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Laura McCallum and Sydney Stauffer served as valedictorian and salutatorian for Central Montcalm High School. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Central Montcalm High School graduates 98 seniors

Laura McCallum and Sydney Stauffer ranked as the top two academic scholars in the Central Montcalm High School Class of 2016, earning the roles of valedictorian and salutatorian.

Throughout their four years of high school, the two have both been in National Honor Society, served as president and vice-president of their senior class and have been leaders in various clubs and organizations.

Health Officer Marcus Cheatham, left, listens as Orlando Todd of Local Public Health Services at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services presents the Mid-Michigan District Health Department with a plaque congratulating the health department on 50 years of public health service. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Health department celebrates 50 years

Jane Keon grew up in St. Louis, a small town devastated by a toxic chemical mix-up that continues to result in elevated poison levels in people’s blood throughout Michigan today. When Keon grew up, she mobilized her community to protect water and fight toxic pollution, taking the fight all the way to the EPA in Washington, D.C. When John Switzer learned there was high levels of fecal matter in the Upper Maple River, he obtained grant funding to implement a watershed management plan, then leveraged a grant to assist other watersheds developing plans for the Flat River and the Pine River.

Board members Brian Corwin and Bud Longnecker and Board President Stephen Foster listen as Superintendent Ron Simon gives his report. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MAISD board approves retirements, resignations

Four staff members in the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will be departing during the course of this year. The MAISD Board of Education approved the retirements of special education teacher Annegret Paas, bus driver Betty Sleight and administrative assistant Dawn Lantz and the resignation of plant and animal science teacher Abby Schofield during Thursday morning’s meeting. Paas’ retirement will be effective July 1 and Sleight’s retirement will be effective Sept. 1.

Montcalm Community College Director of Human Resources Connie Stewart and Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Lantz listen Tuesday as Carson City-Crystal High School Principal Duane Lyons discusses the successes of the school district. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC Board of Trustees hears from Carson City-Crystal area leaders

Several guests sat in on the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday evening. Among the guests were Doug Smith, deputy warden for the Carson City Correctional Facility; Gary Copp of Carson City Lumber; Carson City-Crystal Area Schools guidance counselor Grant Woodman and CC-C High School Principal Duane Lyons.

Montcalm County Animal Control could be closed in the near future after a budget recommendation by the Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee. — File photo

County officials recommend shutting down Animal Control, closing parks

Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee is recommending shutting down Animal Control and the animal shelter and closing county parks to help with the county’s budget situation. Committee members made the recommendations Monday morning at the request of Commissioner Ron Retzloff. He recommended shutting down Animal Control, the animal shelter and all its employees, and having the Humane Society take over local animal services. Retzloff estimates this will save at least $100,000.

Brian Smith of Central Asphalt in Mount Pleasant lines up string along Lake Montcalm Road near Vestaburg on Monday, as Matt Toth works nearby. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

$4 million in road repairs underway in Montcalm County (PHOTOS)

Portions of three gravel roads will be restored to asphalt as part of $4 million in road work projects this year. The Road Commission for Montcalm County borrowed $4 million from Chemical Bank (a 10-year loan with a 2.2 interest rate) to get a jump start on repairing roads based on Michigan’s $1.2 billion road funding package approved by legislators last November.

A red 1999 Buick LeSabre and a 2012 Audi S4 collided head-on after the Audi was not able to pass multiple vehicles on M66 on Belvidere Township on Sunday.

UPDATE: Second person dies as a result of Sunday crash

Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a two car crash on M-66 near Schmeid Road in Belvidere Township. The crash was reported at approximately 7:18 p.m. on Sunday. Two people have died as a result of the crash.

Students will face a $25 per contact hour technology fee starting in this fall at Montcalm Community College after a recent vote by the MCC Board of Trustees. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC hikes tuition, adds technology fees

Montcalm Community College (MCC) students are going to see some new fees in the upcoming fall semester. To compensate for falling budgets and rising costs, the MCC Board of Trustees recently voted to raise tuition and to add extra fees to student costs.

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Montcalm County undersheriff continues role as interim jail admin

The Montcalm County Jail will be short an administrator and a corrections officer for at least another month. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners reviewed a request Monday from Sheriff Bill Barnwell to fill the vacant jail administrator position, as well as a vacant corrections officer position.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, speaks during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College on the subject of the state’s 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Legislators get early start on state budget

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, doesn’t find the state budget an exciting topic, but it is one that he deems important. Outman spent more than 30 minutes on the subject of the upcoming 2016-2017 fiscal year state budget during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, as two budget bills were introduced in the House of Representatives last week.