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Local News

Battle Creek man arrested at a Barry County Campground

 

A 24 year old Battle creek man was arrested monday afternoon after getting into a dispute with his girlfriend that turned into a violent situation at Welcome Woods campground near Hastings.

Before State Police Troopers arrived at the campground, the man had threatened to kill other campers and fired a shot from his handgun.

The woman was able to escape . The unidentified man barricaded himself inside an RV and refused State Police commands to come out.

Backup was called in from the Barry County Sheriff's office.

The suspect finally surrendered and was taken to the Barry County Jail.

 

He is charged with felonious assault and reckless discharge of a firearm.

His name will be released following his court arraignment.

Fatal Hit and Run accident UPDATE

 

UPDATE...

 Barry Township Police told WBCH News they have recovered the dodge durango that struck and killed Mica LeBeau last early Sunday morning on Delton road.   Police are still looking for the driver who fled the scene.

 

 

 

A Delton woman was killed by a hit and run driver around 2am Sunday morning while walking on Delton Road near the Grove Street intersection.  Barry Township Police identified the victim as 21 year old Mica LeBeau. LeBeau was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Officers believe the vehicle that struck her was a blue 2004-2006 Dodge Durango.  Police say a surveillance video shows the vehicle had a New England Patriots sticker on the side. 

 

Barry Township Police are asking anyone who may have any information about the crash to call 269-623-5512 or email the department:   barrytwppd@mei.net

Thornapple River Rescue

 

 

Four people,  two adults and two children were rescued from the Thornapple River wednesday around 5:30-pm.

Thornapple Township Emergency Services said the four were trapped under the Irving bridge near Barry Countys' McCann road. Chief Randy Eaton said they were hungup on some branches and logs. People are  asked to stay off the river for the time being.

Delton Kellogg Has a New Superintendent

 

 

Delton Kellogg  Schools has a new Superintendent. He is Dr. Herman Lartigue, Jr., Elementary School Assistant Principal,of Klein Independent School
District, Spring, Texas.
.

He is replacing Kyle Corlet who left in 2021.

COVID-19 Cases Identified at Large Events in Barry County

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) has been made aware of a series of events in Barry County where several individuals who attended later tested positive for COVID-19. The events occurred at the Barry Community Enrichment Center in Hastings, MI on the following dates:

 

• Wednesday, May 4, 2022: Dress Rehearsal (~70 people attended)

• Thursday, May 5, 2022: Performance (~115 people attended)

• Thursday, May 5, 2022: After Performance Gathering (~115 people attended)

 

Everyone in attendance at these events is considered to have been exposed to COVID-19. The event organizers have decided to cancel future performances out of an abundance of caution. These events are an example of how quickly COVID-19 can spread through a community via large gatherings or events. In order to keep the community safe and protect folks who are most vulnerable, BEDHD is encouraging those who attended and are unvaccinated or at high risk of severe illness to:

• Get tested at least 5 days after exposure • Watch for symptoms until 10 days after exposure

• If symptoms develop, isolate immediately and get tested • Wear a well-fitting mask in public

• Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 To be safe at large events this summer, everyone is encouraged to stay up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines, get tested before and after large events (and monitor for symptoms after an event), social distance when appropriate and wear a mask if you believe you may be at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. COVID-19 rapid antigen testing and PCR testing are available to individuals of any age, regardless of symptoms. 


For more information, visit https://barryeatonhealth.org/covid-19-center or www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Fatal Accident

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office reports that a man died Thursday afternoon when his pickup truck was involved in an accident around 3:40pm.  Officers say 76 year old Roland Ferris was driving an F150 pickup northbound on M-43 highway, south of Quimby Road in Rutland township when his truck struck the rear of an MDOT truck and trailer. 

 

The vehicle continued north on M-43 as the MDOT vehicle turned into a parking area. Ferris’s truck then failed to negotiate a curve north of Tillotson Lake Road, leaving the roadway until it struck several trees.

 

Witnesses and passing motorists removed the driver from the truck and initiated CPR until emergency responders arrived. Ferris was pronounced deceased at Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital.

 

The accident is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office. Officers were assisted on scene by Hastings/Birch medical first responders, Mercy ambulance, Freeport fire, and Barry Central dispatch.

Michigan State Police Seize Voting Machine in Investigations

State Police raided the office of Barry County's Irving township as part of an investigation into reports of unauthorized access to voting machines after the 2020 elections.

