Local News Archives for 2023-11

Hastings City Council - Nov. 27

The Hastings City Council met Monday night,  and one of the items of business was passage of a new Officer Ethics ordinance to allow all public officials to construe and implement ethical standards and guidelines, and require elected and appointed officials’ conduct be above reproach.


City officials shall carefully and conscientiously avoid any conduct that undermines public confidence, guided by the principles of public interest, objective judgment, accountability, democratic leadership, and respectfulness.


Council members heard the first reading of a Workforce Housing PILOT ordinance  to encourage the development or rehabilitation of workforce housing for persons and families whose household income is not greater than 120% of area median income.


Council approved a contract for design engineering for the future Green Street and Market Street improvements project in the amount of $165,500.  The project, expected to take place in 2025, will involve nearly 5,000 feet of street reconstruction including storm drains, sanitary sewer, water main and lead service line replacement on West Green Street and sections of Market Street. The project cost is estimated at $6.365 Million.

Serenity Village - an update from the Executive Director

Serenity Village of Barry County is a non-profit organization established in 2015. The goal is to develop an alternative homelike environment for terminally ill hospice patients to live out their final days in peace and dignity, surrounded by those they love. Executive Director of Serenity Village, Thomas DeVault, stated that they have raised over $2,000,000 dollars.  Unfortunately, the dramatic rise in interest rates, continued supply chain shortages, and spiraling construction costs have left a shortfall of nearly $1.3 million.  To bridge this difference, they need the help of our amazing and generous community to remain patient, supportive, and willing to contribute. In addition, they have applied for federal government funding through the USDA in hopes of starting the building process. Once they have reached their fundraising goal, construction will begin on a new 7,500-square-foot home for hospice patients, situated quietly on the north edge of Hastings.


The biggest issues they have faced are the ones out of their control. “The forces that have been working against us to this point (supply chain issues, higher borrowing costs for contractors, rampant inflation, interest rate spikes, and labor shortages) are still there and show little sign of fading anytime soon”, says DeVault.  “Everyone in our community wants to see us building, especially those who have been working on this project for over 8 years, but it would be irresponsible for our board to begin construction if there is not a sustainable way to finish it.”


While additional money is being raised and gap funding is being sought, existing donations are being carefully guarded and invested in short-term CD’s.  All operating expenses have been cut back to preserve cash and cash flow.


“I feel with certainty that providing a peaceful home for families to care for each other, to love each other, to spend time with each other in those final days of life, will be immeasurably impactful”, says DeVault.  “We all believe in this project and the benefits it will provide to our community.  We are extremely appreciative that our donor base and community have been wonderfully supportive over the years.  The board and campaign leadership continue to work as hard as we can to make this dream a reality.  But we are asking once again for your consideration to minimize our need for financing by making an additional pledge and/or sharing our story with others so that they may do so this giving season.”  


If you would like to donate or learn more, please visit their website:  If you would like monthly updates on the progress of Serenity Village, you are encouraged to email DeVault at to sign up for their monthly newsletter, The Village Voice.

Thanksgiving meal prep and cooking tips from Butterball

As you get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, WBCH's Chad Henry talked this morning with Mary Alice, a Butterball turkey expert from the Butterball turkey hotline about prepping, and the different cooking methods for that Thanksgiving Day Turkey. Click link below to listen. 


Barry County Crash Kills Woman

A 21 year old woman died in a two vehicle crash Saturday morning in Barry County.

Michigan State Police said the crash happened around 10:30-am at the intersection of 140th avenue and Patterson Road.

Troopers say a 19 year old man driving west on 140th avenue stopped at the stop sign at Patterson and proceeded through.

 However, troopers say the driver did not yield for a car going south on Patterson, which had the right of way.

The 31 year old woman driving on Patterson wasn't able to avoid the 19 year old driver.

The 19 year old's passenger, a 21 year old woman from Caledonia was hurt in the crash and later died in a nearby hospital.

Boys Finally Have a Family


Two boys in Barry County had their dreams come true Tuesday as they finally have a family to call their own.

The Harp family welcomed Averyion, 14 and Cameron, 12, into their family Tuesday in a Barry County Courtroom.

John Berry Christmas Tour

John Berry is bringing his Christmas Tour back to Hastings Friday December 8th at the Hastings Performing Arts Center. WBCH's Chad Henry had the opportunity to talk to John about his upcoming Christmas Tour. Click to listen below.


