At least 19 wolves have been killed during Michigan’s wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula. The state Department of Natural Resources updated the results Wednesday morning. It says five wolves were killed in the far western U.P., 11 in central counties and three in the eastern U.P. The wolf season started on November 15th and runs through December, unless 43 are killed before the end of the year. It’s the first hunt in Michigan since the wolf was placed on the endangered species list nearly 40 years ago. A total of 1,200 people are licensed to participate with firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow. Before the hunt, the DNR estimated the state’s wolf population at 658. (AP)
St. Joseph County’s 2014 fiscal-year budget was approved by the five-member St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
More than $16.7 million was set aside for county operations in 2014, an increase of more than $1.6 million from the amended 2013 fiscal year budget of $15.1 million.
Joni Smith, St. Joseph County’s director of finance, said in addition, the county has budgeted a transfer from the general-fund fund balance of $2 million to the county’s Building Improvement and Replacement fund.
The transfer, she said, is to set up a reserve to address the future facility needs in the county.
A review of the 2014 financial allocations show almost $2.3 million to the sheriff’s department, $2.2 million to the jail and turnkey, and $1 million to District Court. The allocations are increases from 2013 in all three cases.
The County’s appropriation to the road commission has increased from $70,000 to $191,000 for 2014. Smith said that is the only significant change in appropriations to outside agencies or organizations.
A variety of Christmas-related celebrations are taking place over the next three days throughout St. Joseph County.
In Constantine, the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony takes place at 6 o’clock tonight.
The village is also staging its Fourth of July fireworks fundraiser dinner tonight at Meeks Mill. Dinner settings are at 5 o’clock, 6:30 and 7:30.
Also in Constantine Saturday, downtown stores will feature a Christmas scavenger hunt 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Santa and reindeer will be at Shelby Park from 11 a.m. until 2. Prospective participants are advised to bring their own cameras.
Christmas in Colon takes place Friday, when a downtown parade starts at 6 p.m. Santa and carolers will be at the Colon Community Park at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Centreville Downtown Development Authority has announced Santa will be coming to Centreville at 7 p.m. Saturday. The village’s Christmas tree lighting will occur at the same time in the courtyard gazebo.
A riding lawnmower and several other items were reported stolen Tuesday from a container storage in Sturgis Township.
State police said the lock on a container located in the 68000 block of White School Road was cut sometime between Oct. 28 and Nov. 29. In addition to the XMARK brand mower, four tires and a vehicle engine were stolen from the site.
Larry Jay Hartzell, 68, of Three Rivers, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. He was born in Three Rivers on June 18, 1945 to Calvin and Dorothy (Ransbottom) Hartzell. He attended Three Rivers High School. In his earlier years Larry’s favorite pastimes were playing guitar, woodworking and travel. Especially spending time in Florida with his stepfather, Max Moorlag.
Before his early retirement Larry worked as a carpenter, in farming and as an over the road truck driver. More recently he became a Syfi and TV movie fanatic.
Larry is survived by his wife, Karen; daughter Tammy Green; sons David (Sue) Hartzell, Calvin Hartzell; stepdaughter Angela (Harold) Leiby; stepsons Christopher Barrone, Mike (Jackie) Salmen, Mark Salmen, Chip Johnson, Dallas (Malisa) Johnson, Travis (Brandy) Johnson; brother William (Judy) Hartzell; sisters twin Sandra Shalz and Linda (Tom DelVecchio) Towles. Also left to cherish his memory are many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.
Family and friends will be received Sunday, Dec. 15 from 12:30-3 p.m. with a celebration of life service to immediately follow visitation at the First Church of God, 17398 M-86, Three Rivers. Cremation has taken place. Elkhart Cremation Services is entrusted with arrangements.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Three Rivers Hospice for their loving care.
Ah, the holiday shopping season is now in full forward motion. With “Black Friday” behind us, we can now venture into the stores without fear of being trampled, stomped on, or being severely scratched. I’d like to give the ladies a few suggestions, so that when they shop for that man in their life, they might have an idea what a real man must have in order to be considered a real man. The list would include a role of duct tape, at least one can of WD-40, power washer, cargo trailer, chain saw, snow blower (a snow plow would be better), tool belt, used pickup truck, and, of course, a reliable hunting dog. Believe it or not, this list came from a lady named Maria. Bless her heart.
Because we are now officially into the holiday shopping season, I’d like to announce the birth of a new tradition. It upsets me a bit that it has become more difficult lately to find merchandise that has been made in America. Why do we need to give gifts with a “Made in China” label on them? Why not give a gift of service? Gift certificates for a car wash, car detailing, hair styling, and dining out are plentiful, and you can pretty much pay what you want for these thoughtful gifts. If you know someone who’s into staying healthy, a year’s membership with a local gym might be just the gift you’re looking for. We should all try to do our shopping locally, if possible. Our hometown merchants need our support. Their financial lives are on the line to keep their doors open. I’ll mention more ideas over the next couple of weeks.
Everyone loves pictures, and a lot of us have pets that are truly members of our family. We have a cat that is spoiled almost as much as I am. She wants for nothing.We have pictures of her, and we are always willing to share them with other animal lovers. The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) will hold their annual “Pet Pictures With Santa” next Sunday, December 8, at the TSC store just north of the intersection of US-131 and West Michigan Avenue in Three Rivers. Pet pictures will be taken in the afternoon between the hours of 1 and 4 PM. The cost is $10 per picture, per pet, and you may have an additional pet in the picture for $2 per pet. Humans can be in the pet picture at no additional charge.
In case you haven’t noticed, the outside temperatures have dropped considerably since two months ago. The shorts and flip-flops have been put away for the season, and iced tea isn’t at the top of your list of desired beverages. A grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup sound pretty comforting right now. When I think of soup, the Soup Pot at Trinity Episcopal Church comes to mind. On these cold, almost-winter, evenings, it might be a great idea to visit the Soup Pot at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 321 North Main Street, in Three Rivers. The Soup Pot is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 until 5 PM. The soup is FREE; however, donations are always graciously accepted. Why not make this a weekly gathering with your friends?
Here’s a reminder to everyone that the Three Rivers Emergency Food Site, located behind Lowry’s Books, at 18 Railroad Drive, in Three Rivers is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM until noon. This site is available to individuals with a Three Rivers address.
I really enjoy getting Out and About. That’s one of the reasons I do this column every week. I depend on my car to be there when I need it. I try my best to give it the best care I can. Regular oil changes are a must and, when I have time, I take it to the car wash. I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t had to have any major work done on the car, but I’ve heard that there are some auto repair shops will install parts brought in by their customers. You might want to check with your mechanic, because this could save you some money, and we all enjoy doing that.
I sometimes long for the days before credit cards. My parents had, I think, only one, and that was for gasoline. For everything else, they paid cash. They made have had a credit account somewhere, but I don’t think so. Anyway, I’ll close this week’s tidbit of information with a quote from some unknown individual: “Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman