Kroger celebrates grand reopening
by Maralyn Fink

The St. Johns Kroger store hosted a Grand Re-Opening day on Wednesday, December 12, in celebration of its recent remodel, which represents a $2.5 million investment in the community.

St. Johns shoppers will discover several new products and conveniences at the recently remodeled Kroger store, located at 900 South U.S. 27. The updated 36,834-square-foot Kroger store offers shoppers fresh sushi and The Chicken Co. fresh, hand-breaded chicken meals and a la carte choices in the deli in addition to updated floral and meat and seafood departments. For greater customer convenience, the store now offers Kroger Pickup, Kroger’s online ordering and parking lot pickup service.

“All of our store updates and new features were designed with the customer in mind,” said Brett Yonkman, St. Johns Kroger store leader. “We know schedules can be hectic, especially around the holidays, so we’re thrilled to now offer The Chicken Co. Whether you’re looking to pick up an individual meal, family meal or just an easy side dish, The Chicken Co. has you covered!”

Store hours are 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily, with the pharmacy open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekdays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays. The Kroger Fuel Center is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The St. Johns Kroger presently employs more than 120 associates.

Downtown Parking Passes will go on sale December 12

2019 City of St. Johns Downtown Parking Passes will go on sale beginning on Wednesday, December 12 at the Police Department.

Passes are $75 each and are required to park in City parking lots in the downtown area overnight or for more than 2 hours during the day. Police will begin ticketing vehicles without a 2019 pass on January 7, 2019.

They accept cash, check or credit/debit cards, but please be aware that the credit card processor charges a fee of $2 for the $75 transaction.

Toys for Tots Campaign ends Monday, December 17

The Marine Corp Toys for Tots campaign has begun in Clinton County. The Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, which is the sponsoring organization for Toys for Tots in Clinton County has delivered collection boxes to businesses throughout the county that will collect toys through Monday, December 17 for Clinton County children.

Here are some of the popular toys requested by younger kids this year: Slime Kits, Paw Patrol, Legos (boys and girls), PJ Mask toys, Shopkins, Disney and Elmo Dolls, Fingerlings and Dinosaurs. For the older kids ideas include Art supplies, craft kits (to make jewelry or fleece for pillows and throws, etc), CDs, DVDs, books and Gift Cards.

If you place a toy in one of these boxes you can be assured the item will go to a child that lives in Clinton County:
In Bath: Bath Township Office
In DeWitt: Biggby Coffee (in the DeWitt Meijer), Bridge Street Hair, DeWitt City Police, DeWitt District Library, DeWitt Township Police & Fire (both locations), Mercantile Bank and Verizon Wireless.
In Fowler: Dollar General, Journey Federal Credit Union and Main Street Pizza;
In Ovid: Dollar General, Journey Federal Credit Union and Main Street Pizza;
In East Lansing: Mercantile Bank;
In Elsie: Dollar General
In St. Johns: Big Boy, Briggs Public Library, Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Dollar General, Journey Federal Credit Union, Mercantile, Peebles, Quest Software, St. Johns Police Department, Tractor Supply, Walgreens and Walmart.
In Wacousta: Watertown Charter Township.

If your family needs assistance with clothing, food and toys for the holidays, please register with Caring and Sharing at 989-224-1010. If you need assistance with just toys and you are not registered with another agency, call Clinton County Toys for Tots at 989-224-7248 or email

If you have any questions about the Toys for Tots campaign, toys needs or toy distribution, contact Brenda Terpening at the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce at 989-224-7248.

Mint City Singers planning for new season

The Mint City Singers begin January 7, 2019 with a new season and new music. It is a perfect time to join them.

They meet at the Redeemer Methodist Church, St. Johns campus just east of the courthouse in St. Johns on Mondays at 7-8:30 p.m. For more information call Ellen at 989-233-5775.

Barn of the Year entries being accepted

The Michigan Barn Preservation Network (MBPN) is requesting submissions for their 2019 Michigan Barn of the Year Awards, which will be presented at the 24th Annual Conference, Spring Barn Tour and Meeting to be held Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, 2019 in Ann Arbor.

