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Julia and the Greensides, a contemporary folk band from Muskegon, will be the headliners at a series of concerts Saturday evening as part of the inaugural Taste of Montcalm festival in Stanton. — Courtesy photo

Stanton readies for its first Taste of Montcalm

What does Montcalm County taste like? Festival-goers will have a chance to vote for some of their favorite local restaurants at the inaugural Taste of Montcalm from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at D. Hale Brake Park in Stanton. The festival is free.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, left, explains his approach to county budget cuts as Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr listens. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted 6-3 on Monday to authorize Clingenpeel to make necessary budget reductions. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners pass budget decisions to controller

After months of being unable to agree to take action on budget cuts, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners have decided to allow their new controller-administrator to take over those decisions. The board voted 6-3 on Monday to approve Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel’s recommendation that the board authorize him to “make necessary budget reductions” effective that same day. The proposal is part of Clingenpeel’s effort to help the county’s $1.5 million budget deficit leading up to approval of the 2016-2017 budget. He will make budget reductions in conjunction with county department heads, and will report his action back to the board.

Miss Sheridan Springfest 2016 and her court were one of several festival queen entries in Monday's Grand Parade. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Sheridan Memorial Day parade keeps honor alive (PHOTOS)

In 1942, following the bombing of the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, the United States joined World War II. Hundreds of young men felt the pull of their patriotic duty and went to enlist in the armed forces. John Hansen, then age 23, was one of those.

A standing room only audience packed the room on the third floor of the Montcalm County Administrative Building (old courthouse) in Stanton on Monday to voice their concerns about closing Animal Control and county parks. — Daily News/Cory Smith

County Animal Control elimination vote fails, parks decision postponed

Montcalm County didn’t go into debt overnight … and neither are elected officials going to be able to fix the problem in one day. This was Helen Hamler’s theory when she stood before the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday to ask them not to shut down Animal Control.

Annette Enness, a Wellness Peer Specialist at Wellness Works in Stanton, left, and Wellness Team Leader for InShape/Health Mentor, Jim Young, right, converse after having worked with clients at the gym Monday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sufferers of mental illnesses find relief at Wellness Works

There was a time when Annette Enness was ashamed of who she was, that a condition that didn’t define, but limited her, was all that friends, family and strangers were thinking about. The Stanton woman suffered from a mental illness, and she struggled to find help that could make a lasting impression and turn her life back around.

Health Officer Marcus Cheatham, left, listens as Orlando Todd of Local Public Health Services at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services presents the Mid-Michigan District Health Department with a plaque congratulating the health department on 50 years of public health service. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Health department celebrates 50 years

Jane Keon grew up in St. Louis, a small town devastated by a toxic chemical mix-up that continues to result in elevated poison levels in people’s blood throughout Michigan today. When Keon grew up, she mobilized her community to protect water and fight toxic pollution, taking the fight all the way to the EPA in Washington, D.C. When John Switzer learned there was high levels of fecal matter in the Upper Maple River, he obtained grant funding to implement a watershed management plan, then leveraged a grant to assist other watersheds developing plans for the Flat River and the Pine River.

Board members Brian Corwin and Bud Longnecker and Board President Stephen Foster listen as Superintendent Ron Simon gives his report. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MAISD board approves retirements, resignations

Four staff members in the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will be departing during the course of this year. The MAISD Board of Education approved the retirements of special education teacher Annegret Paas, bus driver Betty Sleight and administrative assistant Dawn Lantz and the resignation of plant and animal science teacher Abby Schofield during Thursday morning’s meeting. Paas’ retirement will be effective July 1 and Sleight’s retirement will be effective Sept. 1.

Montcalm Community College Director of Human Resources Connie Stewart and Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Lantz listen Tuesday as Carson City-Crystal High School Principal Duane Lyons discusses the successes of the school district. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC Board of Trustees hears from Carson City-Crystal area leaders

Several guests sat in on the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday evening. Among the guests were Doug Smith, deputy warden for the Carson City Correctional Facility; Gary Copp of Carson City Lumber; Carson City-Crystal Area Schools guidance counselor Grant Woodman and CC-C High School Principal Duane Lyons.

Montcalm County Animal Control could be closed in the near future after a budget recommendation by the Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee. — File photo

County officials recommend shutting down Animal Control, closing parks

Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee is recommending shutting down Animal Control and the animal shelter and closing county parks to help with the county’s budget situation. Committee members made the recommendations Monday morning at the request of Commissioner Ron Retzloff. He recommended shutting down Animal Control, the animal shelter and all its employees, and having the Humane Society take over local animal services. Retzloff estimates this will save at least $100,000.

Brian Smith of Central Asphalt in Mount Pleasant lines up string along Lake Montcalm Road near Vestaburg on Monday, as Matt Toth works nearby. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

$4 million in road repairs underway in Montcalm County (PHOTOS)

Portions of three gravel roads will be restored to asphalt as part of $4 million in road work projects this year. The Road Commission for Montcalm County borrowed $4 million from Chemical Bank (a 10-year loan with a 2.2 interest rate) to get a jump start on repairing roads based on Michigan’s $1.2 billion road funding package approved by legislators last November.