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Belding City Council discusses grant to restore parking lot

In its current state, the parking lot adjacent to Central Riverside Park in Belding is in severe disrepair, and has been for some time. The future of that parking lot, used by parents driving children to soccer games, families meeting in the park for reunions and other various activities throughout the park, may very well be determined by a potential grant that was discussed in heavy detail during a work session at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

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New program makes exercise fun for Belding Middle School students

The first 10 minutes of a middle school physical education class, a time set aside for stretching and preparing for activities, are not always the most exciting, but at Belding Middle School students now eagerly wait to see what warm-up routine is coming their way. Consisting of stretching, balancing, running, jumping and other exercises to loosen up one’s muscles, warming up can be considered an annoyance or a chore when a basket of balls is waiting for you on the other side of the gym. But thanks to the Hopsports Mini Training System recently implemented at Belding Middle School, students now start their class by following along with a virtual instructor to as many as 50 different warm-up routines.

From left, Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson, Belding Fire Chief Gregg Moore and Belding Police Officer Marci Cooper, investigate the scene of an accident on M-44 on Thursday afternoon when an SUV struck a teen who was attempting to cross the road. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding cross country runner struck by vehicle, in critical condition

A 16-year-old Belding cross county student was stuck by a SUV on M-44 late Thursday afternoon. According to Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson, the male runner was part of a group of Belding cross country runners practicing around 4:18 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The teen runner was heading west on the south side of M-44 and attempted to cross M-44 at Ionia Street.

From left, Belding City Manager Randy DeBruine, Freedom Wall project organizer Denny Craycraft and Belding Department of Public Works Director Ernie Thomas discuss the layout of the Freedom Wall construction in Belding on Wednesday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Belding building a Freedom Wall

For nearly two and half years, Denny Craycraft and other members of the Belding community have been working to bring back the Freedom Wall that was decommissioned more than 63 years ago in 1948. On Wednesday, the first evidence of several years worth of work and fundraising was on display as trucks brought in sand and a bulldozer leveled that sand to prepare for the foundation of the memorial site that will be directly adjacent to the west of the Pere Marquette Depot in downtown Belding.

Det. Sgt. Trever Slater with the Michigan State Police Fire Investigations Unit takes verbal notes on his voice recorder Thursday afternoon while investigating a pickup truck that was destroyed in a fire Aug. 8 at 1308 Oakwood St. in Belding. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Police investigating possible arson in Belding

After three fires in the span of one week at her residence, Belding resident Deb Souza is now wondering if she can leave her home without having to worry about a fourth fire occurring on her property. At approximately 4 a.m. Aug. 2, firefighters were called to 1308 Oakwood St. in Belding to the scene of a small fire of a mobile car port in Souza’s driveway after a neighbor spotted the fire.

Belding High School Principal Brett Zuver discusses the new iPad program being implemented at Belding Area Schools, which will bring 1,300 iPads to the district for students and faculty. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Schools embracing technologies for students, faculty and parents

For incoming Belding High School freshman Kyle Mansfield, his experience in high school will be like nothing any student before him has had the chance to experience. The 13-year-old, an avid user of technology devices such as iPods, computers and, of course, the Internet, will enter an era of education in Belding geared toward placing the capabilities that technology offers directly into his hands in a classroom setting. Come autumn, Belding Area Schools will provide iPad devices for every student in grades 6-12 for the entirety of the school year to use in the classrooms and at home.

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149 Belding graduates walk and receive diplomas (Photo gallery)

As 149 Belding seniors congregated on Rudness Field as students of Belding High School for one final hour, it was class speaker Bethany Childs who summarized the final transition as students to adults on graduation day.

The east facing of the new gymnasium and indoor track will feature large windows with a view of the woods behind the school.  — Daily News/Cory Smith

GALLERY: Warmer winter helps work crews at Belding High School

A mild winter with little snow has helped workers make up for lost time on construction of the new gymnasium and auditorium at Belding High School. “We’ve had the best possible winter weather you can ask for,” Superintendent Leslie Mount said. “The construction crews have been able to do a lot of work they didn’t anticipate.”

Construction on the new high school auditorium is progressing on schedule.

Belding schools to close Administration Building

More than $1 million that had been slated for upgrades at the Belding Area Schools Administration Building are being redistributed to other buildings. The Administration Building (previously known as Orchard Hills Elementary School) will not see heating and ventilation upgrades that had been planned. The building will close in two years to save construction and operational costs.

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Belding senior recognized as paralympic ‘All-American’

To Belding High School senior Erik Doty, the phrase “blessing in disguise” has a unique meaning. On Oct. 27, 2008, Erik was riding to school in the passenger seat of his brother Kevin’s truck while his cousin, Wade, sat in the back. But the three never made it to school.