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Back to school already? 5 local schools starting 1 week early

Summer always seems to fly by, and this year the season seems even shorter with the majority of local students returning to school one week earlier than usual. School starts on Monday for Greenville, Lakeview, Montabella, Tri County and Vestaburg schools. Those five schools obtained waivers from the Michigan Department of Education in order to start school earlier.

Milton and Carol Rackham will be honored as this year’s grand marshals in the 110th annual Belding Labor Day Celebration. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Rackhams named Belding Labor Day Celebration grand marshals

In the rear of his garage, with steady hands and a focused gaze, Milton Rackham can often be found working away, one upholstery repair job at a time. At the age of 90, well beyond the earliest chance to retire, his work keeps him busy, and more importantly, happy and humble.

Belding City Manager Bruce Brown smiles after receiving a compliment about his job performance after six months with the city from Mayor Ron Gunderson during Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding extends city manager’s contract

When Bruce Brown was hired six months ago on an interim basis, his first concern was centered on improving the future for city residents. As of Tuesday evening, the Belding city manager will have at least two more years to focus on that goal.

Belding Area Schools Board President Tom Humphreys, right, smiles after being recognized by Superintendent Sara Shriver, left, and his fellow board members for his 14 years of service on the board during his final meeting Monday. — Daily News/Cory Smith

2 former members appointed to Belding school board

During Monday’s school board meeting, board members voted 5-0 — with Trustee Doug Lamborne absent — to appoint Terry Boni to fill the vacated seat of Robert Insley, who resigned in July.

Board members also voted 5-1 — with Boni now on the board and Trustee Shannon Hummel voting “no” — to appoint Debra Bach to the second vacant seat which was in the process of being vacated by Board President Tom Humphreys, who announced his resignation in July.

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JUST IN: Belding City Council approves contract extension for city manager

Members of Belding City Council voted Tuesday evening to grant City Manager Bruce Brown another two years on his contract with the city.


JUST IN: Two former board members appointed to fill vacancies on Belding School Board

Two former Belding Area Schools Board of Education members are officially returning to the board to fill two vacancies.


New policy in Belding favors local businesses

Should local businesses receive preferential treatment when it comes to being selected for city projects and purchases? That’s the question the Belding City Council was wrestling with at Tuesday’s meeting. City Manager Bruce Brown presented the council with a proposed ordinance that would lend, in most situations, favored status to city businesses.


Plans for dog park in Belding move forward

Life may soon be getting better for some of the city’s four-legged residents, thanks to an initiative to create a dog park somewhere within the municipality.

The Belding City Council tabled a vote on a proposed ethics ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting as some council members were worried the ordinance as currently written is too vague. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

Belding’s ethics ordinance goes back to drawing board

Ethics, and whether they should be enforced via official ordinance, was the topic of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Belding City Council. City Manager Bruce Brown explained the ordinance under consideration would help “promote transparency and civility” within city government. The ordinance, he said, is similar to similar ordinances that have been adopted by other municipalities across the state.

Belding Middle School seventh grade student Tara Rackham, 13, who finished as a state finalist in the Michigan National American Miss Pre-Teen pageant on July 4, is seeking sponsorship to participate in the national competition Nov. 22-28 in Hollywood. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Type I diabetic battles odds to promote awareness of diabetes through pageantry

Twelve years ago, in the confines of the pediatric intensive care unit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Tara Rackham, just shy of turning two, was clinging to life. Her mother, Sharnel Rackham, sat by her unconscious daughter, holding her little hand close and praying for a recovery.