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Local News

Maple Valley Schools release students due to Threat

Maple Valley Schools were alerted Monday morning to a rumor of violence in their district. Actions were taken in an abundance of caution and parents were alerted. Students and staff sheltered in place while law enforcement was summoned.

 

A short time later Junior & High School  students were released at 9:15am without back packs or coats.  The Elementary schools released at 9:30am.

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Local Business Owner Spreading Misinformation About Covid 19

Barry County Health Officials are saying a local Barry County business owner is spreading Covid 19 misinformation by posting a large sign criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Doctor Fauchi. The sign is in front of his business at Main street and South Grove street in Delton.

 

Rodney Dye, owner of Amercian Precision 3D in Barry Township, said he installed a sign that depicts a snake from the Garden of Eden giving the forbidden apple to Eve, with lettering referring to Fauchi and the CDC as, "Serpents..That are not to be trusted."

Dye said, "it's free speech. A lot of the community doesn't have a voice."

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Michigan's Minimum Wage Set to Increase on January 1

Michigan’s minimum wage rate will increase to $9.87 on January 1, 2022, an increase from the current $9.65. Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018 establishes the annual schedule and increases.

 

The Michigan Wage & Hour Division announced that while the law does prohibit scheduled increases when the state’s annual average unemployment rate for the preceding calendar year is above 8.5%, it is highly unlikely Michigan will exceed this threshold causing another delay as occurred in 2021.

 

The annual average unemployment rate for 2021 is expected to remain well below 8.5%.

 

Effective January 1, 2022:

- Michigan’s minimum wage will increase to  $9.87 an hour.

- The 85% rate for minors aged 16 and 17 increases to $8.39 an hour.

- Tipped employees rates of pay increases to $3.75 an hour.

- The training wage of $4.25 an hour for newly hired employees ages 16 to 19 for their first 90 days of employment remains unchanged. 

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Hastings Leaf Pickup Update

The Hastings Dps crew will continue leaf pickup on 12-3-21 beginning at N. Wilson and E Grant St. heading south and west.

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Health News: Spectrum Health Pennock offers acid reflux relief procedures

Those suffering from chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may find relief with an advanced endoscopy surgery now offered at Spectrum Health Pennock General Surgery – Hastings.

 

An estimated one in every five American adults suffer from GERD. It is a chronic condition where the individual may experience heartburn frequently with a possibility of additional symptoms. Left untreated, GERD can be a lifelong disease. It can lead to bothersome symptoms, which can vary from mild or moderate to severe depending on the individual.  Our skilled surgeons offer the transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) to treat GERD without surgery. 

 

“TIF is a safe, effective and lasting solution for those suffering from GERD. The procedure offers a quick recovery time and fewer side effects than traditional anti-reflux surgery,” explained David Dargis, DO, Spectrum Health Pennock General Surgery – Hastings. “GERD occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus is not working properly and fails to keep contents in the stomach from washing back up into the esophagus. Medications may offer mild to intermittent symptom control, but they do not stop or prevent reflux. If current medications are not working well, an alternative endoscopic therapy like the TIF procedure for reflux could be right for you.”  

 

This minimally-invasive surgery is offered by David Dargis, DO, Max Rappaport, MD and Andrew Parsons, MD. If you’re interested in learning more about TIF, contact your primary care provider or call Spectrum Health Pennock General Surgery – Hastings.

 

 

 

left: Dr. David Dargis, DO

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Union Block Street Party

The Union Block mural located on the side of the former Secondhand Corners building at the corner of Jefferson and State streets in Hastings is finished and a street party to mark the completion is set for Thursday, December 2nd .

 

The mural project was commissioned by the Thornapple Arts Council and created on wall space generously donated by building owner Tom Kramer.

 

Hastings artist J. Maizlish Mole designed and painted the Union Block, a dramatic all white-filled outline of the United States on a black background, with a large red asterisk highlighting Hastings.

