Local News

Hastings Gas Leak


Things are back to normal here in Hastings after a gas leak was reparired during the night.

The leak occured in the South Hanover area  around 10:30 Sunday night.  Residents were advised at the time to stay away from Center  street and Boltwood streets.

Consumers Energy has not said what caused to leak as things are back to normal..

Lake Odessa Man Charged in Shooting


A 74 year old Lake Odessa Man has been charged for shooting a volunteer for an anti-abortion group on September 20 according to the Michigan State Police.

Richard Alan Harvey shot the 83 year old woman as she was going door to door canvassing about the November ballot to enshrine abortion rights in Michigan.

She was shot in the back and shoulder while  handing out pamplets. 

She then drove herself to the lake Odessa Police Station. She was taken to a nearby hospital  where she was treated.

















Barry Co. Board of Commissioners 9-27-22

After failing to meet a quorum at the September 20th Committee of the Whole meeting,  the Barry County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday with a light agenda.


Commissioners accepted the letter of resignation from Susanne Huebner as Remonumentation Program Grant Administrator, and appointed County Administrator Michael Brown as Grant Administrator.


The Board gave approval to apply for a US EPA Community-Wide Assessment Grant to fund environmental assessment projects for potential Brownfield redevelopment sites in Barry County.


Commissioners also approved a Master Engagement Agreement with MGT of America Consulting to prepare a central services cost allocation plan for fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Hastings City Council 9-26-22

The Hastings City Council met Monday night and heard a presentation from Friends of Barry County Parks and Trails in support of a millage request for Historic Charlton Park that will be on the ballot in November.  County voters will of be asked to approve a renewal of .2191 mills, plus an increase of 3-cents per mill to offset the Headlee rollback.  If approved, the owner of a $100,000 property would pay $3 more per year than the current amount. 

The Council approved the Dog Park Ordinance that establishes the rules and regulations for the park,  and also approved purchasing dog agility equipment, benches, a water station and waste station for the dog park.

Green Street will be closed from Broadway to Cass Street on Monday, October 31st from 5 to 8pm for Halloween trick-or-treating as in prior years.

The Council approved a Purchase and Development agreement with General Capital to build a housing development on West State Street on the city-owned property between Broadway and Park Streets. General Capital originally had planned to build on the former Royal Coach site. The development on West State Street will include 45 or more low and medium income housing units.

In other action, Council approved a contract for fencing and gates for Water Tower security in the amount of $42,872.  Also approved was $14,652 for planting trees along city streets.

Ionia Woman Shot


State Police Troopers said an 83 year old woman was shot Friday evening while passing out pamphlets in Ionia County. The Shooting happened at home.

The woman was shot in the shoulder after a verbal altercation transpired. She then drove herself to the Lake Odessa Police Station.

HS Football Scores



Hastings  52  Harper Creek  6

Lakewood  47  Harbor Springs  0

Lawton  53  Delton 0

Northpoint Christian  53  Maple Valley  6

South Christian 43  Tk Middleville   2

Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital Recognized With 2022 Maternity Care Excellence Award

For the fifth consecutive year, Spectrum Health Pennock has been recognized with a Maternity Care Excellence Award from the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM).


EAM, a nonprofit group comprised of Michigan’s largest employers and unions, announced the annual awards September 15, recognizing hospitals throughout Michigan that have demonstrated excellence and improvement in maternity care and delivery outcomes.


“We’re very excited to again earn this award and proud of our birthing center nurses, providers and quality team in keeping the safety of our mothers the absolute highest priority,” said Steve Marzolf, chief nursing officer of Spectrum Health Pennock.


Only thirteen hospitals in Michigan earned an excellence award for 2022. This marks the fifth year for the awards. Pennock Hospital in Hastings has earned the distinction each year.


Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont and Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital in Zeeland were also recognized with an excellence award.


The awards are part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to decrease the state’s infant mortality rate, reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections, and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents residing in Michigan.


For the award, hospitals were evaluated in four areas: cesarean rates (less than 23.6% of low-risk deliveries), episiotomy rates (less than 5% of deliveries), elective early delivery rates (less than 5% of deliveries), and maternity care processes (90% or greater). The data is from the 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Survey performed by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.


below:  Pennock Family Birthing Center nurses

HASS September Board of Education Summary

Monday night, the Hastings Area School System Board of Education held its September Board meeting at Central Elementary School. The meeting began with an introduction of new staff members hired for the 2022-2023 school year. Hastings Area School System has hired more than 65 new staff members over the past two years.

Amber Mitchell, principal of Central Elementary – along with teacher leaders Jill Smith, Stephanie Wenger and Matt Flessner – presented on the increased technology use within the school for reading success. Central Elementary set a goal of 60% proficiency in reading in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade and exceeded that goal with 63% proficiency.

The Board took action on two travel study requests for the Hastings High School Choir trip to Chicago and the Hastings Middle School Youth in Government trip to Lansing.

The Board approved the District’s Professional Development Plan and a resolution for the financing of four new buses which will be arriving in November.


Lastly, the Board approved the purchase of a used work van for the maintenance department, and received a donation from DB Design in the amount of $1,550 for Pick-Up Lane signs at Southeastern Elementary School.

