Local News Archives for 2020-12

Radon Test Kits Available

Barry and Eaton County Residents can pickup free radon test kits throughout January, which is Radon Action Month.  Radon is a naturally occuring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of radium. Radon moves through the soil and enters buildings through cracks.


The test kits are available in Hastings at the Health Department at 330 W. Woodlawn Avenue.

In Delton at the Delton District Library, and in Charlotte at the Health Department at 1033 Healthcare Drive.

COVID-19 vaccinations begin in Michigan skilled nursing home facilities

Skilled nursing home residents and staff began receiving the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna Monday through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program. Both Thornapple Manor and Hastings Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center are listed under that program.


The pharmacy partnership is a national initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the Phase 1A priority groups of long-term care facility residents and staff. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is partnering with CVS and Walgreens through the program to manage and facilitate safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities and local health departments.


There are about 91,000 people including residents and staff at nursing facilities, and it is expected to take about three weeks to complete vaccinations. Additional eligible facilities will soon begin receiving vaccinations including assisted living, personal care homes, residential care, adult family home, adult foster home, HUD supportive housing for the elderly and veterans’ homes. The list of sites enrolled in the program is available at


MDHHS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. CDC recommendations are based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the federal advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States. Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long term care facilities. Additional information on the state’s vaccination phases is available in the prioritization guidance.


Larcenies from Unlocked Vehicles

Trooper Scott Sharrar of the Michigan State Police in Hastings reports a recent rash of night-time larcenies from unlocked vehicles has been taking place in the area, with several reported Sunday night in eastern and southern Barry County.  Vehicle owners should lock their car doors and should not leave valuables in their vehicles.


Some residents report motion lights going off or dogs barking. If possible, check on suspicious activity or call 911 to request and area check.

Spectrum Pennock receives Covid Vaccine

Janine Dalman Manager, of marketing & Communication at Spectrum Pennock Hospital in Hastings  informed WBCH NewsThe first doses of the Covid vaccine were administered Wednesday to 30 Clinician at Spectrum Pennock Hospital,  with more to be given Saturday.

Dalman said,"The clinic went well."


Power Outages


Strong winds from a powerful cold front pushing through Michigan is causing power outages across the state.

Consumers Energy reports:

Barry County  87

Calhoun County  380

Kent County 951

Allegan County 205

out of electric service.

COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives at Barry-Eaton District Health Department

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) on Monday received initial doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Frontline staff at BEDHD began receiving first doses of the vaccine to prepare for upcoming mass vaccination efforts. Additional vaccines will be provided to first responders and other members of vaccine distribution Phase 1-A.


“BEDHD is honored to begin the vaccination process in our district,” said Colette Scrimger, MSW, Health Officer of BEDHD. “This is what public health is here for, and this vaccine will be an important step forward in protecting the health of residents of Barry and Eaton Counties.”


Jackie Anderson, RN, was the first individual to be vaccinated at BEDHD. "I was grateful to receive a COVID-19 vaccine today. Getting COVID-19 vaccines out to the community will be a critical step in ending the pandemic and slowly bringing life back to our new normal.”


The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose vaccine. The first and second doses are spaced 28 days apart. After the second dose, the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection. The two doses of the Moderna vaccine cannot be mixed and matched with the similar Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines use mRNA technology. While these are the first mainstream vaccines that use this technology, mRNA technology for vaccines has been studied for some time. The Moderna vaccine is FDA-approved and safe for individuals who are aged 18 and older. “Vaccination is the best strategy to prevent the spread of disease,” said Dr. Woodall, DO and Medical Director at BEDHD. “The Moderna vaccine has been highly effective in clinical trials and BEDHD is optimistic that eventual widespread vaccination will help us beat COVID-19 in the district.”


After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, individuals should continue to take precautions such as social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. Like every vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine is not 100% effective. Additionally, the vaccine has not been approved for children. As such, these disease prevention measures will need to be maintained until pandemic activity is sufficiently reduced.


For updates regarding BEDHD’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, please visit On this page businesses, healthcare providers, and individuals in categories 1-A and 1-B can fill out a form indicating interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Further questions about BEDHD and the COVID-19 vaccine can be addressed to

Man rescued after falling from tree stand


Two west Michigan Hunters on their way home from hunting in the Ionia State Recreartion Area heard a person calling for help.

