IN BRIEF: Stanton takes steps to bring arcade to town

Nostalgic for the days of Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat and Pac-Man?

Local gamers may soon be in luck.

An old ordinance was repealed during Tuesday night’s Stanton’s City Commission meeting in a effort to bring an arcade to town.

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.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will vote to approve the fiscal year 2017 budget on Monday, including $1.7 million in budget cuts. — File photo

Loss of jobs, services hit home hard amid Montcalm County budget cuts

Montcalm County is in the red, and pink slips went out this week as a result.

Last Monday, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted 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.

The four recycling and two cardboard dumpsters in Stanton are being more heavily used and filling up faster. The recycling site is located at the southwest corner of the city parking lot at the intersection of Walnut and Camburn streets. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Recycling containers to be added in Stanton

Since Montcalm Township closed its recycling site, the Stanton recycling dumpsters have seen a lot more use.

Montcalm County officials have offered — and the Stanton City Commission has accepted — to install at least two more recycling containers in the city. Right now, Stanton has two cardboard dumpsters, which belong to Stanton, and four general recycling dumpsters. The additional dumpsters would likely be funded with money saved from when Montcalm Township shut down its recycling site.

Right now, the Lakeview District Fire Department serves Pine Township, but a few residents in Pine Township are looking into how to switch to the Montcalm Township Fire Department because it is closer. The topic was brought to the Montcalm Township Board on Sept. 14. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Pine Township residents consider switching fire jurisdiction

Pine Township officials are taking a look at the current fire department arrangement.

On Sept. 14, Pine Township Treasurer Randy Robson and five township residents approached the Montcalm Township Board about the possibility of being incorporated into the Montcalm Township Fire Department’s jurisdiction.


M-STEP scores released for local school districts

Two years ago, the Michigan Department of Education moved from the 44-year-old MEAP standardized test to the M-STEP, a test that is partly based on common core standards. The M-STEP is widely recognized by educators as a more rigorous test with high expectations for students.


Montcalm County spent $13,500 on FOIA lawsuit

This past summer, Montcalm County sued The Daily News, along with two sheriff’s candidates, over a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request involving the personnel files of two candidates for sheriff. Taxpayers will foot a $13,500 bill as a result.


Central Montcalm schools gearing up for construction project

Central Montcalm Public School moved one step closer in a months-in-the-making construction project that will include improvements in safety accessibility, building interiors and exteriors, mechanical, engineering and plumbing systems.

At Monday evening’s regular Board of Education meeting, board members approved awarding a bond project to Chemical Bank in Stanton, which will purchase the more than $5 million bonds necessary to fund the project.


10 local artists participating in ArtPrize

Local artists are utilizing a variety of unique mediums for this year’s ArtPrize, including copper, silver and gold, stained glass mosaics and hornet nests. More than 1,450 entries have been submitted to be on display at more than 160 venues across three square miles of Grand Rapids starting Wednesday through Oct. 9. Winning prizes totaling $500,000 will be awarded (half decided by public vote and half decided by a jury of experts).

Judge Donald Hemingsen of Montcalm County's 64B District Court takes the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners to task for allowing the county to reach its current budget situation. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

‘Appalled and dumbfounded’: Montcalm County residents sound off against commissioners

The embattled Montcalm County Board of Commissioners heard wide-ranging criticism Monday from a former county administrator and a judge, among others. Nancy Clary of Cedar Springs was Montcalm County’s administrator (she went by Hansing-Clary at the time) from 1978 to 1995, when she was fired. She said the reason she was terminated from her job was because a commissioner proposed not funding the county’s pension plan and Clary spoke out against that proposal. The county’s pension fund is currently short more than $800,000.