Posted in Features


Art Exchange Opening Reception

courtesy of Guven Witteveen

At the opening reception the artists whose art features this year with the art from Japan, together with their families and the 20 ukelele playing singers from Riley under the direction of Ms. Shirley Anne Ries, celebrated the opening of this year’s art exhibition.

Among the songs they sang in Japanese is one written about Shiga-prefecture, the sister state to Michigan. The area is blessed with a large freshwater lake called Lake Biwa (the Lute, owing to its curved shape). The song was written 100 years ago. Adding ukeleles as the students did may be a first for the song.

The older students’ art circled the ceiling area of the main room, while the banners and the pinboard walls of the adjoining library space was filled with artwork from the elementary school students of both countries. Subjects ranged from outdoor life and seasonal events to portraits. They are bursting with color and creative expression.

Stop by to browse the visual art of 2017.

Later this year the St. Johns art will travel to Japan to join the Japanese art made during their new school year which starts in April at the city library in an August exhibition before traveling back to St. Johns to reunite with the young artists here.

The organizing committee is seeking a few more volunteers to help with next year’s show. If you are interested in the international connection or art, please contact Jenny McCampbell at

Moolenaar To Host District-Wide Listening Session

On Thursday, April 20, Congressman John Moolenaar will be hosting a district-wide listening session at Central Michigan University. The event will be moderated by Art Lewis, the host of “The Art Lewis Show,” which airs weekday mornings on WSGW News Radio 790 AM.

Congressman Moolenaar believes one of the most rewarding aspects of representing the Fourth District is the opportunity to meet constituents throughout the district and hear their concerns on the issues facing our nation. He has hosted 26 listening sessions since taking office and the event on April 20th fulfills the commitment he made to host a formal, district-wide listening session at a large, centrally located venue in the Fourth District.

The event is open to all residents of Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes 15 counties: Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Shiawassee, and Wexford counties, as well as portions of Montcalm and Saginaw counties.

Time and Location

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
Location: Plachta Auditorium at Central Michigan University
1200 South Franklin Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Attendees may register for the event at

Note: To facilitate a civil discussion and to ensure that attendees do not have an obstructed view of the event signs and other props are prohibited.

A Look Back – Clinton County Savings Bank

by Barry Clark Bauer

In 1929 this building, located at 26 N. Clinton Ave., was known as the Clinton County Savings Bank; and before that it was called the St. Johns National Bank. Today we know it as the former Clinton National Bank & Trust. It seems like banks had been changing their names even back then.

The other store front to the north is the Harry E. Mack Shoe Store located at 28 N. Clinton Ave. I don’t know when that ceased being a store front and was closed back in. Today there’s nothing to indicated that any store was ever there.

“Rehmann’s Clothes, St. Johns’ newest retail establishment, will open its doors to the public for the first time September 5. The store will be operated by A. L. Rehmann.” This information is from the History of Clinton County Michigan. The reason I mentioned this is it’s my understanding that Rehmanns first location was on the second floor of this building.

On the second floor, right side window, it looks like it says, “Lyon & Moinet Law Office.

This photo courtesy of Tim Black and St. Johns Business & Tax Service.

Benny and Jessie’s Pet Info
– 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Allergy-Free this Spring

The spring season brings with it many allergens that affect both us and our pets. This is because most plants thrive during the spring.

Here, according to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, is how you can treat your dog’s allergies this spring.

1. Go to Your Veterinarian

Since there are so many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, having your veterinarian examine your dog is an important first step. Diagnostics, including skin impression smear and scraping, and blood testing may be needed to determine the nature of the condition and the most appropriate treatments.

2. Bathing and Topical Treatments

Cleaning your dog’s skin surface and hair coat using a pet-appropriate shampoo helps remove environmental allergens, bacteria, oil, and other irritating substances. Full-body bathing or localized cleansing can be performed as much as twice daily depending on your pet’s needs. Besides shampooing, a leave-on-conditioner or veterinary-prescribed topical treatment can help to manage your dog’s general or localized skin irritation and infection.

3. Eye Rinses

Applying a few drops of eye irrigating solution, just like that which you would use in your own eyes and can purchase from a human pharmacy, is one of the simplest means of removing allergens from your dog’s eyes. Doing so every morning, afternoon, and evening for 24 to 48 hours can help lend perspective on whether your dog’s problem is simply mild environmental inflammation or merits evaluation by your veterinarian. Use cleansing eye drops only. Do not use eye drops with vasoconstrictors, which are usually labeled to “get the red out.” Eye drops or eye ointment containing an antibiotic, steroid, or other drugs may be needed in certain situations, but only under your veterinarian’s supervision.

