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Ivana Rivera of Belding and Kristen Green of Howard City supervise their children and other children during their homeschool group’s weekly play date at McCarthy Park in Montcalm Township on Thursday afternoon. The park serves as a central location for the inclusive homeschool group which has families in Alma, Belding, Blanchard, Greenville and Howard City, among other locations.— Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

All Montcalm County parks have been adopted for the year

As children played on slides and swings, ran amongst the tall trees and explored the shores of the Flat River on Thursday afternoon, their mothers rested in the shade of the pavilion at McCarthy Park.

The members of the inclusive homeschool group from Alma, Belding, Blanchard, Greenville, Howard City and points beyond use the park on M-91 just north of Greenville as a central location for a weekly playdate gathering. The group was relieved to learn the Montcalm Township park would not be closing this year despite Montcalm County budget cuts.

Michael Gommesen

Winfield Township treasurer resigns, cites stress

The longtime Winfield Township treasurer has resigned, saying the stress from his township board colleagues is beginning to affect his health.

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Howard City area family safely escapes Monday morning blaze

A family of five is safe after waking to find their home on fire early Monday morning. At 3:36 a.m. at 7240 N. Dagget Road, firefighters from the Howard City Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire at a single-story residence.

loc 0517 cs Anti-drug event-13

Anti-drug symposium addresses reality of opioid addiction

On a road to restoration for nearly six years, recovering addict Justin Yost is one of the strongest voices of the community in the fight against drug use.

Having spoken at five different schools, reaching out to almost 1,000 students, Yost, 33, of Greenville, uses every opportunity to tell his story geared toward prevention.

Tri County sophomore Kasie Gonzalez, on the shore, holds out a tray for her classmates to put samples from the Tamarack Creek they’ve collected on a Thursday field trip to Minnie Farmer Park in Howard City. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Tri County sophomores get out of class for biology adventure

After spending two hours at the park, Tri County High School sophomores went back to school wet and muddy, but with smiles on their faces. “This is what teaching is all about,” biology teacher Laura Readle said.

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.