BE MY VALENTINE… Jim and Donna Yore of Coloma happily display their prizes – a gift certificate to Easy Street Inn and a beautiful bouquet of red roses arranged by the Flower Basket. Donna’s love letter about Jim was chosen winner in the Tri-City Record Love Letter contest. (TCR photo by Teresa Smithers)
“Every day is Valentine’s Day” is winning entry in Tri-City Record’s Love Letter Contest
By Teresa Smithers
Five heartfelt love letters were submitted to annual Tri-City Record “Be My Valentine” Love Letters contest this year. We chose Donna Yore of Coloma as our winning writer. Mrs. Yore wrote a love letter about her husband, Jim Yore, and her love for him shines through in every line of her
Letter to Editor.
No one ever knows where they are going to meet the love of their life. Jim Yore met Donna in early 1953 when he rode along with a buddy of his who was going to see his girl in Watervliet. Donna Jean Hoffman happened to be visiting her that day and they all went for a ride together. Donna, a former Watervliet Little Bud Princess of 1938, and later Miss Watervliet, was (and is) a beautiful girl. Jim called her a few days later, but he was between cars at the time, so he wasn’t able to ask her out on a date until St. Patrick’s Day.
They dated a few weeks, and then she invited him to her senior prom. “And that was it for me,” Jim declared. He knew there would be nobody else for him. He proposed to her in the ballroom of Crystal Palace and they were married September 10, 1955.
“It was stormy in the morning,” Donna recalled, “but then the sun came out. And you know that has happened on every important day for us since. There will be a storm, then the sun will shine.”
Jim had rented a little cabin in Saugatuck for their wedding night. They had only been there a short time when their cousins and brothers showed up. “I don’t know how they found out where we were going to stay,” Jim laughed. The crowd stayed about 30 minutes, then left the honeymooners alone.
“The first thing we did after they left,” Donna remembered, “Was we knelt and prayed together. We wanted to start our marriage with prayer, asking God to bless our life together. And we give Him the honor for everything that has happened in our lives since then – the good and the bad – for he is the Lord of our lives.”
In 1962, Jim built the home they still live in. “We had pull-down light switches and only a storm door when we moved in,” Donna recalled, “It was cold, but I was as happy as if we lived in a palace.”
“I never knew that marriage could be so good,” Jim enthused, “But then, I have such a wonderful wife.”
Donna and Jim Yore love celebrating Valentine’s Day. One year, Jim surprised Donna with a trip to Dutch Mill on Silver Lake. She talks about it in her love letter, her Valentine gift to him this year.
Jim and Donna have five children – 3 sons and 2 daughters; six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters that are the light of their lives. They will be married 65 years in September, although their failing health causes Jim to warn his wife about planning to celebrate so far ahead. He is 85 years, 86 in March; Donna is a year younger. At this point in their lives, they just want to enjoy their love and life together one day at a time.
The following is Donna Yore’s letter in its entirety, followed by the other four love letters received by the Tri-City Record:
Every day is Valentine’s Day
I would like to enter my husband, Jim Yore of Coloma, in the “Be My Valentine” contest. He is almost 86 years old and we have been married for 64-1/2 years of that time.
He is a loving husband, father, grandpa and even great-grandpa. He’s a romantic man who treats me like we’re still honeymooners. He compliments me and still makes me feel adored and special.
Our home is made special by his talent in woodworking projects and he strives to busy his mind and be active for his age in spite of ongoing health problems. He never complains and is a thankful and humble man who loves his Lord and Savior. He worked for many years as a Sunday school teacher and Awana leader. He truly cares about everyone.
In younger years, he’d surprise me with an evening spent at a special pavilion overlooking a lake with a moonlit view of ice shanties with lanterns and ice skaters. We’d have a romantic dinner by a fireplace. Actually, he makes every day seem like Valentine’s Day.
His loving wife,
Donna (Toots) Yore
tricityrecord.com “Cutest Couples” contest featured photos of 49 couples
By Teresa Smithers Just for fun, the Tri-City Record recently hosted its first-ever photo contest. Over 2,600 people followed the contest as 49 couples entered their couple pictures to be voted upon by relatives, friends and others. Voters visited tricityrecord.com to vote. Photos were also shared on Facebook and could be “liked” but those numbers did not count towards votes. After a month of furious voting, the top winning couple is Roger and Laurie Prince with 409 votes! Other couples receiving over 100 votes are Steve and Doris Jones with 327 votes, Gary and Kim Rochefort with 238 votes, Steve and Trisha Cole with 178 votes, and Shawn and Amanda Long with 132 votes.
Contests are more fun with prizes, so the 1st place winner receives a free subscription to the Tri-City Record. Second- and third-place winners have some cool Tri-City Record swag waiting for them. Fourth and fifth place receive a box of chocolates as a thank-you. Be sure to come by the Record office to pick up your prizes. This type of contest allows everyone to see the many great people who live in the Tri-City area. The staff hopes to host more contests in the future. Many thanks go to everyone who participated, either by entering the contest or voting. Tri-City Record wants to be the information hub for our community. To accomplish this, we share news and photos from each issue on our Facebook page.
