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From left, Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell, Drain Commissioner Sandy Raines, Prosecutor Andrea Krause and Register of Deeds Lori Wilson discuss pending budget cuts with the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners at a finance committee meeting Monday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County finance committee hears budget cut proposals

Closing county parks, closing MSU Extension one day per week, increasing document fees for residents, sending dead animals to a landfill … These were some of the suggested budget cuts presented to the Montcalm County finance committee on Monday as county officials work to scale back local government operations.

Two fuel tanks located at the site of the former Carnation building in Sheridan must be removed before further development of the property can move forward. A similar tank was removed earlier and showed no indication of soil or groundwater contamination. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Fuel tank removal among final stages of Carnation building demo

Two large subterranean tanks containing fuel oil located at the former site of the Carnation building will have to be dug up before the property can be further developed or sold. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Sheridan Village Council, council members discussed how best to address the problem.

Mark Stuhldreher answers questions from commissioners Betty Kellenberger, Tom Lindeman and Dale Reyburn during Stuhldreher’s job interview Monday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County completes first round of controller-administrator interviews

Monday was a full day for the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners. The board held budget talks; completed the first round of interviews for hiring a new controller-administrator; appointed an interim leader; and set a special meeting for 1:30 p.m. next Monday to choose finalists for the job.

Six finalists for the job of Montcalm County controller-administrator were chosen Monday by Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr, at left, and his colleagues. The finalists include Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard, at right. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

6 finalists for Montcalm County administrator job

Four internal candidates and two external candidates are in the running for the job of Montcalm County controller-administrator. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners chose the six finalists during a special meeting Monday to fill the vacancy left by Chris Hyzer, whose last day was March 31.

Additional handicap entrance signs will be added to the Montcalm County Administrative Building in downtown Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County to add more handicap signs to admin building

Additional handicap entrance signs will be added to the Montcalm County Administrative Building after someone fell on the facility’s front steps. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners recently discussed the incident.

Montcalm County Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator and County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer, left, speaks to Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr on Monday about denying a FOIA request from Stanton resident Ron Finegood regarding a former local judge. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm County commissioners deny FOIA request regarding judge’s emails

An appeal to overturn a denied Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding emails sent by a former circuit court judge was rejected Monday by the Montcalm County Board Commissioners. The board voted 8-1 to deny an appeal submitted by Stanton resident and attorney Ron Finegood regarding a FOIA request he submitted on Feb. 11, which was denied by FOIA coordinator and outgoing Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer.

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Outman concerned about proposed LGBTQ guidelines in school

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, has long voiced his opinion on educational matters in Michigan during his tenure in the Legislature, and Monday, he took aim at what some in Lansing are calling a controversial issue.

A proposal focused on students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or are questioning their sexual identity (LGBTQ) has been thrust into the limelight after a voluntary guidance, drafted with a goal to help school districts looking to better serve LGBT students, was outlined in a Feb. 23 memo from the Michigan Department of Education to the State Board of Education.

In sticking with the theme of “All Things Green,” event, a number of plants, grown by Lakeview High School junior Katie Johnson, 16, were on display and sold to visitors during at the Montcalm Area Career Center on Monday evening.

All Things Green event spreads local agricultural awareness (PHOTOS)

With more than 224,000 acres of farmland within its borders, agriculture is a driving force throughout Montcalm County. But size of land doesn’t necessarily equate proportionally to general appreciation or understanding, which is why consumers and vendors alike gathered Monday evening for the annual All Things Green event at the Montcalm Area Career Center.

Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell speaks about pending budget cuts at a special county finance meeting Monday, while county department heads look on and listen. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County Board of Commissioners talk budget cuts

Eliminate Animal Control? Merge the Equalization Department and the Register of Deeds Department? Privatize county services? Give county parks back to local townships? These were a few of the ideas discussed during a special Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee meeting Monday.

The Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton was built in 1910 and originally served as the county courthouse. The current building was  funded by a voter-approved bond in 1907 and constructed after a 1905 fire that destroyed the county’s first courthouse. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners prepare to make budget cuts

Budget cuts are coming to Montcalm County. The question is, how and where? Voters turned down a Headlee override millage proposal on March 8 by 58 to 42 percent. If it had been approved, the funds would have gone toward balancing the county’s $230,000 budget deficit as well as restoring some county services. Now what?