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IN BRIEF: Belding residents unhappy about speed limit change

Belding City Council members are fielding calls from disgruntled residents following a speed limit reduction just outside of city limits that was approved during a regular Feb. 16 meeting.

Ron Schafer

Ionia County prosecutor named 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge

The longtime Ionia County prosecutor has been appointed to fill a vacant judicial seat in Ionia and Montcalm counties. Gov. Rick Snyder announced Monday he has appointed Ron Schafer as the new 8th Judicial Circuit Court judge.

Grattan Academy junior Noah Byrd, 16, second from left, is congratulated by senior Devon Hoard, 17, far left, and freshman Michael Taylor, 15, at right, on Thursday after being awarded a scholarship to partially fund a 10-month stay in Italy as a foreign exchange student next school year. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Grattan student gets scholarship to study abroad in Italy

Noah Byrd has long acted as an unofficial ambassador to foreign exchange students at Grattan Academy, welcoming visitors from countries across the world with open arms.

As the 16-year-old junior sat among his peers Thursday — and a number of foreign exchange students whom he now calls close friends — it didn’t take long before the attention of everyone in the high school gymnasium turned to him.

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‘We just haven’t had an election like this one before’: Montcalm County voters head to the polls

Presidential primary elections have been drawing record voter turnout throughout the United States.

Today, it’s Michigan’s turn.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Members of the Central Montcalm High School Symphonic Band react in celebration together with friends and family after learning that they received a first division rating at Thursday’s Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association District 7 Festival at Greenville High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Members of the Central Montcalm High School Symphonic Band react in celebration together with friends and family after learning that they received a first division rating at Thursday’s Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association District 7 Festival at Greenville High School. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local school bands succeed at district band festival (PHOTOS)

Just a short time ago, Matthew Reed wasn’t entirely sure his students could come together and play the music program he had arranged to the expectations they had set forward. The Central Montcalm band director was determined to have his high school students ready to perform at the Michigan State Band and Orchestra District Band Festival, but facing a total of eight snow days, the necessary rehearsal time just wasn’t there.

The Belding office of The Right Door for hope, recovery and wellness center will have an addition put on the north side of the building to add six treatment rooms, bathrooms and showers in order to expand treatment options offered to area autistic children and families. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding mental health center expanding treatment for autism

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2014 study, determined that an average of one in 68 children between the ages of 3 and 17 in the United States are on the autism spectrum. The Right Door for hope, recovery and wellness, formerly the Ionia County Mental Health Department, is working toward offering behavioral services to more autistic children in the area community by constructing an addition to their facility in Belding.

Belding City Councilman Jerry Lallo delivered a resignation speech Tuesday night in which he thanked fellow council members for the opportunity to serve and expressed regret about not being able to finish his term. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Belding City Council member resigns to care for his father

A Belding City Council member resigned during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting. Jerry Lallo’s resignation is effective immediately and comes in the wake of his father’s decline in health. Lallo, who was elected in 2013, will be moving to Florida to assist in his father’s care.

An Ionia County snow plow truck makes its way east on Bricker Road, clearing snow Tuesday afternoon.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

Snow storms continue to keep county road crews busy

After being battered last Thursday with nearly 12 inches of snow, another blast of snow Tuesday is keeping plow drivers busy. According to Road Commission for Montcalm County Superintendent-Manager Mark Christensen, another winter storm that began at approximately 7 a.m. and carried into the night kept plow trucks on the road throughout the day.

Breanna Brockschmidt, 8, of Greenville, using a snowblower to plow the sidewalk in front of her home. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Schools facing make-up days due to winter weather

In the winter game of snow days played by local school districts, every card in the hand has officially been played. With nearly three weeks remaining in the winter season, there isn’t a single school district within The Daily News coverage area that hasn’t exhausted the entirety of its allocated six snow days by the state government.

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IN BRIEF: Belding City Council member resigns

During tonight’s regular city council meeting, Councilman Jerry Lallo announced his resignation, effective immediately.

Lallo is planning a move to Florida in order to take care of his ailing father.