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Local News

Little's Country Store Robbed

Barry County Sheriff Deputies with a K9 Dog tracked down three robbers in connection to a burglary early Saturday morning at Little's Country Store on Thornapple Lake road east of Hastings.

 

Just after 12:30 am deputies arrived to find the front door of the store open and two suspects wearing masks ran from the store with about $900 dollars in cash. Shortly there after deputies found the three suspects in a nearby home and recovered the money and took the three to jail.

 

A little over a month ago an armed robbery to place at the same store. This incident is not  related to the previous armed robbery in January.

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Register to Vote in the Michigan Presidential Primary

Michigan’s Presidential Primary Election is Tuesday, March 10th,  but the deadline to register online or by mail is this Monday, February 24th.  After that, you can register in person at your county, city, or township clerk's office or any Secretary of State branch office through Monday, March 9th.

 

Recent changes in election law will also permit same-day registration on election day, but make sure you check ahead of time to find out what you will need to bring with you.

 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Presidential Primary is Friday, March 6th.

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Death Investigation, Allegan County

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Wayland Post and the Michigan State Police Grand Rapids Forensic Laboratory responded to the 6000 blk of Forest Beach Drive in Laketown Township in Allegan County, for the report of a death that occurred on Tuesday, February 18th at approximately 10:30pm.

 

Further investigation into the death is currently pending.

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Weight Restrictions on County Roads

Barry, Ionia, Montcalm and Kent Counties road weight restrictions will go into effect Monday, February, 24th, 2020 at 6:00a.m. 

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Barry County Community Dialogue in Middleville Regarding the Jail & Commission On Aging

The Barry County Board Commissioner is holding a Community Dialogue Forum tonight, Tuesday, February 18th, at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School , Green Lake Road, Middleville at 7pm. 

 

The purpose of this event is to provide information and discussion regarding a potential millage election this coming August.  The discussion will be facilitated by Tower Pinkster of Kalamazoo on the topics of the current use and condition of the Barry County Jail and Sheriff's Office and the current use and condition of the Commission on Aging facility in Hastings.

 

Anyone with questions can contact the County Administration at 269-945-1284. A quorum of the Board of Commissioners may be present..

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Felon with Gun

Hasting Police Officers arrested a Hastings individual for pointing a gun at a vehicle that entered his driveway claiming the driver was not permitted to park there.  A child was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

 

The individual with the gun, who is now in the Barry County Jail, was arrested for felonious assault and  being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has two prior felony convictions for home invasion and a felony assault.

 

Hastings Police also investigated the theft of cash from a locked box at St.Rose Church in Hastings.

Church officials said the individual drilled a large hole in the box and took out the money.

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Animal abuse case

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office responded to an animal abuse complaint that occurred on February 6, near the 400 block of 124th Avenue in Wayland Township.  Witnesses described a Silver Honda Odyssey van throwing six Chihuahua dogs out the passenger window.  The witness stated five of the six Chihuahuas died at the scene while one survived. 

 

The surviving Chihuahua, pictured here, has been named Lucky Lu Lu.

 

Undersheriff Mike Larsen said the suspects are described as a white female passenger in her 20’s-30’s, very skinny, missing teeth, with blonde hair; and, second suspect is a white male driver in his 20-30’s, very skinny, missing teeth, with dark longer hair that was described as “big curly hair”.

 

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office at 269-673-3899 or Allegan County Silent Observer at 1-800-554-3633.

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Fire

Three fire departments: Orangeville, Prairieville and Delton, were called to a house fire shortly before 5:00 o'clock this Wednesday morning. The house fire was on McKibben road in Orangeville Township.

No other information available at this time. 

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February 12th is Student Count Day

Schools throughout the area have been reminding parents to make sure their students arrive on time and are in school for the entire day, especially this Wednesday, February 12th for winter Count Day.

 

All public schools in Michigan count the number of students attending their schools twice a year, in October and February.  Count information is critical to school districts, because each student translates into state funding.  The calculation of funds that schools receive is based on a blend of both winter and fall student count data during the same calendar year.

