Elisabeth Waldon

Al and Judy Parker have been named grand marshals of the 14th annual Harvest Festival. They will preside over the grand parade at 1 p.m. Saturday in Howard City. — Courtesy photo

Parkers named grand marshals of Howard City Harvest Festival

Al and Judy Parker will preside over the 14th annual Howard City Harvest Festival on Saturday. They will ride in the grand parade at 1 p.m. and judge the scarecrow making contest in Ensley Park at 4:15 p.m.

Stephen Blann of accounting firm Rehmann Robson reports Monday afternoon on how Montcalm County arrived at its current financial situation and what needs to be done in coming years to balance the budget. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners hear the latest on budget investigation

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners heard the initial findings of three financial, legal and consulting firms Monday regarding the county’s concerning budget situation.

Festivalgoers dance in between rain showers at the 43rd annual Wheatland Music Festival near Remus on Saturday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Rain doesn’t dampen music festival’s joyful spirit (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

As Cyd Gaffield of Six Lakes and Pat Kidwell of Vestaburg enjoyed Saturday’s Wheatland Music Festival, a graceful woman with long blue and purple hair dance and spun to the music in the air.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will hear an update about the county’s budget situation from three financial, legal and consulting firms during a special board meeting at 1 p.m. Monday at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton. — File photo

Montcalm County commissioners haven’t heard audit report since 2006

Miley Cyrus debuted in “Hannah Montana” on the Disney Channel; the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games in the World Series; Vice President Dick Cheney shot and wounded an attorney in a hunting accident; and Sen. Barack Obama announced he was considering a run for president of the United States.

That was 2006 … the last time until this summer that the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners actually heard a report from the county’s auditing firm.

The Edmore Village Council on Monday will hold a public hearing regarding the International Property Maintenance Code, which Village Manager Neil Rankin is recommending to help the village fight blight. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Edmore looks to fight blight with property maintenance code

This village has a zoning ordinance, but no good way to enforce it.

So village officials are considering the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).

Julie Stafford, publisher of The Daily News, and Elisabeth Waldon, news editor of The Daily News, testified before the House Oversight and Ethics Committee on Thursday in support of a new law that would prohibit a public body from suing a person for making a FOIA request. The law was introduced by State Rep. Klint Kesto after Montcalm County sued The Daily News over a FOIA request.

Montcalm County lawsuit leads to proposed change in state FOIA law

When The Daily News utilized the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) as part of primary election coverage this summer, Montcalm County sued this newspaper. Now, state legislators are working on amending the law to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Montcalm County is now contracting with Republic Services of Pierson to pick up corrugated cardboard at county recycling sites, like this one in Lakeview, after Recycle World of Greenville discontinued the service. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County has new cardboard recycling service

Recycle World may have discontinued its cardboard recycling service at Montcalm County recycling sites, but residents won’t notice much of a difference. Recycle World, located at M-91 and Sidney Road just north of Greenville, ended its program of picking up corrugated cardboard at Montcalm County’s six recycling sites effective today. Recycle World owner Kevin Willemstein said he made the decision as he was running out of space to store cardboard at his facility; plus his contract is for residential use, yet many commercial businesses use the cardboard recycling service, which he says has added to the issue of overflowing bins.

Sam Johnson of Lakeview, at left, congratulates Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Director Nick Lyon at the grand opening of My Town Services of Montcalm County in Howard City on Monday. Johnson is excited to start his new cleaning job at the business at 208 Edgerton St. in downtown Howard City, which will offer a variety of health, senior citizen, veteran and employment services. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

My Town in Howard City offers variety of health and human services

Montcalm County residents have access to a variety of health and human services in Stanton, but for those who live on the outskirts of the county, the county seat isn’t always the most accessible location.

As of Monday, those who live in the Panhandle (the northwest section of Montcalm County) will be able to enjoy many health and human services in downtown Howard City.

A center lane will be added to Shaw Street in Howard City to accommodate the ever-increasing amount of vehicles waiting to turn into business driveways, such as Leppink's Food Center. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City readies for $1 million Shaw Street project

Businesses on this village’s busiest stretch will remain open throughout a $1 million road project set to begin after Labor Day and be completed by next Memorial Day. The Howard City Village Council in July approved a $1,036,389 bid from CL Trucking & Excavating of Ionia to work on Shaw Street 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.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel and the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, all at left, listen Monday afternoon to a recommendation from Louis Schimmel of Municipal Financial Consultants Inc., John Axe of Clark Hill PLC and Montcalm County Treasurer JoAnne Vukin, all at right, to retain services for a legal investigation and emergency audit into the county’s financial situation. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County contracts with legal, financial firms to fix ‘alarming’ budget

Montcalm County is contracting with a legal firm, a financial firm and a consulting firm in an effort to stop the bleeding of $2 million in savings per year over at least the last four years. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Monday, in three separate motions, to contract with Clark Hill PLC in Detroit for legal services, to contract with Municipal Financial Consultants Inc. (MFCI) in Detroit to assist Clark Hill and to contract with Rehmann Robson of Troy for accounting services as an emergency audit of the county gets underway.