Local News Archives for 2021-05

Memorial Day Observances

Several area communities will hold ceremonies, parades and events to observe Memorial Day and honor our nation's fallen heroes:




Monday, May 31st, the American Legion Post 45 of Hastings will conduct their annual Memorial Day ceremonies. There will not be a parade in Hastings this year.  


A ceremony with comments from officials at the Hastings Veterans Memorial at Tyden Park willl be held at 11:00a.m.   Wreaths will be placed at the base of the Civil War Monument and POW-MIA flag.  The Honor Guard will fire a rifle salute and TAPS will be sounded...followed by a walk to the riverbank  to place a wreath into the river to honor those how have served on and under the waterways of the world.  A rifle salute and TAPS will end the Tyden Park Ceremony.


At noon on Monday at Riverside Cemetery, American Legion Post 45 will have a ceremony at the Avenue of Flags and at the GAR monument, with comments from officials and the placing of wreaths and giving honors.


Lake Odessa


The Jackson Mutschler VFW Post 4461 will preside during a Memorial Day Service at Lakeside Cemetery in Lake Odessa starting at 11:00am.


Hickory Corners


There will not be a parade or pancake breakfast in Hickory Corners this year, but the Sons of the American Legion will serve Barbequed Chicken, Pulled Pork and Hot Dogs along with side dishes from 11am to 2pm at the Simmonds Williams American Legion Post 484 in Hickory Corners. Limited seating is available, so they encourage take-out orders.




Orangeville will host a  Memorial Day Ceremony Sunday at 2:00p.m.  honoring the fallen of the township with guest speakers, the Delton Kellogg High School Band, and an Honor Guard from Hastings American Legion Post 45 of Hastings.




Prairieville will hold a Memorial Day Service in the cemetery at 1:00p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.




The Middleville Lion's Club Memorial Day Parade is back on  Monday, with the line-up starting at 9:30am and the Parade stepping off at 10:30am from the big parking lot adjacent to TVC Middleville Campus. 




In Wayland, a bus will transport veterans between six sites for Cemetary Honors starting at 8am.

The Annual Memorial Day Parade and Cookout hosted by Wayland VFW Post #7581 will be held Monday starting at 11:00am, beginning at the Michigan State Police Post, marching south, and concluding at the Wayland VFW Post with a 21 Gun Salute at the VFW Flagpole.


Following the parade the public is invited to the VFW to enjoy the BBQ cookout. Lunch will include brats or burger, macaroni salad and chips.




Caledonia's events begin with services at several area cemeteries followed by a parade. At noon the parade will step off at Kinsey and Main streets, concluding with a ceremony at Caledonia Lakeside Cemetery. Caledonia's American Legion Post 305 plans the events.




Hastings and Thornapple Kellogg High Schools - Graduation Ceremony moved up an hour to start at 6pm

HASTINGS:  Due to pending inclement weather for this evening’s graduation ceremony at Hastings High School, we will be moving the start time from 7:00 PM to now begin at 6:00 PM. Gates will open at 5:00pm. Senior graduates will report at 5:30 pm to the Main Gym.


Just a reminder, tickets are still required for entry, due to covid restrictions. We apologize for the last-minute change, however we would like to ensure this outdoor celebration takes place before any inclement weather begins. Please spread the word and communicate this to your family/friends who plan on attending.





We have been monitoring the weather and we have a large system moving our way that may impact the graduation ceremony. In order to provide the best ceremony possible for our graduates, we are moving the start time to 6:00 p.m. This will allow us to avoid possible severe weather and much of the rain. As previously stated, the ceremony will continue regardless of rain. We want to provide the best experience possible for our graduates and avoid having to move the ceremony to our backup date of Saturday, May 29.


Gates will be open at 5:00 p.m. We will still live stream the ceremony for those unable to attend and there will still be a video screen available for viewing on the AYSO soccer fields behind the tennis courts.

Here are the links for the live stream of the ceremony.


