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Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Levand explains how he’s lost his job twice now due to budget cuts. He was let go in 2012, but was able to return about six months later after another officer retired. Now Levand is being let go again, along with eight other full-time sheriff’s officers, plus two part-time court security officers. Their last day on the job is Friday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Commissioners cut pay; approve new budget, deficit elimination plan

No apologies yet, but commissioners have decided to cut their pay. Another standing room only audience was in attendance Monday afternoon as the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2017 budget and a 2016 deficit elimination plan for the state of Michigan. Included in the new budget was a 15 percent salary cut for commissioners.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, left, and Montcalm County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Q. Carr consider the task before them during a special budget meeting Monday. Commissioners voted to move forward with a recommended $1.7 million in budget cuts. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County moves forward with $1.7 million in budget cuts

Montcalm County residents should prepare for a “new normal.” The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to accept a budgetary investigation analysis by Clark Hill, Rehmann Robson and Municipal Financial Consults Inc. (MFCI), and to make budget cuts totaling 22.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs). Those cuts, along with other budget adjustments, will equate to more than $1.7 million in cuts.

Montcalm County is now contracting with Republic Services of Pierson to pick up corrugated cardboard at county recycling sites, like this one in Lakeview, after Recycle World of Greenville discontinued the service. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County has new cardboard recycling service

Recycle World may have discontinued its cardboard recycling service at Montcalm County recycling sites, but residents won’t notice much of a difference. Recycle World, located at M-91 and Sidney Road just north of Greenville, ended its program of picking up corrugated cardboard at Montcalm County’s six recycling sites effective today. Recycle World owner Kevin Willemstein said he made the decision as he was running out of space to store cardboard at his facility; plus his contract is for residential use, yet many commercial businesses use the cardboard recycling service, which he says has added to the issue of overflowing bins.

Recent Grand Valley State University graduate Jake Eckholm started his new job as village manager of Lakeview and city manager of Stanton on Tuesday. He will divide his time equally between the municipalities. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Eckholm leaving Lakeview and Stanton to manage Muskegon Heights

The dual manager of the city of Stanton and the village of Lakeview has accepted a new job. Jake Eckholm will be the next manager of the city of Muskegon Heights. He accepted the job Tuesday and will start Oct. 1.

Megan Ayres, third from left, is pictured with her Polish classmates in Ostromecko, Poland. Ayres visited several places in Poland during her nearly yearlong exchange student program through Rotary Club. — Courtesy photo

Greenville graduate reflects on her 10 months in Poland

After Megan Ayres’s high school graduation in 2015, she decided to take a year to participate in Rotary Club’s exchange student program. During Tuesday’s Greenville Rotary Club meeting, she presented a movie she made about her experience and gushed about the memories she had made.

Auctioneer Marty Spaulding, left, points to a woman holding her bidding card high in the air during Tuesday’s Montcalm/Ionia county public land auction at the Sheridan Community Center. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Ionia and Montcalm counties recoup unpaid taxes through land auction

On the surface, a piece of vacant, foreclosed property in Edmore would attract little to no attention to anyone driving past it. But at Tuesday’s Montcalm/Ionia county public land auction, nearly every piece of property up for grabs, including small empty parcels such as that rural roadside lot on North Cedar Lake Road, commanded attention.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel and the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, all at left, listen Monday afternoon to a recommendation from Louis Schimmel of Municipal Financial Consultants Inc., John Axe of Clark Hill PLC and Montcalm County Treasurer JoAnne Vukin, all at right, to retain services for a legal investigation and emergency audit into the county’s financial situation. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County contracts with legal, financial firms to fix ‘alarming’ budget

Montcalm County is contracting with a legal firm, a financial firm and a consulting firm in an effort to stop the bleeding of $2 million in savings per year over at least the last four years. The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Monday, in three separate motions, to contract with Clark Hill PLC in Detroit for legal services, to contract with Municipal Financial Consultants Inc. (MFCI) in Detroit to assist Clark Hill and to contract with Rehmann Robson of Troy for accounting services as an emergency audit of the county gets underway.

Central Montcalm students Lillian Blaisdell, 17, and Anna Williams, 17, with coordinator Sheena Sanders show the flags of Ecuador and Spain, where the students will serve as exchange students for the next nine months. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Central Montcalm students to go abroad for upcoming school year

Each fall, a dozen or so students from foreign countries begin a new school year as part of the Central Montcalm Public School student body, bringing a taste of their home to Montcalm County. For many hometown youths, this is the only experience they have with a different country, a different culture, a different community. It has been 20 years since one of their own has been able to represent Central Montcalm as a student ambassador, to serve as an exchange student.

Children and adults brave the rain Friday evening to enjoy the Stanton Old Fashioned Days fireman’s parade on E. Main Street. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Weather couldn’t stop Old Fashioned Days talent show and firemen’s parade

The rain couldn’t keep Montcalm County residents from coming out to enjoy the Star Quest Talent Show and the Firemen’s Parade Friday night. The talent show was moved to the steamy auditorium at Central Montcalm Middle School to keep performers and the audience dry, but the crowd was still full. Sixteen acts took to the stage. They showcased talents like comedy, dance and singing.

From left, Stanton City Commission members Lewis Corwin, Jane Basom and Karl Yoder listen and discuss City Manager Jake Eckholm’s housing proposal Tuesday night. Yoder was the only commissioner to vote against the proposal. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Stanton looking into city housing program

The Stanton City Commission plans to discuss a proposed housing program with the community. The Stanton Housing Investment Program (SHIP) would take vacant, city-owned lots and turn them into houses the city could sell. A public forum on the topic will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 15. The community is invited to attend.