Election Day in DeWitt goes without major issues

DEWITT, Mich. — DeWitt residents lined up at the DeWitt Township Community Center as early as 6:30 a.m. in order to vote when the doors opened at 7 a.m.

Eugena Stahl, who has worked elections in DeWitt for more than 30 years, said that despite all the hubbub surrounding this presidential race, everything was going smoothly and as planned. “It’s going really well today,” Stahl said as she held a stack of ballots. “Everyone has been really positive and friendly so far.”

Resident Kimberly Miller enjoys voting and has made her pilgrimage to the polls ever since she turned 18. But something that happened to her for the first time earlier this afternoon made her a little uneasy.


DeWitt tests voting tabulators

When people show up to polling stations this Nov. 8, they’ll fill out their ballots, vote for their desired candidates and go on their way. Little do they know all the time, effort and double, triple and quadruple checking that goes into the voting process before the ballots are even entered into the system. In DeWitt Township, voting tabulators make the voting process easier. However, testing of the tabulators is anything but easy.


Volunteers bring Special Olympics to DeWitt

The non-profit organization Area 28 offers a free year round program for athletes with disabilities in DeWitt. A branch of the Special Olympics, Area 28 also provides skills programs for children under the age of 8 with intellectual and physical disabilities, and is designed to train the athletes in an organized course so they can possibly play in the competitive games one day. “When people think of the Special Olympics they think of the summer games, but it’s not just that. It’s a year round program. We have sports every season,” Area 28 Assistant Director Kathy Logan explains.


Bath Township residents react to Board Members’ feud

Two members of Bath Township’s Board of Trustees had a heated argument during the board meeting on Oct. 17, 2016. A board member attempted to make a motion when suddenly a discussion broke with board member Cindy Cronk and Ryan Fewins-Bliss. Clearly upset, Cronk proceeded to make a comment to Fewins-Bliss, saying he is “such a girl”. To see what happened, visit https://bathtownship.viebit.com/#tlX0SCV2D1Lx .


National police brutality talks impact DeWitt residents

The national conversations on police brutality have had an impact on the way DeWitt residents interact with the police, according to police chief Brian Russell. “People have treated us differently in some situations. When the bad guys and girls are being arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, domestic violence or other arrests they often tell us not to shoot them,” Russell said. “Truth is we have had two officer involved shooting in 11 years.”

DeWitt is currently 94.5 percent white and local minorities said they sometimes feel targeted when passing the city. “As far as the diversity in Dewitt Township and the city of Dewitt, the officers there really target you when you get into that city limit,” said long-term township worker Barbara Davis, an African-American woman.

Sport shooting ranges coming to DeWitt Township

DeWitt residents will soon have a safe and legal indoor-only space to use firearms after the township board approved ordinance 42.9 on Sept. 26 by a 5-4 vote. The ordinance, which will allow residents to practice archery and archery only outside as well as have an indoor space for shooting firearms, will be adopted during the next township meeting on Oct. 24. The board opted to limit outdoor shooting to archery only, and have the indoor ranges encompass firearms that are within federal regulations when it comes to safety and noise levels.

“Weapon-free School Zone” exists around DeWitt Public Schools

by Laina Stebbins
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — At a time in American society when gun violence has become familiar news and mass shootings dominate the media circuit, many communities across the United States have changed their gun safety policies to better respond to a possible threat. In DeWitt, it’s mean no guns in schools. In the Administrative Guidelines for DeWitt Public Schools, it is stated that “The Board of Education prohibits professional staff members from possessing, storing, making, or using a weapon in any setting that is under the control and supervision of the District for the purpose of school activities approved and authorized by the District.”

Adopted by the Board in February, this policy provides just a few exceptions for this ban, including weapons under the control of law enforcement. Bruce Ferguson, police chief for the City of DeWitt, sees a need for these gun-free zones. Even more so, Ferguson sees a need for preventative measures and education to stop violence before it starts.