TK YouTube Link


TK Facebook Link

BEDHD to hold Community Vaccination Clinics in Freeport and Bellevue

Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is offering Community COVID Vaccination Clinics:


Wednesday, June 2 at the Freeport Community Center from 3pm to 7pm. BEDHD will be offering Johnson & Johnson (J&J/Janssen) vaccine at this clinic. Any Michigan resident age 18 and older is welcome.


Thursday, June 3 at Bellevue High School from 4pm to 7pm. BEDHD will be offering the Pfizer vaccine at this clinic. Any Michigan resident age 12 and older is welcome.

Yankee Springs Golf Pro wins low club professional at PGA Championship

Ben Cook who teaches at the Yankee Springs Golf Course shot a final round 74 to win low club professional at the 103rd PGA Chamionship that ended Sunday.

Cook received a crystal bowl as low club pro to make the championship from a team of 20 at Kiawah, South Carolina. Cook estimated he was followed by a crew of 20-plus friends and family, some wearing "TeamBenny T-Shirts.

Traffic Crashes on the Rise


Traffic crashes across the state are on the rise according to the Michigan State Police. Fatal crashes have gone up by a total of 34 percent and serious injury crashes have increased by 27 percent.

 Lt. DuWayne Robertson tells us Michigan is traveling more again and there is more traffice out there.

Statistic collected showed Kalamazoo County had more total fatal crashes than any other counties in the region including Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, St.Joseph and Van Buren counties.

Speed is also a factor.

Severe Drought in Barry County.


The National Weather Service has upgraded parts of Michigan including Barry County to Severe Drought Conditions including Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, Van Buren and southern Muskegon County do to a lack of rain. So far the Hastings Climatological Weather Station has recorded at half inch of rain for this May, compared to 7.25 inches in May of last year. also adding to the problem Hastings only received 41 inches of snow through the winter. The normal snow fall is between 75 and 80 inches for a winter season.

while the chances of rain are not zero the next few days are limited to just scattered  showers and possible thunderstorms.

Thornapple Manor Ground breaking celebration on new addition.

Thornapple Manor Director Donald Haney along with Barry County Commissioners, the Manor Board of Directors with a number of commumity members attended the official Ground breaking celebration Friday for their New assisted living facility.

The 14 million dollar addition to the campus will be completed by 2022.


Revised "Vacc to Normal" Plan Allows for Increased Capacity

Thursday Governor Whitmer revised the "Vacc to Normal" plan regarding COVID-19 related restrictions to increase indoor capacity limits and remove all outdoor capacity restrictions.


  • Effective June 1st:
    • All outdoor restrictions and masking requirements will end.
    • All indoor capacities allowed up to 50%.
  • Effective July 1st:
    • All capacity restrictions will be lifted.
    • Gatherings & Face Mask order will be lifted.

To reflect these changes, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), will release an updated epidemic order on Monday, May 24th. Throughout the month of June, people who are not yet fully vaccinated will still be required to mask up while indoors.

Sensory-Friendly Options for COVID-19 Vaccination

Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is excited to offer a sensory-friendly option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Sensory-friendly clinics are being offered Saturday, May 22 in Barry and Eaton County. These clinics will offer a more relaxed vaccination experience. Any Michigan resident age 12 years and older who prefer a sensory-friendly setting is welcome!

Sensory-friendly clinics are being offered at the following locations on Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations:


- Eaton RESA – 1790 E. Packard Hwy, Charlotte, MI 48813

- Barry ISD – 555 Woodlawn Ave, Hastings, MI 49058

What will make these clinics sensory-friendly?
- There will be separate, more private areas for check-in, vaccine administration, and waiting.
- Lower lighting levels.
- Picture communication materials for explaining the vaccination process will be available.
- Social story (tool often used by people with autism) about vaccination will be e-mailed to those who register.
- Fidget items will be on hand for distraction, comfort, or stimming if desired.
- Patients are encouraged to make any sounds that they would like during the vaccination process!
- Staff trained on sensory and disability accommodations and best practices.


