Local

Kodie Hansen is graduating from Vestaburg High School and moving on to Cornerstone University. He used to bike from his family’s home in Alma, 12 miles each way, so he could still attend classes in Vestaburg. (Daily News | Emilee Nielsen)

Vestaburg student Kodie Hansen pedals his way to diploma

Kodie Hansen is driven to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Even if he has to ride a bike to do it.

Dylan Matulis, one of five valedictorians, receives his diploma from Tri County Area Schools Board of Education member Keven Hoisington during Thursday evening’s commencement ceremony. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County sends off 158 graduating seniors

Erik Barnard’s parents were involved in a car accident last March. Daniel Barnard, 66, of Muskegon died at the scene in California. Linda Barnard was seriously injured and continues to recover.

When Erik, a social studies teacher at Tri County High School, was asked to give the commencement address at Tri County’s graduation ceremony Thursday evening, he wanted to leave a lasting impression on the 158 graduates of the class of 2016.

Levi Kinsey, 18, has overcome an array of tough circumstances — including abuse and neglect, multiple foster care homes and stints as a homeless youth — and will graduate with Tri County’s class of 2016 tonight. (Daily News | Elisabeth Waldon)

Tri County senior looks back on eventful 18 years

Levi Kinsey got a tattoo on April 6 to celebrate his 18th birthday. He went to the Creation Station Tattoo Studio in Newaygo to get Philippians 4:13 inked permanently on his arm: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“It’s my life motto,” he said. “It always has been and always will be. It’s gotten me through a lot of tough times and challenges.”

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.

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The Daily News named best in Michigan

The Daily News was named the best in the state Sunday in the annual Michigan Associated Press (AP) Media Editors newspaper competition.

The Daily News won for general excellence in Division 1 and was honored with 10 other awards during Sunday’s AP banquet in Lansing.

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Howard City Village Council votes to stay with current employee health insurance

The Howard City Village Council voted 6-1 on Monday night to leave employee health insurance as is, even though it will cost the village an extra $10,000 per year.

The village’s health insurance needed to be renewed by June 1. The village council had the option of staying with its current Priority Health plan at a cost of $74,000 per year or switching to a new Priority Health plan at a cost of $64,600 per year.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City remains unsure about blighted property

For the second month in a row, the Howard City Village Council discussed but took no action tonight on a blighted property.

The property at 121 Godfrey St. is one of 53 parcels that went into foreclosure this year in Montcalm County due to delinquent taxes from 2013.

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Indiana man rolls car, arrested for drunk driving near Howard City

An Indiana man was arrested after allegedly driving drunk and rolling his car near Howard City on Friday night.
Montcalm County sheriff’s deputies and Montcalm County Emergency Services were dispatched to the accident around 10:07 p.m. in the 1100 block of N. Henkel Road in Reynolds Township.

Ace Moore.

ON THE RECORD: Montcalm County cracking down on recycling site abuse

One man has been convicted and fined after dumping garbage at a Montcalm County recycling site, putting a face to a countywide problem.

Kathy Jo VanderLaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, gives examples of economic development within Montcalm County throughout the past year during Thursday’s Coalition of Greater Greenville meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Right Place partnership paying dividends for Montcalm County

After one full year of utilizing The Right Place in Montcalm County, early returns appear to be positive.

According to Right Place Board of Directors member and Montcalm Economic Alliance Board President Rob Spohr, the return on investment in partnering with The Right Place, an economic development agency based in Grand Rapids, has led to a rate of $1,330 to $1 through the first year of the three-year partnership.