Natalie Johnson received the Silver Beaver Award

Natalie Johnson no longer has children in Scouting, but she continues to volunteer because she knows that the leadership and life skills youth learn put them on the path to success. During a recognition event on Saturday at Albion College, Johnson received the highest volunteer award that can be earned in Scouting – the Silver Beaver Award. She was one of seven adults to receive the award. “I’m deeply honored and grateful for those who supported me and saw something in my resume and thought I was deserving of this recognition and honor from the Boy Scouts of America,” Johnson said. The Silver Beaver Award is the highest award the Michigan Crossroads Council and the President

Natalie Johnson, longtime scouting volunteer honored


Ford Field Service Council, Boy Scouts of America can bestow upon a volunteer Scouter in recognition of distinguished service to youth within the council’s service area. Nominees are not only judged on their outstanding volunteer service with the BSA, but also their overall service to youth within the MCC.  Johnson is a Troop Committee Chairperson with Unit 696 in the Wabano District, part of the Southern Shores Field Service Council which is under the direction of the MCC. She has been an adult volunteer since the late 1990’s. She has served as a Tiger Cub Coach; Den Leader; and Merit Badge Counselor, in addition to her current duties. “My children are 26 and 23 and I’ve been in it since the older one was a Tiger,” Johnson said. “I like the ideals and values that Scouting stands for and I want to make sure as many boys as possible can participate and learn these ideals and values.” A substitute teacher with EduStaff LLC, Johnson said Scouting stands for important values such as friendship and fellowship. She said these are universal values that Scouting instills through fun.In addition to the Silver Beaver Award, Natalie has received the District Award of Merit. “It’s just an amazing program,” she said. “It’s more important now that young people are brought up with values. It’s harder to raise children today and for parents to be parents. It helps parents stand strong if they have those values.”

Coloma extends agreement with police

By Christina Gelder

 It was approved at the Coloma City Commission meeting on Monday, June 27 to extend the City’s agreement with the Coloma Township Police Department for another 3 years. The agreement, which has been in place since 2003 will remain very much the same.  This contract includes ordinance enforcement and the school crossing guard.The City will pay $291,709.00 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year which is not an increase. There will be a 1.1% increase during the next fiscal year and 1% the following fiscal year. This is meant to keep up with inflation. The agreement takes effect July 1 after the current one expires on June 30.

Non-union employees

 As is their custom, the commission voted to award raises to their non-union employees. Union employees are set to have a 2.7% raise on July 1 and now it is approved that the non-union employees will receive raises at the same rate. Commissioner Marsha Hammond did clarify that this will not affect her as she fills in at City Hall.

City Hall closed on the 1st

 It was approved to close Coloma City Hall on July 1 ahead of the Holiday weekend. This is not a paid holiday for workers and they will need to take a vacation day if they would like it off.

Chickens approved

 Jan Rider has been attending every meeting since the beginning of May in hopes of receiving permission to keep her small flock of chickens. On Monday she was finally granted that approval. After removing her rooster, her neighbors have no complaints and it was approved to give her a permit to keep them. The one stipulation, however, is that if there are complaints in the future the issue will be readdressed. In other news Coloma will begin using their new well on Thursday. Yard waste is being picked up by the Department of Public Works on Mondays throughout the summer. Approval was given for the new All State Insurance office to hang signs at their new location on Paw Paw Street with the stipulation that should they vacate that building the signage will be removed within 30 days.

Legacy Bricks will  be sold by The Watervliet District Library Board

 The work on the New Watervliet District Library Park stage one will begin on July 5. The park project will take some time to complete.  In conjunction with the work on the park the Library Board members will be holding a Legacy Brick sale to persons interested in supporting the new Library Park. The Legacy Bricks will cost $75.00. There will be three lines available for memorials to be written on the red brick. This will forever be a memorial to you and any member of your family that you would like.  The Watervliet Downtown Development Authority was the first to make a kick-off donation to the Park project of $10,000. Their support and interest came at the same time it was being discussed by the Library board.  With the sale of these legacy Bricks the board can raise funds to off-set the amount to be spent at the new park.  The board would also like to take a minute to thank the designer of the new park area. Ardis Long has been working long and hard to try and make many areas of the Library outside look so much better. We are so proud and pleased to have her interest and help.  We want to also say that she has donated all of her time and work to the library and the community.  The Landscape and Design Company that Ardis has contacted will begin work on the Park July 5. The company is called Arcadia Garden, Inc.  In order to acquire your Legacy Brick you have to stop in the Watervliet Library and purchase a red Brick. Your memorial will be there a lifetime.

Senior Services Hartford Senior Activity

Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford.

On Friday, July 1, please join us for coffee hour at 10:30 a.m., lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., cards & euchre at 1 p.m., knitting, crocheting and needlework at 1:30 p.m. On Monday, July 4, INDEPENDENTS DAY! “CLOSED” On Tuesday, July 5, lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., computers, crocheting and knitting at 1:30 p.m. On Friday, July 8, lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., euchre, cards, hand and foot at 1 p.m., knitting and crocheting at 1:30 p.m.  All seniors, age 60 and older, residing in Van Buren County are eligible to participate in these programs and activities.  Rides are available through Van Buren Public Transit with no less than 24-hour advance notice at 269-427-7921.

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