Th Bath School Board interviewed six of 22 applicants to come up with a successor to Ronald Jake Huffman as district superintendent.
Much like a flower needs water and sunlight to grow, a city needs certain things to flourish as well. Developing neighborhoods, thriving businesses, and exceptional school districts help the communities of Bath and DeWitt to grow. Both these townships are in periods of growth and development according to their planning and building commissions. Bath’s Planning Director and Zoning Administrator Brian Shorkey said from a project perspective it’s been a slow year, but there are big plans for the township. Building new houses and businesses
There’s been an uptick in housing developments including apartments, duplexes and senior housing.
Laurie Tossava , Jasper Bergen and Daniel Gebes prepare to drum with their different varieties. Photo by Emerson Wigand. To Michele Leonard, all people have a sense of rhythm and the heartbeats are the foundation. This is the mantra she uses to promote the Bath Community Drum Circle. The circle started in September and has happened five times.
Bill Sermak, owner of DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, said it can be a challenge to keep up with his regular clients’ lives, but it’s also a joy. For Bill Sermak, owner of downtown DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop and Family Barber Shop II, cutting hair was, somewhat ironically, not the family business. There were no uncles, grandpas or fathers to pass down the family clippers; it was a curiosity he took up all his own. That’s not to say, however, that he doesn’t have a story to tell. Sermak distinctly remembers a guy in high school, his brother’s buddy, who would have the basketball team over at his house to cut their hair.
Tonia Ireland Ketchum moved out of DeWitt 17 years ago but her son, daughter and only grandchild still reside in the town, and three years ago, Ketchum started a tradition with her 5-year-old granddaughter whenever she came to visit DeWitt. “She and I would come to Family Tree Cafe on Sunday mornings just her and I,” Ketchum said.
“I would let her stay in her PJ’s and we would leave mommy and daddy home (most of the times) and we would enjoy a fun breakfast.” Family Tree Cafe is a DeWitt located restaurant that treasures the importance of family relationships. Sign inside Family Tree Cafe. Photograph by Nina Felicidario
“I honestly can’t think of any place around that I would be as comfortable doing what we do and I love our little tradition,” Ketchum said.
What attracts someone to a city? It may be great food, beautiful landscaping or good job opportunities. But for many in DeWitt, it is the strong education system. “A lot of people come here because the schools are great,” said DeWitt mayor Sue Leeming.
DeWitt Public Schools consist of six buildings that have students ranging from early childhood to high schoolers. The number of students enrolled in these schools is just over 3,100 and has been rising since 2014.
A view of the Bath Township Public Library located at 14033 Webster Road. Photo by Emerson Wigand. “We’re pretty tight on space but we make it the best we can,” youth librarian Carrie Frazer said. Frazer walked around the 2200-square-foot strip mall space, giving a short tour of the Bath Township Public Library. In the same room where the used books are sold and the library holds its meetings, there was an event for the public on Michigan true crime stories.
Not many stores sell fresh produce, skincare made from beeswax, goat milk soap and turkeys all in one place. But the Bath Farmers Market does. The outdoor farmers market came to a close and moved inside of the Bath Community Center on Nov. 7. Temperatures are dropping, but the indoor farmers market gives vendors an opportunity to continue providing for the community, even in inclement weather.
The Pretty Shaky String Band plays at every Bath Farmers Market.
The Bengel Wildlife Center markets its outdoor wedding space as the “biggest covered patio in Michigan,” said Burdette Pombier, director of marketing and development. Photo by David Reinke. The connection between wildlife conservation and weddings may not be apparent to some, but in the last few years the two have become inextricably linked for the staff of Michigan Wildlife Conservancy’s Bengel Wildlife Center. Located in Bath Township, the nonprofit organization has to focus on raising funds through events, donations and food and beverage operations like that of its Wildlife Pub in order to support conservation work. The covered patio is a huge draw for wedding clients especially.
It has been over a year since the Looking Glass Brewing Company, located in the heart of DeWitt, opened its doors after some construction delays. Customers say it was worth the wait.
The Looking Glass Brewery Company. Photograph by Nina Felicidario
“We have visited since the opening day,” customer Michael Butts said. “The number of visits would be impossible to guess, probably twice per month at least.”
Butts have never been disappointed with the service nor the food and beverage.
The brewery is in a partnership with Big Guys Food to serve food in addition to their handcrafted beers. Seating area and Big Guys Food kitchen
“I have only been there once so far, but I really liked it,” customer Crystal Stamper said.
A child trick or treats from the decorated ambulance during the event. At 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 cars filled the parking lot of Bath High School and were lined up the driveway until the road. Costumed kids were flowing in a steady stream with their parents and grandparents to the center of the action. A child in an inflatable dinosaur costume waddled to the back of the line, waiting for the Halloween festivities.