10-29-2020 Hartford Schools suspend in person classes; Election 2020 preview; COVID

HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARADE last year, was a bit blustery, but was still great fun for the youngsters. There should be more of the same for the Watervliet Downtown Sidewalk Parade Friday afternoon. See the Halloween Hometown Happenings for the local “begging times” on Page 3

Hartford Schools suspends in-person classes over COVID concerns

By Jon Bisnett

Officials at Hartford Public Schools (HPS), working in concert with the Van Buren Health County Health Department, have suspended face-to-face, in-person classes from Friday, Oct. 23 to Friday, Nov. 9, 2020.

The decision comes following the discovery of two Redwood Elementary staff members and one unrelated middle school student that have tested positive for the virus.

The health department protocol of a 14-day quarantine led Superintendent Andy Hubbard to move the entire district to remote learning. Hubbard went on to explain the need to allow the V.B. Health Department to complete their contact tracing investigation and with an increased number of students and staff expected to be quarantined, the situation leaves the district short on staff to safely and properly run the district. The area pool of substitute teachers is quite low as well.

Custodians will immediately go to work and conduct a deep clean sanitizing of the buildings. Although the high school is essentially unaffected, Hubbard says he recognizes the community dynamic whereby older students often look after their younger siblings after school in households where both parents work, thus prompting the decision to close the campus as well.

Teachers were prepared for the temporary closure working two weeks ahead on lesson plans, and will be distributing paper work packets while the district waits on a back order of an additional 1000 Chromebook computers from the manufacturer.

HPS Food Services are ramping up to offer multi-location meal pickup for students.

In a joint communication to the residents of Van Buren, area school superintendents said the following in part: “A report shared from the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department shows the county has gone from High Risk to the Very High Risk Determination Level in just the past week. The consideration of school closures for face-to-face learning has increased exponentially. The actions we all take in the next few weeks and months will have a direct impact on our schools. Following mitigation protocols now, and throughout the upcoming holiday season, will help us keep students in school. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Election Nov. 3; from president to trustee candidates previewed

By Annette Christie

On November 3, 2020, voters are able to participate in the general election. Although Michigan’s Secretary of State offered the option of absentee voting for all registered voters due to COVID-19, polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Presidential candidates

The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump is looking for re-election to the Office. The New York born businessman and real estate developer has leant his name to casinos, hotels, golf courses, a television show and ultimately the White House.

Trump, 74, married wife Melania in 2005. Together they have a son and President Trump has four other children from previous marriages.

In his first bid for an elected office, he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election.

His Vice President, Mike Pence, was born in Columbus, Indiana. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in history and a law degree. In addition to serving in private practice, he was a Congressman in 2000 followed by being the Governor of Indiana.