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Miss Heartland and her court include, from left, third runner-up Molly Smith, first runner-up Kayla Pingel, Miss Heartland Charlotte Squires, second runner-up Allison Adams and fourth runner-up Hannah Haynes. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Local women compete for Miss Heartland crown

Some of Michigan’s most beautiful and talented young women were at Central Montcalm Middle School on Saturday evening for the Miss Heartland Scholarship Pageant and the crowning of the Miss Heartland and Miss Heartland Outstanding Teen.

Road Commission for Montcalm County Superintendent Mark Christensen, left, explains his thoughts on newly proposed legislation to fund Michigan’s roads during Monday afternoon’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sen. Emmons anticipates road funding vote by Thanksgiving

With election season right around the corner, if a vote on road funding in Michigan doesn’t happen now, it’s probably not happening at all.

Those were sentiments expressed by Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, as she spoke toward the proposed Michigan House bill package that would fund $1.2 billion toward improving the state’s roads.

Late Wednesday night, the Michigan House narrowly approved a $1.2 billion funding plan to improve and maintain state roads, such as this road in Greenville. The legislation — which now goes before the Senate — includes a 40 percent vehicle registration fee increase and a 3.3 cent gas tax hike. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Road funding proposal approved in House, headed to Senate

Here we go again: Late Wednesday night, the Michigan House narrowly approved a $1.2 billion funding plan to improve state roads. The legislation includes a 40 percent vehicle registration fee increase and a 3.3 cent gas tax hike.

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Outman introduces House Bill addressing concerns with microbeads

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, is well aware of how important the surrounding Great Lakes are to every resident of the “mitten state.”

From drinking water to recreation, and freighters shipping goods to the state’s vast fishing industry, the priority of protecting the state’s invaluable natural resource is always a concern for legislators.

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Judge says murder confession illegally obtained by police

In a major victory for the defense, a Montcalm County judge has granted a motion to suppress a defendant’s murder confession, ruling the confession was illegally obtained by police.

Judge Donald Hemingsen released his opinion on the matter Wednesday after last Friday’s court hearing to consider a motion to suppress any and all statements made by Alan Morse, 48, of Sidney Township.

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JUST IN: Judge grants motion to suppress Sidney murder confession

In a major victory for the defense, a Montcalm County judge has granted a motion to suppress a defendant’s murder confession, ruling the confession was illegally obtained by police.

Judge Donald Hemingsen released his opinion on the matter this week after last week’s court hearing to consider a motion to suppress any and all statements made by Alan Morse, 48, of Sidney Township.

Alan Morse, seated at center, listens to testimony Friday along with his attorneys, John Raven at left and Jason Eggleston at right. Morse is accused of breaking into four Sidney Township homes and murdering an elderly homeowner last March. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Judge considering motion in Sidney Township murder case

Defense attorneys are hoping a Montcalm County judge will grant their motion to suppress “any and all statements” made by a man who allegedly broke into four homes and murdered one of the homeowners last spring.

Alan Morse, 48, is charged with the murder of Alan “Dale” Nelson, a charge with a possible penalty of life in prison.

Alleged murderer Alan Morse, seated at center, listens to testimony in 64B District Court today along with his two attorneys, John Raven at left and Jason Eggleston at right. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

JUST IN: Judge considers defense motion in Sidney Twp murder case

A Montcalm County judge heard testimony today in a defense motion to suppress any and all statements made by a man who allegedly broke into four Sidney Township homes and murdered an elderly homeowner.

Alan Morse, 48, is charged with the murder of Alan “Dale” Nelson, a charge with a possible penalty of life in prison.

A group of wallabies gather together Saturday at the new “Wallaby Walkabout” exhibit at Anderson & Girls Orchards petting zoo. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Anderson & Girls Orchards welcome wallabies to petting zoo

Those looking to experience a little of the Land Down Under can now do so in the heart of Montcalm County.

On Saturday, Terry and Gwen Anderson officially opened their new “Wallaby Walkabout” and “Parakeet Feeding” exhibits at their petting zoo at Anderson & Girls Orchards.

Cosmetology first-year instructor Rosa Waite delivers information to students and parents during an orientation session for first-year students and their parents Monday at the Montcalm Area Career Center. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Students begin cosmetology program with confidence, uncertainty

Though cosmetology will soon no longer be an option for students to pursue locally, a final wave of students at the Montcalm Area Career Technical Center is moving forward with high hopes. After the announcement this summer from Montcalm Community College (MCC) that the cosmetology program offered through the Montcalm Area Intermediate Schools (MAISD) Career Technical Education (CTE) Center would be discontinued after this year, students met Monday for what will likely be the final orientation day.