The Chiefs mascot in White Pigeon appears to be safe following a federal decision to dismiss a case in which the use of Native American names and images would be banned in 35 Michigan school districts.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights had sought the ban, which would have included White Pigeon’s use of Chiefs as the school mascot.
The federal order to drop the case was made based on the opinion that the use of Native American names and images do not cause harm to students in the districts where they are used.
White Pigeon school officials said they were aware of the February complaint. They said the Chiefs mascot is used as a tribute to Chief Wahbememe, and is embraced and respected in a positive manner.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is recognizing Sturgis-based Girton Farm as a verified farm in the Cropping System for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices.
The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right-to-Farm practices. Technical assistance was provided by the Branch Conservation District.
MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies. More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process toward verification.
To become MAEAP verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting a thorough on-farm risk assessment, and developing and implementing an action plan addressing potential environmental risks.
A guided tour of the City of Three Rivers Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) early Tuesday evening (June 11) provided an opportunity to view the current operation of the facility and learn about the items completed during a $4.1 million plant improvement project.
Elected officials, community members, and local industrial customers were invited to attend the ‘project completion presentation and guided plant tour’ at the facility on Wolf Road at the south edge of the city.
In welcoming approximately 25 people who gathered for the event, WWTP Superintendent James Baker said, “My main goal tonight is to let everybody see the plant, see the progress that we’ve made with the construction project.” He said the project was bid out in June of 2011 and completed in March of this year – ahead of the July 2013 deadline required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Visitors had an opportunity to view a display showing project highlights, review a binder of photos from the project, look over plans for the work, and pick up literature provided by L.D. Dosca Associates, Inc. of Kalamazoo, the general contractor. Baker then led the tour that provided attendees to see and hear about various aspects of the facility and the improvements that were put in place through the project.
Baker indicated the project included odor control components and said, “For the most part, we doubled our odor control capacity.” And he said, “We’re pretty confident that most of the odors – if not all of the odors – have been resolved.”
Baker described the improvements as “a great project,” noted that – in addition to being completed ahead of schedule – it came in under budget, and indicated the project went smoothly.
The plant improvements were designed by Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd.
The WWTP has a capacity of 5 million gallons per day and operates at around 1.6 million gallons per day.
The Park Township Board has approved an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate sought by American Metal Fab for personal property in the amount of $768,175. The 12-year tax abatement for replacement equipment and new equipment will enable the company to retain its 58 employees and, hopefully, add to its workforce in the future. Action on the matter came during the board’s June meeting Wednesday evening (June 11).
The board also approved the township’s proposed budget for 2013-2014, a spending plan that projects total revenues for the year of $415,000. Anticipated expenses are just under $403,000.
The budget includes a $50,000 payment to Lockport Township in August as the final installment of Park Township’s share in the buyout of Lockport’s ownership in the former Lockport-Fabius-Park (LFP) Fire Department.
Acting on the recommendation of the township’s Road Committee, the Fabius Township Board has approved improvements on four roads in the Latvian Subdivision off Day Road at an estimated cost of $33,488.36.
Authorization to move forward with the road work came during the board’s June meeting Wednesday evening (June 12).
The project will involve hand patching with hot mix asphalt (HMA) and application of a double chip seal on all sections of these roads: Latgale, Zemgale, Sigulda and Vidzeme.
The St. Joseph County Road Commission will make the repairs.
The board also appointed former Trustee Jim O’Neill to a Fabius Township position on the River Country Recreational Authority (RCRA) Board. The seat was held previously by former Township Clerk Annette Ashby who recently resigned from the RCRA position.
The non-profit, Three Rivers-based organization *culture is not optional (*cino) has completed its purchase of the former Huss Elementary School in Three Rivers.
As noted in a Tuesday (June 11) post on The Huss Project website, “As of today at 3:15 p.m., we signed the final papers and received the deed to the historic Huss School building in Three Rivers, Michigan. Wow!”
The post reports the progress made since the land contract purchase of the property in June of 2009 and the success of “a Brick Campaign to raise $100,000: $50,000 to pay the balloon payment and another $50,000 to renovate a functional room in the building.” It also notes “the incredible support of wonderful people near and far” in helping to meet the first goal of the Brick Campaign.
The Huss Project website says that, “In collaboration with a variety of partners, *cino is working to turn this obsolete property into residential space and a community center emphasizing food, play and the arts.”