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Local News Archives for 2021-08

Road Construction season not done yet -- M-179 resurfacing starts 9/7

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing approximately $1.9 million to resurface nearly 11 miles of M-179 (Chief Noonday Road) from M-43 in Hastings, west to Patterson Road, Gun Lake.

 

The project is scheduled to start Tuesday, September 7th after the Labor Day weekend. Lane closures and traffic shifts will be in effect throughout the project, which is estimated to be completed by November 5th.  

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Fatal Crash - Ionia County

On Sunday August 29th, 2021, at approximately 9:50 p.m. Deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a car vs pedestrian accident on N State Rd (M-66) near Parmeter Rd in Ionia Township.  Preliminary investigation shows that a 2011 Jeep Cherokee was North bound on N State Rd (M-66) when the driver, a 34 year old female struck the victim, a 24 year old male, who was in the roadway. The 24 year old male was pronounced deceased on scene. Speed and Alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash. The accident remains under investigation.  The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Ionia Department of Public Safety, Life EMS, Ionia County Central Dispatch and Reed & Hoppes Towing. 

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Update: Middle Lake drowning victim's body Recovered

Update:  56 year old, William Reagan was located at approximately 5:00pm on Sunday 8/29/2021 in Middle Lake with the assistance of the Michigan State Police Marine Services Unit.

 

Search crews have been looking since Reagan went missing Saturday, August 21st on Middle Lake north of Hastings while fishing in his kayak. Another boater found the kayak floating empty on the lake. 

 

Assisting at the scene during the week long search were Barry County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol, Marine, Barry County Central Dispatch, DNR, Mercy EMS, Hastings Fire Dept, Great Lakes Search and Rescue, Great Lakes Drone, Kalamazoo County Dive Team and the Michigan State Police Marine Services.

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First mosquitoes of 2021 carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus found in Barry County

Michigan residents are being reminded by the Michigan Department
of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect themselves from mosquito bites following the detection of the first Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)-positive mosquito pool of the year in Barry County.
 

The discovery in Barry County follows a report by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of an EEE-positive horse from Livingston County and underscores the need for both Michigan residents and horse owners to take precautions.

 

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S., with a 33 percent fatality rate among humans who become ill.  

EEE has a 90 percent fatality rate in horses that become ill, and infection in both people and animals occurs through the bite of an infected mosquito. EEE is not spread from person-to-person.
 

Signs of EEE include the sudden onset of fever, chills, and body and joint aches. Illness can eventually develop into severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.


This is the first year the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories has been performing testing on mosquitoes collected by local health departments and partners. To date, over 43,000 mosquitoes have been tested.


Residents can stay healthy by following steps to avoid mosquito bites:

 
-Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product, to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.


- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
 

- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
 

-Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
 

-Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.


To safeguard their horses, owners could take the following measures:


-Talking to a veterinarian about vaccinating horses against EEE.


-Placing horses in a barn under fans (as mosquitoes are not strong flyers) during peak mosquito activity from dusk to dawn.

 

-Using an insect repellant on the animals approved for the species.


-Eliminating standing water on the property-i.e., fill in puddles, repair eaves, and change the water in buckets and bowls at least once a day.


-Contacting a veterinarian if a horse shows signs of the illness: mild fever and stumbling, which can progress to being down and struggling to stand.

Additionally, West Nile virus activity in Michigan has increased in wildlife and mosquito populations. Health officials have identified 11 positive mosquito pools and 10 infected animals in the Lower Peninsula. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported
to date; however, a case has been reported in a horse from Midland County.

Mosquito-borne illness will continue to be a risk in Michigan until late fall when nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing.

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Update: 8/26 Fatal Crash - Ionia County

update: The victim of the crash has been identified as 20 year old Olivia West Long from Auburn Hills, Michigan. Long attended MSU and was in her junior year. She had been visiting friends in Holland and was returning to MSU when the accident occurred.
Long succumbed to her injuries at the Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.

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A two car accident occurred Thursday around 2:30pm on on I-96 near Knox Rd. in Ionia county's Portland Township. A car with a single occupant rear-ended a large box truck as traffic backed up from an accident in Clinton County.

 

The Ionia County Sheriff's Office said the driver, who's name has not been released, was a 20 year old female from Holland. She was briefly entrapped in the vehicle at the accident scene and was transported to Sparrow Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

 

The driver of the box truck was not injured. The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Berlin Orange Fire, Portland Twp Fire, LIFE EMS, Portland EMS, and Reed and Hoppes.

