Q&A with members of the oldest generation

From millennials to the oldest old, there is a wide range of voters for this year’s upcoming election. I decided to take a look at the perspective from the oldest generation. So I sat down with my grandparents, Joe and Carol Schuld, to discuss the issues their generation is focused on, and how the elections have changed over the years. Q-Can you tell me about your first election process and what it was like for you the first time you were able to vote. C-Oh yes, we had the voting machines and you went in and you pulled the lever and that closed the curtain behind you and then you had to pull little levers down for the names that you wanted.

Organic food markets: here to stay

OKEMOS — Two weeks ago, Meridian Township welcomed a new organic food market. On April 13, Whole Foods Market opened its doors for the first time, making it the first Lansing-area Whole Foods, and their seventh Michigan store. With the growing criticism of processed foods, organic food markets are well on their way to becoming a main-stay trend. “[Organic food shopping] definitely will become a lot more popular, it’s a lot healthier,” Barb Vuillemot, a shopper at Foods for Living in Meridian Township, said. “Right now, it’s still not mainstream, so it makes it harder for people to find.

Meridian Township is trying to fix failing infrastructure with limited resources

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

In 2016, Meridian Township has several infrastructure projects planned, including road construction, sanitary sewer projects and drain maintenance. Working in tandem with the Ingham County Road Department, and the Ingham County Drain Commissioner, the Public Works Department is trying to improve failing infrastructure with the limited resources it has. Since Meridian Township is a township, it is not responsible for the operations and maintenance of their road and drain system. The government works with the Ingham County Road Department and the Ingham County Drain Commissioner when projects become too big for the township to handle. However, the township is often the first place residents call to get their issues fixed, Chief Engineer Younes Ishraidi said.

Nokomis Learning Center: preserving culture without any help

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Reporter

The Nokomis Learning Center, located at 5153 Marsh Road in Okemos, is a non-profit Native American learning center whose mission is to preserve the history, arts and culture of the “people of the Three Fires”– the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe and present it to the community. The building contains an art gallery, exhibit classroom and gift shop. Founded in 1988, the Nokomis Learning Center is doing the best it can to preserve the culture from generation to generation. “Nokomis means ‘grandmother’ and grandmother was the primary teacher in the clans and the villages,” Victoria Voges, the Educational Director at Nokomis Learning Center,  said. “One of our goals is to teach the culture and the history and hold it up so that’s why they named it Nokomis.”

The center provides tours to over 200 groups per year, and most of them come from local middle schools.

Haslett Public Schools will miss Duda, but confident success will continue

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

HASLETT — Earlier this year, Mike Duda, the superintendent of Haslett Public Schools announced he would be retiring at the end of the school year. Duda has acted as superintendent for 12 years and has worked in Haslett Public Schools for 40.The Haslett Public School Board is currently in the process of hiring their next superintendent. “Haslett Public Schools doesn’t do this often,” President of the Haslett Public School Board Kristin Beltzer said. “Duda has been superintendent for 12 years and the superintendent before him held his position for 14 years.”

Beltzer said the process began as soon as Duda announced his retirement. “Mike Duda announced [his retirement] in September, so we spent a little time to figure out the process and what we wanted it to look like,” Beltzer said.

Okemos High School guiding students to college through its guidance department

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — Every year, thousands of students apply to colleges with the assistance of numerous people. Okemos High School has instituted an assistance program that allows students to have all the tools necessary for applying to their colleges, as well as finding the colleges that fit for them. Hedlun Walton, the director of guidance services at Okemos High School, said the process begins in the spring of a student’s junior year. The school hosts an evening presentation, where they invite an admissions representative from Michigan State University or the University of Michigan to come and give general advice on completing applications and writing essays. “Our assistance begins with helping students position themselves to have a competitive application and to do the appropriate amount of college exploration to make sure they are selecting schools that would be a good fit for them,” Walton said.

Potholes are everywhere. The money to fix them is not.

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Every year when the weather changes from winter to spring, potholes become more and more prevalent. They damage cars and cause serious hazards for many populated roads. In a state that has one of the worst reputations for roads, Meridian Township is no different. For Jeff Liska, the potholes are a burden, but he understands it’s because of where he lives. “The roads are terrible,” the Okemos resident said.

Meridian Township sends its sympathy — and water — to Flint

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

This past year, Flint has made headlines with its ongoing water crisis. Since April 2014, there have been high traces of lead in their tap water, causing it to be unusable by its residents. Forty-five miles southwest of Flint, Meridian Township has less worries about their water system, but still send their sympathy to Flint. “At first, I thought it was being exaggerated,” Michigan State student and Okemos resident Kasey Horan said. “But sadly, at this point, I just hear [stories from Flint] and think, ‘Oh great, here we go again.’”

People from all over the country have reached out to help Flint.