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.
On Dec. 11, local shoppers were left scratching their heads as to why not a single can of corn seemed to be stocked in any local grocery store throughout the Belding community. As it turns out, it wasn’t a shipping error, but rather the result of Belding High School students who visited every store and purchased each and every can available for the school’s annual food drive that day. It was a weeklong effort that resulted in 5,895 collected items that were delivered to the Belding Food Pantry at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Belding resident and Vietnam War veteran Denny Craycraft smiles as he welcomes visitors to Belding Veterans Park for a Veterans Day ceremony Monday evening.
Belding police, and many members of the Belding community, are currently searching for a 10-year-old boy who went missing after fishing along the Flat River Saturday morning.
When Belding resident Byron Davey and his wife Debra celebrated their first Belding Labor Day celebration together in 1972, it was just the two of them for the newlywed couple. Forty-one years later, and the Daveys found themselves celebrating yet another Belding Labor Day celebration this holiday weekend, but this time, it was with their three children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren.
Alma resident Howard Larsen could recall several memories of various trips he made in crossing the original Whites Covered Bridge, be it by car or on foot, before the bridge burned and collapsed into the Flat River on July 7. Larsen said he was heartbroken when he first heard of the bridge’s destruction, which was officially declared a crime of arson.
Murl “Red” Sanders wasn’t expecting much for his his birthday this year. The Korean War veteran and Greenville resident has resided at Metron of Greenville in extended care since last October after health complications resulted in the amputation of his left leg from the knee down. But on Friday, on his 84th birthday, Sanders was given a gift he found difficult to express in words.
For one resident, it was the memories she had of her father that brought her to tears when seeing the blackened, charcoaled wood resting in the Flat River. On Monday, Wendy Agostini of Lowell had to see for herself what was left of Whites Bridge after an arson left it collapsed on Sunday. “It hurts my heart,” she said, grabbing her heart while tears came to her eyes. “This hurts so bad.”
Deep in the woods at Lightning Bend Park, there is little to listen to but the quiet whispers of mother nature. Be it the wind whistling through the leaves or birds chirping high above in the trees overhead, it’s easy to be at peace when spending time in the heavily wooded city park. But now, on occasion, a new, unfamiliar, but welcome sound may be heard.
Someone set fire to one of Michigan’s oldest covered wooden bridges early Sunday, completely destroying the span that has stretched across the Flat River south of Belding since the shortly after the end of the Civil War. The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted about 5:10 a.m. to the fire on the Whites Bridge in Keene Township, southwest of Belding. That was about two hours after neighbor Grant Young said he awoke to an explosion and walked outside to find the span engulfed in flames.