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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.

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.

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JUST IN: Blanchard man reaches 99 mph on motorcycle, loses control and crashes

A Blanchard man who was speeding on his motorcycle sustained non-life-threatening injuries after crashing late Monday evening.

Leppink’s Food Centers operates five Leppink’s stores, 11 Save-a-Lot stores and a Do It Best Hardware store throughout West Michigan. The organization is being awarded the 2016 Outstanding Retailer by the Michigan Grocers Association on Sunday during the fall conference on Sunday. Pictured is the Leppink’s Food Center Howard City location. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Leppink’s recognized as Michigan Grocer’s outstanding retailer

Over the course of 88 years, the Leppink family has built a company with five Leppink’s Food Centers, 11 Save-a-Lot stores and a Do It Best Hardware store. This year, Leppink’s Food Centers has been recognized by the Michigan Grocer’s Association as 2016’s Outstanding Retailer.

The pomes on the Bradford pear trees along Camburn Street in Stanton are starting to mature. The trees have been discussed at the last three Stanton City Commission meetings, including the meeting Tuesday night. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Conversation on Stanton tree removal remains controversial

Trees across Montcalm County are beginning to change, with apples maturing and leaves on the tips of trees starting to transform to their fall colors.

From left, Stanton Mayor Monica Tissue-Daws, City Manager Jake Eckholm and City Commissioner Lewis Corwin at Eckholm’s final meeting as Stanton’s manager on Tuesday. Eckholm accepted a job as Muskegon Heights’ city manager, and his last day in Lakeview and Stanton is Sept. 23. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Eckholm has final meetings as shared manager

After two years of managing a pair of municipalities, Jake Eckholm had his final meetings in Lakeview on Monday and Stanton on Tuesday.

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IN BRIEF: Stanton moves forward with master plan

STANTON — The Stanton City Commission decided on Tuesday to move forward with a 20-year master plan. The plan was tabled at the last meeting to allow city commissioners more time to review the plan. Since the plan has been approved, it now goes to a 63-day review period where the public can look it [...]

Stephen Blann of accounting firm Rehmann Robson reports Monday afternoon on how Montcalm County arrived at its current financial situation and what needs to be done in coming years to balance the budget. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners hear the latest on budget investigation

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners heard the initial findings of three financial, legal and consulting firms Monday regarding the county’s concerning budget situation.

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will hear an update about the county’s budget situation from three financial, legal and consulting firms during a special board meeting at 1 p.m. Monday at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton. — File photo

Montcalm County commissioners haven’t heard audit report since 2006

Miley Cyrus debuted in “Hannah Montana” on the Disney Channel; the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games in the World Series; Vice President Dick Cheney shot and wounded an attorney in a hunting accident; and Sen. Barack Obama announced he was considering a run for president of the United States.

That was 2006 … the last time until this summer that the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners actually heard a report from the county’s auditing firm.