Elisabeth Waldon

Benny Steele

ON THE RECORD: Former Vestaburg coach/teacher going to trial over sex charge

A former Vestaburg coach and teacher is going to trial after a teenage girl alleged he inappropriately touched her while in the school gymnasium.

Benny Keith Steele, 52, is charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.


IN BRIEF: Montcalm County to borrow $2,677,000 to fix budget

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approved a 2016 borrowing resolution to borrow no more than $2,677,000 for the 2014-2015 delinquent tax revolving fund Monday.

The state of Michigan began withholding 25 percent of revenue sharing from Montcalm County on Oct. 13 after the county was late in submitting a deficit elimination plan.


Some Montcalm County commissioners decline to file expense reports

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners recently voted to give themselves a pay cut, but some commissioners have been quietly declining to turn in their expense reports for years.

Commissioners voted in September to give themselves a 15 percent salary cut, which will save $14,990, as part of $1.5 million in overall county budget cuts. Commissioners each earn an annual salary of about $9,600.

A former gas station located at 15350 W. Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) sits on two long neglected acres in Winfield Township, better known as Amble. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is currently working to fix contamination from leaks out of underground tanks at the property. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Michigan DEQ cleans up former Amble gas station contamination

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is working to fix contamination from leaking storage tanks underground at a former gas station.

The property at 15350 W. Howard City-Edmore Road (M-46) sits on two long neglected acres in Winfield Township, better known as Amble.

Work on Howard City’s Shaw Street began after Labor Day and will continue through early November. The project will then go on hold until April, when it will be completed. Businesses on Shaw Street remain open to customers. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Shaw Street project on schedule in Howard City

Other than a few literal bumps in the road, a construction project in Howard City is going smoothly and ahead of schedule.

CL Trucking & Excavating of Ionia began working on Shaw Street just after Labor Day. The project extends from the village’s traffic light at Federal Road (old 131) west on Shaw to the village limits, which are located just short of the U.S. 131 expressway north and south ramps.

Larry Cole

Owner of Lakeview’s Alley Cat Bar & Grill pleads to sex crime

A Lakeview businessman has pleaded no contest to one of six counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) that are alleged to have taken place at his popular bowling alley, bar and restaurant.

Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead updated Montcalm County commissioners on her department’s status on Monday after Animal Control received a 33 percent budget cut. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Animal Control deals with budget cuts by reducing hours, staff

Reduced hours, reduced staff, reduced services.

Montcalm County Animal Control is running as such after a 33 percent budget cut by the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.


Montcalm County commissioners play musical chairs during meeting

One commissioner’s complaint that too many commissioners were sitting at the table Tuesday morning led to the chairman’s exit.

During the Law Enforcement & Courts Committee meeting, Commissioner John Johansen pointed out that only committee members should be sitting at the table.

James Stockton

Daily News columnist dies

A former Daily News columnist known for his witty and far-reaching musings has gone to the clouds.

James Stockon died Friday at Spectrum Health Blodgett Campus in East Grand Rapids. He was 81 years old.

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Howard City school receives 82 backpacks from AT&T Pioneers

Kindergarten students through second-graders at MacNaughton Elementary School now have access to 82 new backpacks full of school supplies, thanks to a donation from AT&T Pioneers. The backpacks — in colors of pink, black, light blue and dark blue — were distributed to the Howard City school on Monday morning. Each backpack contains an assortment of notebooks, colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors and a pencil box.