Local restaurants react to new COVID conditions
by Maralyn Fink

Due to the Pandemic many St. Johns restaurants have limited or changed their hours at this time.

I have seen Main Street shorten their hours. Mancinos and the Wheel Inn are also undergoing changes in service. The businesses have had a tough go of it during this time.

This being the case, call ahead to see if their usual hours have changed.

Doing a take-out is always helpful to them.

Stay safe everyone and patronize local businesses when you can.

New Assistant Prosecuting Attorney is now on board

Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Spagnuolo welcomes Hilary Lauver as the newest Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

From left to right:
Garett Koger, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Hilary Lauver, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Tony Spagnuolo, Clinton County Prosecutor, Heather Adamo, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Jeff Miller, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Remember When – Relay For Life is coming to St. Johns

Relay For Life volunteers painted the town purple on May 5th by tying purple ribbons through out the St Johns area. The ribbons are a reminder of the upcoming St Johns Relay on May 18 and 19, 2012.

Organizers and volunteers of the Relay for Life of St. Johns / Clinton County painted the Town Purple last weekend in preparation for the upcoming Relay which will be happening on May 18th and 19th this year. Purple is the official color of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the universal color that represents all cancers.

This year in order to spread awareness about the Relay for Life and the community’s ongoing commitment to fight cancer, volunteers hung more than 200 ribbons throughout St. Johns.

The actual Relay For Life of St. Johns / Clinton County will take place May 18 and 19, 3 p.m. – 3 p.m. Due to the construction at the High School, the Relay has moved to a new location this year at the Clinton County 4H Fairgrounds. Throughout the 2 weeks prior to the Relay For Life event (May 5 – 19) businesses and residents are encouraged to decorate their storefronts, offices, and homes in a purple motif.

“The biggest message it sends is we won’t let cancer defeat us or our loved ones and we will stand together as a community until a cure is found,” said Alan Bunn, Event Chair, Relay For Life of St. Johns.

The Paint the Town Purple campaign will culminate in the Relay for Life, a non-competitive community event where teams take turns walking around a track for 24-hours. But, that’s not all that happens.

Relay for Life events have a carnival-like atmosphere with music, entertainment, on-site fund raising events and games, as well as hours of non-stop fun and laughs.

This year 33 teams and over 200 participants will take part in the Relay for Life of St. Johns. The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to join us. Organizers report that this Relay event is making great progress towards reaching its fundraising goal of $135,000.

The Relay will begin with a Fight Back Ceremony at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18th. The formal opening ceremonies will be at 6:00pm and will culminate with the survivors taking a victory lap around the track to celebrate what they have overcome while also inspiring and motivating their community to fightback against cancer. Immediately afterwards there will be a Survivor’s dinner at Smith Hall.

At dusk, the moving Luminaria Ceremony will be held, lining the track with 100’s of luminary bags in a tribute honoring those who have both survived and succumbed to cancer.

Local entertainment will also be featured throughout the event (weather permitting). Louie Longoria will kick off the Relay For Life event, playing on the main stage from 3-5 p.m. Next Karen Messmer will be singing from 5:00 – 6:00pm. The band Concord will then take the stage from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Lastly the band Hidden Agenda will finish off the evening playing from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

On Saturday May 19th , music will be provided by Sound Cruise DJ Service from 8:00am – 3:00 p.m. There will be a lot of family-focused, fun activities planned throughout the 24 hour period.

A special feature this year will be a “Mr Relay” contest where teams compete to see who can raise the most funds in one hour. This contest will take place on Friday evening at 8:00pm and is a very unique fundraising event that truly needs to be seen. Cancer survivors in the community are encouraged to join us at the Relay for both the survivor celebration and victory lap.

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Head Shaking in Dogs: When to Worry
Courtesu of Jennifer Coates, DVM

Some dog behaviors are normal as long as they are infrequent, but become a problem when you begin to see them with some regularity. Head shaking falls into this category. So, when should you start to worry about your pet’s head shaking?

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Heads?

First, it’s important to understand why dogs shake their heads. Head shaking is a brilliant way for dogs to get something out of their ears that shouldn’t be there. The forces generated by a vigorous shake are impressive, as anyone who has been whacked by a dog’s flailing ear can tell you. When dogs feel itchiness or irritation in their ears, they instinctively shake their heads. While this can solve the problem if the dog has some water, a piece of grass, or an insect in his ear, continued head shaking indicates that the irritation is ongoing and needs to be addressed.

If your dog is shaking his head repeatedly and the behavior does not stop over the course of a day or so, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Bacterial and Yeast Infections in the Ear

The most frequently diagnosed health problem that causes excessive head shaking dogs is an ear infection. Ear infections tend to be itchy and produce a lot of discharge and inflammation, all of which make dogs want to shake their heads. If you lift up the flap of your dog’s ear(s) and see redness, swelling, or discharge, an infection is likely. Ear mite infestations can cause similar symptoms, but they are not as common as yeast or bacterial infections in dogs (particularly adult dogs).

Keep in mind that infections may occur deep within a dog’s ear, so an infection may be present even if you don’t see obvious signs of one.

Itchiness in the Ear Due to Allergies

Allergies are another common problem that leads to head shaking in dogs. Individuals can be allergic to ingredients in their food or triggers in their environment (pollen, mold spores, dust or storage mites, etc.). Symptoms of allergies in dogs typically include some combination of itchy skin, hair loss, recurrent skin and ear infections, scratching at the ears, head shaking, chewing on the feet, and rubbing at the face.

Diagnosing a food allergy involves putting a dog on a diet that contains a single carbohydrate (e.g., rice or potato) and single source of protein that has never been fed to the dog before (e.g., duck or venison) or that has been hydrolyzed (broken down into tiny, non-allergenic pieces). The dog must eat only this food for a month or two. If the symptoms disappear or at least significantly improve, a food allergy is likely.

Environmental allergies are best diagnosed through intradermal skin testing, but blood testing is a reasonable option for some dogs.

Water in the Ears

Head shaking that occurs because of water getting into the ears is easily prevented by placing cotton balls (or half a cotton ball for small breeds) in the dog’s ears prior to bathing or swimming. Avoid spraying or dumping water directly on your dog’s head during a bath. Instead, bathe his body from the neck down and wipe down his face and ears with a damp washcloth. If your dog won’t stand for cotton balls in his ears while swimming, consider using an ear band or cleaning his ears with a drying solution post-swim. Your veterinarian can recommend a safe and effective product based on your dog’s particular needs.

Serious Conditions Related to Head Shaking

Other health conditions that can make dogs excessively shake their heads include foreign objects that become lodged in the ear canal, inflammatory diseases, or even neurologic disorders causing head tremors that are easily confused with head shaking.

If your dog has recurrent ear infections, you and your veterinarian need to go on a search for an underlying cause, such as allergies, anatomical abnormalities, or hypothyroidism.

Diagnosing and treating the reason behind a dog’s head shaking is important not only because it is a symptom of a potentially serious problem but also because continued or especially vigorous headshaking can lead to ruptured blood vessels within a dog’s ear flap. The aural hematomas that result often require surgery to repair, which is why, whenever possible, we should be preventing excessive head shaking and not just treating it when it develops.