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.

More than 400 people attended the “Grandma, Grandpa & Me” breakfast event that focused on promoting literacy with Ellis Elementary School students on Wednesday morning.  — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Ellis Elementary invites grandparents for breakfast and literacy (PHOTOS)

More than 400 grandparents went back to school on Wednesday morning. Ellis Elementary School hosted grandparents of students from pre-school through second grade to have breakfast and encourage the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. During that breakfast, book prizes were handed out to students and adults with stickers on their placemats.

Larry Tiejema, certified public accountant, gives a presentation to the Otisco Township Board of Trustees about the audit report he performed for the township during a regular meeting last Tuesday. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Otisco Township Board hears positive audit report

At the end of the fiscal year in March, Otisco Township had almost three times more money in assets than in expenses, according to an audit report.

During a regular meeting last Tuesday, the board and those in attendance heard a report from Larry Tiejema, a certified public accountant based in Saranac. He said it is his responsibility as the auditor to go through the financial statements of the township and evaluate its position.


IN BRIEF: Ionia County commissioner gives update to Belding City Council

Ionia County Commissioner Dave Hodges utilized the public comment segment of Tuesday evening’s Belding City Council meeting to give an update on county happenings.


10 local artists participating in ArtPrize

Local artists are utilizing a variety of unique mediums for this year’s ArtPrize, including copper, silver and gold, stained glass mosaics and hornet nests. More than 1,450 entries have been submitted to be on display at more than 160 venues across three square miles of Grand Rapids starting Wednesday through Oct. 9. Winning prizes totaling $500,000 will be awarded (half decided by public vote and half decided by a jury of experts).

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First Congregational Church of Belding celebrates its 170th anniversary

One hundred and seventy years ago, the First Congregational Church of Belding was founded as the Christian Church of Otisco. One hundred and forty years ago, the church and congregants built and dedicated the church building that is standing today on the corner of Pearl and Washington Streets in Belding. Sunday, the church is inviting the community to attend a special service at 10:30 a.m. that will feature sections of the sermon delivered by former pastors of the church in addition to a sermon from the current pastor, Paul Hulford.


Residents unhappy with process of pursuing Otisco Township Hall addition

An architect has drawn up plans for an addition to Otisco Township Hall, but some residents remain unhappy about the process township officials are using.


IN BRIEF: Otisco Township welcomes new deputy

Township residents will be seeing a new face on the roads and in the community.

Attendees of Sunday’s “At the Foot of the Crosses” event at Easton United Methodist Church in Easton Township stand with their hands over their hearts during the singing of the National Anthem.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Event honors veterans, emergency responders and victims of 9/11

On the 15-year anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11, a gathering at the Easton United Methodist Church produced more than 100 people who stood in solidarity Sunday to remember those who lost their lives. The event, dubbed “At the Foot of the Crosses,” showcased touching tributes, which were combined with a variety of musical performances for the audience to enjoy.

Belding Area Schools Superintendent Brent Noskey split attendees into smaller groups along with board members to have a discussion about the pros and cons of finding a new mascot, staying with the status quo or bringing back the Redskin mascot. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding mascot discussion underway

Despite the uproarious response from some members of the community regarding the Belding Area Schools mascot, only 30 people attended a special work session to discuss how to move forward. Wednesday evening’s meeting, which was supposed to center around an educational presentation by Interim Public Relations Director for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Erik Rodriguez, is the first in what could be a series of meetings that will aim to resolve the mascot issue once and for all.