Virtual Local Fall Color Tour

SJHS alum recognized by Ferris State

Jennifer Rubley, a 2000 graduate of St. Johns High School, will recognized by Ferris State University during National First-Generation Week in November.

Jennifer’s poster will be hung on campus. Photo credit goes to Christy Porter.

In 2017 the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-Generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration. The date of November 8 was selected to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Ferris State University was one of the first schools in the nation to participate in the National First Generation College Student Celebration in 2018. Faculty, staff, and students from across campus came together to celebrate first generation students and their successes.

In 2019 Ferris decided that one day was not enough to celebrate the success of our First-Gen students, so we extended the celebration to a week-long event. Ferris plans to continue yearly participation in the national celebration through a week-long event of celebration.

Because this years date falls on a Sunday, the celebration will be held the week of November 9, 2020.

Scholarships available through the American Legion

If you know a high school aged youth who enjoys government, history or theater and and is looking for college money. Make sure they register to compete in the American Legion Oratorical competition. Over $3,000 in cash prizes at the state level and $60k at the national level. Must give one 3-5 minute speech and one 8-10 minute speech. Must sign up by November 13th. Competition begins next year.

For the student who looks for an academic challenge and an opportunity to gain scholarship funds, The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program is a natural fit. Students learn about our country’s Constitution
in a contest that has been held by The American Legion for more than 80 years.


To participate in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program you must meet the following ligibility requirements:
1. High school can be public, parochial, military, private or home school.
2. Citizen or lawful, permanent resident of the United States of America. Under the age of 20, on the date of the
3. Must be enrolled in a Michigan high school, in which the curriculum is considered to be of high school level, with
grades 9 – 12, during the time of participation at any level of the contest.

Important Dates

Intention to compete due by November 13, 2020, visit the website below to register.
– All District contests must be completed by: January 10, 2021
– All Zone contests must be completed by: February 14, 2021

Department contest will be:
– March 6, 2021 at a location TBD

Prepare to Win
– Dress in business attire.
– Watch previous National oratorical contest speeches.
– Practice, Practice, Practice with a coach.
– Watch your timing.
– The speech is not about you.
– Have a prepared speech for each of the assigned amendments.
– Props are not allowed.
– Notes on stage are not allowed.

What to Prepare
The prepared oration: The subject to be used for the prepared oration must be on some aspect of the United States Constitution with emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations to our government. The same subject and oration used in the department contest must be used in the national contest.

The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must not take up less than 8 minutes or more than 10 minutes for delivery.

The assigned topic
The purpose of the assigned topic is to test the speaker’s knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution. The topic will be on some phase of the Constitution.

The assigned topic must not take up less than 3 minutes or more than 5 minutes for delivery. The assigned topic shall be drawn at random by the contest official in full view of the audience.
*All contestants at each contest level are required to speak in English.

Want to know more? Contact Ashley Zimmer at Department of Michigan headquarters:
(517) 220-2754 or<

Remember When? – SafeCenter has new director – same essential mission
Posted in 2014

by Rhonda Dedyne for SafeCenter

Life moves in a circle, so it’s entirely appropriate that SafeCenter Executive Director Tonya Avery has returned to the non-profit organization that’s committed to eliminating domestic and sexual violence in Clinton and Shiawassee counties.

When the long-time area resident first served as a volunteer in 1993, the agency went by its original name – RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounter). While the name has changed, its goals and purpose have not, Avery says.

“SafeCenter offers emergency shelter and transitional housing, legal advocacy and ongoing support for individuals experiencing domestic and sexual violence. We are their advocates, providing tools and skills they need to overcome adversities. SafeCenter is a stabilizing force in their lives at a time of crisis.”

The new director brings a wealth of experience that will help the agency achieve its goals. A graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology with a concentration in social work and Master of Science in public administration, Avery initially worked at RAVE in various capacities including volunteer coordinator, children’s advocate, and fund development before accepting a position in 2000 with EVE, a similar organization serving individuals in neighboring Ingham County. She served as executive director there for the past two years.

“I’m pleased to be back where I began my career,” Avery says, noting that while the mission of SafeCenter remains true to what RAVE’s founders envisioned, many changes have taken place during her time away. “We offer a number of different services – it feels like a brand new program.”

An expansion of the agency’s offerings during Avery’s absence is the availability of transitional housing which SafeCenter helps facilitate, providing a safe environment for individuals who may have initially found refuge in SafeCenter’s emergency shelter which has a 30-day residency average.

“Transitional housing units are available both in Clinton and Shiawassee counties,” Avery says, citing a growth in usage where the average stay is 16-18 months. “The SafeCenter staff works to help locate housing and employment so that individuals are successful on a long-term basis. It’s important for them to become self-sustaining.”
An increase in reported cases of sexual assault is another area where SafeCenter is providing more and more assistance to area residents.

“We recently received grant funding that allows us to provide counselors who respond directly to a hospital when a suspected sexual assault has been reported,” Avery says, adding that having a counselor available immediately is particularly important. “Counselors are trained specifically to provide support for the victim and serve as an advocate throughout the legal process.”

Unfortunately, grant and other funding sources for SafeCenter and similar non-profit organizations have undergone significant reductions in recent years. It’s more and more difficult to provide services to a client base that continues to grow each year. In 2013, staff handled 1,794 crisis hotline calls, 316 domestic violence intakes of adults and children who were in the emergency shelter for 3,456 nights, and assisted 56 victims of sexual assault.
“As state and federal resources shrink, SafeCenter relies more and more on financial support from our local community organizations, businesses and individuals,” Avery says. “We are extremely grateful for any and all donations.”
Programs and services expand and evolve, but advocacy, support and a new start in life for persons in need is what SafeCenter offers, as did RAVE, the executive director says.

