Local

Montcalm Conservation District Executive Director Judy Cloer and conservation district board members Steve Wyckoff and Jed Welder share their thoughts after Thursday’s Montcalm County millage meeting. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County millage proposal inches forward

Supporters of a Montcalm County millage to fund local services have been receiving unpleasant but understandable feedback when presenting the proposal to residents.

“The initial reaction I get is, ‘Hell no,’” said Jed Welder, a Montcalm Conservation District board member and Greenville farmer. “The atmosphere with the county is so poisoned right now. But after you break through that there’s a little more willingness.”

Robert Nieman of Crystal performs a “belly flop” dive into the icy waters of Crystal Lake during last year’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival Polar Dip. — File photo

Crystal Lake Winter Festival organizers hoping for cold

With an up-and-down winter season so far this year, conditions are officially up in the air regarding next weekend’s Crystal Lake Winter Festival. Days in January have exceeded 50-degree temperatures, but festival organizers are hoping a string of cold temperatures expected this coming week will help create ideal conditions on Feb. 11.

Montcalm County Information Technology Director Eric McLaughlin explains how the county’s computer server operates from the basement of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office in Stanton. McLaughlin recently solicited multiple bids for county computer upgrades and decided on a $54,998 bid from Dell OEM of Grand Rapids for a PowerEdge VRTX Modular Infrastructure, which he says typically retails for $120,000.— Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County upgrades computer system for $55,000

Montcalm County is catching up with the technological times.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 23 approved spending up to $60,000 for a server and storage project at the recommendation of Information Technology Director Eric McLaughlin.

Justin Amash

Amash, Moolenaar react differently to Trump’s immigration order

Two local Republican Congressmen had very different reactions to an executive order on immigrants and refugees.

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced an executive order intended to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

Lt. Gov. Calley announces accountable, transparent government initiative

As technology continues to make instantly available information the norm — and the demand — this state’s lieutenant governor is looking to streamline that process for Michigan residents.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced an initiative to make improvements to state accountability and transparency during Friday’s Michigan Press Association luncheon.

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The Daily News is Newspaper of the Year

For the second consecutive year, The Daily News has been named the Michigan Press Association (MPA) Newspaper of the Year.

The award was announced during Thursday’s MPA banquet at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. The Daily News won Newspaper of the Year in the daily newspaper Class D category and Excellence in Advertising for all newspapers in the state, along with 29 additional awards and honorable mentions.

John Axe, an attorney with Clark Hill PLC in Detroit, hands out copies of a resolution to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday evening authorizing Clark Hill to complete an investigation and make recommendations to the board related to the pursuit of legal claims and filing of a complaint regarding the county’s former auditor Abraham & Gaffney. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County hires law firm to investigate former auditor

Montcalm County has hired a law firm to investigate and possibly bring a civil lawsuit against the county’s former auditor.
The resolution was approved during a regular meeting at 6 p.m. after commissioners met in closed session with Clark Hill attorney John Axe during a prior special meeting for nearly an hour.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard asks the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday evening to approve a $7,000 stipend for her work in programming county elections. Millard says the work is not part of a county clerk’s statutory job description, but some county commissioners disagree. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County to ask Attorney General for election programming opinion

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard is confident that programming county elections are not part of her statutory job description.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners isn’t so sure.

Constituents attending the first Legislative Update meeting of the year Monday at Montcalm Community College listen as Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, speak.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sen. Emmons, Rep. Lower talk future of health care, President Trump

Just three weeks into the new year of the Michigan House and Senate legislative sessions, the first local Legislative Update meeting of 2017 proved to be one of little detail.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, beginning her sixth year as state senator, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, beginning his first year as state representative, both shared hopeful messages Monday at Montcalm Community College for the future of the state as they prepare to move forward.

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CC-C gets grant, curriculum for reproductive education

Following in the steps of the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD), another local school district will be taking advantage of a grant awarded to only 20 school districts in the nation. During Thursday’s Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept a Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Grant.