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Belding Labor Day festival brings summer to a close

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.

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Volunteers remove remains of Whites Covered Bridge from the Flat River

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.

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Korean War veteran enjoys special visit to Belding Veterans Park

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.

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‘Who would do such a thing?’ Community mourns loss of bridge

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.”

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SMASHING START: Disc golf park opens in Belding

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.

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Whites Bridge destroyed by act of arson

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.

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Mobster massacre brought to life at Ionia Rotary Club presentation

One of the greatest unsolved murder mysteries of all time shares its roots with the southwest corner of Michigan. On Wednesday, remnants of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre were on hand in the form of the very guns that were used. Lt. Michael Kline of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office was the guest speaker at the Ionia Rotary Club meeting at Renucci’s Tavern in Ionia.

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Belding ‘Music in the Park’ summer concert series now underway

The Belding High School Pops Ensemble and Jazz Band kicked off the first “Music in the Park” event Thursday evening at East Riverside Park in Belding. Concerts will continue every thursday evening at 7 p.m. at the park throughout the summer, with the exception of July 4

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Belding High School graduates 140 seniors

This was a year of many firsts for graduating seniors at Belding High School. A new arena with an indoor track, auditorium, cafeteria and commons area, sports facilities — the list goes on and on. Through a year of constant transformation, where the very school they attended changed dramatically before their eyes, the 140 graduates experienced their final moment as members of the student body Thursday evening before walking out of the school one last time as official alumni.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Demolition of Belding Bros. Clock Tower begins

The demolition of the Belding Bros. Clock Tower, constructed in 1903 and located on the property owned by Electrolux on the corner of Bridge and Main streets in Belding, began Monday with the successful removal of the steeple. Construction workers described the process as “like clockwork” with no major complications.