MWC Begins Production in St. Johns

MWC, a $470 million state-of-the-art cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, began receiving milk on October 20 from local farmers, marking the first day of operations for the facility and beginning the commissioning phase.

Commissioning operations at MWC will take place over the next eight months and will see the initial one million lbs. of milk per day increase to its designed capacity of eight million lbs. per day.

When fully operational, this 375,000 square foot facility built on a 120 acre lot will employ 260 local people and will process over 2.9 billion pounds of milk from local farmers into more than 300 million pounds of superior quality block cheese and 20 million pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year.

A joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), and Select Milk Producers Inc., MWC is one of the most technically advanced dairy processing facilities in the U.S., designed and built over a two year period to meet exacting food manufacturing standards.

In determining the site for the new facility, St. Johns was selected due to the growing supply of high quality milk in the region, the excellent transportation infrastructure in the region, proximity to customers, and the positive business environment and strong local workforce reputation in the region.

Commenting, Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals said, “We are very pleased to reach this important milestone on our journey to deliver a new ultramodern dairy facility in Michigan for our customers. As we enter this key commissioning phase and begin production at the plant, I would like to thank the entire Glanbia Nutritionals team, and in particular the onsite team, whose expertise and focus have kept the project on track and on budget particularly during the challenges of the last seven months. In addition, I would like to thank the State and City authorities for their continued support and of course our great partners, DFA & Select Milk Producers.”

Dennis Rodenbaugh, Executive Vice President and President of Council Operations and Ingredients at Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) added, “We are excited about this important milestone in the operation, which not only will play a critical role in the dairy industry in Michigan, but will bring value to our family farmer-owners here and across the country.”

Rance Miles, CEO of Select Milk Producers concluded, “This partnership began two decades ago with the creation of the Southwest Cheese JV by bringing dairy farmers, processors and local communities together to achieve beneficial results for all. This new facility in Michigan under the same JV partnership is a continuation of that success.”


Downtown St. Johns to host safe and free Halloween events

Businesses to trick-or-treat at during the Friday, October 30 Event So Good Its Scary, 3:30-5:30 p.m., include:
At the Pavilion on the Depot Lawn:
– Clinton Area Transit
– Clinton County Chamber of Commerce
– Clinton County Senior Center
– Grubaugh Orthodontics
– Sparrow Clinton Hospital
– Sylvan Learning.

South US 27 Area:
– Clinton County Medical Center
– Hazel Findlay Country Manor
– OUCH Urgent Care

Downtown Area:
– Briggs District Library
– Clinton County Arts Council
– Edward Jones/Tony Lenneman, FA
– Huntington Bank,
– Redeemer Church, St. Johns Campus
– SafeCenter
– Simplified Tax & Accounting
– Sports Stop Sports Wear
– State Farm-Steve Vanells
– Sundance Body Shop
– Your Hearing Solution

North US 27:
Sundance Buick GMC

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Please join folks in beautiful Downtown St. Johns on Saturday, October 31 from 6:20 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. for the first annual Downtown Candy Cruise Trick Or Treat event.

Come drive through downtown with the kids and enjoy a contact free trick or treat event courtesy of the St. Johns DDA/PSD and several of our local businesses. This will be a great and safe way to get the kids out for a fun Halloween from the comfort of your vehicle.

All vehicles must enter the drive through via Old US27/ N. Clinton Ave. and proceed South toward the courthouse. Exit the cruise East Or West on M-21/ State St. This is a FREE event.


Need help raking leaves?

If you or someone you know is physically challenged and unable to rake your leaves in the city limits, please contact the City of St. Johns at (989) 224-8944, ext. 282 by October 28.

The St. Johns Public School students are volunteering their time to rake leaves for residents who are unable to do so.

There will be a limit of 10 residents this year for raking, so please call early to get added to the list.


Join the Girl Scout Yard Sign Blitz

Join in the fun and show your sign of support by participating in the Girl Scout Yard Sign Blitz.

Stop by your local regional center, and a staff member or volunteer will assist you with getting as many signs as you want to help spread the word about Girl Scouting.

Have fun during the blitz and take a selfie with your yard sign, post it on social media with the hashtag #GSHOMBlitz2020 #GSHOM. Don’t forget to tag @GSHOM so everyone can share your post.

