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Local News

Update - Hastings Fall Leaf Pickup

The Hastings DPS crews will continue leaf pickup on Monday 11-18-19 starting at S. Broadway and W. South St. heading north.

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Update: Driver in fatal accident in Irving Township identified

The Michigan State Police Wayland Post is investigating a fatal traffic crash that happened Wednesday morning 11/13/19 around 9:15am.  The crash occurred between Middleville and Hastings on West State Road near Grange Road in Irving Township. 

 

Troopers were dispatched to a report of a head on crash involving two vehicles.  One driver, a 20-year-old male, was taken to Metro hospital with serious injuries, and the other driver, a 27-year-old female from Hastings, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

Police have identified the deceased driver as Cassandra Leeann Simmons from Hastings.

 

The initial investigation showed that Simmons' vehicle crossed the centerline and both drivers were not wearing seat belts.  Alcohol or drugs are not believed to have contributed to the crash.

 

State Police Accident Investigators were called to the scene.  The crash remains under investigation.  The Michigan State Police were assisted at by the Barry County Sheriff’s Department, Thornapple Township Emergency Services Fire and Ambulance, and the Barry County Road Commission.

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Barry County CROP Walk

The 2019 Barry County CROP Walk was held Oct 13th at the Middleville United Methodist Church. Walkers from ten different Barry County Churches raised $10,578.32 for Church World Service.. Nolan and Joan Hudson Coordinators of the Barry County CROP Hunger Walk reported that One fourth of the donations raised will go to aid five food programs within Barry County. Church World Service will use the remaining to aid families in need in the United States and around the world.

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Crash near Charlotte kills three

Three people were killed in a two-vehicle crash Monday morning on M-79 west of Charlotte. Deputies from Eaton County indicated that slippery road conditions were a factor in the accident.

 

The crash occurred just before 8am at the intersection of M-79 and Lacey Lake Road in Kalamo Township when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collided.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims, identified as a 57-year old man and two women ages 64 and 81, all from the Charlotte area.

 

The driver of the second vehicle, a 30-year old woman from Vermontville, was hospitalized with non-life

threatening injuries.

 

M-79 was reopened about 2pm. The crash remains under investigation.

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Board of Commissioners

Among consent items at the Barry County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday was approval of a $5,000  contribution to the Barry Career Access Network. The program is part of a statewide initiative to increase post-high school degree or certification readiness and completion rates to 60% of residents by the year 2030.   As of 2017,  35.5% of Barry County residents had post-high school certifications or degrees.

 

On a 5 to 2 vote the Board approved a resolution supporting passage of legislation introduced in the state house and senate that if adopted, would amend state law to enact 4-year terms for County Commissioners instead of the current 2-year terms. All other county and township officials are elected to terms of 4 or more years. The Michigan Association of Counties is also supporting the legislation.

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Ionia County assault

On November 11, 2019 at approximately 10:50 a.m. Ionia County Sheriff’s Office along with Michigan State Police Lakeview Post were dispatched to an address on Stauffer Drive in Orleans Township for an assault complaint. When officer’s arrived on scene it was determined that a resident on Stauffer Drive had threatened to use a shovel to Assault the neighbor.

 

While investigating the assault a separate neighbor threatened to shoot the Deputy and any additional officers if they harmed the suspect. The officers were able to arrest the original suspect in the assault. The Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case and determine if the resident threatening to shoot the deputy will be charged. No one was injured during this incident.                                        

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Extreme caution urged when driving this morning

Because of  the conditions of the roads this morning, the Barry County Sheriff's Office is urging motorists to use extreme caution on the roadways when driving.

Undersheriff Matt Houchlei said the deputies are handling numerous sllde offs and accidents.

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Gun Lake Water Rescue

A father and son set out Thursday morning in separate kayaks to go hunting on Gun Lake.  The son was in front and eventually realized his father was not behind him and noticed a flashing light from a distance. The father’s kayak had capsized. The son called 911 around 6am and advised rescuers that he and his father had made it to an island on Gun Lake. 

 

Deputy Chief Dan Miller told WBCH that Yankee Springs Township/Wayland Firefighters along with the Firefighters from Orangeville Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Rescue Boat from Yankee Springs Twp. were able to locate the victim and his son on the island and transported them to Allegan County Park. The victim was transported by Wayland Area EMS to an area hospital emergency room after the long exposure to the cold water and weather conditions.

 

Firefighters were able to retrieve both kayaks, personal equipment, belongings and get them all to shore.

 

No injuries were sustained by the firefighters.

 

Miller said there was great cooperation between the son, Barry Co. Central Dispatch, Orangeville Twp. Volunteer Fire Dept. and Yankee Springs Twp./Wayland Firefighters.

