Judge Charles Simon, center, poses with recently-sworn in children’s advocates Tuesday at the Montcalm County Court Complex; from left, Jeffrey Bennett, Ronald Massanari, Rhonda Massanari, Simons, Brigitte Aggas and Michael Kattreh. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates help courts with at-risk kids

By the time the courts become involved in a domestic situation, things are complicated. Wives, husbands, sons, daughters … all can be victims. But too often, those most hurt are those least able to speak for themselves: The children.

Scott Koenigsknecht has been Montcalm Area Intermediate School District’s superintendent since 2007. His last day with the MAISD is today. He was hired as superintendent for Ingham Intermediate School District. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Dr. K reflects on his time with MAISD

As he readies for a new challenge, Scott Koenigsknecht is reflecting on his past eight years with the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) during his last week on the job. When he arrived in 2007, “Dr. K,” as he’s known, brought the knowledge and experience of a teacher, a principal and a high school superintendent. The advancement of his career to the head of MAISD was the pinnacle of his career at that point.

Kai Loni Redner, 26, at left, and Rebecca Rowe, 23, both of Lakeview, proudly display their marriage license in front of the Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) in Stanton on Friday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Lakeview women first same-sex couple to marry in Montcalm County

Like many Americans, the two women learned the news from a Facebook post. Kai Loni Redner, 26, and Rebecca Rowe, 23, both of Lakeview, were helping a family member move Friday morning when they heard about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States.

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JUST IN: Montcalm County has first same-sex marriage

Bursting into the Montcalm County Clerk’s Office just before the noon lunch hour today, the two women were breathless and smiling.

“We’re here to get married!” they exclaimed.

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Montcalm Area Master Gardeners club going strong after 20 years

It was 20 years ago that a handful of gardening enthusiasts gathered at Montcalm Community College’s (MCC) Sidney campus to take part in a newly formed curriculum and to learn more about their chosen passion, growing things in dirt.

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.