A longtime Three Rivers city employee and community icon has passed away.
Ken Baker, who served in a variety of roles for the municipality, died Tuesday evening following a long battle with kidney cancer. He was 71.
Baker started his career with the city as a patrol officer for the Three Rivers Police Department. He was later promoted to sergeant and spent the last three years of his 24-year law-enforcement career as chief.
He would then serve as acting city manager before his peer from the police department, Joe Bippus, took over the post full-time.
Baker subsequently spent six years as a city commissioner and in 2011, was appointed mayor for the year after Allen Balog left to serve as a county commissioner.
Funeral arrangements for Baker, who was the grand marshal of the 2013 Three Rivers Water Festival parade, are pending.
Weather played a critical role in Saturday’s closing day of the 57th Three Rivers Water Festival.
Intermittent rain showers Saturday forced Water Festival organizers to call off the event-ending entertainment and fireworks programs.
Deb Herring, head of the Water Festival Planning Committee, said the fireworks show needed a period of time Saturday to plan and coordinate its display, and the decision to call it off was made out of concern that window of time would not be available.
Herring said a forecast of rain and high winds Sunday ruled out the decision to stage the show a night later. She said the fireworks program will be rescheduled and planned for a date to be announced later this summer.
St. Joseph County’s next community festival kicks off Friday with the two-day Centreville Covered Bridge Days.
Schmidt’s Family Amusements is back in town with many fun rides and games for the young and daring during this year’s Three Rivers Water Festival!
The midway will open at 4 p.m. on Thursday (June 13) and will remain open until 10 p.m.; Friday’s hours are from noon until 11 p.m., and Saturday’s hours are from 11 a.m. until midnight.
Rides and games require tickets purchased at the midway site in the West City Parking Lot at a cost of $16 per person. For those wishing to save some money, advanced purchase “armband” tickets are now available for $13 until noon on Thursday, June 16. The armbands, good for unlimited RIDES on any ONE day of the festival, can be purchased on a cash-only basis at the Chamber of Commerce office and Harding’s Market.
Former Three Rivers Mayor Ken Baker has been named the grand marshal of the 2013 Three Rivers Water Festival parade.
Baker was chosen by virtue of his many years of service to the city, including his time as chief of police and later as mayor. Baker also is lauded for founding the Friends of Riverside Cemetery organization as well as the Community Development group.
Baker and his wife, Charlotte, will be in a float provided by Southern Michigan Bank and Trust.
The parade is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Organizers of the 2013 Three Rivers Water Festival are promoting a new addition to the annual event.
A backyard barbecue competition, sponsored by Kackies Que and Century Bank and Trust, will take place 2 to 9 p.m. June 14 in the Community Tent area at the back of Scidmore Park.
An entry fee of $55 will include fees, awards, prize money and three racks of ribs to be used for the competition. Participants must attend a meeting with the Health Department prior to the day of the competition; they will review rules and regulations for the event. The entry fee is due by 5 p.m. June 1.
Interested potential participants may call 615-7781. The event is limited to 20 participants.
A 96-year-old woman, who has played a key role in two longstanding local traditions, has been selected as Three Rivers Citizen of the Year for 2013.
Carol Boulette was named the recipient, bestowed annually since 1965 by members of the Three Rivers Lions Club.
Boulette played a hand in the formation of the Three Rivers Water Festival as well as the Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour. She also is known for her 30-year career with the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, the balance of which she was director.
In addition, she has a long history of involvement with the American Red Cross and the Three Rivers Emergency Care Network Food Bank.
A public ceremony to honor Boulette will take place at 6 p.m. May 14 at Belle Époque. Tickets are $20 each and will go on sale in a few weeks at Southern Michigan Bank and Trust.
Tickets will not be available at the door the day of the gathering.