John Coscarelli says living in DeWitt is like living amongst a big family. Coscarelli, who owns Relli’s Italian Restaurant, has been a part of the DeWitt community for 22 years. “Once you live here, you’re part of a family,” he said. “It’s a whole different culture. It’s different than East Lansing or Lansing, everybody knows everybody.”
Coscarelli said the people are always there for each other.
John Coscarelli always knew he wanted to go into the restaurant business. His parents, Norma and Mike, both moved to the U.S. in search for a better life. With them they brought recipes of pasta, pizza and other Italian specials, to bring a little bit of home with them. John believed the recipes were to good not to share with the community. So they decided to open a restaurant.
Spurred in part by fears about contact sports and concussions, state and national youth sports programs are pushing new strategies to protect student-athletes from injury. Those strategies include encourage athletes to participate in more than one sport and putting new rules in place to reduce contact between students and better respond to athletes who suffer concussions. Officials from the Michigan High School Athletic Association are among those advocating for students to play multiple sports. Advocates say that can reduce the chance of repetitive injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 45 percent of all athletes specialize in just one sport.
Drug abuse in Michigan is an immense problem surrounding the entire state. In 2015, Michigan had the seventh-most drug overdoses in the nation, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even small areas such as Bath and DeWitt Townships have seen drug use within its borders. While these townships are small, they have managed to make statewide news with their drug issues over the last few years, including an August meth lab raid in a DeWitt motel that sent two people into custody. Clinton County, which the townships of Bath and DeWitt fall under, suffered one death from a heroin overdose and three others died from opiate-related causes in 2013, according to Stopping Addiction with Family Education (SAFE).
DeWitt wants future citizens to move into its community, and its developing multi-use housing to make it happen.
“The whole objective is to have the community that is here enjoy what’s here, talk to their neighbors, and feel good about their community so that they will stay,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce. “That translates to more people wanting to live here.”
According to Daniel Coss, DeWitt city administrator, and township manager, Rod Taylor, a huge part of growing the township and city is providing housing for all demographics of people. So, this means that creating all types of housing developments is crucial to success heading forward. The City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township are planning for growth in the future and planning on accommodating more citizens.
The neighboring communities of Bath and DeWitt differ greatly: DeWitt Township has a higher population in a smaller area than Bath Township, and the same is true for their central enclaves. Downtown DeWitt prepares for the opening of Looking Glass Brewing Company, a new business highly anticipated by DeWitt officials and residents. The Bath Village Diner opened its doors in early 2016. A few months later, it purchased a neighboring bar and expanded into it. Later in the year, the diner had closed down.
The city of DeWitt is starting to become a cultural hub and a go-to destination. A lot of money is being put into the development of their downtown. Maricela Vargas is a preschool teacher in Lansing who is looking for a job in DeWitt and she is interested in DeWitt because of the small city feel. When Vargas visited DeWitt, she felt the family connection with the residents. Vargas said: “I was attracted to DeWitt because it’s a cute city and it’s going to be a great place to live.