01-19-2017 Queen runner-ups vying for 2017 Miss Spirit; Coloma School Board unanimously votes in Hic

Queen runner-ups vying for 2017 Miss Spirit

 Two ladies from the Tri-City area will by vying for the title of Miss Spirit on Saturday, January 21.  The Miss Spirit of Blossomtime pageant is open to all first runner-ups of community pageants.  The winner of the Miss Spirit pageant will go on to participate in the Miss Blossomtime pageant though she is not eligible to win Miss Blossomtime, first runner-up, or second runner-up.  She is eligible to be selected as Miss Congeniality by the fellow Blossomtime contestants.  She may also win awards for the modeling, communications, photography, and community service portion of the contest.

Following the Miss Blossomtime pageant, Miss Spirit will also be able to participate in all the Blossomtime activities that the community queens participate in such as a visit to the State Capital, the Shriner’s Hospital, and the Farm Tour.

Watervliet’s own Aliea Chapin is the first one from the Tri-City area to win Miss Spirit of Blossomtime, a title she won last year.


Katie Marie Schultz, 17, will be representing the community of Watervliet.  She is the daughter of Randy and Tina Schultz.  Schultz is a senior attending Watervliet High School.  She is involved in basketball, volleyball, and softball where she has received awards such as honorable mention and All-Conference.  She has also received academic awards and certification in first aid, CPR, and as a CNA.  She plans to attend Lake Michigan College to study nursing, followed by a four-year university.  She plans to specialize in pediatrics.

Schultz spends her free time volunteering for youth sports camps, food drives, the Watervliet Athletic Boosters concession stand, and at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen.


Robinson is one of 21 students selected to participate in the middle college program in Van Buren County whereby her tuition and college expenses will be paid for through her associate’s degree.

In school, Robinson is involved in sideline cheer, competitive cheer, The Tribe and softball.  She is an honor roll student and has received the most improved player award in softball.  She is also active in youth group and the praise and worship team at church.

Coloma School Board unanimously votes in Hickmon & LeClear to fill board vacancies

By Annette Christie

The four individuals that sent letters of interest for the two Coloma School Board vacancies were interviewed at a special meeting on Monday, January 16.

Nicole Hickmon, Doug LeClear, Robin Kniebes, and Michelle McCoy were all invited to be interviewed and received the same questioning by the board.

Following the interviews, the board unanimously selected Nicole Hickmon and Doug LeClear.

She explained that her main purpose for applying was to give back to the community.  She sees the role of the school board to be that of representatives of the school system and the community as a whole.  Her    perspective and experience with many different school districts all over the country are the qualities that she can bring to the table.

Doug LeClear is a former school board member.  He has lived in the area for 38 years.  He is retired from Whirlpool.  He is seeking to be a school board member again because he believes that community members should be involved and that the school is the heart of the community.

LeClear believes that the responsibility of the school board is to be the voice of the community to carry out the wishes of the community as a whole.

Both of the candidates said that it is currently their intention to run for the position once the term they are fulfilling expires. The positions of Kelly Clements and David Vollrath are the two positions being filled due to their being elected to other offices.

Following the interviews, the board commented that all the applicants were good and they all interviewed well.  Bob Hirsch made the motion to select Nicole Hickmon to replace Kelly Clements with support by Apryl Watson.  William Stowers made the motion to select Doug LeClear to replace Dave Vollrath with support from Bob Hirsch.  The vote was unanimous for both appointments.

The next regular school board meeting will be held on Monday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Watervliet Township Board approves ordinance change

By Annette Christie

The Watervliet Charter Township Board held the second and final reading of the amended Ordinance #75 regarding rental registration and inspection.  The changes to the ordinance allow for more flexibility to the dates as to when the inspections can be done and spreads out the renewals over a 12-month basis for both the township and the city as the township is contracted to complete the city’s ordinance enforcement.  The ordinance changes also include giving the township the authority to put unpaid fees on the property owners’ taxes. In addition, the township increased the annual registration fee from $35 to $45.

The board also set a new date for the budget workshop for next year.  The board scheduled it for February 1 at 3:00 p.m.

In other business, the board approved bills in the amount of $134,246.61.

Their next regular meeting is scheduled for February 20 at 7:00 p.m.

PAW PAW LAKE ROTARY CLUB… pictured at a recent meeting (from the left): Lee Scherwitz, Rotary 6360, Director of Student Exchange; Art Anderson, Paw Paw Lake Rotary Chairperson of the Day; and Sue Scherwitz. Lee was the key speaker for the day and he spoke about the Rotary’s Student Exchange Program.

North Berrien Historical Museum announces Holiday Open House tree winners

 Each holiday season the North Berrien Historical Museum features a beautiful display of Christmas trees for visitors to see in addition to their main exhibits. The Christmas tree display is the result of a special collaboration between the museum and the surrounding community as local businesses and organizations join the museum in decorating the trees. This past December the local community sponsored 19 of the 41 decorated trees, making it one of the most extensive displays in the 12 year history of the event. Visitors who tour the museum during December and who attend the museum’s annual Holiday Open House are encouraged to vote on their favorite trees. The votes are in and first place winner of the 2016 People’s Choice Award is 12 Corners Vineyards for their “Alice in Wine-derland” tree. Second place is awarded to the American Legion Auxiliary Post 362 for their tree which honored American POWs and MIAs and third place is awarded to the Friendly Tavern for their Grinch tree. Congratulations to the winners on their well deserved recognition!

The North Berrien Historical Museum would like to thank the award-winning tree sponsors as well as the other Holiday Open House sponsors: Honor Credit Union; The wHAIRhouse Salon; Coloma High School Art Club; Handmade Treasures; Lakeland Community Hospital; VFW Post 6803; Coloma Public Library; Watervliet District Library; Chemical Bank; Cutting Corners; Contessa Wine Cellars; Coloma Lioness Club; HOPE Resources; Artes & Craft; Moss Chiropractic; Best Way Disposal & Orchard Hill Landfill; H&R Block; Watervliet Lions Club; Don Young Insurance; Coloma Lions Club; Darlene Getz DDS; Lane Automotive; Harding’s; Bob’s Barn; and D.W. Hammond Chocolates & Fudge.

In addition to their annual Holiday Open House the museum hosts programs the third Tuesday of each month and holds special events and exhibit openings. Information about upcoming events can be found on the museum’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NorthBerrienHistory and at their website: www.northberrienhistory.org.


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