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Edmore Village Manager Neil Rankin, left, looks on while Edmore Village President Chet Guild runs a recent meeting. — Daily News/Kyle Wilson

Edmore village manager stepping down amid dispute

This village’s manager is bowing out amid an employment dispute. Neil Rankin received a letter on Monday from the law firm of Mika, Myers, Beckett & Jones in Grand Rapids stating the village council’s 4-2 vote on June 30 to not extend Rankin’s contract means Rankin is no longer employed as village manager.

Edmore Village Manager Neil Rankin, left, listens as Edmore Village President Chet Guild runs the most recent council meeting on July 14. — File photo

Edmore Village Council refuses to recognize manager, hires attorney

Village President Chet Guild waited until almost an hour into Monday night’s meeting to drop the bomb. A woman in the audience questioned why the Edmore Village Council had skipped over the manager’s report on the meeting agenda.

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‘Dirty, backhanded politics’ in Edmore; 4 councilmen are no-shows to meeting

Councilman Art Schuitema gingerly walked into the Edmore Village Council meeting, his hands gripping a walker for assistance. Intravenous needles were stuck into his arms, their clear tubes dangling below. He wore a plastic vest chest protector and checkered pajama pants. It was his 80th birthday.
Schuitema made it to Monday night’s Edmore Village Council meeting. So did councilwomen Bonnie Ashbaugh and Karen Deja.
And yet President Chet Guild and councilmen Eddie Adams, Chuck Burr and Jerry Rasmussen were nowhere to be found. Neither was Burr’s wife, Gloria Burr, the village clerk whose job it is to record meeting minutes.

Edmore Village Manager Neil Rankin is pictured in his office at the Curtis Community Building in Edmore. — File photo

Edmore village manager ‘blindsided’ by contract non-renewal

In a surprise move, the Edmore Village Council voted 4-2 at a special meeting this evening not to renew the contract of their village manager. Neil Rankin was hired as village manage last July, just shy of one year ago. His contract expires July 10.

Jannelle Rons touches home plate as the rest of Vestaburg’s softball team surrounds her. Rons blasted a home run to put the Wolverines on top 1-0 in the first inning of Vestaburg’s 4-2 quarterfinals win over Ubly Tuesday morning at Saginaw Valley State University. — Daily News/Kyle Wilson

No. 6 Vestaburg uses power to win quarterfinal (PHOTOS)

Vestaburg’s softball team will be going to the Division 4 semifinals. The sixth-ranked Wolverines won the quarterfinal game at Saginaw Valley State University Tuesday by beating second-ranked Ubly 4-2.

Vestaburg High School graduates share a laugh during Sunday afternoon’s commencement at Vestaburg’s gymnasium. The class of 2014 included 45 graduates. — Daily News/Chip Burch

Montabella and Vestaburg send off 2014 graduates (Photo Gallery)

Montabella High School’s class of 2014 included 47 new graduates. Vestaburg High School’s class of 2014 included 45 graduates.

Daily News/Kyle Wilson

Ryan Peterson lost his father Bill to a heart attack in March 2013. Living on a 1,200-acre farm, Ryan stepped up in a time of need and with the help of family and friends, the Petersons continued to run the farm as Bill Peterson would have. Ryan will be graduating from Montabella High School on Sunday. He plans on attending Michigan State University in the fall to pursue a agricultural industries degree before returning home, to hopefully, take on the Edmore farm full time. — Daily News/Kyle Wilson

Montabella High School grad fills his father’s shoes on the farm

Ryan Peterson lives on a gravel road bordering Isabella County and Montcalm County, the sort of road that kicks up buckets full of dust when he’s rumbling through in his pickup truck. The 17-year-old doesn’t mind getting dirty though.

Vestaburg High School senior Phillip Day poses in front of the entrance to Vestaburg High School. Day is cognitively impaired, but after a long journey he will be earning his high school diploma this coming Sunday. — Daily News/Kyle Wilson

Assisting sports teams gave Vestaburg senior sense of belonging

At just 5 pounds, 7 ounces, Phillip Day may have entered the world as a tiny baby boy, but the Vestaburg senior’s personality is anything but. Diagnosed at a very young age as cognitively impaired, Day struggled through many aspects of his childhood. Everyday activities that seemed routine to other kids were sometimes a challenge for him.

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Edmore Village Council declines to remove unsafe playground equipment

The majority of the Edmore Village Council is refusing to remove unsafe playground equipment from the Glenn D. Curtis Memorial Park, despite pleas and warnings from the village manager. Village Manager Neil Rankin recently surveyed the park at 307 E. Forrest St. and found several playground items to be dangerous. At Monday’s village council meeting, he presented the council with photographs and a detailed report of the unsafe conditions.

Leader Dog for the Blind representative Tammy Bartz explains to the Vestaburg Lions Club how the Rochester program works. Bartz spoke Monday evening at the club’s regular meeting. — Mike Taylor/Daily News

Some leader dogs begin their training in prisons

A good dog can change a life. A great dog can change the lives of many. The business of the Leader Dogs for the Blind program is to create good dogs and place them where they will do the most good.