Like the other first responders in the greater-Lansing area, Lansing Township Police Officer Matt Birr’s daily routine is different from others in his field of work. The 10-year veteran can spend his 12-hour shift doing a number of things; from patrolling the morning traffic at Waverly East Intermediate School and other surrounding areas in the township, or handling penny thefts and other reports of mischievous behavior to intervening with calls about domestic abuse. “The days tend to go by pretty fast,” Birr said. And due to the fragmentation of Lansing Township, many of the station’s calls from the dispatch center aren’t actually cases where the Lansing Township Police Department has jurisdiction. The east and west sides of the township sandwich the city of Lansing, and the township is just blocks away from Clinton and Eaton counties.
It’s one of the most loved and hated times of the year — depending on how you feel about Daylight Saving Time. When it comes to springing forward, the good thing is the days become longer, you conserve a small amount of electricity, and in all likelihood, you’re outside more than in the winter. The cons, however, include losing that coveted extra hour of sleep, and multiple health risk factors, like increased stress levels, car crash rates, and an increase in heart attacks and strokes. Whether you’re in Lansing Township, Michigan or Anchorage, Alaska, the effects of daylight saving can be both a blessing and a curse.
When 43-year-old Bobbie Ledesma was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had no idea who was going to take care of her or her son. Ledesma, a native of Saginaw, was with General Motors for almost five years when she moved to Lansing. She was transferred to the GM Lansing Delta Assembly plant and had no family in the area. Ledesma joined the United Auto Workers, or UAW, Local 602 — located in Lansing Township — and became involved with the branch’s Women’s Committee. It was Ledesma’s fellow union members that helped her beat her cancer.
In front of 642 Mifflin Ave., 28-year-old Devon Williams can be found fixing up his silver sedan — dinged and dented up from years of wear and tear from the road and parts of the front bumper torn off from driving over potholes or uneven surfaces. Living a safer life than he did four years ago in urban Chicago, Williams is still facing the dangers of obsolete infrastructure. His driveway is made up of dirt and gravel, it’s flooded because of a faulty sewer system. The sidewalk that runs down his street is non-existent on the other side of the road. “I’ll be honest,” Williams said.
Two new hotels and a potential apartment complex coming to Eastwood Towne Center could be the foundation of economic growth for the area, as the lifestyle center on the northwest side of Lansing Township continues plans for expansion. Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said last month that a Holiday Inn and a Hilton Homewood Suites would be constructed behind the NCG Eastwood Cinema. The new plans would already add to the two hotels currently located in the Eastwood complex: a Hyatt Place, which opened last May, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites expected to open later this spring. The Hilton Homewood Suites, part of an Eastwood expansion plan sponsored by the township known as The Heights, has already been under construction since late 2016 will accommodate travelers staying for extended periods of time. According to Hayes, the Holiday Inn will break ground later this spring and will be located west of the Hyatt Place and the Fairfield, kitty-corner to the NCG.