Unemployment not the only reason for poverty

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

At this time of year communities are stepping up to help those less fortunate, but what many people don’t know is that poverty has more than one face. Clinton County faces poverty and homeless problems, explains Pauline Baert, the coordinator for Capital Area Community Services in nearby Lansing, which works toward ending the causes and conditions of poverty in Clinton and surrounding counties. “We are finding them sleeping in their cars,” Baert said. “Families have come to us that have been living in camping trailers with no adequate heat or water.”

The numbers of homeless seemed to have increased in the Clinton County area, according to Baert. “I’ve noticed an increase in the last couple of years,” Baert said.

No Love for Twiggies on Valentines Day

By Jack Nissen
Clinton County Chatter

Michigan’s cold temperatures and blistering winds are impacting more than just college students’ commute to classes this winter. Classified by the store’s owner Beth Herendeen as the “Modern Day General Store,” DeWitt’s own Twiggies saw a decline in business this Valentine’s Day. Normally a bustling day of business for the floral and retail design shop, Herendeen saw the timing of this February 14 inhibited many potential buyers from making use of Twiggies services. Along with the holiday falling on a weekend, frigid temperatures made selling flowers hard. “Numbers were down quite a bit from last year,” said Herendeen.

Golf courses face tee time delays

Capital News Service
LANSING — Golf courses in Michigan have reopened after a prolonged winter freeze that caused damage and set revenue behind for the season. The damage could be costly, said John Pohl, assistant shop manager at the Royal Scot Golf Course in Lansing. The season started three weeks later than usual, which also cost the course money, he said. Royal Scot reopened in early April last year. “People don’t want to go out golfing when it’s cold out,” he said.

Area thrift stores, shelters affected by unusually cold winter

Subzero temperatures this winter have made it tough for secondhand stores and homeless shelters in Lansing, not because of a greater demand for their services but because volunteers hesitated to venture out to donate their belongings or their time. Donations lacking

Debra Kelly, the assistant manager at Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, said that the store’s goal is to “be real and resourceful and meet all the needs” regardless of the season. “Whether it’s the winter or summer, there are so many in need,” she said.  “The demand is much greater than the supply.”

Kelly said that the cold winter significantly limited donations compared to what the store normally receives at this point in the year. “The cold has kept people kind of in a slumber,” she said.  “The ice storms, the winter, the cold weather – it’s the same for most of the surrounding retail in the community.”

This is certainly true for Upscale Thrift, a secondhand store operated through the City Rescue Mission, according to employee Hannah Hall. “I think that the cold weather and the amount of snow on the roads definitely affected business,” Hall said.

Dairy dilemma: Cold chills milk production, threatens cow health, increases feed costs

Capital News Service
LANSING — The seemingly everlasting winter chill might cost Michigan dairy farmers whose cows are trying to stay warm. Farmers are treating cows with more than the usual number of pneumonia cases, chapped teats and udders, disturbed calving cycles and injuries from slipping on ice. And some of them might receive a lower paycheck from lackluster milk production thanks to the long, cold winter. Although cows prefer cooler temperatures, the animals need far more energy to survive during harsh winter weather, said Ron Erskine, Michigan State University professor of veterinary medicine. Because the animals are using the energy from food to stay warm, it is not going to milk production, Erskine said.