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02-13-2020 Columns; School News & Calendars

PLEDGE IN ACTION AWARD WINNERS… at Watervliet’s South Elementary School are (from the left): Paisley Wallace (Mrs. Dobb’s 2nd Grade), Madison Fleming (Mrs. Collis’ 1st Grade), Jocelyn Andrews (Mrs. Schmidt’s Kindergarten), Noah Ponce (Mrs. Lanham’s Kindergarten), and Chelsea Alcaraz (Mrs. Konkel’s Young 5s). Teachers, staff, and students at Watervliet South School take the “South School Pledge” together every morning. The pledge focuses on building the character traits of trustworthiness, cooperation, respectfulness, responsibility, and doing your personal best. In the classroom, teachers work with their Little Panthers to identify, develop and encourage these positive character traits throughout the year. These five students were nominated for the “South School Pledge in Action Award” for consistently showing Trustworthiness in the classroom.

HARTFORD HIGH SCHOOL… “Students of the Week” for Feb. 3 – 7, 2020 are: (from the left) 9th Grade – Kendra Briley, student of Kenneth & Sarah Briley; 10th Grade – Kelly Parra, student of Oscar Parra & Rocio Olivarez; 11th Grade – Brock Schaner, student of Matt & Cyndi Schaner. Not pictured is 12th Grade – Ismael Paniagua Vega, student of Jose Paniagua & Maria Vega de Paniagua. Congratulations to these students and keep up the great work!

Watervliet Public Schools events

Thursday, February 13 1/2 day for Elementary Schools ONLY; Afternoon and Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences, Elementary buildings; Parent/Teacher Conferences, MS & HS buildings, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Freshman Boys Basketball vs. Hackett, 5:30 p.m.; 7th & 8th Grade Girls White Basketball at New Buffalo, 5:30 & 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 14 1/2 day for All School Buildings; Midterm Progress Reports; Valentine’s Day Parties at North School Saturday, February 15 Varsity Wrestling at Individual District Tournament, TBD, 9:00 a.m.; MSVMA District and Solo Ensemble at Southwestern Michigan College Monday, February 17 MS Girls White Basketball at Fennville, 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.; Freshman Boys Basketball vs. Buchanan, 6:00 p.m.; 7th – 12th Grade Pre-Festival Band Concert, HS Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 18 Boys JV and Girls Varsity Basketball at Lawton, 5:30 p.m.; Boys Varsity and Girls JV Basketball at Lawton, 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 19 MS Girls Maroon Basketball at Lawton, 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.; Varsity Wrestling at Regional Team Tournament, TBA Thursday, February 20 MS Wrestling SAC Meet at Schoolcraft, 5:00 p.m.; 7th Grade White & Maroon Girls Basketball at Lakeshore, 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.; 8th Grade White & Maroon Girls Basketball vs. Lakeshore, 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.; 7th – 12th Grade Pre-Festival Choir Concert, HS Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, February 21 Basketball Senior Night: Seniors recognized between games – Girls & Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Saugatuck, 6:00 & 7:30 p.m.; Middle School Daddy-Daughter Dance at North School, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Saturday, February 22 Varsity Wrestling at Individuals Regional Tournament, TBA; JV Boys Basketball vs. Holland Calvary, 3:00 p.m.; Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Holland Calvary, 4:30 p.m.; HALL OF FAME EVENT: Half-time of Varsity Basketball Game

BC Youth Fair sets mandatory meetings for swine exhibitors and parents

The BCYF Swine Committee has set two mandatory meetings for all 2020 BCYF swine exhibitors and parents. The first meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. for exhibitors whose last name starts with the letters A – L. The second meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. for exhibitors whose last name starts with the letters M – Z. Both meetings will be held in the Youth Memorial Building. At least one parent/guardian must attend this important mandatory meeting. Topics to be discussed are as follows: New breed classes; rule changes in the fair book; feeding requirements for animals; information on pork quality classes. It is very important that this meeting is attended by swine exhibitors and parents. The swine committee urges swine exhibitors to help pass the word.

Berrien County boards vacancies

The Public Works Board for Berrien County has a vacancy that needs to be filled. The primary purpose of the Board of Public Works is to provide assistance in financing the municipal water, sewer, and storm systems within the County. Membership consists of the Drain Commissioner in addition to six other members. The terms for the Public Works Board are three years. Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph. Applications are being sought for the Solid Waste Planning Committee. It consists of members from a wide scope including: solid waste management industry; environmental interest group; township government; city government, regional solid waste planning agency; industrial waste generator; and the general public. The committee is involved in preparing and updating the County Solid Waste Management Plan by providing advice and consultation. Applicants will need to specify which interest group that they are representing. Meetings will be convened as needed. Meetings will be held at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph, Michigan. The terms for the Solid Waste Planning Committee are for two years. Members are needed for the Community Corrections Advisory Board which purpose is to develop and implement the Berrien County Community Corrections Comprehensive Plan. The meetings are held quarterly on the third Wednesday in January – April – July – October, at noon at the Berrien County Courthouse, 811 Port St., St. Joseph. The positions that are vacant are a member of the business community, a member of the general public, a City Commissioner from any City in the County, and a Chief of Police from any police department in the County. Anyone interested in serving on these boards may contact the Berrien County Administration office for an application at 269-983-7111, ext. 8095 or email The application is also available on the Berrien County website at (under the Board of Commissioners page and board appointments). Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 21, 2020.

