Local News Archives for 2019-11

Update - Bank Robbery suspect arrested

Update: On November 27, 2019, Barry County Sheriff’s Office arrested a  subject for Robbery related to the incident at Chemical Bank in Middleville, MI, on November 26, 2019.  A name is not being released before arraignment.



Barry County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Chemical Bank branch in Middleville for a robbery Tuesday at 12:49pm.  A black male entered the bank and demanded cash from the tellers.  The suspect exited the bank and got into a gray sedan with an undisclosed amount of cash. 


The suspect was wearing black pants, a black coat with the hood pulled up and sunglasses.  The suspect was last seen in the area of Arlington St. and Thornton St., leaving westbound on Thornton Street.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Barry County Sheriff’s Office at 269-948-4801, Barry County Central Dispatch at 269-948-4800 or Silent Observer at 800-310-9031.  The incident remains under investigation.


Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation- Grand Rapids are assisting in the investigation.

High Winds Power Outages


High winds from a strong low pressure system that brought heavy rain and snow to parts of Michigan  was also responsible for power outages across  the state. The highest wind gust in Hastings was 45 miles and hour recorded by the National Weather service Climatological Station in Hastings.


Outages include

Barry County  1,062

Allegan County 4,761

Kent County 1,379

Calhoun County 1,041


The weather system also dropped 1.29 inches of rain in Hastings.


Correction: Commissioners approve new Barry County Parks and Recreation Commission

Correction:  the new commission will included ten members.


The Barry County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution establishing the Barry County Parks and Recreation Commission. The new commission will replace the existing Charlton Park Board and the Parks and Recreation Board, effective January 1, 2020.


Prior to adoption an amendment was made to specify the make-up of the new commission;  there will be 10 members:  One will be a county commissioner, two will come from the expiring Parks and Recreation Board,  two will come from the expiring Charlton Park Board,  one will be from the Thornapple Trail Association, and one from the Charlton Park Gas and Steam Engine Club. Also,

1 Member from the Planning Commission or Designee

1 Member from the Road Commission or Designee

1 Member for the Drain Commissioners Office or Designee


The new commission will be able to leverage more state and federal grant money for the county parks system.

Hastings changes building requirements regarding basements

At their regular meeting Monday night, the Hastings City Council adopted an ordinance that amends the city building code by eliminating the requirement for a basement when building a new dwelling. 


The Hastings Planning Commission had recommended the change, which will allow the option to construct new houses on slabs at possibly lower construction costs. The change will not allow mobile homes in the city outside of mobile home parks as they do not meet other existing requirements.


In other action, the council approved requests to hold events:


- The annual New Year's Eve ball drop in downtown Hastings to welcome in 2020.


- The 12th annual Barry Roubaix bicycle races to be held April 18, 2020.


- The 5th annual Barry County Brewfest on September 19, 2020. Brewfest is a 'moving' festival, and has been held previously in Middleville, Freeport, Delton, and in Nashville. This year it will be at the Thornapple Plaza in Hastings.

Court Examination on Murder suspect

Murder suspect Jon Otis Burnett is headed to Barry County Circuit following two days of a preliminary examination in Court.

Burnett is charged in a double homicide in Orangerville township this past June 21st.

Burnett lived in the area of the murders as did the first victim 73 year old Gary L. Peake from Plainwell.

The second victim is 21 year old Bryce N. DeGood from Haslett.

Burnett is also being charged with attacking his wife, trying to  strangle her.

The shootings  happened near Lindsey and Lewis roads northwest of Delton.



Michigan Attorney General Begins Crackdown on Illegal Robocalls


Michigan and Federal officials have joined forces to crackdown on illegal robocalls targeting the state's residents. Michigan residents have been on the receiving end of 1.3 billion robocalls in 2019 to date.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel urged Michigan residents to report illegal robocalls to her office by filing a complaint on the new one-stop online website for information about illegal robocalls at or by calling 877-765-8388.

Vehicle Shooter's Update


The two individuals accused of shooting  a number of vehicles at Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, Hastings  Manufacuring and one other location in Hastings, will be back in court for a show cause hearing on December 11th.

Marc Wiggins of Plainwell and Emil Skokan of Kalamazoo are facing a number of charges steming from their shooting of 35 vehicle's in Hastings and driving a stolen vehicle out of Kalamazoo Township.

The pair is also facing similar charges in the City of Allegan for damage to 24 vehicles there.

Lakewood Girls Volleyball


Grand Rapids Christian has again ended Lake Odessa Lakewood girls volleyball quest for a championship.

Lakewood lost to the Eagles  25-21  , 25-15,    25-16  in the MHSAA division two championship Saturday at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Lakewood Girls Volleyball in State Final

 The Lakewood Girls Volleyball team defeated Pontiac Notre Dame prep friday in the state semi-finals at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

At  4- pm this Saturday afternoon  Lakewood will meet Grand Rapids Christian the defending state champion for the state championship at Kellogg Arena.

County supports public shooting range for Barry State Game Area

The DNR Wildlife Division has applied to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for monies to build a proposed public shooting range in the Barry State Game Area.