 

The Project was  funded by Tom Kramer; the Barry Community Foundation; local philanthropy group Guys Who Give; Wightman Inc.; and three anonymous donors.

 

The public is invited to attend the Street Party December 2nd for food, drinks, fire, and a celebration of the finished mural from 4:00 to 7:30pm!  The celebration is presented by the Thornapple Arts Council, Jaqua Realtors, and mural artist J Maizlish Mole.


 

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Ground Breaking held Monday for the Lofts @ 128 in Hastings

Monday afternoon, A.J. Veneklasen, Inc. along with Hastings Mayor David Tossava and other local and state representatives, broke ground on ‘Lofts @ 128’, a mixed-use development in the heart of historic downtown Hastings. The four-story, 24,000 sq. ft. building at 128 N Michigan Ave. aims to address the growing housing needs of an underserved part of the community.

 

‘Lofts @ 128’ will feature 21, one and two-bedroom market rate apartments, including many that are ADA compliant, as well as retail and office space on the first floor. The project provides great walkability to all the City of Hastings has to offer – shopping, dining, coffee, and great community events.  

 

Site work on the $4.9 million project officially began earlier this month. It’s expected to be completed by late Spring of 2022.

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Break-in at Al & Pete's Sports in Hastings

The Hastings Police Department is investigating a breaking and entering of Al & Pete's Sports Shop on South Jefferson Street in downtown Hastings early Friday morning.

Police Chief Dale Boulter told WBCH that officers arrived around 6am to find the front door of the business broken into. Police are continuing to gather evidence with preliminary information showing at least two or three vehicles in the area during the breaking and entering. The window on the front door was smashed out with a rock with two suspects entering the business and leaving approximately thirty seconds after making entry. Officers are working with the business owner to determine if guns or other items were taken. No further information at this time will be released.

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School Closings

 

A number of schools will be closed this week due to an increase of the virus and the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thornapple Kellogg Middleville will be closed today November 22nd and Tuesday november 23rd. also Wednesday November 24 and Friday November 26th, As well as Thanksgiving Day.

 

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Hastings Teen Killed with Crossbow

17 year old Lane Rosland was shot and killed by a crossbow before he was buried in a grave behind a home where Patrick Gilmore the accused killer lived.

Michigan State Police Detectives discovered Rosland's body on October 14th near Hastings. Gilmore lived at his grandfather's home off North Broadway.

Rosland was last seen alive at Tyden Park in Hastings on September 11th two miles from where his body was found.

Gilmore is in the Barry County Jail and is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in  Barry County District Court on Wednesday November 24th.

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Rep. Calley to host local office hours Nov. 17

State Rep. Julie Calley will hold her November office hours in Middleville and Hastings this week. The informal meetings will take place Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the following times and locations:

 

-From 10 to 11 a.m. at the Middleville Village Hall, 100 E. Main St. in Middleville

 

-From 1 to 2 p.m. in the commissioners chambers at the Barry Country Courthouse, 220 W. State St. in Hastings.  

 

No appointment is necessary to attend.

 

Calley is also planning a virtual option for community members who are unable to attend in person. Please email JulieCalley@house.mi.gov or call (517) 373-0842 to schedule a Zoom meeting.

 

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Lakewood Schools Sexual Misconduct

Lakewood Public Schools is reporting that a female staff member allegedly engaged in innappropriate sexual conduct with a 16 year old boy at Lakewood High School.

Superintendent Steven Skalka says the incident took place during school away from the school property. The Michigan State Police have been working with district officials and the staff member in question is currently on paid administrative leave.

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Barry County Cares 'Help for the Holidays' Sign Up for Barry County Residents

"Help for the Holidays", a program coordinated by Barry County Cares helps Barry County Residents in need at Christmas time. Sign-up for HELP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, is now through Nov. 24th. Barry County Cares connects individuals and families with churches, organizations, businesses and others who provide help such as food for a family, or toys for children.  Call Barry County Cares, 269-948-9555, Monday - Friday 9am to 1pm.  .

