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Members of the Belding Middle School Student Council, National Junior Honor Society and other students took 1,370 toys that were donated for Toys for Tots to WZZM-TV 13 in Walker on Friday to donate them to families in need in Belding. — Courtesy photo

Belding community gathers 1,370 toys to Toys for Tots

Christmas is looking a little brighter for some families in the Belding community. Thanks to a coordinated effort from the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and the Belding Middle School Student Council, students collected 1,370 toys for people in need. The drive was part of the annual School Spirit Challenge hosted by WZZM-TV 13, which the middle school ended up leading this year.

Belding Area Schools Superintendent Brent Noskey tells the Board of Education and members of the audience that he hopes to continue the support the community has given Belding schools and the desire to grow stronger and keep improving together during Monday evening’s board meeting. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding school board votes to change Redskins mascot

Belding’s longtime mascot is about to become a piece of history.

After months of conversation at school board meetings and special community forums, the Belding Area Schools board voted unanimously to change the mascot from the Redskins and to do away with any Native American associated imagery on Monday evening.

Students in Diane Kuhn’s class at Belding Middle School say their daily affirmations for positive thinking Thursday morning. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding Middle School students focus on acts of kindness

’Tis the season for caring and there is no shortage of good deeds at Belding Middle School. Students in Diane Kuhn’s sixth grade class have spent the last 12 school days trying to rack up as many good deeds and kind acts as they could before holiday break, which kicks off on Wednesday.

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IN BRIEF: Belding board votes to change the school mascot

After months of hearing from members of the community and outsiders to the community, the Belding Board of Education came to a decision about the Redskins mascot Monday evening.

Jennifer DiSpirito’s health students at the Belding Middle School made projects to show food groups, healthy snacks and functions of different things people get from food such as protein.

Belding Middle School students talk nutrition

Middle school students in Belding have been learning a bit more about nutrition during the past several months. Thanks to a grant administered by the Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) for $300,000, which is set to serve Kent, Ionia and Montcalm Counties, students in Jennifer DiSpirito’s classes have had visits from Anne King, a nutrition educator with the KISD.

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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.