DeWitt’s Family Barber Shop: what’s all the buzz about?

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.

DeWitt restaurant carries on the tradition of family

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.

DeWitt Public Schools draw people to the city

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.

Bath library continues growth

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.

Bath Farmers Market kicks off the holiday season

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.

Bath’s Bengel Wildlife Center uses weddings, events to pay for conservation efforts

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.

DeWitt’s first brewery becomes part of community

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.

Bath children take part in trick-or-treat trial run

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.

DeWitt church pays off families’ medical debt in time for Christmas

During the summer of 2019, Northpointe Community Church partnered with the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt to pay off $3.8 million in medical debt. 

Northpointe’s Lead Pastor Rich Ruble. Photograph by Nina Felicidario

“We’re a church that cares about people and their needs,” Lead Pastor Rich Ruble said, “We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to give back to the community.”

Ruble said that the church located in DeWitt has a vision to impact 50,000 people in five years with the grace of Jesus. When they found out about RIP Medical, they understood that it was a great fit for their vision. It’s who they are and what they want to do. “Because we understand what it feels and means to be forgiven,” Ruble said.

DeWitt continues improving recycling and safety

DEWITT, MICH. – The sky is falling! Oh wait, it is just the leaves. Autumn leaves are flooding the city streets, and DeWitt’s weekly leaf pick-up is a convenient way for residents to clean up their yards. 

“Streets are full of leaves, nice and messy out there,” city administrator Daniel Coss said. “So far we’ve collected about 104 cubic yards.”

 During most of October and November, the city leaf vacuum sweeps designated areas of DeWitt each week and collects leaves that residents move to the side of the street.