Cory Smith

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Belding residents express frustration with DEQ over Electrolux property

Locked behind a chain-link fence in the very center of town sits an idle piece of property that has become the epicenter of public frustration.

On the surface, the former White Consolidated Industries/Electrolux complex at 100 E. Main St. is ready to be embraced as a public park. But buried beneath that surface — 24 inches, to be exact — is a century-old history of industry, complete with contaminated soil, concrete slabs and, deeper still, contaminated ground water.

Belding Mayor Ron Gundreson speaks about hiring an interim city manager Monday evening during a special council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding council begins interim city manager, city manager searches

Following the termination of this community’s city manager, the process is now underway to find the next individual who will helm administrative responsibilities. During a special meeting Monday night, called by Mayor Ron Gunderson, council members discussed hiring a new city manager after previous city manager Meg Mullendore was terminated in a 3-2 council vote on Jan. 20. During Monday’s meeting, the council also discussed hiring an interim city manager.

Belding Area Schools Board of Education members, from left, Timothy Flynn, Doug Lamborne, Shannon Hummel, and Tom Humphreys recite the oath of office as they are sworn onto the board at the Jan. 19 school board meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding school board welcomes new members

A few new faces, complete with smiles and looks of determination, were officially welcomed to the Belding Area Schools Board of Education last week.

A panoramic view shows a hefty amount of remodeling work occurring at the former Driftway Bar and Restaurant in Belding as it transforms into the new Horse’s Mouth Tavern. — Daily News/Cory Smith

New bar to bring Michigan craft beer atmosphere to Belding (GALLERY)

The clang of a hammer falling hard to a nail, the screech of a table saw quickly splitting through a piece of wood — that’s the sound of the orchestra of construction taking place at an old but familiar location in this community. Since the summer of 2012, the Driftway Bar and Restaurant has sat empty, eventually foreclosed on and left as a shadow of its former lively self.

Patrick O’Connell

Citizen cooperation, K9 key in catching Burger King robbery suspect

Patrick Michael O’Connell, 26, of Belding was arraigned Thursday for allegedly robbing the Burger King near Belding. With the help of citizen tips, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office located a 28-year-old Ionia woman who had reportedly driven the car the suspect had used to flee the scene after allegedly robbing the restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

Belding Planning Commission Chairman Gary Knowlton answers questions regarding the Zoning Board of Appeals during Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding OKs zoning candidate questions

This community’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is one step closer to retuning to a board led by a citizen effort instead of the city council. In a 3-2 vote at Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting, council members approved a prepared list of questions for each candidate of the ZBA to answer before the council makes a decision to appoint members to the board at the Feb. 3 council meeting.

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Belding City Council votes 3-2 to fire city manager ‘effective immediately’

After a tense debate, the Belding City Council voted 3-2 to fire their city manager Tuesday night.

Meg Mullendore, who was hired in March 2013, was not present at the city council meeting. She was at home recovering from a recent surgery.

Supporters and members of the Belding Education Association teachers union stand in attendance at Monday evening’s school board meeting as they asked for the second consecutive meeting that the school board and union reach a fair contract. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding Area Schools teacher contract negotiations stagnant

As another month has come and gone, contract negotiations between the Belding school district and its teachers’ union continue to remain at a standstill.

It’s been nearly seven months since the previous contract between the Belding Area Schools district and Belding Education Association (BEA) union expired on June 30, 2014, and the frustration that has grown in that time was evident again Monday evening’s school board meeting.

Meg Mullendore

JUST IN: Belding City Council votes 3-2 to fire manager

In a 3-2 vote by members of the Belding City Council tonight, City Manager Meg Mullendore has been terminated from her job, effective immediately.

Councilman Dennis Cooper motioned for Mullendore’s dismissal during the council comment portion of tonight’s Belding City Council meeting.

Montcalm Community College student Bryce Myers asks a question related to diversity Monday during a presentation by guest speaker Scott T. Ayotte of Spectrum Health.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

MCC guest speaker delivers MLK Day tribute

Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as a civil rights leader will forever stand the test of time. His messages of equality and freedom for all, delivered decades ago, continue to resonate with the young learning minds of the present.