09-10-2020 Ceremony honoring hometown heroes leaves lasting impressions; TCR Armchair Quarterbacks

Coloma native on Halloween Wars cooking show Sunday night … Page 5

Headline misleading, City of Watervliet Commission is not seeking grants for $7.5 million in infrastructure improvements

The Tri-City Record front page headline of last week’s Watervliet City Commission meeting was incorrect. According to Mayor Dave Brinker, the City will be seeking funding of infrastructure improvements by taking advantage of low interest rates. The Tri-City Record apologizes to the City of Watervliet Commission and to the Record’s readers for the error. Karl Bayer, publisher

WWII VETERANS… Award Recipients Cpl. Willis A. Bouma and S/Sgt. C. Walter Kronbetter standing proud wearing their new medals in front of both the French and the United States flags. (TCR photo by Angela Widdis)

Ceremony honoring hometown heroes leaves lasting impressions

By Angela Widdis Award ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular across many industries and organizations. These ceremonies are set to highlight and celebrate achievements in fields ranging from fashion to high school academics, or from movie celebrities in Hollywood to home town honorees that have reached a noteworthy accommodation. These types of award ceremonies do not all have to be as glamourous as the Grammys but they do have to deliver an unforgettable experience for the attendees. Such was the case at the John E. N. Howard Bandshell in St. Joseph on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, where Cpl. Willis A. Bouma of Watervliet and Staff Sergeant C. Walter Kronbetter of St. Joseph received the French Legion of Honor Medal and a Challenge coin. The Veterans were honored for their service in the liberation of France as part of the Normandy Invasion. Witnessing Zaneta Adams, the Director for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs from the State of Michigan, present these two gentlemen with her director’s coin was just as impressive as it was to watch the Honorable Guillaume Lacroix, the Consul General of France in Chicago, bestow the Legion of Honor medals to both Bouma and Kronbetter, for the over 50 people that were in attendance. Adams told the crowd about the Challenge coins or Commander’s coins as they have been known to be called. She explained that these types of coins are handed out today to reward people for jobs well done, particularly in the military. They are given to soldiers as identification badges proving that they served in certain units or missions. She went on to speak about how important it is to recognize the sacrifices that these two men had made as well as all the past and present servicemen and women that have or that still are defending the freedoms of all. Honorable Lacroix spoke of the need to “Transmit these memories and lessons to the next generation” as he told the story of his very own great-grandmother having to raise two children on her own after her husband was killed while trying to liberate France. He said that Michigan was a pillar in the arsenal of democracy during what Americans knows as Normandy Invasion, but what Lacroix says his country calls, Normandy Liberation. As he affectionally referred to the two medal honorees he called them “Our Veterans” as in the country of France’s veterans. He reminded them that they changed the destiny for his country, for his people, and even for his own family. Among the spectators were Lee and Sue Scherwitz of Coloma. Lee stated, “Lest we forget that these brave men helped free the French Nation from the terrine of World War II. The French people have shown their gratitude in this recognition of France’s greatest recognition the French Legion of Honor.” He goes on to say, “I belong to Lest We Forget of Southwest Michigan and work to teach our next generations that the freedoms that they have today were born by those before them.” The closing remarks from Catherine Ravitch, of St. Joseph, the Chaplain for the Algonquin Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, included a message that in her late husband’s family over 90% of them lost their lives as Austrian Jews in WWII. She reminded us that though our society is not new to experiencing challenging times like those during WWII, we are indeed navigating a complex moment in history that we must not lose sight of what it means to be free. Then, she ended the formal part of the ceremony with a prayer. Words alone can’t express how moving this ceremony was as each person reflected on their own connection to patriotism; whether it was as a brother or sister in arms, or family of the recipients, or just bystanders. You could not help walking away with a great sense of pride for these United States of American and the liberties it stands to defend.

TCR Armchair Quarterbacks return;