Coloma Community Schools events

Friday, February 14 NO SCHOOL Mid-winter Break; Bowling Conference Tournament at Airway Lanes, 9:00 a.m.; Varsity Girl/Boys Basketball at Saugatuck, 6:00/7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 15 Varsity Wrestling Individual Districts at Constantine TBA; Middle School Wrestling at River Valley, 8:00 a.m. Monday, February 17 NO SCHOOL Mid-winter Break; Varsity Competitive Cheer at St. Joseph, 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 18 JV/Varsity Basketball vs. South Haven, 5:30/7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 19 Middle School Girls Basketball at Saugatuck, 5:00 p.m.; Varsity Girls Basketball at South Haven, 6:00 p.m.; Varsity Competitive Cheer at Lakeshore, 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 20 Middle School Girls Basketball at Lawton, 5:00 p.m.; Middle School Wrestling at Schoolcraft, 5:00 p.m.; JV Girl/Boys Basketball at Gobles, 5:30/7:00 p.m.; Jr. High and H.S. Concert Band Clinician Night, Performances begin at 6:00 p.m.

Vaccinating on time is important for disease protection

Parents agree that feeding and sleep schedules are important to help keep their children healthy. The same goes for childhood immunizations. Vaccinating children on time is the best way to protect them against 16 serious and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday. The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect babies early in life, when they are vulnerable and before it’s likely that they will be exposed to diseases. Although the number of vaccines a child needs in the first two years may seem like a lot, we know a great deal about the human immune system, and we know that a healthy baby’s immune system can handle getting all vaccines when they are recommended. There is no known benefit to delaying vaccination. In fact, it puts babies at risk of getting sick because they are left vulnerable to catch serious diseases during the time they are not protected by vaccines. When parents choose not to vaccinate or to follow a delayed schedule, children are left unprotected against diseases that still circulate in this country, like measles and whooping cough. The United States has experienced a record number of measles cases over the past several years. Staying on track with the immunization schedule ensures that children have the best protection against diseases like these by age 2. If you have questions about the childhood immunization schedule, talk with your child’s doctor or call the Berrien County Health Department. Vaccines are available at reduced or no cost for many children through the Vaccines for Children program.

Who do you contact – Social Security or Medicare?

Social Security offers retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. Medicare provides health insurance. Because these services are often related, you may not know which agency to contact for help. Below is information that can help you quickly figure out where to go. Please share this with family and friends. How do I report a death? Contact your local Social Security Office or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) How can I check Medicare eligibility? Visit What does Medicare cover? Visit How do I sign up for Hospital Insurance (Part A) or Medical Insurance (Part B)? Visit How do I apply for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription drug coverage (Part D)? Visit How can I check the status of Medicare Part A or B claims? Visit Where do I find forms for filing a Medicare appeal or let someone speak with Medicare on my behalf? Visit how-do-i-file-an-appeal How to appeal an income-related monthly adjustment amount decision for people who pay a higher Part B or D premium, if their income is over a certain amount. Visit How can I request a replacement Medicare card online? Visit If I already get benefits or have Medicare, how do I report a change of address or phone number? Visit What do Medicare health and prescription drug plans in my area cost, and what services do they offer? Visit Which doctors, health care providers, and suppliers participate in Medicare? Visit Where do I find publications about Medicare? Visit ?topic=Medicare or www.medicare. gov/publications Where can I find out more about a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) and enroll? Visit www.medicare. gov/drug-coverage-part-d/how-to-get-prescription-drug-coverage Where can I find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy in my area? Visit

