No icon

News Briefs

Blessing today at surgical center


A special blessing ceremony is planned today, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. for beams at the Baum Family Surgical Center at Spectrum Health Pennock. The beams, which will be integral pieces of the new operating rooms, have been in the hospital atrium the past several days, allowing staff and the public to sign.

The 19,000-square-foot surgical center was announced in June 2018, and a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted June of this year. The center is planned to have three operating rooms, 15 private patient rooms, five recovery bays and two endoscopy suites. It projected to be finished in late summer 2020.


Rep. Calley in town Monday


State Rep. Julie Calley invites residents to meet with her Monday, Nov. 18, at the Barry County Courthouse, Commissioners’ Chambers, 220 W. State St. in Hastings.

Individual meetings will be from 1 to 2, followed by a legislative update from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

“Community members may stop by for individual meetings, arrive in time for the update, or attend both segments,” Rep. Calley said. “This format is intended to make it more convenient for those I serve.”

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


Saxon marching band leading regional votes


A radio station in Kalamazoo is hosting a vote for the favorite marching band in Southwest Michigan, and Hastings is at the top. As of Wednesday afternoon, Hastings was in first place.

WKFR 103.3 has a listing of 75 public and private high school marching bands on its website, and individuals may vote once per day through midnight Thursday, Nov. 21.

The Saxons finished in second place in 2018, with 9.98 percent of the vote, behind Jenison High School which had 10.01 percent of the vote.

In 2017, Hastings was named Drumline of the Year honors through 106.5 FM, another Kalamazoo-based radio station. That honor included the opportunity for the Saxon drumline to perform live at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo.

Band members, families, friends and others may vote at through Thursday.


Next Community Breakfast is Nov. 20


Speakers representing several agencies will share information about their programs, eligibility, curriculum and goals will discuss home visit-based programs at the Community Breakfast Nov. 20.

The Community Breakfast is sponsored by the Family Support Center of Barry County, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, DHHS Foster Care and Barry County Great Start Collaborative-BISD

This free quarterly breakfast will be at the Leason Sharpe Hall, 231 S. Broadway, Hastings, from 8 to 9 a.m. Anyone who plans to attend is asked to call 269-945-KIDZ (5439) or email


Elks essay contest open

The Elks Lodge in Hastings and the national Elks organization are again offering youngsters a means of providing thanks to those who served.

Entries in the 2019-20 Americanism Essay Contest are being accepted at the Hastings Elks Lodge, 102 E. Woodlawn, until Dec. 15 for students enrolled in fifth through eighth grades. The topic for this year's contest will be “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me?”

The contest will start with local lodges, progress through district and state levels, and end with the naming of the national winner at the Grand Lodge Session in Baltimore in July 2020.

Eligible participants must meet the grade requirements, restrict their essays to not more than 300 words, prepare the essay as typed or in legibly-printed ink. Entrants must submit their essays to the Elks Lodge administering the contest at his or her school or to the sponsoring lodge nearest to their home address.

Essays will be judged on originality, development of theme, mechanics and neatness. Local information and applications are available from Alma Czinder, 269-945-2211.


Thanksgiving meal for all


Margaret Hollenbeck and about 20 other volunteers from Hastings will be heading back to the kitchen to coordinate preparation of a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast for everyone.

The community dinner at First United Methodist Church, 209 W. Green St., which provides a traditional meal with all the trimmings, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

All are welcome to enjoy the dinner; free-will offerings will be accepted to cover the cost of the food.


Menards toy drive underway


Menards home improvement stores again are providing toy drop sites for the Christmas season.

New, unwrapped toys may be placed in drop boxes near the exit door of all stores. These donations will be distributed by nonprofit organizations to children in the region.

The toy drive is going on now and will continue through the end of November.



Comment As:

Comment (0)