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Barry County Community Dialogue events regarding Jail & Commission on Aging

The Barry County Board Commissioner is holding two more Community Dialogue Events in February.  This Thursday, February 13th a forum will be held at 7:00-pm  at Johnstown Township Hall,  13641 South M-37 Highway. There will also be a forum at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School pm Green Lake Road, Middleville at 7pm on Tuesday, February 18th.

 

The purpose of the events is to provide information and discussion regarding a potential millage election this coming August.  The discussion will be facilitated by Tower Pinkster of Kalamazoo on the topics of the current use and condition of the Barry County Jail and Sheriff's Office and the current use and condition of the Commission on Aging facility in Hastings.

 

Anyone with questions can contact the County Administration at 269-945-1284. A quorum of the Board of Commissioners may be present..

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U.S. 131 M-179 Interchange to be Rebuilt

 

The U.S. 131 interchange to the Gun Lake Casino will be rebuilt according to MDOT and Gun Lake Tribe Officials. Preliminary work at the interchange of U.S. 131 and M-179  will begin this fall with the majority of the work to take place in 2021.

 

About 95 percent of the project cost, which is estimated at between 20 to 25-million dollars, is being paid for by the Tribe.

 

MDOT officials as well as Gun Lake Tribal Leaders are hosting a public meeting on the construction Thursday February 13th at the Gun Lake Tribal Administration Building, 2872 Mission Drive in Shelbyville.

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Spectrum Health Pennock Family Medicine welcomes new provider

Spectrum Health Pennock is pleased to announce the addition of Patrick Hite, PA-C to Spectrum Health Pennock Family Medicine – Lake Odessa, located on M-50 near downtown Lake Odessa.

 

This addition allows for greater access to care for area residents. Hite, a board-certified physician assistant, earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Northwestern Michigan University and his master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Western Michigan University.

 

“Working in a smaller community allows providers to better connect with the patients and the families we serve. The nice thing about being in a smaller town is that you get to know your neighbors and residents of the community. Interactions become personal allowing us to provide care on a more meaningful level for the patient and the provider,” stated Angela Ditmar, president and regional leader, Spectrum Health Pennock.

 

Hite, a provider for over ten years, grew up in a small town in the upper peninsula, much like Lake Odessa. Growing up in an Air Force family, Hite took pride in serving our country as a Captain in the U.S. Force Civil Air Patrol, helping cadets achieve their educational and career goals by giving them military-style educational and leadership opportunities. Hite has three children, “two are in aircraft mechanic school now and one is working his way up the food chain to become a chef,” Hite proudly stated. In his free time, he enjoys anything outdoors and traveling in northern Michigan.  

 

Five providers make up the robust team at Spectrum Health Pennock Family Medicine – Lake Odessa; including Laurie Braker, MD, Lee Stuart, MD, Patrick Hite, PA-C, Zachary Jones, PA-C and Erica Nyman, PA-C. The Lake Odessa facility also providers laboratory and radiology services

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Barry County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Alliance selects new president

Jennifer Heinzman has been named as the new president of Barry County’s Economic Development Alliance and Chamber of Commerce. 

 

Heinzman, 46, was selected by the chamber board from more than 70 candidates. She brings several years of experience with her, having served as executive director of the Clare area Chamber of Commerce from 2006 to 2011,  and as executive director of the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce based in Big Rapids from 2011 to 2019. She replaces Travis Alden, who left the post last November for an opportunity with The Right Place in Grand Rapids.

 

Heinzman holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in psychology and sociology, and a master’s degree in administration from CMU.

 

She recently re-located to the Caledonia area with her family, and will begin her new duties on Monday, February 10.

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Hickory Corners home invasion, arrest made, items recovered

A trooper from the Michigan State Police Hastings Detachment investigated a home invasion that occurred in the 12000 block of South M-43 Hwy near Hickory Corners on Monday, February 2. Several items, including a number of firearms, were stolen from the residence earlier that day.

 

Later on Monday, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) Officers responded to
Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo to investigate a male who stated he was assaulted with a firearm.
During KDPS’s investigation, a vehicle associated with the male was located. During the
impound procedures, officers located a firearm inside the vehicle that had been stolen from the
residence in Barry County earlier that day. It was then discovered that the male went to Bronson
Hospital because he was assaulted while attempting to sell items he had stolen from that
residence.


