Lansing is chipping away at its high crime rate

By Zachary Mitchell
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Crime rates in Lansing are significantly higher than other cities. According to an FBI report, Lansing has an average of 153 crimes per square mile, compared to 39.6 crimes per square mile nationally. Among these crimes, robberies are a large issue. According to this same report, the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime such as robbery is one in 97 in Lansing. Police Chief Michael Yankowski says that crime will not be tolerated in the Lansing area, and that the police force is doing everything that it can to ensure that Lansing residents are safe and law abiding.

CATA’s express bus plan offers faster transit, but garners some community concerns as well

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The Capital Area Transportation Authority has been planning to implement a Bus Rapid Transit line to run through Lansing, East Lansing and Meridian Township via Grand River and Michigan avenues that would replace the Route 1 bus system. The project involves center-running bus-only lanes on said streets that would mimic a light railway system. It is currently set to begin construction in late 2017 or early 2018 with a budget of over $100 million. The bus system would reduce the amount of stops on the Route 1 stop from 45 to 27, but it would increase the pick-up time for passengers to every 6 to 10 minutes, rather than every 9 to 20. There have been a slew of mixed reviews from Lansing locals and business owners who have made a stir, with many saying that the new system would cause a heap of problems.

“The lanes are in the middle of the road, there are so many elderly and disabled people who ride buses that will be forced to risk their safety for transportation,” said Brandy Cawthin, a student who rides the bus to get to class at Lansing Community College.

Despite nationwide concerns, in Lansing perceptions and statistics show police acting properly

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

So far, this year has proven to be a racially tense one, with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining strength, and the issue of police brutality very visible across the country. However, some Lansing residents do not feel that Lansing police is as brutal and unjust as some other officers around the country. “Police do what they can to protect us. I’ve never had an issue with police here, or anywhere else. They’re just doing their job,” said Aleika Hayes, a local resident.

National Night Out events in Lansing area aimed at improving police-community relations

By Zachary Mitchell
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

From Aug. 2-9, the Lansing area hosted various events associated National Night Out. This event is created to help form positivity, trust, and friendships within Lansing’s communities. According to Robert Chartnard, the executive organizer, overall the event was outstanding and well-appreciated for bringing the community together and focusing on positive actions instead of focusing on the negativity that is going on in the world today. “This event is done once a year at the beginning of August and it also corresponds with our summer reading program for the youth in the summer.

Restrictions and observers hem in Lansing’s convicted sex offenders

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

In The Greater Lansing area as of now, there are about 929 registered sex offenders, according to the Lansing State Journal. Of those 929, 71 percent are Tier 3 offenders, meaning that they have committed the highest amount of crime that they could commit. There are a multitude of bans and rules that sex offenders in Michigan must comply to, including being banned from working, loitering and living with 1,000 feet of elementary and high schools. Often times, due to pressure from the public, sex offenders are badgered by other citizens, especially parents to either be fired, or not be hired or picked for jobs, organizations, and other things of that nature. According to Lansing parent Maggie Hauser, she looks at sex offender websites to keep track of the sex offenders in her area.

Local business hosts sidewalk sale

By Zachary Mitchell
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

On July 30, Delphi Glass Co. had a sidewalk sale in order to attract more customers. According to Delphi staff, the sale is a major key to attracting business. “That’s their biggest day through business. They probably make on average five to six times what they would make on a usual day and we also get rid of a lot of stock that we had that was damaged,” said Dane Porter.

Despite efforts, over 5,000 people still homeless in Lansing area

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

According to a report done by the Greater Lansing Homeless Resolution Network, over 5,000 people in Ingham County were homeless as of 2014. Though Bob Johnson from the Lansing City Development Office says that there are a variety of options including federal funds and many government programs to ensure that Lansing residents have an affordable place to live, many people are still on the streets. “The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition helps people purchase their own home, and we have the Lansing Housing Commission that provides rental facilities to families, so I really think that as a city we are doing our job to keep housing affordable and accessible to everyone,” said Johnson. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lansing residents on average pay less in monthly rent than people do nationwide, with the Lansing median gross rent being $743, and the national average being $920. Lansing residents also pay less on average than the rest of the state, with the Michigan median gross rent being $780.

Historic homes are all over Lansing, but some may be at risk

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Some of the many places that tourists frequently visit in Lansing are the multitude of historical houses and establishments in the Greater Lansing area. There are a number of churches, homes and buildings that are listed as historic sites, especially in the downtown Lansing area. The Historical Society of Greater Lansing President Bill Castanier has led a free walking tour on North Washington Avenue on July 14, in order to give a more in-depth look at the houses, tell who lived in them, when they were built, and who built them. Residents were not previously allowed access into the homes, but according to the Historical Society, many people had questions about the houses and structures. A correspondent from the Historical Society of Greater Lansing said that for the most part, the houses are holding up nicely, but the tour gives a new life to the houses, and allows outsiders to get the scoop on the houses, and putting a story to the houses they see on a regular basis.

Despite prep school struggles, Lansing hopes a Promise will help kids make it to college

By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

According to the website Start Class, all four of the Lansing high schools, including Eastern High School, Everett High School, J.W. Sexton High School, and alternative school Woodcreek Achievement Center are preforming poorly on test scores, with all four schools producing lower than average math proficiency skills and reading skills compared to other Michigan high schools. Graduation rates have also decreased during the 2014 graduation year at both Woodcreek Achievement Center and Eastern High School. All four schools are also falling behind Michigan’s average graduation rate. Though graduation rates are not high in the Lansing School District, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is helping to give an incentive for teens to graduate with the Lansing Promise scholarship program. The Lansing Chamber president Tim Daman granted presented the Lansing Promise program a check for $65,206 on the morning of July 11, boosting their total donations to more than $83,000, and over $1.1 million total in this year’s total donations to the program.

Annual Color Run “brings out more excitement and fun”

By Zachary Mitchell
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Lansing runners got their annual shot at the Color Run in downtown Lansing on July 9. Runners believe that this is a great way to support people to stay healthy, and have fun at the same time. The Color Run is a very large event and it has increased significantly in the past year. They have hosted over 225 events in more than 30 countries in 2015. “I think that the paint being used in the run just brings out more excitement and fun.