COVID-19 vaccine is still in short supply

The COVID-19 vaccines are our best hope for ending the pandemic and we have now vaccinated more Michiganders than we have cases of COVID. Progress is being made, although not as fast as most of us would like.

The folks at the Mid Michigan District Health Department know many of our community members are waiting to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, and many are frustrated because they are having a difficult time getting an appointment. Local public health departments across the State of Michigan, including Mid-Michigan District Health Department, are moving as quickly as possible to vaccinate those who are eligible. Unfortunately efforts are being hampered because there simply is not enough vaccine to meet the high demand.

Mid-Michigan District Health Department is administering around 600 first doses every week and holding second dose clinics. They are also working with area hospitals and Meijer Pharmacies to vaccinate as many people as possible. They wish that they could vaccinate more people on a weekly basis and are making plans to hold mass vaccination clinics. They can’t follow through with these plans until the amount of vaccine they receive is increased.

When they have COVID-19 appointments available, they will send out a notice to those on the waiting list. If you would like to be placed on the the MMDHD waiting list, please visit the website: www.mmdhd.org/covid-vaccine-information/.

The good news is that more and more vaccination locations are opening up in our area, and they recommend that people explore all of these options to increase their chances of obtaining an appointment. These locations can be found on the website: www.mmdhd.org/covid-vaccine-information/.

The biggest challenge every organization offering the vaccine faces right now is the limited supply of vaccine. MMDHD asks for patience as they work through this monumental task and want their communities to know that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated, but it will take time.

They know that those without internet or seniors might have an especially difficult time trying to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. They encourage these individuals to call 211 for assistance. A 211 operator will help callers register or sign up with clinic sites in their area.

Seniors over 65 who do not have internet or who struggle to use a computer may call their nearest office on aging. Clinton County seniors over 65 can call the Tri-County Office on Aging at 517-887-1440. Gratiot County seniors over 65 can call the Gratiot County Commission on Aging at 989-875-5246. Montcalm County seniors over 65 can call the Montcalm County Commission on Aging at 989-831-7476.

As a reminder, everyone needs to continue preventative measures such as wearing masks properly, social distancing and hand washing to reduce the spread of COVID in our communities, even as the vaccine is being administered.

We’ve come so far since the start of the pandemic, and hope is on the horizon. This is a difficult time for us all, but we will get through this, one vaccination at a time.


Donations needed at the Senior Center

As you may know, the Clinton County Senior Center, located at 201 E Walker Street in St. Johns has been closed for many months due to the COVID pandemic. This means that there has been very little income coming in.

Recently one of the Center’s Board Members decided to be at the center a couple of days a week for a few hours so that people can come in to purchase various items like puzzles, books and many homemade items.

One of the best sellers so far has been puzzles, which the center is running very low on. So if you have any puzzles (children’s through adult) you would like to donate, please drop them off. Puzzles have been a life saver for many of the center’s seniors to keep them busy while sitting at home through this pandemic and cold winter. Puzzles can be dropped off on Mondays between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Just leave them on the black bench if the door is locked, and someone will come out and get them, or come in on a Tuesday or Thursday between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. when the center board member will be there.

If you don’t have any puzzles to donate, but would like to help, consider coming in to shop on Tuesday or Thursday. As mentioned, in addition to puzzles and hundreds of books for sale, the center has a great variety of homemade items like quilts, baby through queen size, table runners (reversible for the holidays), pillows, book pillows, towels, plastic bag holders, pet blankets and much, much more. These items are all homemade by another volunteer Board Member.

If you need to come in at a different time, call Darlene at 989-224-6605 to make other arrangements.


SJHS Teatre production places 5th in the State

St. Johns Competition Theatre’s production of “The Internet is Distract- Oh Look a Kitten!” placed 5th in their division at their virtual State competition on Saturday, February 13.

Excellence awards were earned by:
– Nevaeh Toepler for program design
– Lexsey Pulver, Abby Kloha, Parker Lee, Elayne Lucas, Ella Koenigsknecht, James Gonzales, Nevaeh Toepler, Anna Hagerman, and Jacob Glew for their roles as the Internet Ensemble

Superior awards were earned by:
– Halie Riojas for set logo painting
Jacob Campbell for the roles of Netflix and Jenny Madison Nofzinger, Lily Thelen, and Emily VanElls for Costume Design and Execution

Congratulations to all!

The streaming of their show has been extended through Sunday, February 21. Visit sjdrama.anywhereseat.com to buy your household streaming pass for $10.


Snow around town
by Maralyn Fink

On Tuesday afternoon I decided to go out and see what I could find with all the snow we had.

It had snowed the night before and into Tuesday, so there was a good amount of snow banks to choose from. This is what I found as I braved the cold.


LEAP names local business survival grants

Following a statewide announcement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) announced 194 small businesses and nonprofits from across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties received $15,000 survival grants to alleviate impacts from the state Health Department December 2020 Gatherings and Mask Order. From the 1,045 eligible applications in the Lansing region, our region received only enough funding to support approximately 18% of the applicants.

“It can’t be understated; small businesses continue to face difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 crisis, and every opportunity for relief is vital. LEAP continues to be grateful for emergency small business relief funds funneled to our region, most recently to specifically address the impact of the December 2020 Gatherings and Mask Order,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “LEAP recognizes the trust placed in us to take on this repeatedly heartbreaking but rewarding task. While we are thankful to be helping an additional 194 small businesses with funding amounts that will truly make a difference, we know it barely scratches the surface of our community’s overall needs. We remain optimistic that additional state and federal funds will arrive in the Lansing region in the coming months.”

LEAP received $3 million from the MEDC to provide working capital grants to eligible small businesses and nonprofits across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. Local prioritization focused on the equitable geographic allocation of awards across the region based on the geographic distribution of businesses and population across the three-county region, awarding 11% of grants in Clinton county, 24% in Eaton county and 65% in Ingham county.

LEAP chose to provide a single loan amount of $15,000 instead of smaller grant amounts to ensure a real impact on those businesses selected and their employees. “It’s hard to put into words what this grant means to my employees and me. It’s been a tough year and this grant truly just saved the restaurant and all the employees! We are grateful to LEAP for understanding how painful the end of last year was specifically, and to the state of Michigan for recognizing business still need help if we are to stay in business and pay our employees,” said Phuong-Anh Nguyen, Nola Bistro in Eaton County.

“Like all small businesses during this time of significant restrictions and complete shutdowns, we’ve worked relentlessly to find ways to continue to serve our members and community. This grant funding has finally given us a chance to come up for air and breathe. Our team will use this renewed hope to push ourselves even harder to make health and wellness opportunities accessible to our community during a time when they need it most,” Emmie Musser, 3 legged dog yoga + strength studio in Clinton County. 117 W. Main St., DeWitt, MI 48820, (517) 242-4615 https://www.3ldyoga.org/

Applications were reviewed and scored in five categories: impact, locale, uniqueness, revenue and funding. Emphasis on these categories sought to reach those with the greatest need and preserve vital gathering places that contribute to the rich history of Lansing region communities, such as Gregory’s and Mr. Taco in the city of Lansing, to name a few. All information about the review process and local priorities and criteria was available to potential applicants before and during the statewide application window from LEAP’s website.


Clinton Area Ambulance shows off new ambulance

Clinton Area Ambulance Service Authority has a new ambulance, and thanks to Michigan Graphics & Signs their new ambulance is almost ready.

With the final touches on the inside, they will be helping their communities with this beauty.