Cory Smith

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.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, outlines the Republican House plan designed to fund Michigan roads during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Rep. Outman defends Republican House road funding proposal

On the heels of this month’s failure at the ballot box to approve Proposal 1, lawmakers are now scrambling for a plan B to secure funding for Michigan’s crumbling roads and infrastructure. Just one week after the proposal was voted down — by 80 percent to 20 percent — a Republican plan was announced May 14, designed to fix roads without a tax increase.

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Belding approves performance based pay bonus for teachers

Belding teachers who receive a “highly effective” rating on their evaluation by school administrators will now receive bonus pay as a reward for their efforts. During Monday evening’s Belding Area Schools Board of Education meeting, board members voted 5-0 to approve a resolution to implement performance based pay.


JUST IN: Belding council approves 2015-2016 budget, reviews potential DDA changes

With the conclusion of a public hearing Tuesday evening, members of Belding City Council have approved the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget.

Construction has already begun at 311 Charlotte St. in Edmore, however, the denial of a variance request by the Zoning Board of Appeals for property owner Lawrence Kauffman means he must keep within the village’s ordinances in building a pole barn on the property. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Edmore Village Council denies property owner’s pole barn request

A property owner’s variance request that would have allowed a pole barn to be built closer to the edge of his property has been voted down after residents expressed their concerns. At the May 11 Edmore Village Council meeting, the council, which also serves as the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), entered into a public hearing to discuss a variance request from Lawrence Kauffman for his vacant property at 311 Charlotte St., where he is building a new home.

The Crystal Lake Association will attempt to raise approximately $17,000 this year for the treatment of aquatic invasive species detected in Crystal Lake — pictured on Wednesday evening from the public beach — to battle against Eurasian watermilfoil and starry stonewort. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal Township Board talks roads, lake, library

Several county roads within this township will be treated for improvement with crack seal and gravel this summer. The Crystal Township Board voted 4-0, with Trustee Jason Anderson absent Wednesday, to approve $123,573 out of the township’s road fund.

Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Band Director Chad Parmenter directs the middle school band on April 24 during a warm-up prior to performing at the MSBOA State Festival in Belding. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CC-C bands achieve new level of success

Band Director Chad Parmenter has conducted for 15 years at Carson City-Crystal Area Schools to create a music program that will make the community proud. On April 24, his high school and middle school students accomplished a feat no other group of students under his leadership had done before, with their musicianship leaving him in awe.

Montcalm Community College Trustee Mike Williams, right discusses the issue of raising tuition at the college during Tuesday evening’s board meeting as Secretary Carol Deuling-Ravell listens. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MCC increases tuition 4%

In keeping with statewide averages, tuition at Montcalm Community College (MCC) will be rising once again. Members of the MCC Board of Trustees voted 7-0 Tuesday evening to increase tuition for the 2015-2016 school year.