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Rep. Calley to host local office hours August 27

State Rep. Julie Calley will hold office hours in Woodland and Hastings on Friday,

Aug. 27, at the following times and locations:

 

-From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Herald E. Classic Memorial Park, 161 North Main Street in Woodland 

-From 1 to 2 p.m. at the Barry County Tyden Center, 121 Church Street in Hastings.

 

No appointment is necessary to attend.

 

Calley is also planning a virtual option for community members who are unable to attend in person. Please email JulieCalley@house.mi.gov or call (517) 373-0842 to schedule a Zoom meeting.

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New MSP Trooper from Hastings

A total of 57 troopers including Jonathan Cook of Hastings graduated Friday from the 139th State Police Trooper recruit school in Lansing. Jonathan is the son of Dan Cook a Sgt. with the Michigan State Police and was station at the Hastings post for  a number of years. Trooper Cook has been assigned to the Lansing post.

 

Troopers Stephanie Clark of Rockford, Trooper Maxwell Taylor of Holland,  Trooper Christian Contreras of Sturgis and Trooper Cody Tucker of Alpena have been assigned to the Wayland post.

 

The new troopers begin their new assignments Monday August 23rd.

 

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Divers searching Middle Lake for probable drowning victim

The Barry County Sheriff's Office spent Sunday at Middle Lake north of Hastings conducting a search for a missing person. A 56 year old male lake resident went missing Saturday evening while out on the lake fishing on his kayak. A short time later another boater found the kayak floating empty.

 

At this time, the search for the victim is still underway.  The name of the victim is being withheld at his time, pending notification of relatives.

 

Assisting at the scene are the Barry County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol, Marine, Barry County Central Dispatch, DNR, Mercy EMS, Hastings Fire Dept. and Great Lakes Search and Rescue. Great Lakes Drone, Kalamazoo County Dive Team

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Car Truck Crash

 

A Car Truck crash occured friday afternoon around 3:44 pm south of Hastings in Johnstown township.

State Police  said the accident happened on South M-37 near Hickory road near the county line.

No other information available at this time.

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Have a bushel of fun picking pine cones

Looking for an outdoor side hustle? Collecting a bushel of pine cones next month will net you $75 and help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources plant trees in state forests.

 

Sept. 1-30, 2021, you can pick red pine cones and drop them off by appointment at six DNR locations: three in the Upper Peninsula and three in the Lower Peninsula.

 

Fresh cones can be found in felled treetops from recent timber sales, on state forestlands and in recently gathered squirrel caches. The simplest way, however, is to pick from living red pine trees where branches extend close to the ground.

 

First, make sure you're picking the right species. Red pines have craggy, reddish bark and 4- to 6-inch needles that grow in pairs. Scotch and Austrian pine cones will not be accepted.

 

Cones should be picked off the tree; fallen cones on the ground are likely to be too old or wet. 

 

Cone scales should be closed, with a little bit of green or purple tint - all brown and open, and they're too far gone.

 

For more information follow this link:  https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-86469-566216--,00.html

 

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Tampering with utilities leads to arrest

During the severe weather storm that was occurring on August 12th, Wayland Police were called to the Harding’s Market and Family Farm and Home Strip Mall in Wayland.  Witnesses noticed a suspicious condition involving gas and electrical meters, and opened service panels.  Numerous electrical meters had been pulled from their service panels to dangerously expose electrical wiring to the elements as well as the gas that was being discharged in close proximity to the electrical wiring and environment. However, no fires or other damage occurred as a result of the tampering.

 

MSP Evidence technicians processed the scene, and an MSP detective joined the investigation.  Wayland Police canvassed the area and developed a person of interest. On August 13th Wayland Police arrested Shayne Nagel, a 34 year old male from Grand Junction, MI. 

 

Nagel has been arraigned on 2 Counts of Malicious Destruction of Utility Property, 1 Count of Assaulting/Resisting/Obstructing a Wayland Police Officer, and Habitual offender – Fourth Offense.

 

The Wayland Police would like to thank the Michigan State Police for their assistance with scene processing and assistance during the investigation.

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TCF Banking System Customer Alert

Customers of TCF Banking recenlty received a letter from Huntington National Bank that reads as follows.  "On behalf of the Huntington National Bank  I'm writing to inform you about an incident that involved personal information about you that was maintained by TCF National Bank before Huntingrton acquired TCF.  We regret that this incident occured and take the security of personal information seriously."

 

On July 7, 2021 we determined that a former TCF employee, who had been authorized to access customer information as part of the individual's job duties, misused certain customer informartion. Although we have not been able to determine when the individual removed customer information from TCF systems, we have determined  that the individual accessed customer records between November 2020 and April 2021.

 

We have determined that the personal information involved in this incident may have included, for example, your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number and TCF account number's.

