10-13-2016 Following interviews and a week of thought; No decision on Watervliet City Manager; Spagh

Klugs celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

Walter & Eleanor Klug

Walter and Eleanor Klug of Coloma will observe their 70th wedding anniversary October 13, 2016. Walter and the former Eleanor Wendzel were married October 13, 1946 in Coloma.  Their children are Joyce (John) Froehlich of Niles, Elaine (Ken) Gaynor of Watervliet, and Marlene Moscardelli of Stevensville. …

Following interviews and a week of thought, no decision on Watervliet City Manager

By Annette Christie

The Watervliet City Commission has deferred a decision on selecting a city manager until further discussions are held with its interim manager, Bill Hodge. The Commission took the action at their regular meeting, Tuesday, October 11.   The Commission is split on selecting one of three candidates recently interviewed and offering Hodge the job.  Last Tuesday, October 4, a special meeting was held to interview three candidates for the position of City Manager of Watervliet.  The City Commission interviewed Daniel Antosik, Kevin Gillette, and Heath Kaplan.   Antosik, from Adrian, is a recent Wayne State graduate with a masters in public administration. He recently interned with the City of Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit and was also an intern for the Michigan Municipal League.    Kevin Gillette served as the City Manager in Watervliet from 2006-2007 and has also served as the manager for the Village of Cassopolis.  He holds a degree in public administration and a secondary teaching certificate.   Heath Kaplan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.    He is currently doing consulting and temporary work, which he has been doing since he left his management position with the City of Poplar Bluff in Missouri. He was in that position for a year.  He has also served as a Finance Director for Muskegon County (2010-2014), City Manager for Crandall, Texas (2008-2010), and an Assistant Manager/Finance Director for the City of Wayland (2006-2008).  Between the years of 2004-2006, he lists professional services for three different villages, an interim position with a city and an intern position for a city. …

Expanded Good Samaritan Law signed by Governor Snyder

MOM, AUNT ON HAND FOR SIGNING OF GOOD SAMARITAN EXTENSION… Rep. Pscholka says Mason’s legacy will be lives saved. Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation sponsored by State Rep. Al Pscholka that extends the life-saving reach of the Good Samaritan law offering limited immunity to those who call first responders to report a drug overdose. The original law, Public Act 220 of 2015, was introduced after Mason Mizwicki, a Watervliet teenager, fatally overdosed on drugs because his friends were afraid of prosecution if they called police to report the overdose. Mason’s mother Lori Mizwicki (right) and his aunt, Brandi Huyser (left), who advocated for the bill, attended the ceremonial signing today. The new laws, Public Acts 307-308 of 2016, extend limited immunity to people of all ages.

By Annette Christie

A law pushed forward that has connections to a local family, was signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder last Thursday, October 6.  Snyder signed an expanded form of the Good Samaritan legislation.   With the passage of the law, Michiganders of all ages can seek medical assistance for themselves or others without the fear of prosecution in the case of a potential drug overdose.    “The addiction epidemic in our state continues to claim too many lives and now, Michiganders can seek help before more unnecessary deaths occur,” Snyder said.  “This legislation is another powerful tool in the efforts to fight prescription drug and opioid abuse across our state.”   House Bills 5649 and 5650, sponsored by State Reps. Al Pscholka and Sam Singh, respectively, extend Michigan’s Good Samaritan exemption to all ages when seeking medical attention for a drug overdose. The bill expands a 2015 law signed by Snyder exempting individuals under age 21 from prosecution from drug-related charges when seeking medical aid for themselves or someone else.    This effort was a recommendation of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.  The bills are now Public Acts 307-308 of 2016.    The Michigan State House of Representatives had passed the expansion of the Good Samaritan Law on September 20, 2016.  The law is linked to Mason Mizwicki of Watervliet.      Representative Al Pscholka worked with Watervliet’s Lori Mizwicki to pass legislation that would provide protection for an individual under the age of 21, calling 911 for help when someone needed medical attention due to prescription drug use.  The effort was driven by Mizwicki with Pscholka due to the New Year’s Eve death of her 16 year-old son Mason.  He died from a prescription drug overdose while other teenagers who were present, did not call for help for fear of getting in trouble. …

