County News

Lenawee County. We believe it’s the greatest county in Michigan. That’s why we continue to invest in a wide range of county programs and services to make this the best place to live in Michigan. 

May 12

Lenawee County Veterans Received $69,954,000 Last Year

Posted on May 12, 2023 at 4:08 PM by Jennifer Ambrose

During the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2022, data shows that 5,910 veterans resided in Lenawee County, with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expenditures totaling $69,954,000.  Of this total, Lenawee County veterans and their families received $35,590,000 in service-connected disability compensation, DIC death compensation, veteran’s pension, and survivor’s pension benefits; $1,599,000 for educational & vocational rehabilitation benefits; $126,000 for insurance and indemnities; $32,638,000 for medical care expenditures with 2,116 unique patients who received treatment at a VA health care facility. 

The influx of money into the Lenawee County economy was a significant portion of the $5,802,859,000 VA expended to serve the 530,586 veterans living throughout the State of Michigan.

Over half of all VA expenditures are paid directly to veterans and their families.  The balance of the money is used to support the VA medical services and health care programs provided at Michigan’s 5 VA Medical Centers (VAMC), 32 Outpatient Clinics (OPC) and Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) along with 11 Vet Centers located throughout the State.

To inquire about veteran related benefits, services, and resources, please contact the Lenawee County Department of Veterans Affairs located in the Human Services Building at 1040 S. Winter St., Ste. 3017 in Adrian, MI 49221.  Assisting Lenawee County veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining Federal, State, and County benefits.  To an obtain a list of required documents and information needed to file a claim for benefits or temporary emergency assistance, please call (517) 264-5335 or visit the office. Open to the Public:  Monday – Thursday, morning hours: 8:00 a.m. – noon, afternoon hours: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Closed on Fridays for administrative purposes. You can also obtain information directly from the VA by calling their toll-free line, 1-800-827-1000 or by visiting

Jul 06

Daybreak: Providing Enriching, Safe, and Affordable Day Services For Lenawee County Seniors

Posted on July 6, 2022 at 12:47 PM by Katherine Fiorillo

As of 2020, over 19% of the population in Lenawee County was over 65 years old- higher than the national average. From a rich schedule of senior center activities to delivering hundreds of daily meals through Meals on Wheels, the Lenawee County Department on Aging has made it their mission to provide quality services, programs, and care to help older residents live with independence, dignity, and a spirit of support and community. Yet many still don’t know about one of their most vital services nestled in the Adrian Senior Center- Daybreak Adult Day Services. 

Daybreak is an adult day program for older adults who are displaying age-related challenges and need a safe place to go during the day. Some participants have Alzheimer’s or dementia, but others may face challenges after a stroke or mobility issues and aren’t able to be left alone safely. Daybreak provides an affordable, enriching, and safe environment that not only gives participants a sense of independence and community, but helps their families balance the stress of caregiving by offering relief for full-time familial caregivers or helping defer an individual from nursing home care. 

Serving Older Adults and Their Families

Adult day programs are a great resource for caregivers as full-time care can be extremely overwhelming and isolating for both the individual and the caregiver, especially if they aren’t able to leave the house often. Daybreak is a safe place that can allow caregivers to either continue working or the freedom to complete personal and household tasks that can be more challenging while caring for a loved one while providing a purpose and a destination for older adults who may be struggling to connect with others in a new time of their life. The program also relieves some stress on our nursing homes and other long-term care facilities because it means many adults are able to stay at home or with a loved one longer. 

Enriching Activities 

Participants are never alone while they are at Daybreak. At all times, they are either with an individual caregiver or a group of participants and caregivers. Directors create a schedule of programs and activities for each day, which may include a craft, game, gardening, or simply daily conversation with the group about news or memories. However, the schedule is extremely flexible, as the staff will adapt to participants’ interests to ensure they have enjoyable days while at Daybreak. Participants enjoy lunch from the senior center daily and sometimes will spend lunch with senior center members, especially if there is an additional event scheduled, such as a visiting band. 

The Senior Center vs Daybreak 

Lenawee County’s senior centers offer enjoyable and enriching activities for older adults and, in many ways, are very similar to Daybreak. Both facilities provide an opportunity for people to gather and find a community of similar people who support each other but Daybreak offers additional support for those who need a bit more care. 

Daybreak is not a medical facility. However, the staff helps monitor the process of aging to ensure a participant and their family is getting all the support they need. There is also a nurse who can perform assessments and reviews for physicians and participants’ families. 


While the senior center is an open facility where older adults may come and go as they please, Daybreak is provided to be secure. Participants and staff can absolutely visit and participate in activities with the senior center, but most times they are within the security of Daybreak, where doors are locked and alarmed so those who may be prone to wandering are unable to do so, offering an additional assurance to family members and caregivers of the participants. 

Image of four adults sitting around a blue table and talking

Getting Your Loved One to Daybreak 

Your loved one may receive a referral to Daybreak Adult Day Services from Community Mental Health, hospitals, or a physical therapist. When you reach out to Daybreak, the dedicated staff will first learn as much about the prospective participant as they can to ensure the program is the right for them and they will be able to provide the care they need. Then, the prospective participant and their family and/or caregivers will be invited for a tour of the facility where they can meet other participants, see a sample daily schedule, have lunch with the team, and decide if Daybreak is the right choice for them. 