The two found Luke Miller laying between a couple of trees. Miller had fallen about 15 feet from his tree stand.

The two hunters called for help on their cell phone staying with the injured man until emergency personnel arrived and took him to a Grand Rapids  hospital where he is now recovering.


MDHHS begins re-opening of High Schools and indoor entertainment, but not indoor dining at Restaurants

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its epidemic order Friday to allow indoor activities where Michiganders can remain masked. This includes in-person learning at high schools and indoor entertainment venues. 


-Indoor dining in bars and restaurants is still prohibited, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery.


-Casinos, bowling centers and movie theatres will be allowed to reopen with total capacity capped at 100; food and drink concessions closed; and social distancing requirements in place.


-Gyms remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place.


-Outdoor group fitness and outdoor non-contact sports will again be allowed.


-Employees who can work from home should continue to do so.


The new order is effective Monday, Dec. 21 and will last until Friday, Jan. 15.


Indoor residential gatherings remain limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with consistent with guidance already released by the department. Families are encouraged to stay home this holiday season to maintain the positive momentum that has developed and to protect loved ones. Families are also encouraged to Mask Up, Mask Right, using new guidance for what masks to wear and how to wear them.


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New Idea to Dining out

Since restaurants have been shutdown for indoor dining and allowed only to offer outdoor dining or takeout, the Sand Bar and Grill at Gun Lake came up with a unique idea. Bring your ice shanty to their lot, and if you don't have one you can rent one of theirs.


Table, chairs, blankets and bluetooth speakers are provided by the Sand Bar and Grill. They call  the idea Shanty Land.


Like the old saying goes... Where there's a will, there's a way.

Starting over for Success seeking Barry County-area landlords for its program

Starting Over for Success (SOS) is a Barry County non-profit organization that  helps parolees or probationers coming out of jail or prison to make  a successful re-entry into the community.


The outstanding needs of clients while they re-establish themselves back into the community are jobs, housing and transportation. Operating like a staffing agency the group provides job training, development, searches, job retention and access to many community resources. They have a van for transportation to and from jobs that is working well.


The organization is now increasing its emphasis on providing housing in the wider Barry County area, as part of its partnership with the Offender Success Program. Many ex-offenders have homes to go to with family, friends or wives, but some do not.


“Funded housing is both a crucial and successful resource for returning citizens,” SOS Housing Specialist Karen Ferrier said. Landlords provide a home for parolees who need transitional housing; SOS gives each person moving into a housing unit food and hygiene kits and bedding to get them started.


“We provide a number of services to assist with their return such as a clothing voucher; assistance in getting their identification whether it’s a birth certificate or driver’s license/State ID; bus tickets to help them get around town to meet their parole agents, shop, doctor appointments, job interviews and so on. 


“We also connect them with many community resources for food, clothing, financial assistance and medical/prescription,” Ferrier said. “Our goal is that every offender released from prison will have the tools needed to succeed in the community and the opportunity to use those tools to be productive, self-sufficient citizens.”


"Stable housing for returning citizens means safer communities.  Renting to returning citizens means renting to tenants who have extra oversight and support," she said.  "In fact, the very purpose of parole is to provide structured, supported and supervised transition back into the community.

Our ex-offenders learn of the benefits of social connections and community support."


In Barry County, Ferrier handles the housing segment and Joyce Snow handles the employment part of the Offender Success Program. The fiduciary is Michigan Works! West Central for Barry and other counties.


If you are a landlord able to provide housing to our returning citizens, contact Ferrier at 517-667-9629; Snow at 269-908-1091 or e-mail or

Fatal Crash near Wayland

Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers from the Wayland Post responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of 135th Avenue and 4th Street in Wayland on Wednesday, Dec. 15th at approximately 6:19 p.m.   


A preliminary investigation determined that a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by a 58-year-old male from Middleville was southbound on 4th Street and failed to stop at the stop sign.  He drove into the path of a westbound Ford Taurus driven by a 45-year-old female from Wayland which resulted in a collision. 


