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News Briefs

Holly Trolley Starts Monday

 

The Barry County Transit Holly Trolley will start its tour around the county on Monday, Dec. 2.

It will be out almost every day until Christmas Eve. A tradition of more than 30 years, the trolley will offer residents a festive ride around town, complete with books for caroling.

A full schedule is available online at barrycountytransit.com/trolley-events/.

 

DNR: #OptOutside Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving often is spent lounging, watching football games or shopping. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials have another suggestion: Get outside.

The #OptOutside campaign was started in 2015 by Recreation Equipment Inc., a retail and outdoor recreation services company better known as REI, and has grown nationwide. The outdoors-focused movement encourages people to spend more time outside and highlights the benefits of immersing oneself in nature – on Black Friday and all year long.

For the fourth year in a row, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is participating alongside REI in encouraging others to join the #OptOutside movement. On Friday, Nov. 29, the DNR will waive the regular Recreation Passport vehicle entry fee, providing access to Michigan’s 103 state parks and recreation areas, 138 state forest campgrounds, and state trailheads and boat launches.

“For anyone who’s been itching to get outdoors or someone who might need a nudge, Black Friday is the perfect day for residents and visitors to explore Michigan’s natural resources,” Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said. “From quiet trails to picturesque waterfalls, breathtaking vistas and more, state parks are full of opportunities for fun and reflection.”

While no Recreation Passport is needed, all camping, permit and license fees still apply.

Hastings ready to ‘Jingle and Mingle’

Hastings' annual Jingle and Mingle celebration is coming to town Friday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec 8. The  event is free for families to enjoy. The traditional holiday Christmas parade will offer a number of Christmas-light-covered spectacles. The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Instead of bells, this year's Jingle and Mingle attendees will receive light-up candy canes. Also new to the event will be a professional face painter in the Hastings Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 7, singers who will entertain passengers on the Holly Trolley, and a booth will be set up selling Christmas trees on the courthouse lawn.

The Nov. 30 Reminder will have a full schedule of events.

Consumers warns of hazardous conditions

During hazardous weather conditions, Consumers Energy is reminding residents to be especially aware of possible downed wires and other safety hazards.  Brian Wheeler, senior public information director with Consumers Energy, said utility officials are reminding people to stay at least 25 feet away from a downed wire and anything it is touching, and to call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy, 800-477-5050.

“Always assume a downed wire, even if not arching and sparking, is energized,” Wheeler said. “While this is a short holiday work week for many, our crews are ready to respond quickly, make situations safe and restore power.”

The Consumers Energy Outage Center at ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter has the latest on storm restoration times, tips on what customers can do before, during and after a storm and how customers can sign up for free outage alerts.

In addition to being aware of possible downed wires, the public is reminded, if they lose power, to never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes, Wheeler added. Doing so could cause a generator to produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.

 

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