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A joint application with the cities of Belding and Greenville for a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund could make it possible for a kayak launch to be installed at Jackson’s Landing in Greenville and Central Riverside Park in Belding. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding sets hearing for new kayak launch

Thanks to a joint grant application between Belding and Greenville, a kayak launch could be coming to Belding. City Manager Bruce Brown told the Belding City Council during a regular council meeting Tuesday evening about a grant application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund the city of Belding will submit jointly with the city of Greenville.

Belding Area Schools Superintendent Brent Noskey, left, and Board President Tim Flynn discuss the choice for a new mascot during Monday evening’s meeting of the board. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding board approves Black Knights as new mascot

One year ago, a mother of two Belding High School wrestlers sparked a debate about the district’s mascot when she had shirts made depicting the Native American imagery the district had worked for years to move away from.

In the following months, Carmin Barker urged the Belding Area Schools Board of Education to make a choice: Bring back the Redskins in full force or to do away with the mascot entirely in favor of something new.

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IN BRIEF: Belding council approves park use agreements

Soccer and softball players in participating organizations will have use of Central Riverside park and Demorest Field, respectively.

During Tuesday evening’s regular meeting, the Belding City Council approved park use agreements with Wounded Soldier Foundation and Bay Area Soccer Club (BASC) for use of the two city parks.

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IN BRIEF: Belding board approves the Black Knights

For the past year, community members, board members, students and staff at Belding Area Schools have been discussing the future of the district’s mascot.
That discussion has come to an end Monday evening with the unanimous vote from the Belding Board of Education to approve the new mascot for Belding Area Schools; the Belding Black Knights.

Treasurer Cara Johnson, left, and Supervisor Joseph Daller review documents during Tuesday evening’s regular meeting of the Otisco Township Board.

Ionia County commissioner upset township didn’t consider his late bid

A bid for lawn care services led to unexpected drama Tuesday evening. During the regular meeting of the Otisco Township Board, the board opened a bid from Borek Services of Smyrna for lawn care services at the township hall, the lot next to the hall, the Otisco Cemetery and the Smyrna Cemetery.

Third Wave Coffee is a member of the newly revamped Belding Area Chamber of Commerce. The president of the board for the Chamber, Dan Mitchell, said he hopes to bring a renewed focus to businesses in Belding and to eventually make Belding “a destination for business.” — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

New Belding Chamber of Commerce gearing up for membership drive

Several local businessmen committed to building business in Belding have come together to revive and revamp the Belding Area Chamber of Commerce. Dan Mitchell, the vice president at the Belding branch of Mercantile Bank of Michigan, is president of the newly revamped board of directors for the Belding Area Chamber. The vice president of the board for the Chamber is Spencer “Pep” Geisen, an associate broker for ReMax.

After dunking himself under the water, Pastor Shane Prewitt makes the cold walk back to shore. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

Shiloh Community Church pastor takes chilly dip for Kids in Action challenge

Long Lake is a pristine, quiet lake in Orleans Township, often a place chosen in the summer time by boaters, skiers, fishermen and swimmers as a great place to enjoy the water. And on Saturday, with temperatures hovering around 25 degrees, and an 8 mph winds coming from the northwest, churning up some whitecap waves, there was one lone person going in the water — by choice.

All that remains of the once majestic and historical Whites Covered Bridge is a ‘Road Ends’ sign placed at either end of the gap between Whites Bridge Road where the Flat River runs through. The bridge was burned to the ground in an act of arson in July 2013. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Whites Covered Bridge rebuild delayed because of a lack of funds

Another roadblock stands in the way of efforts to rebuild Whites Covered Bridge, which was lost in an early morning blaze in July 2013. According to Tom Byle, president of the Whites Bridge Historical Society and a Kent County Road Commission engineer, the society will need to raise an additional $425,000, which is much more than expected.

Belding City Councilman Bruce Meyers talks about the draft of the city budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 during the regular meeting of the council Tuesday evening.

Belding City Council works on 2017-2018 budget

City staff are working hard to put together the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. During a regular meeting of the Belding City Council Tuesday evening, the council had a work session to go over a draft of the budget. Attendees were given the chance to give their two cents about the budget during public comment.

The next mascot for Belding Area Schools was announced Friday morning: the Belding Black Knights. The choice is pending Belding Board of Education approval during the regular meeting March 20. This costume is an example of how the mascot could look, but no final decisions have been made. Superintendent Brent Noskey donned the costume Friday to make the announcement to students at Belding High School. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

It’s Black Knights for Belding

Students at Belding High School thought the assembly they were attending Friday morning was just to hear about new electives to be available to them in the fall. And they did hear about that from Principal Michael Ostrander. He explained to students the way they will sign up for classes for next year and described the advanced placement (AP) classes and high interest electives being added to the curriculum.