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Belding Area Schools Transportation Director Kamie Jakeway delivers a presentation on “Bus Safety Week” to members of the Belding school board Monday evening. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding school board approves two-way radio upgrade for transporation

Radio static, interference and noise are all about to become a thing of the past for bus drivers at Belding Area Schools.

Communication between school bus drivers via two-way radios is a critical part of transporting hundreds of students several times a day to and from school, which is why a switch from analog to digital radios on each of the district’s 19 buses was unanimously approved by members of the Belding school board Monday evening.

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Belding Labor Day Celebration signals end of summer

With thousands of spectators lining Bridge Street, marching bands, classic cars, horses and numerous floats slowly threaded through downtown Belding as an unofficial salute to the end of summer.

The annual Stahlin Labor Day Parade on Monday morning was a fitting cap to a weekend that included carnival rides, tournaments, talent shows, a car show and an impressive fireworks display during the 109th annual Belding Labor Day Celebration.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: Rules of the road for school buses

As the first day of school quickly approaches, there’s one topic that may be of particular importance to students who will be attending for the very first time.

The school bus.

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Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail opens in Belding

As the Bruursema family left their home Sunday evening, they had the perfect pathway laid ahead of them for a trip to Central Riverside Park.

Josh Bruursema, along with his wife Becca and daughters, Hannah, 5, and Morgan, 1, hopped on their bikes and cycled their way along the newly opened Fred Meijer River Valley Rail Trail in downtown Belding.

Members of Belding City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to accept a proposal to install LED lighting at both Belding City Hall (pictured) and the city's Department of Public Works building. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding approves LED lighting at City Hall, DPW building

Members of Belding City Council voted unanimously 5-0 tonight to accept a proposal for LED lighting at Belding City Hall and the city’s Department of Public Works building.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Commence thrashing! Belding skatepark opens

The new Leppink’s Riverside Skatepark officially opened Tuesday afternoon in Belding.

Employees from Evergreen Skateparks of Portland, Ore. work on the construction of the new Leppinks Skate Park at Central Riverside Park in Belding Thursday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

PHOTOS: Leppinks Skate Park in Belding taking shape

Construction has begun on the new Leppinks Skate Park at Central Riverside Park in Belding. With more than $70,000 collected through fundraisers and donors, the first phase of the concrete skate park is expected to be completed by July 1.

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2.28-mile trail in Belding expected to be completed by Aug. 1

Downtown Belding will never look the same again.

What was once a busy railway that brought commuter and industry traffic through the heart of downtown will now return in the form of a cycling trail. It’s been a dream that has been discussed for years, but now, construction has officially started and, come Aug. 1, the Fred Meijer River Valley Rail Trail (FMRVRT) through Belding will be complete.

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Pet oxygen recovery masks designed to help animals after a fire

It’s a moment no firefighter wants to come across when searching through a burning home — the sound of a trapped dog barking for help or the discovery of a frightened cat hiding under a bed.

But those moments do happen, and just as firefighters would rescue an adult or child, those animals also need rescue.

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Belding Area Schools facing budget deficit for coming school year

According to Finance Director Adrienne Barna, the budget projection will change based on information from the state and additional reductions that may be necessary prior to the June board meeting where the 2014-2015 budget will be presented to the board for approval. In its current state, the proposed budget will operate at a deficit of $846,373.