A Look Back at 2023

January

Wilson Center activities on hold

Due to boiler maintenance the Wilson Center will be closed until further notice. All recreational activities have been cancelled.


Clinton County Sheriff’s Officers make arrests

On January 24, 2023 deputies from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office located a truck that was wanted for further investigation in connection with a weapons offense that had occurred in early December 2022 in Olive Twp.


Metal sculptor reflects on trout sculpture, future work, Netflix fame Images by Brooke Elizabeth

Ivan Iler is a Michigan-based metal sculptor and kinetic artist whose work takes inspiration largely from nature, particularly animals. Ivan Iler believes his best work is still to come.


February

SJPS Superintendent resigns during special meeting

At a special meeting of the St. Johns Public Schools Board of Education on Monday, January 30 the Board was expected to approve the resignation of Superintendent Mark Palmer. At the same meeting the Board heard a presentation on Preparing for and Selecting a Superintendent by Michigan Associates of School Boards. Presumably the Superintendent Selection Process will begin soon.


Renovation work at St. Joseph Church completed

The work at St. Joseph Church in St. Johns is finally complete.
Over the course of the 7 months Laux Construction LLC of Mason MI upgraded the sanctuary with classic, yet modern, details and features.


March

Farmland threatened in Eagle Township
by Jean Martin

Down in the south end of Clinton County and along either side of M-100 as it comes out of Grand Ledge sits some prime Michigan farmland just south of Grand River Highway.There residents of Eagle Township are up in arms over plans by Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), to move forward with the development of the Michigan Manufacturing Innovation Campus.


Bishop blesses new altar at renovated St. Joseph Church

Deacon Jerry Fust, Monsignor Robert Lunsford, Fr. Michael Williams, Fr. Douglas Osborn, Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea and Deacon Eric Elstro were on hand at the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, March 4, 2023 as Bishop Boyea blessed the new altar in the newly renovated St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns.


City revising plans for Wilson Center

The new St. Johns City Commission is revisiting plans for relocating their offices from the county courthouse to space at the Wilson Center.


Interim City Manager is on the job

Last month the City Manager for the City of St. Johns, Dave Kudwa, resigned. Beginning on March 13 former City Treasurer and Assistant City Manager Kristina Kinde as the Interim City Manager in an official capacity.


Kris McCarty named president of Sparrow Clinton Hospital

Kris McCarty, an inspiring and innovative leader who has improved patient care throughout her career, has been named President of Sparrow Clinton Hospital.


April

City offices not moving to Wilson Center

The City of St. Johns will not be moving its offices to the Rodney B. Wilson Center, following a vote by the City Commission at a Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.


St. Johns Mayor announces resignation

At Monday night’s regular City Commission meeting, Mayor Roberta Cocco announced her resignation and stepped down from the commission. Cocco was elected last November and was sworn in as mayor on November 28, 2022. Her term was set to expire in November, 2026.


May

CAAS celebrates 50th
by Maralyn Fink

I attended the 50th year open house for Clinton Area Ambulance Service on Saturday May 6. Lynn Weber and the EMT’s do a great job in keeping the service going and because of their dedication.


Deputy Chief Tobias was sworn in by City Clerk

The City of St. Johns and the St. Johns Police Department (SJPD) have announced that Andrew Tobias has been selected to fill the department’s newly created deputy chief position. City Clerk Mindy Seavey administered the oath of office to Tobias on Monday May 15, making the move official.


June

SJPS Board plans Pre-Bond Community Forum

As St. Johns Public Schools continues to look to the future of educating our community’s children, it’s important to understand how the facilities will continue to provide for the future. Please join The St. Johns Public Schools Board of Education for a Community Forum and Bond Planning Update on Monday, June 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the High School Information Center.


SJPS names new Superintendent

The top administrator at New Lothrop Area Public Schools has a new job. Dr. Anthony Berthiaume is now Superintendent of the St. Johns School District.

Berthiaume emerged as the St. Johns Board of Education’s top choice to replace retiring Superintendent Mark Palmer after he and two other finalists were interviewed last Thursday.


.
.

Local hospital acquires yet another new name

Remember how we all had to learn to call Clinton Memorial Hospital in St. Johns Sparrow Clinton? Well, now that we have all pretty much adjusted to that we are going to have to retool our vocabulary once again.

Henceforth according to health system officials, the hospital down on Oakland Street will be known as University of Michigan Health-Sparrow Clinton, effective April 1, 2024, as part of Sparrow joining the Michigan Medicine clinical network.


City of St. Johns selects new Mayor

The St. Johns City Commission selected the a new mayor and vice mayor at its
regular meeting held Monday, June 26. In a united front, the commission unanimously approved Scott Dzurka as mayor. Brad Gurski was subsequently chosen to fill the vice mayor position vacated by Dzurka, also with unanimous approval.


