Controversy over Wilson Center continues
by Jean Martin

As the St. Johns City Council goes about carrying on the everyday business of the City, residents who attend the Council meetings continue to discuss the fate of the Wilson Center.

Last month Mayor Roberta Cocco reminded residents that the City does not own the Wilson Center. Dymaxion purchased it. Repairs and upkeep of the building would presumably fall to the owner.

The Wilson Center is not the first place the Council has looked at when discussing the need for new office space. Not too long ago they made of study of the then vacant Congregational Church and found that renovating it for offices was not feasible.

What we have not heard anything about is what plans Clinton County might have for the use of the City’s office space should they decide to move. Would the County have a use for the space, and how would they view the loss of revenue from the vacated office wing?

Meanwhile residents continue to weigh in on the advisability of saving and using the former Rodney B. Wilson School building.

The first resident to speak during the Public Comments portion of last Monday’s meeting of the City Commission was Maralyn Woodbury.

“I see there is a big controversy over RBW, she said. “That is a tragedy to even think about. Countless students have passed thru those halls and have a lot of memories made there.

“As a member of the Class of 59, when the auditorium was updated with new seats, our class purchased one.

“I am not in favor of this building being torn down or anything like that, she went on. “Most of the schools we had have been torn down, but for what?”

Others spoke to the Wilson Center question at the February 27 meeting of the Council included:

– Pete Motz, member of Parks and Recreation Board for 43 years, discussed at times the city is slow in reacting to desires and trends of recreation; recreation projects that volunteers built/funded; Pickleball at the Wilson Center; gyms are scarce and we need the Wilson Center for volleyball, basketball and youth programs; this is an opportunity to repurpose a building that is located close to the courthouse and downtown and it is a rare opportunity.
VDionne O’Dell, resident, was present regarding the Wilson Center. She works at MSU and teaches theatre; the thriving arts here in St. Johns: the Wilson Center provides an opportunity for community space; and to take that into consideration when making decisions.
– Max Miller said he has lived in the community for 26 years, he coaches youth sports, and his children attend school here. He discussed his concern with the costs of rebuilding a structure that is 100 years old.
– Bob Craig, 812 W. Park Street, said that he is a 45-year resident; he wants to see the Wilson Center saved and remodeled for community, recreation and arts and culture; economics favorable for remodeling and not building new; the process when the school board sold the Wilson Center; and rooftop solar.
– Dan Walsh, taxpayer and homeowner, said that he is in opposition to the city expending tax dollars in the Wilson Center; having a price cap in place; and he heard city has not required an audit or bond on the developer.
– Kevin Kramer, who has lived in St. Johns entire life, said he opposed the Wilson Center project and discussed his concern with spending money on that building.
– Dan Davenport, discussed the programs in the gym that his wife and kids participate in; the possibility of turning the space into something useful; and the culture of arts in St. Johns; being diligent; and see if it’s possible to save the space in a way that serves everyone.
– Susan DeRosia, resident of community and co-founder of Homegrown Productions, discussed their use of the auditorium; fundraising for the auditorium renovations and improvements that were made; building is a landmark; and the King Media survey result regarding housing needs and there not being a lot to do in St. Johns.
– Amber Lynn said she was born here, is a business owner in downtown for 5 years, and is serving on the DDA currently. She discussed modern updates that are needed downtown; her opposition for the Wilson Center project and why it is a priority; high risk; her concern with the investment in the building; and events can still take place and build a new gym or complex.
– Bill Tennant discussed the groups that have been brought into the auditorium; the potential with the gym and auditorium space; project is a win/win; moving city offices there is an important part (identity & visibility); housing & memory care are important; school board vetted Dymaxion; his high regard for Dymaxion and the city; and he recommended you continue negotiations.
– Heather Hanover, 401 S. Oakland, said that the DDA never had a positive value for tax increment financing; her thanks to Dave and Kristina for restructuring the district and getting tax dollars; and if the project doesn’t go through how it could affect the neighborhood and downtown.
– Travis Delong, lived in St. Johns his whole life, said that he is a parent and athletics coach; he would like to see money spent on efficient structures; and if you want young families to invest, listen to and acknowledge and invest in kids’ futures.
– Alan Harr, non-resident and business owner, said he is in favor of having the Wilson Center stay alive; Pickleball at the Wilson Center; and whatever you decide on the building you have to promise the community you are going to put some type of center together.
– Toni Zimmerman, Mint City Singers, was present. She discussed hosting shows in the Wilson Center; the chairs, curtains and lighting in the Wilson Center; now there is not a gymnastics team and you can’t keep cutting things away; there are a lot of kids that would use the facility for music and theatre as well as sports.

Community Christian Church honors first responders

Smiles, tear-filled eyes, and lots of gratitude is what resulted when Janet Simpson, Rachel Garner, Julie and Tyler Barlage presented local first-responders with bunches of cookies, muffins, breads, cupcakes and other baked goods on Monday.

What started as a life group project to show appreciation for those who put their lives on the line to care for others in their time of need turned into a congregational effort as the church pulled together to provide an abundance of sweet and delicious joy to the men and women who serve our community so faithfully.

