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A center lane will be added to Shaw Street in Howard City to accommodate the ever-increasing amount of vehicles waiting to turn into business driveways, such as Leppink's Food Center. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City readies for $1 million Shaw Street project

Businesses on this village’s busiest stretch will remain open throughout a $1 million road project set to begin after Labor Day and be completed by next Memorial Day. The Howard City Village Council in July approved a $1,036,389 bid from CL Trucking & Excavating of Ionia to work on Shaw Street from the village’s traffic light at Federal Road (old 131) west on Shaw to the village limits, which are located just short of the U.S. 131 expressway north and south ramps.

This year’s Harvest Festival court includes, front, Princess Lauren Senn; back row from left, first runner-up Hannah Ringler, Queen Bridgette Pollaski and second runner-up Hope Gommensen. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County senior named Howard City Harvest Festival queen

Bridgette Pollaski had some reservations about entering her first pageant, in this case the contest for Harvest Festival queen.

“The word pageant made me hesitant, as all I could picture were Barbie doll girls, mascara tears and helicopter moms,” she told an amused audience during Monday evening’s pageant at Heritage United Methodist Church just south of Howard City.

Howard City Fire Chief Randy Heckman sprays foam as delighted children jump and play Tuesday morning as part of the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library summer reading program fun. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City Village Council spends on street project, fire truck and fencing

The Howard City Village Council unanimously voted to spend more than $1.4 million combined on a street project, new fire truck and ballfield fencing during Monday night’s meeting.

The Howard City Department of Public Works is comprised of, from left, Shane Smith, Director Mike VanWagner, Joe Krogman, Bill Cornelisse and Joe Cornelisse. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

‘Hostile workplace’: Howard City DPW employees and village officials clash

The Howard City Village Council voted Monday to cut by half the amount of personal/sick hours for village employees, saving $3,400. The move came after a recommendation from the village’s employee committee to change the employee manual to reduce personal/sick hours and to not pay DPW employees for being on call. The committee is comprised of Village Manager-President Randy Heckman and council members Cheryl Smith and Janice Williams.

Visitors at the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library search for books, use computers and internet, and take time to read at Monday in Howard City. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Hauenstein donates $50,000 to help Reynolds Township Library pay off loan

Timothy Hauenstein was driving home with three friends after a fun day of skiing in January 1981. Timothy, 19, was a 1979 graduate of Tri County High School and was attending Central Michigan University with plans to study oceanography.

Dylan Matulis, one of five valedictorians, receives his diploma from Tri County Area Schools Board of Education member Keven Hoisington during Thursday evening’s commencement ceremony. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County sends off 158 graduating seniors

Erik Barnard’s parents were involved in a car accident last March. Daniel Barnard, 66, of Muskegon died at the scene in California. Linda Barnard was seriously injured and continues to recover.

When Erik, a social studies teacher at Tri County High School, was asked to give the commencement address at Tri County’s graduation ceremony Thursday evening, he wanted to leave a lasting impression on the 158 graduates of the class of 2016.

Levi Kinsey, 18, has overcome an array of tough circumstances — including abuse and neglect, multiple foster care homes and stints as a homeless youth — and will graduate with Tri County’s class of 2016 tonight. (Daily News | Elisabeth Waldon)

Tri County senior looks back on eventful 18 years

Levi Kinsey got a tattoo on April 6 to celebrate his 18th birthday. He went to the Creation Station Tattoo Studio in Newaygo to get Philippians 4:13 inked permanently on his arm: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“It’s my life motto,” he said. “It always has been and always will be. It’s gotten me through a lot of tough times and challenges.”

Phase 1 of a voter-approved $2.7 million sinking fund millage for Tri County Area Schools was celebrated Thursday morning by, from left, Superintendent Al Cumings, School Board Secretary Kevin Hoisington, Trustee Bill Baker, Trustee Jan Dewey, Board Treasurer Sharon Schwalbach, Board Vice President Janet Powell, Trustee Brian Campbell, Board President Jill Fennessy, Tri County Facilities Director Brian Ackey, Fritz Walhfield Jr. of Fritz Wahlfield Construction and Craig Nicely, architect from Progressive A&E. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Groundbreaking for $2.7 million project at Tri County Area Schools

Tri County Area Schools officials chose what felt like the first day of spring to begin Phase 1 of a five-part construction project.

A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning kicked off a $2.7 million sinking fund millage project approved by voters in February 2015. The goal of the 1.5 mill project is to enhance safety and security throughout the school district.

Howard City Village President-Manager Randy Heckman reviews a blueprint of the village’s two ballfields while standing near the pitcher’s mound on field 1. The Howard City Village Council recently voted to invest $35,000 in improvements to the ballfields. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City to make ballfields, trail upgrades (PHOTOS)

Plans are underway for upgrades to two ballfields and a local trail in Howard City. The Howard City Village Council on Monday approved spending $35,000 to redo two baseball fields. The council also learned the late Warren White had donated a piece of property to the village, which Village Manager Randy Heckman hopes to develop into more parking spaces, plus a pavilion.

Members of the Edmore Village Council, from left, Eddie Adams, Bonnie Davis, Jamie Ballard, Village Clerk Tracy Fockler, Village Manager James Lower, President Karl Kluwe, Treasurer Elaine Leak, Phill Kohn, Karen Deja and Bonnie Ashbaugh, discuss the hiring of a new village manager during Monday evening’s council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Edmore brings back Rankin as village manager

After an unexpected exit from the community nearly two years ago, a familiar face is expected to return to the position of Edmore village manager. The Edmore Village Council voted unanimously Monday evening to hire Neil Rankin, 39, as village manager following the resignation of James Lower, whose last day is March 28 as he campaigns for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.