Constituents attending the first Legislative Update meeting of the year Monday at Montcalm Community College listen as Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, speak.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Sen. Emmons, Rep. Lower talk future of health care, President Trump

Just three weeks into the new year of the Michigan House and Senate legislative sessions, the first local Legislative Update meeting of 2017 proved to be one of little detail.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, beginning her sixth year as state senator, and Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, beginning his first year as state representative, both shared hopeful messages Monday at Montcalm Community College for the future of the state as they prepare to move forward.


IN BRIEF: Stanton’s acting manager hires new clerk/treasurer

Acting City Manager Elizabeth Pynaert presented personnel updates during Tuesday night’s Stanton City Commission meeting.

From left, Brennan Bunker, 18, Robert Cornell, 16, and Ryan Saxton, 16, work on grinding some Michigan signs students in the welding program at the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) are making. The signs the student made will be sold by staff members at the MACC to the local public to raise money for the memorial fund of St. Johns fabricator Curtis Feldpausch, who died Dec. 30 at the age of 22. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Montcalm Area Career Center welding class crafts signs for fundraiser

Funding for education programs at the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) comes from the federal and state level, local school districts and donations from people within the community. Students in the welding program at the MACC recently had the opportunity to pay it forward using equipment purchased from a donation to craft and sell signs.


IN BRIEF: Montcalm County hires law firm to investigate auditor

Montcalm County has hired a law firm to investigate and possibly bring a civil lawsuit against the county’s former auditor.

Stanton Community Fire Chief Brian Brasington has worked with the district fire board to purchase a new tanker-pumper to serve Stanton, along with Douglass, Evergreen and Sidney townships. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Work underway for Stanton’s new fire department tanker-pumper

The only evidence of the Stanton’s Community Fire Department’s former tanker trunk is a large oil stain on the garage floor. Last July, the tanker truck suffered catastrophic engine failure. After bringing the issue to the Stanton City Commission and having it repeatedly tabled, Fire Chief Brain Brasington brought the issue to the fire board, which is comprised of residents from Stanton and Douglass, Evergreen and Sidney townships.

From left, Central Montcalm’s Alex McQueen, Reed City’s Kamryn Myers and Central Montcalm’s Bree Brasington scramble for the ball during Friday night’s game.
(Daily News | Chip Burch)

Reed City gets first win at Central Montcalm’s expense

Central Montcalm’s girls basketball team had a balanced attack Friday night.

The Green Hornets used both offense and defense to turn in a 70-36 win over the Reed City Coyotes in a Central State Activities Association-Gold Division matchup.


Montcalm County to renew equalization contact with Kent County

Montcalm County will likely continue to contract with Kent County for equalization services for at least another year. The Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee on Jan. 9 recommended the full Board of Commissioners approve extending a contract with the Kent County Equalization Department for another year.

Montcalm County 4-H Council President Kim Thomsen, left, and Montcalm Conservation District Director Steve Wyckoff, right, visit with a community member after a community gathering Wednesday to discuss whether to move forward with a millage ballot proposal for 4-H, animal, conservation, park and veteran services in the county. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Grassroots millage effort moves forward in Montcalm County

A grassroots group of citizens are moving forward with a proposed millage to fund Montcalm County services, but they don’t necessarily want the approval of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.

Nearly 20 people met at the Montcalm Conservation District office in Stanton on Wednesday to discuss options for funding 4-H, Animal Control, conservation, parks and veterans.

From left, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presents “Connected Community” certification to Casair founder Steve Meinhardt, Kathy Jo Vanderlaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, Montcalm Economic Alliance Vice President Robert Clingenpeel, and Alliance President Rob Spohr, during Wednesday’s Alliance meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Connected Community: 99% of Montcalm County is online

In rural Michigan, reliable broadband internet may be hard to come by, but that is not the case in Montcalm County.

On Wednesday, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presented the county with “Connected Community” certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

Congressman John Moolenaar, R-Midland, at left, met with 4th District constituents Tuesday afternoon at the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Moolenaar hears health care concerns from constituents

Constituents of Michigan’s 4th District braved the icy roads Tuesday to tell their Congressman what scares them even more: Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without knowing replacement details. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, met with more than a dozen constituents for an hour at Montcalm County’s Administrative Building, where the ACA — or “Obamacare” — was the pressing concern.