BATA announces service changes

TRAVERSE CITY — The Bay Area Transportation Authority announced service changes effective March 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from BATA, the Hall Street Transfer Station lobby will close at 7:30 p.m. daily and City Loop service will end at 8 p.m. with the last departure from the Hall Street Station at 7:30 p.m. All Village Link service will end at 7 p.m.

Bayline service — reduced to a 20-minute estimated frequency — will end at 8 p.m. daily with the last departures from Meijer on the west side and Woodland Creek Furniture on the east side at 7:30 p.m. City Loop 3 and the Leelanau Loop Route are suspended.

All route adjustments will be in effect until April 1, barring any additional impacts from the coronavirus outbreak. BATA also announced increasing cleaning and sterilization efforts.

Additional information is available at

Blood donations needed

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services put out a call Thursday on the need for blood donations.

Blood drives were canceled across the state in the wake of COVID-19, but people can still donate by appointment or in blood drives that follow social distancing requirements, the statement read.

The Red Cross will pre-screen donors by taking temperatures and have implemented extra safety precautions for donors, staff and volunteers. Make an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App on mobile phones, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Road work extended

TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County Road Commission crews plan to continue its repair work on Four Mile Road between Oak Drive and U.S. 31 through the weekend.

Community heroes named

KALKASKA — The Kalkaska Kiwanis Club announced the winners of the Hometown Heroes Awards, which recognize daily service to the community. The banquet, set for March 31, was canceled to follow the statewide guidelines limiting social gatherings.

This year’s award recipients:

  • Police Officer of the Year — Michigan State Police Trooper Adam Whited
  • Firefighters of the Year — Lieutenant Kyle Jenkins and Firefighter Kevin Jenkins, Kalkaska Township Fire Department
  • Veteran of the Year — Randy Bissonette, Michigan Heritage Foundation
  • Librarian of the Year — Sheryl Card, Kalkaska Public Library
  • Community Hero — Lisa Dinger, Kalkaska Scouting Programs
  • Coach of the Year — Billy Sutton, Kalkaska Area Youth Football
  • Champion of the Year — Blazer Booster Club, Kalkaska High School Athletic Department
  • Lifesaving Award — Logan Shier, Kalkaska Public Schools
  • Kiwanian of the Year — Diana Needham, Kalkaska Kiwanis Club

DNR updates

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources closed shooting ranges, including the Traverse City location off Supply Road. Also, the general public is asked not to visit statewide facilities like fisheries, hatcheries and field offices. Fishing and hunting licenses, camping reservations and more can be done online. Guests do not need a Recreation Passport for state park and recreation area entry; this requirement has been suspended.

Virtual tours available

TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan residents can access virtual events and tours from their home computers. Explore the digital collection at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, tour the Michigan History Museum and participate in discussions and screenings during the Ann Arbor Film Festival from March 24-26. The Menominee Range Historical Museum offers Native American, military and mining exhibitions. Kids can explore STEM activities through the Michigan Science Center.

Sticker contest

TRAVERSE CITY — Brilliant Books accepts entries for its sticker contest until March 22. Kids under 13 can create a design using the bookstore logo and/or #BrilliantBooksMonthly. Staff votes on their favorites. The winning sticker is featured in the kid and adult monthly welcome boxes. Questions: