Arts Council begins Art Cart early

The Clinton County Arts Council have started the Mobile Art Cart project early this year.

Since the community is distributing food packages and children are off from school, organizers felt this was the perfect opportunity to partner with the St Johns School system Food Department and give out craft bags again.

If you would like to donate new items to our project, you can drop them off at the CCAC Art Gallery downtown.

These are the items they need: coloring books, construction paper, modeling clay or play doh, crayons, colored pencils, craft kits, beads and elastic thread.

The dollar stores and Walmart are the best places to shop.

GracePointe St. Johns Campus distributes food

The St. Johns GracePointe community was handing out food packets.

Thank you the the Clinton County Arts for handing out Mobile Art Cart bags for families.

South Point Mall, 1023 S. US 27

Throwback to the very first Superhero 5K in 2014

As you may have heard, for the safety of our community, The Voice for Clinton County’s Children is postponing their 7th Annual Superhero 5K Run, Walk, or Fly! scheduled for April 25 and the Kick Off Event scheduled for April 7 at St. Johns Big Boy.

They will communicate with everyone when we have new dates. Additional information is available on the website and

CASA Spotlight – Meet CASA Shirley

Shirley Nowakowsky has been an advocate for two years.

Shirley says that her favorite thing about being a CASA Advocate is hanging out with her little CASAs. Nothing is more entertaining than spending an hour with them in Daycare. She also enjoying watching their minds develop.

Shirley also volunteers time caring for those with dementia and the terminally ill.

Remember when? – Durkee Hat Store
by Maralyn Fink

I am remembering my early days everyone wore a hat.

Our local millinery shop was located at 103 N. Clinton in the first block of downtown St Johns. It was owned by two sisters named Susie and Mabel Durkee.

I went there with my mother while she shopped, and I tried to try on the hats. Often got a “look” from the shop owners, so I decided that was not what I was suppose to do to entertain myself.

Hats were a must back then and into the late 60’s, always a must at church. I remember just shopping in downtown Lansing which was a treat when hats were worn then also.

Like many local stores, Durkee’s Hat Shop began at another location. The original shop was founded in 1893 by Mrs. L. Canfield. Sue had joined the sales staff at the age of 18. By 1900 she had become head saleswoman and purchased the business herself. This shop was located down the street where the Clinton Theater was later located. Sue’s business shared space with a restaurant run by her brother, Wilbur Durkee.

After the theater building took over that location, Sue and Mable moved the hat shop up the block to the storefront which would occupy the second door down from Walker’s Cafe. After Sue’s death on September 11, 1965 at the age of 90, Walker’s Cafe was expanded to include that store.

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Why Do Cats Purr?
courtesy of Dr. Sandra Mitchell, DVM

Many people think of purring as the sign of a happy, contented cat. But did you know that cats also purr when they’re in pain or frightened?

Here’s what we know about purring cats—how they do it, why they do it, and how you can tell what your cat’s purring might mean.

How Do Cats Purr?

When cats purr, signals are sent to the muscles of the voice box as well as the diaphragm, which expands the chest when breathing.

These signals stimulate a cat’s vocal cords to vibrate. So as the cat breathes in and out, the air moves across these twitching muscles, resulting in a purring sound.

Cats purr both while inhaling and exhaling, so the sound is nearly continuous.

Purring may have developed in the feline as a mechanism to keep bones and muscles in peak condition. This is helpful during the long periods of inactivity in their style of hunting, which is to wait for prey to come by and then ambush it.

Why Does My Cat Purr?

Many different situations can cause cats to purr, which leads to multiple theories as to why they do it.

Here’s a breakdown of the commonly accepted reasons why cats purr.

Your Cat Is Content

All of us have probably seen a cat that purrs when they are content and happy.

When your cat is sitting on your lap and getting pets and scratches, they are probably purring as well. This form of nonverbal communication tells you that life is good and that your cat is very happy with the current situation.

Cats probably also associate their purrs with positive interactions with you. When they purr, you continue to pet them. It’s almost as if they are training you.

Your Cat Is Self-Medicating

But what about a cat that is purring during labor?

Believe it or not, cats also use purring as a form of self-medication and pain control.

According to studies, cats purr at frequencies that help to stimulate healing, particularly of bones and tendons. The frequency may also serve to reduce pain, ease breathing, and build muscles, among other health benefits.

Your Cat Is Calming Down

And what about cats that purr at the veterinary hospital? Well, that seems to have a logical reason, too.

Cats are thought to use purring as a mechanism for self-calming and stress reduction—sort of the kitty version of repeating a mantra to keep calm.

Frightened cats are often seen to be purring almost “to themselves.” You might see this in shelters where cats are scared and anxious.

Your Cat Is Guiding Their Kittens

Additionally, the vibrations that occur during purring help lead kittens to their mother. Kittens are born blind and deaf, and they depend on the mother cat to provide first milk (called colostrum).

How Can You Tell Why Your Cat Is Purring?

So how do you know what your cat is trying to say when they purr? Look at the context of your cat’s behavior and the situation your cat is in.

A cat on the exam room table in the veterinary hospital is way more likely to be scared than happy. If your cat is purring at home but acting different than normal and is not as engaged with you, they may be frightened and hurting.

When your cat is quietly sitting next to you getting their daily dose of human time, they’re probably content and encouraging your affectionate behavior with their purrs.

If your cat is not acting like they normally do, especially if they are also purring, contact your veterinarian.