Could unusual weather threaten St. Johns’ most popular destination? Uncle John’s Cider Mill not worried

By Brittany Flowers
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — Uncle John’s Cider Mill is number one on the list of things to do in St. Johns, according to TripAdvisor, but with 2016 being an El Niño year, could Uncle John’s apple growth be threatened? For president of Uncle John’s Cider Mill Mike Beck, there isn’t much of a concern. “I can’t see a month from now what could happen but as of right now, I mean there is no bloom, the trees are just coming out of dormancy,” Beck said.

First Episcopal-Lutheran church in county opens doors to all

By Adam Maxwell
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Christ United Church is one of the first churches in the country to be of Episcopal-Lutheran denomination. But that doesn’t limit the diversity of people who attend the services there. Terry Williamson, pastor at Christ United, said most people who attend his church don’t necessarily even know the difference between Episcopal and Lutheran. “We don’t emphasize either denomination, we just try to be a spiritual home for people,” Williamson said. The church is involved with the community of Clinton County and hosts events at the church each month such as blood drives, concerts, and parties.

Hotel plan rejected in St. Johns

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Staff Reporter

ST.JOHNS — A hotel may not be coming to the City of St. Johns after all. At the St. Johns City Commission meeting on March 28, commissioners accepted the planning commission’s recommendation to deny the petition for transitional district use, or hotel use, for the first floor of 116 and 118 N. Clinton Ave. During the meeting the Community Development Director and Deputy City Manager Dave Kudwa explained the plans that the applicant for the petition and owner of the building, Ken Harris, had in mind.

Two men arrested for retail crimes spree across mid-Michigan

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Two men, ages 39 and 40 years old, who were arrested by Bay County Sheriff Department at the end of a recent alleged retail theft spree could face charges in Clinton County for part of that spree. The two men, who allegedly went from store to store in the mid-Michigan area, had their case forwarded to the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of charges of organized retail crime for a reported theft from the DeWitt Township Meijer store last month. Originally no one knew who they were until Bay County Sheriff Department was alerted by different Meijer stores that these guys had allegedly been doing crimes all across Michigan, says Chief of DeWitt Township Brian Russell. The police report says a Meijer asset protection officer has been working on a case that has affected nine Meijer stores in the Mid Michigan area. On March 29 their alleged target was the Meijer supermarket on 12821 Crossover Drive, DeWitt Township.

People who live in Ovid don’t necessarily work there

By Kenedi Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

OVID — In the small city of Ovid, many residents are beginning to find work elsewhere. With only three main places hiring, they don’t have much of a choice. Over the years, Ovid has become more of a bedroom community than anything else. A lot of the residents enjoy living there, but can’t make a living in that same city. “I would say probably 75-80 percent work outside of the community,” says Josy Medina, Ovid clerk.

Police officers undergo new, specialized training to deal with autistic citizens in Clinton County

By Jason Dunn
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Police officers in Clinton County are undergoing new, advanced training to handle autism-related situations and other circumstances. City of DeWitt Chief of Police Bruce Ferguson has been charged with the responsibility of spearheading the training. “I am going to be training the entire county in autism safety. So I’ll do all of the police agencies in the county here. We want to make sure that officers know that if someone doesn’t react like they should, the first thing to make sure is that they don’t have some type of impairment that would cause them to behave that way,” he said.

Clinton County residents look to the sky for International Dark Sky Week

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

It isn’t a national holiday, it’s an international one. International Dark Sky Week is underway, but until April 10 you can still participate in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ celebration of the event. For the entire week, the DNR is keeping multiple state parks across Michigan, including Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg, open past 11 p.m. to allow residents to participate in this holiday. International Dark Sky Week was created in 2003 with the goal for “people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future,” according to Jennifer Barlow, creator of the holiday.

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.

T.E.A.M. replaces D.A.R.E. in St. Johns schools

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Staff Reporter

ST.JOHNS- T.E.A.M. is taking over as the new D.A.R.E. in St. Johns Public Schools. This year the St. Johns Police Department decided to move away from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., program and onto a new program known as Teaching, Educating, And Mentoring, or T.E.A.M.

St. Johns Chief of Police Kyle Knight explained that T.E.A.M. is being used this year because the curriculum allows for a wide range of issues to be taught to a larger audience of students.

Clinton residents all have access to recycling all sorts of stuff

By Brittany Flowers
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Recycling is very much encouraged in Clinton County as a variety of recycling programs are offered to residents within the county. The Clinton County Department of Waste Management sponsors collection events nearly every month throughout the year. Recycling programs range from curbside pickup, to drop-off locations, and even collections of hard to get rid of waste. “The county itself oversees two — it’s like a collaborative effort but we oversee two drop-off recycling sites of the about 12 curbside to drop off recycling programs in the county,” Recycling and Waste Management Coordinator Kate Neese said. The programs offered by Clinton County are not all credited to the county itself, but also to the towns and cities within the area.