 

We began investigating the incident as soon as we learned of it. We have contacted law enforcement with respect to this matter.

 

Consistant with certain laws, we are providing you with the following information about steps that a customer can take to protect against potential misuse of personal information.

 

As a precaution we have arranged for you, at your option, to enroll in a complimentary two-year credit monitoring service.  We have angaged Equifax to provide you with Equifax Complete Premier Services."

 

 

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2 Vehicle Crash

Barry County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Adams Road and Bender Road for a two car accident Wednesday evening.

 

Deputies said a southbound 2007 Ford vehicle failed to yield and was hit by a westbound vehicle, a 2003 Chevrolet. The juvenile driver of the southbound vehicle was transported from the scene to an area hospital and was in critical but stable condition.

 

The other occupants of the Ford were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

 

The crash remains under investigation.

 

Assisting agencies included Thornapple Fire Dept., Thornapple EMS, Aero Med, Barry County Central Dispatch

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Road work on M-37 continues

The Michigan Dept. of Transportation says that intermittent lane closures for road work will remain in effect through September 10 on northbound and southbound M-37 between Middleville and Caledonia.  Cherry Valley Road remains closed between M-37 and Parmalee Road. 

 

The $7.4 million M-37 makeover project is being paid for from the "Rebuilding Michigan" program to resurface approximately 6 miles of M-37 from the north village limits of Middleville north to 92nd Street in Caledonia.

 

Construction began in early May and was originally projected to be completed in mid August.

 

The project includes installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of M-37 and Finkbeiner Road/Crane Road.  New concrete curb and gutter, geometric improvements, new guardrail, culvert replacement, new signs, and pavement markings.

 

 

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Hastings DPS storm damage cleanup is Tuesday & Wednesday

The Hastings Department of Public Services (DPS) is picking up limbs and branches that came down in last week's storms. DPS crews should be done with storm damage clean-up on the south side of the city today (Tues) and the north side Wednesday.

 

Also, a reminder that they will not go back a second time, so after they pass by your house please do not put any additional brush by the street.

 

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Impaired driving enforcement looks to reduce crashes, fatalities on Michigan roads

Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan
State Police are partnering with the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) to get drunk and drugged drivers off our roads and save lives during the enforcement campaigns Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Drive High, Get a DUI, which will run from August 16 to September 6. During this period, increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with extra enforcement and increased officers on the roadway, aim to drastically reduce drunk and drugged driving.


“The end of summer and Labor Day holiday is a time for fun and community as families and friends gather for a final, late-summer celebration. Unfortunately, there are people who will make the wrong choice to drive impaired, needlessly putting themselves and others at risk,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director.

 
Over the 2020 Labor Day holiday period in Michigan, there were 1,833 crashes, including 15 fatal crashes, resulting in 15 fatalities. Of those 15 fatal crashes, 8 involved alcohol and/or drugs (53.3 percent).


In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher. Anyone who refuses a breath test for the first time is given a one-year driver’s license suspension. For a second refusal within seven years, it is a two-year suspension.

 

During last year’s August enforcement campaign, officers made 181 OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) and 35 OUID (Operating Under the Influence of Drugs) arrests for a total of 216 alcohol- and drug-related arrests.

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Power coming back on

The  electric service  is slowing coming back on after thousand of  Michigan residents and businesses lost their power to severe storms this week.

Consumers Energy is reporting  542 Barry county customers  still out of power.

Most of their customers should have their power back on by Saturday night.

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Power Outage Update

Consumers Energy crews along with crews from seven other states are working around the clock to restore electric service to thousands of customers that lost power do to the storms that hit Michigan This week.

 

As of Friday morning,

Barry County 2,523

Allegan County 10,401

Calhoun County 8,179

Ionia County 2,615

Kalamazoo County 2,043

Kent County 12,942.

Over 550 three and four person line crews are working to get the power back on.

Many thanks to all the crew members for their help.

 

 

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Early morning Fire believed to have been caused by Generator

A fire was reported early Thursday morning in Hastings at a home in the Meadowstone manufactured home community near South Hanover and Barfield Drive. The homeowners were running a portable generator in the bed of their pickup truck after losing power in the storms that tore through the area. The generator and truck caught fire, and the flames spread to the home. Fortunately, the couple and their two year old grandson, as well as their dogs, were able to get out of the home safely. There were no reports of injuries.

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More Storms More Power Outages

For the second straight day Thunderstorms pounded Michigan with high winds and heavy rain. In Hastings  over 2.40 inches of rain was recorded by the Hastings National Weather Service climatological Station. 

