House approves bipartisan Good Samaritan expansion; Reps. Pscholka, Singh hope for quick senate con

EXPANSION OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS… State Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, addresses the House today in support of his legislation to expand the Good Samaritan laws enacted last year. The legislation extends limited exemptions from prosecution to people of all ages for reporting overdoses involving all controlled substances. The House approved the bills.

EXPANSION OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS… State Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, addresses the House today in support of his legislation to expand the Good Samaritan laws enacted last year. The legislation extends limited exemptions from prosecution to people of all ages for reporting overdoses involving all controlled substances. The House approved the bills.


House approves bipartisan Good Samaritan expansion; Reps. Pscholka, Singh hope for quick senate consideration

The Michigan House today approved bipartisan legislation introduced by state Reps. Al Pscholka and Sam Singh to expand the current Good Samaritan law, extending limited exemptions from prosecution to people of all ages for reporting overdoses involving all controlled substances.

The House approved House Bill 5649, introduced by Rep. Pscholka, R-Stevensville, and HB 5650, sponsored by Rep. Singh, D-East Lansing, on a strong bipartisan vote.

The bills expand Rep. Pscholka’s Public Act 220 of 2015, which exempts people under age 21 from certain prescription drug-related criminal charges in the event they are reporting life-threatening overdoses.

An earlier bill introduced by Rep. Pscholka, now Public Act 220 of 2015, was motivated by the death of Mason Mizwicki, a Watervliet teen who passed away during a New Year’s Eve party because of a prescription drug overdose. While he was surrounded by friends, nobody called for help out of fear of prosecution or police action.

“The legacy of Mason is not his death, but the lives that are being saved,” Rep. Pscholka said. “We take hundreds of votes a year in the Legislature, but today we voted to literally save lives, that don’t happen often.  Today we take a preemptive strike against opioid overdose.”

Rep. Singh said while the bills extend the limited protections to people of any age reporting overdoses of any controlled substance, the same precautions contained in PA 220 remain in the expansion.

“Research shows that the most common reason for not seeking medical attention for a drug overdose is fear of police involvement or arrest. The current law has been effective and appreciated by law enforcement, the courts and certainly by individuals struggling with addiction,” Rep. Singh said. “We now have the opportunity to expand the law to help save someone’s life regardless of age or substance. I am pleased that the bills passed today and look forward to working with the Senate to do the same.”

Mason Mizwicki’s mother Lori Mizwicki, and his aunt, Brandi Huyser, testified in committee earlier this month urging expansion of the original bill.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

Spaghetti dinner to benefit Hartford  accident victim

Tabitha Wells June 6

A spaghetti dinner benefit for Tabitha Wells of Hartford Township and her family will be held on June 6 from 5-7 p.m., at Hartford United Methodist Church.

Tabitha sustained severe head trauma and other injuries during an auto accident in early May.

Dinner includes salad, spaghetti, beverages and dessert. Cost is by donation. All proceeds will be used to assist the family during her ongoing recovery.

Hartford Unite Methodist Church is located at 425 E. Main St. in Hartford, Mi.

Congratulations are in order for Hartford High School Graduating Seniors

By Nancy Albright

Hartford High School seniors prepare for graduation on Friday, June 3.

Exams are over and diplomas signed and ready for presentation to graduating high school seniors who have worked for 12 long years to experience the thrill of graduation and moving on to whatever the next chapter of their lives may hold.

The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 3 in the high school gymnasium. A senor slide show is planned, and scholarships will be presented to deserving students during the Senior Academic Awards ceremony. Also, a number of Hartford High School alumni from the Class of 1966 will be in attendance and will receive honorary diplomas.

Students will participate in a graduation dress rehearsal at 10:00 a.m. on the morning of June 2, followed by a special senior lunch. Graduates will then travel to Woodside and Red Arrow elementary schools to walk through the buildings in their caps and gowns with the message that “this will be you some day.”

Congratulations to the Hartford High School Class of 2016!

Third grade teacher presented  with Golden Keyboard Award

At the May 19 Hartford Board of Education meeting, Kim DeBoom, Student Information Coordinator at Hartford schools, presented third grade teacher Katrina Newman with the Golden Keyboard Award, which is awarded to a staff member who teaches students how to use technology to further their education.

Ms. Newman taught 24 third graders how to use iPads to receive their homework via email, store it in Google Drive, and send it back for grading and feedback.

Ms. Newman used the Google Classroom tool in Google Apps for Education, which is a suite of free productivity tools for the classroom that helps teachers easily communicate with their classes by creating assignments, sending and receiving documents, and providing feedback to each student.

Each student has their own iPad and the school was able to purchase one Apple TV for use each in each third grade classroom, making it easier to illustrate to the whole class how to use the online applications.

Ms. DeBoom said that Ms. Newman “went above and beyond” and Instructional Technologist Mr. Rob Sheffey said that she “has the patience of a saint.”

Hartford High School to offer  Potawatomi language class

An instructor from the Pokagon Band of Patawatomi Department of Language & Culture will teach a Basics of Patawatomi Language class during the 2016–2017 school year.

The Administration is still working out the details, but plans are for the class to meet Monday through Friday for the entire year during fourth period, and credits will count toward foreign language curriculum requirements.

Students will learn fundamental language skills, such as vowel pronunciation, tense markers, personal prefixes, and simple sentence structure.

A number of Hartford students have already signed up for the class and flyers have been distributed to neighboring schools inviting them to participate. Superintendent Hubbard stated that the board plans to look into the possibly of hosting a virtual classroom that will allow more students to take the class.

Board receives revised plan for allocation of funds from the Capital Outlay Program

The board received the revised plan to allocate capital outlay funds from the Casino revenue-sharing program in the amount of approximately $275,000, to be used for campus improvements.

Superintendent Hubbard stated that the school wants the funds to go “directly back the kids”. $60,000 to $80,000 will be used to make small repairs and purchases throughout the district, and the remainder will be used to make the first payment on the track and bleacher project, and one new school bus.

Community Hymn Sing

The next Community Hymn Sing will be celebrated at Plymouth Congregational Church on Saturday evening June 4 at 6 p.m. The brick church is located on Red Arrow Highway across the street from the Laundromat in Watervliet.

We will welcome Grace Christian School Senior, Francine Barchett, who will be playing her accordion that evening as well.

Come and enjoy singing together, the fellowship, and the ice cream and cookies afterward. All are welcome.