‘It’s not easy’ being part of Lansing’s heavy metal music scene

The history of metal music can be traced back to England, when economic growth became slower and unemployment started rising after World War II. Black Sabbath, the first major heavy metal band, formed and expressed the feelings of desolation. Then the metal music spread all over the world. Today in Lansing, the metal music bands, or underground music society, has a foundation of the audiences in these years, but still facing a lot of difficulties. “It’s not easy, being any musician, especially in a metal band, is very difficult,” said Alfonso Civile, the booking agent at the Loft, a venue dedicated to live, original touring music in Lansing.

‘The Great Fire Wall’ is how China censors online activity

XI’AN, China — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram are something most people need every day in the United States; people share stories, opinions, and different voices. However, in China, these social medias are all banned by the Chinese censorship, known as “The Great Fire Wall.”

Most of the people only use WeChat, Weibo such social media, which are mostly only used in China to connect with each other and share their voices. During the 2016 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, the current Chinese Chairman Jinping Xi represents the willingness of working with the international community and claimed the goal of the future network. “We put the common welfare as the fundamental,” said Xi. “we insist the concept of network sovereignty to promote global Internet governance towards a more justly and reasonable direction, to advance the network space to achieve equal respect, innovation, development, open sharing, safe and orderly society.

Fewer refugees are finding a new home in mid-Michigan

Since the beginning of 2017, there is a substantial decrease in the number of incoming refugees in Lansing. According to St. Vincent Catholic Charities, which is the designated refugee resettlement agency in Lansing and mid-Michigan, there were 248 refugees that arrived in Lansing during the last three months of 2016, but and there are only 83 refugees arrived STVCC in the first quarter of 2017. “We had around 776 refugees last year,” said Judi Harris, the refugee resettlement director at STVCC. “We expected the same number this year until the administration made all these changes, so now we will be lucky to get 450 this year.”

This change is not only happening in Lansing but all over the United States and it appears to follow the new presidency.

Bike-sharing trend makes its way to “The Bicycle Kingdom” of China

XI’AN, China — Around 30 years ago, China was known as “The Bicycle Kingdom,” and in these years, fuel-powered vehicles gradually took over bicycle’s place. Today, there is a revival of bikes across China, with a large number of people choosing to bike instead of driving to their destinations. The bike-sharing schemes have become a big part of the reason for this new trend, startups like Ofo, Mobike is leading this new market. According to 2017 Chinese Major Cities’ Riding Report, 38 sharing-bike companies invested a total of more than 10 million bicycles in the market. User numbers reached 100 million in the major domestic cities, these same companies are the ones who are trying to bring the elektroroller scooters to the market.

Chinese cities deal with extreme smog, haze

XI’AN, China — The smog and haze issue in China has been a problem for many years, and recently it has become a severe problem. It has the potential to ruin a healthy life for millions of civilians. The concept of environmental pollution is still very unclear to a mass majority of the population. Out of many cities in China suffering from the issue and its consequences, Xi’an residents are tired of living their life in a town full of smog and is ready to take action. “It’s just an average day, I didn’t even realize that the haze is still there,” said Xi’an resident Yu Liu.

Millions of visitors come to Chinese city of Jiuzhaigou for vacation

JIUZHAIGOU, China — Jiuzhaigou is the only place in China with the two Laurel of “World Natural Heritage” and “World Biosphere Reserve” at the same time, it is known as “fairyland” and “fairy tale world.” With summer vacation quickly approaching, various groups of people choose Jiuzhaigou as their place of interest. In 2016, there were over 5 million visitors in total, and the tourism income reached ¥805 million, which is around $115 million. “There are visitors all the time, and throughout the entire year,” said Ting Fan, one of the tour guides of Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area. “Jiuzhaigou’s colors change throughout the course of the year.

Greater Lansing animal shelters help homeless animals find homes

In 2016, there were around 12,000 animals licensed in and around Lansing. During the same period, 7,381 animals were taken into the two biggest animal shelters in the Greater Lansing Area: 3,139 of the animals went to Ingham County Animal Shelter, and 4,242 of them went to the Capital Area Humane Society. Some of the animals were abandoned by their owners, who could not care for their pets anymore for different reasons, some of them were rescued from unsafe places, and some of them were stray and became an animal shelter’s property. “They are usually just being dropped off at the door like sometimes the leash is tied to the door knob or they’re roaming around,” said Kelsee Horrom, a former volunteer at the animal shelter. “If they’re older the dogs won’t get adopted as quickly as younger ones, sadly.

Lansing a long-time center of Michigan LGBTQ advocacy

The well-known cities with gay history are always New York and San Francisco, however, the small cities, including Lansing, all play the important role in the process of legalizing homosexual marriage. Lansing is one of the most open-minded cities for the LGBTQ community in Michigan. A lot of LGBTQ groups and marches in Michigan were first started in Lansing. On June 17, a crowd was gathered at the Capitol Building to show their LGBTQ pride. The Michigan Pride March history goes back to 1990.

MI First-year voters

This photo gallery shows the journey of first-year voters and other voters at Michigan State University on the election day Nov. 8, 2016.