Posted in Features


Elsie Dairy Days – with an album

by Maralyn Fink

On Friday, July 14 a friend and I decided to check out the Elsie Dairy Festival in Elsie. What a fun day!

Walking around, talking to people we were just having a great time. I even got to ride the kiddie train after which we went to the bingo hall to play quite a few games.

Bingo used to be a big thing back in the day, but now not so much. I remember going to Bingo with my parents at the K of C hall here in St Johns. Boy the memories of the good ole days lives on.

SCH Auxiliary selects leaders for upcoming year

Outgoing President Angie Beals was honored for her service as co-president from 2015-17. She shared that position the first year with Shelley Redman and the second year with Kim Kellogg. Co-presidents for the current year are Brianna Hardaker and Kim Kellogg.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital Auxiliary members Kim Kellogg (front left), Roxanne Wilkins, Darice Duckworth, Shelley Gunther, Shelley Redman, Gay Baker (back left), Kay Devereaux, Karen Gillespie, Alice Kus, Jan Kelley, Carol Keys, Nancy McKinley, and Nancy Mino celebrated their installation as officers with SCH Vice President & CFO Mark Brisboe and SCH Board of Directors Vice Chair Kerry Sheen

Gay Baker, 2016 Auxilian of the Year, announced Shelley Redman as the 2017 Auxilian of the Year. Redman received special recognition from her peers for her dedication to volunteer leadership and service through Auxiliary projects, as well as her service and leadership with the Michigan Association of Hospital Advocates South West District.

The Auxiliary’s incoming officers include Roxanne Wilkins, co-president elect; Diane Zuker, recording secretary; Darice Duckworth, treasurer; Shelley Redman, fundraising committee chair; Shelley Gunther, corresponding secretary; and Gay Baker, historian.

Executive board members for 2016-18 are Kay Devereaux, Karen Gillespie, and Alice Kus. Executive board members for 2017-19 are Nancy McKinley, Jan Kelley, and Carol Keys.

The Sparrow Clinton Hospital Auxiliary’s mission is to promote the goals and objectives of Sparrow Clinton Hospital through service to the hospital and its Patients, positive public relations, effective use of its members’ time and talents, and support of hospital Caregivers.

The Sparrow Clinton Hospital Auxiliary breaks for the summer and reconvenes in September. New members are welcome. To learn more about the Auxiliary, call Shelley Gunther at 989.224.6137.

Twisters opens in WalMart complex

by Maralyn Fink

Wednesday, July 19 at noon was the opening day of the new Twisters Ice Cream business. It is located on the Southeast corner by US 27 across from the Mercantile Bank in the Walmart complex.

The business was started by Nick and Joe Spadafore along with their father, Frank. There are 7 locations in Michigan at this time.

While in high school Nick never dreamed he would be in the ice cream business, and after college he worked with his dad and family in the business. He feels the location for the business is a great location.

Twisters has been in business for 15 years. St Johns was chosen because he felt this was a close knit community with friendly people.

This is an ice cream-only place with many items on the menu. It is all soft serve ice cream with malts, shakes, flurries and many sundaes that have special names. Dirty Harry and Trash Can come to mind. However there is also a Puppy Sundae for Fido with an ice cream yogurt and dog bone. There is is also a sundae that is served in a baseball helmet.

This is an all ice cream place with no food service. They are open 7 days a week from 12 pm to 10 pm.

On behalf of the St Johns Indy and St Johns, we welcome you to our town.

Be sure to visit this business and enjoy some of their many options. I just did.

Hands on Hubbardston – an album

A Look Back – 1972 Clinton County Republican Party Picnic Planning Committee

by Barry Bauer

The two ladies on the left are unidentified, but that’s Willard Krebel on the right. He was a county official in various positions.

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Loss of Balance in Cats

Ataxia, Vestibular Disease in Cats

There are three clinical types of ataxia: sensory (proprioceptive), vestibular, and cerebellar. All three types produce changes in limb coordination, but vestibular and cerebellar ataxia also produce changes in head and neck movement. Ataxia, in general, is a condition relating to a sensory dysfunction that produces loss of coordination of the limbs, head, and/or trunk.

