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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.

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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).

Judge Donald Hemingsen of Montcalm County's 64B District Court takes the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners to task for allowing the county to reach its current budget situation. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

‘Appalled and dumbfounded’: Montcalm County residents sound off against commissioners

The embattled Montcalm County Board of Commissioners heard wide-ranging criticism Monday from a former county administrator and a judge, among others. Nancy Clary of Cedar Springs was Montcalm County’s administrator (she went by Hansing-Clary at the time) from 1978 to 1995, when she was fired. She said the reason she was terminated from her job was because a commissioner proposed not funding the county’s pension plan and Clary spoke out against that proposal. The county’s pension fund is currently short more than $800,000.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, left, and Montcalm County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Q. Carr consider the task before them during a special budget meeting Monday. Commissioners voted to move forward with a recommended $1.7 million in budget cuts. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County moves forward with $1.7 million in budget cuts

Montcalm County residents should prepare for a “new normal.” The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to accept a budgetary investigation analysis by Clark Hill, Rehmann Robson and Municipal Financial Consults Inc. (MFCI), and 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.

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JUST IN: Edmore business total loss after Sunday structure fire

A Sunday evening fire resulted in the total loss of a private antique business according to Home Township Fire Chief Tim Irwin.

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JUST IN: Saginaw man arrested for operating while intoxicated

A 49-year-old Saginaw man was arrested for felony drunk driving Friday afternoon in Edmore while attempting to pick up his children for the weekend.

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).

Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Associate Superintendent for Business Stephanie Weese, left, answers questions about the tax levy on behalf of the MAISD from Board President Stephen Foster and Superintendent Ron Simon during Thursday morning’s meeting. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MAISD prepares for accreditation visit

Even those who work in the field of education get graded from time to time.

In October, the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will host a visit from AdvancED, an accreditation organization with headquarters in Georgia and Arizona.