Local

From left, Erikia McCracken, Tabitha Keiffer, Kindel Keiffer, Carson City Councilman Chad Parmenter, Trenton Churchill, Paige Churchill and Nora Ryan, stand together as part of a new community group to raise funds for a new splash pad and restrooms at West Park in Carson City. — Courtesy photo

Fundraising begins for splash pad, restrooms in Carson City

In preparation for potential park enhancements, members of the community are coming together to begin fundraising efforts. Earlier this year, members of the Carson City Council moved forward with submitting a grant request through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Crystal Township Fire Chief Scott Brundage, left, shares a laugh with fellow firefighter Scot Fitzpatrick as they evaluate a smoke detector, which are available to residents for free. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fire department offering free smoke detectors for residents

One smoke detector at a time, firefighters at the Crystal Township Fire Department are hoping to help residents be better prepared for a potential house fire. In partnering with the Red Cross, Crystal Fire Chief Scott Brundage said the department is now offering as many as three smoke detectors per household — at no cost to the homeowner — to be installed by the fire department.

Congressman John Moolenaar meets with media before Thursday’s listening session at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar talks failed ACA repeal effort, future of health care reform

Congressman John Moolenaar knew Thursday evening’s listening session was going to be a bumpy ride.

As about 900 people were being seated in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium at Central Michigan University, Moolenaar steadied himself for the event in a dressing room in the basement of the nearly century-old theater.

Audience members waved green or red pieces of paper to show their support or opposition to statements made during Congressman John Moolenaar’s listening session Thursday at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar hosts raucous listening session at CMU

Not much listening took place during a Thursday night “listening session” hosted by Congressman John Moolenaar.

Nearly 900 people packed Central Michigan University’s Warriner Hall to hear from the Republican representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which encompasses 15 counties.

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams

Montcalm County commissioners to set sheriff’s deputy contract rate

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday will consider a recommendation to set a lower rate for municipalities to contract with sheriff’s deputies than the sheriff would prefer.

The county’s Finance & Personnel Committee on April 10 voted to recommend the full board approve setting all contract rates for deputies at $75,000 starting in 2019. Sheriff Mike Williams had asked commissioners to set the rate at $79,000.

Rep. John Moolenaar

Rep. Moolenaar to host district-wide listening session Thursday

Congressman John Moolenaar will be hosting a district-wide listening session Thursday evening at Central Michigan University’s Plachta Auditorium.

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.

Crystal Township Supervisor Chris Johnston addresses the issue of rental lease agreements for the Crystal Community Center during Wednesday evening’s Crystal Township Board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Community Center renters frustrated with Crystal Township Board

A decision to reverse a rental agreement last month by the Crystal Township Board resulted in a tense back-and-forth between business owners and township officials Wednesday evening.

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IN BRIEF: Crystal Township approves county road contract

Members of the Crystal Township Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to approve a road contract with the Road Commission of Montcalm County.

Congressman John Moolenaar, left, speaks with Doug Bartlett, an Edmore mail carrier and president of the Michigan Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, prior to riding with Bartlett on his mail route Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Congressman Moolenaar rides along with mail carrier, tours health facility

Moolenaar, R-Midland, is the representative of the 4th District, which includes Montcalm County (minus Eureka Township), as well as Gratiot, Isabella and Mecosta counties, among others. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 4th District is the second-most rural district in the state, second only to the 1st District, which contains the entirety of the Upper Peninsula.