On the Corner

By Sue Moore

The South County News recently received notice from the USPS and the IRS, that the newspaper has become eligible for nonprofit status. This is a big boost for the staff and the expense column. It will reduce mailing costs significantly and allow the paper to seek underwriting and grants from foundations. It also means that all the donations sent in to the newspaper in 2014 are tax deductible.

In the meantime, there was a call to the readers in the July issue, to help support this endeavor. That call was answered by nearly 300 interested donors who have valued receiving the good news about south Kalamazoo County. The newspaper is not yet self supporting because the advertising rates are kept low, so local businesses can afford to get their messages out. The staff, for the most part, is unpaid or paid minimally. The goal for sustainability – long term – is to hire an editor and an accounting person to replace Sue Moore and Wes Schmitt. With the continued support of people in the Schoolcraft, Scotts, and Vicksburg area, it is believed that will become a reality.

Horse Stories

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South County News feature writers, met at Mari Smith’s home to map out the many human interest stories about horses, documented in this month’s newspaper. They are from left to right, Jef Rietsma, Nathan Czochara, Travis Smola, Debbie Laure, John Fulton, Mari Smith, Kaye Bennett, and Susan Harper-Grieger, who was the project’s advisor.

The writing staff this month has put together some excellent stories about the many horse lovers in Kalamazoo County. The work is not meant to be all-inclusive – in fact, it’s just a start. In researching the genre, it was found to be a rich vein of information and activity. The love of horses seems pervasive in this area, with lots of room to stable and pasture the animals in the countryside, called south Kalamazoo County.

Featured writers contributing horse stories this month include Kaye Bennett, Leeanne Seaver, Jef Reitsma, Mari Smith, Debbie Laure, Travis Smola, John Fulton, Sue Moore and Nate Czochara. The consultant on the horse stories was Susan Harper-Grieger, who has long been a devotee and owner of horses.

Then there is Doctor Schriemer, who finds special meaning in all of his patients lives. He writes from the heart to profile the best in everyone he interviews, utilizing his medical knowledge to find the compassionate moment in every story.

Changes in Vicksburg Business Places
It’s regrettable that Rosewood Cafe and floral shop has closed its doors
on Main Street. Jill Lindsley with her passion for flowers, gave a lot back to
the community, especially her years of organizing the Chili Cookoff each
February for the Chamber of Commerce.

Now Showing, also in Vicksburg, has closed. The good news is that Tanya’s Girl Garage is moving into their building and purchasing it. Her business is unique and draws visitors to the
village. She too has contributed much to the Chamber of Commerce in helping to organize the Art Hop, the Block Party, and the Taste of Vicksburg. Family Fare’s renovation inside and out is a big positive in Vicksburg. Their investment of over one million dollars helps shoppers to stay local, instead of putting mileage on the car to shop at the big boxes.

South County Community Services (SCCS) is moving to the Marketplace on S. Kalamazoo Ave. from the Community Center. This is a huge change for the village of Vicksburg which owns the building and will need to find a way to keep the doors open to the public without the staff of SCCS being on hand each day.

Grossman & Moldovan law offices are expanding at 108 N. Main, having received approval from the planning commission. The two lawyers and their staff have served the community well, since setting up practice here over seven years ago, especially their participation in public service with
the Lions Club and pro bono clients referred from SCCS.

Two Oswalt families have opened up shop on W. Prairie Street in Vicksburg where Divisified Industries once resided. Kelly and Dan Oswalt’s Electrical Service is putting up a large pole barn toward the back of the lot and Mike, Bill and Pat Oswalt’s Ozland Enterprise has completely remodeled the outside and inside of the building that at one time was a car dealership.

Schoolcraft Corporate Changes
Chem Link on Lyon Street has expanded with a move to purchase the Quality Films building on Duncan Street for the R & D department.

Greenstone Credit Union has received the go ahead to build anew to the west of their current home on Lyon Street in Schoolcraft.

Biggby Coffee has opened on N. Grand Street with Carrie Cousins heading the day to day operation.

Schoolcraft Library will see the biggest change with Miss Bobbi Truesdell retiring the end of September. Her very capable staff will surely keep the doors open to all who wish to read and enjoy the fruits of Truesdell’s efforts. She has been the driving force for over 25 years, enlarging the collection, the building itself, and involving the community in events sponsored by the library. She will be sorely missed.

Allis Chalmers Tractor Parade
A host of Allis Chalmers tractors will drive through Vicksburg on their way to LaPorte, IN. Their three-day trip on back roads will take them from Sand Lake, MI to here on August 13, for what else, a stop at Apple Knockers for ice cream. That should be fun to see, with 20 or more antique tractors parked on Prairie Street in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday.

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