Coloma Schools to offer free breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students
By Annette Christie The Coloma School Board learned the good news of just one more reason why students and parents should pick Coloma Community Schools for their education. Food Service Director Shelley Mazigian told the board at their Monday, August 13 meeting that all students, grades K-12, can receive free breakfast and lunch. Mazigian said that the district meets all the criteria for a federal program to feed hungry kids. She said that the program will be available for the next four years. The district also had a program over the summer to feed lunches to any school- aged children no matter what district they went to. Superintendent contract; position openings The board finalized the contract with new Superintendent Dave Ehlers. Ehlers is the current high school principal, a job the district is now looking to fill. Ehlers was selected last week following a second interview with him and the other finalist for the position. Ehlers has served in the principal position since 2010. He has also served the Coloma School District as its Maintenance Director since 2008. Previously, Ehlers served as an assistant principal at Coloma Junior High School for five years and as a junior high math and science teacher for four years.
Ehlers’ contract will be for three years and his annual salary will be $116,000. The district continues to look for staff where they have vacancies. All of the positions and the application can be found on their website, www.ccs.coloma.org. The district is looking to fill an elementary teaching position; a high school/ junior high teaching position; two social worker positions; support staff; bus drivers; and the high school principal position.
Dates for start of 2018-19 year Upcoming events include freshmen orientation on August 27; Sixth grade orientation on August 28; K-5 Open House from 4 – 6 p.m. on August 29; and the first day of school is September 4. The district, which is a Schools of Choice district, has had 78 students select Coloma Community Schools for the upcoming school year. The deadline to apply for Schools of Choice is this Friday, August 17.
Donations sought for youtoo. nonprofit based in Hartford; Superhero Mud Run fund-raiser planned at Speedway
Helping kids going through a hard time is what youtoo. nonprofit strives to do. This organization created by Amanda Goss of Hartford makes individual surprise bags to give to amazing kids at the local children’s hospitals. Amanda is a stage four breast cancer survivor and understands what it is like to spend time in a hospital.
FOR A GREAT CAUSE… youtoo. nonprofit collection box was delivered to the Tri-City Record office recently to hold kid-friendly items donated for surprise bags to be delivered to patients in area children’s hospitals. The box was delivered by the organization’s creator Amanda Goss (left) and received by Amy Loshbough from the Record. Helpers that day were Kendra, age 8, and MaKayla, age 6, daughters of Amanda. The next pick-up of donated items is Friday, September 21. (TCR photo by Maryann Worl)
These surprise bags are delivered in what they call “drop offs” every three months. This gives them plenty of time to collect donations and put together their bags. Each bag is sponsored and given to youtoo. nonprofit by their friend and fellow breast cancer warrior, Jessica Ensing. Jessica is a Thirty-One consultant and has people sponsor a bag. Amanda collects the bags and then fills them with donated goods. These goods have to be new and kid friendly. For anyone wanting to partner with them, there are donation boxes located at Soulard’s in Coloma, Hair Innovations and Day Spa also in Coloma, and in Watervliet at The Sidetrack Café and Tri-City Record to collect items for the bags. Items can range from Play-Doh, coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, Lego sets, Hatchimals, and such. The next scheduled pick-up of items from these boxes is Friday, September 21. There is still plenty of time to help. Youtoo. nonprofit is also having an event coming up on Saturday, September 22 called the Superhero Mud Run hosted by Hartford Speedway located in Hartford, Michigan. This will be a fun-filled event and proceeds go towards their upcoming drop offs to the children’s hospitals. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Superhero costume to add to the fun! The 1st Annual Superhero Mud Run will have a “family fun run” which will be one mile and right after is the main event, Superhero Mud Run 5K. The fee for this event is $35; anyone can register whether they run, walk, jog or crawl. Pre-registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and race starts at 9:00 a.m. To register before the event you can visit them on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/youtoocompany or go to Form.jotform.com. They still need help with a few things for this event, so feel free to message them on their Facebook page. Amanda and her crew extend a thank you to everyone that has supported them to this point. For an
Workshops returning to City Commission schedule
By Annette Christie
After discussing it previously, the Watervliet City Commission agreed to add a Committee of the Whole or Workshop meeting to their schedule starting with Tuesday, August 28. New City Manager Tyler Dotson had suggested such at the Commission’s July meeting but then followed up with a more solid plan at their August 14 meeting.
The agenda presented to the Commission included the format schedule, website redesign, city hall clean-up, meeting packet changes, and committee elimination.
Dotson said that he plans to discuss the format for how they will call those meetings, “We would have a conversation on a handful of things that I have been discussing in my weekly updates,” Dotson said, adding, “It will provide me some direction so as to work together on the priorities that the Commission would like to set.” It is still open as to whether this new format will be planned out and then just cancelled if it is not needed or whether Dotson will just make the Commission aware of it at the regular meeting. Either way, the City Commission will not take any formal action at the workshop.
