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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.

Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, met with some of his 4th District constituents, including Everett Ray Holloway of Stanton, at right, to hear questions and concerns at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Moolenaar talks social issues with constituents

The Iran deal, Planned Parenthood videos and gay marriage … these were the primary interests of Montcalm County residents who met with Rep. John Moolenaar this week. A handful of 4th District constituents attended Wednesday’s meeting at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton to hear from their Congressman before Congress goes back into session next week.

Montcalm County Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead has new hope for many of the cats and dogs at the animal shelter in Stanton after receiving a grant from the Bissell Pet Foundation to assist with the new Adoption Days program. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm County Animal Shelter awarded $9,950 adoption grant

Animal adoptions will be free for three months in Montcalm County, thanks to a grant. Montcalm County Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead recently obtained a $9,950 grant from the Bissell Pet Foundation.

The Central Montcalm High School Marching Band’s new uniforms were purchased new at a total cost of $24,000. Of that amount, $12,000 was raised through a series of donations and fundraising activities. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Central Montcalm High School Marching Band debuts new uniforms

After more than a year of hard work, planning and dedication, Central Montcalm High School’s marching band finally looks as good as it sounds. Sporting new uniforms in public for the first time, the band performed a rousing halftime show at Thursday night’s football game.

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Canine Ronin fights crime alongside Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy

The newest employee of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office enjoys tracking down criminals, sniffing out drug busts and chewing on toys. He really, really likes chewing on toys.

Ronin, age 2, is a Dutch shepherd dog. He’s also Deputy Justin Schafer’s new partner in fighting crime.

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Michigan House to consider Outman’s road proposal as framework

In the midst of the Michigan Legislature’s summer vacation, one state representative came up with an idea for road funding that is now set to be considered by the state House as soon as Tuesday.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, first shared his idea for a state road funding proposal with The Daily News editorial board in July. Inspired by his constituents in the 70th District who called for a simple proposal focused solely on roads with only as much funding spent as needed, Outman brainstormed a $1.2 billion plan.

Potatoes were the focus of the annual Montcalm Field Day in Douglass Township on Thursday, hosted by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission and Michigan State University Ag Bio Research. Topics included late blight, as two potato fields in Montcalm County have been found to have the fungus disease so far this summer. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Potato late blight found in 2 fields in Montcalm County

A summer of cool temps and lots of rain has led to favorable conditions for unfavorable potatoes. Late blight, which can also affect tomatoes, is caused by a fungus which can infect and destroy the leaves, stems, spores and tubers of potato plants.

A group of farmers and other agricultural industry officials prepare for a wagon tour of local farms in the Douglass Township area on Thursday as part of the annual Montcalm Field Day event hosted by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission and Michigan State University Ag Bio Research. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm Field Day focuses on potatoes

Potatoes had their day in the sun Thursday during Montcalm Field Day in rural Montcalm County. Hosted by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission and Michigan State University, the day began with a gathering of more than 50 people in the potato industry at Douglass Township Hall.

Students enrolled in the Montcalm Area Career Center’s cosmetology program give and receive services from each other as they learn the procedures during their first year. Pictured at left is Janelle Rons of Vestaburg performing a manicure on Nadia Braafhart of Greenville. The longstanding cosmetology program partnered by the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District and Montcalm Community College will be discontinued after this year due to state and federal funding regulations that have changed financial aid qualifications for cosmetology students. — Courtesy photo

MAISD’s cosmetology program falls victim to state, federal regulations

Due to state and federal changes that have affected financial aid for several college and college-bound students, the cosmetology program through the Montcalm Area Intermediate Schools (MAISD) Career Technical Education (CTE) Center will be discontinued after this year.