Clinton County farms still vital to economy

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Staff Reporter

The relationship between farmers and non-farmers in Clinton County has changed, but the importance of farmers in the county has not. Farms are a vital source of income for towns in Michigan, said Paul Thompson the Kellogg Chair in agricultural, food and community ethics at Michigan State University. “Farming really is the single, economically most important industry in most of these rural communities, particularly here in the southern half of the state,” Thompson said. According to Scott Swinton, a professor at MSU’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, because farmers earn money for their crops and then spend that money, they help out the communities. “When one person in a region earns money, as farmers do from selling their crops and livestock, they spend that money other places in the community, it’s what economists call a multiplier effect,” Swinton said.

The tragedy of the Bath school bombing lives on, 89 years later

Photos courtesy of Bath School Museum

By Kenedi Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Eighty-nine years ago, the community of Bath was the victim of what is still known today as the “Bath Massacre.” Andrew Kehoe was a local farmer and treasurer on the school board. He was upset about property taxes being used to pay for a new school. No one saw it Kehoe’s way, so on May 18, 1927 he blew up half of Bath Middle School killing 45 people, 38 of which were children, and injuring 58. Dean Sweet Jr., son of bombing survior Dean Sweet Sr., said there was more of a mental impact than anything with the survivors, and even the adults who lost their children.

DeWitt’s Watershed Management Program serves a much bigger purpose than residents may know

By Brittany Flowers
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Protecting storm drains in DeWitt Charter Township that drain into the Looking Glass River is is the goal of a plan adopted by the township in 2006. The Watershed Management Program was developed by Shiawassee County. “The focus started from the federal level, the feds passed legislation requirements for watershed management and then that’s passed to each individual state. And then each individual state sets up their own program which is known as phase two,” DeWitt Township Manager Rod Taylor said. The management program is responsible for the Looking Glass River Watershed, the purpose of the management plan, water quality conditions, protections tools, action plans and other aspects of pollution prevention.

Illicit drugs aren’t just a big-city problem; small towns face the issue as well

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Drugs are an issue that has been present for a very long time. Although there are some places that have a higher rate of drug crimes, it must not be forgotten that they are everywhere — including small rural cities. According to the St. Johns Police Department Annual Report there were 39 drug crimes there in 2015, a number that is about half compared to 2012 which had 61. “St.

St. Johns slow to become more racially, socio-economically diverse

By Jason Dunn
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — According to The United States Census Bureau, the town of St. Johns has one of the less diverse local populations in the state of Michigan. The town has an overwhelming number of 94 percent that represents Caucasian presence in the area. With that number eclipsing the state’s average by just over 15 percent, St.

Youth development program at Briggs Public Library opens children up to reading

By Nathaniel Bott
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — Thursday evenings in April at Briggs Public Library in St. Johns bring Marie Geller a certain kind of joy. Working for nearly 40 years as a children’s librarian with Briggs, there is nothing more rewarding for her than singing the welcome song with every toddler who attends her story time sessions. She has adopted the title of youth services coordinator at the library, and runs youth development programs for the kids in St.

Clinton County investigating disappeared files, stillborn inquiries into alleged discrimination and harassment

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — The Clinton County Board of Commissioners is currently investigating allegations that employees of the commissioner’s office have been violating the Clinton County Employee non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy. According to the official statement of the Board of Commissioners, made in an open meeting in February, records of several instances of sexual harassment in the office dating as far back as 2007 have “suspiciously disappeared.”

In addition to this, several employees have come forward with statements that allege harassment forms submitted to the office of the personnel director, where reports of harassment in the workplace are supposed to be submitted, were simply never followed up with any kind of administrative action. “I was sexually harassed by a male coworker in September,” said Molly Davis, employee of the Commissioner’s office for 15 years before the incident. “Immediately afterward, I submitted a sexual assault report to the personnel director’s office.

Clinton County is about to clean up

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

In most communities, garbage is largely ignored as an inconvenience or an unwelcome necessity. As long as it can be taken to the curb and gotten rid of, few care what’s in it or where it’s going. Clinton County refuses to be one of those communities. The Clinton County Clean Community event is on April 30, and event organizers believe that this year’s event could be the largest so far. Since 2005, Clinton County’s Clean Community events have been some of the largest government-organized community events on Clinton County every year, with one event every spring and two in the fall.

Ducks Unlimited chapter uses annual mallard migration for education

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Each year, right under our very noses, one of the greatest natural marvels on earth happens in the state of Michigan. The annual waterfowl migration, every spring, sees hundreds of thousands of waterfowl flying from their winters in southern North America back to their spring roosts in the northern U.S. and southern Canada. On April 2, the Clinton County chapter of Ducks Unlimited hosted a migration tour. Citizens of the county were encouraged to come out to one of four locations known by the chapter to be nesting spots for the spring mallard migration and observe one of the greatest marvels nature has to offer. Once there the visitors were given access to experts, tour guides and literature describing the event.

St. Johns art community looking to create and share

By Adam Maxwell
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — Studio Retreat and the Clinton County Arts Council are two great resources for up and coming artists in the area. After speaking with Mary Ablao, owner of Studio Retreat, she made it clear that her studio was made for artists to create and share their work. Clinton County Arts Council, just a block or two away, works hand-in-hand with Studio Retreat in displaying and selling local artists work, as well as collaborating on community events such as Art To Melt Your Heart, where families make art at Studio Retreat and then show it at the Arts Council. “They are absolutely wonderful, they support the arts” Ablao said.