By Sue Moore
In a bizarre Valentine’s Day accident on Silver Street, south of Vicksburg, a car jumped off the road and crashed into the DeDie/Richardson cemetery. The driver took out a row of headstones in the old section in the front of the cemetery, according to Brady Township Supervisor Randy Smith.
It was a beautiful day so he concluded that there was no weather-related reason for the accident and the driver blew zero on a blood-alcohol breath test, but did seem to be in a happy mood, Smith said. The driver was proceeding south at a pretty fast rate of speed. The car flipped over; he had to be extracted by the South Kalamazoo County Fire Department and transported to a hospital. Smith was called to the scene of the crash because the cemetery is maintained by the township. “The headstones were so old that the writing on them could not be easily deciphered. We have submitted an insurance report to mitigate the cost of repairs,” he said.
Cindy Kole Returns to Banking
Rawson Lake resident, Cindy Kole retired from PNC Bank in December, 2015 after 38 years, beginning when the bank was known as First of America. “I guess I wasn’t cut out for retirement and wanted to stay involved in a business I love. When three of the men I started with in banking called and asked me to return, it didn’t take long to decide,” she said.
She is now the chief operating officer at First National Bank of Michigan, overseeing marketing, public relations, human resources, treasury management, deposit operations and community reinvestment. It is a local bank, based in Kalamazoo and specializing in commercial banking, mortgages and some retail lending.
Dance Across the Decades
A fun-filled evening of dancing the night away will be held by South County Community Services once again as a fundraiser for the operation. It will be held on Saturday, April 22 at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church with 75 percent of the proceeds going to support the very important services of South County, according to Executive Director Danna Downing. Tickets are on sale with a call to 649-2901 at $65 per couple, $35 for an individual, provided they are ordered by April 15. The price goes up after that. The décor will celebrate the “Year of the Rooster,” providing some interesting ideas for costumes and dancing to DJ Jimmy Lawless of DeBiak Entertainment.
Security Changes at Vicksburg
All the Vicksburg school buildings will be getting a buzzer system for greater security of the buildings, according to Steve Goss, assistant superintendent. The three elementary schools have them installed and operational right now. It involves locked doors at the entrances and a call-in system for visitors to identify themselves. The secretaries are able to see a visual of the person requesting entry. The staff in each office then must buzz the visitor in so they have a good idea of who is in the building.
To a person, all felt this was a much needed safety system for the schools and feel very comfortable with the responsibility of handling this extra duty. Previously, visitors were required to check in at the office for a name tag but not much more was required.
Schoolcraft has had such a system for over three years. Staff members there feel it gives parents and children a much needed safety check.
Seattle Chef to Challenge Bobby Flay
Vuong Loc, a graduate of Vicksburg High School, was an immigrant who came here from Vietnam as a child. His family settled on Long Lake; he still has relatives in this area. After graduation, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and has owned several high-quality restaurants in the Seattle area for the past 10 years. He was invited to challenge Bobby Flay on his famous TV show as a guest chef. The contest was filmed last April and is being aired on Thursday, March 23 on the Food Network. It’s a must-watch show with plenty of drama to see who has the winning hand against the incorrigible Bobby Flay, at least for folks who knew Vuong around Portage and Vicksburg, before he was famous.
Schoolcraft & March Madness
Schoolcraft boys’ basketball team is looking like a valid entry into the state basketball tournament contest which begins the first week of March. This writer has always been glued to the TV screen for college basketball each year, but high school basketball is likely to be even more enticing. This newspaper will follow all of our local teams as they progress through the final days of play. Look for the latest postings on southcountynews.org or our Facebook page.
Vicksburg Sports Hall of Fame
Three new inductees have been voted into the Vicksburg Sports Hall of Fame by a selection committee for their excellence in athletics and their school records. The public is invited to participate in a gathering on April 15 at Angels Crossing beginning at 7:30 p.m. They are Larry Peck, a 1962 Vicksburg graduate who went on to run cross country at WMU on its national championship team; Molly Waterhouse, a 2008 graduate who excelled in track and cross county, setting many school records that are still unbroken; and Jon Kachneiwicz, being honored for his coaching expertise. He served as head football coach, assistant football coach and track coach for 41 years. He taught English at VHS for 36 years and is still with the track team.