Hartford Board of Education discusses county-wide plan for Balanced Calendar; Curious tale of The To

Halloween Events —Trick or Treat hours and events for the Tri-City Area

By Angie Stair

Due to this year’s October 31 Halloween day falling on a Monday, there are differing times in the Tri-City communities for local Trick or Treating.  Please carefully check your community listed below to note dates and times for Trick or Treat hours or events.

Bainbridge Township

Trick or Treating will be held on Monday, October 31, but the Township does not set hours for the event.

Coloma Charter Township

Trick or Treat hours in the Township are set for Saturday, October 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Coloma City

Trick or Treat hours will be held in the City from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.  Halloween in the Park will also be held on Saturday, October 29, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. …

Bowling benefit for

Timmy Dibble family

 On Sunday, November 13 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., a benefit is being held at Coloma Lanes, 6025 Mountain Rd., to help this sweet little boy and his family. Timmy was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and is undergoing treatment. In addition to bowling two games and shoe rental for $10 there will also be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and bake sale. Come hungry because a $5 Sloppy Joe meal deal is part of this benefit event. For more information join the Facebook page “Bowling to Stay Strong for Timmy” or call 269-207-8501.

Hartford Board of Education discusses

county-wide plan for Balanced Calendar

By Nancy Albright

At the October 20 Board of Education meeting, Hartford School Superintendent Andy Hubbard stated that the Van Buren County School District is in discussions regarding the implementation of a Balanced Calendar for all county schools over the next three years.  Districts feel that a 12 week summer is too long, and the ultimate goal of the calendar is a six week summer break. Teachers spend the first few weeks of each new school year reviewing work completed at the end of the previous school year, and long sessions between the holiday, spring and summer breaks tend to increase the rate of disciplinary issues and boredom.  The proposal to the union, which has been approved by a high majority of the 11 Van Buren County school districts, outlines shifting school start and end dates so all schools are on the same annual schedule; nine week sessions with a break in between each term; a two week spring break; and a six week summer. …

Curious tale of The Township Traveler

CURIOUS TALE OF THE TOWNSHIP TRAVELER… tells of a shoebox full of untraceable letters and a bundle of cash which leaves Doug and Karen Williams in a quandary as they bid farewell to their benefactor who remains a complete mystery to the Keeler Township couple. (TCR Photo by Jon Bisnett)


By Jon Bisnett

Just in time for Halloween comes a real-life local mystery worthy of the gang from Scooby Do that has left one Keeler Township couple with more questions than answers as to the nature of their secret benefactor. A shoebox full of untraceable letters and small fortune of totally unexpected cash adds to the series of unexplained events.  But there is no need to fear in this case. There are no scary clowns involved, nor headless horseman. Quite frankly the mystery is more akin to an adult version of the Tooth Fairy well-known for placing those quarters under the pillow.  It all began with a single letter delivered via U.S. Mail back in June of 2011. Little did Karen and Doug Williams have any idea that this was the beginning of a mystery that would span the next five years?  The single page letter came in a plain envelope with no return address. Both letter and envelope had been produced on an inkjet printer and typed in ALL CAPS. The unknown addresses Doug & Karen by name as he goes on to explain that their well-kept “Estate” brings him “joy” on his daily drive down CR 687. The writer goes on to describe their modest home as “The perfect example of what a Township residence should be, calling it the showplace of CR 687.” The envelope also contained $20 in cash with instructions to “Keep up the good work and use the enclosed money to treat you to dinner somewhere.” The message concluded “The Township Traveler.” …

Watervliet City Commission takes action for employee recognition holiday event; newly appointed city Treasurer resigns

By Annette Christie

The Watervliet City Commission took steps for their employees at their Tuesday, October 25 meeting.  Commissioner Deah Muth had employee recognition placed on the agenda for discussion at the meeting.  Muth recommended that the City Commission host an employee recognition event near the holiday season.  To keep from spending taxpayer money on the event, Commissioners will pay for their own meals and donate a couple meeting stipends to pay for the event.  The event is scheduled for December 3 at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Board of Trade.   Commissioners also approved the hiring of a full time employee in the Public Works Department.  The Personnel Committee made the recommendation to hire Jeffrey T. Allen as a regular full time employee.  Allen has worked for three summers previously and is currently a part time employee.  A brief discussion was held about nepotism as Allen’s father also works in Public Works.  City Manager Bill Hodge said that the Public Works Superintendent Mark Bolin recommended it and he concurred.  Commissioner Melanie Marvin commented that she is familiar with the younger Allen’s work ethic and described him as a model employee.  The vote to hire Allen was unanimous.   While the Personnel Committee is working with Police Chief Tim Sutherland on his contract, the City Commission voted to extend it until at least the next meeting where it could possibly be voted on.  The next regular City Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 15 due to the upcoming general election. …

Lakeland Health breaks ground on $160 million medical pavilion expansion

 A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday, October 19 for the $160 million medical facility expansion at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, located at 1234 Napier Avenue. A total of 260,000 square feet will be added to the hospital with an additional 70,000 square feet of renovation. Construction on the project will begin in March of 2017 with scheduled completion of the new pavilion in 2019 and completion of the renovations in 2020.  “This project is the culmination of our plan to expand our flagship facility, which has included the new bed tower, refurbishing many areas of the hospital, the parking garage, and now this medical and surgical addition,” said Dan Hopp, Chair, Lakeland Health Board of Directors. “I’d like to acknowledge and thank the many hospital and community leaders who have served Lakeland throughout the past generations.  Their wise decisions and stewardship have ensured the launch of such an ambitious project.”  …

Hartford City Council agrees on next steps to fix wastewater treatment plant

TODD S. KORABIK STATE FARM INSURANCE AGENCY… held an official grand opening and ribbon cut-ting on October 19, 2016. Todd opened his doors on July 1 and has been busy meeting with clients, doing business and getting involved in the Coloma/Watervliet area. Stop in to check out this new business at 6560 Red Arrow Hwy in Coloma. This former chiropractic office has seen a complete updating of the inte-rior with fresh paint new carpet and a very nice facelift on the outside. Pictured in the photo are (from the left) Kelly Korabik, Todd Korabik, Coloma Township Supervisor Ken  Parrigin, Coloma City Mayor Jim Polashak, Todd’s staff Erica and Bobbie Jo, Chamber President Karla Smothers and Chamber Ambassador Stacey Davis. The little ribbon holders are Todd and Kelly’s twins, Isaiah and Isabella, and niece, Presley. Todd can be reached at the office at (269) 202-7159. We wish Todd and the gang much success!


By Nancy Albright

At the regular meeting of the Hartford City Council on October 25, Wightman & Associates consultant Tom Deneau and Project Engineer Mary Nykamp were joined by Hartford Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Operator Tom Strand to help city council members understand precisely what needs to be done to fix issues with the WWTP prior to expiration of the equipment warranty in December.    The group explained that iron in the water is interfering with an ultraviolet lighting system that disinfects water before it leaves the WWTP. City Manager Yemi Akinwale requested a baseline of current iron levels prior to moving forward with mitigating this problem. …

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