Local News Archives for 2022-10

UPDATE: Fatal Accident on Maple Grove Rd in Baltimore Township

UPDATE: The deceased passenger has been identified as 17-year-old Zacharee Mason, male, of Hastings.  No arrests have been made in this investigation but the driver is under investigation for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Upon the completion this investigation, including lab analysis and autopsy results, a full report will be forwarded to the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The 19-year-old male suspect’s name will be held pending the prosecutor’s decision.


A 17 year old Hastings teen was killed Wednesday, Oct. 26 around 11:00 PM in a single vehicle accident in Barry County's Baltimore Township.

Michigan State Police say the passenger car was traveling west on Maple Grove Road near Foster Road when the 19 year old driver lost control. The car went off the road and overturned in a corn field. The 17 year old passenger was ejected from the vehicle and later pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and two other passengers in the vehicle were transported to Spectrum Health Pennock with non-life threatening injuries.

Troopers were assisted by Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Hastings Fire Department, Lansing Mercy EMS, and Nashville EMS.

HS Playoff Football Scores



Hastings  40  Vicksburg  7

Charlotte  27  Chelsea  15

Hastings will now meet Charlotte in Hastings.

Schoolcraft  49  Delton  6


For Tickets   It's   GOFAN CO

Barry County offers free Property Fraud Alert System to protect homeowners

FBI, police, and Register of Deeds offices in West Michigan are alerting property owners that mortgage and property fraud is on the rise, and all too often, victims of these types of fraudulent activities are unaware their homes or identity have been stolen.


Barry County Register of Deeds, Barbara Hurless, told WBCH that Barry County along with Kalamazoo, Allegan, and other counties have been working to help protect and alert citizens by phone call or email when someone files a claim in their name or parcel number.  Hurless said Barry County has been offering the alert service for about a year.


Property Fraud Alert is a free online subscription service offered to the public that allows their name to be monitored within the Register of Deeds office in order to track possible fraudulent recordings that affects their property.


According to the Barry County website, a common property fraud scenario involves a criminal filing a bogus deed making it appear that the actual owner had transferred ownership of a parcel to someone else.  The criminal then takes that deed to a bank, fraudulently obtains a mortgage and then disappears with a large amount of money.


While it can happen to anyone, perpetrators of property fraud often prey on the elderly, people in long term care facilities, absentee property owners and owners who spent large parts of the year out of town.


While Property Fraud alert does NOT prevent fraud from happening, it does provide an early warning system for property owners to take appropriate actions should they determine possible fraudulent activity has taken place.


Sign up for Property Fraud Alert on the Barry Co. Register of Deeds web page or at this link:

Fatal crash on M-43 at Gull Lake

Prairieville Township police are investigating a crash that occurred Thursday afternoon on M-43 highway at the north end of Gull Lake in which one person was killed. The crash happened closed M-43 in both directions between Bendere Road and Rich Lane for several hours.  The name of the deceased has not been released. No further information about the crash has been made available.

Irving Township Clerk 2020 Election Results


At Tuesday's Barry County Commissioners meeting Sharen Olsen Irving Township Clerk in Barry County who filed a lawsuit to decertify Michigan's election results and gave unauthorized access to election equipment continues to publicely amply voting machine conspiracies.

Olsen pointed to unproven reports suggesting voting machines were compromised in other states.

Olsen told commissioners, "it's not hard to find if anyone wants to look."

Spectrum Health Pennock welcomes new president

Hastings, Mich., Oct. 26, 2022 – Welcome to Bill Hoefer (pronounced Hoe-fur),  newly appointed president of Spectrum Health Pennock, also overseeing Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital. He began this new role Oct. 7.

On the journey to a unified region, Bill’s cumulative 27 years of health care experience and knowledge were the right skills at this critical moment in the journey to lead Pennock and Zeeland Community hospitals forward with passion and excellence.


Leadership experience at hospitals ranging in size from 56 to more than 700 beds has shown Bill is a proven innovator with a purposeful approach to ensure high-quality care. Bill entered the health care field as an administrative resident and since then has worked in many capacities, giving him a well-rounded understanding of operations across multiple functions. He has resounding, clear expectations that patients, families and community remain the core focus of the hospital’s goals. 


“I’m already finding myself inspired by the Pennock team. It is apparent team members are committed to providing exceptional care,” shared Bill. “I look forward to learning more about Barry and Ionia counties while ensuring we continue providing timely access to high-quality, safe care in an environment that meets the needs of our patients, team members and providers.”


As Bill transitions to guide Pennock and Zeeland hospitals, additional leaders join alongside him to provide a consolidated leadership model. Bernie Jore, chief operating officer, will oversee operations for both Pennock and Zeeland hospitals. Additionally, Jennifer Becksvoort, director, human resources business partner, will oversee the human resources functions for these two locations.  Together, these leaders will foster efficiencies among Pennock and Zeeland hospitals to meet the collective needs of the region.

