AMAZING SUPPORT FOR MACI RAE… Organizers of Sunday’s fundraising event in support of young Maci Rae Rosen in her battle with juvenile neuroblastoma, report a whopping total in excess of $24,000! Parents Lindsey (Drake) and Justin Rosen humbly and most sincerely appreciate the tremendous outpouring of donations thanks to countless volunteers along with help from local business, individuals and two anonymous donors who matched the donation jar up to $2,000 and $5,000 respectively. A special account for Maci Rae has been set up with Honor Credit Union to accept additional contributions. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)
State finalizes aerial treatment for EEE infested mosquitoes over 557,000 acres which includes Berrien and Van Buren counties; continued vigilance encouraged
By Annette Christie Aerial treatment covering more than 557,000 acres and targeting 14 counties has been completed to help combat Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today. “In one year, we have had more human EEE cases confirmed than in the past decade,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “We chose to conduct aerial treatment to protect the health and safety of Michiganders. We also continue to urge communities and residents to take precautions against mosquito bites as the risk of EEE remains until the first hard frost.” This announcement comes as another case of EEE was confirmed in a Cass County resident. The onset date for the new case was Sept. 20, prior to aerial treatment beginning on Sept. 30. Treatment was conducted in portions of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Jackson, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph, Van Buren and Washtenaw counties. In addition, Fort Custer Training Center, which is in both Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, was treated. The decision to conduct aerial treatment was made based on the large number of EEE cases in both people and animals this year. EEE has been confirmed in 10 people, with four fatalities. Cases resided in Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. In addition, cases have occurred in 34 animals from 15 counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Genesee, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph and Van Buren. EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people. Until the first frost, residents should still continue to be vigilant in their protection against mosquito bites. The Berrien County and Van Buren County health departments have both provided the following recommendations for the public: When outdoors, apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered product to exposed skin or clothing and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites. Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddies pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
Keeler Township Board renews Lake Assessments for three area lakes; tickets for speeding on Township roads increase, County Sheriff Deputy reports
By Annette Christie The Keeler Township Board held a public hearing during their Tuesday, October 8 meeting to hear comments regarding the renewal of three lake special assessments in place. The lake associations of Keeler, Round, and Big and Little Crooked Lakes have asked for the continuation of these special assessments, all part of a five-year plan. Clerk Carl Davis confirmed that there was no written communication in favor or against any of the assessments. Keeler Lake was the only one that had any representation at the meeting. Their representative said that the work that the Keeler Lake Association is doing will end up costing very close to what was budgeted, within a couple thousand dollars. They recently had a bio blast done which cleaned up some of the turbid water and some of the muck. They were pleased with the results. They will be engaging a company to perform a bio scan of the lake, where they scan the bottom with sonar checking for problem areas. They continue to use aeration on the lake as well. All of the special lake assessments were renewed for another year. One member of the audience asked if the township could arrange to have the companies doing the cleanup of the lakes come to a township board meeting and talk about the processes.
Emergency services For the month of September, the Sister Lakes Fire Department responded to 13 calls five of which were in Keeler Township. The Keeler Township Fire Department responded to 25 calls last month. Eighteen of the calls were medical and seven were fire, with three assists to the Hartford Fire Department, one assist to the Bangor Fire Department and one assist to the Sister Lakes Fire Department for a gas leak at the Strand. Pride Care Ambulance responded to eight priority 1 calls in August with an average response time of 6.57 minutes. In September they had 11 priority 1 calls with an average response time of 8.20 minutes. Van Buren County Sheriff Deputy Ray Hochsprung, who patrols in Keeler Township, said he has been writing more tickets for speeding in the township as requested by residents. He noted that some of them have been near 52 in a 25 mph, 48 in a 25 mph, and 73 in a 55 mph. Some area residents who have placed additional signage in their yards stating the speed limit is 25 mph and Hochsprung said the signs are helping. He spent 14 days in Keeler Township in the month of September and responded to 18 complaints, 12 assists to Van Buren County, two code enforcements, 10 traffic stops and five citations. He made two misdemeanor arrests and one felony arrest for the month. There was some discussion about speed problems with some residents who reside in a 25 mph zone. Hochsprung said that he is addressing those issues and doing more patrols in troubled speed areas.
Van Buren Road Commission Rick Boze with the Van Buren County Road Commission said that they have switched their meeting hours to 5:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays. He said staff is back to working five days a week and with the chip seal and fog work done they are focusing on tree trimming. If any residents have any tree trimming in the right-of-way that needs done, they should contact the Van Buren County Road Commission office. The joint township / Road Commission meeting where work for the future is planned out will be held on October 30. Residents asked Boze about the speed limit problems and an area that needs a stop light and he said that the traffic studies that have been done in those areas do not warrant a changed speed limit or a traffic signal installed. Boze said that the Road Commission is in the process of trying a new program that will allow residents to take a photo of a pothole on the road and send it to the Road Commission with locations and they can schedule the repairs to be completed.
Other business Supervisor Kays said they are working with their lawyer to refresh the anti funneling ordinance dealing with back lots having use of lakefront and docks. He guessed that the ordinance is 15-18 years old and in anticipation of problem areas, it needs to be updated. He also said that the Sister Lakes Sewer Authority will be adding over $33,000 of unpaid sewer bills to residents’ tax bills. Kays said this is a problem every year and the governing rules of the authority allow them to collect it on the taxes.
Taylor Welch of Coloma receives State CIT Award
By Teresa Smithers Taylor Welch of Coloma was recently awarded with the 2019 Michigan CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) “Person with Lived Experience” award for his ongoing recovery from Schizoaffective Disorder.
RECOGNIZED … Taylor Welch pauses to display his “Person with Lived Experience” award from Michigan Crisis Intervention Team for his ongoing recovery from Schizoaffective Disorder.
In 2013, during his freshman year at Michigan State University, Taylor began experiencing auditory hallucinations. He didn’t know what was happening, or why. He returned home and for the next five years (with the support of his mother Leanne Adams, LADD, and a strong network of family and friends) Taylor has managed his illness and recovered from this episode. Now, he is living in his own apartment, is stable and is enjoying each phase of recovery. Beyond his own recovery, Taylor is reaching out to help others with their recovery. A myth persists that talking about mental health can trigger people who are struggling to get worse. This is false. Recognizing the signs of someone experiencing a mental health crisis and taking the appropriate steps – which includes talking about it in a helpful, thoughtful way – can save lives. Taylor has a Facebook page, “Taylor’s Mental Health Recovery,” to provide a place to share updates on his recovery, as well as to allow others to share their own experiences. LADD (Living Alternatives for the Developmentally Disabled) is a non-profit organization that provides services and support for the developmentally disabled. Their Coloma office is at 134 N. Church Street.
GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY… The public is invited to attend the ground breaking ceremony for the Arthur & Bonna Vanderlyn Community Center – Hartford Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m. at the construction site on East Main Street between East and Church streets. Director Stephanie Daniels reports the work is already underway; the project is slated for completion on June 30, 2020.