More First Responders Mural photos

2022 Soap Box Derby

Harbor Springs Police Chief rewards students

A Harbor Springs 1st grader joined Chief Kyle Knight at Johan’s for the last PBIS of the school year. Students earn tickets for good behavior, and each month one student is selected for a ride to school with Chief Knight. They stop at Johan’s for a delicious donut on the way to school.

Remember When – 2013 Mint Queen and Court to reign

A new queen was crowned at the 2013 Mint Festival Pageant on Tuesday July 30, 2013 and she is Alyssa Mee.

Alyssa will be accompanied by her 1st Runner Up Paige Hufnagel, 2nd Runner Up Kaylee Bauman, Junior Miss Mint Alyssa Thompson and Little Miss Mint Audrey Rademacher.

The Queen, Junior and Little Miss Mint will participate in approximately 15 parades over the next year, and all of the girls will participate in another 5-10 Clinton County Chamber of Commerce activities and other community events.

Letters – Reader writes about unrest in the SJPD

My name is Dana Worrall and I live in St. Johns. I would like make a statement:

My husband has been a law enforcement officer for over 20 years and has served this community for over 13 of those years. He was a sergeant for a number of those years but being the type of person he is he knew he had no desire to go any further and it wasn’t fair to hold anyone back that wanted to further their career.

When he made that decision and advised Chief Knight of this decision Chief Knight was impressed by his selflessness and his admiration for this community. But before Chief would let him make the final decision Chief called me one evening just to be sure I was comfortable with the decision.

You may ask why I bring this up. I feel it’s important to provide a background of what use to be and now what is. See I’m an outsider too I wasn’t born and/or raised in this community and the men and women from the department took me in as family but most importantly as a friend. We have been through divorces, marriages, new babies, death of loved ones, and all the in between together. We supported each other regardless of your job title.

Within a month of Mr. Kirk becoming a chief the department was advised that it’s not a family, and from that point forward everything changed. No one likes change, but you take it for what it is and go on, and that’s what everyone seemed to do. Go on. Long time employees left because of the work environment, but through those departures not a single person came to City leadership to complain; they simply went on with their lives.

Now look at what this department has become. The last two months of living in this community has been hell. As a spouse and member of the community I cannot go to the store without being questioned about what’s going on. I’ve had to address countless rumors regarding the chief’s leave. From him being sick, he had resigned, employees are just ‘whining’ because he’s an outsider, they don’t want to follow policy and procedures, the list goes on and on.

But the truth of the matter is none of those things are true. The City asked the employees to voice their thoughts and concerns, so they did. You may wonder why you didn’t receive responses from all of the employees, but I think the current situation says it all. Maybe it’s hard to see the big picture when you’re not directly involved, so let me provide some insight. What has been done to these employees over the last two months has been shameful.

It doesn’t just affect their work, but it also affects their families and home life. The families of these employees have given up so much over the years – missed birthdays, holidays, family dinners, children’s sporting events – all of the things each and everyone of you take for granted, we have given up supporting our loved ones career. But the question now becomes for what? To hear comments from the community that the department is filled with ‘rumors’, ‘whining’, ‘they don’t want to follow policies and procedures’.

My husband has built his career on following policies and procedures, and you can ask anyone of his former supervisors and they’ll tell you he is one of the most rule abiding people you’ll ever meet, and I feel confident enough to make this statement for the rest of the individuals. They have not gotten where they are from not following policies and procedures.

I end with this. The lack of support, follow through, respect and care that has been provided to the employees by City leadership is unacceptable. You have essentially said that if they don’t like it, leave. What that really sounds like is our families need to make a choice. Do we provide for our family and continue to let our loved ones work in an environment that is filled with tension from the inside because the job isn’t difficult already or do we stand up for what we believe in and walk away from a community and department we have dedicated our lives to?

– Dana Worrall

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – 8 Surprising Ways to Say “I Love You” in Cat Language
courtesy of Jackie Lam

Most cat lovers don’t need to be told that a steady supply of cuddles and cat treats will keep their feline friends happy. But what are some methods to show your cat signs of affection that go a little deeper? By learning more about innate cat behavior, you can enhance the bond you share. Here are eight fun ways to show your cat love—in cat language.

1. Gaze Softly Into Your Cat’s Eyes

Did you know that you can show your cat affection simply by looking at her? It just takes some finesse. “When you look at your cat, always use a soft gaze and never a hard stare,” says Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, and best-selling author of “CatWise.” “In the animal world, a direct stare is viewed as a threat.”

