SJPS schedules Town Hall meeting

On Sunday, August 9, St. Johns Public Schools will hold a Town Hall Meeting regarding the reopening plan. This meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. through the Zoom virtual platform.

SJPS will be offering two options for the start of school. Students will have the opportunity to attend full time in-person or will have the choice of 100% online. Below is a link to the full plan being presented to the Board of Education. These plans may be modified based on changes in local health numbers, state laws and regulations and other unforeseen issues.

The first day for all students is set for Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

Here is a link to the recommended plan.

In order to help the Town Hall meeting go smoothly, please review the details of the plan and submit any questions you may have on the form linked below.

Reopening Community Town Hall Zoom Meeting Link
Sunday, August 9 at 6:30 PM
Zoom.us/join Webinar ID: 816 3719 2125
Passcode: 050266

Link to submit questions for the town hall meeting.

During a time of high anxiety and many questions, schools have been faced with difficult decisions and increased need for planning. At SJPS they are working to include the voices of many of the stakeholders as well as reviewing guidance documents for the safe reopening of schools.


COVID-19: let’s work together to end the stigma

The prolonged uncertainly of when the COVID-19 pandemic might come to a close has us all on edge and feeling many emotions, including fear and anxiety.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) is asking the public to not let these emotions turn into social stigma by labeling or stereotyping those who are either connected to the pandemic in some way or believed to be connected.

Social stigma and discrimination can occur when people link a disease, such as COVID-19, with a certain population, community, or nationality.

Groups who may experience stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
– People who tested positive for COVID-19, have recovered from being sick with COVID-19, or were released from isolation or quarantine;
– Certain racial and ethnic minority groups;
– People who have disabilities or developmental or behavioral disorders who may have difficulty following recommendations;
– People who have underlying health conditions that cause a cough;
– People living in group settings, such as people experiencing homelessness.

Stigmatized individuals may experience isolation, avoidance, rejection, depression, anxiety, public embarrassment, verbal abuse and even physical violence. These actions can negatively affect the emotional, mental, and physical health of stigmatized groups, as well as their family, friends, caregivers and the communities they live in.

Stigma hurts everyone in the community by creating more fear or anger toward ordinary people instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the problem. Stigma can also make people more likely to hide symptoms or illness, keep them from seeking health care, and prevent individuals from adopting healthy behaviors. This means that stigma can make it more difficult to control the spread of the outbreak.

Stopping stigma is important to making our communities safer and healthier. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others.


Familiar greenhouse site of Sunday morning fire

Fire destroyed one of the greenhouses at Howe’s Greenhouse and Flower Shoppe located in DeWitt Township. Firefighters got the call about the fire around 3 a.m. Sunday.

The fire started with a fan motor that burned out during that early morning which tragically caused damage to four of the six greenhouses. No one was injured, and it did not burn the main building that encompasses the flower shop, design area, and office. The parts that were destroyed were not insured.

The family-owned business looks forward to getting back on their feet and to continue serving the community that has generously supported them for nearly 5 generations.

In 1923 when US Highway 27 was being built, an entrepreneurial young newlywed woman noticed the traffic traveling from St. Johns to Lansing and had the idea that travelers might like to buy fresh produce from her garden. From that idea, Lydia Howe created her business, Howe’s Greenhouse. She began by selling garden produce; then a few years later someone wanted to buy the tulips she had in her front yard for Decoration (Memorial) Day.

Seeing a need, Lydia purchased the next year, from Holland (the country) 20,000 tulip bulbs that were planted in the fields north the current location. Then in about 1930 they experienced an early spring and all the tulip were done blossoming early that spring, and a customer asked if she had a geranium or petunia that they could buy, and Myron Howe said that was all it took.

In the middle of the depression he scraped together $100 dollars to build her a greenhouse, and it paid for itself that year. Then the following year they spent another $100 to put a little pot-belly wood stove in for heat, and that was the start of what is now Howe’s Greenhouse & Flower Shoppe, located on Old US 27 in DeWitt.

In 1945 they built a larger greenhouse, which still sits nearest the highway today. In 1949-50 they built the building that houses the flower shop, design room, and office. And it has continued to grow since.

If you would like to help the family get back on their feet go to Help Howe’s Regrow!


Stuff the Bus
by Maralyn Fink

The Clinton County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Dean Transportation teamed up with our local Kroger to “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies on Wednesday from 9-3 in the parking lot.

According to Marie Barks, Coordinator, all school supplies donated are used for children at our six school districts in Clinton County They were able to give out 412 backpacks last year.

Job well done. Thanks to all who volunteered our gave to this event.


City wants help updating Master Plan

The City of St. Johns is in the process of updating its Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan and would like the help or area residents. The information collected from this survey will be used to develop the plan. The master plan in an important tool the city uses for planning and development purposes. They must have an approved master plan on file with the Department of Natural Resources to apply for grant from them.

The city has been successful in obtaining grants from the DNR over the past 10 years, receiving four grants for over $300,000 in grant money from the state.

If you have any questions please contact Bill in the Recreation Department at 224-8944 x 227 or bschafer@ci.saint-johns.mi.us

Please complete the survey by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/stjohnsrec

Survey responses should be based on typical usage experience and not on the usage influenced by the coronavirus outbreak. Surveys must be completed by August 16, 2020.

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The Recreation Department is currently registering participants for NFL Flag Football, Men’s Fall Softball, Stroll Fit, Adult Outdoor Yoga, Outdoor Cardio Drumming, and the Fall Youth Basketball Clinic. Visit the online registration platform at https://stjohnsmi.myrec.com/info/default.aspx

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Community court times will be reserved for pickleball, tennis, and sand volleyball through the end of September. This will allow community members with similar interests to have a specific time to meet up for safe recreation. Court times will be Wednesdays 10:00-12:00am and 6:00-8:00 p.m. for tennis, Tuesdays 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and Thursdays 6:00-8:00 p.m. for pickleball, and Mondays 12:00-2:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. for sand volleyball.

If you do not wish to participate in community court time, please vacate the court space so the program to take place. These programs are open for all, no registration is necessary. Community court time will be “use at your discretion,” and any changes will be posted on the Recreation Department Facebook page, if necessary, to comply with executive order.

If you are sick or have been around someone that has tested positive for Covid, do not participate. There is no charge for these programs and staff will not be onsite to facilitate the activity. For additional information contact Bill Schafer 224-8944 Ext 227 or bschafer@ci.saint-johns.mi.us

All recreational plans and programs are subject to change pending executive order. Please visit the department Facebook page for updates.


Blood drive enjoys good turnout
by Maralyn Fink

On Monday I volunteered at The Red Cross Blood Drive at the Knights of Columbus hall.

A total of 77 pints of blood were given that day. They had a great turn out, and I wish to thank The Red Cross, all volunteers and the people who gave blood. Thanks also to Jane Sira for organizing the volunteers and food for the canteen.

Hope to see everyone at the next drive.