Roger and Laurie Prince with 409 votes
Steve and Doris Jones with 327 votes
Gary and Kim Rochefort with 238 votes
Hagar residents want parks open – seek action on beach erosion
By Jon Bisnett
As beach erosion and high lake levels plague communities all along the Lake Michigan Shore, Hagar residents are speaking up to keep the Township’s parks open.
Hagar Parks Director Beth Raiser came under some friendly fire when she suggested that Roadside and Hagar parks might need to remain closed until July or even longer until lake levels subside. Raiser justifies the closing over safety concerns.
Several residents spoke up at the Hagar Township board meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, led by local developer John Nadeau who spoke to the importance of having the parks open for both residents and visitors. He further contends that Roadside Park has been through this erosion pattern before and weathered the years due to the fact that it is mostly undeveloped natural dune sand and grass. “Roadside takes care of itself…” said Nadeau. He described how years of foot traffic alone push the sand back to rebuild the beach. The questionable installation of a clay and gravel worksite path many years ago has created a washout issue which Nadeau wants to see removed.
Raiser fears the costs will exceed the Parks budget, while Nadeau contends that now is the time to establish a baseline of what needs to be done. He has volunteered to run point on the issue and will get some figures for the grading and gravel removal at Roadside.
Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio pointed out that typical annual Parks & Rec budget is roughly $130,000 and has most often run under $90,000 in actual yearly expense.
In other parks matters, Raiser noted she’s been contacted by a travel baseball team. The South Haven Surge is interested in developing a weekly schedule for use of the Momany Park field.
Parks & Rec will seek bids for all services for 2020 including mowing and trash removal, due March 16 with a scheduled 1:00 p.m. opening.
Beth Raiser concluded by stating she would not be continuing to seek her position as trustee after the end of this current term, as going forward she would not be able to dedicate the time needed to do the job correctly. She hopes by giving notice that someone may step forward to assume the Parks Director role.
County Commissioner Dave Vollrath reports not only is County Administrator Bill Wolf stepping down, but also the 911 Director is retiring after 42 years and the county’s Indigent Defender is moving to a position with Kalamazoo County. Work is already in progress by the Personnel Committee to seek replacements.
Area Director Steve Lauder of Pride Care Ambulance was on hand to report activity for the prior month. There were sixteen (16) Priority One calls in January with the average response time of 11:58 minutes. There were nineteen (19) Priority Two calls with the average response time of 14:51 minutes. A total of thirty-five (35) calls were run in January with an average response of 13:50.
Lauder noted a slight improvement in response times and indicated he is working with Trustee Ulleg in terms of using the Hagar Public Safety Building as a station point.
Supervisor DiMaggio announced Board of Review dates for March 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and again on March 12 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Board of Determination for the Koranda Drain has been cancelled as planned for February, and will be rescheduled for a March date that has not yet been selected.
DiMaggio reports the 2020-2021 Budget Hearing is scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at 9:00 a.m.
DiMaggio has submitted an article to the Michigan Association of Townships Focus Magazine on the new Riverside Kayak Park.
Hagar Township will host the Berrien County Board for an evening meeting on Thursday, Sept. 10, 6:00 p.m. at the hall.
Clerk Sarah Rodriguez reminds 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 10 election is a closed primary requiring voters to choose a party ballot at the poll. As always, the clerk is looking for election workers adding that age must be at least 16.
Elections Public Accuracy Test is scheduled for February 19 at 6:00 p.m.
March regular township meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, March 16.
Treasurer Marlene Davis presented January expenses for approval in the amount of $32,869.61. Davis made note of the annual special assessment Curtis Building budget in for $3,255.
DiMaggio reported the North Berrien Fire Rescue Department responded to just 21 calls during the month of January with nine runs in Hagar Township, five in Coloma Charter Township, five in the City of Coloma and two on I-196. No major incidents or structure fires occurred.
Butch Kelley issued seven building permits in January for a total of $149,000, indicating a strong uptick in typical January activity, perhaps tied to the mild winter.
Working with Ordinance Officer George Schemenauer, Kelley indicated he has several non-compliance notices about to go out to property owners. More detail will be provided at the March meeting.
Trustee Andy Ulleg reported the planners will be bidding out the Township Master Plan with a bid opening of 1:00 p.m. March 2, 2020.
Ulleg says work is still in progress on a Marijuana Business Ordinance as well as a Rental Ordinance for short and long-term properties. He characterized the current state of both ordinances as “Not even close…” as to when they might come before the board.
The board unanimously approved an updated Credit Card Policy adapted from Michigan Townships Association guidelines.
DiMaggio introduced Susan Herman who will serve as lead on a newly-formed volunteer committee to work with the developer to overhaul the Township website. Herman expects the process to take in the neighborhood of 22 weeks as they address eight separate phases of the project.
Herman is also seeking high-resolution photos of the area for use on the site.
The 2019 Audit was received by the Township on Friday, Feb. 7 and is being submitted to the State by accountants Gabridge & Company. A Gabridge representative will visit the regular March township meeting to review the financial report.
A 5-year contract with Gabridge concludes in 2020. It was the general consensus of the board to bid out the audit.
