Elisabeth Waldon

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Montcalm County commissioners approve balanced budget

By making some tough decisions, including denying almost all wage increase requests, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a balanced budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.

Rex, a German shepherd from the Czech Republic, recently retired from his job with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office after being diagnosed with canine degenerative myelopathy. He will live with his trainer, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Williams. — Courtesy photo

Montcalm County police dog retires

One of the most enthusiastic employees of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is being forced into retirement. Rex, a German shepherd, is being retired after seven years of service. His retirement comes on the heels of a diagnosis of canine degenerative myelopathy — a progressive disease of the spinal cord for which there is no cure.

“Beavis and Butt-Head go to Hell” by Darryl Love

Several local artists showing their work at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids

Autumn returns next week and, with it, ArtPrize.
The annual contest will officially get underway Wednesday, lasting through Oct. 12. During that time frame, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids will be featuring unique achievements both inspiring and challenging as artists offer up some of their most prized work for the West Michigan community to judge.

Nicole Grabowski

Ionia, Montcalm counties get new 4-H coordinators

Ionia and Montcalm counties have new 4-H coordinators, but they are no longer sharing. Nicole Grabowski is Ionia County’s new coordinator while Tarin Minkel is Montcalm County’s new coordinator. They both fill the vacancy left by former Ionia-Montcalm coordinator Rebecca McCafferty, who resigned in mid-June to take another 4-H position in Florida. McCafferty had worked as 4-H coordinator for both Ionia and Montcalm counties, part-time in each county.

James Fase is pictured with Rizzo, a black lab/husky mix who was shot and killed by a neighbor earlier this summer. — Courtesy photo/Fase family

Winfield Lake family wants law changed after their dog was shot and killed

Was it the result of a long-standing neighborhood feud between two families, or a simple case of self defense against an aggressive dog? Rizzo, a 10-year-old, three-legged black lab/husky mix, was shot and killed by a neighbor’s 9mm semi automatic handgun this summer. The case was investigated and closed with no criminal charges issued, but questions remain in the Winfield Lake neighborhood of Winfield Township.

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Actor Tom Hiddleston thrills audience with performance at Wheatland festival

Loki can sing. Those who attended this weekend’s annual Wheatland Music Festival received an unexpected treat when British actor Tom Hiddleston made two surprise onstage appearances to sing songs by one of music’s most beloved and tragic figures.

Andrew Clementz, a Belding senior.

This Is High School: Daily News launching 10-month student series

Our 10-month series “This Is High School” will launch Tuesday and Wednesday and will continue into next spring, when the school year comes to a close.

Our goal is to paint a picture of life as a high school student, complete with all its peaks and valleys, challenges and accomplishments, victories and defeats.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: What’s new at local districts this year

Staff and students have a lot to be excited about as the 2014-2015 school year gets underway Tuesday.

The rewards of voter-approved bond proposals in Belding, Carson City-Crystal and Lakeview are visible for all to see. A new superintendent is testing the waters at Central Montcalm while incoming freshman are making a “graduation pledge” at Greenville.

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Howard City Village Council now supports Latitudes apartments

After learning more details about a proposal to build high-end apartments above a local restaurant, most of the Howard City Village Council now supports the idea. The council voted 4-2 in favor of the proposal at a special meeting Wednesday night. The move was a reversal of a 6-1 vote against the proposal last month.

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Montcalm County commissioners likely denying most wage requests

Montcalm County commissioners are taking back tentative budget request approvals after learning the county is still facing a deficit this coming fiscal year. Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer led Monday morning’s two-hour budget meeting alongside Finance & Personnel Committee members Ron Baker of Howard City, Ron Braman of Vestaburg, Betty Kellenberger of Carson City, Tom Lindeman of Greenville and Ron Retzloff of Crystal.