Saturday, July 2, 2022

Joel Zumaya was a fiery leader for the Detroit Tigers, both on and off the field.  The flame-throwing right-handed pitcher was instrumental in the Tigers’ run to the 2006 World Series, before losing in four games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Justin Zimmer breaks the huddle of around 80 elementary school students and sends them on their way.  Groups of kids, ranging from a 10 to 12 per group, sprint off to one of six stations at Legacy Field, where their varsity Yellow Jacket heroes play on Friday nights in the fall. 

The Montcalm County Fair Livestock Auction started out on a somber note Thursday, with the crowd honoring a former 4-H’er. Brian Plank died at the age of 50 last November due to a farm accident in Ferris Township.

Jen Kupcho had already turned to the rules official to go to the next hole; the third playoff hole. She heard the gasp from the massive Sunday crowd around the 18th green at Blythefield Country Club.

Julie Stafford’s family has been profoundly impacted by blood cancers. Her dad passed after a battle with multiple myeloma and her nephew and brother are both leukemia survivors. That history was front and center for Stafford when she was asked to be one of 11 candidates in the 2022 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s West Michigan Man & Woman of the Year fundraising challenge — even though she waffled because she had a lot on her...

Standing on the third fairway at The Fortress Golf Course, Belding senior Mason Anderson was pondering his next shot. Playing his final hole of the Division 3 state golf finals, Anderson knew he needed to make a birdie to tie for the lead and have a chance at a playoff. The fate of the championship hung in the balance.

‘This is my community’

‘This is my community’

Audio Article

After more than three decades spent serving and protecting the residents of this community, Dennis Magirl has decided to turn the page toward a new chapter in his career – retirement. As the director of the Greenville Department of Public Safety, Magirl, 57, recently announced that his last day leading the department will be Sept. 1.

PHOTO GALLERIES: Ionia Fireworks and Uncle Sam Jam

PHOTO GALLERIES: Ionia Fireworks and Uncle Sam Jam

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Check out photos from Ionia's Uncle Sam Jam and fireworks show.

JUST IN: Montcalm Township clerk charged with forgery felony

JUST IN: Montcalm Township clerk charged with forgery felony

Audio Article

The Montcalm Township clerk who is facing a possible recall for allegedly lying about and submitting false documents related to a planned township election precinct split, has now been charged with forgery — a possible 14-year felony. Jessica Shearer turned herself in on Friday after a warrant was issued for her arrest on Thursday by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

Turner to be honored as Crystal Fourth of July grand marshal

Turner to be honored as Crystal Fourth of July grand marshal

Audio Article

A well-loved community member who enjoyed participating in Crystal Fourth of July festivities will be honored posthumously as the grand marshal of this weekend’s festival. Adam Turner died unexpectedly this past January at the age of 33.

Stanton Veterans Memorial  Park project going out for bids

Stanton Veterans Memorial Park project going out for bids

Audio Article

The Stanton City Commission voted on Tuesday to send the Veterans Memorial Park project out for bids. Although it wasn’t on the agenda initially, the commission added it during new business and voted 5-0 to have City Manager Jacob VanBoxel begin taking bids for the park’s monument.

Ionia Public Schools welcome new middle school, high school principals 

Ionia Public Schools welcome new middle school, high school principals 

Audio Article

In welcoming new middle school and high school principals at Ionia Public Schools, students and staff will have some familiar faces leading their buildings this upcoming school year.  During a special meeting of the Board of Education on Monday, members of the board voted unanimously — with Trustee Roger Hull once again absent — to approve the hires of Allison Aldrich as the new principal of Ionia Middle School and Craig Bowen as the new principal of Ionia High School. 

Crystal Township Board approves $100,000 to begin park project

Crystal Township Board approves $100,000 to begin park project

Audio Article

The Crystal Township Board took another step forward in a planned park project Monday while continuing to await official approval of a state grant. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last December announced a $300,000 grant for Crystal Township Park redevelopment — something the township board had applied for over the previous three years. While the Trust Fund recommended the grant, it’s currently stuck at the state legislative level — the Senate has approved it while a House vote has not yet occurred.

Search for a new Greenville superintendent underway

Search for a new Greenville superintendent underway

Audio Article

In wake of the retirement announcement of Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Linda Van Houten, the Board of Education held a special meeting Monday to draft a timeline of events in the search for a new leader. Following a separate special meeting on June 20, members of the board decided that to find the perfect candidate to take Van Houten’s place, they would hire a firm to assist with the search.

Edmore DDA looking to add two members after quorum issues

Edmore DDA looking to add two members after quorum issues

Audio Article

The Edmore Downtown Development Authority met on Wednesday to discuss plans for revamping its downtown area. Filled with questions about tree types, labor costs and the design of planter boxes, discussions were lively. However, with only four members present, the DDA couldn’t move any of the projects forward.

5 departments respond to Maple Valley Twp. barn fire

5 departments respond to Maple Valley Twp. barn fire

Audio Article

A Sand Lake man was treated for smoke inhalation after attempting to save his five pigs — all of which had to be euthanized due to burn injuries — following a barn fire Tuesday morning. At approximately 11:36 a.m. firefighters from the Lakeview District Fire Department responded to 871 N. Masters Road in Maple Valley Township, about one mile southwest of Trufant.

