Local News Archives for 2023-08

Barry-Eaton District Health Dept. to add Health Resources Vending Machine

In partnership with Mid State Health Network, Barry Eaton District Health Dept. (BEDHD) has installed a new Health Resource Vending Machine in the lobby of the Health Dept. office in Charlotte. The purpose of the machine is to provide FREE health resources, like Naloxone, to the community in a private and easily accessible way. BEDHD is looking into avenues to install a similar Health Resource Vending Machine in Barry County.


Health resource supplies in the machine include:

• Narcan (Naloxone)
• First Aid Kits
• Medication Disposal Bags
• CPR Face Shields
• Fentanyl Test Strips
• Mini Sharps Disposal Containers
• Dental Kits for Adults and Children (Provided by the Eaton Oral Health Coalition)
• Condoms (Provided by the Wear One Program at BEDHD)


The naloxone in the machine has been provided by the State of Michigan to reduce the harm of opioid overdoses in our district. The other supplies have been provided through various resources including funds from the State Opioid Response grant.


More information can be found on the BEDHD website here:

Orange Barrels Will Be Moved and Lanes Reopened to Ease Labor Day Weekend Travel

This Labor Day weekend the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is moving orange barrels to the side of the road and removing lane restrictions on 56 percent of its road and bridge projects statewide to ease traffic delays and increase safety for holiday travelers.   


Beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, and continuing until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 93 out of 166 projects statewide will have lane restrictions removed. While motorists will see suspended operations in most MDOT work zones for the weekend, drivers are advised that equipment and certain traffic configurations may remain in place, like temporary shifts or shoulder closures.? 


The Mackinac Bridge will be closed to public traffic on Labor Day from 6:30 a.m. to noon during the Annual Bridge Walk. 


Drivers are also reminded that Michigan recently became the 26th state to establish hands-free driving laws. These new laws took effect June 30.

Student Hit by Car-UPDATE*

UPDATE- Student is OK


A young Hastings School student was injured wednesday after school when the girl walked in front of a car on clinton street.

She was taken to a nearby hospital. No other information available .

Gov. Whitmer adds Ionia and Kent Counties to State of Emergency

Governor Whitmer has now declared a state of emergency for Ionia and Kent counties after severe storms and seven tornadoes touched down across the state last week. This is the second expansion of the state of emergency declaration area. Eaton, Ingham, and Livingston counties, and the city of South Lyon in Oakland County were added on August 28. 


On August 24, areas in lower Michigan experienced several storm fronts that brought heavy rain, strong winds, and tornadoes. 


As clean-up efforts continue, the declaration of a local state of emergency activates local emergency response and recovery plans. By declaring a state of emergency, Whitmer has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated areas.

Consumers Energy Power Outages

Consumers Energy continues to restore service to their customers still out  of power because of last weeks storms. There are still over three thousand of their customer in Eation county out of service, five in Barry County. The Governor has declared a state of emergency for Eaton, Ingham and Livingston Counties.

Monday  evening Consumers Energy crews  were called in to replace a utility pole  near St. Rose Church in Hastings. The pole was accidently knocked over. No injuries.


Fire fighters were called   Sunday to a garage fire at the Jay Scott's  residence in Nashville.. No injuries reported.

Gov. Whitmer Expands State of Emergency to Help Recovery Efforts After Severe Storms and Tornados.

Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Eaton, Ingham and Livingston Counties, and the City of South Lyon. 

Lower Michigan experiecned several storm fronts Thursday evening that brought heavy rain, strong winds and tornadoes.  As a result communities experienced road and bridge closures,downed trees and power lines and damage to building structures.

As clean-up efforts continue, the declaration of a local state of emergency activates local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor’s declaration, these counties have determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation, and state assistance is required to protect the health, safety, and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis. By declaring a state of emergency, Governor Whitmer has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated areas. The declaration provides that the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) will coordinate state efforts(MSP/EMHSD) will coordinate state efforts.


Summerfest in Hastings


One could not ask for a more perfect weekend for Hastings Summerfest.. Temperatures in the 70's with mostly sunny skies and lots of things for young and old to enjoy.  Crafts on the courthouse square. Plenty of food concessions and a huge Parade Saturday bringing record crowds to the downtown area.

