2/14/2023: KPS interviews search firms

News for those who live, work, and play in Kalamazoo County.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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KPS is interviewing search firms to help find its new superintendent. Also: A fight between the county and the owners of a lakefront cottage is ongoing. And emergency crews rescued a person from a garbage truck.

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KPS interviews superintendent search firms

The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education moved its search for a new superintendent forward last night. The board is in the process of selecting a firm to conduct the search. On Monday, board members spoke to two potential firms: the Nebraska-based McPherson and Jacobson and the Lansing-based Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). They plan to interview a third firm later this week. Board members emphasized that they want a pool of candidates that is diverse and perhaps even includes non-traditional candidates.

Both search firms offer guarantees for their services. “If there is a concern, particularly with the candidate, within the first two years of them being in the position, we will come back and do the search for you free of charge,” said Dr. Shelley Jones-Holt of McPherson and Jacobson told the board. MASB offers a similar guarantee, though theirs only extends for one year. Board President TiAnna Harrison said they have a tight timeline. They want to have somebody hired by May 18. The consultants said that may be possible as the school year winds down and current administrators look for new jobs.

More News You Need To Know

County continuing battle over lakefront cottage

A long saga over the ownership of a cottage on Gourdneck Lake doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon. Last week, a judge denied the county’s attempt to take ownership of the cottage through eminent domain. But county officials say that’s just another step in the ongoing legal battle. A county spokesperson said that ruling isn’t on the merits of the lawsuit and that another hearing will be held at a later date.

The dispute stems from a house that sits adjacent to the county’s Prairie View Park. The original owners, the Talanda family, agreed in 1963 to sell the land to the county once all signatories had died. The last of those signatories, Edmund Talanda Sr., passed away in March of 2019. But those who inherited the property aren’t eager to get rid of it and have fought the county every step of the way. [MLive]

Seeking input for old Boy Scout camp

It has been several years since Kalamazoo County’s Boy Scout camp formally shut its doors. The county has since bought the old camp Rota-Kiwan in Texas Township and officials want the public to weigh in on what they should do with it. Kalamazoo County Parks will hold an open house-style master plan workshop on Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30pm. It will be in the Main Expo Room of the County Expo Center.

“This is a special 212 acres located in Texas Township,” said County Parks Director David Rachowicz in a press release. The former camp features a 40-acre lake, a 16-acre pond, and miles of hiking trails. It also has several cabins, dining halls, picnic shelters, and other structures, though those haven’t been used in years and will need to be evaluated to see if they’re still fit for use. The workshop will give officials an idea of what members of the public would want out of the new park. The park, incidentally, will be called the Arthur E. & Mildred H. Woollam Preserve. [Kalamazoo County]

Crews rescue person from garbage truck

Emergency services in Comstock Township received a strange call Monday morning: someone was trapped in a garbage truck and needed rescuing. Comstock Fire & Rescue responded to a location on Gull Road and found a person trapped inside the garbage collection area of a garbage truck. The person had been sleeping inside a dumpster when the sanitation worker came to collect the garbage. The driver was alerted to the person’s presence when they yelled for help. Fortunately, the person wasn’t seriously injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment. [Fox 17]

NowKalamazoo Partner Event
Sounds of the Zoo and Raising Hope logos

A Benefit Concert for The Tiny House Pilot Project

The Skeletones | Samuel Nalangira | Headband Henny
Thursday, Feb. 16
6:30pm @ Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
$10 | 21+

A night of live music in the Bell’s Back Room raising money for the Tiny Houses of HOPE Pilot Project, an affordable housing project in Kalamazoo’s Northside neighborhood. It’s part of an ongoing series by Sounds of the Zoo to increase visibility of local artists and the music scene.

Members of the band The Skeletones pose with their instruments
The Skeletones
Samuel Nalangira plays a stringed instrument and sings into a microphone
Samuel Nalangira
Headband Henny performing with his backup band
Headband Henny

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Film Screening: “The Love Tapes” by Wendy Clarke – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 2/14

Valentines Day vs. Anti-Valentines Day Party – Kalamazoo Public Library, Central
3:00PM 2/14

On the Wings of Love – Kalamazoo Nature Center
5:30PM 2/14

Rockzilla Tour! Papa Roach / Falling in Reverse – Wings Event Center
6:00PM 2/14

Valentines Coffee & Canvas – Coffee Klutch
6:00PM 2/14

Team Game Night: Family Feud – Richland Community Library
6:00PM 2/14

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife” by Karma Brown – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
2:00PM 2/15

February Chamber Connect – Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill
4:00PM 2/15

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 2/15

Trivia Night at the Bookstore – this is a bookstore
6:00PM 2/15

Out of Favor Boys – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 2/15

Crys Matthews w/ Faith Quashie – Bell’s Eccentric Café
8:00PM 2/15

See more upcoming events here.

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