The next Hastings Board of Education meeting will be held at Hastings Middle School on October 17, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Friday Night High School Football Scores



Hastings  49  Coldwater  0

Delton  14  Allegan  6

Concord  18  Maple Valley  16

Lakewood  31  Perry  17

Tk Middleville  Ottawa Hills  Cancelled

Long time Hastings Restaurant owner Dies.

80 year old Richard Marsh long time owner of Richies Koffee Shop in Hastings died Wednesday morning following a long illiness. 

Richard started his restaurant career in 1961 at Speeds Coffee Shop in Battle Creek.

In 1979 Richard and his wife opened Richies Koffee Shop in Hastings.

Visitation at the Girrbach Funerlal Home in Hastings is Sunday September 25th.

1:00 pm-3:00 pm and 5:00 pm-7:00 pm







Barry County United Way 88th Campaign Kick-off

Barry County United Way Campaign Kick-Off and Day of Caring is Thursday, Sept.15th at 8:00a.m. at the Barry County Expo Center,  Rich Franklin Barry Intermediate School District Superintendent, reminds us of this year's theme United Now More Than Ever..This year's campaign goal is to raise $700,000.  The Barry County United Way continues to be the organization that you can count on to bring people together to build an even stronger community. 100% of your gifts stay in Barry County and are utilized for programs and service.  Your organization can engage our community in being a part of the campaign by attending the kick off, host and employee campaign,or volunteer for Day of Caring events.  Contact the Barry County United Way at 269-945-4010


Hastings resident takes picture of Queen Elizabeth ll

Hastings resident Iris Loftus had the experience of a lifetime when she was 19 years old in London, England where she was born and raised.

The day she took the picture she was working in Her Majestry's Stationary Store not far from Buckingham Palace in 1953.

Queen Elizabeth was riding in an open carriage the day after her coronation when 

Iris took the picture from the second story window.

Iris said. " I was so thrilled to see the Queen, I will always remember that special day."

Iris will celebrate her 90th birthday Saturday September 17th.



M-66 & M-79 Intersection in Nashville - now open

UPDATE: The Michigan Dept. of Transportation reported at 2:20am Thursday morning that the intersection has been cleared and is re-opened.


UPDATE: 4:37 pm   Heavy equipment is now on the scene in an attempt to remove the hugh press and semi tracter that broke down Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of M-66 and M-79  near Mooville in Nashville. The Press and semi tractor has  been in the intersection for over 24 hours.


Shortly after 4:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon a large heavy press being transported to Battle Creek from Flint broke down at the intersection of M-66 and M-79 near Mooville in Nashville. As of Wednesday morning time the intersection is still blocked.


Deadly Motorcycle Crash

State Police Troopers investigated a motorcycle crash in Barry County's Prairieville Township on Sunday.


The driver was killed when his motorcycle crashed at the intersection of Milo and Parker roads.


32 year old Nicholas Probol of Grand Rapids failed to slow down and rear ended another motorcycle he was following.  Probol was pronounced dead at the scene. The other motorcyclist suffered non-life threatening injuries.


The State Police are reporting three motorcyclists have died in accidents in the past eight days including Probol.

State Police encourages residents to take action to prepare during Michigan's Preparedness Month

Emergencies can happen when we least expect them. That is why Michigan State
Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michigan residents to take steps to prepare for emergencies during Michigan’s Preparedness Month.


Throughout September, the MSP/EMHSD is joining federal, state and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, in supporting emergency preparedness initiatives. Agencies nationwide are uniting under the theme “A Lasting Legacy” to encourage everyone to protect the life they have built and create a lasting legacy for their families by preparing for disasters before they strike.


“Preparedness Month is an important reminder that all Michiganders play a role in keeping our state safe and healthy,” said Governor Whitmer. “We have faced a lot of challenges over the last couple of years and we know more disasters and emergencies may happen in Michigan, but if everyone does their part to
take action and prepare, we can get through tough times together.”

So far in 2022, Governor Whitmer has approved more than 1.2 million dollars in Disaster and Emergency Contingency Funds (DECF) to help communities recover from disasters, but now is the time for Michiganders to take action to prepare for disasters and emergencies before they happen. 


“Over the past few years, Michigan has experienced disasters from flooding, to tornadoes, winter storms and even a pandemic, which can delay critical services and first responders,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “That’s why we encourage households to take this opportunity to create emergency preparedness kits with food, water and a first-aid kit that allows them to be self-sustaining for at least 72 hours.”

Counterfeit Money Circulating in Barry County Area

Late Friday afternoon ,August 26th, City Police Chief Dale Boulter  reported that they had received complaints from local businesses of counterfeit bills being passed.  The bills look very real at quick glance. The bills have the words "Copy Money" under the seal, and the words" For Motion Picture Purposes" at the very top of the face side of the bills.  Suspects have passed counterfeit $10.00, $20.00 and $100.00 bills. The  assumption is that this counterfeit money is making it's way outside the confines of the City Limits. 

Rep. Calley invites residents to upcoming office hours

State Rep. Julie Calley is hosting her upcoming office hours in Hastings and Saranac.