New pavilion for Hays Park
Nicki Priebe with the Watervliet Rec Council introduced herself and other members from their leadership team. She told the City Commission that they were approached by the Lions Club and offered a nice donation. The Rec Council decided that with little shade at Hays Park where they play their ball games, they determined that a pavilion would be the best use of the donation. The Rec Council would kick in the rest of the funds over what the Lions Club donates. They have worked with Public Works Director Jeff Allen to select the best place for the pavilion. With that the City Commission approved the construction of a pavilion at Hays Park, to be funded by the Lions Club and the Rec Council. The 20’ X 30’ pavilion will provide additional seating, shade, and protection from foul balls.
Approvals for city attorney; police vehicle lease; maintenance agreement
The City Commission also approved an Attorney Agreement with Banyon Fette Law office for legal representation as needed by the City Commission. Currently the city is without an attorney. Dotson had worked with Jessica Fette of the firm on a previous city matter and recommended that the City Commission approve the agreement. Fette has over 10 years of municipal legal experience and currently represents six area municipalities including Watervliet Charter Township. The agreement does not require a retainer.
The City Commission also approved a lease for a 2019 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. The four-year lease agreement will cost the city $9,065.79 annually and is in the budget. Police Chief Tim Sutherland said that this deal was done through the state’s bidding program. There are no penalties for an early payoff and ultimately they would probably be able to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease term.
Following the review of a Perceptive Controls Agreement Renewal, for the iron filtration plant and the controllers associated with that, the City Commission renewed a contract with the company for their one year annual maintenance agreement in the amount of $4,820, a $1,300 savings over last year’s cost due to some investigative work from Dotson.
City Manager’s Report
During his City Manager’s report Dotson offered congratulations to City Clerk Christa Townsend for her first election which was done very well. “She put in a 20-hour day on election day,” Dotson said. He also thanked Melanie Marvin for all the work she did for the election as well. Townsend said there were 251 voters that voted in the primary election.
Dotson also gave the City Commission an update on the water meter replacement. He said he has worked with Mark Bolin, Allen, and Marvin on getting the bad meters replaced. “It is amazing what happens when you let them run and do their jobs,” Dotson said. He said they weren’t getting reads on 257 meters. When they checked those they found that 134 were still alive. With the help of Master Meter, the city purchased a new antenna and then was able to get additional reads; however, there were still 123 dead. Since that time, 107 have now been replaced. They continue to work on this project and getting the remainder of the bad meters replaced.
During public comments, Watervliet Public Schools Administrator Dave Armstrong commended the Police Chief stating that he has done an excellent job and is great to work with. “If we need him he is there immediately,” Armstrong said.
yone that wants to give to this nonprofit, they accept any monetary donations at any Honor Credit Union location under the name youtoo. nonprofit.
BCYF has new King & Queen;Youth Fair runs through Saturday
Kennedy Melton of Baroda and Arthur “AJ” Jillson of Buchanan 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 fairgrounds. First runner-up to the king is Jackson Hall of Dowagiac and first runner-up to the queen is Sarah Jackemeyer of Buchanan.
2018 BCYF ROYALTY… Chosen to reign over the 2018 Berrien County Youth Fair are (from the left) Princess Taylor Kirk, 1st Runner-up to queen Sarah Jackemeyer, Queen Kennedy Melton, King Arthur “AJ” Jillson, 1st Runner-up to king Jackson Hall and Prince Daniel Goss. The fair runs from Monday, August 13 to Saturday, August 18 in Berrien Springs.
The new king and queen are having 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. Kennedy Melton is an 18-year-old student at Ferris State University where she plans to pursue a degree in nursing. She shows in the llama, rabbit, cat, home economics and crafts departments. She is the daughter of Phillip and Emily Melton. AJ Jillson is a 17-year-old student at Berrien Springs High School. After high school he plans to pursue a degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering. He shows in the dog, rabbit and crafts departments. He is the son of Melissa and Darrin Jillson.
Sarah Jackemeyer is a 17-year-old student at Calvin College where she plans to pursue a degree in education. She shows in the poultry, goat, crafts, home economics and flower departments. She is the daughter of Mike and Susan Jackemeyer. Jackson Hall is a 16-year-old home school student. He hopes to become a director of music and acting. He shows in the goat, rabbit, poultry, and home economics departments. He is the son of Chris and Missy Hall. Just before the king and queen contest, the Berrien County Youth Fair held its seventh 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. Taylor Kirk of Galien and Daniel Goss of St. Joseph 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. They will be seen around the Fair attending various ceremonies and also serving as public relations representatives. Taylor Kirk is 11 years old. She shows in the swine, beef, rabbit, poultry and home economics departments. She is the daughter of Thomas and Loneta Kirk. Daniel Goss is 9 years old. He shows in the equine department. He is the son of Ronald Goss and Rachel Roberts. The 73rd annual Berrien County Youth Fair kicked off Monday and ends Saturday, August 18 with the theme “Passport to Adventure.”