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Central Montcalm High School Valedictorian Jesse Kuczynski’s years of hard work on academics will pay off this fall in the form of several scholarships to Eastern Michigan University. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Years of hard work pay off for Central Montcalm valedictorian

Hard work. That’s what it takes to graduate high school with an overall grade point average of 3.99. It helps to be born with some serious smarts, but in the final reel, the hard work is what it’s really all about. Just ask graduating Central Montcalm senior and class valedictorian Jesse Kuczynski. He’s been working hard his entire academic career, as the results clearly indicate.

Walter Barnes

Ionia County fires its IT director

Ionia County officials are tightlipped about why they fired their information and technology (IT) services director. Walter Barnes, 43, of Stanton, was let go from his job on April 27 by Ionia County Administrator Stephanie Fox.

Lakeview Community Schools Superintendent Kyle Hamlin, right, reports on plans for the 2015-2016 school year as School Board President Edward Jonaitis listens during Monday’s meeting. — Daily News/Emilee Andrews

Lakeview may go back to school early

Staff and students at Lakeview Community Schools may go back to school as early as Aug. 31 this year. The Lakeview school board heard plans regarding an earlier start to the school year, as well as an update about the balanced calendar concept, during Monday’s regular meeting.

The Crystal Lake Association will attempt to raise approximately $17,000 this year for the treatment of aquatic invasive species detected in Crystal Lake — pictured on Wednesday evening from the public beach — to battle against Eurasian watermilfoil and starry stonewort. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Township Board talks roads, lake, library

Several county roads within this township will be treated for improvement with crack seal and gravel this summer. The Crystal Township Board voted 4-0, with Trustee Jason Anderson absent Wednesday, to approve $123,573 out of the township’s road fund.

Belding’s softball team lines up for the National Anthem in their pink softball shirts for cancer awareness Thursday. - Daily News/Chip Burch

Coopersville beats Belding girls in 8th

Belding’s softball team had a short-lived comeback. The Redskins came from a 4-0 deficit against the Coopersville Broncos on Thursday, only to lose in extra innings 5-4. The comeback started in the bottom of the sixth inning with a Greta Wilker solo home run. It was completed in the bottom of the seventh inning on a two-RBI double by Olivia Stephan.

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ROUNDUP: Prep scores from Thursday, May 14

Tri County 9, Wyoming Kelloggsville 3: The Vikings got a non-conference win Thursday, beating the Rockets. Kyle Peterman came in in relief in the fifth inning, got a strikeout after giving up a hit and was credited with the win when Tri County took the lead while he was the pitcher of record…

On Wednesday, The Chosen Ones Assistant Sgt. of Arms Greg Alexander and Vice President Jerry Cook joined the Montcalm Township Board meeting to hear the 4-1 decision concerning a special land use permit to operate their clubhouse in the township. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Montcalm Township approves special land use permit for motorcycle club

For the second time in a week, Montcalm Township Hall was inundated with leather-clad bikers rolling-in on their Harleys … and one blue sedan. Burley, bearded and benevolent, members of The Chosen Ones joined the Montcalm Township Board to witness the final decision concerning their clubhouse.

Sandra Ebright

JUST IN: Vestaburg bank manager charged with embezzlement, identity theft

A Vestaburg bank manager has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of embezzlement and identity theft. The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation at the Vestaburg branch of Mercantile Bank at 9002 E. Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) that led to the arrest of a longtime employee.

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SPORTS GALORE: Time for Chris Webber to grow up

Chris Webber was the one who accepted the money. Chris Webber called the timeout. Chris Webber lied to a grand jury. Chris Webber also continues to carry a chip on his shoulder, which was evident during his interview on The Dan Patrick radio program Wednesday. Webber apparently has issues with his former Fab Five teammates and the University of Michigan.

Lakeview’s Ben Outman tees off on hole No. 9 at Glenkerry Golf Course on Wednesday. Outman shot a season-best round 36 (1-over par). - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Butternut out shoots Lakeview, Central Montcalm

After a few days of playing golf in rain and wind, the sunshine was abundant and the wind, finally calm. Playing at Glenkerry Golf Course, the Butternut Homeschoolers defeated the Lakeview Wildcats and Central Montcalm Hornets on Wednesday. Butternut shot 173, Lakeview 194 and Central Montcalm 202.