News

Congressman John Moolenaar meets with media before Thursday’s listening session at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar talks failed ACA repeal effort, future of health care reform

Congressman John Moolenaar knew Thursday evening’s listening session was going to be a bumpy ride.

As about 900 people were being seated in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium at Central Michigan University, Moolenaar steadied himself for the event in a dressing room in the basement of the nearly century-old theater.

Audience members waved green or red pieces of paper to show their support or opposition to statements made during Congressman John Moolenaar’s listening session Thursday at Central Michigan University. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Congressman Moolenaar hosts raucous listening session at CMU

Not much listening took place during a Thursday night “listening session” hosted by Congressman John Moolenaar.

Nearly 900 people packed Central Michigan University’s Warriner Hall to hear from the Republican representative for Michigan’s 4th District, which encompasses 15 counties.

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams

Montcalm County commissioners to set sheriff’s deputy contract rate

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday will consider a recommendation to set a lower rate for municipalities to contract with sheriff’s deputies than the sheriff would prefer.

The county’s Finance & Personnel Committee on April 10 voted to recommend the full board approve setting all contract rates for deputies at $75,000 starting in 2019. Sheriff Mike Williams had asked commissioners to set the rate at $79,000.

Howard City Village Councilwoman Cheryl Smith, at left, voices concerns about the village’s Department of Public Works while Councilwoman Eleanor Marek listens. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City hires attorney to look into DPW’s union effort

Village officials have hired an attorney to investigate the Howard City Department of Public Works’ effort to unionize.

From left to right, Howard City Village Manager-President Randy Heckman and council members Janice Williams, Bruce McTavish, in back, and Jason Hacko listen to an update about the village’s stormwater, asset management and wastewater grant during Monday’s meeting. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City nears the end of SAW grant work

This village is nearing the completion of a three-year stormwater, asset management and wastewater (SAW) grant process. The Howard City Village Council on Monday evening heard a progress update from David Bluhm and Sam Bender of Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering in Grand Rapids.

Rep. John Moolenaar

Rep. Moolenaar to host district-wide listening session Thursday

Congressman John Moolenaar will be hosting a district-wide listening session Thursday evening at Central Michigan University’s Plachta Auditorium.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City will soon welcome new village manager

The outgoing village manager reported the incoming village manager is ready to come to work.

The Howard City Village Council recently approved hiring Michael Falcon as its new manager.

A jam session takes place on the sidewalk outside the new Gitchel & Krope Music Store in downtown Howard City last Saturday, featuring from left, Tony Ward of Mecosta on barstool, store co-owner Luke Gitchel of Winfield Township, Dylan Deitz of Lakeview, store co-owner Tom Krope of Winfield Township and Billie Brandt of Winfield Township in back on the drums. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Gitchel & Krope Music Store opens in Howard City

Montcalm County’s Panhandle community continues to be known for its support of local music. Last January, Luke Gitchel and Tom Krope purchased the property at 210 E. Edgerton St. — which formerly housed Helping Hands Food Pantry — from the Howard City Downtown Development Authority for $15,000.

Amber Rowland is pictured in happier times on a poster created by friends and family after Amber fatally overdosed on heroin in the summer of 2016. She was 25 years old. — Daily News/Cory Smith

HEROIN HITS HOME: Part 1, ‘Kissing Everything Goodbye’

“I was 22 and only smoked weed, drank from here and there, took pills sometimes. Some call me a late bloomer.” — So begins a letter written by Amber Rowland on April 11, 2016, and read aloud in Montcalm County’s Drug Court as a success story from someone who was bound by addiction, but fought to be sober.

Congressman John Moolenaar, left, speaks with Doug Bartlett, an Edmore mail carrier and president of the Michigan Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, prior to riding with Bartlett on his mail route Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Congressman Moolenaar rides along with mail carrier, tours health facility

Moolenaar, R-Midland, is the representative of the 4th District, which includes Montcalm County (minus Eureka Township), as well as Gratiot, Isabella and Mecosta counties, among others. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 4th District is the second-most rural district in the state, second only to the 1st District, which contains the entirety of the Upper Peninsula.