This entry, titled “Wild Cats,” is from Skyler Brown, 10, and is part of the top 10 in the Baldwin Heights Elementary ArtPrize competition that features work from all the students in the fifth grade. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Baldwin Heights Elementary School students have fun with art competition

ArtPrize is finished, votes are tallied and winners have been announced. That hasn’t stopped students at Baldwin Heights Elementary School from feeling the joy, however. Fifth grade students at Baldwin Heights have been hosting their own version of ArtPrize for the third year in a row.

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.

IM Fostering Hope collects items and puts together backpacks for children transitioning in the foster care system in Montcalm and Ionia counties. — Courtesy photo

IM Fostering Hope aims to help foster families

Last year, more than 160 children in Montcalm and Ionia counties entered the foster care system, and IM Fostering Hope is hoping to make the transition easier for those children.

The group has put together backpacks with hygiene items, pajamas, comfort items, blankets, socks and underwear. The goal is to make the first night of transition easier on the children and the foster families.

Paul Joseph Green, 47, of Gowen, and Brandy Joe Sisco, 33, of Elwell.

JUST IN: Couple arrested for breaking into Crystal storage unit

Two people are out on bond accused of a breaking and entering that occurred in early September.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office received a tip of a break in that occurred at a storage unit in Crystal Township.

Roxanne Genson, a resident of Carson City and a parent of students within the school district, addresses a complaint to members of the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education about the district’s administration during the Sept. 12 school board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fired CC-C teacher wants investigation, school board declines

A former substitute teacher claims there is an atmosphere of negativity at Carson City-Crystal Area Schools, but the school board has declined to take action on her allegations.

Roxanne Genson, a resident of Carson City and a parent of students within the school district, approached the school board during the Sept. 12 meeting, asking them to look into administrative decisions made by Superintendent Kevin Murphy.


Hubbardston civil trial scheduled for day before Nov. 8 election

A lawsuit and countersuit between the village of Hubbardston and members of the Hubbardston Community Center Board, after repeated postponements, is currently scheduled to go to trial the day before the general election.

A civil bench trial is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 7 in Ionia County’s 64A District Court.

Members of the Crystal Township Board, from left, Treasurer Ted Padgett, Supervisor Chris Johnston, Clerk Bob Naumann and Trustee Jason Anderson, discuss the current status of the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority during the board’s Sept. 14 meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal DDA re-evaluating after 3 members resign

Only this past May, members of the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) were beaming with enthusiasm over local plans and improvements.

Now the organization finds itself preparing to restructure.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will vote to approve the fiscal year 2017 budget on Monday, including $1.7 million in budget cuts. — File photo

Loss of jobs, services hit home hard amid Montcalm County budget cuts

Montcalm County is in the red, and pink slips went out this week as a result.

Last Monday, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to make budget cuts totaling 22.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs). Those cuts, along with other budget adjustments, will equate to more than $1.7 million in cuts.


M-STEP scores released for local school districts

Two years ago, the Michigan Department of Education moved from the 44-year-old MEAP standardized test to the M-STEP, a test that is partly based on common core standards. The M-STEP is widely recognized by educators as a more rigorous test with high expectations for students.


10 local artists participating in ArtPrize

Local artists are utilizing a variety of unique mediums for this year’s ArtPrize, including copper, silver and gold, stained glass mosaics and hornet nests. More than 1,450 entries have been submitted to be on display at more than 160 venues across three square miles of Grand Rapids starting Wednesday through Oct. 9. Winning prizes totaling $500,000 will be awarded (half decided by public vote and half decided by a jury of experts).