Starting Monday, the Ionia County Road Commission will begin safety improvements on Whites Bridge Road from M-44 south to 4 Mile Road and Button Road from Montcalm Avenue east to the Flat River. According to Ionia County Road Commission Engineering Director Paul Spitzley, the project was originally submitted for Federal Safety Hazard Elimination Funding through the Michigan Department of Transportation in March 2011 and was awarded in January 2012 for the 2013 construction year.
A few old, rotting boards, several cracked and broken shingles and a skeleton-like casing of one of the original steeple windows of the Belding Bros. clock tower are all that remain today across the street from the sight of the iconic tower that stood for 110 years. The image sitting in the Central Riverside Park parking lot has created mixed emotions from residents who are either in favor of seeing the structure finally removed from public view or saddened by the way it was disassembled.
When Paul Phenix was just a young boy, he could recall walking along the former Whites Covered Bridge with his grandparents, who took him to a section of the bridge where he recognized a few names inscribed into the wood. “This is where your great-grandparents signed their names on the bridge,” they said to him. “It’s where we signed our names, and your parents, and now you can sign your name.”
Two people were injured in an accident today when their car struck a tree after attempting to switch drivers mid-drive as the vehicle traveled westbound on W. Belding Road (M-44).
A Belding woman was injured this morning in a two-vehicle accident after she failed to stop behind a vehicle waiting to turn into a driveway.
With each heavy, emotional step taken Monday, two young men came closer to reaching an important goal. Running along M-57 east of Greenville, as each foot struck the pavement, with beads of sweat running like a steady stream of water down the faces of Levi Curler and Joshua Willingham as they traveled mile after mile in the scorching summer sun, the two men kept one thing in mind.
For one resident, it was the memories she had of her father that brought her to tears when seeing the blackened, charcoaled wood resting in the Flat River. On Monday, Wendy Agostini of Lowell had to see for herself what was left of Whites Bridge after an arson left it collapsed on Sunday. “It hurts my heart,” she said, grabbing her heart while tears came to her eyes. “This hurts so bad.”
Deep in the woods at Lightning Bend Park, there is little to listen to but the quiet whispers of mother nature. Be it the wind whistling through the leaves or birds chirping high above in the trees overhead, it’s easy to be at peace when spending time in the heavily wooded city park. But now, on occasion, a new, unfamiliar, but welcome sound may be heard.
Someone set fire to one of Michigan’s oldest covered wooden bridges early Sunday, completely destroying the span that has stretched across the Flat River south of Belding since the shortly after the end of the Civil War. The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted about 5:10 a.m. to the fire on the Whites Bridge in Keene Township, southwest of Belding. That was about two hours after neighbor Grant Young said he awoke to an explosion and walked outside to find the span engulfed in flames.
School may be out for the summer, but that isn’t stopping a group of students in Belding from sharpening their writing skills as they attempt to author a book of their very own. The Lakers Writers Group, out of Grand Valley State University, has been hosting the annual Lakers Writers Camp at Belding Middle School again this year, where students in third through sixth grade have been working to write their own story by summer’s end.