Candidates vie to restore voters’ trust in Ingham County prosecutor’s office

By Max Johnston
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

When it was announced that Stuart Dunnings was charged with 15 criminal counts including soliciting the services of prostitutes, it shook Lansing to its core. Dunnings’ controversial departure from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office left many, like Lansing resident Nate Enstrom, with a sour taste in their mouth. “I think it shows how important integrity is. What are they doing if they’re not honest and open with their voters?” Enstrom said.

Audio: Landlocked Lansing can have fun on the water

By Eve Kucharski
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Link to audio story: https://soundcloud.com/eve-kucharski/michigan-princess

Located in Grand River Park in Lansing, the Michigan Princess is a riverboat that has been there since the 1990s. It is owned by the J & K Steamboat Company, which is located in Grand Ledge, Michigan. It is there that another riverboat of theirs, The Grand Princess, is currently waiting to be put back in the water. The company also owns the Detroit Princess.

Lansing lacking in giving domestic abuse victims a place to sleep

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Domestic violence and relationship abuse happens all over the world, the United States, and Michigan. In big cities like Lansing, where there are many people in a concentrated area, it is vital for victims and survivors to have access–preferably easy access–to resources that will help and support them. For many women, the first resource they would think of is the police. But victims also need a place to sleep. Ruth Sternaman, a counselor at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, said that in the Lansing area, housing assistance for victims could be improved as well as child protective services.

Local brewing another draw to downtown Lansing …

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Craft beer sales are growing, and so is the customer base. According to a recent Nielsen study, 35 percent of adults 21 and older are more likely to try a craft beverage. To 56 percent of those surveyed, “craft” means coming from a small, independent company such as a local brewery. Michigan has plenty in cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and Lansing is starting to follow suit. However, Lansing has trouble keeping people downtown after the workday is over.

… and that’s bringing young professionals to downtown

By Max Johnston
Listen Up, Lansing staff Reporter

Michigan’s craft beer industry is booming, with the number of breweries in the state doubling since 2010. Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit and Ann Arbor have all been densely populated with breweries and craft beers for years. However, according to owner of Ellison Brewery & Spirits Eric Elliott, Lansing trailed behind the rest of the state when it came to craft beer. “After spending some time away from Lansing and coming back, I could just tell we were lacking in this up and coming brewery scene,” Elliot said. “Lansing was like a desert, you could go to Detroit, you could go to Grand Rapids, you could go to Traverse City to get cool handcrafted beers, but you come to Lansing and there’s wasn’t anything.”

Lansing summer programs offer variety for area youth

By Krista Wilson
Listen Up Lansing Staff Writer

Vernon Miller, Lansing resident and dad of two said his 6-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter participate in different programs through the Lansing Parks and Recreation camps. “It really is amazing to see how much my kids learn through activities that they find fun, while also gaining some type of learning experience,” said Miller. They are not alone, as the Lansing area is offering a number of programs to keep kids from having a dull summer. “We all remember our summers growing up and the overnight summer camps are made to expose kids to things they may not usually do, like canoeing or kayaking on the river,” said Brett Kaschinske, Director of Parks and Rec of Lansing. “That’s what our programming is about, giving new opportunities.”

Jason Helman, Senior Program Director of Westside Community YMCA said, “The summer programs at YMCA give the youth an opportunity to achieve new milestones in their lives, build friendships, and learn core values.”

Brian Pingel, associate professor of Youth Studies at North Central University in Minnesota said, “Summer camp can be an absolute benefit to kids when it is relational-based and they have access to positive mentors.”

Helman said the YMCA offers education-based programs, sports camps, and even a cooking program to help students learn how to cook.

Lansing comic shops holding steady in a digital era

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

You can count the number of comic shops in Lansing on one hand. With how accessible comics are elsewhere, it’s not surprising. “I have an app on my phone that has a ton of comics,” said Lansing resident Rolland Mollitor. “Physical books aren’t something I need. As long as I can read it, it’s cool.”

Lansing resident Savhanna Moore shares that sentiment.

Politics, economics, and emotions collide in debate over the fate of Scott Sunken Garden

By Max Johnston
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Malcolm X Street west of Washington Avenue was once densely populated with English Tudors and mansions of the Lansing elite. Now only two remain: The Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame and The Scott House and Sunken Garden. However, the Board of Water and Light is trying to replace the Scott House and Sunken Garden with a new substation, much to the chagrin of some in Lansing like Liz Harrow. “Mainly my objection is that it feels that Lansing is giving up on its downtown, or on REO Town,” Harrow said. “They have decided that this unsightly compromise is good enough for a small city with low ambitions.”

South Lansing undergoes rejuvenation at the hands of community members

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The south Lansing neighborhood area is undergoing a “rejuvenation” headed by a team of facilitators and representatives, and backed by community members like Elaine Wombolt. She is the official facilitator and founder of the initiative. As stated on the group’s website, “Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other and to resources so we can improve the quality of life in south Lansing for those who live and work here.”

Wombolt also said that this group helps and brainstorms with other Lansing neighborhoods that have similar issues, such as the eastside neighborhood. Some of these issues include a huge, unregulated number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and unregulated donation bins that are easily taken advantage of as garbage furniture dumps. This group started several years ago, with hopes to promote growth of the South Lansing community and stop crime. “In October 2014, a group of citizens came together and decided we needed to do something for south Lansing because it was deteriorating,” said Wombolt. “I was designated as the facilitator of this group.”

Wombolt talked about how this is a growing and expanding group, explaining that there are no dues, no bylaws, and anyone can attend the meetings.

Community college a preferable, more affordable choice for some

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The differences between a community college like Lansing Community College and a four-year institution such as Michigan State are staggering. According to both colleges’ price calculators, tuition and fees for two full-time semesters (12 credits) for an in-district freshman costs $2,930 at LCC and $10,900 at MSU. That price doesn’t reflect housing costs either, so for anyone already living in Lansing, the savings become a major factor when choosing. “I chose LCC because it’s cheaper, it’s easier for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of money,” said LCC music student Ben Nelson. “I can do part-time, so I can keep working at my job, and they offer a great program for the major that I want.”

Nelson has no plans to go beyond an associate’s degree.