Lane Closures on M-43 between Delton and Gull Lake

The Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) says motorists will encounter road work on M-43 in the Delton/Hickory Corners area on Thursday 10/20 & Friday 10/21.


Daily (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) lane closures for road work are scheduled between Orchard Road and Sheffield Road. 


Barry County Bar Association Memorial Ceremony

The Barry County Bar Association will hold a special Memorial Ceremony on Friday October 28th  In the Barry County Circuit Courtroom at 2:00 pm.

The Ceremony will Honor   James Goulooze, David Dimmers  both long time Attorneys in Hastings and Judge Gary Holman.

The Ceremony is the presentation of Plaque, Dedication of memorial benches. 

Delton Woman Will Stand Trial for Hit and Run

A Delton woman, Alexandra Marie Palmer, will go on trial in a Barry County Court in January.  Palmer is accused of hitting Mica LeBeau with her car on May 8th on Delton road. She failed to stop. Palmer was later found and arrested by police on June 13th.

Rep. Calley leads effort to make state's Open Meetings Act easier to understand

State Rep. Julie Calley is spearheading a plan to update Michigan’s Open Meetings Act to make it clearer and easier to understand.


The Open Meetings Act requires all meetings of a public body to be open to the public and lays out other requirements like providing notice to the public, the keeping of minutes, and what circumstances must be met to allow the body to hold discussions in closed session.


Calley said the Open Meetings Act currently includes confusing language and complicated legal terminology that can inspire more questions instead of providing clear-cut answers.  Calley’s House Bill 6423 takes a comprehensive look at the entire Open Meetings Act, making language clearer and more concise and reorganizing the information in a format that is easier to digest – all while staying true to the law’s original intent.


It also incorporates clarifying information compiled over decades by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office that is currently offered in the form of a handbook. 


Calley has worked closely with the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Townships Association, Michigan Association of School Boards, and Michigan Municipal League, and said she values feedback as the measure moves through the legislative process.


The bill remains under consideration by the House Rules and Competitiveness Committee.

ARPA Freeport Water Main Project Gets Underway

The Freeport ARPA water main project got under way October 3rd. CL Trucking and Excavating, LLC began placing cones and barrels on the 3rd and plans to have the project completed by October 31st


“They are sticking to the timeline presented at the Informational meeting that was held on August 29th, says Village President Bill Andrews. “It’s coming along nicely.” Occasionally there may be intermittent lane or road closures on Freeport Rd and East St during the construction.  While the construction is occurring in the southeast section of the Village, it will impact all residents on the water system. “This project will increase water quality and reliability for all Village residents,” states Freeport Village Water Operator Duane Weeks.


The project is one of two funded for the Village of Freeport. The ARPA grant totaling $839,000 was part of 6 million that the Barry County Board of Commissioners released through an RFP process in 2021. The second part of the project will include a major overhaul of the Village water tower. That project is in the design phase with Williams and Works. The bidding process will begin in late 2022 with the project slated to start in the Spring of 2023.



Barry COA seeking Nominations for Senior Citizen of the Year

Barry County Commission on Aging announes the opening of their  annual Senior Citizen of the Year award.  This award highlights the contributions made by persons age 60 and older to civic and social life in Barry County.  It focuses on the positive benefits of remaining active while growing older.  The 2022 award will be presented at the Barry County Commission On Aging's Christmas party, to be held December 16th, at the COA Building in Hastings.  The Senior of The Year is also invited to ride as an honored guest in the annual Hastings Summerfest Parade.  All nominations must be received no later than 5:00p.m. on Friday, November, 18, 2022.

US-131/M-179 Overpass and Interchange now officially open

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Gun Lake Tribe and the Allegan County Road Commission celebrated the completion of the new $23.7 million US-131/M-179 interchange in Allegan County. The project started March 1, 2021, and finished about a month ahead of schedule. The Gun Lake Tribe funded the majority of this project. 


“There are many things that have made this a once-in-a-career project, especially the generosity of the Gun Lake Tribe and the relationships that have developed over the whole process,” said MDOT engineer and project manager Thomas Sabin. “It’s been five years in the making and we are proud to have this open to the public slightly ahead of schedule.”


“We are very pleased to cut the ceremonial ribbon and share this new interchange with all of Michigan. This improved gateway is vital to our vision, and we are thankful that MDOT helped make it a reality,” said Bob Peters, chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe. “MDOT was able to replace and modernize this interchange while keeping it open and maintaining access for our customers.” 


The new M-179 overpass is a single-point urban interchange (SPUI). This design helps move large volumes of traffic through limited amounts of space safely and efficiently. A SPUI has the advantage of allowing opposing left turns to proceed simultaneously by reducing the two intersections into a single intersection over the free-flowing US-131. You can also find SPUI designs at the US-131/44th Street and US-131/Stadium Drive interchanges in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Barry County Monkey Pox


The Barry Eaton Health Department has identified a case of monkey pox in a Barry County resident.  The individual is isolated and does not pose a risk to the public.

