01-04-2018 Keeler Township schedules Parks Public Hearing; Lakeland welcomes First Baby of the New

Lakeland welcomes First Baby of the New Year The BirthPlace at Lakeland Hospital, Niles welcomed southwest Michigan’s first baby of 2018 at 4:46 a.m. on Mon-day, January 1. Ciara Lamb and James Helton of Union, Michi-gan are the proud new parents of a daughter, Lillian Michelle Helton. Baby Helton weighed in at eight pounds, eight ounces, and measured 21 inches long. In keeping with their annual tradi-tion of celebrating the first baby of the year, the Lakeland Aux-iliary provided the family with a gift basket full of baby items valued at $100. The Lakeland Health system has delivered generations of southwest Michigan residents, with 1,630 babies born in the St. Joseph and Niles hospitals with-in the last fiscal year. Lakeland is served by a team of 23 obste-trics and gynecology providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. In May of 2017, Lake-land Medical Center, St. Joseph became one of only two in our region (west Michigan and northern Indiana) to offer nitr-ous oxide for managing pain while in labor. For more information about the BirthPlace, visit www.lakelandhealth.org/birthplace.

Keeler Township schedules Parks Public Hearing

By Annette Christie

The Keeler Township Board will hold a hearing to learn about their updated 5-year Recreation Plan. The board sought input from the public through December 15 and will discuss the results of that input at the Public Hearing at their February 6 meeting at 8:00 p.m.

The last time the township updated their plan, they sent out surveys to all residents and only received about 40 back. In this go around the township provided it on their website and put the word out in and around the township.  Supervisor Bill Kays said they received about 100 responses to the survey. The survey included questions about lake use Lions Club Park use, desire for walking trails, and an overall wish list.

At their Tuesday, January 2 regular meeting the board also discussed complaints about the condition of Magician Lake. Kays said that one resident has some pretty heavy duty bubblers that are creating 30’ x 300’ of open water. As the township does not have an ordinance to regulate this, Kays said he will try and work with the home owner and if that is unsuccessful, he will work with the board on establishing an ordinance that could regulate this.  He said that Silver Creek Township, which houses half of the lake, does have an ordinance that regulates the use of bubblers.  Kays said they are not trying to discontinue use altogether, but rather they would like the bubbler action to be directly in the area of the pier vs. spread out over the lake.

The board discussed action taken at their December meeting for sewer charges that were not paid.  The Sewer Authority had asked the two townships to put unpaid sewer fees on the residents’ tax bill. The Keeler Township Board took action at their December meeting authorizing for the unpaid sewer charges to be added to the tax bill.  The charges were added by the treasurer and were then forwarded to the county treasurer for action.

Some of the residents had since paid the outstanding sewer fees and the amount needed to be removed from the tax bill. While the local treasurer can do it on her end, the board had to approve a resolution to be forwarded to the county treasurer in order for it to be removed on their end.

In other business the board approved an increase in wages for the elected officials.  The positions of Supervisor, Clerk, and Treasurer are now paid $21,600. The Trustees are now paid $3,600 annually. Kays said that once the budget work gets closer, they will see if the budget can afford the increase.

Berrien County 4-H celebrates leaders and members for 2017

 Janice Gruss of Benton Harbor and Robert Lausch of St. Joseph were recently named the 2017 Berrien County Outstanding 4-H Leaders at the Berrien County 4-H Member & Leader Recognition Program.  The program and awards were sponsored by both the Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association, Inc. and the Berrien County 4-H Foundation, Inc. Awards were presented to both leaders and members at the Annual Berrien County 4-H Member & Leader Recognition banquet on November 5, 2017 at Pebblewood Banquet Hall in Bridgman.