Butts: Petty Officer 2nd Class Cassandra Butts, a Niles native and 2016 graduate of Ross Beatty Junior Senior High School in Cassopolis, is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron, which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes. Butts is an aviation structural mechanic with the Gladiators of VFA 106, which operates out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. A Navy aviation structural mechanic is responsible for maintaining aircraft hydraulics, landing gear and framework.

Hiestand and Reckline: Mark Hiestand and Clarissa Reckline received appointments this month to military academies based on U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s recommendation. Hiestand, a Niles native and senior at St. Joseph High School in South Bend, Ind., was extended an offer to the U.S. Air Force Academy. He also was recruited to play football. Reckline, a Baroda native and senior at Michigan Lutheran High School, was extended an offer of appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.