Posted in Features


The Voice for Clinton County’s Children

by Kelly L. Schafer, M.S.
Executive Director, The Voice for Clinton County’s Children

“It doesn’t happen here,” is a phrase often heard by professionals who serve victims of child abuse and neglect. However, our community learned very publicly quite recently that it does happen here and the young victim even ended up in court facing their abusers.

Our community now has an opportunity to ensure that children who experience abuse or neglect are not re-victimized by the systems designed to keep them safe. Along with a Clinton County team that includes Child Protective Services, the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement agencies, health care and mental health services, and various human services agencies, The Voice for Clinton County’s Children is working to launch a Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The primary purpose of a CAC is for a child to be able to tell their story of abuse to a highly-trained professional just one time and, not only receive the personalized support they may need, but also, if criminal charges occur, for their story to be legally presented in a court of law possibly without the child having to be present to re-tell their experience-yet again-usually in front of their abuser.

The Voice for Clinton County’s Children is the agency now administering the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program that has been serving Clinton County for nearly four years. CASA Volunteers are specially-trained citizens who stand beside children who are in the foster system and involved in court proceedings due to abuse or neglect. Advocates ensure no aspect of the child’s experience is overlooked or disregarded no matter how long they are in the foster care system.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. The Voice for Clinton County’s Children agency, through both CASA and the soon-to-be-launched Child Advocacy Center, honors this as we work in supporting children in our community to heal and overcome very difficult situations. Knowing child abuse and neglect happens in Clinton County is difficult to hear-and once we are aware, we cannot “unhear” it.

You can help. There are a variety of opportunities to support children in our community-we can all be a part of The Voice for Clinton County’s Children. Learn more at, email, or call 989-640-5681.

Protecting the Great Lakes

by Congressman John Moolenaar

I have always been a strong supporter of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The GLRI has worked in partnership with conservation efforts including groups like Ducks Unlimited, and researchers at Central Michigan University who have done critical work assessing the health of 10,000 miles of wetlands that support the Great Lakes ecosystem.

I believe that this year there will once again be great support in the House of Representatives for fully funding the GLRI. Just last December, more 300 members of the House and 60 members of the Senate voted to authorize annual funding for the GLRI for the next five federal budgets.

The GLRI enjoys bipartisan support from the Michigan congressional delegation and delegations throughout the Great Lakes states. I will continue to work across the aisle with members from other Great Lakes states to defend funding for the GLRI as I did when former President Obama proposed cutting funding for the program.

I hope the new administration will recognize the strong bipartisan support for this important program and sign legislation that protects funding for the GLRI.

In addition to the GLRI, I have worked on two other issues that will protect the Great Lakes.

I have joined my colleagues in writing to the administration asking it to release its plan for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the fight against Asian carp.

Asian carp is a dangerous invasive species that must be stopped from entering the Great Lakes and wreaking havoc on the most important freshwater ecosystem in the world.

After eight years of former President Obama putting Chicago interests ahead of the millions of people who enjoy the Great Lakes for work and recreation, it is time to make real progress on blocking Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

We must also protect the Great Lakes from the dangers of nuclear waste. The Canadian government has proposed using a site on the shores of Lake Huron to store nuclear waste. Lake Huron is a treasure between our two countries and I hope the government of Canada will look for a new location outside of the Great Lakes Basin. I have sent a letter to the Trump administration asking it to work on this issue with Canada and find a more suitable location that will not endanger the Great Lakes ecosystem.

The Great Lakes are one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water and they support billions of dollars in economic activity, creating jobs in all sectors of the economy. They are central to the outdoor heritage of our state and they enrich the lives of all Michigan residents.

I am working hard to protect the Great Lakes on a number of issues. The Great Lakes enjoy broad support in Congress and I will work to unite my colleagues around legislation that will continue to protect the Great Lakes for years to come.

A Look Back – Montgomery Ward Grand Opening

by Barry Clark Bauer

Taken in 1968, this photo shows the Grand Opening of the Montgomery Ward Catalog Sales Co. store located at 308 N. Clinton Ave.

Left to right are: unidentified, store manager; Don Rice, city official; Charles Coletta, and unidentified.

Don Rice was at one time the Sports Dept. manager at Dean’s Hardware.

