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Belding firefighter fired after Facebook comments

A Belding firefighter was fired Monday morning after allegedly making racist comments on Facebook over the weekend.

Martin Ackley, left, director of the office of public and governmental affairs for the Michigan Department of Education, visits with Greenville Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Korie Crawford and Hollie Stephenson, director of the Chinese immersion program at Walnut Hills Elementary School. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

State education official pays visit to Greenville, Lakeview

A Michigan Department of Education (MDE) official visited Greenville Public Schools and Lakeview Community School on Wednesday. Martin Ackley, director of the office of public and governmental affairs for the MDE, spent the morning touring Lakeview and the afternoon touring the Greenville. Each district showcased their successes and put a spotlight on the ways they are working to give students the best education possible.

The Belding City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to leave speed limits as they are on S. Bridge Street from E. State Street (M-44) to Flat River Trail and out past city limits as recommended by engineering and architecture firm Fleis & Vandenbrink. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Speed limits won’t change on Belding’s Bridge Street

Speed limits will remain the same after a split Belding City Council vote Tuesday evening. The council voted to leave speed limits as is on S. Bridge Street just outside the city limits and into city limits in a 3-2 vote. Councilmen Mike Scheid and Bruce Meyers voted “no.”

Students in Jennifer DiSpirito’s service learning class at Belding Middle School visited Metron of Belding Thursday morning to decorate common spaces like dining halls and residents’ doors. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding students deck the halls at Metron

Students decked the halls for residents of Metron in Belding on Tuesday morning.

Jennifer DiSpirito took students from her service learning class at Belding Middle School to Metron of Belding to decorate the doors of residents’ rooms and some common areas. Students in the service learning class from the previous marking period had visited Metron of Belding to decorate doors for Halloween as well and had a blast, DiSpirito said.

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.