Last year, 1,264 Montcalm County kids enjoyed a Merry Christmas, thanks to the efforts of Jennifer Bouck and her fellow Toys for Tots volunteers. Bouck, who coordinates the program county-wide, hopes to do at least that well with this year’s effort.
Do you have an opinion about a local issue? There are several ways to contact your local county commissioner and express your opinion about county issues.
The Montcalm Alliance’s request for a countywide millage to fund economic development efforts will be voted on without local voters or a ballot. Montcalm Alliance members previously presented an overview of their millage request to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 12. At that meeting, Montcalm Alliance members said they wanted to pursue voter approval of .1 mills to generate $162,000 to allow the Montcalm Alliance to join forces with The Right Place, a West Michigan business development and economic development agency which offers services to support existing and new businesses.
Brian Brasser has been named Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospitals president, effective Dec. 8. Brasser is assuming this role from Christina Freese-Decker who was recently named senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Spectrum Health System. Freese-Decker has served as president of Spectrum Health’s United and Kelsey hospitals since 2011.
They were gathered, laughing and talking, but it was not a celebration. They were working, side by side, local folks representing 12 different organizations in the area, to help feed hungry children through a Kids Against Hunger event.
Twenty years ago, two high school students who felt lonely and disconnected at times had a single idea to help bring students together from throughout Michigan who they could easily relate to. Amanda Bogart and Dan Kauffman attended Central Montcalm High School, but unlike their peers, they were deaf.
This year has been a draining but productive one for the Montcalm County Drain Commission. Sandy Raines was elected drain commissioner last November. According to Raines, her office has either started or completed 10 major drain projects throughout the county this year.
The multiple courts of Ionia and Montcalm counties are about to be consolidated underneath one chief judge. Ionia County’s 64A District Court Judge Raymond Voet was recently appointed chief judge of circuit, district and probate courts in Ionia and Montcalm counties. His new appointment will take effect Jan. 1.
Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” among other books, once noted, “Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.”
A local economic development group has become as stagnant or more so than the local economy it’s trying to help. The Montcalm Alliance hasn’t met in months. The group has suffered a net loss of almost $20,000 in the past year and incurred a debt of $6,750 to cover operational shortfalls. The current membership list hasn’t been updated online since 2010 and the website (montcalmalliance.com) and Facebook page haven’t been updated since 2011.