News

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will vote to approve the fiscal year 2017 budget on Monday, including $1.7 million in budget cuts. — File photo

Loss of jobs, services hit home hard amid Montcalm County budget cuts

Montcalm County is in the red, and pink slips went out this week as a result.

Last Monday, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted 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.

Right now, the Lakeview District Fire Department serves Pine Township, but a few residents in Pine Township are looking into how to switch to the Montcalm Township Fire Department because it is closer. The topic was brought to the Montcalm Township Board on Sept. 14. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Pine Township residents consider switching fire jurisdiction

Pine Township officials are taking a look at the current fire department arrangement.

On Sept. 14, Pine Township Treasurer Randy Robson and five township residents approached the Montcalm Township Board about the possibility of being incorporated into the Montcalm Township Fire Department’s jurisdiction.

Lakeview Police Chief Darin Dood presented Lt. David Mack with a meritorious service award on Sept. 12 in recognition of Mack’s response to the Oct. 9, 2015, shooting of Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Kotenko. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Lakeview officer awarded for his help during crossbow shooting

When Lakeview Village Police Lt. David Mack responded to a call one year ago, he didn’t know what he was getting into.

Almost a year later, he is being recognized for his actions.

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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.

Leppink’s Food Centers operates five Leppink’s stores, 11 Save-a-Lot stores and a Do It Best Hardware store throughout West Michigan. The organization is being awarded the 2016 Outstanding Retailer by the Michigan Grocers Association on Sunday during the fall conference on Sunday. Pictured is the Leppink’s Food Center Howard City location. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Leppink’s recognized as Michigan Grocer’s outstanding retailer

Over the course of 88 years, the Leppink family has built a company with five Leppink’s Food Centers, 11 Save-a-Lot stores and a Do It Best Hardware store. This year, Leppink’s Food Centers has been recognized by the Michigan Grocer’s Association as 2016’s Outstanding Retailer.

Tamarack District Library Director Hope Nobel shared her ideas on Lakeview downtown development at Wednesday night’s meeting. She suggested creating something everyone could enjoy. Prein and Newhof hosted a design charrette at Tamarack District Library Wednesday night to collect ideas on how community members wanted to develop the on- and off-shore areas of downtown Lakeview. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Creative juices flow at Lakeview design meeting

The scene of the Tamarack Room at Tamarack District Library looked more like an art class than a design meeting Wednesday night.

From left, Stanton Mayor Monica Tissue-Daws, City Manager Jake Eckholm and City Commissioner Lewis Corwin at Eckholm’s final meeting as Stanton’s manager on Tuesday. Eckholm accepted a job as Muskegon Heights’ city manager, and his last day in Lakeview and Stanton is Sept. 23. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Eckholm has final meetings as shared manager

After two years of managing a pair of municipalities, Jake Eckholm had his final meetings in Lakeview on Monday and Stanton on Tuesday.