Local

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Flat River Watershed meetings scheduled for July and August

Four meetings will be held throughout the Flat River Watershed to present water quality data and discuss recommendations to restore and protect the watershed.

Spanning 564 square miles in Kent, Montcalm, Ionia, and Mecosta counties and incorporating three major communities — Belding, Greenville, and Lowell — the Flat River Watershed is home to a lively biotic community and viable small mouth bass fishery. Incorporating 150 miles of stream channel, the Flat River and its tributaries are incredibly scenic and beloved for their recreation possibilities.

Adam Rodenhouse of Rockford (40) and Donald Marsh of Gowen (555) go rear end to rear end during the demolition derby at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair Saturday.

Howard City’s Kass survives Montcalm County 4-H Fair demo derby

Justin Kass has watched an uncle do demolition derbies before and decided he wanted to do one, too.

Kass, of Howard City, got his love of running into other cars to pay off for him.

Former Central Montcalm Public School superintendent Jacob Helms of Clifford Lake was one of many residents to address the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday about law enforcement cuts. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Adopt a park, adopt a sheriff’s deputy?

Montcalm County officials have come up with an Adopt-A-Park plan to help keep county parks open amid budget cuts.

But who will adopt a sheriff’s deputy?

Teresa Mogdis of Orchard View Veterinary Clinic meets 11-year-old Karlee Bunker’s Syrian hamster during the pocket pet show on Monday morning. Bunker is a member of the Hoofbeats of America 4-H Club.

4-H’ers show off pocket pets

Animals you’ll see at the Montcalm County 4-H fair are not just limited to livestock. Sure, a fairgoer will see horses, cows and pigs. But on Monday morning, they also would have seen a Syrian hamster and a bearded dragon.

From left to right, Mecosta-Osceola 49th Circuit Court Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy, HOPE Program Chief Probation Supervisor Cheryl Inouye, Hawaii Judge Steven Alm and Ionia-Montcalm 8th Judicial Circuit Court judges Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger and Ronald Schafer met Friday at the Montcalm County Courthouse in Stanton to discuss Alm’s HOPE program. — Courtesy photo

HOPEful new approach to probation, parole

A Hawaii judge came all the way to Montcalm County to meet with local judges who are hoping to follow in the footsteps of a successful approach to a probation program.

Judge Steven Alm, who has been a circuit court judge since 2001, created Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement program (or HOPE). He created the program after witnessing a high failure rate in Hawaii’s probation system; offenders who were up to 20 probation violations with no improvement, and the only options being used were talking to them or sending them to prison.

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Household hazardous waste collection is Saturday

Montcalm County will be holding a household hazardous waste collection event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Montcalm Area Career Center at 1550 W. Sidney Road, Sidney.

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.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City to host Music in the Park

Free community concerts will return to this village next Tuesday.
Howard City Village Manager-President Randy Heckman announced during tonight’s village council meeting that Music in the Park will start June 28 and continue every Tuesday through Aug. 16.

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.

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IN BRIEF: Montcalm County commissioners turn over budget cuts to new admin

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners have decided to turn over budget cut decisions to their new controller-administrator.

The board voted 6-3 on Monday to approve Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel’s recommendation that the board authorize him to “make necessary budget reductions” effective that same day on an ongoing basis.