 

Consumers Energy reporting thousands of their customer out of electric service.

Barry County  7,152

Allegan County 12,837

Calhoun County 8,152

Eaton County 2,127

Ionia County 3,563

Kalamazoo County 4,068

Kent County 35,190.

More storms expected today.

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COVID Update - Barry & Eaton Counties now at "High" transmission levels

As of Wednesday, 8-11-21, the CDC has updated the COVID-19 transmission level in both Barry and Eaton counties to "high", an increase from the previous level of "substantial". 

With this new level of COVID-19 spread, Barry Eaton District Health Department and CDC recommend that all individuals wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, individuals who have been exposed to an individual known or suspected of having COVID-19 should be tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after exposure, regardless of vaccination status.

Both Eaton and Barry counties are now classified at the high community transmission level. Eaton County has a case rate of 112.45 cases per 100,000 persons (7-day average timeframe is 8/3/21 to 8/9/21) and a test positivity rate of 6.49% and is classified as high as of today. The number of new cases identified this week was 124, which represents an increase of 210% over the previous week.

 

Barry County has a case rate of 112.1 cases per 100,000 persons (8/3/21 to 8/9/21) and a test positivity rate of 10.42% and is classified as high as of today. The number of new cases identified this week was 69 cases, an increase of 92% over the previous week. Most counties neighboring the district have also met the substantial or high transmission threshold.

The level of positivity being seen indicates that we are likely not doing enough testing -- meaning that cases are being missed, and folks are spreading COVID-19 without being aware that they are positive. 

Current vaccination levels vary across the health department district.  While some areas have fairly good vaccination coverage, other areas are lagging and are at higher risk.  BEDHD encourages anyone who is able to get vaccinated. Vaccination prevents hospitalization and death among those who have breakthrough cases. BEDHD offers walk-in vaccinations at both offices.

 

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Storms and Power Outages

Storms packing high winds Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning  knocked out electric service to thousands of electric customers.

 The thunderstorm winds brought down trees and large limbs taking down power lines  throughout West Michigan.

Consumers Energy is reporting

Barry County 5,965

Allegan  13,812

Calhoun County 1,492

Ionia County 4,397

Kalamazoo County 6,842

Kent County 48,418

 

Greal Lakes Energy is reporting 786 of their Barry County Customers out of electric service.

 

More storms are expected today.

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Car Stolen others Broken into

 

Hastings police continue to investigate the theft of  a 2015 Chevy Malibu and a number of vehicle's broken into  some time late thursday night early Friday morning at a Hastings apartment complex.

One individual told WBCH News  a number of items including money was taken from her car.

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Lane Closures Saturday on S. M-37

M-DOT is advisoring motorists that lane closures for road work will be in effect Saturday (8/7/21) on the south side of Hastings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on M-37 (Broadway/Green/Hanover streets) from State Street to Quimby Road (just south of M-79). 

 

Meanwhile, the $7.4 million dollar makeover project continues on M-37 north between Middleville and Caledonia with lane closures and traffic shifts. The estimated completion date is August 20th.

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Sunfield woman struck and killed by car

On Thursday August 5th at approximately 12:12 p.m. Deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a car vs pedestrian accident on Sunfield Hwy near Bipley Rd in Sebewa Twp. 

 

Deputies say a 2013 Ford Fusion was south bound on Sunfield Hwy when the driver, a 43-year-old man from Mulliken, moved into the northbound lane to give a utility truck more space.  As he moved back into the south bound lane, he struck the pedestrian, a 74-year-old woman from Sunfield.  The pedestrian was flown by Aeromed to Butterworth Hospital however succumbed to her injuries. 

 

The accident remains under investigation. 

 

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Michigan State Police, Sunfield Fire, Portland Ambulance, Aeromed, and Reed & Hoppes Towing. 

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Update - Barricaded Gunman at Woodland Gas Station

After several hours of negotiations, State Police Troopers from Hastings arrested a man who had barricaded himself Wednesday night inside the Mobil Gas Station in Woodland where shots were fired. There were no reports of injuries.

 

The man was arraigned Thursday morning and  identified as 48 year old Timothy Maloy Riddle. The Barry County Prosecutor's Office filed charges against Riddle including Felonious Assault, Fleeing & Eluding police, and Resisting & Obstucting an officer. Additional charges may be filed on behalf of multiple police agencies in the coming weeks.

 

Riddle was wanted in connection with several break-ins in Barry County and was believed to have stolen guns in his posession. He was spotted Wednesday by Hastings police who started chasing him and called in the Barry County Sheriff's Office to assist. The chase ended at the gas station on M-43 in Woodland where Riddle ran into the store with a stolen shotgun and barricaded himself inside. Other persons inside the gas station were able to flee.

