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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.

Justin Amash

Amash, Moolenaar react differently to Trump’s immigration order

Two local Republican Congressmen had very different reactions to an executive order on immigrants and refugees.

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced an executive order intended to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

Lt. Gov. Calley announces accountable, transparent government initiative

As technology continues to make instantly available information the norm — and the demand — this state’s lieutenant governor is looking to streamline that process for Michigan residents.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced an initiative to make improvements to state accountability and transparency during Friday’s Michigan Press Association luncheon.

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The Daily News is Newspaper of the Year

For the second consecutive year, The Daily News has been named the Michigan Press Association (MPA) Newspaper of the Year.

The award was announced during Thursday’s MPA banquet at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. The Daily News won Newspaper of the Year in the daily newspaper Class D category and Excellence in Advertising for all newspapers in the state, along with 29 additional awards and honorable mentions.

John Axe, an attorney with Clark Hill PLC in Detroit, hands out copies of a resolution to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday evening authorizing Clark Hill to complete an investigation and make recommendations to the board related to the pursuit of legal claims and filing of a complaint regarding the county’s former auditor Abraham & Gaffney. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County hires law firm to investigate former auditor

Montcalm County has hired a law firm to investigate and possibly bring a civil lawsuit against the county’s former auditor.
The resolution was approved during a regular meeting at 6 p.m. after commissioners met in closed session with Clark Hill attorney John Axe during a prior special meeting for nearly an hour.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard asks the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday evening to approve a $7,000 stipend for her work in programming county elections. Millard says the work is not part of a county clerk’s statutory job description, but some county commissioners disagree. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County to ask Attorney General for election programming opinion

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard is confident that programming county elections are not part of her statutory job description.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners isn’t so sure.

Constituents attending the first Legislative Update meeting of the year Monday at Montcalm Community College listen as Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, speak.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sen. Emmons, Rep. Lower talk future of health care, President Trump

Just three weeks into the new year of the Michigan House and Senate legislative sessions, the first local Legislative Update meeting of 2017 proved to be one of little detail.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, beginning her sixth year as state senator, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, beginning his first year as state representative, both shared hopeful messages Monday at Montcalm Community College for the future of the state as they prepare to move forward.

Howard City Village Manager Randy Heckman presided over a special meeting Wednesday as the Village Council begins searching for a new manager after Heckman announced he was resigning last Monday. Also pictured at left is Village Clerk-Treasurer Melissa Kuzmik. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City to seek full-time village manager

This village may soon have a full-time manager again for the first time in six years. The Howard City Village Council during a special 24-minute meeting Wednesday night unanimously agreed to advertise for a full-time village manager after current Village Manager Randy Heckman announced his resignation Monday due to overwhelming stress in balancing that job with his other businesses — Heckman Funeral Home and Heckman Lawn Care & Snowplowing. He is also fire chief of the Howard City Fire Department.

Montcalm County 4-H Council President Kim Thomsen, left, and Montcalm Conservation District Director Steve Wyckoff, right, visit with a community member after a community gathering Wednesday to discuss whether to move forward with a millage ballot proposal for 4-H, animal, conservation, park and veteran services in the county. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Grassroots millage effort moves forward in Montcalm County

A grassroots group of citizens are moving forward with a proposed millage to fund Montcalm County services, but they don’t necessarily want the approval of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.

Nearly 20 people met at the Montcalm Conservation District office in Stanton on Wednesday to discuss options for funding 4-H, Animal Control, conservation, parks and veterans.

From left, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presents “Connected Community” certification to Casair founder Steve Meinhardt, Kathy Jo Vanderlaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, Montcalm Economic Alliance Vice President Robert Clingenpeel, and Alliance President Rob Spohr, during Wednesday’s Alliance meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Connected Community: 99% of Montcalm County is online

In rural Michigan, reliable broadband internet may be hard to come by, but that is not the case in Montcalm County.

On Wednesday, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presented the county with “Connected Community” certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.