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Human remains found near Orangville identified

Michigan State Police have identified the human remains discovered in a deeply wooded area in Barry County's Orangeville Township on October 28th as 69 year old Bruce Newton. 

 

Newton was reported missing September 4th, about 11 days after he last seen alive. An investigation into the cause of death is continuing but police indicated there was no evidence of foul play.

 

The Barry County man's body was found by a resident while walking on his property off South Enzian Road, south of West Guernsey Lake Road.

 

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Appointments Now Requested for Free Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Hastings

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) in partnership with the Michigan National Guard is offering Free Drive-Up Rapid COVID-19 antigen testing at the Hastings Office Location 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. There will be no testing on 11/11 (office closed for Veteran's Day) or 11/25 (office closed for Thanksgiving).
 

Due to significant demand, appointments are now STRONGLY encouraged and can be scheduled at www.barryeatonhealth.org/test. This will help to spread testing out throughout the day and limit wait times.

 

No insurance is necessary to be tested, all ages are able to be tested (minors under 18 years old should be accompanied by a parent/guardian), and there is no residency requirement. Results are provided in 15-30 minutes. Upon arrival, stay in the vehicle and a staff member will come to the vehicle.

 

BEDHD extends its gratitude to the Michigan National Guard who have helped administer 1,395 tests since testing events began at BEDHD on October 18, 2021.  Due increasing demand for testing in Barry County, BEDHD will be taking steps to spread out the patients seeking tests throughout the day.  While BEDHD is committed to keeping barriers to testing low, we will begin offering appointments as of WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10th.  We strongly urge people to make an appointment for their next test at www.barryeatonhealth.org/test.

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Update - Fatal hit and run crash

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a hit and run driver who struck and killed a bicyclist Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies determined that the suspect vehicle fled the scene of the crash and was last seen Eastbound on Gull Rd.  The suspect vehicle is described as a Yellow Dodge Charger with a black racing stripe.  The vehicle should have front end damage. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

UPDATE:  CHARLES LYNN MARKWELL age 73 was struck and killed by a motor vehicle which fled the scene after hitting him.  The vehicle has been recovered and this crash remains under investigation. 

 

Anyone with information, or or who may have witnessed this incident is asked to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office or Silent Observer. 

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Lake Odessa woman killed in crash

Ionia County sheriff’s deputies and medical first responders were dispatched to a single car fatal accident on Jordan Lake Rd near Henderson Thursday morning.

 

A 22-year-old woman from the Lake Odessa area was traveling south bound on Jordan Lake Road when her vehicle veered off the roadway, struck a ditch at a field entrance and began to roll multiple times. The female driver was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was alone and the  cause of her vehicle leaving the roadway is still under investigation. Her name has not yet been released pending notification of relatives.

 

Alcohol and speed were not believed to be a factor in the crash.

 

 

Assisting on scene was the Lake Odessa Fire Department, Reed and Hoppes Towing, Medical Examiner, Life Ambulance, Ionia County Victim's Advocates, and Ionia County Central Dispatch

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Long time Hastings School District Coach Dies

William "Bill" Karpinski a long time Hastings Area School district teacher, football coach and Athletic Director has died.

Funeral arraignments are by the Adam's funeral home in Paw Paw.

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Delton Kellogg School District is closed Friday Nov. 5th

Delton Kellogg School District will be closed Friday, Nov. 5th to allow staff and students to attend the funeral of Jenny Wandell, who taught Kindergarten for 35 years at DKS.  Panther Clubhouse will also be closed.

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Armed Robbery and Assault with Sword

On Sunday, October 31st 2021 at 11:41am, Deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Ionia Department and Public Safety and Michigan State Police Lakeview Post were dispatched to an armed robbery and felonious assault that occurred at a convenience store in the 700 block of W. Lincoln Avenue in Easton Township.


