05-25-2017 I&M and Watervliet Fire Dept. present safety program;Medical marijuana investor want

I&M and Watervliet Fire Dept. present safety program for elementary students

450 see Safety Trailer

 Indiana Michigan Power employees teamed up with the Watervliet Fire Department on Thursday, May 18, for a safety program that included I&M’s popular Safety Trailer.

Four grade levels from South School attended: 1st- and 2nd-graders, plus kindergarten and Young Fives. North School 3rd-graders also attended. With parents and teachers, about 450 people attended, 388 of them students. Students rotated between the Safety Trailer, which was set up inside the fire station, and the Fire Department’s fire safety presentation.

The trailer shows various aspects of electrical safety, including how animals can cause outages.

Mark Wendt, District Line Coordinator based at Benton Harbor, oversees the Safety Trailer program and says that the need to educate the public about safety is as great as ever.

“After the presentation, I stopped by the school and several teachers told me that the kids were talking about the things they learned,” Mark said. “The teachers also mentioned that some of the adult chaperones said they learned so much.

“Many did not realize how much power is in a power line when it’s on the ground,” Mark added. “One adult said she did not realize that if you hit a utility pole and have a downed power line on your car that you should not get out of your car.”

Tiffany Wendt, a teacher in the South Central Young Fives preschool program, made the arrangements for all of the students to attend.

The Safety Trailer was built by I&M employees to conduct live demonstrations on how to be safe around power lines – and to safely show the dangerous results that can occur if safe practices are not followed. In addition to offering the demonstration to schools, the trailer has also been used for presentations to law enforcement and other first responders.

WINNER OF THE ELEANOR KENDALL SCHOLARSHIP IS… Magdalene Lynch. Magda-lene is graduating from Watervliet High School and has plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College to study Dental Hygiene. Throughout Magdalene’s high school career she achieved academic excellence in her core classes. She was voted Miss Congeniality in the Miss Watervliet contest, MVP and team captain for the softball and volleyball teams and team captain for the basket-ball team. Magdalene is the youngest child of Gregory and Catrina Lynch. Congratulations Magdalene from the entire North Berrien Senior Center. Pictured (from the left) are Sandy Kraemer, Board President, Magdalene, and her mother, Catrina Lynch.


Medical marijuana investor wants to come to Coloma

By Christina Gelder

The City of Coloma is no stranger to the medical marijuana laws that were passed several years back. When it first became legal they sought options on how they might regulate the growing of the plants within the community. It led to some heated exchanges and even a town hall style meeting with Coloma Township.

It was again the topic of discussion at the Monday, May 22 meeting of the city commission. This time it had a much different feel though. Craig Aronoff of the Cannabis Legal Group out of Royal Oak, Michigan attended the meeting to present the commissioners with an opportunity.

Late in 2016 new laws were passed that work to regulate the medical marijuana industry. The state will now offer five different permits and growers and dispensaries will need to be licensed. According to Aronoff this will offer more transparency as the products created will also have seed to sale tracking. This option goes beyond the one caregiver to one patient situation that is now the model. Now there would be options, much like pharmacies, for patients with valid medical marijuana cards.

Due to these new changes municipalities can build an ordinance around whether or not they will allow such businesses in their communities. The ordinances can dictate where (what zoning), which type of permits, and how many they will allow. With this in place they are also empowered to require inspections and revoke the permits as well.  Ultimately the state will issue and regulate the permits and businesses, but step one for persons seeking a permit is to have that request approved by the municipality. Aronoff compared the licensing process to that of a liquor license.

Aronoff came to present this to the City of Coloma because he says he has a client that is looking to invest in the area and possibly build a dispensary and a growth facility. He says that Coloma is a wonderful community and they believe its proximity to the interstate would allow for additional traffic to their business.

As part of this, there is going to be an additional 3% tax on cannabis products sold through the licensed dispensaries. The municipality in which the businesses are based stands to receive a pro rata percentage of that collected tax. Aronoff argued that this could be a great option for income, jobs, and additional traffic to all local establishments.

The commission had several questions for the attorney surrounding security, authority, and liability. They did not make any type of decisive statements but will have to address the issue in the future. Aronoff says that his investor is at the mercy of the city’s timeline but the sooner they were to pass a favorable ordinance the sooner property could be purchased in anticipation of a license being awarded by the state.

In other news Coloma City Hall will be closed on Friday, May 26. This will be a vacation day for city employees and will extend the holiday weekend.

Forty-one loads were picked up and taken to the landfill during Coloma’s recent spring cleanup. This is up slightly over last year’s 40 loads. Brush is once again being picked up on Mondays. The Department of Public Works will be doing brush pick up every week until school resumes. Brush can be no more than 2-inches in diameter and 4-feet long. The yard waste dumpster at the public works garage behind Wesco is also an option for city residents

Hartford Township computer equipment for sale

By Nancy Albright

Hartford Township will be accepting sealed bids for a bundle of computer equipment that includes four towers with no hard drives, three computer monitors, and miscellaneous keyboards and mouse devices. For more information, contact Hartford Township Hall at (269) 621-4658.

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