Maralyn’s Did You Know? – Recalls

EuroCan Manufacturing Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Pig Ears

EuroCan Manufacturing, an Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer of dog treats, is voluntarily recalling one lot of its individually shrink-wrapped pig ears due to potential salmonella contamination.

The recall affects the following brands of pig ears: Product Name: Barnsdale Farms, HoundsTooth, and Mac’s Choice Pig Ears

Size: 6-pack, 12-pack, and 25-pack bags Lot Number: 84

Consumers who have purchased any of the above-described pig ears should return the product to their place of purchase for a refund. For any questions, consumers may contact the company at 888-290-7606 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.


WellPet Voluntarily Recalls Beef Topper Canned Dog Food

Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based WellPet, the parent company that produces Wellness pet food and treats, is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of one canned dog food product that has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally occurring thyroid hormone.

The product affected by the recall is as follows: Product Name: Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs Size: 13.2 oz. cans Best By Dates: February 2, 2019; August 29, 2019; and August 30, 2019 Item Number: 89400

According to an email from the company, elevated levels of naturally occurring thyroid hormone may affect a dog’s metabolism and can be associated with increased thirst, increased urinary output, restless behavior, and weight loss.

Consumers who have the above recipe with these best-by dates may call the company at 877-227-9587 (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday) with any questions.


Blue Buffalo Recalls One Lot of Wet Food for Adult Dogs

Blue Buffalo, a Connecticut-based pet food manufacturer, has voluntarily recalled one production lot of wet food for adult dogs, due to potentially elevated levels of naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormones.

The recall is limited to the following product: Product Name: BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs 12.5 oz. can UPC Code: 840243101153 Best By Date: June 7, 2019

Affected products were distributed nationally through pet specialty and online retailers. Consumers who have purchased the recalled product should dispose of it or return it to their place of purchase for a full refund.

Letters – CASA says thanks

The Voice for Clinton County’s Children would like to thank the St. Johns Lutheran Church for hosting us along with Child Protective Services, a highly trained counselor, and St. Johns City Police Department for a Speaker Panel.

We appreciate being able to share with the community opportunities to support Clinton County children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

If your group or religious organization would like to learn more about how you can host a Speaker Panel or be involved, please contact The Voice for Clinton County’s Children at 989-640-5681 or visit our website

Thank you,
Kelly Schafer, The Voice for Clinton County’s Children Executive Director

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

Chocolate Toxicity in Cats

Although they’re not normally as curious about people foods as dogs are, cat (and kittens in particular) can sometimes eat things they aren’t supposed to eat, including chocolate. Derived from the roasted seeds of the cacao plant, certain properties in chocolate can be toxic to cats when they’re ingested, specifically, caffeine and theobromine. Eating these ingredients can lead to a number of medical complications—some of which may be serious—in your cat. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of chocolate poisoning in cats, below.

Symptoms and Causes

If your cat is experiencing chocolate poisoning, it may have one of the following symptoms:

Increased body temperature
Increased reflex responses
Muscle rigidity
Rapid breathing
Increased heart rate
Low blood pressure
Advanced signs (cardiac failure, weakness, and coma)

These symptoms will vary based on the amount and type of chocolate that is ingested and can influence the severity of the condition. Varieties of chocolate that can be especially poisonous to cats are milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and baking chocolate.


If you suspect your cat has ingested chocolate and is experiencing any of the above symptoms, bring it to your veterinarian immediately. You can expect your vet to perform a complete physical exam, including a chemical blood profile, an electrolyte panel, and a urinalysis to help determine if your cat has overdosed on caffeine and theobromine.

Your veterinarian may also perform an ECG to help determine if the heart is showing any abnormalities in rhythm or conduction of heart beats.


While you wait for your cat to be evaluated, try to keep them cool, calm and in a quiet place to help keep the symptoms of chocolate poisoning from escalating too quickly. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you induce vomiting quickly after ingestion to prevent the chemicals in the chocolate from being digested and to control any seizures, should they occur. Fluids will be administered to keep your cat hydrated as its condition improves and, to avoid any further problems, you’ll want to feed your cat a bland diet for several days after it has been treated.

The best form of preventing chocolate toxicity is to always keep chocolate out of your cat’s reach and be wary of feeding them anything that might contain chocolate.