They prayed with them and we continue to pray for their safety, wisdom, courage and patience as they work with the public. First responders and their staff were also extended invitations to join Community Christian on April 16 at 10:30 a.m. for worship and First-Reponders Appreciation Sunday. On that day they will be given a special gift, there will be a continental breakfast, and we will lift up prayers of thanks and safe-keeping for them.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital honors DAISY Award recipient

A Sparrow Clinton Hospital nurse was recently honored with the DAISY Award for
compassionate care and dedication to helping patients.

Med/Surg nurse Cory Mygrants, BSN, RN, was named a DAISY honoree based on a letter from a patient’s family member, recognizing his extraordinary bedside manner and identifying him as “Supernurse.” According to the letter, Mygrants patiently devoted time to the patient and even helped the patient shave while in the hospital.

“I give it my all when it comes to caring for patients so it’s rewarding to be recognized and know the care I provide makes a difference,” Mygrants said. “It’s the little things we do for our patients that make the greatest impact.” 

Since becoming a Sparrow Clinton caregiver in 2021, Mygrants has been nominated for the prestigious award twice.

“Cory is well deserving of the DAISY award. He exemplifies kindness, respectfulness, and compassionate care for his patients that shines brightly in his interactions with his patients and their families,” said Sparrow Clinton Chief Nursing Officer Mariah Hesse, BSN, RN, CENP. “This is the care that
Sparrow Clinton Hospital strives to uphold with every patient, every time.”

Mygrants was presented with a certificate of recognition, a DAISY pin, and a hand-carved sculpture entitled The Healer’s Touch. Sparrow Clinton honors two nurses each year as DAISY Award honorees. In addition, a DAISY Team Award is presented as recognition is merited.

Remember When – Hazel Findlay expanding 10 years ago

The City Commission recently adopted the St. Johns Planning Commission’s recommendation that the Hazel I. Findlay facility application to add on an Occupational Therapy wing be approved.

The OT addition will allow Hazel Findlay staff to expand and better serve its residents. Construction of the new unit is already underway.

Letters – The Eagle MegaSite and the Clinton County Commissioners

As the “Transformation of Eagle Township” continues to move forward at the township and county levels the final place it can be stopped, if all other options have been exhausted, is at the Clinton County Board of Commissioners.

Their decision will include the final deciding vote to allow the project to go forward or to stop it. The Clinton County Republican Party is totally against the usurpation of local authority and the transformation of Eagle Township into whatever plans are in the works to bring in a Chinese Company in for a “Green technology” type of project.

On Thursday, March 16, 2023 the Clinton County Republican Party passed a resolution imploring the County Commissioners to vote down the rezoning of Eagle Township by the Board of Commissioners to allow this project to go forward against the wishes of the people being impacted.

Please let your county commissioner know that you are not in favor of this project going forward. The following is to the resolution that was passed by the Clinton County Republican Party expressing their opposition to the Eagle MegaSite project.

– Steve Willis

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Food Storage Mistakes that Could Make Your Pet Sick

1. DON’T Leave Your Pet’s Food Unsealed

To prevent unnecessary exposure to air and humidity, which can rapidly degrade food and increase risk of bacterial contamination like Salmonella, pet food should be sealed in a safe container after every feeding. If your pet eats dry kibble, this may very well be the original packaging if the top of the bag is folded securely. High quality pet food bags have been designed to keep out the elements and maintainits freshness for as long as possible. If you want to store food in a plastic container, the best option is to use the original bag and place it in a plastic container. If pouring food into the container, you should purchase a food safe. It must be cleaned and dried very well when the container is empty. The oils and food will expire and could cause issues with palatability and GI upset when stored in a non-food grade container

2. DON’T Leave Pet Food Sitting Out Too Long

How long dry food can be left out will vary depending on the food and manufacturer. Some companies use natural and artificial preservatives that generally are good until expiration, even when open. The best recommendation is to contact the manufacturer to find out the recommendation for your pet’s specific food.

Canned food, once opened, can be left out from 2 to no more than 4 hours. Any unused canned food should be immediately put in the refrigerator. Contact the pet food manufacturer to find out their recommendations for how long the food can still be fed once opened and placed in the refrigerator.

Ideally, unopened dry and canned foods should be kept at room temperature and away from heat, humidity and infestation.

3. DON’T Forget To Clean Food Bowls Regularly

How often do you wash your pet food bowl – Every week? That’s not bad, but the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) actually recommends washing pet food bowls, dishes, and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use. This is to prevent infectious agents such as Salmonella or Listeria from accumulating on the items. If you use a plastic container to store your pet food, wash the container when empty, and make sure it is completely dry before adding new food.

4. DON’T Allow Young Children to Handle Pet Food

Left unsupervised, children and pet food simply don’t mix. Kids tend to be less reliable in their sanitary habits before and after handling pet food and they are more likely to incorrectly measure an appropriate meal for your pet. This can harm both your child (exposing them to dangerous infectious agents) and your pet (promoting overeating and issues with obesity).

5. DON’T Keep Pet Food Past Its Expiration Date

Pet food expiration dates (sometimes known as “best by” or “use by” dates) are established to ensure the safety of the food for your dog or cat. These dates are often found on the side or the bottom of the pet food package or can. Can’t find the date? Call the pet food manufacturer. They can easily instruct you as to where the expiration date can be found. Don’t take the risk by feeding your pet expired food.