Montcalm County commissioners approve jail inmate medical care cost increase after debating issue with sheriff

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approved accepting a jail inmate medical care contract cost increase on Monday, but not without first debating the contract process with the sheriff.

The back-and-forth between some commissioners and Sheriff Mike Williams also delved into a COVID vaccination incentive for jail inmates, a program the sheriff started earlier this year. (See accompanying story.)

Montcalm County Jail offers snack bags to incentivize COVID vaccines for inmates

Inmates in the Montcalm County Jail are being offered an incentive in exchange for receiving the COVID vaccine.

Starting in April, when inmates became eligible for the vaccine under the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the county jail in Stanton has administered COVID vaccines to a total of 128 inmates who requested or volunteered for the shot, according to Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams.

Howard City businesswoman questions Gov. Whitmer about COVID pay, vaccine politicization

When presented with a rare opportunity to question the governor of the state of Michigan, a local businesswoman jumped at the chance.

Ronna Kilts, manager of Mattson’s Hardware in Howard City, was one of a select few community leaders who were invited to meet with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday afternoon at The Forager in Howard City.

JUST IN: COVID-19 cases connected with Ionia Free Fair


The Ionia County Health Department is conducting an investigation of cases of COVID-19 illness  associated with the Ionia Free Fair, which was held July 16-24. 

At least 10 cases of COVID-19 have been associated with this year’s attendees, including individuals  who were at the festival while they were symptomatic and infectious, according to Ionia County Health Officer Ken Bowen.

Youths 12 and older can now receive COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer locally

Youth vaccine clinics offered next week in Belding, Ionia and Greenville

Youths as young as 12 years old in Ionia and Montcalm counties can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized and recommended the two-dose Pfizer vaccine for youths, who must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when receiving the vaccine.

TIM SKUBICK: Who’s in control of a return to normal in Michigan? You

You don’t want to wear a mask? Get a COVID shot and you don’t have to.

You want more fans to watch the Tigers lose? Get a shot and you can.

You’re dying to get back to work in the office? Roll up your sleeve.

Ag workers served at Belding vaccine clinic

Walking into the Belding High School gymnasium Wednesday afternoon, Olivia Lee and Adam Frost, both of whom are seniors at Ionia High School and working in the agricultural field, were overcome with a sense of relief.

They were there to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine — a moment they’d long been waiting for after a tumultuous year.

Spectrum Health, health department team up on COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Up to 1,000 doses a day can be given at United Lifestyles location

To accommodate more patients getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Spectrum Health United Hospital has moved its vaccination clinic from within the hospital to the Spectrum Health United Lifestyles building at Marketplace Shopping Center.

The first vaccine clinic at the new location occurred Friday with 400 people receiving the vaccine.

More Michiganders eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) made several recent announcements further expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

14,775 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ionia County

A total of 14,775 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ionia County from last December to the present, including approximately 6,000 doses by the Ionia County Health Department.

Health Officer Ken Bowen provided a vaccine update during Tuesday’s Ionia County Board of Commissioners meeting — the first time commissioners have met since Feb. 16, when that meeting was abruptly adjourned due to Zoom hackers. Tuesday’s meeting was also held via Zoom but went smoothly.