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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.

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.

A sewer project that broke ground at Pierson Township’s Little Whitefish Lake in 1997 remains a funding concern today because of the special assessment sewer fund being depleted years ahead of schedule. — File photo

Little Whitefish Lake sewer fund issue still unresolved

An expensive and complicated special assessment situation continues to hang like an unpleasant fog over Little Whitefish Lake.
Lake Association President Matt Matlosz alerted Montcalm County officials to the sewer fund discrepancy in April 2015. There hasn’t been a public meeting to address the issue since county and lake association officials met in June 2015.

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JUST IN: Sheriff’s Office seeking assistance identifying Howard City burglars

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance in identifying two individuals who broke into and robbed a Howard City business.

Howard City Department of Public Works employee Joe Cornelisse sprinkles salt on sidewalks on Edgerton Street in front of downtown Howard City businesses on Wednesday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City Village Council members criticize DPW, again

After a one-month reprieve, this village’s Department of Public Works was once again the subject of complaints at the Howard City Village Council meeting. During Monday night’s 34-minute meeting, the DPW was criticized by multiple council members on multiple counts. Last November’s council meeting was also full of complaints about the DPW.

Horseshoe Lake is a 97-acre lake located off Cedar Point Drive in southwest Belvidere Township. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Fuel oil spills into Belvidere Township’s Horseshoe Lake

Up to 200 gallons of fuel oil recently spilled into Horseshoe Lake on the southwest side of Belvidere Township. According to David Wierzbicki, incident management specialist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Remediation and Redevelopment Division in Grand Rapids, the spill was reported by a resident on Jan. 4. Anywhere from 150 to 200 gallons of fuel oil leaked out of an oil tank in the yard of a cottage on Cedar Point Drive on Horseshoe Lake, which is a 97-acre body of water.

A “No Trespassing, No Entry” order, signed by former Reynolds Township Supervisor Dan Fisk, hangs on a wooden fence in front of blighted property owned by Dale Kass at 8250 Federal Road (old U.S. 131), just north of Howard City. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Reynolds Township, state at a loss to clean up blighted property

There’s a million dollar property in Reynolds Township, and not the kind that you want on the tax roll. The property at 8250 Federal Road (old U.S. 131) in Howard City is home to more than 9,000 cubic yards of waste, much of which remains obvious to passing motorists despite a wooden fence.

The entire Battle family gathered Wednesday morning in Montcalm County Probate Court to make their adoption of two toddlers, Kaylee and Jameson, official. Pictured are, from left, Kelsey, Troy, Alexis, Kaylee, Philip, Barbara and Jameson Battle, and Judge Charles Simon III, who presided over the procedure. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Howard City family has two new reasons to be thankful this year

Typically, judges take a dim view of participants in courtroom proceedings running up and down the aisles while emitting ear-piercing screams at the top of their lungs. But last Wednesday, Montcalm County Probate Judge Charles Simon III made an exception to this rule.