09-20-18 Van Buren County Historical Society soup supper at the Museum;

Dan and Darlene celebrate in style 66TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY… Chauffer Gary Callendar gave Dan & Darlene Merritt a ride in this 1924 Ford for their 66th wedding anniversary. The Merritts, originally from Hartford, now living in Benton Harbor were married on September 13, 1952. The couple celebrated with family and friends on September 15 at Grandson Adam Trapp’s in Coloma.


Van Buren County Historical Society soup supper at the Museum The Van Buren County Historical Society/Museum, at 58471 Red Arrow Highway in Hartford, is hosting their last soup supper on Friday, September 28, at 4:30-7:00 p.m. A selection of four soups plus sloppy joes will be available along with salads, bread, and homemade desserts. The public is invited to enjoy the soup supper and take a tour of the museum to see some of the new exhibits all for a free will donation. Bring friends and neighbors. Ask about volunteering next spring; perfect volunteer position for snowbirds, they open the first of June and close early October.

Watervliet City Clerk reviewed with glowing remarks, rewarded with pay increase

By Annette Christie Watervliet City Clerk Christa Townsend received glowing remarks on her 90-day review and was awarded with a pay raise. City Manager Tyler Dotson told the Watervliet City Commission at their Tuesday, September 11 meeting that Townsend “has performed admirably and has quickly become an integral part of city operations.” He said that she executed a successful August primary election and has obtained the necessary certifications as mandated. “She has begun putting forth organizational mechanisms to improve office efficiency, transparency, and process,” Dotson said. With the glowing remarks, Dotson asked that Townsend’s wages be increased from $35,360 to $38,000. At her hiring, Townsend was hired as an office assistant. Her goals for her first year are to navigate through the BS & A software, fully understand the city’s finance and banking processes, plan for and ensure best practices are realized in preparation of the yearly audit, and to continue to attend trainings and increase understanding in the areas of accounting, budgeting and record keeping principals and processes.

Water meter/ billing The continued effort to improve the water meter/ billing process was another topic for the City Commission meeting. Dotson asked the Commission to authorize the costs for Octave meter installation in an amount not to exceed $5,000. The installation will be completed by Field Plumbing & Heating, Inc. for seven new Octave Meters. This is part of the second phase of the water meter replacement project. Dotson asked for the meters to be installed at 8788 Cobblestone Apartments, 4089 Waterford Apartments, and at 8258 Arnt Blvd. for the Fairfield Inn. The Octave Meters are commercial meters that will provide a more accurate water measurement and will have an ability to limit losses in both the short and long term. Dotson went on to say that he met with Jeff Allen and Melanie Marvin to work out a water meter reading schedule. While the city had approximately 280 unreadable meters in June, this time around there is only 51 meters unreadable and that is only because the reading cycle is not complete. It is expected that it will be much less than that. Public Works Department The City Commission authorized the extension of two seasonal employees in the Public Works Department until November 30. Dotson told the Commission that there has been a recent employee departure in that department and extending the time for the seasonal employees will ease the workload and allow a series of projects that are slated for the department to be complete before the start of the winter season. During this time of transition, Dotson will be getting with Public Works Director Jeff Allen to examine where the department is at and where it wants to go. Dotson told the Commission, “This gives us an opportunity to take a look at the structure of the department.” The Commission authorized the extension for Dylan Lynch and Benny Cloinger. The next workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m. and will include an update from Wightman & Associates on the SAW Capital Improvement Plan.

Building HOPE through Harmony concert at W.H.S. this Saturday H.O.P.E Resources is holding a fund-raiser in the form of a concert this Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. in the Watervliet High School Auditorium. Entertainment for this event is provided by Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus. The opening act is by In Harmony. The cost to attend is $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and students, children under age 12 are admitted for free. The evening of the concert, H.O.P.E. Resources is conducting a food drive and asks concert goers to bring non-perishable food items to the performance. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 269-208-2415. H.O.P.E. Resources provides vital services to increase the self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life for individuals and families in our local communities. This fund-raiser is to raise money for a new location for their resource center. Since the center functions solely on private donations and grants, fundraising events such as this are crucial to the ultimate success of their organization.

NEW AGENT… On September 13 the Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to wish Karla Smothers well as she is the new agent now at State Farm Insurance, 7618 Red Arrow Hwy in Watervliet. Surrounded by family, friends and staff Karla and the group officially cut the ribbon for the After Hours event. Participants in the ribbon cutting are (from the left): Kassie Thomas, Terry Matjoulis, Aaron Thomas, Sharon Yoder, Karla Smothers, Ross Smothers, Michael Roggow, Morgan Ridge, Brandon Jones and Steve Lavelle.


Senior Pastor at Midway Baptist Church retiring; retirement party planned for Oct. 13

The Senior Pastor of Midway Baptist Church, Pastor Mark Cowell and his wife Lyn, are retiring at the end 2018 with 35 years of faithful ministry, twenty-five years at Midway and ten years prior in Ohio. To honor this devoted couple and their sincere service, not only to Midway but to the community, the church is hosting a Retirement Party on Saturday, October 13, in church’s auditorium. Dinner will be at 5:00 p.m. with a program to follow. Reservations can be placed online at midwayministries.org/rsvp or by calling the church office at 463-3195 by October 5. Midway Baptist Church is located at 7517 Red Arrow Hwy. in Watervliet.

Painting class held at the Watervliet District Library

The Watervliet District Library was pleased to host a barn quilt painting class, Thursday, September 13. Twenty-five area residents attended the class presented by Barbara Bennett of ABC Quilts. Barn quilts are large square paintings suitable for exposure to the elements, designed as quilt blocks. Barbara has been creating barn quilts for the last several years; her home county of Allegan has established a barn quilt trail for interested sight-seers.

BARN QUILT PAINTING CLASS… Susan Anderson (left) displays “Ornate Star” and Angel Widdis, “Contrary Wife” barn quilt blocks from the recent painting class held at the Watervliet District Library.


Berrien County homes and barns may begin sporting some equally eye-catching decoration, thanks to the library’s Thursday night guests.

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