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Lansing Concert Band “Big Band” plays at Concert in the Park – June 21

Jazz standards and music from the “Great American Songbook” made popular by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole will resonate June 21 at the William E. Tennant Performance Shell courtesy of the Lansing Concert Band “Big Band.” The music begins at 7 p.m. as part of the St. Johns Concert in the Park summer series.

The LCB “Big Band” was formed in 1993 by LCB members who wanted a performance opportunity to play big band jazz standards. The group has performed at concerts, fund-raising events and dinner dance events across mid-Michigan, says the band’s founder and director, Jim Kasprzak. “The LCB Big Band is rehearsing a musically exciting and diverse program of big band music – we are super excited to perform in St. Johns.”

That enthusiasm is shared by other band members like Barry Baker, a member of the trumpet section who has been with the group from its start, and Margaret Gallighugh who enjoys the Big Band musical experience that contrasts with her classical training. “There is a passion for performing this music among all of the LCB Big Band members,” says Kasprzak, who plays lead trumpet and principal trumpet in LCB.

The addition of vocalists has allowed the LCB Big Band to expand its repertoire. Kelly Sandula-Gruner is a member of the LCB french horn section and a cantor at St. John Church and Student Center in East Lansing. Dan Templin is a jazz pianist and member with Kelly in the “Singers on the Grand.”

Concert in the Park is sponsored by the Clinton County Arts Council and the City of St. Johns with support from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Concerts are held each Wednesday evening; rain or shine. The St. Johns Lions and Lioness Club staff a concession stand offering light refreshments.

For detailed information on the Concert in the Park series visit the CCAC web site, http://www.clintoncountyarts.org/ and check out the St. Johns City Park Performance Shell page on Facebook.


Paint the Town

by Maralyn Fink

On Friday, June 9 I attended Arts Night Out-Paint the Town in downtown St. Johns. The event was free and was created to bring arts and culture awareness to our area through a fun and family-friendly event. This event was also pet-friendly through some stores.

Adult Raffle was among one of the things and also a Children’s Raffle with tickets available at each venue.

There was a nice selection of jewelry, local artists, musicians, and actors available.


Memorial signs in place now

The PFC Andrew H. Nelson Memorial Highway signs have been installed on Business US-27 in St. Johns.

One sign is just south of the Wheel Inn, and the other sign is just North of Sundance.

These signs may have Andrews name on them, but his family and friends hope that every time you drive past them, you will remember everyone that has died for our country. Freedom isn’t Free.


Museum Transportation and Fashion Exhibit

An early canoe is displayed on the lawn of the Paine-Gillam-Scott House. This is just one mode of transportation that is featured in the 2017 exhibit.

The canoe is on loan from Everett Smith, and the display is set up by Louise and Rex Ferguson.

The Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum complex includes the Carriage House and Swegles General Store. Be a tourist in your home town and visit the museum. Hours are 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm, Wednesdays and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays.

For further information or to arrange a group tour, email pgsmuseum@hotmail.com, call 989-292-9096.


Open house for Kyle Knight well-attended

by Maralyn Fink

On Friday, June 9 I attended the farewell open house for Chief Kyle Knight held at the Depot Pavilion. It was nice seeing such a turn out for Chief Knight for his years of service for our community.

With City officials, School officials and family, friends and the community it was a great showing of support for him.

Kyle will be leaving St. Johns on June 17 for his new home in Harbor Springs as their new Police Chief.

We are sorry to see him leave our community, but this has been a long-time dream for him.

Congratulations Chief, and the best for you in your new journey.

Oh, Cookies, I need one for the road!


St. Johns Police receive commendations

At a recent meeting of the St. Johns City Council several awards were made.

Officer Ben Helms was awarded an Individual Commendation for his work in solving the Malicious Destruction of Property incident where the historic rail cars and other buildings along the rail trail were damaged with graffiti.

Sgt. Eric Verlinde was awarded an Individual Commendation for his thorough investigation of a Criminal Sexual Conduct case that resulted in the conviction of three local individuals that are all serving lengthy prison sentences in this case.

Officer Chad Pierson was awarded a Certificate of Merit for his quick actions on October 27, 2016 when he responded to assist the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department with a vehicle in the ditch that was taking on water. The driver’s foot was stuck in the mud, and her children were inside the vehicle that was quickly filling with water. Officer Pierson’s quick response saved this family from serious injury.