Pfizer vaccine will be administered at both locations. A limited number of appointments are available. Registration is highly recommended, walk-ins will only be accepted if there are gaps in appointments.


For individuals under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian will be required to be present at the appointment. The link to register is


Groundbreaking for $14 million dollar housing project is this Friday, May 21

In 1958 it was clear that the people in Barry County needed a medical care facility that would address the needs of the frail, elderly, and medically challenged. Now 63 years later, Thornapple Manor is once again, as it has done repeatedly in the past, responding to a need in our area.


With the severe housing shortage in our community, the Barry County’s Department of Health and Human Services board worked with a strong team from Thornapple Manor, CM Contracting, and representatives from Eckert Wordell, to create a facility that will be called Harvest Pointe, in honor of the countryside where the 50-unit assisted living project will be built.


Thornapple Manor, the 161-bed county owned skilled nursing facility located three miles east of Hastings, is hosting groundbreaking ceremonies for Harvest Pointe at 2:00 p.m. this Friday, May 21, 2021. Address will be 2950 McKeown Rd.  The public is welcome to attend the groundbreaking.


Administrator Don Haney stated about this week’s ceremony “Thornapple Manor is excited to be looking forward to the future with a new addition in our continuum-of-care services. We are adding Harvest Pointe; a 50 bed assisted living facility designed to provide another state-of-the-art option for Barry County Seniors needing support to maintain their independence.”


“Thornapple Manor will be 100% responsible for all debt payments, including the start-up phase” reminded Haney, and he continued “We appreciate the support we have received from our commissioners and community.”


Harvest Pointe will offer one bedroom, one bedroom deluxe suites and studio units. With dining services, spa, on-site laundry services, walking paths, transportation availability, hair/barber salon, activities, housekeeping, mail services, on-call nursing, and more, Harvest Pointe will fit the needs of many.


For further information, the contact number is (269) 945-1326.

Rep. Calley to host local office hours May 24

State Rep. Julie Calley will hold office hours in Middleville and Hastings on Monday, May 24.


“Listening to people in our community and understanding your priorities helps me better represent our area when I got to Lansing,” Calley said. “I look forward to hearing your input and assisting with any questions you might have.”


The informal meetings will take place:


From 10 to 11 a.m. at the Middleville Village Hall, 100 E. Main St. in Middleville.

From 1 to 2 p.m. at the Hastings City Hall, 201 E. State St. in Hastings.


No appointment is necessary to attend.

Free Marijuana Lock Boxes -- Lock it Up!

The Barry County Substance Abuse Task Force (SATF) will host its first lock box giveaway event this Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10 am – 1 pm, in the Barry County Community Mental Health parking lot located at 500 Barfield Drive, Hastings, Michigan.


The SATF will give away free LockMed boxes which can be used to secure marijuana and cannabis products, as well as prescription medications. The lock boxes are part of the SATF’s campaign to bring awareness to the need to “Lock It Up” to keep children and others safe by restricting and limiting access to marijuana.


Any and all Barry County residents can receive a lock box. This event will be a “drive through” event and those interested in receiving a box will simply drive up and be handed a lock box with no questions asked. Boxes will be limited to one per household and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.


“Marijuana is legal for medical and adult recreational use in Michigan, but it’s not safe for everybody, especially children”, stated Liz Lenz, SATF Coordinator. “These boxes will help keep marijuana secure and out of the reach of others”. The lock boxes provide a safe and easy way to prevent access to marijuana products by children and youth, which could result in accidental ingestions and poisonings. Lenz added, “Parents and caregivers of children can do the next right thing to keep everyone safe—and keep marijuana out of reach”.


The SATF applied for and received the State of Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Grant through Licensing and Regulation Affairs (LARA) for 2021; funds from this grant were used to purchase the lock boxes as well as to promote overall safety and harm-reduction messages regarding marijuana. Media campaigns and activities will focus on the importance of keeping marijuana products secure and safe, as well as on preventing youth access to and use of marijuana, stressing the importance of not driving after using marijuana, and avoiding marijuana use during pregnancy.

