News

loc 0130 cs Belding DEQ-1

Belding residents express frustration with DEQ over Electrolux property

Locked behind a chain-link fence in the very center of town sits an idle piece of property that has become the epicenter of public frustration.

On the surface, the former White Consolidated Industries/Electrolux complex at 100 E. Main St. is ready to be embraced as a public park. But buried beneath that surface — 24 inches, to be exact — is a century-old history of industry, complete with contaminated soil, concrete slabs and, deeper still, contaminated ground water.

Belding Mayor Ron Gundreson speaks about hiring an interim city manager Monday evening during a special council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding council begins interim city manager, city manager searches

Following the termination of this community’s city manager, the process is now underway to find the next individual who will helm administrative responsibilities. During a special meeting Monday night, called by Mayor Ron Gunderson, council members discussed hiring a new city manager after previous city manager Meg Mullendore was terminated in a 3-2 council vote on Jan. 20. During Monday’s meeting, the council also discussed hiring an interim city manager.

Four out of the 10 teachers at the Grattan Academy middle and high school are sick, which prompted the school system to shut down for Wednesday. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Grattan Academy Charter Schools closed due to illnesses

An illness swept through the staff of Grattan Academy this week. Four out of the 10 teachers at the middle and high school came down with either head colds or the stomach flu, which prompted the school system to shut down on Wednesday, according to Superintendent and Principal Tom Kreiner.

Belding Area Schools Board of Education members, from left, Timothy Flynn, Doug Lamborne, Shannon Hummel, and Tom Humphreys recite the oath of office as they are sworn onto the board at the Jan. 19 school board meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding school board welcomes new members

A few new faces, complete with smiles and looks of determination, were officially welcomed to the Belding Area Schools Board of Education last week.

A panoramic view shows a hefty amount of remodeling work occurring at the former Driftway Bar and Restaurant in Belding as it transforms into the new Horse’s Mouth Tavern. — Daily News/Cory Smith

New bar to bring Michigan craft beer atmosphere to Belding (GALLERY)

The clang of a hammer falling hard to a nail, the screech of a table saw quickly splitting through a piece of wood — that’s the sound of the orchestra of construction taking place at an old but familiar location in this community. Since the summer of 2012, the Driftway Bar and Restaurant has sat empty, eventually foreclosed on and left as a shadow of its former lively self.

Patrick O’Connell

Citizen cooperation, K9 key in catching Burger King robbery suspect

Patrick Michael O’Connell, 26, of Belding was arraigned Thursday for allegedly robbing the Burger King near Belding. With the help of citizen tips, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office located a 28-year-old Ionia woman who had reportedly driven the car the suspect had used to flee the scene after allegedly robbing the restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

Belding Planning Commission Chairman Gary Knowlton answers questions regarding the Zoning Board of Appeals during Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding OKs zoning candidate questions

This community’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is one step closer to retuning to a board led by a citizen effort instead of the city council. In a 3-2 vote at Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting, council members approved a prepared list of questions for each candidate of the ZBA to answer before the council makes a decision to appoint members to the board at the Feb. 3 council meeting.

Patrick O'Connell

Citizen cooperation, K9 key in apprehending BK robbery suspect

Patrick Michael O’Connell, 26, of Belding was arraigned Thursday for allegedly robbing the Burger King near Belding. With the help of citizen tips, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office located a 28-year-old Ionia woman who had reportedly driven the car the suspect had fled the scene in after allegedly robbing the restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

Judy Emmons

Gov. Snyder’s speech inspires GOP

Gov. Rick Snyder gave another one of his patented “relentlessly positive” speeches Tuesday during his State of the State address. The speech showcased what Snyder saw as highlights of Michigan’s past year, as well as introduced several new proposals, which inspired his own party.

John Moolenaar

Rep. Moolenaar: Obama delivers mixed messages

President Barack Obama took a straightforward approach to his State of the Union address Tuesday, declaring the end of a recession and two wars and the start of more jobs and health insurance … and victoriously taking credit for all of the above.