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News Briefs

Hope Network open house is today; Hope Network has given Hastings citizens hope for 10 years and will celebrate with an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 30.

The community is invited to learn more about Hope Network by touring the office at 109 N. Church St. (behind Miller Real Estate), viewing vehicles used for transportation, and talking with volunteers. The party will close down part of Church Street and extend into the Spray Plaza that day.

Free hot-dogs, chips and lemonade will be available, along with entertainment by the Hastings Heartbeats from 1 to 2 p.m.

Hope Network, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit, faith-centered organization, helps people with various types of disabilities live independent lives. The organization provides numerous services for people with brain or spinal cord injuries, mental illness, developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addictions and other disadvantages.

Hope Network Volunteer Transportation Service program is Hastings is actively seeking caring volunteers to join the team. Volunteers can expect flexible scheduling, a supportive, mission-minded environment and the chance to meet new people and make a difference in their lives.

Anyone wanting more information may attend the open house May 30 or call 269-331-6007.

Rare warblers in focus this weekend; A little denim-blue bird will be the main attraction this weekend – enough of an attraction that people from all over the Midwest will be drive down narrow gravel roads in Rutland Township, not stopping until they get to a grassy parking lot on Havens Road.

Michigan Audubon’s Cerulean Warbler Weekend is Friday to Sunday, May 31 to June 2. The warbler, named for its cerulean shade of blue, is rare. One of the best places to see it is at the Otis Farm Sanctuary and the neighboring Barry State Game Area.

Guests also can expect to hear frogs drumming, see dragonflies soaring, and walk through many habitats, such as restored oak savanna. Species highlights include grasshopper sparrow; alder, Acadian and willow flycatchers; yellow-throated and blue-headed vireos; hooded warblers; and, of course, cerulean warbler.

More information, including registration, is available at

Rep. Calley to be in town June 3; State Rep. Julie Calley will welcome residents to office hours in two communities Monday, June 3.

Calley, R-Portland, will give a legislative update to attendees. Then, if residents have individual concerns, she will take one-on-one meetings.

She will meet with constituents in Middleville, 100 E. Main St., from 11 a.m. to noon; and at the Barry County Courthouse, Commissioners’ Chambers, 220 W. State St., Hastings, from 1 to 2 p.m.

“Accountable representation requires consistent feedback,” Rep. Calley said. “Office hours present an opportunity for productive dialogue with those whom I serve.”

No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend scheduled office hours may send questions and ideas via email or by calling 517-373-0842.

Historical society hosting coin dealer; The Barry County Historical Society will hear coin dealer Pat Mullen speak about “Coin Values: Just the Facts” Wednesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. in the Hastings Public Library’s community room.

Mullen will share what makes a coin valuable, some interesting facts about rare coins, and then give collectors or heirs ideas about selling or transferring coins to family members.

A longtime collector himself, Mullen found that sharing his expertise had turned into a full-time business, Mullen Coins, near the Gerald R. Ford Airport.

He has traveled extensively, gathering knowledge about coins and currency.

His one caution for people wanting to learn about the value of a coin is: “Do not attempt to clean the coins in any way. Cleaning the coins will immediately lower their value.”

Hastings City Band kicks off summer concerts;

Hastings City Band will kick off the Hastings Live concert season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the Thornapple Plaza in downtown Hastings. The program is “Beatles and Jazz.”

Hastings City Band was founded in 1857 and is one of the city’s oldest and most treasured traditions. Musicians in the band range in age from high school to seasoned senior musicians. Together, they perform five pops concerts, each featuring a crowd-pleasing theme.

The band’s annual “Tribute to America” concert the week of July 4 has become one of Hastings Live’s biggest events.

Hastings Live is funded in part by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Local sponsors include the Baum Family Foundation, Barry County Lumber, Flexfab and Highpoint Community Bank.

Attached: Hastings City Band

Cutline: Hastings City Band performs at the Thornapple Plaza as part of the Hastings Live summer concert series.

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