Providing Affordable Services

Caregiving can be a tremendous financial undertaking for a family. Daybreak is fortunate to be a grant provider under the Older Americans Act and with help from the Senior Millage and private contributions, the service is offered on a sliding scale fee based on the income of the individual or couple participating to support as many families and participants as possible. 

Many caregivers face challenging decisions to allocate finances, time, and resources in as efficient of a way as possible while also providing great care for their loved one. For some, Daybreak is the solution for a full-time caregiver to find some relief but for others, it is a piece to a greater puzzle of nurses, family members, and facilities that work together to provide dynamic and cost-effective care for an individual. 

Image of two elderly adults sitting and talking

Support Beyond Services

Daybreak is a wonderful resource for participants to be part of a community, but it’s also a supportive community of its own for caregivers. At Daybreak, family members and caregivers can find others who not only can empathize with the challenges of caregiving but offer a network of support for those who may need resources, answers, or help. 

There are two caregiver support groups sponsored by Daybreak. The Navigators is a general caregiver support group that meets on the first and third Monday of every month and is designed for individuals who want to learn more, talk through their challenges, and find a community of others who truly understand the caregiving journey. There is also a men’s support group that meets on the first Friday of each month. Men don’t often find themselves in caregiver roles and may face additional challenges or need unique support that they can find within a community of other male caregivers. 

To learn more about Daybreak’s adult day services and support groups, or to donate or volunteer with Daybreak, please contact the team at 517-266-2588. 

Apr 11

Preserving Lenawee County History: Renovating the County Courthouse

Posted on April 11, 2022 at 4:03 PM by Katherine Fiorillo

In early 2020, the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners decided it was finally time to update and restore Lenawee County’s Courthouse for the next 100 years of serving the community. The County Courthouse is a cherished historic building but, as it was built in the 1800s, it didn’t have the heating and cooling, technology, or security needed to make it a truly functional office space that could safely and effectively serve the needs of the county. 

The County Courthouse holds a special place in the community’s vibrant history, so renovating this space meant honoring and preserving the past while adding just enough modern technology to improve the safety and functionality of the building, without hindering its historical charm. 

OCH Outside


The original Lenawee County Courthouse was devastated by a fire that destroyed years of local court documents, birth certificates, marriage records, and other irreplaceable documents. The impressive building we see today was built to house county operations and was completed in 1884. For nearly 100 years, the County Courthouse was the home for courts, record-keeping offices, and the county treasurer until a designated judicial building was erected in 1978, leaving the County Courthouse to house the administrative and record-keeping offices of the county. 

Originally, the courthouse was heated with fireplaces and illuminated with oil lamps, both of which can still be seen by visitors today- though only as decoration. The push to renovate truly came when a repair job exposed the beautiful, original ceilings. With several safety, climate control, and functionality issues facing the employees and citizens utilizing the courthouse on a daily basis, the county administration decided to lay out careful, conservative renovation plans for the courthouse that would utilize taxpayer dollars efficiently, benefit the community, and create lasting improvements.

OCH Court

Safety Improvements

Because the County Courthouse was built in the 1800s, its safety features needed to be updated to fit today’s standards to protect our county employees and citizens. A team of contractors added a state-of-the-art fire suppression system and security systems to protect the administrative and historical records that are kept there. They added handicap-accessible entryways and bathrooms to accommodate all members of our community. 

OCH Downstairs Hallway

Climate Control Updates

A new HVAC system was added to the building, which will save money on repairs, routine maintenance, and electric, heating, and cooling expenses. 


To improve the functionality of the courthouse and make better use of the space, the offices were rearranged so services are all located on the first and second floor, opening the space on the lower level for three additional meeting rooms. Relocating offices also increases the accessibility to the public, as everything citizens need is in one convenient location. 


Preservation and maintenance of county buildings is built into the county’s annual budget, so Lenawee County taxpayers saw no increase to their taxes for these renovations. With increased functionality, safety, and climatization, the building’s monthly electric and maintenance costs will decrease as well as the likelihood of major repair costs from weather or fire-induced damage. 

Preserving History 

The courthouse is a crucial piece of Lenawee County’s history so special care was taken to preserve the structure, design, and intricate details of the courthouse. 

Master crafters recreated plaster flowers, blended trim work, and restored hardwood flooring throughout the building. The wheat mosaic in the center of the building was repaired and preserved while the two, formerly enclosed, grand staircases were opened and beautifully restored. 

The area between the first and second floor is once again open, restoring the rotunda to its original size. From the balcony of the rotunda, you can now look down upon the wheat mosaic tiles of the first floor or look up to a fantastic stained-glass dome created specifically for this building. The artist, Victoria Balva, incorporated architectural designs from the exterior of the building and captured the spirit of the building while adding hints of lavenders, peaches, and pinks. 

OCH Ceiling

The courthouse holds much of the local government’s administrative services but it also holds much of our rich history. Properly preserving the County Courthouse means creating a legacy for the future and with the improvements we’ve made in less than two years, this historic building is ready to serve the community for generations to come.