Central Montcalm senior heads toward graduation with positive outlook, despite tragedy

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Nearly one year ago, on the cusp of enjoying the start of summer break, Charlie “Trey” Sharp III was like many of his classmates — eager to leap into their final year of high school, more than ready to sit atop the school as seniors.

MAUREEN BURNS: Miscellaneous musings

Two days before Christmas we got a call from Seattle. It looked like we shouldn’t answer it, but oddly, we did. The woman asked if I had ordered industrial equipment for $900. I laughed and said, “Heck, no!!”

COVID hazard pay talks continue in Ionia County

The ad hoc COVID Hazard Pay Committee met again Tuesday to continue their deliberations about proposed hazard pay for Ionia County employees who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appointed by the Ionia County Board of Commissioners, the committee is composed of Commissioners Georgia Sharp (chairwoman), Karen Banks and Larry Tiejema.

Ionia County Jail limiting intake due to COVID

Community transmission of COVID in Ionia County remains high, and that’s responsible for continued limits on the number of intakes at the Ionia County Jail.

This means not everyone who could be arrested or who is sentenced to jail will be taken into custody. This has led to some situations in which the same person is getting arrested, released, arrested again, released again — sometimes even on the same day.

Ionia County Health Dept. to offer rapid COVID testing

The Ionia County Health Department is offering free drive-through rapid antigen testing from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday at the Ionia County Road Department, 170 E. Riverside, in Ionia. Testing will be while supplies last.

Testing is encouraged for those who may be at higher risk for COVID, including those who went to large, crowded events recently or who are not vaccinated against COVID.

Montcalm County Jail experiencing COVID outbreak


The Montcalm County Jail is experiencing a COVID outbreak this month.

Six inmates in one dorm tested positive on Nov. 5, according to Sheriff Mike Williams. That number increased to 12 by Nov. 8 with a second dorm involved.

Local health department nurses ask public for help during COVID


As COVID-19 continues to spread in Clinton, Gratiot and Montcalm counties, the Mid-Michigan District Health Department’s (MMDHD) communicable disease nurses find themselves stretched pretty thin. This has been the case throughout the pandemic, but a recent surge in cases reported to the MMDHD has compounded the problem.

Local health care systems at a tipping point due in part to COVID

FREE Submitted by the Region 6 Healthcare Coalition

The health care systems within Region 6 are at a tipping point — our individual and collective resources are being overwhelmed, and we need our communities’ help to get back on track.

Region 6 includes Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa  counties.

November is Homeless Awareness month


Escaping homelessness during COVID-19 is a battle. At Have Mercy it was first an issue of physical safety. But now, it has changed into more unexpected issues over the last year.

MIKE MCALVEY: My other family

Shh. Don’t tell anyone. I came down with COVID about a month ago.

Please keep my secret. I don’t want to be shunned, fired, or displaced from my home and country. As it is, when I tell people I had COVID a month or so, they involuntarily take a step back while trying to still look and sound interested in our conversation.