 

One tabulator was seized in Irving township on Friday, April 29th according to Barry County Clerk Pam Palmer.

 

In February, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked the state's attorney general and state police to investigate reports of an "unnamed third party" gaining unauthorized access to voting technology in Roscommon County.

 

State Police lt. Derrick Carroll said the inquiry had expanded to more counties, including Irving, after being notified of other election systems breaches.

Money for School Safety

 

 

150 schools in Michigan including Maple Valley Schools will receive a share of $10-million dollars to help keep students safe while in the classroom.

Maple Valley will receive $100,000 dollars.  A total of 40 schools  in Michigan will receive the grant funding.

They have until July 1, 2023 to spend their award money.

 

 

 

May 3rd Election Results

Voters in the Hastings Area School District turned down a 23.9 million dollar bond request by a 52% to 48% margin: 

1885 Yes

2074 No

 

The Delton Kellogg Operating Millage was approved 54% to 46%:

604 Yes

520 no

 

Gull Lake Schools Sinking Fund Millage Renewal passed 60% to 40%  (a small portion of the Gull Lake district is in Barry County).

Former Delton Kellogg Student picked in NFL Draft

 

A former Delton Kellogg Student who played football for the Panthers and went on to play football at Central Michigan University was picked in the National Football League Draft.

Bernard Raimann was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.

State Representative Calley May office hours

State Rep. Julie Calley invites residents to attend her May office hours in Portland and Hastings.  

 

“Hearing from the residents of the district helps me better represent you in Lansing,” said Calley, of Portland.

 

The informal meetings will take place on Friday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Barry County Tyden Center, 121 S. Church St. in Hastings,  and on Friday, May 13, from noon to 1 p.m. at Portland City Hall, 259 Kent St. in Portland.

 

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.

Thornapple Manor Announces New Administrator

The Barry County Department of Health and Human Services Board is pleased to announce the selection of Rebecca “Becky” DeHaan to succeed the current Administrator of Thornapple Manor, Don Haney.  DeHaan will begin her new duties at the end of August 2022.  

DeHaan was hired in 2012 as the Director of Human Resources and was promoted to Director of Human Resources and Non-Clinical Operations in 2019.  Brad Johnson, Chair of the Barry County DHHS Board noted “Her selection was a unanimous decision by the Board following a state wide search.  We are excited to see her take the helm of the organization and to keep Thornapple Manor moving forward and serving the Barry County Community.”  DeHaan stated “I am excited for this great opportunity and to continue the good work Thornapple Manor brings to Barry County.  We have an outstanding staff and leadership team and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

Hastings Area School Bond Election is May 3rd

Hastings Area School district voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 3rd, to decide on a 23.9 million dollar Bond Proposal that if approved, will be used finish projects and facility upgrades that were not possible to complete from the previous bond election.

 

Last August, voters defeated a 21.9 million dollar bond request by only 84 votes.

 

The long list of needs and priorities at each of the districts’ buildings includes: replacing large portions of roofs at Star Elementary, Hastings High School,  and the 1997 portion of the Middle School.  Replacing all the remaining original single-pane windows, some dating back to 1954. Replacing or upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Replacing old lighting with efficient LED lighting. Security enhancements, student equipment and technology, replacing some of the oldest school buses that are 25 years old,  renovating old bathrooms and locker rooms.

 

The current bond rate is 6.0 mills,  and passage of the Bond Proposal on May 3rd will increase the rate by 0.80 mills.

Lakewood Public Schools 3rd Annual Hall of Fame

Four individuals have been selected for induction into the 3rd Annual Lakewood Public Schools Hall of Fame; a tribute to men and women who have made exceptional contributions to society, achieved extraordinary success, exhibited good character and action, bringing honor and prestige to Lakewood Pubic Schools.    The Hall of Fame inductees are recognized as outstanding role models for our students. A public induction ceremony will be held April 27th with a reception at 6pm in the High School Atrium.   Congratulations to the following 2022 inductees;    Mr. Doug Schmuck, Mrs. Sheila Veitch, Mr. Mark Farrell and Mrs. Elizabeth Libby Kinsey.  

Weather Rain

(4-23-2022)

Heavy rain moved through lower Michigan over the last 24 hours.

