From the outside looking in, an economist might look at Haslett as a “bedroom community” compared to its neighbor and seemingly-always-growing Okemos. But to Emily Drummelsmith, who grew up in the Haslett area, the two communities are not all that different to her. And that’s just the way Meridian Township officials want residents of both communities to feel.
“Honestly I kind of grew up in both so they’re not that different to me truly,” said Drummelsmith, who has been a resident of Haslett for 20 years. “I always spent my time shopping in Okemos and walking around in Haslett. It’s just honestly not different to me.”
Haslett and Okemos are both unincorporated communities governed by Meridian Charter Township.
Tabitha Mpamira was at work scrolling through social media when she suddenly thought, “here we go again”. It has happened again. Another mass shooting in the United States has captured the media’s attention and some citizens of Meridian Township are not surprised. “I’ve seriously grown cynical,” said Tabitha Mpamira, who is a citizen of Okemos. “ I figured here we go again, and nothing is going to be done and something else is going to come up and take over the news.”
On Sunday, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, grabbed his AR-556 rifle, and opened fire
in First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
Ira Childress knows he’s a trailblazer in athletic administration, but when we he goes to work every day, that’s not something he thinks about. Childress, Okemos High School’s athletic director, wakes up everyday and asks himself: “How can we get better?”
“Everything continue to grows for him he’s not the one to settle for just ok right now,” said Kelly Foltz, who is the strength and conditioning coach for OHS. “He sees the future and set his sights on what else he can do to better this place.”
When Childress walked into the athletic director position five years ago, this guy from the small town of Baldwin, Michigan, made history for being OHS’s first African American athletic director. He was also the first director that was not apart of the school district’s administration before receiving the position. “Anytime you are in a trailblazing position it’s never easy especially in the beginning,” said Childress, who worked in athletic administration for the collegiate level before coming to Okemos.
One Kiwanis Club; One Meridian: Okemos and Haslett Kiwanis Clubs are merging together as one
The Kiwanis Club of Haslett meets up on Tuesday mornings at Blondie’s Barn to
discuss the executive board agenda over breakfast, and on Oct. 25, they met to continue their talk about their merger with the Kiwanis Club of Okemos. “The reason for the merger, we lost four of our members to passing away this past year. Then we had three more of our active members become disabled for health reasons,” said Terence Carroll, who is the former secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Okemos. “It was an awful amount of people to lose within a year and we looked at Haslett, and their membership is stable and we thought we’ll just merge.”
The Kiwanis Club is an international organization with more than 5,000 clubs in North America, according to the Kiwanis International website.
Meridian Township has a variety of attractions to offer its community, ranging from various artworks throughout the township to historical places that are unique to citizens in the area. The township even offers a self-guided walking tour that people can go on to gain historical information on the township. Here are three places that I visited, each listed under the tour guidelines, that citizens of the community or travelers can visit during their stay in Meridian Township. Disco Fish at Wonch Park – Okemos, MI
Meridian Township is a supporter of artwork by displaying artwork all over the
township and recently three “Disco Fish” were installed in Wonch Park. “We just installed them last week,” said Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie.
Meridian Township held its bi-weekly Township Board meeting Oct. 17 at the Meridian Municipal Building. The meeting started off with an introduction to the township’s new administrative assistant to the Clerk’s Office and board meeting recording secretary Maggie Rodgers-Sanders. “It was good, it was great, I think it went well,” said Maggie Rodgers-Sanders in regards to her first time working a meeting. “I missed a couple of cues on the motions, but I got it better at the end.”
It took Glenn Douglas Packard a near-death experience and a year of recovery to live out his passion of being a dancer and an entertainer. “I had an accident on the farm which almost cost me my leg, my tibia, my fibula, bones came out shattered, and they were suppose to amputate my leg from the knee down,” said Glenn, who is a Emmy-nominated choreographer from Michigan. “A doctor said he can save my leg so I said if he got me through this I will do what I always wanted to and dance.”
Packard grew up on a farm helping out with his family business and according to him, where he was from boys did not dance. After he recovered from his injury at 21, he walked into his first dance lesson. From there he would go on to have a successful career in dance.
Artist James Davis sits by the left back entrance playing with a crossword puzzle until a customer walks up, comments on how beautiful his pieces are and purchases one of the items on display. This transaction is the sole reason why he likes the Meridian Arts and Craft Marketplace. “It’s regular you know, if you establish yourself people know you’re going to be in a certain place and I do a lot of business with repeat clients,” said James who is a handmade sterling silver and multimedia artist. “It gets me out in the public, I get to meet my clientele.”
The Meridian Arts and Craft Marketplace is seated under the pavilion behind the Meridian Municipal building. The event occurs every fourth Sunday from June to September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..