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Letter carriers need help to deliver through snow

The continued snow and challenging weather in Michigan has not kept letter carriers from going out and delivering the mail. The United States Postal Service (USPS) thanks its customers for helping letter carriers deliver mail safely by clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs and mailboxes.

The Belding robotics team members, top row from left, junior Taylor Sluiter, 17, freshman K.J. Robinson, 15, senior Garrett Spencer, 17, bottom row from left, sophomore Jessie Boyd, 15, senior Haley Davis, 17. Not pictured, senior Tre Robinson, 17 and junior John Parcher, 17. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding robotics team gearing up for tournament

On Saturday, dozens of students will converge upon the Redskin Arena gymnasium in Belding, but it won’t be for a volleyball or basketball game. Rather, students from throughout the state will be competing at the second annual Belding Robotics Tournament at Belding High School, hosted by Belding’s very own robotics program.

Members of the Ionia Area Emergency Response Team perform a mock cell rush of a prisoner during last year’s Polar Plunge at Clifford Lake. This year’s event is outside of the Turk Lake Bar on Saturday, Feb. 8. Plunging begins at 3 p.m. All are welcome to jump in or just enjoy the show. More than 100 people have already signed up to take the plunge. — Courtesy photo

Freezing for funds: Turk Lake is new location for Polar Plunge

Jim Dennis is overwhelmed. He is surrounded by insane people. And he’s loving it. Flooded with emails, phone calls and Facebook comments, Dennis, coordinator of the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser event for Montcalm County, is once again gathering pledges from brave souls who will “take the plunge” into the cold waters of Turk Lake to raise funds for local Special Olympics athletes.

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Silk City Saloon: New owner brings new life to former Belding restaurant

Decades ago, customers of the former Village Hearth would schedule reservations days in advance to assure a seat at the popular restaurant located in the heart of downtown Belding. After going through several owners, new titles, new menus and a period of several years in which the building sat empty, the structure became an empty shell of its former self. But now, Mark Hoople is ready for a resurgence.

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School band directors trying to find high note despite snow days

For Greenville High School Band Director Susan Gould, the large amount of snow days this winter — nine to date — has made her teaching routine nearly impossible as students remain home, many without instruments on which to practice.

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Teachers say flexibility is key when it comes to snow days and schedules

Montabella High School was closed Tuesday, as were all local schools, but the hallways were still filled with the voices and laughter of children — very young children, that is. Ryan Roberts, a science teacher at Montabella, brought his 5-year-old and 2-year-old children to the school so they could get out of the house and run around while Roberts caught up on classwork.

Joannah Sheldon of Winfield Township says she works on teaching her six children how to get along with each other when they are stuck at home for multiple snow days away from school. “Being confined in close quarters results in a lot of sibling fighting, but I try to remember it’s a good opportunity for character development and helping them learn how to work through their differences,” she said. Above, the Sheldon siblings play a game of charades to pass the time on a snow day Tuesday. From left to right, Abel, 5, David, 8, Marlin, 4, and Elizabeth, 11, guess what object Renee, 10, is acting out. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Winter storms have schools adjusting to multiple days off

Local schools have taken up to 10 snow days so far this winter … and they’re not out of the (snowy) woods yet. Belding, Central Montcalm, Lakeview and Montabella schools have each taken 10 snow days, while Carson City-Crystal, Greenville, Tri County and Vestaburg have each taken nine snow days. The most recent of those snow days were Monday, Tuesday and today.

Belding Tank Technologies will no longer be required to construct sidewalks on company property after owner Dan Blunt successfully won a variance against the city. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding Tank Technologies won’t have to install sidewalks

After nearly a year of being disgruntled by a decision by the Belding City Council, Dan Blunt, owner of Belding Tank Technologies, says he can finally move on. During a meeting last Thursday at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding, Blunt was heard before the Zoning Board of Appeals on a nonuse variance request filed by Blunt on behalf of his company.

At Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, discusses a package of bills with a focus on making it easier for state prison parolees to return to the workforce. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Outman discusses ‘parolee hiring’ bills

Finding a job as an unemployed citizen can be stressful, difficult and unpleasant. Finding a job as a convicted felon can be nearly impossible.

George Raimer of Saranac, right, and George Trowbridge of Belding, left, bike over an old railway trestle on the undeveloped Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail east of Smyrna on fat tire bikes last Friday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Fat tire biking is a growing trend in winter months

With the many inches of snow and bitterly cold temperatures that accompany the winter months in Michigan, a different world of activities opens itself up for exploration. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, sledding, skiing, tubing … cycling?