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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A large number of individuals attended Wednesday evenings discussion on the need to build a new Jail and a new location for a Commission on Aging facility.
The community meeting conducted by Tower Pinkster of Kalamazoo at Thornapple Valley Church listened to many ideas on how the County should move forward on the Jail and the COA facilities.
No decisions were made at last nights meeting, only a possible millage request being looked at for this coming August.
Hastings Police arrested a suspect for stealing from Spencers Towing on Railroad Street in December.
Officers said the theft occured on December 22, of last year betweewn 3:00 and 4:30 in the morning.
The individual took a tool box along with tools and several gallons of gas from vehicles at Spencers in the amount of over $537.00.
The individual charged for stealing also has four felony convictions.
Three workers removing an older single wide trailer in Allegan Township were injured when the roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.
The Allegan County Sheriff's office said the three men were rushed to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. Two of the three suffered serious injuries, the third received minor injuries and denied medical treatment.
No safety equipment was found to have been used by the work crew.
Update - Jah’lell Stephenson has been located. She is back home with her family.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile runaway. On January 16th, Jah’lell Stephenson, 16, was last seen at her school in Bellevue. Jah’lell is known to have friends in the Bellevue area. She is five feet four inches tall, 220 lbs., with short black hair, brown eyes, and black glasses.
Anyone with information is asked to please call the Barry County Sheriff’s Office (269-948-4801) or Barry County Central Dispatch (269-948-4800).
The Barry County Board Commissioner is hosting a Barry County Dialogue Event this Wednesday January 22nd at 7:00-pm at Thornapple Valley Church South of Hastings at 2750 South M-43.
The purpose of the public participation is a discussion regarding a potential millage election for August 2020.
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.
Questions Call Barry County Administration at 269-945-1284.
Sunday at 2:15 in the afternoon the driver of a snowmobile was traveling south along the west side of Tischer road in Barry County's Carlton Township when the snowmobile hit a culvert throwing the driver off the snowmobile.
The driver suffered serious injuries and was taken to Spectrum Hospital in Grand rapids. The Barry County Sheriff's office said the driver was wearing a helmet.
Police responded to a truck on top of a house in Delton that occured early this friday morning. The crash happened on oak drive. Consumers energy was called because of a power outage in that area and found the truck on the house. The Michigan State Police and the barry county Sheriff's Office both worked the investigation.
The Hastings City Council held its’ first meeting of the new year and took care of annual organizational and housekeeping items. The Council elected 2nd Ward Councilman John Resseguie as Hastings Mayor Pro-Tem for 2020.
Hastings Mayor David Tossava gave his annual State of the City address citing highlights and events of the past year such as the Barry Roubaix, Jazz Festival, and Gus Macker events that had record attendance. He noted the continuing work on the city Master Plan that will be completed in 2020, with four areas of emphasis on downtown, housing, industry, and infrastructure improvements. This year the city will be making major improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, resurfacing of streets, and work on recreational marijuana and small cell antenna ordinances.
Tossava concluded, “the state of the City is good”.
After a considerable amount of public comment that was at times emotional, lengthy discussion, and many questions about the process, the Barry County Board of Commissioners Tuesday amended and gave final approval to a Letter of Consent for Refugee Resettlement in Barry County at the request of Bethany Christian Services.
Jane Trejo of Bethany answered questions regarding the Executive Order issued last September by President Donald Trump that requires that agencies like Bethany Christian Services obtain written consent from State and County governments before they can perform refugee resettlement services within that county. Currently, Bethany does not place refugee adults and families in Barry County, however there is one licensed foster family at this time who would like to take in and care for unaccompanied Refugee Minors.
Commissioners stipulated that for 2020, Barry County will accept up to five refugee resettlements.
State Representative Julie Calley is holding office hours on Monday January 27th in Lake Odessa from 10 to 11 am at the Page memorial Building, 839 4th Avenue and in Hastings in the Commissioners Chambers in the Barry County Courthouse from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. All are welcome.
A single engine airplane on Sunday coming in for a landing at the Hastings Barry County Airport landed without the wheels down. The pilot who failed to lower the landing gear was not injured, but the plane received heavy damage as it slid along the runway.
The pilot was bringing the airplane to the airport for service.
The winter weather that moved through lower michigan over the weekend brought with it Heavy rain, ice, snow and flooding. In Hastings the National Weather Service Climatological Station recorded 2.59 inches of rain from Friday through early sunday morning. Along with the rain, ice pellets, snow and freezing rain. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has posted flood warnings for rivers affected by the rain including the Thornapple river. The river is now at flood state of seven feet and should begin to go down over the next few days, pending any further heavy rain.
Electric service that went dark in parts of Michigan, have for the most part been restored.
UPDATE: 19 year old Jacob Braddum of Hastings was arraigned Wednesday on charges of Armed Robbery. He will be in Court on January 22nd for a Probable Cause Hearing. Bond has been set at $300,000 cash or surety.
Troopers from the Michigan State Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred approximately 2:40 PM Monday afternoon at the Little's Country Store on Thornapple Lake Rd. The suspect entered the store and pointed a gun at the employee and demanded all the money in the cash register be placed in a bag. The suspect then fled the store in a small black car with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to call the Michigan State Police Wayland Post at 269-792-2213 or the Hastings Detachment at 269-948-1906.
