Clinton Northern Railway plans silent auction

Organizers at Clinton Northern Railway are beginning to gather donations for the silent auction on December 7, 2018. They are gathering a wide variety of interesting items for the auction, and would very much appreciate items that represent your business or that you feel will help them raise money for the continuing restoration of the four historic rail cars.

If you are willing to help them out, please leave them a message, and they will get back to you.


There are only two Sundays left for Clinton Northern Railway Museum in St. Johns at 107 E. Railroad Street to be open between 1:00 and 3:00 PM. Then it will be closed until the first Sunday in May, 2019.

They welcome you to come down whichever Sunday you can make it to help them celebrate a great season.

They have things that appeal to people from 2 – 92. On either Sunday people wearing or holding something with a railroad theme will get a delicious chocolate steam engine made with Hanover’s mint chocolate – or a different small item if they choose. There is no charge to see the museum, the model train layout and/or tour two of the historic rail cars on the tracks.

Clinton Northern Railway is a branch of the Clinton County Arts Council, a non-profit organization.

Homecoming 2018 parade

by Maralyn Fink

On Friday afternoon I was in the Homecoming Parade and drove Al and Tami Nelson as Grand Marshall. It was a cold, cloudy windy day; and therefore I turned on the heater in the convertible. Yes, that’s right – every little bit helped.

It was a very nice parade, and there were a lot of spectators lined up all of Clinton Avenue on both sides. It was great seeing the turnout, and it was also great to see the support for all the students.

Hopefully next year will bring better weather at least I can dream about that.

Thanks students and everyone that came out in the weather for the SJHS Homecoming Parade. Thanks to Sheri Becker for organizing the parade also. Great job everyone!

Real Men Wear Pink

by Maralyn Fink

Men In Pink with Darlene Hufnagel of the Cancer Society invited Curt Keck from Keck-Coleman Funeral Home in St Johns to represent the St Johns area. This is a fundraiser for the Cancer Society thru the month of October. Curt must wear something pink thru this time frame.

When we asked Curt why he agreed to volunteer for this event, he said, “Breast cancer affects everyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. That’s why I’m stepping up to fight breast cancer with all I have.

“Since I’m in a position to make a difference within my community, I believe I have an obligation to do so. By raising money and awareness through Real Men Wear Pink, I’m helping to save more lives from breast cancer.”

There is also a fundraising account, and Curt has pledged to earn $2500.00 Dollars. He is the only candidate in the St Johns area. Join Curt in helping save more lives from breast cancer here.

Storyteller remembers the Edmund Fitzgerald November 13

Mike Fornes, of the Michigan Historical Society, will be at the Briggs District Library to present “The Edmund Fitzgerald: The Stories – The Song” on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Fornes will share his storytelling, musical program about the sinking of the Fitzgerald, its crew, and the popular song by Gordon Lightfoot.

No library card is needed to attend this free event, but advance registration is appreciated, and can be found on library website.

Builders Club readies depot for spring

The St. Johns Middle School Builders Club, a service and leadership organization sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, planted 400 plus daffodil bulbs at and around the depot ground last Saturday morning.

Tri-Area Trucking School Grand Opening and Open House set

The Tri-Area Trucking School (TATS) is celebrating the opening of their St. Johns-area location, their sixth in Michigan, with an Open House on Thursday, October, 25, 10:00 a.m. – Noon, at 2177 Business US-27 in St. Johns, MI, the former Kmart Plaza.

TATS offers training in Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Class A, Class B and Bus. The three-week programs are hands- on and designed to move students out of the classroom and onto the road rapidly following their road-test. Specialized training opportunities can be developed to suit an employer’s needs.

“The new location in Clinton County will help meet the growing demand for qualified drivers at mid-Michigan companies,” stated Clinton County Economic Alliance President & CEO Dru L. Mitchell. “We appreciate the opportunity to assist the company in identifying a location for the school and connecting them with area employers.”

Representatives from TATS are looking forward to welcoming prospective students, employers, and interested residents to the new facility to share information about the CDL programs and job opportunities in this valuable field.

Tri-Area Trucking School was started in 1999 in response to the need for comprehensive training in the field of truck driving. The company was acquired in 2015 by Ross Education, a leader in allied health training who recognized their model for adult education could assist with the nation-wide demand for certified drivers their model of adult education. They are committed to fast, focused-education and improving the lifestyle of their students.

Development of Cheese and Whey Processing Facilities underway

Ground has broken on the site of two new world-class dairy processing facilities in St. Johns, which are expected to dramatically improve the production, profitability and long-term prospects for Michigan’s dairy farms. Announced by LEAP Aug. 9, the new dairy processing campus began initial earthwork on September 17, 2018.

The massive investment project will welcome Ireland’s fifth largest company, along with its three US-based partner companies, to the region. Glanbia plc, a global nutrition group based in Ireland with a presence in 32 countries, has partnered with Select Milk Producers Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America to form Spartan Michigan LLC. Spartan Michigan will develop a new $470 million, cheese and whey processing facility in St. Johns, which is expected to create 259 new jobs. The facility will process more than 8-million pounds of milk per day. Additionally, Proliant Dairy Ingredients is investing $85 million in an adjoining facility, which will use byproduct from Spartan Michigan processes to manufacture whey permeate products and employ 38 new workers.

Building construction for both facilities on the 146-acre industrial park site is expected to begin in December of this year with full operations expected to be underway by October, 2020. When complete, the site will be among the largest dairy processing facilities in the country.

“Attracting the Spartan Michigan project to the Lansing region is an accomplishment LEAP is proud to have led over three years, involving critical partnerships among numerous state departments, local government units, educational and workforce organizations, and private sector entities,” said LEAP President and CEO, Bob Trezise. “We’re excited to be able to literally see the project unfolding in the community and we continue to appreciate Glanbia and its investing partners for choosing St. Johns over other location options, helping to position Lansing as a leading AgTech and food innovation market.”