Local News Archives for 2024-02

Hastings to lift Overnight Parking restriction

Hastings City Police Chief Dale Boulter said that as of March 1st,  city police will end enforcement of the 2am - 6am No Parking restriction on city streets. 


Boulter said if we do receive another snow event this season that city crews would appreciate if  you would voluntarily remove vehicles from the streets between 2am and 6am for ease of snow removal. 


The No Parking 2am - 6am enforcement will go back into effect on November 1st.

Election Unofficial Results

In the closed Michigan Primary Election Tuesday there were no big surprises in Barry County as Democratic voters gave Joe Biden 2,430 votes with 364 uncommitted.


Republicans gave Donald Trump 6,794 votes,  Nikki Haley 2,357 votes, with 283 uncommitted.


The  County E-911 Millage Renewal passed,  8,166 Yes to  4,590 No.


In the Lakewood School District,  an Operating Millage Renewal was approved by both Barry County and Ionia County voters in the school district.


As far as the turnout,  27.3% of Barry County’s 48,860 registered voters cast their votes:

   953 during the nine day early voting,

   5,232 by Absentee ballot,

   7,149 voted in-person on Tuesday.  

Tuesday, February 27th Election Day in Michigan

Polls are open from 7am to 8pm Tuesday for Michigan’s Presidential Primary Election.  This follows nine days of early voting in which local turnout was extremely low, for example, in the City of Hastings, fewer than 100 total votes were cast during the nine days of early voting.  

In the primary, voters must request either a Republican, Democratic, or “Proposal Only” ballot.

Locally, the only county-wide proposal is for E-911 Operating Millage Renewal.

COA Woodland Dining Center

Due to staff illness the Woodland dining center will be closed Monday, February 26th.

Domestic Violence with Compound Bow

A 33 year old Hastings man is in jail following a domestic violence incident where he held a women in her home with a compound bow. Hastings Police were called to a home on Boxwood Drive on saturday.


Upon arrival, police  found the door to the home open and a screen door shut.

After trying to speak with the man through the screen door, he came  to the door with a compound bow. officers continued to negotiate with him  in an attempt to get him out of the home. With no succes, the Barry County Sheriff's Entry team was able to enter the home and take the man into custody.


The woman in the house with a  18-month child, suffered a cut on her hand, which she said was caused from the broadhead as she pushed the bow away from her.


Missing children located safe

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched Friday to a residence in Hastings Township for two missing children, ages 3 and 4.  It was reported the children had wandered off from the residence and had been missing for approximately one hour.


Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted in the search, including canine teams and MSP Aviation.  Approximately two and a half hours after they were noticed missing, the children were located by a neighbor in a wooded area.  The children were returned safe to their parents.   


The Sheriff's Office was assisted by Michigan State Police, State of Michigan DNR/Conservation, Barry County Central Dispatch

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on US-131 near Wayland

Michigan State Police (MSP) Wayland Post troopers are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on February 22, 2024, at approximately 7:55pm on US-131 Hwy north of Wayland, in Leighton Twp.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of a white Buick Lacross was travelling northbound on US-131 when the vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on the freeway. The deceased pedestrian, a 72-year-old Grand Rapids female, had pulled her vehicle over onto the shoulder of the freeway with a flat tire. The woman exited her car and was struck and killed.  Police say she was in the lane of travel when struck.

The driver of the vehicle, a 44-year-old Kalamazoo man, was wearing his seatbelt. It is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this crash.

Troopers were assisted by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, Wayland Police Department, Wayland and Dorr Township fire departments and Wayland Area EMS.

The incident remains under further investigation.

Hastings Company Files for Bankruptcy


The owners of Bay to Bay Building Concepts of Hastings has filed for bankruptcy.

Bay to Bay Concepts LLC and its owner Jerold Saeman had their licenses revoked by the Michigan Department of Licensing and regulatory Affairs in July of 2023 for allegedly violating the state's occupational code and left clients in dangerous conditions from their work.

Pierce Cedar Creek Nature News

Sara Edelman from Pierce Cedar Creek Institute tells WBCH about February's Nature News and events planned at Pierce Cedar Creek. Click on link below to listen.


Early Voting

Early voting for the Michigan Presidential Primary and other races began in Barry County and statewide this past Saturday.