The driver and only occupant of the pickup was pronounced deceased at the scene.  He was later identified as Chad Grayling Cole.  The driver and only occupant of the passenger car, later identified as Wendy Jo Dunkle, sustained non-life-threatening injuries that only required at-scene medical treatment.  


MSP was assisted at the scene by Gun Lake Tribal Police, Yankee Springs Township Fire Dept., Wayland Fire Dept., and Wayland EMS.


Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be involved.  Neither vehicle appeared to be speeding.  It is not known what caused the male to disregard the stop sign.

Spectrum Pennock in Hastings waiting for the Vaccine

More of the COVID 19 vaccine is being shipped to hospitals across the nation from the Pfizer Facility in Portage near Kalamazoo.


WBCH spoke with Bernard Jore Chief Operating Officer at Spectrum Pennock in Hastings who told us.  "We are still waiting like many other health care institutions." Jore said, " as soon as we receive it we will let you know so you can inform the public."

Fatal Crash on US-131

A fatal crash occured Tuesday on US-131 at the Dorr Exit (Exit 68).  South Bound traffic was shut down for crash reconstruction taking place as well as debris cleanup.


The crash involved a single semi that had been traveling southbound when it ran off the roadway north of the Dorr exit and rolled, ejecting its two occupants.  One of the occupants  was transported from the scene with non life threatening injuries.  Life saving measures were attempted on the second occupant however the individual succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. 


The crash is being investigated by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office reconstruction team and the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division.


The ACSO was assisted by the Michigan State Police, Wayland Police Department, Gun Lake Tribal Police Department, Wayland EMS and Dorr FD


County Board honors the life and legacy of Commissioner Dan Parker at final meeting of 2020, declares State of Mourning

The Barry County Board of Commissioners held an emotional meeting Tuesday, during which many tears were shed, sympathies expressed, and memories shared for Commissioner Daniel R. Parker who died Friday, December 11 from Covid-19 virus complications at age 73.


The Board passed a resolution to honor the life and legacy of Parker, who owned a publishing company, served on the Middleville Housing Commission in the 1980’s, the Thornapple Kellogg Board of Education in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Middleville Village Council, and three terms as a Barry County Commissioner. He was just elected Thornapple Township Supervisor.


The Board declared a three-day State of Mourning honoring the loss of Commissioner Parker beginning Wednesday.  Accordingly, the Board of Commissioners has directed that United States, Michigan and Barry County flags at county government facilities be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 through Friday, December 18, 2020.


Visitation will be held Wednesday, December 16 at St. Paul Lutheran Church near Caledonia. A private funeral will be held Thursday at the church by invitation only, but will be live-streamed on the church’s You-tube channel. Arrangements are by the Beeler-Gores Funeral Home.


"Our hearts are broken in losing Dan Parker. But he wouldn’t want us to be sad. He would want us to find peace. In this dark hour, we can find peace in seeing his legacy all around us. It’s in the Middleville neighborhoods he helped build. It’s in parks and trails he made possible. It’s in the thriving TK School District he pushed it to be. And it’s in the hearts of people like me, who he mentored by his faith and example. Rest in peace, Dan. We won’t let your light stop shining."
                                                                                            - Ben Geiger, Barry County Commissioner.



Tuesday’s meeting was the final Board of Commissioners meeting of 2020. The Board took care of consent items, year-end business, adopted a resolution to issue Bonds for the Middleville Wastewater Plant and approved a resolution to alter the boundaries of the Village of Middleville.


It was also the final meeting for County Commissioner Heather Wing, who did not seek re-election to her Commission seat in November.  A Resolution honoring her service on numerous Boards and Committees and as Board Chair was adopted. In her Chairperson’s report, she summarized the ‘state of the county government’ and expressed that it has been a privilege and honor to serve.

Two Michigan Hospital Monday Received the Vaccine


Frontline health care workers at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids and the University of Michigan Medical Center Hospitals in Ann Arbor were the first to receive the COVID Vaccine. No word at this time as to when Spectrum Pennock in Hastings will receive the vaccine.

The first priority of allocated vaccines in Michigan will be to front-line health care workers and to residents and staff of long term health facilities. 

Don Haney Administrator of Thornapple Manor in Hastings is expecting the vaccine soon but not sure when.


The Michigan national guard received a request from the Michigan Department of Health and Human services to support community healthcare organizations with logistical and Medical assets for the vaccinations across the state.