In Hastings the Hastings National Weather Service Climatological station recorded 2.28 inches of rain from 8-am Friday through 2-am Saturday morning. The heavy rain will impact Creeks, Streams and the Thornapple river. 

Barry County Commissioner Candidates for Primary Election

The City of Hastings will have its’ own county commissioner beginning in 2023 after district lines were re-drawn last fall.  The filing deadline for candidates to be on the August 2nd primary election ballot was Tuesday, and there will be contested primary races in five of the eight districts:

 

In the new City of Hastings, District 8:  David Hatfield will facer Charles Hertzler in the republican primary.  Chris Lukasiewicz is unopposed on the democratic ticket.

 

District 1:   Republicans running are Brandon Strong, Bob Teunessen, and Jim Brown.  Scott Savage has no opponent in the democratic primary.  Current commissioner Hoot Gibson did not file for re-election.

 

District 2:   John Gallagher and incumbent Catherine Getty are in the republican primary.

 

District 5:   Gary White of Middleville will face former state representative Mike Callton in the republican primary.  Current Board Chair Ben Geiger is not running for re-election, and is instead running for State Representative.

 

District 6:  Mark Doster is running against incumbent Vivian Conner in the republican primary.

 

There is no opposition for incumbent David Jackson in District 3 , for John Smelker in District 4,  or for Bruce Campbell in District 7.

 

Guilty verdict in Lafey Trial

After a 4-day trial, Andrew Lafey of Nashville Michigan, was found guilty Friday on all charges stemming from the February 16, 2021 torture and murder of Gracyn –Michael-Kay-Candace Brickley.  The convictions are as follows: 

 

Count 1:  First Degree Murder (MCL 750.316), both premeditated and felony murder:  This conviction carries a maximum of Life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Count 2:  Felony Firearm (MCL 750.227b), this conviction carries a 2 year mandatory sentence, which must be served consecutive to the sentence for First Degree Murder.

Count 3:  Torture (MCL 750.85):  This conviction carries a maximum sentence of Life or any term of years.

Count 4:  Felony Firearm (MCL 750.227b):  this conviction carries a 2 year mandatory sentence, which must be served consecutive to the sentence for Torture.

Count 5:  Possession of a Firearm by a Felon (MCL 750.224f), this conviction carries a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $5000.00.

Count 6: Felony Firearm (MCL 750.227b), this conviction carries a 2 year mandatory sentence, which must be served consecutive to the Felon in Possession of a Firearm conviction.

 

The Defendant waived his right to a jury trial in this matter, the trial was held before Judge Michael Schipper.  The case was tried by Barry County Prosecuor Julie Nakfoor Pratt and Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Elsworth. 

 

Pratt said the circumstances of Grace Brickley’s death were horrific.  The Defendant video taped himself stomping on and taunting Grace Brickley for close to 11 minutes.  The torture seen in the video came after Lafey shot Grace Brickley twice and inflicted multiple injuries to her face and breaking her jaw.  The video was played at trial for Judge Schipper. 

 

Sentencing for Andrew Lafey will be held on June 9, 2022 at 9:00am before Judge Michael Schipper.

Five Candidates to Interview for Superintendent of Delton Kellogg Schools

Delton Kellogg Schools, Board of Education selected five people to interview for the position of Superintendent of Schools.  The Interviews will be held April 25th & 26th.

 

April 25th interviews include Stephen Patchin, Superintendent of Hancock Public Schools.  Jeremy Wright, High School Principal at Plainwell Community Schools, Herman Lartique Jr., Assistant Elementary Principal at Klien Independent School  District in Texas.

April 26th Interviews will be conducted with Melissa Remillard, Early Elementary School Principal at Paw Paw Public Schools, and Karmin Bourdo, Elementary School Principal at Delton Kellogg Schools.

 

Interviews will be held in the High School Cafeteria beginning at 5:30pm each evening.. Community members, District staff and interested parties are encouraged to attend the interviews. 

 

Second round interviews are scheduled for Monday, May 9th beginning at 6:30pm in the High School Cafeteria.  There will be an informal "Meet and Greet" gathering for the community to meet the final two candidates from 4:00pm to 5:00pm in the High School Cafeteria and Library also on May 9th.

 

Questions and comments may be addressed to Charles Dumas, Executive Search Specialist, MASB at cdumas@masb.org or 517-526-0439.