Montcalm County commissioners, court employees clash over Juneteenth as day off

Montcalm County commissioners, court employees clash over Juneteenth as day off

Audio Article

The United States marked its first official Juneteenth holiday this month. While the majority of Montcalm County employees reported for work on Monday, June 20, some county court employees did not come for work — and county commissioners aren’t happy about it. Juneteenth is a new federal holiday, which will typically be observed by the state and federal government on June 19. With June 19 being a Sunday, the first holiday was observed on June 20.

Federal lawsuit still pending over deceased Montcalm County Jail inmate

Federal lawsuit still pending over deceased Montcalm County Jail inmate

Audio Article

A federal lawsuit involving a Montcalm County Jail inmate who died while in custody continues to slowly make its way through the court system nearly two years later. Amber Bills, 34, of Big Rapids died in the Montcalm County Jail on Dec. 30, 2018.

Ionia superintendent receives ‘highly effective’ evaluation after first year on the job

Ionia superintendent receives ‘highly effective’ evaluation after first year on the job

Audio Article

After completing his first year at the helm of Ionia Public Schools, Superintendent Ben Gurk received his first evaluation Monday — a near-perfect score. During a special meeting of the Board of Education at Ionia Middle School, the board entered into an executive session for about 45 minutes with Gurk to perform his evaluation.

Carson City changes office hours

Audio Article

After a trial basis of new City Hall office hours, the Carson City Council once again approved a new schedule. Last November, the council approved having the administrative office open for four 10-hour days  7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday beginning Jan. 1 through June 30 with the council re-visiting the 40 hour work week in June.

Maple Valley Township supervisor’s OMA trial pushed into August

Maple Valley Township supervisor’s OMA trial pushed into August

Audio Article

A trial for the Maple Valley Township supervisor charged with violating the Open Meetings Act has been pushed out from July into mid-August. John Schwandt appeared before Montcalm County District Court Judge Adam Eggleston for a settlement conference on Monday morning.

The Daily News Spark Plug 2022

The Daily News Spark Plug 2022

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The Daily News Spark Plug 2022

‘Being a kid again’

‘Being a kid again’

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Joel Zumaya was a fiery leader for the Detroit Tigers, both on and off the field.  The flame-throwing right-handed pitcher was instrumental in the Tigers’ run to the 2006 World Series, before losing in four games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Josiah Wallace honored as 11 millionth fan at Whitecaps ballpark

Josiah Wallace honored as 11 millionth fan at Whitecaps ballpark

Audio Article

Wednesday started as a typical night at the ballpark for Josiah Wallace.  He was in line to see his hometown West Michigan Whitecaps with his family — his mom and dad, Alissa and Matt, along with older brothers Noah, Elijah and Gabe. The Wallaces always sit near the Whitecaps’ first-base dugout. 

Five local high schoolers headed to Wyoming to compete at National High School Finals Rodeo

Five local high schoolers headed to Wyoming to compete at National High School Finals Rodeo

Audio Article

Last year, at the Michigan High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA) state finals, hosted at the Montcalm County Fairgrounds, Montabella’s Gracie Rasmussen competed and fell short of qualifying for the national finals. She was in her second year of competing in the MHSRA. Looking for a change of pace heading into year three, her last year before graduating from Montabella, Rasmussen was recommended a new event to throw into her rodeo mix — light rifle shooting.

CC-C’s Zane Forist named Gatorade Michigan Boys Track & Field Player of the Year

CC-C’s Zane Forist named Gatorade Michigan Boys Track & Field Player of the Year

Audio Article

In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Zane Forist of Carson City-Crystal High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Michigan Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Forist is the first Gatorade Michigan Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Carson City-Crystal High School.

West Michigan Whitecaps heading into July with plenty of promise

West Michigan Whitecaps heading into July with plenty of promise

Audio Article

No, the West Michigan Whitecaps are not a winning baseball team right now from a record standpoint. They’ve also been faced with several key departures via either promotion or injury. While it’s common for minor league teams to lose key players in either fashion, the three main departures for the Whitecaps — infielders Wenceel Perez (promotion) and Colt Keith (arm injury), along with outfielder Parker Meadows — this season have left the team in a precarious position.

Sheridan’s Kohn wins $1,000 Pro Stock feature at CMS

Sheridan’s Kohn wins $1,000 Pro Stock feature at CMS

Audio Article

Saturday night at Crystal Motor Speedway was another busy night with all seven divisions on hand and over 125 cars in the pits and a bustling grandstand. CL Trucking and Excavating of Ionia sponsored the evening. Vestaburg’s Logan Nickerson started eighth in the Late Model feature, but he made his way through the pack to take the win over Mike Vandermark Jr. of Cedar Springs, JC Witherspoon of Kinde, Taylor Wiles of Hubbardston and Kurt Mesman of Wyoming. Vandermark and Michael Archer of Jackson picked up the preliminary heat events.

Growing the game

Growing the game

Audio Article

Justin Zimmer breaks the huddle of around 80 elementary school students and sends them on their way.  Groups of kids, ranging from a 10 to 12 per group, sprint off to one of six stations at Legacy Field, where their varsity Yellow Jacket heroes play on Friday nights in the fall. 

All-Area Spring Sports Awards for 2022

All-Area Spring Sports Awards for 2022

Audio Article

Check out the Daily News All-Area Spring Sports Awards for 2022.

AUSTIN CHASTAIN: Inside the ropes for a memorable week of golf

AUSTIN CHASTAIN: Inside the ropes for a memorable week of golf

Audio Article

Golf is my favorite sport, at least to play — despite the funny four-letter words that sometimes come out of my mouth.  Over the last year, golf is becoming one of my favorite sports to cover, too.

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