Local

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IN BRIEF: Orchard Street to close May 19

Orchard Street from W. State Street (M-44) will be closed May 19.

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Leppinks honored with clock dedication

A new clock tower is now standing in downtown Belding. While the new one is only a fraction of the size of the previous clock tower the city was so well-known for, Mayor Ron Gunderson said he hopes it will be a symbol of rejuvenation and renaissance for Belding.

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Drive to gather hygiene products for homeless in Belding

Homelessness takes many forms in today’s society. Belding resident Danielle Patrick is doing her part to bring awareness to the problem and to help ease the burden on people living with varying degrees of homelessness.

From left, Ionia County’s 64A District Court Judge Raymond Voet, Ionia County Probate Judge Robert Sykes, Ionia County Commissioner and Vice Chairman Jim Banks, Commissioner Brenda Cowling-Cronk, Commissioner Georgia Sharp, County Administrator Stephanie Fox and Physical Plant Director Scott De Ruischer prepare to break ground Monday afternoon at the future site of the Ionia County Courthouse addition. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Ground broken on long-awaited Ionia County Courthouse addition

Ionia County officials broke ground on a long-awaited addition to the county courthouse Monday afternoon.

Ionia County Commissioner and Vice Chairman Jim Banks said this project has been a long time in the works. He told the people gathered for the groundbreaking, including Belding City Manager Bruce Brown and Ionia City Manager Jason Eppler, the idea for additional facilities dates as far back as 2002.

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Ionia County considering options for Building Department

Ionia and Montcalm counties currently share two circuit court judges, and county officials have been in talks regarding possibly sharing a building department director in the future. Montcalm County Building Department Director Scott Minard updated commissioners about the idea during an Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee meeting April 10. He said Ionia County officials contacted him last summer for his advice on the matter.

David Bluhm of Fleis & VandenBrink presents findings from studies conducted through a stormwater, asset management and wastewater (SAW) grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding City Council approves water rate increases

City residents will soon see a rate increase to water/sewer services. Following a presentation from David Bluhm, division manager of engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink, the Belding City Council approved a rate increase during Tuesday’s meeting.

From left, Landon Neal, 12, Cole Shoup, 12, and Ty McDiarmid, 11, presented their report on the Amazon rainforest to the Belding Area SChools Board of Education during Monday’s meeting. Students in Diane Kuhn’s sixth grade geography class were tasked with creating an organization designed to educate others about the Amazon rainforest, its ecosystems and the dangers deforestation poses. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding school board hears success stories, high school handbook changes

There are some exciting things happening at Ellis Elementary School.

During Monday’s meeting of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education, Ellis Principal Tiffany Jackson shared some success stories.

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IN BRIEF: Belding mayor declares Arbor Day April 28

Arbor Day is set for April 28 in the city of Belding.

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Belding High School hosts forgiveness-themed event

Through religious faith, two men who by all accounts should never be friends are defying the odds. Benton Harbor natives Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins visited Belding High School on Saturday evening to tell the story of how they overcome their substantial differences to establish a friendship.

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IN BRIEF: Belding board approves contract renewal

The Belding Board of Education approved a contract renewal during Monday evening’s regular meeting.