Guest View | Timothy Scott

GUEST VIEW: Support continuance of current 911 surcharge

Four years ago, the residents of Montcalm County generously supported an increase in the telephone surcharge, from $1.89 to $2.85, to support the continued operation of the Montcalm County Central Dispatch. The Montcalm County Central Dispatch Authority Board, after analyzing the anticipated needs of the Central Dispatch operation, requested only a partial collection of the approved total, basically reducing the surcharge from $2.85 to $2.49.


OUR VIEW: Has Belding learned from its own history?

The city of Belding is earning quite a reputation for hiring and then losing city managers.


OUR VIEW: Tough news about Threshold

Last week it was announced that Threshold Academy, a free public charter school in Ionia County, most likely will have to close its doors on June 30.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: A more productive vision of education

Readers of this column will not be surprised to hear me say that I am not a fan of standardized testing. Of course, I believe we need to assess the work of students and of course, I believe we must hold teachers accountable for their work. But I have long believed that the obsession with testing for the purpose of punishing teachers is off the mark. And I have found someone who agrees and says it much more eloquently than I.


SHORT TAKES: Water working well for area towns

What a time for water! We all appreciate the fact that a long winter’s snow and ice is turning to something that is undeniably life-sustaining. But here comes the hangover — the stuff that has been stored since maybe last November is melting and becoming part of your life in April and beyond.

Guest View | David Fedpausch

GUEST VIEW: Citizens urged to prepare for flooding

As Michigan’s record-breaking winter comes to a close and the snow begins to melt away, Montcalm County Emergency Management is encouraging citizens to prepare for flood emergencies before they occur.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Collaboration is more powerful than competition

On March 28, I had the privilege of attending an event to roll out the Reading Now Network. This is an initiative in which more than 90 school districts and Intermediate School Districts in Region 3 of Michigan, including all districts in our Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, have joined to address the concern that too many of our students do not learn how to read by third grade.


GUEST VIEW: Restoring the balance of justice

Sunday marks the beginning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. As we celebrate three decades of defending victims’ rights we are reminded of how far we have come and how much work is yet to be done.


OUR VIEW: Spring Fling proved positive

Some people may think that Greenville and its surrounding communities are small time, small town. But this past weekend showed that they are anything but. Hundreds of women — and even a few men — gathered in the Greenville High School gymnasium for the second annual Spring Fling for Women, an expo-style event designed to provide women with an opportunity to learn, shop and get together with friends.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Virtual schools, are we moving too quickly?

Suggested reading material about education, from newspapers, journals, books or other sources, comes across my desk on a regular basis. I try to read as much as I can and I try very hard to keep an open mind. Things are changing rapidly and there are many agendas. I believe that it is important to keep an open and yet critical mind when assessing the many ideas that are out there.