Posted in News

Latest News

Root Doctor brings its signature style July 26 at Music in the Park

One of the best-known bands in mid-Michigan and beyond offers up its signature style of classic Soul, R&B, traditional Blues and original material July 26 at the William E. Tennant Performance Shell when Root Doctor makes a long-awaited, debut appearance in the weekly St. Johns Concert in the Park summer series. The music begins at 7 p.m.; no admission charge.

Born of the fertile Lansing, Michigan music community, Root Doctor had its humble beginnings in the open mic scene of the late 1980s. The deeply rooted, soulful connection shared by founding members Freddie Cunningham (lead vocals) and James Williams (bass guitar and vocals) anchors the band’s sound.

Root Doctor has kept one other constant over the years: a powerful soul-blues sound with precious few peers. The current line-up features Chris Corey (keyboards), Bill Malone (guitar and vocals), and Clarence Dottery (drums) – all veteran performers whose abundant abilities allow Root Doctor to continue its long tradition of amazing audiences and wowing critics. 

Along with over 25 years of club, concert and festival performances, Root Doctor has released six recordings to local and national acclaim. Their 2014 release, “New Attitude,” features primarily original material and received rave reviews internationally.

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, and check out the St. Johns City Park Performance Shell page on Facebook.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital honors local Nurse

A Sparrow Clinton Hospital Nurse’s special care of her Patients helped earn her the hospital’s DAISY Award for exceptional nursing skills.

Mariah Hesse, Sparrow Clinton Director of Patient Care Services; and Ed Bruun, Sparrow Clinton President and CEO; celebrate with DAISY Award winner Teresa Miller, RN; and Beth Daugherty, Sparrow Clinton Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services.

Teresa Miller, RN, developed a passion for Nursing as a child. By age 16, she was already assisting elderly ladies in her neighborhood as a nurse’s aide.

“I always wanted to be a nurse,” said Miller. “Talking to Patients, seeing to their needs, and making them comfortable is all part of the healing process. I try to make every day a good day for Patients and coworkers.”
Miller gained praise from her Patients for her empathetic, understanding, and caring disposition.

“Without her empathy and understanding, I would have been an emotional wreck,” wrote one of the Patients who nominated her for the DAISY Award. A Sparrow Clinton Caregiver commented, “Teresa always steps up – going above and beyond to support our Nursing team.”

An excellent role model for Sparrow Clinton Nurses, Miller’s message hit home when her own daughter recently earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Miller started her career as an LPN in Hospice Home Care during the late 1980s. She joined the Sparrow Clinton Medical Surgical Unit in 2002, earning certification as an RN. She has these words of advice for new Nurses: “Be good to every Patient. Treat them all like family.”

Daugherty joined DAISY committee nurses in presenting Miller with the award, a certificate of recognition, a DAISY pin, and a hand-carved sculpture entitled The Healer’s Touch. In addition, a DAISY Foundation banner signed by Miller will be posted in the hospital.

Nurse nominees Gretchen Priess, RN, BSN; Amber Piper, RN; Kelsey Arver, RN, BSN; Marge Simon, LPN; Melissa Ball, RN; Sarah Veith, RN, BSN; Angie Bratschi, RN, BSN; Melanie Kotowicz, RN, BSN; Teri Carey, RN, BSN; Mary Rathbun, RN; Wendy Embs, RN, BSN; and KJ Sarata, RN, BSN, also were recognized. Each received a DAISY pin and flowers.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital honors two nurses each year as DAISY Award winners. To nominate an exceptional Sparrow Clinton Nurse, complete and return a form from one of The DAISY Foundation displays at the hospital.

City newsletter

St. Johns Mint Festival 
The St. Johns Mint Festival will be August 11-13, 2017 with events taking place at the St. Johns City Park and also downtown St. Johns. For the event schedule at the park, please visit the Clinton County Chamber website at For the downtown events which include a car show, beverage tent and live band, visit

Downtown Banner Poles
The City of St. Johns, in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority (downtown businesses), is installing banner poles in the first block of downtown. The banner poles will be used for various holiday and festival banners throughout the year. The poles will also have electricity to be used for lighting.

