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Local News Summary - Febuary 1, 2023 Edition

MCCOA holds organizational meeting, seats new board
After organizational business at the Jan. 23 meeting for the Montmorency County Commission on Aging, Randy Wiscombe is now the chair of the board for MCCOA. County Commissioner Don Edwards serves as vice chair, Linda Kline is serving as secretary, and Corleen Proulx serves as treasurer.

Once Wiscombe had taken his seat at the head of the board table, he said he would like to meet with MCCOA’s financial processor and executive director to discuss ways to increase donations to MCCOA.

“I think we’re missing an opportunity,” Wiscombe said.

Dan Smith, accountant, presented information on the 2022 audit. According to Smith, revenues increased by about $95,000 compared to the previous year. He attributed some of the additional revenue to a decrease in payroll. There was an increase in net assets in 2022 of about $88,000. MCCOA used up about $24,000 of its cash assets in 2022.

County board holds study session
The full county board met for a study session on policies on Jan. 26. Department heads expressed concerns about proposed policies that prohibit overtime from being paid unless approved prior to an employee’s shift, halt pay for travel time outside of regular business hours, reimburse meal per diems through payroll, and direct employees to go above department heads when question responses from department heads are not satisfactory. More discussion on policies is expected at the next regular county board meeting.

Among those opposed to requiring prior authorization for overtime was Brian Crane, undersheriff, who said it is “pretty impossible” to get advance authorization, adding individuals other than department heads are sometimes tasked with making decisions on overtime. Vicki Kundinger, prosecutor, said exceptions should be made for extraordinary circumstances.

“It says it needs to be budgeted,” the prosecutor pointed out. “We don’t budget for that.”

Aprille Williamson, county controller, assured she would change the policy to reflect department heads can authorize overtime for extraordinary circumstances as well as authorize employees to work 35-40 hours per week even if they are only regularly scheduled for 35.

After discussion about travel time required for out-of-town meetings and training sessions, Williamson said she would remove the wording from a proposed policy that denies payment for travel time outside of regular work hours. Williamson explained meal per diem reimbursements through payroll would not be taxed, and she suggested pre-paid credit cards for such expenses because they can be restricted and automatically generate receipts.

Cheryl Neilsen, county clerk, questioned a proposed policy that directs employees to appeal to the county controller or county commissioners if the answer to a question posed to a department head is not satisfactory. Commissioner Don Edwards, county board chair, said that should apply only in the case of unethical or inappropriate conduct on behalf of the department head.

“I’ll come up with some wording,” Williamson stated, adding the wording will indicate office procedures for an elected official will be at the final say of the elected official.

J-L Cardinals break losing streak
The Johannesburg-Lewiston Cardinals have been taking beatings all season, but they handed one out on Jan. 27 when the Warriors from Forest Area came to visit. Thomas Fox was an offensive force for the Cardinals. The Warriors made late gains against Joburg’s bench, but a streak of three-pointers from a single player weren’t enough.

The game commenced after a presentation on the challenges students with Type 1 diabetes face. Three J-L students and one from Forest Area were honored for their ability to battle the disease daily, including Elijah Lindbert, a senior on the Joburg varsity basketball team. Once the tears were cleared, Joburg fans saw their team seal its first win of the season.

Cardinal Fox was unstoppable from the outset, scoring 26 points in the first half. With the help of 11 points from Lindbert, the Cardinals sent the Warriors to the locker room at halftime with a 29-point deficit to chew on. After the break, the Warriors brought out a secret weapon in the form of three-point shooter Cameron Patton, who had been bluffing with only two points in the first half.

Joburg’s Trenton Kinsey was first to score in the second half, but the Warriors answered with three consecutive triples for Patton. The Cardinals continued to play solidly but Forest Area made up 11 points in the third quarter, and they went into the final quarter hungry for more.

Patton fired a three to start fourth-quarter scoring and added three more downtown shots. Joburg’s starters were put back in the game for damage control. Fox and Lindbert stayed hot, and buckets from J-L’s Kinsey, Javier Baragrey and Will Boden helped the Cardinals to a welcome 72-51 victory. The Cardinals travel to Mancelona on Feb. 2 and host Pellston on Feb. 7.

Death Notices
Full obituaries are in the Tribune print & paid online edition
Terry W. Darling
Lela A. Cohoon
Gale L. McConnaughey
Regina G. Ulrich
Gloria Mosher
Emma L. Elkie
Michael St. Gutka
Margaret C. Kirby
Paul C. Kortier

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