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Vehicle Shooting Update

 

Two individuals are in the Barry County Jail after going on a shooting spree Tuesday in Hastings and the City of Allegan.

Marc Wiggins of Plainwell and Emil Skokan of Kalamazoo were arraigned Wednesday in Barry County District Court on a number of charges steming from their shooting of some 35 vehicles in Hastings at Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, Hastings Manufacturing and one residence.  24 vehicle  shootings took place in the City of Allegan.

The vehicle used by the pair was stolen out of Kalamazoo Township.

Surveillance cameras recorded the pair doing the shooting as well as the stolen vehicle.

 

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Vehicles Damaged at Hastings Mutual and Hastings Manufacturing Update

The Hastings Police Department continues to investigate a number of vehicle's  damaged on Tuesday November 5th in the Hastings Mutual Insurance Company parking lot. Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt said approximately 20 vehicles were shot with either a pellet gun or larger caliber gun.

 

There were also vehicles in the Hastings Manufacturing Company parking lot and one other location in Hastings  where other vehicles were shot. In all 35 vehicles were damaged in Hastings and 24 vehicles were damaged in the city of Allegan.

WBCH also learned the suspect's vehicle was stolen out of Kalamazoo Township.

 

The two suspect's were captured by  Barry County Sheriff deputies with help from a Conservation Officer.  Marc Wiggins of Plainwell and Emil Skokan of Kalamazoo  were arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Barry County District Court.

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Dead trees removed in Downtown Hastings

City of Hastings Department of Public Service crews are removing the dead trees on the south of State Street in Downtown Hastings. Street Superintendent Jim James says the dead trees are being removed to make way for some new beautiful trees that will be planted next spring.

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Tuesday Election Results

Voters in the Thornapple Kellogg School district  said yes to the $42,840,000 dollar bond proposal for a new learning center, furnishings, equipment, buses, playground and athletic facility improvements.

Yes 1,836   No 853

 

Caledonia voters approved Caledonia Community School Operating Millage request.

Yes 3,256  No 1,661

 

Plainwell voters also said yes to the school request for the $48,655,000 bond proposal.

Yes 1,007   No 809

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Barn Fire

Thornapple Township Emergency Services, along with crews from Yankee Springs, Wayland, Leighton, Orangeville, and Caledonia were called to a barn fire early Tuesday morning on Patterson Road near Bass Road in Thornapple Township.

 

Yankee Springs/Wayland Deputy Chief Dan Miller said there were no injuries, and cause of the fire is still unknown.

 

The large barn, located behind Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center, was used for feed mixing, hay, and equipment storage. Several pieces of farm machinery were lost in the blaze. 

 

It was the second barn fire in two days that some of those departments responded to.  Yankee Springs, Dorr, and Wayland assisted the Leighton Township department at a fire on Monday in Allegan County involving three smaller structures at a farm on 140th Avenue in Leighton Township. 

 

 

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Gun Lake Tribe/Casino to present Allegan Co. police & fire with donations

The Gun Lake Tribe and Gun Lake Casino is supporting the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and Wayland Fire Department to enhance public safety services through a monetary donation to each agency. A check presentation, remarks, and demonstrations will take place Wednesday at the tribe's Luella Collins Community Center at 10am.


A monetary donation to the Allegan County Sheriff's Department will be made to purchase a new K9, named “Thor.” The ACSD’s K9 Unit will demonstrate skills acquired by the K9s in training academy in drills such as search and rescue, locating a lost child and identifying illegal substances.


A monetary donation to the WFD will be made for the purchase of a new LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System. Fire Department personnel will give a demonstration of how helpful this device is to firefighters responding to cardiac emergencies. WFD will become only the second agency in the area to have access to a LUCAS 3.

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Tuesday is Election Day for short list of proposals

There are only a few items for area voters to consider during elections on Tuesday, November 5th:

 

- Thornapple Kellogg Schools is seeking approval of a bonding proposal for $42,840,000 for a new learning center, furnishings, equipment, buses, playgrounds and athletic facilities.

 

- Plainwell Community Schools is asking district voters to approve a bond proposal  for $48,655,000 for various upgrades to facilities and technology.

 

- Voters in the Caledonia Community School district will vote on an Operating Millage proposal.

 

- The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency is seeking bonding approval to collect 1 mill for 20 years for an area career and technical education program that includes a few voter precincts in Prairieville, Barry, and Johnstown Townships of Barry County.

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Public dialogue event regarding COA and Jail set for Monday Night

The Barry County Board of Commissioners is holding a  forum to share information and gather public feedback and input regarding the use and condition of the Commission on Aging facility in Hastings, the Barry County Jail & Sheriff’s Office, and the potential millage election in August 2020 to fund replacement of those facitlities.

