Sometimes a competition is not about winning, but rather the experience and recognition you earn along the way in the attempt to claim victory. The city of Belding may have fallen short in the 2013 Michigan Municipal League’s “Race for the Cup” on Sept. 20, which honors outstanding community projects, but the path that the city’s community garden took to be showcased statewide in Detroit has Belding officials smiling as if they came home boasting of first place.
At first glance, Central Riverside Park is a clean, spacious environment with fields for soccer, courts for basketball and playgrounds and pavilions for family gatherings. But that doesn’t erase decades of history below the surface of the park.
The three-day, community-wide search for a missing 10-year-old Belding boy came to a tragic end Monday afternoon after his body was discovered by divers in the Flat River near one of his favorite fishing spots. Devon Morrison disappeared after he left his home alone to go fishing Saturday. His disappearance spawned a search that involved hundreds of volunteers, supporters and members of law enforcement, who searched night and day for the missing boy. Morrison’s body was found at 12:53 p.m. Monday in the Flat River near the Ashfield Street bridge.
Devon Morrison loves fishing. He took up the activity when he found it had a calming affect on his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
On the second story of Belding City Hall, in a corner office, sits a desk stacked with nearly a dozen folders filled with hundreds of files of paperwork. The office belongs to City Manager Meg Mullendore, who on certain work days admits she cannot recognize the top of her desk, buried in files.
The setting was informal, but the topic was deadly serious. More than two dozen people took time out of their Tuesday afternoon to meet with U.S. Rep. Justin Amash outside of the Belding Burger King.
When Belding resident Byron Davey and his wife Debra celebrated their first Belding Labor Day celebration together in 1972, it was just the two of them for the newlywed couple. Forty-one years later, and the Daveys found themselves celebrating yet another Belding Labor Day celebration this holiday weekend, but this time, it was with their three children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren.
While the world may be settling down for the final holiday weekend of the summer, the wheels are turning in Belding — as in ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirl carnival rides, which have transformed the city for the weekend as it celebrates the 108th annual Belding Labor Day Celebration festival.
With 30 young women competing in three different categories in a contest that lasted 3 1/2 hours, it was Sarah Thompson, who, in the end, walked away with the crown, sash and title of Miss Belding.
Alma resident Howard Larsen could recall several memories of various trips he made in crossing the original Whites Covered Bridge, be it by car or on foot, before the bridge burned and collapsed into the Flat River on July 7. Larsen said he was heartbroken when he first heard of the bridge’s destruction, which was officially declared a crime of arson.