Three properties were among several condemned in Montcalm County last year, including a gas station, a trailer park and a family farm. The three properties have found different fates more than a year later. Two of the stories appear to have happy endings, while one story continues to unfold.
R&R Research was the subject of much local criticism and news coverage about three years ago in Montcalm County. Now the Howard City-area facility may be in trouble at the national level.
The 10th annual Harvest Festival took place Friday through Sunday throughout downtown Howard City.
For Sonny and Donna McNees, the annual Trufant Jubilee is more than a festival, it is a family reunion. Though the couple now resides in Sand Lake, Sonny grew up in Trufant and the entire family — five generations this year — all returned to the three-day festival over the weekend.
The competition was fierce, but even when the race came down to a tie, Nicole Newell pulled ahead for the win. Newell, 18, was crowed the 2012 Howard City Harvest Festival queen Tuesday night at Tri County High School. She is the daughter of Dawn and the late John Edward Newell.
The Montcalm County Administrative Building was packed Monday as standing-room-only hopefuls vied to get their hands on one of 100+ foreclosed properties, but only three dozen people walked out of the old courthouse with a deed. Marty Spaulding, general manager of Title Check in Kalamazoo, acted as the day’s auctioneer. More than half the people in the audience were first-time participants in a foreclosure auction, so Spaulding spent more than half an hour reviewing how a foreclosure auction works.
Many families and friends teamed up Saturday at Birchwood Golf Course during the Play “Fore” the Cure for Multiple Sclerosis (PMS) golf fundraiser that raised more than $11,000. For Grand Rapids resident Steve Broekema the good weather was a chance to be around friends and support PMS fundraiser.
The Play “Fore” the Cure for Multiple Sclerosis (PMS) golf outing July 21 at Birchwood Golf Course is a way for owners Mark and Debbie Heath to raise money for research and help others who suffer with MS. “We named it PMS as a way of getting people’s attention,” Debbie said. “There are so many fundraisers and golf outing these days that we felt this would help make our outing stand out. When we ask men to participate in the outing some say, ‘Well, isn’t that an outing for women?”
Between the unusual warm winter, a freeze and now a record-setting heatwave in Montcalm County, this year has been a struggle for local growers and possibly one of the worst years in history. “It’s devastating to us,” summarized Wayne Watts, who owns Watts’ Orchards in Howard City along with his son, Bruce Watts.
The village of Coral celebrated its 150th anniversary this weekend. A variety of free events, musical performances and the grand parade were enjoyed by the community on Saturday.