This is the 22nd year the Network has presented “Barn of the Year” Awards. Over the past two decades, a total of seventy-four barns from across Michigan have been recognized for their unique qualities and/or preservation efforts.
The Barn of the Year Program annually honors existing Michigan barns that exemplify outstanding character in our state. Nominated barns must have been built before 1957 and be in-use, either for continued agricultural use or adapted for other uses. Barns must retain their overall appearance-both interior and exterior barn characteristics. Nominations are open to the public, reviewed and determined by MBPN Awards Committee members.

The categories in which awards are presented are for barns in use for:
Continuing Agricultural Use
– Family (Private), Non-Profit or Commercial
Adapted to Other Uses
– Family (Private), Non-Profit or Commercial

Barns will be judged for (1) completeness of information presented in the application, (2) sensitivity and integrity of repairs or modifications, (3) visual appeal, (4) creativity, (5) thoroughness of work and (6) effort expended to repair and maintain.

Four items are required for the submission:
– A completed application form
– A written narrative
– Photographs
– A completed Michigan Barn and Farmstead Inventory

Applications may be reviewed and printed from the website, or a hard copy may be requested by contacting the program chairman, Keith Anderson. E-mail: or Mobile: 616-540-6701. Nominations must be postmarked by March 1, 2019.

For additional information about the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, visit the website The Michigan Barn Preservation Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, appreciation, preservation and rehabilitation of Michigan barns, farmsteads and rural communities.

Application period open for Lansing area’s second Poet Laureate

Following two years of programming and engagement from the inaugural Lansing Poet Laureate, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the Lansing Poetry Club, and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) Center for Poetry at Michigan State University are seeking applicants for the 2019-2021 two-year Lansing Poet Laureate position.

The Lansing Poet Laureate is tasked with engaging the Tri-County Community in the literary arts, to promote poetry as an art form, expand access to the literary arts, connect the community to poetry, and showcase poetry as a literary voice that contributes to a greater sense of place.

“We are experiencing a Poetry Renaissance in the Greater Lansing Area,” said Ruelaine Stokes, president of the Lansing Poetry Club. “We now have poems engraved in city sidewalks and an ever-growing number of exciting poetry venues. The Lansing Poet Laureate serves as both catalyst and cheerleader for all this creative activity.”

During his tenure as Lansing’s first Poet Laureate, Dennis Hinrichsen built a strong foundation and set a high bar for future poets seeking to elevate the cultural spirit of our region through the art of poetry. Hinrichsen embodied the appointment of the Lansing Poet Laureate by integrating poetry into major events such as Lansing’s 2018 Mayoral Inauguration, to creating permanent public etchings in four key Lansing neighborhood sidewalks with more etchings underway in the City of Charlotte, to organizing readings and workshops throughout the Tri-County Area.

“At every turn, our region needs to look and feel like an international, diverse and cosmopolitan environment, so that our companies can select the best global talent for an ever-broader talent pool willing and wanting to live here,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “Every major city or state has a Poet Laureate and so do we. This is just one more piece of the strategic placemaking efforts we are engaged in throughout the region. LEAP is most thankful to the tremendous leadership of MSU’s RCAH Center for Poetry and the Lansing Poetry Club.”

As an ambassador for poetry throughout the Tri-County Region, the Lansing Poet Laureate serves a 2-year appointment and will receive a $2,000 per year stipend from LEAP. The appointed Poet Laureate will have the opportunity to shape the scope of work to reflect personal interests, skills and abilities. Applicants must be an Ingham, Eaton or Clinton County resident; must be at least 18 years old, and an experienced and skilled poet dedicated to producing poetry in textual and oral traditions.

“Poetry speaks across time and place, forming community where before were solitary individuals,” said Laurie Hollinger, Assistant Director of the RCAH Center for Poetry. “The RCAH Center for Poetry is elated to co-sponsor a new Lansing Poet Laureate, whose efforts will continue to connect communities through the power of poetry.”

A workshop for assistance with the application process will take place January 12 from 10 a.m. – noon at MICA Gallery, 1210 Turner St., Lansing, MI 48906. Applications for the 2019-2021 Lansing Poet Laureate are available online and will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2019.