter Center staff, students, celebrate Independence Day

Students at the Seiter Education Service Center were all smiles Friday as they paraded down Van Deinse Street clad in red, white and blue. Representatives from American Legion Post 101 in Greenville visited the center for an early celebration of Independence Day with a flag raising, a rifle salute and a rendition of “Taps” played on a trumpet.