Vehicle vs. Bicycle Accident

Just before 4:00 PM Friday afternoon the Hastings Police Department responded to a vehicle vs. bicycle accident at the intersection of N. Michigan Ave and Apple st. A vehicle driven by a 51 year old female from Hastings was turning north onto Michigan Ave and collided with a 30 year old female from Hastings that was travelling south crossing the roadway on a bicycle. The victim was assessed for injuries at the scene and transported to Spectrum Health Pennock with reported minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

Hastings Compost Site and Spring Cleanup

The City of Hastings Compost Site will open on Mondays beginning April 18, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and on Saturdays beginning April 23, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

 

There will be a Department of Public Services staff member located at the Compost Site to sign in residents and check their loads.

 

Spring clean up will begin on Monday, April 11, 2022 weather permitting. Residents will be asked to put yard waste out to the curb (not in the street) and separate twigs and branches from leaves and grass clippings.

 

If you have questions regarding either the Compost Site or Spring Cleanup, please call the Department of Public Services at 269-945-2468.

Committee of the Whole meeting

At the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday morning, Barry County Commissioners held an interview for an open position on the Parks and Recreation Commission.  The Committee also recommended re-appointments of several current members to the Mental Health Authority, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Tax Allocation Board.

 

A revised resolution was recommended for final vote at the next regular Commissioners meeting that is meant to clarify the County Board Rules of Procedure & Regulations pertaining to Public Comment at an open meeting. Under the changes,  public comment will continue to be limited to three minutes per speaker, comments will need to be directed to the chairperson,  the chairperson shall call to order any person who is behaving in a disorderly manner, and if the person continues to be disorderly and disruptive, the chairperson may order that the person be removed from the meeting.

 

Commissioners received the 2022 County Equalization Report showing a total value for all real and personal property in Barry County at  $3,640,786,651.  A copy of the detailed report can be found on the county website.

Body of missing Wyoming man discovered near Middleville

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched Sunday afternoon to a wooded area near Ravine Drive and Finkbeiner Road northwest of Middleville when a person who was walking located human remains.

An autopsy was performed Monday morning on the body and identified the person as 66 year old Darriol Stephens of Wyoming, Michigan, who had been reported missing on December 13, 2021. There was no sign of foul play and no indication of self-harm. 

An expanded search of the area also led to the location of a vehicle about 300 feet from the body.  Wyoming Public Safety said the description and license plate confirmed the vehicle belonged to Stephens.

A full exam to determine the exact cause of death is pending.

Free Narcan Kits Available at Hastings Office

The Barry Eaton District Health Department has FREE Narcan kits available at the Hastings Office (330. W Woodlawn Ave. Hastings, MI 49058) to anyone 18 or older on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. 

No personal information will be requested or recorded. Kits are available courtesy of the Barry County Substance Abuse Task Force.   

Narcan can be used during an opioid/heroin overdose to save a life. 

Covid-19 Vaccination Update

The Barry Eaton District Health Department reports the CDC has amended Covid-19 booster recommendations. Persons who are immunocompromised 12 years and older,  and persons who are 50 years and older may get 2nd Booster shots at most pharmacies and primary care offices. You can also schedule your booster dose with the Health Department.


Pfizer-BioNTech 2nd Booster

--People ages 12 through 17 years of age who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose

 

--Adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna*) at least 4 months after the first booster dose.

 

Moderna 2nd Booster:

--People ages 18 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna*) at least 4 months after the first booster.

 

--Adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna*) at least 4 months after the first booster dose.

 

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen:
 

--People ages 18 through 49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna*) at least 4 months after the first Janssen booster dose.
 

UPDATE:Middleville man shot after attempted home invasion

 

UPDATE: The suspect has been identified as 39 year old Christopher Worth of Middleville.

 

Original Story:

Just after midnight on Thursday a suspect armed with a firearm attempted to break into a home along 108th St SW near Wilson Ave in southern Kent County.

The suspect was shot by the homeowner as he was attempting to forcibly get inside. When deputies arrived, they located the subject on the ground, near the home and rendered medical aid.

The suspect was later pronounced deceased. The homeowners were not injured.

The deceased suspect is a 39-year-old male from Middleville, MI. It appears the suspect may have been involved in two other vehicle thefts overnight and was attempting to steal a car along 108th Street.

There is no connection between the suspect and the homeowners, and it appears to be a random incident. Currently, there is nothing to suggest there are any outstanding suspects or threats to the public.

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