Local News Archives for 2020-05

Wayland Fire

Saturday morning at approximately 6:38 AM the Wayland Yankee Springs Township fire department responded to a structure fire involving a camping trailer, two vehicles, and a house located at 208 Apollo Place in the city of Wayland.  Both the house and camping trailer were occupied by people and Firefighters were able to  rescue a dog from the burning house. No injuries were reported.


Mutual aid was received from the LEIGHTON Township fire department, Wayland Area EMS, Wayland Police Department with assistance from the Hopkins fire department moving up into the Wayland station during the incident.


How does your garden grow?

Blue Zones Activate Barry County is collaborating with United Way of Barry County, MSU Extension, community libraries and other partners to offer free seeds to encourage you to start your own garden. 


Blue Zones mailboxes have been installed in Delton, at Hastings Public Library, G.W. Spindler Library in Woodland, Putnam District Library in Nashville, Freeport Town Hall, and at the Barry Community Enrichment Center. Inside the mailboxes are free packets of seeds. Each envelope contains 2 herbs, an assortment of vegetables, and 2 flowers. The packets are first come first serve.

Lake Odessa Fair is cancelled

The 86th annual Lake Odessa Fair, scheduled for June 24th-28th has now officially been cancelled.  The Fair Board made the announcement Friday saying they delayed the decision as long as possible, hoping that an event in some form would still make sense for the community, however safety concerns were just too great.


They thanked the fair sponsors, partners and volunteers for their patience and support. The Fair Board said they are working to plan an alternative event to be held at the end of this summer and will share more information closer to August.

Fresh Food Fridays - Free to All

The YMCA of Barry County and Blue Zones Activate Barry County are offering “Fresh Food Fridays”. They have arranged to bring in a large number of free fresh food boxes through a USDA  “Farm to Families Program” in collaboration with the distributor Perfect Pact.


The distribution will begin this Friday, May 29, 2020 and  they expect to be receiving deliveries every Friday through the end of June.


There is no qualification needed to receive a box. You do not need to have children to receive a box. It is free, and the boxes are intended for anyone who can use them. No names, addresses, or pre-registration will be necessary to receive food. Please note this is a first come - first served program.


There are pick up sites around the county including Hastings High School, Middleville United Methodist Church, Nashville Assembly of God, Freeport District Library, Vermontville Bible Church, Dowling Library and more.


Cars will line up and drive through the designated areas at each location to receive a free box of fresh produce. Please remain in your vehicle.


DETAILS: We are receiving 1,200 boxes of produce each week! The food is being made available to us as part of an arrangement with the USDA, to get food from farmers who would otherwise have crops rot, and instead get the food to people who will use it! Each family box contains 20lb boxes with 7 commodities.




Friday Pickup Times

Hastings High School

520 W South St, Hastings

Enter off Young Street by tennis courts, exit on Washington Street

10:30am-12:30 pm

Nashville Assembly of God

735 Reed St, Nashville

10am-12 pm


Freeport District Library

208 S State St, Freeport

10:30 -11 am


Yankee Springs Meadows Homes

1330 N Patterson Rd, Wayland


10:30-11 am

Baltimore Terrace

M-37 and Sandy Circle by playground, Hastings


11:30am-12 pm

Meadow Stone Homes

Barfield & Balsam Dr by playground, Hastings


10-10:30 am

Vermontville Bible Church

250 N Main St, Vermontville

9-11 am


Dowling Library

1765 E Dowling Rd, Hastings

10:30-11 am


Middleville United Methodist Church


111 Church St, Middleville

10:30-11:30 am

Barry's Resort

2875 S Charlton Park Rd, Hastings

11:30am-12 pm

Eaton County Woman Arrested on Blue Water Bridge

An Eaton County woman who made a wrong turn near an international border was taken into custody by U.S Customs and Border Protection officers. The woman made a wrong turn and accidentally ended up on the Blue Water Bridge.  After turning around, the driver tried to obtain entry back into the United States.


The 43 year old woman is accused of driving a stolen vehicle and being in possession of both marijuana and five gold bars worth $130,000. The woman, along with the stolen vehicle, marijuana, and gold, was turned over to the Michigan State Police.

Public Health Advisory for Jordan Lake is Lifted

Public Health Advisory for Jordan Lake is Lifted

The Public Health Advisory for Jordan Lake issued by the Ionia County Health Department on May
20th, 2020 has been lifted. Water sampling performed by the Lakewood Wastewater Authority on May 22nd revealed levels of E. coli that are considered safe for FULL BODY CONTACT. Residents and visitors may resume normal activity in and around Jordan Lake.

Second death in Barry County due to Covid-19

The Barry Eaton Health Department reports that a 29 year old man has become the second person in Barry County to die from Covid-19.  The man died at home on Thursday, May 21.  The Health Department says he did not have any known health conditions, and was a known Covid-19 case.


As of Tuesday, May 26th, Barry County has had 61 positive cases of the virus of which 53 individuals have recovered, 6 are active cases, and 2 persons have died. Another 23 persons are under monitoring or are quarantined.


