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Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr, Clerk Kristen Millard and commissioners Betty Kellenberger, Tom Lindeman and Dale Reyburn listen to budgetary concerns during a meeting earlier this year. The county made $1.7 million in budget cuts and hired three legal and accounting firms to investigate what went wrong with the county’s financial situation. — File photo

2016 Daily News Top Local Stories of the Year

This year, Montcalm County lost a controller-administrator and hired a new leader, made $1.7 million in budget cuts equating to a loss of 30 jobs, fired its auditing firm and contracted with three new firms to investigate what went wrong with the county budget over the past decade.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard

Montcalm County seeks legal opinion regarding election stipend

Montcalm County officials requested and received a legal opinion to clarify whether the county clerk can be paid an annual stipend for election programming.

Earlier this month, as she has done every year since 2008, Clerk Kristen Millard requested the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approve a $7,000 stipend be paid to her for her work in programming county elections, as the work is not part of a county clerk’s statutory job description.

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Montcalm County officials sworn into office

The 8th Judicial Circuit Courtroom was filled with a standing-room-only audience for a festive ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Judge Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger swore multiple Montcalm County officials into office, including newly elected Sheriff Mike Williams, who will succeed retiring Sheriff Bill Barnwell.

The Howard City Village Council voted Monday for ordinance language stating that no vehicles may be parked on village streets between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. from Nov. 1 to April 15. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City clarifies street parking ordinance rules

Ask any snowplow driver and they will tell you one of their biggest challenges is plowing around illegally parked vehicles. The Howard City Village Council attempted to help with this issue during Monday night’s meeting by unanimously voting for ordinance language stating that no vehicles may be parked on village streets between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. from Nov. 1 to April 15.

John Axe, an attorney with Clark Hill in Detroit, reports on the slow progress of a Montcalm County financial investigation. Axe is pictured next to Montcalm County Treasurer JoAnne Vukin during Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Firms still investigating Montcalm County’s financial ‘mess’

Deciphering Montcalm County’s pecuniary puzzle is taking longer than expected.

During Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting, John Axe, an attorney with Clark Hill in Detroit, reported on the slow progress.Deciphering Montcalm County’s pecuniary puzzle is taking longer than expected.

During Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting, John Axe, an attorney with Clark Hill in Detroit, reported on the slow progress.

Firefighters from three fire departments worked nearly five hours Saturday night to fight a fire that destroyed this house at 8664 Arbogast Road near Indian Lake in Winfield Township. The fire rekindled on Wednesday afternoon. — Courtesy photo

Fire destroys Indian Lake home on Saturday, rekindles Wednesday

Three fire departments responded to a house fire at Indian Lake on Saturday night and worked nearly five hours to extinguish the blaze, which rekindled Wednesday.
According to Lakeview District Fire Department Chief Patrick Q. Carr, the house at 8664 Arbogast Road was fully involved in flames when the first firefighters arrived shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday. Lakeview called for mutual aide from Howard City Fire Department and Maple Valley Township Fire Department.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City Village Council looks to 2017

he Howard City Village Council dealt with the final business of the year in a drama-free 29-minute meeting Monday night.

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IN BRIEF: Montcalm County BOC hosts final meeting of the year

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners took action on multiple agenda items during their last regular meeting of 2016.

A Montcalm County-operated recycling service in Howard City was shut down Dec. 5 after the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted to eliminate it from Leppink’s Food Center. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

One less recycling location for Montcalm County

A solitary sign is all that remains of Howard City’s recycling site. The Montcalm County-operated service was shut down Dec. 5 after the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted on Nov. 7 to eliminate it due to an increase in county recycling costs, as well as garbage and trash abuse at the site, which was located in the parking lot of Leppink’s Food Center on M-82.

Ryan Griffee

Coral man convicted of extortion

A man was sentenced to jail after using a stolen trailer to blackmail and threaten a longtime friend. Ryan Griffee, 28, of Coral, was in possession of a utility trailer he had stolen, according to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office. He loaned the stolen trailer to a longtime friend last spring in Howard City. While the trailer was in the friend’s possession, it was stolen.