Elisabeth Waldon

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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.

From left to right, Howard City Village Manager-President Randy Heckman and council members Janice Williams, Bruce McTavish, in back, and Jason Hacko listen to an update about the village’s stormwater, asset management and wastewater grant during Monday’s meeting. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City nears the end of SAW grant work

This village is nearing the completion of a three-year stormwater, asset management and wastewater (SAW) grant process. The Howard City Village Council on Monday evening heard a progress update from David Bluhm and Sam Bender of Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering in Grand Rapids.

Anthony Wiles

Greenville man pleads guilty to charges related to fatal drug overdose

A Greenville man pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a Belding woman who fatally overdosed on a combination of heroin and methamphetamine in 2015.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City will soon welcome new village manager

The outgoing village manager reported the incoming village manager is ready to come to work.

The Howard City Village Council recently approved hiring Michael Falcon as its new manager.

A jam session takes place on the sidewalk outside the new Gitchel & Krope Music Store in downtown Howard City last Saturday, featuring from left, Tony Ward of Mecosta on barstool, store co-owner Luke Gitchel of Winfield Township, Dylan Deitz of Lakeview, store co-owner Tom Krope of Winfield Township and Billie Brandt of Winfield Township in back on the drums. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Gitchel & Krope Music Store opens in Howard City

Montcalm County’s Panhandle community continues to be known for its support of local music. Last January, Luke Gitchel and Tom Krope purchased the property at 210 E. Edgerton St. — which formerly housed Helping Hands Food Pantry — from the Howard City Downtown Development Authority for $15,000.

Amber Rowland is pictured in happier times on a poster created by friends and family after Amber fatally overdosed on heroin in the summer of 2016. She was 25 years old. — Daily News/Cory Smith

HEROIN HITS HOME: Part 1, ‘Kissing Everything Goodbye’

“I was 22 and only smoked weed, drank from here and there, took pills sometimes. Some call me a late bloomer.” — So begins a letter written by Amber Rowland on April 11, 2016, and read aloud in Montcalm County’s Drug Court as a success story from someone who was bound by addiction, but fought to be sober.

A Montcalm County millage proposal group on Tuesday heard from Robert “Bob” Van Lente of Portland, who has helped run multiple election campaigns in Ionia County. The millage group has narrowed its focus to raising funds from five community services to two: Conservation and 4-H. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County group narrows millage effort to conservation and 4-H

A Montcalm County millage effort to fund five community services has been narrowed down to two: Conservation and 4-H. Animal Control, parks and recreation and veterans were initially part of the discussion which began in January, but representatives from those three organizations have since dropped out (animals and veterans officially, parks and rec unofficially).

Congressman Justin Amash met with constituents during a town hall meeting that lasted nearly three hours Monday evening in Cedar Springs. Topics included health care, Syria, climate change, education standards and the national budget. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Amash hosts lively town hall in Cedar Springs

Congressman Justin Amash called out his colleagues in the House and the Senate — specifically Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — during an interactive and spirited town hall meeting Monday evening.