Go to www.gshom.org/locations to get the address for your local regional center, and stop by this Thursday or Friday, between 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or Saturday between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to pick-up yard signs.


No Shave November coming up

You may notice St. Johns Police officers looking a little more scruffy and rugged than usual. They are again participating in No Shave November.

Each officer who participates is paying $50 that will be donated to No Shave November which is is a web-based, non-profit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education.

Since nothing else has been normal in 2020, they decided to change this a little bit as well and start a couple of weeks early. Who knows, we might even let the beards grow into December as well with additional donations supporting local charities during the holiday season.

Here is a link to the No Shave November website in case you want to donate to the cause as well https://no-shave.org.


SafeCenter Telethon scheduled for October 27, 28, and 29

SafeCenter Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Clinton and Shiawassee Counties has been fully operational since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, providing a variety of services to adult and child survivors. Although the Emergency Shelter has only been able to operate at 50% capacity due to CDC guidelines, individuals in high danger have been moteled in a safe location off-site when the Shelter is full. All other available services have continued, either in-person following health and safety guidelines, or virtually since the onset of COVID. SafeCenter has been able to maintain employment, health and safety of all staff and residents throughout the pandemic.

While SafeCenter’s doors have remained open and the calls for help have continued to come in, however, donations to the organization have dramatically decreased as the market and economy conditions have been uncertain, and there was an inability to hold the annual fundraising event this year due to health/safety concerns with COVID.

Because of this, and in honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SafeCenter is holding a three-day Telethon Event scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, Wednesday, October 28, and Thursday, October 29 from 8 am to 8 pm each day. Community members are encouraged to call in to the SafeCenter office at 989-723-9716 during this time and pledge support over the phone. Individuals can give over the phone, in-person at the office, or online at www.thesafecenter.org.

It is the goal of the organization to raise $60,000 this year to increase the sustainability and continuity of programs and services to survivors across the area. By giving to SafeCenter, you partner in the mission to Empower, Advocate, Educate, and Prevent and provide essential services to adults and children who are in dangerous and potentially lethal situations. Your contribution also provides SafeCenter with the ability to partner with other community organizations across the area and hold perpetrators of this crime accountable for their actions. We can’t do this work alone. Take a stand against Domestic Violence this October, support SafeCenter, and help make our community a safer place to live, work, and play for all.


It’s more important than ever to get your flu shot

As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) reminds the public that the flu season is upon us and that the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu is to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 and influenza are likely to collide in the coming months, making it more important than ever to do what we can to stay healthy and protect ourselves from preventable illnesses. That is why the MMDHD is urging everyone over six months of age to get vaccinated against the flu.

Vaccination is especially important for those at high-risk for developing serious flu complications. Those most at-risk include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

Anyone who has had influenza knows it can make you quite miserable and put you out of commission for up to a week with a high fever, chills, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. While the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, it remains our best defense and can reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.

The vaccine is effective throughout the entire flu season, which can last as late as May. It does take up to two weeks for the body to build up defenses against the virus after being vaccinated, so it is best not to wait.

The vaccine is available at a variety of places, including your doctor’s office, many pharmacies, or at your local health department.

Mid-Michigan District Health Department offers the standard flu shot, the high-dose flu shot for those 65 and older, and preservative-free options. The health department participates with the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program and can bill many types of insurance, including Medicare Part B, which will cover the entire cost for seniors.

To schedule an appointment at MMDHD, or to find out if we participate with your insurance, call 989-224-2195 in Clinton County, 989-875-3681 in Gratiot County and 989-831-5237 in Montcalm County.

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are many other ways you can protect yourself and your family from getting sick from the flu and other illnesses. First, wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Make sure to clean common surfaces and objects often that may be contaminated with germs. You should also try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you know someone who is sick, avoid close contact with them.

If you do get the flu, call your doctor if your symptoms get worse or if you have shortness of breath or worsening cough or congestion. Also, be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and be sure to stay home so you do not infect others.


St. Johns Festival of Lights and Santa Parade cancelled

Due to Covid related restrictions and the inability to social distance, there will not be a 2020 St. Johns Light Festival and Santa Parade. They will be hard at work building for 2021.

May you all have safe and blessed holidays ahead.