08-15-2019 Great memories made at 100th Mundt Reunion; Van Buren County applies for funds to help no

THESE KUTE KIDS ARE… Cooper (4) and Rylie (1), cruising the yard. Their proud parents are Ryan & Kate Rodell of Benton Harbor. Loving grandparents to this kute duo are Kristy Gagliardo of Coloma, Kevin & Kathy Rodell of Eau Claire, and Ron & Jodie Hutcheson of Hickory Corners MI. Watch out world, here they come!



Watervliet Library Garden notes…

Queen Anne’s Lace: Flower or weed? According to Webster’s, any unsightly or troublesome plant that grows in abundance where it is not wanted can be considered a weed. In The Watervliet Library Garden, the answer is both, flower and weed! Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) is a host plant for Swallowtail Butterflies and provides a source of pollen for bees and many other insects. This plant has naturalized itself in our garden setting and is considered a flower to promote butterfly habitat. Its aggressive self-seeding nature, however, requires “editing” from time to time to control the population, in that case a weed. Look closely and colorful caterpillars of Swallowtail Butterflies can be found feeding on the foliage of QAL and parsley in the garden. Fennel and dill are also important host plants for anyone interested in planting for Swallowtails.

100TH MUNDT REUNION… Adell Mundt, 97, with her four children (from the left): Barbara White (South Haven), Tom Mundt (Watervliet), Lori Davis (Watervliet), and Sharon Martorano (St. Joseph). The Mundt family held their annual reunion on Sunday, Aug. 4, in Watervliet.


Great memories made at 100th Mundt Reunion

The 100th reunion of the Mundt family took place on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at the Watervliet VFW. It was a wonderful event and so many great memories were shared and made. Acting President Amy Lovell said a speech was given about the meaning of the Reunion and why they continue this tradition – thanks to some motivation from the Watervliet Record Archives. They had a great attendance of 69 people with the furthest traveling from Kentucky. The oldest man in attendance was John Oakley (89). The oldest woman in attendance was Adell Mundt (97). The youngest in attendance was Everleigh Warner, daughter of Quentin and Allison Warner. There were six family members from the Platt and Oakley families in attendance. A few of the family members participated in the Glad-Peach 5K Saturday of the reunion weekend. Nichole Fox was the coordinator for the reunion T-shirts. Jeana and Jene Hamilton were responsible for the planning and running of the games and prizes. With a unanimous vote it was decided to continue this annual tradition with the next event planned for Sunday, August 2, 2020 at the same location. Officers were voted to remain in place as follows: President, Amy Lovell; Vice-President and Secretary Tiffany Wendt; Treasurer Tom Mundt.

Van Buren County applies for funds to help non-violent offenders, Hartford Twp. hears

By Nancy Albright Van Buren County may be able to continue its Community Corrections program with the help of an $184,000 grant. Hartford Township officials learned at their monthly meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8 that VBC commissioners approved the grant application which, if received, will be used to continue the program designed to create alternatives for prisoners convicted of misdemeanors and felonies, and funding the Weekend Work Alternative Program. The grant would also be used to divert non-violent offenders from being held at the county jail or state prisons to the local tether program and other similar programs. “These programs work well,” said County Commissioner Mike Chappell. “We’ve had a lot of success stories come out of them.” Help for Van Buren County veterans Chappell, in attendance at the township meeting, invited all Van Buren County veterans to the new veteran’s office, which opened on August 5, located at 219 Paw Paw St. in Paw Paw. Honorably discharged veterans are now eligible to receive funds for needed healthcare. VB county has allocated $40,000 to help honorably discharged veterans and their eligible dependents afford inoculations, and dental, hearing and vision care. Veterans may receive up to $1,000 and must show a DD214 to the VBC Health Department to qualify for the program. “On a side note, even if you are not a veteran, the Van Buren County Health Department has an excellent dental clinic that charges about 60% of what a regular dentist charges and they take most dental insurance,” said Chappell.

Van Buren County deaths Chappell also reported that according to VBC Medical Examiner Joyce De Jong, there were 514 deaths in VBC in 2018. There were 25 accidental deaths; 16 suicides; five were due to natural causes; and the remaining 468 were from natural causes. The Gift of Life received 55 referrals and 63% of the bodies were cremated. Average Pride Care emergency response times for 12 Priority 1 calls, 12 Priority 2 calls, and eight Priority 3 calls combined in July was 8.19 minutes. Hartford Fire Chief Rob Harting congratulated Pride Care on a good job and reported that the department battled 57 fires last month. Harting also told the board that the Van Buren County Fair went well, and the fire department will be part of the Hartford Back to School Bash on August 18.