Having no further business, Supervisor DiMaggio adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m.
Our love grew
To my love Kyle,
Who knew 11 years ago on a computer dating website love would grow.
It all started casually on the personals site taking a shot at finding my soul mate not knowing that’s exactly what would happen. We talked on the phone and after a month you asked me out – dinner, movie and let’s not forget Walmart on our first date, lol. I knew that from that moment something was special.
We went on many more dates and six months later on Earth Day you proposed at Bronson Park on one knee. Many girls would say yes instantly. I on the other hand, paused and left you hanging then proclaimed, yes. Lol, you couldn’t believe the pause. Our love grew. We moved in together and have been blessed with two beautiful children and many adventures along the way.
Everyone knew we were meant to be and God truly blessed us and gave us each other.
We have gone through loss of loved ones and many other things but this year is a special year. It’s our tenth wedding anniversary on Feb. 27, 2020. I know our love story isn’t over it’s just beginning with what God has in store for us.
Grow old with me the best is yet to be my love!
No better days than these
The void of your presence is hauntingly oppressive. I am learning new skills to pass the hours of my days. The paintings I have created certainly are not of quality but they do their part to distract my trials. At our first meeting I considered of you as not being just another man, but a divine creation and missing fragment that ensured my absolute jubilation.
I close my eyes and feel the river water as it fell upon the base of my neck when you drenched the cherries before you fed them to my lips.
Fruits of season enveloped by
The next drop gathering to
Shadowing leaves flutter reaching
to greet autumn,
Remnants of cherry seed navigate to River’s bottom.
A River of granite that meets the
Flowing in memory of enchantment spent with Thee,
No better days than these are in my life,
None better, only the day that
I become your wife.
For what reason you have departed from my existence is not mine to question. Perhaps the place that you now stand is free from social demand. If so, then when I rejoin you I shall take one knee.
Love is the lighthouse
For almost six years, we have been together. Throughout high school, and now into adulthood, we have overcome challenges and will continue to do so together. Nothing will come our way that we can’t weather.
The ship will rock and the waves will try to beat us down, but our love is the lighthouse that will guide us. We might not have the eighty years of knowledge like others do, but we must start somewhere. That way when we finally reach it, our grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will look up to us and aspire for the love we built.
We still have so far to go though. From marriage next year to creating our own family and making dreams come true, we have a lifetime to go. Though I am excited for the future, I’m so grateful for the present. To live with you every day, hour, minute. Every second with you is a blessing and now that you are in my life, I never want to let you go. I love you for everything you have done and continue to do for me.
Forever and Always,
Mommy is the best
My mommy (Misty Pounders) should be your pick. She is the best. She works at Coloma School Aftercare.
She gives us hugs, plays with us, fixes our cuts, does games, makes t-shirts and makes dinner.
The kids at school love her. She does special projects at school – name signs, necklaces, Halloween buckets. Ask the kids at school in first to third grade.
She loves me, Levi and Madison. She loves chocolate and flowers.
If she wins, someone will make her dinner.
Madison and Levi Pounders
Construction nearly complete for new medical cannabis provisioning center in Watervliet
February 21 Grand Opening planned for the site on Arndt Blvd. next to Subway Kalamazoo-based Compassionate Care By Design’s newest medical cannabis provisioning center, currently under construction in Watervliet, will begin serving area clients by the end of February, a company spokesperson announced Monday. The facility, located on the north side of exit 41 off I-94, has been under construction since November 2019, according to Compassionate Care By Design’s founder Kristen Bearup. “There is a lot that goes into opening a new provisioning center,” Bearup says. “This one is exciting because the interior design is the first to reflect the new look and feel of our future stores.” “It’s important to us that our facilities reflect our brand values of purity, strength, sustainability and individuality,” Bearup continues. “We want people to feel welcome and relaxed the moment they walk in our doors.” When asked why Watervliet was chosen as its second retail home, Bearup is quick to reply. “Our mission is to make medical cannabis readily accessible to the people who need it,” she says. “The Watervliet location is ideally situated to provide medical cannabis products to an under-served area of our state.” The business climate in Watervliet is right, too, according to Bearup. “There is a great sense of teamwork and support for local businesses in Watervliet. We’re excited to be entering such a supportive business community.” Compassionate Care By Design has been delivering medical cannabis to the Watervliet area since the opening of its delivery-only service in November 2019. “That’s a great convenience for people who have limited time or limited mobility,” Bearup says, “but there’s nothing like getting to know your clients, neighbors, and fellow business owners face to face.” The provisioning center’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 from 9 to 10 a.m. Area residents are welcome to attend. Medical cannabis cardholders can enjoy special grand opening discounts and savings throughout the grand opening week. For more information, or to schedule a delivery, consultation, or to sign up for one of Compassionate Care By Design’s free educational classes, please visit ccbydesign.com or call (269) 762-8038. Compassionate Care By Design, Kalamazoo’s first licensed medical cannabis provisioning center, focuses on natural, high quality cannabis and hemp products, superior service, and superior care to help clients live their best possible lives. For more information, please visit ccbydesign.com.