MMDHD begins administering COVID-19 vaccine

Mid-Michigan District Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Hailey Brewer, received her Moderna vaccine from Public Health Nurse Bethann McPherson.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) began the monumental task of administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to priority groups on December 28.

Those priority groups include emergency medical services (EMS), medical first responders, and frontline health care workers not already being vaccinated through their hospital or organization. Staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities will be vaccinated through national pharmacy chains, in coordination with the federal government.

It will take time for MMDHD to work through the priority groups and get to the point where the vaccine will be available to the general public. Until then, residents should continue to wear their face masks, practice social distancing, wash hands often, and follow isolation and quarantine guidelines when appropriate.

Residents of Clinton, Gratiot and Montcalm counties who would like to be notified when the vaccine will be available to them should visit and fill out the “Vaccine Notification” form.

Businesses that would like its employees vaccinated may call MMDHD and request to be added to the notification list. Clinton County businesses should call 989-224-2195, option 2. Gratiot County businesses should call 989-875-3681, option 2. Montcalm County businesses should call 989-831-5237, option 2.

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, 28 days apart. Individuals should receive both doses to be considered fully protected. There is no out-of-pocket cost to individuals for the vaccine.

The vaccine cannot give someone COVID-19. The vaccine gives your body a code which helps it recognize the virus, so your body can fight it off in the future. After vaccination, it is common to experience some mild side effects, which is a normal sign that your body is building protection from the virus. If side effects are experienced, they last no more than one or two days and may include injection site pain, a low-grade fever, and headache.

Both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines have undergone the same rigorous process that was used to create safe and effective vaccines for the flu, polio, measles, whooping cough and more. While the COVID-19 vaccines were developed rather quickly, no steps were skipped in their development. Instead, modifications to the process were made to shorten the timeline without sacrificing safety. These include:

– Overlapping phase I and phase II clinical trials.
– Beginning the manufacturing process during phase III clinical trials.
– Developing vaccine delivery plans prior to approval.

For the latest COVID-19 information, including vaccine distribution and explanation of the priority groups, visit and click on the Coronavirus banner at the top of the page.

Keck-Coleman Funeral Home sold and renamed

Ken and Ashley Kutzli of McGeehan Funeral Homes have joined Curt Keck to continue serving the St. Johns Community. Joe Coleman will join Pat Goff in retirement.

As of December 30, McGeehan Funeral Homes acquired Keck-Coleman Funeral Home in St. Johns, Michigan. Ken and Ashley Kutzli are making St. Johns their home to manage McGeehan Funeral Homes Keck-Coleman Chapel. Ken and Ashley are both said to have a heart for serving people, a natural integrity, and a sincere commitment to care for others when we need it most.

McGeehan Funeral Homes serve the Michigan communities of Chesaning, New Lothrop, St. Charles and now St. Johns.

New life for an old story continues

Part three of the History of St. Joseph Parish, narrated by Deacon Eric Elstro has been released. New episodes are expected to be released every Sunday in a total of eight parts.

Part 3


Part 1

Part 2

Senior Center to open next week for shopping

The Clinton County Senior Center will open starting next week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. so people can come and shop in the Gift Shops.

Among the items for sale are homemade quilts, table runners, pet blankets, pillows, book pillows, plastic bag holders, casserole carriers, towels and more. They also have dozens and dozens of puzzles costing between $.25 to $2.00 each, hundreds of donated books, glassware, decorations and more.

The Senior Center is located at 201 E Walker Street in St. Johns. If anyone wants to come and look but can’t come during those hours, they can call Darlene at 989-224-6605 to set up another time. While the Senior Center is closed for activities they are holding these special open hours to raise funds. They have had no income since last March, but some expenses including water, heat and gas continue.

January FOMR meeting is cancelled

There is certainly no better year than 2021 for a fresh start. To all the Friends of the Maple River’s followers out there, note that the organization is still going and appreciative of the support it has received.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic all non-essential organization functions/events have had to be suspended and will continue to be until there is reasonable assurance that functions can start back up safely.

As you are comfortable and able, you are encourages to go about your own way of pursuing the mission of FOMR:

– share your knowledge/appreciation of the Maple River with others;
– do a little where you can to keep the watershed clean and healthy and encourage others to do the same;
– find ways to get out and enjoy the watershed

It is certainly an enjoyable way to go about social distancing. Some of the members have recommended ice fishing, snow shoeing, or just taking a long walk to enjoy the snowy landscape.

The group is still hoping to have some type of “meeting” in March, so stay tuned. In the meantime check out the website at

Virtual workshops offered by Tri-County Office on Aging

Need help managing Chronic Pain and/or Diabetes?

Tri-County Office on Aging is offering free virtual workshops for individuals with chronic pain and diabetes. You will learn tools and techniques to better manage your condition and improve quality of life. Non-Zoom option also available.

Chronic Pain PATH: Thursdays, January 21 – February 25 from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Diabetes PATH: Tuesdays, January 19 – February 23 from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Cost: Free of charge but donations are accepted.

To register: Call Tri-County Office on Aging at 517-887-1465. If you are interested but don’t have a computer and/or internet, call the number listed above for another option.

Website (no online registration):