 

The MSP Emergency Support Team was called in around 6:30pm. State Police said Riddle gave up and walked out of the station around 1:30 Thursday morning. 

 

During the encounter, shots were fired by a Barry County deputy, resulting in no injuries. The Michigan State Police Wayland Post is investigating the officer-involved-shooting at the request of Barry County Sheriff’s Office.  

 

Riddle's bond was set at $500,000. A probable cause conference is set for August 25th before Judge Michael Schipper.

 

Riddle has a long history of criminal activity. He was convicted when he was only 15 years old for the 1988 homicide of an 80 year old man near Detroit. Riddle received a mandatory life sentence for the killing, but was later re-sentenced after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional. He was released from parole in 2019. Since then he has been arrested at least eight times for shoplifting, disturbing the peace, and larceny from a building. 

 

MSP Wayland Post was assisted at the scene by Barry County Sheriff Department, Barry County Tac Team, Hastings Police Department, Ionia County Sheriff Department, and the Michigan State Police ES Team. 

 

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Dispute settled between Hastings Dog Park Companions and City of Hastings

The City of Hastings says it has reached an agreement regarding a lawsuit between the City and the Hastings Dog Park Companions. The dispute concerns certain personal property located at the Hastings Dog Park on north Cass Street near the wastewater treatment plant.

 

On August 15, the Dog Park Companions will be removing the fencing from the Dog Park. The City will be replacing and improving the fencing and Dog Park following the removal.

 

The Hastings Dog Park Companions will be installing the fencing it is removing at its new location, the Barry County Veteran’s Memorial Dog Park, at 490 Powell Road, Hastings, which will be open to the public as soon as possible.

 

The Hastings Dog Park will be temporarily closed for the updates, beginning on August 15, but will be reopening as soon as possible.

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Voters say no on Bond proposal

Voters in the Hastings Area School District  said no on the request for a $21.9 million dollar bond proposal in Tuesdays election.

no votes were 1,693

yes votes 1,609.

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Naked Man

Motorist traveling on Broadway in Hastings Monday  saw a naked individual walking in the street.  No information on why he was not wearing any clothes.  One individual told WBCH News, "Maybe he was lonesome."

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Update from Health Department - Barry Co. now at Substantial level of Transmission

On Monday the Barry Eaton District Health Department said based on the number of new cases and the positivity rate of Covid-19 tests, Barry County is now rated in the “Substantial” level of transmission.


The CDC is estimating the severity of COVID-19 spread in each county. Counties are rated low, moderate, substantial, or high for COVID-19 transmission.


Last week, both Barry and Eaton counties were at the “Moderate” level of spread based on case counts and test positivity. Barry County is now in the “Substantial” level of transmission.


This level of risk means a few things:

 

1. Everyone aged 2 and older, including those fully vaccinated, should wear a mask indoors in public, because of the increased contagiousness of the Delta variant, and new data indicating that vaccinated folks can potentially spread COVID-19 even as their risk of severe morbidity and death is much lower.

 

2. Individuals who are exposed to someone known or thought to have COVID-19 are highly encouraged to seek COVID-19 testing with in 3 to 5 days of exposure, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms. These individuals should wear a mask until receiving negative test results, or waiting 14 days with symptom monitoring in the absence of testing.

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COVID-19 outbreak connected with Ionia Free Fair

Ionia Free Fair attendees who are not fully vaccinated are urged to get tested

 

The Ionia County Health Department is conducting an investigation of cases of COVID-19 illness associated with the Ionia Free Fair, held July 16-24.

 

At least 10 cases of COVID-19 have been associated with this year’s attendees, including individuals who were at the festival while they were symptomatic and infectious. If you attended the Ionia Free Fair, you may have been exposed to the virus.


“Attendees at the festival may have been exposed and are urged to get tested if they are not fully vaccinated or if they develop symptoms” said Ionia County Health Officer Ken Bowen. People with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic or have a wide range of symptoms – from mild to severe illness. Symptoms generally appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and may include:

 

-Fever or chills

-Cough

-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

-Fatigue

-Muscle or body aches

-Headache

-New loss of taste or smell

-Congestion or runny nose

-Nausea or vomiting

-Diarrhea

 

Individuals experiencing severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, chest pain, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds should seek emergency care immediately.

 

Attendees of the Ionia Free Fair are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 if they have not been fullyvaccinated, or have been vaccinated, but develop symptoms. Testing sites are available across the state, many of them offering free COVID-19 testing. Please visit Michigan.gov/coronavirustest to find a testing site near you.

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