Further investigation led detectives from KDPS and the Michigan State Police to the 1900 Block of Bryant St. in Kalamazoo where they located several items from the Barry County home invasion. The male suspect, a 24-year-old from Kalamazoo, was arrested and lodged at the Barry County Jail on charges related to the home invasion in Barry County.


Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Michigan State Police
Wayland Post at 269-792-2213.
 

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Ionia Co. Hunting Accident

On Saturday, February 01, 2020 at approximately 11:30 p.m., Deputies from the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 4000 block of W Lincoln Ave in Easton Township for a victim that sustained a single gunshot wound to the hand.

 

From preliminary investigation it appears that the male was coyote hunting with a couple of his friends. As they were walking back to their vehicle, the suspect’s rifle that was mounted to a tripod, came apart and fell to the ground. The suspect went to grab the gun while it was falling and it discharged.  The victim sustained a single gunshot wound to his left hand. The victim was transported to Butterworth Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Assisting the Ionia Sheriff’s Office on scene was Life EMS and Ionia Public Safety.

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Ionia County home invasion/stabbing

Sunday morning at approximately 3:40am, Ionia County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of Pearl Street in the Village of Hubbardston on the report of a Home Invasion resulting in the stabbing of two persons in the home. 

 

Investigation at the scene determined that a male intruder had entered into the home and was caught and confronted by two persons staying at the home.  The intruder attacked these two people and used a knife to stab and slash causing serious injuries to one victim, and minor injuries to another.  The suspect intruder then fled the residence in an unknown direction.

 

The description of the suspect is that of a white male, possibly with facial hair and being about 25 to 30 years old with a smaller physical build wearing a brown coat with a hood and baggy jeans.  It is unknown at this time what the motivation for the home invasion was, and also unknown if the suspect used a vehicle. 

 

The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the anyone with information about a possible suspect or anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in Hubbardston to contact the IOSH via Ionia County Central Dispatch at 616-527-0400. 

 

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New Barry County Judge

 Vicky Alspaugh will be installed  as the new Barry County Circuit Judge today Friday in a special ceremony at 4:00-pm in  Barry County Circuit Court.

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Alspaugh as the New Barry County Circuit Judge replacing Judge Amy McDowell who resigned in October 2019.

Her term runs from January 2020 to January 1, 2021.

To run for a full six year term she will be required to run for re-election in November of this year.

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Rep. Calley welcomes mayor of Hastings to State of the State address

87th District State Representative Julie Calley invited Hastings Mayor David Tossava to attend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address on Wednesday evening.

 

 

The following eight government expansions were proposed in Governor Gretchen Whitmer's 'State of the State' address:

  • Issuing state road bonds
  • Expanding overtime pay to tens of thousands of Michigan workers
  • Making pre-k universal for kids living in districts where test scores are low or poverty is high
  • Having literacy coaches train educators to assist struggling readers
  • Launching the “Governor’s FAFSA Challenge” to encourage high schoolers to fill out the financial aid form
  • Enshrining Obamacare rules into Michigan law
  • Creating a task force to focus on prescription drug transparency and lowering costs
  • Extending health coverage for low-income women with babies

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Lydia Cole

It is with a great deal of sadness we report this Thursday the death of Lydia Cole of Wayland after a long and courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.

Even after learning from the doctors she had pancreatic cancer she continued to attend Thornapple Kellogg School and continued to participate in the Delton Kellogg Thornapple Kellogg Hastings  Girls Swimming and Diving Team. 

 

 

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Name of fatal crash victim released

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-car fatal crash on M-37 Hwy, at Whiskey Run Drive between Lawrence and Cloverdale roads just after 3pm Tuesday.

 

Sgt. Steve Lehman said the initial investigation showed a Chevrolet Silverado was traveling northbound on M-37 Hwy, crossed the centerline, and struck a southbound Chevrolet Silverado pickup head on.

 

The northbound vehicle was driven by a 49 year old Keith Stearns of Hastings. Officers say Stearns was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The southbound vehicle was occupied by a 20 year old female and a 4 year old child from Dowling. The female and child were transported by ambulance to an area hospital. Their names have not been released.

