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Citizens who attended the Belding Zoning Board of Appeals meeting lined up in order to make sure they made their voices were heard at Tuesday night’s public hearing. The board was hearing a case petitioned by the Reconnecting Tomorrow Center for a special variance to be granted for a homeless shelter to be set up in the basement of the Belding United Methodist Church. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding rejects variance request for proposed homeless shelter

It was standing room only at the Pere Marquette Depot Tuesday evening as people gathered to express their opinions on a proposed homeless shelter. The Reconnecting Tomorrow Center petitioned the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a special use ordinance to set up a 30-person shelter in the basement of Belding United Methodist Church at 301 Pleasant St. The church property is zoned for single family homes only.

Belding’s Feliciano Paredes presented his app, Animo!, at a 5x5 Night competition on Oct. 25 at Grand Valley University. The app would connect migrant workers to famers and resources. — Courtesy photo

Belding man creates app for migrant workers

In 2011, Feliciano Paredes, of Belding, was watching the documentary “The Harvest/La Cosecha” directed by U. Roberto Romano, which showcases the struggles migrant children and their families face. “As I was watching it, I was thinking it’s 2011 and we have all this technology people can find anything they want to find,” Paredes said. “You have Yelp and Foursquare, and I thought why can’t there be something for farmworkers, something that’s going to make a really huge impact on a lot of these families.”

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JUST IN: Ionia man dies from fall at Spectrum Industries in Belding

An employee at a Belding industrial plant is dead after falling while at work early Wednesday morning.

Belding’s Flat River Group was ranked No. 1,672 in a list of 5,000 fast growing private companies throughout the United States. The company is in distribution and shipping and acts as a go-between for smaller businesses and large eCommerce companies such as Amazon, Target and Walmart. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding’s Flat River Group exhibiting fast-paced growth

A Belding business has been ranked and recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America. In its August issue, the magazine rated the top 5,000 fastest growing private companies throughout the nation. Flat River Group was ranked No. 1,672 with a three-year growth of 223 percent.

Members of the Board of Directors for the Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness of Ionia County gathered at an groundbreaking ceremony Monday in Belding. Pictured are Mary Baker, Julie Calley, Michael Gallagher, Nancy Haga, Melissa McKinstry, Deborah McPeek-McFadden, Dale Miller, Gretchen Nyland, Linda Purcey, Robert Lathers and Kerry Possehn. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Right Door breaks ground on Belding autism center addition

A planned addition to the Ionia County Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness has broken ground. Monday afternoon found members of the Right Door Board of Directors, representatives from Triangle Associates and James Turner, the rural development director of the United States Department of Agriculture, discussing the addition and breaking ground on the project at 7441 Storey Road in Belding.

From left, Peyton Moffit, 5, Emma Johnson, 5, Jayde Hoisington, 5, Jackson Shearer, 5, and Lincoln McCarty, 5, work on building a wall for Humpty Dumpty to sit on during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project at Ellis Elementary School. — Courtesy photo

Belding’s Ellis Elementary School celebrates successes

Ellis Elementary School Principal Tiffany Jackson got what she called “a little brag time” at Monday evening’s Belding Area Schools Board of Education meeting. Jackson detailed points of pride for the elementary school, including focuses on curriculum, collaboration and culture in the building. According to Jackson, there are great things happening in terms of curriculum. Students throughout the building are focusing on mathematics and English and language arts.

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IN BRIEF: Belding board approves summer tax levy

A resolution to levy 100 percent of property taxes from Belding city residents in the summer was approved Monday evening.

During a regular meeting, the board of education approved a resolution to continue the summer tax levy which allows the district to collect 100 recent of taxes from city residents in the summer as opposed to 50 percent in the winter and 50 percent in the summer.

Judge Ray Voet

Ionia County District Court offers bench warrant amnesty

IONIA — Ionia County’s 64A District Court has a special, limited time offer this holiday season. The court is extending a bench warrant amnesty period now through Dec 30. Individuals with open bench warrants for failing to pay fines and costs, failure to appear or failure to comply with a court order can clear their [...]

An addition to the Otisco Township Hall has been a source of frustration for some residents from the beginning of the process while others have looked upon the idea favorably. Construction on the project is set to begin in April 2017. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Some still upset about Otisco Township Hall addition

While the Otisco Township Board has accepted a bid and plans have been made to start work on a township hall addition in the spring, there is still some unrest about it in the community. During Tuesday evening’s regular meeting, the Township Hall addition wasn’t on the agenda but the subject still came up.

Daily News/Emilee Nielsen 

Woodview Elementary School students collected more than 5,000 food and beverage items for families in need to make sure they have needed supplies for a Thanksgiving meal. The original goal was 2,000 items. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding students collect food items for families in need

BELDING — At least a dozen families will be guaranteed a Thanksgiving meal this holiday season thanks to Woodview Elementary School students. Two weeks ago, students and the student council issued a call for food and beverage items. Parents and students answered that call with gusto. The original goal for the drive was to collect [...]