Posted in Features


Pilgrim United Church free barbecue – with an album
by Maralyn Fink

On Wednesday the Pilgrim United Church held a free barbecue at the Depot in St Johns. This event was open to the public to attend and was held from 4:30-8:30 pm.

Free food, games and crafts were provided. This is the second year that they have had this and was well attended. Everyone was having a great time, and the weather was perfect.

There are around 250 members at the church, and it is led by Pastor Andy Croel. Their mission statement is Grow and Go.

Lovely evening closes out Concert in the Park – with an album
by Maralyn Fink

A lovely evening to end the season of the Concert In The Park series last evening was attended by a large crowd.

Matt King as Elvis was the final act for the season.

Mayor Dana Beaman unveiled a plaque to Bill Tennant for his foresight for building the shell and for his determination in raising the funding and dedication for promoting the arts in St Johns. The plaque is now hanging on the band shell.

Thanks, Bill for all your hard work in bringing Concert In The Park to St Johns. See you next season.

Local man publishes A Boy’s Dream Comes True

The Mountains Shall Depart by Robert E. Holzhei has been published by Book Baby & Smith Publishing Companies that distribute throughout the United States and Europe.

Writing was a lifelong dream for Holzhei, and the words kept nudging at him. The first story was written at Cedarville, Michigan, and was published.

“Two authors had an influence as my writing style developed. The book begins being told from the perspective of a young boy growing up in the mid 1940’s, much like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Suddenly the style changes and the story line shocks and impacts the reader unexpectedly. It is straight forward prose, much like the style of Ernest Hemingway,” said Holzhei who studied the author’s works.

“The words are my mistress. They arrive unexpectedly, often in the middle of the night and demand expression. The first sentence begins with a caress, and my mistress urges me to follow her, within reach, yet so far away. I am happy when I sit down to write. It’s like looking forward to something for a very long time and once I experienced it, I knew it would all be there for me tomorrow,” said Holzhei.

Holzhei is the author of 427 published outdoor/travel stories in a variety of publications throughout the U.S. and has previously self-published two books: Canadian Fly-In Fishing Adventure Featuring Campfire Stories from Northern Michigan and Alaskan Spirit Journey. The Alaskan book features a cedar book mark since the first published story was written at Cedarville, Michigan. It also has a wooden birch cover made out of birch and has a wire binding.
Holzhei and his wife have vacationed in the Manistee, Traverse City, Ludington areas for the past number of years, as well as traveling in the Upper Peninsula. The past winters have been spent in the Florida Keys where the novella was finished.

Holzhei will be spending time on a speaking/book tour in Northern Michigan this summer. He also presents sessions at the annual Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) conference each September on working with media, new member sessions, and this fall a session on the emerging self-publishing industry.

He has won a variety of national awards including the First Place in the Best of Best Newspaper Category-Third Place in the Open Category, three AGLOW presidential awards for service, a third place from the Michigan Outdoor Writers Assoc. He also was instrumental in beginning a summer journalism workshop for high school students at Michigan State University which began with 40 students and now draws over 500 journalists not only from Michigan, but throughout the United States.

Holzhei has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in writing, minor in psychology and a M.A. in Education with post-graduate studies. Following 37 years teaching high school English and creative writing classes, he continues to chase the muse-his mistress where the words await expression.

You can find the book at The Paperback edition will be in stock on September 4, 2017.

A Look Back – A Modern Day Phone Booth in 1972

by Barry Clark Bauer

This is not the phone booth most of us older people remember but it’s what we had in 1972. This booth was located in downtown St. Johns in front of the Clinton Theater.

The young ladies aren’t identified.

Letters – Forever GI Bill a leap forward

Today’s veterans deserve and need the expanded benefits in the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017 that the president signed into law Aug. 16. These benefits will be life changing for so many.

The budget-neutral legislation received unanimous support in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
As a veteran, a college graduate, a Baker College dean and a father of a soldier, I understand the importance of being able to pick up where soldiers left off when they return from deployment. This law widens the opportunity for our veterans to acquire the education that will enable them to serve our great nation once again while providing for their families.

Dubbed the Forever GI Bill, the new law extends the time veterans have access to GI educational benefits from 15 years following military service to their lifetime.

Other enhancements are the expansion of benefits for reserve and guard forces, coverage for surviving spouses and dependents, and lifting requirements that had limited benefits for some Purple Heart recipients.

Updates based on the needs of life in the 21st century include extended funding for specific degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which typically take longer to complete. And benefits will be reinstated for veterans affected by a school’s closure or disapproval by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
These changes, among others in the Forever GI Bill, come at a time post-secondary education and/or training have never been more essential to earning a living wage.

At Baker College, we are committed to providing quality higher education that prepares graduates for employment or career advancement. Unique support for military-connected students includes a veteran point of contact at Baker College campuses, and a military education center to provide assistance in all areas of student services.
I encourage every American to thank their elected officials for their bipartisan support to accommodate the changing needs of our military and society.

Retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Richard G. Bush, Ph.D.
Baker College Dean of the College of Information Technology – on-ground and online undergraduate and graduate programs