Cory Smith

Members of the Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees discuss Tuesday evening the possibility of extending a bike trail from the college to the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. — Daily News/Cory Smith

JUST IN: MCC Board of Trustees shows support for campus bike trail

The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail stretches 40 miles from Alma to Greenville and plans are now in the works to add an important stop along the way.

From left, Belding High School Robotics team members Jessie Boyd, Chase Bower, Sage Blunt, Jordan Witzel, and Joe Bartolatto stand with two of their robots after successfully qualifying for the VEX Robotics State Championship at Michigan State University with a win at the West Michigan VEX League Grandville Tournament this past week. — Courtesy photo

Belding robotics team wins tourney

The Belding robotics team is picking up right where it left off. Coming off a year that saw the team compete at the VEX Robotics World Championships, the team has begun the 2014-2015 school year by winning the West Michigan VEX League Grandville Tournament.

Crystal Township Fire Chief Lonnie Fitzpatrick, right, retired from the Crystal Township Fire Department on Nov. 30 after 47 years of service with the fire department. Assistant Fire Chief Scott Brundage, left, was appointed by the Crystal Township Board to replace Fitzpatrick as the new fire chief. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Crystal Township Fire Chief Lonnie Fitzpatrick retires after 47 years of service

When Lonnie Fitzpatrick first expressed a desire to join the Crystal Township Fire Department in 1967, his father had one message for him. “If you’re going to do it, stick with it,” Fitzpatrick recalled his father, Rod Fitzpatrick, saying. “Don’t get into it and then get out.”

Gifts are still needed for the Greenville Lions Club Carl Barberi Toy Project, and ornaments describing the age and gender of children who need gifts are available at 18 locations throughout Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Donations for Lions Club Toy Project still needed

The Greenville Lions Club has but one mission this time of year, a mission to make Christmas memorable for all Greenville area children. The objective of the club’s members sounds simple in nature, that no child wake up Christmas morning without a gift, but the reality of making that happen requires the affection and charity of an entire community.

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Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops returning to Greenville

Whichever winter elements truly mark the start of the holiday season, be they the first snowfall or the first string of holiday lights, they’re always up for debate. In this community, however, it’s hard to argue against the annual Holiday Pops concert filling that role.

Hundreds of shoppers flocked to Wal-Mart in Greenville Thursday evening, creating a difficult-to-navigate sea of customers, to take advantage of discounted Black Friday deals offered throughout the store. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local shoppers show up big for Gray Thursday; Black Friday remains popular

When it comes to shopping on Thanksgiving Day, for some, it doesn’t matter how good the leftovers from dinner are or what football game is on TV. When the doors of a shopping center open to reveal a plethora of discounted goodies, shoppers will come in droves.

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VIDEO: Daily News video showcases Belding marching band at finals

The Belding High School marching band never fails to put on an entertaining show, but the time and effort put in by so many students often goes unnoticed.

Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson, right, speaks with officer Shannon Hummel Monday afternoon outside of the Belding Police Department. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding a ‘most improved crime rate’ town

Patterns in crime can change tremendously over time, and for residents of this community, change has apparently been good. A report released by Safe Choice Security, an alarm and security system company with locations throughout the country, recently named Belding as one of the top 25 Michigan cities with the most improved crime rates.

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Belding City Council to upgrade DPW equipment

With heavy snow pouring from the sky and temperatures remaining low enough for it to stick around, Belding employees have had their hands full making the streets drivable. Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Ernie Thomas had just finished repairing one of the city’s plow trucks Thursday afternoon as he and two workers hit the streets to clear the freshly fallen snow. But after traveling four blocks one of the trucks came to a halt and Thomas found himself forced to use the city’s industrial loader to tow the plow truck back to the DPW garage.

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Belding residents, city council reflect on message of positivity

The newest member of Belding City Council was officially sworn into office Tuesday evening, and he wasted little time, immediately going to work on city business. Dennis Cooper took his seat for the first time beside his four fellow council members after successfully defeating Joe Feuertstein in a recall election on Nov. 4.