Investigation at the scene and review of surveillance footage from the store showed that at approximately 11:39am, a man dressed in all black and carrying a katana sword walked to the store and attempted to use a rope to tie the door shut from the outside. The suspect was confronted by a clerk from within the store- a 56 year old man from Lyons, who opened the door to ask what was going on.


The suspect pulled his katana sword from a sheath and stabbed the clerk through the doorway. The clerk tried to flee back into the store and the suspect followed him and continued slashing and hacking at the clerk’s head and neck causing severe injuries to the clerk. The suspect further pushed the clerk behind the counter where he robbed the store of cigarettes and money from the cash register, before fleeing out the door on foot.
Sheriff’s Deputies and police officers located the suspect north of the store in a farm field off Haynor Rd. After a confrontation with police officers, the suspect surrendered after a short standoff and was taken into custody by officers on the scene.


The victim was transported by LIFE EMS with critical injuries to his face and head to Spectrum Health Butterworth where he is in serious but stable condition at this time.
The suspect, who was injured during incident, was treated at Sparrow Hospital Ionia and subsequently lodged at the Ionia County Jail on charges of Armed Robbery and Felonious Assault, with additional charge requests to be reviewed by the Ionia County Prosecutor. The suspect is a 36 year old Ionia man who will not be identified until his arraignment.


The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on this scene by the Ionia Department of Public Safety, Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, Ionia Central Dispatch, and LIFE EMS. Further information will be released after the suspect’s arraignment on Monday.

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Car -vs- School

At approximately 02:09 am Friday morning, Deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to R.B Boyce Elementary School near Ionia for a single vehicle crash.  Upon investigating it was discovered that a 27-year-old Ionia resident, had fallen asleep behind the wheel while driving, left the roadway and collided with the school building.

 

There were no injuries reported.

 

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Lakewood Schools closed Friday due to Threat

Lakewood Public Schools will be closed on Friday, Oct. 29, reportedly after a threat targeting Lakewood High School was received.

 

Lakewood administration and law enforcement are working to determine whether or not the threat is real, but announced the decision to close the schools on Friday as a safety precaution. No other information was available.

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Human Remains discovered near Orangeville

Michigan State Police from the Wayland Post said human remains were discovered in a deeply wooded area in Barry County's Orangeville Township. The discovery was reported early Thursday afternoon by a resident who was walking on his property off South Enzian Road, south of West Guernsey Lake Road.

 

People are being asked to avoid the area while investigators work to learn the identity of the person and the cause of their death.

 

MSP said an unnamed person was reported missing in that area on September 4th but cannot confirm whether or not the remains are that of the missing person until completion of an autopsy.

 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Michigan State Police Wayland Post at 269-792-2213. 

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TJ Maxx coming to Hastings

Hastings will have a new department store soon.  TJ Maxx, a national retail chain which sells men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing as well as home fashions and décor, is coming to the former K-Mart building. 

 

Community Development Director Dan King reported to the Hastings City Council this week that the Downtown Development Authority has approved the project. Interior and exterior remodeling plans were submitted to Professional Code Inspections so that building permits could be issued. 

 

The store will use a section of the building, between Family Farm & Home and Snap Fitness, that has been vacant since the K-Mart store closed.  No timetable has been announced yet for the opening of the TJ Maxx store.

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Have fun Trick-or-Treating, be Safe!

Barry County residents can trick-or-treat and enjoy lots of family friendly activities this Saturday, October 30th at Historic Charlton Park Village and Museum from 3 to 6pm during the park's annual “All Hallows Eve” event.

 

This Sunday, hours for Halloween trick-or-treating in and around Barry County are generally considered to be 5 to 8pm.

 

In Hastings, traffic on Green Street will be shut down from 4:30 to 8pm as the City Police Department offers youth the opportunity to roam safely on Green Street in their costumes for trick-or-treating and holiday fun. Officers will available for candy checks and to pass out goodies.

 

Wherever you go, whether trick-or-treating or driving,  you are asked to be especially cautious and look out for children who may be crossing the streets.

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