Hastings City Council Nov. 13th

At the beginning of Monday’s Hastings City Council meeting, Jordan Brehm was sworn in as a Council member to represent the 4th ward.  Brehm was selected and appointed at a special meeting on November 8th. He fills the seat that was vacated by the resignation of Jim Carey in late September.


The council held the first reading of a proposed Code of Ethics ordinance that would apply to all elected and appointed city officials. The ordinance is expected to be adopted at the next regular council meeting.


Council approval was given to the conceptual Riverside Cemetery Memorial design and staff will now proceed with an RFP for detailed construction documents associated with Phase I of the design.


The annual Santa Paws pet picture event at Bob King Park was approved for Saturday, December 9, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.


Also approved was the annual Relay for Life event in Tyden Park for September 14 & 15, 2024.

Election Results from Nov. 07th

Here is how Barry County voters cast their votes on Tuesday:


Bellevue Community Schools operating millage renewel.

Yes  78 votes

 No  52   votes


Martin Public Schools bond proposel

Yes  36 votes

No   20 Votes



Eaton ISD special millage request

No  224 Votes

Yes 175 Votes

November Consolidated Election

Voters in various Barry County precincts are going to the polls Tuesday in the November Consolidated Election to vote on school funding.


Parts of Assyria and Maple Grove townships are voting on an Operating Millage Renewal for Bellevue Community Schools.


Parts of Orangeville Township falls within the Martin School District which have a bond request on the ballot.


Also on Tuesday’s ballot is a special millage request for the Eaton ISD, which covers portions of Assyria, Baltimore, Castleton, Maple Grove,  and Hastings Township.

Hastings Man Hit by Car Trying to help a dog. Funeral Update


25 year old Keagan Spencer of Hastings died Saturday afternoon after being hit by a car  on M-6 near Kraft avenue. . According to the Michigan State Police,  Spencer while towing a car stopped to help a dog in the median when a car lost control and went into the median and hit Spencer.

Funeral Service for Keagan Spencer will be held Saturday, Nov.11th at 12:00pm at Thornapple Valley Church-Hastings.   At 9am there will be a procession of tow truck operators in memorial of Keagan's last ride driving through downtown Hastings to Thornapple Valley Church Hastings Campus.

New DNR Shooting range in Barry County Opens Nov.3rd

The Department of Natural Resources is opening its new Barry County Shooting Range Nov. 3rd.  The all-accessible shooting range is located  on Chief Noonday Road/M-179 within the Barry State Game area in Rutland Township.   It will offer target shooting for handguns and rifles, as well as sporting clay shooting.  Visitors need to bring their own Targets.


The Range will be open 9am to 5pm October through December and 9am to 7pm April through September. It will be closed winter months.  Temporary closures may be necessary in the future to allow the builders to complete some remaining components.


With the opening of the new range, other informal target shooting areas within the Barry State Game Area will no longer be available for dispersed target shooting.


For more information on the DNR's public shooting ranges in Michigan, visit


Enforcement of overnight parking ban now in effect in Hastings

Starting today, November 1st the Hastings City Police Department is enforcing the city ordinance ordinance that prohibits on-street parking between the hours of 2am and 6am.


Police Chief Dale Boulter told WBCH his department will be issuing Key to the City Notifications (no fee reminders) for the first week of enforcement so residents can plan for off street parking. Beginning the 8th of November officers will issue parking citations for any vehicle parked on the street between the hours of 2 am-6 am. 


The purpose of the ordinance is keep streets open for snow plowing during the winter months.

Hastings Leaf Collection begins Nov. 6

Hastings Department of Public Services will begin fall leaf and yard debris collection Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.


They request that you do:

  • Pile sticks and branches separately from leaves
  • Pile materials in the yard just behind the curb

They request that you do not:

  • Pile materials in the street or gutter
  • Pile materials so they block a sidewalk
  • Pile materials that restrict vision of motorists and pedestrians
  • Pile materials after DPS crews have completed cleanup
  • Place cement/ brick/ stones/ patio block/ landscape blocks/ landscape timbers
  • Place materials generated by commercial contractors
  • Place branches larger than 3” in diameter and longer than 4’ in length


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