Watch Focal Point: Mel Tucker becomes the new football coach, New Hampshire Democratic Primaries, Michigan towns apply for make-overs

This week on Focal Point, we’re live from a local flower shop to see how people are sharing the love on Valentine’s Day. Over the weekend, the Lansing Women’s Expo celebrated 20 years with more than 300 attendees. The Lansing Pup House celebrates Valentine’s Day with their pets during speed dating for dogs.  In entertainment, the 92nd Oscar’s had a lot of firsts and Justin Bieber returns from a four-year hiatus with a new album. 

This and more on this episode of Focal Point.

Less snow + more rain = high river

By Shane Jones
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids announced a flood advisory March 23 affecting Clinton County and the city of DeWitt until March 28, as more rain is forecast for the coming days. That means people shouldn’t expect the Looking Glass River’s water level in DeWitt to go down any time soon. As some citizens may have known, last week the Looking Glass River flooded into some of the local parks such as the Riverside Park and the Looking Glass Riverside Park in DeWitt Township. During this time of year when the precipitation is changing from the dreaded snow to the more rainfall. “The water level is about the same in the river and the parks.

Mother Nature Not Kind to DeWitt Fields

By Anthony Ferraro
Clinton County Chatter

Springtime for kids usually means the ending of school and the start of baseball and softball season. Mother nature is not always kind, and rain and snow leaves fields unmanageable and unplayable for children and could have an affect on the season as a whole. According to the Michigan Precipitation and Great Lakes Proximity about 60 percent of the annual total is recorded during May-October, which would include baseball and softball season. The waterlogged grass would prevent some games from being played and could take away from the children’s experience. According to Tom Hamp, director of baseball for the DeWitt youth baseball league, last year’s conditions weren’t very optimal to play ball.

Weather Keeping Kids Out of School

By Anthony Ferraro
Clinton County Chatter

DEWITT – In the state of Michigan the first three or four months of the year aren’t very forgiving. The temperatures get into the negatives and the wind chill makes it even more bone-chilling cold. Add snowfall into all this and this is “spring” in Michigan. DeWitt Public Schools have been very busy or lack thereof these last few months as the school closings have been piling up. According to DeWitt Public Schools Twitter feed the district has been closed four times since the beginning of the semester due to weather and rough driving conditions.

Rainy weather left behind fewer forest fires

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan has had an unusually small number of wildfires this year. Credit an unusually large amount of rain. The largest one that the Department of Natural Resources responded to was about 150 acres near the Indiana border. Scott Heather, the assistant chief of DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said the past season “with all the rain” resulted in the fewest wildfires he’d seen in his 37-year career. “Typically in a more normal fire season, our agency will suppress at least one that’s 1,000 acres or more,” Heather said.

Environmental Commission considers street tree replacement plan

By Cayden Royce
The Meridian Times

The environmental commission discussed implementation of damaged street tree removal and replacement for residents at the meeting. “This is a community that embraces the environment and certainly trees are part of that environment,” said Manager Frank Walsh. In April 2014, the township organized a curbside brush and limb pick-up program for residents after an ice storm left residents without power for 11 days in late December. Public Works and Engineering Director Raymond Severy said the program lasted until the end of April and if more cleanup is necessary in the future, the township will restructure parts of the process. “We might want to change the scope of our program and direct responsibility to the residents at a central location,” Severy said.

Area farmers still optimistic about summer crops

By Ethan Merrill
Holt Journal staff writer

After one of the most persistent winters that anybody can recall, farmers in the Holt area are not curtailing expectations for their summer crops just yet. The middle of April typically marks the time of year for farmers to begin planting corn in Michigan. However, the unusually cold weather of the past few months is delaying those plans. “Some crops are definitely going to be harvested later than the past few years,” said Farm Bureau agent Dennis Greenman. “Corn and soybean harvests are going to be late if the ground doesn’t warm up soon.

Golf courses face tee time delays

By NICK STANEK
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.

Lansing police, community satisfied with St. Patrick’s Day safety

Lansing police officers and residents alike said that they are pleased with the safety of St. Patrick’s Day in Lansing, this year in particular. Lansing Police Department Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said that after glancing at the arrest log, he didn’t think the number was over 10 arrests for this St. Patrick’s Day.  “We really didn’t have any spike in arrests for drunk driving or impaired people.”

In preparation for the sometimes raucous holiday’s festivities, the Lansing Police Department issued safety tips for the community.  According to the press release, Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski said he wanted to ensure that the safety of both those who wanted to celebrate and those who didn’t was the top priority. “Lansing Police’s priority is the publics’ safety, so please be responsible as you celebrate,” Yankowski said in the release.  Tips included:

Designate a sober driver before a party begins,
Pace alcohol consumption and
Call a cab or use public transportation if you drink.