Success for U.S. Athletes at Pan Am Para-Badminton Championships

As the 2022 Pan Am Para-Badminton Championships neared its end, Day 4 was filled with intense semifinal matches and hard-fought group matches.

In women’s singles (SH6), Simon defeated Peru’s Rosa Luisa Velasquez Turin (21-10, 21-11) to win the silver medal.

The matches marked Simon’s return to international para-badminton after a two-year hiatus after last competing in February, 2022 at the Peru International. “Your playing is only as good as your training, so after being off for 2-1/2 years, it feels really good to have a successful day,” Simon remarked on her return.

Simon stands 3 feet, 9.75 inches tall and has a rare form of dwarfism called geleophysic dysplasia. It hasn’t stopped Simon from pushing herself physically and mentally. Simon picked up a badminton racket just a few years ago and became hooked.

Despite multiple surgeries to her hands, fingers, wrists and feet, and nagging back pain, Simon has excelled not only in badminton, but in running events, basketball and soccer. 

“(Badminton) is a non-contact sport and size doesn’t really matter,” said Amy Simon, Jayci’s mother. “She plays average size players and kicks their butts.” 

Her ultimate goal is to compete in the 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris. 

Volunteers make Thanksgiving memorable

Volunteers say that they had a wonderful time peeling spuds for this year’s Thanksgiving feast in our city. So many wonderful people volunteer to make the event happen each year.

Volunteers included friends from the Community Church which plans to launch on December 4 on State Street in the previous Congregational Church.

IQhub hosting Art Explosion 3.0

Art Explosion 3.0 is open now through February 23, 2023.

Stop in at the IQhub and see amazing local and regional art from so many talented people. Over 40 different artists participating along with local student art. There are pieces from Grand Rapids ArtPrize and Old Town Scrapfest. Admission is free.

IQhub is located in Agroliquid, 1130 S. Dewitt Rd. in Saint Johns.

Learn the Native names for the Great Lakes

– Illustration by Anna Heffernan (Miskwaa Designs).

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we are highlighting the waters that we refer to today as the Great Lakes. In Nishnaabemwin language, the Great Lakes are collectively Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin. Each also have their own individual name, which can be found on the illustration and below:

– Nishnaabewi Gichigami – Nishnaabe Sea (Lake Superior)
– Odaawaawi Gichigami – Odawa Sea (Lake Huron)
– Niigaani Gichigami – Leading Sea (Lake Ontario)
– Waabshkiigoo Gichigami – Neutral Sea (Lake Erie)
– Ininwewi Gichigami – Illinois Sea (Lake Michigan)

To learn more about the Nishnaabemwin language, visit:

TCOA welcomes new Executive Director

The Tri-County Office on Aging (TCOA) Consortium Board has named Andrea Radel, MBA as the new Executive Director of TCOA. Radel most recently served as TCOA’s Human Resources Director. As the state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving
Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties, TCOA has been the leader of assistance, advocacy, and planning for older adults to remain independent in their own homes and communities since 1974.

After an extensive selection process guided by Management Business Solutions and the leadership of the TCOA Consortium Board, Radel was selected to succeed Marion Owen, who retired on November 18, 2022 after 48 years of continuous service in various roles at TCOA.

Owen is pleased with the Board’s decision, saying, “I am totally confident that Andrea will be an exceptional leader. Her devotion to TCOA, clients and staff is absolute and sincere.”

Radel has served as TCOA’s Human Resources Director for eight years and brings over 20 total years of insight and experience at the agency to this new role. A lifelong resident of Eaton Rapids, Radel holds a Master of Business degree in Human Resources Management. She has devoted her entire professional career to TCOA, beginning as a member of the Finance Department team and eventually becoming a dedicated and valuable member of TCOA’s leadership team. Radel assumed the Executive Director role on November 21, 2022.

Remember When – Santa Parade of Lights 2009

Join us in Historic Downtown St. Johns on Friday December 4, 2009 to watch the Annual “Santa Parade of Lights.” Each entry is beautifully decorated with colorful holiday lights and also features Santa Claus. After the Parade, enjoy the official lighting of the annual St. Johns Christmas Tree and the presentation of the Key to the City to Santa Claus by St. Johns Mayor Dana Beaman. This magical key opens every door in St. Johns, and enables Santa Claus to visit every boy and girl on Christmas Eve.

The parade begins at the Clinton County Courthouse on State Street and travels north down Clinton Avenue to the Train Depot Lawn at 107 E. Railroad Street. Parade goers will gather on the Depot Lawn as St. Johns City Major Dana Beaman officially welcomes Santa to the community and presents him with a Key to our Mint Festival City. Santa and the mayor will then assist our own “Little Miss Mint” as she lights the St. Johns community Christmas Tree on the Depot Lawn to open the holiday season. Come to Downtown St. Johns on Friday December 4th for this lighted, magical event.

Families, neighbors, co-workers, local school groups, marching bands, civic organizations, church groups, dance troupes, musical groups and businesses are all welcome to participate in the parade and add to the pageantry of the St. Johns Tree Lighting Ceremony. This event helps to bring our community together to celebrate the holidays.

Letters – Kudos to the Blue Bus staff

I had a wonderful experience with the Clinton Transit known as the Blue Bus in St Johns, MI. I was originally introduced to this business through Lynette Mockridge Brock a very good friend of mine on Facebook as she is and has been a valued employee of the Blue Bus for years.

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday the 29th of November, 2022 as I was preparing to go to my heart doctors appointment at 1:30. I decided maybe I shouldn’t drive so I called at 7:00 A.M. expecting an unlikely appointment as there certainly wasn’t much notice.

I was so pleased when the dispatcher, Chris, arranged my appointment. I had 2 wonderful male employees that each transported me too and back home from my appointment. They were so polite and what a totally relaxing ride. I couldn’t believe that it was only $4.00 to ride both ways.

I realized how important it will be for me in the future to ride because after my appointment with TCI and no positive changes, I was able to wait briefly, time to think, ride the ramp up into the bus with my walker and totally unwind and relax. I didn’t realize the stress that I was putting on myself in exercising my independence and wanting to drive too and from my appointment and the stress of thinking about my news from my doctor while in transit. Totally wonderful experience and I will always use it.

Thank you, Clinton Transit, Chris, and I am sorry I can’t remember the two gentleman’s names for the second wonderful experience with the Blue Bus and I surely hope I have the opportunity of meeting you again for another great ride.

– Crystal Maneval