Cory Smith

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CC-C grad keeps family’s tradition of military service going

While other students were making the decision of where to attend college or submitting resumes for summer jobs, Shania Stearns had already set herself on specific career path.

After 20 years as Carson City-Crystal Middle School principal and 25 total years with the school district, Charles “Chuck” Larkins is retiring at the end of this school year. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CC-C Middle School principal retires after 20 years

As the school year ends, everyone from students to teachers is eager for summer vacation to start. At the sound of the final bell, students will joyfully embrace their summer freedom. Teachers … well, they’ll likely do the same.

Drivers commute along S. Bridge Street on Wednesday afternoon through downtown Belding. The entirety of the street will go through a complete reconstruction beginning in 2016. The project will cost more than $1 million, with $750,000 in funding provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding plans to reconstruct Bridge Street in 2016-2017

This community’s busiest city street is now on the path to receive a complete overhaul. Members of Belding City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to accept a resolution to support the city’s submission of an application for the reconstruction of S. Bridge Street for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

From left, Montabella High School graduating seniors Timothy Jordan, Zachary Taubitz, Zachary Lahay, Peter Taylor and Tristan Viglianco, turn their tassels from right to left Sunday, signifying their graduation from the high school. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montabella graduating class of 35 hauled in $233,112 in scholarships

On Sunday evening, the smallest graduating class in the history of Montabella High School departed school for the final time with diplomas firmly in hand. Though the class may be small in number at 35 graduates, there was no questioning the large size of every heart and mind that was cloaked in a cap and gown of navy blue or white.


JUST IN: Belding plans $1 million reconstruction of S. Bridge Street

This city’s busiest street is on the path to receive a complete reconstruction overhaul. Members of Belding City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday evening to accept a resolution to support the city’s submission of an application for the reconstruction of S. Bridge Street for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Hubbardston Memorial Day Festival

Residents and guests of Hubbardston celebrated Memorial Day weekend with the annual Hubbardston Memorial Day festival, which featured many events throughout the weekend and a ceremony honoring veterans on the bridge over Fish Creek.

Belding VFW member and Vietnam War veteran Denny Craycraft salutes at the site of Belding Veterans Park during the playing of the national anthem on Memorial Day. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Belding Memorial Day service honors veterans

As the playing of taps steadily carried across Central Riverside Park, combined with tears that rolled softly down the cheeks of many who circled around several war memorials, it was evident — Belding remembered.

Belding High School senior Lydia Humphreys receives her diploma and a hug from her father and Belding Area Schools Board of Education President Tom Humphreys

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They were there when the walls came down, when bulldozers rumbled through, shook the halls and classrooms, and paved a new path to a bigger and better school. Like the high school they attended, which they saw transform before their eyes, the Belding High School class of 2015 has now transformed, as well.

Belding High School seniors and triplets, from left Danielle Rode, Harley Rode and MacKenzie Rode, will be graduating today near the top of their class after spending the past four years of high school together, bonded together by their closeness for one another. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Triplets showcase embodiment of family atmosphere at Belding High School

From fairytales to Hollywood movies, there’s a saying some writers and directors abide by called “the rule of three.” Some suggest it implies that when things are grouped together in threes, the results are bound to be more humorous, satisfying and effective. It’s also a principle that the Rode sisters, while maybe not intentionally, have been proving true since they were all born just four minutes apart. Mark and Wendy Rode welcomed their triplets into the world 18 years ago. Today, Harley, Danielle and MacKenzie will be graduating from Belding High School with a pedigree of accomplishments that would make any parent proud.

The taxable development area of Belding’s downtown, pictured, will now shrink with the approval of a new tax increment financing plan, however, the borders of the Downtown Development Authority in which funds can be spent will remain the same. (Daily News | Cory Smith)

Belding moves to keep Downtown Development Authority alive

The physical downtown structure of Belding has changed dramatically over time, but now a change is coming in the form of its overall area and boundaries. During a public hearing at Tuesday evening’s Belding City Council meeting, members of City Council listened as the details of an amendment to the development plan and tax increment financing plan for the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) were outlined during a public hearing.