By Sue Moore
Kelly Swope Oswalt has observed how many of her Vicksburg High School classmates from the years between 1979 to 1985, have gone away and come back or stayed in Vicksburg to become business people and important contributors to the quality of life in this community.
She rattled off a number of names, very proud of her contemporaries and of the work that they have done in helping to keep Vicksburg vibrant, entrepreneurial, and family friendly.
The same thing could be said about Schoolcraft, especially when it’s noted how many native sons or daughters or long-time residents have been willing to run for the village council and the school board.
This is a point of pride for people who live in small towns and give back to their communities to help them thrive.
Barton Lake Water Sampling
A fitting example is the work a special few volunteers are doing to gather data on Barton Lake and several others bodies of water in this area. Mark Mitchell, is a volunteer who helps collect weekly water samples that measure the amount of algae, phosphorus, transparency in the lake and sends this data to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The Barton Lake team also includes Joan Uhley, Bob Sacksteder, and Ken Kuchenreuther.
Dr. John Wilks, formerly of the Upjohn Company and Indian Lake resident and Jeff Schimp are involved with the Indian Lake measurements. This program was started in 1974 by the DEQ and the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association and they now have 239 volunteers from across the state of Michigan, sending in data. This helps to show what is happening to our lakes’ water quality. These measurements are valued here especially because there are so many lakes in the area that afford year round recreation and the good life for lake dwellers.
Business Changes in Vicksburg
Brian Pitts is moving his home-based business as an independent insurance agent to a building next to the Hide-A-Way in Vicksburg. He sells life, health, Medicare, disability and long-term care insurance. He was a paramedic for 15 years in Kalamazoo and moved to Vicksburg a few years ago. He has been volunteering with the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market on Friday mornings to set up the parking and traffic lanes at the pavilion.
Mandy’s Candy’s has changed its name to Mandy’s Candies Café to indicate they have Water Street Coffee now available all day. The closing of Rosewood Café in Vicksburg which had been a coffee spot for some sometime, gave Mandy Kokalas the impetus to get started offering the specialty brew. She will pair scones and coffee cake along with the coffee and have new hours from 9 to 5:30 on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
American Village Builders is gearing up their promotional campaign to sell condos in their Bridgeview development at Angels Crossing. Besides selling their living quarters, they are working hard to promote the Vicksburg area by mailing to 10,000 potential buyers within a five to ten mile radius of this community. If you are curious about their plans, take the chance to see what they have to offer during their Open House scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5 on the grounds next to Angels Crossing.
Farmers’ Market Closes on Friday, October 10
The last day for the market in 2014 will be Saturday, October 10. This is the time of year when so many wonderful fall vegetables and fruits come ripe, so the market committee is urging customers to stock up while these items are so plentiful. The drawing for the quilt made by the Heritage Quilters group and donated to the market to help raise money for a storage shed will be held on Friday, October 3 at the end of the day. There is still time to purchase a ticket that costs three dollars, or two for five dollars, according to Stella Shearer, market co-manager.
The Vicksburg Farmers’ Market vendors donated a basket full of vegetables and other goodies for a drawing that anyone could enter who attended the Community Tailgate event at the High School before the football game against Edwardsburg. There were over 150 entries and the winner was Amy Phillips, 309 S. Main Street, Vicksburg. Superintendent Charlie Glaes pulled out the winner ticket.
A few of weeks ago, a big rain and windstorm blew through Vicksburg on a Friday afternoon at about 5:50 p.m. The community pavilion withstood the perils of rain and wind just fine, but those at the Farmers’ Market who had tents pitched around the perimeter, saw them sail away into the neighbor’s yard. There is still some controversy about how to best protect the timbers in the pavilion, but there shouldn’t be any problem with the stoutness of the building itself.