08-09-2018 County Commission meeting held in Watervliet; Park construction toured; The Plain People

County Commission meeting held in Watervliet; Park construction toured

By Annette Christie The City of Watervliet hosted the August 2 Berrien County Board of Commissioners’ meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Watervliet Fire Station. Prior to the meeting, commissioners and city leaders were able to tour the new Paw Paw River County Park located in the city. The park is scheduled to be completed in September. The Berrien County Board of Commissioners usually meets on Thursday mornings with a Committee of the Whole, individual committee meetings, and the regular Board of Commissioners meeting. With the exception of during the winter months, they try to hold six or seven night meetings that are usually held throughout the County. This year they have been to Weko Beach House in Bridgman, the Berrien County Conference Center, Love Creek County Park, and the Michigan State University Extension Office. The remainder of their night meeting schedule is September 7 at the Buchanan Senior Center and October 4 at the Administration Center. The night meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. The board discussed how pleased they were with the new park that will be finished in September. It includes a bridge over to the island, walking trails, overlooks, and an ADA compliant kayak launch for access to the Paw Paw River. Commissioner Jon Hinkelman said of the park, “This is just the beginning of what’s to come. I think this park is going to be highly utilized.” The board attended to regular business at their meeting including the discussion and passage of resolutions. One of the resolutions was to appoint an Interim Chief Public Defender and provide authorization to hire another attorney to handle the work load of that office. The Berrien County Board of Commissioners approved establishing a Public Defenders Office in advance of looming state mandates on what must be provided for individuals that are indigent and cannot afford an attorney when charged with a crime. The current Chief Public Defender, Carl Macpherson has been on board since the beginning and worked tirelessly to assemble a team of attorneys and related staff, policies, and protocols for the office. He is re-locating with his family. Macpherson thanked the board for their support of the new department. Words of praise were given to Macpherson from some of the commissioners at what would be his last meeting with the board. In other business the board approved an agreement with Cass County to share the load of the Transportation Director. Cass is currently without a director. Berrien County agrees to help their fellow county out for $33,000 a year for the services. The Commissioners thanked Watervliet Fire Chief Dan Jones for being such a great host for the meeting.

The Plain People; story of the Amish as told to the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club

By Bob Becker & Connie Kilburn On Wednesday, August 1, Bob and Connie Kilburn spoke to the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club about the new local Amish community, relating he has traceable Amish family roots and has a deep respect for Amish life and customs. Connie’s mother recently sold her 60 acre farm to an Amish family. Bob Kilburn told there were now 28 family units living in the area and that 30 family units make a church; as more families arrive another church group will be established. Families do not meet in a traditional church building, but meet in homes on Sunday, one week for church, the other for socializing. Families are spread north and south of I-94 and are in the Hartford, Bangor, Almena and Lawrence townships. Bob explained the Amish live as simply as possible; Connie explained the families cook and heat with wood and the women make almost all their clothing utilizing treadle sewing machines. Bob revealed that as a group the Amish are growing at a very good pace as they tend to have large families. The Amish, it was stressed, are good neighbors and contribute to the economy as both buyers and sellers of goods. The local Amish have bakeries, wood shops, cabinet making, construction crews and soon a metal shop. Bob also told Rotary members that most Amish speak a form of German called Pennsylvania Dutch. Amish children do learn English when they go to school and are educated only through eighth grade in their own school.

Watervliet Free Methodist Church is hosting Polar Blast VBS, Aug. 17-19 Watervliet Free Methodist Church is excited to announce this year’s Vacation Bible School for pre-school to 5th grade. It will be on Friday, Aug. 17 from 6:00-8:15 p.m. with registration and check-in starting at 5:00; Saturday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and finish on Sunday, Aug. 19 from 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This year’s theme is: Polar Blast, where kids will learn how “cool” Jesus’ love is! All three days will feature learning scripture verses that focus on the love of Jesus, having “cool” yummy-snacks, engaging in awesome outdoor activities, having a polar blast at craft time, and enjoying meeting new friends on this journey through the arctic (in August!). The church is located at 7734 Paw Paw Avenue in Watervliet. If your child(ren) plans to attend, please call (269) 463-8280 to pre-register, and arrive early (5-5:45 p.m.) on Friday to check-in. Attendance of all three days is highly recommended!

Silvique Jewelry sale at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet Auxiliary will host a Silvique Jewelry sale Thursday, August 23 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Classroom C (located off of the Lobby). Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel and Tungsten Jewelry will be available for 50% off retail price. Jewelry for men, women and children will be offered. All proceeds will benefit Auxiliary projects for Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet.

Annual Quarter Auction for hospital auxiliary August 29 Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet Auxiliary will host their annual Quarter Auction Wednesday, August 29, 2018. Preview of items will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the fun starting at 6:30 p.m. The auction will be held at the Coloma FOP, 3470 Angling Road. Fo