Michigan Finalizes Election Results During Electoral College Meeting 

Michigan convened its meeting of electors Monday in the Senate chamber of the Michigan Capitol Building to cast all 16 electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Electoral College.   


In total, more than 5.5 million votes were cast during the General Election -- with 2,804,040 votes (50.62 percent) for Biden/Harris and 2,649,852 votes (47.84 percent) for Trump/Pence. Under Michigan law, the electors are required to cast their ballots for the candidate who won the most votes during the General Election.   


As stipulated by the U.S. Constitution, Michigan’s representation in the Electoral College consists of 16 electors, which is equal to the cumulative number of Michigan’s two members of the United States Senate and 14 members of the United States House of Representatives. 

National Guard supports vaccination efforts for Michigan

The Michigan National Guard received a request from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to support community healthcare organizations with logistical and medical assets for COVID-19 vaccinations across the state.


The Guard will first staff approximately 50 COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Teams that will report to four hospital locations deemed priority by the state of Michigan as early as Tuesday, December 15.


The first priority of allocated vaccines in Michigan will be to front-line health care workers and to residents and staff of long-term health facilities. After that, MDHHS plan to expand vaccinations to essential workers and those people who are at high-risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses.


The National Guard has been integrated into the state’s emergency response to the pandemic since Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced its activation on March 18.  Across the state of Michigan, the National Guard also continues to support COVID-19 testing and assisting at local food banks. There are currently several hundred Michigan National Guard members supporting these missions. COVID-19 vaccination support by the guard is expected to continue into Spring 2021.


Covid 19 Vaccine Shipped Sunday


Early Sunday morning the first shipment of the vaccine left Pfizer's  Portage Kalamazoo manufacturing facility  inroute to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Sunday morning.

An Airbus 300 carrying the vaccine took off at 11-am, One hour and thirty minutes later it arrived in Memphis Tennessee one of many distribution centers.

More shipment are scheduled to leave the Portage facility today Monday.

Thornapple Manor Administrator Don Haney told WBCH News, "so far we have gotten the information that we need, the forms, the prep material.  But we do not have a date as of yet, a specific date for the vaccine."


The distribution plan begins with:

Phase 1A  would include health care workers and people who work and live in long-term care facilities.

Phase 1B would include workers in essential industries.

Phase 1C would include people 18 and older who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 cases due to pre-existing conditions.

Phase 2 would be a rollout to the general public.

Covid-19 Vaccine Approved


The U.S. gave the go-ahead Friday to the nation's first Covid-19 vaccine, marking the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

Vaccine shots for health workers and nursing home residents are expected to begin in the coming days. Possibly this coming next week.

Congressman Fred Upton said, "this vaccine is the pride and joy of Kalamazoo. It has been a labor of love, patriotic duty, and determination to restore our way of life and save the world.  I cannot reiterate enough how proud i am of Southwest Michigan  and all of the Michiganders part of Pfizer's Team.

This is a historic accomplishment, creating a safe, effective vaccine to help end this deadly pandemic."

Stretch of Northbound US-131 closed Thursday afternoon due to accidents



Accident #1:       NB US131 near the 60 mile marker a pedestrian who appeared to have been working on a broken down vehicle stepped into the lane of traffic and was struck by a semi traveling NB on US131.  The pedestrian suffered life threatening injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene.  The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Wayland EMS, Wayland Fire, Yankee Springs Fire, Life EMS, Gun Lake Tribal Police and MSP.  The incident is still under investigation by the ACSO reconstruction team.  Names are not being released until next of kin is notified.  The driver of the Semi was not injured.


Accident #2:       NB US131 at the 54 mile marker a report of a four car crash occurred from the residual traffic back up from accident #1.  Three vehicles were stopped when a driver of a midsize pickup truck failed to stop for the backed up traffic causing this crash.  An occupant of one of the vehicles struck was severely injured and died on scene.  No other injuries for any of the other occupants of the other vehicles.  The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Life EMS, Martin Fire, Gun Plain Fire and Plainwell DPS.  This incident is still being investigated by the ACSO reconstruction team.  Names of the deceased will not be released until next of kin is notified.


