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JUST IN: Saginaw woman charged with ID theft of Howard City woman

A Saginaw woman has been arrested for charges of identify theft against a Howard City woman.

Melinda Kay Miller, 42, was arraigned in 64B District Court on Thursday and is currently lodged at the Montcalm County Jail on a charge of identity theft.

A letter from the IRS to Pierson Township details how the township is being financially penalized to the tune of at least $35,849.83 due to the “intentional disregard” of former clerk Brooke Scott. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Former Pierson Township clerk costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars

Five years of ignoring the IRS is costing the taxpayers of this small township tens of thousands of dollars … and counting. So far, Pierson Township has paid $35,849.83 in back pay, interest and penalties due to the negligence of former township clerk Brooke Scott, who failed to file multiple IRS forms from 2008 to 2013, when she resigned. She also misappropriated expenditures and mishandled the township’s payroll.

Jim Kersjes of Grand Rapids, a volunteer with the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, prepares to help kayakers portage around fallen trees in the Tamarack Creek. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Traversing the Tamarack: Behind the scenes with a backyard treasure

A group representing the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly recently kayaked down a local tributary, and I went along for the ride. A banner boasting the epic title “Voyage of Discovery” was on display last Friday morning at Minnie Farmer Park on the east side of Howard City. The voyage covered about three miles of the Tamarack Creek from Minnie Farmer Park’s artesian well to Artman Park on Howard City’s west side.

This white bridge is a popular draw for photographs and weddings at Artman Park, located on the Tamarack Creek just west of Howard City. The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly has a project underway to stabilize the park’s streambanks, which have been eroding. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Muskegon River Watershed projects in the works for Montcalm County

The Muskegon River travels through 12 counties in Michigan, playing a major role in the Great Lakes State moniker. A group of river-lovers have been working for almost two decades with the mission to preserve, protect and restore the Muskegon River Watershed, which encompasses more than 2,700 miles in west central Michigan.

The White Pine Trail runs north to south from Cadillac to Comstock Park with stops in multiple communities, including downtown Howard City. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Officials unhappy about plan to spread crushed limestone on White Pine Trail

Plans are underway to line almost half of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail with crushed limestone instead of paved asphalt — and Montcalm County residents are not pleased. The north to south White Pine Trail is about 90 miles long from Cadillac to Comstock Park with stops in Tustin, Leroy, Ashton, Reed City, Paris, Big Rapids, Stanwood, Morley, Howard City, Pierson, Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, Rockford and Belmont.

Tri County School Board President Jill Fennessy, right, shakes hands with Montcalm Area Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Koenigsknecht after received the Level 4 Master Certification for improving her leadership skills and becoming a more effective school leader March 30 during the countywide school board meeting in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Tri County board president elected to MASB Board of Directors

Tri County Area Schools Board President Jill Fennessy approaches her position with an energy and passion that is sometimes lacking in today’s world of public education. And now, Fennessy will take that dedication to public education to the state level, as she has been elected to serve on the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) Board of Directors.

Montcalm Township firefighters work to put out a fire at a South Satterlee Road. The March 18 blaze that destroyed a shed started as a small grass fire that quickly spread throughout the property. — File photo

Out of control: Property owners need to control burning

As the temperatures start to climb, property owners are looking around their yards and realizing the summer yard work season has begun. With piles of leaves and brush laying around, it might seem like the best time of year to burn them off.

This pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old Stanwood man caught fire after hitting and dragging a motorcycle Tuesday morning. — Courtesy photo

Alleged drunken driver hits motorcycle, drags it about a mile

A 43-year-old Stanwood man is in jail after allegedly hitting and dragging a motorcycle about a mile before his vehicle caught fire.

Tri County Area Schools voters will be asked to vote on a $2.7 million five-year sinking fund proposal Tuesday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Tri County voters asked to approve $2.7 million sinking fund

Voters in the Tri County Area Schools district will be asked to approve a $2.7 million sinking fund proposal on Tuesday. Ask any Tri County administrator why, and the words “safety” and “security” will be voiced.

Randy Heckman is wearing a lot of hats in Howard City these days — business owner, fire chief, village manager and village president. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Randy Heckman juggling multiple village responsibilities

Imagine waking up in the early morning hours and firing up the snowplow to clear local streets, ushering in mourners for an afternoon funeral visitation, researching a possible zoning violation, presiding over an evening village council meeting and then being roused from your sleep well after midnight to rush out and fight a fire.