Financial protection can be a great Valentine’s Day gift On Valentine’s Day, you can give your spouse or life partner a traditional gift such as candy or flowers. But once you’ve done that, why not think about something that can provide longer-lasting benefits for your loved one? Specifically, think about ways to provide a lifetime of financial protection. You can do this in several ways, including: Protection while you’re alive – As you know, it’s usually necessary for both partners or spouses to work to maintain a household – so if your income were to disappear, even temporarily, it could present a big problem. Your current employer could offer disability income insurance as an employee benefit, but it might not be enough for your needs, so you may want to consider purchasing your own policy. Keep in mind, though, that disability coverage typically only lasts for a few years, and, in any case, probably won’t completely replace your income. Consequently, it’s a good idea to build up your financial resources in other ways, so contribute as much as you can afford to your 401(k) and IRA during your working years. If you do become disabled, it may be possible for you to tap into these funds without incurring a tax penalty, though regular taxes may still be due. Protection if you need care – If you were ever to need some type of long-term care, such as an extended stay in a nursing home or the services of a home health care worker, you might find the costs to be considerable – and possibly a severe burden on your spouse or partner. In fact, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home is about $100,000 per year, while a home health aide costs about $50,000 per year, according to Genworth, an insurance company. And Medicare typically pays only a small percentage of these expenses. To protect your spouse or partner – not to mention your grown children – from possibly having to deal with these costs, you might consider purchasing long-term care insurance. As an alternative, you could purchase a “hybrid” policy that combines long-term care benefits with those offered by a traditional life insurance policy. So, if you never needed long-term care, your policy would pay a death benefit to your spouse or partner or another beneficiary you’ve named. Protection when you’re gone – If you were to pass away, would your spouse or partner have the financial resources to continue the same lifestyle, pay the mortgage or, if you have children, provide for their education? If the answer is no, then you need to maintain adequate life insurance. How much is enough? There’s no one right answer for everyone. You might hear that you need a death benefit that’s worth seven or eight times your annual income, but the actual amount should be based on a variety of factors – your age, size of family, current income, spouse or partner’s income, and so on. A financial professional can help you determine the appropriate amount of coverage. Valentine’s Day is just one day on the calendar. But if it serves as another reminder of how much you value your spouse or partner and spurs you into action to protect her or him throughout your lifetime – and beyond – then it will be an important day indeed. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Community Calendar

Saturday, Feb. 15, 4-6 p.m. “VALENTINE’S MOSTACCIOLI DINNER” hosted by Freshwater Community Church as Watervliet Fire Department. Free pasta dinner open to the public includes salad, garlic bread, beverage & dessert. Call Amy at 269-876-1326 for more information. Saturday, Feb. 15, 5-8 p.m. “VALENTINE’S STEAK FRY” at Coloma American Legion Post 362, 351 St. Joseph Ave. Menu: 12 oz. ribeye, baked potato, salad bar, Texas toast. Tickets: $13 until Feb. 9; $14 at the door. Benefits building improvement fund. Saturday, Feb. 15 & Sunday, Feb. 16. “FREE FISHING WEEKEND” residents and nonresidents can fish without a license. All other fishing regulations apply. Additionally, Michigan DNR will waive the regular Recreation Passport entry fee. Find more information about Free Fishing Weekend at Monday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. “PRESIDENT’S DAY STORY TIME” at Coloma Public Library with special guest “Abraham Lincoln”. Includes craft and photo opportunities. Monday, Feb. 17, 6-8 p.m. “HARTFORD REC COUNCIL BASEBALL & SOFTBALL SIGNUP” at Hartford Redwood Elementary School Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m. “WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE” presentation by Ruth Stevens at North Berrien Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave., Coloma. No RSVP required; free program Thursday, Feb. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. “BURGER NIGHT” at Coloma American Legion Post 362, corner of East St. Joseph and Sassafras streets. Menu includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers & French fries. Friday, Feb. 21, 9-10 a.m. “GRAND OPENING RIBBON CUTTING” for Compassionate Care By Design, medical cannabis provisioning center located north of I-94 at Exit 41 M-140 Watervliet Friday, Feb. 21, 5-7 p.m. “SPAGHETTI DINNER FUNDRAISER” hosted by Coloma Lioness Lions Club at Riverside United Methodist Church, 4401 Fikes Rd. Free will offering supports Lioness scholarship program for Coloma students. All you can eat spaghetti served with garlic bread, salad & dessert. To-go meals available. Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. “EXOTIC WILDLIFE SAFARI” with Nelson the Animal Guy at Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Rd, Benton Harbor. For tickets please call 269-927-4832 and see for prices. Saturday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m. “HUNTING HERITAGE BANQUET” at Pebblewood Banquet Hall, 9794 Jericho Rd., Bridgman hosted by Berrien County Trophy Toms chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation. Call Dale Jasper at 269-921-3474 or send email to for more info. Saturday, Feb. 22 “HALL OF FAME NIGHT” at Watervliet High School during varsity basketball game vs. Calvary High School Saturday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m.-noon “TAX OPEN HOUSE” at Lincoln Twp. Hall, 2055 W. John Beers Rd, Stevensville with Hungerford Nichols CPA + Advisors offered by Rep. Pauline Wendzel.

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