“We are a social change organization – we want to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in Clinton and Shiawassee counties. Basically, our goal is to put ourselves out of business.”

For detailed information on SafeCenter and its services call (989) 723-9716, or visit
Access SafeCenter’s 24-hour crisis hotline by calling 877-952-7283.

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – 3 Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs

When you have an upset stomach, you probably reach for ginger ale or crackers to settle your tummy. But what should you do when your dog’s stomach is out of sorts?

Here’s some information about the causes and symptoms of upset stomach in dogs and tips for how to make your pup feel better with natural remedies.

Common Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs

There are many reasons your dog may have an upset stomach, though there’s one common cause: they ate something they shouldn’t have, says Kathy Backus, DVM, at Holistic Veterinary Services in Kaysville, Utah.

“Dogs are curious like kids; they’re always putting things in their mouth,” she says. “Vomiting and diarrhea are signs that a dog’s body is trying to expel something that shouldn’t be in their system. In a healthy dog, it’s a protective mechanism of the body that’s totally normal.”

These are a few (of many) things that can trigger an upset stomach in dogs:

– Ingesting something that they shouldn’t
– Bacterial imbalances within the digestive tract
– Chronic conditions such as food sensitivities

Symptoms of Upset Stomach in Dogs

The most common signs of upset stomach in dogs are diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog is nauseous, you may also see him eat grass to soothe his stomach or try to induce vomiting, says Jody Bearman, DVM at Anshen Veterinary Acupuncture, Madison, Wisconsin.

Watch for other signs of upset stomach in dogs, such as:

– Decreased appetite or loss of appetite
– Fatigue
– Drinking less water
– Seeming depressed
– Looking uncomfortable and stretching more often (like they are attempting a downward dog)
– Gulping to combat reflux
– Licking their lips, the air, or objects

When to Call Your Vet

Monitor your pup’s symptoms. If your dog is consistently uncomfortable, or if the signs worsen at any point, call your veterinarian.

Watch for these signs:

– Increasing discomfort
– Vomiting or having an episode of diarrhea more than twice
– Blood in their vomit or stool
– Toy or other foreign object in their vomit or stool
– Weakness or collapse

These can all be signs of something more serious, including pancreatitis, stomach bloating, a severe allergic reaction, or internal parasites.

If you realize that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have—a plant, food, toy, or chemical—you should seek immediate veterinary care.

If your primary veterinarian is unavailable, call your local emergency veterinary hospital. They will be able to advise whether your pet needs to be seen or whether you can continue to monitor him at home.

You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at 888-426-4435 for a fee. They can also determine a poison’s level of toxicity and recommended care for your dog.
3 Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs

It is crucial to consult with your veterinarian before administering any home remedies to soothe your pup’s tummy troubles. If your veterinarian recommends at-home monitoring, these are a few ideas you can ask them about trying while you are at home with your dog.


When your dog’s stomach is trying to get rid of something, it can be helpful to stop putting more things in their stomach for 12-24 hours, Dr. Backus says. “If the gastrointestinal (GI) system is having a tough time, you don’t want it to digest things.”

Fasting may seem simple enough, but it’s important to speak with your veterinarian first because some dogs (particularly small breeds or those with prior health conditions) cannot tolerate fasting as well as others.

If your veterinarian does recommend fasting, ask whether they would like you to start a bland diet (and what they recommend) after the fasting period is complete.
Ice Cubes

When your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, you want them to stay hydrated, but giving him too much water may make his stomach even more upset, Dr. Backus says.

Monitoring your dog’s water intake and discouraging gulping is important. Offer your dog ice chips to help encourage drinking.

If your dog can keep down small quantities of water or ice chips, you can gradually increase the amount and how often you are offering the water and ice.

Canned Pumpkin

When fighting indigestion and upset stomach in dogs, 100% canned pumpkin is a favorite of many holistic veterinarians.

“It has a low glycemic index, so it slowly absorbs, which helps with upset stomach and digestion,” Dr. Bearman says.

Make sure to get 100% canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, as you don’t want to feed your dog spices and other ingredients, she says. Check that there are no ingredients listed other than pumpkin (such as sugar or sugar substitutes).

According to Dr. Bearman, smaller dogs (approximately 5 pounds) can be fed one-half teaspoon of canned pumpkin, while larger dogs (approximately 75 pounds) can be fed 1 tablespoon.

Is Upset Stomach in Dogs a Sign of Food Allergies?

An upset stomach every once in a while can be normal in a dog, but if it happens often, it could signal that something is wrong in their GI tract, says Randy Aronson, DVM, of P.A.W.S. Veterinary Center in Tucson, Arizona.

If digestive upset is a frequent occurrence for your dog, discuss the possibility of a food allergy with your veterinarian. When food allergies are diagnosed in dogs, it is often an allergy to a protein source, which is why a more “novel” protein (one that your dog has never eaten) may be recommended.

There are many options on the market, but examples may include beef, buffalo, venison, or lamb.

How to Help Prevent Upset Stomach in Dogs

To help your dog maintain a healthy gut, consider giving them a prebiotic and probiotic, Dr. Aronson says. There are both prebiotics and probiotics that are made specifically for dogs, some of which are available over the counter. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if they have a particular brand recommendation.

Always talk to your veterinarian first to find out the best course of action.