“Listening to the community helps me understand what concerns our district is facing,” Rep. Calley said. “I am incredibly grateful to have a dialog and open conversation on what issues are impacting you.”


The informal meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

 -- Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Barry County Tyden Center, 121 S. Church St. in Hastings.

 -- Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to noon at Scheid Park, 455 Main St. in Saranac.

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 or call (517) 373-0842 to schedule a Zoom meeting.

Harvest Pointe open house & retirement celebration for Don Haney

Friday, August 26, is Thornapple Manor's Harvest Pointe open house from 1-3 pm! All are welcome to see our new amazing facility and celebrate the retirement of Thornapple Manor Administrator Don Haney after 16 years of service.


Harvest Pointe is located on McKeown Road near the corner of M-79, just around the curve from the main building on the Thornapple Manor campus. 

It's Tammy Pennington Day!

WBCH is declaring Thursday, August 25th to be Tammy Pennington Day in Barry County! 

Tammy is retiring after 35 years of service as Executive Director of the Barry County Commission on Aging. Under her direction the COA staff has led the community in providing resources and services to meet the changing needs of Barry County’s older adults, including in-home services, senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels and congregate dining at friendship centers, Adult Day Services and much more with the help of numerous volunteers.

A retirement party from 3 to 5pm is being held at the COA to celebrate with Tammy on her last day!

Funding grant secured for new Barry County 911 communications tower

Barry County Central Dispatch and Emergency Management will soon receive state funding to build an additional emergency communications tower, thanks to a grant secured by state Reps. Julie Calley and Thomas Albert.


The $3 million project is included in the new state budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.


“The public safety radio system is a vital tool that connects first responders with residents, dispatchers and each other,” Calley said. “If the system isn’t properly supported, there’s a risk it will fail, leaving residents and emergency responders without this vital lifeline during an emergency. Furthermore, additional radio upgrades are delayed until adequate communications towers are installed to allow for the increased connectivity.”


Barry County’s 800-megahertz public safety radio system was implemented in the early 2000s. Because the number of users has increased substantially over the last 21 years, the system is now overloaded, putting it at risk. 


Additional tower sites will increase the system’s capacity, improve coverage, and support the sharing of additional information and data to better meet the needs of police, firefighters, emergency medical responders and the Barry County families they serve.


“This equipment upgrade will help first responders serve their communities and make them safer places to live,” said Albert, who as chair of the House Appropriations Committee plays a lead role in developing the state budget.

Thornapple Kellogg Early Childhood Center will open this fall

Thornapple Kellogg's new Early Childhood Center, located at 3316 Bender Road, will open this fall after nearly 18 months of construction.  The new center was made possible when voters approved the 2019 $42.8 million bond.  The Early Childhood Center is the largest of the bond projects. 

At approximately 33,000 square feet, the new center includes 10 age appropriate classrooms, a sensory room, multi purpose room, offices for staff developement, board of education meetings and other gatherings.  The facility includes secured entryways for safety and a large playground area for students.

The Center will house TK tuition based preschool programs for 3 and 4 year old children, Great Start Readiness Preschool for 4 year olds, Bright Beginnings Playgroup for children ages birth to 5 years old and the before and after school childcare program for TK students in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade.

WBCH Radio Celebrates 64th Anniversary

WBCH Radio in Hastings was established sixty-four years ago today!


Radio Stations WBCH AM & FM  are operated by Barry Broadcasting, a company  owned by the Radant family for two generations. Both stations are community oriented and pride themselves on serving the needs of the listening area.  WBCH-AM originated in 1958 when several prominent businessmen determined the need for Barry County to have its own radio station.  WBCH-FM was added in 1967. 


WBCH has continuously provided daily, local, state and national news, marketing for local businesses, and has broadcast area parades, high school sports and concerts, and  Public Service Announcements for countless non-profits and community organizations.


Since its founding, WBCH has become a vital element in helping Hastings, Barry County, and surrounding areas grow and adapt to their needs in commerce and all aspects of life. 

Annual BIE Luncheon

The Barry County Chamber and Economic Development Alliance and Hastings Area School District are holding the annual B.I.E Luncheon Tuesday, August 16. This luncheon recognizes the importance of partnership between Business, Industry, and Education within the community and will feature Hastings students as the guest speakers.  The event begins from Noon-12:30pm in the Hastings Performing Arts Center,  followed by the lunch in the High School Cafeteria.

Area Schools First Day back to School

WBCH welcomes students, teachers and school staff back to school!

Let’s all help to  make it a safe  return to school  and add caution while driving by watching for bus stops and crossing guards and young pedestrians.

Lakewood Public Schools begin with half day August 17th

Bellevue Community Schools begin August 18th

Starting Monday, August 22nd:  Hastings Area Schools & St. Rose School, Maple Valley Schools, & Wayland Union Schools.

August 23rd is the first day for Caledonia Community Schools & Thornapple Kellogg Schools

August 29th is the first day for Gull Lake Community Schools

And schools beginning after Labor day, on Sept. 6th;  Delton Kellogg Schools & Barry County Christian Schools.


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