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Belding Community Showcase is Thursday

This year’s Belding Community Showcase will once again aim to bring community groups, businesses and the public together for one evening of fun and networking. From 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, doors will open at Belding High School for the 18th annual showcase, featuring 35 businesses and more than 45 community groups spread throughout the school.

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.

Counties, cities and villages across Michigan will receive $60.9 million to help make up ballooned costs from a rough winter. The funding, which is divvied up across the state, won’t mean large repairs for the construction season, but instead maintaining typical services like roadside mowing, line painting and gravel road repair. Pictured is a series of patched potholes along S. Derby Road in Sidney Township in Montcalm County. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Money from state not enough for local road fixes

With $60.9 million funneling down from the state for road maintenance across Michigan following a long and treacherous winter, one might think massive repair projects are on this spring’s agenda.

Montcalm Community College Vice President for Administrative Services James D. Lantz, left, explains the rationale behind raising the college’s 2014-2015 tuition by 5 percent Tuesday as Trustee Patricia Hinrichs listens during the monthly Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees meeting at the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center in Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm Community College to raise 2014-2015 tuition 5%

Students attending Montcalm Community College (MCC) will notice a hike in their tuition as they enroll for their next semester of classes. During Tuesday evening’s MCC Board of Trustees meeting at the MCC’s Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center on the college’s Greenville campus, board members voted unanimously to increase the 2014-2015 tuition by approximately 5 percent.

Belding Department of Public Works Director Ernie Thomas checks levels related to the city’s water system. Thomas was selected as the 2014 Michigan Rural Water Association “Man of the Year.” — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding DPW director named Rural Water Association Man of the Year

Ernie Thomas has always been one to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s patching a pothole on a hot summer evening or driving a snowplow in the early hours of a winter morning, his personal engine is always running with a goal to finish the job. A lifelong Belding resident, he’s worked for the Belding Department of Public Works (DPW) for 39 years, having started in August of 1974, and has served as the department director since April of 1996.

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.

Belding resident Katherine Henry voices her displeasure of City Manager Meg Mullendore’s handling of Freedom of Information Act legislation. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding citizens again voice displeasure of city council, city manager

Serving as a continuation from the most recent Belding City Council meeting on March 18, residents again voiced their concerns and disappointment Tuesday evening with respect to members of the council and City Manager Meg Mullendore. The meeting followed a similar theme of two weeks ago, fueled by disgruntled citizens who again addressed their concerns during the meeting’s public comment period, which lasted nearly 35 minutes.

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Ionia sheriff selects Meijer for inmate prescriptions

In a search conducted primarily to stay local while remaining cost efficient, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office has reached out to a nearby pharmacy to serve as its primary prescription provider for jail inmates at the Ionia County Jail. Just one day into a two-year contract, the sheriff’s office is now receiving pharmacy services from Meijer Inc., specifically from the Meijer pharmacy located south of Ionia in Berlin Township.

Legislators such as Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, believe that electronic cigarettes can act as a “gateway drug” for minors, leading up to the use of standard cigarettes. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman seeks to ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors in Michigan

Should the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors in Michigan be banned? It’s a question that is not generating any disagreement in Lansing, but the method of regulation of the controversial and increasingly popular product is creating mixed opinions amongst legislators.