Coloma to research better options for street lights; East St. Joseph St. road work will go through to May

By Christina Gelder

Rocky Bertuca came to the Monday, October 10 meeting of the Coloma City Commission to ask that the City change over the street lights to a more economical bulb. He says that the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been paying the electric bill for two years and very little has been done in that time to make the situation better. “There are a lot more energy efficient options,” said Bertuca.  He is suggesting a compact florescent which promises to give more light for less cost and is a lighter burden on poles. According to Bertuca, it takes about $75 in materials and a half hour of work to change over a light. He says that Watervliet and Hartford have already done so and he estimates the savings on electricity to be about $12,000 a year. …

Spaghetti Dinner Benefit planned for 8 year old Hartford girl On Friday, October 14, 2016 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Amy’s Angels will host a Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for 8 year old Zoe Phillips of Hartford. Zoe is a 3rd grader at Woodside Elementary and is the daughter of Jason Phillips and Augustina Contreras. In August of 2016 Zoe was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosar-coma. Her treatment will include Chemo, radiation and a surgery. The Spaghetti Dinner will be in the Hartford High School Ca-feteria. A $6.00 donation will be taken at the door, children 5 years and younger will be $3.00. Dinner will include Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread; take out dinners will be available. A silent auction, bake sale and a 50/50 raffle will also take place. All proceeds from this benefit will go to Zoe and her family. The public is invited. Please come out in support of #Team-Zoe.

Preliminary count day good for Coloma Schools

By Annette Christie

Superintendent Peter Bush told the Coloma School Board some good news at their Monday, October 10 meeting.  The preliminary count of students for the district looks good.  Bush told the board that they had budgeted for a drop in 40 students; however, preliminary numbers look more like only eight students down.  Bush noted that they do have more School of Choice students this year compared to last year. Bush said the official count should be in about 30 days.   As the district prepares for their audit, an unexpected resignation has put a little snag in those preparations.  Bush said that Catherine Fisher, the Business Manager, resigned as of September 25.  The reason for the resignation was not given.  The district has developed a relationship with a retired Finance Director from another district to help them prepare. Rob Burgess is now the Interim Business Manager while the district posts to fill the position permanently.  Bush said that they have been in touch with the State of Michigan as far as the audit deadline and the state has agreed to work with the district on extending that if necessary. …

Hagar voters asked to restore Headlee Rollback

By Jon Bisnett

Hagar voters will have two local measures to consider on the November 8 ballot.  Lake Michigan College seeks a Capital Millage of 0.48 mills for 10 years.  The Headlee Amendment Rollback measure asks voters to restore 0.632 negative affects to the Township to the tune of roughly $60,000 in general fund revenue. Should the voters approve the measure on November 8, a homeowner with a State Equalized Value of $50,000 would pay less than $1.22 per month. The 0.632 mills would restore roughly $63,000 in the General Fund. For the past several years the Township has spent $60,000 on average for road repairs.  By the same scenario of taxable value the LMC proposal would cost the resident $24 annually.


County Commissioner Bill Smith reported on the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly revamped Rocky Gap Park. He described the site as so exceptional that three weddings have already been booked for spring of 2017. …

Coloma Lions Club Great Pumpkin Derby Race

 The Coloma Lions Club is sponsoring a pumpkin derby race on Saturday, October 29 to be held in conjunction with Coloma’s Halloween in the Park in downtown Coloma.  Weigh-in begins at 11 a.m. with the racing to start at noon in front of Coloma City Hall.  The race kits which consist of four wheels and an all-thread rod to make two axels plus washers and nuts are available for $15. The kit is used with a medium sized pumpkin to create a pumpkin racer.  There is a registration fee of $10 for the Stock Class, using a purchased kit. The Open Class registration fee is $15 for a racer made with builder’s own wheels and axels.  All entrants must follow the guidelines in the rules which can be found online along with the registration and kit purchasing information at colomalions.com or on the Facebook page for Coloma Lions                                                                       Club.

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