Cory Smith

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Crystal Township Board approves drain consolidation

Blockages, sinkholes and occasional flooding — there’s no shortage of drainage problems that this township’s residents have experienced in the downtown district.

So in an effort to give the county drain commissioner more leeway to address these problems, the Crystal Township Board voted 4-1 on Wednesday to consolidate seven drainage systems within the township into a single drainage district.

Daily News/Cory Smith

Sixth grade students in Belding Middle School teacher Jennifer DiSpirito’s classroom listen attentively to a presentation on unhealthy relationships from Relief After Violent Encounter’s Domestic Assault Response Advocacy Coordinator Amanda Peterson on Thursday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Expert helps Belding middle schoolers learn to identify unhealthy relationships

As children enter adolescence and jump headfirst into the ever-changing world of relationships, there’s no questioning that the distinction between right and wrong grows more important.

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VIDEO: Soldier surprises daughter with homecoming in kindergarten classroom

Five-year-old Gabby Petersen knew she was getting a present Friday, but as to what could be hidden beneath wrapping paper was a mystery.

Montcalm Community College student Brittany McCreery, 19, takes time to study one of her subjects Tuesday evening on the college’s main campus in Sidney. McCreery currently receives financial aid while studying to become a medical assistant, as well as working part-time. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Obama’s free community college proposal potentially ‘super’ for MCC

Speaking aboard Air Force One, flying thousands of feet in the air across the country from Detroit to Phoenix, President Barack Obama made an announcement last week that caught the attention of students nationwide.

From left, Belding City Council members Dennis Cooper, Mike Scheid, Jerry Lallo, Mayor Ron Gunderson, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Jones and City Manager Meg Mullendore discuss how to proceed with appointing new members of the Zoning Board of Appeals during a work session at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding on Jan. 6. — File photo

Belding Zoning Board of Appeals to be reinstated with new members

Seven months after it was absorbed by the Belding City Council, one of this city’s committees is officially on its way to being reinstated.

Members of Belding City Council met on Jan. 6 for a work session to decide how to proceed with reinstating the five-member Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) through dialog and brainstorming.

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The Right Place and Montcalm Economic Alliance sign partnership

The path to create more economic growth in Montcalm County may finally have been paved on the stable ground of a partnership that aims to bring great dividends to area businesses and residents.

On Monday, The Right Place Inc. and the Montcalm Economic Alliance announced the formation of a strategic partnership to support economic growth in Montcalm County and encourage greater regional collaboration in West Michigan.

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JUST IN: MCC Board discusses President Obama’s free community college plan

If two years of community college tuition ultimately became free for students as President Barack Obama proposed last week, the effect would have lasting consequences for schools such as Montcalm Community College (MCC).

Rob Butler, left, and Mike Versluis, sprinkler fitters with Fire Pros of Grand Rapids, work to repair broken pipes that burst due to freezing temperatures in the Covered Village Mall in Belding Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Frozen pipe bursting causes stir at Belding mall

The former Rayborn hardware store has been empty for several years, but even vacant buildings can cause unexpected problems for nearby business owners. That was the case around 9 a.m. Monday when a frozen pipe burst, triggering an alarm that required the attention of the Belding Fire Department.

Belding Mayor Ron Gunderson, top, and Belding Councilman Jerry Lallo, below, speaks Friday during their clarity/factual review hearing regarding recall language submitted against them at the Ionia County Courthouse.  (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Recall language approved against Belding mayor, councilman

Citizen efforts toward recall elections in Belding are now becoming a familiar obstacle for members of the Belding City Council.

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4-day work week permanent in Belding

A 16-month trial period that revolved around the number of days worked per week by city employees has now come to a finite conclusion. In a 4-1 vote by members of Belding City Council Tuesday, with councilman Dennis Cooper opposed, city employees will now permanently work a four-day work week, consisting of 10-hour days, working 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.