Gun crimes coincide with COVID, clerk barred from running election: Jackson headlines Oct. 23-28 –


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JACKSON, MI – Data shows gun crimes in Jackson were at a record high in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is that headline and some more you might have missed this week, plus a repeat of Halloween trick-or-treat times in Jackson County.

Halloween Trick or Treat 2021: Here’s when and where to go in the Jackson area

It’s time for Jackson-area families to make plans for Halloween festivities and trick-or-treating.

Halloween, Oct. 31, falls on Sunday this year, but some communities are celebrating early. Here are times for community trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating and fall and Halloween events from organizations and churches.

Spike in Jackson gun crimes coincides with COVID pandemic, police records show

In a year already troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 also brought an uptick in gun violence to Jackson that appears to be continuing, statistics show.

In 2020, the Jackson Police Department received 322 calls of “shots fired” -- the highest number since JPD began its current method of recording gun crime statistics in 2016.

Michigan officials bar township clerk from running Nov. 2 election, citing refusal to follow procedures

Michigan elections officials have barred the clerk of a small Hillsdale County township from running the Nov. 2 election, after she resisted legally-required integrity checks on vote tabulator machines and explored options to hand count ballots.

That’s according to a series of letters sent from Michigan Director of Elections Jonathan Brater to Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott, which culminated in the Michigan Bureau of Elections relieving Scott of her duties for next week’s election just little more than a week before polls are set to open.

Want to spend Halloween in a Jackson cemetery? Here’s how to do it and help the city, too

People for the Parks and Trails is hosting its last volunteer event for the 2021 season on Halloween and is looking for helpers in tidying up a historic Jackson cemetery.

The clean-up at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery, 1047 Greenwood Ave. is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, and is expected to last about an hour, People for the Parks and Trails officials said.

“Mt. Evergreen Cemetery is a beautiful historic cemetery that’s operated by the city of Jackson,” Coordinator Aaron Dimick said in a statement. “This time of year, it’s in need of some cleaning up so it can look its best for visitors.”

Police investigating string of break-ins at Jackson fairgrounds

The fairgrounds near downtown Jackson were the target of a series of break-ins on Thursday, police said.

At about 11: 23 a.m. Oct. 21, an officer from the Jackson Police Department was dispatched to Keeley Park in Jackson for multiple reports of breaking-and-entering.

A total of three recreational vehicles on fairground property had been broken into, said Jackson Police and Fire Services Director Elmer Hitt.

Jackson man suspected in fatal shooting dies by suicide, police say

A Jackson man suspected in a fatal shooting last week has died by suicide, police said.

Lance James Hines, 31, died from self-inflicted injuries while hospitalized, said Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety Director Mike Jester. According to his obituary, Hines died on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Hines was wanted by police in connection to the fatal shooting of Eric Jay Rutz on Thursday, Oct. 21, in the 1400 block of Longfellow Avenue.

Jackson County getting $1M from state to dredge Cascades lagoons. But is it enough?

There’s $1 million coming from the state’s 2022 budget to help Jackson County dredge the lagoons at Cascades Falls Park.

But, county officials say that won’t cover the full cost of the project.

The rest of the money would have to come from county funds, such as the general fund or the parks fund, County Administrator Mike Overton said.

4 new vehicles coming to Jackson Police Department

The Jackson Police Department is getting four new vehicles following approval of their purchase by the Jackson City Council

The council approved the purchase of the three new patrol cars and one Ford Explorer at its Tuesday, Oct. 26 meeting. These vehicles will replace currently used department vehicles, said Elmer Hitt, Jackson Police and Fire Services director.

The vehicles are being purchased through the State of Michigan’s MiDEAL program, which allows Michigan municipalities to buy goods through state contracts. The cost, which has already been included in the city’s 2021-2022 budget, about $131,000.

Ornate space in historic Jackson County building open and ready to host events

Looking for a place for your wedding or special event? The Jackson County Tower Building has a new space available for that.

A 7,500-square-foot space on the second floor of the historic Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave., is officially open for event rental.

“It’s a beautiful way to showcase our building,” said Ric Scheele, the county’s director of fleet and facilities operations.

Jackson High lockdown threat traced to social media post from Florida, officials say

A social media threat that originated in Florida impacted classes at Jackson High School Thursday, causing the district to dismiss classes early.

JHS was placed in lockdown at 9: 57 a.m. Oct. 28, meaning that no one could enter or leave the building. A little less than an hour later, the district announced the lockdown was lifted as the Jackson Police Department continued to work onsite to investigate the validity of the threat that originated on Snapchat.

Civil War camp site in Jackson becomes new home for military museum

The Michigan Military Heritage Museum has found a new home on a fitting historic site.

Formerly housed in Grass Lake, the museum has made a move to 311 N. Wisner St. in Jackson, site of Camp Blair a Civil War Army camp, rendezvous point for new recruits and discharging station for soldiers after the war’s end. Nearly 25 percent of all Michigan soldiers in the Civil War passed through Camp Blair.

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