Eaton County has had 178 positive cases, 153 recovered, 19 active cases, 6 deaths, and 57 persons under monitoring or quarantine.

Barry County Commission

Joe Verlin, a CPA with Gabridge & Company, presented the Barry County Annual Financial Report for the year ended December 31, 2019 during the Board of Commissioners meeting held electronically Tuesday morning,  which showed the county had a clean audit for the year.


2019 revenues exceeded expenses by approximately $1.87-million, and the total General Fund Balance showed an increase of $516,769 from December 31, 2018.


The Board approved the annual Taxable Value report for 2020 which shows total taxablue valuation of real and personal property in Barry County at $2.359-billion dollars.


Barry County Administrator Michael Brown presented Commissioners with the County’s Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, as required under State Executive Order for continued operation of business. The plan is intended to provide guidance to Barry County’s elected officials, judges, department heads and employees for establishing protocols and a framework for safely re-opening the County and Courts departments and offices to all employees and the general public.  

Memorial Day Parade

Hundreds of cars participated in the Gun Lake Memorial Day Parade Monday organized by Mark Englerth.


Driving 14 miles through Gun Lake, Yankee Springs Township and Hastings. The parade was held in Honor of our fallen hero's and had the support of the Barry County Sheriff Office which led the parade, along with a letter of support from the Barry Eaton district Health Department.

Flood Warning discontinued

Flood Warning discontinued for the Thornapple river as the water level continues to go down.

This is the last report unless conditions change.


Nashville Memorial Day observance

Nashville will hold a commemoration on Memorial Day with a short ceremony at the Thornapple River Fishing Dock at 11:30am and a VFW Ceremony at noon at Lakeview Cemetery.  There will be no parade this year. Anyone attending is encouraged to practice social distancing and wear a face mask.

Governor reopens retail businesses statewide on Tuesday, May 26th by appointment only, allows gatherings of 10 people or less with social distancing

LANSING, Mich. -- Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-96 to reopen retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. The governor’s executive order also lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide beginning on Friday, May 29. And the order authorizes small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing. 


Restaurants, except in northern Michigan, will remain closed to dine-in customers. Places of public accommodation such as casinos, gyms and hair salons are still closed statewide.


Whitmer said during her news conference Thursday that the current Stay-At-Home order will likely will be extended beyond May 28.


“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus. 


“As businesses continue to reopen, it’s crucial that they adopt strict safety measures to protect their employees, customers, and their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I know that as medical professionals begin offering nonessential procedures again, they will do everything in their power to protect patients and their families from COVID-19. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our partners across Michigan to protect our families and lower the chance of a second wave.” 


“This is great news for auto dealerships across the state,” said Doug North, President of North Brothers Ford. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership, and we welcome the opportunity to serve our customers in a way that helps keep everyone safe from the showroom floor to the open road.” 


The governor also signed a separate order, Executive Order 2020-97, updating a prior rule on workplace safety. Per the amended order, reopened outpatient health-care facilities, including clinics, primary care physician offices, and dental offices, will have to adopt strict protocols to prevent infection. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will issue guidance to aid those facilities in adopting appropriate safeguards. 


As before, businesses maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers. They must, among other things, provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions. 


“With today’s announcement, physicians and health care providers in Michigan are ready to resume taking care of patients,” said Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, president of the Michigan State Medical Society. “It is time for patients to catch up on the care that has been deferred for the past two months. We encourage the citizens of Michigan to tend to their health and protect each other by following public health guidance to prevent spread of this virus." 


Consistent with the governor’s previous Safer at Home orders, any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—like a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space. Michiganders who are not working as critical infrastructure workers or at a business that has been authorized to reopen should stay home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19. 


To view Executive Order 2020-96 and Executive Order 2020-97, click the links below: 


Tyden Park & Riverfront Park closed to foot traffic

Hastings Police Department is advising residents that Tyden Park and Riverfront Park are flooded, and is deemed unsafe for pedestrian traffic. Pedestrian traffic is prohibited until conditions improve.


Public health 'No Contact' advisory for Jordan Lake

On May 18th, 2020 the Lakewood Wastewater Authority experienced a sewage overflow into a creek that empties into Jordan Lake. Water testing performed by the Authority on May 19th revealed high levels of E. coli in the creek and in Jordan Lake.


At this time the Ionia County Health Department is recommending NO BODY CONTACT for Jordan Lake. Additional testing will be conducted by the Wastewater Authority until E. coli levels return to normal.

Questions regarding the details of the overflow should be directed to the Lakewood Wastewater Authority at (616) 374-3264.


Questions regarding the Public Health Advisory should be directed to the Ionia County Health Department.

Memorial Day drive-by tour planned in Barry County

With traditional Memorial Day parades and ceremonies cancelled, many are wishing for a meaningful way to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Barry County citizen Mark Englerth is helping to organize a way to do just that. 


