Matt St. Germain strives to bring some positivity into this world and others’ news feeds
St. Germain is a master’s student at Michigan State University. He makes it a priority to inspire and influence others. Spartan Newsroom: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests and goals?
Think about how many times you go Facebook a day. It happens so frequently that sometimes we don’t even realize we log on or click on the app. “Let’s face it. When we wake up, the first thing we usually do is check our Facebook,” said Jomer B. Gregorio, who runs a startup digital marketing business and is a professional Internet marketer in the Philippines. “No matter who you are or what you do, social media is a part of your life whether you realize it or not.”
That fundamental change to people’s routines is driving big changes in how companies market themselves to consumers. Digital technologies — and the massive amount of data social media services and websites collect about their users — now allow companies to target potential customers based on their demographics, including location, income, age and occupation.
The first time Greg Dagner tried heroin, he said, it “was phenomenally pleasurable and a tremendous rush.” It was like nothing he had ever felt before. “It took away the bad things and added pleasure instead,” said Dagner, who lives in Williamston. “It helped me deal with reality.”
But when the high was over, Dagner said, he felt the urge to use the drug again so he didn’t have to come to terms with his reality. It was a never-ending cycle. The days were the same; he would wake up, get high, go through withdrawal and use again.
Officials have replaced boiler room valves in two Williamston schools where lead was found over acceptable limits and will address other fixtures where lead was present by June. The valves at Williamston High School and Explorer Elementary did not carry drinking water, according to Superintendent Narda Murphy. But water tested by Testing Engineers & Consultants on Feb. 13 contained lead levels above the threshold of 0.015 mg/L. Small amounts of lead were also found in a teacher’s lounge faucet in Williamston High School, a restroom drinking fountain in Explorer Elementary, a kitchen sink and 7th grade hall drinking fountain in Williamston’s Middle School, and a maintenance garage bathroom sink.
The children lined up at the start line with Easter baskets in hand. The look of excitement and the urge to begin lit up their faces. The Crosaires Assisted Living Home hosted its third annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 25. Crosaires’ owner Todd Walter said their mission statement is “Where care and community intersect.” Each year, they pick a community need to raise money for. Walter organized the event and stuffed more than 1,500 eggs with nut-free candy for the children.
The PSAT and SAT have been redesigned as of this year. The new test will be scored differently than the previous SAT. Before, students were deducted points for every wrong question. Now, students will only be scored for correct answers. There is no punishment for guessing on a question, so students must strategically take the test in a different way.
Narcotics is a rising problem in Williamston. “If you would have told me that my kid would be sticking a needle in his arm, I would have thought you were nuts,” said Phil Pavona, father of Eric Pavona and director of Pulmonary Services at Sparrow Hospital. A seminar led by Pavona was held at Williamston Middle School on March 16 to inform parents about a program he started called FAN (Families Against Narcotics), which educates people of warning signs and preventative strategies. “I am doing this seminar for one reason; I don’t want you to bury your kid,” said Pavona. After two previous heroin overdoses, Pavona’s son Eric, was pronounced dead on Aug.
The water in all of Williamston’s schools is being tested as a precautionary action, school officials say. Narda Murphy, superintendent for Williamston Community Schools, said that the school is working with Testing Engineers & Consultants Inc. to test the water. Greg Talberg, one of the trustees on Williamston’s School board, asked at the Jan. 18 School Board meeting if the water at the middle school had been tested yet, according to unapproved minutes from the meeting. Talberg said in an interview this week that he asked the question due to what is happening with the Flint water crisis and due to a strange odor and taste in Williamston Middle School’s water.
A new co-ed tennis team at Williamston Middle School was approved this month by the Board of Education. The idea was pitched by Tom Hampton, Williamston Community Schools’ athletic director, on Jan. 18 at a Williamston Board of Education meeting and was approved on Feb. 1. “Last year some other area coaches and I met during the season to discuss the possibilities of having a middle school tennis league,” said Nathan Schwarzbek, high school varsity coach.
Builders have started unclogging a log-jammed section of the Red Cedar River in Williamstown Township as part of a construction project in Lansing. The Board of Trustees approved the wetlands project in a 4-1 vote on Feb. 10, ensuring that the complex of hotel, residential and retail planned for Clippert Street and Michigan Avenue can go forward. The law requires builders who disrupt a floodplain in one area — which is happening with the Lansing project — to improve wetlands in another area, which is where Williamstown comes in. Jason Hockstok is a civil engineer working for Continental Real Estate, the development company paying for the excavation in Williamstown.