 

The Barry County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by the Hastings Fire Department, Mercy Ambulance, Barry County Central Dispatch, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

The accident remains under investigation.

 

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Spectrum Health Pennock Expands Surgical Team

Spectrum Health Pennock is pleased to announce the addition of David Dargis, DO to the General Surgeons team in Hastings.

 

Dr. Dargis is a board-certified physician specializing in general surgery. He earned his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania and completed his general surgery residency at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  

 

“The addition of Dr. Dargis to our diverse team of providers will allow Spectrum Health Pennock to increase access to high quality surgical care in our community. His background and experience are a welcomed attribute to the team,” stated Andrew Parsons, MD, chief of staff. 

 

Dargis is a Fellow in the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (FACOS). His clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery, endoscopy, foregut (esophageal and gastric disease related surgery), anti-reflux surgery and gastrointestinal surgery. 

 

“I’m thrilled to be at Spectrum Health Pennock, not only for the advanced technology, collaborative spirit and progressive thinking of the medical community, but also for the addition of the new surgical center,” explained Dargis. “The advanced technology is already in place, it will be wonderful to have a surgery center to match,” he stated when referencing the new Baum Family Surgical Center, siting the center ­­­­­­­­as one of the significant reasons he chose to join the Pennock team. 

 

Recently, Sarah Roy, A-GNP, under Spectrum Health Medical Group (SHMG) Gastroenterology, began providing additional services to patients at the General Surgeons office. Roy provides treatment for diseases such as Chron’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis and more.  Providers Thomas Rupp, MD and Matthew Nelson, MD also visit Pennock weekly. This partnership with SHMG Gastroenterology ensures patients can receive care they need close to home. 

 

The Spectrum Health Pennock General Surgeons team consists of Brigit Brennan, MD, David Dargis, DO, Andrew Parsons, MD, Max Rappaport, MD and Tami Pettenger, A-GNP.

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Hastings City Council

Prior to the regular meeting Monday night, the Hastings City Council held a budget workshop to discuss priorities and goals to be considered in preparing the 2020/2021 city budget and to review Standard Operating Procedures of the Hastings City Council.

 

Major goals in the budgeting process include emphasis on infrastructure improvements and maintenance,  utilizing the city’s Parks & Recreation plan to address improvements in city parks, seeking of funds to pay for improvements to the streets, addressing pension and other post-employment benefits liabilities to remain fiscally responsible to the citizens,  and developing a plan to replace aging equipment in the Fire Department.

 

During the regular meeting the Council approved the use of Tyden Park on June 6 for the annual Very Barry event and use of Bob King and Fish Hatchery Park ballfields and soccer fields for YMCA spring and summer league use.

 

They heard a presentation by Allison Troyer Wiswell on the Blue Zones project. 

 

Council approved the agreements with the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs for operation of the concessions and to sell beer and wine during several entertainment events during the 2020 season at Thornapple Plaza.

 

The low bid of $8,187,800.00 was accepted from Grand River Construction for planned major improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

 

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House Fire

Monday evening around 7:20pm firefighters from Orangeville Township and several surrounding Departments were called to a home on LaFountaine Drive, south of Gun Lake in Orangeville Township.

 

The home is believed to have caught fire when an appliance exploded, according to the Barry County Sheriffs Office.

 

There were no injuries.

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Board of Commissioners 1.28.2020

During a short meeting Tuesday, the Barry County Board of Commissioners approved a number of appointments to various boards:

 

Joe Sancimino was re-appointed to a 2-year term on the Conservation Easement Board. 

 

Dan King and Brian Urquhart were re-appointed to 3-year terms on the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

 

Mike Snyder, Terry Denison, Sharon Zebrowski, and Sandy Kozan were appointed to 3-year terms on the Commission on Aging.

 

Commissioners approved a Reimbursement Grant Agreement in the amount of $5,000 with Two-Seven-Oh-Inc to pay for spay or neutering of feral and barn cats in Barry County.

 

The 2020 budget for Indigent Defense Services was also approved.

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Structure Fire

The Hastings Fire Department was called to a structure fire around 5:00 o'clock Saturday morning on east state road.

Inside the buidling were cars, car parts and tires.

 

The fire department has not said what started the fire as they continue to investigate the cause.

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