Fatal Ionia County Vehicle Crash


A 31 year old  man from Woodland died Sunday after his  vehicle flipped multiple times according to Ionia county deputies. The Ionia County Sheriff's Office said the man was driving east on David Highway at a high rate of speed when he crashed Sunday morning around 12:30 am.


Flags lowered Saturday for Peace Officer Memorial Day 

Governor Whitmer, in accordance with a proclamation issued by President Biden, has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the state of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, May 15 in recognition of Peace Officer Memorial Day during Police Week.  


The day was established by Congress in 1962 to recognize law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.


The State of Michigan honors Peace Officer Memorial Day by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.  


Flags should be returned to full-staff on Sunday, May 16.  

Gov. Whitmer Lifts Mask Requirement for Fully Vaccinated Michiganders

Reprinted from Press Office


LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is updating the Gatherings and Mask Order to align with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance on face coverings. The new order will effect on Saturday, May 15 at 9AM.


“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal. The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.” 


On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance recommending “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” 


“It’s critical that eligible Michigan residents who have not yet been vaccinated schedule their appointments as soon as they can,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy director for health. “Getting shots in arms is the best way to end the pandemic. If you have not yet been vaccinated, it is important to continue to mask up to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.” 


“The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and all the hard work that Michiganders have done allows us to take a big step in returning to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “This updated order keeps Michigan in alignment with CDC guidance that is based on the knowledge of health experts. I urge our residents to continue to be respectful of each other as we move forward.” 


Under the updated MDHHS Gatherings and Mask Order, Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, but residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others.


After July 1, the broad indoor mask mandate will expire.  


Today’s news was welcomed with bipartisan support: 

“The new guidance from the CDC and the state’s loosening of the mask mandate in a safe way is very welcome to our communities – we are excited to get back to normal,” Mayor Don Gerrie (R – Sault Ste Marie) said. “We appreciate the partnership efforts throughout our state and in our local communities in following the covid-safe guidelines and making sure vaccinations are readily accessible to residents in a fast and efficient manner. I am thankful every day for the amazing health care and public safety professionals we have in Michigan.” 


To date, Michigan has administered 7,875,785 vaccines. According to CDC data, 55.6% of Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose, with more than 43% percent of Michiganders ages 16 and older being fully vaccinated. The state has also administered the vaccine to 927 Michiganders between the ages of 12 to 15 years old.  

New Addition Coming To Barry County's Thornapple Manor


A groundbreaking event at Thornapple Manor is set for Friday May 21st at 2:00-pm for the celebration and the start of construction for their new 50 unit Assisted Living Facility.

The new unit will be located on the Manor Campus at 2950 McKeown road east of Hastings.

After a long term study to determine if their was such a need, Thornapple Manor was given the green light to move ahead with the project.

Fatal Accident in Eaton County

On Tuesday, Eaton County Sheriffs deputies were dispatched to Ionia Rd north of Nashville Hwy in Vermontville Twp on the report of a serious injury crash. Upon arrival, deputies located the driver of a Saturn car who was pinned in and gravely injured. Eaton Area EMS arrived and pronounced him dead shortly later. The deceased was ID'ed as 41 year old Brandon Harmon of Vermontville. Preliminary Investigation revealed Harmon was northbound when for an unknown reason he crossed the center line and struck a southbound Floater tractor. The tractor driver was uninjured and cooperative with investigators. Alcohol and seat belts do not appear to be factors in the crash.

Algonquin Lake Treatment

Algonquin Lake west of Hastings is scheduled to be treated for aquatic weeds and algae this mid May, depending on weather and weed growth. Shorelines will be posted. Lake residents are being asked to observe any water restrictions.

Gary Holman Former Barry County Judge Died

78 year old Gary Holman of Hastings who served as a Barry County District Judge from 1979 to 2011 died on May 4th.

Before becoming a District Judge Holman served as Barry County's first full time prosecutor in 1976.