Englerth wrote on social media:  “Let's show respect to our Veterans on Memorial Day. We will be meeting at the Gun Lake Community Church on Monday, May 25th at 9:30 am, and leaving at 10 to do a group procession to drive by Yankee Springs Veterans memorial. Our next  stop is the Orangeville Veterans memorial. Finally, we will take a beautiful scenic drive into downtown Hastings to the Veterans Memorial Plaza at Tyden Park. We will be escorted by the Sheriff's department, accompanied by Barry County Transit and other local businesses. This is a great opportunity for us to thank the Veterans and bring the community together, and let them know who we are. Any further questions may be directed by calling Mark Englerth at (269) 838-1289.”

Delton Food Distribution continues to feed Barry County Children

Delton Food Service Dept continue to feed children.  Tongiht from 4:00pm to 6:00pm they will offer Drive-Thru pick-up at the Delton High School for all Barry County children.  Teachers and staff will look forward to handing out meals and in honor of Arbor Day, Seedlings will  be distributed for each student. Masks will also be available please take 1-2 per family. 


Barry County United Way has donated Seeds, and a discount coupon to Barry County Lumber, Delton Pole Building or Hometown Lumber, along with instructions on building your own raised garden bed.


This Saturday Delton Food Service will have a special Memorial Day Grill Meal bag. at their distribution.  Delton Food Service is planning to continue their food distribution this summer and will include a box of veggies and fruit and extra goodies for each family through August 30th.  If you are unable to get out to a pick up site and need delivery contact Sharon Boyle by email or call 269-623-1223.


Delton Food Service will also conduct a summer feeding program survey, look for it by emai, on the Delton Kellogg Schools website and on their facebook page.  Please share this Food service with your neighbors.  It is not only for Delton students it's for all Barry County Children ages 18 and under or 26yr. and under with a disability.

May Rain Totals Hastings

May Rain Totals from May 2010 to May 2020


May 2010. 4.98 inches

May 2011.  6.68 inches

May 2012. 1.80 inches

May 2013. 1.90 inches

May 2014.  4.10 inches

May 2015.  5.06 inches

May 2016.  4.11 inches

May 2017.  2.90 inches

May 2018.  7.50 inches

May 2019.  6.00 inches

May 2020.  6.25 inches  through May 20th.

Arrests made in multi-county storage unit burglaries

The Michigan State Police·Wayland Post in conjunction with the Barry Township Police Department, Barry County Sheriff's Department and the Allegan County Sheriffs department have been investigating multiple storage unit burglaries that have occurred over the last several months.


On April 19th, 2020, two suspects were caught in the act of breaking into storage units near Lake Doster in Allegan County. The suspects were not arrested at that time due to restrictions on intake at county jails related to COVID·19.


On May 15th the same two suspects were again contacted after committing another burglary at a Hastings Storage Unit. In total, the suspects are believed to be responsible for multiple burglaries of storage units in Barry, Allegan and Calhoun Counties.


The Barry County Prosecutor's Office authorized charges for Criminal Enterprise and Conspiracy against 36 year old Terri Lorene Vantuinen and 18 year old Eric James Morgan, both of Barry County. The two are currently being held at the Barry County Jail.


Troopers from the Michigan State Police conducted a search warrant at the suspects residence and recovered several thousand dollars of suspected stolen property including, guns, ammunition, jewelry, furniture, electronics, tools and sporting equipment. The property is still in the process of being catalogued at this time.


Any citizen who discovers that their storage unit has been burglarized

can contact the MSP Wayland Post @ (269) 792·2213 to determine if their stolen property has been recovered. Due to the stay at home order, it is very likely that property has been recovered from storage unit burglaries not yet discovered or reported. Citizens are asked to contact their local police department and make a report if they discover a burglary at their rented storage units. We also ask

that, in the event you discover a lock on your unit that is not yours, contact the police before gaining access to your unit. Victims who have already filed a police report will be contacted to identify property once it has been properly processed.


Victims have been identified at:

1. Mid Lakes Mini Storage - Delton (Barry)

2. Gun Lake Discount Storage - Wayland (Allegan)

3. Wayland South Self Storage - Wayland (Allegan)

4. Hastings Storage -  Hastings (Barry)

5. Clear Lake Storage - Dowling (Barry)

6. Riverfront Storage and Sons - Hastings (Barry)

7. M&M Storage - Shelbyville (Allegan)

8. Lake Doster Mini Storage - Plainwell (Allegan)

9. Lakeridge Self Storage - Middleville (Barry)

10. Tires 2000 Storage units - Middleville (Barry)

11. West Point Corner Storage - Battle Creek (Calhoun)


The investigation is continuing.

2020 Hastings Live schedule called off

The City of Hastings and Thornapple Arts Council has cancelled the Hastings Live Series for the year. It had earlier been hoped that the entertainment could resume in July, however an update from Community Development Specialist Sandra Ponsetto says “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Hastings Live team has made the difficult decision to cancel all Hastings Live programming for 2020. We thank our community and sponsors for their consistent support, and we look forward to bringing back the music in 2021.”


