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Members and supports of the Belding Education Association stand together in applause Monday to show support for a “fair contract” between the school district and union members. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding Board of Education cites budget restraints in lack of raises

Contract disputes are never fun … especially when they drag out. After nearly six months of negotiations, a contract between Belding Area Schools and the Belding Education Association (BEA) remains stagnant after two failed tentative agreements.

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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 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.

Cars drive over the new bridge over Main Street in downtown Belding on Sunday for the first time after five months of construction to replace the bridge. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding’s Main Street bridge complete after five months

The bridge linking residents to their groceries, restaurants and coveted goods and services in this town has been restored. Since June 23, the Main Street Bridge over the Flat River has been closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic as the deteriorating structure was rebuilt.

The students of Faith Community Christian School flocked to Administrator Kim Borgenson’s “Camp Out for Reading Camper” as part of National Young Readers Week this week. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Faith Community Christian School leader parks RV, inspires young reader

Faith Community Christian School Administrator Kim Borgenson wants to inspire kids to read so much she is willing to brave the harsh November weather in order to do it. On Sunday and Monday, Borgenson was camped out in the school parking lot in order to promote National Young Readers Week.

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Bridge boost: $275,000 grant helps Whites Bridge rebuilding efforts

Just when supporters behind the efforts to rebuild Whites Bridge thought things may be losing steam, a government grant is helping the think-tank stay strong.

On Oct. 13, the Whites Bridge Historical Society received word that the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Grand Region Bridge Council approved a $275,000 grant.

Pastor Ken Harger of Orleans Township continues to record his religious sermons from his lighthouse on Long Lake to be aired on the radio and on the Internet. His show, which has now aired for 35 years, is on every Sunday morning on both WGLM in Greenville and WION in Ionia. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Pastor Ken Harger reflects on 35 years of local radio sermons

In his youth, those who knew Ken Harger were lucky to hear a whisper or a single audible word from the shy, embarrassed boy with a speech impediment. A lifetime later, Harger’s unique voice and powerful spiritual messages can be heard all over the world, a transformation he says was guided by the grace of God.

From left, Belding City Council members Joe Feuerstein, Mike Scheid, Jerry Lallo, Mayor Ron Gunderson, City Manager Meg Mullendore and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Jones discuss city business during Tuesday evening's Belding City Council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding SAW grant approved, services agreement reached

The upcoming task to implement expensive asset management plans of this city’s wastewater and storm water systems was inevitable, but the majority of the financial burden has officially been lifted.

Volunteers work together Monday to remove debris from Whites Covered Bridge out of the Flat River.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Music festival set to raise funds for new Whites Covered Bridge

Bridging generations and rebuilding history. That’s the goal of the Whites Bridge Historical Society (WBHS), formerly Friends Rebuilding Whites Bridge, the nonprofit group that aims to raise enough funds to one day rebuild the bridge that was destroyed by arson on July 7, 2013.