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Memorial planned for WWII vet Monday


Seventy-four years after his death, Ernie Belson will receive a formal memorial.

The Hastings man was a cook at a U.S. Army hospital in the Philippines when he contracted malaria. He died two days before the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of World War II.

On Monday night, remaining family members and Hastings American Legion Post 45 will gather at the newly-dedicated Gold Star Families Memorial at the veterans plaza in Tyden Park to honor Belson's memory. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.

Belson attended Edger School in Rutland Township through the eighth grade. However, because of the Great Depression and his parents’ need to have his help on their farm, he was not able to continue his education.  As a result, his name is not among the Hastings High School graduates listed on the World War II memorial at the football field. His family was never able to attend a funeral for him. Now, nearly 75 years later, the two members of the Dibble family, who lived across the road from the Belsons, have worked to make sure Ernie Belson has a memorial.

The approximately 20-minute observance will include brief remarks from Legion and family members, a 21-gun salute and playing of Taps.


‘Attic finds’ topic of meeting


Cleaning out an attic or purging a basement invariably leads to another big task: deciding what to do with culled items.

The Barry County Historical Society will host a meeting Wednesday during which guests can learn about resources to help determine the value of items or find potential buyers. The meeting will be at 6 p.m in the community room of Hastings Public Library. Vickie Rick of Middleville will be the speaker. Rick had an antique booth at the Flat River Antique Mall in Lowell for years.

After years of finding new homes for a variety of attic and basement treasures, Rick has knowledge of places to take those things and also a wealth of advice about preparing items and and one's self for the sale.

 Attendees may bring one smaller item for Rick to use to illustrate where it might be marketed and where its current worth might be learned.

The meeting is open to the public, and individuals may join the historical society at any time.


Deadline extended for local artist exhibition


The Thornapple Arts Council and Historic Charlton Park will host the juried fifth annual Barry County Artists Exhibition at the park this fall.

The exhibition will be on display in the Irving D. Charlton Memorial Museum Oct. 19-Dec. 15.

Application materials and eligibility information can be found on the Thornapple Arts Council’s website,

Questions about the exhibition may be directed to the arts council by calling 269-945-2002 or via the website


Fall Harvest Festival at Charlton Park this weekend


     Historic Charlton Park in Hastings will host its Fall Harvest Festival this weekend.

     The festival will give visitors an opportunity to experience first-hand harvesting techniques and activities from the early-to-mid-1900s.

     The festival will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12.

     Historic Charlton Park is located at 2545 S. Charlton Park Road.


Red Cross to hold blood drive in Hastings


     The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive next Thursday, Oct. 3, at the First Presbyterian Church in Hastings.

     The Red Cross is urging people of all races and ethnicities to give blood of platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply. While the vast majority of individuals fall in one of four major blood types – A, B, O and AB – patients with rare blood types or who receive regular blood transfusions must be matched closely to reduce the risk of complications during a transfusion. The Red Cross says the best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group.

     Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross blood donor app, visiting, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

     The drive will begin at noon and run until 5:45 p.m. The church is located at 405 N. M-37.

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