Accident #3       

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Wayland Post are investigating a multi-vehicle traffic crash that took place Dec. 10th at approximately 12:50 p.m. on US 131 Hwy, north of 116th Ave in Martin Township, Allegan County. The crash involved two semi-tractor trailers and one pick-up truck. Preliminary investigations revealed the driver of the first semi-tractor trailer was slowing for a traffic back up due to a separate fatal crash investigated by Allegan County Sheriff Department.  The driver of the pick-up was behind the first semi-tractor trailer and was also began to slow due to traffic back up.  The driver of the second semi-tractor trailer was behind the pick-up but did not notice the pick-up slowing or that traffic was backed up.   As a result, the second semi-tractor trailer rear-ended the pick-up and subsequently pushed it into the first semi-tractor trailer.  The pick-up and the second semi-tractor trailer went off the roadway and collided into a ditch.  All three drivers were treated by EMS on scene with one driver being transported to Metro Health Hospital for further treatment.  Identities and location of residence of the drivers are unavailable at this time.  However, this information will be shared once it is made available. Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Martin Township Fire Department, Wayland EMS and the Michigan Department of Transportation. 

Delton restaurants ordered by Health Department to Cease and Desist all inside dining

Bowen’s Family Dining in Delton on Wednesday was issued a ‘Warning Order Finding Imminent Danger’ from the Barry Eaton District Health Department for being open to the public and offering inside dining at the restaurant without restrictions, and for openly advertising that they are open for inside dining.


The Health Department said Bowen’s is in violation of the December 7th ‘Gatherings and Face Mask’ Emergency Order from the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services. Bowen’s Family Dining is ordered to Cease and Desist all inside dining and take other steps to comply with the Emergency Order.


On social media, Bowen’s said “obviously this puts us in a terrible situation. Stay open and put our license, which we’ve had since 1976 in jeopardy or close our doors and continue to watch our employees suffer through this difficult time.”


The Facebook post indicated that Grove Street Café in Delton had also been issued a similar Cease and Desist order Wednesday from the Health Department for being open for inside dining.


BEDHD stated that violation of the Emergency Order constitutes an imminent and substantial danger to the public health. Both restaurants say they are following safety protocols for indoor dining such as social distancing, limiting capacity, and wearing of facemasks.


Grove Street Café has posted that Garrett Soldano, co-founder of the Stand Up Michigan movement, will speak there this Saturday in support of the small businesses.


Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf Files Federal Civil suit again Michigan


In a interview with channel 3 news Sheriff leaf claims that Michigan experienced massive election fraud.

leaf asked a federal judge Monday to order the preservation of all records from the election and to impound the voting machines and software used for the count.


Numerous complaints and Affidavits filed with the barry County Sheriff's Office indicate fraud and violation of Election laws.

Those problems were often associated with counties that used software and voting machines from a company called Dominion.


In Monday's court filing, Leaf said the state Bureau of Elections issued a memo to all county clerks December 1st mandating the destruction and deletion of all software, data, files, materials, and other relevant physical evidence pertaining to the election by December 7th, with the exception of a few counties that will be audited.

Leaf claims that the counties selected for audit didn't use Dominion machines or software.


The suit was filed against the Michigan governor, Secretary of State and the Michigan Board of Canvassers.


In today's (tuesday) addition of the Detroit Free Press the article says  The Chief Judge of the federal court in Grand Rapids has denied a request for an emergency order from a controversial  Michigan Sheriff Dar leaf, saying documents the sheriff filed Sunday are so legally deficient it is not clear he has started a court action.

MIchigan State Police Trooper of the Year

Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper Monday recognized Trooper Evan Alkema of the Wayland Post as the 2019 Doctor Carl A. Gerstacker Trooper of the Year.

Alkema currently serves as a field training officer, drug recognition expert and a standardized field sobriety test instructor.

Others that were honored were Justin Steichert as the 2019 Motor Carrier of the Year, and Ms. Sarah Leist as the 2019 Civilian of the Year. 

MDHHS extends epidemic order 12 days to ensure COVID-19 surge is stabilizing

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has extended by 12 days the epidemic order that restricts indoor social gatherings and other group activities. The additional 12 days will allow the department to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the spread of COVID-19 across Michigan.


