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.
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.
A good book entertains. A great book entertains and educates. A really, really great book also moves us and makes us consider larger issues, matters beyond our everyday purview.
The book revealed at Thursday’s One Book One County kick-off luncheon is among the latter, according to organizer Maureen Burns.
Voters across the county came out more than two to one in favor of continued funding for the Montcalm County Commission on Aging in Tuesday’s election. The commission’s request for a continuation of the previously-approved .45 millage was overwhelmingly approved, with 3,659 “yes” votes to 1,636 “no” votes, or 69 percent to 30 percent.
A Montcalm County Central Dispatch 911 surcharge renewal on the ballot passed easily Tuesday. The surcharge was approved with 3,890 “yes” votes to 1,422 “no” votes, or 73 percent to 27 percent.
Montcalm Area Intermediate School District staff gathered at their Central Office in Stanton on Tuesday evening to learn the outcome of the special education millage ballot proposal. As voting results trickled in, votes on both sides seemed to compete in a dead heat for hours. But as the night wore on, the affirmative votes pulled ahead.
The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District millage vote on Tuesday may say “special education” on the ballot, but the issue affects all children in Montcalm County. Tuesday’s proposal will ask voters whether to restore the MAISD’s special ed millage — currently 2.1878 mills — to 2.50, as well as add another mill for a total of 3.50 mills.
Tuesday’s election ballot will include several proposals up for vote, including a 911 surcharge renewal, which would collect up to $2.85 a month per phone line in Montcalm County. The surcharge, which is a renewal from that approved by voters in 2010, is charged monthly to each phone registered in the county — both landlines and cell phones.
Surrounded by students she has mentored, guided and influenced throughout this past year, Laurie Stewart could only smile while shedding a few tears as she came to a realization Thursday evening.
“They don’t need me anymore,” she said. “They are definitely using their peer influence to help other people and they are making it sustainable.”
That was the goal from the beginning — to create a new, positive culture in Montcalm County.
The exodus from cities to suburbs is a part of American culture.
Soldiers returning from World War II and Korea moved with their families to quiet little streets in new developments made possible by the country’s burgeoning infrastructure, particularly the highway system. In recent decades, even those suburbs have come to seem too crowded to many, and new developments have sprouted like mushrooms in previously rural areas.