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Michael Williams of Sidney is the new undersheriff of Montcalm County. He has worked for the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office since 1996, first a road patrol deputy, then as a canine handler and most recently as a sergeant. — Courtesy photo

Canine handler Michael Williams named new Montcalm County undersheriff

Montcalm County’s star canine handler is taking on a new challenge as second-in-command at the Sheriff’s Office. Michael Williams was recently promoted to undersheriff in the wake of the most recent undersheriff’s retirement. He will earn an annual salary of $65,000, which was approved by the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners in March.

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.

Montcalm Community College Trustee Mike Williams, right discusses the issue of raising tuition at the college during Tuesday evening’s board meeting as Secretary Carol Deuling-Ravell listens. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MCC increases tuition 4%

In keeping with statewide averages, tuition at Montcalm Community College (MCC) will be rising once again. Members of the MCC Board of Trustees voted 7-0 Tuesday evening to increase tuition for the 2015-2016 school year.

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.

Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley addresses the Class of 2015 at Montcalm Community College’s 48th annual commencement at Central Montcalm High School Friday. Calley, of Ionia, attended MCC in 1994 and 1995. — Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber

360 graduates celebrate ‘end of journey’ at MCC graduation

For many students at Montcalm Community College, an education isn’t just taking classes. It’s hours of free time spent studying, eating meals on the go, sleeping in a car between classes and relying on others to help with family to get through the day. No one knows that better than Rachel Gilbert, a mother of three from Trufant who wanted more for her life than a minimum wage job. On Friday, she, along with 360-plus other graduates, celebrated the end of a long journey during Montcalm Community College’s (MCC) 48th annual commencement ceremony at Central Montcalm High School.

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.

Betty Kellenberger and Erin Roberts, both of Relief After Violent Encounter (RAVE) of Montcalm/Ionia Counties, beam over being the recipients of 100 checks worth $10,000 after the 100+Women Who Care event at Montcalm Community College on Monday. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

‘100 Women Who Care’ donate $10,000 to RAVE

Erin Roberts was one of many women who attended the first Montcalm County 100+ Women Who Care at Montcalm Community College on Monday. She went thinking how nice it would be for some charity to go home $10,000 richer. She never expected it to be Relief After Violent Encounter (RAVE), the organization she directs.