The Hastings Live summer entertainment normally features live performances at various venues including Thornapple Plaza where the Hastings City Band, Friday Night Features,  Community Concert Series, and Hastings Summerfest performances take place, the Spray Plaza stage, and Barry County Courthouse lawn where   ‘Fridays at the Fountain’ feature local musical artists.

Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf to speak in Grand Rapids

Protester are expected to rally against gov. Whitmer's stay-at-home order Monday evening at  Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapidfs.

The event, titled "American Patriot Rally-Sheriffs speak out," will feature remarks from Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf.

Leaf, who has been in office 16 years, says he will not enforce the governor's stay-at-home order because he believes it is unconstitutional.

Mass to resume at St. Rose Church in Hastings

The Diocese of Kalamazoo announced plans to resume the public celebration of the Holy Mass at its parishes including St. Rose Catholic Church in Hastings beginning May 27th.

Barry County company receives grant to expand rural high-speed broadband service

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced during a virtual press conference Wednesday that the USDA is investing $22.5 million for two recipients in Michigan to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas. These investments are part of USDA’s round one investments made through the ReConnect Pilot Program.


The awards include an $11.8 million loan/grant combination to MEI Telecom Services/Barry County Telephone Company to provide affordable, fiber-based broadband services in rural Barry County. This project will extend broadband availability to 17 farms, 16 businesses and 12,000 residents spread over 127 square miles.


David Stoll of MEI Telecom & Barry Co. Telephone:

“The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.”


The other recipient, Southwest Michigan Communications Inc. is receiving a $10.7 million loan/grant combination to deploy Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband service to Van Buren and Allegan counties. This project will extend broadband availability to 22 farms, 19 businesses and 7,700 residents spread over 100 square miles.


The two projects will bring modern broadband service to nearly 20,000 residents.

A Grand Parade

Mother Nature provided the sunshine and the community provided nearly 200 vehicle's for Tuesday's parade through the Thornapple Manor campus for the residents, family members and staff.


In addition to individuals participating, a large number of Police, Sheriff deputies, Fire Trucks and emergency personnel also taking part in the observance of National Nursing Home week. 


Residents were out side the Manor as the vehicle's slowly drove  by blowing horns and waving to the residents. A Grand Parade for Thornapple Manor put together by staff and management.


Cargill partners with nonprofits to ensure Lake Odessa's community's resilience amidst COVID-19

 Lakewood Public shared that Cargill’s Lake Odessa location mission is to help the world thrive.  And for many years they have stayed committed to that promise with local and global initiatives.


 As a response effort to the COVID 19 Pandemic, Cargill is helping the Lake Odessa Community with a  generous gift of $145,000  and it will be put to good use to support emergency response, police, and fire departments in Ionia and Barry County. Additional recipients include Manna’s Food Pantry, Feeding America, and United Way’s Meals on Wheels program.


Cargill is also donating $20,000 to Lakewood Public Schools.  “As a school district, the financial support that Cargill has extended will support the needs of our students and families by providing meals and distance learning support so that they can be healthy and achieve.   Superintendent Randy Fleenor at Lakewood Public Schools said.  “I am deeply thankful for community partners like Cargill and their outpouring of support at a time where families are experiencing challenging COVID-19 related hardships.  That kind of care is what makes our small town communities so special.  It’s times like this that we are reminded how interconnected we are, and as a school district we are working to provide all of the help we can while simultaneously preparing for what’s next.”


General Manager of  Lake Odessa Cargill, Jay Patel said; “When volunteering at the local feeding America food pantry location, I have been moved by the gratitude families are showing.  It’s clear there is a growing need in the community and at Cargill, we are honored to help support in any possible way to take care of and be there for each other”.



Barry County Fair cancelled

The Barry County Agricultural Society Fair Board has announced that  the 2020 Barry County Fair, scheduled for July 20th through July25th, is cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns.


An update from the Fair Board says the decision to cancel the fair was not made in haste, and that many components of the fair were taken into consideration.  However, the health and safety of volunteers, participants, and the community are the top priority.


This would have been the 168th annual fair, which since 1852 has been a highlight of summer activities for many families, especially those involved in 4-H and FFA.  The Fair Board acknowledges the impact on the community, sponsors, vendors and families.


The Agricultural Society wrote "Thank you for your continued support through these trying times and we will see you at the 2021 Barry County Fair, July 19th - 24th."




Barry County Aug. 4 Primary ballot shows mix of old and new candidates

With the political season heating up, there will be much to see and hear on the state and national scenes before the November 2020 election. At the local level this year, some familiar names are not on the ballot, a few are seeking different offices and several new candidates are in the running.


Here are the offices, candidates and millage proposals on the Barry County Aug. 4 Primary ballot. A few filing deadlines have been extended because of the coronavirus so the ballot is not complete and will be updated.





NPA= no party affiliation



District 1: Howard R. Gibson (R), Martha Reyff-Banash (D)

District 2: Catherine Getty (R), Cody Hayes (D)

District 3: David Jackson (R)

District 4: Jon Smelker (R), Rich Burtts (US Taxpayers)

District 5: Ben Geiger (R)

District 6: Vivian Lee Conner (R)

District 7: Bruce D. Campbell (R), Ben McLeod (R)



Sheriff: Dar Leaf (R)

Register of Deeds: Barbara D. Hurless (R), Jordan Brehm (D), Heather L.Wing (R).

