Local

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IN BRIEF: Howard City chooses village manager finalists

The Howard City Village Council has chosen four finalists for village manager.

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Howard City’s proposed employee policy changes face questionable legality

Proposed policy changes that would cause village employees to be fired for saying anything critical of the village are now being reconsidered after The Daily News filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

During the Feb. 20 meeting of the Howard City Village Council, Village Manager-President Randy Heckman distributed to council members copies of proposed changes he wants to make to the village employee policy manual.

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Smoke from barn fire kills livestock in Winfield Township

Smoke from a barn fire Wednesday afternoon at 8834 N. Bailey Road caused several barn animals to perish.

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Firefighters’ ‘quick and prompt’ action saves Coral mobile home

Firefighters were able to successfully extinguish a mobile home fire early Tuesday morning, effectively saving the structure. At approximately 5:46 a.m., firefighters from the Maple Valley Township Fire Department were called to the report of a structure fire at 15819 Lincoln Street.

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Howard City extends cell tower lease through 2070

This village is extending its tower lease agreement well into the future.

American Tower Corp. sent Howard City a letter requesting the village extend American Tower’s lease on the village’s cell phone tower for another 30 years. The current 30-year lease is seven years in and would expire in 2040. The new agreement extends the lease to 2070.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City village manager reduces public comment

The nearly 20 people who attended Monday night’s Howard City Village Council meeting only had one opportunity to share their thoughts.

Village Manager-President Randy Heckman removed the second public comment opportunity from the end of the meeting agenda. The public comment opportunity at the beginning of the meeting remains on the agenda.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updated Montcalm County commissioners on Monday about the county’s ongoing audit and financial progress. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners hear update from new auditor

The Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee heard some hopeful news Monday from the county’s new auditor.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updated commissioners on the ongoing county audit.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updates Montcalm County commissioners on the ongoing county audit progress. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

IN BRIEF: Montcalm County hears report from new auditor

The Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee heard some hopeful news today from the county’s new auditor.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updated commissioners on the ongoing county audit.

Montcalm Conservation District Executive Director Judy Cloer and conservation district board members Steve Wyckoff and Jed Welder share their thoughts after Thursday’s Montcalm County millage meeting. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County millage proposal inches forward

Supporters of a Montcalm County millage to fund local services have been receiving unpleasant but understandable feedback when presenting the proposal to residents.

“The initial reaction I get is, ‘Hell no,’” said Jed Welder, a Montcalm Conservation District board member and Greenville farmer. “The atmosphere with the county is so poisoned right now. But after you break through that there’s a little more willingness.”

Montcalm County Information Technology Director Eric McLaughlin explains how the county’s computer server operates from the basement of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office in Stanton. McLaughlin recently solicited multiple bids for county computer upgrades and decided on a $54,998 bid from Dell OEM of Grand Rapids for a PowerEdge VRTX Modular Infrastructure, which he says typically retails for $120,000.— Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County upgrades computer system for $55,000

Montcalm County is catching up with the technological times.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 23 approved spending up to $60,000 for a server and storage project at the recommendation of Information Technology Director Eric McLaughlin.