Under today’s order, MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings, and only two households may gather inside, with strict protocols recommended. Individuals should wear masks consistently whenever they are inside with individuals not in their household, and are recommended to pick only a small group to see regularly. Bars and restaurants must remain closed for dine-in service, but can remain open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery. Gyms are open for individual exercise with mandatory masking and additional strict safety measures. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes remain closed. Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators. Colleges, universities and high schools will continue with remote learning, with no in-person classes.


The order will keep existing measures in place through Dec. 20 and does not include a blanket stay-home action. Employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, including those in manufacturing, construction and health occupations. Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining and parks remain open. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines. 



Two Individuals Robbed in Allegan County


Allegan County Sheriff's Office Deputies arrested three suspects after two people were robbed at gunpoint in Hopkins Township.  The robbery took place in a vacant lot thursday around 5-pm.

Deputies later found the three suspects in homes in the Village of Hopkins and Hopkins township.

All three were  arrested and taken to jail.

New Freeport Men's Book

The Freeport Historical Society created two books featuring the women of Freeport’s past published in 2018 and 2019. The books, using information from obituaries, newspaper accounts and family stories, were very popular and sold out the original printing, forcing them to order more.



For 2020, they decided on featuring the men from Freeport area’s past.



The Freeport Men’s book is back from the publisher and will be for sale for $12 on this Saturday Dec.5 from noon to 3p.m. at Geiger’s Printing on Freeport’s main street.


Covid19 restrictions; masks, distancing and plastic shields will be observed. The Society has 250 books on hand and can order more.


The time span covers the last couple of generations of Freeport men, with photos for almost all of them, their family history, their wives, their children and where they worked. Colleen Smelker, secretary of the society said.


Using the Barry County Veterans book as a resource, Smelker highlighted every veteran’s military service, which branch they served in and when.


“That part was very important to me,” she said. The stories of the men have photos of when they were in the service, where they worked, and high school graduation and wedding photos if they were available, usually supplied by the family. Smelker also tried to note their addresses.


The first book was stopped at 112 men, and will continue in another book next year with at least that many more Freeport former citizens. In some cases, father and sons are featured, and once in a while, brothers.


“If you’re from the Freeport area, you’ll know these guys,” she said. “It was nostalgic for me. I like seeing them when they were young.”


She’s looking forward to compiling a third book, probably in two years, about the men who founded the Village of Freeport.


“That will be interesting, what those men went through. This is a great history book. Children can look up their grandfathers and great grandfathers…get to know them. And it’s a nice Christmas present, especially with the virus keeping people at home now.”


Water problems continue around Crooked Lake in Delton

Water problems continue around the Delton area as the result of high water on Crooked Lake since 2018. The Barry County Drain Commissioner and local officials came up with a temporary solution that involved pumping the lake water into retention ponds.


Now, others living near the lake say that has caused more problems. One individual and his neighbors say they have noticed an increase in rust in their well water, and say their water tastes bad. John Jarvis who has experienced the rusty, bad tasting water, says the problems began when retention ponds just down the road from his home began to fill.

Delton Kellogg K-12 going to virtual learning

Delton Kellogg Schools is moving to Virtual learning for K-8 grades beginning Wedneday, Dec. 2nd through Dec 4th. This is due to Elementary Staff out for Covid related reasons. Pre-school and Daycare will remain open.   Class for Dec. 7th will be re-evaluated on Friday as to whether they are able to return to in-person instruction for K-8th. 


The High School remains in Virtual Learning to Dec. 8th, returning to in-person instruction Dec. 9th, including all extra curricular activities unless if the Governor extends the shut-down of in-person learning for High Schools.


Lunches for all students K-12th will be available for pickup Wednesday Dec. 2 from 3:30 to 5:30pm. at the High School.  

WBCH Stuff Our Station is going on now, Lani Forbes of United Way gives an update!

The WBCH Stuff Our Station is once again going on now, collecting new, unwrapped gifts and toys for Barry County kids. You can drop off your gifts and toys here at our WBCH studios, or at anyone of our participating sponsors, Southside Pediatrics, Hometown Lumber and Hardware in Nashville, or at the PFCU branches in Lake Odessa or Caledonia. WBCH spoke with Barry County United Way Director Lani Forbes to give us an update, listen below:



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