By Annette Christie
State Police seeks participants for National Missing Children’s Day poster contest
The Michigan State Police (MSP) Missing Children’s Clearinghouse invites fifth grade students statewide to participate in the 2020 National Missing Children’s Day poster contest. The annual contest creates an opportunity to promote child safety while discussing the issue of missing and/or exploited children. There are more than 800 missing children in Michigan currently.
Michigan’s winning artist will be entered in the national contest, which, if chosen, includes a free trip to Washington D.C. and artwork featured as the National Missing Children’s Day poster. The 2019 national winner was a Michigan student from Canton.
The contest rules are as follows: The applicants must be in the fifth grade; original artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home” and the phrase must appear somewhere on the poster; digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration; and the finished poster must measure 8-1/2 x 14 inches.
The poster must be submitted with a completed application which includes a description of the artwork and a brief biography of the artist, either written or typed. Submissions are due by January 31, 2020, and must be mailed to: Michigan State Police Missing Children’s Clearinghouse Attn: Ms. Jolene Hardesty, 7150 Harris Drive, Dimondale, MI 48821.
Michigan Supreme Court names Honorable Kathleen M. Brickley as Chief Judge of Van Buren County Courts
The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed Kathleen M. Brickley to serve as Chief Judge of the 36th Circuit Court, the 7th District Court, and the Van Buren County Probate Court. Her renewed term is effective January 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2021. This marks Judge Brickley’s fourth appointment, having served consecutive terms since January 1, 2015.
Judge Brickley responded, “I am humbled and honored to be reappointed as chief judge. In recent years, we have worked hard to expand our programming and consolidate operations in order to responsibly serve the public. Our courts should be viewed as a resource, not merely a consequence, and we continue to double down on those efforts. During this term, I look forward to working on important initiatives such as improving access to justice, criminal justice reform, and strategic planning for our courts. Technology will play an important role in all of this. I thank my extraordinary colleagues and court staff for their dedication to serving the people of Van Buren County with integrity and innovative thought.”
The Judge is actively involved with local and statewide initiatives. She is the chairperson for the Van Buren Community Corrections Advisory Board and member of the Drug Treatment Court Policy Council. She is president of the Van Buren County Chapter of Families Against Narcotics and a member of the South Haven Rotary.
Judge Brickley is on the Executive Committee of the Michigan Judges Association and serves as co-chair for that organization’s Criminal Committee. The Michigan Supreme Court appointed her to serve on the Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. She is a member of the Michigan Judicial Institute’s (MJI) Academic Advisory Committee, Criminal Proceedings Benchbook Advisory Committee, and Court Leadership Team Academy. She also serves as faculty for various MJI judicial education events.
Laesch named 2019 Partnership Award recipient
Earlier this month, the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency presented Berrien County Sheriff Deputy Kelly Laesch with the “2019 Partnership Award”. This award acknowledged prestigious achievement for her longstanding commitment for fostering relationships that encourages student development, growth and success.
Laesch was nominated by Joe Rommel and Kevin Clark, both Berrien RESA employees. They nominated her for the county implementation of the “Handle with Care Program”, which is a national program. The program promotes a partnership between law enforcement and area school staff to better ensure that the children exposed to traumatic events in their home or community receive appropriate interventions. The ultimate goal is to help children be safe and achieve success in school despite any traumatic circumstances they may encounter. This awareness helps school personnel provide support when it is most needed.
Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey was in attendance for the county “2019 Partnership Award” and stated, “I want to take this opportunity to thank the Berrien RESA for their support of community partnerships. Deputy Laesch is very supportive of the public schools throughout the county. Her work promotes safe and secure schools, as well as being an advocate for the social, emotional well-being of students and staffs.”
Van Buren County Sheriff and BISSELL Pet Foundation partner in Empty the Shelter Initiative
BISSEL Pet Foundation is aiming to bring holiday hope to homeless pets across America with its Empty the Shelters Holiday Hope event.
On December 13 and 14, BISSELL Pet Foundation will support over 110 shelters by offering reduced-fee pet adoptions.
BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters Holiday Hope event will include shelters in 22 states, including 45 in Michigan. All adoptable pets available during that event will be microchipped and spayed/neutered. Please be reminded that adopting a pet is a long-term commitment.
BISSELL Pet Foundation prioritizes funding for adoption, so pets find loving homes. Since some shelters have higher success with a two-day event, or a free adoption rather than a reduced-fee, each participating organization is able to determine the parameters that will help the most pets in their area. BISSELL Pet Foundation will provide the same shelter reimbursement for each pet adopted; making adoption affordable for families.
“To permanently end the homeless pet problem, everyone across the country needs to understand that there are beautiful, worthy animals in shelters who should be the first choice when bringing a pet into your home,” said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “You will get the most loving pet who will literally change your life because it’s so grateful to be loved. I want every person to know they can be part of the solution if they adopt a shelter pet.”
“Our office has had great success in our community adopting out pets for life, for the aide they provide to our office. This event is huge for helping animals in need find a permanent home,” said Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott.
Many shelters require a preapproval process, which may include an in-person visit. Adopters are encouraged to get preapproved to ensure they can adopt on the day of the event. Often pets are adopted in the week leading up to the Empty the Shelters event, so if you meet the pet of your dreams when visiting in advance, BISSELL Pet Foundation and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office suggests adopting on the spot. “We are strongly recommending people to be pre-approved prior to December 11. By being pre-approved, they are able to enter the event from 10-11 a.m. both Friday and Saturday, which is one hour before those non pre-approved,” Abbott said.
BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters events have found homes for nearly 27,000 pets since the program’s inception in 2016.