Other business The Hartford Township board discussed the renewal of the cemetery mowing contract for the upcoming season and decided to resume the discussion at the next meeting. Commissioners made their final decision not to allow Lake Grown, LLC, Organic Cannabis to do business in Hartford. The board approved payment of bills and payroll in the amount of $38,605.03. The next Hartford Township Regular Board Meeting will take place at Township Hall, 61310 CR 687, September 12, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. A special board meeting was held on August 12 to discuss the proposed water extension for 65th and 65-1/2 streets. Township Special Meeting Minutes can be found at hartfordtownship.org. Concerts in the Park There are only two concerts left! Joe Jason plays 70s music on August 22 and Past Time plays hits from the 50s and 60s on August 29. Concerts start at 7:00 p.m., and popcorn is free. 2019 recycling opportunities Residents can recycle tires Saturday, Sept. 21 at the South Haven Public Works building, 1199 8th Ave., from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. South Haven accepts up to 10 tires and space is limited. Call (269) 657-4030 ext. 5 to RSVP. The community thrift shop at 1000 E. Michigan Ave. in Paw Paw accepts electronics for recycling every Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For other recycling needs, call (269) 657-4030 ext. 5, or visit vanburencd.org or the vanburencd Facebook page.

Three drain projects planned for Bainbridge

By Angela Stair The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their regular meeting on Monday, August 12. Berrien County Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin attended the meeting and informed the Board of Trustees about three drains that needed work done to them in Bainbridge Township. Any time a project will cost over $5,000, Quattrin has to get the approval of the Township before moving forward on it. Only an emergency situation allows him to move forward and then get the approval of the Township. The George Guy Drain was the first project to be discussed. The drain was established in 1916 and is located on Territorial Road west of Park Road. The drain has over a dozen sink holes and the existing clay tile is failing, causing the area to be extremely wet even during dry periods. This project was considered an emergency and is underway. The cost of the project will be $38,800 which includes $1,500 for financing the amount needed. The costs will be spread out over ten years to alleviate some of the burden to the tax payers as the drainage district is small and the assessments will be larger than normal. With little choice, the Board approved the resolution for the work being done on the George Guy Drain. “And now we move onto our problem child, the Olds and Slenker Drain”, Supervisor Bill Hodge joked. Extensive work had to be done to this drain in 2018 and has a remaining balance due from the repairs in the amount of $59,250. The drain was established in 1911 and is located in Bainbridge Township and is part open waterway in some areas and tiled structures in others. The drain has three northern branches; two are north of Napier Avenue between Bainbridge Center Road and M-140 and one that is east of Bainbridge Center Road south of Napier Avenue. The branches merge into one line and out-let into the Pipestone Lake Drain just south of Meadowbrook Road. Drain Commissioner Quattrin presented the two proposed projects on the Olds and Slenker Drain. The first was the proposal for the west branch. The west branch of the drain just east of Bainbridge Center Road has been causing flooding issues in the surrounding farm fields creating crop losses. Engineers with Spicer Group Inc. and B & Z Company submitted a proposal for repairs that include replacing the existing failing tile with 18” storm sewer and installing a water level control structure.

The price for this West Branch work would be $74,200 which includes $1,000 to finance the total cost. To alleviate heavy tax burdens, the Drain Commissioner will assess the charges over a ten-year period. The Olds & Slenker eastern branch that starts just north of Napier Avenue, is completely plugged with sediment and is not functioning, causing basements and fields to flood. It will take 550 LFT of clay tile to be replaced and approximately 400 LFT of ditching to get the drain to flow properly. The price for the East Branch proposal would cost $44,250 which includes a financing fee of $1,000. This would also be assessed over a ten-year period. Commissioner Quattrin finished his presentation by saying both need to be done and will have to be sooner or later. Of the two he felt the most important and urgent one was the West Branch. The crop loss to the farmers in the area have been from approximately 20% to 40% of loss due to the fields becoming too wet to plow and plant. Supervisor Hodge said he would like to table the two proposals until October to give the Board some time to look at them and talk to the people it would affect. He said his real problem is approving such a large amount of expense to the taxpayers. The Board discussed it from all angles for an extended period of time. The question being to do one, both or none right now. The Board eventually decided to approve the resolution for both the West and East Branches to be worked on.

