In March 2020, the pandemic hit Michigan, bringing upheaval to schools. When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed schools buildings that month due to the climbing number of COVID-19 cases, districts across the state scrambled to craft a plan to meet students’ needs virtually. Over the last year, the pandemic has highlighted the inequities the struggling, underfunded Partnership schools face while they work to make ends meet during this current school year.
A proposed wastewater treatment plant under consideration by the Village of Mattawan is under fire from a range of critics. Recent village meetings have seen lengthy public comment periods, during which village residents and residents of nearby areas have largely voiced opposition to the plant. Currently, the Village pumps its wastewater to the Kalamazoo treatment system. However, village officials say a six-mile portion of the “forcemain” which connects the two systems requires considerable work to remain in operation.
President Joe Biden and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Friday afternoon for a tour of the pharmaceutical company’s Portage facility — home to the first COVID-19 vaccine doses that were shipped in December.
Late Wednesday evening a Kalamazoo woman named Megan Martin, who is a Three Rivers native, alleged Andrew George, the chair of the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Board and a former candidate for St. Joseph County County Commission, raped Martin some time in the late 2000s. George “outright and wholly” denies allegations.
The U.S. had a mental health professional shortage before the pandemic, and Southwest Michigan was no exception. Every county in Southwest Michigan had been designated as a mental health professionals shortage area by the Healthcare Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
WSV’s Beca Welty writes, “February in southwest Michigan might seem like an impossible time to enjoy your favorite meal on the deck of your ideal restaurant, but Martell’s in Kalamazoo has transformed that dream into a reality. Like a few of their sister restaurants in the Millennium group, Martell’s has installed cozy igloos for outdoor dining, and I was one of the lucky few to indulge in the experience.”
“[…] Can rural economies be saved? We’re living in an increasingly urban world where talent and wealth are concentrating in large metropolitan areas. Rural America is growing older and getter poorer. Various policy efforts on the state and federal levels over the past several decades have not lifted that trend line.”
Glen Oaks Community College has announced its outstanding scholars for the Fall 2020 Semester.
WSV columnist and licensed psychotherapist Charles Thomas writes, “Sometimes, in the midst of a crisis, a tiny dose of compassion, and a little help keeping things in perspective can be very powerful medicine.”
A 53-year-old Kalamazoo woman was transported to the hospital Monday after she rear-ended a tractor in Colon Township, according to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department.
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for emergency use the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech began shipping from Kalamazoo across the country over the weekend.
A major overhaul is in the works for a document that helps set the future character of downtown Kalamazoo. At a regular meeting of the Kalamazoo City Commission this past Monday, City Planner Christina Anderson detailed proposed changes to the city code that will introduce a concept called form-based zoning to the city. A public hearing on the proposed changes is scheduled to take place this coming Monday, November 2.
State officials at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) heard its first of two public hearings Tuesday afternoon on a permit request for Enbridge allowing the Canadian oil company to discharge a significant amount of wastewater into Lake Michigan as part of its Line 5 tunnel project.
If you live in Three Rivers, you know that certain things in town never stop. The hum of the factories. The streetlights. Cars moving about town. Over and over, every day, they have been present, nonstop, for generations. They are a reminder that the people who live here are up to important things, contributing to the world and keeping life here humming along.
“Nine years ago, my family and I said our final goodbyes to our home on East Street in Three Rivers and moved into the big world beyond the triple ripples. Well actually, we moved up to Portage, which I suppose isn’t really that big or that far away, but the move was the closing of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of another. We lived in TR for over 12 years, years that were undoubtedly some of the happiest of my life.”
Since Watershed Voice first ran a story last week on places people can go in and around Three Rivers to support Black-owned businesses, a couple of additional establishments have come to our attention.
Summer is well underway. With some pandemic restrictions still in place and local cases climbing, cabin fever remains a reality for many. For St. Joseph County residents seeking activities that follow the rules and precautions, outdoor recreational opportunities provide a wide range of viable and safe options. Watershed Voice has compiled a basic list of places for outdoor activities both locally and in other Michigan locales within an hour and a half of Three Rivers.