News

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Belding approves performance based pay bonus for teachers

Belding teachers who receive a “highly effective” rating on their evaluation by school administrators will now receive bonus pay as a reward for their efforts. During Monday evening’s Belding Area Schools Board of Education meeting, board members voted 5-0 to approve a resolution to implement performance based pay.

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JUST IN: Belding council approves 2015-2016 budget, reviews potential DDA changes

With the conclusion of a public hearing Tuesday evening, members of Belding City Council have approved the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget.

Walter Barnes

Ionia County fires its IT director

Ionia County officials are tightlipped about why they fired their information and technology (IT) services director. Walter Barnes, 43, of Stanton, was let go from his job on April 27 by Ionia County Administrator Stephanie Fox.

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Belding balances budget

As one of his first tasks as city manager, Bruce Brown dove head-first into the community’s upcoming fiscal year budget. His goal: Create a balanced budget, without any major cuts, that includes a healthy “rainy day fund.”

On Tuesday, Eureka Township resident Frank DePue gets ready to do his civic duty and vote on Proposal 1. — Daily News/Brad Klosner

Michigan voters overwhelmingly shoot Proposal 1 down

Michigan voters on Tuesday resoundingly defeated tax increases that would have pumped $1.2 billion more a year into roads, a setback for Gov. Rick Snyder and others who warn that the state’s infrastructure is falling into disrepair because of inadequate funding. In early returns, Proposal 1 was down 77 percent to 23 percent in Oakland and Kent counties, two of the state’s largest counties.

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JUST IN: Belding passes balanced tentative budget for 2015-2016 fiscal year

The Belding City Council has passed a tentative budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that is balanced without borrowing from the city’s general fund.

Ionia County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Julie Calley gives her opinion about the Central Area Michigan Works Consortium while commissioners Jack Shattuck, left, and Scott Wirtz, center, listen Tuesday. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Ionia County leaves four-county Michigan Works for Region 4 agency

Ionia County is leaving a four-county employment service agency for a new 13-county arrangement. In a split vote Tuesday night, the Ionia County Board of Commissioners voted against staying with the Central Area Michigan Works Consortium (CAMWC) — which serves Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties — in favor of realigning with a yet-to-be-finalized Michigan Works agency in Region 4, which encompasses 13 counties.

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JUST IN: Ionia County votes to leave four-county Michigan Works agency

In a split vote, the Ionia County Board of Commissioners voted to leave their four-county Michigan Works agency and to give Region 4′s yet-to-be-finalized Michigan Works agency a try.

A motion to have Ionia County stay with the Central Area Michigan Works Consortium (CAMWC) — which provides employment services to Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm counties — failed in a 3-4 vote tonight, effectively ending CAMWC.

Encounter Community Church Lead Pastor Rob Lawrence greets members of the church’s congregation Sunday afternoon at the future sight of a $260,000 expansion to provide more space for the church’s sanctuary. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding’s Encounter Community Church finds room to grow

Just a few years ago, Encounter Community Church was on the verge of shutting its doors for good. Citing low attendance and struggling to survive after opening in 2007, Pastor Rob Lawrence said the church was at a crossroads and faced an uncertain future.

Ionia County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Julie Calley

Michigan works? Future uncertain for four-county jobs agency

What’s been working for a four-county area in central Michigan for the past 35 years may not be working anymore.

The Central Area Michigan Works Consortium (CAMWC) has been in existence since 1981. The agency is unique in that it encompasses four counties — Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Montcalm — and works in conjunction with local EightCAP services.