06-20-19 50th wedding anniversary celebration; Car Wash and Bake Sale fundraiser Saturday; Thrifty




50th wedding anniversary celebration


Car Wash and Bake Sale fundraiser Saturday

Watervliet Free Methodist Church, 7734 Paw Paw Avenue is holding a Car Wash and Bake Sale this Saturday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to noon. Proceeds from the morning activities will help fund a chartered bus trip to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky for the children and teens of the church. The trip is planned for August. Questions can be directed to the church office at 463-8280. The children’s and youth’s ministry teams at Watervliet Free Methodist Church extend an invitation to the community to support this project. The trip is a great opportunity for kids to learn the truth about God’s miraculous love and marvelous creation.

Thrifty Phoenix Opens in Watervliet

By Teresa Smithers Jennifer Lohraff has dreamt of having her own shop for years. Not as much as her mother, Judy Kay, wanted it for her. Judy thought the building in which B&B Outlet was formerly located in Watervliet would be perfect. Whenever she made purchases there, her mother would write “Jennifer’s little store” in the memo section of her checks. Just dreaming of the day. Last year, B&B Outlet re-located to their new, larger building. Sadly, Judy Kay passed away on May 22, 2018.

ADDITION TO MAIN STREET… Jennifer Lohraff of Coloma stands before her new store, Thrifty Phoenix, in Watervliet located at 131 N. Main Street. (TCR photo by Teresa Smithers)


Jennifer almost didn’t go through with the store, feeling it wouldn’t be the same without her mother beside her. But everything things just started falling into place and she decided to open the store in her honor. With tremendous support by Beth and Ben Wagner of B&B Grocery Discount Outlet (a small local business who believes in helping other small local businesses), she went through all the expenses and paperwork hoops that comes along with any new store. And on—wait for it—May 22, 2019, the Thrifty Phoenix opened its doors. Judy Kay was still right beside her daughter, rooting for “Jennifer’s little store.” The Thrifty Phoenix is a combination of new and used goods. Think of it as a dollar store that it is run, not by a corporation, but by your friend and neighbor. The store has typical thrift store items – used clothing, household goods, movies, etc. – but it also has new items, such as fishing bait (not live), laptop cases and Paw Paw Lake souvenir shirts. For the July 4th celebration, they will also be selling glow-in-the-dark necklaces. “We want this to be an affordable place to shop for everyone,” Jennifer stated. As a convenience to shoppers Thrifty Phoenix accepts major credit cards. Working around Jennifer’s other work schedule, the store is open limited hours: Wed. & Thurs. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Donations of resale items are welcome upon approval. Jennifer lives with her husband, Jeff, three teen children and one pre-teen child in Coloma.


Rep. Griffin has office hours in Hartford on June 21

State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, will meet with area residents on Friday, June 21 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Hartford City Hall, 19 W. Main Street. “I truly value this time and these conversations with those I represent,” Rep. Griffin said. “Local input is invaluable as I work to represent my district in Lansing.” No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled time but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. Griffin may call her office at (517) 373-0839 or email BethGriffin@house.mi.gov.

Keeler Township Officials cleaning up

By Annette Christie The Keeler Township Board discussed action being taken to clean up the township at their Tuesday, June 4 meeting. The township was provided the option of purchasing a tax foreclosed property by paying the taxes owed on the property to Van Buren County. While there is a home and out building on the property but in poor condition, the township would have them demolished and the property cleaned up to return it to a vacant lot. They could then sell the property to cover the amount paid for purchase and demolition. The board voted to purchase the property at 64527 84th Avenue from the Van Buren County Treasurer in the amount of $5, 486.27. In addition the board gave the supervisor permission to proceed with obtaining demolition bids for them to approve at a future meeting. Supervisor Bill Kays alerted the board that court action on another property they have been trying to clean up was now final. The township obtained a court order to make the property owner demolish the building at 93947 Madison Avenue. The demolition was to have occurred by June 1. Legally the board also sought to have some boats removed from the property at 68998 Hillside Drive. Kays told the board that that has also been completed. Special Assessment District A Keeler Lake Property Owners Association representative asked the board for their assistance with the Special Assessment District. Bob Steinmetz, President of the Association told the board that at the Association’s spring meeting the members voted to consider some future projects that could help eliminate some of the problems that they still have plaguing the condition of the lake. The lake is currently under a Special Assessment District through 2022 to be used for the continuing efforts to improve the water quality of the lake. Steinmetz outlined some of the possibilities but asked for the township’s attorney to review the future projects and to say whether they could or could not be paid for by special assessment district funds. While the language of the original resolution that approved the Special Assessment District appears to cover it, the Association wanted to make sure it was legal. The resolution said the district was established to manage the growth of Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquatic plants in order to maintain, preserve or improve the water quality and ecological vitality of Keeler Lake. The board asked for the original resolution and petition to be forwarded to them and after review, if it was not still clear, they would ask their attorney to review it.

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