Sophomore at Michigan State University covering public affairs in Lansing Township for the Spartan News Room. I am double majoring in Journalism and Marketing through the MSU Honors College. I am a writer for the Odyssey Online and am participating in student research.
Rising obesity rates and lack of access to healthy foods have made Lansing an example of the health crisis in the United States. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, many parts of Lansing are considered food deserts — areas where, for the majority of residents, there is limited access to healthy food on their budget. Registered dietitian Jennie Hahn said there should be concern for those children being raised in food deserts. “If you think about school lunches and the vending machines you find at schools – the kids just aren’t surrounded by the healthy options they need,” Hahn said. There are other factors that are contributing to the decline in health of Lansing residents.
According to the National Turkey Foundation, approximately 46 million turkeys were consumed across the United States in 2015. Like those turkeys, Michigan State University students are preparing to scatter across the country this Thursday to end up stuffed. Taylor Rhelle, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, is going home to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. She said seeing family is her favorite holiday tradition since she lives out-of-state and doesn’t get to travel home often. Rhelle said she’s looking forward to eating her grandmother’s crescent rolls, which are “definitely better” than Pillsbury.
Lansing Township voting booths saw a lower voter turnout this election than in previous elections due to the lack of proposals on the ballot. The Lansing Township ballot had only one item up for vote, and it was related to an Ingham County millage which would allow the Township to raise taxes on residents. This ballot was short in relation to that of the City of Lansing, which was electing a new mayor. The Lansing Township Clerk Susan Aten said she was not surprised by the low voter turnout. “It’s hard to compare previous elections in general, you have to look at the type of election it is,” said Aten.
The First Christian Church in Lansing hosted its annual Trunk-or-Treat event on Oct. 29, following the morning’s service. Community members decorated the trunks of their cars and handed out candy to children. The event began around 12:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour, with many kids coming to trick-or-treat. Attendees were not just from the church, as the event was open to anyone who wanted to participate.
The Lansing Township Board of Trustees voted on Oct.3 in favor of a 6 percent increase in water rates per 1,000 gallons for consumers of West Side Water services. The 2018 rate increase follows a 6 percent increase in 2017. The same rate increase will apply to 2019 as well. According to Randy Seida, West Side Water manager, this increase will add just over $2 per month to the average homeowner’s water bill, or about $25 per year. Seida said she doesn’t believe the increase should put too much strain on the community.