Due to Covid the family will be holding a private celebration of Gary's life and a Golf outing in his memory.


M-66 Road Work starts Monday

Motorists traveling on M-66 east of Woodland may experience traffic delays starting Monday.  The Michigan Dept. of Transportation says daily (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) lane closures for road work will be in effect May 10th through June 4th on M-66 from Coats Grove Road to M-50 (Brown Road).

One person ejected in two vehicle crash in Ionia

On Thursday at 4:31 PM, Deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office and Officer’s from the Ionia Department of Public Safety were dispatched to E Main St and Fourth Ave for a two car personal injury accident. Witnesses on scene reported a person had been ejected from one of the vehicles.  Upon investigating the crash it was determined a passenger car had crossed the centerline and collided with a commercial vehicle.  The driver of the passenger car, a 25 year old female from Ionia, was ejected from the car after the vehicle overturned.  She was transported to Grand Rapids with serious injuries.  The driver of the commercial vehicle was not injured in the crash. 

Former Barry County teacher accused of trying to have his wife killed

Nelson Replogle, a former Thornapple Kellogg school teacher, is accused of trying to hire someone to kill his wife using Bitcoin.


According to court documents, Replogle was arrested late last month in Knox County, Tennessee after FBI agents received a tip from the British Broadcasting Company about someone providing $17,800 in Bitcoin on-line to hire someone to kill his wife. Court documents, according to Fox 17 news, state that the Bitcoin used to make the payment for the murder-for hire website was traced back to a Coinbase wallet.


Replogle was a former social studies teacher and a senior class advisor for TK Middleville in 2018.

His wife is a former teacher at Hastings Northeastern School.


MDHHS Updates Epidemic Order, relaxes Mask Requirements for Outdoor Gatherings

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services relaxed its COVID-19 Gatherings and Face Masks epidemic order to encourage safer outdoor activities as spring and summer bring warmer weather and new opportunities to go outdoors. 


Under the new order, which goes into effect Thursday, May 6, and continues through Monday, May 31, masks are generally not required outdoors unless a gathering has 100 or more people. In addition, anyone who is fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms is not required to wear a mask at residential gatherings, including indoors.


New guidance for organized sports no longer requires routine COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated participants if they are asymptomatic. Masks continue to be required for contact sports but are no longer required outdoors during active practice and competition for non-contact sports. For example, softball and baseball players will be required to wear a mask in the dugout but not when at bat or playing first base.  


MDHHS continues to urge Michiganders to follow CDC guidance, even where not specifically required by an epidemic order. For people who aren’t yet fully vaccinated, that means masking up whenever around other people not from your household.  


Updates to the Gatherings and Masks Order encourage outdoor events with larger capacities permitted for entertainment and recreational facilities and for sports stadiums and arenas that hold events outdoors. This includes: 


Large outdoor events, including festivals, fairs, and golf tournaments?will be able to exceed the current 1,000-person limit so long as they create and post a safety plan consistent with the MDHHS Large Outdoor Event Guidance, and no more than 20 persons per 1,000 square feet are gathered in any space available to patrons.  


Outdoor stadiums and arenas: 

Stadiums complying with enhanced protocols will continue to be allowed to operate at 20% of their fixed seating capacity. For example, a stadium with a maximum capacity complying with enhanced protocols would be permitted to host 8,000 patrons.


Otherwise, for stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,000 patrons may be gathered (previously 750). 


For stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 10,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,500 patrons may be gathered. 


Residential outdoor gatherings?are allowed up to 50 people. Or, where density does not exceed 20 persons per 1,000 square feet of usable outdoor space, up to 300 people may be gathered.    

School covid funds

The federal goverment handed out a fist full of Covid Extra Relief dollars to schools throughout Michigan including the following area schools.

Maple Valley $4,507.00 per student

Delton Kellogg $2,526.00 per student.

Lakewood $2,289.00 per student.

Hastings $1,860.00 per student

TK Middleville $970.00 perstudent. 

The Flint area school district will receive $51,192.00  per student.



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