County Clerk: Pam Palmer (R)

Prosecutor: Julie Nakfoor-Pratt (R)

Drain Commissioner: Jim Dull (R), Kyle Staines (R)

Treasurer: Susan VandeCar (R), Jennifer Meyer, (D), Susan Vlietstra (R), Justin Straube (R)

Surveyor: Brian Reynolds (R)




Supervisor: Mike Timmons (R), Thomas J. Wing (R)

Clerk: Annette J. Terry (R), Tandra S. Angus (R),

Treasurer: Terry Ryder Stephens (D)

Trustee: James D. Miller (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Chad VanSyckle (R)

Clerk: Penelope J. Ypma (D)

Treasurer: Melissa L. VanSyckle (R)

Trustee: Michael Altoft (NPA), Gerard R. Ypma (R), Aaron VanSyckle (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Wesley Kahler (R), Rodney Dye (NPA)

Clerk: Debra Knight (R)

Treasurer: Judith E. Wooer (R) Michael Dye (R) Ingrid Pagano (R)

Trustee: Lee A. Campbell (R) Barry Bower (R), Ricky Lawrence (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Brad  Carpenter (R)

Clerk: Amanda Brown (R)

Treasurer: Terri Geiger (R)

Trustee: Gary VandeCar (R) Cary Smith (R), Scott Bond (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Cheryl Hartwell (R)

Clerk: Marcia Scramlin (R)

Treasurer: Joy E. Mulder (R)

Trustee: Earl M. Wilson (R), H. Michael Trahan (R) (two seats)


Hastings Charter:

Supervisor: Jim Brown (R), James M. Partridge (R)

Clerk: Anita S. Mennell (R)

Treasurer:  Jenee S. Phillips (D)

Trustee: Timothy B. McNally (R), Scott Savage (D), Timothy Wetzel (R) (four seats)



Supervisor: Douglas E. Peck (R) Joyce Snow (R)

Clerk: Deborah Jackson (R)

Treasurer: Arlene Tonkin (R) Jolene Payne (D)

Trustee: David Messelink (R), Matt Peake (R), Wendee J.Wendt (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Jamie R. Knight (R), Tim Ross (R)

Clerk: Sharon Olson (R)

Treasurer: Alesse Cross (R)

Trustee: Michael Buehler (R), Dean Bass (R) Rhonda VanPolen (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Barbara J. Earl (R) Roy Thunder (R)

Clerk: Sheri M. Babcock (R)

Treasurer: Karmen Kay Nickerson (R)

Trustee: Deana M. Powell (R), Jeffrey T. Warren, (R) (two seats) 


Maple Grove:

Supervisor: Jeff Butler (R)

Clerk: Holly Carpenter (R)

Treasurer: Ginger Cole (R)

Trustee: Larry Hook (R), Doug Westendorp (R) (two seats)



Supervisor: Thomas J. Rook (R)

Clerk: Mel Risner (R)

Treasurer: Michelle Ritchie (R)

Trustee: Linda Ribble (R), Chad Kraai, (R), Phillip Joseph (R), Jodi L. Patrick (R) Jake Bronson (R) (two seats)



Supervisor:  Jim Stoneburner (R), Mark A. Doster (R)

Clerk: Rod Gobel (R)

Treasurer: Judy Pence (R)

Trustee: Richard L.Van Niman (R), Ted DeVries (R) Mark D. Doster (R) (two seats)

Office of Parks: Judith A. Risdon (D), Scott Kuebler (R), Kevin Louden (R), Joanna Haneckow (D, John Kurak (D)


Rutland Charter:

Supervisor: Larry Watson (R)

Clerk: Robin Hawthorne (R)

Treasurer: Sandra Greenfield (R)

Trustee: Sandra L. James (R), Marlin Walters (R), Brenda Bellmore (R), Matt Spencer (R), Gene D. Hall, (R), Eric Miller (R) (four seats)



Supervisor: Dan Parker (R), Eric Schaefer (R)

Clerk: Cindy Willshire (R)

Treasurer: Debra K. Buckowing (R)

Trustee: Ross DeMaagd (R), Curt Campbell (R), Sandra L. Rairigh (R) (three seats)



Supervisor: Jeffrey S. MacKenzie (R)

Clerk: Nancy Stanton (R)

Treasurer: Shawn K. Durkee (R)

Trustee: Gabriel Steward, (NPA), Mikel Slater (R) (two seats)


Yankee Springs:

Supervisor: Mark W. Englerth (R), Rob Heethuis (R)

Clerk: Michael Scott Cunningham (R), Ron Heilman (R)

Treasurer: Debra L Mousseau (R)

Trustee: Shanon VandenBerg (R), Larry Knowles (R), Dave Van Houten (R) (two seats)




Barry Township asks for renewal of 2 mills ($2 per $1,000 of taxable value) for fire protection, 2020-2023, which would raise an estimated $260,000 the first year.

