Top Battle Creek Stories of the Decade
There were certainly some big stories in Battle Creek in 2019, but we decided to look back a little further in the rear view mirror, as the decade comes to a close. I'm sure we missed some. Let us know. Be sure to check out the gallery below of Battle Creek in the 2010's.
2010 Embridge Oil Spill
The 2010 decade certainly started out ugly. In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and spewing oil into the Gulf for months. But Calhoun County’s tragic oil spill happened that same year. More than 1 million gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River in July 2010 after an Enbridge pipeline near Marshall ruptured.
2011 The Straight-Line Wind Storm
In 2011, Navy SEALs killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Locally in Calhoun County, on May 29th, a straight-line wind storm estimated at up to 100 miles per hour left a trail of destruction 3 miles wide and 60 miles long. The storm knocked down the WBCK-AM tower #4.
2012 Kalamazoo River Re-Opens; Tigers Swept in Series
2012 was the year we re-elected President Obama and it’s the year Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast. In June, 2012, authorities reopened most of the 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River that had been closed to recreation after the Embridge spill. 2012 was the year the Tigers were swept by the Giants in the world series.
2013 Steps toward Battle Creek downtown revitalization and the Albion School District fades away.
In 2013 a pair of bombs killed three people and injured more than 260 others at the Boston Marathon.
The Battle Creek Community Foundation provided money to help repair the roof of the building at 25 West Michigan Avenue, now known as “The Milton”. Without that action, saving the historic building would probably never have been possible. As a result, the building is nearly restored and ready for re-use, New Holland Brewery is slated to open down the block in 2020, Handmap Brewing is part of the “Record Box” project at 15 Carlyle, and McCamly Plaza is expected to re-open next summer under the DoubleTree by Hilton flag after renovations.
Also in 2013, facing a nearly $3.1 million budget deficit amid declining enrollment, the Albion School district approved a cooperative agreement to send its high school students to Marshall High School. In May of 2016, Albion citizens voted for the district to be annexed by Marshall.
2014 The TV show “Battle Creek” announced; First Female City Manager Hired
There was a lot of excitement that Battle Creek would be the subject of a new crime drama produced by “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan. The show premiered in March of 2015 and lasted just 13 episodes. 2014 was the year that Battle Creek’s first female City Manager, Rebecca Fleury was hired. Also in 2014, Republicans took control of the US Senate.
2015 The Big Accident on I-94; Burnham Brook re-named
A 193-vehicle accident in both lanes of Interstate 94 occurred just west of the Calhoun-Kalamazoo county line on Jan. 9, 2015. 2015 also marked the opening of the Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center. The new facility became the home to Michigan State Police troopers, Calhoun County Sheriff Department deputies and officers from the City of Marshall.
The Burnham Brook Center was renamed the Kool Family Center.
Also in 2015, the Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry.
2016 The Uber Shootings in Kalamazoo
Jason Dalton committed a series of apparently random shootings in Kalamazoo County on February 20, 2016, claiming the lives of six people and seriously wounding two others. 2016 was also the year that Miller College closed after 11 years in existence. And in 2016 we elected President Trump.
2017 The $51 Million to Battle Creek Schools; Lakeview Square Mall Declines; Schlatter wins ArtPrize; Arcadia Brewing Leaves Town
In 2017, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation gave Battle Creek Public Schools a five-year, $51 million grant to support quality education while attempting to bridge racial and economic divides in the district.
In January of 2017 Macy’s announced it would close. Three months later, Penny’s followed suit, and two years later, in 2019, Sears closed, leaving the mall without an “anchor” store.
“A. Lincoln” by Battle Creek's Dick Schlatter was the 2017 ArtPrize winner.
Arcadia Brewing left Battle Creek after 21 years in business on Michigan Avenue. The company moved to Kalamazoo and has since gone bankrupt. A portion of he roof on the Battle Creek building caved in in 2019.
Also in 2017, allegations of sexual abuse against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement.
2018 Larry Nassar Sentenced; New Police Station Opens; City Hall Window removed
Former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young girls under the guise of treatment. The story continues to rock Michigan State University, where Nassar was employed. Battle Creek's new state-of-the-art police station opened in August.
The City of Battle Creek removed a stained-glass window depicting the "battle" between surveyors and Native Americans.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the US Supreme Court was hotly contested and he was eventually confirmed and seated on the court in October.
2019 The Hail Storm, EEE and Presidential Visit
On June 1st baseball-sized hail fell in the Battle Creek area on a Saturday night causing wide-spread damage to buildings and automobiles. Hail as large as 2.75 inches in diameter was reported in the Battle Creek area. Fall of 2019 was a trying time as the deadly mosquito-borne virus, eastern equine encephalitis, caused the state to spray large areas in Calhoun County and Michigan. In December, President Trump spoke for two hours at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena, as the US House of Representatives voted to impeach him.