 

Tower Pinkster, the firm that helped develop the 2015 Facilities Master Plan, will lead the discussion.  A new Jail and Sheriff’s Office, and a new COA facility were two of the priority initiatives identified in the 2015 Master Plan.

 

The public is invited to participate in the dialogue event on Monday, November 4th at 6:30pm at the Barry Community Enrichment Center Leason Sharpe Hall in Hastings.

 

A quorum of the Board of Commissioners may be present.

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Delton Man killed in single-vehicle crash

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office investigated a single vehicle fatal crash on Keller Road near Otis Lake Road in Hope Township. The accident happened Saturday night around 7:23pm.

 

An SUV was traveling westbound on Keller Road when it ran off the roadway and collided with a tree. The 29-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene, he was the only occupant in the vehicle. He was identified as Benjamin Stenger from Delton. Stenger was transported to WMED in Kalamazoo for an autopsy.

 

The crash is still under investigation. It appears speed was a factor in the crash. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor.

 

 

 

INVESTIGATORS: Deputy Ware, Sergeant Heald, Deputy Brandt

 

ASSISTED BY:  Barry Township Police Department, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement, Michigan State Police, Delton Fire Department, Orangeville Fire Department, Mercy EMS, Barry County Central Dispatch. 

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Fiery fatal crash in Allegan County

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a fatal vehicle crash near the intersection of Blue Star highway and 109th avenue Wednesday in Casco township. Upon arrival at the scene responders found the vehicle, a Dodge Durango possibly silver in color, was fully involved in flames.  Fire personnel from South Haven Area Emergency Services extinguished the fire and determined there was a person inside the vehicle.  The driver was burned beyond recognition. There were no witnesses to the crash.  Authorities are working with a family that contacted them and the medical examiners office to positively identify the deceased driver. The accident remains under investigation.

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Pedestrian Fatal

 

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Post in Wayland investigated a fatal pedestrian vehicle crash that occured in Allegan County's Manlius Township  Thursday afternoon on 56th street.

A 90 year old Fennville resident was struck by a vehicle driven by a 28 year old Fennville area resident.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.

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October Weather

 

 

Another wet month for the Month of October with the Hastings National Weather Service Climatological Station recording 6.14 inches of rain and a half inch of snow. The high temperature was 84 degrees on October 1st.  The lowest temperature was 29 degrees on the 19th and 26th.

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Strong Winds Power Outages

 

Stongs winds slammed into Michigan Thursday and Thursday night knocking out power. in a number of locations.

Oakland County 6,121

Branch County 3,461

Oscoda County 3,027

Roscommon County 1995

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Hastings Fall Leaf Pickup starting soon

The City of Hastings Department of Public Services anticipates beginning fall leaf and yard debris collection on Monday, November 4th.

 

Residents are asked to please place leaves and other compostable yard debris immediately behind the curb (on the curb lawn). Leaves and debris should not be placed in the street, obstruct the sidewalks or be placed near and intersections where they might obstruct the vision of motorist and pedestrians.

 

For more information please call City Hall at (269) 945-2468.

 

WBCH will keep you updated on where crews are working at wbch.com

 

 

 

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Trick or Treat times - Halloween is here!

Here is a list of the "official" trick-or-treat times in several communities Thursday evening:


Allegan: downtown, 3 – 5:30pm other areas 5 – 8:00pm
Battle Creek: no designated time
Caledonia: 6 – 8:00pm
Delton: 5 – 8:00pm
Hastings: 5 - 8:00pm
Ionia: 6 – 8:00pm
Lake Odessa: 6 – 8:00pm
Lowell: 5:30 – 8:00pm
Marshall: 5:30 – 8:30pm
Middleville: 5 – 8:00pm
Plainwell: 6 – 8:00pm
Richland: no designated time
Wayland: 5:30 – 8:00pm

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Winter Parking in Hastings

 

With the first taste of winter this Wednesday morning Hastings Chief of Police Jeff Pratt reminds motorist parking restriction on city streets go into effect at midnight. No parking between  2-am to 6-am

 Warning citations will be issued the first week giving motorist time to get use to the winter night time parking hours.

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Hastings Police Retirements & Promotions

 

After serving the City of Hastings since 1995 Detective Sergeant Eric Ingram will retire January 20, 2020.  Officer  Karen Larson is being promoted to Detective Sergeant to take over for retiring Detective Ingram.

The retirement list included Sergeant Dennis Lajcak who joined the Hastings Police Department in 1998. Taking his place is Officer Nate Pickett promoted to a road Patrol Sergeant.  And

Officer Julissa Kelly was also promoted to a road Patrol Sergeant.

 

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