Western Herald – The Weekend Roundup, Jan. 21: Kalamazoo rocked by Billboards moratorium, Chili Cook-off, and Sewage spill

The Weekend Roundup, Jan. 21: Kalamazoo rocked by Billboards moratorium, Chili Cook-off, and Sewage spill

Ted Yoakum
News Reporter

The Weekend Roundup is our new, weekly feature on WesternHerald.com. Every Monday, we’ll find the biggest news that occurred over the weekend here in the Kalamazoo region, and bring them to you. It’s perfect for catching up on the local news after a busy weekend.

Western Herald WMU's billboard located on US 131 between West Main and Stadium Drive. Western Herald File Photo

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Billboard moratorium proposal heads to Kalamazoo City Commission — MLive.com

Members of the City of Kalamazoo will propose a six-month moratorium on billboard construction in the city at Tuesday’s Kalamazoo City Commission meeting, according to MLive.com reporter Emily Monacelli.

The proposed moratorium is a response to the public outcry over the possible construction of LED backlit boards within the city. The issue was first sparked in early December, when Adams Outdoor Advertising requested permission from the Kalamazoo Zoning Board to modify four existing boards with backlit diodes.

If the commission approves the moratorium, local officials plan on using the period to study the feasibility of such boards, and make recommendations to the zoning board for proper regulation of the structures, including size and possible placement locations within city limits.

WMU is the only property that holds a backlit billboard in the city, outside the Business, Technology and Research Park at the university’s Parkview Campus. The school is permitted to have such displays on its grounds, since its status a public university makes it exempt to local zoning ordinances.

Hundreds flock downtown for Kalamazoo Chili Cook-off; Nature Connection and Mangia Mangia winners — MLive.com

Things got quite heated downtown this weekend, with hundreds of people sampling the spicy wares at the 2013 Kalamazoo Chili Cook-off on Saturday.

Over 40 different locations played host to the city’s chili-lovers, with lines running nearly 40 people deep at some locations, like the Union Cabaret & Grille and the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, according MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette reporter Nicholas Grenke.

The Nature Connection of Kalamazoo came out of the cook-off as the biggest winner, taking home the award for best chili in the retailer category and the coveted People’s Choice award. Mangia Mangia Italian Ristorante won the best recipe in restaurant category.

2K gallons of sewage spill in Kalamazoo — Wood TV 8

Around 2,400 gallons of raw sewage leaked onto the Weaver Avenue from manhole cover on Saturday afternoon, running for about four hours until crews were able to remove the blockage.

Officials with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety were notified about the spill at 1 p.m., which occurred at the Crystal Lane sanitary sewer at 640 Weaver Ave. Both The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at the Kalamazoo District Office and the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health and Community Services were told about the incident, Wood TV 8 reports.

Saturday’s spill is the fourth such sewage related incident in the county in recent weeks, with three other occurrences happening on Jan. 3, Jan. 4 and Jan. 8. A similar discharge occurred near Fraternity Village Drive and Layfayette Street last fall, on Oct. 3.

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