Sensory (proprioceptive) ataxia occurs when the spinal cord is slowly compressed. A typical outward symptom of sensory ataxia is misplacing the feet, accompanied by a progressive weakness as the disease advances. Sensory ataxia can occur with spinal cord, brain stem (the lower part of the brain near the neck), and cerebral locations of lesions.

The vestibulocochlear nerve carries information concerning balance from the inner ear to the brain. Damage to the vestibulocochlear nerve can cause changes in head and neck position, as the affected animal may feel a false sense of movement, or may be having problems with hearing. Outward symptoms include leaning, tipping, falling, or even rolling over. Central vestibular signs usually have changing types of eye movements, sensory deficits, weakness in the legs (all or one sided), multiple cranial nerve signs, and drowsiness, stupor, or coma. Peripheral vestibular signs do not include changes in mental status, vertical eye movements, sensory deficits, or weakness in the legs.

Cerebellar ataxia is reflected in uncoordinated motor activity of the limbs, head and neck, taking large steps, stepping oddly, head tremors, body tremors and swaying of the torso. There is an inadequacy in the performance of motor activity and in strength preservation.

Symptoms and Types

– Weakness of the limbs
May affect one, two, or all of the limbs
May affect only the hind legs, or the legs on one side of the body
– Tilting head to one side
– Trouble hearing – non-responsive to being called to at normal voice pitch
– Stumbling, tipping over, swaying
– Excessive drowsiness or stupor
– Changes in behavior
– Abnormal eye movements – may be due to false feeling of movement, vertigo
– Lack of appetite due to nausea (symptom of motion sickness from loss of internal equilibrium [balance])


Degenerative: Abiotrophy (prematurely the cerebellum loses function)
Anomalous: Underdevelopment secondary to perinatal infection with panleukopenia virus in cats
A cyst located near fourth ventricle
Infectious – feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
Inflammatory, unknown causes, immune-mediated
Vestibular – central nervous system (CNS)
Infectious: Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), rickettsial diseases
Inflammatory, unknown causes, immune-mediated
Vestibular—Peripheral nervous system
– Middle ear
– Fungal
– Diseases of unknown cause
– Metabolic
– Cancer
– Traumatic
– Spinal Cord
– Degeneration of the nerve roots and spinal cords
Vascular: Loss of blood to nervous system due to blockage of blood vessels by a blood clot
– Spinal cord and vertebral malformation
– spinal cyst
– Cancer
– Infectious
– Traumatic
– Metabolic
– Anemia
– Electrolyte disturbances – low potassium and low blood sugar


You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat’s health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have preceded this condition. Your veterinarian will order standard tests, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel.

Imaging is crucial for determining whether the disease is localized to the peripheral vestibular system, the spinal cord, or the cerebellum. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), myelography and spinal X-rays can all be useful diagnostic tools for non-invasive internal examinations. Chest and abdominal X-rays are also important for determining if cancer or systemic fungal infection is present. An abdominal ultrasound should be done to check liver, kidney, adrenal or pancreatic functions.

If the source of the disease is suspected to be in the nervous system, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will be taken for laboratory analysis.


Patients may usually be treated on an outpatient basis unless the ataxia is severe or the cause of the ataxia is of a life threatening nature. Avoid giving any drugs to your cat without first consulting with your veterinarian, as many drugs can either contribute to the problem or disguise the underlying condition that is causing it. Treatment will be based on the underlying cause of the disease.

Living and Management

Decrease or restrict your cat’s movement if your veterinarian suspects spinal cord disease. Even without a diagnosis of spinal cord disease, you may want to consider cage rest if you cannot restrict your cat’s movements. This may be of particular importance in regards to cats that are climbers, as they may fall and injure themselves further. Be sure to monitor your cat’s gait for increasing dysfunction or weakness; if it worsens, contact your veterinarian immediately.