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The students of the Ombudsman class of 2015 were officially graduates following their commencement on Wednesday night. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Ombudsman Alternative Education celebrates commencement

For many, it was a long hard road, full of twists and turns, with an uncertain ending. But make it to the end they did. As of Wednesday night, eight students from the Ombudsman Alternative Education program can officially call themselves graduates.

Central Montcalm High School Principal Marty James shook hands with every graduating senior as they made their way across the stage to receive diplomas Sunday afternoon. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Central Montcalm High School class of 2015 celebrates graduation

One-hundred-sixteen Central Montcalm High School graduates took their first steps into adulthood Sunday afternoon during the school’s graduation ceremony. Clad in Central Montcalm green and white, the graduates made their way across the podium to receive their diplomas following some sage words of advice from school administrators, as well as the class of 2015 valedictorian, Jesse Kuczynski, and salutatorian, Santiago Alvarado.

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.

Josh Moomey, a paramedic with Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services, prepares the rear area of an ambulance Monday afternoon before departing for his shift from headquarters in Stanton. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm County Emergency Services receives $22,273 federal grant

Montcalm County Emergency Services has been awarded a $22,273 federal grant, which will be used for a new community paramedic training program. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which awards grants to fire departments and emergency medical services organizations to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel. Grants are awarded through a competitive process to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of the grant program.

Dr. Dorothy Berg of North Kent Guidance Services asks a question about survey results regarding the health of Montcalm County residents Wednesday in Stanton. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Data shows more action needed to improve health of area residents

The Healthy Montcalm Initiative created a goal three years ago to continue to improve the overall health and wellbeing of residents in Montcalm County. That goal continues, as was evident Wednesday at the Montcalm Human Services Coalition meeting when Marcus Cheatham of the Mid-Michigan District Health Department presented data for coalition members to evaluate.

A “Clifford Lake Hotel” sign hangs over the bar at the new Clifford Lake Inn, which also features original wood beams which add a rustic charm to the bar. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Historic Clifford Lake Inn makes grand reopening with new owners

The restored and revived Clifford Lake Inn has something old (floors, beams and ceilings), something new (furniture and kitchen), something borrowed (classic recipes with a twist) and something blue (the lake, of course). The 134-year-old dining gem of Douglass Township is making its grand reopening today. My husband and I enjoyed a sneak peek Friday evening at the invitation of new owners Thomas and Mary Stuit of Grand Rapids.

Ronald Simon, at far left, is interviewed for the job of Montcalm Area Intermediate School District superintendent at a special meeting Tuesday night in Stanton. MAISD Board members voted unanimously to offer Simon the position. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Montcalm Area Intermediate School District names new superintendent

The man tapped to fill the role of superintendent for the Montcalm County Intermediate School District (MAISD) said he hopes to bring an “open door” style of leadership to the post. At a special meeting Tuesday night, the MAISD Board of Education voted unanimously to offer the position to Ronald Simon, who has worked as associate superintendent of finance for the MAISD since 2010.

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Outman making second attempt to keep e-cigarettes away from kids

As the popularity of electronic cigarettes grows, so too does the amount of questions raised regarding how they should be regulated. Are they dangerous? What’s in them? Are they a legitimate substitute for traditional cigarettes?

wildfire scorches a large area of wetlands Tuesday afternoon just north of Sheridan in Sidney Township south of Rosa Lake. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fire races through wetlands in Sidney Township near Sheridan

Firefighters from Sheridan, Stanton and Montcalm Township spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon fighting an acres-wide grass fire that spread across a wetland area in Sidney Township. Though flames approached several homes on the southeast shore of Rosa Lake, firefighters were able to contain the blaze and no structures were damaged. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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UPDATE: Afternoon fire that consumed wetlands near Sheridan contained

Firefighters from Sheridan, Stanton and Montcalm Township spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon fighting an acres-wide grass fire that spread across a wetland area in Sidney Township.