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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.

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Neighbors rescue dogs amid fire

Homeowners and their dogs remained safe after a house fire at 1308 Hawkview Drive on Thursday evening. When the Sand Lake Fire Department arrived on the scene after receiving a call at 7:28 p.m., neighbors had already rescued the puppies.

Montcalm County’s new website showcases the county seat via a slideshow of high-resolution photographs. Social media links are easily accessible and a calendar of events previews upcoming county meetings and news.

Montcalm County’s new website is live

Montcalm County’s new website went live this week.

The goal was for montcalm.us to be a more user-friendly website for mobile users, according to IT Director Eric McLaughlin.

Kenedi Bouck, 11, volunteers as “head elf in training” for Toys for Tots. She stopped by the donation box at Greenville Tractor Supply Co. with her mother and Montcalm County Toys for Tots Coordinator Jennifer Bouck.— Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Toys for Tots drive now underway in Montcalm County

Jennifer Bouck has seen the hardships families face during the holiday season.

The coordinator of Montcalm County’s Toys for Tots is familiar with scenes of homelessness and poverty.

In response, Bouck and her volunteers are working to provide a “magical” Christmas for families in need this year.

Mattson’s Hardware employees are pictured at Howard City’s inaugural buck pole event to celebrate the opening day of hunting season Nov. 15. A total of 18 bucks and more than 300 people participated in the event. Pictured from left to right are Mattson’s employees including Mattson’s owners Ruth and Rick Kilts pictured in center. — Courtesy photo

Buck up: Howard City’s buck pole draws crowd

Opening day of hunting season is practically a holiday in Montcalm County, so it’s no surprise Howard City’s inaugural buck pole event was a smashing success. The buck pole went up in the vacant lot at the corner of Ensley Street and Shaw Street (where the village’s farmers market is held) in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, sponsored by Mattson’s Hardware and Mac’s Rustic Sports. The Howard City Fire Department helped with lighting for the event.

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IN BRIEF: Howard City funeral home faces water shutoff

This village’s funeral home may have its water turned off this morning due to the owner, who is also the village manager-president, allegedly not complying with backflow device testing requirements, according to another village employee.
During Monday night’s Howard City Village Council meeting, Department of Public Works Director Mike Van Wagner informed Manager-President Randy Heckman that Van Wagner would be shutting off the water supply to Heckman Funeral Home at 225 E. Edgerton St. in downtown Howard City at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

A pile of trash sits in next to a recycling bin in the parking lot of Leppink’s Food Center in Howard City on Friday, even though the Montcalm County recycling site has signage specifically stating “No Trash.” The recycling site will be permanently closed down by Dec. 23 due to repeated issues of trash abuse, as well as funding problems for the county. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Howard City recycling site to close; county’s recycling future uncertain

Two of Montcalm County’s seven recycling sites will have closed by year’s end, and the future remains uncertain for the remaining five locations.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Nov. 7 to eliminate Howard City’s recycling site due to an increase in county recycling costs.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard

Voter turnout down in Ionia, Montcalm counties

The most divisive presidential election in recent history resulted in a decrease in voter turnout for both Ionia and Montcalm counties Tuesday. Ionia County saw a 61 percent turnout, while Montcalm County was not much better at just under 63 percent.