Also, Barry Township asks for renewal of 2 mills ($2 per $1,000 of taxable value) for police protection for 2020-2023 which would raise an estimated $260,000 the first year.


Irving Township asks for a renewal of 1.4566 mills for six years, 2021through 2026, for fire protection, which is estimated to raise $199,039 in the first year.


Johnstown Township asks for renewal of 0.7882 mills for the acquisition, operation and maintenance of fire protection and equipment, including fire and rescue equipment, which is estimated to raise revenue of $84,845 in the first year.


Maple Grove Township asks for renewal of 1 mill for four years, 2020-2023, for dust control and road maintenance which is estimated to raise $45,000 the first year.

Also, Maple Grove Township asks for the renewal of 1 mill for four years, 2020-2023, for fire department apparatus, maintaining, housing and operations, raising an estimated $$45,000 the first year.


Orangeville Township asks for renewal of 0.75 mills for five years, 2022 through 2026 inclusive,

for the purposes of purchase of fire equipment and apparatus raising an estimated $120,121 in the first year that the millage is levied. This millage becomes effective when the current millage expires in 2021.”


Rutland Township asks for a 1 mill increase for five years, 2020 through 2024, to maintain and improve public roads in the township and raise an estimated $158,814.25 in the first year.


Delton Kellogg Schools ask renewal of an 18 mill levy on non-homestead property for five years, 2021-2025, to continue to receive its per pupil foundation revenue and an increase of 0.5 mills for the five years, for operating purposes to restore millage lost as the result of the edlee Amndment. Headlee Amendment. If approved, the levy is estimated to raise approximately $3,174,000 the first year.


Help honor Health Care Workers with home luminary event

Luminary bags with special messages of support and affection will light up the night outside of hospitals, homes and in neighborhoods Tuesday to mark Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday and to recognize nurses and health care workers throughout West Michigan.


Steve Marzolf, Chief Nursing Officer at Spectrum Health Pennock explains:



Spectrum Health Pennock is asking community members to decorate and light luminary bags for special health care workers in their life May 12 at 9 p.m. to join in a reverent display of solidarity and appreciation.


Hospitals will have luminaries placed by employees, but community member luminaries should be displayed at home.


“The luminary event is a way for our communities to come together in gratitude while respecting social distancing and show nurses how much we appreciate their life-saving work and compassion,” said Angela Ditmar, regional president. “Now more than ever, nurses and all health care workers provide critical care in keeping our patients safe and healthy.”


People are asked to personalize and decorate their luminary bags by writing the name of their special health care worker or nurse along with a short message. Items from around the house can be used such as a tea light or other candles along with lunch bags, mason jars or milk jugs.


Photos or short videos of family members decorating their bags and lighting their luminaries can be shared by messaging or posting in the comments on the Spectrum Health Pennock Facebook page.


The event will culminate nursing week activities that will include a virtual Blessing of Hands ceremony Tuesday, May 12 performed by Pennock chaplain, Tod Clark. Spectrum Health nurses are also receiving a special car/window decal, along with being recognized in various celebrations at all Spectrum Health hospitals.


The 127th wing of the Michigan Air National Guard will conduct flyovers over eight Michigan cities to show support for front-line workers.

The first flyover is set for Tuesday May 12th for Lansing, Flint and Marquette.

A KC-135 Stratotanker which is a mid-air refueling aircraft will participate.

Also on Tuesday one or more A-10 Thunderbolts, known as "Warthogs" will fly over Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, and Traverse. City.

The Navy's Blue Angels will fly over Detroit on Tuesday.



UPDATE: The victims have been identified as Einar Villarreal and Nicholas Zepeda.


On Friday at 11:08 PM, Kentwood Police Officers responded to 4945 Marlette Ave on a report of gunshots. When officers arrived, they located two male subjects inside the residence. Both were in their 30's and appeared to be victims of gunshot wounds. Both subjects were pronounced dead at the scene. At this time, no suspects have been arrested. Kentwood Police detectives continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 or call silent observer.

Armed sexual assault suspect arrested following vehicle pursuit spanning two counties

The Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post was involved in a vehicle pursuit involving a 30-year-old Kalamazoo man who was reported to be the suspect in an armed sexual assault and kidnapping incident that allegedly occurred a short time earlier.


During the early morning hours of May 8, 2020, troopers located the suspect’s vehicle and attempted to stop it in Comstock Township. The suspect failed to stop and troopers chased the vehicle through several neighboring townships and into Battle Creek before stop sticks were deployed by the Battle Creek Police Department.  The vehicle ultimately crashed and the suspect fled on foot. 


The suspect was located and arrested a short time later and lodged in the Calhoun County Jail on charges of: Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Resisting & Obstructing a Police Officer and Fleeing and Eluding. Further investigation is pending on additional charges. His name is being withheld pending arraignment.


The Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post was assisted by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Battle Creek PD, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department.

