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03-19-2020 Columns; Vets to receive medals at planned May 9, Coloma; Grace Christian School announce

Grace Christian School announces date changes and March Students of the Month

Grace Christian School postponed their March 17 Open House under the advisement of President Trump to limit gatherings of more than 10 people. A new date has not yet been set, but will be announced when that information becomes available. The Grace Christian School Annual Auction originally set for March 28 is rescheduled for Saturday, April 25. Doors will open at 3:30 for registration. Silent Auction bidding begins at 4:00 p.m. and the Live Auction begins at 4:30 p.m. To see a complete list of auction items, visit: March Students of the Month

Grace Christian School Students of the Month for March 2020 are Brayden DesRosiers in 7th Grade and Daijah Strickland in the 9th Grade.

Vets to receive medals at planned May 9, Coloma Vietnam Veterans Celebration; City hires Ordinance Officer

By Nancy Albright Coloma plans to award medals to Vietnam vets in commemoration of their service at the Vietnam Veterans Celebration scheduled for May 9, 2020. U.S. Medal of Honor recipient Pfc. James McCloughan of South Haven will speak at the rededication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Baker Park following a parade through downtown Coloma honoring all veterans. McCloughan will award the medals along with an official letter signed by him at a dinner hosted by Coloma FOP Lodge 147 that evening. “All those who wish to receive a medal will,” said City Commissioner Fred Reeves. Honor Flights will also have a booth at the FOP event that evening. The non-profit organization arranges visits to Washington D.C. war memorials at no cost to veterans. For more information on the Honor Flight Network visit The city is relocating the Vietnam War Memorial in Baker Park to the north end of the green for rededication. After widening Paw Paw Street, the memorial sat at the curb and the names engraved on the stone could only be read from the street. Commissioners feel it deserves to sit in a place of honor where people can see it, so they are creating a military memorial park. Coloma Public Works and St. Joe Monuments Co. moved the stone and now the monuments company is refurbishing the monument and storing it until the May event. The city plans to hang banners from the light posts along the parade route honoring several local veterans, and officials will read the names of forty area vets classified as Missing in Action in Vietnam at the rededication at 3:00 p.m. on May 9. The commission emphasized at their monthly meeting on Monday, March 9 that the event is also meant to celebrate the service of all veterans that have served in the U.S. military, and all vets are invited to walk in the parade and be part of the celebration. The city asks that residents spread the word. To participate or help in some way contact Coloma City Hall, (269) 468-6606. To donate please visit Edgewater Bank in Coloma, 167 N. Paw Paw St. The city will donate leftover funds to a local or national veteran’s organization.

City hires new Ordinance Officer The City of Coloma has hired former Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Ziebarth to conduct annual inspections on rental properties in town. The inspections ensure the safety of renters and generate revenue for the city. Public Works Supervisor Rod Burkholder currently performs inspections on a part-time basis. A dedicated ordinance officer will allow Burkholder the additional time he needs to devote to DPW operations. Ziebarth will be paid a flat fee of $600 a month to inspect over 400 properties annually. He is authorized to run property liens and background checks. The city will provide Ziebarth with a $400 uniform stipend and purchase a two-way radio at a cost of $1,600 to maintain direct frequency communication with the Coloma Police Department in the event of an emergency.

Waterworks Peerless Midwest inspected city wells two and three in 2019 and reports that maintenance has been completed on well three: It is up and running. Work is now slated to begin on well two. Mayor Pro Tem Marsha Hammond told those assembled at the Coloma commissioners meeting that water system bonds reissued with a lower interest rate will save the city $33,000 a year in water bills. “The city hasn’t raised water rates in seven years so we will be able to keep the rates where they are.” News from City Hall The city council will hold a special meeting on Saturday, March 21 to work on the 2020–2021 budget and a Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 23 at 7:45 p.m. to approve the budget. The compensation board was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the compensation city commissioners will receive this year. The next Fire Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hagar Township Fire Department, 3061 Coloma Rd.

