Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, right, speaks at Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College as former representative Rick Outman, of Six Lakes, filling in for Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, listens. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Unanimously approved by House, FOIA legislation faces uphill battle in Senate

On March 16, the 110-member House of Representatives voted 108-0 to pass a 10-bill package — House bills 4148 through 4157 — aimed at expanding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the governor’s office and state Legislature.

The bills now head to the Senate, specifically the Senate Operations Committee, but supporters of the legislation fear it will die.

Kristin Hoogerwerf of Rehmann Robson updates Montcalm County commissioners on Monday about the status of corrective action on the county’s 2016 audit, including short-term and long-term goals for rectifying the county’s financial situation. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners hear audit, continue investigation

After not hearing an audit report for nearly a decade, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday night heard an audit report from its new auditing firm and continued to pursue legal action against its former auditing firm.

After meeting in closed session with attorney John Axe from Clark Hill for an hour, commissioners unanimously approved authorizing Clark Hill to continue to pursue legal action being contemplated against the county’s longtime auditing firm Abraham & Gaffney.

Firefighters with the Sheridan Community Fire Department exit Sheridan Community Hospital on Tuesday night after ensuring that a report of a fire at the hospital was only a false alarm. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Dust particle triggers fire alarm at Sheridan Community Hospital

A dust particle is believed to be at blame for triggering a fire alarm late Monday night at Sheridan Community Hospital.


IN BRIEF: Stanton to wait to apply for ICE grant

Two weeks ago, the Stanton City Commission tabled making a decision applying for an Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant until they had more information.

In Tuesday’s meeting packet, a letter from Jason Washler, a professional engineer with Prein and Newhof, advised city commissioners to wait another year before applying for the grant, which has an April 7 deadline.


IN BRIEF: Montcalm County commissioners hear audit, continue financial investigation

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday night heard an audit report from its new auditing firm and continued pursuing legal action against its former auditing firm.


Montcalm County buys exhaust fan for Drain Commission office problem

Montcalm County officials have decided to purchase and install an exhaust fan to solve the problem of fumes in the Drain Commission Office.

Last October, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approved purchasing a new boiler for $45,600 after the old boiler finally broke down. The new boiler was installed in the basement of the county’s maintenance building, just below the Drain Commission Office.

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams

Montcalm County sheriff restores CMET position

Thanks to state grants, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office has been able to restore an officer to the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET). Sheriff Mike Williams recently obtained a medical marijuana oversight grant worth $24,313 from the Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs. That grant, coupled with an $11,000 grant from CMET, allowed Williams to restore a sheriff’s officer to CMET, a position that had been vacant for the past six months since Montcalm County budget cuts last fall.


CM board honors winter sports teams

The Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education honored the district’s winter athletes Monday. Athletes from girls basketball, boys basketball, wrestling and the bowling teams stood before the board and listened as their coaches bragged about the team and individual accomplishments.

During Thursday afternoon’s Stanton City Commission meeting, from left, City Commissioner Krista Johnson, City Clerk/Treasurer Lori Braman, Mayor Ken Burris, City Manager Elizabeth Pynaert and city commissioners Charles Miel and Jane Basom discuss Pynaert’s contract. The City Commission also updated the city’s Freedom Of Information Act policy and appointed Jennifer Blum as commissioner. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Stanton commissioners OK changes and updates

Stanton city commissioners spent much of their time during Thursday’s rescheduled meeting discussing and voting on changes, updates and policies. The commissioners voted in a new commissioner, updated the city’s Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) policy and contentiously approved the new city manager’s contract.

Cliff Williams, originally of Stanton, poses for his only granddaughter, Abby Williams. Abby was one of the two teens killed in Delphi, Ind., over a month ago. From 2 to 5 p.m. March 26, local family and friends are hosting a community memorial luncheon at the Stanton American Legion Post to remember the bond between Abby and her grandfather. — Courtesy photo

Memorial to be held in Stanton for murdered Indiana teen

While Indiana State Police continue to investigate a double homicide that occurred over a month ago in Delphi, Ind., relatives of one of the victims plan to hold a memorial in Stanton. Cliff Williams of Grand Rapids is the grandfather of Abby Williams, 13, whose body was found at Delphi Historic Trail on Feb. 14.