Michigan is among the hardest hit states for respiratory illnesses this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory illnesses, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly.
Spectrum Health Pennock and all Spectrum Health hospitals have enacted Visitor Restrictions and are asking those who are ill to refrain from visiting hospitalized friends or family members. One of the most important tools in fighting the transmission of infection is limiting exposure.
Visitors are asked to respect the following restrictions:
- If you are ill, please refrain from visiting the hospital
- All visitors are expected to be healthy and the hospitals are taking active steps to protect patients, staff and visitors.
A healthy visitor is someone who does not have the following symptoms:
- Fever, greater than 100.4 F
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or congestion
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Rash or draining sores
- Only healthy visitors may visit patients in the hospitals or outpatient locations
Anyone with the above symptoms should consider a video visit with a provider, an appointment with their primary care physician or an urgent care visit.
Update: Today, TERRY JACK ROSE w/m 05/02/1987, of Hastings, was arraigned on 2 Counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1 Count of assault with intent to commit Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1 count of Kidnapping or in the alternative 1 count of Unlawful imprisonment, 1 count of Felonious assault and 5 counts of Felony Firearms. Bond was set at $500,000 Cash or surety. The investigation is ongoing and there is a possibility of further charges.
Original story: On Tuesday at approximately 10:15pm, the Hastings Police Department responded to the 700 block of N Hanover St to check on the well being of a female. After speaking with the female, Officers were informed that she had been assaulted and there was a weapon involved in the assault. As Officers attempted contact with the male suspect he refused to answer the door and then refused to exit the house . The male suspect barricaded himself in the house, from approximately 10:30pm last night until just shy of 5am this morning ,before he exited the house and was taken into custody. The male suspect was lodged at the Barry County Jail and should be arraigned later today.
After what was a devastating planting season for many farmers including Barry County Farmers, some relief may be in sight.
Heavy rains fell in West Michigan between may 2018 and April 2019 making it the 3rd wettest year on record in Michigan. Flooded or muddied fields prevented many farmers from planting and harvesting their crops.
In a letter to The governor from U.S. Agricultures Secretary Sonny Perdue the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced 43 Michigan Counties including Barry County as primary natural disaster areas.
Farmers seeking assistance are encouraged to contact their local USDA Farm Services Agency office.
The Barry County Board of Commissioners Tuesday held their first Committee of the Whole meeting of 2020 and approved a Letter of Consent for Refugee Resettlement in Barry County at the request of Bethany Christian Services. Jane Trejo of Bethany, explained that an Executive Order issued last September by President Donald Trump requires that agencies like Bethany Christian Services must obtain written consent from State and County governments before they can perform refugee resettlement services within that county. Currently, Bethany does not place refugee adults and families in Barry County, however there is one licensed foster family at this time who would like to take in and care for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors.
The Committee of the Whole also heard an update from Don Haney, Director of Thornapple Manor, regarding the feasibility studies of expanding the campus at Thornapple Manor to add Independent and Assisted Living units for seniors. Last year, Thornapple Manor did a preliminary study that showed Barry County needs approximately 220 additional Affordable Housing units for seniors and at least 60 additional units at Market Rate. In addition, the first study showed the need for at least 60 assisted living beds and 30 more for dementia care. Next, Haney said, Thornapple Manor paid for a market study to make sure there is positive support for such a project. A financial feasibility study is now getting underway to look at revenue streams, and they will soon start looking at site selection. Haney stressed that there will not be any request for taxpayer money and that the project will not go forward unless if it is financially self-sustaining.
On January 6, a crash was reported to Allegan Central Dispatch on 10th St. south of Carrie Ave. in Gun Plains Township. Upon arrival of fire and police units two vehicles were confirmed to be involved with one vehicle found in the roadway and one vehicle in an adjacent ditch and fully engulfed in flames. The operator of the vehicle in the ditch was determined to be a member of the US Postal Service and the vehicle she was operating was a US Postal Service vehicle. The vehicle was completely destroyed by fire and the operator of the postal vehicle was found in the wreckage after the fire was extinguished. The deceased driver was identified as Sheila Gay Rackley, a 55 year old female from the Martin area who worked out of the Plainwell Post Office.
Police say a south bound pickup truck driven by a male driver struck the rear of the postal vehicle as Rackley was delivering mail. The driver of the pickup was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured in the crash.
Due to the possibility of charges being issued in this case, the name of the pickup driver will not be released until a decision is made by the prosecutor’s office when the investigation is complete.
Troopers from the Michigan State Police Wayland Post are investigating a missing person complaint. Anthony Christie, 57 years old, was last seen on December 26, 2019. He drives a 2018 charcoal gray Toyota Rav 4 with Michigan plate BTJ870.
If you have seen him or know his whereabouts, please contact the Michigan State Police Wayland Post or Allegan County Central Dispatch.
To provide additional information please contact the Wayland Post, 269-792-2213, or Allegan County Central Dispatch 269-673-3899.
