Mayor of Coloma appointed to the fire board

By Christina Gelder

 Coloma’s mayor, Jim Polashak has agreed to serve on the North Berrien Fire Rescue Board for a short time and that was approved at the Monday, July 25 meeting of the Coloma City Commission. At their last meeting it had been announced that the city was looking for another fire board representative. That was prompted because former board member Rory Bell had moved out of city limits and is no longer eligible to serve the city.  Typically, it is considered a conflict of interest for both representatives to be elected officials and the other City member is Commissioner Linda Freitag. In this case, however, they are acting on the recommendation of the consultants that were hired earlier this year. Mayor Polashak said that all parties involved were in agreement and the motion was made with the stipulation that he would be on the board for “not more than one year”. According to the Mayor, the Supervisors of both Coloma and Hagar Townships will also be sitting on the board for a short time. The motion was approved and the appointment takes effect immediately.  Also approved was to begin searching, once again, for a full-time fire chief. This was another recommendation made by the consultants.

Commissioners go into closed session

 Shortly after the meeting started the commissioners voted to go into a closed session with their lawyer. Commissioner Marsha Hammond made the following motion. “I move to go into closed session to consult with the City’s attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation because an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the litigating or settlement position of the City”. The commissioners, Mayor, clerk and Public Works Supervisor Rod Burkholder were in session for about 20 minutes with attorney Thomas  eagner, who was appointed to them through their insurance company. When they returned to open session Commissioner Hammond made a motion to have the lawyer proceed as was discussed in the closed session.  Following the meeting Meagner confirmed that the City is being sued over damages caused by a backed up sewer and that the case is in Berrien County Circuit Court.

Big Al’s to invite vendors on the weekend

 Always looking to expand his business on Center Street, Al Storino came to the City for permission to utilize his parking lot better. He recently graded the lot at Big Al’s Chicago Hot Dogs and he would like to rent spaces to vendors on the weekends. Only on Saturday and Sunday, Storino will portion off 12×12 spots and invite people to come sell things.  A motion was made and approved to let him do this and try it out for the rest of the summer.

NEWLY WEDS…Ted Eisbren-ner and Chelsey Johnson were married on June 25, 2016 at Funks Grove, Chapel In The Trees in McLean, IL. The wedding reception was held at Bloomington Center for the Per-forming Arts in Bloomington, IL. Ted’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Jim Eisbrenner of Watervliet, MI. Chelsey’s parents are Debbie Johnson of LeRoy, IL and Steve Johnson of Minier, IL.


North Berrien Historical Society invites public to celebrate 50th anniversary with Time Capsule ceremony

 Join us at the North Berrien Historical Museum as we celebrate 50 years of making history on Saturday, July 30 from 10 a.m. to noon. On July 29, 1966, a group of like-minded citizens held the very first meeting of the North Berrien Historical Society. They shared stories, photographs and artifacts in a mission to preserve their local heritage and history.  Over the years, their dedication and collaboration has successfully evolved the society. From the construction of a museum, to the successful passage of funding allowing for growth, and from countless volunteer hours to the hiring of paid professional staff, the society and its mission have grown extensively in 50 years.  Celebrate with us and be a part of the history! Join us for a Time Capsule Dedication Ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historical society. Alex Gates, first North Berrien Historical Museum Executive Director, will be the special guest speaker for this exciting event! This program is free, and refreshments will be served following the ceremony.  No RSVP required. For questions, contact the museum at 269-468-3330 or by emailing chelsea@northberrienhistory.org.

Glad Peach parking feeds kids

 Again this year, Coloma United Methodist Church is offering prime festival parking for $5 (with a weekend pass for $10) to raise funds for feeding kids.  This past school year, the church was able to send a bag full of food home every weekend with over 20 children in the Watervliet and Countryside Elementary schools. The $3,500 needed for the effort was mostly raised with Glad Peach parking funds last August. Volunteers at the church purchase the food and pack and deliver the bags to the schools every week.  They are distributed by the school staff.  “We don’t know specifically who the recipients are,” says Pam Walker, Backpack Ministry Coordinator for the church, “we just know that they are kids who need help, and we’re blessed to provide what we can. Every dollar we raise goes to buy the food.  This is a community effort and we invite the community to support it by parking here during the festival.”  Coloma United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Coloma Rd. and Paw Paw/Church St. across from Baker Park.

Senior Services

Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford  On Monday, August 1, lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., bingo at 1 p.m. and euchre/cards at 1:30 p.m.  On Tuesday, August 2, lunch will be at 12:30 and then computers, knitting/crocheting, and senior exercise will be at 1:30 p.m.  On Friday, August 5, lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. are euchre and hand/foot then knitting, crocheting and needlework at 1:30 p.m.

Free pre-diabetes class in Watervliet

 Lakeland Health is offering a free program designed to help anyone with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels learn about lifestyle changes which may help them avoid or delays the onset of diabetes. The class will take place on Thursday, August 4, from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Classroom B at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet, located at 400 Medical Park Drive.  During the first hour of the program, a registered nurse will guide attendees through the disease process of diabetes and introduce healthy lifestyle changes. The final hour will be spent with a registered dietitian who will suggest meal selections that can help you maintain health and manage weight.  This program does not require a physician referral. Pre-registration for this free class is required, and class size is limited.  For more information or to register, call (269) 556-2868. Visit www.lakelandhealth.org or find Lakeland Health on Facebook or Twitter for more classes and events.

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