At the last Committee of the Whole meeting, Barry County Commission vice-chair Vivian Conner said that historically there were three sites in the Game Area that were used for target shooting.  Two of those sites were closed by a director’s order due to stray bullets hitting neighboring housing. The third site has had a multitude of issues, due to development of subdivisions nearby, overcrowding at times, shooting in unsafe directions, and shooting of unlawful materials such as tannerite.


The proposed project would be the first ‘official’ public shooting range for the Barry State Game Area and would be built along M-179 in an area with no nearby houses. It would be surrounded by berms, unmanned, gated, open limited hours, with no memberships, fees or permits required to use it.


A resolution expressing support for the proposed range was approved by the Committee of the Whole and will be sent to the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board after the next regular Commissioners meeting.

1980 Virginia murder case case arrest made in Allegan County

The Norfolk, Virginia Police Homicide/Cold Case team, in partnership with NCIS, the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police, has arrested a 70-year-old Michigan man for the 1980 homicide of 25-year-old Kathleen Doyle. Dennis Lee Bowman was arrested Friday in Allegan County where he now resides. 


Kathleen O’Brien Doyle was found murdered in her Norfolk residence on September 11, 1980. She was the daughter of a naval officer and the wife of a U.S. Navy pilot who was deployed at the time of the homicide.


Norfolk Chief of Police Larry Boone stated, “This 39-year-long investigation demonstrates the Norfolk Police Department’s commitment to pursue justice for victims and their families no matter how long it takes. No victim is ever forgotten. I would like to recognize the women and men of NCIS for their commitment to this case. NCIS has been partnered with us from the beginning of this investigation, and their contributions throughout the years have been instrumental in solving this case. I would also like to thank the Allegan County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Ottawa County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Police, for their assistance.” 


Bowman is being held in the State of Michigan, awaiting extradition to Virginia.

"I-196 Jane" from 1988 Identified

On October 12, 1988, the body of a young woman was found in Covert Township, Michigan near I-196 and CR-378 in Van Buren County.


Over time the young unidentified woman became known to State Police investigators as “I-196 Jane”. As the years went by, all available technology and investigative means were used to try to identify “I-196 Jane”, however, all were unsuccessful, and the case went cold.


In late 2018, investigators began the process of utilizing genealogy DNA to help identify “I-196 Jane”. Paw Paw Post detectives partnered with BODE Laboratories for the DNA processing and received a generous grant from Kalamazoo Mortgage to pay the processing fees.


Earlier this month DNA confirmation was received that “I-196 Jane” was Marcia Kaylynn Bateman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Marcia’s family members have been contacted and are grateful to know that their loved one has been located. Her family is hopeful that investigators will determine how she ended up deceased in Michigan.


Marcia was last seen in May 1988. Her family reported her missing in August 1988 to the Oklahoma City Police. She was 28 years old at the time of her disappearance. At this point investigators have been unable to determine how she made it to Michigan from Oklahoma.





Expansion & Renovation completed at Barry County Transit

A ribbon-cutting and open-house was held Wednesday at Barry County Transit celebrating the completion of the building project that began last spring.  Bill Voight, Director of Barry County Transit, told WBCH that including change orders and contingency, the project came in slightly under budget and was paid for from Transit funds with no tax money.






The renovation allowed many logistical improvements that are sure to enhance Transit customer's experience.    4,800 square feet of garage bus storage was added, allowing the entire fleet to be safely stored and secured.  In the administrative area 1,400 square feet was added for a dispatch room, restrooms and a common area.  An existing 1,500 square feet of previous space was renovated for a total of 2,900 square feet of administrative area. 

















As can be seen here, it's almost time for the Holly Trolley to make it's 2019 holiday debut. The trolley is already being decorated!


Hastings Police Report


Hastings Police observed a Ford Econoline Van parked along the road with its emergency flashers on. The woman driver, who appeared to be hysterical, told the office she hit a flag pole so she could get the flag. Upon further investigation  she did not have  a drivers license and was driving a vehicle that did not belong to her.


She was taken to Pennock Hospital because of her condition for evaluation.

The woman, who's name has not be released, is facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident, operating a vehicle without a license, and unlawfully driving away an automobile. The report is now with the Barry County Prosecutor.

Debate over creation of new Barry County Parks and Recreation Commission

On a vote of 4 to 2, the Committee of the Whole recommended the Barry County Board of Commissioners approve a resolution to establish the Barry County Parks and Recreation Commission. The new commission structure would combine and replace the existing Charlton Park Board and the Parks and Recreation Board.


The biggest benefit of unifying the two boards into one is the added ability to leverage more state and federal grant money for the county parks system.  Dan Patton, Charlton Park Director, said the current structure often presents challenges when dealing with the state and that most counties in Michigan have a single Parks and Recreation Commission, so "we wouldn't be re-inventing the wheel".


However, questions about structure of the new commission, Charlton Park millage funding and future millage renewals, use of maintenance equipment, and why Barry County switched many years ago from a single Parks and Rec board to the current two separate boards were brought up during discussion and during limited public comment.


