On Nov. 2, the seven members of the Williamston Community Schools Board of Education approved two policies related to gender identity and access to gender-segregated facilities
After several months of current and former students, as well as Williamston community members meeting at the local middle school, the school board reached a decision as to how they will assess their transgender students and gender identity concerns. The decision came after months of meetings and public comment after the school board took on the issue of gender identity in its schools. “Over the summer, the seven board members decided to draft some proposals for how the district should handle or deal with the needs of a number of gender-identity type issues,” Williamston High School Principal Jeffrey Thoenes said. “The school board went through their normal process of discussing and then voting on what is placed on their board agenda.”
Thoenes said the transgender issues were handled the same way that any other school board issue is.
The recurring theme for the city of Williamston is its tight-knit community and the town’s eager willingness to come together and help out with anything in anyway that they can. Take the Kiwanis organization, for example, something that embodies all of what Williamston’s values and stands for as a community. Kiwanis is a global organization, entirely comprised of volunteers who are devoted to changing the world for the better, one community, and one child at a time. “Kiwanis is all about the kids. Whatever the kids need, we do for them,” Williamston Kiwanis president Teri Nelson said.
Williamston has a common theme throughout the town about their close-knit community feel and environment. Williamston High School not only serves just their students, but it also has opened itself up for business to the whole community, at the Williamston Community Pool and Fitness Center. Williamston High School used to have an outdoor pool open to the school and public, but after it started requiring more and more repairs, the school board decided it would be more costly to keep feeding funds in for repair, rather than opening a new pool. It later filled the outdoor pool and decided to build a brand new pool inside the high school. The high school’s pool, fitness center and track cater to the students, but it also opened up the facilities to the public and anyone who would like to use them.
The City of Williamston held their regular City Council Agenda Meeting on Oct. 8 to discuss the rundown of pending issues and topics of debate amongst the public. Residents of Williamston actively participated in the city council’s discussions ranging from various police and community events, the renaming process of one Deer Creek Park, and the Consumers Energy Franchise Agreement Ordinance. Williamston City Council, along with any interested residents, convened in an effort to vote on the retention of the Consumers Energy Franchise Agreement. When Mayor Tammy Gilroy put the item to a vote, it was a sure unanimous decision in favor of retaining Consumers Energy as the city’s natural gas franchise provider.The Michigan constitution requires the utility to have a franchise to operate within the public right away, which would be parks and roads in a city.
Williamston may not be one of the biggest cities in the greater Lansing area, but to Old Nation Brewery owner Travis Fritts, it has an authentic close-knit community feel. It’s usually the smaller cities that have the more intriguing destinations, and for Williamston, its Old Nation Brewery that fits that mold. Travis Fritts and Rick Ghersi started working together in 2003 when they opened Detroit Beer Company in downtown Detroit. At the time, Fritts had a background in production, so he and Ghersi decided to get into a little bit of production with Fritts, where they focused directly on producing different beers, making them and selling it in small batches on the open market. “The pub did really well, so we decided to move into production and buy a building and some equipment,” Fritts said.
Most people say some of the smallest cities usually have some of the more unique and intricate attractions and sites. Take Williamston for example – a city home to just under 4,000 thousand people outside the larger city of Lansing, mainly known for its various antique markets in the town. “We’ve got a lot of little very unique restaurants here in Williamston,” Williamston resident John Waters said. “Thai Nation is as authentic as they come and it’s definitely my favorite place to grab a bite to eat in town.”
Located just off 725 West Grand River Ave. is Thai Nation, a locally owned Thai home cooking style restaurant that is one of the major hotspots of Williamston and the greater Lansing area.