And Sunday the popular Car Show displaying cars of all ages filled the downtown Hastings area that brought the curtain down for another successful Summerfest event in Hastings.


Two Vehicle Crash

The Barry County Sheriff's Office investigated a serious traffic crash Wednesday involving two vehicles.  The crash occured at the intersection of North Patterson road and 108th St in Thornapple Township.

An eastbround Chevy Silverado failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a northbound Chevy Malibu.

The driver of the Malibu was taken by Aero-Med in Critical condition to a nearby hospital. The passenger in the Malibu was taken to the hospital by ambulance in serious condition.

The driver of the Silverado was not injured.

Drugs and alcohol; not believed to be a factor in the crash.

It's Back to School Season, keep watch for students walking and Bus Stops

It's back to school time,  Keep watch for Students walking and Bus Stops.

Monday, Aug. 21st Maple Valley and Wayland Union begin with half days and Caledonia Schools begin.


Tuesday, August 22nd Hastings, Thornapple Kellogg, Martin and Lowell Schools begin.


Wedneday, August 23rd Lakewood Public and Lowell Schools begin.


Monday August 28th Gull Lake, Plainwell, and Saranac return to school.


Tuesday Sept. 5th Delton Kellogg and Bellvue School's begin.


Hastings bond passes, Lakewood bond fails

Out of 17,577 registered voters in Barry County, only 5,261 voted on Tuesday, a turnout of 29.93%.


Voters in the Hastings Area School District said yes Tuesday to a critical $17.4 Million dollar bond request. The measure was approved by a margin of approximately 58% to 42%.  With the additional 0.6 mill, the tax levy still decreases .15 mill over last years’ levy for the Hastings district.


Lakewood Schools were not as fortunate. Lakewood was seeking approval of 1.2 mills, but the $39 Million bond proposal failed by a margin of roughly 53% to 47%.


Gull Lake Community School District which includes parts of Barry County passed an Operating Millage Proposal to levy an additional 2.9 mills.


School Bond Proposals to be decided Today

Today is Election Day and voters in two local school districts  will decide on school bond requests while a third district is seeking operating funds.


Hastings Area Schools is asking voters to approve 0.6 mills for critical building  repairs such as replacing roofs at Hastings High School and the 1997 section of Hastings Middle School. Also to be replaced if the bond passes are single pane windows from 1954, renovation of 53 year old bathrooms at the High School and 93 year old bathrooms at Central Elementary. Passage of the bond would also allow upgrades to the high school cafeteria and media center.


The Hastings bond proposal would bring in $17.4 Million to be repaid over 11 years.  Hastings school district voters have turned down the last six bond requests for infrastructure repairs;  the last bond proposal that was passed was in 2015.


However, unlike previous bond proposals, this one if approved on Tuesday will  result in a net decrease for voters of .15 mill over the prior year’s levy because prior debt has been repaid.


Lakewood Schools are seeking district voter approval of a $39 Million bond proposal for remodeling, refurnishing and equipping school buildings including for school security; acquiring a site for and building an early childhood / elementary building;  erecting, furnishing, and equipping a bus garage; improving athletic  facilities, playgrounds, sidewalks, and purchasing school buses. If approved, the millage increase would be 1.2 mills and the bonds would be repaid over 20 years.


Gull Lake Community School District which includes parts of Kalamazoo, Barry and Calhoun Counties has an Operating Millage Proposal to levy an increase of 2.9 mills for 11 years to provide funds for operating purposes.


*Voting Locations are open 7AM-8PM Today*

Hastings loses another Restaurant

The Kentucky Fried Chicken location in Hastings has closed its' doors.  KFC was open on Monday,  but closed for good on Tuesday, August 1st with no warning to customers.  Signs on the doors and drive-thru simply say "Sorry We are Closed". The KFC website no longer lists Hastings in its' Michigan locations.


WBCH tried to contact corporate offices as well as the owner of the Hastings franchise but attempts were unsuccessful. A employee posted on social media that Hastings was "one of 3 stores in the district closing and it's not due to any one thing. Bottom line is we're all out of work" she wrote.


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