Executive Editor Alek Haak-Frost writes, “Neighborhood skateparks, basketball courts, and open grass with no entry fees are paramount for low-income residents, and with Tuesday’s decision to approve the allocation of $17,000 to extend the Memory Isle basketball court from a half court to a full court, as well as the installation of a second hoop, the city commission chose to invest in an incredibly important and underserved demographic within our community.”

The Three Rivers City Commission Tuesday held the first of two scheduled public hearings to discuss proposed amendments to the city code that would allow marijuana facilities within city limits as special exception uses, and get further public input on the matter. Following a lengthy discussion and public comments from a handful of citizens, a thin majority of commissioners expressed support for the proposed changes.

Three Rivers City Commissioners Clayton Lyczynski and Alison Haigh questioned whether Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Chair Andrew George should be reappointed during Tuesday’s commission meeting. Lyczynski cited George’s involvement in a suit filed against the city concerning a petition to place a marijuana ordinance on last November’s ballot, questioning George’s “integrity” and “desire to do what’s best for the city.”

Christmas Around Town, the annual holiday celebration in downtown Three Rivers, took place this past Friday and Saturday with a lighter schedule than normal. Pandemic restrictions issued earlier this month meant curtailing a variety of things, and organizers further trimmed back an already curtailed event. However, there were still activities, and perhaps 200 people came out on Friday evening and Saturday to partake in them.

During the City of Three Rivers’ annual Organizational Meeting Monday evening, City Commissioners approved a measure to sell the former Carnegie Library building to the Carnegie Center for the Arts (CCA) and to excuse the Three Rivers Woman’s Club (TRWC) from any remaining obligations regarding its current lease of the building. Mayor Tom Lowry cast a “no” vote for the sale.

The Three Rivers City Commission passed a resolution Tuesday supporting the sale of the historic former Carnegie Library building at 109 N. Main St. to the Carnegie Center for the Arts (CCA). The resolution is corrected over previously filed versions with an updated legal property description. CCA occupies the building, which adjoins a historic former bank and a newer building that it already owns.

The St. Joseph County Democratic Party (SJCDP) held a candidates’ meet-and-greet event Saturday morning at its headquarters on Portage Street in Three Rivers. Called “Donuts with Dems,” the event featured socially distanced coffee, donuts, and a chance for citizens to meet and speak with local candidates for office. Watershed Voice spoke to some of the event’s organizers and attendees, as well as the three candidates who were present.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Three Rivers City Commission passed a resolution in favor of outdoor, café-style sidewalk seating for the Riviera Theatre Bar. The resolution will help the bar obtain a permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which oversees and regulates street and sidewalk obstructions on North Main Street. Outdoor seating will allow the bar to reopen after pandemic restrictions forced it to shut down last week.