Lynch looks to be 4-time Champion

By Dave Vollrath The much loved Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest is back for its 34th season! While normally, it was never a question of the AQB returning in the fall just like the cooling temperatures and the pumpkin spiced “stuff” added to just about everything we eat and drink. However 2020 is as far from being a typical year, and no longer can we just expect to continue on with our normal activities. Since the Super Bowl was played back on Feb. 2, this thing called COVID-19 has turned the world on its head. We couldn’t be happier that we will have football played this year on all levels, to challenge and drive this year’s pigskin pickers crazy once again. Since the MHSAA decided one week ago to reinstate high school football this fall, it gives us a full slate of games to choose from each week. Rodney Lynch returns as the defending 3-time champion, and he’d just love to add a fourth championship hat to his collection. The TCR, AQB competition is held weekly from the beginning of the football season in late summer, until it finishes with the playing of the Super Bowl in February. We have six Tri-City area football fans competing against each other to predict the winners of a group of pre-selected games, from the high school, collegiate, and professional ranks. Following the conclusion of the Super Bowl, one winner is crowned champion, and will have the honor of wearing the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback Championship hat. In the event that two or more ‘backs have the same record for the week, or the yearly total, their place in the standings will be determined by a weekly tiebreaker game. In addition to trying to correctly pick the winners of each week’s games, they try and predict the score from a specially selected game. The AQB who comes the closest to the total number of points scored by both teams will get the higher spot in the standings. RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht who finished second last year, and Tim Hildebrand who came in third, will both be back to challenge Lynch for the crown. RoxAnn and Tim were nipping at Rodney’s heals for most of last season, and would love nothing more than to knock him off his lofty perch this year. Also returning are long time pickers from Watervliet, Greg Krell and Dan Jones. Dan and Greg finished 5th and 6th respectively last season, but know that every year is different, and either one of them could flip this panel and win the coveted hat. We have one newcomer added to our illustrious panel of pigskin prognosticators, her name is Taylor Prestidge. Although she graduated from Watervliet, Taylor and her husband Matt are now firmly entrenched in Coloma where they currently reside. Taylor and Matt have two children, a girl and a boy; Rae is 9 years old and Hudson is 3. Taylor owns and operates Soulard’s Bakery in downtown Coloma. Taylor said she is extremely honored and excited to be added to our panel, and looks forward to competing each week. We believe she will be a great addition and are confident she will give all of our panelists a run for their money. The Michigan high school season will not begin until Sept. 18, so this first week we will be testing our panel of pickers with a mix of NFL and collegiate games. Of course this does not include the Big Ten, who used to be one of the conferences the others looked to respectfully for leadership and direction. But while most of the other major conferences are safely giving their student athletes the opportunity to compete, the Big Ten schools will be sitting on the sidelines hoping they can play in the spring, when no one will be watching. Once again we are thrilled to be able to bring you our panel of pigskin pickers and hope you will come back each week to see who will be on top. So let’s look at this week’s games and get this show on the road.

Syracuse vs. North Carolina Duke vs. Notre Dame Clemson vs. Wake Forest Georgia Tech vs. Florida State Texas vs. Kansas City Chicago vs. Detroit (Tiebreaker) Green Bay vs. Minnesota Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams

Gov. Whitmer signs for COVID-19 $300 unemployment bump

By Jon Bisnett

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, on Tuesday, signed Senate Bill 745 which designates $2.8 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars to give extra funding to unemployed Michiganders via President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to cover a temporary $300 per week enhanced payment. The $300 is to be combined with the state’s payment schedule for eligible Michiganders currently receiving benefits. As part of the overall FEMA program, the enhanced payment will continue until the federal emergency disaster relief funding has been exhausted.

More legal challenges

The Michigan State Supreme Court will take up yet another legal challenge of the Governor’s powers this week.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation seeks the opinion of Michigan’s highest court on two questions:

“Whether, under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, MCL § 10.31, et seq., or the Emergency Management Act, MCL § 30.401, et seq., Governor Whitmer has the authority after April 30, 2020, to issue or renew any executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act and/or the Emergency Management Act violates the Separation of Powers and/or the Non-Delegation Clauses of the Michigan Constitution.”

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is a public interest law firm that advances individual freedom and rule of law in Michigan. Serving as the legal arm of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Foundation employs strategic litigation and public outreach to secure the liberties of Michigan’s residents, workers, students and entrepreneurs.

Governor Whitmer has extended her State of Emergency declaration multiple times since March, including the most recent just last week, now extended until Oct. 1.

High school sports

After the governor’s office had left the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and student athletes hanging since Aug. 20, in all the southern portions of the state, fall high school sports including volleyball, soccer, swimming and even football are back. Gyms and pools are also able to reopen under tight guidelines.

Needless to say, the ink was not even dry on last week’s edition of the TCR when this latest announcement came out near the week’s end. We’ll let our more than capable sports reporters explain the details of the abbreviated fall season. See Press Box on Page 7.

Recent guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services still recommends against contact sports including football, basketball, and soccer, but does not prohibit them from being played.

COVID events

Health officials are monitoring the latest “super spreader” event’s effect as related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Projections warn of up 250,000 infections from the annual rally with an estimated attendance of over 460,000. South Dakota saw a 126% increase in new cases in the two weeks after the event, Reuters reported Sunday. Neighboring North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska have all seen new cases rise.

The 107th edition of the Tour de France, originally slated for June 27, began pedaling its way over the French countryside last week.

Odds on “Tis the Law” came up short at the delayed 146th running of the Kentucky Derby last weekend, dashing any chance of a Triple Crown winner, succumbing to the 8-1 bay colt “Authentic.”

This Thursday night the National Football League returns with the Houston Texans taking on Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The NHL, NBA, USTA, PGA & NASCAR are all active, just not quite the same.

Reminder: Wear your mask, wash your hands, be kind whenever you can.


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