LITTLE GIVERS… Preschoolers at Salem Lutheran collected food donations for H.O.P.E. Resources Food Pantry during November and December. The donations were delivered to the food pantry’s new location at 262 N. Paw Paw Street in Coloma. Special thanks to all the parents and church members for their generosity.
THE UPBEATS BAND… This local band has been playing together for more than ten years. They mostly donate their talents to nursing and assisted living homes. It brings joy to the band members as they watch the residents’ smiling faces when the band strikes up a song they are familiar with. The Upbeats Band plays polkas, ballads and many more tunes that were popular in their day. They also play music for anniversaries and special occasions upon request. Pictured (from the left) are band members Bob Myers, Pete Mannino, Tom Kimbro, Marge Mannino, Mary Eberhard, Al Giganti and Les Burford.
Delinquent Hagar Township audit still outstanding
By Jon Bisnett Addressing the matter of the delinquent township audit again, Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio reports at the Hagar Township board meeting on Monday, Jan. 13 that despite receiving a draft copy of the audit from the township’s accounting firm Gabridge & Company during the first week of December, additional communication from the treasurer was still needed by the auditors, before the audit can be completed and submitted. Treasurer Marlene Davis acknowledged same and responded that no interruption of revenue sharing funds had occurred to date. Guests Berrien County Commissioner Dave Vollrath gave a short report mentioning the pending resignation of County Administrator Bill Wolf and work already in progress by the Personnel Committee to seek his replacement. Berrien Co. Sheriff’s Department Deputy Paul Grenon visited, presenting a report of the prior month activity totaling 50 complaints with four citations issued and no arrests. Supervisors Report Updating the new Kayak Park, Supervisor DiMaggio announced the DDA has officially turned over the park to the township. Work for fencing and landscaping to finish the project, is budgeted and will be completed in spring prior to a planned Open House scheduled for 4 p.m. on May 8. Michigan Association of Townships Annual Legislative Conference is April 27 – 30 in Traverse City. Approval was given for expenses of board members wishing to attend. DiMaggio reports the 2020-2021 Budget is in process and asks all department heads to submit their wish lists for the coming year as soon as possible. Clerk’s Report Clerk Sarah Rodriguez reported Pride Care Ambulance activity for the prior month. The report shows sixteen Priority One calls with the average response time of 12:32 minutes. There were nineteen Priority Two calls with the average response time of 15:15 minutes. A total of thirty-five calls were run in December with an average response of 14:00. Growing concern among board members was articulated by Trustee Andy Ulleg as to the recent trend of longer response times. The clerk also reminded residents of the new availability of online voter registration in preparation for the election slated for March of 2020. Rodriguez further reminded that the March election is a closed primary requiring voters to choose a party affiliation at the poll. As always, the clerk is looking for election workers adding that age must be at least 16. Past elections have provided excellent learning opportunities for high school students. Lastly the clerk requested the March regular meeting scheduled for the 9th, the day before the election, be moved to the following week due to the complete reconfiguration of the hall furnishings that is required for an early morning poll opening. The board voted unanimously to reschedule the March regular meeting to Monday, March 16. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Marlene Davis abstained from the presentation of expenses for December deferring to Trustee Ulleg who then presented a motion to pay bills in the amount of $246,835.66, subsequently approved. Davis introduced two Purchase Orders for approval in the amount of $200 for office supplies and $1,379 for a computer upgrade, as part of her office’s new ongoing purchasing protocol; both approved. Davis also requested the President of the DDA to provide documentation of minutes, bank statements and cancelled checks to resolve matters in payouts of grant funds for the Kayak Park. DDA Chairman Mark Toncray was in attendance and assured Davis the requested documentation would be forthcoming. Davis further inquired as to who was assuming responsibility to follow up on grants for $300,000 for the Kayak Park and $89,433.10 from the Berrien County Road Department/FEMA. Clerk Rodriguez responded that she was taking the lead on the grants in process. Fire Report DiMaggio reported the North Berrien Joint Fire Department responded to just 15 calls during the month of December with four runs in Hagar Township, seven in Coloma Charter Township, four in the City of Coloma. Total calls for calendar year 2019 came to 249. Building Inspector Butch Kelley noted four building permits issued in December for a total of $45,000. Total activity for the calendar year 2019 saw a total of $1,464,000, which included two new traditional dwelling homes and two pole barns with integrated living quarters. Ordinance Officer George Schemenauer has recently issued four citations including properties on Coloma Road and Eckard Drive. Planning Commission Trustee Ulleg reported work still in progress on a Marijuana Business Ordinance as well as an ordinance for short and long-term rental properties. Having no further business, Supervisor DiMaggio adjourned the meeting at 8:14 p.m.
THESE KUTE KIDS ARE… Alonzo King (6), Amina Barajas (1) and Angelina King (3). They are the apples of the eyes of their parents, South Haven residents, Anarosa Barajas and Cody King. Their grandparents, Ismelda and Adalberto Barajas of South Haven and Rhonda King of Holland, Michigan, love them back “a bushel and a peck”.
Community Soup & Salad Supper Friday, Feb. 7
A Community Soup & Salad Supper will be held from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, at the North Berrien Senior Center, 6648 Ryno Road in Coloma. The menu includes soup, salad, bread, dessert and beverage. The public is invited. Cost for adults is $5; $3 for children up to 12 years of age; and free for children under three. Proceeds go to the H.O.P.E. Resources Food Pantry in Coloma. This month’s supper is hosted by HOPE Resources Board of Directors and New Hope Community Church.
Valentine’s Steak Fry at Coloma American Legion Feb. 15
Sons of American Legion Post 362 is holding a Valentine’s Steak Fry on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. The menu includes 12 oz. rib eye steak, baked potato, salad bar and Texas toast. The dinner is being served at the Coloma American Legion Post 362 located at the corner of East St. Joseph Street and Sassafras Street. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Legion for $13 each through Feb. 9. After the 9th and at the door, the cost is $14. Proceeds from the Valentine’s Steak Fry go the building improvement fund.
Auston Rushing on Rockhurst U. Dean’s List
(Press Release) Rockhurst University has announced the dean’s list for the fall 2019 semester. This honor recognizes students who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.5 or above. The following student earned a place on the list: Auston Rushing – Coloma MI. Rockhurst University is one of 27 Catholic, Jesuit universities in the United States. It challenges students to become leaders while providing a supportive environment for intellectual and personal growth.