4. Ear Cleaning

Allergens, broken hairs, microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, mites, etc.), and other substances can all get stuck in your dog’s ear canals. Gently irrigating (flushing) the ear canals with a pet-appropriate ear cleaning solution removes these offensive materials and modifies the pH and microenvironment of the ear canal to deter microorganism growth. Additionally, plucking the hair from the ear canal and inner flap prevents accumulation of environmental allergens that can irritate the ear canal and promote the growth of microorganisms.

If your dog is a swimmer, sprinkler-diver, or is frequently bathed, then irrigating the ears post-watery activity can help ensure that moisture doesn’t linger in the canals. When drying your dog’s ears, only use cotton balls as q-tips they can damage the ear drums. Have your veterinarian show you the proper method for cleaning your pet’s ears.

5. Change in Diet

Food allergies in dogs may not be as common as you think, but it’s still important that you consult with a veterinarian in order to rule it out as a possibility. The best way to do this is to initiate a food elimination trial. Novel proteins and carbohydrates (those your dog has not previously consumed) should be chosen and vigilance must be employed to prevent your dog from consuming other food sources (non-approved human foods and pet treats, etc.) that could negatively impact the trial by causing an allergic flare up. Your veterinarian may also recommend a therapeutic dog food for your pet in order to accurately identify food allergies and perhaps even relieve some of the allergic symptoms.

In Memoriam: Benny

Letters – Souper thanks from CASA

The Voice for Clinton County’s Children extends a “souper” thank you to the St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns.

We were given the opportunity to speak about our programs at a Lenten Soup Suppers. Those who attended also generously donated a freewill offering in support of our program.

Many thanks for a delicious dinner and great conversations.

For more information about The Voice for Clinton County’s Children, please visit our website at or contact our office at 989-640-5681.

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

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Cats are as Smart as Their Owners Already Knew

No one with a cat would ever doubt that their cat remembers who feeds them, when they get fed and where the food is served. They know exactly who to wake when the clock strikes one minute past breakfast time and will escort said half-awake human to the pantry where the kibble is kept. As it turns out, this behavior makes them pretty smart, according to scientists.

When a cat knows where her food bowl is and returns to it at dinner time scientists call that “conditioned learning.” By being fed multiple times from the same bowl in the same location, the cat learns to associate both the bowl and the location with food. Pretty basic, right? A recent study found that cats go one step farther. Scientists placed food in two different boxes in a room but only gave the cat time to eat from one box. When the scientists returned the cat to the room a few minutes later, the cat went to the box that previously contained food but which he or she hadn’t already eaten. This is interesting because it means that cats learn information from their environment in ways that scientists hadn’t predicted. The cats in the study didn’t respond to the place they had previously eaten food, as expected in conditioned learning. Instead, the cats showed they remember specifics about events they have only encountered once.

What does that mean for your feline friend? It means that our cats need mental exercise. They are intelligent animals and they need to be challenged so that they don’t get bored. We all know it’s important that our cats get physical exercise and there are aisles and aisles of toys at the pet supply store to help us give our cats a work-out. Cats also need to work-out their brain. Behaviorists have recommended this to dog owners for years, but this new research confirms the importance of brain training for cats, too.

How to Engage Your Cat’s Mind

How should you train your cat’s brain? Its actually quite easy to do. Cats are naturally predators, which means their wild cousins have to work hard for their food. Instead of putting all your cat’s kibble in his bowl, buy or make a puzzle toy. A puzzle toy can be anything that your cat has to spend time learning to solve. There is a huge variety of these types of devices available at the store but you can also make your own. One of my favorites is also the simplest: a few pieces of kibble inside of crumpled tissue paper (Warning: there will be shredded paper once your cat gets to the kibble). You can also plug pieces of PVC piping at one end and add kibble to the other end, encouraging your cat to roll the pipe around to get the kibble out.

If your cat is food motivated, you can also train her like you would a dog to sit, touch, stay and do other tasks. What you teach her is less important than the fact that you are teaching her. Engaging her brain will make her a more content kitty and a better companion.

Some important tips

Start easy and over time increase the difficulty. It is important that your cat not get too frustrated. Always measure out your cat’s normal meal size and make sure that she has eaten the appropriate amount of food by the end of the day. If you have more than one cat, and especially if one has a special diet, consult your veterinarian for the best way to incorporate mental exercise into your cats’ lives.