The matter will come before the November 26, 2019  Board of Commissioners meeting. If approved, the change will become effective January 1, 2020.

Elevated Copper Levels found in City of Charlotte Drinking Water

Earlier this month, elevated levels of copper in drinking water was found in select locations served by the City of Charlotte’s municipal water supply. Elevated copper levels were identified through routine water testing performed by the City of Charlotte. Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the City of Charlotte to provide education for the community on copper levels in drinking water.

While copper is a necessary element for human health, exposure to too much copper can negatively impact health. Drinking water with elevated levels of copper may cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Certain groups of people may be at greater risk of more severe symptoms when exposed to elevated levels of copper. Infants under the age of one who use powdered infant formula may experience upset stomach or other health issues, as formula already contains the correct amount of copper for a healthy diet. Other people with rare genetic diseases such as Wilson’s disease can have trouble getting rid of extra copper from their body. These individuals should talk with their health care provider for further guidance.

Individuals and families can take precautions to reduce their exposure to copper.

- Flush the pipes. If water has not been used for several hours, flush your pipes for about 2 minutes to reduce copper in your water. Pipes can be flushed by turning a faucet on all the way until the water turns cold, taking a shower, or even running a load of laundry or the dishes. After flushing, drinking water is unlikely to contain high levels of copper.
- Avoid drinking hot water from the tap. Hot water is more likely to contain high levels of copper.
- Opt to use a water filter. Water filters with the certification number “NSF/ANSI Standard 53” and information on the box that mentions copper are suitable for use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install and use the filter.
- Do not use water with high levels of copper to prepare powdered infant formula.
- Do not boil the water. Copper is not removed from water by boiling, and boiling can actually raise the level of copper.
- Clean faucet aerators at least once every six months.

Lakewood Girls Volleyball


The Lakewood Girls Volleyball team is headed to the semi-finals in division two after defeating Ida Tuesday night in three sets.

Lakewood will play Pontiac Notre Dame Prep this friday at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek at 4:30.


Twinkies Cereal Coming Soon

Post Cereals and  Hostess Brands have teamed up to bring you the new popular cream filled Twinkies Cereal to your favorite  grocery  store.

 The  new cereal is coming to stores in December and will replicate the sweet taste and familiar oblong shape of the golden colored snack cake.


Bench Warrant Amnesty

The 64A District Court in Ionia will have a bench warrant amnesty period from November 18, 2019 to January 3, 2020.


Individuals with open bench warrants for failing to pay fines and costs, failure to appear or failure to comply with court orders can clear their warrants merely by presenting themselves to the 64A District Court probation department during regular business hours, 8:30am to 5pm on weekdays.


Upon turning themselves in, those persons behind on fines and costs will be allowed to resume a payment schedule. Those persons who have missed court dates will be given new dates. The bench warrant(s) will then be cancelled and the defendant will be free to leave.


Persons with active bench warrants should be aware that this extends only to the Ionia District Court. Warrants from other courts are still valid and may result in arrest.

Structure Fire in Barry Township

Firefighters in the Delton area were called Tuesday afternoon to a structure fire at 5100 Osborne Road near south Kellogg School Road, between Delton and Hickory Corners.


One Prairieville Township Fire Department firefighter was taken to a Kalamazoo Hospital after falling off a ladder or roof at the scene. No information is yet available about how serious his injuries were. The Prairieville Department was called in to help the Delton Fire Department douse the fire.


The cause of the fire and extent of damage to the home is still being determined.

Hams to eight Southwest Michigan Counties


The Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund donated a refrigerated semi-trailer full of food to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

Food producers in West Michigan stocked the truck with 900 pounds of ham and delivered it to their headquarters in Battle Creek.

Organizations packed the food to deliver to Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and St. Joseph Counties.

The South Michigan Food Bank provided over 6.5 million meals in 2018.

Deer hunting accident in Ionia County

Ionia County Sheriff’s Deputies and medical first responders were dispatched to a field near the intersection of Bell Road and West Grand River Avenue, Saturday, November 16th north of Clarksville on the report of an accidental shooting. Initial reports indicated that while hunting, one man had accidently shot another man with a muzzle loading rifle.

Sheriff’s Deputies said 28-year-old Marcus Fron of Lowell was accidentally shot by his 29-year-old brother from Saranac. The men were looking for a deer that one brother had shot earlier with his muzzle loading rifle. After the two men exhausted a search for the deer which they were unable to locate, they became separated in the dense corn.


The shooter in this case was some distance away and believed he saw the deer moving and heard the deer making noise and fired again, and after firing that shot learned he had struck his brother. He immediately called 911 for help, and the two men walked out of the field together where they were met by medical first responders. Marcus Fron was hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery. 


Police said Monday that the shooter is not being named at this time, as there is the potential for criminal charges stemming from this incident. All parties are cooperative with the investigation, which is open pending blood toxicology testing and review by the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office.



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.

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.

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.

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.

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.                                        

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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

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. 



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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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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