Bradford White Corporation continuing efforts to improve groundwater quality

Bradford White Corporation announced Friday the next phase of its plans to strengthen its ongoing environmental efforts at its Middleville plant.


In the 1980s, Bradford White discovered a containment pit inside the manufacturing facility had leaked trichloroethylene, which breaks down to other chlorinated compounds including ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride.


For the last several decades, Bradford White has successfully worked with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), environmental scientists and engineers, experts and regulators to improve the groundwater quality near the Middleville facility and minimize the environmental impact. All significant aspects of the ongoing remediation have been performed under regulatory oversight and approval by EGLE. Treatment over the years has significantly reduced the extent and concentration of contaminants in the affected area.


Over the past several months, the company has been engaging stakeholders – including community leaders, employees, and environmental and conservation leaders – and working with EGLE to develop a Response Activity Plan (RAP).


“We are committed to listening to our community and being a good neighbor and a good steward of the environment,” said Mark Taylor, executive vice president and general manager at Bradford White. “Our Response Activity Plan outlines the continuance of our long-term, proactive remediation efforts to aid in protecting our environment, as well as improving groundwater quality and the Thornapple River watershed. As someone who has lived along the Thornapple River, I take our company’s responsibility in this matter very seriously.”


The key elements of Bradford White’s Response Activity Plan include proactive actions that have been in progress for years:


  • Ongoing successful bioremediation efforts. Since 2004, Bradford White has used a process called anaerobic biodegradation to destroy the chlorinated solvent compounds in the groundwater beneath the press room in the plant. This process uses emulsified soybean oil, which is injected into an aquifer to create an oxygen-poor environment and feed naturally occurring microbes that break down the chlorinated solvents to non-toxic forms. The soybean oil is environmentally friendly and does not migrate to the river. 


  • Continued control and treatment of groundwater migration. Groundwater is captured at two locations and is pumped to the plant where the contaminants are removed by an air stripper. The cleaned water is returned to the watershed under permit from EGLE. 


  • Regulatory compliance. Bradford White will continue to follow EGLE recommendations for continued regulatory compliance, including a final mixing zone determination anticipated from EGLE. Groundwater will continue to be actively monitored to ensure compliance with surface water standards. 


  • Groundwater use restriction update. In addition, Bradford White will work with the Village of Middleville to update the existing groundwater use restriction ordinance and engage the community and our stakeholders.


“Bradford White has always been fully committed to addressing this matter which impacts the community we serve and call home. We are proud of our remediation efforts and, by all measurements, they are working,” Taylor said. “Our Response Activity Plan, developed with environmental scientists, engineers, EGLE and community stakeholders, will strengthen our continuing efforts to improve groundwater quality and protect our environment. We are committed to preserving the Thornapple River for generations to come.”


“Over the past year, our Stakeholder Committee has worked closely with Bradford White to protect and preserve the Thornapple River Watershed,” said Erv Gambee, president of the Thornapple River Watershed Council. “I applaud Bradford White for taking this matter seriously and for listening to our thoughts, concerns and ideas as they developed the Response Activity Plan.  Based on the facts and data presented, the reduction of pollutants over time is remarkable. They have kept us informed throughout the process and we look forward to working with them as they continue to improve groundwater quality in and around the Thornapple River and watershed.”

Governor extends Stay Home, Stay Safe Order again, reopens Manufacturing as part of her MI Safe Start plan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order Thursday to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The governor’s order will allow manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan’s Big 3 auto companies, to resume work on Monday, May 11 as part of her MI Safe Start Plan.  


“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” said Governor Whitmer. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.” 


Under this “MI Safe Start” plan, manufacturing facilities must adopt measures to protect their workers from the spread of COVID-19. That includes conducting a daily entry screening protocol for workers and everyone else entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with a temperature screening as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained. They must also create dedicated entry points at every facility, and suspend entry of all non-essential in-person visits, including tours. 


Manufacturing facilities must also train workers on, among other things, how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected or confirmed diagnosis, and the use of personal protective equipment. 


All businesses in the state—including manufacturers—must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from others, and consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other workers. 


The governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect until May 28, 2020. Under this order, Michiganders still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to specified jobs. 

Recent Stimulus Checks

Sheriff Dar Leaf of the Barry County Sheriff’s Office has received clarifying information from  U.S. Representative Justin Amash’s office regarding recent stimulus checks being received by citizens in the name of a family member who had deceased prior to the receipt of the stimulus check.


According to Matt Weibel, Representative Amash’s district director, U.S. Treasury checks issued by the IRS that are sent to families for deceased individuals must be returned. If the deceased individual was married, the surviving spouse may keep their portion of the stimulus check.


Contact information for Representative Amash is:

Grand Rapids Office, 110 Michigan St. NW, Ste. 460, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503. Phone 616-451-8383.

Thornapple Manor honoring residents and staff

At 2:00 pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Thornapple Manor will be hosting a drive by parade for the residents, their families, and the staff of Thornapple Manor. It will be National Nursing Home week and normally there would be a full week of activities and events. This year, the facility is inviting the public to help celebrate this special time and acknowledge that even though we cannot hold big events with lots of people, we can show support to the residents and staff by having a drive by parade.


