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10-22-2020 Hometown Halloween Happenings; Watervliet Township ballot set for write-ins for Supervis

HARTFORD HIGH SCHOOL… Students of the Week for Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2020 are: 9th Grade -Aide Soto, student of Juan & Juana Soto; 10th Grade – Chloe Kruithoff, student of Donald Kruithoff & Sandy Moore; 11th Grade – William Cobb II, student of William & April Cobb; 12th Grade – Jacob Morales, student of Adolfo & Annabelle Morales. Congratulations to these “Students of the Week” and keep up the great work!

Watervliet Township ballot set for write-ins for Supervisor

By Annette Christie With the passing of the Watervliet Charter Township Supervisor Dan Hutchins, whose name will be on the November 3 ballot for the same position, the township clerk had to look into what to do next with regard to the position which is now vacant. Berrien County Elections Coordinator Jason Watts referred back to MCL 168.357 which states to the position of a candidate for township office that passes away. Statute reads, “If a candidate of a political party, after having been nominated for a township office, dies, moves from the township, or becomes disqualified for any reason, the township board of election commissioners shall provide a blank space or spaces on the official ballots that affords every elector of the political party an opportunity to vote for a candidate to fill the vacancy by writing in the name of his or her selection.” Watts confirmed that there is already space for a write-in on the ballot. Individuals that are interested in being considered as a write-in, have until Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 to file their Declaration of Intent with the township clerk, Patt Bambrick. The County Clerk’s Office receives a copy of those declarations from the local clerk. Rich Quinn, who was on the primary ballot opposing Hutchins, and current Trustee Joe Stepich, who is also on the ballot as a trustee, have both filed a declaration of intent. Stepich has been a trustee for 12 years. This year local clerks are expecting a larger than normal absentee voter population. All registered voters in the State of Michigan have the right to vote by mail. Due to the passage of a statewide ballot proposal, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may have the request of an absent voter ballot. If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, or for any other reason) a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk. The voter must sign a request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they would like to pick it up. An absentee ballot may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4:00 p.m. the Monday prior to the election.

Van Buren County Parks & Recreation Plan survey Van Buren County is working to update its parks and recreation plan. Having an approved parks and recreation plan is especially important as it establishes eligibility for certain state and federal grants. As part of the planning process, public input about parks and recreation opportunities in Van Buren County is being sought. Residents can take an on line survey by visiting The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and will be open through November 13, 2020. Parks and recreation improve the quality of life for residents, help maintain and attract residents and businesses, promote healthy physical and mental lifestyles, provide opportunities for social connections, protect natural features and the environment and improve property values. Questions regarding the survey can be directed to Marcy Hamilton with the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission at 269-925-1137 x 1525 or at The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is assisting Van Buren County with the development of a state approved plan.

Hometown Halloween Happenings

COLOMA Drive Thru Trunk or Treat on Oct. 24 Coloma Salem Lutheran Church is the location of a Drive Thru Trunk or Treat on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. This event is drive-thru only. Masked and gloved volunteers will hand out candy while community members with children remain safely in their cars. There will be no walking up for candy. Vehicle lineup begins at Park and Wilson streets in Coloma. There will be guides to direct traffic and keep cars moving. Everyone should practice patience and follow directions to keep this a safe and self-distancing activity. Organizers suggest car owners decorate their vehicles to make this event more festive. The Drive Thru Trunk or Treat is being organized by the North Berrien Community Development/ Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club and FOP offering Halloween Drive Thru Trick or Treat on October 24 On Saturday, Oct. 24 volunteers will be at Coloma Rod & Gun Club to give out treats for children 1-14 years old. They will be practicing safety measures and wearing masks. This drive-thru Halloween event is planned for 3 to 5 p.m., or while supplies last and is hosted by the Rod & Gun Club in partnership with the Coloma FOP Lodge. Coloma Rod & Gun Club is located at 6145 Angling Road.

N.B.H.S. Museum invites community to enter Pumpkin Carving Contest Monday, Oct. 26 is National Pumpkin Day! To celebrate the season of harvest, the North Berrien Historical Museum is hosting the first annual Pumpkin Carving Contest in collaboration with Jollay Orchards, Watervliet Fruit Exchange, and Silverstone Gardens. To participate, simply purchase your pumpkin at one of the collaborating northern Berrien County businesses and you will receive an entry form at the time of purchase. Next, carve your pumpkin, take a picture of your creation as well as the completed entry form, and send both images to by Monday, Oct. 26. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, all entries will be added to an album on the North Berrien Historical Museum’s Facebook page. Facebook users will be able to cast their vote by giving a “Like” to any pumpkin they think is fitting to win! Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for both Adult and Student categories. Only one entry per contestant. The North Berrien Historical Museum has the right to refuse any entry. For additional information, visit or call the Museum at (269) 468-3330.

Sarett Halloween Trail event Oct. 30 & 31 Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Road has planned a Halloween Trail event for Oct. 30 and 31. The public is invited to hike the trail and pick up tricks and treats to take home. Buy tickets online at to schedule a time to start on the trail.

Trick or Treat hours for Coloma City & Township Residential trick or treat hours have been established for the City and Township of Coloma on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. This announcement is subject to change due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HARTFORD Hartford Library hosts Halloween Trunk or Treat The Hartford Public Library will host a Trunk or Treat Halloween event on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the library parking lot, 12 Church street. Spaces are available for participation. The library will be giving away school supplies, books and candy.

City of Hartford sets Trick or Treat hours Trick or Treating will take place in Hartford on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Mayor Rick Hall asks that residents be mindful of the current State and CDC guidelines for Halloween and other holidays. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends social distancing, face coverings, and that people feeling ill should stay home. Frequent hand washing or sanitization efforts can help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 during Trick or Treating.

WATERVLIET Watervliet to have downtown trick or treating & residential in city & township on Friday, Oct. 30 The City of Watervliet has announced they will have Trick or Treating on Friday, Oct. 30 for both downtown and citywide residential. In addition, Watervliet Charter Township announces residential trick or treating for Oct. 30 from 5-7 p.m. The Downtown Trick or Treat Sidewalk Parade for area families is from 3-5 p.m. and residential trick or treating in the city neighborhoods is set for 5-7 p.m. In conjunction with the Downtown Parade, the Watervliet Fire Department is holding a trunk and treat from 4-6 p.m. Anyone wishing may participate by decorating their “trunk” and competing for a “best dressed” prize. Watervliet City Officials strongly encourage everyone to keep safety as a #1 priority in terms of social distancing and adhering to preventative measures to mitigate any potential COVID-19 exposure as recommended by the MDHHS, CDC, and Berrien County Health Department. Additionally, the City encourages that all children be accompanied by a parent or guardian and to be mindful of oncoming traffic along M-140 and throughout local neighborhoods.

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