JACKSON, MI – From a church in Clark Lake set to close after 150 years of services, to several Jackson-area school districts suspending in-person learning due to positive COVID-19 tests, a lot has been happening in the Jackson area.
Here are some headlines you might have missed this week.
The church started in a one-room schoolhouse in 1868.
It grew from 14 people, taking hold in the Clark Lake community of farmers and locals through years of change. Its pastors baptized congregation members in the very lake it looks across. It faced fires, it weathered vacationers coming and going.
But the 152-year-old Clarklake Community Church won’t survive much longer, its congregation members said. In early August, they voted to dissolve their beloved organization and leave their home on Hyde Road. The last service is set for Dec. 27.
In-person learning in Jackson Public Schools is being canceled for a week due to a staff member in the facilities department testing positive for COVID-19.
The district learned of the positive case from the Jackson County Health Department on Monday, Oct. 19, Superintendent Jeff Beal said in an email to families. All classes from Tuesday, Oct. 20, to Friday, Oct. 23, will be remote for students, but staff members will teach live from their buildings, Beal said.
Grass Lake High School students are moving from face-to-face classes to virtual instruction for two weeks after an upswing in COVID-19 quarantine cases among underclassmen, school officials said.
High school students will remain in virtual learning until Nov. 2, Grass Lake Community Schools Superintendent Ryle Kiser said.
All junior varsity and middle school athletic events are canceled for the next two weeks, since the majority of the issues are with the underclassmen, Kiser said.
Jackson High School students will need to arrange their own transportation to get to class when hybrid learning resumes on Monday, Oct. 26, school officials said.
A required quarantine due to a confirmed COVID-19 has led to a shortage of district bus drivers, Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal said. That means no busing is being offered for students in ninth through 12th grades only from Oct. 26-30, Beal said.
Jackson County is averaging nearly 17 new cases of COVID-19 each day, health officials report.
There were 188 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the county from Oct. 11-17, compared to 148 cases from Oct. 4-10, for an increase of 27%, according to the Harvard Institute, which looks at the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents
Jackson County has 1,520 positive cases as of Oct. 19, according to the Jackson County Health Department. Countywide, 946 people have recovered from the coronavirus, which means they are alive 30 days after the start of the virus, per the health department.
Another of the 14 men accused of plotting to kidnap and harm Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was arraigned in Jackson County on Tuesday afternoon.
Paul Bellar, 22, of Milford, was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina, on Oct. 7. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office extradited Bellar to Jackson County, where he appeared before Jackson County Magistrate Fredrick Bishop on Oct. 20.
Bellar is charged with one felony count each of providing materials to support terrorist acts, attempt to commit felony as an associate or member of gang and felony firearms.
Two children were airlifted in critical condition to Ann Arbor’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Monday afternoon when the SUV they were passengers in crashed in Sandstone Township, police said.
A Chevrolet Traverse was driving east on W. Michigan Avenue, east of S. Sandstone Road, around 2:45 p.m., Oct. 19, when it left the road and hit a tree.
Citing an increasing workload related to the coronavirus pandemic, Jackson County health officials intend to hire three more public health nurses.
At its Tuesday, Oct. 20 meeting, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a request from the health department to hire two public health nurses to aid in the county’s COVID-19 response. The board also approved a plan to create another full-time nurse by combining two vacant part-time positions: a health educator and a public health nurse in the fetal infant mortality review program.
Eagle-eyed house hunters in Jackson may have noticed a notable person’s house on the market this week.
Mayor Derek Dobies confirmed he and his family plan to move from their house in the city’s Sixth Ward. He and his family intend to move to another house on the southwest side of Jackson.