4/20/23: We have our candidates

Thursday, April 20, 2023

High 80°/Low 47° Chance of rain

We could know the names of the top six candidates for KPS superintendent by the end of today. Also: Officials have pinpointed the cause of a spate of drug overdoses last week. And Michigan’s “silliest law” may be on its way out.

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KPS picks superintendent semi-finalists

By the end of today we could know the names of the semi-finalists for Kalamazoo Public Schools’ new superintendent. The board of education went behind closed doors yesterday to winnow down the list of applicants. They came out with ten, then narrowed the list further to six during a public meeting. Those six will go through virtual interviews next week.

KPS trustees said it was difficult to decide on semi-finalists because of the quality of the candidates. “This is the toughest hiring process I have ever been through,” said Trustee Karla Murphy. The board intends to further reduce the list of candidates to two or three people. Those finalists will go through in-person interviews during public meetings in early May. The goal is to have a new superintendent in place by June.

More News You Need To Know

Overdoses caused by fentanyl-laced cocaine

Between Wednesday and Thursday of last week, seven people died and ten more were hospitalized due to overdoses of illegal drugs. Kalamazoo County officials yesterday announced the likely cause of those overdoses was cocaine that users were unaware had been tainted with fentanyl. “A rapid onset of overdose can occur with exposure to fentanyl, particularly in individuals who do not know whether fentanyl is present or do not have a history of using opioids such as fentanyl,” said Kalamazoo County Medical Director Dr. William Nettleton in a news release.

Kalamazoo County groups have spent the week since the overdoses distributing drug safety kits in some areas. Those kits contain fentanyl testing strips as well as doses of Narcan, a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. People who want a kit can also get them directly from the groups HOPE thru Navigation and the COPE Network. While avoiding drugs is the only surefire way to avoid an overdose, health officials say having Narcan on-hand can make drug use safer. [MLive]

Portage approves new apartment complex

The Portage city council has approved a plan to construct a new 228-unit apartment complex across from city hall. The $31 million project is planned for a plot of land behind Portage fire station #1 on Shaver Road. Designs indicate two mixed-use buildings on Shaver Road with six other all-residential buildings further back. City Manager Pat McGinnis said that at least 10% of the development would be for workforce housing.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the project on Tuesday night. The lone dissenting vote came from Councilmember Terry Urban who raised concerns about increased traffic and housing density. “This is an area of high traffic volume already,” he said. He also pointed out that the density of the apartments exceeds city ordinances. The plan is to begin construction by the end of the year or early next year. [MLive]

Senate approves repeal of Michigan’s “silliest law”

It is against the law in Michigan for an unmarried mixed-sex couple to live together. Though the law hasn’t been enforced in decades, it is technically a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The law was passed in 1931 (the same year as Michigan’s now-repealed abortion ban) in order to prevent people from “lewdly and lasciviously” cohabitating. State Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, said it may sound silly but it has real implications for couples, especially when it comes to tax law.

IRS rules say people can’t claim certain tax benefits if doing so violates state law. In this case, a person who lives with their partner can’t claim them as a dependent on taxes. The Senate Fiscal Agency said it doesn’t know the last time this law was enforced. Despite that, nine senators voted against repealing the law. Sen. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, said he didn’t like the idea that unmarried couples could claim tax benefits. The bill now goes to the house for approval. [Bridge Michigan]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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Donuts & The Law – Legal Aid of Western Michigan
9:00AM 4/20

Kai Harris Michigan Notable Book Author Visit – Comstock Township Library
10:00AM 4/20

KSO Musical Storybooks: Ferdinand – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
10:30AM 4/20

KSO Musical Storybooks: Ferdinand – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
11:30AM 4/20

Item Swap – WMU Office for Sustainability
12:00PM 4/20

Pinball at the Zoo – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
2pm 4/20, 1pm 4/21, 9am 4/22

Just Write Poetry Workshop – Kalamazoo Public Library, Eastwood
4:00PM 4/20

After5: Networking and Social Event – Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo
5:00PM 4/20

High Hopes Beer Release Party – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
5:00PM 4/20

KalaSalon – Community, Culture & Cannabis: More Diversity, Less Stigma – Dabney & Co.
5:30PM 4/20

Kazoo 48 Hour Film Fest Screening – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
6:30PM 4/20

Adult African Diasporic Dance – Rootead
6:30PM 4/20

Live Music with Neil Jansen – Green Door Distilling Co.
6:30PM 4/20

Storyteller Katsura Sunshine – K College, Dalton Theatre
7:00PM 4/20

The Kettle Belles – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 4/20

The History of the Portage Pfizer Site and The Upjohn Company – Portage District Library
7:00PM 4/20

Chicken & Biscuits – Farmers Alley Theatre
7:30pm 4/20-22, 4/27-29, 5/4-6; 2pm 4/23, 4/30, 5/7

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo 2023 Annual Community Breakfast – Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center
7:00AM 4/21

Earth Day Clean-Up – 41st District Service Office
9:30AM 4/21

KazooPex Stamp & Cover Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
10am 4/21-22

Hip Hop with Speak It Forward – Kalamazoo Public Library, Alma Powell
3:30PM 4/21

5:01 Ditch Friday – JungleBird
5:00PM 4/21

Board Game Night – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 4/21

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 4/21

Barrelhouse – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 4/21

Joe Gatto Night of Comedy – Miller Auditorium
7:00PM 4/21

V. V. Lightbody, Saxsquatch & Bridge Band, Jessi Phillips – Rugger’s Up and Under
7:00PM 4/21

Old Man Trainwreck – Papa Pete’s
7:00PM 4/21

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical JV – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 4/21, 4/28; 1pm 4/22, 4/29; 4pm 4/22, 4/29; 2pm 4/23, 4/30; 10am 4/26-27

Mothers of Hope 25th Year Anniversary BRUNCH Fundraiser – Douglass Community Association
9:00AM 4/22

PNC Kids’ 1K – Arcadia Creek Festival Place
9:00AM 4/22

Spring Stride Outdoor Fest – Downtown Kalamazoo
9:00AM 4/22

Spring Potting Party – Wenke Greenhouses
9:00AM 4/22

Earth Day Clean Up – Galesburg-Augusta Middle School
9:30AM 4/22

Bouquet Bounce – Vicksburg
10:00AM 4/22

Drive Electric Earth Day – Kalamazoo Nature Center
10:30AM 4/22

Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival – Various parks
11:00AM 4/22

Gardening with the Cowardly Gardener – Kalamazoo Public Library, Eastwood
12:00PM 4/22

“One Earth, One Chance” Workshop with David Radcliff – Skyridge Church of the Brethren
1:00PM 4/22

Day of Kindness – Portage District Library
1:00PM 4/22

Family Discovery Concert – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
3:00PM 4/22

The Incantations – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
6:00PM 4/22

King Buffalo w/ Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/22

See more upcoming events here.

Suggest something to do: [email protected]

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