Teaching his students Friday, Dr. Mark Taylor, the music and band teacher at Flat River Academy, has brought back the instruction of both subjects to the school for the first time in several years. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Grattan Academy renamed again, now Flat River Academy

Nearly two months ago, the Grattan Academy Board of Directors made the decision to change the longstanding name of the school as part of a rebranding effort.

But shortly after the decision was made on Aug. 6 to establish Belding-Greenville Preparatory Charter Academy as the school’s new name, a number of students voiced their displeasure with the decision.

IM Fostering Hope collects items and puts together backpacks for children transitioning in the foster care system in Montcalm and Ionia counties. — Courtesy photo

IM Fostering Hope aims to help foster families

Last year, more than 160 children in Montcalm and Ionia counties entered the foster care system, and IM Fostering Hope is hoping to make the transition easier for those children.

The group has put together backpacks with hygiene items, pajamas, comfort items, blankets, socks and underwear. The goal is to make the first night of transition easier on the children and the foster families.

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Belding manager Bruce Brown receives positive review

City Manager Bruce Brown passed his most recent evaluation with flying colors.

During Tuesday evening’s regular meeting of the Belding City Council, Brown was given an evaluation in a closed session that lasted about an hour. After coming out of closed session, council members told meeting attendees that Brown was given a “superior” rating. Councilmen Mike Scheid and Dennis Feehan were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Belding Councilman Tom Jones, left, received a standing ovation, led by Councilman Brad Miller, right, after Jones announced his resignation during Tuesday evening’s council meeting. (Daily News | Emilee Nielsen)

Belding councilman resigns before move

Belding City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Jones has tendered his resignation from the council effective Oct. 15.

During Tuesday night’s regular meeting, Jones announced he would be resigning as he and his wife will be moving outside city limits and therefore he won’t be eligible to sit on the council anymore.


IN BRIEF: Belding City Council approves street closures

Some streets in Belding will be closed the night of Oct. 14 for a glow 5K glow walk/run.

Rona Shane, chairwoman of the Continuum of Care, was the first to sign the pledge against veteran homelessness on Thursday in Ionia. — Daily News/Meghan Koglin

Community members take pledge against veteran homelessness

The Continuum of Care in Montcalm and Ionia counties and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) are taking a stand against veteran homelessness. On Thursday, members of the Continuum of Care and community members gathered at The Right Door in Ionia to sign a pledge stating they were committed to ending veteran homelessness. The pledge was part of an effort from agencies throughout Montcalm and Ionia counties.

Belding City Manager Bruce Brown looks over a rough draft sketch of the mural that will go on the wall in the “Gathering Place,” or the former Electrolux property that is included in the master plan for updating and developing city parks in Belding. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding to start next phases in park plan

Over the last few months, members of the recreation advisory board, the SmithGroup JJ&R of Ann Arbor and residents of Belding have collaborated to make a plan for Central Riverside Park and the former Electrolux property. Those plans are heading into the first phase of execution in coming months.

Ally Carew, 12, and Devin Toman, right, 13, work on making cards for a child at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital during a service learning class at Belding Middle School on Tuesday afternoon. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding Middle School adds newspaper writing, service learning classes

Belding Middle School students have been given the chance to try out some different classes this academic year.

In an effort to expose students to a variety of options, some new classes have been added to the curriculum. Two of these classes are newspaper writing and service learning, which are both taught by Jennifer Dispirito.


Belding approves bid for sewer repair, ordinance amendment

Beneath the city of Belding is an underground network of sewer pipes that come together to make up the framework of the sanitation system.


M-STEP scores released for local school districts

Two years ago, the Michigan Department of Education moved from the 44-year-old MEAP standardized test to the M-STEP, a test that is partly based on common core standards. The M-STEP is widely recognized by educators as a more rigorous test with high expectations for students.