11-07-2019 Watervliet Marching Band takes bronze at state championships; Hartford City Election goes

“Decomposers” marching program was a hit with the fans and the judges


Watervliet Marching Band takes bronze at state championships

This season, the Watervliet Marching Band took the audience on a journey through the composers’ graveyard. Their show, entitled Decomposers, breathed new life into the compositions of Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart, and twisted the classic into the sinister. The show was a favorite of audience members at each competitive stop, as the band transformed into zombies before their very eyes! The Watervliet Marching Band is a member of the Michigan Competing Bands Association. MCBA is a competitive organization that hosts competitions throughout the state, culminating annually with the Championship Contest in early November. In this highly competitive circuit, member bands must compete in at least two qualifying shows, with the top ten bands from each flight earning a spot in finals competition. The MCBA is divided into 5 flights based upon school enrollment, with Watervliet competing in Flight V. A recap of the regular season reveals an impressive performance record for the Watervliet Marching Band. On October 5, they began their MCBA season with a trip to Portage Northern High School. Watervliet took 2nd Place, and received the awards for Best Marching and Best General Effect! On October 10, the band traveled to Paw Paw for the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association District VI Marching Band Festival, where they once again received a Division 1 rating! The Marching Band continued their competitions with a trip to Jenison on October 19, placing 3rd in Flight V. Capping their qualifying season, the band competed at Sparta on October 26, turning in another amazing performance, again finishing 3rd, and cemented their spot as a contender for the Flight V Championship. The band’s season was capped by a fantastic run of Decomposers at Detroit’s Ford Field. In front of thousands of fans, the students delivered arguably their best performance of the season. As the band awaited the results, the nerves peaked throughout the stadium. Announced with a score of 87.25, the Watervliet H.S. Marching Band placed 3rd in Flight V, captured the bronze medal, and finished with their highest placement in school history! Competing for the 16th consecutive year in the MCBA State Championship, this season’s accomplishments are particularly noteworthy, and have proven to be a satisfying culmination of the season’s work, which began in June. The Decomposers show featured many soloists and small ensemble players. Soloists were Ben Leblang (synthesizer), Paige Williams (trumpet), Nick Hook (tenor saxophone), Tayler Williams (Color Guard), and Jayna Rodgers (Color Guard). The small ensemble featured Naudia Cuchinski (clarinet), Destiny Kerr (clarinet), Kameron Bultema (alto saxophone), Danyel Munson (alto saxophone), Saul Burgos (trombone), and Alexandra Hays (trumpet). The band is under the instruction of Mrs. Jennifer Hollandsworth, who is in her 22nd year as Director of Bands in Watervliet. Drum Majors this year are Madline Henagan, Brenda Romero-Chairez, and Saul Burgos. The band’s instructional staff includes Kari Stevens (Color Guard design & instruction), Kelsey Griffith (Color Guard), Caleb Kibby (percussion), and Lily McClelland (percussion).

VOTING BY CANDLELIGHT… shadows on the wall cast an eerie image of an election worker at the Hartford City election on Tuesday.


Hartford City Election goes dark due to power failure

By Jon Bisnett There were no real surprises at the City of Hartford polls as four incumbent candidates ran unopposed. Mayor Rick Hall and commissioners Terry Tibbs, Helen Sullivan and write-in Dennis Goss all retained their seats, but a massive power outage affecting over 2,400 area households made for an interesting election day for Clerk RoxAnn Isbrecht and her election worker team. There was one big surprise that came at approximately 4:45 p.m. when the lights went out in the city plunging the new polling site at His Place Community Center into total darkness. Some voted by flashlight and lantern until city workers deployed a generator to restore lighting to the site. Indiana and Michigan officials have yet to “fess up” on the cause of the outage, with local social media postulating recent line work on new infrastructure installations from the substation on Prospect Street a likely suspect. Power was restored just prior to the polls closing at 8:00 p.m. and presented no problem in the electronic transmission of the vote. Isbrecht reports only 128 voters out of the city’s 1,547 registered voters took to the polls for an 8% turnout. What some might call a meaningless or unnecessary election is none the less mandated by the State of Michigan. Off-year elections still cost the city anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 with an average cost of $2,000. The variance is due to number of poll workers, required training, printing, programming, postage, travel, publications, equipment, supplies and such.


On Sunday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. all local Marines are invited to T’s Tap in Coloma to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday. It will be a night of tradition and fellowship. There will be raffles for a Kabar knife and a USMC sword with proceeds going to local Toys for Tots program.

Veterans Day breakfast at Coloma High School on Monday, Nov. 11 Coloma Public Schools have two events scheduled for Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11 to honor the Tri-City area veterans and their families. Veterans and their spouses will be treated on Monday, Nov. 11 at Coloma High School from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. with breakfast and entertainment. This will be the 44th year for this special event. The breakfast was founded by the late Joyce Tutton, retired principal at Coloma Washington Elementary. Coloma Intermediate 4th Grade classes will present a Veterans Day Music Program on Veterans Day at 6 p.m. in the Coloma High School Auditorium. Music includes “America,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Thank a Vet,” and “A Tribute to the Armed Forces.” Admission is free.

Coloma American Legion service

American Legion Post 362 in Coloma will hold a service at 11:00 a.m. in Baker Park downtown followed by a luncheon at the Post. Post 362 is located at the corner of E. St. Joseph and Sassafras streets.

Hartford Veterans Day observance

American Legion Post #533 of Hartford along with Boy Scout Troop 196 will host a Veterans Day Ceremony Monday, Nov. 11, 6:30 p.m. at the city’s Ely Park Chappell Pavilion on West Main Street. Post Commander Ruben Mireles invites all community members to join in saluting America’s military around the globe. History buffs will recall that World War I officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the petitioning of U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was then renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Refreshments will follow provided by Post #533.

Watervliet VFW service

Watervliet VFW Post 1137 will host a service at their post home on Red Arrow Hwy at noon followed by light refreshments.

Eau Claire salutes veterans

On Monday, November 11,2019, the Southwest Michigan Veterans Support Group will sponsor their 17th annual dinner and program at the Eau Claire High School where all branches of the military will be honored. Veterans and one guest (tickets at door) will enjoy a complete home-cooked roast beef dinner as well as macaroni and cheese and homemade desserts, served from 5-6:30 p.m. by students and volunteers. A program, open to the public, will follow at 7:00 p.m.

All are encouraged to attend as they thank and honor our military and veterans. Colonel Christopher Borchardt, an Air Force flight surgeon who graduated from Berrien Springs High School in 1989 will be the guest speaker. Each branch of the military will be escorted into the program by the Eau Claire High School band and music will be provided by elementary students. Shuttle busses to the gym will be available for veterans and all guests. Handicapped parking is available in the teachers’ parking lot. Please help them show their appreciation to our veterans for our freedom by attending this free program.

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