Elisabeth Waldon


IN BRIEF: Montcalm County BOC hires fourth investigative firm

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners has hired a fourth firm to investigate the county’s troubled financial situation.

Congressman John Moolenaar meets with media before Thursday’s listening session at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar talks failed ACA effort, future of health care reform

Congressman John Moolenaar knew Thursday evening’s listening session was going to be a bumpy ride.

As about 900 people were being seated in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium at Central Michigan University, Moolenaar steadied himself for the event in a dressing room in the basement of the nearly century-old theater.

Audience members waved green or red pieces of paper to show their support or opposition to statements made during Congressman John Moolenaar’s listening session Thursday at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar hosts raucous listening session at CMU

Not much listening took place during a Thursday night “listening session” hosted by Congressman John Moolenaar.

Nearly 900 people packed Central Michigan University’s Warriner Hall to hear from the Republican representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which encompasses 15 counties.

Emily Van Kleeck

Central Montcalm Elementary School Parent Group leader charged with embezzling

The former president/treasurer of the Central Montcalm Elementary School Parent Group has been charged with embezzling more than $4,000 from money collected through community fundraising efforts.

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams

Montcalm County commissioners to set sheriff’s deputy contract rate

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday will consider a recommendation to set a lower rate for municipalities to contract with sheriff’s deputies than the sheriff would prefer.

The county’s Finance & Personnel Committee on April 10 voted to recommend the full board approve setting all contract rates for deputies at $75,000 starting in 2019. Sheriff Mike Williams had asked commissioners to set the rate at $79,000.

Christopher Dennie from the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission updates  Montcalm County commissioners on April 10 about the state commission’s work to improve and create standards for counties regarding providing defense for people who have been charged with a crime but are not able to afford an attorney. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Indigent defense standards could level court-appointed attorney playing field

A state commission is in the process of reforming standards for court-appointed attorneys and indigent clients, meaning the administrative branches of Ionia and Montcalm counties will be taking over crucial judicial responsibilities in the near future.


EMS, health department have both experienced recent turnover

Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) are both looking to hire after some recent turnover. Commissioners on the county’s Health & Human Services Committee heard updates April 10 from EMS Director David Feldpausch about why paramedics are in such high demand, and from MMDHD Health Officer Marcus Cheatham, who explained why routine restaurant inspections are being eliminated for the time being.


Ionia County considering options for Building Department

Ionia and Montcalm counties currently share two circuit court judges, and county officials have been in talks regarding possibly sharing a building department director in the future. Montcalm County Building Department Director Scott Minard updated commissioners about the idea during an Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee meeting April 10. He said Ionia County officials contacted him last summer for his advice on the matter.

Howard City Village Councilwoman Cheryl Smith, at left, voices concerns about the village’s Department of Public Works while Councilwoman Eleanor Marek listens. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City hires attorney to look into DPW’s union effort

Village officials have hired an attorney to investigate the Howard City Department of Public Works’ effort to unionize.

Dawn Thurwatcher, at right, and Montcalm County Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead, far left, listen as attorney Jourdan Rasmussen argues for Montcalm County commissioners to grandfather in Thurwatcher’s kennel license for her miniature dachshunds in Edmore. Commissioners agreed to grandfather Thurwatcher’s arrangement. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County grandfathers in dog kennel arrangement

After two years of disagreement, Montcalm County officials are allowing an Edmore woman to have a dog kennel in her basement by grandfathering the arrangement. Dawn Thurwatcher has bred longhaired miniature dachshunds for two decades.