The first baby of the New Year was born Thursday, January 2nd at Spectrum Health Pennock in Hastings. The family of proud parents Matt and Kathryn Sobek grew from five to six with the birth of their fourth child, a boy, Daniel.
Kathryn mentioned she choose to deliver at the Pennock Family Birthing Center to be closer to home.
Pictured back row: Matt Sobek, Amelia Sobek, Samuel Sobek
Front: Kathryn Sobek, Daniel Sobek, Charles Sobek
Barry County Commissioners held their organizational meeting, January 2. The board unanimously re-elected Heather Wing as Board Chairperson for 2020, and Vivian Connor as Vice-Chair. Also approved were the Rules of Procedure and Regulation for Board Meetings, and the Chairperson’s appointment of members to the various committees.
The meeting schedules were approved for the year with the Committee of the Whole meetings generally on the first and third Tuesdays at 9am, and the regular Board of Commissioner meetings generally on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 9am. However, the May 26th Board of Commissioners meeting will be held at 7pm in order to encourage more public participation by persons who are unable to make it to the daytime meetings.
When Hastings High School students return to the classroom January 6 to start their second semester, they will have to comply with the new cellphone policy that was approved by the Board of Education aimed at improving the learning environment. Cellphone use by students during school hours will no longer be allowed.
The policy shift is based on many things such as the overwhelming and continued misuse of these devices by students during the day. Banning use of cell phones during the school day also supports Michigan’s Anti-Cyberbulling laws and supports Hastings' continued commitment to educational excellence.
The new policy states that on a first offense, if seen, phones will be confiscated and returned at the end of the day. The second offense will require a parent or guardian to come to the school to retrieve the phone. A third offense will result in appropriate progressive discipline up to, and including, suspension from school.
The policy shift does not affect the Middle or Elementary schools, as those schools already enforce bans.
Barry County Festival of Trees, a display of themed decorated trees by area businesses and organizations, was presented by the Gilmore Car Museum and the Barry County Chamber of Commerce throughout December with the public voting for their favorite trees by donating canned goods.
The winner of the Festival of Trees decorating competition is The Barry County Libraries! They had a total of 715 non perishable food items under their tree. The second runner-up is Carpenter Gravel with 540, and Third place goes to The Education Station with 484.
All trees received votes and the total food items counted is 5,075. This is up from last year. The real winners are families who benefit from the restocked Barry County food pantry.
Radon can't be seen, smelled, or tasted, but high levels of radon gas may be in residents’ homes, increasing their risk of lung cancer. Fortunately, testing is easy and high radon levels can be lowered. January is Radon Action Month, and Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is offering free radon test kits for the entire month.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of radium. Radium, in turn, is a natural decay product of uranium. Both radium and uranium are found in almost any kind of soil and rock, often in very small amounts. Radon moves up through the soil and enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor, or walls, including at floor/wall joints, sump openings, and other openings caused by plumbing, wiring, or ductwork.
Outdoors, radon is diluted by the atmosphere to safe levels. However, radon can concentrate in indoor air and reach unhealthy levels. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It is very important for residents to know their home’s radon level and to take action to lower it if it’s too high.
According to a Michigan survey, high levels of radon are expected in one out of eight Michigan homes. In some counties, as many as 45 percent of the homes have had radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended action level (4 pCi/L). The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test it.
Easy, do-it-yourself radon test kits are available for free to residents of Barry and Eaton counties during January, which is Radon Action Month. There is a limit of one kit per address. Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and supplies are limited. Residents can pick up a kit at one of the below locations. After using it at home, they should send it to the lab for testing!
Hastings: Health Department, 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. (269) 945-9516
Charlotte: Health Department, 1033 Healthcare Dr. (517) 541-2615
Lansing: Delta Township Hall, 7710 W. Saginaw Hwy. (517) 323-8520
Bellevue: Riverside Café, 420 E. Capital Ave. (269) 763-9481
Delton: Delton District Library, 330 N. Grove St. (269) 623-8040
For more information about radon, residents can visit https://www.barryeatonhealth.org/healthy-homes or call or visit BEDHD in Hastings at 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. ( 945-9516) or in Charlotte at 1033 Health Care Dr. ( 541-2615).
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office reports that a 22 year old Dorr resident leaving the gas pump at the Sunoco gas station on South Division Thursday morning struck the nozzle of a fuel delivery truck, resulting in a spill of more than 100 gallons of gasoline on the concrete. The spill was contained and did not reach any drains. Officers say the supplier, Van Manen Oil, quickly responsed and cleaned up the spill before any ground contamination occurred. The driver was cited fore careless driving.
A girl who was swept off the pier at Holland State Park around 11:30pm Wednesday night has been identified as 16- year-old Eliza Jane Trainer of Flint. She is presumed to have drowned, but severe lake conditions have so far hampered efforts to locate and recover her body. Police are waiting for safer conditions to get search equipment and divers into the water. In the meantime a helicopter is searching by air, and crews are searching the shoreline.
An 18-year-old male friend of Trainer’s was also knocked into Lake Michigan by the waves, but he was able to make it out of the water and call for help. Police say he was treated at a local hospital, his name was not released.