By Sue Moore
Don and Carol Lohman have been dedicated to the Vicksburg community, ever since they arrived in 1973 as veterinarians. Don’s battle with cancer has been hard on his family, but being doctors has meant that both of them were stoic about the inevitable. He will be missed in many ways in the greater Vicksburg community.
Dick and Freddi Coppes who celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary recently have both been fighting an uphill battle with the aging process. They have been witnesses to good and kind-hearted people in the community who have rallied to help them keep chugging along.
A young person who battled cystic fibrosis, Todd Weinberg, celebrated his one year anniversary of successful surgery with a big party for all of his many friends. Over 300 spent part of a Sunday afternoon at the Weinberg home in Scotts, giving him hugs and well wishes for a complete recovery. He was featured in the November issue of the South County News with a heartwarming story, written by Dr. David Schriemer.
Paper Mill Dilemma
There is a rather lengthy story about the Mill of South County in this issue of the newspaper. It attempts to update the public on the future of that property which has meant jobs for many retirees in this area. Vandalism has been a big problem but nature too has taken its toll. Windows are broken all around, the brick siding is crumbling and now a roof has collapsed on a portion of the mill that was deemed newer and in better shape. Ken Schippers, Vicksburg’s acting village manager was called over to inspect the roof damage in the midst of some heavy ice and snow. He walked in through the ruins, took a few photos and all of a sudden heard a big boom. It was the gas line exploding and big Ken said he went hightailing it out of there, as fast as he could. That folks would have been a sight to see and record!
Although the mill is once a shadow of its former self, it still has good bones in the parts that were built in 1903 and shortly thereafter. It would be a tragedy to see it torn down and made into a parking lot or something akin to that. There are preservationists here and in Kalamazoo County who could evaluate the potential for the older parts of the mill. One of them is featured in this edition of the South County News, Rodger Parzyck. He led the unsuccessful fight to keep Western Michigan University from tearing down some of the buildings on East Campus, but he has been successful in helping to save the Masonic Temple and other landmarks in the county. He has offered his expertise and yet realizes that the current plan in the County Land Bank proposal is for demolition of most of the old parts of the building. It’s time to get organized and look for serious money to keep Vicksburg’s landmark standing and put to good use.
Emerald eCycling Event at Schoolcraft Township Hall
April seems to be the most popular time to do clean-up activities. One that has an important purpose will be held at Schoolcraft Township Hall on Saturday morning, May 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Emerald eCycling will hold its second collection of old computers, electronic parts and wires in collaboration with the Township and the two villages within its jurisdiction. There is no charge to drop off any kind of unused electronic equipment that might be taking up extra storage space. The best part about it is that every possible piece will get recycled. If there is a worry about hard drives and the information stored on them, the company will wipe them clean and provide a certificate of having done so, for a very small fee.
Nate Melvin Honored
Nate Melvin, a Vicksburg native has been honored for his promotional acumen with Discover Kalamazoo. His job is to promote tourism in the county and show visitors its great brand of hospitality. The Society of Government Meeting Professionals gave Melvin two awards. He was named meeting planner and certified tourism ambassador and 2013 Supplier of the Year, by his fellow chapter members. Better yet, he has been successful in attracting conventions to Kalamazoo since he first accepted the position. Before that he spent eight years with the Air Zoo booking events. The most fun part for him recently has been promoting the micro-brewing landscape that is developing in Kalamazoo County. His big promotion was the Kalamazoo Beer Week, with over six new micro-brewing establishments opened in 2013 in this immediate area, giving him plenty to crow about.
Polly Youngs Honored
A long-time moderate Republican party faithful, Polly Youngs was honored at the party’s Lincoln Day Banquet in March. She hasn’t always agreed with the Republicans’ drift to the right, so had inner qualms about being recognized, but when it was all over, she says she felt pretty good about the recognition. She was presented with the Chairman’s Service Award by Dave Worthams, with lots of praise and thanks for her years of involvement in the party. She also volunteers her time answering phones at South County Community Services on Tuesdays and she serves on Congressman Upton’s service academy nomination committee each year.