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Members of the Belding High School graduating class of 2014 celebrate together Thursday evening by tossing their caps into the air after receiving their diplomas in Redskin Arena at Belding High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

156 graduate from Belding, enter next chapter of life

With 156 graduates standing before him, guest speaker Gerald Hopkins had one important question to ask of the 2014 graduating class of Belding High School. “What will be your legacy?” he asked.

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 a resolution to allow city council to act as the city’s zoning board of appeals. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding council absorbs Zoning Board of Appeals

In a close vote by the Belding City Council, one of the city boards will now be absorbed by the council to carry out its responsibilities. In a 3-2 vote Tuesday evening with councilmen Mike Scheid and Tom Jones casting the opposing votes, the responsibilities of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will now be carried out by council.

Belding senior Gio Vanni Delgado, 18, performs on the bass drum during his final high school band concert at Belding High School. As a percussionist, Delgado found a leadership role that helped mold him into a better student. — Daily News/Cory Smith

After slow start to education, Belding senior turns life around

His heart racing quickly, sweat dripping from his brow, Gio Vanni Delgado suddenly found himself at the center of the world standing on the turf of Rudness Field. With his family watching in the stands, the Belding High School varsity football team had just scored its first touchdown against the Greenville Yellow Jackets, and it was time for the extra point kick.

The members of the Belding Robotics Team, seen here competing in a quarterfinal match, competed from April 23 to 26 at the Vex Robotics World Championship in Anaheim Calif., where they finished in the top 50 of more than 400 competing teams from across the world. — Courtesy photo

Belding finishes in top 50 at Vex Robotics World Championships

On the robotics world’s biggest stage, more than 2,000 miles from home, the Belding High School Robotics Team marched into Anaheim, Calif., and made an impression the students will never forget. Competing against more than 400 of the best Vex High School Robotics teams at the World Tournament from April 23-26, the five-member team fought through frustration, nervousness and adversity to finish among the top 50 teams.

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2.28-mile trail in Belding expected to be completed by Aug. 1

Downtown Belding will never look the same again.

What was once a busy railway that brought commuter and industry traffic through the heart of downtown will now return in the form of a cycling trail. It’s been a dream that has been discussed for years, but now, construction has officially started and, come Aug. 1, the Fred Meijer River Valley Rail Trail (FMRVRT) through Belding will be complete.

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Pet oxygen recovery masks designed to help animals after a fire

It’s a moment no firefighter wants to come across when searching through a burning home — the sound of a trapped dog barking for help or the discovery of a frightened cat hiding under a bed.

But those moments do happen, and just as firefighters would rescue an adult or child, those animals also need rescue.

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Belding Area Schools facing budget deficit for coming school year

According to Finance Director Adrienne Barna, the budget projection will change based on information from the state and additional reductions that may be necessary prior to the June board meeting where the 2014-2015 budget will be presented to the board for approval. In its current state, the proposed budget will operate at a deficit of $846,373.

Belding City Manager Meg Mullendore speaks during Tuesday evening's city council meeting at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding city manager passes evaluation

After a lengthy closed session meeting which lasted more than 3 1/2 hours, Belding City Manager Meg Mullendore left Tuesday evening’s Belding City Council meeting following her performance evaluation with her position still intact.

Belding High School freshman Dominic Francisco, 15, uses his iPad to scan a QR code square Wednesday afternoon at the Alvah N. Belding Library. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding students make use of iPads in library quest

For visitors of the Alvah N. Belding Library on Wednesday, Dominic Francisco was a curious sight to behold. The Belding High School freshman wandered up and down the building’s many corridors, filled with books from end to end, searching diligently from A to Z.

Threshold Academy in Orleans, which charters students from the Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan and Belding areas, currently enrolls about 158 students. The school will no longer operate after June 30. — File photo

Threshold Academy forced to shut its doors at end of school year

Threshold Academy, a free public charter school in Ionia County, will shut its doors at the end of this school year as its overseer decided not to renew its contract. Central Michigan University’s Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools notified the academy Monday it will no longer authorize the school after June 30, citing low Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores and declining enrollment. Threshold, which charters students from the Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan and Belding areas, currently enrolls about 158 students.