Christopher Dennie from the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission updates  Montcalm County commissioners on April 10 about the state commission’s work to improve and create standards for counties regarding providing defense for people who have been charged with a crime but are not able to afford an attorney. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Indigent defense standards could level court-appointed attorney playing field

A state commission is in the process of reforming standards for court-appointed attorneys and indigent clients, meaning the administrative branches of Ionia and Montcalm counties will be taking over crucial judicial responsibilities in the near future.


EMS, health department have both experienced recent turnover

Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) are both looking to hire after some recent turnover. Commissioners on the county’s Health & Human Services Committee heard updates April 10 from EMS Director David Feldpausch about why paramedics are in such high demand, and from MMDHD Health Officer Marcus Cheatham, who explained why routine restaurant inspections are being eliminated for the time being.

Dawn Thurwatcher, at right, and Montcalm County Animal Control Director Angela Hollinshead, far left, listen as attorney Jourdan Rasmussen argues for Montcalm County commissioners to grandfather in Thurwatcher’s kennel license for her miniature dachshunds in Edmore. Commissioners agreed to grandfather Thurwatcher’s arrangement. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County grandfathers in dog kennel arrangement

After two years of disagreement, Montcalm County officials are allowing an Edmore woman to have a dog kennel in her basement by grandfathering the arrangement. Dawn Thurwatcher has bred longhaired miniature dachshunds for two decades.

Rep. John Moolenaar

Rep. Moolenaar to host district-wide listening session Thursday

Congressman John Moolenaar will be hosting a district-wide listening session Thursday evening at Central Michigan University’s Plachta Auditorium.

Amber Rowland is pictured in happier times on a poster created by friends and family after Amber fatally overdosed on heroin in the summer of 2016. She was 25 years old. — Daily News/Cory Smith

HEROIN HITS HOME: Part 1, ‘Kissing Everything Goodbye’

“I was 22 and only smoked weed, drank from here and there, took pills sometimes. Some call me a late bloomer.” — So begins a letter written by Amber Rowland on April 11, 2016, and read aloud in Montcalm County’s Drug Court as a success story from someone who was bound by addiction, but fought to be sober.

Max George, survey manager with Fleis & VandenBrink, shows Sheridan Village Council members and residents how the former Carnation property is currently split up. George along with Bruce Pindzia, senior project manager with Fleis & VandenBrink, are working on simplifying the division of the property. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Sheridan nears end of redeveloping Carnation property

Just over a year ago, this community said goodbye to the old Carnation condensery building.

The Sheridan Village Council hopes to welcome new businesses to that property this year.

Nicodemus (Del Pike) listens as Jesus (Nelson Hayden) explains to Joe of Sheridan (Josh Bishop) that the church is full of sinners, and He has come to earth to pay the ultimate price for each one. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Stanton church presents original Easter drama ‘Born Again’

The ordinary caterpillar toils daily, but it is not until he goes through a transformation that he becomes free to soar. Stanton’s Trinity Church uses that same concept in its original musical Easter drama “Born Again.”

The church will feature “Born Again” at 7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Easter Sunday.

A Montcalm County millage proposal group on Tuesday heard from Robert “Bob” Van Lente of Portland, who has helped run multiple election campaigns in Ionia County. The millage group has narrowed its focus to raising funds from five community services to two: Conservation and 4-H. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County group narrows millage effort to conservation and 4-H

A Montcalm County millage effort to fund five community services has been narrowed down to two: Conservation and 4-H. Animal Control, parks and recreation and veterans were initially part of the discussion which began in January, but representatives from those three organizations have since dropped out (animals and veterans officially, parks and rec unofficially).

President of the Michigan Community College Association Mike Hansen talked about legislation and budgets during Tuesday evening’s regular meeting of the Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

MCC Board and guest talk taxes

Personal property taxes, income taxes and legislative updates were the talks at the table Tuesday evening. The Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees heard an update from Mike Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA). Hansen talked about Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget, the failed initiative to do away with income tax in Michigan and equity in student opportunity.

Congressman John Moolenaar, left, speaks with Doug Bartlett, an Edmore mail carrier and president of the Michigan Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, prior to riding with Bartlett on his mail route Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Congressman Moolenaar rides along with mail carrier, tours health facility

Moolenaar, R-Midland, is the representative of the 4th District, which includes Montcalm County (minus Eureka Township), as well as Gratiot, Isabella and Mecosta counties, among others. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 4th District is the second-most rural district in the state, second only to the 1st District, which contains the entirety of the Upper Peninsula.