July

Meet the new City Manager July 12

The St. Johns City Commission has selected Chad Gamble as the new city manager. The commission unanimously approved Gamble’s contract at its May 22 meeting, and Gamble will take his oath of office July 10.


SJPS welcomes new Eureka Elementary Principal

Andy Fillwock is changing roles with the St. Johns Public Schools team after having served as the Success Coach at St. Johns High School since March of 2022.


St. Johns Mint Festival Crowns 2023 Royalty

A new Mint Queen and Court have been crowned in advance of the 2023 St. Johns Mint Festival.

The 2023 Mint Queen is Sarah Bovee, a senior at Grand Ledge High School. Her court includes 1st Runner Up, Katie Rozen, a St. Johns High School graduate and 2nd Runner Up Anna Hagerman, who is a senior at St. Johns High School. The 2023 Junior Miss Mint is Bella Payment, a freshman at St. Johns High School. The 2023 Little Miss Mint is Andi Sternburgh.


August

Elsie Dam Fails

There has been a temporary fix to the August 17, 2023 failure of the Elsie dam; and it will continue to be monitored.


Local man killed in crash on M-52

Michael Riley, 60, from St. Johns died Tuesday afternoon, when investigators say he missed a stop sign and crashed into a pickup truck.

The Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office discovered the crash at M-52 and Bennington Road around 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.


Heavy storm damage reported in St. Johns

On Thursday night, just about the time we were putting the SJ Indy to bed for the week, a sudden storm rammed through St. Johns. Some streets are closed, and power is out in many places. This is just a sample of the destruction.


September

Dedication of Sports Building held August 31

30 years ago Don Rademchaer was instrumental in the construction of the St. Johns Rotary Community Building located at the south end of the stadium. That building was rededicated in honor of Don Rademacher who passed away in March.


New calendar marks Historical Society’s 50th


Buy it for the calendar; keep it for the vintage photos.

Help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clinton County Historical Society

The Clinton County Historical Society was established in 1974. To begin the celebration they have collected vintage photographs from around the county to illustrate a 2024 calendar.


Redwing Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Congratulations to the Redwing Hall of Fame Class of 2023!

2023 Inductees:
• Emily Ann (Humphrey) Murray ’90
• Rex Knight ’59
• Tim Moore ’83
• Mark Williams ’73
• 86-87 Cheerleading Team
• 87-88 Cheerleading Team


Local Habitat merges with Capital Region

Clinton-Gratiot Habitat for Humanity and Habitat Capital Region are proud to announce their strategic merger to serve Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties.

Beginning in September this merging created one organization, Habitat for Humanity Capital Region, that will serve a 1,700 square mile, three county area with a mission to impact more families through our Home ownership, Repair and Ramp Programs.


Chamber names new director

The St. Johns Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that Danielle Dershem Schrader will be their new Director.


October

City Commission approves Wilson Center documents

Last week was full of exciting milestones for the City of St. Johns. At the October 10 special meeting the City Commission unanimously approved documents that will move the Wilson Center project forward.

The City will purchase a portion of the Rodney B. Wilson Center, which once served as the local high school and junior high, from Dymaxion Development. Under the approved agreements, the City will own the Wilson Center’s gymnasium, auditorium and additional space for a community room and kitchen/concession area.


Final phase of F.C. Mason project begins

Developers have announced that they have broken ground and are moving forward with the final phase of the F.C. Mason project.

They will be building a two story structure housing 26 total apartments.


November

St. Johns Lions Club celebrates 75th Anniversary


– album by Maralyn Fink

On November 9 members of the St. Johns Lions Club and numerous guests gathered at the beautiful Pierson 319 building in downtown St. Johns to celebrate the club’s 75th anniversary. The dinner was catered by Main Street Cafe.


John Sirrine: Honorary Saint of the Year 2023

A proclamation was issued naming John Sirrine the community’s 2023 Saint of the Year.


St. Johns man dies in crash on Old 27

Thirty-three-year-old Joshua Barish of rural St. Johns is dead after a crash in Olive Twp, Wednesday evening.

At approximately 5 p.m. on November 22, 2023 Clinton County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a multi vehicle crash on Business 127 near Chadwick Road.


December

Festival of Lights Parade carries on

The traditional Festival of Lights got off to a rocky start Friday when about 5:06 p.m. the St. Johns Police Department was dispatched to the 200 block of N. Clinton Avenue on the report that a passenger trolley providing rides to Santa Parade attendees had overturned.


The Briggs District Library Christmas Village

The Briggs District Library Christmas Village hasn’t been up for a few years. They decided to put it up one more time. There won’t be any room to display it after the renovation. We believe that the checkout counter and an entrance will be there.


Charges Filed in Holiday Passenger Trolley incident

The Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has authorized charges as a result of the December 1 trolley incident in downtown St. Johns. Forty-year-old Jason Denovich of St. Johns has been charged with two counts of moving violation causing serious impairment of a bodily function. This is a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.


2023 in photos