Election day is Tuesday, February 27th.


St. Patrick's Parade set for Saturday, March 16

The Hastings City Council met Monday evening and enthusiastically approved WBCH's request to hold the 18th Annual St. Patrick's Parade at 4:30pm on Saturday, March 16th in downtown Hastings.


As always, the parade will be held on South Jefferson Street.  Grand Marshalls this year are Brian and Angel McGraw, owners of downtown Hastings' newest restaurant, "Somebody Slap Me That's Good BBQ". 


Anybody who would like to participate in the parade is invited to wear lots of green and line up at 4pm in the alley behind WBCH Radio. Businesses and organizations are invited to march in the parade, build floats, play music, walk your dog, or any other kind of fun St. Patrick's fun you can think of!  Call or text us ahead of time at 945-3414 and let us know you're coming!  The parade will be held rain or shine, celebrating St. Patrick's Day and the arrival of spring!

Stolen Vehicles lead to Car Chases and Fatal Crash

On Sunday afternoon around 4:17pm, Ionia County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Ionia Wal-Mart to the Ionia Menards for separate reports of vehicle thefts that occurred in the parking lots. It was later determined that five subjects from the Lansing area had possibly stolen a vehicle from another jurisdiction and drove that vehicle to the Ionia Walmart parking lot where they stole a vechicle. Those subjects then went to the Ionia Menards and stole a second vehicle, leaving the area immediately afterward.


Clinton County Deputies advised that they had located the stolen vehicles and were in pursuit of the suspects. The chase continued through Clinton County and Eaton County until it eventually led back into Ionia County. One of the stolen vehicles was stopped after officers deployed spike strips to disable the vehicle.


The other vehicle, a 2020 Kia Forte, was pursued northbound on Sunfield Hwy, near Bippley Rd, where it lost control and left the roadway subsequently striking a tree. As a result of this crash, one female occupant from the Lansing area was pronounced dead at the scene. The other occupants of the vehicle were transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for non-life-threatening injuries.

Names of those involved are being withheld at this time. This incident remains under investigation by the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police.

Assisting on scene were Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Eaton County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, Portland Police Department, Lake Odessa Police Department, Grand Ledge Police Department, Life EMS Ambulance service, Portland Ambulance, Sunfield Fire Department, Reed and Hoppes Towing and Central Dispatch from Ionia, Clinton, and Eaton Counties.

Commissioners to hold open Solar and Alternative Energy Workshop Feb. 13

A Workshop on Solar and Alternative Energy will be held by the Barry County Board of Commissioners Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 6:00 p.m in the Performing Arts Center at Hastings High School.


Jim McManus, Barry County Planning & Zoning Director, will present a Planning and Zoning report,  followed by a legal report from Bradley Fowler and Mika Meyers. 

M. Charles Gould will present a Michigan State University Extension report, and Kevon Martis will report on behalf of Citizens for Local Choice.


Commissioners and the public will have an opportunity to ask specific questions regarding solar and alternative energy during a questions and answers period,  and there will be a limited public comment opportunity.


The workshop is expected to draw a crowd, especially landowners and farmers, due to the controversial move in late 2023 by the governor and Democratically controlled state legislature that strips away standard zoning approval and siting decisions from local governments over large wind and solar projects.  It's seen as part of a larger effort to push the state’s energy systems toward carbon-free power sources in the coming decades.

Driver Arraigned on charges in Fatal Accident

Brinna Lavonne Cobb, age 19 of Nashville, has been arraigned in 56B District Court on six counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and moving violation causing death.


The charges against Cobb stem from an accident back on September 12, 2023 that claimed the lives of a 40 year old father and his 14 year old son, and seriously injured a 17 year old boy who survived. The Barry County Sheriff’s Office said a westbound Volkswagon Tiguan driven by Cobb collided with two westbound Amish Sulky Carts on East Cloverdale Road, east of Guy road in Maple Grove Township. The Barry County Prosecutor’s Office alleges Cobb was intoxicated at the time of the crash.


Cobb’s bond was set at $50,000.  A probable cause conference before Judge Michael Schipper is scheduled for February 28 at 10:00am.

COW meeting canceled

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee of the Whole of the Barry County Board of Commissioners, for Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. has been canceled due to a lack of agenda items.


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