Hartford Schools adapts Homecoming for COVID-19
By Jon Bisnett Superintendent Andy Hubbard says High School Principal Dave Janicki, Athletic Director Nick Blackmer, and staff have been working hard to make the best of the current situation. Band and Homecoming court was in attendance at the Homecoming game and each member received two game tickets for the matchup with Decatur on Friday, Oct. 9. Dress up days happened with masks. Locker decoration contest replaced float building along with a spirit contest between grades. The Hartford School Board continues to meet in person with masks and social distancing, while live-streaming to the general public for its October meetings. A work study meeting took place on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.
Virtual Academy update Curriculum Director Brad Geesaman presented data to the Board for the virtual academy. Building principals fielded additional questions from the Board. Superintendent Hubbard logged into the system to show the Board how the program looks through the eyes of the students. Further discussion followed regarding what the district is going to do to make this a successful experience for all the students. Audit presentation Business Manager Rebecca Drake gave an overview to the Board on the recently completed annual audit as an unmodified opinion by the Lansing firm Maner Costerisan. Detailed overview was given to the Finance Committee during the prior week by a Maner Costerisan representative indicating a clean slate across the board. A few changes were made with addition of Capital Project Fund and Total Non-major Funds, to satisfy recent changes in the rule of audit for Michigan Schools. Finance Board President Mike Banic discussed that the finance committee is recommending raises for all employees that took a pay freeze for this current year, in light of the state school fund reduction coming in much less that early projections. Those contract amendments will be presented to the entire board at the October Business meeting for consideration. Trustee Vawter reports that at this time the finance committee is not recommending bringing back any other budget cuts. Reports Superintendent Andy Hubbard reported that the Inchy Book Vending Machine unveiling took place on Friday, Oct. 9 at Redwood Elementary. The recent Michigan Supreme Court Decision found Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders since April 30th were unconstitutional. Local Health Department officials recommended continuing to take all precautions that were effective as of Friday, Oct. 2. Literally at the same time, emails were coming down from the State Health Department’s interpretation of the latest Emergency Order. The new emergency order which went into effect immediately has made masks for all students age 5 and up a requirement in schools through Oct. 30.
W-A-Y September Students of the Month
Watervliet High School W-A-Y program is excited to announce their September 2020 Students of the Month. These young people are working hard to accomplish their goal of obtaining their high school diploma. They are putting in long hours in HERO online learning program, both at the lab and from home. Dakoda Overson Boyd
Jared Edwards Jared plans to proceed in Auto Mechanics after he graduates from high school. Currently he is working at Brookfield Automotive in Benton Harbor.
PPL Rotary informed of Coloma DDA projects; Marsha Hammond guest speaker
Marsha Hammond of the Coloma Downtown Development Association (DDA) was guest speaker at the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club meeting held at Randall Park in Coloma on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Program chair was Gordon Noack, Rotary member. Marsha has been with the Coloma DDA for 30 years and was hired two years ago to be the Project Manager. She has been a city commissioner for 19 years, and the Chair of Public Works.
LaSata’s bill honoring fallen heroes becomes law
Press Release) State Sen. Kim LaSata announced Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 that legislation she introduced to allow the names of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, including court officers and corrections offers, to be added to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument has been signed into law by the governor. “This is a great day for Southwest Michigan and for all communities desiring to honor the lives of our brave court officers who pay the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said LaSata. “I thank Governor Whitmer for signing this important bill and appreciate the strong support it has received from law enforcement and residents alike. Finally, our fallen heroes can get the recognition they deserve.” Senate Bill 321, which is now Public Act 215 of 2020, aligns the Michigan monument standard with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial standard. The law also allows reserve officers killed in the line of duty to be eligible for recognition on the memorial. With the new law in place, the names of Security Supervisor Joseph P. Zangaro and Court Officer Ronald Kienzle are eligible to be added to the state monument. In 2016, Zangaro and Kienzle were shot and killed by an inmate inside the Berrien County Courthouse. Zangaro had previously served as a Michigan State Police officer for 25 years and Kienzle was retired from the Benton Charter Township Police Department. Zangaro’s and Kienzle’s names are already included on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Berrien County Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Joseph, Michigan.