Berrien Co. Fair crowns royalty for 2019

2019 ROYALTY… Berrien County Youth Fair royalty were crowned Friday evening to reign over the 2019 Fair. Pictured are (from the left): Princess Megan Bryant of Niles; Morgan Gruss, of Benton Harbor, first runner-up to the queen; Queen Samantha Pankratz of Stevensville; King Matthew Carpenter of Eau Claire; Jackson Hall, of Dowagiac, first runner-up to the king; and Prince Wyatt Baker of Buchanan. “Country Nights and Carnival Lights” is the theme for this year’s fair which runs through August 17. Grandstand entertainment Thursday night is the Truck Demolition Derby, Friday night is the Car Demolition Derby and the show Saturday night is Bullmania. Grandstand showtimes are 7 p.m. Call 1-269-473-1500 for tickets.


Samantha Pankratz of Stevensville and Matthew Carpenter of Eau Claire represent the Berrien County Youth Fair as the queen and king at this week’s fair. The new royalty were chosen Friday night during a contest in the Grandstand at the fair. First runner-up to the king is Jackson Hall of Dowagiac and first runner-up to the queen is Morgan Gruss of Benton Harbor. The new king and queen has a busy week serving as public relations representatives of the fair, handing out ribbons and trophies, and attending ceremonies and concerts throughout the week, in addition to showing their exhibits. Queen Pankratz is an 18-year-old student at Franklin College where she plans to pursue a degree in biology and pre-med. She shows in the flower and horticulture departments. She is the daughter of Karla and Paul Pankratz.

King Carpenter is an 18-year-old student at Southwestern Michigan College with plans on transferring to Ferris State University and earning a degree in computer science. He shows in the dog, rabbit, crafts and home economics departments. He is the son of Mark and Nancy Carpenter.

First Runner-up Jackemeyer is an 18-year-old student at Coloma High School. After graduation she plans to attend medical school to become a global biomedical doctor. She shows in the rabbit, crafts, home economics, flower, and horticulture departments. She is the daughter of Monica Gruss.

First Runner-up Hall is a 17-year-old home school student. He hopes to become a director of music and acting. He shows in the home economics, horticulture, flower, goats, poultry, and rabbit departments. He is the son of Missy Hall. Just before the king and queen contest, the Berrien County Youth Fair held its eighth annual Prince and Princess Contest. The contestants were aged anywhere between 9 and 12 years old and were required to be a current BCYF exhibitor. Megan Bryant of Niles and Wyatt Baker of Buchanan will serve as this year’s BCYF Prince and Princess. Duties of the prince and princess are similar to the duties of the king and queen so they are sure to be seen around the Fair attending various ceremonies and also serving as public relations representatives.

Princess Bryant is 11 years old. She shows in the home economics and craft departments. She is the daughter of Jeffery and Jeannie Bryant.

Prince Baker is 12 years old. He shows in the swine, beef, and rabbit departments, and also pulls in the garden tractor pull. He is the son of Dave and Kristin Baker. The 74th annual Berrien County Youth Fair kicked off Monday and ends Saturday, August 17 with the theme “Country Nights and Carnival Lights”.

Berrien County Parks officials seek public input on 2020-2024 Berrien County Parks 5-Year Plan

Berrien County Parks and Recreation officials are seeking public input on the development of the 2020-2024 Berrien County Parks Five Year Plan. The plan will cover Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Paw Paw River, Historic Courthouse Square and Galien River County Parks, as well as the Red Arrow Linear Trail. Park officials invite the public to share their ideas at an “Open House” style meeting on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. prior to the Berrien County Parks Commission Meeting at the New Buffalo Township Hall, 17425 Red Arrow Hwy. Meetings will take place periodically at different locations around the County in 2019 to seek public input and ideas for Berrien County Parks future plans. The public is also invited to send written comments to: Berrien County Parks, 701 Main Street, St. Joseph MI, 49085 or email comments to parks@berriencounty.org. Please have written or emailed comments in by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, 2019.

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