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Montcalm County commissioners, from left, Betty Kellenberger, Tom Lindeman and Dale Reyburn listen as attorney Doug Van Essen and Director at Montcalm County Central Dispatch Tim Scott, describe the contents of a new 911 service plan for Montcalm County Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smitb

Montcalm County commissioners approve updating 911 service plan

A lot has changed in the last quarter of a century, but one thing that hasn’t is the Montcalm County 911 service plan.

That will change, however, after a unanimous vote by the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday to approve a tentative new plan to bring the 911 system into the 21st century.

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Outman concerned about proposed LGBTQ guidelines in school

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, has long voiced his opinion on educational matters in Michigan during his tenure in the Legislature, and Monday, he took aim at what some in Lansing are calling a controversial issue.

A proposal focused on students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or are questioning their sexual identity (LGBTQ) has been thrust into the limelight after a voluntary guidance, drafted with a goal to help school districts looking to better serve LGBT students, was outlined in a Feb. 23 memo from the Michigan Department of Education to the State Board of Education.

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Volunteer offers free junk pickup in Stanton

There’s good news and bad news for city residents. The bad news is, if you’re in violation of Stanton’s blight ordinance, chances are you’re going to be cited, if you haven’t been already.

Jason Bonga of Stanton is pictured with his sons, Brock, 2, and Brayden, 10, and his wife, Breann. A benefit is planned for Monday at BC Pizza in Stanton to help the Bonga family with expenses related to Jason’s rare brain disorder. — Courtesy photo

Benefit planned for Stanton family after rare brain disorder strikes dad

It started with a headache on a Saturday. By that evening, Jason Bonga was nauseous and unable to sit up. His wife, Breann, called an ambulance.

In sticking with the theme of “All Things Green,” event, a number of plants, grown by Lakeview High School junior Katie Johnson, 16, were on display and sold to visitors during at the Montcalm Area Career Center on Monday evening.

All Things Green event spreads local agricultural awareness (PHOTOS)

With more than 224,000 acres of farmland within its borders, agriculture is a driving force throughout Montcalm County. But size of land doesn’t necessarily equate proportionally to general appreciation or understanding, which is why consumers and vendors alike gathered Monday evening for the annual All Things Green event at the Montcalm Area Career Center.

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Montcalm County officials debate email switch

Montcalm County officials may not be able to Google “how to fix budget deficit,” but they can receive a limited time offer from Google email services. Eric McLaughlin, the county’s IT director, has proposed the county switch email services to Google Apps for Government. The request comes after county departments lost all email capabilities last May due to the old age of the county’s system and software to host and process email.

Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell speaks about pending budget cuts at a special county finance meeting Monday, while county department heads look on and listen. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County Board of Commissioners talk budget cuts

Eliminate Animal Control? Merge the Equalization Department and the Register of Deeds Department? Privatize county services? Give county parks back to local townships? These were a few of the ideas discussed during a special Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee meeting Monday.

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MARCH 26, 2016: Easter egg hunts and Easter bunny appearances

Here’s a list of local Easter egg hunts and related events in Montcalm County and surrounding areas.

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IN BRIEF: Montcalm County commissioners consider budget cuts

Eliminate Animal Control?

Merge the Equalization Department and the Register of Deeds Department?

Give county parks back to local townships?

The generosity of a local farmer will soon translate into new turnout gear for the Sheridan Community Fire Department, thanks to a program sponsored by Monsanto. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Local farmer donates to Sheridan Community Fire Department

At some point, every child dreams of growing up to be a firefighter. Like policeman and astronaut, the job maintains an aura of glamor and excitement. Running into burning buildings, saving lives, operating all the complex equipment on the big red truck. It’s little wonder youngsters are drawn to the career.

The reality is a little different. In practice, firefighting is often a difficult, physically taxing and dangerous occupation. This latter point can be particularly true in small town departments, where turnout gear — the equipment firefighters wear while on the job — isn’t always the latest and greatest.