Health Department alters program operations in response to COVID-19

In an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Berrien County Health Department is altering several program and service operations to help encourage further social distancing. The Health Department offices and clinics in Benton Harbor and Niles remain open to the public, although all services are available by appointment only; walk-ins are no longer being accepted. The Three Oaks office is closed effective Tuesday, March 17 at 4:00 p.m. until further notice. The following program operations changes are in effect as of March 17: Clinics are only accepting clients via appointment for immunizations, birth-control supply visits, and STD testing/treatment; walk-ins will no longer be accepted. Public Health Nurses are available via telephone for questions from clients. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will continue client appointments, but will move to as many tele-health visits as possible and will authorize and/or extend benefits over the phone. Water filters/replacement cartridges are still available for Benton Harbor residents to pick up in office, but all distribution events are canceled. Residents can call 1-800-815-5485 (select option #2) to have a filter/cartridge mailed to them. Home visiting services and Children’s Special Health Care Services are shifting to tele-health visits/consultations only. All Hearing and Vision pre-school screenings are canceled through the end of April. Unless otherwise noted, all community coalition meetings, events, classes, and other community gatherings are canceled until further notice. All clients are asked to call to reschedule appointments if they are feeling ill. Any clients who are exhibiting symptoms may be asked to wear a facemask. Client appointments have been spaced throughout the day to maintain appropriate distancing for those visiting and working in the clinic. As offices remain open, the public is encouraged to call with further questions about services that are available at this time. BCHD staff is working day and night to monitor this evolving situation with COVID-19 and will continue to provide new information to the community as things change. A hotline has been established to answer questions from the public at 1-800-815-5485 and more information can be found at the Berrien County Health Department website at or by following BCHD on social media.

Social Security offices offering phone service only

(Press Release) Effective March 17, 2020, Social Security offices will only offer phone service. Note: Online services remain available. All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This decision protects the population they serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and their employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, they are still able to provide critical services. Their secure and convenient online services remain available at Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone. They are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local governments, and other experts to monitor COVID-19 and will let the public know as soon as they can resume in-person service. Social Security Number for children Getting your newborn a Social Security Number is important. If your child is born in a hospital, the easiest way to secure a Social Security Number is when you give information for your child’s birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, you may encounter delays while we verify your child’s birth certificate. When you give information for your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you’ll be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security Number for your child. If you say “yes,” you need to provide both parents’ Social Security Numbers, if you can. Even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security Numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child. There are many reasons why your child should have a Social Security Number. You need a Social Security Number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. Your child may also need a number if you plan to: Open a bank account for your child; buy savings bonds for your child; get medical coverage for your child; apply for government services for your child. You can read more about Social Security Numbers for children at Share this information with people who are expecting a child. Applying for a Social Security Card at the hospital will save them time and let them focus on the new member of their family. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at

What’s the difference between short- and long-term investing? As you go through life, you’ll have many financial goals. Fortunately, you don’t need to achieve them all at the same time. But when you have a mix of short- and long-term goals, you will need to pursue some different investment strategies simultaneously. Your short-term goals may depend somewhat on your stage in life. For example, when you’re starting out with your career and you’re beginning to raise a family, you may well have a goal of saving enough money for a down payment on a home. Later on, though, you may decide you want to travel the world for a year. Because you know about how much money you’ll need, and when you’ll need it, you can choose the appropriate investments, with these characteristics: Low risk – Above all else, you want the right amount of money to be there when it’s time to use it. So, you’ll need low-risk, high-stability investments. You won’t see much in the way of growth from these types of investments, but you also won’t be sweating every single market downturn in fear of not reaching your goal. Liquidity – You won’t want to worry about trying to find a market for your investment when it’s time to sell it and then use the proceeds for your short-term goal. That’s why you need to pick short-term vehicles that are highly liquid. Now, moving on to longer-term goals, the situation can be quite a bit different. Suppose, for instance, you’re saving and investing for a retirement that may be three or four decades away. For this goal, you have one overriding motivation: To end up with as much money as possible. And since you have so many years until you need this money, you may be able to take on more risk than you could with the investments you counted on for your short-term needs. This isn’t to say you should be reckless, of course – you still need to pay attention to your individual risk tolerance. Overall, though, there’s a big philosophical difference, in terms of risk capacity, between investing for the long term versus the short term. When you’re saving for a long-term goal such as retirement, you may need to rely primarily on your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. And within these accounts, you’ll need a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented investments. It’s true that growth investments are volatile, with sometimes sharp price declines. But in exchange, you have the opportunity for greater growth potential. Once you do retire, you’ll still have long-term goals. For one thing, even during retirement, you’ll need your portfolio to have some growth potential to keep you ahead of inflation. And you’ll also need to address perhaps the longest-term goal of all: Leaving the type of legacy you desire for your loved ones. A financial professional can help you clarify and prioritize your short- and long-term goals, as well as assist you in choosing the appropriate strategies for helping meet these goals – whether they’re three years or three decades away. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC



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