The City appreciates the relationship with the downtown businesses and the $15,000 contributed toward this project goes a long way to making this project possible.

2018-2022 Street Millage Renewal 
Over the past several months, the City Commission and city staff have been looking at how best to continue the street improvement program. Since the program started in 2014, about 12 miles of streets along with curb and gutter and sidewalks have been improved across all quadrants of the city. This accounts for approximately one-quarter of our local streets.

At the July 10, 2017 City Commission meeting, after much discussion and debate, the commission adopted a resolution authorizing renewal of the dedicated street improvement program, subject to voter approval. The levy for the renewal will be slightly different in that it will be for a lesser millage but will be in effect for five years instead of four years. As with the previous street millage, all funds can only be used for street improvements. The proposed ballot language has been submitted to the Governor’s Office for approval.

City residents will have the opportunity to vote on this millage renewal at the November 7th election. Stay tuned for specific information regarding the planned street projects over the next several years, which will include specific streets to be resurfaced and the year in which construction will occur.

City Pension Obligation
Each year the city levies and collects general operating tax revenues based on the taxable value of the real and personal property within the city limits. These funds provide the following services to the citizens of the community: police and fire protection, elections, administration, including accounts payable and tax/utility bill collections, community development, assessing, department of public works, parks maintenance, and recreation.

These tax dollars also go toward paying the legacy retirement costs to the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS). MERS is an independent, professional retirement services company that administers our defined benefit pension plan. Using actuarial valuations performed each year, MERS determines our required annual minimum contributions in order to fund the retirement payments for our current and future retirees. The main plan was closed in 2003 which triggered a reduction in the amortization period. Reducing the amortization has the benefit of setting a time certain for paying down the liability but also means the required payments increase significantly each year. In fiscal year 2013/2014, the general fund share of the payments to MERS was $357,198. For fiscal year 17/18, the general fund share is budgeted at $590,122. That is a 65% increase in 4 years. In that same time frame, property tax revenues have increased only 1.7%.

Water/Sewer Billing—Ordinance Change 
In an effort to better manage our water/sewer utility and improve our cash flow, the city commission recently ratified Ordinance No. 629. This ordinance made revisions to city code 51.10 (B), Enforcement. The previous city code required that the city shut off water service for delinquent accounts. The new Ordinance gives the city the discretion to turn off water service to those customers who are delinquent on their water/sewer bill. Per the ordinance, the quarterly billing is considered delinquent if not paid within 30 days after the due date. Currently, we are working to educate city residents regarding this change. Letters have been sent to certain identified homeowners and tenants who have delinquent amounts owing.

Emerald Endowment Day – Wednesday, August 2

Wednesday, August 2nd The Emerald Golf Course is hosting an Emerald Endowment Day. For every 18-hole golf game and cart purchased, a donation will go towards launching a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Clinton County.

The Voice for Clinton County’s Children is currently with Clinton County community partners to establish a CAC to serve children who may have experienced abuse and/or neglect.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day with golf and supporting Clinton County Children! The Emerald is located at 2300 W. Maple Rapids Road, just north of St. Johns.

For more information about the CAC, please visit; for more information about The Emerald please call (989) 224-6287.

Ice cream social to benefit fire department

Lowe United Methodist Church, 5485 W. Lowe Rd., is hosting their annual Ice Cream Social on August 27 from 2-5 pm. Homemade Ice Cream and food will be provided.

All proceeds will go to the Maple Rapids Fire Department.

Moolenaar’s Office Accepting Internship Applications

Congressman John Moolenaar (R-Midland) is currently accepting applications for congressional internships in his Washington, D.C. office for Fall 2017.

The internship program is open to college students and recent graduates who are interested in learning more about our country’s legislative process and the day-to-day operations of a congressional office. Intern responsibilities include conducting tours of the U.S. Capitol, researching federal legislation and assisting legislative staff. Interns will also have the opportunity to attend legislative briefings, congressional hearings and receptions on Capitol Hill. Applicants are asked to provide a cover letter, resume and any specific legislative issues or areas of interest. Applications should be submitted by the close of business on Friday, July 28.

College credits are available per school requirements.

For more information and to apply for the summer semester, please visit