Coloma students receive spirit award
By Annette Christie The Coloma School Board meeting on Monday, April 16 was filled with spirit as the board heard about a recent honor given to their students. The Coloma Comets won this year’s Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament Championship. The competition was hosted by Senator John Proos and was revealed in this press release: “School spirit encompasses a wide range of school activities, such as band, drama, robotics, athletics and art and no one has more school spirit than Southwest Michigan. I want to extend my congratulations to the Coloma Comets for winning this year’s Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament Championship.”
ALL STAR BAND… Coloma High School band students perform in WMU Spring Conference All Star Band. Derek Plitt (French horn) & Emily Bolis (clarinet) performed April 19, 2018 at Western Michigan University with top band students from around the state. Derek is the son of David & Betty Plitt and Emily is the daughter of Joseph & Sally Bolis. They are both seniors at Coloma High School.
Proos said coming off impressive Final Four victories, the final round matchup between the River Valley Mustangs and Coloma had the anticipation of an exciting championship match and it lived up to that expectation. In the end, the Comets emerged as champions, earning nearly 10,000 points on Facebook alone. Proos said he sponsored this spirit tournament to give southwest Michigan students and communities an opportunity to showcase their school pride in a manner that inspired creativity. The social networking contest spanned five weeks and featured 31 area high schools which were divided into four brackets named for features that characterize our region. Thousands of students participated by voting in online polls and submitted photos on Facebook and Twitter to score points for their school. Coloma Schools will now be presented with the traveling trophy and will also receive a special tribute commending the school for the spirit of its students and community. “The community of Coloma should be proud of the spirit and teamwork they displayed throughout the competition,” Proos said. Sinking Fund Millage The district scheduled another forum on Wednesday, April 18 in the Coloma High school auditorium. The subject of the forum was to provide information on the upcoming sinking fund millage vote being held May 8, 2018. Voters will be asked to approve a 1.25 mill sinking fund request for the renovation and repair of district facilities, along with site and safety/security improvements. The Building & Site Sinking Fund would be used for specific repairs and improvements in the district.
ALL STAR JAZZ BAND… Coloma High School senior Zack Yenchus performs in MSBOA District 6 All Star Jazz Band on April 17 at South Haven High School. Zack is the son of Joseph & Brenda Yenchus.
In the first five years of the sinking fund the district would plan to complete the following: A new roof on the high school and the main gymnasium; improved school security/safety in all buildings with the additions of cameras, improved doors/locks and site lighting, where needed; resurface parking lots at the junior high, high school and intermediate buildings; improve the playground at Coloma Intermediate for the 4th and 5th grade students, while also being available for the community to use after school hours; and improvements at Alwood Gym, including a new roof, bleachers, remodeled entry way and renovating the bathrooms. In addition, district officials would hope to address any needs with the aging boiler systems in the schools, renovate some of the older classrooms and hallways in the elementary and high schools, and any other issues that might arise over the next 10 years. The district is facing some aged roofs which are causing problems. When the district looked at replacing the roof on the high school a few years back, the estimate was $1.2 million but this is just a fraction of what is needed. “There is at least $5 million in repairs needed in the district today,” Superintendent Pete Bush said. The district currently has a bond issue that voters put in place in 2012, to run through 2031. This funded several improvements district wide. In addition, they also have two Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) that are 0% interest funds for various improvements and updates. While the lack of interest payments is attractive, the funds still have to be paid back out of the general fund and the district pays back over $400,000 a year. Despite all of these things that have been done to improve the facilities, their financial needs continue. In approving the millage proposal, the district could generate approximately $482,000 annually through 2027. This would cost the taxpayer of a home valued at $100,000, about $62 a year or $5 a month. In other business, the board approved the annual food services contract and the annual maintenance for the gym floor at the high school.
Organization meeting planned for Watervliet Independence Day Celebration
Members of the Watervliet Independence Day Celebration 2018 (WBA) committee are planning an organization meeting on Monday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the Watervliet Fire Department. Please mark this date on your calendars and plan on attending. We need your help to make this festival bigger and better than last year!
MIDDLE SCHOOL HONORS BAND… Coloma Junior High band students participate in MSBOA District 6 Middle School Honors Band on March 26, 2018 at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University. Pictured are (from the left): Front row – Wyatt Sinnett, Brodie McQuillan, Jacqueline Holmer, Hannah Grenon, Amber Baum; Back row – Ava Genovese, Luke Phillips, Riley Davis, Eric Gomez, Christopher Eastman, Sierra Shuburte. (Contributed photos)
Community Soup & Salad Supper Friday, May 4
A Community Soup & Salad Supper will be held from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 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 HOPE Resources Food Pantry located at Coloma United Methodist Church. This month’s supper is hosted by Coloma United Methodist Church.
FIGHTING IRISH FANS… Michele Cole (left) and daughter, Avery Openneer, at the awards ceremony on April 10 for the NCAA 2018 National Champions Women’s Basketball Team. The award ceremony was held on Notre Dame’s campus at the Purcell Pavilion of the Joyce Center. An autograph session was held and pictures were taken. In the background are the trophies that were presented to Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team, the 2018 National Champions of Women’s College Basketball. Avery has just finished playing her third year of middle school basketball for Watervliet. Michele played high school basketball at Watervliet.
American Legion Auxiliary serving special dinner on Mother’s Day
On Sunday, May 13 from 5:00-7:30 p.m., Unit 362 Auxiliary is hosting Mother’s Day Dinner at American Legion Post 362, 351 E. St. Joseph St. in Coloma. The menu includes baked chicken, au gratin potatoes, carrots, salad, dessert, and coffee. Advance tickets are $10 each, $12 at the door. Tickets are available at the Coloma Legion after 3 p.m.