Teachers at Belding Area Schools have been without a new contract for exactly one year today. Negotiations between the school district and Belding Education Association (BEA) teachers’ union began shortly before the previous contract expired on June 30, 2014.
News Top Story
This community’s busiest city street is now on the path to receive a complete overhaul. Members of Belding City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to accept a resolution to support the city’s submission of an application for the reconstruction of S. Bridge Street for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
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.
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.
Like the phoenix of Greek mythology, rising from its ashes to be reborn again, so too will the historic Whites Covered Bridge. Destroyed by arson on July 7, 2013, the Whites Bridge Historical Society recently announced the bridge will be replaced with a replica bridge, as early as next year.
Mia Kaarstein, a foreign exchange student at Belding High School, received an email this week that will now allow her to “have it all.” On Wednesday, the 18-year-old was sitting in a classroom with her fellow senior students, all of whom will soon be dressed in caps and gowns participating in their graduation commencement ceremony less than a month away … all of them, except for Kaarstein.
This community found its new city manager Tuesday evening, one who was already seated in the chair he will now fill on a more permanent basis. In a 5-0 vote, the council elected to remove the interim tag and promote Bruce Brown as Belding’s new city manager.
After nearly 10 months, talks of a new contract between Belding Area Schools and the Belding Education Association (BEA) are no closer to a resolution. Eight negotiation sessions, three failed tentative agreements and several standing-room-only attended school board meetings later, the process will now be observed by a third-party fact checker.
Who could ask for better neighbors than those who bring together 1,400 people in a celebratory event overflowing with community pride? It’s been two years since a Good Neighbor Award was bestowed upon a resident or group organization in this community by the Belding City Council, but January’s “Fill the Gym Night” at Belding High School caught the attention of Councilman Jerry Lallo.
In the middle of an eight-month conflict of failed teacher contract negotiations, it was the voice of a young sixth grade student that brought people to their feet in unanimous applause Monday evening. Allyson May, 12, a student at Belding Middle School, approached the podium during the public comment portion of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education Meeting in the Belding High School Performing Arts Center auditorium.