Vacant building in heart of downtown St. Johns finally being discussed

By Nathaniel Bott
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — What to do with the vacant space at 116 and 118 N. Clinton Avenue was a major point of discussion for the St. Johns City Commission at its regular March 28 meeting. The building, which was a former furniture and mattress liquidators store, has been vacant for some time, and the planning commission began to take matters into their own hands. The planning commission recommended the the city commission approve a petition for special land use allowing residential units to be constructed on the second and third floors of the building.

Woman in DeWitt Township arrested for alleged drugged driving

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Driving under the influence doesn’t simply mean drunk driving. Prescription drugs can also impair a driver, something a 27-year-old woman allegedly learned the hard way earlier this month. The woman was arrested by DeWitt Township police for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs after an alleged hit-and-run with a mailbox on March 5, police officials said. Driving under the influence doesn’t only deal with illegal drugs and alcohol, it includes any mood or mind-altering substance, says Diana Julian, substance abuse/program manager and counselor at McAlister Institute. Julian says being aware that driving under the influence involves prescription drug abuse is very important.

Government and law enforcement working to regain trust following Dunnings arrest

By Nathaniel Bott, Rachel Bidock, Kenedi Robinson and Cydni Robinson 
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporters

Law enforcement in Clinton County will be dealing with the issue of regaining trust in the public eye following the arrest of neighboring Ingham County’s chief prosecutor. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III was arrested in the early morning of March 14 on numerous charges, including 10 counts of engaging in the services of prostitution, four counts of willful neglect of duty, and one count of prostitution/pandering, a felony offense that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s office. DeWitt Township Police Chief Brian Russell was one law enforcement officer who was taken off guard by the arrest of Dunnings. “I was shocked, I know everyone’s human and we make mistakes and the higher you go the harder you fall,” Russell said. “I know he’s still innocent until proven guilty, but I’m just shocked that someone that high in an office could be charged with these kind of crimes.”

Dunnings, who has served as the Ingham County Prosecutor since January 1997, is facing charges in in Clinton County and Ionia County in addition to Ingham.

Multiple news sources of Lansing keep balance between one another

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The Lansing area has several print news sources to keep its community up to date on all the happenings around them. While these publications are similar in some ways, they differ in content or audience, creating a well-rounded collection of publications. However, working with these differences can be a challenge to ensure that news is not repeated exactly in multiple different sources. The audience to these print publications varies, but according to Roy Cunningham, the only people who read the news are older people. Cunningham is a 74-year-old Lansing area local, who reads “anything from City Hall,” he said.

New urgent care center in St. Johns gives community more options for health emergencies

By Nathaniel Bott
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — The Ouch Urgent Care in Southpoint Mall has been operating now for just over two months after moving into the location previously occupied by a Save-A-Lot store. In February, the Clinton County Medical Center moved next door, allowing Ouch Urgent Care to start offering their full range of services. In addition, the Clinton County Medical Center, which moved just across the parking lot, hopes to add improvements and additional upgrades to their new building. The medical center was previously operating in the Southpoint Mall for 25 years, servicing somewhere around 200 patients per day.

Homeless couple in Clinton County loses child due to alleged lack of medical care

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

On Feb. 24, DeWitt Township Police and Mercy Ambulance were called to the Town and Country Motel, 16262 U.S. Route 27, at 4:52 a.m., said police officials. When Officer Kyle Kolka arrived to the scene he noticed a naked 45-year-old woman lying on her left side on top of a large amount of blood. Allegedly next to the woman was a male infant that was still attached to an umbilical cord and appeared listless, he said. Kolka attempted to clear the child’s airway and begin CPR.

A DeWitt chiropractor makes his office a family affair

By Emily Elconin
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — For Dr. Randy Chambers, there isn’t much difference between work and home. After all, he sees his family all day at 203 S. Bridge St., where Chambers runs Chambers Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center. His wife Rebecca Chambers, daughter Austin Chambers, 4, and dog Ginger all join him at work there. “It allows us to spend time with our kids and work at the same time. It’s important to us that we are able to spend as much time with our kids as possible.

Small-town pharmacies battling mail-order competition in Clinton County

By Emily Elconin
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Small-town pharmacies like Hometown Pharmacy located at 128 S. Bridge St. in DeWitt are facing challenges with demand from growing mail-order pharmacies and larger insurance companies. In the process, face-to-face consultations between pharmacists and patients are being replaced with a technology-based service that eliminates any personal connections. But proponents of the change claim an ability to provide drugs at cheaper costs, something one study did not agree with. “What I’ve been told is that it’s a claim that’s it’s cheaper for the insurance companies to go mail-order,” Patty Wagner, pharmacy manager at Hometown Pharmacy said.

Health Performance Institute goes beyond the gym to create a healthier community

By Emily Elconin
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Making healthy choices and staying physically active is a constant battle in today’s society. Michigan now has the 17th-highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. Inside Clinton County, a team of supportive and encouraging trainers at The Human Performance Institute, a personal training studio located in downtown DeWitt are partnering with local restaurants in the community to promote healthy living beyond its fitness center. It is teaming up with different restaurants to implement healthier options including Relli’s Italian Restaurant and Lansing Brewing Company in DeWitt and even an Austin, Texas-based company called Onnit that focuses on the sale of health and nutrition-related products including supplements, foods, and fitness equipment. “It’s unique for a training studio to partner with other restaurants,” said institute founder Justin Hartig.

Clinton County government’s approach to dollars is making sense

By Nathaniel Bott
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Since the last audited year in 2014, Clinton County government has been seeing its highest increase in financial performance trends since 2010. Categories such as cost per resident, net debt per capita, and pensions/retiree health funded in Clinton County are all at their peak standing. One major factor for freeing up a county’s budget is paying off debt, something that county Deputy Administrator Craig Longnecker and Clinton County have been serious about. “Net debt per capita, that’s a declining trend, and it will go to zero at the end of this year,” Longnecker said. “We (Clinton County) will have paid off all our primary government debt.