12-13-2018 Letters and Commentary

Holiday Open House was a merry time Dear Editor, Over the weekend of November 30 – December 2, the North Berrien Historical Museum hosted their 14th annual Holiday Open House event. This event was developed to bring visitors into the Museum during the cold months, to connect with local businesses and organizations, and to gain funds for kids programs and other activities for the next year. This 2018 event did all the above. The Museum was visited by over 750 guests, most of which were on Sunday. The event raised nearly $4,000 for upcoming programs and had many new sponsors and involvement from organizations all over Berrien County. These sponsors decorated trees, donated particular items for the event, or gave monetary donations. For those who decorated a tree, they were entered in the People’s Choice competition. Visitors viewed the 32 trees and voted on their three favorite. Here are the results from the weekend – 1st Place: HOPE Resources with 49 votes; 2nd Place: Cutting Corners with 38 votes; 3rd Place: Coloma Lioness with 36 votes; 4th Place/Honorable Mention: Honor Credit Union with 35 votes. Throughout the rest of the month the Museum will be open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to view the trees (excluding Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 1). Students in 1st-3rd grade will be visiting the Museum from Watervliet, Coloma, Covert, and Countryside to decorate gingerbread houses, learn about vinyl and record players, and vote on their three favorite trees. There will be a Student’s Choice award following their visits. The North Berrien Historical Museum and Society would like to wish the community a Happy Holidays and thank all of our sponsors for being involved in this event: Mike’s Pit Stop, Escape Salon & Day Spa, Edgewater Bank, Cutting Corners, Chemical Bank, Honor Credit Union, Watervliet District Library, Centsible Heating & Air Conditioning, Coloma Public Library, HOPE Resources, Orchard Hill Landfill, Contessa Wine Cellars, North Berrien Senior Center, Coloma/ St. Joseph KOA Holiday, Sarett Nature Center, Coloma 2nd Grade, Lakeland Health, VFW, Coloma Lioness, Moss Chiropractic, Some Things Different, Community Sailing Foundation at Paw Paw Lake, Artes & Craft, Paw Paw Area Rotary Club, GateWay Services, The Kaucher Family, Whistler Farm, Coloma United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary, The Richcreek Family, The Upbeats Band, Four Seasons Spa & Pool, Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce, Darlene Getz DDS, Tofu & Pizza Rolls,Benson’s Carpet & Floor Coverings, DiMaggio’s Pizza & Burgers, Easy Street Inn, Monte Package Company, Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Brian W. Smith, Big C Lumber, The Sidetrack Cafe II, Lane Automotive, Harding’s Markets, H&R Block, Watervliet Hardware, Hill View Auto Sales, Jollay Orchards, Bob’s Barn Farm Market & Bakery, Hutchins Funeral Home, Todd Korabik – State Farm Agent, Linear Electric, and Future Construction. North Berrien Historical Museum

MI Student Aid Team reminds students and families about online scholarship search tool Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid Team is reminding high school seniors and their families about an online scholarship search tool. MI Scholarship Search connects students with thousands of scholarships from local organizations throughout the state to help identify opportunities offered within a specific county. Students are encouraged to use this tool throughout the school year because scholarship information is updated regularly. “MI Student Aid’s MI Scholarship Search tool is an invaluable resource for Michigan students and their families,” said acting Deputy State Treasurer Anne Wohlfert, who oversees Treasury’s student finance programs. “This tool provides an efficient way to look up and organize a wide variety of local scholarships.” MI Scholarship Search is a place-based tool, meaning that one of the scholarship components is linked to a Michigan school, county, city or region. The database does not contain Michigan scholarships without a place-based component. While the MI Student Aid database provides a starting point for finding local scholarships, a successful scholarship application strategy should also include national, state, college or institutional scholarship applications. To use MI Scholarship Search, go www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid click on “Students and Families.” Students with questions can contact MI Student Aid by email at mistudentaid@michigan.gov, call 1-888-447-2687 or follow @mistudentaid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Human trafficking operation recovers victims in SW Michigan Recently law enforcement agencies across Southwest Michigan worked together to recover victims of human trafficking. This initiative was led by the MSP Fifth District Headquarters and the Kalamazoo Area Human Trafficking Task Force. Several agencies were involved in the operation including the Michigan State Police, FBI, Kalamazoo County Sherriff’s Department, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kalamazoo Township Police Department, Portage Police Department, Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, Kalamazoo Area Victims Services, YWCA, and probation/parole. During the initiative, approximately 20 subjects were targeted as possible human trafficking victims and five were identified and recovered. An ongoing investigation will be conducted to identify and recover other potential victims of human trafficking. If you suspect that any adult or child is a victim, or is at risk of becoming a victim, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733, any time day or night. If any individual is in imminent danger, immediately call 911.

Adult-use marijuana added to LARA’s renamed Bureau of Marijuana Regulation With the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (Proposal 1) becoming state law, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced that the regulation of adult-use marijuana has been added to the newly-renamed Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (BMR). Michigan is a model for citizen safety and business efficiency by having all marijuana-related regulation handled by a single government entity. BMR combines the existing oversight functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry and medical marijuana facility licensing with the newly established statutory requirements of adult-use marijuana (commonly referred to as recreational marijuana). “BMR’s organizational