The plan is to bring the residents outdoors (social distanced) so they may watch as the parade, just for them, rolls through the campus. The public is invited to join them Tuesday, May 12, at 2:00 pm and to decorate signs, honk horns, use noise makers, and decorate vehicles. Resident families, local fire departments, EMS, law enforcement departments and others have also been invited to attend this short, fun, and wonderful way to say thank you; we miss you; and, we appreciate all you’ve done to make Barry County a special place to call home.


You are asked that you do NOT get out of your vehicle and approach any of the residents.


Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Thornapple Manor’s Administrator, Don Haney at (269) 945-2407.

Hastings Memorial Day Parade cancelled

Memorial Day public ceremonies in Hastings and in many other communities will be cancelled this year due to covid-19 precautions,  but the true meaning of the national day of observance will not be forgotten.


Jim Atkinson of Lawrence J. Bauer American Legion Post 45 said the Memorial Day parade in Hastings will not be held this year, however American flags will be displayed at Riverside Cemetery and at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Hastings.  Atkinson, who was organizing the parade for Post 45, said that a memorial ceremony will be announced and held at a later date to honor the most recently buried veterans.


When Michigan’s emergency order was extended by the Governor to May 28, American Legion Michigan Department Commander Barry Wood sent an advisory for Posts which discouraged ceremonies, owing to the difficulty in assuring adequate social distance.

South Jefferson Street

South Jefferson street project finished. Check the pictures.


The Barry County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist the Hastings Fire Department with a suspicious structure fire in Carlton Township Monday evening. 


Once on scene witnesses told Deputies they believed a female subject started the fire intentionally.  Sergeant Frazer of the Sheriff’s office said that after an investigation, a 35 year old female was arrested and lodged at the Barry County Jail for Arson.


There was no one in the building at the time of the fire and there were no reported injuries. The incident is still under investigation.


The Hastings Fire Department was assisted by Freeport Fire Department, Woodland Fire Department, Mercy Ambulance, and Barry County Central Dispatch

Lakewood Public Schools begins search for next Superintendent

The Lakewood Public Schools Board of Education is embarking on a search for a new Superintendent of Schools. Randy Fleenor, current Lakewood Superintendent, has accepted an offer to become the new Superintendent at Mattawan. Pending contract negotiations, Mr. Fleenor will begin his new duties with Mattawan on July 1.


In a facebook post the Lakewood Board said it has contracted with Michigan Leadership Institute to consult and guide the Board through the search process. Dave Killips, Regional President, will be working directly with the Board.


The Board of Education values the input of staff and community throughout this process. As part of this process, a survey is being conducted and is accessible on the homepage of the district website at under the Superintendent Search tab. All responses are anonymous even though the Board will see the final results. The purpose of the survey is to help the Board develop a profile for the district’s next leader.


Access to the survey will begin on May 4 and will close at 4:00 pm on May 10.


Information regarding the search will be updated on the website as information becomes available.

Survey Link:

Ionia County Crash

A crash Friday night in Ionia County’s Odessa Township resulted in fatal injuries to a 10 year old Lake Odessa boy and injured two other persons.


Police responded to the scene of the single vehicle accident on Clinton Trail just west of Tasker Road shortly before 9pm. Troopers said the vehicle was westbound on Clinton Trail when the driver apparently lost control and the vehicle left the roadway, rolling over several times. 


The 33 year old male driver was taken to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital and a 9 year old female passenger was rushed to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Both are expected to survive.  The 10 year old boy died from his injuries.


The names of the driver and children are not being released at this time by police.

Police say speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors in the crash.  The accident remains under investigation.

Inmate Death at Barry County Jail

Barry County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Michigan State Police were dispatched to the Barry County Jail Friday evening for an unresponsive Inmate. Corrections Deputies performed CPR on the subject but he was later pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death appears to be suicide, but the incident remains under investigation.


Sheriff's Deputies were assisted by Michigan State Police, Barry County Central Dispatch, Hastings Fire Department, Mercy EMS, Thornapple Township Emergency Medical Services (TTES).

MIchigan's 3rd Congressional District


U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, is backing Peter Meijer in the Republican primary for Michigan's 3rd Congressional district which includes Barry County.

Meijer a U.S Army veteran is one of five Republican candidates who have filed to run in the August Republican primary for the West Michigan District.

McCarthy said in a statement that "Meijer's life has been defined by his service to America and his community."

Spectrum Health


Spectrum Health Medical Group is reportedly pressuring doctors to amend contracts to give up control

of work hours and schedules  and put restrictions on future practices if they leave, according to a Grand Rapids Law Firm. Those who didn't sign agreements by Friday May 1st reportedly face a 25 percent pay cut.


The Law firm, Pinsky, Smith, Lafayette, & Kennedy, LLP said the Covid Virus is a smokescreen, used by the medical group to gain "unprecedented control, to the detriment of the community and free market of doctors."


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