“If you really want to amp up the affection factor,” Johnson-Bennett adds, “offer a slow eye blink as well.” In cat language, blinking slowly signals that you’re relaxed and mean no harm. If your cat feels the love, too, she might blink back. “This is commonly referred to as a cat kiss,” Johnson-Bennett says.

2. Respect Petting Preferences

Has your cat ever come to you for cuddles, only to wriggle out of your arms seconds later? If so, you may need to modify your petting style. “The cat’s body is very sensitive, and when you stroke certain areas, you want to get a positive reaction and not a defensive one,” Johnson-Bennett says. For instance, some cats enjoy a good chin-scratching, but others prefer long strokes from head to toe. “Observe how your cat reacts when you stroke various areas of the body so you’ll know what creates a calm, enjoyable reaction,” says Johnson-Bennett.

And while many cat lovers could probably pet kitties for hours on end, it’s important to know when to stop. “You always want to end the session on a positive note,” Johnson-Bennett says, “so watch for signals that kitty is getting tired of the physical contact.” Learning how your cat communicates with their body can help you figure out when your cat is ready for their petting session to end.

3. Enrich Your Cat’s Environment

Cats spend a lot of time at home, so it’s essential that their environment be a safe and stimulating one. “All the hugging, petting, toys, sweet talk and other forms of affection won’t matter if the cat doesn’t feel safe or is stressed,” says Johnson-Bennett. Make sure your cat feels secure and has convenient access to resources like food, water and a cat litter box. “It doesn’t take much to tweak the environment to be more cat-friendly,” Johnson-Bennett says. “It just takes looking at things from the cat’s point of view.”

There are many more ways to enrich your cat’s environment beyond the basics. Mikel Delgado, a certified applied animal behaviorist and co-founder of Feline Minds, recommends items like cat scratchers, window perches and cat trees, which help cats feel safer and let them watch over their territory. She also can’t overstate the value of a heated bed. “All cats enjoy being warmer than humans like,” she says. “And it’s especially great for older cats who may have some creaky joints.”

4. Nurture Your Cat’s Inner Predator

Cats are natural predators, but those chewed-up mouse toys behind the couch don’t make very challenging prey. “I think one of the best ways to show love for your cat is to engage them with interactive playtime every day,” says Delgado. “Interactive play means you move a toy—such as a feather wand or Cat Dancer toys—like prey, so your cat can let loose as the predator they are built to be.” Not only does this activity nurture innate cat behavior, but it provides a stress-reducing workout, too. “It’s a great way to bond,” Delgado says, “especially when your cat isn’t the cuddly type.”

5. Use Food Puzzle Toys

You probably wouldn’t want to have to solve a puzzle cube before every meal. However, giving your cat a food puzzle is a great way to appeal to her inner hunter and give her a mental workout. “I’m a big fan of foraging toys or puzzles that require your cat to manipulate a ball or other object to get food out,” says Delgado. Start your cat out with a simpler cat food dispensing toy that allows her to see the cat food or cat treats inside, like the Catit treat ball toy or the Petsafe Funkitty Egg-cersizer cat toy. Then introduce more difficult puzzle toys over time, like the Trixie activity fun board cat toy or the KONG Active cat treat ball toy. Crafty cat lovers may enjoy making DIY food puzzles at home.

6. Create a Treasure Hunt

Hunting and foraging are natural cat behaviors, but it’s understandable if your cat isn’t doing much of either in your living room. You can change that by creating a food treasure hunt for cats. “Place food and treats on cat trees, shelves, in puzzle toys and boxes and other spots for the cat to search for,” says Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant known as The Cat Coach and author of “Naughty No More.” The hunt should start easy, with food placed where your cat can see it. You can increase the difficulty by putting food in harder to reach places like cat trees, but don’t make it too hard, says Krieger. “The game should be challenging, not frustrating.”

7. Reward Good Behavior

The same techniques that help deal with unwanted cat behavior can also strengthen bonds with humans, explains Krieger. Clicker training, a positive reinforcement training method, uses a consistent sound, such as a click from a clicker, to communicate to the cat when she is doing a desired behavior. Cat clicker training is fun for cats and also makes their home environment more comfortable. “It’s effective for socializing cats and helping them feel more secure around their people,” says Krieger.

8. Show Your Cat Signs of Affection Every Day

Even if your feline is fairly low-maintenance, show your cat love daily. As Krieger says, “It is mandatory that cat lovers schedule that special petting, cuddling, stroking time with their cats—that is, for cats who like to be stroked and cuddled.” And for those cats who don’t, you’ve hopefully discovered a few new ways to enjoy that quality time.