News Top Story

Memos from Clark Hill, Rehmann Robson and Municipal Financial Consultants Inc. (MFCI) to the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners detail an ongoing investigation into county finances and personnel. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Forensic probe into Montcalm County personnel over finances is underway

A forensic investigation into the financial activities of Montcalm County personnel is underway to determine whether state or federal law was violated. Clark Hill, a Detroit-based law firm, alerted the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 15 that the investigation began less than 30 days prior, according to documents obtained by The Daily News via the Freedom Of Information Act.

From left, Montcalm Care Network’s Melissa Bolanos, case manager; Angie Loiselle, recipient rights officer; and Leigha Harris, employment connections, purchased $1,516.68 of Christmas gifts for local families. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Man’s donation in honor of late wife to provide gifts for local families

Typically, the Montcalm Care Network is able to provide two local families with Christmas gifts, but this year something atypical happened and allowed the agency to provide for five families. Erik Halvorsen of Sheridan wanted to honor his late wife, Dolores, and decided to donate $1,500 to the Montcalm Care Network to help local families this Christmas.

Stanton Lions Club President Larry Beardslee thanks members of every police agency in Montcalm County on Wednesday at the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office after presenting each department with monetary donations from every Lions Club in the county. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local organizations give back to law enforcement (PHOTOS)

Local law enforcement agencies celebrated Christmas early when a local man decided he needed to do something to counteract a decreasing public opinion of the profession. Sheridan’s Larry Beardslee was not liking the negative publicity he was seeing about law enforcement officers. Instead of feeling annoyed by it, he opted to do something about it. This week, with the assistance of the nine Montcalm County-area Lions Clubs, local law enforcement agencies each received generous donations.

The site of the old Carnation milk condensery building, on the northeast corner of S. Sheridan (M-66) and E. Condensery, currently sits empty but could see development sometime next year. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Old Carnation property in Sheridan nears development

Residents of Sheridan may see another transformation of the old Carnation milk condensery site next year. Kathy Jo VanderLaan, who is Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, said the grant is two steps away from being closed out.

Jim Lower, right, standing beside his wife, Kristen, center, is sworn in as the next state representative of Michigan’s 70th House District Monday evening by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley at the Montcalm County Administration building in Stanton. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Lower takes oath of office for 70th District (PHOTOS)

With his right hand raised upward and left hand placed firmly on the Bible, Jim Lower took his oath of office Monday evening to become a member of Michigan’s 99th State Legislature. Standing before family and friends, and a number of constituents who he has now grown to call friends, Lower, with his wife Kristen by his side, repeated after Lt. Gov. Brian Calley from the third floor of the Montcalm County Administration Building, keeping his hand placed on the very Bible his wife’s parents had once given to him upon converting to Catholicis

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard, at left, assists Kay Westergaard and Reynolds Township Clerk Robin Sholty as they try to determine whether a bin containing presidential election ballots was properly sealed. The women were among 30 volunteers assisting in a presidential recount Wednesday at the former Stanton elementary school building. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County completes presidential election ballot recount

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard oversaw her first presidential election ballot recount in record time. Wednesday’s hand recount of ballots cast in November’s general election started at 9 a.m. and was completed by 3 p.m. for a total of six hours.

Luke Hevel, owner of Hevel Auto Repair in Stanton, works on the 2004 Ford Focus and Stanton NAPA Auto Parts’ old delivery vehicle to be ready to give away to a local family. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

One-time NAPA delivery car to help local family

A former delivery car for NAPA Auto Parts in Stanton is getting a second chance and helping a local family. NAPA was planning on scrapping the 2004 Ford Focus after the timing belt broke earlier this year, but Store Manager Kimberlie Rivett and her husband Mike Rivett, a mechanic at Hevel Auto Repair in Stanton, had an idea to help someone in the community and “pay it forward.”

The Red Barn Theatre on Montcalm Community College’s Sidney campus was the only facility rated red for the next five years during a facilities evaluation for issues on the interior of the building that will need improvement. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC Board of Trustees hear audit report, facilities report

Montcalm Community College (MCC) remains a bright spot in Montcalm County. During a regular meeting Monday afternoon, the MCC Board of Trustees heard an audit report from Lisa VanDeWeert, a certified public accountant with Grand Rapids-based Rehmann Group. Overall, the report was positive for the college and the MCC Foundation.

Clockwise from second to bottom left, Stanton City Commission members Ken Burris, John Seaman, Krista King, Clerk Janet Davis, Mayor Larry Petersen, Lewis Corwin, Jane Basom and Karl Yoder interview city manager candidate Charles Watson of Cedar Springs. Ultimately, the city commission voted against both finalists for the shared manager job with Lakeview and decided to pursue an exclusive city manager. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Stanton wants to end shared manager agreement with Lakeview

At the Sept. 14 Stanton City Commission meeting, Commissioner Ken Burris told his fellow commissioners he didn’t see any reason to change the shared manager arrangement between Stanton and Lakeview. Two months later, his feelings have changed. Now Burris, fellow commissioners, city residents and business owners want a manager they don’t have to share with the village of Lakeview.

dnlogo

JUST IN: Sheridan couple safely escape house fire, firefighter injured

Ready to embrace a bit of rest with an afternoon nap, Scott and Diana Evans found themselves anything but asleep after discovering their house was on fire Sunday afternoon.