This is the first case Identified in Barry County according to health officials.

Monkey Pox is a viral illness that spreads through direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, bodily fluids or prolonged face to face contact.

Within three weeks after exposure and infection, symptoms generally appear.



Spectrum Health/Beaumont Health change name to Corewell Health

BHSH System, the new health system formed in February 2022 by Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health, announced its new name Tuesday, Corewell Health.


“At our core, we are here to help people be well so they can live their healthiest life possible,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Corewell Health. “We recognize the amazing outcomes and history from Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. Now together, known as Corewell Health, we move forward unified, focused on health and wellness for all. The name selection is especially inspiring as it was influenced by thousands of ideas from our team members who put health and wellness at the core of everything we do.” Freese Decker said.


The change means that Spectrum Health Pennock in Hastings will now officially be known as Corewell Health Pennock Hospital.


A planned rollout of the new name that includes signage will begin soon and be phased over the next two years. The announcement comes nine months following the launch of the integrated health system.


new logo:

Barry County Commissioners 10-11-22

Several county employees were recognized at the Barry County Commission meeting Tuesday for their years of service to the county, including Joseph Cooper, Shawn Olmstead, Susan Zeeryp, and Jennifer Daley.


Commissioners re-appointed June Behrendt to the Department of Health and Human Services Board, appointed Kristen Laubaugh to the Barry County Community Mental Health Authority Board, and voted to de-activate the Barry County Animal Shelter Advisory Board.


Barry County has been awarded an Emergency Management Performance Grant in the amount of $53,088.00 for fiscal year 2022. Commissioners approved the Grant Agreement with the State of Michigan.


The Board continued discussion of the 2023 Barry County Proposed Budget and departmental budget appeals. Part of the discussion involved the staffing positions within the Sheriff’s Department. A Deputy Detective position and vehicle for that position were added in November, 2021.  Commissioners decided to remove that position and vehicle from the proposed 2023 budget.  It will not affect any of the current employees in the department because there are currently open positions.  Undersheriff Jason Sixberry told the Board that the department is having difficulty attracting and hiring new deputies to fill open positions.


A public hearing on the 2023 Proposed Budget is set for October 25th at 9am, after which Commissioners will vote on the County Budget for 2023.

Hastings City Council 10-10-22

The Hastings City Council met Monday evening and approved the annual Jingle and Mingle celebration for December 2nd through 4th as requested by the organizing committee. The 68th annual Hastings Christmas Parade will step off at 5:30pm on Saturday, December 3rd.  Details about the event can be obtained by texting the word “santa” to WBCH at 945-3414.


The Mayor and Clerk were authorized to enter into a sales listing agreement with At Home Real Estate for the city owned property at 1013 W. Green Street and to enter into a purchase agreement upon receipt of an acceptable offer. The city is selling the parcel, which includes the hilltop house and land located adjacent to the entrance of Fish Hatchery Park.


The Council approved a recommended 3% pay increase for City Manager Sarah Moyer-Cale. It approved a 5 year Wastewater Plant Management Agreement with Infrastructure Alternatives, and a contract with Lakeland Asphalt Corp. for downtown parking lot improvements.  Also approved were costs of materials and plumbing services for the lead line replacement program required by the state of Michigan.

The City of Hastings & Barry County YMCA Receive $7000 Mini Grant for Hammond Hill Park

The City of Hastings in cooperation with the YMCA of Barry County have been selected to receive a $7,000. mini grant from the Barry County Parks and Recreation Commission.  The grant will be used to improve Hammond Hill Park by constructing onsite storage, improving signage and building short tee pads for the disc golf course.


Contractor Takes Money Never Finished the Job



A Hastings home owner Jeremy Teeple wants his money back after he paid a local contractor Kyle Ziegler more than $20,000.  But the job never happened.

And Ziegler never responded to phone calls, emails and messages.

According to officials Ziegler is not a licensed contractor in Michigan.


Water Main Break

Hastings DPS crews worked all day Friday and into late Friday night repairing a water main break on North Broadway near the city limits.  Robert Neil said the repairs were taking longer than anticipated and they were expecting to finish repairs around midnight.

Hastings Gas Leak

Things are back to normal here in Hastings after a gas leak was repaired during the night.

The leak occured in the South Hanover area around 10:30 Sunday night.  Residents were advised at the time to stay away from Center street and Boltwood streets.

Consumers Energy has not said what caused to leak as things are back to normal..

Lake Odessa Man Charged in Shooting


A 74 year old Lake Odessa Man has been charged for shooting a volunteer for an anti-abortion group on September 20 according to the Michigan State Police.

Richard Alan Harvey shot the 83 year old woman as she was going door to door canvassing about the November ballot to enshrine abortion rights in Michigan.

She was shot in the back and shoulder while  handing out pamplets. 

She then drove herself to the lake Odessa Police Station. She was taken to a nearby hospital  where she was treated.


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